Archive for the ‘Amy’s constant obesssion with current events’ Category

Preschool Politics- March 4, 2016

Friday, March 4th, 2016

I think we as Americans are collectively realizing this is no longer a joke. This ridiculously brazen reality TV star billionaire is somehow inching closer to becoming the leader of the free world with each new idiot he recruits. When I say I know no one who is supporting Donald Trump I literally mean I know no one who backs him, or would admit to backing him. I scratched my head as I watched Super Tuesday returns showing Trump winning seven states while Facebook friends vented outrage and my Twitter feed filled with #nevertrump.

One Trump opposer in my life is the loudest. I’ve watched her disgust for him grow with each debate clip or Today Show interview she happens to see. After cartoons, of course.

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Yes. My five year-old is a staunchly against Donald Trump. Let me be clear when I say my husband and I had not said much about him before the fall. That’s when our little girl was skipping through the living room early one evening and stopped in front of the TV. CNN cut to Trump speaking live at an Iowa campaign rally. She carefully eyed him through the screen. He carried on with his usual rants about walls and how everyone, even immigrants who would be kept out by his wall, love him. She asked who he was and what he was doing. I said, “That’s Donald Trump. He wants to be President of the United States.”

She scowled and said, “Mama, he is rude!”

From the mouths of babes, amiright? This is when the questions began. They say 5 year-olds ask 900 million questions a day or something like that. I’m convinced 890 million of those are to request a snack. On this particular day, she saved 10 million questions for an impromptu preschool civics lesson.

Her: “Why is he so rude?”

Me: “Well, he is like that. That’s how he chooses to talk.”

Husband: “Because he’s a blowhard!”

Her: “What’s a blowhard?”

I scowled at my husband.

Me: “He just doesn’t say things in the nicest way.”

Her: “Why is he gonna be the President?”

Me: “Well, we don’t know that he is. He’s trying to become president.”

Husband: “Lots of people are trying to become the next president this time. They give speeches like that to try to convince people to vote for them.”

Cue our explanation of voting: “When Mommy and Daddy go to the fire station and you get a sticker. That’s when we’re voting.”

Her: “What about President Obama?”

Me: “Well, his time is almost up. You can only be president for eight years.”

Her: “Who do we want to be President?”

I thought carefully about this. I remembered asking my parents the same thing. The first election I really remember was Bush vs. Dukakis in ’88. I was seven. We had an election in our 2nd grade class. I watched debates with my grandfather in ’92. I remember pondering the political choices of my parents and grandparents. They are the first shapers of our politics and civic mindedness whether we agree with them or make a complete 180 degree turn from their views.

Me: “Well, I like Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. They’re different from Donald Trump. I like what they have to say better.”

My husband went on to talk more about Clinton and Sanders. She listened before turning back to the TV. “BOO DONALD TRUMP!” She shouted. We chuckled. She lost interest in CNN and found her “My Little Ponies” as you would expect from a little kid. Months later, her dislike of Trump continues. This week she channeled her inner journalist with an in-depth one-on-one interview with Trump. She did apologize to Cookie Monster for making him be The Donald for this game. I can’t make this up.

Trump Cookie Monster

I had to talk to her when she made her own version of a protest sign with an index card and a chopstick using Disney “Frozen” markers. She marched and shouted “BOO, DONALD TRUMP! BOO, DONALD TRUMP!” Her chants started to sound less spirited and more nasty. This hurt my heart a little. She doesn’t watch that much news, right? Could the nasty political, discourse in our nation be influencing her young mind? Was she reading Huff Post? She can’t read words that have more than four letters, where was this coming from? I stopped her chant and explained that just because we aren’t voting for Donald Trump, that doesn’t mean we need to talk nasty about him. It’s a fine line to walk. Yes, I want her to be passionate about politics and protest what she feels is injustice in the world, but not do it in poor taste.

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That’s when I suggested she make a sign that is in favor of the candidate she wants to win, versus a negative one against Donald Trump. “Okay! I’ll make one with stars and sparkles that says ‘Go Hillary Clinton! You are the best! You are better than Donald Trump!'”

Sigh.

Or, I can just make plans to pay for a Poli Sci degree and watch her run a fierce smear campaign against the Republican nominee when she graduates in 2032.

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Bullseye! You got me, Target. February 22, 2016

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

I’ve known for awhile that one store truly has my heart more than any other. This iconic American retailer has my loyalty, my time and my money. As if my weekly, sometimes bi-weekly pilgrimages weren’t evidence enough of my dedication to shopping at this store, my children have preferences for which location they like best and which cart they prefer to ride in. As a suburban mom in my mid-thirties I can admit I’m likely their “target” customer. Pun intended.

