Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Parent Rap

Anyone that is my friend on Facebook has seen this video already. Well, I'm officially obsessed. For those of us with little ones, who we absolutely adore, sometimes we miss the days when we were a little bit cooler. My husband loves it, so it's got to be good, right?

Check it out here:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I've Fallen In Love

I have a confession to make:  I have fallen in love. Sometime during this last week, I have fallen head over heels for a man. He has given me butterflies. He is strong and caring, funny, smart, and incredibly sexy. He’s my husband.

That may sound funny, since my husband and I have been married for more than six years, but I know what I’m feeling. I have a crush on my hubby.
I’m not sure that he did anything, and I’m not sure when it happened. I woke up one morning the happiest woman in the world. I could not believe that I am lucky enough to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. Yes, I’m swooning.

Military wives will tell you that they’ve felt the same thing, probably more than once. Usually it happens that second night after they’ve headed out to the field, or after that first phone call when they deploy--letting you know they’re at Cherry Point or in Canada. And sometimes it happens at 2200 when he’s on duty.

It happens when you’ve been separated long enough for all of his annoying quirks to escape your memory in favor of the way he smells fresh out of the shower. How he wrestles with the kids. He sends you flowers at work, so all the women know he loves you. He holds your hand while he’s driving. And he gives you that private smile (and wink) that lets you know that you’re his.

While my husband is definitely unique, I have to admit that he’s not one of a kind. Since he became a Marine, I’ve had the pleasure of learning that there are many men that share my husband’s better qualities. They still hold doors open for women and the elderly. They carry the heavy grocery bags and take out the trash. They change diapers and trade off middle-of-the-night feedings. They kill spiders and fix leaky faucets.

But Jesse is so much more than chivalrous. He would rather work two jobs, than have me work at all. He wants to build me my dream house--and he could do it, too, literally. As much as he cares for our kids, he puts me first (even before himself). I never worry about anyone hurting or taking advantage of me (you do not want to cross my Papi!). And, I’ll admit, he sometimes fights my battles for me.

Yes, I call him Papi. It’s probably silly for an Asian girl to call her white hubby that, but I do. It comes from two things: (1.) When I think of a guy called Papi, I think of someone smooth. (Which the hubby can be when he wants to. You should see him sweet talk a waitress!) Papi is a man that lets his woman know she’s desired. It might make me sound like property, but I like being Jesse’s “Woman.” No other man will ever get close to me. (2.) Jesse’s Bro-crush is Will Smith. Do you remember his song “Miami”? There was a woman that riffed, “Ay, Papi!” Sometimes I say that (in that voice/accent) just to mess with him.

I’m his Babe, and he’s my Papi. Right now he’s working the evening shift. He doesn’t get home until after the kids and I are in bed. It’s not the military, but I’m still going to bed alone. I’m not falling asleep snuggled into my favorite spot in the world, which makes me love it even more. Which makes me love him more. Which makes the butterflies take flight.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grandma and the Internet

You know what makes me giggle? Older people and computers. Our parents just can’t get a grasp on technology, which is ironic, since they were all alive (able-minded adults) during the invention of it.

I remember when we got our first computer. The days when the internet was first out. When AOL was the coolest thing ever. You remember the sound of dial up, I know you do. And when you could only be on the internet for a certain number of hours per month. (Those annoying free AOL CD Roms!) Of course, being a teenager at the time, I used up most of our internet time. Luckily, that was long before PS Network and Xbox Live. My brothers would’ve been so mad at me for using all our bandwidth!

My mom used to chat online when my brothers and I went to bed. I know she did. (I don’t even want to think about who she was chatting with, ew!) She never asked me for help with the net back then. So when, in the last seventeen years or so, did my mother become computer illiterate? When did email get over her head? When did she forget how to search?

The moment that I got the inspiration for this blog post was when I told my mother that I would set up her email address for her, and she said, “Okay, I’ll bring my computer over sometime this week after work.” My mother thought that she would have to lug her PC all the way to my house to set up an email account. Duh.

It took about another three minutes to explain to her that I could use my own computer, that everything would be saved over the internet. Bless her heart, I could almost hear the walnuts in her head cracking when I told her that the email company had servers that would remember all her information for her. Why did I think she would understand a technical term like “server”? I’m sure the servers she was imagining looked a little something like a waiter, not a bunch of computer towers linked together with wires and with flashing lights.
It seems like there comes a point in age when older people just seem to have so much information in their brains, they lose things that they deem not important anymore.That is until they have grandchildren (and great grandchildren) spread all across the US and even the world.

All of a sudden, they’re hearing terms like SKYPE, Facebook, YouTube, chat, blog, and email. (Heaven forbid you tell your parents to Google anything!) And here we are teaching our parents and grandparents things that they taught us just a few years ago. Granted, there is a lot more information on the highway than there was back in 1993, but the concepts are basically the same.

Why do I feel like there’s a joke about teaching an old dog new tricks missing from this?

The kicker for the night ? While my mother was wrestling with the concept of email over the phone, my father-in-law was at my laptop watching videos on YouTube. I had two parents trying to figure out the internet at the same time. At least Grandma Cindy already has Facebook (not that she uses it).

