“Fun” Ways to Treat Your Anxiety…….

There are SO many phobias and irrational fears we all have. Whether it be clowns, tornadoes, heights, enclosed spaces, or even arachibutyrophobia (the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth). These fears are very real and anxiety producing for the sufferer.

One of my fears is of balloons popping, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs. Today while internet browsing, I came across a product that is touted as a fun family game, but watching the demo made me cringe with anxiety.

The product, called Boom Boom Balloon (even the name of the game is ominous 😛 ) is a game where you put a blown up balloon into a claw contraption that holds it during the game. The game also includes plastic sticks that have notches on them.

The object of the game is to roll the dice, place the stick into the claw holes and click it in the number of times corresponding to the number you rolled. The game ends when the first person pops the balloon. I know, sounds confusing. Here is the commercial:

Now, I call foul with the amount of zeal these kids seem to have. There is not one kid that is cowering in the corner with their hands over their ears.

I guess that’s just me. Honestly that was me.

I remember a birthday party I attended in elementary school where one of the games was to tape a balloon to your bum and try and pop the other kids bum balloons before yours gets popped. I didn’t participate, just watched from the sidelines. With my knees pulled up to my chest and my fingers in my ears.

Thinking back on it now, that’s sounds like a weird game.

Knowing what I know now about some of my phobias, this game could be beneficial, I guess. A sort of immersion therapy. Not something I’m looking forward to doing, but in the long run will help me grow as a person….or something. 

While I’m out shopping for this freakin’ thing I might as well kill two birds with one stone and pick up a jack-in-the-box.

I’ve always hated those things. 😛

The Hidden Perils of Common Core Math

**Disclaimer for all my international readers: Yes, after I started writing this blog, I learned that “cockerel” is a common word for a rooster in Australia, which is where the flashcards came from. This made me feel slightly relieved about the educational system in the States.

Slightly.


Today at work I had a child that was working on flashcards. On each card was a picture of the word, along with the spelling of the word. It also had a place where the child could trace the letters on their own. Cool right? That’s what I thought.

Then I found this card:

Photo on 2016-05-28 at 12.14

What the?? Why not just say what it is-a rooster–and get it over with?? The kid is 3. I have never heard of a rooster called a cockerel in my entire life.

I do suppose it’s a carry-over from our grand parents. They had a weird way of saying some words. Like “davenport” for couch (seriously, WHERE did THAT come from??).

I blame two things for this turn of events; of course Common Core Math and its predecessor-No Child Left Behind.

I really shouldn’t complain about No Child Left Behind, because I used to tutor kids at an NCLB center. Kindergarten through 12th grade.  But because I taught the curriculum, I feel I have merit to criticize. And one thing they did sometimes was teach kids vocabulary words that we no longer use. This resulted in a few elaborate explanations over the years. I remember one in particular:

The student in question was working on an assignment where he had a bank of pictures and a bank of words. He had to match up the pictures with the words. Most of these answers were easy to come by, one pairing tripped him up. And led to an awkward conversation.

The picture was of a low rise boot. The last choice of words were: rubbers, umbrella, banana.

Now if you were alive 30+ years ago, you know that in some parts of the country the word “rubbers” is a euphemism for galoshes or rain boots.

The term “rubbers” is also a euphemism for um, a certain form of birth control.

**Insert awkward pause upon the realization that I have to explain this….**

 I explained as fast as I could. Fortunately this was the end of my shift and I was able to go home.

So, to sum up, what we’ve learned here is that 1. there are times in life where we need to use modern terminology for common items, 2. common core math is about as good an idea as root beer flavored Poptarts, and 3. a bird that awakens at the crack of dawn to squawk its head off and wake up the neighborhood is a rooster.

Cock-a-doodle-do!

LATE NIGHT LAFF: In Real Time: YouTube Edition: MASSIVE Cinnamon Toast Crunch Challenge (7,000 calories)

So here we are. May 27th, 2016 and for some reason, it’s so hot outside that even with the AC on and the windows closed, I still feel sticky. And gross.  You are right, I probably should take off my pajama pants that are velour.

Ok, I now see where I went wrong. Yep. Cotton is a much better fabric for summer.

So our household is about to begin a crazy month. A month where my brain is already anticipating the busyness and maybe I’m a little freaked out.

So when I thought about doing a blog today, my brain was having difficulty conjuring up, well, anything. Thankfully Chad shared the following video on my Facebook Timeline and viola’ my blog suddenly had an entry!

Today I’m going to expand my In Real Time series and watch and record my thoughts on a Youtube video of competitive eater Matt Stonie. In this video he eats 3 large boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (totalling 7,000 calories). I don’t know how long it takes him to eat this, but the video is 7 minutes and 40 seconds long. Let’s get started:

1:16-he’s just poured in the third box of cereal into the bowl and I’m already getting nervous. Like, I don’t want to see him throw up on video. Anyone else have throw up anxiety??

1:59-Dude just poured in an entire gallon of milk. It’s probably implied, but let’s face it, this is the US so it HAS to be said:

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME!! #’merca

2:20-Ok, I guess I hadn’t paid attention. He actually only put in a box and a half of cereal, but they were the big ones.

