April 30, 2012

To I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers: #AutismPositivity2012


As-per-ger's syndrome   noun \ˈäs-ˌpər-gərz-\
: a developmental disorder resembling autism that is characterized by impaired social interaction, by repetitive patterns of behavior and restricted interests, by normal language and cognitive development, and often by above average performance in a narrow field against a general background of deficient functioning—called also Asperger's disorder via Merriam-Webster
My letter to a person with Asperger's: I won't call you special.
I won't call you "special" I will call you tenacious.  A tenacious person of truth.  In a world where we see so much corruption, you are a light.  You will be the light in the darkest parts of this world.  A light that reveals truth to humankind because you know no other way.  You are one of the privileged few who will lead life without the guilt of lying to get ahead, or hurt, or taking; because it does not come easily for you.  When truth is uncovered it is hard to keep darkness hidden.  You are needed so desperately to provide balance and rightness in this world.

I won't call you "special" I will call you awe-inspiring.  Your ability to focus is an unparalleled talent.  Little or big, you will do great things.  You hear what other's cannot hear; and see what other's cannot see.  Your visions are clear and you are unstoppable.  You will bring such wonder and change with your ideas and abilities.

I won't call you "special" I will call you human.  Every human being no matter who they are, no matter their limitations; walks the Earth with doubt.  Doubt that they aren't good enough, or strong enough or normal enough.  We all spend too much time trying to fit in and be who we think we should be instead of who we are.  The sooner we accept who we are and focus on the abilities and talents we already have instead of wishing for ones we don't have, the happier we will be.

I won't call you "special" I will call you loved.  You are loved. Know that. 

This post was a combination of the A-Z Challenge {\ˈäs-ˌpər-gərz-\} "Z" AND 
{We are asking every blogger in the autism community to write a message of positivity to #IWishIDidntHaveAspergers.  So that next time that individual (or another) types that sad statement into Google, he or she will find what they need – support, wisdom, and messages of hope from those who understand.}



April 28, 2012

Hey Y'all How About Some Southernisms?


If you are a regular reader, you know that my bff was in town a few weeks ago and we hail from Dixie.  It took all of 2.9 seconds for me to drop the "Minnesotan accent" {you betcha} and get my southern drawl on.  Oh I miss it.  The Deli guy even asked if we were sisters.  I wanted to ask who he thought was older, but the only acceptable answer would've been that we were twins.  He didn't seem to be the brightest crayon in the box, so I let that one be.  I pinky swore over Mango margaritas that I would write this post on Southernisms, because they are funny, and I miss them.  My list is so long I can barely include them all, and I've already done, "Bless your heart", but I shall do my best.  I lumped some together to keep this puppy short.

You best get over here or I will tan your hide.

Whenever a southern parent yells at their kid it sounds like torture or child abuse will ensue,  but naturally we are using scare tactics, like tanning leather.  What kid won't respond to that?  Ouch!    And see how flawlessly better is replaced with best?  Not sure why, but I don't question authority from the south, next thing you know I will be picking a switch out from the yard.  Yes, a switch or branch to whip or whoop you with.  I've never been hit with a switch, and not sure I know of anyone that has, but I can tell you almost all of my friends from the South have been threatened.  Okay, we'll move on from the abuse portion.

Q: Did you make dinner?
A: No, I was fixin' to.
Q: All right, I reckon I'll be in the garage till it's ready.

Loosely translated, I was just about to start making dinner, so the other half pondered briefly what he might do with his time and decided on puttering in the garage.  That wasn't so hard!

I could sop you up with a biscuit.

No, really.  Biscuits are a staple in the south, usually a good amount of said biscuit is saved for the end of the meal and used to squeegee the gravy up from your plate.  Or, it usually means you're a cutie pie and they just want to take in every little piece of your stinking cuteness.  If you've never had biscuits and gravy, come over and I'll fix some for you, deliciousness.

I have saved the best for last, this is no joke, I heard it all the time:

I'm sweatin' like a whore in church. 

This is funniest when you hear librarian-types and grannies say it.  Can mean one of two things: either you're burnin' up, or hot; or you're nervous about something.  I strongly urge you to add that into your vocabulary, it's a great ice breaker too.

I left many a wonderful Southernism out of this post, but I adore them.  And there is a flow to the Southern drawl that makes even screaming at your children sound sweet.  

Thanks to Ali, my co-author on this post.  A-Z Challenge.  

Did I mention Monday is the last day of the challenge?  "Z" baby!  

April 27, 2012

Talking About Not Having Sexxx: My Rebuttal


A little over a month ago, I wrote a post over at Circle of Moms about my sex life; or lack thereof.   I bravely submitted and thought it would get a few views, not 185,000+ views.  Apparently people are interested, make that very interested in why I'm not having sex.  It's a conscious choice for me.  It became very apparent that I was a voice in a sea of single parents who are making the choice not to have sex.  NOT because we don't want to; because it is a tricky and complicated addition to our already complicated lives.  I felt a follow-up post was necessary so I could explain myself a bit more and discuss some of the more disturbing comments I received.  There were so many supportive comments saying, "Whew, I'm not the only one"; others that called me a prude and a few that said I was a bitch.  Well they might all be correct.

This post will also not try to define the parameters of a "committed relationship" or right or wrong; different post entirely.  Quoting the bible is only going to help the peeps that believe in it, not those that don't.   By addressing that in this post I won't be talking about what I want to talk about and that is ME, my choices.  I am making no judgments as to what is right or wrong for you, this is only what is right for me; therefore I may discuss it anyway I please.

When I mentioned in my post "being tired...not wanting to go out...pining for my kids...” that is all true.  But I do make myself go out and do things for myself.  I might not feel like it, but this Mom knows if I don't take time for myself, I'm not a good Mama.  Hey Moms and Dads, do things for yourself!  Does that mean I'm on the prowl looking to score, no. {Seriously makes me laugh that I just said that.}

Now, "I'm to good for you".  I stand by that.  Some people thought that was a bitchy thing to say.  Well maybe, but it's true.  Let me explain.  It means I'm too good to allow myself to doubt what I feel is right.  I'm too good to give in to my physical urges, just to feel satisfied for 5 minutes and then regret it.  I'm too good because I think I'm worth more than that.

