Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blog Name Change!

Seeing as I am not pregnant any longer, and I am sassy/snarky about things beyond parenting, I figure the blog name needs to change. So, in conjunction with my twitter account, I am changing the title of my blog to "Realistic Snark". Sure, I'm snarky and sassy - but at least I am realistic about it!

Eventually, I may change the URL, but I don't want to lose anyone with the name change. If the URL changes, I'll let you know!

My next blog topic: children's shows, and how they are written by people on drugs.

Happy Sunday!

UPDATE: As of 05/2/12, I'm movin' on back over here.  Wordpress can suck it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Can't Sleep - so it's Random Crap time!

I am currently unable to fall asleep, despite my entire house being dead to the world. Even the dog is snoring. This means it's Random Crap time!

1. Did you know that car door handles can break from inside the door? I found out the hard way yesterday when I attempted to remove myself from our 03 Kia, and discovered I was stuck. Turns out the mechanism inside the door snapped, so now I have to roll down the window to open the car door from the outside. Classy, I know.

2. Did you know that cockroaches can jump at you and stand on their hind legs? Now, I am pretty sure it was a cockroach - we currently have an infestation at work. Anyway, I got to kill what seems to be one of the larger inhabitants, and it JUMPED at me, scurried away, and then popped up on it's hind legs prior to be stomping on it 15 times. Sounds dramatic, yes, but it's true. I have witnesses. Megan = 1, Bug = 0. I believe the King Cockroach is still around, and that his name is Hernandez.

3. Scurried is a funny word, and I think about my Orientation friends at NODA in Waterloo, Iowa while looking for the Cold Stone Creamery. Thanks to Kendall, we went 1 hour in the wrong direction in a 15 passenger van around 9 pm. It was before GPS came standard on phones, don't judge us.

4. Did you know that in Nevada it is nearly impossible to build basements because of the ground? It's too hard. Very few houses have basements, and if they do, they are worth s lot of money.

5. I have yet to see the following things while living in Nevada (now over 3 years): Mosquitos, lightening bugs, June Bugs. Things I've seen a lot of: geckos, people who wear things they shouldn't, drunk people. Things that I've seen from a distance and run away from:
scorpions.

6. The drive between Reno and Las Vegas is over 8 hours long, has 1 restaurant along the way (Burger King), and two gas stations. The rest is nothing. It's worse than Kansas.

7. Places I want to visit: Ireland, the UK, Spain, Austria, Brazil

8. Man I wish wasn't gay: John Borrowman (from Torchwood). Look him up.

9. Thing I wish I would have done prior to getting married and having a kid: Study Abroad

10. This blog has had almost 2300 hits from 10 countries - amazing!! Share it with your friends!!

Still not tired. Sucky. Off to play with Twitter, I guess.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Decisions, Decisions!

So sorry for my long absence - it's been awhile since I've posted.  Oops.

Anyway, life is always full of decisions, right?  I don't mean the "Hmm, should I have the steak or chicken taco" or "Do you think I should dye my hair green" decisions - I mean the hard core, this is going to change your life type of decisions.

We've all had to make them - some decisions are harder than the one I had to make, so in light of that, I won't be overly dramatic.  However, trying to decide whether or not to do a PhD program is, in my humble opinion, a big decision.

Yep, I said it.  PhD program.

Truth be told, I am over Higher Education.  I really like the people I work with, but the functions of my position can be frustrating and limiting.  I want to work with people to improve the hard and soft skills that they need in the workforce.  I am "kinda sorta" doing that now, but in a weird, disjunct kind of way.  As frustrating as being a supervisor is at times, it is by far the most rewarding thing I do in my job right now.  I am able to supervise 20+ paraprofessionals, which, though challenging, keeps me on my developmental toes.

Sorry, I don't want to be an Enrollment Counselor forever - I have skills that can really make a difference in this city and state, and I don't think that I can make the difference that I want to make sitting behind a desk in the ESC.  Hence the PhD program.

Right now, the state of Nevada has a crappy workforce development program - meaning, they don't really have one.  Sure, they have a government agency, but that's run by the government, and we all know how well the government seems to be running these days.  Specifically, I want to work with community youth who choose not to go to college gain hard and soft skills for the workforce, specifically in Southern Nevada.

