About Me

Some of you know me from my old blog "Moving to Morocco" where I wrote about meeting my husband and, you guessed it, moving to Morocco. Well, we're back now, and I want to write about other things (but yes, we're still happily married). There's no real subject to this blog. I just want to write. If you have a subject you'd like my opinion on, just let me know. I also plan on doing advice posts. If you have something you'd like an outside opinion on, e-mail me anonymously at nicegirlatl@hotmail.com! Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Money, Politics, and Religion

I'm usually an open book. I will talk about a wide variety of subjects. Want to talk about your job? OK. Want to talk about sports? I will try. Want to talk about science? Not really my thing, but yeah, why not? I don't know a lot about any one thing, but I do know a little about a lot of things. I am generally level headed and can look at situations objectively, if you'd like my opinion. I do not however, under most circumstances, feel comfortable talking about money, politics, or religion.

Actually, I will usually listen, but not offer up my opinion or a view into my financial situation. Why? Well I guess the same reason most people don't like to talk about these subjects. We're going to disagree, and I don't like to debate. I've mentioned before if I debate, its because I KNOW I'm right. Well here's the thing. I don't feel like there is a cut and dry right and wrong to politics or religion. Everyone has an opinion and they're entitled to that. I cannot tell a Muslim they're going to hell because they're not Christian. Just as I cannot be sure I'm not going to hell. I can believe what I believe, and respect others for believing what they believe. Same goes for politics. I am not a republican. I am not a democrat. I take each election seriously and decide who I believe is the best for the country and vote that way. The end. You have the right to do that as well. I have no problem saying who I voted for, but should I have to defend my choice? Nope.... and I won't. Because I, like you, have the right to chose whomever I want to, and do not have to justify it.

I've spent countless hours hearing how useless Bush was, and how useless Obama is. I've heard how Obamacare is going to ruin our country. I've heard how Bush ruined our economy and reputation throughout the world. I've heard how our kids will suffer if we don't get Obama out of office. I've heard how Bush was not qualified to be president. I generally don't care what your opinion is. Really. Do you think I've gotten in a debate with someone who has told me that Obama is ruining our nation? No, I haven't, because although I may not agree with people on their opinions, I don't care enough to argue with you. It's your right as an American to love or loathe whomever you decide to. I don't think I have enough power (or energy for that matter) to change your mind. And don't bother trying to change mine. You won't.

Just because I am not a debater, does not mean I am uneducated. I do my research. I am well aware of the situations in the world. I am well aware of the general consensus. But you and I arguing is going to accomplish nothing. Obama is still going to be president, at least until the election. I feel like its wasted breath, and can potentially create bad blood for no reason. I will never agree with someone that I disagree with just to be polite. I will however let someone speak, hear their opinion, and politely change the direction of the conversation. That's just how I roll.

I don't want it to be mistaken, as I've mentioned in previous posts. Just because I don't flaunt my religion, politics, or money (or lack thereof), doesn't make me less than you. I just don't feel the necessity to tell everyone how I feel about those very personal subjects. I do not under any circumstances think less of anyone for voicing their opinion about these things. If you feel comfortable talking about these subjects, feel free. But don't look down on me for not reciprocating. Or look at me as weak or uneducated because I choose not to divulge how I feel about it.

As soon as we understand (which will never happen) that there is no right and wrong about religion and politics, then we'll all be happier. Politically speaking, they all have faults. Religiously speaking, my God says not to judge others. Financially speaking, rich have problems, poor have problems. At the end of the day, its just better to leave those subjects alone.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

You paid how much for that?

Over the years, I've learned to be frugal. Mostly because I'd rather save my money than spend it. It started  when I was a single mom and needed to make my money spread as far as possible. When times got better I kept those cost cutting ways. I love to get a good deal! I'm almost frugal to a fault. Sometimes, especially when planning on spending money on myself, I feel immense guilt, because I know that money could be used elsewhere. I'm not cheap when it comes to gifting others, but I can do without. I have the same tennis shoes I bought when Cain was under a year old. He's now 9, and I only recently got a new pair because my husbands sister left her addais here (on purpose) when she visited. But over the years the best tools I've learned for cost cutting are buying used.

The following is a list of things that you can save big bucks on by buying used:

Furniture: Craigslist has been a lifesaver for me on more than a few occasions. Not only selling my stuff, but buying it. You can easily buy furniture in like new condition for 10 - 20% of the original cost. And if you're willing to put in some elbow grease you can save even more. Just as an example I bought the following bedroom suit for $100

Not much to look at, right? But $30 bucks at Home Depot and an afternoon of hard work, I turned it into this:


If you're willing to put in some time looking, you can save a bundle of cash by buying furniture, appliances, exercise equipment, and home accessories online, used, and for basically nothing.