I can't get any satisfaction?  Say many of the commenters.  Yes.  Well we won't delve into that to much.  This blog is PG-13ish.  Trust me when I say, I'm all right.  Whatever your stance on sex may be, mine is this:  it isn't just an act, for most women it isn't; hopefully dudes too.  There is a lot of emotional heaviness involved there that I'm not ready to introduce into my life, or my kids.  It's not all just physical for me.  What affects me indirectly affects my kids.  Not everyone having sex is getting it on in front of the kids, not what I was saying.  It's tricky and complicated, that's what I'm saying. At least for me, and right now, I prefer uncomplicated.

The most disturbing response was from married Moms who thought I was saying I don't feel like having sex because I don't like it, so I don't; and they weren't either.  Some of those comments made me down-right sad.  IF I were married, I would hope that I'd be having sex, a lot of it.   This isn't a matter of want for me; it's a matter of choice for what I believe is right for me.  Sex is an amazing, awesome gift.  I've been married, I get the fizzle factor.  Most of the time the breakdown in that area has nothing to do with the act, there are breakdowns in other areas that lead to the lack thereof.  To those Moms sleeping in separate bedrooms and never having sex I hope you can work through that with your spouse.  You are missing out, ladies.  I could really do an entire post on the act of sex, how people use it as a weapon, how we have been taught that it is dirty or shameful; I could go on and on; frustrating. Pun fully intended.

In closing, what I set out to do by writing that article worked.  I wanted to show that the MAJORITY of single parents aren't easy and don't have men/and or women in and out of there lives or a revolving door of sexual partners.  Also, just because I'm not in a sexual relationship doesn't mean that one isn't available or I'm in need of "hooking up".  Its crazy how many marrieds want to live vicariously through me and my wild sex life; or not so wild as the case may be.  Sorry to disappoint.

I am also raising an impressionable son and daughter.  What would my advice be to them were they in my shoes?  I want to be a parent who teaches lessons by example; not do as I say, not as I do.   Although we have no choice sometimes, but here I do.  

For now, and more than likely for the foreseeable future, this is my choice; and I'm not ashamed of it.  It's also not an easy choice.  But it shows character and courage.  I'm glad I could be a voice for those who feel the same.  Being a parent is not easy for anyone, despite differing circumstances.  We are all desperately trying to find a balance between not losing ourselves as a parent and making ourselves happy.  Not sure that I have accomplished that yet, but I'm feeling pretty good about my choices so far and am joyful.  That's all I wish for you too.

Thanks to everyone who read and replied.  You can read the article, here.

April 26, 2012

I Can Never Die

Today I had to work on updating my will.  As in six feet under, dead and gone.  I have not updated it since my divorce three years ago, and now I am standing in a very different place in my life: single Mom, son with Autism, two kids, only custodial parent.  I came to a realization this morning; I just can't die.

I think everyone could relate to this post, but especially parents with children with special needs.  My son is only five, and although he has made leaps and bounds, I have no idea what the future holds for him.  Although my wish is that he will lead a productive, self-sufficient life, I have no way of knowing if that is a possibility.

There is nobody who can take care of my kids like I will.  Nobody.  In the process of deciding "who gets them" when I'm gone, I had to set the 'love' portion aside.  Lots of family and friends love my children, they will never want for that.  But caring for a child with special needs takes more than love; it's a full-time job.  Who will be willing to fight for him?  Who will be willing to do the hours of research necessary for his therapy?  Who will be willing to carry out my wishes for his restrictive diet?  Who will be willing to devote themselves to hours and hours of paperwork without lapsing or giving up or in?

Good enough is not in the plan for my children, it isn't an option.  Is there anyone who will see over the burden and love them as a blessing?  When I really sat down to think that question through, I found answers that I didn't care to see.  I know that I am not alone in the Autism community when I say; sometimes family is the biggest hurdle.  It's hard when those closest to us don't care to learn more about the disability that encompasses our kid's lives.  Albeit there are many families that do, I'm generalizing and speaking from experience.  

I don't have any fears in life, sans this one.  Everything else that is thrown at me I can handle, not being here to see my kids through to adulthood scares the hell out of me.

Do you have a will?  Does it provide relief knowing your kids will be taken care of, or anxiety?

Will: "W", A-Z Challenge

April 25, 2012

Vacant


Challenge Day 25: Letter V

Thanks to "V" there are 3 unfinished posts in my drafts.  One post was on virtue.  One on how I'm vintage not old. And another on the word 'vehement' and what I was vehement about; that post will be out soon, guaranteed to be very rant-worthy.  All good posts, I just can't get behind anything today.  I have writer's block because I have too much on my mind.  How does that work?  Only here, friends.

Today, this is all the post I will do, until I get the thoughts in my head sorted out.  Perhaps in outline fashion.  Okay totally not in any sort of organized fashion whatsoever, who am I kidding?

I am looking for vacancy, clearing, cleansing today; but won't find it writing.  So I'm not forcing it.

A-Z Challenge 2012





April 24, 2012

Unapologetic


A friend and I were talking today about guilt.  The guilt we felt for being happy.  Now mind you, our lives aren't all roses and happily ever afters.  We just make a conscious choice to live happy and not live in despair, distress, or as a victim.  When life hands you lemons you can live a sour existence or you can get out the salt and tequila.  Your choice.  Because I seem carefree does not mean my life is, but it is the perspective I choose.  Carefree is as carefree does?  Either way you need to deal with it; so why not propel yourself forward instead of remaining stuck in a bad place?  Often times the propulsion doesn't involve running away, that just compounds the problem.  It often means attacking it, finding some resolve, communicating, working on it or through it.

