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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

A Zuckerberg Break

I have been on Facebook since 2008--practically a pioneer. But recently I had an epiphany that not only is it a huge time suck, but my "friends'" posts are sometimes so incredibly annoying, I find myself irritated after a quick scroll through my newsfeed. So I broke up with Facebook right before Christmas and so far, I don't feel the need to go back. Now, I didn't totally deactivate my account. Zuckerberg has his claws into me so a lot of my accounts (like PayPal or Uber or whatever) are linked through Facebook.

But since I have been on this hiatus, I am less irritable. I am not so bitter. And I have lost ten pounds! Okay, two out of three of those are true. Here are some of the things I do not miss about Facebook:

1. Kid tributes

Whenever one of my Facebook friends' precious children has a birthday, they often feel the need to directly address that child (who typically does not have a FB account) and pay tribute to them. It almost always contains the following three components:

  • Sweet 
  • To the moon and back 
  • Please stop time/freeze time 
And it usually goes a little something like this: 

"Happy 6th birthday to our sweet Jackson!! You are caring, kind, funny, athletic, smart and even though you drive us crazy sometimes, we couldn't be prouder to be your parents! We love you to the moon and back, sweet Jackson! I cannot believe you are SIX YEARS OLD! Time please stop!"

And that's a short one. I had one friend who called her child "quite simply, amazing." Really? A six year old? What, in his short life, could he have done that is so amazing? Just curious. And are kids really "sweet?" I know mine aren't and that is why I especially hate that adjective. Yes, we get it. You love them to the moon and back. Well, I love mine to the moon and back and then BACK AGAIN to the moon! So there. 

2. Spouse tributes

People, if you love your spouse, just tell them. Or write it in a card. But do we really need to see a mushy post to your spouse (who sometimes, like the child, isn't even on Facebook) EVERY ANNIVERSARY?

"Happy 11th anniversary to my soul mate! These past eleven years haven't always been easy but through it all, you have been my constant companion, supporter and lover. And our three amazing children are a testament to that. I love you and them to the moon and back."

3. Child shaming 

As much as people love to brag about their own children, they also like to diss other children. A friend of mine posted that her two year old was bitten by another two year old classmate at school She posted a picture of her sweet victim. 50+ comments later, I'm surprised the mother of the biter didn't have to go into the Witness Protection Program. She didn't train her child to bite. He's two! That could have been any of your children. "Oh, but my sweet child would never bite!" Well, then you're lucky. It's not cause of anything you're doing. But God could have given you a biting child and you would still have to love him to the moon and back.

4. Pyramid schemes 

So if you're selling something and you just say, "I'm selling this. Do you want to buy it?" I'm cool with that. But if you're trying to sell your "lifestyle" to lure me into your pyramid scheme, we're not cool.

"This is my 'office' for today--view of my pool, my working from home and having flexibility!! #youshouldjoinme #jobperks

5. Profile pics of kids 

Your profile picture represents YOU. If you make your profile pic your kid, are you saying that YOU are your KID? Cause I usually think of myself as a separate human from my children. But that's just me. And what message does that send to your kid? I mean, you already said he/she is "quite simply, amazing" and now you are saying you want to be him/her? It's hard for me to believe little Madison can stay so "sweet" with all of this worshipping.

6. Ya'll 

Y'all, it's spelled y'all. Not ya'll. It is a contraction for "you all." Y'all are welcome.

As you can see, I am getting back to my bitter, irritable, ten pounds heavier attitude just thinking about all of these Facebook pet peeves. I'm going to forget about it all now and get back to my super flexible, quite simply, amazing Facebook-less life.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Woah Snow!

In Atlanta and in Dallas, we are prepared for an annual snow or ice day. Schools close. We dare not drive. We bust out the winter coats, hats, gloves and boots that we have purchased for such an event. Most of us even have at least one sled. If not, we use laundry baskets.

But last week in Atlanta we got LOTS of snow. More snow than I have seen outside of Colorado. I heard different reports so I don't have an accurate inch count. But let's just say it was somewhere between seven and eleven inches of snow.

We did all the usual things but it was even more fun because the snow was powdery, not icy. And oddly enough, it wasn't horribly cold. Another cool thing about this snow (besides the amount of it), was the fact that it happened in December, so the snow mixed with the Christmas decorations made for postcard-like pics. However, we were so busy in the snow that I don't have tons of pictures. But I give you this photo dump of the few I do have so you can see (and I can always remember) Snowmageddon 2017!

We made a LEGIT snowman. 

Driving was a little treacherous, especially when you are trying to take pictures. 

Smitty has seen snow once before but Luna (our neighbor's dog) was a snow newbie.

They both loved it. Smitty wore his "Thunder Coat" just in case. 

Catching the snow. 

Eating the snow. 
Our snowed-in house

Another road pic. 

Me, a regular snow bunny. 

Working on their snowman

Ready to take a sled ride with neighbor Dylan. 

My cookie exchange went on during the snow! 

Gus delivered luminaries to neighbors (uphill in the snow both ways!) 