Toys: Anything that's bleachable/washable will be purchased used! I've bought tons of toys...ride on toys, learning toys, leap pads, video games, dvds, balls, etc. I've purchased toys that at walmart are $45, for $2. I know kids well enough to know they'll play with a toy for 2 days and then they move on to the next one.

Jewelery: A few months ago my husband wanted to get me a new ring. I'm firmly against this idea, because my ring was what he chose, and it means more to me than what it looks like, but after months of suggesting it, I finally went into a jewelery store and looked. Yeah, I knew myself too well. I walked out shaking my head at the prices of a stupid ring. I then ran over to the pawn shop and found a huge selection of gorgeous rings for really cheap! And they'll prove to you its real. And they'll negotiate with you. Why would anyone go to Kay and pay $3000 for a ring you can get for $400 at a pawn shop? And just as a side note, I didn't get a new ring, and I doubt I ever will.

Cars: Brand new cars are awesome. They really are. They're perfectly clean, they smell amazing, and basically you KNOW nothing is wrong with it. But they're expensive, and the second you drive off the lot, they've lost 10,000 in value! I could never bring myself to purchase a new car. Never. (well unless I win the lotto, in which case I wouldn't mind). Buying used is the way to go. I bought my car from a bank like 8 years ago. It was repossessed, and worth $15000. I bought it for $5000 cash and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. That's why I still drive it. Then I think about the guy it go repoed from, he owed $17000 on it, and didn't have anything to show for it. I've had like 7 cars. None have been new, and no future cars will be either.

Vacations: If I can't get a coupon code to book a hotel room or for tickets to places, I usually won't bother. Many times in my past I've agreed to go to a timeshare sales pitch to get a nice hotel for next to nothing. Yeah it was totally annoying, but it was like an hour of my time and saying no, no, no. I don't have a problems saying no, so for me it was worth it!

Sometimes a simple google search can help you save money on things you wouldn't necessarily think about. I can't even begin to tally up how much I've saved over the years by buying used, so consider that before you go out and buy a $4000 bedroom suit (but still buy your mattresses new!).


Friday, March 11, 2011

Braggers on Facebook

I usually check in on Facebook a few times a day....whenever I get a spare second. I like FB because I cannot see my friends regularly and I like to keep up with whats going on with people. It's a way to stay connected when life is too busy to find actual real life face time with friends. But then there are some people that just annoy me to no end. Specifically the braggers of Facebook.

Look, I just like you, like to share good news. I also share bad news, news stories, and my weight loss progress. Actually I'm sure I annoy people with my postings about weight loss, and that's fine, I understand, but I really do that not to get a pat on the back, but kind of as a way to keep going. I feel accountable when people other than myself know I gained or lost. It's just a little motivation. But I don't mean to annoy, so forgive that. I'm not saying I've got perfect Facbook etiquette.

But some people update several times a day with just how charmed their life is. "I have the perfect husband/wife" "My children are amazing" "My friends are the best" "My job couldn't be any better" "My house is sooo big, but my amazing kids and husband and housekeeper keep it in perfect working order" "I'm the most organized person I know" "I'm better at doing this than anyone" "It's my birthday, anniversary, kids birthday, etc. so I'm going to keep reminding you every 30 seconds" "I love that I'm so in shape" I could keep going. Now any one of these things at once is fine. But seriously, every post? Maybe these people are just trying to have a positive outlook on things, and I commend that (doubtful, but possible). What I really wonder when I've seen months or years of these posts though is "are they trying to convince the world, or convince themselves"? Everyone has a bad day, and it's completely ok if you don't come off as being perfect!

I am always happy when I see someones children have succeeded at something. And when friends get to take a family vacation and share pics. And when a friend buys a new house. I truly am happy when people are happy. But there is a line between just sharing good news and bragging. I just don't know how they don't see that they are coming off as fake!

Anyway, this post may piss some people off, and I understand that, I'm just asking that you re-evaluate your need to say how amazing every single aspect of your life is every five minutes. It's really not believable.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shocking News Story out of Mississippi...

After browsing through the news as I do most days, I came across a story that saddened me beyond words. Daily we are filled with stories of robberies, rapes, war, and murder. These stories are so common that sometimes, they don't even shock me. But this story really got to me.

 A young mother, 24 years old, killed her toddler. This happens a lot in the news as well. What you don't hear in the news often is the way she killed her little boy. She placed him in the oven - alive - and cooked him to death. He died of heat injuries and his body was badly burned.

