Archive for April, 2006

30
Apr
06

A Vacation Is Being Able To Go To The Bathroom Alone – Pt. 2

If you haven’t read Part 1, please do so now.

On with today’s post:

Not being able to go to the bathroom alone, is difficult enough, but today was the ultimate insult……..they brought snacks.

That’s right folks….snacks.

It all started at snack time and they were nicely seated at the table. I gave them each a graham cracker and a glass of milk. I thought they were occupied enough for me to steal a moment to myself, but then I made my critical mistake. I announced that I was going to the bathroom.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Have I not learned? Did I not, just yesterday, write that my children, for some unknown reason, equate a trip to bathroom to a trip to Disneyworld?

So off I went to the bathroom, with a trail of little people behind me, blowing bubbles in their milk and chomping on their graham crackers.

There is no diginity for a stay at home mom….

28
Apr
06

Ultimate Survivor: Suburbia – The Grocery Store with Children Challenge

They should create a new season of Survivor called Survivor: Suburbia.

It would only last 7 hours, from 6:00am when the participant is rudely awakened by a small body propelling itself onto theirs while yelling in an attempted whisper, "Mommy!!! Are yooouuu awwwaaaaakeee?!!!!", to 1:00pm when the reward isn't a million dollars, but rather a 2.5 hour nap. A glorious, I-couldn't-survive-if-my-kids-didn't-take-a-2.5-hour-nap nap.

I imagine that one of the challenges would be The Grocery Store with Children challenge. The participants would be required to shop for a list of 120 items with an additional 30 items that must be remembered, but not written down.

To prevent any harm to real children, participants will have to carry in a slippery octupus (to simulate an infant) and a deaf monkey, the howling kind (to simulate a toddler – who is apparently deaf to all parental commands). They have to be carried in from the back of the store parking lot because a car full of teenagers will take the only close up parking spot. A severe penalty will be imposed if either the octupus or monkey are dropped.

At this point, the participant needs to select a cart:

  • Fun Car Cart – far too small to hold all 150 items needed from store, but may keep slippery octupus and howling, deaf monkey calm and quiet while shopping.
  • Limo Cart – It has a seat area on the front for children (or in this case – primates and invertebrae), and it will hold all items needed on list. However, this cart is difficult to maneuver as it is about 47 feet long.
  • Standard Cart – This cart offers a large basket as well as straps to help confine the participant's monkey and octupus, but said passengers, will be located in close proximity to the participant. Participant may be subject to physical protests from passengers in the event that passengers select an item from the store that is not on the list and must be returned to the shelf. Participant may be kicked, hit or sprayed with ink.

Once the cart has been selected, the participant will begin shopping, at which point, the slippery octupus will extend all appendages and continually grab unwanted items and put them in the basket and knock other things off the shelves. Meanwhile the deaf, howling monkey will begin howling at 120 decibels. Participant must be able to make wise financial and dietary purchases while attempting to contain the octupus and trying to minimize the sound level of the monkey. A smile and happy voice must be maintained through out the challenge.

Each participant is given two treats to use to alleviate the mischeif of their animal passengers. Timing the use of these treats is crucial. Too early, and the participant is left without a bargaining chip. Too late and the "children' may be past the point of appeasement. When the participant determines that the time is right, she pulls out a squid and a banana and gives them to the appropriate animal.

Since all reality shows have a disgusting element and few children finish all of their snacks, both the octupus and howling, deaf monkey will return one third of their respective snacks for the participant to either:

  • carry for the remainder of the challenge
  • or stuff in their pockets

Finally, the participant will arrive at the checkout line – aka "The Gauntlet of Fire." At this point, the slippery octupus will be feverishly reaching for M&M's, Butterfingers, Reeses Pieces while knocking beef jerky and lip balm on the floor. The participant must replace all displaced items to their respective boxes and the octupus must be removed from the cart and held by the participant. In protest, the octupus will flail its appendages and then spray ink all over the participant's clothes.

Meanwhile, the howling monkey will be ramping up to 150 decibels and the person in front of the participant will have 5 items needing a price check. Again, participant must maintain a smile and happy voice.

