Friday, September 30, 2011

On Repeat: Be My Honeypie

A Chinese Unicorn


If you remember, one of my absolute pet peeves is being noticed solely for the fact that I am Asian. In my opinion, it does not matter one bit that I am Chinese. Sure, I may appear different than the majority Caucasian and African American population here, but I have much more attachments to America than I do with Taiwan. I grew up in an extremely diverse community in California where we had a great melting pot of all ethnicities. These kids in Texas, however, have not. 

Side note: Did you know that "melting pot" is not what we should try to achieve in America? Instead, we should see ourselves as a "mosaic" or "salad bowl." A melting pot assumes that every culture melds together into one, while a mosaic allows each culture to maintain their own uniqueness and qualities, but still compliments other cultures. I be college edumacated, yo!

These are the phrases I heard the first ten minutes I entered the third grade classroom I was subbing for on Tuesday:

"It's an Asian one!"
"Are you from China?"
"Can you read Chinese?" 
"Do you speak Chinese?"
"You can speak Chinese, but you can't read or write it?"
"Are you Korean?" 
"Are you Japanese?"
"Why did you move here?"
"Say my name in Chinese!"
"Say your name in Chinese!"
"Say 'table' in Chinese!"
"What does 'chaaaoooo' mean?!"
"Say hello in Chinese!"

And all their teacher could tell them was, "You need to ask her to say things. Don't tell her to." 

I am so unaccustomed to this behavior and am not quite sure what to say to them, especially since they are so young. When I would enter a classroom in California, the questions I expected to get were, "How old are you?" and "Are you married?" I did tell them that I actually grew up in California and that me being Chinese should not matter at all. I think that flew right over their heads though.

By the way, the kid that asked, "What does 'chaaaoooo' mean?!"was really getting me angry because I thought he was just making stereotypical noises. But later he asked, "Does 'twei' mean push?" and I realized that he was actually asking me legitimate questions. 

Something similar happened with my fifth period Language Arts class yesterday. Immediately upon seeing me, this loudmouthed Vietnamese boy shouted, "Yes! We have an Asian sub! We always get either a man or an old woman. This is much better!" And when he found out that I was Chinese he said, "Chinese? Even better!"

I got a few more questions asking me why I moved here and they were surprised to hear that I grew up in California. They asked me about my first name and said that it was pretty. One girl said, "Ni hao" to me and I just smiled. She was obviously very impressed with herself. I asked her and her friend straight up why it is such a big deal that I am Chinese. They said that they rarely see Asian people and Chinese people are especially unique. Another girl shouted, "I love Korean people!"

To get an idea of the Asian population here, there were four Asian students in the six periods I subbed for yesterday. 

I really don't know why I am so sensitive over this matter. It's not that I hate being Chinese (although I do find a lot of Chinese people incredibly rude and condescending). I just hate that my skin color and eye shape is such a dominating factor in how people perceive me. Does that make sense? I actually turned down a job as a high school math substitute because I wanted to steer away from that particular stereotype. I think that is quite sad. 

What do you think? Am I overreacting? All I know is that I am so thankful I grew up with diversity and I hope our children will be able to do the same.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pizza Party

source
After a ridiculously long day (and it's only 4pm), this GIF makes me feel a lot better. 

Popcorn Machine Operator

I have been writing for the past three hours. Blog posts have been scheduled for the next few days already because I have written so much. I am out of things to say in an organized fashion so let's do another post on a few random thoughts:
  • Add "can operate a popcorn machine" to my resume.
  • When a bug lands on me, I freak out. When I see a bug on Bella, I think, "Oh, hellz no. You ain't going to crawl all over my baby!" Then, I promptly grab the bug with my bare fingers and squeeze it to death.
  • After nine hours locked in her kennel, I found Bella's kennel a good three feet from where I had left it. I have no idea what she was doing while I was gone, but she was visibly exhausted and her voice was hoarse.
  • I have not heard from my husband since Sunday. When I'm feeling sorry for myself, I think about these women in the images below and how they didn't have phone calls, email or Skype. They just had to wait until the war ended to see if their husbands or boyfriends made it through.
  • The battery life on this MacBook is amazing.
  • I really wish I had wifi right now.
  • I am starving and the aroma from the popcorn machine is killing me.
  • I painted the toenails of one of Bella's hind paws pink. She was sleeping upside down against the couch and I couldn't resist. 
Are Bella's toes supposed to be so crooked?
  • I can't believe I have been sitting here for so long.
  • Someone just told me that it's not cricket season yet. Cricket season is next month and apparently the buildings get covered with them at night and you can hear them squishing when you drive on parking lots.
  • A man just grabbed popcorn and when I asked him if he wanted a soda he said, "No, I'm on a diet." Does he not realize that this popcorn is smothered with butter and who knows what else?
Popcorn packages with pre melted butter and seasonings. This is what you eat when you have popcorn machine popcorn

  • Somebody please save me.

