Sunday, February 27, 2011

Unplugged Monday Nights

This all started when my sister decided to ask all of her Facebook friends what she should give up for lent.

Lent being the Catholic practice of sacrificing something for 40 days starting on Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday and also cutting out eating meat on Fridays for the same duration, at least when I was Catholic..that's what it was.

Many of her friends suggested things that she wouldn't consider a sacrifice because she doesn't indulge in those actions as frequently. One of her friends suggested to sacrifice Facebook but that was shot down almost instantly; so I suggested (and she did at the same time) to give up coffee. I warned her of the dangers of caffeine leaving her system and she's decided to go on with it anyway. I sensed her worry and instead suggested that she turn off ALL electronics every night at 7pm.

This is what she replied (verbatim) : I have a crackberry! I was emailing, making spaghetti, FBing, watching Biggest Loser and texting my boss at the same time! That's just crazy talk LOL.

As soon as I read that, I thought of a book called, "The Winter of Our Disconnect." A book I haven't read but basically it's about a mother with three "connected" teens who decides to turn everything off. Hmm...I consider myself connected. Connected to what? I don't networking sites, DIY sites, email, global news (hard to find in the news in the Midwest), texting, blogging, YouTube, Hulu,'s sad. It shouldn't suck up a huge chunk of my time but it does.

I got to thinking.....

What if my family started out small? Like maybe just one night, starting at 6pm, we turn everything off. No talking on the phone, no computer, internet, television or blogging. Maybe on a Monday where we like prime-time television? This would be a cinch for my 2 year old. How long could we do this? A month? 3 months? Longer? I like the idea of having to get creative and maybe I could read a book in the early evening instead of at midnight. Maybe I could get back to trying to learn bar chords. Maybe we could enjoy the evenings outside...take a family stroll around the block, read stories, bake, color....this idea of being rid of something worldly, even if it's just for a few hours once a week, sounds very rewarding.

We'll be starting tomorrow night and I hope we can keep it up for more than a month..because that's only four Mondays in a row, I know we can do it.

For the record, I'm not Catholic, I'm Mormon and I do not practice lent. I do however believe that I can better myself and strive to be a better person for my family.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

He'll Definitely Tune Out....

I've noticed that my husband will quickly tune out with basically any conversation that starts with:

"So I was watching (insert shows Mechanic Hubby finds uninteresting) and I thought it was (emotional adjective). What do you think about (highlight of the show he didn't watch)?"

Shows you can insert:
- Top Chef
- American Idol
- Castle
- Oprah (sometimes)
- Biggest Loser
- Being Human
- America's Next Top Model (new season started, I know it's dumb but I can't help myself!!)
- Project Runway

Can I blame him? ....I don't even want to admit that I watch some of these shows....

Monday, February 21, 2011

18 Year Secret....It's Silly.

I have a silly secret that I have kept for about 18 years....

I didn't like my 6th grade class very much. That's not the's coming. I was the new kid (again) at this school and I know the teacher liked me but I couldn't really tell if the kids in my class did. These kids had known each other since kindergarten and had pretty tight knit groups. I mostly hung out in the library at recess and sat alone during lunch in the first month or so of the school year. I ended up being friends with a lot of the kids there, I just needed to say hello. That first month was so long though and I dreaded going to school.

On a night that we had a substantial amount of leftovers...I think it was spaghetti, the plan was formed. I got up about 20 minutes before my mother did and crept to the kitchen. I retrieved a small bowl and a spoon and served up some cold spaghetti. I mixed in some milk and torn bologna pieces to make the concoction look especially chunky. Once I was pleased with the results, I went to the bathroom and slammed the door (to wake my mother up). I made loud groaning sounds, I think I even said, "Ow, my stomach," and proceeded to make puking sounds as a gently poured a cup of water and the remnants of last night's dinner into the toilet. It was perfect, if anyone was listening (like I hoped my mother was) I would be staying home, watching Nickelodeon in my jammies and munching on snacks. The thoughts were racing....I'd have to spread it out across the school year to avoid doctor's visits and suspicions from my mother. It couldn't be spaghetti every time....maybe once a quarter....ooh...maybe on a test eleven year old mind was officially blown.

I moaned and groaned. I turned on the faucet and flushed my mouth out with water and put on my most convincing sick face to alert my mother to the sickness that would keep me home from school that day. I didn't flush the "puke" in case my mother wanted to see the evidence.

I walk out of the bathroom.

I walk down the hallway to my mother's room. (Dang, she didn't get up, she must have heard though because I was "puking" my guts out).

I knock on her door, without waiting for her to say come in, I do.

"I'm sick," I say.

"What's the matter?" Mom says. (She must have been sleeping like a freaking rock!! She didn't hear a thing!).

"I just threw up," I say in my most pathetic sounding voice.

