Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

As always, Jacksonville is the best place to be for the 4th of July.  Although we were very disappointed that they didn't do fireworks at the beach (which is normally our traditional place to go), downtown was still a spectacular scene!  (ahem... even if we did skip it!) 

We were one daughter short for the week.  Emily-Anne is spending two weeks with her grandma and grandpa.  The Hunky Hubby and I took our other two daughters (Kaitlyn and Madelyn) to Jacksonville Beach for a few hours to release some pent up energy.  You would think that since we live so close to the beach, we would be avid beach go'ers.  NOPERS!!  The fact is, going to the beach with kids is a very stressful event to prep for mentally let alone physically!!  First you want to be sure the house will be ready for when you return home because there is nothing worse, (OK, there is, but stick with me here), than coming back home with three very tired, full of sand, slightly burned, hungry, crabby kids and a hubster who just wants to abandon us all to take a warm shower and go straight to bed!  So of course, I make sure all three bathrooms are ready with towels, wash clothes, soft soap, skin cream and comfy loose PJ's.  I also need to prep for a fast dinner because the only thing anyone has energy for is fighting, so the sooner I get them fed and laying down the easier my night will go. 

Next is figuring out the right balance between taking too much stuff or not enough.  The usual stuff... oversized beach towels, sunblock, hats, glasses, water bottles, beach blanket, umbrella, buckets and shovels.  And since there are so many different variables that goes into how long we actually stay beach side, I need to anticipate how much food and drink to take.  If the weather stays warm and not scorching hot, the kids are in sync with their moods, and my Hunky Hubby actually relaxes and takes a nap, then we could be there for hours.  In that case the one thing this family liks to do is EAT... constantly.  However, it takes one kid to accidentally pick up another kids shell or a bird flying by to poop on something, or too much sand in a bikini bottom to cause the entire trip to tailspin.  In that case, you have to lug a cooler full of food off the beach, which for some reason, is harder than lugging one to the beach!

So by the time I have all the kids strapped into the car and busting at the seams from anticipation and the hubby mumbling and complaining why we need so much stuff.... I'm ready for a nap.  The kind you take on the floor next to the bed so when the kids come looking for you they can't see you on the other side and you actually get some peace... for about 20 minutes!

Then comes the dreaded parking space hunt.  The ring-around-the-rosey-game you play while trying to find a decent space within a mile from the beach.  And if that wasn't frustrating enough, dodging a million idiots drinking on beach cruisers!  There is always an internal debate I have regarding how much damage would there actually be to my kids if they witness their mother running down bikers like they were zombies in a video game... Would it be more than a therapist could un-do later?  Probably, so I curse silently hoping for some other crazed idiot to do it instead!  We finally find a pretty good spot not far from the beach but next to this apartment strip that apparently houses only drunk adolescent males excited they have an excuse to bring their stereos out onto their balconies and annoy everyone else on the planet.  But we've made it here so I take a deep breath, smile and start unloading the madness. 

After getting everyone and everything actually out onto the sand I am reminded why I hate to go anywhere on Holidays... people... everywhere.  However, I still refuse to let the crowds be what takes me down and I keep smiling as we set up so we can finally relax... I know, I know... RELAX????  Yep, I'm going to relax or at least pretend to be so that the kids and my hardworking Hunky Hubby can!  But between my fear of the kids being out in the water past their ankles, scanning the beach for doggie do (WHY DO PEOPLE BRING THEIR DOGS TO THE BEACH IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!) and sharp shells facing up that my four year old will, with out a doubt, end up stepping on... I'm a complete basket case.  I will say though, that other than my own self-inflicted manic worry, the day went pretty smooth.  So when the sky got dark and I had a legitamate excuse to leave, I jumped on it! 