"I Have Anger Problems"

Currently, I have my laptop balanced precariously on my lap. I am sitting at a bank on post in between a really hot popcorn machine and three barrels of ice filled with soda. This is where I will be for the next FOUR HOURS. Our FRG is doing a fundraiser where if we sit here for a total of eight hours and hand out free popcorn and drinks we will get paid $120. I could not get enough volunteers so I am taking a double shift...the joys of being a FRG leader.

Great. I just spotted a giant cricket near my station so now I will have to keep an eye on it for the next four hours as well. Did you know that the crickets in Texas are black and so large that you mistake them for cockroaches?

Also, I recognized a Soldier who just walked into the bank. He went to West Point with The Hubby, but I only truly recognize him through random Facebook stalking. I could tell he recognized me as well. How awkward is that? Has this happened to you before?

Luckily, I came prepared and brought a novel, thank you cards to write, and this trusty laptop already opened up to my Blogger so that I can write and write away. I am not connected to the internet so all I can do is write, write and write some more. I think you can expect a rather lengthy post.

Today is my first day off from being a substitute teacher this week. You already heard about my second grade class on Monday. I had a class of third graders on Tuesday and eighth graders yesterday. Middle schoolers are so easy to watch after. Third graders, however, are quite a handful.

When the secretary signs you in and visibly grimaces and moans once you say the teacher's name you are subbing for, you know that you are in for a bad day.


So ten minutes in and I was already pissed at these kids and was definitely not as pleasant to them as I was to my last class. I'll explain why in my next post.

The day began extremely easy and I stupidly believed that I was going to have a good day. The students had P.E. for the first fifty minutes I was in charge of them and all I had to do was drop them off in a separate building and pick them up later. Easy peasy. They had lunch right after that and I didn't have to monitor them for that either. 

After lunch is when students truly become rambunctious. They are filled up with sweets and junk food and are on a high after recess in the playground. Kids also know that their school day is winding down and their impending freedom is on their minds.

I was supposed to teach these kids about maps, legends and distance scales. It was going fairly smoothly except this one boy, J, and a girl, L, started arguing very loudly. J through a tantrum and refused to listen to me. After giving him several warnings, I asked him to step outside with me so that we could have a little chat in private. 

I let J know that he was being incredibly disrespectful and that I if he didn't start behaving I would have no choice but to send him to the office. This made him cry. I told him how I did not want to do that to him  and I was going to give him another chance. I asked him if he understood what I was saying and he nodded. J appeared to have calmed down. 

Then, I asked him to come back into the classroom and the punk refused!! He told me that he needed to sit away from L because he hates her and that he has "anger problems." J was literally shaking in frustration.

"Holy crap," I thought, "I'm going to end up on the news because some kid stabbed me with a  pencil." 

I let him know that he was a big third grader now and that he could handle it. I said that we were going to count to ten and at ten we would both go inside. Of course, that did not work. So I asked, "J, do you want me to send you to the teacher next door? Do you think she will be nicer to you because I don't think so."

J nodded, which made me upset because I was being so patient with him. So I led him to the teacher next door who was most definitely not nicer to him. I went back to my classroom and continued my lesson. 

Once I got everyone on track, I went back to get J, who actually fell asleep next door. Some punishment! He came back into my class and his attitude was still exactly the same. He sat under his desk and refused to get up and of course this happened right when someone from the office came in with some handouts. What a disaster!

J proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon banging his feet on the legs of his desk, making faces at me when I wasn't looking, and refusing to work. Let's just say I wrote an essay to the teacher at the end of the day to document all that had happened.

The class finally ended and this boy, R, started bawling unexpectedly when I asked him to pack up. Typically, this is the highlight of a child's day. Instead, he curled up in a ball on his chair and cried. All I could interpret through his tears was "I'm going to get in trouble!" and "My mom is mad at me. She thinks I lied!"

Uh...what? 

Apparently he got into trouble last week and was scared to go home. Do I need to call child protective services or something?  I asked him, "Er..what does your mom do? Does she...um...hurt you...or something?"

R didn't say anything to this so I'm hoping the answer is no? I led him to the daycare line and let the person in charge know what was going on. She responded, "Ah, I bet someone's in trouble." I guess this sort of thing happens often.