"There's Pepto in the bathroom, take that. Get ready for school," my mother says without a blink of her eye.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Living Birth Control

This evening over dinner, I asked my husband, "Hey, do you remember when we went on dates?" He chuckled and said a short, "Yup." I ask this question over my daughter's very toddler rendition of Le Chic's "Freak Out."

This got me thinking about the dating life my husband and I once had. We didn't go out too much just by ourselves before we were married. After marriage the dates were phenomenal. How is that, one might ask. Easy, my mother was quite over protective (my sisters would say she was lenient with me) and said, "If that boy wants to see you, he can see you here at the house." I thought it was pretty unfair at the time until I thought back to when my sisters started to date......

Again, my mother was very over protective. My sisters are one year apart, and they had boyfriends and they too were restricted to house "dates." They could only stay out in the living room where they could be seen by God and everybody. I remember the boyfriends looked so uncomfortable but they stuck to the rules. Finally, they were allowed to go on dates but the kicker was that I got to go with them. I was my mom's living birth control. I was a perfect mole. I was about 12 years old and I thought it was fun but I'm sure my sisters thought it sucked royally. I would whine and complain and I think I was usually the reason why the dates might have been short. There was one time when my sisters and their boyfriends decided just to ditch school and go on a real date; to the beach. My mom ended up finding out about my sisters' fun day out and they got in trouble.

Compared to what my sisters had to go through, my dating life was much more fun. I rarely had to take my brother on dates and I didn't mind being at home, whether it was my house or Mechanic Hubby's house. Sometimes I do miss going on dates with my husband; eating at some cool restaurant and catching a very snooty independent film, but dates now are good too. They usually involve very old pajamas, a Pixar film, a miniature stuffed Elmo, pizza and three pairs of floppy socks.

Yup, I'd say that's a pretty good date.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Don't Snore...

I wish you could hear the snoring going on right now.

Imagine a freight train and lion's roar boosted to eleven right next to your ear for at least 6 hours almost every night for almost 9 years.

My husband and I had never lived together before we were married. I'm not wishing that we did and I'm not saying that the snoring would have been a deal breaker; I'm just saying that it came as quite a surprise. I snore and yeah, it can get a little loud but I've never heard anything like this. At first he said, "What? I don't snore." I'm pretty certain I lost a lot of sleep during the first year of our marriage or the dark, puffy circles under my eyes was telling me it was true.

I looked up tricks online to reduce the snoring: mouth guard, flipping them over, remove tonsils (a doctor would do that...but I really wanted to try by myself) or my personal favorite - sleep on the couch. My husband said no dice to the mouth guard and flipping him over a few times a night meant that I was still losing sleep but now with a new physical challenge. Mechanic hubby is pretty sure that he needs his tonsils removed but he just shrugs his shoulders and says "Meh, oh well." And sleeping on the couch isn't fair; Mechanic hubby doesn't snore on purpose. My prayer was answered when the snore strips came out. He tried it once but didn't quite follow the directions about how to remove the strip in the morning. He pretty much yanked it off his nose and then it scarred him for life; he never used them again (you're supposed to moisten the strip and remove it slowly).

So after years of hearing the snoring, I got used to it and it became white noise in the background. I didn't think of it again until I was in my third trimester with my daughter. My husband must of been totally beat by bedtime and was snoring up a storm. I flipped him over and he quieted down and I fell asleep. Well, he must have changed positions because he let out something fierce and my daughter gave me the beat down from the inside. She didn't know what that noise was and it must have scared her. This made me worry about what nights would be like after she was born. Was my husband going to be banished to the living room? Was my daughter going to wake up after hearing any kind of sound? Was I destined to never get a good night's sleep ever again???

Just this past week, Mechanic hubby was visiting his family; a week long vacation leaving Baby Sagittarius and I at home. I wasn't really looking forward to a week of no breaks and a pending blizzard but I was looking forward to uninterrupted sleep. I set up my bed with as many plushy pillows and was not restricting myself to one side of the bed. I was going to sleep in the middle. So, bedtime rolls around the first night and I remember I had a book I wanted to read so I started reading. I figured it would put me to sleep, but it didn't. I think I stayed awake until about 2:30. The next night I thought I would just plop into bed and fall asleep instantaneously; big fat nope. I knew what it was. I missed the white noise of Mechanic hubby's snoring. We've been separate before but that's when I was pregnant and when you're pregnant if you need to sleep you will (at least in my case). I recorded him snoring just before I started writing this post but he would be absolutely mortified if I shared it with anyone.

Amazingly enough, my daughter also got used to the sound of her daddy's snoring so by the time she was born, it didn't bother her. My daughter slept through the night by 2 months and she has her own tiny snore. Lucky me, I guess. He's also a kicker but that doesn't really bother me, I kick back.