UNforever Young

Ok, so apparently I have been living in a bubble, because someone please tell me when my baby girl turned into a baby tween!!   I don’t know what rock I’ve been hiding under but it truly didn’t faze me that my first-born was growing up until just the other week.  As a side note:  I was happier in denial and I am still trying to figure out when she went from this cute little, blonde, pig-tailed sweetheart, that would give hugs out like candy to Ms. THAANG with an attitude. 

Oh, believe me, I’ve been warned about the changes that would occur when she entered this stage of her life, I just didn’t want to hear it.  My mom was the one who did most of the warning because she thoroughly enjoys and basks in current events so she could remind me what a handful I was.  Her favorite advice after one of our OMG I think she’s growing up conversations is,  “Hahaha, ooohhh III know, you just wait honey, haha” as she continues to laugh even after I hang up the phone.  Yeah, I’ve been warned, but in my insane thinking I thought if I ignored it, maybe it wouldn’t happen.  I have to say it worked for quite some time, but what I didn’t realize was that there were all kinds of things happening that I didn’t want to admit to, and now all of a sudden I cannot ignore.  For instance and just scratching the surface:

1)  My sweet pea is almost as tall as her grandmother; 2)  she is participating in “grown-up” conversations and interjecting with witty (sometimes really funny and intelligent) comments, 3) her room has all of a sudden become her sanctuary; 4)  She wears a bra!! (I’m still having trouble with this one); and 5) her attitude has become a source of contention (wwheeww) wow it can be nasty!!   Now, I’m just bracing myself for the ultimate I-am-in-no-way-shape-or-form-gonna-be-able-to-handle change…boys!  I’m really hoping that this one holds off for a while, but I know I’m just being naïve.

Anyway, when it became apparent what was happening without my conscious knowledge, I realized I’d better get with it and be proactive in this new chapter of our lives.  I needed to continue to keep her close, even though I knew I was going to have to begin the process of letting go.  Low and behold, the perfect opportunity to step into my daughter’s recent secret world came about 2 weeks ago.  We were invited to go see JONAS with Demi Lovato!! Holy crap was I excited, I really thought I was gonna be IN!! The Jonas Brothers –how can you beat that?  I was gonna be a “cool” mom.  Well, my bubble that I have lived in so peacefully until recently totally popped when her enthusiasm wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  Apparently she’s “too cool” for Jonas and the only reason she wanted to go was to hang out with her best friend.  Let me tell you, she was lucky they served beer!!

As we drove into the parking lot of the theater, the roar (I’m sorry…High Pitched Screams) coming from inside was what I could only explain as IN. SANE!  The energy that poured out of the entrances could be felt before you got out of the car.  WHOA it was crazy.  Needless to say, the feeling was contagious.  Soon the girls who were “too cool” for the Jonas brothers were right there in front, jumping up and down actin’ a fool with the rest of the obnoxiously loud and very dramatic crowd.  I say crowd so I do not leave out the ADULT women who joined in the frenzy.  I’m totally for supporting my kid’s fun, but UUUMMMM, and I won’t even talk about the ones there with NO kids.

I have to admit it was a pretty intense, and I will even admit, fun experience.  There was some whisper from the “cool” ones because we were sitting on the lawn, but in a turn of events, due to the volume from the speakers and the screeching groupies, our three girls scored some pretty awesome tickets from my cousins.  Their poor son just couldn’t hang with the craziness that was happening at the front by the stage.  And to be honest, I don’t blame him, I would have bailed too, stating health reasons!!

At the end, the concert was actually not making my ears bleed and the girls had a blast!! Although questionable at first, it turned out, I was pretty cool (at least for the night) and it also turned out all three girls, including the sixteen year old who tagged along, are forever Jonas fans and have scheduled a sleepover to watch the next installment of Camp Rock!!

 As exciting as it was, and how incredible it was to experience my daughter’s first concert with her, the best part definitely came at the end.  When the music stopped, the lights came on, and we started to head home, my grown up, tween daughter, who only picks her head up from a book or a computer when you repeat her name seventeen times, ran up to me, gave me a GREAT big hug and said “thank you”.  Wow, what a feeling!

In conclusion, I may be a little late in realizing that time moves forward and my babies won’t always be little, but I’m beginning to accept it and sort of embrace it, because the sweet little things they used to do ALL the time may only come once in a while now, but when they do, “Sweet” is not the only word I’d use to describe it.  So, thank you L & A for the invite, thank you J, C&C for the tickets, thank you A for the sixteen-year-old entertainment (and rockin voice by the way) and Thank You Jonas Brothers for a great night with my always sweet, always cute, but not forever young daughter!!

JAM WITH US!