Oh, Target! You have your wily ways of wooing me! You know I can’t stand hauling my brood around that other discount retailer. You know online won’t always cut it, even if they can bring it to my door in a few hours. I might need to try something on, or just generally peruse your shiny aisles. I’ve seen the new displays of home decor. You’re beautiful marketing geniuses and you know it. You know I’ll pay a little more for your collaborations with top designers that otherwise I can only afford on Poshmark or consignment. You also know my peers are likely to meet me at the store with their toddlers in carts for coffee because you went and put Starbucks in your stores! Ruthless, savages!

The other day I was at a stoplight, near one of your stores when my phone buzzed. My RedPerks and Cartwheel apps were alerting me that I was range of store in my city. You follow me Target. You know when I get near, like the mother ship calling me home.

But, what you did last week topped it all. There is no discount on yoga pants or throw pillows that could ever rival the type of happiness you brought last week. Congratulations Target. You now own my soul, too. You cemented my devotion for all eternity. You made our relationship even stronger with this slick move. How?

You brought Gwen Stefani into it.

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I mean, Gwen was kind of part of my Target life a few years ago. My baby had some Harajuku Mini clothes. But this was better! Target, you took one of my favorite singers of all time and let her perform her new single in a happy, sparkling live music video during the Grammy’s. “Make Me Like You” is catchy pop perfection and you know it. You had me in front of the TV and on Twitter squealing with other fans like I’m not a sane adult. Costume changes! Roller skating in your shiny bullseye logo! A neon sign reading “Blake’s” in the video, an obvious nod to Blake Shelton. Oh yes, you know how my southern girl demographic loves Blake. It’s like how we love Lilly Pulitzer and we all know what happened when you put that in your stores. Who remembers #PinkSunday?

But Target, the coup de gras for you and me came when you forced me to do something I haven’t done in at least decade. (Wait, when did I get that iPod Mini? 2006? I dunno.) I did something I never thought I’d do again and laughed at my mom and stepdad for doing just this Christmas. I bought a CD. Yes. In 2016, I Amy, bought a CD. I pre-ordered Gwen’s new album “This Is What The Truth Feels Like” from you because you promised me four extra bonus tracks exclusive to Target. I was so excited by your celebrity marketing that I just bought it, not even checking to see if I had bought a digital download or a CD. I don’t even know if there was a digital download. Was there? No idea. Congrats. You got me to buy a CD. I already pre-ordered it on iTunes too, but you know I’ll be dusting off the CD player for those 4 bonus tracks. I think the CD player in my car works. We’ll see March 18, won’t we?

Your job is done, Target. Do you now tattoo the bullseye on my body somewhere? Wait, no. That’s stupid. Unless Gwen says it’s cool, then I’ll do it.

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Keep Lying- December 3, 2015

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

I just wanted to have The Ellen Show on TV Wednesday afternoon while I cleaned and got things done. Ellen is awesome. She’s doing that Christmas giveaway thing and audience members lose their minds. It’s funny.

No Ellen. “Breaking news.” “Mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.” “Multiple fatalities.” That familiar wave of horror went through me and settled in my chest. I watched for a moment before going upstairs for something. The kids were upstairs in their rooms. My 2-year-old son was waking from a nap and my 5-year-old daughter was playing. When I came back downstairs she was there, standing in front of the TV. She eyed it. I watched the question I expected come to her lips. “Mommy, what happened?”

“Some people got hurt,” I explained.

I turned it off. We hurried out the door for dinner at church where she happily sang with the preschool choir. Adults said prayers for southern California as our phones buzzed here on the east coast with updates. “Searches for suspects.” “Standoff with police.” It all continued to unfold on the other side of the country as our evening went on.

In the car on the way home a news update came on the radio at the half hour with the latest from San Bernardino. I hear from the back seat, “Mama. Am I going to get shooted by a gun?”

Her question pushed on my chest. The weight of it stalled my breath. The worst image any parent can have came to mind. I said, “No baby. You won’t be shot by a gun. Why do you ask that?” I knew why she had asked. She said, “It was on the news on TV.” I assured her it was okay and that it happened far away. She said, “Well, are you and Daddy going to be shot by a gun?” I promised we wouldn’t.