Things I learned about third graders:
1) They understand (or think they understand) what it means to "have swag."
2) They are much more quiet walking through hallways. Thank goodness!
3) Threats no longer work on them.
4) They think they know everything.
5) Cutting in line is still a big deal.
6) They talk back. Good luck to their parents.
7) They still think I'm pretty and like to give hugs.
8) If you compare their behavior to kindergarteners they will be offended.

By the way, if you are a snot nosed boy who complains about your hands being sticky I WILL NOT hold your hand or give you a hug. No way, no how. 

The end.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hakuna Matata

I went with my friends to watch the limited screening of the Disney classic "The Lion King" in 3D last Friday. It's amazing how I can still laugh at the same jokes I laughed at as a child. I don't know how people expected me to not sing. If I hear a Disney song, I'm going to sing, darn it! I am not ashamed to admit that I have 125 classic Disney songs on CDs in my car. Full blast, baby.

Source: mayanrocks.com via Min on Pinterest

I can't wait to share with our children all the classic Disney movies. They are in for quite a treat!

P.S. Did you know I played Zazu in our 7th grade production of "The Lion King"? I was terrible, but that play is the reason why I know every line in the movie and all the lyrics for every song. It's a gift and a curse.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mrs. Min! Mrs. Min!!

It's only 9:30 in the evening and I'm already in bed, completely exhausted and ready to rest my head for the day. I had my first substitute teaching job today and I had to watch a second grade class for four hours. It just reaffirmed the fact that I made the right decision not pursuing my dreams of becoming a teacher.

Even though I spent the majority of my life thinking that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, I am most certainly not cut out for it. I have assisted in classrooms before and I paid off my college tuition by working as a tutor or a summer school instructor at a Chinese school. Oh, and waitressing, but I like to pretend that part of my past never occurred.

It was an absolutely draining experience. There's so much I want to tell you about my day, but I'm afraid that this post will be extremely long if I include everything. I have trouble editing, you see.

I arrived at the school about fifteen minutes early with my heart racing. I signed in, was given a name tag and was given complicated directions to get to the classroom. This elementary school was enormous! I climbed so many stairs today and was lost in the maze of hallways.

When I entered the classroom, the teacher was beginning a lesson on Texas landmarks. I am from California. I do not know anything about Texas landmarks. Heck, I don't even remember any California history. Hence, I was screwed. The students stared at me and I heard things like "That's the substitute" and "She's a Chinese one." Instead of paying attention to the teacher, they tried to secretly wave at me while I signaled for them to watch the board.

I was a bit disappointed by the way the teacher was acting towards her students. I really did not appreciate the way she was speaking to them and how annoyed she seemed when she had to explain something again. Also, she did not greet me or introduce herself. She also slipped out of the classroom without saying goodbye.

So I feigned confidence and immediately took over the task of teaching the students about The Alamo and the John F. Kennedy Memorial. Basically, the students were given a handout where they had to fill in the blanks of certain phrases. We went through each bullet point together and I wrote the answers on the board. Somehow, copying down words was still too difficult for the students. "Which line do I write it on?" "There's no room!"

There was always some kid talking. And then that lead to complaints from other students saying how they can't concentrate because everyone was talking. "Jonathan talked!" "Matthew isn't sitting in his seat!" "He's making fun of me! Can I sit on my own?""Can we work with a partner?"

So I tried to play ninja mind games and I would say something like, "Oh, thank you class for being sooo good and quiet!" This worked three times. Then came the threats.

"I have asked you to please be quiet three times. How many times should I have to tell you this? You're being very impolite. I am going to say 'quiet' one more time and the next person who talks will get their name written on the board. I don't want to do that, but I will."

For kids this age, your name on the board is the equivalence of a death sentence. I didn't even tell them what it meant to get your name on the board, but this shut them up. Except for Matthew. Oh, no. Matthew would ask every five minutes, "I'm behaving now. Are you going to take my name off the board?"

The absolute worst was when we had to line up to go anywhere, and we did this several times. No matter what, this would cause us to be at least ten minutes late for everything. The students had an assigned order  of how to stand in line. They knew this. But they fought and pushed. Just like riding a roller coaster, the first and last positions in line were the ideal spots. They ran, talked, stomped their feet, complained, etc. It was endless.

"I can't stand next to her! We need to have at least two people in between us!"

So we were late for lunch and I had to take two minutes away from their recess because they could not get their shit together behave properly. Recess was outdoors in over 90 degree heat. With zero shade. I stood there, holding the books of three different kids who insisted on bringing their books out. And I held two sweaters. And I sweat in my nice work attire while my mascara proceeded to melt onto my face, turning me into a raccoon.

