Saturday, May 21, 2011

Over the "mommy blog" world? me too.

{click image for source}

Maybe it is just me, but i've never been into the "mommy" blogs. I do not enjoy reading about people doing the same things i am doing everyday with my own kid. If i want to get advice, i seek PROfessional advice or advice from people i know and trust, not some random blog writer. If i read a blog it is because it goes outside of my life... it is full of adventure, beautiful things being created, amazing photography, and people writing about full spectrums of life.

And there are so many "mommy bloggers" out there these days. And although i do enjoy a cute kid photo, i am not really a fan of reading about other people's kids in mass DAILY doses.

{click image for source}
If i know you, then i might care about little Johnny going poop finally in the toilet. If i have never met you, who gives a crap {no pun intended} if your kid finally went poop in the toilet? Do you really need to write up an entire blog entry that equates to 2 pages about how little Johnny finally pooped? No. You really do not need to write about it. Being a mom doesn't make you an expert on anything other than your own child. Unless there is a "Dr." in front of your name... when you write about your trial and errors in raising your kid, you only have the advice that worked on YOUR kid. All children are created differently, so your telling your story is no different than Mr and Mrs Jones telling their story... heck, it might even be the very exact same story! Every kid has issues with pooping, it is why they write books about helping parents with helping their kids poop. So yeah, your blog story might be cute for your mom to read about their grandchild, but save it for an e-mail to them personally. Trust me, when little Johnny grows up, he will appreciate that you didn't tell your mass blog following about him finally going poop in a toilet. Your kid isn't special, like the book says, "everyone poops."

And the photos... Yes, i like to think of myself as an amateur photographer in training. I have much to learn and miles to go before i would coin the phrase "i am a photographer" to any kind of a business card or website listing. But every mom/dad/sister/brother/grandparent/uncle/etc thinks they have the most beautiful baby/toddler/child/grandchild in the world. It's how it works, we adore our own family members. But unless your kid is truly a beauty and unless you've managed to take the most adorable of adorable photos of your kid - really, Do you seriously need an entire blog full of photos of your kid standing there with a dumb look on their face? Do you think the world needs to view every aspect of your child living their life on your blog about them? Will it help them be better kids if you can convince yourself that people love your child because they read your mommy blog? Nope. It might make you a few creepy strangers friends who love kids, in a bad way! You aren't helping your child become the next big thing in the world of blogs by plastering their face in every entry... in fact you are probably harming them by giving them an EGO the size of a Buick before they can even enter school to understand right from wrong and fame and normal.

Can you imagine... The kid goes to school thinking they are hot shit because mommy has a blog and tells the kid, "you're famous... look at all those people who follow mommy's blog and love to read about you!" so the kid goes off to school actually thinking they are famous. Reality sets in that no one in their classroom reads mommy's blog, not even the teacher... they realize, *gasp* they aren't actually famous! nope, they are just an average kid, going to an average school, along with other average children.

I hope the trend of mommy blogging goes away soon. I love me a good blog to read, but i'm tired of running into mommy blogs that aren't about anything other then the blog owners kid. Having a kid doesn't make you any more special then any other mom. Women on crack have babies all of the time. Women in China squat out babies in the middle of fields. Women have been having babies and raising them since Human's came to be... so please stop fooling yourself into thinking that you have the corner on being the perfect mom just because you have a blog and can put words together to form a story. Trust me, spending time with your baby/toddler/kid instead of coming up with stories for strangers... that will mean more to them when they grow up than realizing they need therapy for their mom issues and ego issues; all because their Mom wanted attention for herself and used them from birth to adolescence to write stories about them.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Water Day 2011

If you watch an old movie and take notice of the little things that happen in each scene... you will notice one huge difference between pre-1980 movies and movies of today. Water bottles + plastic bottles of other drinks "on the go." It seems that people can't go too long without taking a drink of something, so they carry plastic bottles around everywhere they go.

Since today is World Water Day i am focusing on water.

