Yeah, okay, my birthday was well over a week ago. Sue me. 🙂
In this video I’m showing off the goodies that Jason and Adrianna picked up for me for my 33rd, and they’re all AWESOME, so you should totally check it out. ^_^
Yeah, okay, my birthday was well over a week ago. Sue me. 🙂
In this video I’m showing off the goodies that Jason and Adrianna picked up for me for my 33rd, and they’re all AWESOME, so you should totally check it out. ^_^
I got a birthday present in the mail! A buddy from the Basement Geeks, David, sent me along two awesome Funko Pops that I’d realllllllly been wanting! Thank you so much David!
(P.S. By the time you guys are seeing this blog post it has actually gone past my birthday, but this video was recorded before it. ^_^)
This past weekend was a busy one for my family because it was my daughter’s 5th birthday. Right off the bat, that entire concept just amazed me because it in no way feels like five years has passed since my little sweetheart came into this world. She has continually amazed me in so many ways, and even though she’s one of the smartest and most amazing little kids I know, it’s just so difficult to believe that she’s been around for five years already.
And although there were moments of the party that weren’t easy – like when one kid kept insisting on climbing on the tables and another slipped and fell and started bawling – there were lots of moments that made me think about how amazing kids in general can be. Such as? Well, I’m so glad that you asked…
For one thing, there’s the little girl who my daughter considers to be her best friend. This little girl is absolutely what I would consider to be “girly”, which isn’t a bad thing, but for the purposes of this story is interesting. Because of the things she enjoys, and the fact that my daughter doe in fact enjoy some of those things too, I just figured that this little girl would pick out a present of the My Little Pony or Frozen persuasion. However, this little girl, according to her father, pointed at the Ninja Turtle invitation we’d sent out, told him how much my daughter loves Ninja Turtles, and flat-out INSISTED that she HAD to get a Ninja Turtle toy for her birthday. The fact that a five-year-old can be so thoughtful of what her best friend loves just amazed me and made me dissolve from the cuteness.
Another thing that was just beyond adorable was the reaction of two little girls who weren’t actually invited to the party. My daughter knows a lot of kids at school, but for simplicity (and the fact that I don’t actually know many of the families myself), I just invited the kids in her class plus a handful of kids we knew from outside the class. Two little girls from another class just happened to be in the same complex where the party was, and since they’d wandered by my husband invited them to come in and play. They did, for a few minutes, and then took off again, so I figured they’d left with their families. A few minutes later, however, they reappeared with messy balls of wrapping paper in their hands. One of them grabbed my arm, showed me the balls of paper, and nervously asked, “She likes rocks, right?” It turns out the two little girls had gone and gathered some pretty rocks from outside and bundled them in paper to give as a birthday gift, because they knew my daughter often picks up and keeps pretty rocks from the playground at school. Again, I almost died from the cuteness…they didn’t want to attend a birthday party without a present, and they came up with the best option they could under the circumstances. TOO ADORABLE.
And something that truly surprised me a lot was that almost every kid who attended the party (seventeen all together) signed the cards themselves, except for the ones who actually made cards. No fewer than four of my daughter’s classmates – plus the little sister of the best friend – made their own special birthday cards, with two more using the supplies I’d brought to the party to make her birthday pictures before they left. And one little boy in particular had a truly awesome message on his card: “I love you more than anything.” How freakin’ cute is that?
All in all, even though there were a few moments that made me twitch – I’m lookin’ at you, kid who dug his fingers in the cake frosting – the party just had so many adorable moments that made me want to melt, and it made me smile to know that my daughter already has lots of little friends who know her well and like her lots. At her age I was shy around other girls and fairly violent toward boys, so I think she’s got me beat so far. XD
Happy Belated Birthday, cutie. Keep up the good work. ^_^
Let me start off this post by asking a question: how many of you can recall at least one birthday, Christmas, or other present-giving holiday where you were disappointed by a present? Maybe you got the cheap knock-off version of the thing you really wanted, or maybe you got something that was way outside your age range, or maybe you got something completely different from what you’d asked for because what you really wanted was deemed somehow inappropriate. Or maybe, just maybe, you got something completely random that you didn’t want, and all you could think was, “Geez, does anyone even pay attention to what I like?”
Now here’s the thing. I’m not suggesting that kids shouldn’t be grateful for the presents they get, because they should, and it really peeves me when kids are ungrateful little brats. I’m also not suggesting that parents should break the bank when it comes to presents…if you genuinely can’t afford it, then your kids are just going to have to deal (and again, be grateful).