Then we line up again to go back into the classroom, but every other child complained about needing a drink of water or having to go the bathroom. So we did a bathroom/water break on the way to our classrooms, which took way too long because all the boys wanted two long drinks of water and they all took forever peeing. Don't EVER drink from a school drinking fountain, by the way. I won't tell you how many tongues and lips have touched those faucets.

We get back to the classroom and we're behind fifteen minutes. No more than two minutes after stepping back in the room did I have kids asking for water or bathroom breaks. I have this fear of kids peeing in my classroom because I refused to let them go so I always said yes, but one at a time. "Can I go with a buddy?" No, you can't, you little punk! I know all your tricks.

It's math time and we only get through one simple worksheet even though the teacher left two. I don't know if these kids just didn't try or they really didn't get it, but I had to help them with every single problem. The teacher had wanted them to work on their own, but that really did not work.

Math over. Time to line up yet again for science class led by a different teacher. Except when we line up for science class, there is no assigned line order so there was fighting over who was first and whatever else they could think of. These kids were so incredibly noisy and rowdy going down the halls that no matter how many threats, bribes, glares, or whatever techniques I could think of worked.

That is until we ran into a hall monitor who completely kicked their tiny asses into gear. "Which class is this? You are disturbing my halls. This is unacceptable!"Great. I'm going to get fired. And I'm also late to the science class and the teacher is obviously peeved. But before I can introduce myself and apologize, I am asked to escort a student back up to my classroom, grab his things, and take him to the office as he was leaving early.

The students were also misbehaving for this science teacher. Demon children, I tell you. There was some confusion about who had their science journals. The science teacher made some backhanded remark saying, "If you had your journals, you would be drawing this. Now you have to make up your work."

At the end of class I apologized to her about being late and for not having their journals. I made sure to let her know that the teacher never wrote in her notes that they needed them. She told me not to worry about it, but I don't know how sincere she was.

Back up to our classroom and I have ten minutes to get them to pack up their things and line up again in a different order depending on whether or not they go to daycare, ride the bus, get picked up by their parents or walk home. This was disastrous. I'm pretty sure I lost a few kids.

After all the kids left, I limped my way back to my classroom (my new dress shoes gave me horrible blisters) and took the time to write a detailed note to the teacher and to neaten up her classroom. Then I signed out and gladly left campus.

So, that was my day...

I'm so glad I decided to start off with just a half day because I don't think I would have been able to survive a full day. I have the most experience with third graders, middle schoolers and high schoolers. I don't think I will do anything younger than third grade after this day.

The good news is that the kids loved me and told me that they wished I would be their teacher, although I'm sure that they say that to all the subs. They told me I was pretty and that I was nice, and I didn't even give them any stickers or anything. The teacher next door stopped me at lunch time and asked me in a very concerned voice, "How are you doing?" I panicked and thought maybe my classroom was being too loud, but she just explained that I had a really loud group. Phew! It wasn't just me.

I am proud of myself from showing that I was flustered and for never yelling at the class. Again, I really hated the tone of voice the teacher used with her students so I told myself to be aware of that. Because when I get mean, I get mean. Not many people have heard my angry voice and it is a force to be reckoned with.

Other things I learned about second graders:
1) If you give them a date, say February 23rd, they will say something like, "My brother's birthday is in February!"
2) If you say a name they will say, "My name is John!" but then another student will retort with, "No, your name is Jonathan!"
3) Don't wear a bandage or wrap your sprained ankle. You will get five students asking you what happened, even though they've already heard my answer before.
4) There is no shame in telling on someone and being a little rat fink.
5) If one person sharpens their pencil, EVERYONE must sharpen their pencil as well.
6) They have no clue when they have to pee until they're about to burst and do the little pee dance.
7) Raising your hand isn't enough. You must also shout "Mrs. Min! Mrs. Min!"
8) Little girls like to hold my hand and call me pretty and I will never object to this.

I guess I did end up telling you everything. Good work if you made it through this. Just so you know, I did not pull this kind of crap as a child. This is not like "what goes around comes around" karma mumbo jumbo. Have a greater respect for educators, folks!

FYI, I totally had ice cream when I got home. I think I deserved it.

Source: playswithscissors.com via Min on Pinterest

Cookie Monster

Snickers stuffed inside cookies? I'm there!

Source: bakersroyale.com via Min on Pinterest

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let's Make: A Dog Cooling Collar!

The Hubby thought I was crazy when I told him I was making a cooling collar for Bella, but I felt that Bella needed this. Let me explain. 

