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Archive for the tag “dogs”

Fainting Couch STAT

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I haven’t written lately because I have just been SO busy.

I work Full Time. Tend to two children. One husband. Two Dogs.  Hundreds of models. 5 States worth of event staff. Girlfriends.  Family. Charitable causes. Attempted work out regime.

My kids have been sick so I haven’t slept much.  My dog gashed open his head.  Traveling for family obligations has been stressful.  My friends are pregnant/engaged/divorcing/partying/depressed. I am exhausted and stressed and being pulled in every direction.

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

If you do. Don’t.

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I decided to write on an area of abuse I see running rampant in many places of my life (sometimes mine).  It is one of the few common personality traits that knows no ethnicity, religion or gender.  It does not exclude any age, occupation or socioeconomic class.  In fact this affliction may be the most contagious disease I have seen of late (Except for diseases once abolished. Thanks anti-vaxxers).

The “disease” goes by a few terms:

Victimhood.  Playing the Victim.  Self Victimization. Victim  Playing.  (Cousins with Martyrdom)

Definition: fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulateothers, a coping strategy or attention seeking.

Playing the Victim is useful.  It works in most situations.  You can use it to win a fight.  Elicit sympathy.  Gain praise.

I would be lying if I said I haven’t played the victim before.  It is usually to throw someone off in a fight (I have married an attorney but my dad always assumed I would be one) or to get out of something I don’t want to do.  I think everyone should get a few free victim cards per year.

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I am not speaking of the occasional overwhelmed feeling of a person needing a moment of praise.  Heck we all need some snaps every once in a while!

IMAG4976_3(My snaps cup of praise given to me by my fabulous friends)

 This blog is geared to the perpetual victim.

The card toting year around victim who literally feeds off the attention and praise devoted to their plight.  You can find the greatest offenders of victimhood in various arenas.  These are just a few I have seen this week:

1. The Social Media Abuser – Facebook, Twitter, Victims.com (OK I made that up).  Good Lord the victims use social media as a personal soap box for their need for affirmation.  These offenders post weekly but most often daily.  They share inspirational quotes about how they are wonderful in a passive aggressive way.

They write about being stressed. Over worked. Over tired. Can’t sleep. Trying the best they can as a (insert lifestyle). The posts literally BEG you to say, “You are AMAZING”, “Keep your head up!”, “You deserve the best!”, “It will get better”, “We are in AWE of how awesome you are!”… you get the picture….

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I should preface.. the Social Media Abuser probably falls into the following categories as well….

2. The Over Achiever- We all know this person.  This victim is cloaked in a shiny coat and often not categorized as a couch fainter.  This person pushes to be the lead in everything.  The class President. Head of the Pismo Beach Disaster Fundraiser. Cheer President.  The Soccer Mom, Carpool director, Team Captain- All in one week.  The over achiever is the individual others are immediately drawn to because they appear to “have it together”.  Months or perhaps years pass before one realizes the praise of being an “overachiever” is the Heroin of choice for this person. Keep praising or this hidden victim will crumble.  This person does not take on one or two areas.  They demand to be in charge of everything.  They headbutt their way to the top then wait for the praise to flow.

3. The Public figure- UGH probably the most offensive to me.  If I read another celebrity complaining about their public comments being taken wrong…. Some celebrities love to talk about how hard it is to be rich and famous.  The horrible problems they deal with and how we should pity and celebrate them.

4. The Plight I Overcamer- “Overcamer” is not actually a word but you know who I am talking about.  The person who overcame the horrible (insert situation) and is reformed… but not really.  They remind us of their past plights constantly, passively begging for us to praise them over and over and over and… well you get the picture.  They want applause for becoming better. Unfortunately they haven’t actually overcame anything because they compulsively seek adoration. Daily.

5. The Never Follow Througher- Again… I might be making a new word but this person tells everyone constantly how they are starting (insert plan).  It never actually happens but we are supposed to praise them for their thoughts toward awesome.  The “never follow througher” is the quintessential beacon of hope wrapped in a soft victim blanket.  They are letting us know they have been through EVERYTHING but are still willing to (insert-go to school, run a marathon, build a boat, become vegan, get a medal, host a speech, break up with bad person, start a freaking revolution). Obviously they never actually complete their goal(or come close) but as a victim encourage others to say YAY!! Way to go!! We never see any results because the ego is fed until the next proclamation.

