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100th Post = New Blog!

17 Aug

Come check out the new look and 100th post over at our very own domain!  Looking forward to seeing you back there often, and thanks so much for reading the first 99 posts!!

hiddenponies.com

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Good for a chuckle

31 Jul

Best caption ever.

Pinterest, you are addicting – if you aren’t pinning, you should be.  Then you can see things like this anytime you choose…or just don’t get addicted and, instead, stop by here for regular doses 🙂

Daddy’s girls vs. Mama’s boys

25 Jul

Why does “Mama’s boy” have such a negative connotation, while “Daddy’s girl” is considered sweet and acceptable?

I think both are sweet and should be encouraged, maybe not for all of life, but certainly for the childhood years.  Kids should be attached to both parents in this way, preferring them over any other adult or peer influence…the time this lasts is all too short as it is, and boys no more than girls should not be expected to start life with an independent, emotionally closed off, self-sufficient approach.

Personally, I would be offended if my baby boy wasn’t a mama’s boy.  Really, I carried him for 9 months, brought him into the world with gritted teeth, fed, bathed, clothed, entertained, and comforted him, and am one of only a handful of people he sees on a regular basis and knows by voice, smell and touch.

He sure as the seasons better love the stuffing out of me.

Let me go to my mama.

I am going to be thankful for and enjoy the snuggles now and hope to be the kind of mother who can accept it and assist him when one day that love and devotion transfers to a new lucky lady. For now I’ll take my cuddles and chuckle inwardly (and outwardly) when he clings to me with a big goofy grin when someone else offers outstretched arms.

I like morning people

21 Jul

I feel like there is a lot of disdain for people brave enough to announce they are a “morning person”.  People sigh, roll their eyes and inform such people they’re crazy, then whisper behind their backs about how annoyingly perky these morning people are first thing in the morning while coworkers or spouses are still nursing coffees and fighting contact lenses into gluey eyes.  This can be seen in the sheer number of cartoons/expressions about being a morning person.

Why don’t we have this same reaction when people announce “I’m a night owl”? Somehow no one holds any bitterness towards these people, who are most productive at night and stay up ’til all hours, eliminating any possibility of becoming a “morning person”.

Really, the whole term “morning person” is kind of ridiculous – we’re all designed to need sleep and to get up in the morning, so really, we’re all “morning people”, whether we like it or not.  Not “doing” mornings really isn’t an option, folks.

I think these disdainful night people just secretly wish they were morning people.  Morning people seem to genuinely look forward to a new day or week and are happy to see people and ready to interact the moment they make contact.  These people seem to have a jump on the day ahead, have better hair days, more coordinated clothes, dinner in the slow cooker before they leave for work, and fresh breath, all things non-morning people wish they had.

I don’t hate morning people.  Maybe because some days I am that morning person, who is just thankful to be alive and healthy, enjoying the fresh morning air that not too many people are breathing yet. I love that feeling.  Other days I am definitely that night person, grumbling jealously about morning people but also gloating in my late-night productivity and taking gloomy pride in the bags under my eyes.  But if I could choose one, I would definitely opt to be a morning person every single day.

Maybe having kids causes you to look at it differently – kids are the most enthusiastic “morning people” you will ever meet, and they can also be pretty determined night owls.  If you have a baby and a toddler, you know exactly what I mean – a fresh little face with wide eyes stares you awake, wanting you to play at 6 a.m., oblivious to the fact that another fresh little face wanted to eat at 3 a.m. and play at 4:30 a.m.  Time to become a morning person and a night person, and fast, if you want to survive.

I like morning people and night people.  The ones I can’t stand are “midday people”.  Really?  Who has energy at midday?  I would happily sleep through the 12:30-2:30 portion of every day, regrouping from my morning person enthusiasm and winding up for some serious night owl productivity.  Siestas really are the way to go.  If you’re going to sneer at anybody, leave the morning people alone and save it for the midday people – then again, maybe that has to do with having kids who nap at midday…

Either way, morning people are good people.  Let them brighten your day!

Which dwarf would you be?

11 Jul

Is it politically correct to think about what kind of small person you would be?

I saw a poster the other day for a dwarf who was new to me – “Gutsy”.  I have no idea what the ad was for, so it wasn’t too effective, unless the goal was to get me thinking about which dwarf I would be, should I morph into a small, bearded, hard-working cartoon man.

It’s easier to imagine than you might think.

I decided I would have to go with Dopey, as he seems to be a pretty balanced combination of Happy and Sleepy, which is a pretty apt description of me on almost any given day.

So which dwarf would you be?  Definitely something to spend some valuable time pondering 😉

Here are your options: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful (he’s adorable – if you’re adorable, pick him), Sneezy (me during allergy season) and Dopey.  

If none of those are cutting it for you, feel free to make up your own, whether it’s Gutsy or something less glamorous, like Gassy, Creepy, Hungry, or Chubby…or something much more glamorous, like Beauty, Charmy, Smoothy, Chesty, Hottie…you get the picture!  A fun exercise for our Monday brains 🙂

The wisdom of Horton the elephant

6 Jul

We’ve been watching some classic Dr. Seuss shows around here lately thanks to the library, and one of our favourites is “Horton hatches an egg”, in which sweet Horton the elephant is roped in by an eyelash-batting mama bird to sitting on her egg so she can vacation and live it up.  I think, whether you have kids nearby as an excuse or not, all people should watch this short little video.