Here is what I'm not comfortable with.  The fact that we were discussing if it was okay that we were happy and then questioned our happiness. Is there something wrong with us because we're happy and happen to laugh a lot?   Brakes.  That statement is wrong on so many levels. Are we missing something?  Are we shirking responsibilities or living with rose-colored glasses?  No.  We just don't choose to sad all the time.  I cut those people out of my life anyway, the ones who complain they just can't find someone, or get a good job, or nothing ever seems to go right.  They are draining.  I admit, I spend far too much time trying to be people's cheerleaders only to be left empty; so then I have to release them.  If I allow them to deplete me of my joy inside, I will have nothing to give anyone.  That's just simple self-preservation.  But everyone deserves a fair shot.  Does it mean I'm giving up on them, no way!  I just think they better find another cheerleader before they take me down with them.  In my life experience, I have had my share of turbulent weather; even in the storm the blessings have always out numbered the disappointments.  Hard times and disappointments lead to new doors and pathways; paths we probably never would've glanced at had we not been forced to.

I'm not going to apologize to anyone for being happy.  I shouldn't be made to feel guilty for that.  If you envy it, change it for yourself.  It is as easy as shifting your perceptions. Muster your courage and do it.  But the want to be really happy has to be there instead of the desire to stay miserable.  Miserable must come with perks, otherwise people wouldn't stay in a perpetual state of gloom.  I suppose you get hours of whine time, days of woe-is-me, a super cozy comfort zone and buckets of sympathy.  Sympathy or empathy can be comforting, nothing wrong with it; just don't become an addict.

Life is too short.  Too short to be mad and angry, too short to be lonely and depressed, too short to apologize for doing what you love and really living.  Maybe you haven't found your path; you can, you will.  I have and I'm not apologizing for it.

Unapologetic. A-Z Challenge. 

April 23, 2012

Top Three Things That Irritate Me



This is no whiskers on kittens post.  Optimistic Cari step-aside, snarky Cari step up.  Not sure which actually employs more time around here as of late.  I like to think I have a nice balance, and while I'd like to assume nicey-nice me wins out most often; I'm not in denial.  Therefore, I shall go forth and get my whine on and serve you will a Top Three list.  Because they are easy.  And so, the top three things that irritate me about the A-Z Challenge.

As monumentally good as this has been for me, sans a few crap posts, I am counting the days until it is over.    Six, glorious six.  I enjoy writing and this has certainly been an exercise in such; but now I am overwhelmed, angry and torn.

Overwhelmed

I write as is, these six days a week on the blog is too much for me.  My blog hasn't seen this much action since...well ever frankly, and she's tired and cranky.  I have also quite possibly irritated a good majority of my readership with this little A-Z dance.  Sorry about that, lovelies. But a welcome and pleased to meetcha to all my new readers.

Angry

Second, I'm angry.  Angry because I feel that during this exercise I have been publishing some major crapola.  I know I totally need to embrace this, but let's be honest; blogging about being a Solid Gold Dancer is not my finest work.  Mullets one minute, crying the next; sheesh.  I can hammer out a post in half an hour, most of my "good" work is actually done that way.  The things I labor over seem to equate to huge failure.  Failure in my own eyes I suppose.  I don't see failure or success in numbers or stats.  That just confuses me even more.  I keep to my own personal standards in my writing; any other opinions are subjective, therefore not concrete.

I guess because I've been in the blogging world for a while now, you are only as good as your last post.  Most people will not delve past what is on your first page unless your words invite them to do so; or curiosity, either or.  I feel like perhaps I have only a certain number of good posts in me before this sucker whithers up and dies.  Seen too many blogs succumb to lost mojo.  As of now, I have an indefinite amount of crap to write about and see no sign of stopping in the future, but if the want isn’t there then what?  I suppose that is where the push through it aspect of the challenge would be to my advantage.  Two reasons I have held firm to completing this challenge is to a) bask in the glory on the other side and b) note how it has affected my writing on the other side.  Will I want to blog more?  Will my style have changed?  Do I actually have a style?  Jury is still out.  It will be interesting.

Torn & Time

Third, in order to actually sit down and write, it would involve me giving up some other aspects of my life to make room for this.  I am already maxed out; yes a glutton for punishment but I thought it would be fun.  Admittedly this has been fun, most of the time.  What I have given up to write is time with my kids reading and meditation.  Meditation is a must for me always, I at least find 20-30 minutes in my day. It definitely keeps me centered.  Then there is reading.  Usually, this would be a non-issue; I can go spurts without reading books and usually have a "to-read" pile on my desk.  "Hunger Games" is still sitting there, unread.  My book reading has now converted to straight-up blog reading.  I do that anyway, but not this many.  It's daunting, and there are some seriously good writers out there; it's a smidge intimidating.  Also, I was a fool and never, ever, ever, ever, should've started reading, "Fifty Shades of Grey" {yeah, yeah, "mommy porn"}.  I won't lie; it's a page turner, ahem.  How is this blog going to compete with FIFTY?  It cannot. Now I know how all you Twilight people got roped in with your glittery vampires.  Usually I don't go the romance route; but it is quite intriguing and of course I need the second installment which happens to be sold out everywhere!   I have resigned myself to not even buying the second book until this challenge is finished.  I do have to unmask some sort of brilliance for U, X and Z.  Cannot be done whilst indulging in E. L. James.  Thanks Ali, I place complete blame on you for this.

I am also abundantly grateful that THREE begins will "T" and not just TEN.  I'm hanging in there A-Z.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

What are you reading?



April 22, 2012

I Wanted To Be a Solid Gold Dancer

Are you old enough to remember watching Solid Gold?  The Dancing with the Stars variety show of the 80's?  I am, and proud.  Those were the days before Dionne Warwick talked to dead people.  Looking for a photo for this is pretty darn hard, but I can't very well write a post about the Solid Gold Dancers without a photo can I?  We'll see how long this lasts before they shut me down.  I'm a rebel.  By the way, I know you're humming the theme song.

