Surviving in a Male Dominated Household

Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Public Speaking--Know What Is Appropriate

Usually here on Wednesday it is "Wordless Wednesday". A day when I post a picture that speaks for itself.

*As always, these blog posts are my own viewpoints and in no way are reflective of or endorsed by "Friends of Maplenol Barn" or Save the Barn Committee.*

Today I'm bucking the trend and going outside of the box (insert additional corporate buzz phrase here if you like). As always, this is my personal blog and my comments here are not at all related or endorsed by the Save the Barn Committee or "Friends of Maplenol Barn". All of the comments below are all my own.

At last night's City Council meeting we were discussing the fate of the barn. Yes, I've actually become pretty involved in all things barn. I'm meeting new and great people. I've been lucky enough to be able to network with local media and I'm enjoying the concept of helping keep a piece of history in West Des Moines. We've raised over $200K, have over 2000 supporters on our facebook page in 45 days and in less than 24 hours, distributed 200 yard signs in West Des Moines. With worldwide support (I'm not kidding, we've had 3 different countries sign our online petition) and monetary support coming from all over the US, this is more than just a local issue.

We have some great ideas to make this a in the black revenue wise project. Following the model of the Simpson Barn that is located in Johnston, Iowa and doing a lot of research as a group, this is something that is possible. Only if the school board will allow us to do it. We know of 6 additional grants we can apply for as well. Again, no money out of the pockets of the school district and this does not hinder the education of students at Valley in any way.

I understand some members of the community are not as informed as I am. I've been eating, sleeping, breathing barn for the last few weeks. If they want to be informed, they only need to seek information. The web address is printed on our yard signs that, again, are all over West Des Moines. Some people don't understand what "greenspace" and "water detention/retention" is. To be honest, until this all started and I got involved, I couldn't tell you what it was either. I was reminded of a quote of Abe Lincoln's that my dad always said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

At the City Council meeting last night, a fool removed all doubt, for me at least. Stew Hansen, yes THAT Stew Hansen, prominent auto dealer in the Des Moines area attended the meeting. I would think that he would be well aware enough to monitor his comments in such a public forum. After all, negative publicity is bad for business. That's just simple public relations. He is entitled to his opinion, just like any other resident; but there's a way to be professional about it.

Mr. Hansen told another WDM resident at the meeting to "You've got a big mouth and you need to shut it" and he continued to say that the "City was holding the School Board prisoner" with their resolution that was on the table. A resident shouted, "They're holding the barn prisoner" to which Mr. Hansen replied, "Do you want to know my personal feelings about the barn? TO HELL WITH THE BARN." And he yelled it.

I was nursing Brendan at the time and it was probably a good thing I was. It gave me pause. Had I not been nursing Brendan I probably would have let my emotions get the best of me and shouted back. But, having a nursing baby (who was startled awake by Mr. Hansen's uproar) at the breast, I didn't. Oh, the smoke could be seen coming out of my ears, I'm sure. But I held back.

I know our van probably won't make it forever and we'll probably be in the market for a new (or new to us) vehicle in the next few years. I know I will NOT shop at ANY of Mr. Hansen's dealerships. Someone who has such a disregard for proper etiquette at a public forum, a disregard for others at the meeting (the "big mouth" comment) and a disregard for history, well, he can forget about my business.

Just because he's rich doesn't mean he can say whatever he wants and treat others horribly. And that's just what he did. One would think that he would know better than to lose his cool at such a public forum. Rich or not, my vote counts just as much as his does. That's the joy of living in a Democracy.

Mr. Hansen, With all due respect, I believe the woman with a child at her breast may actually have more of a vested interest in future generations. Not that you don't, but I thank you. I thank you for making our future vehicle buying options easier.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Have You Ever Stopped to Look at a Snowflake?

To be honest, I don't know if I ever have. Until today. It was a comment from a friend of mine in Atlanta who made a comment about how it was snowing and she then realized why the snowflake cut outs in paper were the way they were.

