Monday, April 30, 2007


I guess I'm feeling rather moody today. This isn't a good thing for lots of reasons, which I'm not going to go into... it's just enough to say that this is NOT a good thing.

I feel like I am living in a world where I ask for a cheeseburger and somebody hands me a hot dog. Or I ask someone if they like a certain something, and the next thing I know, something SIMILAR but not quite the same is given to me. And I'm expected to love it. These types of situations make me feel, well, a bit ignored. Even if I'm not really being ignored.

My 'backpack' for my laptop came today. I don't know if I like it. It's really bulky. I'm bulky enough on my own... I don't really think I need any more help in that department.

Hopefully, the fact that my 'backpack' has arrived means that my laptop will be arriving soon also. The King decided to send everything to his work. I countered with "Fine, but you don't get to open it. Bring it home in its box." I think he was disappointed and probably doesn't get why I want to open it. I don't have a good reason... I just want to. That should be reason enough.

I'm going to go have some chocolate. Then I am going to bed.

Friday, April 27, 2007

That's So Random!

HEAR YE, HEAR YE! I have a very important announcement to make. Our tax refunds have been deposited into our bank account, therefore...

I'm getting my laptop!
I'm getting my laptop!
I'm getting my laptop!
I'm getting my laptop!

For the true effect of what I am feeling inside, you must imagine me jumping and twirling around, and saying this in a very loud 'neener neener' type of voice. On second thought... don't imagine that. It's just not a pretty sight.

So here's my request, it's simple really:

Order it now, PLEASE, and I want it here tomorrow.

Our home has a visitor. Her name is Cathryn, and she is a fellow blogger, an old acquaintance, and the daughter of one of my closest friends. We're excited to have her stay with us for a couple of days, though it is a rather interesting experience because we have some things in common, but yet, we are entirely different. Though I am sure that some of that is simply due to the 'getting to know you' weirdness that occurs when you are trying to make friends.

At any rate, she is very nice, and we enjoyed talking to her last night. She was also very thoughtful and brought gifts for each member of our family - totally unnecessary, but very thoughtful. The girls don't know about the gifts yet, but I am sure they will be thrilled when they see what they are. I'll let you know.

Are Bratz Dolls Too Sexy? I found this article, and my answer is YES. I hate Bratz Dolls - they are worse than Barbie IMNSHO. Of course, today my daughter went to school in a "butt-grazing mini skirt and (a) tight, belly-baring T-shirt" but that was simply because the outfit she chose was a tad-bit too small. But it wasn't THAT bad - really! But I digress. Thankfully, The Princess has responded well to my gentle comment of 'the clothes that they wear aren't very modest' and has decided that she doesn't care for them as well - though I think most of her decision is based on the name alone. She doesn't want to be a 'brat', therefore, the dolls have lost their charm. I don't really care how the battle is won... as long as I win it. :)

The Princess was in dire need of an attitude adjustment when she came home from school yesterday. I made her do subtraction flash cards for about 10 minutes, we cleaned her room, and she learned how to clean the bathroom. Yes folks, it's true, a 7-year old CAN clean the bathroom. She's not to the point where she can do it by herself yet (it was only her first time after all), but she did a good job. Generally, I did half of the job (like cleaning half of the tub), and then made her do the other half.

I probably should make her work more - it's not that I feel like I need to teach her 'the value of work' but more along the lines of 'the value of play'. She needs to work so that she values the playtime more. As it is, if she's not having a playdate or going somewhere, or thouroughly entertained by an activity of her choice, she is NOT HAVING FUN, and she is MISERABLE, and I am the WORST MOMMY in the whole wide world. Her life IS all about fun. That's all she ever does. The only way I see to make her see that she has a TON OF FUN in her life, is to make sure that there is plenty of time for things that she deems as NOT FUN so that she VALUES the fun times. Does that make sense?

Virginia Tech was the topic of one of my posts a few days ago. Dubby posted a comment that made me think a lot. My first response was to start an argument, er, friendly disagreement, with her. Then I thought that maybe we were saying the same thing. Then I had a lot more thoughts that varied from furious to sad, from infuriated to wonder, from disbelief to curiousity, etc, etc. I think my conclusion is this:

I feel sympathy for Cho, because I also feel he is a victim. It doesn't excuse what he did, but what an awful life he must've lived to bring his life (and 32 other lives) to such a tragic end.

