A Comparison of Parenting to a Roomba

As I was watching my Roomba make it’s away around my office, (can you tell how motivated I am to work?) I realized that, metaphorically, being a Roomba and a parent are almost the same thing.

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The Roomba is meant to make it’s way through your home and suck and sweep up any dust, hair, or dirt that is on your floor. Well, this could be compared to parenting because we too make our way through the home sucking up the same thing, but we also do this in life. All that dust, hair, and dirt are the challenges we face as parents. Most of it is gross and we don’t want to deal with it, but it continues to pile up.

When the Roomba runs into a wall or a piece of furniture, it will turn in a different direction. My Roomba often gets stuck in the same room or a corner because it keeps turning in circles. Hello! What parent hasn’t experienced that? As soon as you think you’ve got this parenting thing figured out, you run into a wall. Sometimes you make the right decision and you’re on your way again, but a lot of the times you find yourself running into the same wall over and over again or backing yourself into a corner. And when things get really bad, you may just bang your head against the wall purposefully. giphy-downsized

We have one of the first Roombas that was made and the battery in ours doesn’t hold out as long. When it is out of juice, it makes this noise that sounds like a character dying on a video game (like Super Mario). It’s quite hilarious because I often hear the same sound in my head after an exhausting week when I face plant into the couch.

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The upside to all of this is that the Roomba has a handle on the top, which allows you to pick it up and move it to a different room or to put it back on the charger. I think we all have those friends and family members who are willing to pick us back up and help us recharge.

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Recycled Photos

How horrible would it be if I used the family photos from last year’s Christmas cards for this year’s?

I was looking through all of our recent photos so I could start creating a card for this year and I realized that we do not have a “good” family photo from this past year. The only ones that I could even consider using are either from Halloween or one where Lincoln is half naked. I don’t think either one of those would go over well with my mom.

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Thankfully we don’t have any pictures that are this bad.

It makes me wonder how it is even possible for us to not have at least one decent photo we could sho off to family and friends. When I think back to everything that we have done in the past year, we’ve had ample opportunities to get in a few, but it somehow slipped my husband’s and my mind to get anyone to snap a quick pic. But then this poses the question of whether or not this is a bad thing.

Could it be that we were all just having too much fun to stop and take a photo? I definitely believe in experiencing something with my eyes rather than through a camera lens, but it is also nice to be able to go back and look at photos in order to remember all the fun times.

I vow to make a conscience effort to get at least one family photo at every event.

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FYI: I was never a Girl Scout

For the time being, should you receive a Christmas card from the Erickson family, please do not be appalled or offended if you see a half naked little boy or a Halloween photo next to your “Merry Christmas!” greeting.

Don’t Forget to Give Thanks

People, what is going on? Why oh why did I start seeing Christmas decorations on lawns the day after Halloween? Did everyone forget about Thanksgiving?

Look, I love the Christmas season and everything that comes with it. It warms my heart to give gifts to those I love and to others who need it. I love the twinkling lights, the music, the food, and the eggnog (of course). But, Thanksgiving is still an important holiday and we seem to just be skipping right over it.

Thanksgiving is the time when we come together as friends and family and GIVE THANKS for what we have been blessed with. Given the current situation of our country, I think we all need this.

The day moved away from it’s original religious roots so that everyone could celebrate, and I think we all need to celebrate what we have been given. Many of us forget to let others know how much we appreciate them and I guess one could argue that we have a chance to this during Christmas when we give gifts, but I would much rather hear someone tell me how much they love me or appreciate me rather than buying my friendship or love.

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate – with a turkey, a duck, or fish – gather friends and loved ones around a table and enjoy one another’s company. Otherwise, I fear the generations to come will not even know what a Thanksgiving is.

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Why Weddings are Important

I recently attended my husband’s cousin’s wedding in Colorado. It took place at Arrowhead Golf Club, which if you have never been to, you need to put that on your bucket list. The backdrop for the ceremony was breathtaking and the ceremony itself  was heartwarming.

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Kurt and I in front of the arrowhead rocks.

I love weddings and I always cry, even if I don’t know the bride or groom that well. It just makes me so happy to see two people who are so in love and who are setting out on this new journey together. As I was listening to the vows though, I realized how important weddings really are. Not for the bride and groom, but for the guests – especially the married couples.

We all know about the honeymoon phase and how it ends so quickly. Throw in a couple of jobs, a house note, some other bills, and children and the romance could find its way into a dark, cold, corner of the closet. It’s hard to remember to show how much we love and appreciate our spouse, but I think weddings help us to remember.

The most well-known, and general, part of the vows
“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from                     this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in                   health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
Couples forget this; I know I have on occasion. When I’m upset because my husband did something stupid or when he’s whining because he has a common cold, I tend to think too much about how feel. I have been making a conscience effort to stop and think about what I’m about to say, do, or even think. I do love my husband when he does stupid things and I do love him when he is acting like he’s dying from the Ebola virus. I make sure to let him know this. I want him to know, and more importantly remember, that I will love him no matter what.