Yep that’s me…I’m the crazy-ass you see head banging or lip-synching obnoxiously in the driver’s seat.  Laugh if you will, but I have to entertain myself somehow.  Having to spend so much time in the car, its hard not to get bored.  When I’m by myself I hope for your sake that the windows are up, but it is quite entertaining when I get the kids to join me in my made-up car band.  After staring at a computer screen all day, “jamming out” in the car has become a daily outlet and one of the more fun times of the day, especially when my backup dancers/singers get involved.  Although, I am very aware that I am slowly being pushed out of the lead (as if I ever had that role). 

It has become routine, that on our way to school in the morning when my son feels like it is his duty to play DJ, in a not so polite way, he will request a specific song.  I will usually hear this, loudly and consistently….“Mommy the boy song, the boy song Mommy”…I have learned that if my four-year-old’s demands are not met immediately, he will be relentless until he finally gets his way.  (I know its not “good” parenting to give in, but whatever, you spend the next half hour listening to him yell over you and the music you turned up to drown him out while attempting to keep your eyes on the road).  So, in order not to end up with a screaming headache or a flip-flop to the back of the head, I turn to disc number three and I laugh to myself while I strain to listen to his attempt at singing along…

“Driving through town just my boy and me (pause, with a little bit of humming) a happy meal in his booster seat”, (some more head nodding with a little more humming) “he couldn’t have the toy, till his nuggets were gone….”

“MOM! TURN IT UP!—-LOUDER!!!!!!!!!”

“I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool, I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you,
And eat all my food and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.  We got cowboy boots and camo pants, yeah, yeah yeaaahh”

…lyrically entertaining me through the entire song. Then when the last word is sung and just as I think its ok to applaud, I am ordered… “Again, mom, do it again!”  I drop my head in defeat, hit repeat and pray that our destination is close. 

Even though the song choices can get beyond repetitious, almost to the point of complete annoyance, my kids are so fun to listen to, and because I don’t get to spend a lot time with them during the week, getting in the car and “jamming out” is one of my favorite parts of the day.  We laugh a lot and it makes the time fly by.

Sometimes, if I’m lucky ;), they are still really ramped up by the time we get home and the front room becomes their dance floor.  We turn up the radio and see what they come up with, which can be anything from cheer moves to break dancing.  Just watch out though because when “Life is a Highway” or “Put a Ring On It” comes on get out of their way, she is all of a sudden in the spotlight with a microphone and he unleashes his moves!!

So laugh all you want while driving along, you may think I’m a nut, but I’m a nut having fun in a place where I spend way too much of my time.

I say turn up the music and Jam With Us!!!

CLICK OFF!!

I am a true believer in fighting for what is important to you.  I would fight to the death for my children, my family and my life, but each one of these battles, would be fought out of love.  I believe any battle, including the fight for equal rights, should be fought for reasons that would bring hope, health and happiness.  Apparently, I’m naive because this is what I thought everyone was fighting for—love and peace.  Sadly, I am mistaken, and apparently other’s happiness and destroying it, is more important to more people than I would like to believe.

I can’t seem to understand this, because unless or until it directly affects your life in a negative way, is it any of your concern how fellow human beings around you live their lives?  It utterly amazes me how many people complain about insignificant, futile things that will never affect them unless they throw themselves into the mix by spewing lies and hatred, and then hiding behind their religious, or other, beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong, if I see an injustice made upon an innocent person or a child I would intervene.  If something affected my life or my family in a negative way, I would vehemently voice my opinion, but my whole intention would be for the greater good, not my own personal agenda and absolutely not for the fact that I don’t like it, just because, arguing my side with no basis for my reasoning whatsoever.

There are other ways to deal with people, things and events that you don’t like, for example…

I don’t like reality shows that pay money to rich famewhores and punk kids that do nothing but make fools out of themselves for our entertainment and their back pockets.  Do you know what I do about it? – I change the channel.  I simply DON’T WATCH THEM;  however, I have friends that are reality junkies, and just because they may disagree with me, they will always be my friends.

I don’t like spinach. How do I handle it when the disgusting dish ends up on my plate? Yep, that’s right, I DON’T EAT IT;  however, my son loves spinach, but do I tell him, he’s bad for it?  NO. My love for him is unconditional.

I don’t like hairy men in speedos (I don’t like any man in speedos).  Guess what? I DON’T LOOK;  however, Um, I don’t know if anybody likes this.

I don’t like minivans, I will never own one, but I’m not going to hate my neighbors or my friends for driving one. 

I’m not fond of swimming in a lake, but if I am faced with the murky water with freaky fish I can’t see, I will make friends with it, and I may not love it, but I will accept the unknown and DEAL WITH IT because I don’t want to live standing on the pier wishing I could just let go and jump in.