2:41-Spoke too soon. He topped off the bowl. Lord have mercy!

3:00-About to start eating it (I think). I’d really like to see him go at it hands free without a spoon, just stick his entire head in the bowl! #whoswithme??

3:00-Fast Hawaiian drum luau music plays to heighten anticipation…..it worked. This is the most exciting part of my day #saddestsentenceever

3:13-He just whipped out a spoon. This is a bit of a let down! 😛

3:23-He’s now eating and I gotta say, it’s not as fast as I had anticipated. The spoon is large though and milk IS falling onto the counter.

3:27-Ah, they sped up the footage for our benefit. Kinda glad. I was getting bored. #ADHDisRealYo!

3:52-I’m actually tempted to run this to the end and then watch it in reverse to see the bowl mysteriously fill up with cereal…..Which I’m kinda hungry for now! #outtamilk #honeydewlist 😉

3:59-Wait, he now is taking a break to talk about how he’s feeling about the experience. Is this allowed?

4:52-He just announced that he’s trying to get it finished in 10 minutes. He then runs out of camera range. I think he puked. Came back with a napkin. #theplotthickens

4:58-PLOT TWIST**He just picked up the entire bowl and is drinking the excess milk. That must have been what was slowing him down. It’s been 8:03:20 (video sped up in parts)

6:01-At this point it’s more milk than cereal. He looks like he’s not sick. #miracle

6:39-He’s FINISHED! His time was 17:06:16. He looks relieved….and a little nauseated. Oh Lord, please don’t let him puke. I watched the whole thing and he didn’t puke once.

So the video is done and my final thoughts are that this was a bit anti-climatic. I mean, there wasn’t even one milk spew. I went to high school with a kid that once drank about a gallon of milk, which was impressive enough….until we saw it in reverse! At least that was a little entertaining. 

This just made me hungry!

 

Lulabelle Cooks Without a Net: Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Tortilla…..

My breakfast game has recently been taken to a whole new level with a sweet concoction I DIY’d one day when I was trying to figure out how to use a whole can of plain pumpkin in one week. #dangthatwasalonga**sentence 😛 

As with all my other food experiments, this one is pretty simple and afforable, and this one, unlike others, has been deemed a success.

Take a plain or multi-grain tortilla and put it on a plate or baking sheet. Open a can of plain pumpkin and scoop out a few dollops on the open tortilla. Spread pumpkin around to fill the entire tortilla.

Sprinkle cinnamon and cloves over the spread pumpkin.

Lastly, shake brown sugar on the top of the pumpkin spice blend. Pop this into the microwave for 40 seconds if using a microwave safe plate. If using an oven, set it to 350 and watch it carefully. Remove when the sugar starts to melt.

Bon Appetit Y’all!

MayDay Monday……

So I just grabbed a can of soup for an easy supper. One of those cans with a flip-top. I carefully lifted the tab as I had just manicured my nails. Every time I open a flip top can, I think, “Dear Lord, today is the day that, despite my best efforts at cleanly opening flip-top cans, I’ll lose control and soup will fly**SPLAT** onto the the living room carpet and land on my beloved MacBook Pro”.

Awesome.

Today was that day. Sort of. No I didn’t splat soup onto the carpet or my computer, but I DID manage to break the tabby thingy that you pull to open the top of the can, almost rendering the entire can useless. There was a moment that I thought of just drinking the contents, but then I wouldn’t have been able to consume the chicken deliciousness.

That would have been tragic.

Fortunately I was able to MacGyver a way to open the injured can using a regular can opener and a spoon.

Crisis averted.

So here is what I’m thinking–either A. this incident is indicative of how my week is gonna go, or B. I’ve gotten the bad part of my week over with and the next couple days will go smoothly.

For now I’m going with option B.

So to start Monday off on a good note, I offer a few words of wisdom:

1. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Seriously.

2. Ignore the haters and trolls. Someone wants to pee in your Cheerios? Move the bowl and walk away.

3. Connect with your inner-child. Do a coloring book (you can even color outside the lines 😉 ), climb a tree (with a spotter if you are of a certain age….can’t be too careful 😉 ), or run as fast as you can against the wind.

Cheers!

 ec3944ad-9e06-3d3c-a3e4-3bac5585e6bc

 Unlucky dog appears courtesy of google search.

 

Saturday Bonus Blog: Unicorns and Fairies…..

We observed a first in our house the other night. I was taking a bath with the bathroom door open. That wasn’t the first. Midway through my spa session, in waltzed the oldest cat. She walked right up to the tub and leaned her front paws on the cold linoleum, leaning her face close to the water.

I froze. Secretly regretting that my phone was in the other room and this Kodak moment would not be memorialized. I was however, brave enough to drip some water on her head just to see what she’d do.

She just stared at me.  It was awkward.

Then she jumped down on the floor and walked away. I wasn’t sure what had just happened because I had never seen her do that before. It was like a winged fairy had rode into the bathroom on the back of a unicorn and I was just supposed to act as if it were normal.

