Friday, April 30, 2010

No phone zone, or at least no text zone

Ok.  So today is Oprah's big No Phone Zone day.  I've mentioned before that I am not as in love with her as she is with herself but I think this is a fantastic initiative she's pushing.  It's one I need to be better about for sure.  On the way home from dropping the kids off at school this morning I was listening to Oprah's XM radio channel and Dr. Oz had an expert on discussing the dangers of texting while driving.  HOLY. SHIT.  For reals.  Did you know it's safer to have nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol and then drive than it is to be texting while driving?  I didn't.  I've texted while driving.  Lots.  And I've done it with all three kids with me.  NEVER again.  Dude, that guy threw out stats that were really scary.  That's all it took for me. 

I got online to see if I could find those exact stats to post and it wasn't on Dr. Oz's page but I did find this.  And I signed it.  Here is the link to Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge.  There are different levels so if you're not completely willing to give up your phone in the car, you can at least start with pledging to not text.  It's worth taking a look at for sure. 

Even if you don't have your kids in your car, I have mine in my car.  And I don't want to be on the road with you if you're texting.

I don't want to be all preachy but geez.  These can't be ignored.  Read if you're interested:

•Talking on a cell phone causes nearly 25% of car accidents.



•One-fifth of experienced adult drivers in the United States send text messages while driving.


•In 2008 almost 6,000 people were killed and a half-million were injured in crashes related to driver distraction.


•At any given time during daylight hours in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.


•4 out of every 5 accidents (80%) are attributed to distracted drivers. In contrast, drunk drivers account for roughly 1 out of 3 (33%) of all accidents nationally.


•Texting while driving is about 6 times more likely to result in an accident than driving while intoxicated.


•People who text while driving are 23% more likely to be in a car accident.


•A study of dangerous driver behavior released in January 2007 by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. found that of 1,200 surveyed drivers, 73% talk on cell phones while driving. The same 2007 survey found that 19% of motorists say they text message while driving.


•In 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 10% of drivers are on handheld or hands free cell phones at any given hour of the day.


•A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Motorists found that motorists who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.


•In 2002, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis calculated that 2,600 people die each year as a result of using cellphones while driving. They estimated that another 330,000 are injured.


•According to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, drivers talking on cell phones are 18% slower to react to brake lights. They also take 17% longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked


•Of cell phone users that were surveyed, 85% said they use their phones occasionally when driving, 30% use their phones while driving on the highway, and 27% use them during half or more of the trips they take.


•84% of cell phone users stated that they believe using a cell phone while driving increases the risk of being in an accident.


•The majority of Americans believe that talking on the phone and texting are two of the most dangerous behaviors that occur behind the wheel. Still, as many as 81% of drivers admit to making phone calls while driving.


•The number of crashes and near-crashes linked to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening. Dialing is more dangerous but occurs less often than talking or listening.


•Studies have found that texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Could be worse

In 5 years and 2 months nothing has made me feel like supermom until today.  I'm sick.  Chris is at work.  I'm up and dressed and getting kids fed and dressed and where they need to be.  Lauren is sick, too, so that adds a little extra somethin' somethin' to the day.  And by somethin' somethin' I mean snot and fussiness.  We got up, ate breakfast, got dressed, brushed teeth, stopped at Starbucks to get Drew's teachers some coffee (I had promised Drew we'd do this, couldn't back out 'cause I wasn't feeling well) and dropped Drew and said coffees off at school.  William, Lauren and I came home.  L goes right down for a nap so I put a movie on for William and I snuggled in next to him and slept for an hour and 20 minutes until Lauren woke up.  We got up and went to the post office, to Target, and then I dropped William off at school with his lunch for the lifesaving program they have for the kids in the afternoon.  It's costly but priceless, you know?  Lauren is currently moving her grilled cheese lunch around on her tray and will soon go down for nap #2.  I will follow her.  All of this is super fascinating to you, I know.  I didn't really intend on giving a play-by-play but I did want to write that being sick and still doing all the normal things has made me feel like supermom for the first time today.  

When I was in the classroom I always took all 10 of my sick days each year.  Oh, how I wish I could have just one of those back.  Just one.  

As I snuggle down soon for nap #2 and let the body aches relax while I have a Kleenex stuffed up my left nostril, I will surely begin to feel sorry for myself knowing that in 2 hours I have to get up, get the two big kids from school, and hit up Costco.  Then make dinner, serve it, clean it up, give 3 baths, etc.  I must remember that...


Nothing like a wicked chest cold to put life into perspective, you know?

