Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moms In San Antonio

I am so happy to now also be writing for

I will be blogging for mySA in MomsInSA.Com and my blog will be represented there as On The Upside.

I'd love to have you drop over and see my new place and meet all the great folks over at mySA. Today I have a post up called In My Mind -- I Fit Perfectly.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Can I Make My Own Amber Alert?

On The Flipside Guest Blogger: Jyl of Mommy Gossip.

Jyl wrote this post on her blog (Mommy Gossip) a few of weeks back and I asked her to repost it here On The Flipside because it is a great topic. Read this post and then offer your opinion/answer in the comments. And ... don't forget to go over and visit Jyl's site - she has a great blog and beautiful family. Thanks so much Jyl!

Can I Make My Own Amber Alert?

I live in the desert. No, people here don't have cacti or rocks in their yards, but we certainly do our fair share of praying for rain and when the stunning Rocky Mountains aren't covered with snow, they turn a lovely shade of brown and beg the heavens to part and pour out blessings upon them in the form of tiny liquid drops. We especially love a good rainstorm, because—in addition to the much needed moisture—it allows us to know what we are talking about when we use the phrase "On God's Green Earth."

Yesterday, the seemingly impossible happened: It rained. It even hailed for a few seconds. We missed the sunshine. We missed going boating on Labor Day. And… we missed something far more important than all of that. We missed our kids. But wait! Weren't they just here at home with us a few seconds ago? Where did they go? Where are they?

10 Minutes Before the Rainstorm

The boys said they were going to ride their bikes down to Tator Tot's house to play. The Potato Head Family are great friends of ours and only live two doors down. Our kids play together often, so when the boys mentioned they were heading out the door, I didn't give it another thought and off they went.

10 Minutes Later


I opened the door to see the sky opening, pouring pearls of moisture on our scorched grass. Drops fell so consistently, I was tempted to reach my hand out and part them like clear, plastic beads in the doorway of a 60s teenager's room. I took in the sound, the smell, the breeze as time stood still under the palm tree patio on my oasis front yard. Deciding whether to run through the streets like I did when I was a girl (only this time with my clothes on), my overflowing emotions screeched to a halt when I suddenly realized Red Rover and Chatter Box are very afraid of the thunder. My plans to sing "Purple Rain"—or better yet, "I Love a Rainy Night," because when has rain ever been purple?"—while reliving my childhood were replaced with an immediate call to the neighbors. Bad news... Mrs. Potato Head said she hadn't seen hide nor hair of the boys all morning.

45 Minutes Later

For 45 minutes, T-Daddy drove through the neighborhood with no sight of the boys or their bikes anywhere. No bikes? That scared us. At home base, I called every person I could think of. I asked myself: "Where on God's Green Earth could these boys be?" (See how this phrase comes in handy?) In an attempt to enlist the semi-professionals, I tried calling the people in the hood who were in charge of the emergency phone tree (apparently, the jungle was on vacation too, because no one answered).

At about 35 minutes, the storm stopped and for 10 minutes I waited with baited breath for T-Daddy's call with the boys squealing with laughter as they rode their bikes on the wet streets. I mean how else is the ditty "rain, rain go away, come again another day," supposed to end other than "so we can go outside and play," right? But, when they didn't surface after the storm, I seriously debated whether or not to call the cops and kicked myself for not participating in the local child identity program, where they take pictures of kids to help in these kinds of circumstances. I heard you can't call the cops until a child has been missing for 24 hours, but I was frantic. Then, I started thinking what can happen in 45 minutes to a child. I started to think about Amber Alerts and Elizabeth Smart. I mean, her family doesn't live THAT far from here. So, maybe that means that abductions are even more common in these parts? (I actually thought that!) As I was trying to figure out how to put into action my own Amber Alert, T-Daddy suggested one last family to call.

Sure enough! My boys arrived at this gal's house right as the storm was hitting. They had such a great time playing that they didn't even hear the thunder. They had parked their bikes in her garage, which were impossible to see from the road once she shut the door to keep the water out. What I didn't want to hear was that she had wanted to call us, but we recently changed our cell phone numbers and she didn't know the new ones—neither did our kids nor any of our other neighbors for that matter. SMART! That meant we had to take some accountability. I hate that!

