Friday, November 26, 2010

Confession #26 - Hot Chocolate

Ah..... chocolate beverages.

What could be better?


And you know it.

Sweet, delicious chocolate milk.

My favorite.

But next to chocolate milk...

Confession: Hot Chocolate is the best beverage ever.

All it takes is a tiny steaming cup of hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and maybe some chocolate sauce, and you have dessert in a cup.

You don't need a lot of it,
it always tastes amazing,
there are plenty of varieties out there,
and it's good for you.

Who could hate this cup of pure happiness?

It's like drinking a rainbow.

Okay, maybe I was making up the part about it being good for you.

Naw, it's good for you.


What a nice treat!

It's officially winter.

So it's probably time to start having some hot chocolate.

You know, looking at these pictures, I know that you want to have some hot chocolate now.

If you're interested in making some from scratch, here's a recipe:

(Serves 4)

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1: Combine cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.
2: Blend in boiling water. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes.
3: Stir in milk and heat until hot, but keeping it below a boil.
4: Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
5: Serve with a smile.


Confession #25 - Thankful

Confession: I am thankful for my freedom.

Emotionally, literally, spiritually, physically.

I am grateful to live in a country where I have freedoms.

I am grateful for those who sacrificed so that I could enjoy that freedom.

And to those who are still sacrificing.

I am grateful for freedom of speech.
(Like my blog requires. )

I am grateful to be able to dress how I want,

Say what I want,

and be who I want.

Without someone hammering down on me.

Most people know, I enjoy being honest. Sometimes to a fault.

I am grateful to wholly, be free.

Freedom tastes sweet.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Confession #24 - Parenting

Ah.... Parenting.

(Yes, I'm going there.)


What a blessing.
What a wonderful opportunity.
And a huge responsibility.
The stress... the worries... the choices.
It's the hardest thing any of us will ever do!

But it's worth it!

Sometimes, I am secretly an opinionated person.
Only about some things.


I think this comic, below, represents a lot of us.

Before you have children, you wonder why the baby is crying on the airplane,
or why there are children screaming in the grocery cart and the mother is ignoring them,
or why there are many things happening that involve children.

Children you do not have.

Of course, I had opinions (just like everyone else) about what you should be doing with your children.

But I won't share those.

I will share that I have applied my thoughts to my own children - all though I have more understanding for the various scenarios...

(Hello! It's an airplane. Where would you like them to go? The baggage? Get over it, it's a couple of hours max. Nobody likes flying anyways.)

(Ignoring her child is the only way to get them to stop tantruming over that box of pop tarts!)

However... I feel like I have a little more experience in the parenting boat, so I can form some opinions, and actually have weight behind them.

Rule #1 - Don't hit your kids.

Not only does it not work, but it makes them worse, and teaches them to hit other people.
This includes spanking.
Worst. Punishment. Idea. Ever.

Big fail.

Rule #2 - Watch your children. Parent your children.

Also, at large gatherings with other parents and their children, please - continue to parent your children - this is an event, not a babysitting service.
Never assume someone else is watching your child.
Even when you ask someone to watch them, keep in mind that nobody will 'watch' them like you will watch them. Because you know them. So please, watch them.
Your child is hitting my child while you are chatting about how annoying your hair was this morning.

This makes the mama bear annnnngry.

Rule #3 - Don't use the tv as a babysitter.

This makes kids' attention spans sink to 0%, as well as makes them sleepy and lazy. How do you feel after watching hours of tv? Magnify it for tiny people still learning about things.


Imagination is a magical thing.

Also, some tv is ok - but appropriate shows, please! Why are people letting their kids watch inappropriate shows? I don't care if you have a 9-year-old who really, super duper loves "Glee" and so do you. Watch it later, on Hulu, when the kids are in bed.

Rule #4 - Let your kids be kids!

Don't make up your babies to look like tiny hookers because you think "it's cute" - no!!