Monday, April 26, 2010

xoxo








Nap 1, Church 0

We've never gone to church as a couple or as a family.  Our kids go to a Christian preschool and we're thankful they are receiving the education they are.  Drew will continue to go to kindegarten there next year but beyond kindegarten, none of our children will receive a Christian education.  That's where we come in.  What?  The parents responsible for something dealing with education?  Umm, yeah.  Ok, so we'd like to start going to church, to support what they are learning at school, and to reinforce the fact that these are important values that we as a family live by.  But I'm just going to be honest.  It's hard to get up and get there, y'all!  When it's not part of your routine, it's not what you do, it's hard.  It will take an effort on my part most of all.  We're definitely up by 9am but it's one of the two days that we don't have to be up! and dressed! and shoes on! early in the morning, you know?  Oh, and the absolute most important thing of all?  Lauren naps at 9am.  You know me, I'm psycho about the sleep schedule (which has given me 3 happy, happy babies, I might add) and as I told Chris, even God understands my schedule.  He wouldn't expect Lauren to miss her nap.  Soooo, yesterday, Chris took the big kids to church for the first time.  Miss Lauren and I stayed home so she could nap at her normal time, and it worked out for all.  We'll work something out soon so that we can all go as a family, as we'd like, but for now, this works fine.  God understands.

Heading to church, lookin' purty

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mad skillz

I swear every Saturday's blog won't be about soccer, but this was only his second game ever and he kicked ass.



Thanks, Auntie Susan, for my new water bottle!












Playing goalie and ready for whatever comes his way


"Did I do well, Mommy?" is what he asked me as I was taking this picture as the game ended.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ramblings

William has taken to showers as opposed to baths. This is actually convenient since baths were becoming tiny wet battlefields for Drew and William. When he does take a bath, I bathe them together still, or I should say we bathe them together still. Chris is the bath giver and on the evenings he's at the firehouse I fill-in for him. I was just beginning to question whether we should be bathing them together still when William decided he'd rather shower so he solved this problem for me. What do you think is the appropriate age for the no-more-bathing-together thing for opposite sex siblings?



Last night William was tired. Kind of mopey tired. I expected for him to wake this morning with a fever (which he did not) but last night was definitely a mopey kind of night. Lauren had long been asleep when he asked to get in the shower. I got him settled and then heard Drew calling to me from out front. Chris was in the garage doing whatever he does in there and Drew was on the sidewalk drawing in chalk. She said, "Mommy, I drew you! Isn't it perfect?" I said, "I love it. But wait. What are these?" She said, "Those are your boobies." I was a little humored, a little shocked, a little disappointed, and a lot distressed. Oh, well.


Me. With my boobies.




I went to the dermatologist today. Just a look-at-all-my-issues kind of appointment. Now that I'm nearly 6 months removed from nursing they are willing to tackle my eczema/rosacea issues. They assume that now my hormones have settled (shut it, Chris) and that whatever I have going on is not hormone related. Thankfully now they'll start treating it more aggressively. It's not a major issue but c'mon. At my age, with my life, and my other body issues, I do not want to be worried about my skin. I received a loot of prescriptions and should see results from them in 4-6 weeks. Let's hope. Oh, and I got Mr. Very Suspicious Thing #9 removed from my leg. His friends 1-8 were all benign so I'm expecting the same with this one. Swimming, water polo, and lifeguarding for 20 years with ZERO sunscreen was a brilliant move. Wear your sunscreen, peeps.


I submitted a refund request to the city's rec department since I'm pulling Drew out of soccer. It's only for $40 so it's no biggie if I don't get it (policy is they don't give refunds after the event has started) but on the form I added that the coach never once spoke to Drew and for a 5 year old who is clearly extremely timid in the situation, the coach should have called her by name or acknowledged her somehow. The head of the rec department called me later in the day to get more information. She wanted feedback and I was very honest. She was appreciative and that was the end of that. I was in the mindset that the whole rec department was made up of insensitive people who didn't give a rat's ass and she restored my faith that that is not the case. Being honest on my part and having the follow-through on her part - it's all good.


I went to the gym today for an hour. I totally half-assed it and watched the Insider the whole time while I walked at a slowish pace. It was at a decent incline but still. I just needed to get out, listen to music, and be in my own head for a while.

All this rambling has reminded me of my favorite artist and one of his songs.  Enjoy, and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

*WHITEONE*

It's no secret that Drew and William fight.  I KNOW!  You're tired of hearing about it.  I know.  But when they started hitting each other and saying, "whiteone" or "blueone" I couldn't understand what the hell they were doing.  Then I just happened to see this on tv. 