As far as teasing goes, I am not naive enough to believe that it was a few random incidents that drove him over the edge. OF COURSE NOT. However, I believe that this person was an outcast from a very early age. I wouldn't be surprised if he had been teased throughout his life. Children are cruel - and once a child is a target, it's VERY HARD to stop being a target. This is only MY theory and it could be wrong - it's a THEORY. But I believe, based on personal experience and my own observations, that PART of his problem was most certainly caused by a lack of respect shown to him starting at a very early age. I don't have a simple explanation - I'd have to go on and on and on before I feel like I could make my thoughts adequately clear so that they actually make sense. And I can't do that... but I will say this (and this is probably MORE than long enough!):

I loved The Princess' kindergarten teacher. She is an incredible teacher. But I have now realized that she was absolutely AWFUL in providing guidance for children's relationships (ie. friendships). Kindergarten was a rough year for The Princess. There were two girls in her class who had become 'best friends' and had decided for some unknown reason that The Princess was to be despised. If The Princess walked up to them in the morning to say hello, the two girls would stick their litle noses up in the air, turn on their heels, and walk away without even acknowledging The Princess at all. IT'S TRUE - I saw it myself. There were countless other incidents, including these two girls telling other girls not to play with The Princess. When I would talk to the teacher about this behavior, she would tell me stories of how 'this is how best friends are'. And the sad part was, I believed it. I was constantly telling The Princess to just ignore it. Tough it out. Be a duck. Don't let it bother you.

And I cried. And I worried. And I watched my child DIE on the inside. It was horrible.

This school year, things are different. The Princess' teacher is all about RESPECT. Any time there is any incident where a child is disrespected by anyone else, this teacher is not afraid to call them on it. It is not a perfect world, or a perfect classroom - there are still PLENTY of problems. However, the message is slowly getting through. The two girls who were horrible to The Princess last year, are friends with her this year. By regularly talking with the kids about hurt feelings, the kids are starting to understand about misunderstandings (the times that you DO need to 'be a duck'), and dare I say that they might even be learning about EMPATHY.

Things are going better. The Princess is beginning to blossom again. Her self-esteem is growing.

The truth is, no child (NO ONE) should be disrespected. I realize that this is an ideal, and it's NOT how things are. But just because 'this is what best friends do' or 'this is how it is' does NOT make it right. I saw first hand what just a few months of rejection can do to a small child - and this was with plenty of love and encouragement of home. I can only imagine what a LIFETIME of rejection would do to someone.

It's true that there are many incidents that you simply can't do anything about and a child must learn to simply ignore it and not let it bother them. But there are plenty of incidents that occur every day that are simply NOT OK, no matter what kind of spin you put on it, and that is why I say - NOT MY CHILD.

Oh, and before I forget... I met David. Cathryn's David. Well, ONE of Cathryn's Davids (I think perhaps she collects them). I think Dubby should rethink her 'no Davids' policy. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Inch by Inch, Roll by Roll... Would Somebody Tell Me Where All The Toilet Paper Goes???

There are many phrases that are regularly overheard in our house. Things like...

That's not fair!

She did it first!

Can we have chicken tonight?

and... MOM! We're out of toilet paper!

My children seem to go through a roll of toilet paper faster than a policeman can go through a box of doughnuts.

It's insane! How much paper do you really need? The Dragon is trying to be careful - she carefully counts out four squares each and every time. I don't know how careful The Princess is - only that she lectures The Dragon about how many squares to use. But yet, the toilet paper rapidly disappears from the roll.

We are beyond the days where a toddler might entertain himself by carefully lowering the end of the roll into the toilet, and watching the roll unwind as flushes the toilet.

We also do not own a cat, which might find the roll of TP quite fascinating to unroll.

There is only one thing left to assume - someone is sneaking out in the middle of the night with our toilet paper with the sole intent of decorating someone's house.

Seriously, what else could it be?

Sadly, my days of toilet papering are over.

My first experience with it was during the summer with my church youth group. It was a hot sunny day. We were waiting on the front lawn of one of our leaders homes awaiting to attend some activity or another, and they were late. Really late. We were bored. And we all lived nearby. What to do, what to do? Oh yes! Run home, get some toilet paper, and get busy. Their house and tree were sufficiently decorated by the time they finally arrived. And we were all sitting on their lawn, quite proud of our creativity. Thankfully, they had a sense of humor. :)

I also went toilet papering during several 'church' sleepovers. We usually headed for the home of the leader who chose NOT to attend the sleepover. The best part about these toilet papering events was that the OTHER leaders actually went with us. It's true.

