Monday, November 30, 2009

PSA - Foaming Toothpaste

PSA - Public Service Announcement

We travelled to my sister's for Thanksgiving. It's nice going to her house because I don't think twice about using her towels, shampoo, hair dryer, etc. It sure cuts down on the packing.

So we get there about 10 am and after driving all night, I really want to wash my face and brush my teeth. I head up to the bathroom and somewhat, bleary eyed, start to brush.

Gag, yuck, blech

This toothpaste is foaming toothpaste.

As you begin to brush its invigorating Micro-Active Foam releases thousands of germ killing bubbles that shower your whole mouth- teeth, gums and breath.

Iso-active™ transforms into microfine foam during brushing, penetrating hard to reach areas to thoroughly clean the whole mouth and soothe the nerve.

Basically this stuff grows in your mouth. It is reminiscent of getting my mouth washed out with soap as a child.

I have issues with a strong gag-reflex as it is. Sometimes it makes teeth brushing difficult. This stuff is horrible though. Even a tiny little bit grows and grows and grows in your mouth. I kept spitting and couldn't get it rinsed fast enough. I really thought I was going to gag/choke on the stuff.

So a PSA for all of you survivors or anyone with a strong gag-reflex, do not try this product at home -- or anywhere else.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blog Carnival - Prevention Issue

The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse is up here. Be sure to check it out.

And Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Road Trip - connecting with New - Old Family

I leave tomorrow night/Wed morning at around 2 am for my sister's. I am super excited. We've found that leaving at 2 am works well. The kids go to sleep and generally wake about 6 am which gives us almost half the trip under our belt before we stop.
For the last two (or maybe three) years, my sister and her crew have come down here for Thanksgiving and we've gone to my in-laws. This year we're doing it differently. We are going up north to her house. Then they'll come down here for New Years. Husband has not missed a holiday with his family in a long time so that has taken some adjustment on his part. It's been 4 1/2 months since I've seen my sister and my niece/nephews. Far too long in my book. I don't like going this long without a visit.
We're planning on an early turkey dinner to accommodate my BIL having to work. Then we'll do dessert with my step-sister. I wrote about her here. I got curious one day and looked my step-siblings up on facebook. Their last name is extremely unique. Lo and behold there they all were.
The oldest is seven days younger than me. The middle is 2 years younger than me/6 months older than my sister. The boy is 5 years younger than me. He looks exactly like his father. He's a junior so they have the same name too. That took awhile to get used to. I'm still taken aback when I see him.
The oldest and youngest live in another state near their mother, who is still married to the guy she married after Toilet. The oldest has two children. The youngest just got married. The middle one, who I'll call Marie, and her daughter live near my sister. We found out she was going to be alone for Tgiv and invited them up. This should be interesting.......... I told my sister that we probably would have to call Toilet by his given name.
The two youngest have zero contact with their father. The oldest sends cards and pictures on occasion. Interesting to see how the oldest (me, oldest step-sister and oldest of dad's adoptive kids) have all fallen into the same roll of maintaining some sense of family at all costs. I wonder what Toilet thinks of the pictures - his oldest is dating a handsome African American guy. She has two adorable children, both are bi-racial. Will he see past the color of their skin to see that they make a wonderful looking family? Will he see that the children look like their mother/his daughter? Will he have any pangs of longing for being cut out of their lives? Will he think dirty thoughts about the children?
I'm excited to see Marie and her daughter. She does not have contact with her father either. She said they were supposed to get together about the time Toilet and Mom moved down here, but he never called to set it up. She said she got tired of forcing the issue and gave up. Marie and her daughter look just like her mother (Toilet's ex). I wonder if that has anything to do with it.
I wonder if Toilet has seen pictures of his youngest - his namesake. At first glance I thought he wasn't too bad looking. Then I saw a picture of him without a baseball cap. Poor kid is prematurely balding just like his dad. And boy is he the spitting image of his father. It's hard for me to see pictures of him without a hat. When his name pops up I have to take a deep breath. I told him I'd never call him by his real name - always by his nickname.
Sister and I told each of the kids that we have no contact with their father. When pressed I used my standard "he's not appropriate to be around children and it is not safe or appropriate for me to have him around my children." They've not pressed the issue, which alone tells me what I need to know.
I wonder what we'll discuss at my sister's. I wonder if word will get back to my mom. I'm not open with my mom. I don't lie, but I don't offer information either. My sister doesn't hide things. So she'll tell my mom who we met up with. Now that ought to be interesting. Mom tells Toilet - hey my kids had Tgiv lunch with your kid and here we sit all alone in our house. I could feel sorry for them but I don't.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Turn - Confession

Confession - I am one of those pre-teen screaming high pitched girls trapped in a 34 year old body. I pre-ordered tickets to New Moon. I did, at least, have the sense to recognize that I'm too old to see the midnight show and am waiting until 7 tonight. I'm really excited!