It is fine to play the victim every once in a while.  We all need a dose of confidence to remind us we are amazing. Capable. Phenomenal. Awe worthy.  However, is this your crutch? Is being a victim your go to? Do you beg for affirmation regularly?

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Maybe I am crazy but why not ask for praise when you need it? Or better yet why not count one’s own blessings?

This past weekend I was in my home town and blessed to see my oldest and most dear friend Rachel.  She is the same age as I am. She has 4 children and is divorced.  As soon as she arrived to meet me her first question was, “How are you?? You have so much going on I need to hear everything”.  I rambled for an hour.  When I inquired about her and her family she shrugged it off.  She mentioned she had been a bit frustrated getting the kids out in the morning but otherwise life was great.  She doesn’t have time for Facebook or social media.  She doesn’t complain or bitch.  She is AMAZING.  If she had a fainting couch I would buy her pillows.  But she never will.  She’s not a victim.

Yet another of my best friend’s volunteers with children.  She devotes her time (quietly) to provide positive opportunities for those in need.  The stories she has told me of visiting orphanages in Mexico and being a “big sister” to two special kids…. hopefully she will guest blog- Unicorn you know who you are…

Remember when this video went viral?

The people who have the most tend to need more.  Those who could actually BE A VICTIM choose different.  Some of the most confident individuals I have met are those with little to nothing.  More important people who actually need our support don’t publicize it.  At what point does the need for praise and affirmation become an actual addiction?

 

 

 

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So this happened today.

Typically I don’t post/write on the weekends.  However in honor of Mother’s Day my nonfiction story needed to be told.  As with my last post on the follies of motherhood this blog applies to everyone.  Feel free to laugh, shake your head knowingly or simply cringe at the thought. Whichever emotion my blog elicits, enjoy.

Yesterday morning I got my hair highlighted and cut.  Relaxed, blonde and happy I returned home to find flowers from Mike and an adorable card from Bailey(our toddler).  While I was gone Mike and the girls had gone grocery shopping and planned breakfast and dinner for Mother’s Day. Further, Mike asked me what he could do to make Mother’s Day awesome for me.  I told him to just take the girls in the morning so I could sleep in.  Done and done.

Around 6:30 a.m. our baby awoke and was giggling in her crib.  Mike wasn’t quite awake so I jumped up to get her for snuggles and a quick diaper change.  As I went to change Michaela I sensed something was off… she was holding on to a gooey wad and it seemed to be all over her; in her hair, her onesie, even smeared on her face- what was that?? It looked familiar and smelled familiar but I just couldn’t quite place it. All of a sudden my groggy mind clicked into place and I recognized what the squishy clear balls were.  My heart sank as I quickly surmised her diaper must have been faulty.  It had emptied the contents of the absorbing gel typically sealed inside the crotch of a diaper all over her body.

For those of you lucky enough to not know what I am talking about here is a visual of what the gel beads look like:

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This is the amount in one diaper:

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Michaela was playing with it.  She was smearing it.  She was covered and playing with urine filled gel balls UGHHHHHHH. I yelled for Mike,”Babe we have a pee situation. I neeeeeed you. Quick!” Mike came stumbling down the hallway and didn’t miss a beat.  He started a bath while I attempted to peel the urine soaked onesie  and the remnants of the diaper off Mich.  Did I mention the poop? Yep. Amidst all of this she had pooped and I hadn’t noticed. Now I have a naked, gel covered, poop smeared baby.  I step backward in shock and my foot sinks into the squishy gel balls that are now all over the floor. I look down and I am covered in miniscule urine droplets.

It was 6:45 a.m.

I take all the dirty blankets downstairs and shake them in the backyard only to realize I had stepped in fresh dog pee. Sigh. I wiped my foot with the soiled blanket while our Maltese walked through the puddle and happily trotted back in the house leaving pee pee paw prints.

