I tried to hug @queenofspain and she was all Bitch, Get off me!

Okay not exactly like that but it’s 2:30am and I’ve been inhaling paint fumes all night so I’m probably making no sense.

Here’s what really happened, I think. Maybe I’m wrong.

Erin wrote this awesome post last night about how how people who call themselves bloggers but are really just reviewers (and especially those who don’t clearly say that’s what they are doing) kind of suck.

Awesome.

I completely agreed.

And then I tried to say so … only it went like this:

 

Me Said: Hell Yeah! High Five! Shoot the idiots AND the horse the rode in on!

She Said: I got no problem with horses, horses are cool.

Me Said: No man, the horse sucks because if it weren’t for the horse the idiots would still be somewhere else instead of here.

She Said: Horses are beautiful creatures that I’m quite fond of

Me Said: Down with Horses! Horses Suck!

She Said: I’m trying to be patient and gracious with you but I didn’t write a post about horses, please stop talking about horses.

Me Said:  I know, you’re full on right about the idiots.  I still want to shoot a horse though.

She Said: Go to bed

Only I didn’t go to bed. I wrote this instead. Which just probably proves she was right and I’m the idiot – just not the horse riding kind

Softball Mom

As a young child, I was never involved in team sports. I ran track later in life but never played softball or soccer or any of the other league sports as a kid. It was never presented as an option. What I understand now, years later is that my older brother had many years before and my parents just weren’t interested in doing it anymore.

As a parent now I’m torn on this front as well. My oldest loves sports and we make sure she gets to play. We sign her up and take her to practices, we never miss a game. She loves it and fully support her passion.

But man do the other parents make it hard. Especially softball. Basketball we did through a church league and that was okay. No inner snarkiness amongst the parents. But softball man that one is getting to me.

We switched leagues this year because we didn’t like the league we started out in. Way to competitive. I don’t need a grown man yelling viciously at my child when she’s trying her best.  So we changed to one that when we played them seemed to have good coaches, one we had heard good things about.

I’m not the world’s most outgoing person. Who amongst us that prefers sitting behind a computer is. But I decided for Puddin’s sake I’d jump in with both feet and do my best to be a social creature, a softball mom. I don’t know if I’m just not good at it or if it’s just a click that I can’t seem to understand – but man every day I sit in those stands it stresses me out.

This group of AB (advanced skill) moms only talk to each other and that group of lesser skilled player’s moms all sit around and fuss about the coaching – and then there’s the moms who just don’t talk to anyone. Everyone is terribly polite to everyone else but there is such tension.

I volunteered to be the Team Mom and there’s the strange vibe with the coach’s wife – she only want me to handle the parts she doesn’t want to do herself.

I think I’m supposed to organize a team party for the end of the season and no one really seems to want to do anything.

I’m crazy I guess for thinking that it should just be a group of parents happy to be watching their little girls having a good time.

I’m lost.

I don’t know what to do. Or if I’m doing it wrong.

This seems harder than it needs to be. Harder than it should be.

Please excuse this rambling mess….

There is something that I don’t remember about myself very often. Fortunately I don’t have to. I’m the person you want beside you in a crisis. I don’t mean an every day run of the mill crisis (although I’m alright in those too) I mean the god awful kind where people are hurt or dying.

I learned this about myself for the first time at 17 when my sister-in-law was in a terrible accident. It happened as she was turning into her workplace and her employer called my house knowing we lived only about 1.5 miles away. My mother (a trained EMT) fell to pieces. Freaked Out. I took her keys, I drove us there, I kept my mother from jumping out of the moving car when she saw my SIL’s small pickup truck in the ditch embedded into a wall of trees with the bed wrapped up over the cab. I remained calm, I talked to people, I determined it was going to be fine (miracle!) and I was the rock to my mother’s crazy.  But when I left there and went on to school and walked into the last minutes of my homeroom .. something unexpected happened. Suddenly and without warning I fell apart, crying and gulping. All that plugged up fear and stress – blame out it came.