And then there was the one time that I cleverly climbed out of my bedroom window to meet some friends to go toilet papering. Only one other friend showed up, but that didn't stop us. We decided to toilet paper the home of someone whose kids we hated to babysit. The kids were terrors, the parents were in denial, and they paid horribly. The next day, one of our acquaintances who knew about 'the plan' asked if we visited this families home. We tried to deny it, but we're quite proud to admit it when he told us that he had received back pay for about two months of baby-sitting because this family thought that HE had been the one to attack their home. Who knew that toilet papering could be a good deed? :)

The only time that I went toilet papering that I ever regretted it was during the summer after I had graduated high school. A bunch of us decided that it would be fun to decorate our AP English teacher's house. The motive was 'revenge' but in truth, I really liked her. I went, but I only pretended to decorate her home. I didn't have the courage to stand up to peer pressure, but I didn't really want to do it. I almost went back the next morning to help her clean up her yard - but again, I was too afraid. Ironically, that was the last time I ever participated in this sport.

So, if it's not me... who is the toilet paper theif? I'll leave it to your imagination.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Not My Child

For the past week, the news coverage has been about the massacre at Virginia Tech. I hate to admit it, but I feel almost numb towards the situation. It's not that I don't feel sorrow and sympathy towards the people who were directly affected by this tragedy - I do... but there have been so many massacres over the past decade... it just doesn't surprise me any more.

One thing that seems to be hitting home, however, is that one reason that always seems to be coming up is how the perpetrator always seems to have been teased. They were an outcast. They didn't fit in. Often times it started early. Sometimes it continued their whole lives. One of the reasons these tragedies happen is because of a little harmless teasing.

Since The Princess has started school, I have been struggling with this very issue. It's harmless, I'm told. All kids get teased about something, I hear. Teasing is a part of childhood, I'm advised, tell her to get used to it.

When is teasing harmless, and when does teasing cross the line? Keys To Safer Schools defines teasing as follows:

It is Teasing only if both parties know it is teasing.
Teasing is not about Power, Ridicule or Control.
Teasing does not involve Pain (physical or emotional).

Otherwise it is bullying and should not be accepted by the parents, school or the students.

Why must we teach our children that being teased (or bullied) is just a part of life? Don't let it bother you. Be a duck. Oh, they didn't mean it. Be tough. JUST IGNORE IT.

When your child is being victimized, what do you do? Tell them to tough it out? Or intervene? And when you do intervene, are you faced with a parent who insists that it's harmless?

Maybe it should be harmless. Maybe in some cases it IS harmless. But sometimes it isn't.

Is teasing the only reason for these tragedies? Of course not. There are many factors that can play a role. But for me, I want the teasing to stop. I don't want my child to become a victim because she chose to torment somebody else. I don't want my child to seek revenge because she was picked on.

If stopping the teasing and bullying is a way to possibly prevent ONE tragedy from happening, I am going to do everything in my power to prevent it.

Not MY child.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Vote For Me!

No, I am not at all ashamed about my shameless plug for votes. I'll be honest, I have very little faith that my blog would actually win - but I'm daring you to PROVE ME WRONG!

Thanks to Oh The Joys, my little blog has been nominated for the "Best Blog About Stuff" award. I think it's very appropriate.

So vote for me... vote for Sunny-Daze... just, um, VOTE!

My site was nominated for Best Blog About Stuff!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Parenting is Exhausting

We're trying something new at our house. I think it's called "parenting."

We've been very familiar with the "horizontal parenting" which Jessica has perfected, though we have probably given her a run for her money. But this is something new, and frankly, I'm worn out.

The past few weeks have seen trips to Lagoon, a trip to see Charlotte's Web, a trip to see Happy Feet, kite flying, bike riding, planting a garden, a trip to the book store, a long day at the Planetarium where the kids jumped on the moon, baseball practices and games, free ice cream, and probably a myriad of other non-horizontal activities that I have already forgotten about.

On the plus side, the kids (particularly The Princess) seem to be ready for bed earlier than ever before. They also seem to be happier.

I am just tired.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Famous Karana Gets Free Ice Cream In A Snow Storm

I hate to tell you this, but Ben & Jerry's FREE Ice Cream Day is over. If I had been more on the ball and not so focused on those silly taxes, I might've actually written about it BEFORE it occurred.

It's true, though. At select locations across the country, Ben & Jerry's was giving away free ice cream cones to anyone who walked in their door from Noon until 8 PM.