By 7:30am I was showered and back in bed with a clean baby, cuddly toddler and sheepish husband.  Mike kept apologizing, saying he just wanted to me to sleep in and relax.  I just laughed and snuggled in with my favorite people.  By 8 a.m. Mike had both girls playing downstairs and I sipped delivered coffee while perusing facebook.  I knew I was supposed to sleep but the sounds of a dance party and giggles downstairs were beckoning me to join. The best part about being a mom are the moments not intended to be awesome.  Listening to Mike play DJ to Bailey’s favorite songs and hearing the shrieks of laughter from both the girls and Mike is the best gift I could ever receive.  My heart was exploding just thinking of the fun happening downstairs and there was no way I could sleep through it. Just then Bailey came upstairs to find me and asked me to help her find clean “pony choanies” ( our term for my little pony themed underwear). I told her I didn’t have to because it’s Mothers day.  She looked at me and said,” But mommy who is going to make dinner??”

9ish a.m.??

Michaela was ready for her morning nap and Bailey and Mike were downstairs making me French Toast.  I took Mich to her nursery and remembered the bedding was gone. Oops. I quickly changed her crib, fed and changed her so she could sleep.  By the time I got downstairs the tired protests from a too tired baby were waning and the delicious smells of bacon and french toast were wafting through the air.

Happily I walked into the kitchen to see my phenomenal husband flipping french toast with Bailey stirring the egg mixture.  I planned to sit down and begin sending notes to my favorite mom friends and glanced at the video monitor to ensure a sleeping baby.

Instead, I saw this:

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O.M.G.  What is my 6.5 month old baby doing standing up??? When did this happen? Shocked, I yelled to Mike to look at the screen while simultaneously telling Bailey to not spill on her new dress.  At precisely this moment Bailey dumped the majority of the french toast mixture down the front of her, completely soaking her new dress. The sticky, eggy mess sunk into the hardwood floor and coated the snouts of my dogs licking it up.  Bailey lost her shit and started screaming.  Michaela was standing in her crib.  Bacon was sizzling in the oven.  The french toast smelled amazing and my dogs were thrilled with the taste of their face fur.

10 AM

Bailey was no longer crying and Michaela was sleeping soundly.  Bribed with the promise of another mini my little pony she happily ate all of her french toast.  Mike made me another cup of coffee and apologized again saying, “I tried so hard to make this morning just right for you.”  He made it more than just right.  He made it perfect.

Mother’s Day is a day to appreciate the mothers in one’s life.  It does not mean that chaos won’t ensue.  It does not mean the day will run smooth.  It just means you are loved and admired.

Happy Mothers day to our phenomenal mom readers!

 

Kids and dogs get in the way.

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Last week our second child turned 6 months old. So we have a 6 month old, a 3 1/2 year old and two dogs(see this post about downsizing for why we have two, rather than three). It is a full house and it completely gets in the way of being efficient.

Last night Mike took the dogs with him to pick up burritos and both of the girls fell asleep. I couldn’t believe it. I am alone. With the opportunity to do anything, I chose making the bed and a glass of wine. I forgot how easy making the bed is without a frisky puppy and an overzealous toddler playing parachute with each layer.  In the few moments of glorious silence my mind began to think about how time consuming and arduous the simplest tasks are.  Activities I used to take for granted now require organization and planning.  Whether you have children, aspire to do so, or just relish in the fact you will always be responsibility free I put together a list anyone can appreciate.

At Home:

1. Going to the bathroom. I never thought I would be the kind of girl who left the bathroom door open. With kids and dogs it is a necessity. Recently I closed the door and Lucy (our Maltese) started scratching within seconds, Bailey (our toddler) started banging on the door asking where I was and why I closed the door.

2. Heightened interest in bodily functions. Furthering #1 my home has become an “elimination check in”.  As if having dogs and kids in the bathroom with you isn’t bad enough, Bailey insists on knowing what type of excretion I am leaving. “Mommy, are you pooping or peeing or both? Let me see!!” If I blow my nose, “Mommy, did you have boogers”? The inquisition does not stop at me.  Bailey wants me to know when she poops, when Daddy poops, and checks to see if our baby has pooped or peed. It is mortifying and disgusting. Lately she has turned to the “tooting” (our acceptable word for ripping ass) inquisition and calls out anyone who discreetly passes gas.  Yesterday she told our neighbor that I am stinky and toot all the time.  Shameful.

3. Laundry. When Bailey turned 3 the multiple outfit changes began. She prefers to change her underwear after every bathroom visit and an entire ensemble change is necessary at least twice per day. Couple that with baby Michaela’s drool ridden onesies and we have a solid 2 loads of laundry per day. Doing laundry with a toddler is messy and inefficient — two words I abhor. The effort is there from her but the skills aren’t. Unfortunately by the time Bailey has acquired the skills to properly fold she will have no interest in doing so.