I changed the subject and mulled over my answers to her as we brushed teeth and got in bed. As I tucked her in I gave her the whole Mr. Rodgers speech. The “look for the helpers” quote.

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I lied to my 5-year-old. I lied to her. We are lying to our children when we say “No, baby. You’re safe. You won’t be shot by a gun.” It’s a lie because they could be. As we’ve learned in the past decade any of us can be shot at a mall, movie theater, university, elementary school, church, medical clinic, holiday office party… I can’t even remember all of them now. Who can? This Washington Post article explains that on the 336th day of 2015, San Bernardino marked the 355th US shooting. Oh, and it was the second one on Wednesday. There was another in one of my favorite US cities, Savannah, Georgia.

In my mind I’ve played out scenarios of what I would do if I was at Target, the park or the grocery store with the kids. Hide or flee? It depends on where we were. Would the kids know to be quiet if we had to hide? How fast can I run with both of them? Let me be clear, I’m not a paranoid person. I don’t live in fear day-to-day. I just keep it in the back of my mind. My child does not show signs of any anxiety or excessive worry at this point. She’s only five, though.

We cannot honestly tell our children they are safe. Even quoting Mr. Rogers isn’t that comforting. My daughter asked who the helpers were. I explained that police officers and EMT rush to help people when they’re hurt. But, wait. What about children in communities with strained relations with law enforcement? Would a black child in Ferguson, Missouri see a police officer as a “helper?” What do their parents tell them?

Maybe all we can do as parents is lie. We can keep telling kids it will all be okay when we really don’t know if it will be. We can just keep lying.

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Tweets Between Rock Star Moms- November 24, 2015

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

In all my years on Twitter I never would have expected what happened as I stood in my kitchen early yesterday evening. I was pulling leftovers out of the fridge for my hungry little ones. Their whines were growing loud as I half watched the news and cut broccoli stalks for their plates. How much longer until bedtime? “The Voice” is on tonight. My phone buzzed.

My stomach did a little flip. Surely I wasn’t seeing what I saw.

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My jaw dropped open. Did Gwen Stefani just tweet me? I really wish a camera had been on my face to see the ridiculous grin. All kid whining was blocked out as I went to my original post to see if in fact she had responded. I double checked that little blue check to be sure she was the actual Twitter-verified Gwen. She was. The little “gx” seems to be how she signs her social media posts on Twitter and Instagram. It had to be her. I went to her Twitter page to MAKE SURE I was on there. I was. It was official. She responded to my tweet!

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I was just goofing around, being a fan girl when I wrote that. I figured other fans would respond, but Gwen herself? By this point she was getting ready for the live show. I know this because I’m a weirdo fan who thought “Oh! They’re getting ready for ‘The Voice’ live show.” In case you missed it. I wrote a post last week about my crazy, silly love of all things Gwen and Blake.  Let’s be honest, she will likely never read it because she’s super busy with career and kids. I’m not a super star, but I’m a mom. So I understand being too busy for almost everything. I just think she and I could be mom friends and if she wanted to bitch about her ex with me and my girls, she’s welcome. We’d also love to dish about her cute new boyfriend. Just saying.

I loved her performance on the American Music Awards Sunday night and indulged myself by watching her sing “Used To Love You” on my phone a few times Monday after working out, running errands and attending the preschool Thanksgiving feast. Her performance was awesome! Emotional. Beautiful. It makes me cry. Add to that, Blake tweeted about it. Then I got to see Alanis Morrisette perform the 20th anniversary of “You Oughta Know” and the cast of “Clueless” 20 years later? 30-somethings of the Internet….was that awesome, or what?! My 90’s teen heart could take no more happiness.

Until the tweet.

I usually only tweet with others like me, other bloggers, writers, moms and news people. Regular people tweet celebrities all the time. I do. Smack talk to an athlete before a game or encouragement for a guy who plays on my NFL team is just fun. I imagine A-listers get thousands a day. Jimmy Kimmel will round up all the mean tweets for famous people and let the hilarity ensue. But, the odds of a famous person actually replying to you?! The odds of one of my FAVORITES replying is nearly unheard of.

I don’t know why she responded to me, but I’m so glad she did. I just made a very honest, fun statement. I enjoyed her performance. I’m glad she knows it.

After collecting myself I kept grinning and responded.

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I showed my 5-year-old daughter and told her that Gwen wrote to me. She knows who Gwen is. We let her watch a little of “The Voice” before bedtime on Mondays and Tuesdays. She’s Team Gwen all the way. She looked at me with her wide eyes and said, “Mommy, are you famous!?” I assured her that I was not. I told her I was just a regular mom.

