What Kind of Mood Are You In Today?

Friday, August 7, 2009

"The Rachael Zone"

You know, I don't think my problem is that I'm distracted. I think it's that I'm too focused. When I'm pumping gas for instance, it isn't that I get distracted and forget about the pump. No, I just get so focused on something else...like how to get the kids to stop fighting over who gets to tell on the other two first when mom gets back into the car.

In fact, I have the ability to
hyperfocus. Some think the fact that I am disorganized, seemingly distracted, and can hyperfocus means that I have ADD, but as a teacher I realize that things like ADD are more complex than that and I really have no business making a diagnosis. Instead, at my house, we refer to it as...The Zone.

It does cause me trouble (you think?), but it's what enables me to play
Chopin's Revolutionary Etude, write an A+ essay on the various kinds of symbolism in "The Great Gatsby," put on a musical as the Music AND Drama director that involves roughly 100 preschool-8th grade kids, and even write this blog. (Yes, I am defending my intelligence here!) It's the "genius" in me.

But like I said, it does cause me trouble.

My husband has already posted his experience with "The Zone," specifically "The Rachael Zone," on his blog. Here is one instance where "The Zone" caused me some trouble.

I don't park my car in the garage now. It's way too full of stuff. (Hmmm...did Travis do that on purpose?) We had a 3- car garage in our first house and oh, it was nice! No icy windows, no stepping out into 32 degree weather (hey, that's COLD in California!), and it also meant fewer trips to the car wash which, as we all know, is a really good thing for me!

My only problem was that I forgot to shut the garage door on my way out. I know, how hard can it be to remember to reach up to the visor and push a little button? It's not like I had to get out of the car and close it manually. No, it was only a click of a button. Still, I had trouble with it.

My friend Bryan, who carpooled with my husband, puts it this way:

"(I remember) when you forgot to close the garage door like...47 days in a row. I remember seeing Travis' head turn red like a tomato when we would pull up after a long day at work and a long drive home...good times."

Now, I think 47 days in a row might be exaggerating just a bit. 47 out of 50 days maybe, but not in a row!

Ok, no. But I'll bet is was at least twice a week.

Travis says Bryan is right.

Whatever the number, I forgot and it frustrated Travis to no end. I had to do something. Let's see...make myself a note and place it on my dash? Nope! Car is too messy...it just blends in.

Hmmm...put a post-it on the door in the house that leads to the garage? Nope! Those things don't stick longer than a day and the ink fades in the sunlight, anyway.

What about an alarm that sounds from the time I open the garage door until I close it? Something really loud...louder than the car alarms that go off in parking lots that you can hear in the bathroom of the restaurant you are dining in! Well, the neighbors might not be too happy about that and it would make our garage sales...well...odd. And noisy.

I bought a label machine.

That night my husband came home, kissed me as he always does, checked to see what was for dinner, then walked into the bathroom. As he put his hand on the handle, he looked down and...

"Rachael? Why is there a sticker on the bathroom that says, 'Garage Door?'"

"Oh! That's my new plan."


"To remember to shut the garage door."

"Ooook. Well, I hope it works." All the while he's thinking it won't.

A few days later some friends came over. They also enter the bathroom and say, "Rachael? Why is there a sticker on the bathroom that says, 'Garage Door?' Do you forget which room this is?"

My sister-in-law came over and decided to do a little laundry.

"Rachael? Why is there a sticker on your laundry room that says, 'Garage Door'"?

My mother-in-law came over.

"Travis? Why is there a sticker on your garage door that says, 'Garage Door?'"

"Ask Rachael."

"Rachael? Why is there...(you know the rest) Do you forget which door this is or something?"

I figured that I needed to one-up the post-it note and do...labels!!! While most people might only put a post-it note on their door, I would put a label on it! Even if others might become like one of the cool kids and use a label, I would put labels EVERYWHERE!

So what if everyone else got confused over which door was really the garage door and walked in on others in the bathroom, thinking they were getting a tool from the garage? So what if ...