Let's be honest - I'm an education junky.  I think there are great aspects to college, and I wouldn't be where I am today without college.  BUT - it's not for everyone!  I am tired of education professionals cramming college down people's throats.  In essence, all Higher Education is is a business.  Sure "State Schools" are "non-profit", but to keep funding, they have to send out recruiters that really just act as salesmen to keep people coming into the University.  Bottom line - people who choose not to come to college deserve the same resources as those who are able to come to college in terms of development.

In a "perfect world", I'd like to start a non-profit in Southern Nevada that focuses on developing youth for the workforce in Southern Nevada.  It's a daunting task, and I am not completely sure how to do it yet, but you know me - when I put my mind to something, I'll find a way to do it.

Now, it's the question of if I have time.  I work full time, have a husband who works full time, and a rockin' 16 month old who keeps me on my toes.  I believe that I have grown enough in the past few years to understand how to keep things balanced, and after good conversations with Michael and Naomi, I think the best way to move forward is to start the program.

So, today I signed up for classes in the Workforce Development and Organizational Leadership PhD program at UNLV.  It's 2 classes a semester, and will take about 4 years.  Huge task - yes - but I have the ability to really make a difference in my city and state.  Who would want to give that up?

Now, it's so important for me to schedule my life accordingly - when Naomi is awake, she has my full, undivided attention, because she is still my number one priority.  Fridays will be my "date night" with Michael, and any other time I can squeeze in (lunch breaks, nap times, after kiddo goes to bed) will be dedicated to studying.  Let's be honest - having the chance to go for a PhD is much more rewarding than sitting and watching TV.

...right?

Stay tuned on developments in the life o Meg, back in school and trying to be a rock star at everything else too.  I'm sure I'll have many, many more rantings to come (Squeee, how exciting!).



Naomi Update:

Lady has an a.t.t.i.t.u.d.e.  My goodness!  However, the attitude can be so cute sometimes, so I have to hide my face while laughing.  She's 16 months old, and tries to crawl out of her crib.  She likes to sit on top of her toy box, climb on whatever she can (including the couch, chairs, and tables), and likes to press buttons on the electronics.  She loves bath time!  She also gets hurt (a lot) - just tonight just busted her mouth on the changing table, and drew a little blood.  Sister has already gotten her first bloody lip...just add it to the list!

She's also the most loving thing I've ever encountered.  She's my favorite thing in my whole life.  :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Inner Turmoil and Conflict

As everyone knows, Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan.  There was a fire fight, he was shot in the head, and he was buried at sea within 24 hours, as dictated by Islamic Law.

I find myself conflicted in this situation.  I have two sides of me, both equally as passionate.

Side One - Happiness

This man murdered countless innocent people.  I think of 9/11, as well as the other terrorist attacks that he had a hand in, and what justice they must feel.  I think of how I would feel if Michael or Naomi were murdered in this way - how would I handle it?  Would I be happy?  Would I feel relief?  Or would I just want it to be over?  I don't believe in the death penalty, but I am happy that this evil man is no longer among the living.

Side Two - Relief, but sadness

While I feel relief and happiness, I am saddened by how intensly people are celebrating his death.  I think it is appropriate for people to say "I'm glad he's gone" blah blah blah, but some of the comments that I hear are shocking, to say the least.  For example, "I wanted him tortured, torn apart, burned, and spread amongst a pile of shit" and "Burn in hell" take me aback, to be honest.  The intense celebrations in the streets eerily reminded of the middle-eastern countries that had burning flags and dragging bodies through the streets.  Now, don't get me wrong, Americans were not doing that...not even close.  But mass celebrations of a man's death, no matter how evil, kind of hurt my heart.  We, as Americans, are better than that.  And, as far as "Burn in hell" is concerned - for those of us who believe in God, heaven, hell, and the second coming, is it right for us to wish this?  Are we being hypocritical to not wish that he repented the sins that he committed on earth?  What one must remember, if they indeed believe in heaven and hell, is that God states that all sins are created equal, and those who repent will be welcomed into the gates of heaven.

Obviously, none of us knows whether or not he repented, nor will we ever know.  However, I don't want him to burn in hell - and I don't want to see anyone burn in hell.  I want to see all people forgiven of their sins, and to experience heaven, if there indeed is one.  (That's a bit of my cynical side coming out - please forgive my questioning of heaven and hell in the first place).

MLK, Jr. once made this statement (Update:  I found out that MLK, Jr. actually didn't say this, but I like it anyway, so there.):

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."— Martin Luther King Jr.