Image Detail
Solid Gold Dancers 1983



I loved everything about the Solid Gold dancers.  Their awesome aqua net teased hair, loads of make-up, the headbands, I was ALL about the headbands, the glittery costumes that cut up to their stomachs, the "sun-tanned pantyhose" {remember when "suntan" was a color option?} and I wanted a pair of those gold shoes.  I would've done anything for the shoes.  What can I say, I like sparkly things..and shoes, undeniable combo there.  I think even now I would kill for the blonde’s hair in the center.

So every Saturday night my sister and I would dance around our living room living out our dream to be a solid gold dancer, and for that hour, even during commercial breaks, we were living the dream.  I wonder if the Solid Gold dancers got flack like the dancing with the stars ladies?  The nay sayers that say the costumes are inappropriate, that they are affecting young girls’ self-esteem?  I idolized these dancers, yet I don't wear backwards thongs in public, or ever, ouch, like the blonde up there. Nor do I wear the gold shoes for that matter; but I would.  The solid gold dancers didn't turn me into some crazed hoochie.  In fact after I accepted the realization that I cannot dance, at all, and even lessons failed me; I opted for the Pediatrician route.  That plan ran its course too about my senior year of high school when I decided I wasn't up for 7 more years of school and debt.  My pediatrician dreams did keep me on the straight and narrow with good grades and I took Latin, which is doing me worlds of good these days let me tell you. 

At any rate, I didn't just love those dancers for their fame, I don't think I've ever wanted fame, I just wanted to look pretty and be able to dance that well.  I was struck by their talent.  I would also kill to high-kick like that.  I am always in awe of people's hidden or not so hidden gifts and talent.  It's so inspiring to me.

All that glitters is not solid gold.  Who did you emulate when you were young?  What did you want to be when you "grew" up?

Brought to you by the letter "S", A-Z Challenge, I'm going to go look for some gold shoes.






April 20, 2012

Redefinition And I'm Not Talking About Spanx


My bff was just in town for some girl time.  I've known her for almost 20 years.  She just reminded me that during Calculus {luckily we took almost every math class together, hence why I passed}, while I should have been calculating something, I was writing.  No, not my boyfriend's name eleventy-hundred times, but fictional stories about me, her, and some crazy escapade which usually wasn't far from the truth.  While math wasn't my cup of tea, I loved English class, I loved writing papers and poetry, I suppose it is only natural that I am a writer for all intents and purposes and have my blog here.  Because it's in me, its part of me, something I've always done and forever will do should I like to keep my sanity and be happy.

Even then at 14, I wrote humor.  My stories were obnoxiously inappropriate, as you can see nothing has changed.  I can write sobering posts, and sometimes that is necessary; but funny or serious, I will always be me.  So maybe nothing has changed but my platform? What once was a ratty old notebook is now a computer and URL.  I have defined my purpose, not just to make my best friend laugh, but to make all 10 of you that read laugh.  

Now we are coming up on our 20 year high school reunion, so she reminded me; damn her.  I still have some time, like years, or two; but who is counting.  And I look back on my high school self, myself at 20, my married self, myself as a mother and now as a single mother; and I see how much I've changed, no redefined.

I've always been me.  I've just grown into myself.  Isn't that something we all do?  It's called growing up.  At points in our lives we have a growth spurt and are required to look within, notice what is important at that particular moment and embrace it.  We are constantly redefining.  

Sometimes redefinition is growth induced and sometimes it is mandatory.  My divorce blindsided me, I was forced to redefine myself and my life.  Being forced to re-evaluate is hard, hard because it all seems so bad on the exterior.  You must peel away many layers to get to the core and find the blessings.  Sometimes I fear people cannot see the blessings in their circumstance and will remain paralyzed for many years.  That must wear on them.  It must be suffocating.

I don't talk about my marriage or divorce, ever; but I have one small thing I must share.  Near the end, when my now Ex-husband and I would be talking or disagreeing, he would say, "you've changed".  My reply would always be the same, "well I hope so, I've had two kids since I married you".  I did change but not who I was, but who he wanted me to be.  I've always been the same old Cari, take it or leave it, just more aware and less selfish.  I struggled with that argument for many years, thinking I had become something undesirable or different; lost myself somehow.  But much of that also had to do with the tirades of an addict looking for a fight and a way to use.  Manipulation is an addict's weapon.  At least I can see that now.

Redefinition is not always joyful.  It is seeing the person we really are, accepting our flaws, relinquishing the victim within, and loving ourselves despite it all.  At those times I'm blessed; when I think I'm the worst human being on Earth, and somebody like my bff picks me up and tells me they love me anyway.  They take you in even in when you've out-blacked the black sheep.  It is good to surround ourselves with people who will nurture the changes within us.  They water the seeds and make growth unfathomable.

And so through life we chip away at the hard exterior of ourselves, like a beautiful sculpture someone has painstakeningly given their entire life to create; a masterpiece.  Always the same at the core, but constantly polishing, defining, chiseling away at the masterpiece; until it is finished.  

Redefinition is not so bad, it's necessary.

Do you think you are who you have always been, or has life molded or redefined you?

A-Z Challenge for "R"

April 19, 2012

Your Burning Questions Answered

This post is all about fun because it will be up for about 2 minutes before my "R" in a few hours.  And I haven't Quit the A-Z Challenge yet!  But I'm not a quitter by nature.  Unless running is involved, I will quit that, but I did finish a 5K once.  I'd rather do an hour of lunges holding a baby on my hip in a bakery with Jillian Michaels than run.  On that note,  I thought it might be fun to do a little Q&A about me!

Q: Are you really a "single Mom" or do you have nannies behind the scenes that help you out?


A: I'm a genuine single mother.  No help, just little old me.  I'm okay with this too, and lead a very happy and fulfilling life.

Q: What are 3 words that describe you?


A:  Hot, Pretty and Smokin' Hot.  Look at me!
I'm hotter than Bowie down there anyway.
He could force a smile for goodness sake.
I bedazzled my eye-patch.