A few months ago, my sister told me that her neighbor's bulldog died from overheating after neglect from a PetSmart groomer. After this sad story of a poor dog dying from not being able to cool down quickly enough, I began to worry about Bella every time we came back from a walk or a run. 

Bella pants heavily when we get back home from our walks and because we can't afford to blast the air-conditioning, the house just isn't cold enough to cool her down. I even tried to stick ice packs near her or put a fan in front of her, but she did not approve of these techniques. 


I came across a cooling collar that you can purchase for about $17 online and I also found a tutorial for one that you can make on your own. I wasn't willing to spend that much money or purchase so many supplies so I decided to create one that I could slip over Bella's existing collar. 

This tutorial is for a dog cooling collar that has two separate compartments, one for the collar and one for ice packs. I don't pretend to be the best at sewing as I'm still a newbie so please ignore the fact that I still can't sew in a straight line. I'm also sorry if I don't use the correct sewing terms. I learned how to sew via YouTube, after all. 



Ready to make one? Let's get your supplies ready. You will need your dog's collar, two pieces of fabric cut to the measurements below and ice pack sheets. I found my pack of sheets at Target for about $2.

Please note that the length of the pieces of fabric you need will vary depending on the circumference of your pup's neck size. It is also important to take into account the fact that you will need to loosen the leash to compensate for the width of the ice packs. You may also need a different width if your dog's collar is different than Bella's, which is about 1" wide.


Step 1: Cut in between the rows of one of the ice pack sheets very carefully so that you have two strips of four "cubes". You will be putting these two strips (total of 8 cubes) into the ice pack slot later.


Step 2: Press down the edges of each piece of fabric about half an inch. Using your iron to press down the edges will make sewing easier later. Fold the larger piece of fabric hot dog style and press down the center fold to make a crease. 


Step 3: Sew just ONE end of the larger piece. This piece of fabric will later house the ice packs.


Step 4: Sew both ends of the smaller piece of fabric. This piece of fabric will later house the collar.


Step 5: Next, line up the top edge of the collar fabric to the top edge of the ice pack fabric. Pin in place. Sew across the bottom of the collar fabric, but leave a gap about half an inch at one end.

 Remember when you only stitched together one end of the ice pack fabric in Step 3? Make sure that untouched end matches up with the end where you leave a gap.    


Step 6: Fold up the bottom (ice pack) fabric hot dog style again along the center fold you made in Step 2. Three more stitches and you're done! First, sew down at line one, but make sure you only sew close the bottom (ice pack) fabric. Next, sew across line two so that you close up the gap. Finally, sew across line three. 


That sounded more complicated than it actually is so hopefully the picture below clarifies things a little bit. 


Step 7: You're done with the sewing part of this project. Next, thread the dog collar through the smaller slot. This part is important: Make sure the inner part of the collar faces the pocket for the ice packs. This way, the ice packs will be against your dog's neck when you place it on. Pop in the two strips of ice packs and you're done!


My favorite part of this cooling collar is that it is removable and machine washable so I can just slip it on and off if I need to. Bella's ID tag also hangs out in case anyone ever needs to get to it.


Bella has no objections!


Honestly, I have no clue if it helps her at all like the diagram below, but at least it makes me feel better.

source


Bring Your Sh*t!

One of the funniest interviews I have ever seen. Worth sitting through the commercials. Promise!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

On Repeat: Sea Green, See Blue

My Dog Ate My Wallet

So Bella didn't literally eat my wallet, although after eating the top of The Hubby's toothbrush and part of a Duraflame log, I'm sure that wouldn't surprise you at all.

Since coming home from my visit to California, we have spent quite a bit of money on Bella girl. My friend has always told me that I should just feed her money.

Here's a list of her expenses since the beginning of August:

Three 17.6 lb. bags of dog food: $186.30
I've saved one bag for emergencies as the company that makes her special food often runs out. Something about a shortage of rabbits? Aren't rabbits supposed to mate like crazy? And to think I used to complain about dog food costing $30 for a 50 lb. bag. 

Vaccinations: $42.95
Did you know that in Texas they require rabies vaccinations every year?

Teeth cleaning: $178.30
I was oddly emotional dropping Bella off for her teeth cleaning yesterday morning. It brought back memories of her knee surgeries years back and I'm sure she was terrified. Her heart was pounding so quickly and I felt terrible. At least her breath no longer reeks!

Antibiotics: $36.12

Treats and rawhides: $10

Neater Feeder: $39.99 from Marshalls
This seems like an exorbitant purchase and I definitely felt crazy for buying it, but this thing is amazing! Bella is a really messy drinker. When she laps up water, she splashes water from both sides of her jowls and also carries some water in her mouth as she walks away. I'm not sure if you can see it from the video below. This led to damage of the baseboards and the floors. I'll have to do a separate review later.