But…for a moment in my kitchen, I felt like a total rock star.

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Just a Girl, Just a Mom- November 17, 2015

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

I remember the first time I saw Gwen Stefani perform. It was sometime in my angsty teens in the mid-90’s. I was likely eating a bowl of cereal after school and watching MTV Spring Break. I saw her sing “Just a Girl” in her halter top and rocker jeans and thought, “Who is that?! She is awesome!” Watching many female artists is wildly intimidating when you’re a young teen, but I never felt this way watching her. She was the lead singer of this band of guys and she was SO COOL! She made me feel like I could do anything. If I ever meet her I’ll tell her that. I’ve been a fan for years. I’ll have to ask my sister what we did with that old “Tragic Kingdom” CD. No doubt, it’s in a Discman in a closet at my mom’s house. (“No doubt.” Ha! See what I did there?)

Fast forward decades to me as an adult who listens to Top 40 and Country music in the car. I first spotted Blake Shelton when we had some music award show on TV at some point. I mentioned to my husband how handsome I thought he was. Tall, curly hair. Hot. I listened to him croon and decided he might be on my celebrity “gimme” list. You know, the hypothetical list of celebrities you and your spouse establish that you could hook up with if you ever met them.

Before last year I had never watched “The Voice.” Like much of America I was kind of over singing reality shows after years of voting by phone for the next “American Idol.” Then I saw that Gwen was going to be a coach and I told my husband, “Oh! Gwen Stefani is a coach?! I’ll have to watch. I love her!” He agreed that she is awesome and we watched because of her. I later had a discussion with some girlfriends about how Gwen could totally bring her kids and come hang with us and mom it up. You know. Coffee, strollers…cliche mom stuff. They were like, “Yeah, she’s the best! Totally!” That being said, let’s think for a moment what that might be like. Super cool rock star in leather and her kid…with me in my tennis shoes and unruly toddler. It might look something like this:

Me and Gwen Stefani hanging out with our kids

Here is where I make a confession. I have a crazy obsession with Gwen and Blake dating. I’m all about it. It’s weird. As an adult I don’t keep up with too much celebrity gossip or tabloid fodder. I have never watched anything with the Kardashians. The last time I read a magazine was when my phone died at the nail salon once. I don’t care if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are married or whatever. Are they? Wait. Don’t tell me. I don’t care. But, for some reason I REALLY care about Blake and Gwen. You know, “Blen” or “Gwake” or “Shelfani” or whatever they’re being called.

I’ve read some people all like, “What!? They’re dating? That’s weird!” Okay, what’s weird about it? The queen of cool with the hot cowboy, both of whom are coming off highly publicized divorces. Now, they work together on a hit TV show where they giggle and make sexy eyes at each other. That’s awesome! They don’t have to get married. They can just be each other’s hot music industry rebound. More power to them! Plus, think about how brooding and angry Miranda Lambert’s next album is going to be because of all of this. I smell another Grammy!

In all seriousness, I have a problem, ya’ll. I can’t get enough “Blen.” In an extreme moment of idiocy I shared an article from a tabloid on my Facebook page like I have no sense. Yep! I shared the Us Weekly piece about the Stefani/Rossdale split. I may or may not have read wildly sensational articles on websites like E! and Hollywood Life. Please, please do not ever click on the videos on these sites. They are so effing stupid. On top of that, I follow Gwen and Blake on Twitter and Instagram. I’m always reading their tweets and telling them how awesome #TeamBlake and #TeamGwen are on the show, like I don’t have a family/job/responsibilities of my own. I may or may not have ignored my 2-year-old throwing crackers on the ground in the line at Target while I leafed through People Magazine because it promised more on their “Sexy New Romance!”

Monday night my husband laughed at my fan girl ways as I nestled up to the TV promptly at 8:00pm EST to watch the “The Voice” live. My ridiculous swooning over Gwen and Blake’s flirting reached new heights after the whole “Hotline Bling” conversation. I was gushing over how awesome they are and how handsome Blake looked. My husband said, “So he’s at the top of your list now? It’s cool. You could hook up with him if you met him.”

As if nothing else about that statement phased me I said without hesitation, “Oh my God! I would NEVER do that to Gwen!” 

::pause::

I looked a him. I mean, “I would never do that to you. You know, because you’re my husband and I love you.”

Yep. I’m an excellent fan girl and a mediocre wife.

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