I feel that this is a good reminder for us all.  After internal reflection, I have decided that I am relieved, and part of me happy to hear of his death - not for revenge, but to breath a little easier at night.  Will this end all terrorism?  Of course not - but it sends the message that America will not be taken down by cowards who use fear to make a point.

I encourage all, no matter what walk of life, to push down their hatred for this man, and for all who kill out of hatred, spite, etc.  Be relieved that he's gone, but don't let hate consume you.  Life is too short for that, and I want light and love in this world, especially for my daughter.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Realities of Parenting

Recently, I've started to look at my kid and think, "Who said you could grow up so fast?"

People can tell you all kinds of things about parenting - they grow up so fast, you'll never get any sleep, blah blah blah.  I knew most of these things, but you don't realize how much it affects your life until it actually happens.

When Naomi was first born, it was difficult for Michael and I.  I feel comfortable discussing that with the world because I think that it's important to communicate what really goes on "behind the scenes" of parenthood.  It's not all unicorns and rainbows, people.

Marriage becomes difficult.  All those conversations about how to raise a child are revisited, because once the kid gets here, opinions can change.  The amount of hormones that are in your system can cause Postpartum Depression (PPD), which I struggled with.  Even that topic is taboo, and it's taken over a year to feel more "normal".  There are days that you just want to say "Please, just stop f*cking crying", then feeling guilty that you thought about that regarding your beautiful, loving kid.

These are just a few realities of parenting.  We are learning something new every day.  The newest thing?  Trying to curb her stubbornness.  For a short time, we would tap her hand when she would feed the dog - but I realized that one of my big parenting "no-nos" is to use spanking, smacking, hitting, etc. to make a point.  Violence with anyone, especially children, is unacceptable in our house.  What continues to irk me, though, is that people say things like "You just wait!"  No, my mind is pretty much made up about this topic.  If a parent chooses to discipline in that way, fine - it's just not for us.  My sister helped remind me of that, and though it was hard to face that we were going down a path that we both wanted to avoid, change needed to be made.

That's another thing about parenting - it is important to recognize that mistakes are going to be made.  We can't change the past, but we can change the future.  I have to remind myself on a daily basis that I am human, and we've never done this before.  We are simply learning.

So, our marriage experienced some tough times, I dealt with PPD, and I struggle with being a parent every day.  That makes us human, and THAT, my friends, is the reality of parenting.  Now, Michael and I are stronger than ever, and I am so thankful to have such a strong partner in my husband and best friend.  I've overcome PPD, and I aim to make it less "taboo".  Soon, in my huge amount of time, I want to provide information via my blog about PPD.  And, I remind myself how freaking lucky I am to have a blessed and happy life, despite the daily challenges of parenthood.  It's so worth it.

My hope for my family is that we keep things in perspective, and continue to thank God that we have been so blessed.  Things may be hard sometimes, but Michael and Naomi make me strong.  :)

Naomi update: She is so darn stubborn - but is so cute about it, so I have to keep from laughing!  :)  Michael and I take turns trying to redirect her and giggle.  I sometimes I say things like, "Ok, come on drama" when she's having a meltdown.  When I don't give her the attention she wants when she is having said meltdown, she stops and goes back to playing.  She's such a ham!  She's almost walking by herself, and her hugs and kisses make my heart melt.  I am so lucky to be her Mom.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I will thwart you, food!

I'm not going to lie, I love food.  I love the way it tastes, I love making it, I love the way it makes me feel.

Well, maybe not that last part.

I have a problem with moderation, in pretty much all aspects of my life.  I'm a very "all or nothing" person.  This includes food.  I eat food when I'm experiencing an emotion, I eat food when I'm bored, I eat food to celebrate things.

Why am I being so open and honest about this?  It's because as much as I say "I'm going to work out!!", it lasts for 2.2 seconds, and then I go on a binge again.  Being vocal about my weight loss journey will **hopefully** assist with this.

I've become ashamed with how I look and feel.  I've noticed that people look at me differently now.  People look at me when I am eating.  People look at me if I am walking slower.  You may say "Megan, it's all in your head, you're not that bad".  Sure, it may be in my head, but yes, it is that bad.  I don't want to be that mother who can't play with her kid because she has an emotional connection to food.  I don't want to be the wife who would rather veg in front of the TV instead of going out for a healthy date.  I don't want to be the friend who always gets a ton of food, and eats it all without batting an eye.