  
                                                                       Source: ladyislingering.tumblr.com via Miller on Pinterest


Q:  Are you ever accused of being too nice or perky?


A:  Often.  I also say perky things like, "woo-hoo, woot, yay and holla",  then people are offended when I let down the hammer.  I call it the sugar and spice facade.  I'm actually pretty nice 98% of the time.

Q: Why do you blog?


A:  Why not?  Blogging is my escape from life, from Autism, from things I should be doing instead of blogging.  It's a procrastinator's dream.  I love the community and it keeps me off the streets.

Q:  Will you do the A-Z Challenge next year?


A:  As of now I answer with an emphatic no.  I'll probably have myself talked out of that a week after Z.

So friends, why do you blog?

{Answering because I told you to is not a valid answer}





April 18, 2012

The Parent Trap: Counting It Out

When I was a young lass, okay, young Mom, make that younger Mom; there were several things I said I'd never do.  You 've all read that post on a bazillion other blogs, so I'm going to spare you, but there is one thing I'd like to just briefly address.

I swore I was never, ever going to be one of those Moms that counts to three:

ooonnnnneeee, twwwwwwooooooooooo, threee! 

Somewhere in the middle of the drawn out two, you say a little prayer that the kid moves his kiester, because you have no back-up plan besides, "OR ELSE", or my favorite, "BECAUSE I SAID SO",  and there is always wielding the power of authority with, "BECAUSE I'M THE MOM".

My original plan was to have children that never misbehaved, therefore I would never have to even consider such tactics. That didn't work out so well.  I will tell you why I count, because it works, that's why.  God only knows why this works.  But it does.  I start counting and my kids think it's a dang fire drill around here or the Apocalypse has arrived.

No Mommy, please, please, don't count.

I don't know what has put the fear of God into them?  {more than likely my laser eyes} I don't spank, I have once and it's not for me.  I don't ground them, I find difficulty fully following through with punishments long term, and on top of it, they think I'm hilarious.  No lie.  My kids think life is a big knock-knock joke, and I am here as their personal entertainment.  Yeah, I know, I should cut the fun off in this house pronto before they start smoking cigarettes and hanging with the wrong crowd.  Then I'll end up sending them to some Kids-Gone-Wild-Boot-Camp.  In all seriousness we do have fun, there isn't much need for discipline because my kids are generally good and well-behaved.

But sometimes, when the DVDs are strewn across the floor, and I've told them nicely to pick them up a good 6 times, I'll resort to the countdown.

Someday they are going to figure out this is an empty threat.  Then life as I know it will change.

What threat do your kids respond to the best?  Are you surprised it works? Do you have a back-up plan?

Now, I'm off to see how many people blogged about porn in the A-Z Challenge.  Probably nobody, but that would've been a fun "P".

April 17, 2012

Oh My Gosh I'm Giving Birth!


I completely had my "O" post planned out. I was to write a thought provoking post on outlines. I know one person who writes an outline for her blog posts and was surprised I did not.  Really?  You've read my blog right?  In her defense, she is a genius.  BUT, then there was an intervention. I was checking my stats, just a glance, I don't pour over that sort of thing when I noticed someone found my blog by searching with the keywords, "o my gosh I’m giving birth". Excuse me, what?

I had to search the recesses of my memory bank to find out how this combination was even possible and would lead some poor soul here. I have written about the aftermath of childbirth, not pretty people.  But I have never really written about giving birth, or at least I don't remember it.  I thought it only right to make the SEO concrete on this puppy and write a post. 


First I should say, if you are indeed giving birth at this moment, you probably shouldn't be reading my blog. Run along; call your doctor or a health care professional. Oh, I had two wonderful birthing experiences, so it's going to be okay. *wink* Now you should really go.  Really.

Also, Cari is a great name, however I would change the spelling were I you.  A lot of mispronunciation here and I get called ‘Carl’ a lot.  Sometimes there is no dot on the I.  Food for thought, best of luck.

Crazy keyword searches do make great posts, but I forget to write that kind of thing down.  And even if I did, I'm sure to lose the list.  Maybe I should study SEO a bit more?  But like I said, that doesn’t interest me much.  I have come to the realization that I should have a tab which offers Bubble Gum removal solutions.   However when I googled them, it just led me straight to my blog.  See?  Being a person that seems to know a little bit about everything and not a lot on one specific thing, I do have some advice:

For gum in the hair, rub in a spoonful of peanut butter and it will come out.  Once the gum is removed, I would probably wash the hair, or add jelly.

For gum on a shoe, the only solution I’ve found is rubbing it off on the sidewalk, cursing while rubbing helps pass the time, or using that goo-be-gone stuff.  It truly works. 

If you are a blogger, what is the strangest keyword that has led someone to your blog? 

Aren't you glad it wasn't outline? Half-way through the A-Z Challenge!  Really would've loved to have pulled an Ellemenopee.




Neutrality


This blog is like a roller coaster.  If you're looking for a laugh, you may want to back up to M is for Mullet, from yesterday.  I think I blog better when challenged, especially when someone dares me to blog about something.  Oh yeah, I live for that kind of stuff.  Perhaps that is why I can't be serious for more than two minutes or two posts at a time, so brace yourself.  Does that make my blog like a box of chocolates?  You know, never know what you're gonna get?  Sorry people, I'm the cheap chocolates unlike the fancy ones that have a map that point you right to the caramels. 

I'm going to break into a rant.  Is that a saying?  How about, I'm going off on a rant?  Anyway you slice it, rant forthcoming.  Let me talk about neutrality for a moment.  I feel like I live a subjective life, rarely hard black and white lines.  For instance, I do not consider myself either Democrat or Republican {although I definitely lean a certain way most often}.  I fear that is dangerous to put all of my faith in one party, both parties include scoundrels and misguided politicians who will sell out to the highest bidder.  Does that make me neutral?  I prefer to look at the individual, their record, and their beliefs.  If there is one thing I've learned in this lifetime, it is that people hide behind classifications, categories, religions, and use those perceptions as a mask.  A mask that would make you see them a certain way, yet they couldn't be farther from what they appear.  