3. Cleanliness. I absolutely love a clean home. The smell of bleach turns me on, and clean floors is ecstasy. With kids and dogs both are impossible for more than one hour. I try so hard. But between Bailey’s scooter carving a dirt track and the dogs dragging whatever clings to their paws it will never happen.  Michaela moving to solid foods only adds to the funk on the floor. I have actually deemed floors clean when the dogs lick up the food the kids leave. Even worse? When I am in a hurry I just push the extra crumbs off the counter onto the floor so the dogs can help me.

4. Enjoyment of coffee. Prior to 9am I do the following: Feed dogs. Clean up dog poop. Feed baby. Clean up baby poop or pee. Make chocolate milk for toddler. Bottle for baby. Encourage poop and pee in toilet for aforementioned toddler. Return work emails. Attempt to clean kitchen and pick up toys from night prior. Conference call. Wash bottles…. you get the idea. Guess what? I make coffee and usually microwave it 2-3 times because I just don’t have time to drink it while it’s hot.

5. Personal Grooming. As a fairly high maintenance gal I have always carved out a large amount of time for “upkeep”. Prior to children my nightly ritual included a hair mask, face mask.. heck even rejuvenating gloves on a good night. I needed 30 minutes to brush, tweeze, moisturize, and decompress before bed. Fast forward 3 years and I am lucky if I get 3 minutes. My toddler micro manages every personal ritual I have to the point I have to make up stories to keep her at bay. I told her if she touches me when I spray tan her whole body will turn orange.  She thinks bronzer is fairy dust that can only be applied on holidays. Convincing her not to use my über expensive face cream as her body lotion is a lengthy argument.

In Public:

1. Coffee and restaurants.  The drive through is a life saver for a mom.  If you don’t have children, it may not have occurred to you that infants may finally be sleeping, toddlers are reading, and for a moment chaos is controlled. That being said, I get angry when the drive though line is long with one person in their car. Seriously?? If I am by myself I will gladly walk my latte driven ass into the Starbucks to order a coffee.

2. Nice restaurants. Before kids Mike and I would choose restaurants based on the food and wine and didn’t think about whether it was family friendly. Having children means fancy restaurants are a waste. Yep, I said it.  People are always telling me they take their kids to upscale restaurants and it’s great, the kids were well-behaved blah blah.  Fine dining is fabulous sans kids and this is why. My children are well dressed. My toddler is polite and charming. Guess what? She is still a toddler.  My idea of a fabulous dining experience includes multiple courses, invigorating conversation and a bottle (or two) of wine. I have never met small children who have a pallette for imported cheese and prefer to be silent for two hours.

3. Errands. Everyone has errands. I have always been a person of numerous errands on a weekly basis. Some of these are choice related. For example, I prefer Trader Joe’s for beverages and snacks, Farmers market for veggies and salsa and Ralph’s for our day-to-day essentials. My dry cleaner is great but I prefer a different alterations person. You get the idea. Doing errands with children takes FOREVER. Instead of running from place to place everything has to be an adventure. I listen to myself narrating the errands and I even convince myself: it sounds awesome. Couple that with the gear, diaper changes for the inevitable poop blowout, special surprises for being good and three stops will take all afternoon.

4. Meeting for coffee/lunch. I love meeting my girlfriends for breakfast. It is one of my favorite times to catch up and there is an energy and earnestness that comes from meeting up late morning.  But, coordinating the tiniest get together is a BEAST. Before kids, meeting for coffee or lunch was an after thought. Having kids completely changes the cavalier meet up. It takes coordination of a sitter/partner days in advance. If a partner isn’t involved then it costs a ton of money.  I recently told one of my best girlfriends the cost of us “lunching” and she was aghast — and that didn’t include the cost of the lunch itself.

5. Leisure anything. I am in a hurry every moment of my life. I don’t browse. I don’t stop for lunch with the exception of a sandwich to go. I tap my foot impatiently when the person in front of me chooses to be indecisive or holds up a line. My heart speeds up when someone causes a delay. I take it personally when someone causes and delay and want to say, “Don’t you know how much I have to do today? Hurry Up!!” I can’t help it; as a mom with a career someone ALWAYS needs something.