Who in God's name is their mother that she allows them to watch soooo much television that they would even see this commercial? 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I will ...

  • I will continue to be nurturing a happy, healthy marriage
  • I will be pondering my 40th birthday which will be in 6 months
  • I will be the mother of a 6 year old, an 8 year old, and a 10 year old.
  • I will have a 4th grader, a 3rd grader, and a kindegartener
  • I will have a remodeled kitchen and a pool in the backyard
  • I will have a mother who is retired and will have the freedom to spend more time with us here
  • I will have resolved an old friendship
  • I will have been on a cruise
  • I will have driven to a thousand sporting events
  • I will have given 1 million kisses
  • I will have done 1 billion loads of laundry

I'm right and you're wrong

I've written before about how William is a chatterbox and always has been.  It's so tough because I find myself saying, "William, not now."  Or, "William, you have to be quiet for a few minutes."  It probably sounds a little harsh being that he's only 3 and that he's just sharing and verbalizing and processing his thoughts but GAAAHHH!  I'm kind about how I say it and it's for my sanity and his well being that I tell him to hush now and then. 

Then there are times like this morning when we just sit and have a snack and chat.  We had a brief conversation I caught on camera and we remained on one topic.  That is happening more often now, the whole staying-on-topic thing.  Our conversations and his thoughts are becoming a little more mature in nature and we're able to stay on topic which is nice.  Before he'd switch topic midsentence and because I'm super awesome I always somehow managed to hang on and just swing right on into it but it's nice to not have to do that. 

For reference purposes, when William refers to Fred, he's referring to one of those water walker bugs.  You know, one of these:



There was one in the house the other day and when the kids flipped out, Chris said it was his friend visiting for the day.  He named him Fred and before bed, Fred had to go back outside.  It grossed me out but I put on a good show.  "Oh, yeah, Fred!  Good to see you.  Hang out a while."  Gah.

Anyway, here's part of a brief conversation William and I had this morning.  Lauren was napping, Drew was at school, and William had just kicked my ass in three games of War.  I will really miss these Tuesday and Thursday mornings next year when he goes to school 5x a week in the morning.  In the meantime, we'll have great single-topic conversations and I'll continue to probably get my ass kicked in card games.



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Monday, April 19, 2010

Not ready

The weatherman says, "Today is going to be a mild 81*.  If you haven't worn short sleeves yet this season, today is the day!"  I gave him a look through my television screen that nearly burned off his toupee.  I am not. ready. for. short. sleeves.  I need to admit that I probably never really will be but some years (days?) I'm more comfortable than others.  Today is not one of those days.  Not only do I have these water balloonish things hanging on my upper arms (that's a nice visual, right?) but I am WHITE.  Like white, white.  The two are not a great combination.  Am I the only one?  Tomorrow is supposed to rain and be 60*.  By the end of the week it's supposed to be warm again.  Think I can lose 40 pounds, tone up, and get a tan before then?  No?  Damn.  How come no one told me spring was coming so soon?

courtesy of Heroin Chic 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

OMFG

That may seem like quite a dramatic title for what you're about to see but to me it's absolutely 100% appropriate.



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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Soccer debut!

Sooooo, today is the first day of the rest of my life.  Right?  Is it ok that I'm that dramatic about it?  I mean today was the first day of William and Drew having soccer games on Saturdays.  As it is we do swim lessons 3x a week, I do a tumble tots class with Lauren on Tuesdays, and we just finished gymnastics with the big kids on Saturdays, too.  Oh, and Lauren and I take a music class on Fridays.  I don't feel like we're crazy busy but I do try and keep the kids involved in the things they enjoy.  (Drew hated soccer and I'm pulling her from it but that'll be written about later.)  Alltosay that even though we're involved in stuff, I feel like Saturday morning soccer is a milestone of sorts.

William is on the Retrievers, or Retrievahs, if you ask him.  He has a friend from his class, Haley, on his team.  They were all so stinkin' cute.  This is a 3-4 year old tiny tots team so this was the first for all of them.  They did about 10 minutes of drills and then played a game against the Dalmatians.  William was what I would call tentatively eager to play.  He made sure I was watching him at all times which was a bit difficult considering I had Drew playing on the playground way over there and Lauren right next to me not all that happy that she had to sit in the stroller.   Did I mention that Chris was at work?  Yeah, he was.  I am used to, and comfortable doing, everything with all three kids whether it's the library, the mall, Costco, or wherever.  This, however, was quite a challenge.  We got through it and I got some good pictures to boot.  Here's William in his soccer debut.