I think there is most certainly a place for political correctness.  Yes, I do think oftentimes it goes overboard and we walk on eggshells.  {Oh, if you are new to this blog, a polite reminder to take the word 'retard' out of your vocabulary, thank you from me and the special needs parents I roll with} But people these days live life defensively, high on adrenaline and feeling like they are being attacked.  It is hard to have a good debate or conversation without hurt, drama, mud-slinging and lawsuits.  If life is only black and white, where does compromise reside?  What other option does that leave but neutrality?

All that said, and if by some miracle you are still following my train of thought, when do we fight?  Or not fight? When should we stand up for what we believe in or let it go?  Always?  I think when I was younger I used to believe that, but now I pick my battles.  I try so very hard, to take a moment and step away from what I feel I need to defend and think: 

-Will what I have to say be heard, received and appreciated?

-Is this person trying to gain attention by baiting me or others?

-How will arguing this make an impact, and if so, what kind?

As I grow older I find myself standing on more neutral ground.  I find this disappointing in a way, yet also a sign of growth.  Growth in that, I don't need to spew and argue everything I believe, I need to live it more than preach it.  As most of you have seen, I have my knock down drag-out moments; I am a fearless defender to friends and causes I love.  That won't change.  What has changed is my perception.  How can I shift a situation to make a difference rather than trying to talk louder and longer and sitting in judgment? 

And as I am writing in this moment, I see that this post veered far off course from what I wanted to say.  Kind of love when that happens.  My original thought for this post was how people who only stood on neutral ground annoyed me.  How I would see saying nothing as weak or lacking conviction.   Maybe they just chose their battles?  What is important to me may not be important to you.  Jesus and the Dalai Lama are probably pretty proud of me right now.

And now it is apparent when this post is all said and done, I have really only exposed myself as neutral.

Foiled again by the A-Z Challenge.

Speak up; do you think you should always fight for what you believe in no matter what?  Are there times when we should keep our mouths shut?  If so, does that relinquish the validity of our beliefs? 

Is being neutral a bad thing in your eyes?





April 15, 2012

Ode To The Mullet

Well friends, another riveting installment of the A-Z Challenge.  I had ten one other ideas for "M", but the masses {all four of you} have spoken and mullet it is.  Who am I to say no?  I'm not a dream crusher, well not today anyhow.  It is becoming more and more evident as this challenge progresses that the only writing I should be doing is for Shoebox greeting cards or those snarky little flip calendars where you discard a page  everyday.  Because I adore all of you; I will do my best.

My Ode To The Mullet:

Mullet, oh Mullet.
Business in the front,
Party in the back.

Okay, that's pretty much all I've got.  The Haiku post robbed me of all my poetry skills for the month.  As you know, I don't do any research for this blog. What I say goes around here, so Wiki what you will, the research thing is really Marjorie's cup of tea, I'm more the skimming over feelings and useless crap type of blogger.  Therefore, all said is my opinion, or gold, either or.  So here is the low-down on the mullet.

I believe the mullet is traditionally thought to be a southern "thing", occurrence, or travesty.  Most often the mullet is associated with rednecks and hillbillies who might find this particular haircut attractive.  It might be some primal mating ritual, but let's just call it attracting the "right person for you".  I must tell you friends, within the last month of this current year, I have had TWO mullet sightings.  It is a rarity, a privilege even.  I commend the kind of bravery it takes to pull that off!  The mullet is not for the weak.  Were I a braver person, I would've snapped a picture with the Blackberry, but I'm scared of getting punched; so you'll have to take my word for it.  My mullet sightings were not in the south either, oh no, they were right here in the great state of Minnesota.  We do tend to have a large influx of hockey mullets in these parts.

The mullet had its hay day, thanks to Billy Ray Cyrus.  Or maybe we just let that slide because of his catchy Achy Breaky Heart tune; not sure.  But I am so bold as to state that mullet might have a direct impact on the youth of today.  Mylie Cyrus is his daughter after all.  I'm going to leave it at that, I'm not even mentioning anything about Disney or TV.



 Source:
bing.com via Desiree on Pinterest


                                                                    Source: ladyislingering.tumblr.com via Miller on Pinterest


Could we blame David Bowie for the mullet?  And in the same vein, note the scarf, eye patch and that he is possibly carrying a purse; I mean man bag, or brief case.  Nothing against people with eye patches, but I've said it before, they are mysterious.  It does lead one to believe there was an altercation of some sort.  Maybe if you are sporting a mullet, a polka-dot scarf, some sort of suspender type thing, then the eye patch evens it all out?  Who am I to say, I'm no fashion plate, but nothing about that picture make sense to me.




                                                                           Source: thelaughingstork.com via Lizzie on Pinterest

I'm no pet psychic, but I think that cat is crying for help.  The poor cat {looks like a Jingles}was probably lured into the situation by the cool laser lights and I'd venture to say cat nip was probably rubbed on the Bill Cosby sweater.  I'm not a cat person, but no cat should have to live with that kind of mullet.


                                                                     
                                                                       Source: Uploaded by user via Camila on Pinterest


I may have scoured Pinterest for mullet pictures and other things for two hours {follow me over there}.  I think I also gained 5 pounds just being on Pinterest and looking at the food.  But I did discover the 'mullet hem'.  See above.  Short in the front, long in the back.  I would wear this dress in a second, should I happen to be in Paris and transform into a 6 foot tall gorgeous super model.  Or, I could wear it around my house and feel pretty.  I might, don't tempt me.

Do you remember mullets?  If so, were they ever "cool"?  Have you had a recent mullet sighting?

Please do not disclose if you have ever had a mullet, thank you.

{Disclaimer: I'm not totally sure how 'legal' it is to have these photos on my blog, but when you do a mullet post...not a whole lot of options...}




April 13, 2012

Ladies, Lower Your Standards!