I am also a person who will cry at every single hallmark commercial ever. I cannot watch someone on TV cry for any reason without crying with them. The college kid who surprises his family on Christmas morning by sneaking home and making coffee get me every time.  My husband laughs at me regularly for this. It doesn’t seem to play correctly against my real life abilities to deal with these moments.

And yet this reaction to real life drama, this rhythm has repeated itself enough to be predictable. I am the person who asks the right questions, handles logistics, contacts the necessary people. I’m the person who makes arrangements and who doesn’t forget to put glasses and underwear in the clothes bag for the funeral home. I’m the person afterwards who gets handed personal effects because I won’t forget to ask for them.

But I am also the person who, when everyone one else is starting to smile again, leaves and goes and sits in a stream of boiling hot water on the floor of the shower and quietly looses her shit.

I was surprisingly reminded of this all yesterday from an unexpected place.

Last week when we – the internet – found out about sweet Maddie’s death we were shocked. I was so sad for her mother, a woman I only know through reading her blog. I was definitely thrown by the awfulness of losing a child but I did not cry. At the time I didn’t think much of it. After all, I didn’t really know them, only read the blog.  I donated, I posted March of Dimes widgets, I turned things purple, I twittered @realhughjackman. I did things. But I did not cry. Until last night.

Last night I sat down for the first time in a couple of days to read blogs and I found the recent posts, the taking home of the urn.  And sitting in my living room I started crying big hot tears for that little girl and for the mother in that back seat and for the man who had to drive them home. For the strength it took those two people to do that. For a split second I did what all mother’s do.. try to imagine yourself doing it and instantly , instinctually, reject the thought. But still have a flash of what it must have taken, what it must have cost them. To read what the Fat. Hot. Tears. Cried for those sweet people.

My husband walked in and looked at me and shook his head.. the TV was on, he assumed a commercial had gotten me. I didn’t correct him. I couldn’t find the words to explain it without sounding silly. A lady in California, who I don’t really know, lost a child, I read her blog… it just doesn’t give that moment justice. I was afraid I couldn’t explain properly that these were real tears, not silly ones, shed for people I really felt a connection to.

All of that brings me around to what I’m really trying to get at which is this…

It’s made me realize just how real reading someone’s blog can make them feel when they do a good job. I’ve been struggling of late on what this blog is to me. What I want it to be. Of late it’s been trivial and of little substance. Just posts to keep the ad ladies off my back. I’ve struggled to find the way to put myself out there the way Heather did (does) because I don’t feel like a writer and because on many levels I fear getting too real. Being truly open is not something I do well.  It makes me squirm.

But if the point of blogging is to connect with people – and for me I think it is. I’m not a brand, I am not selling things, I am not trying to make a living here. That BlogHer survey recently frustrated the hell out of me because I was all – where the damn option that just says I read blogs to hear a good story about someone’s life? The same reason I listen to Ira Glass, because I’m interested not because he’s selling something.

So I think that’s my answer. About this blog anyway. I’ve been bored with it because I’ve got to make the leap to really tell a story, to be real. To be more me. I’m sorry I took the long way around to that. It’s just been running around in my head and I got it out there. I’m not going to edit it. Sorry for the ramble but I hope that it’s first of many posts where I learn to really say what I’m thinking. Maybe I’ll get better at it.

I really have no idea what to do here

I’m in a lull, a rut, a something.

Time at home is stretched, and work is stressful because well have you heard about this recession and all? Every day I hope I wake up and have a job.

Softball season is roaring along.

We seem to have a steady flow of guests lined up to come visit.

All this combines to make Melissa extremely uncreative.

And what I do have is quickly sucked into Twitter.

Sorry

I promise to try to do better.

The New Smartfood – My New Addiction

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OMG! I stumbled on this stuff at the store this morning and I’ve about eaten the whole box.

In fact my only problem with it is it’s way overpriced for what you get 5 little 1 oz packages. But holy crap is it good.

I was intrigued by how they were getting away with using the name Smartfood because to me that name meant the white cheddar stuff but I looked it up and evidently Frito-Lay owned that name so they’ve repackaged the brand I guess.

