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Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Family, Funny, Life | 0 comments

Life with Toddlers: Very Often Amusing

I have twin 5 year olds. My son is autistic, although high functioning. For a long time, his twin sister was sad that he would not hug her or touch her.

Then one day he did. And again. And some more.

He also has a fixation with bellies. He likes to rub his face on our bellies.

So now he’s constantly all over her and she’s finally having her fill of affection from her brother.

Now, my daughter is also quite the little artist (runs on both sides of the family).

So she made a “no touching bellies” sign painted on a paper towel.

And she shows my husband.

Who proceeds to slowly move his finger to her belly.

Precocious girl points at the sign and says, “Do you NOT see the sign?!”

(Husband arrives at my office door w/tale, in hysterics.)

At one point, I ask her: “but what if someone WANTS their belly touched? Like a belly rub?”

Silence. Can see wheels turning, trying to figure out an answer.

Later, we realize that it’s not that touching bellies is bad. It’s just that THERE IS A SIGN. We have to follow it!

This afternoon, she discovered their pillow cases make great sleeping bags.

THEN the kids discovered how to use them as sacks to jump around in. Two toddlers hopping around house in pillow cases!

Just a while ago, as I’m walking past the couch, my daughter is laying on the couch with something between her legs.

Girl: “Mom, I’m hatching an egg!”

Me: “That’s nice dear. Looking forward to seeing what comes out!”

Never a dull moment, once you have kids. You will totally forget what boredom is like!

 

 

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Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Angry Political Crap, Career, Family, Interesting, Life, Profound, Social Commentary | 0 comments

Feminism: That Word Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

Feminism: That Word Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

Feminism.

The word is charged with meaning. It can bring on all kinds of emotions in most individuals.

That said, for most: “that word does not mean what you think it means”.

It does NOT mean that a woman can’t be a stay-at-home mom and still be respected.

It does NOT mean that a stay-at-home mom isn’t a feminist.

It does NOT mean we castigate stay-at-home moms.

It does NOT mean we get MORE rights than men.

It does NOT mean we bitch at men for holding doors or seats for us.

We get EQUAL rights. That’s all it is about. Equal rights, including the choice of how to live our lives, without being bitched at about it. We get to vote. We get equal pay (well, SOMEDAY, in this DAMN COUNTRY).

But it’s about equality. Not more. Not less. And NOT judging the choices women make.

And yes, men can be feminists too. Because they too can believe in our right to choose how to live our lives. My husband is just such a man.

Feminism: learn what it really is, before you get your panties or boxers in a wad.

 

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Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in Family, Funny, Life, You Had to Have Been There | 0 comments

Funny Stuff that Has Happened at Home Lately…

Funny Stuff that Has Happened at Home Lately…

Out of Context Theater

As I walk through the living room, I hear my husband, Skippy on the phone: “So that would be like brunch, but with porn.”

——————–

 Wife: 1, Roach: 0, Skippy: 2

Ok. I have a MAJOR phobia about roaches. Don’t call them palmetto bugs. That sounds cute. They are DAMN ROACHES! They are hellspawn weevils!

Well, our cat found a dying one in the hallway, right outside the bathroom. I usually have my husband come get them. I called him. No answer. Figured he had his headphones on and was gaming.

So I go: “OK. I can do this.” (deep breath)

Grab HUGE wad of toilet paper, grab roach, make a loud, bizarre vocal noise, throw it into toilet.

My husband heard my vocalization, RAN from the MMO he was playing with a friend, because that was either my “I’m hurt” sound or my “I found a roach” sound.

I told him what I did. I was proud of how fast he moved to show how much he loved me. He was so valiant.

Then, “Skippy” kicked in.

And he says, “Now I’m thinking of that scene where the hobbits charge the gates of Mordor.”

Me: “shut up”

Skippy: “Now I’m thinking of the episode from Buffy where Andrew has to sacrifice a pig and screams “THAT’LL DO PIG!!” as a battle cry while running after it.”

Way to ruin my victory moment there, dear.

———–

 Way to Kill a Joke (She Gets it from Her Mother)

I’m sitting at my desk, door closed. And my daughter yells, “Mom, can I give you a hug and a wet willie?”

I open the door and say, “I’ll take the hug, but not the wet willie”.

I see my husband hovering nearby, outside my door.

I give him one of “the looks”.

Me: “Did you just teach her “wet willie”?”

Him: (laughing): “Noooooooo”

I make a face at him, laughing.

Him: (laughing) “Yeah, she was SUPPOSED to hug you and then do it. But ya know….”