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Looking at this list, I can’t help but giggle.  Two of my dearest friends, Megan and Molly are always asking me what it’s like to be a mom….. when they read this they will surely rejoice they are without children.  What is crazy to me is how children can provide the biggest annoyance and a surge of happiness in a 2 minute period. Bailey was in the backseat today and was calling me. I turned around and she said, “Mommy, you are beautiful. I love you.” When our baby wakes and begins fussing I go into her room. As soon as she sees me she gives me the biggest smile. It melts me. I will take the chaos of my life any day.

Happy Mother’s Day to the fabulous moms who read our blog!

I Bought it. You should too.

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Since beginning my “Just the tip” series, I have had quite a few people tell me they really like it.  Apparently, homes have much better lighting (See this post) tangles are manageable (Click for tangles) and people are faking the hell out of entertaining (Click for hosting tips).

To be honest, I would love to sit around and dole out tips but between my job, kiddos and furry faces I don’t have much free time.  It’s not that I don’t want to blog… it’s just that no one has begun paying me to advise on avoiding bad lighting.

Allow me to introduce my newest series,  “I bought it. You Should too.”

I am constantly finding products that WOW me and I want to share my fab findings! Luckily these awesome products do most of the work for me so it takes a lot less verbiage.  You never know… maybe one of the brands will love me so much they will pay me crazy amounts of money to talk about them 😉  Until then, my “I bought it” series is purely my non sponsored opinion. Which brings me to my first blog about products.

Product: Pledge Multi Surface Everyday Cleaner – antibacterial Citrus Scent

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Cost: About 5 Dollars

Who should buy it:

1. People who don’t like having 5 different types of cleaning products

2. College and 20 somethings who don’t have extra money for non essentials

3. Germaphobes

4. People who have a kitchen and a bathroom

Why it is fabulous:

Today Mike and Bailey (our toddler) spent the afternoon at the park.  Our 6 month old fell asleep before they left and I had the next few hours to myself.  As boring as it sounds I was thrilled to have time to catch up on cleaning while listening to music not deemed G rated. Before you roll your eyes I drank wine throughout my cleaning session.  My biggest goal was to clean our guest bathroom.  Last week our bathroom had flooded necessitating a full demolition of the counters.  I am not exaggerating.  I had a crew of people in the bathroom for two full days ripping out every tile to find the leak then laying concrete and tiling a new countertop.  Everything has been put back together but the bathroom mirror and floors had a layer of dirt.  I started with bleaching the sinks, toilet and counter.  After everything had been thoroughly disinfected I moved on to the mirrors.  UGH. No window cleaner in the house.  Frustrated, I began looking through everything I had and decided on a whim to try the Pledge multi surface.  I was VERY dubious it would work even if it boasted windows on the front.  Holy awesomeness it worked AMAZING and there is not one streak on the mirror. I am so impressed.  When I think of Pledge I think of wood surfaces. In fact, I purchased this product and have only been using it on wood areas.  I am super excited to have a spray that is not only antibacterial but truly works on all surfaces. I tried it on my stainless steel stove top and POOF – no streaks!  This is a must have 🙂 AND, its antibacterial!

Happy Pledging!!

xo Mari

My dog was lost but now (s)he’s found.

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Our family did something that I never, ever thought we would do. We gave away one of our perfectly healthy dogs that we love very much. In the past we joked about giving her away, but in my heart I truly believed that we would never do it. My stubbornness and misplaced belief of my abilities as a dog-owner would not allow such a thing to happen. But we did it and things are better.

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Bianca came to our family during a difficult period. My wife and I each brought a dog to our relationship. I brought our aussie cattle dog and she brought a maltese named Harley. Unfortunately, Harley passed away far to early due to some medical issues. Our hearts were broken as Harley was a very special being. We quickly found Bianca to help us with the loss and because we both wanted a maltese in our lives. I never thought I would be a small dog person. But I loved Harley so much. Bianca was very mellow for a couple of days. Then, she busted out with a breezy vengeance. She would hide under the couch and sneak attack a passerby’s ankle. She would fling herself out the doggy door and down three steps like she was invincible. When we first took her to the bay, she followed our cattle dog in like she had been swimming her whole life. She had some hilarious quirks. She would fake injuries to get attention (a maltese trait). She would try to boss around the dogs at the park until another dog pushed back.  Then she would yelp like she had been shot and run to her “big brother” to protect her. Read more…

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