...you know, I'm having a really hard time writing this story. Travis keeps talking to me and asking me how to do all this fancy blog stuff and he is taking me out of "The Zone!"

...I'm not being funny. He really is!

ANYWAY!!! Where was I?

...he's talking again.

...Thanks, Kevin Mathers for instant messaging him so I can think!

Where was I???

Ok. So at this point people think I'm weird. They have no idea why I have a label that says "Garage Door," posted all over my house. I, however, am determined to make this work.

So did it? Eventually, yes. But not until we were robbed blind by some punk who took everything except my beloved "Garage Door," labels.

No, I'm kidding. We weren't robbed, but that does bring me to my next story...

Travis Has Started His Own Blog

Yes, indeed! www.LifeWithRachael.blogspot.com

HIS side of the story!


It's Not My Fault-I Drank Bleach As a Kid!

Yeah, seriously...I did.

I don't remember it, but my mother and older brother swear it's true.

My mother claims that we had been out shopping and I had been complaining that I was thirsty. She was bringing in groceries from the car and I guess I saw that as my opportunity. I don't know how in the world I was able to get that stuff down, but my mom glanced over and there I was, drinking bleach.

My mom freaked, grabbed the Syrup of Ipecac, and shoved it in my mouth. For the record, if your kid ever drinks bleach, don't give him/her Syrup of Ipecac. The bleach burns on the way down, it will burn on the way back up. Call poison control.

But my poor mom was in a panic, probably thinking, "Oh, my gosh! She's two (or three) and she already has this fascination with soaping up her bath toys and then crashing them in the bath tub. If I don't do something quick she'll probably crash her car in a car wash when she grows up!"

So, Syrup of Ipecac goes down and away we go in the car, mom driving and me sitting on my big brother's lap in the front seat. (This is back before car seat laws.) My mom is driving like...well, a panicked mother and then the syrup did its work...all over my poor brother! To this day, whenever the story comes up, he still gets this look on his face that says, "You owe me, Sis. You owe me BIG!"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My First Payment

First, I have a correction to make. In my post about the SECOND time I drove off with the gas pump still attached to my car, I said that the owner chased my car down and grabbed the pump. I learned today that it was not the owner but an employee. The kind of employee who is looking out for the best interest of his company, apparantly.

Second, the owner did not want to have his picture taken. I didn't even get the question all the way out before he said, "No...no, I don't want to." I don't think he wants to be seen with me.

Third, he did agree to let me pay him weekly according to how much I make on this blog, but no less than $75/month. Let's see if this blog gets to $75 this month! Wouldn't that be something?

Fourth, I have some pictures for you. I took some of the very pump that I damaged. I did not drive off with the pump this time. :)

Last, I just want to say thank you for reading this crazy stuff! I have three different programs tracking my blog and gathering stats for me. The one I trust most is Google's. So far I've had readers from 4 countries and 96 cities worldwide. Facebook plays a huge part of that, and in many of the cities I can guess who is visiting the blog, but some I have no clue. I reached 1400 hits today. Of those 1400 hits, 187 are absolute unique visitors. As far as I can tell, that means there have been 187 people that have visited my blog. WOW! And obviously many are returning. This is far from huge, but much bigger than I expected. I just didn't think that more than 20 people would even stop by, much less return. All I can say is...well, I'm speechless.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ummm...About That Picture...

I must apologize, but I thought I knew exactly where that picture was. SHOOT! But I DID find a video of it, so I'll have to see if I can get it out of VHS format and make it a digital file. I'll keep you updated and if you know how, please comment and let me know! (It's one of those tiny tapes that you have to put into a VHS adapter in order to play it.)


I Only Half-way Forget to Apply Deodorant

Don't you hate the days when you forget to put on your deodorant? Ugh! The feeling of NOT being sure...it puts you on tilt all day!

Especially in high school when being "cool" is...well...THE most important thing other than attracting members of the opposite gender! (Can't use the "s" word...who knows what kind of ads will pop up!)