All's well that ends well, right? Sure! The kids were happy and we were alerted to the fact that we are horribly unprepared parents. Learn from experience, right? Still… I have questions rolling around in my head. When do you call the cops? What if the boys had not been at this neighbor's house? What if the unthinkable had happened? A lot can happen in 45 minutes. It made me think and wonder. How do you get your duckies in a row to prepare for such an atrocity? How do you teach your kids about stranger danger so that it really sticks? And, finally, what is the best way to discipline them when they go missing?

Originally Posted by http://mommygossip.blogspot.com9/1/08at 11:52 PM

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Halloween Makes Me A Bit Batty

I don't like to be thought of as a scrooge, but ... I am not a fan of Halloween.

There - I said it!

I do love the little kids in the adorable costumes. Who doesn't love fairies and princesses and cowboys?

I do love the candy!

I do love the spooky music and creepy haunted houses.

So ... what is it about Halloween I don't like?

It's the decorations my kids insist we string and paste and hang up all around our house. Those skeletons and bats and witches and stringy spider webs.

I think it is not so much the theme of Halloween that bugs me so much - but the colors.

The ORANGE and BLACK just does not fit in with my lovely home decor. It CLASHES! It's GAUDY! It messes with my obsessive tendencies and it takes everything in me to visually tolerate the pumpkins sitting on the front porch and the bats hanging in our foyer for weeks at a time.

I still put them out, though. My littlest daughter, Alexis, loves them and for her --- I do it.

Christmas decorations don't tend to bother me as much, but ... those Halloween decorations drive me BATTY!

What about you? Are you like me and hate those darn Halloween decorations or ... are on On The Flipside and LOVE Halloween and LOVE all the decorating with the goblins, pumpkins and bats?

Please don't forget to go over and participate in the poll on this topic.

Poll results: Do You Love Putting Out Halloween Decorations? 12 people participated in poll. 6 (50%) said Yes. 6 (50%) said No.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Taking A Break

I'm taking a bit of a blogging break. I hope to be back real soon with more fun posts and great guest bloggers.

See you soon - Kellan

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What Would You Do If ...?

On Wednesdays, I throw out a question that asks, "What Would You Do If ...?" and I would love to hear - what you would do.

Today, the What Would You Do If question comes from Texan Mama over at Who Put Me In Charge Of These People. She sent me an e-mail about something that happened to her and wondered what other people do in this situation.

Please read Texan Mama's story from her e-mail and then offer your opinion/answer in the comments.


Oh, something happened to me today and I thought, I wonder what other people would do in this situation...

It's not exactly controversial, but it's a thinker.

I'll just tell ya as it happened to me.

I had just returned from a long day, dropping the kids at school, then to Target to shop, then to Bible study, then finally home at noon. Upon getting home to put away the groceries, I look at the jam I am about to put away in the pantry. I notice the little "popper button" is popped UP. Hmmm, shouldn't it be down? I press it and, yup, it's up. So I go to open the jar and notice a little dent in the side of the metal lid. My immediate thought is, oh, the popper must have popped up when this jar got dropped. I probably dropped it or it banged against something in the van. I open the jar and everything looks brand new and fine. I give it the smell test - pass with flying colors. So, what did I do?

I just put it away in the fridge.

Am I playing roulette with my family's health? Maybe. Could I have returned it and gotten a new one? Dunno, probably. Should I have just thrown it away and chucked up the loss of $2 to being cheaper than a medical bill of hundreds?
Quite possibly.

But I did none of those. I put the jam in the fridge.

Maybe I should go get it now and pitch it....

*Note: Please go over to the sidebar and participate in the poll question on this topic.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Neglected Kid Time

On The Flipside Guest Blogger: Adrian of Adrian's Crazy Life.

Adrian has written a great post and so graciously agreed to be a Guest Blogger for On The Flipside. Please read her post below and then leave your opinion on this topic in the comments. And, don't forget to go over and visit Adrian at Adrian's Crazy Life. Thanks, Adrian!

Neglected Kid Time

I got to thinking about some of my favorite posts and I realized that I'd never posted one of my favorite essays. This was a post I wrote a couple of years ago on my Utah Divas website. This relates to my Stampin' Up! business, but it really applies to any home business or hobby that we tend to obsess about. Thankfully, since this period in time, I have made a lot of changes and I no longer invest nearly as much time in my stamping as I used to.