It started when I was on maternity leave and looking for something to read. A friend told me I had to get into the Twilight series. I wasn't interested. She said it brought back all the good and innocent childhood love feelings. Bored, I decided to give it a try.
Four books and one movie, about $80 later, I was hooked. I never buy hardback books - heck I rarely buy books anyway. I usually borrow them. I never buy movies either. But I own all of these.

So why the craze? Why the question - are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? Let me try to explain for you non-Twilight fans.
Edward is a vampire. He is tall, handsome, flawless body. Because he is a vampire, he has cool, pale skin and low body temperature. He is the ultimate romantic. He is very intelligent. He has a great head on his shoulders. He is into the arts and even writes his girlfriend a love song, which he plays on the piano.

Jacob is a werewolf (more accurately a shape-shifter). He is bigger and broader. Warm-bodied. Dark hair, darker skin. He is hot-blooded with a temper to match. He is fierce. He's the consummate "bad boy."

(Edward on left ---------------------- Jacob on right)

Jacob is more physically appealing to me. Something about him being akin to a big teddy bear. There is a scene where Bella is stuck in the cold woods and Jacob uses his wearwolf warmth to wrap around her. Hmm a personal snuggly blanket. I've also always been attracted to dark hair, darker skinned men - the six-pack abs don't hurt either.

I like Edward's personality better though. I'd really like to morph Edward's personality into Jacob's body.

So Husband and I were talking about this movie and he asked why the obsession? He noted that he doesn't usually see women drooling over "half-their age-men" like this. Why the difference between this movie and others?

The difference is this - while I appreciate the six-pack abs, that's not the real attraction. Johnny Depp is supposedly the sexiest man right now. Blech. A hot man with zero personality does nothing for me. The real attraction in this movie is the theme of the Protector.

Jacob and Edward fight to protect Bella. While they both are in love with the same woman, they can put that difference aside to protect her. They fight for her. They are tender in their protection of her. It is that which is attractive to me.

I want the idea of a man who will stay up all night (like Edward) watching me sleep. Just sitting in the corner protecting me. I want a man (like Jacob) who will wrap themselves around me to keep me warm when we are stuck outdoors. I want a man who will take me to romantic meals. I want a man who will sing me lullabies that he has written just for me. I want a man who will ferociously attack the goons in the alley that try to hurt me. I want a man who will lay down his life for me.

The other attraction in this movie is Edward's family. They aren't related in the usual sense. They are a group of vampires brought together because they have a common bond in staying hidden in society. But they are the true sense of family. The fight for each other, pick on each other, but would die for one another. It's that bond that is also attractive.
Lastly, this brings back good childhood memories. Back when romance was innocent. Back when being attracted to boys was a giggly, flighty thing. I don't have many (any) memories of that. But sitting through these movies is pretty close. This movie is about innocence. There are no sex scenes. There's no raunchiness. It is about pure, sweet and innocent love. The kind every young girl fantasizes about (if they've not had those fantasies destroyed). It makes me connect with what could have been.

So where will I be at 7 pm tonight - watching the latest in the Twilight series. I'll be one of those high-pitched squealing women in line with my pre-ordered ticket. Yee-haw!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

He Got a Deer - or did the Deer Get Him?

I got the call about 8 pm Saturday evening. I had just thought to myself, "he either shot a big deer or is running late." When the phone rang, it was not a number I recognized. I answered and it was Husband's voice saying, in broken up fashion, "hit...deer...buck...truck...side...road....can't drive it....called 911." I kept saying, "are you okay?" Over and over. He kept repeating his words. Finally I yelled at him, "Shut up - are you okay?" He answered me and said he was fine. Then I could focus on the rest of his words.

I loaded the sleeping kids in the car and took off to drive the 20 minutes to the crash site. Husband was driving down the interstate going about 70 mph. The buck jumped the guardrail and Husband hit it (or it hit husband) straight on. The air bag deployed and somehow, by the grace of God, Husband was able to avoid hitting anyone else and get the truck off the road without hitting the guardrail. He tried to flag people down, but several other vehicles hit the deer too. They
were able to drive their cars up to the service station where the trooper took their info.

Husband finally flagged someone down who helped him call a trooper (Husband's phone had flown somewhere in the truck and he couldn't find it) and me. This very nice guy and his wife waited there with Husband until I got there. Husband said it was very scary having cards whiz by going 70-80 mph. He was worried someone would hit the deer carcass and swerve into him. But he couldn't risk darting into traffic to move it.

It looked worse in the dark last night. But really it's
just the front end and bumper. No engine or transmission or radiator damage. The tow truck came and took it away.

This morning revealed that the truck is not totalled as we feared. Our insurance company has been awesome. Today we went and purchased replacement car seats. Apparently they need replaced even if no one is occupying them. Tomorrow we get our rental vehicle.