Awaiting directions during drills


Go, blondie!




Stand back.  I got this.


Coach Taylor giving William direction on how to be a goalie.  William was excited because Daddy used to play goalie, Uncle Cory used to play goalie, and Uncle Brandon plays goalie on his current team, too.






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Soccer, rugby, whatever.


See Drew on the right, sitting?  See Drew's team in line on the field doing drills?  Yeah.  I'm pulling her.  We just finished sitting through 6 weeks of gymnastics.  I'm not doing that with soccer with her.  We'll try again next year.  She's just not willing and my blood pressure can't take it so we'll try again when she's cooperative.  She's cried an ocean of tears over me forcing her to do some of these things.  I don't have the energy so we're taking soccer off the list for now.

Can I add soccer mom to my title?  Does a 3 year old playing on a 3-4 year old tiny tot team qualify me for that?  I kinda hope so. 

Secretly, though, I just can't wait to be a swim mom. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Stuff I like...

I know I've shared a few other items on here that I just love and couldn't live without and I figured it was time to do it again.  I have no idea why you would take my word for anything but if you haven't seen or tried some of these, I do recommend them.  These make my life better and easier in some way. 


I love all things Aveeno.  You'll notice this says "ultra-calming" and honestly it is.  I inherited a few terrific qualities from my mom.  I also inherited her eczema.  Mine isn't as bad on my hands as hers is but I have it on my face, too, and it's lovely!  Aside from a slough of prescriptions I use, this is a calming moisturizer and sunscreen for my face.  If you have redness issues, this is a great product.  And if you're a guy who is reading this and has no idea what I mean by "redness issues", you suck.


OMG.  This stuff is so great.  I have been, am, and always will be a hater of shoes.  I am barefoot from the second I walk in the door.  I wear sandals all year round and am so. sick. of answering the question, "Ooohhhhh.  Aren't your feet cold?"  The consequences of being barefoot and in sandals 355 days a year is lovely heels.  For the last 10 years I've had cracked heels that actually bleed.  I know, sexxxxxy.  Last year I was give a prescription from my dermatologist for a tissue softening cream that actually worked really well.  This product above is more of a maintenance thing but it's awesome.  Really awesome.  I happened across it at Bed Bath and Beyond.  And like fat people or bald men, I am willing to try any product to cure this problem of mine.



This is made by Luv Loo.  I have about 43 of them.  You can attach things to either end and then attach the opposite end to something else.  I have one on her carseat, one in the stroller, one on her highchair.  That whole, "I'm gonna throw this down so you idiot grown up can pick it up again and again and again" game doesn't exist here anymore.  After three kids I told Lauren, "Homie don't play that."



Lands' End linen cropped pants.  I have them in this color and black.  Seriously.  If you've had three kids in four years, have hormones that are still going apeshit, and have an on-again/off-again love affair with the gym and eating well, these will be your friend.  I promise. 

I just got these and I really love them.  If you have pretty heels and semi-flattering pants and you can't be barefoot, these are great.  They are actually made by Naturalizer and are really comfy, too. 

I hope some of these are helpful.  Let me know if you have some fantastic product.  I'm always down to spend money on something new and awesome. 


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Alotta love

The following is something I would file under stuff I didn't write but wish I had.  It's from the blog Hyperbole and a Half.  My friend Amanda sent it to me knowing that I'd love it as much as she did.  Hope you'll get a kick out of it, too. 




There is one grammatical mistake that I particularly enjoy encountering. It has become almost fun for me to come across people who take the phrase "a lot" and condense it down into one word, because when someone says "alot," this is what I imagine:





The Alot is an imaginary creature that I made up to help me deal with my compulsive need to correct other people's grammar. It kind of looks like a cross between a bear, a yak and a pug, and it has provided hours of entertainment for me in a situation where I'd normally be left feeling angry and disillusioned with the world.


For example, when I read the sentence "I care about this alot," this is what I imagine:



Similarly, when someone says "alot of _______", I picture an Alot made out of whatever they are talking about.






If someone says something like "I feel lonely alot" or "I'm angry alot," I'm going to imagine them standing there with an emo haircut, sharing their feelings with an Alot.


The Alot is incredibly versatile.























So the next time you are reading along and you see some guy ranting about how he is "alot better at swimming than Michael Phelps," instead of getting angry, you can be like "You're right! Alots are known for their superior swimming capabilities."