After dodging the rain, and getting the kids home, showered, and slathered in cream (thankfully no signs of sun burn anywhere) there was no way I was going to venture out again to see fireworks.  Breathing a sigh of relief that the Hunky Hubby was on board with my plan, I was able to stick a few sparklers in the kids hands in the driveway before the sky really opened up, cranked out dinner in record time and got everyone settled and calm before I finally collapesed!  So if it makes me a bad mom that no one got to see fireworks this year for the 4th of July, so be it.  At least I didn't commit massive vehicular homacide while trying to make our way to downtown amidst 500 thousand drinking maniacs.  I like to look at it as me being a hero... I saved lives tonight!! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Review - Jenna's Cowboy: A Novel

Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon GillenwaterThis is a very soft "Christian Romance." Not really my cup of tea. There were really no conflicts worth writing about. I'm sure there is a huge audience for a book like this, I'm just not one of them. It's just one of those sappy overly icky story lines with no real conflicts. The writing was OK, I'm just not into stories like this one. This will be a short review because frankly it's too exhausting to put the effort into it...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Never Catching Up...

Isn't summer all about playing catch up on all the stuff you haven't gotten around to since last summer?  Cleaning out storage, closets and the garage?  Finally getting around to dusting the baseboards, scrubbing year old cheese off the bottom of the stove, dumping all those almost empty cleaning supplies from under the sink?  Oh and actually mopping the hardwood floors instead of just using a Swiffer... You know the never ending "Must Clean and Organize List" (otherwise known as the "since-it's-not-really-preventing-you-from-walking-from-room-to-room-you-never-really-have-to-get-to-it-but-feel-compelled-to-put-it-on-a-list-list")  Has anyone ever actually finished this list within a years time? 

Last night, my Hunky Hubby finally cornered me into helping him move some furniture (or what he likes to refer to, "The Crap I Can't Believe We Still Have") out of storage.  He is moving into a new office downtown and wants to incorporate some of his old office furnishings.  Which of course leads us to the three year ongoing debate of, "Why do we have storage? If we aren't using it, then let's get rid of it!"  Uhhhhh but what if I DOOOOO need it... just not right now? Duh! 

But back to my main point... playing summertime catch up.  Since we are close to scratching the storage thing off the dusty, and seemingly uncheckable list, I've decided that today is going to be the day I plan out how I can accomplish getting this list done and actually get started on it!  I guess you can say I'm feeling motivated!  Like my daddy once said to me (in a completely different context)... set small goals each day and do them in order to work towards larger goals for the week to set the stage for completing longer-term goals!  If you don't get them done, then tomorrow set smaller goals!!

So let the fun begin... one small step at a time!

Book Review - Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesFifty Shades of Grey Review

I wanted to like it more... I really really did...

Reading is a big part of my daily activities. Biographies, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, erotica, history, genealogical records, cookbooks, children's books, young adult books... the list is endless. I have never once, no matter how badly I may want to, skip ahead in a book or stop reading it. I simply finish what I start. Always. From beginning to end. Many times while reading Fifty Shades of Grey, I came very close to breaking my own rules. Slamming my kindle down incredulously screaming... RREEEAALLLLYY??? However, in the end, I am glad I stuck it out.

It is a typical erotic novel written by (what it seems like), a first or second time author. Period. The hype that is surrounding it, is not deserved in my opinion. That, to me, is where my problem lies. I enjoy reading books like this. I do. It's a predictable and easy read (and hey what exhausted soccer mom wouldn't want to hide from her hum-drum life and escape into an erotic fantasy from time to time?). What burns my buttons, is that for some reason it was hyped to be a scandalous, impossible to put down, fantasy-esq bible, with highly acclaimed "hold on to your panties" type writing, guaranteed to satisfy soccer moms everywhere! They (the soccer moms that is), are probably why it did get the stampeded, band-wagoned hype that it did... Moms who don't normally read anything nor have more than two minutes a day to themselves and obviously have nothing much to compare it to (other than a couple of Fabio covered romance novels earlier in life) that are aroused by the repetitive sexual situations that barely change.