How often do you grab a bottle of water? How often do you see people walking around with a bottle of water {park, gym, mall, sporting events, etc.}? If you answer never, you are either blind to the world around you, or you live in a place that doesn't have bottled water available {an Earth friendly utopia of sorts}. Everywhere i look, someone has a bottle of water in hand. It seems that the human body has "evolved" into something that can't go even an hour without hydration. We cling to our bottles of water like a baby to their favorite blanket. We rarely use a re-usable bottle or glass/plastic cup when we are on the go {how many starbucks cups do you use and toss each week?}. Most people that i know drink bottled water even in their own home, instead of using a cup. This baffles me a lot about the human psyche. What is it about a bottle? Why can't people grab a cup/glass and sit down at their desk?

I do not remember having a drink on the go when i was a really little kid. Our soda came in glass bottles, so we didn't take them out of the kitchen. Instead, we poured ourself a cup. If we wanted water, we turned on the sink, filled up our cup, and got our drink on. If we were out and about and thirsty, we drank out of a water fountain, or on rare occasion we would buy a drink that came in a paper cup {still not the best option}. There were many times when we would just wait until we got home or wherever we were going to grab a drink. We might be really thirsty by the time we got somewhere, but we learned to deal with it. When playing sports we had a plastic cup with our name written on it and the coaches brought giant water containers and we would get a drink in our cup when needed. If you look around at a sporting event today, every kid on the field has their own bottle of water to drink. I can't remember the last time i saw the giant water container in youth sports. Instead you see the individual bottles; even the parents in the stands have their own bottle of water.

I admit that the ease of water bottles keeps people more hydrated. There are probably less incidents of heat stroke and dehydration due to sports or over heating while being outside. But for the most part, the bottles of water aren't truly needed. Just as they were not needed back when we were kids. If you are not being over-worked, grab a drink before you go to keep you pre-hydrated and then refuel your hydration once you get back home. If you MUST take water on the go with you, invest in a reusable bottle {they come in BPA Free plastic, metal, and/or a mixture of the two}. They aren't that expensive. If you do the math... they are actually cheaper than the continued buying of bottled water.

If you are at home... use a cup! Drink from the sink or a filtration system if you aren't comfortable drinking unfiltered water. Nothing has changed since you were a kid. The use of a cup has not changed at all. They still hold liquids. It isn't as if cups have changed to no longer have bottoms or sides; trust me, they work the same as they have for thousands of years. You can still walk around the house with them and not spill it everywhere. If you are worried about spilling, invest in a "coffee" mug with a lid to take from room to room in your house. Clean water is available in all of our homes in America. We are blessed, super lucky, amazingly well off, and we should be humbled by the thought that we are lucky enough to have CLEAN drinking water at our fingertips.

* Fact: 8.8 BILLION gallons of bottled water were consumed in the USA in 2007.
* Fact only 12% of the plastic bottles from that water used were recycled.
* 63.4 BILLION plastic bottles are dumped into landfills and oceans each year, and growing to more and more being dumped each year.

Two quick things i want to add:

1. Charity: Water Water Day 2011. I've talked about this amazing charity before. They bring CLEAN water and education to other countries around the world. If you are able to donate to a charity, i urge you to check out Chairty: Water's website and give what you can, when you can.

2. The trash in our world due to water bottle use.
          a. MSNBC Article on Plastic Trash in America.
          b. Mother Nature Network: 5 Reason not to drink bottled water.
          c. Youtube Video about plastic in our Oceans.
          d. Youtube Video {commercial} for water filtration {brita}
          e. Youtube Video {commercial} "if you could see the real impact" of bottles {brita}
          f. Youtube Video {ethical Water} "Confessions of a plastic water bottle"

Now, go and get yourself a BIG cup/glass of water from your sink. Go on. You'll feel much better about yourself and the way you are treating the planet.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vegan is now cool because Oprah say's so...

As most who know me know, i have been a vegetarian since i was 11 years old. In February of this year i had a really bad allergy attack and truly thought i was dying or something. I felt horrible for 3 days. On day 2 i removed ALL animal products from my diet. Slowly i started feeling better and better. By day 4 of feeling bad i was actually starting to feel... good. It could be coincidence, or it could have been something i was eating + combined with my other allergies = major allergy attack. I have went totally VEGAN, for now. {more on this at the bottom of this entry}

People have always treated me weird because i was a vegetarian. I've gotten everything from eye rolling, gossip behind my back {that gets back to me} calling me odd, and people have even called me crazy to my face. I do not push my ideas onto others. My husband and my child both eat meat, cheese, chicken, fish, etc. This is something i do only for me.