Wednesday, April 14, 2010

14 things you care absolutely nothing about

Why 14?  I have no idea.  Saw this on another blog, a confessional of sorts, and decided to do it.  'Cause there is laundry to fold and I'd rather sit and write about myself than do that. 

1.  I love my house and my neighbors but dislike the town I live in.

2.  I worry about my kids' education like I never thought I would. 

3.  I taught Lauren to fake sleep (put her head down and snuggle) when I say, "Night night, Lauren" just so I could get a good hug on demand.

4.  I fear warm weather because I look horrid in short sleeved shirts these days.

5.  I drink at least one diet Pepsi a day, something I've never done in my life.

6.  I don't think a tv in the master bedroom is a good idea.

7.  I threaten to call the police if the kids are completely misbehaving.

8.  I allow my kids to eat McDonald's too often.

9.  I have little motivation for much and need to get my groove back.

10.  I want to have another baby so badly. 

11.  I'm too afraid to have the surgery that will fix my veins in my leg and I will pay the price for it someday.

12.  I feel badly that Chris works so hard to support my Starbucks habit and he doesn't even know it.

13.  I suck at thank you notes and still haven't written Christmas or Lauren's 1st birthday thank yous yet they are sitting on the desk in the office.

14.  I think my life is way easier than it should be and I feel kinda guilty about that.

Any confessions you want to share??

Night night, Lauren

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Letters...

Dear Glee,
   I don't deal well with hype and tend to avoid things that are super hyped just because.  I gave in, watched you once, and loved you.  I'm so happy you start again tonight.  I may DVR you and watch you on some random afternoon long after you've originally aired but I'll see you.  Every single one.

Respectfully,
Ashley

Dear owls and relish,
   I dream about one of you on an average of once a week.  What is up?  I mean, for reals.  It's annoying.  I've googled your meanings and haven't found anything.  Ugh.  I don't even like owls OR relish.

Take a hike,
Ashley

Dear Costco,
   Hi, there.  It's me.  Ashley.  I know you probably don't recognize me since I'm not crawling with children in this moment.  Usually I have a babe in the front carriage, one in the big part listening to an ipod and whining for me to find a different song, and another walking so close in front of the carriage that I run over his heels.  I just wanted to thank you for your ridiculous return policy.  Whether it's a gooey bubble machine that after a month just stopped working or a 5 gallon thing of olive oil that just kinda looked too cloudy to keep.  The fact that you take everything back is ridiculous.  And awesome.

Gratefully,
Ashley

Dear husband-of-mine,
   You work so hard.  I love you more than ever before.

Lovingly,
Ash

Dear Jesse James,
   I have loved you for years.  I even blogged about you a few months ago.  You are worthless and a disgrace of a man.  And that gross girl you were seeing?  OMG.  If Chris cheated on me with a girl who had a sentence tattooed on her forehead I would think he had lost his frickin' mind.  You had it all - Sandra Bullock and my love and admiration.  No you have neither.  Loser.

*Sticking tongue out at you*,
Ashley

Dear Starbucks,
   See you at 8:40am tomorrow.

Love,
Ashley 

Monday, April 12, 2010

New bedding

Dry clean only bedding.  I mean, really.  I know comforters don't need to be washed all that often but dry clean only?  So dumb.  Our existing bedding is nearly 6 years old and it's... dry clean only.  What mindless childless person bought that?  Now that I've got kids who use my bed daily (NOT for sleeping, I am not a cosleeping kinda mom) for quiet time and for those 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there when I gather people to watch a snippet of something while I shower or to read a story, etc. it's just time to get something more practical.   Once I got the idea to replace it with something new I was on a freaking mission.  I searched every site I could think of online.  I just couldn't find anything I liked.  I had no idea what I was looking for but I knew it would whisper my name when it appeared on my computer screen.  It never showed up.  Soooo, with my in-laws here this weekend, I was afforded the opportunity to actually venture into a store and look with no kids.  I found one I really loved.  Really, really loved.  I put it in my carriage despite the fact that it was mainly white.  And dry clean only!  I convinced myself that I'd pull it down and not let the kids sit on it.  Then I realized I was thinking like a mindless childless person again and I put it back.  I ended up choosing one I really  loved on the display.  It's not really me but it sure is pretty and springy and has brightened our bedroom considerably.  And it's machine washable.  That sealed the deal.  


Isn't this lovely?  This is the one that mindless childless person put in her carriage.


This is the pretty, practical one I chose.  Good for snuggling in for a story.

Need to brighten up your ho-hum bedroom? I highly recommend new bedding. I find myself just peeking in there sometimes just to look at it again.  It's well worth the money.
 

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