Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sick of Rude People Raised by Farm Animals

     Have you ever been in the presence of someone so rude and so oblivious to socially accepted niceties that you think, "Was s/he raised in a barn? By sarcastic, snarky sheep?" Honestly, manners are (in my not-so-humble opinion) pretty basic, simple, automatic, and only require the smallest amount of common sense to use in everyday situations. I'm sure my husband thinks I'm nagging when I stubbornly insist on correcting and modifying the kids manners- or lack there of actually. I'm not trying to be  a bitchy mom; hell bent on perfection and moulding eloquent, robot-like little children...I just don't want them to turn out to be rude adults who should know better. I came across this list tonight and I am passing it on, along with my promise to keep annoying my kids with reminders to be polite, to remember their manners, and to not pick their nose (in public at least.) I also give my absolute permission for others to correct and demand better manners from my kids- I only have a finite amount of years to drill this stuff into their spongy brains so assistance is welcomed. Some adults may benefit from reading this list...and keeping a copy in their pocket for constant references! I have taken liberties with the list, altering and adding to it to suit my needs and tastes.

                                     27 Manners People Should Know...But Don't:

-When asking for something, say "please."
-When receiving something, say "thank you."
-Do not interrupt adults when they are speaking to each other unless it is an emergency; they will notice you and respond when they are finished talking...or they are ignoring you for a reason- take the hint.
-If you need to get someone's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the polite way to interrupt a conversation.
-When you have doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It may save you lots of trouble later on... aka a sore bum or long time out.
-The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative thoughts to yourself, or share them in private amongst your friends.
-Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics- unless, of course, they are compliments. You're not perfect; you shouldn't expect others to be.
-When someone asks how you are, tell them and then remember to ask them in return.
-When you have spent time over at a friend's house, thank them and their parents for having you over and let them know you had fun- even if you didn't!
-Knock on closed doors- and wait to see if there is a response- before entering. ( A serious pet peev of mine)
-When making a phone call, introduce yourself first, then ask if the person you are calling is home and may you speak to them.
-When answering the phone and they are asking for someone who isn't home say, "No, he isn't available right now. May I take a message?" (and for the love of Pete, actually write the frigging' message down on paper.)
-Be appreciative for any gifts you receive. Say "thank you" and follow up with a short thank you letter.
-Never use foul language (in front of adults at least.) They already know those words and find them boring and unpleasant coming from your mouth.
-Don't call people mean names. Even when you're angry.
-Don't make fun of anyone. Teasing shows others that you are weak and mean spirited and ganging up on someone is cruel.
-When a play or presentation is boring, sit through it quietly and look interested. They people putting it on are trying their best. You will one day be part of a crappy play/musical and will appreciate the respect.
-If you bump into someone, immediately say "excuse me." Or yell "What's your problem!?" See which one gets you a better response.
-Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and don't pick your nose (or your bum.)
-As you walk through a door, look behind you to see if you can hold it open for the next person.
-When an adult asks you to do a favour, do so without grumbling or making dirty faces.
-When someone helps you, say "thank you." They are more likely to help you again.
-Use utensils properly at the table. If you don't know why there are so many forks by your plate- ask the nearest adult for help to chose which one.
-Keep a napkin in your lap and use it to wipe your face if need be.
-Don't slurp, or burp at the table. Don't fart either. Please.
-Don't reach for things at the table- ask to have them passed to you.
-Never miss the oppurtunity to keep your mouth shut.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not a Typical Nude Mommy Post

How a Zombie Apocalypse Would Benefit Me

     I'm having an "off" night. I'm enjoying a gratuitous Pepsi while watching mindless TV; I also called it quits with packing tonight- eight boxes piled high next to the back door are a testimate to my deserving access to my former vices. I might have been able to resist the seductive allure of an evening nestled on the couch, bathed in the glow from our wall mounted TV if I hadn't happened upon channel 551- "The Truth Behind Zombies." I was hooked...like a mindless zombie you might say (wow- that was friggin' horrible. My apologies- the sugar from the Pepsi has obviously kicked in.) I love zombie movies; there's nothing better than being alone at night, all the lights off, huddled in the corner of the couch, half hiding behind the kids' Toy Story blanket, being scared silly by the latest walking dead film. My fascination with these gruesome, violent, needlessly and unapologetically gorey movies date back to when I was seven years old. My parents brought home a revolutionary technology- the VCR and a bunch of movies; amongst those VHS tapes was "The Night of the Living Dead." It was my introduction to black and white films (I actually thought the VCR was broken: "Dad, this one's garbage- they forgot to color it.") It scared the bejesus out of my that first time and it was literally years before I stopped being genuinely afraid of zombies. I'll be eternally grateful to my parents for not censoring our movie selections: I was hooked for a lifetime of watching horror movies by myself (or with reluctant and terrified girlfriends) in the dark - as close to the terror of vampires, zombies, aliens, deadly viruses, and psycho killers as my living room would allow me.