I felt that it was important to talk about the expenses of being a responsible pet owner. With the holidays coming up (I promise it will be here before you even blink!) I just know that there will be puppies galore as Christmas gifts. Many people don't consider the financial aspect of owning a pet, but just skip to the look-how-cute-and-fluffy-my-dog-is phase. Swiping the little plastic card every time was definitely cringeworthy, but I also knew that it was necessary for my dog's wellbeing. 

I also thought I would show you how I give Bella her medications. The Hubby thinks it's hilarious while I'm sure Bella hates it, although I always give her a hypo-allergenic treat afterwards. I am known to say that Bella is too smart for her own good, and this is especially so when it comes to giving her pills. No matter what, she sniffs out medications in whatever food I hide it in. If I give it to her in peanut butter, Bella will lick all around the pill and eat every bit of peanut butter and walk away smugly.

Bella has been on numerous medications in her short lifetime because of all of her medical issues. By now, I have perfected the way I give her her pills and almost always get it down in one try. Even though Bella knows that it's coming, she still comes to me when I call her and sits nicely while I pry open her mouth and jam the pill down her throat. But this isn't enough because she will miraculously push it back up if you just do that. Instead, you must hold her mouth shut and blow on her nose. Rubbing her throat won't do the trick. You must blow on her nose!


The video makes it seem like I am really rough with her, but I promise I'm actually quite gentle. And, as you can see, Bella is unfazed by it and continues to sit there nicely for me. She's already thinking about the sweet potato treat that awaits her. What a good girl!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fat Jeans

Source: someecards.com via Min on Pinterest
Something disturbing just happened to me.

I pulled on a pair of jeans because it is actually nice enough outside to wear them instead of the usual shorts. They were a bit snug (as in muffin top to the extreme) so I went to grab my "fat jeans."

Turns out I WAS wearing my fat jeans.

Oh, the horror!!!

I blame my bum ankle.

And the two donuts I had today.

And my friends who decided to pay me for dog sitting services with delicious chocolate.

And maybe the fact that I go through a carton of ice cream every week. BY MYSELF.

So thankful I still have a few months before The Hubby gets home. We promised each other we would be swimsuit ready, even though he'll be back in the dead of winter.


Dear My Heart,

Source: thxthxthx.com via Min on Pinterest

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On Repeat: Skinny Love

Discovered this song via MayanRocks. She has the best taste in music, food and has a killer sense of humor. Definitely one of my favorite bloggers. Check her out.




Also love Ingrid's version...

Overheard in the Grocery Store

Woman to her child, about five years old: Wouldn't it be great to have another baby? We need another baby.
Child to her mother: Another baby?! You barely have enough time for me!
Woman, obviously embarrassed and shocked: Excccuuuusseee me?!


-----

Approximately three year old child while pointing directly at me: That's a mommy!




-----
Babies all around. I have baby fever. But I had this while The Hubby was away at Ranger School. I think I'm just lonely. I'm sure as soon as he gets back home I'll be happy taking care of just one other person instead of two.
Me finally working up the nerves to hold my friend's baby. It only took me three months.

On Repeat: Such Great Heights



Oldie, but a goodie. Reminds me of the night The Hubby was grounded because he stayed late at my house watching "Garden State" with me back in high school. I miss those simpler days when the most we had to worry about was what we were going to watch on our next movie date.

Dinner and a movie. That's all it took for us to fall in love so many years ago.

Muggles

Source: ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com via Min on Pinterest

Random Thoughts

These are some things I think about often:

-If I ever got in a fist fight, would I be able to win? Would I cower in a corner and protect my face or would I try to scratch and pull out hair? Better yet, would I remember the tricks The Hubby taught me about punching and break the bitch's nose?

-What is The Hubby doing at this very moment?

-How easy would it be for me to diet if I were a dog? Bella lost thirty pounds in the course of three months after changing her food and feeding her less. Then again, if I were a dog I wouldn't care if I had an extra roll of fat around my collar.

-Am I really getting stares or do I just think too highly of myself? Although during a walk/run with Bella today a male passenger of a car passing by literally stuck our his head and stared at us as he came by. Not flattering, fool.

-What do I "need" from Target so that I can make another trip out there?

-Is that dream of my chewing gum getting stuck in between my teeth really a dream or did that actually happen?

-I want ice cream.

-Dang, I should really shave my legs.

-If someone knocked on my door at this very moment he/she would find a lady with oily hair wearing ratty shorts and braless in a home littered with dog fur, dirty plates and a collection of water cups in every room.