We do not have cable Tv in our house. And even if we did, i am not one to sit down and watch Oprah. I have had quite a few people address me differently than in the past because of some show Oprah did about being Vegan for a week. And truly i am grateful for the change in attitude from many people who i associate with. But it frustrates me just a bit. I've been eating this way since i was 11. No meat at all, and limited dairy intake. All of a sudden because Oprah says it isn't weird... it isn't weird? Wow. that changes my entire view of the populous of people i know. They are sheep. They drink the coolaid. Or however you want to phrase it; they are followers. If they are told something is cool, it's cool. If they are told something is odd, it is odd. But i digress... i am extremely happy that people are more open to my lifestyle choices because Oprah now say's its cool to be Vegan/Vegetarian.

It started off as a means to an end. I needed to feel better. Now that i am feeling better, the addiction of the dairy industry has gotten to me just a bit. We do not realize how much dairy is in the foods that we eat. Simple things like a breakfast bar contain Whey. Until i started reading labels more carefully last week i was simply satisfied with cutting out the main dairy in my life. No cheese on top of my pasta/salad, or my vegetarian tacos. No sour cream. No milk in my drinks {i.e. no frappuccinos from starbucks}. No eggs in my cakes. No cheese cake! No salad dressings {did you know that they ALL have animal products in them? no? me either!} And so on.

It has been over a month since i have went totally Vegan. And truthfully i have been finding that the more i read, the more i am aware of what is in the foods that i have been eating. So much of the foods that we eat contain a multitude of products that we aren't even aware of. Many of these foods contain things that are not good for us at all. I do not just mean the animal products. Back to my favorite breakfast bar, they add blue dye to make the blueberry color "pop." I mean really, does it need to scream BLUEBERRY blue in order for me to eat it? It is wrapped inside of a shell so until i bite into the bar, i do not even see the color of the blueberry mush. By that point, i'm full on eating it and don't care what the color is, nor would i have cared from the start. I find it hard to believe that people have become so wrapped up in appearances that it translates into the color of our foods we eat.

I admit that i am missing quite a few things. I eat a black bean dish with rice, and i use to top it with a spoonful of sour cream. It gave it a "moist" feeling that it now lacks. I've been drinking more water than i had before because my foods seem less "creamy" and more dry. I watch my daughter drink her frappuccino and want to snatch it out of her hands and devour it! I miss ice cream. I miss being able to go out to eat. There are very few items on a menu that can actually be called vegan. Plenty of vegetarian items, but none that are Vegan. And, I can't believe i am saying this, but i actually miss pizza!

Although we are not Catholic, i find the giving up of an item that is bad for you to be truly helpful in life. I've encouraged my daughter to give something "bad" for her each year as well. This year i wanted to continue on with my Vegan challenge, so i gave it up for our version of "Lent." It is proving to be a really hard challenge to keep up with. It has made me think a lot about the foods that are going into my body and the body of my child & husband. I can not say that once Easter weekend comes around that i will stay 100% Vegan... but i would like to keep up with trying to avoid adding too much dairy back into my life.

It's like the old expression goes, "everything in moderation..." and that is how i will live with a world full of dairy. i will accept that i live in an overly powerful dairy world. I will continue to avoid it as much as i can, but i won't indulge unless i absolutely have to.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

As you like it.

Many life times ago...
Many moons ago...
That was a life time ago...
Once upon a time...

There are many ways to say that we are talking about our past. Although i do not believe the theory of "people can change" in the way they truly are in their personality {once a liar, always a liar}, i do believe that we do all live many lives inside of our one life that we are given at each time.

Throughout our life we go through tiny changes and drastic changes to shape who we are in the end. In a given lifetime you are lucky if you've lived only one same existence... but you are truly blessed if you have seen many lifetimes inside of your own life. If you let your life take hold of you and keep you locked in place, then you might be the same person you were when you were 3, only much older. If, on the other hand, you embrace each section of your life as a new adventure and a new way of thinking, then you might be the same person... but you have let yourself live many lives inside of your own.

I've proudly lived the lives of infant, child, pre-teen, teen, college student, early 20's, mother, friend, family member, care giver, volunteer, and beyond.