But I am saying this: for the love of god…pay attention to what your kids like.
I bring this up because of my “jobs I’ve had” post a few days ago. Mentioning my previous positions at various department stores reminded me of something I dealt with a lot while working retail: clueless parents. I can’t count the number of times I got questions from parents who had only the basest inkling of a concept of what their child wanted as a present. For example, once I had a mother come into Zellers and ask me for help finding a game that her kid wanted. She said the game was called “Mario”. I had to bite my tongue to keep from screaming as I asked her, “Which Mario?”
A brief discussion thereafter revealed that not only did the woman not know which one of the dozens of possible “Mario” games she was looking for, but she didn’t even know which video game console she was buying it for. She knew that her kid had a “Nintendo”, but not which version, and at the time N64 was still booming, while Gamecube was wracking up new sales. Each system had a plethora of “Mario” games, so I had absolutely no way of advising this woman as to what she should buy. In the end I practically begged her to go home and ask her kid about the game again.
Now seriously, folks…it’s one thing to get a little confused when you find out that there are multiple games with similar titles…but if you don’t even know which system you’re buying it for? Sorry, but you must have your head lodged firmly up your back-end. I know there are lots of parents out there who don’t know a damn thing about video games, but how can you honestly not even know which console(s) your kid owns? Is there really not enough space in your brain to commit the words “Gamecube” or “Playstation 3” or “Gameboy” or “XBox” to memory?
I don’t mean this post to torment parents who are a little out of touch with video games and toys and the newest gadgets. We can’t all know everything about everything. But this is your child (or children) that we’re talking about. Is it really so hard to pay a little bit of attention to what they enjoy? The toys they play with? The TV shows they watch? You have no idea how many times I watched parents struggle over a wall of action figures because they had no idea which superhero they were actually looking for, or how many times I’ve watched a parent pick up some random toy with a look of bewilderment on their face and ask me, “Do you think my kid will like this?”
You have no idea how many returns I’ve seen after a holiday, during which the parent grumbled that they’d, “Apparently got the wrong thing.”
Really, I swear, it’s not rocket science.
Yes, there are an outrageous number of options out there and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, but you know what works? Ask your kid questions. If your kid is playing with a bunch of dolls, ask them what their names are and which ones they don’t have. BOOM, gift idea. Simple. Direct. Almost 100% success rate. Or you know what else works really well? When your kid asks for something specific, take ten seconds to really listen to what they said. The “Mario” game fiasco above could have been easily rectified if the mother had paid attention long enough to hear the full name of the game and, ideally, write it down so she wouldn’t forget. Bada bing, bada boom.
We can’t all be super-parents, and no parent has a 100% grasp on everything their kid is into…but that doesn’t give us an excuse to be ignorant. Your kids have as much right as anyone else in your life to have your attention long enough for you to be able to buy them nice presents without begging a bewildered sales clerk for help. It’s not difficult. It just takes a little bit of effort. Aren’t your kids worth a little bit of effort?
I’ve never been accused of being a girly girl. Growing up I preferred jeans to skirts, ponytails to any other hairstyle, and sneakers to heels. I was the kind of girl who would rather play with her male cousins’ action figures than with Barbies. Some of my favorite shows when I was a kid were Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. And I wasn’t into that cutesy Pink Ranger…I wanted to be the ultra-cool loner Green Ranger.
I grew up around mostly boy cousins, I always got along better with the boys in my classes, and I chose a career path that had me constantly surrounded by guys. I was the first woman to ever be hired as a tradesman at the paper mill where I used to work. I play video games, drink hard liquor, and couldn’t give less of a rat’s backside about the lives of celebrities or reality show contestants.
You could say, I suppose, that I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy. And that’s fine. I definitely think I’ve turned out better for it, to be perfectly honest.
But in my advanced age (dude, I’m gonna be thirty next year!) I’ve begun to poke a little into the world of girly girls…or womanly women, I guess. Mostly this has come as the result of having a daughter. While I happily wear jeans, I just can’t help but think that it’s so adorable when she wears skirts. It’s some strange, motherly madness. But at least some of my foray into womanliness has come as a desire to simply start looking like I care a little more about my appearance. Jeans, t-shirts, and a ponytail don’t exact scream, “I spent more than five minutes getting ready this morning!” And honestly, I can look really nice if I bother to put in some effort.