This was the weekend after the snow but had to include Smitty meeting Santa. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Musical Mayhem

Sweet Apple Elementary is known for its musicals. And by "known," I mean by the parents and students. Each grade does a musical review of some sort of theme. Leo has done one about Thanksgiving, one about the weather and one about school. For this, his FOURTH musical at Sweet Apple, he participated in Bee-bop with Aesop--all about Aesop's Fables. Leo did great. And by "great," I mean he didn't do anything weird during the musical. #winning

You will pleased to know that I just recorded the first thirty seconds or so of each song :)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Plan B(each)

One thing we like about living in the Atlanta area (besides the trees, hills and access to sweet tea), is how easy it is to drive to fun vacation places--beach, mountains, Disney World. Frank and I also get a kick out of the fact that you can just be in another state within a matter of a few hours. Well, I guess we could have been in Oklahoma that quickly when we lived in Frisco. So let me clarify: I mean you could be in another state that you would care to visit in a matter of a few hours. (Still never been to Oklahoma!)

For the Columbus Day weekend, we had plans to go to "the beach." That's what people say here. "I'm going to the beach." Let me just give you a small sampling of the beaches that are within driving distance that they could possibly be talking about: Destin, Gulf Shores, Panama City, 30A, Amelia Island, Hilton Head, Tybee Island, St. Simon's Island, Folley Beach, Myrtle Beach, Fort Walton...

To me, since there are SO MANY beaches you could be going to, I would expect that people would specify the location. But no, they always just say "the beach" as if we live in New Jersey and they are going to "the shore." I always have to ask, "Which beach?"

So back to our beach plans: I'll go ahead and take the mystery out of it. We were going to the Fort Walton area--Okaloosa Island, specifically. We had never been there and we were excited to try a new place.

But then a few days before we were scheduled to leave, a tropical storm threatened our beach vacation. I didn't worry about it until the day before, when it really looked like it would hit. Then I went into vacation scrambling mode--moved the Fort Walton vacation to another date and switched to Myrtle Beach, which was the only beach within driving distance that didn't have storm threats. Bonus: we had never been there!

A friend of mine told me about a place there that had an indoor water park, and sat right on the beach. She warned me that the condo/hotel is "an older, beach motel" so not to expect anything fancy. I told her that would be right up our alley, having been to a "fancy" beach over spring break and being unimpressed. (If there's not a restaurant in sight where you can go in wearing just your bathing suit cover up, we don't call that a beach vacation.)

This place delivered. It was beachfront, had tons of kids activities and it was CHEAP!! Frank marveled at the deal we got all weekend. It had just the right mix of fun and tacky--exactly what we like in a beach vacation.

A quick summary of our trip: beach, lazy river, water slides, shell collecting, eating at cheesy restaurants, riding on rides, jumping on the bungee swings, watching a magic show (free at our hotel!), doing a duck race, watching movies, drinking Starbucks (also in our hotel!!), sitting in the hot tub and playing A LOT of foosball.   (Yep, that's FOOSball. It's kind of our family's favorite sport.)

And here is a summary in pictures. Overall, we think it was an excellent back-up plan!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Laundry Room Revitalization

We have lived in this house for nearly three years. And for THREE YEARS I have suffered. Suffered from a dysfunctional laundry room.

I realize this sounds like a #firstworldproblem and perhaps it is, but I think if I explain my backstory, you will understand.

You see, my house prior to this, in Frisco, had a dream laundry room--the mother load, if you will. It was probably as big as a child's nursery. It had pretty tile, cabinets, hooks, a place for my beloved Dyson, A SINK and a window!! It was bright, airy and it just made doing laundry so pleasant. Maybe that's why I stuck with cloth diapering so long. I would never have been able to deal with that in my current laundry room. But then again, I still look back at those cloth diaper days and think, "What was I thinking?"

But anyway, the laundry room in this house is basically a closet. And that would be okay except the door to the closet opens INWARD. But wait. It gets worse.

For some reason the hook-ups were BACKWARDS. (Please excuse my need to use all caps; it just seems really fitting here.) So my washer was on the LEFT and my dryer--the RIGHT! Who does that??

And even that would be okay except the doors on my machines aren't set up to be backwards. So this is how I did laundry:

1. Open the door inward and squeeze in there with my laundry basket.
2. Close door cause I can't have the door open AND the washer door open at the same time.
3. Start to feel claustrophobic in tiny laundry room with NO WINDOW.
4. Open washer door, start laundry.
5. One hour later, squeeze into laundry room again, start to sweat.
6. Try to transfer clothes from washer to dryer (going from right to left which is just so unnatural) and have to maneuver around washer door to put clothes in dryer!

As you can see, it was quite an ordeal. But I can't totally bash my laundry room because it does have one thing going for it--location. It's upstairs which is actually really convenient. My old one was downstairs so I guess the score is old laundry room--8, current laundry room-1.

So after three years of this, I came up with a solution. Now my first solution was a barn door or a pocket door but those proved to be too costly so I went with just changing the door so it would swing outward, into the hallway. I enlisted the help of a handyman and he also helped me figure out how we could get the washer dryer back to their rightful places! This whole project just cost me a little bit of money and it only took him a few hours.

I wish I had a before video but then again, it would just be so depressing. Instead, I will leave you with this "after" video.

Now I LOVE doing laundry! I mean, sure, there's no window but I can live with that. Come on, I'm not a diva!