The changes in our life do not always mean we change as a person. Some people stay the same and create memories of being the same person, only in a different role. I like to embrace the changes and treat them like a chance to live a whole new way of life while still being me.

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. - Shakespeare

Sunday, March 13, 2011


watch this video. 
Take the 10 minutes. 
see how much was impacted by the Earthquake and following Tsunami. 
Then, if you can, donate $10 to help aid the Japanese in their recovery.

Japan had a great tragedy happen the other day. One that makes you sit up and take notice of the world around you. It reminds us that we are all on this planet together. We are all at the mercy of this place we call Planet Earth. Be it a hurricane, Typhoon, Earthquake, Volcano, Tsunami, or any number of destructive forces... we are but tiny, meaningless creatures to Mother Earth. We were not the first ones to claim this planet as our own {i speak of the Dinosaurs}, and we certainly won't be the last. Cherish the moments you have and love the ones you are with.

Please, if you have the funds, donate to the American Red Cross today. If you do not have funds, take up a collection at work or with friends. Give time... even the simple act of posting the information about donating on your twitter, facebook, or blog can do amazing things to get the word out there to HELP in the need of others.

Text REDCROSS to 90999 or contact your local Red Cross agency to see how you can help.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hollywood Celebrities are not actually "winning" anything that i want

When my daughter was 3 she came to me with her tiny toddler voice and said, "mommy, i wanna be on  Tv!" Although she was only 3 and saying it so cutely i still laughed it off as just a kid saying they wanted to be on Tv. Then she went to Disney for Christmas when she was 3 1/2. Her big eyes stared up at the stage and you could see the glitter sparkle in her eyes as the costumes went spinning on the beautiful princess' twirled and danced around. After that moment i never heard the end of her wanting to be famous via acting. I, however, was not ready for my 3 year old to be the next thing or even have her think that she could become the next big thing. She did some theatre and went on auditions for bigger things. She got a few call backs, but after awhile i put a stop to it all. I figured there was plenty of time later in her life for her to get her hopes up only to be crushed by not getting a part. Plus, Hollywood tends to destroy people. And i want better for my daughter. Once she is 18 she can make that choice for herself, for now, i want to keep her grounded in the reality of the midwest lifestyle.

Over the years, if you were paying attention, you have seen celebrities from all ages go from the top of their career to the bottom of the barrel. Just a few that come to mind, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, and now Charlie Sheen. All three got their start in the industry as children. Charlie's father was an actor so he was born into it, which should have meant he wouldn't dive off the deep end because of starting off in the industry young, right? Not true it seems.

If you have been watching Tv, reading the newspaper/magazines, or checking up online at all in the last week, then you are watching Charlie Sheen fall apart at the seams and losing his day job. Although i never saw him as a huge celebrity figure, in the eyes of many, Charlie Sheen was a pretty big thing. And as the old saying goes, "the bigger they are, the harder they fall..." And so it seems with the way Hollywood works. The public will build up people {celebrities} and then sit back and watch them fall. As hard as they pushed to make their way to the top and have their fans love and adore them, celebrities seem to push just as hard to manipulate the truth of what they turn into. And it seems the advancements in the internet mean we all have a front row seat to their chaos.

The truly sad thing about celebrities falling down, is that no one really cares to pick them back up again. Once they fall, people turn their backs and move onto the next great thing. And as it stands in Hollywood today, the next BIG thing is always right there to pick up the slack for the ones who fall. That being said, the harder they fall the more attention these celebrities get for falling down. They then realize their career in the mainstream as a "normal" celebrity is all but over, so they ride the wave of their spiraling down and continue on doing crazy bad things for the attention. And the public eats it up. They watch the TMZ videos, they scour the internet for more juice, they tweet all about it, facebook their friends, come up with t-shirts that carry the persona or catch phrase of the downed celeb, and they even laugh and make jokes at this celebs misfortune. Catch any late night Tv show and you will know exactly what i am talking about.

Hollywood is a place where dreams come true, and dreams are broken. It is a place where the ordinary person can become an overnight sensation, and the uber famous can become a loser in the span of a night. Just ask Mel Gibson after not just one, but two crazy events. After he made the movie Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson was seen in the eyes of many as a great Holy person. The Christian community adored him and many friends of mine thought he was a "hero" for making that movie. Once his tirade took place, just two years after this "glorious" movie made him amazingly famous around the world, these same friends of mine claimed they never actually liked Mel Gibson.