No, that is not a serious headline, just in case you were about to click, comment.  It is actually inspired by an old Jon Lovitz, Saturday Night Live skit; which I have graciously included and it's hilarious.  The skit caters to women over 40 and why they need to lower their standards to "catch" a man.

I'm just going to be blunt here {nothing new} that's I'd rather be alone and without a man than settle for one less than perfect for ME.  Not perfect, because such does not exist, just perfect enough for me.  Being a single lady, I'm always surprised at what others, women and men will tolerate while dating just so they won't be alone.         I'm not going to pretend like there are buckets of available, good guys out there, I know the pickings are slim.  But hurt will come when we overlook bad treatment, or red-flags, or being treated less than the amazing human being we are.  We all deserve to be loved and treated right.  Everyone.

Enjoy the video, I'm out of here, my bff is in town!  My daughter said, "Mom, why do you two talk so much?"  Well, it's what we do.  I catch up with all my A-Z posse after the weekend!  And yes, Mullet for "M" is on its way by request.  It will not be my finest moment, but then again, those are rare anyway.




What do you think?  Do we get more complacent as we get older?

April 12, 2012

Kiss My Grits and Bless Your Heart


Just in case you couldn't tell from my bouffant hair, cardigan sweater and sweet smile, I was raised in the South, y'all.  That's right a southern belle of sorts.  Of course I moved back to the Arctic Tundra, so all the sweetness was sucked right out of me by the frigid temperatures!  Or was I ever sweet?  Hard to say, but I think I still have some of you fooled.

She.Is.Precious.
This post was inspired by my Twitter pal, @lookingforIsis; Stacy is sweet and brings back all my memories of sweet tea and southern charm. Well and she also told me to write this, she gets the credit, could be good or bad.

Bless your heart and kiss my grits are two southern sayings.  I'm going to explain the difference between the two and the appropriate time to use either.  Quite honestly, people in the south don't really go around saying, "kiss my grits", I just like it.  I'm sure it is the result of some hillbilly hootin' and hollerin' it on a TV show.  Not sure I've ever really heard anyone say, "Kiss my grits" in a serious conversation, except for me; but I am rarely serious, except when I am.  

Bless Your Heart

Bless your heart is big, y'all.  Sure it could mean bless your soul, praying for you and see ya in heaven.  But it doesn't really.  That's just what we want you to think.  Bless your heart is sweet snark, and said in a sing-song voice, with a side tilt of the head and a little brow scrunch.  

When someone says bless your heart, it can mean a few things: 

I'm so sorry you got yourself into this mess. Now how in the world are you going to dig yourself out of this mess?

You didn't know any better.

You are not be the brightest crayon in the box.

You could be the cutest and most precious thing I've ever seen. {refer to photo above}

OR and a big OR...you have rendered me speechless.  You had six kids and refused pain meds and had 68 hours of labor with each and lost 3 of your toes to a Gator in the creek behind your house?  Bless your heart.  Most oftentimes, I will use bless your heart when rendered speechless.

I promised you an example, I will deliver.  Here would be an appropriate time to use, "Bless your Heart":

Frazzled single Mom brings brownies made from the box, rather than from scratch to school bake sale..."oh, thanks Cari, bless your heart, honey, I know you're so busy with those kids all by yourself".

Sounds kind of mean without coming right out and saying I'm a hot mess, right?  Yes, yes it is suppose to.  That is the magic of bless your heart.  

Kiss My Grits

I can only assume anyone {me} that would actually use this phrase, would need to be spittin' mad!  I would also know assume that you would say it loudly, while storming off and shout it as you turn your head, almost calling attention to the situation, or drawing a crowd, if you will.  Some call it a "scene".  Using the finger would not be appropriate when saying kiss my grits, after all, most people don't know what grits are, and you've stumped them right there.  Or, in the south, they are well aware of the breakfast staple and know you're not playin'.  While bless your heart is used as not to openly offend, kiss my grits is meant to offend, and in fact inflict pain.  Right.  If you're pulling out kiss my grits, you want that person to know they can kiss your bahookie, {thank you, Angel}.  The perfect times to use kiss my grits:

Some "well-meaning" psycho-therapist or grocery check-out boy decides to give you parenting advice, "Kiss my grits, Dr. Phil....and grocery lad!"

Someone leaves a mean comment on your blog, "kiss my grits blog stalker!"

The ex-husband says he has "babysat" the kids once already this week and has things to do...yep, Kiss 'em.

Well-meaning Moms at the schools say, "oh, thanks Cari, bless your heart, honey; I know you're so busy with those kids all by yourself" when you bring not-so-homemade-brownies from a mix to the bake sale.  Totally appropriate to say kiss my grits and make a scene.  But you'll get a lot of bless your heart side head tilt looks at the next PTO meeting, proceed with caution.

There you go y'all!  My hope for you is that you can work Bless Your Heart and Kiss My Grits into your everyday vocabulary. Do you have any sayings you'd like to bring back?

This post is brought to you by the letter, "K" from the A-Z Challenge for April, kiss my grits, challenge.





April 11, 2012

Just Be...Can You Be Alone?

Can you be alone?  Not only in relevance to relationships, but even just alone with yourself, for a few minutes, hours or days?  If you are a parent, I know two minutes alone in the bathroom is coveted time.  It is human nature to crave companionship, friendship or love.  But being alone has almost become a plague of sorts.  Or at least a case for 20 questions without much interest in finding the truth by 'well meaning' people who surround us.  Why?  Because alone is often associated with negative connotations: weird, quiet, old maid, bitch, divorced, single, etc.

Every human being on this Earth needs to learn how to be alone.  We need time to filter out the noise from the outside world to hear exactly what we want and need.  No outside influence, just us.  And there is no better way to get to know ourselves.

I loved this video on being alone and encourage you to watch it... stick with it, shaky start, but a really wonderful progression.  Thanks to my cousin, Hols for passing it along to me.