So I started putting in some effort, in the form of pulling out the ponytails and wearing my hair down every so often. But there is a caveat to this decision. See, my hair is thick, wavy in a completely nonsensical way, and likes to frizz out like I just touched something full of static. This is the reason why I have to straighten it with a flat iron.
Given that I’m a technician by trade, you wouldn’t think this would be a huge problem, but I have come to establish that flat iron use is one of the most complicated things I’ve ever done.
The first time I tried to do it I did what any lifetime tomboy would probably do…I just picked up chunks of hair and started running them through the iron. What felt like hours later I had accomplished visibly bugger all. What the hell was I doing wrong, I wondered? My hairdresser always managed to make this look good during my one or two visits a year (don’t judge me).
So the next time I was at my hairdresser I paid attention I what she was doing instead of daydreaming about what my husband would say if I showed up home with my hair completely hacked off. What I found was that she would pick up 85% of my hair, pin it up on top of my head, and use the flat iron on the little bit that was left. Then she let a little more down and repeat, and repeat until the whole thing was done.
Ah. Do it in layers. I totally should have though of that.
So that’s what I did: I got one of those little alligator clip thingies, piled most of my hair up on top of my head, and went to work. And it worked! Slowly. Very, painstakingly slowly. Again it felt like hours before it was done and though the result wasn’t half bad I felt that it had been an outrageous waste of time.
It wasn’t until months later that my sister-in-law informed me that my straightener was a cheap piece of junk, suitable for women with super-thin hair, but not for my horse-like mane. I needed more heat, she told me. I needed the kind of flat iron that the hairdressers use, the ones that go up to “holy Christ almighty that is scalding!” levels.
So I appealed to my hairdresser, she promise to order me a decent iron that could withstand my Herculean hair, and since it was close to my birthday my parents told me they’d get it for me. Huzzah! A month later I held my brand new flat iron, all shiny blue, with a temperature rating just under the bowels of hell itself. Hot damn, I was finally going to have this thing figured out!
So I ripped the flat iron out of its packaging, piled 85% of my hair up on top of my head, and set to straightening my hair… And immediately cried out in agony. Turned out that the flat iron was so hot that the residual heat it left behind on my hair burned the hell out of the side of my face and neck. I had neglected to notice that when my hairdresser does this she uses a comb to hold the hair away from my head for a few seconds to allow some of the heat to dissipate. Achieving this same maneuver on your own head is surprisingly difficult and evidently requires a fair deal of practice, because I scalded myself at least a dozen more times. My pride was a wee bit sore after that one. So was my neck.
In the end, I’m still a rather large tomboy, and I’ll still wear my hair in ponytails most of the time, but I am also determined to get the hang of this thing if for no other reason than proving that the girly girls aren’t somehow better than me. Because, dammit, I’m a technician and I’m not going to let two strips of hot metal get the better of me!**
**The famous last words of Mrs Tracey Lynn Tobin
As you know, last week it was my birthday. I got a couple of nice presents, but one of them isn’t in my possession yet because it has not yet been purchased. You see, my husband suggested that he would buy me a new bathing suit for the (hopefully) coming summer. I’m not usually the kind to spend much money on such a thing, so he thought I could pick out a really nice one for a change. I loved the idea, but here’s the thing…if I’m going to get a really nice bathing suit, I want to look good in it. So on Saturday night I gritted my teeth and decided that this is it: I’m restarting Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution and this time I’m sticking to it.
Sunday morning started a bit askew, since little missy was up in the middle of the night, which resulted in all of us sleeping in until almost 10 am. But I gritted my teeth, and after a healthy breakfast of whole wheat toast and boiled egg whites, I headed downstairs and did workout number 1. I then attempted to go about my day without resorting to any of the mindless snacking I’m famous for, while waiting for my meatloaf to finish cooking and anticipating the fact that I was going to have to measure my portions to keep from eating twice as much of it as is smart.
So you see, my day was full of willpower. Painful, frustrating willpower. And that got me thinking about something I once read in a Cracked.com article. At the time of reading the article I raised my eyebrows a bit and doubted the reality of the claim, but on Sunday I did a bit of Google research and lo and behold, it looks like it’s true.
Willpower is a finite resource.
