Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sometimes Quicker Service isn't Worth It

Did you ever witness that just didn't sit right with you?

Me and the girls grabbed dinner from the McDonald's drive thru the other day and instead of ordering into that speaker thingy, we placed our order with a young girl who was standing outside.

It was 94 degrees at 5:30 at night and the poor girl had been out there for over 3 hours already.

She didn't complain, just said that a new manager was on duty and she was hoping they'd let her go inside soon.  They did give her an umbrella and a water, in the small soda cup.

How nice of them, right?

I couldn't believe that they would do that to one of their employees.  All I could think was if it was me, I would have told them I quit right then and there.

When I got to the window, I asked if maybe their order thingamajig was broken.  The guy looked at me blankly, so I said it must be because that's the only reason someone should be standing out in this heat to take orders.  He closed the window, told the manager, handed me my food and said "I told them about it."  He then promptly shut the window before I could say another word.

I could care less that the guy was rude to me but I felt so bad for that employee.  I saw no reason for it.  I can't imagine that it speeds up the ordering process all that much.  Personally, I was sweating just getting my girls in the car so I can't imagine standing out there for hours.

Honestly, I wouldn't leave my dog outside for any length of time in this heat.  It's inhumane.

It actually bothered me so much that I called their corporate office.  My hope is that they'll look into this and remind that managers that sales are important but so is the comfort and health of their employees.

My sister thought I was a little bit too upset.  She agreed that it wasn't right but couldn't believe I went as far as I did.  It still bothers me.

So, I'm curious, what are your thoughts?  Do you think it's a bit inhumane to put an employee outside in this heat when it's just as efficient to have them do their job inside?

Oh, how I wish Mr. Ronald McDonald himself would take a play from Undercover Boss.  How would he like to sit outside melting so people could order a cheeseburger?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jackaranian... Why, Just Why

My dog is not my favorite family member.

Yes, he's my family member and I love him but I do not necessarily like him.

He's a little devil who hates kids, adults, and other animals equally.

He's pretty much a crotchety old man who just wants to be fed.

He will poop on my floor out of spite and bark the entire time we have company.  You can not imagine my embarrassment one day when I went to get something out of my room and the aroma of doo doo smacked my friend in the face.


He's a mixture of Jack Russell and Pomeranian.  I've never had a good experience with a Pomeranian so I don't know why I thought he would be any different.  Personally, I felt this was the worst mixture of dog possible... hyper, yappy, and bitchy.

You can imagine how surprised I was to find out that this mixture is actually intentional - a Jackaranian.

I started reading through the comments, anticipating shaking my head in agreement at how horrible these dogs were.  Misery loves company, right?

Except, it seems like everyone else has a smart, well behaved, awesome wonder dog.

Yup, I was just lucky enough to get a defect!

Want to read more about my little Jackaranian?  Click here, here, or here

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When She Grows Up - Recycled Post!

I'm recycling this post from a year ago, in response to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop post.  I wasn't sure what I would find from last July since I didn't blog all that much while I was pregnant.  I'm glad I took a look back because it made me smile, I had forgotten how Abby would put bracelets on her feet.

All these LOVES are still there:  from the shoes to the tattooing.  More have been added like becoming a singing Firemen with a pink hat and playing doctor (thank you Doc McStuffins).  She still wants to be a rock star and be on a stage.  She's not picky about where the stage even is, evident by her disappoint at Mass when I told her she couldn't be up front with the Priest.  And the drama has just intensified throughout the year.  For example, she will put on the most pitiful face and tell me that I'm "breaking her heart" when I tell her no.  

I also still wonder what she'll be when she grows up. I am amazed at how much she has changed and learned throughout the year.  I'm so happy I took a look back (something I rarely do) to remind myself that time moves so fast!  She's was such a toddler here and now she's a little girl!  In the blink of an eye!

Ok, enough rambling since I was just supposed to recycle a post but I had to add just a few (or more) words!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Everyday Abby learns something new and everyday she makes me laugh.  One of the things that I love to do is just watch her play.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting a sneak peak into her future and seeing the start of a life long passion.

For example, she LOVES shoes.  She insists on wearing new shoes out of the store.  Her love of shoes recently went a step further when I saw her doing this:

I asked her what she was doing and she told me that those were her shoes!  There she goes designing her own shoes already!  Perhaps she'll be a fashion designer!

Then theres her love of singing and dancing.  I mean take a look at this face... is she a future rock star or what?

Then theres her natural artistic ability.  The concentration.  The use of colors.  Totally a budding artist!

Or maybe tattoo artist?

I can't forget the drama.  She literally stood in front of oven one day, staring at her reflection and practicing her sad face.  She has even learned to cry on demand!  Maybe she'll be an actress or a model?

The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Perfectly Abby

As I was folding laundry the other day, Abby looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I can't do it!"