     Tonight's zombie show is more of a "how-to" guide. It was arguing for the realistic possibility of a zombie-like outbreak and how to survive it. After investing an hour watching this craziness, I'm fairly confident that I would not only survive a zombie take over, but I would actually thrive. As a matter of fact, a "zombie reckoning" would help me accomplish almost all of the goals that I set out to achieve with this blog.

- I would lose tons of weight. Running from zombies burns a whole crap load of calories. Also, food would become limited...unless you're a zombie (obviously)
- I'm almost positive that I would pray more ("sweet Jesus Christ, let me shoot this zombie right..in..the ...head!")
- I think I'd be more social. Since I've studies zombies for years, I might be considered an expert...maybe even sought after as a consultant! Hmm...new job opportunities in the Zombie Era...
- I'd spend less money. Looting will be acceptable and no one will really care if I'm wearing Silver jeans and Steve Madden boots. I will loot Walmart and every dollar store in a 100 km radius.
- I will watch less TV (besdies, I hear zombie sitcoms aren't really that funny- except when they eat the live audience)
- No more drinking Pepsi. I predict that it will be used as a zombie mace and the bubbly liquid will be hoarded
- Most of my family will be zombies (ha! Serves you guys right for not believing in them!) so I don't really have to worry about visiting them anymore
- Get serious about jogging: this is vital to my survival. Zombies love fat people who can't run very far/fast
- Plan a schedule for the week:
>hunt for food
>avoid zombies
>find and hoard water and Pepsi
>play with the kids
>kill some zombies

     Unfortunately, a Zombie Apocalypse is not in our immediate future and so I have to continue putting forth an effort to become a well-rounded, healthier person. I guess it's for the best. As for the rest of my evening, a show about Area 51 is about to start, followed by one on Stonehenge. I need to watch these shows to get this stuff out of my system for now. Cheers!

P.S. For the love of Pete- stay out of the cemetery after dark! You're just asking for zombie trouble...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Garage Sale Disclaimer

     This last weekend we held our very first garage sale. During the process of packing we've discovered that we have an embarrassing amount of stuff that really doesn't enrich our lives- in fact, the "stuff" only clogs our visual and physical space. We piled up our stuff, along side the stuff left at our new house by Nick's grandparents...and the resulting mountain was overwhelming. We cleaned everything, stuck cute little colour coded price stickers everywhere, made up some flyers, bought some (shockingly overpriced) "garage sale" signs and got ready to make millions. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of organizing and executing a yard sale before, let me provide you with a disclaimer that I've compiled in the wake of this past weekend to discourage you from doing so.

-Do not permit your husband to go out drinking with his best friend the night before, as he will not show up on time (or at all) the next morning to help set up- thus causing the first fight of a very long weekend.
-Setting up a large yard sale takes forever. I was pretty organized- everything priced, like items sorted into separate boxes and a basic concept of where I wanted everything placed- and it still took 3 people well over two hours to place everything on the tables.
-Early birds show up fucking early- like 6:30am. And they are sickeningly cheerful. Beware.
-People will joyfully dicker over, what I thought, was the lowest price possible for something tiny. I thought that when I put a $0.10 price tag on something- people would pay $0.10 for said item. I was fully prepared to dicker over the $100 fireplace...just not for the five page long children's book I wanted a dime for.
-Think long and hard about the location of your "home base." I situated myself in the front yard, closest to the road to optimize visibility for traffic- passing cars would have no problem seeing our plethora of treasures and would not be able to resist stopping and giving me all their money. However, I failed to scout of potential shady spots too. At 10:00 Nick came to visit me and said, "You haven't put on your sunscreen yet have you?" I slathered it on...but too late. At noon I went inside for some water and Marc, Nick's buddy, said: "Whoa! You are sooo red! Tout rouge bahahaha!"
-Never doubt that someone will want to buy the crappiest thing that you own. Slap a price tag on it even if you really just want to chuck it.
-Children makes their grandparents buy tons of your junk. Be super nice to them and slip an extra stuffed animal in their bag to sweeten the deal.
-Have your children (if you have any) babysat. At a different location. They are suddenly in love with anything and everything that you are trying to sell and will try to sabotage every sale with their crocodile tears and sad puppy dog eyes.
-Don't be an idiot and put "rain or shine" on your ad/flyer. No ones stops in the rain. You will be soggy and make no money.
-Be innovative; at the end of the day- start bundling. Examples include: everything on this table for $5. Buy a coffee mug, get a waffle iron free! Buy a TV, get two other TVs that don't really work for parts, all wedding decorations 97% off...
-At the end of the yard sale, do not return any of the unsold stuff to your home. Take a trip to the Salvation Army, to Habitat for Humanity, and The Dump and get rid of it. You were selling it because you didn't want it anymore. Apparently no one else wanted it either.
-Repeat this mantra over and over until it sinks into your thick head:
  I will never do another yard sale. Ever.
  I will be more respectful at other people's yard sale.
  I will never leave a yard sale without buying something.
  I will dicker over a $0.10 item for no other reason than for fun.