I know, I know, it sounds like an excuse, right? But apparently there have been a lot of studies done on this idea, and so far it’s holding water. It looks like the more willpower you use in one area of your life, the less you have left for other areas. In other words, you might struggle all day to keep yourself from snacking, and actually manage it, but then when it comes time to do your exercises you just can’t seem to work up the willpower. It’s not entirely your fault…you haven’t got any left. This explains why you can feel so good about yourself early in the day and happily resist temptations, but later in the day you crash and start (for example) devouring everything in sight.
So does this mean we’re all doomed to failure because we can’t keep up the willpower thing forever? Of course not, although it’s definitely going to make things more difficult. Willpower (apparently) is like a muscle. It needs to be exercised. So the more willpower you are able to exert today, the easier it will be tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. It’s likely to be a slow process, but in the meantime you have to figure out how to dole out your willpower as necessary. If resisting snacks and treats all day depletes your stores so that you can’t bring yourself to exercise later, figure out how to let yourself have a little something, thereby saving that bit of willpower for when you need it. It’s a delicate balance, which in itself probably uses up willpower.
In fact, you know what? It’s not a delicate balance; it’s a vicious, circular cycle that makes me want to punch walls.
Anyway, I guess the point of this post is that I need to work on my willpower muscle. I’ve worked up great levels of determination before and used up all my willpower after a week or so, and I don’t want that to happen this time. I want to succeed this time because dammit, I want to look good in a really nice bathing suit! Is that so wrong? 😛
At first I wasn’t going to bother making a post today because bother it all, it’s my birthday. Then I thought, frig it, I’ll make a post about my birthday. That’s totally not being full of myself at all!
Today I turned 29 years old. There’s nothing particularly special about this age, other than the fact that it’s my last year to be “in my 20’s”. Next year I’ll be 30…30! Yeesh. Where does the time go? Is that an old person kind of thing to say? I think that’s an old person kind of thing to say.
Ah well, it’s another year gone, and for my trouble I get to snuggle with my daughter, have my birthday Blizzard (cake is overrated), and probably watch a movie later on with my husband. Sounds like a pretty decent birthday to me.
Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got some epic birthday snugglin’ to do.
Today is a very special day for me. June 7th, 2012, approximately 1:00 pm. Mark that date and time down.
What’s so special about this date? It’s not a holiday, nor is it someone’s birthday, or a special occasion like an anniversary. In fact, it’s a pretty normal, even boring day. I’m sitting on the loveseat in my living room, my husband is on his computer up in the bedroom, and the baby is out cold on her pile of pillows on the living room floor. When we three got up this morning we had breakfast (grapes and a granola bar for the baby, coffee for the parents), and we went to playgroup for a couple of hours. It’s windy and chilly outside and looks like it can’t decide whether or not it wants to rain.
So again, what is so special about this date?
I mentioned before, more than once I believe, that I’d never finished any story I ever set out to write, with the exception of one short fanfiction. Today, as of approximately 1 o’clock this afternoon, I can no longer make that claim. Today, I wrote the final words, an epilogue, to my zombie novel, Nowhere to Hide.
Don’t get me wrong…the manuscript is not complete. There is editing to be done, some discontinuities that need to be addressed, some scenes may be omitted completely, and new ones could very well be added. But for all intents and purposes, I have a finished novel. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It has lots of (I hope) interesting characters, and plenty of conflict, suspense, and emotion. It may have some errors and some scenes that don’t stand up to critique, but it is a complete story that, if read, will make sense. It concludes.
I cannot express the level of excitement this fills me with. Let me repeat this point once more: this is the first fully original story I have ever written, beginning to end. How freakin’ awesome is that? I know for a lot of people editing is the worst part of writing, but right now it seems like a happy daydream because I have a completed story to edit!
Look out, world! This novel is one major step closer to being published, and this writer is one immense step closer to earning the title of ‘author’.
Is it just me, or is there a point in everyone’s life when birthdays just kinda…stop mattering? I mean, yeah it’s cool that I get a couple of presents and order out instead of making supper, but on the whole it just doesn’t feel like a special day anymore. I spend the day doing the same things I do everyday, except that my FaceBook profile explodes with birthday greetings. And while its nice to see who thinks of me, I still go to bed at night feeling like it was just a regular day.
Is it because I have a child and only her birthday is important in my mind now? Maybe. Or is it because I’ve reached an age where birthdays don’t really mean much anymore? Perhaps. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that getting older just points out that I haven’t accomplished what I want to accomplish yet.
In conclusion, I may have passed over the barrier between 27 and 28, but all in all it’s just another day to write. 😛