I'm writing this at 3:42 AM, so I apologize if it seems a little "unpolished", but I've just had something the Flylady calls a "God breeze". She refers to Him as the "Midnight Editor" and He sometimes sends her little messages and topics for her essays in the middle of the night. The topic I received tonight is "Balance" - you know that thing that Shelli talks a lot about in her little newsletter at the front of our Stampin' Success magazine.

However, a lot of us don't really practice the habit of Balance - I know I don't, which is why I'm sitting up here typing in the middle of the night. As many of you know, I recently lost my mother, which tends to make you step back and take a look at yourself and your life and right now, I don't really like what I see.

I love my Stampin' Up! business, but there definitely is a dark side of it and I've run smack into it tonight. I'm an enthusiastic "all or nothing" type of person and when I throw myself into a new "something" - I tend to throw myself pretty hard and damn the consequences.

In this case the consequences translate into something I called "Neglected Kid Time" or NKT. I look back on how I spent my day today and it's nothing but NKT. Here it was a beautiful, sunny (though chilly!) Saturday and I had my husband and my two wonderful sons right here, waiting to spend some time with me after a looong week of working and yet I sacrificed pretty much the entire day to Stampin' Up!

I had a chance to attend a quarterly downline meeting and even though it wasn't really my downline, I was invited and I decided to attend, even though I had already spent an evening with my Utah Stampin' Divas a couple of days earlier. Tons of fun, and a nice chance to get out with some great girlfriends and make some fun projects, but again a entire evening of Neglected Kid Time as my kids sat home with my husband and probably watched TV all night.

Then I add in travel time, preparation time, making swaps time, and waaaay to much time staring at this computer screen at waaay too many stamping websites like this one and I wonder why I have a couple of grouchy, unruly kids with their rooms a mess and their chores and homework not done - duh!

Then I look around at my house that looks like a bomb went off in every room (if Flylady saw this house right now, she'd turn tail and run right back to North Carolina!). I look at my husband who has watched so much football, I think he has green Astroturf imprinted on his eyeballs and then I look at our two boys who practically have square eye sockets because they've watched so much TV, played so many video games, or spent so much time on their own computer! (Yes - we do have HIS, HERS, and KIDS computers as well as separate TV's for each - that's a big clue right there!) And I think - boy did I screw up again!

I don't know about you, but pretty much all my adult life, I've felt like that guy you see in the circus with the spinning plates. I have all these plates going and they are labeled WORK (my "real" job), KIDS, MARRIAGE, HOUSEWORK, STAMPIN' UP!, CHURCH, a whole bunch of others and even a little tiny one called ME and I realize that I've been spinning the ones called WORK and STAMPIN' UP! so much this whole year that all the other ones are starting to wobble badly and even start to fall.

So what do I do? I have to admit right now, I don't really know. Obviously I'm going to have to stop spinning these two plates so much and go over and give the other ones a few extra spins. But how to keep them in balance for the long term? That's really the $64,000 question, isn't it? Do I reduce the number of plates, or just figure out some great master plan for spinning them all a little more evenly? I don't know - maybe that's not a good question for 4:20 in the morning.

But I do think it's a good time for us all to ask an important question - what are your kids (if you have any) doing while you are reading this message? Hopefully by now, mine are spending some Non-Neglected Kid Time with their one and only, ever lovin' Mom.

Originally posted by Adrian 8/18/08 at 8:00 AM

Please leave a comment and be honest - whether you agree or are On The Flipside on this subject. And, make sure you follow the comment rules and be nice to Adrian and to me and to other commenters. And, please go over to the sidebar and participate in the poll on this topic.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What Is She (Really) Thinking?

On The Flipside Guest Blogger: Texas Mama over at Who Put Me In Charge Of These People.

Texas Mama wrote this great post on September 21, 2008, on her blog and agreed to repost it here On The Flipside. Please read this wonderful post on this very interesting topic and then go over and visit Texas Mama and say hello. Thanks, Texas Mama!

What Is She (Really) Thinking?

Hmm.... just when you're thinking "I have NOTHING to blog about today. I wonder what I'll have to dig up just to keep my readers from yawning." something hits a nerve and POOF! A blog post is born.

We all have one of these friends... you know, the one who really loves you but deep down disagrees with you on some crucial point of your belief system. Maybe it's politics; maybe it's the decision to use dried herbs instead of fresh. Who knows. But you both know to NEVER go there, else the friendship may suffer irreparable damage.