So today the jokes were flying - you got a big buck, huh? Did you keep the rack? Now that's an interesting way to ground up your venison!

I'm just glad Husband is okay. He was pretty shaken up after we got home. We're both thankful the kids were not with him.

So the score is - Husband 0; Deer 1

Friday, November 13, 2009


With facebook I've been able to catch up with lots of childhood friends, and even some of my relatives. I get to see pictures of them and their families. Recently I've become more conscious of the feelings stirred up when I see the pictures.
I see pictures of families laughing - not those forced smiles that appear in my family photos.
I see the same people in the same photos through the years - not changing faces every year as new boyfriends, girlfriends and others come in and out of my life.
I see candid shots - instead of posed and forced pictures.
I see holiday shots with parents having fun - not the look of "how much longer must I pretend to like these people?"
I see pictures of parents and kids partying and having a great time, without the knee high stack of beer cans that appear in my family photos.
I read captions where kids poke fun of their parents and parents poke fun of their kids in a absolutely funny fashion - not the sarcastic mean comments that would appear on my photos.
I see families hugging, arms thrown around each other, laughing and obviously caring for each other - sometimes rabbit ears or faces made behind someone - not the "oh my gosh do I have to touch them" pictures of my family.
Sometimes the photos make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. Often they make me wish I could leap through the photo into that family.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Know what I do NOT want to be when I Grow Up

I spent a good part of yesterday crying in my office. I'm having to cover for a child welfare attorney who is out of the office. I didn't expect to have to do much other than sign a few documents. Instead I got pulled into an emergency meeting first thing yesterday morning.

Two babies, one not much younger than my own. A call to EMS because the youngest is found unresponsive in a bathtub, where the #^(&% parents left he and his sibling unattended. Who the hell leaves two children under 2 in the tub alone? The baby was airlifted to our children's hospital where he is in a coma with a 1% chance of survival. I got to work on the paperwork, and see the pictures of this adorable little baby on all sorts of tubes.

There are the complicated legal and medical tidbits that serve to distract me for a few minutes - no evidence of water in the lungs, so what happened? If he didn't drown, what caused it? Can we prove the parents did it? Is leaving a child alone in the tub alone enough to take custody (I decided it was). Parents want to take the baby off life support, so do we take custody before then (in which case we have to make the DNR decision) or leave custody with the parents and let them be responsible - do they deserve that responsibility? Will it haunt them the rest of their life like it will if I have to do it?

All I can say is hug your children tight. Be very thankful to those that have the calling to work with abused children - it is definitely a calling and not something I want to do. If you're the praying type, pray for this little one. There was a slight improvement over the night in his condition. The next day is critical. And remind me that murder is not legal so I need to keep my hands off the parents.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Could...I Should...

I could write about...I should write about...

  • Husband's first and second therapy appointment - and the progress (or lack thereof)
  • The major differences between men and women - I'm talking Grand Canyon size chasms here
  • three pediatrician visits in two weeks - ending with flu shots for everyone, antibiotics for Bugaboo, and the start of a long winter
  • finding out Husband went over his cell phone minutes again. Last month it cost us $66; this month $103.
  • how my language denigrates dramatically when I'm pissed
  • how sick kiddos mean no sleep for mommies
  • the pride felt when you attend your first parent-teacher conference and learn your Kindergarten child is on a first grade level and the top reader in her class
  • how much saying "you're sorry" sucks after you've name-called
  • how you realize your marriage might just be worth saving when your husband shows concern for you -- and when you catch your son having a "daddy snuggle" moment and then see your daughter and husband playing outside.
  • how you're grateful your husband has massive patience to play endless games of imagination when you are tired after the second time.
  • how sometimes it is a very good thing murder is not legal.
  • how a day in court makes you realize just how disrespectful people have become, all in the name of "tolerance" and how you just can't tolerate skimpy clothes in court, name calling, uh-huh instead of yes sir, cell phones going off in court, hats on head, sunglasses on heads and just plain rudeness.
  • how snuggles with an adorable baby can cure just about anything that ails you.
  • how open and honest communication is hard, hurts and just plain sucks -- but is necessary sometimes
  • how when you point a finger at someone else, you really do have three pointing back at you.
  • how days of hearing about parents that do drugs instead of caring for their children, have more children when they can't afford to care for the ones they have, and who lie down with dogs and then whine when they get fleas -- have caused you to become quite jaded.
  • how hearing your child mimic your attitude is a real eye-opener.
  • how you wish your husband would hear his words from his children - those don't sound so good either
  • how people that try to respond to every situation with humor are really annoying
  • marriage really does take a whole lot of work
  • being imperfect really sucks - no matter what another person does, you've done some wrong too. Comparing levels of wrong doesn't ever result in a good outcome for either person.