Sunday, 20 July 2014

We have rats.

We have rats.  Two of them.  I'm the rat grandmother. 

I thought what you are thinking.  That's disgusting.  OMG why would anyone have rats as pets?  What is wrong with those people?  Yes... I GET IT.  Rats are nasty and ugly and dirty.

But they're actually not.

Here's where the story starts.  You all know by now that Sophia is the animal whisperer.  Cooper channels Steve Jobs and Sophia channels Steve Irwin, it's just the way it always has been and always will be. 

After a trip to a pet store with my parents, Sophia and Cooper came to us with a request for their "own" small animal.  I said "over my dead body".  I remember how many animals my parents let us get with the promise of us taking care of them (at least 4) and I remember how many we actually took care of (ZERO).  So Jason and I told them to research what small animals would be best for our household and how they would care for them and get back to us.  I thought that was it.

Apparently not.

Damn you Stamford American International School for teaching my kids to create really impressive digital presentations. 

Sophia not only researched what I asked but showed us videos on the care and keeping of RATS.  Yes, rats.  They are supposedly the most affectionate and trainable small animal around.  They are actually very clean and smart creatures so I googled and found a RAT BREEDER near our house.  Yes, I just typed rat breeder.  Because I am now crazy.

Long story short (too late), Sadie and Sammie now live at our house in what I named the Ratz Carlton.  They loooooooove Sophia.  Sammie lays on the back of her neck while she watches TV.  Sadie might be the rat agility champion of the world (yes, there is such a thing).  Jason and I don't "like" them but we are coming around and think that they are kind of cute. 

The best part of all of this is that we put Sammie on Jessie's back and she just kept on walking.  If the rats are good enough for our dog, they are good enough for me.  (but if Sophia doesn't take care of them, they are dead rats...just for the record). 

The lifespan of rats is on average only 2.5 years.  Just saying. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Why the Social Media Hate?

Here I go again...stirring the pot.  This one has been in the works for a long time, albeit in my mind, but it's not a spontaneous type post like I usually do.

I cannot stand, just cannot stand,  that video going around right now about how Facebook, smart phones, etc. are the bane of all existence.  It is by some guy named James Ellis something, I am not even going to look it up after watching that crap, because I refuse to acknowledge it.

All you friends who posted it - why?  YOU ARE ALL ON SOCIAL MEDIA - AND A LOT!  Seriously, I get annoyed with the people who only show up (we're just going to use this as an example because it's my social media outlet of choice) on Facebook when it's your kid's birthday (and they're not on FB so that's a whole other post), or when they won the baseball championship, or your spouse got a promotion.  GOOD FOR YOU!  I will read it and be happy for you!  But you are the same people who criticize the rest of us for being on Facebook on a daily basis, who tend to post about funny little things that are important to us or maybe that we just know certain friends or family will love.

I love Facebook.  I love what it's done for my friendships.  I just last week spent a good amount of time with a high school friend, Jonathon, and his family because of Facebook.  I hung out with a Wake Forest friend, Natalie, while on vacation in her home of South Carolina just the week before that because of Facebook.  These are people I never would have spoken to again, and I guarantee I will hang out with them again.  I had a blast both times.  I could give you at least ten more examples of these reunions.

I have dear friends I met in Singapore that I can keep in touch ALL AT THE SAME TIME because of Facebook.  Bri, Maureen, Andrew, Rachel,  the list goes on and on...and I'm not going to continue with names because I will forget and offend someone...

I have a couple of high school "friends" that I feel I am so much closer to now than I was back then because of Facebook.  We all realized how young and stupid we were and how much more we now have in common and have made inroads into real friendships (I'm talking about you - Roni, Kerri and Tammy!)  These are people I want to hang out with now that I'm not 17- that's saying something.  One of them stayed in my beach house while I lived in Singapore, so I'm not just making this stuff up. 

I don't sit behind a computer all day without social interactions.  When I was in high school, I admit I didn't have the best self esteem.  Well you know what?  I grew up!  I don't walk around with my head in a phone.  Do I use it too much?  OF COURSE!  Do I eat dinner with my kids every night - yes.  Do I ban their electronics in restaurants and all around family time - yes.  I have real, authentic and meaningful relationships with my children, and I'm darn proud of the job I'm doing.  I have serious lines drawn with my kids and social media.  I am a very strict mother, who wants my kids to be kids.  I am teaching them to be strong, independent human beings who value themselves on their accomplishments and character. 

The part of all this that drives me the craziest is the jealously aspect.  I hate to say this, but my life is pretty much what you see.  Do I have fights with my husband?  YES.  Do I have any reason to tell you about it?  NO.  Does Sophia talk back to me?  Rarely.  Do my kids fight?  More than they used to.  But my kids are kind, respectful and good little citizens.  My husband and I have a pretty darn good relationship.  We struggle with issues from time to time, but honestly I don't want to share that.  If you want to - more power to you.  But if I only share the good times, I just cannot understand for the life of me why that makes me fake.  I am not fake.  If you know me, you know it's not possible.  I can't keep my damn mouth shut about the truth, for better or worse.

It's my worst trait. 

If I read one more time about how people's lives are fabricated or exaggerated on Facebook I might lose my mind.  Because not only is mine not, but I know enough about my close friends to know theirs are not either. If you feel bad about your life because you read about mine, that is something you need to deal with.  I do not need to change what I post about.  And if you are having hard times, I will support you, I will be there for you.  But you need to tell me about it and not post "mystery posts" so we have to guess. 

Friends, I really love keeping up with you.  Even you people that I don't really know that well - I read your posts.  Some I flip through a little faster (so you had a turkey sandwich for lunch or are tired today - woo hoo) but I read them all. 

More importantly, I spend most of my time with actual human interaction.  Today I golfed with my friend, Mary Beth, took a friend's son to lacrosse practice as a favor, then hung out with a ton of kids at a family fun pool night.  It's possible to be a functioning human in this day and age.

Stop the hype please.

It's not evil people.  It's what you make of it.