In closing, the yard sale was fine; a learning experience. It was gorgeous out- I got to spend time outside and I got a burn/tan for my efforts. I made $350 profit-which was nice. Our yard sale was a fantastic opportunity that motivated me to purge through our stuff and free up valuable space. No need to pack and move things that we don't really want or need. It was also a great way to get rid of stuff without simply tossing it into a landfill. It was not, however, an awesome way to make hoards of money; it was an enormous amount of work for minimal amounts of cash.

Friday, August 5, 2011

For Sale: One Mother's Sanity (slightly used)

     I'm loving August. Everyone wants to socialize- birthday parties, BBQs, campfires, brunches and lunch; the invitations have been have been popping up like my long forgotten dahlias.

      We also have a daily commitment to socialize at our local swimming pool, as the little ones started swimming lessons this week. I must say though, we have very little time to spend chatting with the other parents. Nick and I visit with the other moms and dads until the lessons start and then we have to get into the pool with a dozen or so 4-7 year olds. Our kids are the only two toddlers, so they have a class all to themselves ( private lessons? For $50? We must have ripped someone off here...) However, we are also the only parents required to get in the pool with their kids; until the kids are four years old, a parent must be present in the pool too. So essentially, I'll be getting swimming lessons for free too.

Side Note: I'm screwed if our lessons ever move down into the deep end. I will die 10 different deaths from humiliation if an eight year old has to rescue my "plump" ass from drowning. I will go so far as to wear floaties to prevent this...I can borrow Dryden's "Sponge Bob" ones.
     I had major hang ups about wearing a bathing suit. My regular ones don't fit so great on account of my inflated belly and the maternity ones I bought-although pretty- do not fit well either. Out of the pool they look fine. As soon as I get in the water, the top tends to float up around me so that I look like an enormous jellyfish ready to sting and paralyze someone's kid. I talked myself out of acting like a jackass about the whole situation. "Ok Rachel- you're pregnant and fat. You cannot go swimming in jeans and a hoodie. All the other moms will be wearing bathing suits too. Get over it."      And then we show up- and I am the only friggin' mom that needs to get in the pool. Figures. I am still resisting the jeans and campus crew hoodie, but I do wear a tank top now. No need to frighten small children out of the water...

     I've been feeling really well this week- the morning sickness may or may not have finally buggered off. I had slightly more energy than usual, so I wasted no time and took advantage. I finally started the much hated job of packing. { kindly insert very sad violin music to the background. } Nick's grandparents, whom we bought our next house from, moved into a much smaller apartment- they have no room for the majority of their lifetime's worth of stuff. In a moment of magnanimous generosity (idiocy) I volunteered to hold a yard sale for them. If I have to invest hours cleaning, pricing and organizing, if I have to get up at 6 am to greet the early birds with a smile, if I have to stand out in the sun and dicker over $0.25 for an entire weekend, then I'm going to get rid of as much crap as I possibly can. I've been gathering stuff from our house to sell also- why pack and move this stuff if we don't even really want it? I also put some calls in to my mom and sisters: send me your junk...er...treasures and I will sell them! I'm kinda excited- I've never had a yard sale before. Actually, that's not entirely true. When I was in high school I helped my sister-in-law Neesha organize one at her house and sat out there with her. No one stopped by! So the next weekend, we set it up at my parents' place (clearly, they have better consumers there) and no one frigging' stopped by again!! My brother loaded the truck and took a trip to the dump. Neesha and I bought ice cream cones and tanned our legs for the rest of the afternoon. We missed out on the salesman of the year award by this much l---l 

     I'll let you know how it turns out...and how many trips to the dump we have to make when it's all over lol