Every little girl wants to be a princess for a day, and twirl around, but she doesn't need a mother behind her, pushing her into making it a career. If you didn't get to be a supermodel, cry about it in your pillow, but don't control your daughter's life.

Rule #5 - Use your brain.

I don't care if you think it's "cute" - as adults, you make your own choices.
About your habits, your lifestyles, yourself.
Children are taught by their parents.
Who should be adults.
With brains.

Your job is to raise your child, and let them make their own decisions.

Rule #6 - Don't be afraid of a tantrum.

It's ok to say NO.

Children need rules, because they are still learning everything.
If they cried and cried because they wanted to touch a hot burner, would you let them touch it because you were afraid they wouldn't love you as much if you didn't let them?

Give me a break.

Rule #7 - Seriously. These are children, not tiny doll adults.

I wonder sometimes if there should be licensing in order to have children, but I think the population would suffer.

Rule # 8 - If you are unable to use your brain to be a parent, seek help.

I'm sure friends and neighbors, or even the great big wide internet, has someone out there who will gladly give advice on how to help you in a situation you are having.

Something I have learned - no matter what is happening, usually someone else has also been through it. It's good to ask for help!

Rule #9 - Don't yell at your kids about trivial things.

Think first - is this really a big deal? Think second - is yelling going to make a difference?
Usually - NO.

Remember, this is America.
If that lamp was so special to you, buy another one.
If that broken gift from your great-great-aunt Merva is really upsetting you, start thinking about how when we die, we leave it all behind anyways, and the next person to have it in their possession may not think it is as special as you did, and it will probably end up being thrown out anyways.

Just saying.

I'm tired of hearing parents scream at their children in the store - in the shopping cart, in the parking lot - about trivial things.

"Please, put your coat on."

"No, we're not going to be buying that today. But fun idea!"

and my favorite -

When parents "count to 3" but always stop at 2, and either give the kids what they want, or drag it out to the 3, and then do nothing.

It's not that hard - this is how you count to three.

Prep it: "You need to calm down and put those fruit snacks back on the shelf nicely by the time I get to 3, or we are leaving this store with no groceries."

One.... two.... three.

Even spaces. Don't drag out the two to three! At three, leave the store with no groceries, as promised.

Yes, inconvenient. Yes, you will probably have to come back. But being uncomfortable once or twice in turn for good behaving children is more than worth the effort.

Rule #10 - Spend time with your children.

Children are people! I don't know why this is hard to understand.
We need to be gentle with them, and spend time with them.

Talk to them like a human being.

Tell them when they are doing something good.

Do crafts together.
Even if you throw them out an hour later.
Because it's doing something together, and learning together, that matters.

Sometimes I feel like people need a parenting manual.

There are so many stories out there of scary things happening to children.

Which is weird, because a lot of parenting is common sense.

Common sense + avoiding laziness = perfection!

These are our precious, delicate, treasured children.

The world is an ugly place - and it is our job to teach them truths, and gospels, and prepare them to face the world, brave and ready to stand still in the storm.

We have the responsibility of being tender with them, and to swallow our own pride, make sacrifices, seek knowledge, support, and grow.

We have to learn to shout out loud, and bite our tongue.

To spend time learning about our children.

And reminding them how precious they are. Even when they are old and live far away.

I think having a sense of humor as a parent should be a requirement!

I can't tell you how many times I remember laughing until I thought I was going to pee myself as a kid, because my Dad was the funniest man on earth.

We need to be gentle fathers.

And loving mothers.

And sometimes, we need to find ways where "punishments" are productive progress opportunities...

Parenting is hard.

Get over it.

Do it.

Confession #23 - Back

Confession: I have a horrible, horrible back.

The blue-ish x-ray below, is the one that was taken right after my surgery, when I was 10.


I had surgery for spondylolisthesis (Google it ) - which is out there, but my spondylolisthesis was bad enough the doctors pioneered the surgery to fix me.
(Thank you, Dr. Brockmeyer!!!!)