I understand being frustrated by your kids. I understand wanting to pull your hair out sometimes. I even understand having to walk away from your kids because you're just so mad that you have to breathe for a minute. What I do not understand is what frame of mind you'd have to be in to harm your child. Not only harm your child, but torture them. Slowly killing them by putting them in a hot oven and allowing them to burn to death. Even if she put him in the oven in a moment of rage (not that that's acceptable in any way) she had time to realize what she was doing was the most disgusting thing ever. She had time to change her mind and save him. She had to hear him screaming in pain. She had to hear him kicking to try to get out, yet she continued on with her plan. What kind of sick individual can do this? Not only do it, but do it to your own flesh and blood. Your baby. The one person you should be willing to die for.

Whenever I hear about a child being killed I am always most sad when I think about what the child must have been feeling and thinking. They must have been so scared, and so confused as to why the person they love the most is hurting them. In this particular case I'm sure there was prior abuse, it's not very often you hear of someone going from parent of the year to cold blooded child killer. I just hate that this boy had to suffer.

I really cannot wrap my head around what the mom (and i use that term loosely) was thinking. I sometimes hope that it's a mental condition they cannot control, because it pains me to think people could actually consciously hurt another human being, let alone their own baby. Regardless of her mental state, I hope that this woman gets the death penalty. She deserves to die for what she did. There is a special place in hell for people like that.

You can read the story here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Invincible

I haven't written in a while. I haven't been able to. Since Valentines Day, things have been rough in my life. I've been spread way too thin, so something like finding a minute to write a thought was not doable. Things today are better and I want to take a few minutes to write about whats been going on.

A few weeks ago my mom was brought to the ER by ambulance for being unresponsive. I'd been to the ER for my moms complications from one thing or another dozens of times over the past few years. But this time when I saw her I freaked out. I cried. I don't cry when someones sick. Everyone around me has been sick and I've become accustomed too it. I'm the strong one, and when I cry about a sickness - it's serious. My mom seemed to have had a stroke. Unable to form words. Arm tensed up by her head. Looking to her right, unable to look left, and looking right past you as you spoke to her. As if you weren't even in the room. That is scary. Seeing your mom who told you your whole life what to do and how to do things, lying in a bed, unable to do anything. A few hours later she seemed to snap out of it. She was able to talk, able to look both ways, able to keep her arm down. She was still a bit confused, but she was there. After a surgery to unblock an artery, she was home and doing well a few days later. While she was in the hospital awaiting her surgery I told her,"Mom, you scared me this time, but I'm beginning to think you're invincible. As much as you've been through, you snap right back and keep on going"

Fast forward a few days and I got a call again, "Your mom's on the way to the ER by ambulance, she was unresponsive". I flew to the hospital to find her in the same exact room, but this time it seemed so much better. She was confused about some things, but able to talk and saying she just wanted to go home. I ran to her house to pick up her meds for the dr. and when I came back she was asleep. And she was convulsing. And her blood pressure was so low on the monitor that I made them do a manual one because I didn't believe it was actually possible to have a BP of 40/14. Apparently it is possible. She was taken to the ICU where she didn't wake up for a day. They called me to tell me they were intubating her. She required the vent to breathe for her 100% for a few days and was unable to compensate herself when they turned the oxygen down at all. There was basically no hope. They were talking tracheotomies and long term hospital care, when once again, she just snapped out of it the next day.

Today I was told by her dr. that he didn't expect her to live. To be quite honest, I wasn't surprised, because neither did I. I think this was the first time ever that I really expected to have to say goodbye to my mom. That thought really messed with me this past week. How could I say goodbye to MY mom. I mean..she's far from perfect. But she is really important to me. She has done so much for me and my family, that I can't even believe how giving she is. She is not without fault, but neither is anyone else. I love my mom and feel so bad for people that don't know her. She is a good person, a loving person, she's funny, and she's nice, and she'd provide a complete stranger with anything they needed. I've actually seen her do it before. She loves my children so much. And my children love her too. I often wonder why there is that bond. Grandmas are supposed to bake for the grand kids. And take them out to play, and buy them really cool gifts. And give them lots of candy when the parents don't. But since my moms been pretty much bedridden for the majority of Cain's life and all of Zayd's, she's been unable to do all that special "Grandma stuff". But my kids, without fail, EVERY SINGLE DAY ask if they can go see nanna. Most days Zayd throws a fit when I say no. They love their nanna so much.

Most young fit and healthy people could not stand what she's been through over the past 7 years. Physically or mentally. I'm a strong person, and I don't know if I could deal with it. I envy her for her will to go on. And I am so thankful that so far, she has been invincible.

I know one day I will inevitably have to say goodbye to her, but for now, while I have her, I am going to make sure that she knows just exactly how important she is in my life and the life of my husband and children. Please take this blog entry as a lesson that life is short. Don't wait to visit your mom or dad till tomorrow. Because there may not be a tomorrow. There may not be a next week. Even if only a call, make sure those that are important to you are well aware of it.