So, I have this friend. Let's call her Pig. Now, please understand, I do not think she is a pig. She, actually, gave herself this nickname because she really likes pigs and used to collect pig things: stuffed animals, figurines, pictures, tee shirts, whatever. I have known Pig since our first days of college when we shared a freshman English class. She was the ying to my yang. She helped me to take life less seriously; I taught her how to compose herself in moments when laughter was not appropriate. Yes, me. I was there for her after her first marriage fell apart. She was there for me when I got married, as one of my bridesmaids. Her son and my daughter are born just weeks apart. She is my daughter's godmother.

So, you get it? We're close. And we have stayed close all these years.

She's also a heavy Democrat. I am a Republican. We both laugh because we both say how our votes are a wash. She lives in Kansas (always goes Republican) and I used to live in IL (always went Democrat). Sometimes I like to get her going by making some comment about liberals, or how we listen to Rush Limbaugh, or I simply mention the name "George W. Bush". She loves to debate politics and I think it infuriates her that I refuse to bend, even a little, towards the middle. Not that she's bending either, but she likes to believe that she can change someone's mind with her powers of persuasion.

Now, I was talking to Pig today and we were discussing a mutual friend from college whose children were grown now and in elementary school. She wondered why the friend had not gone back to work? I explained, well, I believe the friend - let's call her Amy (because that's my most favorite girl name and still, why have I not named any of my girls that name???) - that Amy enjoyed staying home and taking care of the house things, being active in her kids' school, volunteering, etc. Plus, Amy's husband made enough money that she didn't need to work. They weren't rich, but his salary was enough to support the family. Pig went on to say that it just didn't make sense. Why wouldn't a woman want to go back to work? What was the point in staying home?

She continued, while I listened in silence, that SHE took her son to and from school every day. That SHE took days off work when her son had field trips so that she could attend. That SHE took time off work when there was a holiday party at school with which she was helping, and not only did she attend but she baked (not bought) cookies. And, she said, I *do* like my job, but I am busy! I take my son to sports practices. I take him to games. I help him with homework.

I tried to explain, "well, maybe Amy likes staying home with her family. Maybe even if she could go back to work, she would choose not to. I can understand this dilemma if they were suffering financially, but they aren't - so what's the big deal?" And I mentioned, "maybe Amy doesn't understand why in the world you choose to work when your husband could easily support your family on his income alone."

Pig then continued, and I think this may have been the source of her frustration, how she was so SICK of bumping into one particular stay-at-home mom in her subdivision who complains that she's SO TIRED.

Pig says, "What in the hell is she so tired from? She doesn't even see her kids all day because they are at school!! The kids even ride the bus so she doesn't have to drive them either. How lazy is that? I mean, what else does she have to do?"

I was pretty much stunned.

Pig: "Hello? Are you there?"

Me: "Yes, I'm here. I'm just listening."

Pig: "Oh, I'm not talking about you. I mean, you still have a small child at home. And you have 4 kids! I mean, this lady in my subdivision only has 2. And hers are at school all day."

**crickets chirping**

Me: "Okay, well, I don't know what her situation is. So, how was your son's birthday party?" (me, trying to redirect the conversation away from me putting my foot in my mouth)

Now, before you go and start in with "That Pig is a total rag. Drop her like a hot potato!" I must beg you to please restrain yourself. She is a VERY close friend. Just because I don't see the world the same way she does, doesn't mean I don't love her. We have very different views on parenting, which probably is directly related to our difference of opinions on the working/staying home thing.

Now, all day long, I can't stop thinking about this. Is that what Pig thinks about me? What if I had chosen not to go back to work, would she secretly be clucking her tongue at me? Or making snide comments, set up as just playful jabs but really based in truth? I almost feel like, "Thank God I have a baby at home to justify my Stay-At-Home-Mom status."

That continued the spiral... what do I do all day? Could I be doing what I do, and still go out and have a job? Why not? Many women do it and make it work. Many women do it and are really good at it! And, it's true: I don't see my kids a majority of the day (with the exception of the baby). So, should I be doing something more meaningful? Like homeschooling? (Oh, please don't make me do that. I may have to take a full-time job just to avoid it.) Or volunteering at a not-for-profit agency? Or getting a job that I can do from home? Suddenly, my days of clipping coupons, driving around town to get the best deals from various stores on our needed supplies, folding loads of laundry, picking up toys, and ironing Texan Papa's shirts seems very... insignificant. Like I'm wasting time. Like I'm unproductive.