This book seems amateurishly written and horribly repetitive. I agree with another reviewers thoughts that this must have been written by a couple of teenage girls. So true on so many levels. From over the top, unbelievable and juvenile-esq named characters (Anastasia, Christian, Mia, Taylor, Leila, Carrick, Elliot? Really? REAAAALLY? Very Beverly Hills 90210 dontcha think?) To the self made 26/27 year old (yep 26 at one point and 27 at another without a single mention of a birthday) millionaire/billionaire (yep, he was referred to as both), with perfect looks and body, out to save the world from hunger and is a master at everything from flying to boating, multi-lingual, brilliant, loving, funny, quirky, care free hero who has never actually learned to care for someone... until now. Oh and let's not leave out the wispy, beautiful (but by golly, just can't see it herself) virgin heroine. Sprinkle in repetitive sex scenes (with a strong fetish current that they don't REALLLLY explore to its fullest)and typical non dramatic story lines... i.e "How can she be with someone like me I'm SOOO damaged and broken inside?" and "How can he be with someone like me, so simple and inexperienced?" Then KA-POW She saves him from himself and a dark horrible existence that no amount of money and sex can cure (yea right!). And he, the Knight whisking her up in a whirlwind of fairy-tale dust and AMAZING sex showers her with money and love, making her the envy of every other female on the planet. (gag me with a whipped cream covered spoon!)REEEEALLLYY?

Oh and for a book that has a repetitive sex scene on every other page, and ample usage of the word F*@K, what's up with referring to her "lady parts" as THERE?? From what I have read, this book has been banned in local libraries as pornographic material, yet Ana's whoo-haa is constantly being called "THERE"... "He kisses me THERE." "I tingle THERE" Don't tempt and tease with "kinky F---ery" and then call her whoo-ha "THERE" like a twelve year old not quite sure how to refer to "THERE" yet! JEEZ (which brings me to my next burned button and evidence of a teenage writer.)

Jeeezz!!!!!!!! Golly Ge Willickers, tickle me pink, slap me with pilla and call me SHUGGAR! I have now banned the word Jezze in my household and my two tweens would very much like to thank the author of this book. (Although, I highly suspect they are being sarcastic and have no intentions of actually saying thank you. Hmm my husband would though.) Any who... are we to believe that this HONORS college graduate in literature says JEEZ every other second?! Along with a host of other high school type words and phrases said a million different ways??? (i.e crap, double crap, triple crap, F*@k-upedness, F*#kery, blah blah blah) Where did that spoon go? Someone beat me with it!

I could keep bashing but since I already purchased the other two in this series, I might as well get started on those. So look, I realize I'm being a whole lot harsher on this book than I would have been if my expectations weren't so high for it. But it is what it is, and I'm annoyed. I won't say it's a total bust of a book. The story line, although it borderlines plagiarism in this day and age, isn't entirely a snooze-fest. So like I said in the beginning, I am glad I didn't put it down. Let's just hope the story line in the next two take a left turn and Christian turns out to be Ana's step fathers long lost son and Ana struggles with lesbian tendencies... Oh and I have high hopes that Ana burns that Plum dress and Christian decides to NEVER wear grey pants and a white linen shirt again! Jeez...


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our three little goofballs...

Our three little goofballs... Katie, Emmie and Maddie.  As a mommy of three little girls (Katie 12, Emmie 10 and Maddie 4) life can get pretty crazy.  Especially since they all inherited the "I Think I'm The Funniest Person On The Planet" gene from their father.
We are two weeks into summer vacation, and I'm beginning to think it will never end.  I keep TRYING to sit down to plan some trips and outings for them, but as usual, my day gets sucked away with "Mom I'm hungry," "Mommy I pee pee'd in my panties," "Mom she hit me," "Mom she's looking at me like that," "Mom can you fix this," "Mom this just stopped working all of a sudden," "Mom she made this mess not me"... MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM!!!!  Then sprinkle in the "Hun did you get a chance to..." "Jen don't forget you need to..." "Jen since you're home all day can you please..." or the question I HATE THE MOST "WHAT'S FOR DINNER?"  Any moment of peace I get is spent hiding somewhere with my Kindle trying to get through the current chapter! (I know, selfish aren't I?) 
My goal for today (other than take a shower and get out of my PJ's) is to complete the MUST CALL TODAY list.  There are only 5 calls on there so it shouldn't be a problem, right?  Well it is 2:00 and I have until 5:00 ... Maybe I should just stick to the shower goal for today!