With break-ups and divorce as common as blowing your nose, we could learn something about character from that egg-sitting elephant.  His mantra throughout the show is “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant; an elephant’s faithful, 100 percent.”

Now, this is no meaningless elephant drivel – this elephant goes through some seriously tough times trying to keep the promise he made to keep that egg warm.  He survives a flood, doesn’t budge through a raging winter, withstands the scorn and laughter of all his friends, stands up to hunters with a gun, is carted off to the circus and made to sit in a sweltering room and be gawked at all day.  He utters his mantra through sneezes, anger, fear, and heart-rending tears.

I think all too often we are quick to blame someone else for our unhappiness or frustration, but Horton has it right – the selfish mama bird is not worth dwelling on.  What’s important is who he is, what his character is made of, and the comfort of those in his care.

This is the same Horton who “hears a Who” in classic Dr. Seuss lit and a remade movie from 2008.  His character holds true, as he battles mocking friends and threatening birds and kangaroos to protect a speck of dust where he is sure he hears people who are just too small to see.  In this story he repeats the mantra, “A person’s a person, no matter how small”.

Horton, you are a beautiful elephant, and all these years later, I still love Dr. Seuss.

Book review schmozzle

4 Jul

Well, I’ve been reading, as per usual, and even more than usual, since it’s summer and in my mind summer is reading time…goes right along with holidays, and if I’m not going on holidays I should read extra to feel like I am, right?

Some of the books I’ve read in the last couple weeks have been fantastic and must be added to your “to read” list (I hope it’s not as long as mine).

First up: “CRAZY: A father’s search through America’s mental health madness”

Product Details

This book is amazing.  I had to read it for school and actually wrote an A+ paper on it, but, if you’re a student, you know how those kinds of readings go, and this was worth reading with a little more attention.  If you know anyone who has a serious mental illness, or think you might have one or one day develop one, read this.  You will not bring your mentally ill self to the United States.  And Canada may not be a much better bet.  You will keep your family close.  This book is a crushingly realistic look at the limited support available for mentally ill individuals and their families, and about the cycle between prison and the street that so many mentally ill people find themselves trapped in.  I had to read it for school, yes, but it is definitely not a textbook, and it is well-researched and written by a former journalist whose son was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Fascinating and slightly terrifying because that’s what serious mental illness is; it could happen to anyone, anytime, and we could all use a little more compassion.

Now that you’re a little freaked out and examining your sanity, the next thing you should read is probably Seventeen magazine, to lighten things up a bit and worry instead about whether that boy will call you back and how to get rid of acne.

Then onwards to “SUPERfreakonomics”!  It is super.

I recently read “Freakonomics”, and it was ok but not everything I was hoping for.  THIS follow-up book was everything I’d been hoping for.  The writers I imagine as similar to the characters in “The Big Bang Theory”, and they write with a sort of non-stop dry, witty sarcasm I find quite irresistible.  They poke fun at accepted assumptions, while also gently ribbing themselves and other economists.  They tackle some interesting subjects like stopping terrorists before they strike, and then manage to make high-end prostitution look like a viable and wise career option.  Fantastic.

But that’s enough non-fiction for now, so on to “The Help”.

 This was a book club choice, and I’m so glad it was because I probably wouldn’t have read it otherwise.  I have a bit of a problem with conformity, and generally, if everyone’s reading a book, I won’t.  Partly I just think books can’t live up to that much hype, and I hate being disappointed in a book that I’m sure would be good if I hadn’t gone in with EXPECTATIONS.  That’s right, I haven’t read “Twilight”, “Harry Potter”, or any other number of such books.  “The Hunger Games” is still sitting on my shelf, and since I own it I’ll have to get to it eventually but right now it is solidly in that “too popular” category. 
Anyway, back to “The Help” – read it.  It’s not wildly exciting or dramatic, but it grabs your attention and is also informative, my kind of book.  Written by a white woman raised by a Negro maid in Mississippi, it looks at the lives of these women who, as she says points out, were trusted to raise white people’s children but not trusted with the silverware.  It’s an excellent look at how similar we all are if we only remember to look for those similarities.
 
Back to non-fiction, I also recently read “The Girls Who Went Away”, about pregnant girls who were sent away from their hometowns to have their babies, and then expected/pressured to give them up for adoption rather than disgrace their families.  This happened SO recently, and anyone who has children will understand the heartbreak these girls experienced as they got to cuddle and feed their babies sometimes for more than a week in the hospital, then had to give them away.  It gives me the shivers, and I wish the legalization of abortion wasn’t the factor to bring about change, but it was.
Girls Who Went Away
Now I have the new Jamie Oliver cookbook “Food Revolution” (mmm, recipes!), “Something Borrowed” (gotta read it before I see the movie), “The King’s Speech” (same deal: book, then movie) and “Bringing up Girls” (maybe I should learn about that) and “Bringing up Boys” (only fair to read both).
 
SO, should be a busy week of not cleaning the house!  I’m so glad my kids love books too, and hope it continues as they get older!  
What’s on YOUR must-read recommendation list??  I can always use a few more to look forward to… 🙂
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