  I can go on and on about things I just don’t care for, because I have opinions about pretty much everything, but they’re MY opinions.  I have no right to tell other people to join my club of distaste and threaten them that if they don’t they will be alienated from the normal.  HAHA.  Sounds like a bully, popular kid on the playground teasing the outcast to de-pants another outcast to become part of the “cool” crowd.  I would laugh in my own face if I tried to do that. 

Tragedy, heartache and pain are not prejudice, and neither is Love, so basically, I have no right to tell someone else how to live, love, laugh or cry.  I have no right to define what it is that is important to someone else, and not important to others.  In turn, YOU or anyone else have absolutely no right to tell ME how to live my life.  So, I’ll make all the haters a deal, I won’t tell you that your house is ugly, your ugly, your beliefs are ridiculous and your kids are out of control (I won’t even waive when you pass by) if you keep you hatred and bigoted ideas to yourself.  Deal?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

 From what I understand, we are all born into this world at the least possessing a heart (although questionable at times) and we all have choices.  We can love with the heart we are blessed with, accept the things we don’t understand, change things for the good, and go about our own lives, happily. Or, we can hate, judge, criticize and strip other people of their happiness, all along missing out on the life we could’ve had, only to look back when we’re old, grey and nobody likes us, and wonder why.

 So, for those who seem to have all kinds of time on their hands that they spend it attempting to sabotage other people’s happiness either out of jealousy or some convoluted idea of what’s “right”, get your own life and make it “right”, because its quite obvious that its lacking in something. 

 My suggestion…find your own happiness, and if you don’t like my suggestion, my life, or this post…

 CLICK OFF!!

                                                                                                                        lmj©2010

Smooth As…

Haha, no I’m not talking about the Petrone!  Although, from what I hear, its pretty smooth 😉   Actually, smooth is how I would describe the soothing tone and lyrical enchantment that is Apt. 7.  After great anticipation and, what some could say took, to quote Squints Palledorous from the Sandlot, “ffffooooor-eeevv-er,” I now hold in my hot little hands their brand new CD titled “Letting you in…” 

First and foremost, I want to assure you that my opinion of this collection of incredible songs is not biased whatsoever.  Just because the lead singer and songwriter happens to be a dear friend (Hey Natina, luv ya girl) and is the originator of the “Smooth As…” quote, which by the way is a whole story in itself, does not demean my honest opinion of the album. 

Music has always been an important part of my life. It has helped me through many bad times and allowed me to immensely enjoy the good times.  I love it all, from 80’s hair bands, to alternative rock, rap and even country to the soulful ballads of Sarah McLachlan or the Latin dance rhythm of Mr. Enrique Iglesias.  I’ve never had a specific “type” of music I liked more than another.  I just had specific requirements.  First, a good beat is a must, it has to be something that I can tap my foot too or sway along with;  second, it has to have a story, whether it be heartfelt, dramatic or just fun; and lastly, and this is the most important requirement, it has to have passion.  Its really hard for me to tune in when I can’t relate to what an artist wants to share.  I have to feel it, not just hear it.

I wanted to do this CD justice, so before I could put in my two cents about Apt 7’s “Letting You In….”, I listened to every song multiple times expecting each one to meet my standards of “good” music.  Well, I was not disappointed.  Consider me addicted!  I hate to compare Apt. 7 to anyone because they are original, with original songs and sound, but if you enjoy the music of Tori Amos or Sarah Bareilles, you’ll love “Letting You In….”. 

Technically speaking, you can describe Apt. 7’s, “Letting You In….” as adult contemporary or modern folk, but a more accurate and personal description would be a soulful retreat through life, love and heartbreak, all the while sucking you in with Natina’s passion for the underlying meaning of the story, haunting voice and deep acoustic guitar.

Each song takes you on a journey of triumph and hardships that one can easily relate to; from the slower, soft pace of “Fix It All” to the more upbeat catchy tracks like “Do It”, “I Am” and the title song “Letting You In”, the CD is relaxing, heartfelt and soulful.  It has been in my work computer now for the last week.  I needed something to calm me down ;).

Don’t just take my word for it though (even though I have yet to be wrong, haha) check out my favorite song of the album, “Fast Train”, along with the rest of the collection here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/Apt7.

If you like what you hear (which I really don’t know how you wouldn’t, but that’s just me) you can also find their album on Itunes.  Keep tabs on my Parent’s Night Out blog too, at www.nwinthezone.org to find out when they will be playing live in the area.  (Check in this week for details about a show this Thursday, August 12th

As always, thanks for visiting, and as always, I would love to hear your feedback and appreciate your support for fabulous local talent and a good friend! 

As for the “Smooth As…” quote, you fill in the blank 😉 !