I was confused because she seemed to be really into the story she was telling with her little toys so I asked what she couldn't do.

She said, "I keep trying to talk like this (as she places her hands at her sides) but I just can't do it!"

My heart sank.

See, Abby has this thing where she moves her hands A LOT.  She doesn't just talk with her hands, her hands never stop moving!

Similar to the comedian Lewis Black, around the 40 second mark.

Except her hands move the WHOLE time she's talking.

I always say that it's her energy coming right up and out of her finger tips.  Most people find it funny and some have tried to get her to talk without moving her hands just to see if she can do it.

Well, she can't and it usually makes all of us laugh.  Except, I knew that the comments would eventually make her feel self conscious.  So, after a few (albeit, good natured) comments, I started to make a conscious effort to let her know that there is nothing wrong with how she talks.  I would usually throw out the joke, "That's the Italian in her" for the adults benefit.

I guess the comments and laughs did sink in since now, in the comfort of her own living room with just me and Lilly, she was trying to change her mannerisms.

Mannerisms that are so uniquely ABBY.  I love that she gets so excited.  As much as I'm sure that one day her hands will slow down, I hope her enthusiasm doesn't.

Yes, I can see where people find it funny.  It makes me laugh too but in a 'she's so excited that it's infectious!' sort of way.

I also know that I can't protect her from everything and that she will develop her own insecurities (don't we all).  I just didn't think she would pick up on it all so quickly and it hurt to see her so self aware during playtime, when no one else was even watching.

It also made me realize that I love my girls just the way the are.  It sounds cliche but I never knew how true the cliche really was until that moment.  Her hands moving at the speed of light may be quirky but I can't imagine her not doing that.

I tried the use it as a teaching moment.  A quick lesson that we should accept each other's differences.  A moment to comfort her and build her up.  I told her that if it's uncomfortable to keep her hands still than don't.  If her hands just move, then let them.  If you're excited, show it.  Play your way.  Talk your way.  Don't try to change.

Because behind those moving hands is an energy, a fire, a passion.  One that only she has and it's not something I ever want her to lose.  She's quick to laugh, to joke, to play, to jump into a group of kids head first.  She's confident and full of life.  Those are qualities that I want to nurture.  That I want her to build on.

And if that love of life just happens to shoot right out of the tips of her fingers, then so be it.  
It's different.  
It's unique.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

C'est La Vie!

Wow, has it really been another week since my last post?

I hope some of you are still reading!  I think I might be running out of blogging steam.  Actually, I may be running out of steam in general!

Lilly started officially crawling a few weeks ago and hasn't slept through the night since.  Not only is she not sleeping through the night, but she's also pulling up to stand, cruising, and successfully standing on her own for about 5 seconds before she falls on her bottom.

Needless to say, I can not leave the girl alone for a second.

And then there's my Abby.  My sweet, little Abby who somehow morphed into a monster that is defiant and needy.  There are moments that it takes all the strength I can muster to remain calm.  Since I'm the only parent home most days, I fail at the whole 'remaining calm' thing more often then not.

Speaking of being the only parent home, this week my girls only saw Dan for about 10 minutes.  THE WHOLE WEEK!  I wait up for him and maybe see him for about an hour before we go to bed but we're so exhausted by that point that we speak in gibberish.

For the love of all things holy:  CAN I PLEASE WIN THE LOTTERY?  

All the silence on this here has got me thinking about where this blog is going.  I read a lot about blogging and one of the tips that I always get stumped on is goals.

I don't really have any.  I know I like to have readers (and commenters!) and I like to read other people's blogs.  But it's hard to say what I really want from my teeny tiny piece of cyber space.

Monetizing would be nice but I don't want to bombard you with all sorts of ads.  Writing sponsored posts would be nice but I can't really commit to anything.  I can't even commit myself to my own schedule.

Right now, it seems like blogging is hit or miss but I've come to the conclusion that I'm ok with that.  I'm not the best at commenting on other people's posts (I am reading though!).  My posting schedule is nonexistent.  My stats are laughable.  Sometimes when I have time to post, I really have nothing worthwhile to write.  And my site itself could use a little (ok, a tremendous amount of) TLC.

But, that's all ok.  I never wanted blogging to be stressful.  I am raising 2 crazy beautiful little girls that eat up every waking moment (as well as the moments that I should be sleeping).  I have a husband with a schedule that varies weekly, who's hours are long and sometimes scattered through out the day.

My goal these days is to take a shower and eat something of sustenance (my body was fueled by caffeine and Combos yesterday).

So, this blog can go somewhere or nowhere.  This is my outlet.  My hobby.  There are no expectations or goals.
I tend to over analyze every other aspect of my life.  I put A LOT of unnecessary pressure on myself and I'm super critical of myself when I fall short of my own expectations.  It feels refreshing that this blog, the one thing I do just for me, doesn't fall victim to my own high standards.