The winner of The Grocery Store with Children Challenge will be the participant who emerges from the store – sane and with two living and unharmed animals.

26
Apr
06

A Vacation Is Being Able To Go To The Bathroom Alone

This is what my life has come to. I no longer envy people with nice houses, cool cars or hip clothes. I just desire the simple things in life. I want to go to the bathroom by myself.

All of my children are very young and have either potty trained within the last year or are in the midst of it. So, to them, the bathroom is some kind of enchanting mystery land where they get stickers, praises and promises of treats.

For me, it was a place of solitude – until I had kids. Now, when I mention that I'm going to make a quick trip to the bathroom, I have a house full of small people who consider that an invitation.

"Can I come?" 

"I want to come!" 

"Me come potty! Me come potty!"

I did just say bathroom right? Not Disneyland, pizza parlor or playground. I don't get it.

So, while I cherish these years with my kids, I do long for the days when I'll be able to go to the bathroom without a cheering section. "Yeah Mommy! You did it! You went pee-pee!" 

25
Apr
06

Yet Another Music Marketing Article

Thought you might be interested in my article on using newsletters in your online marketing tool kit. Check it out here.

25
Apr
06

How to Spend More Time With Your Family And Still Read 736,298 Blogs A Day

RSS Feeds. When it comes to All-Time Great Inventions, RSS feeds are right up there with air conditioning, cars and sippy cups. Well, for me anyway.

What is an RSS feed? RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and what it basically allows you to do is to pull content from other sites. You can (with permission) stream that content on your site or, what I love, you can use a feed reader to read all your favorite blogs in one place.

If you press your refresh button a little too often and spent hours just surfing to all your favorite blogs to see what is new, then you're about to think I'm really cool. But you do anyway, right?…right?

A feed reader is a program that you install on your computer (or you can use an online feed reader) and it pulls all the latest content from your favorite sites and allows you to browse and read at your leisure and notifies you when a site has been updated. Technically, you could read a blog everyday and never visit the site.

Cooooool, huh?

So here are some great Feed Readers:

Mac: The best reader for Mac is NetNewsWire. There is a free, light version that's great. The paid version, though, has all kinds of goodies like a built in browser, post flagging, smart lists and can handle podcast feeds.

Web: GMAIL -If you have a gmail account, you can use their built in rss reader and then read your email and blogs all in one page. That is convenient, but I don't like the interface of the Google RSS reader all that much. If you don't have a gmail account, just let me know and I can send you an invite. Bloglines is another web based RSS feed reader.

Windows: For those of you who are on a PC, go and heal thyself. In the meantime, Feed Demon is supposed to be a good RSS reader for PC.

There you go. Feel free to post a comment if you have any questions!  

25
Apr
06

How to Succeed:

I think that the biggest thing that keeps most people from their dreams is not the fear of failure but the fear of appearing to have failed. To put it more eloquently: we're afraid to look stupid.

What would you try to do if you KNEW you would succeed? What would you do if you KNEW that no one would know if you failed? Make a list and throw caution to the wind.

23
Apr
06

A Great Quote from An Unlikely Source

I admit I am in no way a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s films. He may be a perfectly nice person, but the films I had to watch in college in my film class left me feeling very….slimed.

However, I just ran across a quote by Mr. Kubrick and I think is quite striking:

“If you can talk brilliantly about a problem, it can create the consoling illusion that it has been mastered.”

That sentence right there, sort of sums up my blogging experience thus far. I talk about all kinds of things, (perhaps not brilliantly, but lets just say that quantity in this example can make up for quality) and I read about even more things. I’m questioned, challenged and my viewpoint is often refined.

But just because I now KNOW what to do, doesn’t mean I’m doing it. I’ve been convicted about that lately. I’ve been convicted about how much I seek comfort. Talking about doing things is much more comfortable than actually doing them. It’s easier to talk and analyze than it is to act.

I feel like God’s moving me toward action, but I don’t know what sort of action. I just know that I’m not content to seek comfort anymore.

I’m just taking baby steps right now. Actually, it’s less than steps it’s more like I’m finally just able to wiggle my toes. Walking is still a ways off.

My first step is to buy a new bracelet.