This, from the man who introduced the kids to the Peanut Butter Jelly Time video/song.

He brought that on himself…

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Angry Political Crap, Life, Social Commentary | 0 comments

So You’re Sad/Mad Obama is in Office?

Welcome to my world.

I’m a Native Texan. But one of the black sheep of the bunch: a liberal Texan.

This means I NEVER get my candidate elected for my state, or within my state.

Any letter, email, or phone call I send to the elected official for my state (House or Senate) is answered with a polite: “piss off, I’ll vote how I want”.

I have zero representation, for me personally, in Congress, or in my state government (Governor, Lt. Governor, district, and more).

So…boo hoo…you got Obama for 8 whole years.

At least you’re not stuck with him for life.

And if you want to tell me to move out of Texas, then think about why you didn’t leave the U.S. when Obama was elected. There’s your answer.

Don’t even go there with me. (I’m a TEXAS woman, seriously, don’t start up with me…you DO NOT want to see me lead off with an “Oh HELL no!”) :-)

Elections come and go. We make do with what we have. And we do our best to make changes, regardless of what we’re stuck with.

Because: ‘Murica!

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Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Cool Stuff, Geek/Nerd, Life | 1 comment

I Get To Meet My Childhood Hero: Nichelle Nichols

I Get To Meet My Childhood Hero: Nichelle Nichols

Last night, September 24, 2014, I got to meet my childhood hero. She was one of my first heroes.

I don’t follow celebrities like a nut. I’ve never even met one. But when I saw that Nichelle Nichols would be in town for a couple of hours, I HAD to go see her.

You see, she played my first TV hero, in a time when there weren’t many heroes for girls. Because of the era the show Star Trek first appeared in, she was a symbol, not just for people of color, but women and girls everywhere. She was playing a major role on television, and was both black AND a woman. Double-whammy in the late 60s (and still today, frankly).

Despite what my parents told me, I grew up feeling “less than” because I knew society told me so. I KNEW that, because strong and smart women were not well-represented on television. At best, there was a token female on a show or movie.

I remember being so angry about how society saw me, that, in the 5th grade as I mowed my other grandparent’s 2.5 acre lawn (with a push mower, before self-propelled) I grew angrier and angrier. I was determined to finish that lawn, just to show a girl could. At one point, I got so angry, I punched a pine tree (I pulled my punch just in time, realizing how stupid that was…only came away with scraped knuckles instead of broken fingers).

I think that a lot of my life, I’ve been proving that I can do anything a man can do. Maybe that’s how I kept finding myself in male-dominated work environments and later fell into a male-dominated industry.

Back to Trek stuff: some of my fondest memories are visiting with my Grandmother Floyce, the Original Star Trek Fan in the family, on weekends and summer, sitting on her knee to watch Star Trek in syndication late at night in the mid/late 70s.

So as a kid, I had Lieutenant Uhura and Princess Leia. That was pretty much it for quite a while.

The day arrives to meet her…..

As soon as work was over, I was running around trying on different outfits and jewelry. Doing hair and makeup. I swear, you’d think I was going on a first date. Shoot, I even busted out the curling iron!

After trying on many outfits, I settled on something simple so I could wear the awesome necklace my husband got me:

(FYI: click to enlarge any photo in this post.)

 

Federation Insignia

Blurry photo of hammered copper Federation insignia on leather rope.

I got a lot of compliments on that necklace at the event.

Moving on…

I arrived, plastic money card in hand, to get a photo of her, have her sign it, and have my picture taken with her and a moment to talk with her.

Bear in mind: I have Asperger’s Syndrome and General Anxiety Disorder, which comes with a healthy dose of social anxieties and phobias. I can go to parties with people I’ve know for years and sometimes need a Xanax or a few drinks to get through the experience.

On the drive there: calm. In the store: calm. Meeting and talking with total strangers: calm. Meeting Nichelle Nichols: calm. And amazingly, I was able to actually talk to her!

Really, my only moment of panic was that they had a spread of 8 x 10s we could pick from. Some had the whole cast. Loved the one with Uhura and Sulu in the alternate universe. Maybe a dozen choices. In the end, I chose the classic headshot that always has stuck with me over the years.

Nichelle Nichols autograph

It says: Janice, Blessings
Nichelle Nichols

 

Also, the earrings in the photo? She was wearing them that night. Some of the women that worked at the store made them for her, and she apparently loved them. While she signed my autograph, she stopped at one point to engage a 5 year old girl (of a couple I had gotten to know while in line). It was adorable.