I am so screwed. I take these little scenarios and hold onto them for dear life. My brain exists only to tumble around the different paths my life could take or should have taken. What if I'd done this instead? Would I be richer? Smarter? Someplace different? Would I have more kids? Less kids? Any kids at all?

Now, I know that every time I meet a working mom, I will be afraid that she's thinking the same thing that Pig thinks. I bet I will (subconsciously) mention that I have a baby at home, and she's only about 1 year old - just to make sure it's understood that I *DO* have someone to keep me busy all day. I will probably never act like I'm busy, but rather offer to relieve any burden she may have because, you know, I have so much extra time on my hands.

The funny thing is, I am not being funny. I DO have lots of extra time on my hands. I DO realize that my job is pretty easy. Because of those things, I purposely avoid asking my husband to do any household chores. I try to support him by allowing him to bring home the bacon without any added stress. I'm not saying that I walk around behind him, picking up his socks and wiping his nose. I just mean, I don't tell him that he has to cook dinner once a week, or that he has to fold laundry, or put away toys, etc. (For the record, he does occasionally do those things without being asked, just to be helpful.) And, in turn, he has never asked me to go out and get a job to help with the income. I have had small jobs here and there, but nothing more than what could cover a couple weeks of groceries. But my point is, I do realize that I have a great life. I enjoy staying home. I enjoy being a domestic goddess. I love teaching and one day hope to return to it. But in the mean time, should I apologize for my husband's and my belief that - for us - it's important to have a parent at home while the children are young? Should I feel guilty that I can - and do - go to yoga class, do bible study, write thank-you notes, and take bike rides while other moms are out there earning the Almighty Dollar? No, scratch that. I don't want to know if I should feel guilty. I want to know how I should justify it to my friends, to myself, to society?

Originally posted by at 9/21/08 12:01

Please offer your honest opinion on this subject of working moms vs stay-at-home moms, but please follow the comment rules and be nice to Texas Mama, to me and to all those that comment. Also, please go over to my sidebar and participate in the 2 polls on this topic.

Poll results: Do You Feel Like Working Moms Look Down On SAHM? 12 people participated in poll. 3 (25%) said Yes. 1 (8%) said No. 8 (66%) said Some Do. (0) said Most do.

Poll results: Should SAHM Have To Justify Their Choice To Stay Home? 9 people participated. 8 (88%) said No. (0) said Yes. 1 (11%) said In Some Cases.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What Would You Do If ...?

On Wednesdays, I throw out a question that asks, "What Would You Do If ...?" and I would love to hear - what you would do.

I will not give my answer to the What Would You Do If - Wednesday question until late in the day - after everyone has had the opportunity to offer their ideas first.


What would you do if ...

Your best friend's husband continuously flirted with you? Flirted to the point that it made you uncomfortable? Flirted in a way that was disrespectful to your friend. Flirted like he wants you?

What would you do?

Would you tell your friend?

Would you confront your friend's husband?

Would you ignore the situation and just hope that it stopped?

Would you flirt back?

What would you do?

Please leave your honest answer and then please go over to my sidebar and participate in the poll on this topic.

Okay - this is what would I do?

I have not been in this situation, but I did have a situation in high school where my best friend's boyfriend cornered me in a dark room and kissed me. I was shocked and worried and I never told my friend and he and I never talked about it - it just sort of went away. He and my best friend ended up getting married. I don't know what ever happened to them and their marriage, but I have often thought about that "stolen" kiss many times over the years.

I would try to be nice. I would say things (joking) that would make it obvious that I was not interested and that would hopefully make it clear that I didn't think the flirting was respectful to my friend or to me. If he continued and didn't get the hints - I'd confront him and ask him to stop. If he didn't stop - I'd be hesitant to tell my friend for fear that she might not believe me and may even defend her husband. Last resort - I'd have my husband start making remarks to back him off.

I hope this never happens.

Poll results: "What Would You Do If Your Friend's Husband Constantly Flirted With You?" 11 People participated in the poll. (0) said they would tell their friend. 6 (45%) said they would confront the husband and tell him to stop it. 6 (64%) said they would ignore the situation and hope that it would just stopp on its own. (0) said the would flirt back.