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Although weddings can be great fun, especially the receptions, we need to remember what the whole event is about. Weddings should be treated as a refresher course to those couples who have been married and maybe forgotten what the honeymoon phase felt like.

 

My Experience With instacart

First, if you don’t know what instacart is, let me explain: It’s an app that allows you to grocery shop at different stores in your area and have someone pick up the items that are on your list and deliver them to your door. I mean, how awesome is this for a busy mom or for one who is too lazy on a Sunday afternoon and would rather watch football? (This girl) This sounds pretty genius, right. Not so much. I’m glad that my first order was free because I don’t think I am going to be using this again.

Here’s what happened:

  1. I chose the delivery date and time. I picked same day delivery, but was only given the option to have the groceries delivered between 8 and 9 p.m. That’s kinda late, but I figured what the hell, it’s worth it if I don’t have to go to the store myself.
  2. I “shopped” for the items I needed at my local HEB, but I was limited on the selection. For example, I only needed one avocado, but I only had the option to buy three or more.
  3. As the delivery time approached, I hadn’t received any updates so I opened the app up to check and get a status. I’m glad I did because I had  new delivery time of 9:30 to 10 p.m. I wasn’t okay with that, but I presumed I was all in at this point.
  4. A LOT of my items were (supposedly) not available. What grocery store doesn’t have yellow onions? Plus, I know which HEB “David the shopper” went to and it’s the big one and they have everything. Because of this, I had to make my own trip to the store the next day to get my missing items.
  5. Another reason I’m glad I opened the app back up is because all of these items that were seemingly unavailable (I just think “David” wanted to hurry up and get out of there) I either had to choose to replace it with a different option or get a refund. What would have happened if I were doing something else at the time instead of monitoring “David’s” every move and purchase?

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There are some good things about this service, though:

  1. You can choose to have a shopper go to Spec’s and buy alcohol. Woo Hoo!!!
  2. If the store is out of an item you requested, you can choose to substitute with something else (you are given options) or you can ask for a refund.
  3. You don’t have to get up off your lazy ass and go to the store.

I am absolutely not saying that every one else has had or will have my same experience, but I know that I won’t be using it again.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

This tragedy has affected so many people and it’s heartwarming to see the amount of help they have received.

My family was fortunate. Although the water in our neighborhood got higher than I ever saw, none of us received any water in our homes. We are helping those who were not so fortunate now.

As I scroll through Facebook to see who needs help where, what supplies are needed, where we can take food, or volunteer, I am seeing so many different websites and locations that I wanted to try and compile them to make it easier for those of you who do want to help.

Monetary Donations: Before you donate any money, please make sure it is legitimate. Be very wary of all of the GoFundMe pages, too. Unfortunately, there are people out there trying to make a buck off of others’ pain and suffering and there is a special place in Hell for them. Here is a list of a few places to donate money.

Other Donations: These are pages/places for clothing, food, household items, etc.

To Volunteer: 

I know there are a ton of places I didn’t list, so please feel free to do so in the comments or let me know an I will add it.

Even though the rain has stopped, the water and flooding have not. The clean up process is going to be long and arduous so we need to help people stay positive by staying positive ourselves. If you plan on donating clothing, please be mindful of what you take. Don’t use this as a chance to clean out your closet and take a bunch of winter boots and coats – it’s still summer here in Texas.

 

My Special Gift

If you know me, you know that I’m pretty gifted (hahaha!!). I do have one talent that not many people know about.

I didn’t really think it was anything special until someone pointed it out to me: “Wait, you do what while you watch TV?!” There was some laughter after that and a lot of sharing around the office.

I couldn’t understand how no one else was able to do what I do, I don’t really think it is that distinct, but I guess I just don’t understand how awesome I truly am sometimes. I continue to hone this skill every time I watch shows like Scandal, any of The Real Housewives series, Friends from College (one of my new favorite shows), and others.

What’s my special gift, you ask?

I like to see if I can tell what wine the characters are drinking on the show and whether or not I have tried it. *Clapping and laughter*

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Seriously, though. If a show has a long running, the wines usually change as the budget grows. The characters might start out drinking some Kendall Jackson in the pilot episode and by the third season, they are downing bottles of Groth. This has never happened on Scandal, though. Olivia Pope and her father have always enjoyed good wine.

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And if you ever had a chance to watch Cougar Town, this was a prime example. Talk about winos, but they always made me feel better about my own consumption.

cougar-town-wine-7Jules is imbibing in some R. Brenner here – she obviously had (another) bad day.

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You can plainly see her and Andy have upgraded to Jordan.

I guess I have a pretty cool talent that I will continue to use for the rest of my life. If you would like to learn how to obtain this skill, I can most definitely help you with that. You bring the wine.