After shaving some of my left hip bone off, and 'installing' some rods and screws, I spent 3 months in a brace from my armpits to my hips, and down my right leg.

After 3 months, I had to learn to walk again.
Have you ever read the 'real' version of "The Little Mermaid"? Well, because I love fairytales, I felt the best way to describe standing up for the first time in 3 months to be like in "The Little Mermaid" - the original.

(In the story, the reason why she can't talk is because with every step it's like she is stepping on a thousand knives.)

My three months in a bed in my home were bearable because I had an amazing superhuman mother, Kirby on Nintendo, and that faith that all children carry.

Sometimes people ask me if it was hard, but I have to say no.
Not only did my mother make it so it wasn't hard for me, but I think also as kids we just assume that everything will be ok. When we know, we know.

Did I mention how grateful I am to my mother yet??

Because of my surgery, I had to have my babies via c-section, because they were worried that labor could paralyze me.

This is an x-ray taken after I had my first baby - ten years after the x-ray above.

Not so pretty.

And still, I walk.

Backety back.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Confession #22 - McFly

Marty McFly.

Confession: I love the "Back to the Future" trilogy.

They have everything.
They are the perfection of movies.

Love stories, fantasy, action, all of the above.

I loved the futuristic items -

Like the hoverboard,
the flying cars,
the 3D holographic ads,
The power lace-up shoes.

(Note: Nike is totally sponsoring production of these shoes. Now. For real. I lie not.)

(Second note: I would like to see a little more in the development of said future items in the next 5 years, since that is how much time we have according to BTTF3. Just saying. Where are my insta-dinner pellets.)

I loved the idea of being able to go back in time and talk to your younger self.

And give advice.

Well, who wouldn't love that idea??

(Alas.... would we listen? Probably not.)

Or go back in time and meet the ancestors we have, way up in the family tree.

How cool would that be?

I loved the characters.

Of course, Doc, and his crazy eyes!

I loved all of them!

And of course, just like the rest of the female population, I instantly had a crush on Michael J. Fox after seeing Back to the Future.

As a note, this movie totally came out the year I was born.

These things matter not.

Just look how dashing.


You think he's cute too.

Pitter patter, Marty!

I loved all the adventures, and that they basically covered every topic in the three movies.

When you can't agree on what to watch, you can watch the "Back to the Future" trilogy, and cover everything. Who doesn't like these movies?

Seriously? How? How could you not?

Totally my kind of film.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Confession #21 - Hair


Glorious hair.

For some, good hair is not only unattainable, but causes never-ending coveting of the hair of those who do have "the good hair".

If you have curly hair, you want straight.
If you have straight, you want it curly.
(Why can't we all just enjoy what we have?)


CONFESSION: I wanted to be a hair stylist.

I wanted to do impressive colorings.

I wanted to do sweet bridal up-dos, with stories and giggling.

I wanted to be a celebrity hair stylist, the one they all brag about.

It might come from my roots of having hair that kindof naturally looks like this.
(Thank you for your example, Stevie.)

But as I more seriously considered the profession, I became concerned.

I didn't want to end up with a crazy hair color, which seems a requirement when going through school.

Like the Coon Hair, which seems to be a trend right now.


Or this...

Rainbow hair.


Yes, rainbow hair. Although... it does look pretty awesome.

I didn't want to end up with a hideous "experimental" hair cut either.

Like the wo-mullet.

(Why won't you die?)

Or weird hair extensions.

I also realized that I wasn't ready for a few things.


Weird hair style requests.

Hair challenges.

And people requesting bad hair cuts that they think are a "great idea",
or people requesting a trim on their already bad hair cut.
I didn't want to think about being in trouble for cutting someone's hair differently than they requested.

("No, sir. I swear this is a modern mullet. They call it a crew cut.")

Not that I am opinionated, but I would like to consider myself merciful.

And so, for now, I will stick with day dreaming, and playing with my own hair.

Which is why - you now know - I am always doing something different with my hair.

Hairy, hairy, hair, hair.