It is what it is... and I'm perfectly ok with that!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Mother's Love Never Dies


I have been seeing them everywhere lately.  They always used to remind me of my Grandmother and now they remind me of my Mom.  I've been seeing them daily and each time I take a moment to feel her with me.

July is a hard month for me.  My Mom took a huge downward spiral right after the 4th of July.  Don't get me wrong, she was sick on the 4th but after a nap on my uncle's couch she was reenergized.  She was spunky and even eating.  The day of our trip to my house she was pretty good too.  Except then she stopped eating, and falling, and all sorts of craziness happened.  On July 8th, she passed away.  Just her and I in the hospital room.  Seconds after Dan and Abby had walked out the door.


My siblings drove the 3.5 hours to get there, not knowing at first that she was already gone.  When I tell you that my heart was dragging on the floor behind me as I went to meet them, it's not an exaggeration. I couldn't even look at them.  I couldn't even look at myself.  Or Abby.  Or anyone.

I didn't think I would ever function again.

BUT, I did.  I started seeing little things that let me know she was there.  It started the day I was in her room getting her clothes together for the funeral home.  I spotted the Susan G. Komen ornament I had given her, one with a butterfly, hanging behind the tv.  I wanted to put it with her.  When I grabbed it, there was a necklace that my Dad had given me on my 16th birthday.  I had thought I lost it during a move, in Maryland.  I was devastated when I couldn't find it.

Yet, there it was.  Miles and miles away from where I had last seen it.  On a day that I was more heartbroken then I could ever imagine.  I felt like she knew I needed it.

Maybe it was coincidence, just like the butterflies I've been seeing lately.

Maybe I am just trying to heal so hard that I'm looking into things that aren't really there.  Giving divine purpose to the ordinary.

But, maybe, these things are meant to help me heal.  To let me know that nothing, and no one, is ever really gone.  That in so many ways, she is with me.

It's like when my Grandmother died and they found a poem cut out from a newspaper.  No one knows why she saved it, but she did.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die."

It meant so much that they had it printed and given to everyone.  In a small way, it helped everyone heal just a little.

Time and time again, I am reminded that she's here.  Whether it be a butterfly or a letter that she wrote me.  Or a letter that she addressed to no one, that I'm sure was meant for me and siblings.

I found it in a stationary set, written on the very first page as you open the fold.  I found it a few months ago and will cherish it always.

Maybe she meant to write us all a letter at one time but never finished it.

Or maybe, she is simply reminding us that she's here and a mother's love never dies.

I think I'll believe the latter.

Mom, it's been 3 years and there is not a day that goes by that I don't want to pick up the phone and call you.  My voice still cracks when I tell the girls stories about you but I still tell them.  I want them to feel like they know you.  I want them to know that you would have showered them love.  I miss you and there are days that I NEED you.  I try to keep my heart open so I can SEE the little signs that show me I'm not alone.  I know you're with me, watching over all of us.  The last thing we said to each was "I love you" and I know that will never change for either of us.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Belated 4th of July!

I hope you all had an awesome 4th of July!  Ours was a little lazy... and HOT.  Dan had to work so we actually went to a carnival over the weekend to catch some fireworks.  I learned that Abby is a dare devil and will definitely push me way past my comfort zone.

Case in point:  the Ferris Wheel.  I'm cool with a roller coaster but ferris wheels terrify me.  They move so slow and the stopping to let people on/off gives me too much time to think about the fact that we are hanging in a basket way above the tree tops.

But, I faced my fears (and paid 5 bucks for a bracelet) and got on the damn ride!  The things I do for my girls!

And, I made it and it was actually way less scary then this helicopter ride (which is for kids).  That thing must have had some loose screws or something because it certainly didn't feel sturdy!

The favorite ride for both of us that night was the Tilt A Whirl.  I debated taking her on it at first but I'm glad I did because she LOVED it!  She calls it the crazy ride!  I think I found my future roller coaster buddy, hopefully old age doesn't change my love for them!

I'm so thankful that we went to the carnival because last night we had a bit of a firework fail.  We couldn't see the fireworks from where I thought we could.  We tried to walk to another spot and had no luck so I admitted defeat and disappointed Abby.  I agreed to grab her some McNuggets to help lessen the disappointment.

We grabbed our nuggets, while hearing the sound of fireworks that we couldn't see.  Then we headed home.  On our way I noticed a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road.  As we got closer I saw that people were sitting on the cars and standing around.  SCORE!  You must be able to see them from here!

I pulled over, got Abby unbuckled and we watched the last 5 minutes.  When we started driving off, Abby exclaimed, "YAY!! Mommy saved the day!"

I can not tell you how good that made me feel!  It didn't matter that we missed most of them, she was just happy to see some.  I got lucky, took a road that we don't normally take home, found the perfect spot... and I saved the day!  Go me!


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