Can you be alone?  Can you do some of those things in the video, or are they too frightening?

This post brought to you by the letter, "J", A-Z Challenge for April.

April 10, 2012

Invisible


I am writing this post out of guilt.  I was going to skip, "I" in the A-Z Challenge and say it was my imaginary post {very controversial post at that}.  But I can't skip, not yet anyway, darn you conscience!  I have read so many amazing and inspiring blogs thus far along the alphabet and they keep me writing.  I am also having a terrible inner struggle with my writing in this challenge because I LOVE to write about crap, nothing serious, but this challenge is bringing out nothing but serious.  I may as well embrace it.  When life pushes you, I find it's best to go with it.  Sorry you all have to come along for the ride while I have a growth spurt.

I think everyone has had a moment of invisibility.  Whether you wanted it or not.  A moment you overhear a conversation, see something you wish you hadn't, do something regrettable when not a soul could see you.  Often those invisible moments bring strife and hardship.  Secrets can be revealed that we struggle to hide away and forget we saw, or they burn in our memories, or make us feel foolish or hurt.

Other moments of invisibility include being in a group and feeling like nobody sees you.  That you could leave or walk away, and no one would notice.  And in those situations do we try even harder to be seen, so we won't look alone, or unpopular, or be...invisible?

My point of this very short post is to open your eyes and look beyond yourself today and notice the invisible person.  Some people in life try very hard not to be seen; some are forgotten, therefore unseen.  And we will walk by them, hurried by life and cell phones and lists of errands; with more important things to do in our day, and forget them as soon as we saw them.  

How often do you actually look people in the eye during the day?  Are you planning your next move still in mid-conversation?  Take a moment to look around you, and seek out the invisible and notice them.  Help a stranger with a door, smile at them and look them in the eye, or say hello.  Smiles are contagious, and I doubt anyone will call the authorities for stalking because of a smile.  What do you have to lose?

This post brought to you by the letter "I", the A-Z Challenge, the A-Z Challenge police if there is such a thing and my guilt, massive blogging challenge guilt.

April 09, 2012

How NOT To Haiku

This is my first attempt at a haiku since second grade.  I remember why I don't like them.  Going from writing a post to writing a haiku felt oddly similar to the Facebook status to Twitter update transition.  The haiku scoffs at long-winded people like me.  This thing took me almost as long as a normal post.  I had grand dreams for the haiku, it was to be my masterpiece.  Alas, it stinks, and I'm not altogether sure I did it correctly.  Live and learn, take that A-Z Challenge for "H"!

Coloring bright eggs.
Six out of twelve cracked.
Why do skulls say Easter?


Arrrgghhhh, Happy Easter, matey!

MAYBE I could let skulls slide considering the death of Jesus, but a pirate patch?  Also missed the part of the Easter story that included unicorns.  {Unicorn egg not pictured}  The rub-ons included in the Easter dye kit confused me a bit.


Did you color eggs this year?  Curious to know your method...did you go with the original, giltterama, melted crayon wax {yes for real, I told my kids no}?  How did they turn out?


April 08, 2012

Don't Get Caught In Mom Jeans

As you all may know, a few weeks ago, I was allegedly accused of wearing Mom Jeans.  I know, you're as shocked as I was.  I'm not the kind of gal to just let that sort of thing slide under the rug, so I did a little Mom Jean research.  Since today is a day off from A-Z Challenge, I'm blogging over at Parent Society: The 5 P's of Mom Jeans.

Don't let Mom Jeans happen to you.

April 07, 2012

Good Grief, Jesus Wouldn't Want Me Blogging

Disclaimer:  I didn't even edit this bad boy, so good luck to you.  I gave myself 10 minutes to blog, and promised to publish whatever I wrote.  My apologies, you should probably just go now.

Alright, friends, if you are reading this, you should be napping or coloring Easter eggs or at church or something.  It's Easter for goodness sakes.  Here I am frantically attempting to get food prepared and shirts ironed and blasted matching earrings made for my necklace.  It's what I do, I can't not do it.  So, blogging is the last thing on my mind.

I'm going to be really honest, my post ideas for "G" were getting old; i.e. my realization that my eyesight is failing and I might need readers or bifocals or something you buy 8 pairs of at the Walgreens, after I couldn't find the hole in a bead {which I ALWAYS can} and did that squinty holding the bead far away thing to see if it helped. I can't be sure if it did, but I did swear.  I also laughed until I cried because I just realized what I had done and I'm officially old.  Moo-moo's are next baby!

I could've posted about my son, Gabe, but honestly, I don't post about my kids too terribly much.  Trust me there is plenty to blog about there, but I need to get out of my serious rut in this challenge.  So as adorable and cute as he is, I wouldn't know where to start with that kid.

Going in circles flashed in my mind as well.  Seems that is the way my life goes, circular like...and fast.

So now a week into the challenge I bring you my gripes, you'll only hear them once.  I realize this blog everyday from A-Z Challenge is supposed to broaden your horizons, push you to think outside of the box, get used to writing everyday.  Yackity Yak.  Those are the reasons I signed up.  And an un-named Bff totally roped me into it.  But I make my own decisions, and I'm not quitting.  But honestly, my content sucks. I went from blogging twice a week to six times a week.   I'm overloaded.  I feel all snappy, and would do a photo a day for A-Z if I didn't hate loading photos into Blogger more than writing alphabetically.

So hang in there friends, only a few more weeks to go, and I do have some truly funny and thought provoking stuff coming your way.  But you'll have to excuse posts like this, which are more journaling than anything.  But it's what I have to do so my kid isn't wearing his Spiderman jammies to church tomorrow.  

Just a poll.  Out of the fifty plus people I talked to today, 49 of them are making deviled eggs.  Wow!  I guess that does seem like an obvious Easter dish, I have nothing against them.  I've never really considered them Eastery however.  I could take one or leave them.  Just me or are deviled eggs an Easter staple?

Wishing you all a beautiful and joyous Easter!