-I miss my husband.

-I want chocolate.

-I want fruit.

-I want a baby. I think. Maybe. Someday.

-I want a lot of things.

-Gee, I have the cutest dog in the world.

-I can't wait for The Hubby to come home.

-Wait, what was that smoke monster on "Lost" again?


I suppose I'm not exactly what you would call a deep thinker.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Accessorize

I made this yesterday.


What is it? Why, it's a slide on bandana for Bella, of course!


I love putting bandanas on Bella, but she tends to slide them off in the middle of the night when she's scratching.


Bella looks sad because I told her that she already had her three meals of the day and she couldn't have any more.


I used this tutorial as a guideline. I didn't need the bandana to be double sided so I adjusted accordingly.


Hey there, pretty girl!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Let's Make: Butter Toffee!


A friend sent me a bag of butter toffee a little while back. It was so amazing that I ate the entire bag in probably three days. And if he sent me an entire batch of butter toffee according to the recipe he included, then I ate two sticks of butter on my own along with four Hershey Bars.

Here's the recipe. This goodness needs to be shared:

Butter Toffee

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. slivered almonds
4 plain Hershey bars
chopped walnuts

Directions:
Line a 1/2 sheet pan with aluminum foil. Unwrap Hershey bars and set aside for later. In a 3 qt. saucepan melt the butter, then add the sugar and mix well. Stir in the slivered almonds. Continue cooking until the mixture is the color of a brown paper bag. Pour onto the lined sheet pan and spread to desired thickness.

Lay the Hershey bars on the toffee and let melt. Spread and then cover with chopped walnuts. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Break into pieces.

Toffee will keep for several weeks if stored in cool, dark place in an airtight container.

Warning: Toffee will not last several weeks.



SOOOO delicious. I'm definitely adding butter toffee to our annual Christmas treats. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Heroes

I didn't have the best day, but this video of a group of bystanders grouping together to lift up a burning car to rescue a motorcyclist trapped underneath it changed my day completely.


I tear up when I watch their complete selflessness and quick thinking. I hope that if I ever encountered anything like this I would be one of the ones courageously helping out a stranger. 

It's amazing what people can accomplish if they forget their differences and come together for a cause. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just Keep Swimming


A local public pool opened up for three hours on Saturday morning for canine friends to cool down. It was a wonderful free event, and I was extremely excited for Bella to have another chance to swim again. She is an incredibly strong swimmer and right before we moved, she seemed to actually really start to enjoy being in the water.


But the famous water-loving gene of a labrador suddenly disappeared and I had to lure Bella into the pool. We slowly waded in the shallow end of the pool and she resisted every step. However, Bella typically tries to please me so my commands to "go inside" and "come here" worked nicely. It's nice to know that her love for me overpowers her fear or utter distaste of the water.


The pool was shallow enough for Bella to walk around without having to doggy paddle frantically. We basically just walked circles around the pool and there was rarely any swimming involved on her part. I praised her and was so happy to see Bella being brave.


Despite the pleasantly cool water in the hot Texas heat, Bella would try to climb out every time we neared the edge of the pool.


Thankfully, Bella wasn't as bad as this scared boxer we saw. This dog absolutely refused to swim. Instead, he would stand on his hind legs and hop around. He would also brace himself on anything near him--wall, human, or even another dog! I'm sorry my video is sideways. I tried really hard to correct it, but gave up.


I thought Bella would be excited to see all the other puppies around her, but she really kept to herself and just watched others have all the fun. I like the second picture below of Bella shaking in the water. Is she really trying to shake herself dry while in the pool?


Bella alerted me quite rudely and loudly when it was time to leave. I didn't want to drag or push her into the pool so when she started to refuse to join me, we left to go home. If Bella had enjoyed herself more I would have gladly stayed the entire three hours with her.


At least we got some great pictures together! Next year, I hope to get some of the entire family.


On the downside, I came out of the pool with enormous scratches on my legs. They are now a flattering hue of purple. Surprisingly, Bella barely scratched me. These marks were made by another wild yellow lab who was absolutely terrified of swimming and decided to climb up me for safety. 



Want to see more pictures and video of Bella swimming? Check out this post.

Anatomically Correct


My sister today: When you have a baby I'm going to get it this...even though it's not anatomically correct.


Source: google.com via Lianne on Pinterest

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rescue Me!

I've shared with you how terrible Bella can be when left alone. One of the reasons why I don't like to kennel her (besides her utter dislike of the cage) is this fear of her being trapped if something should happen to the house and I'm not home to save her.