Then, we took a photo together:

Me and Nichelle

You know I’m happy when I show teeth in a photo. I’m very insecure about my crooked teeth.

Before going to this event, I was given some great advice, saying that if I want to see her light up, ask about some of her projects, like NASA. And I wanted to. But instead, what came out was part of a script that had been running in my head the whole way there. Because I felt so much gratitude for the impact a woman had on me, that I have never met.

When the photo was done I said: “Ms. Nichols, I just want to thank you. You were one of  my first childhood heroes. I grew up watching you on my Grandmother’s knee. I only wish she could be here.”

Nichelle put her hand on mine and said: “Oh honey, she is.”

I mentioned that when I finally got my ears pierced, for years, I only wore gold hoop earrings. She laughed.

Then I told her that I had read her autobiography and told her that I found it inspiring. I said she’s an amazing woman and I admire her strength.

Again, she put her hand on mine and said, “Honey, you’re strong too.”.

I walked away from her, reverently holding her signed photo. (A certain part of my brain was also flashing to Lord of the Rings and thinking, “My Precious!”.)

I got to stop and visit with a friend and his son afterward too (and they got a photo too!). Then, decided to head home before it got too late. I like to be home when the kids go to bed so I can tuck them in at night.

The father of the family that I got to know in line (who also had a voicemail recording by Patrick Steward, that was awesome), talked all kinds of Star Trek lore with me. Somehow, Redshirts came up. I told him about it. I said that if he can find it for sale anywhere, probably just ThinkGeek and Amazon. To our knowledge, most or all the retail stores ran out. I told him another printing is on the way though and to go to weaselpants.com and check it out.

Last night, my husband says, “I got an email from some guy named Joe that wants to know what address to send you some videos.”

Me: “Oh! I met him and his family! Sure, give him my address!”

This morning, I woke up to the following footage in my inbox. Just brief recordings, but still precious to me. I sent him my most sincere thank you.

Here’s what he sent:

I love meeting other nerds and geeks. They are so warm and kind. While in the comic book store, it was like going to other geek conventions: I was “with my tribe”.

Having met Nichelle Nichols, she was a lot like my grandmother: a loving, compassionate, brave, strong, humble person that everyone could not help but love. Grandmother Floyce never saw in herself what we all saw in her.

I wish Grandmother could have met her. They were born around the same time and seem to have similar personalities. They’ve both overcome a lot of hardships. They would have gotten on like gangbusters. And EVERYONE who met my grandmother fell in love with her. She was just that kind of person. In a way, I felt like I was meeting Nichelle Nichols for Grandmother. In another way, it felt like I was meeting Grandmother.

My Grandmother was such a sci-fi and fantasy fan, when my husband and me got her the Lord of the Rings box set, special edition, DVD for Christmas, she cried. That was my grandmother. She loved Harry Potter. She loved Star Wars. She loved it all.

And here’s another thing about Star Trek: because I was an undiagnosed child on the autistic spectrum, I learned a lot about human behavior from reading all the Star Trek books (when I was a kid, my parents had an enormous collection that was nearly every Star Trek book ever printed).  For example, when I read Uhura’s Song (my favorite) I learned not to stare at people without breaking eye contact during a conversation. It makes people uncomfortable. So that was when I learned to glance away from people when talking. One of the many social nuances I remember consciously learning, then training myself to do.

The episode “The Naked Time”, where Sulu runs around pretending to be D’Artagnan of The Three Musketeers, led me to pick up a copy of that classic piece of literature, because I knew nothing about it. And fell in love with the book.

So that’s my story. I got to meet her, briefly, and just say “thank you”. I know it’s no different from any other fan, but it was what was in my heart and I just wanted to make sure she knew of my gratitude and admiration. And if you haven’t read her autobiography, go get it.

 

 

 

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Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Family, Funny, Interesting, Life, Social Commentary | 0 comments

From Quora: What is it that nobody tells you about having children?

If you haven’t heard of Quora, it’s an interesting site where people pose questions on all manner of subjects. And the community can chime in with their two cents worth (preferably backed by some facts  and/or some personal experience).

I follow a wide variety of topics there and a few friends and family. And then someone asked: What is it that nobody tells you about having children?  And I read the answers and upvoted a few posts and wandered off. Then, while sick I started writing an answer.  (Because when I’m sick, I write or do art stuff…ya know, like you do.) And being my thorough self, it got rather in-depth.

Parents may read this and laugh. Non-parents may also laugh, followed by shrieks and shuddering. Parenting is not for the faint of heart.