Growing up in Iowa and trudging through the snow year after year, you probably think it's strange that I've never stopped to actually look at a snowflake.

Maybe it's a "forest for the trees" thing.

But in the craziness of the day, husband off to work, no school for Liam because of President's Day, three busy boys vs. one tired mom, blog posts to write, book reviews to do....I looked outside.

And it was snowing. So I ventured out on the deck and looked. With a school board meeting looming a few hours away and the barn on the brain, I took a deep breath of the cold crisp air and I looked at the snowflakes.

Different shapes, different sizes. Unique. It helped to clear my mind of all of the clutter I had in there...all of the thoughts, deadlines, things that needed to be done....

And just took time to look at the snowflakes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Imagination

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day...What it's like for a former Army wife

I believed that all I was going to get this Valentine's Day was a new tire. No, really. My van blew a tire last week and rather than a cheap $10-$15 patch, it required a new tire.

So that's what we had decided would be our Valentine's Day present. But I was surprised this morning. My wonderful husband decided to go and get us doughnuts. And he brought home a rose and a chocolate cake for me. The best part? The cake had a heart that said "E-mail me". He knows me.

On days like this, I remember what it was like when he was deployed. The Valentine's Day he was in Iraq, he made sure a dozen roses was sent to my work. He also had his dad obtain a giftcard for a massage for me. While it was a nice gesture, I would have given almost anything for a hug from him that night.

And I remember that. So while most women would scoff at a tire, I'm thankful for it. Because I can give him a hug at the end of the day. And that's worth more than all of the roses in the world.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

We're Mobile!

As if I wasn't busy enough with the preschooler and toddler, Baby B has decided he needs to be just as active as his brothers. He realized a week and a half ago that he could roll to where he wanted to be. I'd set him down in one place, come back a minute later and have to play "find the baby". Thankfully he can't go far in our small house.

But now? He's mastered the forward Army crawl. Sean never Army crawled, he went from rolling to crawling, so there was never the need to break out the Baby Legs.

We're going to have to find them again in our baby stash to prevent rug burn on Brendan's fat little leggies. If you've never used them before, you should get at least one pair. I love them. They also help with the little gap that always occurs between the jeans and socks.

I can't believe my baby is almost crawling. He's growing up faster than the first two!!

Here's a short video of Brendan doing his thing. And of Sean explaining how excited he is for the Superbowl. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sooo very tired

This has been the longest week ever. Between snowpocalypse, Dave's crazy work schedule, having three crazy boys stuck in the house and Baby B getting his first two teeth, I'm exhausted.

Brendan is discovering the power of these new found teeth. And he bites while nursing. And pulls. And when I tell him "no", he laughs. *sigh* We introduced solids to him, the traditional homemade sweet potato and breast milk puree. He did really well with it.

Liam decided one morning this week that he could draw things that actually resemble something. He pulled out his Little Einsteins Create a Masterpiece Doodler and drew a picture of the family.

Well, it kind of looked like the family. Sean was flying over everyone's head, or so I've been told. I'm pretty proud that his "people" now have eyes and bodies. 

Sean has decided he's ready for the potty. Of course, he sees big brother going potty in the potty and knows he uses the Cars potty seat. He likes to put it on the lid of the toilet when he's ready to use it. We've had a few pee pee's in the potty. He will walk in there and yell when he's ready to go. Of course we praise him when he's done...and then he usually wants nothing to do with his diaper and runs off naked. *sigh* I'm sure getting my exercise chasing after him, tackling him and wrestling the diaper on him!

So let's recap. Liam draws, Sean pees and Brendan bites. Throw in my husband's crazy schedule and a blizzard and you've got one exhausted mama. 
Emma and I are going out for "Girl's Night Out" tonight and I'm really looking forward to it. But, before I can go, I have to do some food prep for the Superbowl, clean the place and tackle the growing pile of laundry that needs folded.

A mom's job is never done.