The people at Castor & Pollux are offering free window clings if you "Like" their Facebook page. These signs will alert emergency personnel that there is a loved pet in the house who needs rescuing.

I signed up for this promotion immediately when I came across it. Because how could you leave this baby behind?


*I have no affiliation with Castor & Pollux, by the way. I just wanted to share this awesome promotion with other pet lovers. 

Gratitude

Source: restoredstyle.com via Min on Pinterest

Decade

I planned an entire post, recollecting on that tragic day ten years ago. Everyone has their story. But I think I'm going to cut it short and just speak about how the events of September 11th has made more of an impact on my life than I had ever imagined.

In the ninth grade, our history teacher spoke to us about the war and how he predicted it to be over in a couple of months. I had no idea that this same war would call on my husband who I had not yet met to serve. I did not know that I would spend many sleepless and lonely nights worrying about him. And I definitely did not predict to encounter so many others who will be deployed or even killed. There are people who are impacted by 9/11 every single day of their lives, not just today by an anniversary.


It amazes me when people complain about the new security protocol at airports, as if taking your shoes off and putting them in a plastic bin is really that much of a hassle. So what if you can no longer bring in liquids over three ounces? I don't even mind those x-ray machines if it means the prevention of a repeat attack. It's important to not forget the big picture here.

I am so grateful for men and women like my husband who are selflessly defending our country so that we don't have to relive that tragic day. Let's use this day to not only remember those who lost their lives, but to also thank the heroes who are still so sacrificing so much today.

Today and everyday, I am proud to be married to a Soldier.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Beginnings of a Hoarder


Pixar postage stamps are just about the best stamps ever. I kind of have a thing for stickers. I used to collect them and I would spend hours organizing them all in my many sticker albums. Kids used to request toys for their birthdays. I always wanted stickers. 

Even though I had so many, I loved them so much that I refused to use them. My collection from elementary and middle school days still exists today, but I am a little more forgiving with the use of them. I now like to seal off every envelope with a Lisa Frank sticker or a random one of a monkey or pony. Basically, I choose whichever sticker would embarrass The Hubby the most and stick that one on there. 

It makes me sad, however, to see that most of their adhesive has worn off after years of neglect. I guess that's what white glue is for. But, really, I think it means that I should stop saving things for later and start living. Is that way too philosophical for something as simple of stickers? 

This also applies to beauty products. I would get a sample in the mail and just hoard it for years instead of using it immediately. Or if someone gives me a really nice jar of body butter I will most likely just sniff at it instead of lathering my dry skin simply because I think it is far too nice to use. I should really indulge a little.

I think I get this habit from my grandmother, who is a prime hoarder. I once found a stick of butter in the freezer that was literally eight years old. If we tossed a shampoo bottle in the trash and didn't get every last drop then we were told to be ungrateful. Don't you know that you are supposed to add water and swish it?

But what really saddened me one day was when her friend gave her a box of golden kiwis a few years ago. My grandmother, being the least selfish person in the world, kept handing me these kiwis to eat. Two for me, one for her. They were amazingly delicious. She then revealed to me as we were eating the last kiwis from the box that this was the first time she had a golden kiwi for forty years. 

"They were always too expensive to purchase, but I always loved them. What a wonderful gift my friend has given me! This box probably cost $12!"

And yet this woman would give her granddaughter, who would have many other opportunities in her life to have more, two kiwis for every one she had. That's love.

This is the same woman who gets mad at me if I send her flowers for Mother's Day. "Tell me how much you spent on me. I bet these cost at least $20. Don't spend so much money on grandma." I tell her to just enjoy it. 
My favorite stamps, however, will always be these Disney romance ones a friend thoughtfully gifted me for no reason at all. I used these stamps only for special people I knew would appreciate them while I saved one of each couple. I think these are worth saving though. Don't you?




This is my grandmother, by the way. Isn't she so tiny and cute? (Picture by my bridesman, Tony)


Friday, September 9, 2011

Doggy Parade

Why do I look so sad in this picture?


I was thinking about my best friend Guinness and how some lady came and picked her up. I was locked in my kennel at the time and couldn't even say goodbye!


I thought about how fun it was to play peekaboo behind the couch. Or was it a game of Marco Polo by the way we were barking at each other?


Oh, how lovely it felt to have someone else's tongue clean out my ear!


Mommy said that we would have visitors the very next morning. Their bed was far too small to steal though.


But that didn't stop them from stealing mine!


I guess it's nice to have some peace and quiet in the house again. 


I prefer sleeping on the cool ground anyway.

I look forward to the time when it's just Mommy and me though. I don't like sharing her affection.