So I thought I’d share my post here too.

——————

Most people shared a lot of good points, so I’ll cover a few I don’t see here. This is generally speaking, so there are always some exceptions.

Your definition of hygiene will change. Bathing will become a luxury. I know far too many parents with little time to bathe. You’ll get used to going days without bathing, and stop caring if you go out in public without a bath or your hair done. This is especially true for stay-at-home parents.

You’ll develop a new sense of what you consider “gross”, because you’ll eventually notice baby barf on your pants and think, “eh, not bad enough to change to go to the store”. You’ll go out in public and realize you have a little poop on your sleeve, shrug your shoulders, and continue your shopping. You’ll show up in 3 day old clothing to drop kids off at daycare and not even flinch.

Oh sure, everyone tells you “don’t expect to keep a clean house once the kids arrive”. And you may think you’re cool with that because you don’t mind the house getting a little messy now and then. But you have no concept of how truly gross and chaotic a house can get until you have children. You’ll find ancient fish sticks in the couch cushions. You’ll have a living room carpeted with a minefield of toys. You’re going to find poop in strange places. Due to lack of time, cleaning will become low on the priority list (because at the end of the day, you’re just happy if you can get your kids fed, bathed, hugged, and asleep). This especially goes when both parents work or you’re a single parent.

If you don’t like shopping, you will now because it will be your “free time”. Parents love their kids, but the need to be alone or even have kid-free time still runs strongly in us. This means that sometimes a parent will look at the other parent and say, “My turn to go to the grocery store!”.

Males, you will get used to having your genitals being a punching bag. Babies and toddlers just naturally aim for that area. Also, when they start walking, they’ll reach there for a hand-hold for climbing.

Women, you will be able to smell a dirty diaper from across the room. Having a super-power of “strong sense of smell” is not fun, but handy. If you nurse, you’ll learn that milk can have the potential to exist in your body for years after weaning; it doesn’t always dry up in months or a year. If you have a C-section, you may learn it doesn’t heal and stop hurting in months, and may take a year or longer before you are pain-free. (I’ve met way too many women that dealt with that to buy into the concept that we fully heal after a few months.)

Your concept of sleep deprivation will change. If you ever thought you were sleepless before due to work, school, or partying…you are still not prepared. If you ever believed that sleep deprivation is not part of the definition of torture you will sing a new tune after having children.

Criteria for toys will include things like “is it quiet?”, “does it have volume control?”, and “does it have an off switch?”. You will end up with toys without any of those and you’ll learn that you can just tune it out.

Speaking of tuning things out: you will develop an immunity to children’s songs and television. You’ll be astounded at how many times in a row, for weeks, you can hear the same songs and dialogue and just stop noticing it. (Granted, most parents have at least 1 or 2 shows that become the “no way” or “only on very rare occasions” show.)

Your children will do and say things that will make you have to leave the room to laugh. Because we don’t want to teach them that their behavior is OK, or that embarrassing word or phrase they mispronounced is funny (because they’ll just keep doing it, and they’ll do it in the worst situations). If your loving spouse is closest to the exit you will be abandoned so they can go laugh, leaving you struggling to explain something to a child while trying not to crack a smile. You’ll do the same if you are the one standing closest to an exit.

Peepee Teepees are designed under the assumption that your boy will never wiggle and squirm during the diaper changing process, thereby rendering them useless. In fact, you’re going to learn the hard way that some cool things for babies are awesome and some are a waste of money. Also: just because it worked for someone else’s kid doesn’t mean it will work on yours.

Your instincts to protect your children will be so strong that even if your spouse who you love and would never ever dream of wanting to hit, looks like they’re about to drop your kid, you will be hit with the desire, for the first time in your life, to hit them. In fact, you’ll be struck with the urge to punch bad drivers that endanger your kids while you are driving your car. The momma/poppa bear jokes people make are based on some truth.

You’ll discover you have the astounding ability to hold a baby, fall and injure yourself, without the child hitting the floor or being harmed in any way.

Even if you and other people think you are the most patient person on the planet, one day, you will be hit with the urge to smack your child. You won’t act on it but you’ll still have the most surprising, overwhelming urge, which will be followed by some feelings of guilt. Kids, even starting as young as toddlers, learn real fast how to press your buttons. At the very least, they can be exasperating without trying to get to you; and all parents eventually find themselves overwhelmed at some point. Although when kids aren’t trying to test you, having a kid (starting at toddler age on) is like having a horrifically rude roommate with no social skills…and what we’ve been taught about how people should behave and is socially acceptable is really going to be at odds with your patience. You may be the type of person who doesn’t care about the rules of society; you’ll be shocked to learn what’s been ingrained in you….and just how deeply.