We (well, some of us) went twice. It was delicious. I had Phish Food the first time, and Turtle Soup the second time. Phish Food was fantastic. Turtle Soup was good, but... it was just good. Wouldn't mind having it again, but not my favorite. I ordered it last year too, and remember that vague feeling of disappointment. Hopefully I'll remember NOT to order it again NEXT year. The Princess came with me one time to get ice cream and she chose Chocolate Fudge Brownie. The Dragon came with me twice, and wanted "plain old chocolate with NO hard stuff in a cone please." The King ordered Butter Pecan -- not a bad choice, but I would've been surprised if he had chosen anything else. I must be psychic. :)

It was an enjoyable, warm day. I'm glad we got out because guess what the weather man says may happen tomorrow afternoon... SNOW. Yep. As much as I love snow, I am SO ready for spring. Especially because we just planted a bunch of stuff in the yard YESTERDAY. And now it wants to snow. Great.

OH! Guess what I just discovered! Someone actually linked to my blog referencing something that I wrote about taxes! I know that many of you have linked to my blog, but the ones I am aware of are more of a 'visit my friend' type of link... which I truly appreciate. But now I almost feel famous! This blog post talks about what people are really doing with their tax refund. I am the wife who "says her husband is buying her a new laptop computer."

The only thing is that I can't decide if the post has good or bad connotations. Probably neither in all reality -- it just IS. But here's where my ever-worry-guilt conscious mind kicks in: I now feel like I have to justify WHY I am getting a new laptop. My computer is about 7 years old. For some people, that would be a very good excuse. For others, they might say to continue to use it until it is completely broken. The King says I need a new computer. Period. I think he is tired of me freaking out every time it crashes - and always at the most critical moment.

This laptop idea is his. He probably has no idea why it has been such a hard-sell for him to make. I mean, really, who would turn down a new laptop computer? I told him earlier today (BEFORE I knew about the above-mentioned post) that I felt guilty about spending our refund on 'me' when it could be used for something for the entire family. He insists that this piece of equipment IS for the entire family. I think he believes that my peace of mind is well worth the price of a laptop. Plus, I can take it places when I am busy shuttling and waiting for kids at various places throughout the day. A huge bonus, IMO. Plus, he has a friend who may be able to wrangle us a really good deal which will leave us with refund money leftover. That money will be used to pay off a small interest free debt at The Home Depot sooner, rather than later. And anything else that's left will go into savings for a future home project. So maybe we're a little bit like the 'poll' mentioned in the post after all.

Anyway... right or wrong, apparently I AM getting a laptop. The King says so.

Good night!

Taxes Are Finished!

Finally. The taxes are finished. The King can stop nagging me now. :)

As you are probably VERY well aware, most of the instructions can be very confusing. Turbo Tax seems to simplify it - my favorite program by far. But this year we used TaxCut by H&R Block because we qualified for Free Filing (Turbo Tax has free filing too, but our income was too high). I would like to share with you my favorite 'instruction' from H&R Block:

Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement—If you filed federal form 8886, you are now required to check a box on your Utah return.

Wow. That's it? Just check a box? COOL! I really have no idea what a 'Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement' is, and I don't think I checked a box, but how nice that that's all you have to do!

Anyway, as I said before... THE TAXES ARE DONE.

We'll have our refund in about two weeks. The King says he's buying me a laptop!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spring Is Sprung

Spring is sprung.
The grass is ris.
I wonder where
My thinker is...

This poem has never quite rung so true as it did a few minutes ago.

I've been aware of who the candidates are for the Presidential Election of 2008. I've been trying to focus on the issues... you know, the stuff that is supposed to be "important". I haven't decided who my favorite is yet, but I never quite understood why there was so much fuss around Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack H. Obama.

I'm embarrassed to say that I just didn't "get" it.

Thankfully, Wanda Sykes set me straight tonight. You see, she was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and he asked her what she thought about the presidential elections. She said something like "Well, you see, there's Barack Obama and he's BLACK. And then there's Hillary Rodham Clinton and she's a WOMAN..."

DING DING DING! Bells were going off, lightbulbs were flashing... I experienced that feeling called ENLIGHTENMENT.


It reminds me of the time when one of The King's friends (He Who Consumes Cats) realized that The King was black. They had been friends... and roommates... for quite a while. The notion that The King was black simply never occurred to him. He probably noticed, but he never REALIZED it.

I can so relate.

And now you have had some insight into my state of mind, which might explain A LOT.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Falling Apart

The girls are currently in their rooms screaming.


And this isn't the joyful shrieks. This is the horrible, angry, grumpy, grouchy, mad, annoying kind of screaming.

The Dragon has had a day. She is usually so happy - today almost everything set her off.

The Princess got off the bus grumpy. As usual. But since The Dragon has been cranky I'm not as tolerant as I usually am.

We walked in the door and I sent them to their rooms.

Hence the screaming.

Hence the post. I guess something good came out of it after all.

  Graphics by and Copyright © 2001 Point of Focus