So are hollywood celebrities "winning" as Charlie Sheen puts it? Unless you are able to keep your level head, stay grounded in reality and stay clean {no drugs & no hard core drinking} then the answer is... NO! With tabloids, interviews, magazine covers, paparazzi following their every move, and people throwing themselves and free items at these people; {sarcasm ahead warning...} with all of that going in in their life, i can't imagine why they are unable to stay grounded in how the real world lives. They create a celebrity bubble around the famous of the famous and treat them like they can do no wrong. Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock is an over the top character, but it is how i think many celebs truly act from time to time. Have you ever seen a rider for some of the band/singers/actors? the shit they ask for is Cra-Zay! It's stupid that just because they are "famous" they get to have a dressing room with all pink or green, or whatever color they choose... All because they say so.  There are few celebrities out there able to stay somewhat grounded. Matt Damon comes to mind as one of the few people who have had hit movies, yet they have a non-celebrity wife, kids, and a home outside of LA where they keep it somewhat real. And sure, NYC isn't exactly like living in the middle of corn county America, but it is much better than LA any day of the week.

Don't let this happen to another Celebrity!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The height of sophistication is not always my height

A favorite word of mine is Sophistication. I had a blog that i ran for about 3 years called "enjoying a simple sophistication" because of a favorite quote of mine: 


Once in awhile it is nice to sit back and think about the future. To Day Dream about what your life would be like if you had millions billions of dollars to do whatever you wanted to do, whenever you wanted to do it. To think about having a posh, sophisticated life; where you eat at fancy restaurants, go to art shows, stay at fancy hotels, and get invited to parties where people say things like "cheers" or "indeed." Living among people who wear fancy clothes, drive expensive sports cars, and have homes that look like they belong on Tv. Then the bubble pops and you look at your IKEA furniture, sitting in your low cost home, with a tiny yard, in the middle of corn country... and you realize that even if you had the money, you might not ever fit into that kind of a life.

When you grow up living in a low income family, you get use to being who you are in life. It is hard to switch roles from low income to low-medium income, I can not even imagine going from low income to extreme income. It kind of makes sense when you hear those stories about people down on their luck winning the lotto and then blowing it all on junk in a year or two. People go over board in a lot of areas in their life, money is no different.

I would be lying if i said i didn't want to have more money, to truly have it all come easier to me, but keeping up with the high class lifestyle i could probably do without. I enjoy wearing my old hoodie when i go to the mall/store. I truly love wearing jeans and t-shirts and eating at low brow "high class" places like the Olive Garden. When i stay at a hotel and get up the next morning to eat the FREE breakfast, i want to be able to walk in the breakfast room with my hair still wet and not feel like the entire room wants to throw me out the window for looking not perfect.

While living in California i experienced a tiny taste of the fancy life. Not the extreme fancy life, but a higher class then anything i had every experienced living in the midwest. It took me months to just feel comfortable in my good clothes, and i never felt like i belonged when wearing my older t-shirts. The food was always odd in the fancier restaurants. And part of that could be that i am a vegan, so to everyone else, my food choices are odd. I could never get use to the meal costing $100 and then being served a wedge of lettuce with water chestnuts soaked in oil and then a salad on the side with nothing on it because i didn't eat the meat or cheese that came with it. Often when walking into a business i felt like Julia Roberts character in Pretty Woman when she was shopping for clothes on Rodeo Drive. People looked at us differently and i noticed on more than one occasion people giving us the stink eye. I'm not sure if my having more money would have made me any more comfortable in the lifestyle that we were thrown into in California.

One day i hope to be debt free. I hope to have enough money to send my kid to a good college without going into debt again. I hope to have just enough money to live happily. If one day i find myself with more money than i know what to do with, then i will adjust my thinking accordingly... but i can not currently see myself being comfortable with living a really fancy lifestyle. Just researching hotels for Spring Break and adventuring into the posh 5 star section is making me nervous... just from the photos online of the nice hotels! One step at a time, comfortable in my own financial life style, then maybe we'll step it up and stay in a fancy hotel where the hotel dining room looks like Buckingham Palace.