I remember when... (pretend the screen is getting fuzzy and wavy)

I'm opening my locker, getting books, talking with friends, checking my hair, when something strange wafts in the air. Ick! Someone forgot their deodorant this morning! And when we know that someone did something embarrassing, we humans feel the need to find out who it is, so I start looking around. "Could it be him? Her? Oh, no. It MUST be him!"

I get to my classroom and sit down, open my notebook, get a pen out of my purse. The teacher begins class, starts the lecture, then asks a question. I LOVE it when I know the answer! I get excited, raise my hand and...

"Eww. There's that smell again! Whoever it was is in this class," which then puts me in Nancy Drew mode and I MUST find out who forgot their deodorant this morning!

I think we had to put our heads down for being too noisy or something. Either that or I got bored and thought I would, "rest my eyes" for the rest of class. Whatever the case, this gives me the perfect opportunity to scan the room and try to figure out who forgot their deodorant this morning.

"Eww..there's that...uh, could that be me?" Shoot! I need to find out, but I can't have anyone see me sniff my armpits! That would be SO not cool! But I've GOT to find out!

Hmmm...I think I have an itch in my nose. Yeah, that's it. If anyone suspects, I was merely itching my nose. I'll just turn my head to the left...just like this...itch my nose on my sleeve..."Phew! It's not me!!!"

Later in the day, I head off to PE. By the way, I HATED PE!!! I'm not anywhere NEAR even acceptable when it comes to sports. Even 5th graders don't want to play with me. Seriously. I taught summer school one year in the elementary school I work at (it's more of a daycare summer program) and even though the kids begged me to play kickball with them on Day 1, On Day 2 when we played again I was STILL picked last! I kid you not. (My friends from high school right now are thinking, "Oh. Well, maybe she really IS telling the truth!")

Oops, my mind was wandering again.

But despite the fact that I did everything possible to not play- dodging the ball and running away from it- you work up quite a sweat in the process, especially when the "sporty girls" yell at you.

Finally, PE was over and it was off to the torture chamber-I mean, locker room-to change. Doing my best to look like I'm not changing out of my gym clothes in front of 30 other girls, I throw the shirt over my head, quick as lightning, and...

"Ewww...what the heck? There's that smell again!!! Geez! I already checked-it's not me!!! So which girl standing near me forgot deodorant? " Nancy Drew mode again. Except I can't look because if the other girls see me looking at them they'll think...well, you know. You just don't look at ANYONE when changing in the locker room.

Finally, the end of the day comes. I board the bus, sit back, and start thinking about cute boys. I get home, drop my backpack, grab a snack from the pantry and...

"Ewww...SERIOUSLY?!? WHY do I keep smelling that smell??? Is it my brother?"

(Said snotty, like every big sister sounds.) "Matt, geez! Did you forget your deodorant this morning?"

"NO! (you freak!)"

Ok. At this point, even I can't deny that all the evidence is pointing to me as the guilty forgetter-of-the-deodorant, so I head off to the bathroom to check. I lift one arm, sniff...YES! I knew it wasn't me! I'll check the other just in case. Lift the other arm, sniff..."OH! You have GOT to be kidding me!!!

"I only half-way forgot to apply my deodorant this morning!"

Yes, I only applied deodorant to one armpit and that smell I was smelling all day was indeed...me!

Sad to say, this was only the first time. I still do it today from time to time. It's REALLY embarrassing now because I teach Music and have to wave my arms in the air to conduct the kids while singing. I don't know what happens between armpit 1 and armpit 2, but I have at least learned to carry deodorant with me wherever I go...and stash it in the car...and in my desk at work...and in my Music bag.

Is This For Real?

Several of my friends have asked me in the last few days if all this stuff is really true or if I'm just making this all up. I promise...this is ALL TRUE!!! You're probably thinking, "There's NO way someone could be this...this...GEEZ! What DO you call this?" but it is 100% true...unfortunately.

This made me laugh-a friend asked his wife if I was for real because I seemed so smart. She told him that my intelligence is just a distraction. LOL

Sunday, August 2, 2009


YES! I finally got the joke!