The first few years of the kids’ life, you’re just trying to keep them alive. Whether you’re trying to get them to eat enough to gain weight, or dealing with a mobile toddler, the focus is on getting them through the day in one piece. Kids are klutzy when they first learn to walk and fall a lot. And then they’ll learn climbing. They’ll grab things off the floor and put them in their mouth…it may be a small toy, a nut, a coin, or a bug. Your world will be a wonderland of choking hazards and things kids can fall off of or be impaled by. And this is why women start becoming neurotic insomniacs.

You are going to get pooped, peed and barfed on. You’ve been told this, but you have no concept of the volume and frequency with which this will occur. It’s probably going to land right in your hand, on your face, in your hair, or maybe even in your mouth. It’s going to happen to you a lot. If you’re squeamish you won’t be for much longer. Especially after you walk into your child’s room to a crib that is completely covered in poop, and crib toys that have it in every nook and cranny. Or you have a high chair so filthy it has to be hosed off in the back yard.

All the awesome ideas you have on parenting are wrong. You think you know how to do it, but you’ll discover your ideas aren’t practical. You may discover that it just doesn’t work for you and/or your spouse and/or your kids. Or, you’ll discover that just because something works for your friends or family, or worked when you were a kid, doesn’t mean it will work for your situation.  Every kid is different too: what works on one kid may not work on another of your children.

You’ll plop your kids in front of the TV just to keep your sanity and out of sheer exhaustion on your part. You will find yourself letting them watch TV at dinner just so they’ll stay in their chairs and not run with food in their mouths. You tell yourself you won’t do it…but you will.  You may think co-sleeping is a terrible idea, until you discover it’s the only way the baby (and thus you) will sleep. Later, when people tell you about how they plan to raise their kids, you’ll laugh at them the way everyone laughed at you. You’ll also realize that when you told people your grand plans for raising kids, someone was snickering and saying, “yeah, just wait”. (Assuming your family and friends aren’t the kind that will just laugh in your face.)

Having kids forces you to roll with the punches of life. Remember how your parents mellowed as you got older? Yeah, that will happen to you too. All those ideas you have about how “things should be” or how “life should be” or how “people should be” will change.

Those parents with the kids screaming in the store? You’ll empathize with them one day rather than judge them. You’ll know that it may not be that the kid is a brat and those are bad parents. Odds are good that the kid is just being a typical toddler, or maybe their kid is having an autistic meltdown. You’ll know just how mortified those parents feel. Those parents with the screaming kid on the plane? You’ll feel for them too because you’ll know that sometimes there’s no choice but to take a kid on a plane.

When you hear another child cry and you can’t see them, you’ll seek them out. Your urge will be to make sure that other kid is OK. In fact, if your neighbor’s kid yells, “Mommy, I’m scared!” from their backyard, you will skin your palms sending your 5 foot, plus-sized frame, over a 6 foot fence. (The kid was fine; the mom was inside and the kid couldn’t get the back door open and panicked.)  Both men and women pop their heads up like lemurs when they hear a kid crying.

You’ll realize the magnitude of what your parents gave up to raise you. When you look back on your childhood, you’ll know how hard raising you was for your parents too, no matter how easy you were to handle as a kid. At some point, you’ll find yourself on the phone calling to apologize to, and thank, your parents.

Having children will teach you what you, and your relationship, are made of. You will spend years sleep deprived, filthy, exhausted, embarrassed, horrified and otherwise emotionally damaged, with little to no time to yourself. If you think you’ve been in tough situations before, this is going to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things you’ve ever done. And it’s going to work like Stockholm Syndrome: you will be held hostage and abused by a tiny person and you will love them anyway.

Everything that you think of as normal, you will look at with fresh eyes. Things we take for granted are amazing to the kids. They’ll teach you a new sense of wonder, if you let them. You’ll even watch cartoons with your kids and realize they have no context for what’s happening, and why people are saying and behaving the way they are. Then you may learn that TV can become quite the useful learning tool when you sit with your kids and give a running explanation of what’s happening on the screen.

The old cliche about “having kids is the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done” is true. And you will realize that the phrase you always found cliche and annoying exists because there just isn’t a better way to say it.

Having kids is like sex: you think you know what you’re getting into before you do it, but you really have no clue what kind of ride you’re in for.

What have you learned? What do you wish you knew?

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