If you’re willing to pay the price – The new stuff is Yummy!

When You’re 7 This Is What Heaven Looks Like

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This is the Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando. When you are 7 (or 3 or 5 or 11) this is pure heaven on a stick. When you’re a parent, I found, it ain’t so bad either.

We did a brief 2 day/1 night stop at Chez Nick this past week during our spring break. Just like everything else, the recession is hitting Florida tourist attractions hard and as a result Florida residents are scoring big time with Resident Discounts. We paid $135 a night but I did meet someone who said she got her room for $79 on Travelocity.

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The Nick is pretty popular with Florida parents anyway because the pools and waterslides and funky rooms and characters and at hotel activities provide enough entertainment that you really don’t have to go anywhere else. It’s the perfect weekend getaway for anyone with kids who lives in driving distance. So I had heard a lot about it but we had never gone. I was anxious to see if it lived up to it’s reputation.

It totally did.

The main attraction is of course the Lagoon pool. It’s huge and has 7 waterslides. It’s surrounded by a putt putt course, basketball courts, a baby slash area, and some hot tubs.

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What I really liked about it was that it has a zero depth entrance and that largest section on the right never got deeper than my three (almost four) year old could stand up in. In fact she could walk all the way up to the rope you see where becomes thin (just to the right of the lifeguard stand)

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She’s too big and to enjoy to baby splash area, she wants to be in the pool with the big kids but she’s not a swimmer yet and she was able to play happily in waste deep water here while the adults relaxed against the wall. The older kids were happy to play here as well because the shallow depth kept the water very warm and the waterslide water was freezing – they would regularly bounce back and forth.

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The waterslide area on this pool does not dump into water but onto that spongy playground material that surrounds the whole pool (yeah! no concrete that is either slippery when wet or so rough it tears up your feet!) so even none swimmers can play in this waterslide area without fear.

Beware though: Because every day at 4:45 there is a Mass Public Sliming!

The Oasis Pool is deeper Min 3 feet but I don’t think it got over 5’. The 11 year old with us could stand in all parts.  It’s slides are a little faster and they do dump into a pool of 5 feet of water.

The rooms lived up their reputation for coolness.

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I had seen mixed things about the rooms online but in my experience the rooms were great. In fact compared to the rooms we had and Disney’s Caribbean resort last year – Nick was much nicer, more up to date, and had much less wear and tear. The linens and carpets were fresh and clean. You get a two bedroom suite with a queen for the adults and bunks for the kids. Each kid room has a character theme – we had Danny Phantom, the adjoining suite our neighbors had was Sponge Bob. There is a living room area and a kitchenette as well.

One thing I will have to say that Disney does better was food – where we had a big variety of low cost food at their resort. At Nick bring as much of your own food as you can manage because the pickin's are slim unless you want to pay $20 for entrees in the Cafe. The “Mall” area had a grill with burgers and hotdogs, a Subway, and a Pizza Hut. We managed off that for 2 days and the under 5 year olds ate free with an adult but if we were there one more day we would have left property to eat.

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We spent most of our two days in the pool but there other things to do. Most of the activities and shows were additional charges. We didn’t do the 4-D experience or any of the other shows. We did let the kids do one craft since we had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon and they made tie-dye t-shirts for $15.00 (each).

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Overall I would say that it’s a great weekend place but I’m not sure if it would hold up for a whole week if you were going to Orlando for a longer stay. Don’t get me wrong the kids LOVED IT but I think
2 to 3 days is the right amount of time for the amount of fun they provide.

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Unpaid Unsponsored Parental Review of the Nickelodeon Hotel Resort in Orlando Florida

There is no interneting on vacation

We’re back from our Spring Break vacation where-in I agree to act like the internet does not exist and the Dr. agrees to stay married.

Actually it wasn’t that hard because we were so busy doing doing doing stuff. Suffice it to say that this recession is treating “Florida Residents” well when it comes to playing in our own backyard. We’re all acting like tourists down here.

But back to the grind… can’t wait to catch up with you all.