Pet Parent Peeves

I’m a lazy person, I’m not even going to try to deny that. But, when I finally get off my butt, I can be pretty anal about things. I also have a lot of peeves. One of my major ones has to do with pets. Dogs in particular. If you are going to be a dog owner, please be a responsible dog owner.

Now I know that not everyone is a kid person, but I am. I have three of them. From the time that Jesse and I started dating, he (and later “we”) has had a dog. He had dogs before my time. I will say this about my husband. He is wonderful with training dogs to tolerate children. No one will ever have to worry about their kids being left alone with our animals.

Daisy loved Kids
I hate when people have dogs that aren’t trained for kids, but let them be alone together anyway. If your dog is nippy, tell me. If your dog is skittish around little ones, let me know. Don’t let me lead my children into a potentially dangerous situation. If your dog doesn’t do kids, either (a) keep my kids and your dog separate or (b) train your dog to be around children.

As far as training goes, every dog should know basic commands: Sit, Stay, Come, and Leave It, at the very least. Any dog owner that hasn’t taught their dog to at least sit, should have their pet parent card revoked. You can train a puppy to sit as early as 6-8 weeks old. It is one of the easiest commands to teach. Not doing so is pure laziness. If you don’t want to do it, bring the dog to me. I’ll do it for you.

In addition to commands, I feel that every dog should be taught manners, too. “Doggie manners?” you might be asking. Yes, there are such things as doggies manners. Barking at visitors and passers by? Not acceptable. An initial outburst is okay, but please don’t let your dog carry on for an hour. That’s just annoying. Someone in your neighborhood might be trying to sleep.

Not everyone likes to be jumped on, either. I don’t want to be mugged by your 100+lbs mastiff when I come to visit. He would probably knock me over. I do like doggie “hugs”, but only when I ask  for them. (Yes, my jump command is “hugs.”) And, some dogs have really sharp claws. My husband has scars from his step-mother’s dog. You can imagine how I feel about that--jumping and untrimmed claws? Tsk, tsk.

Murphy~early learner
Grooming. Feeding. Potty training. All things you’re told about when you first pick up your puppy/dog. Potty training is a sanitation issue. Really? Who lets their dog “go” in the house? I know that there are some smaller breeds that can be trained to use a litter box in the house. That’s awesome. I just haven’t met any of those dogs. I know dogs with parents who are either too lazy to take them outside, or their people didn’t follow completely through with housebreaking. (I’m a crate-training person myself.) How gross is it to go over to someone’s house and smell animal feces and urine? Yuck!

I like to think that a well-groomed dog is a happy dog. As much as she hated the actual bath, my Bella loved to have her fur blow dried and brushed out. She was also great at getting her claws clipped and letting me trim the fur between her toe pads. If you don’t trim the fur around their pads, it gets long and matted and can actually cause them lots of discomfort. Same as claws left to grow can curl and become painful (and dangerous). Most dogs only need to be brushed once a week, have their toes clipped every couple weeks, and have a bath once a month. If you can’t devote 30min to an hour for your dog each week, why do you have her?

How hard is it to feed a dog? You feed them twice a day (or leave them on full feed if you have a grazer, like Murphy) and make sure they always have fresh water. That’s all they ask for. They need food and water to survive, just like us. If you can’t be bothered to fill the food dish, please let someone who will have your dog. If you can’t afford to feed your dog, there are people out there who can. Be responsible. Know the limits of your laziness and finances. Don’t let an innocent dog suffer.

I am by no means an expert. My own dogs have their problems. But what separates me from others is that I make an effort with my animals. Everyday--not just when it’s convenient. Bella and Murphy are American Eskimos (Minis, to be exact); they are a very vocal breed. I have problems getting them to stop barking sometimes. Between the kids and the dogs (and Jesse), our house can get very loud. But, know this, no one will ever be able to break into our house. We have great alarm dogs.

My Bella, RIP
Daisy was my special child. She was a Pit Bull/Boxer mix that stole your heart as soon as you met her. She had quirks that she just couldn’t work passed. Dogs are instinctively led by their noses. You know how dogs “meet” by sniffing each other’s butts? Daisy did that with people--but to your crotch. If you visited our house, (BAM!) Daisy would stick her nose in between your legs, then before you knew what was going on, she would recognize your scent and move on.

The closest we got to a solution was making Daisy wait until people were seated before she could greet them. But then, she would lay her head in your lap and pretend that she was asking to be petted, and she’d still manage to sniff your crotch. She was special, but she wasn’t stupid!

The issue we never worked out was her separation anxiety. She could not stand it if she couldn’t see us. We’d lock her up during parties (so she didn’t accidentally lay on any kids), and she would whine like she was dying. When we left the house she would destroy things (or eat them). She ripped linoleum floors, and ate plants and a plastic bowl. We tried treats, busy toys, exercising her, and leaving her alone for graduated times to get her accustomed to being alone. Nothing worked. After she ate a potentially poisonous plant, I debated calling Cesar Milan.

But, again, we tried. We didn’t just leave Daisy to continually violate our visitors. We didn’t let her destroy our house without trying to figure out what was causing her so much distress. We tried. All I’m is asking is that you try, too. Otherwise, give your dog to someone that will. Like me.
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