When I chose the name, "My Poor Husband," for my blog, I was thinking about how Travis was just such a man to be pitied because of all the crazy things that happen to me. (I really don't try to do this stuff!) Poor- as in, the Google definition, "deserving or inciting pity, a hapless victim." Fitting, I think. Slightly exaggerated, but then some may argue the definition could not be more exact.

But what I DIDN'T get is that poor can also mean, "lacking in money." As in, Travis is poor because of all the costly blunders I make. Ha! I got it! That's hilarious!!

I'm so clever.

Scroll down for your story now. :)

Nursing Under Cover

Breastfeeding is a skill.

Animals make it look so easy. Us mothers, however, well, it's certainly not like the sweet pictures you see on the Le Leche League brochures! There's the whole latching on thing and the trick of getting the baby off in such a way that the baby doesn't take his "pacifier" with him.

There's the whole making the baby place his mouth in just the right way so that he or she gets nourishment and you don't sit there, secretly wishing he or she WOULD permanently remove your special "pacifier", thinking the pain of removal surely couldn't be as bad as what you're experiencing now!

And let's not forget the pains we go through to make sure we don't go out in public looking like we peed our...


Make no bones about it-breastfeeding is a skill!

And I mastered it all...except for one little part.

When my first child was born, I was an adamant breastfeeder. Whether at a restaurant, at the mall, or teaching piano, I was determined to give my baby only breast milk. I was a modest breastfeeder (until I got to the third child, and then I was too tired to care!), which meant I had to master the skill of "The Cover Up."

"The Cover Up" is the subtle act of breastfeeding while trying to look like you're not. You've all seen it. Baby begins to cry and starts wildly shaking his head round in circles, kind of like the Exorcist, with mouth wide open and a look that says, "You better do it fast before you pee your... shirt!" Then, the mother begins her James Bond moves, trying to get the "pacifier" out without exposing herself and freaking out all the men around her. Somehow she is supposed to put a blanket over a screaming baby who is kicking the stupid blanket and causing it to fall on a dirty floor. It's kind of like the underwear trick, only while seated. Cover, pull back up...cover, pull back up.

I just couldn't master that skill.

Instead, I invented "The Tent."

Like I said, I was an adamant, but modest, breastfeeder. So, here I am in a nice restaurant with my mother and step-father, husband and I think my brother, and just when the dinner is served, my firstborn begins to cry. (Have you ever noticed that babies ALWAYS get hungry when you're just about to eat?) I pull out the blanket and begin the "The Cover Up".

The baby is screaming as I try to move my outer and inner clothing out of the way without losing my "boob tampon" on the floor. I am getting quite frustrated at this whole process and the people in the restaurant are getting quite irritated at the screaming baby.

What can I do? I cannot expose myself in the restaurant, my brother and step-father are already as red as the tomatoes on my salad, and I think I can see the manager debating over which would be worse-having an entire restaurant of patrons walk out the door or having to approach...(Insert sound of Beethoven's 5th Symphony) ...The Breastfeeder.

I'm hungry and I do not want to wait for 45 minutes to eat my dinner.

"Forget this!" I say. "I don't care what everyone thinks. Forget the stupid, 'Cover Up!' I am inventing a new skill...'The Tent!'" and I pulled that stupid blanket...

...right over my head!

There I sat in my chair, baby in arms and blanket over my head.

The only problem was...I still couldn't eat my food! Well, that and I looked completely mental.

Poor Travis...he was so incredibly embarrassed, especially whenever the waiter or waitress (sorry, server) came to check on us and wondered if I was clinically insane.

Oh, well. At least I'm covered.

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you a picture of it...

Closed on Sundays

Sunday is the day that my family and I choose to worship God. Only heathens like Randy Harrell worship on Saturdays. (Kidding!)

I leave you with this thought: We know that God knows everything about us. He does not have to discover but rather uncovers. What He sees is no surprise, except to us. Perhaps He knows our need to see something in ourselves that needs change, but don't overlook the times when God allows us to see the things in ourselves that He takes delight in.