I feel like I am concerning my friends and family with my weight gain, and I am now looking to do something about it - for real.  What am I doing?  What I should have been doing all along - eating right and being active. That's the right way to do it - not a lose-weight-quick fad.  How am I going to stay on track?  I am going to record what I eat, and stay under a certain calorie amount.  I'm going to be active, and I've signed up for a 5K in May.  Yeah, I'll probably walk the majority of it, but at least I am doing it.  

I am officially giving the world permission to keep me accountable - if you see me eating something unhealthy, ask me how my weight loss journey is going.  I won't get offended - if I want to continue to eat my Taco Bell, though, I should be able to vocalize what exactly I will be doing to work off the extra calories.

It's about good decisions, and getting healthy.  I am tired of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, and not feeling like myself.  

So, be honest with me folks, as I work to thwart the monster that is food.  I will post updates when I can - I hope I can actually stick with it this time.


Friday, March 25, 2011

1 year!

I am happy to report that I have been officially not pregnant for the past year - some may see that as ::gasp:: rude, but for me, pregnancy was hell on earth. 

The outcome, however, was totally worth it.  Naomi is now 1, and is cute, funny, stubborn, entertaining, and loving.  She loves bath time, can now say "Dah" (dog), likes to feed the "Dah", and loves music.  Although we wish we could have been with our extended family, but we had a nice little party for her here in Vegas.  :-)  She's pretty great.

But I still hated being pregnant.  Just in case anyone forgot. 

Will post pictures soon!  I'm ending this blog post so I can start another one.  That's how I roll.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Changing Table Showdown

Michael says I've gotten pretty feminist since becoming a mother.  I'm not sure if I've become 'more' of a feminist, but maybe I've become more aware of how stupid our society is.

So today, I bring you my half-hearted I'm-really-too-busy-to complete-a-real-research study on the lack of diaper changing tables in MALE RESTROOMS.

@!&$@(*#

Dear World, just because I have a vagina and breasts doesn't mean that I am the one that must lug my 24 pounder into the Women's Restroom, followed by the horrors of changing the baby in the bathroom.  For those of you who have yet to experience it, let me walk you through it:

Imagine yourself at a restaurant.

You're at the table, waiting to be served, and your little ball of cuteness makes the red face that can only read "I'm workin' on a big one, folks!".  You and your partner look at one another, and a showdown happens.  In the middle of the restaurant, everything stops...a tumbleweed crosses the table along with the whistling song that always goes with the western showdowns. 

After a short bickering session, the male in the relationship often wins the "Who's going to take the pooper" to the changing table - because he has a wiener.  Awesome.  So you lug your kid on one hip, your diaper bag on the other, and your purse too, if you have one, because you know you can't always count on Mr. Wonderful to be cognisant enough to keep his eye on it.  ::facepalm::

Lug kid to bathroom.  Wait in line for 2 other families.  Put the liner down.  Buckle her in.  Make cute faces while cringing and screaming inside because of the dried poop that you see on the cover of the table (thankfully protected by the liner).  Kiddo tried to roll off, but is held on by buckle.  Buckle pisses her off, so she throws a fit.  Poop gets on her foot, which gets on my shirt.  Diaper goes on, clothes go on, we go back to the table, baby is happy, Daddy is happy, and Mamma gets crapped all over.  YAY!

Yes, an extreme story - but changing your kid in a public restroom is a PAIN, and I just wish that we could share the responsibility with our male counterparts.  I started to count how many stores had male vs. female changing stations, but then got tired of that game and just decided to write about it without any hard data.  It's not like it's a research paper.

Additionally, if an establishment welcomes families, why would you not have a diaper changing station in your bathroom?  REALLY?  That was a huge pain in the butt, thank you, Sushi Place.  You totally made my Friday night last week.

So, Mammas, before you automatically walk into the bathroom with your child to change him/her, 1 - look for a family bathroom (YAY!) and 2 - hand that kid over to the daddy, because he should have to check for the changing table possibilities too.

I did this to Michael the other day at Costco - not only did she have a very dirty diaper, the bathroom was also disgusting (or so I heard).  I got lots of thank you's that day for taking care of her in public. 

VINDICATION! 



Naomi Update:
Crawling monster!  She ended up underneath our Queen bed - don't ask me how.  Once I knew she was ok, I laughed, and so did she.  It was an adventure.  She also found the dog's water bowl - gross.  She's looking more and more like me every day, which is really scary for me!