After my bath I wondered if she’d do it again. Today was my lucky day:

cathy cat in bathtub.....

Now mind you, this happened after the tub had fully drained, but before the drain plug had been replaced.

After calling in Chad to, “Come and behold this event that has happened in our bathroom,” we whipped out the camera, took a few photos and even shot a video.

Then I began to panic. Much like my own mother did when my sister drank toilet water for the first time. She knows now, after a frantic call to Poison Control, that straight toilet water from a clean toilet, while not the most appetizing, isn’t inherently dangerous. And my sister is still alive. But the first time it happens can be quite traumatic.

Yes, our kid is the one that stuck her face right into the drain and started licking stuff. I managed to get her out by turning on the faucet, deeming the tub no longer fun to play in. After she was safe, I closed the bathroom door and called the after-hours emergency vet (Best. Invention. Ever.).

After explaining our predicament and consulting with the doctor, we have determined that she’ll probably live. I just need to keep watching her and make sure she drinks enough water.

And possibly invest in a kiddie pool where she can frolic.

Lord have mercy!

PS: Because we live in a country that is quickly growing more litigious by the moment, it behooves me to offer this word of caution when it comes to toilet water and your child. As much as you can, try to keep your child’s face away from the toilet so they don’t ingest water. Especially if you use one of those deodorizer cleaning things that hooks onto the bowl.

Lulabelle.net and WordPress are in no way responsible for the consequences of your child thinking parts of today’s entry would be a fun activity to do on a rainy Tuesday.

This concludes the legally binding clause of today’s blog.

 

LAFF: They Made WHAAAATT??

The other day, I got click-baited by a friend of mine on Facebook. What is click-baiting? Simply when you post an article with a shocking title or photo, causing many people to click on your article or picture so they can one day tell their grandchildren about when they first saw said shocking article or picture.

Or something close to that.

My friend click-baited me with a product that in theory would be a useful tool at our house, but the suggested method of use is a bit off-putting.

It’s this:

Yes sir, someone thought it wise to “improve” on the traditional cat brush and take it one horribly gross step further and make the brush fit perfectly in your MOUTH, all in the name of grooming your cat the same way her feline mamma did.

Let’s break this down:

1. At this point it is only a potential product on Kickstarter. That’s kind of a relief.

2. The nubby thing that fits into your mouth (I just threw up a little in mine when I wrote that) is pretty small but I’m sure if your cat has longer hair and has a tangle, it’d fall out easily. Then you’d end up with a mouthful of cat fur.

YUMMY!

3. Honestly, taking a closer look at the design, The tongue part resembles a bigger sized garlic press. So I suppose if you are on a budget and can’t afford this “thing” that would be the economic route to go. It would take you longer with a smaller surface area, but you’d save a couple bucks.

4. Watch the video and keep your eyeballs on the gray and white cat being “licked.” Does it look like to you this is a pleasant experience for them? Are you wondering why the cat seems a bit stiff?? Poor thing is probably terrified that 1. Your head is that close to their body and 2. They are baffled as to why you have something in your mouth that is able to touch their body. And probably feels nothing like a cat tongue.

5. I would have hoped they’da been able to come up with a more creative catch-phrase than, “Lick Your Cat.” Honestly I’m a little underwhelmed and disappointed. Maybe I’m expecting too much.

6. There other tag line: “Be Part Of The Change: Let’s change the way people connect with their feline housemates” sounds a bit too much like a Bernie Sanders endorsement. And cats don’t care two licks (see what I did there? 😛 ) about politics.

Seriously, they’d get to the polls and get ready to vote and end up falling asleep before reading off the list of candidates.

7. Speaking of taglines, here is an additional one–really they need to pick no more than two and stick with them–“Invite Your Friends Over For Licki Parties!”

:-O WHAT. IN. THE. ACTUAL. WORLD.

In case you thought that a single woman owning multiple cats wasn’t stigmatized enough, let’s kick it up a notch!! #saidnooneever

So kids, what do you think? Is this a worthwhile product? Am I just extra full of angst today?

Oh and if anyone actually gets their hands on this thing, PUHLEESE post a video of you using it on your cat. I promise it will only be used for scientific research and will in no way be posted to Youtube to go viral so that the masses can laugh at the ridiculousness.

I’ll provide the popcorn. 😉

Cheers!

This goes without saying but I have to say it:

FTC Disclaimer: This blogpost was NOT sponsored by the product. Seriously.

 

 

The Moment I Realized I’m Disabled……

Before we get into our topic of the day, I need to offer a caveat: The following entry is based solely on my experience and does not reflect the entire disabled population as a whole. I offer these insights in hopes of helping others that are going through a tough time that can be jarring and very confusing.



I didn’t realize I was disabled until I was 16 years old. Seriously.

The fact that I was born with Spina-Bifida makes that last statement seem completely illogical.

But it’s true. Let me explain.

I grew up the youngest of 3 in the late ’70s in a small town in the Midwest. Being that my sisters were both completely able-bodied and our town was small, I was normally the only person in a wheelchair and braces around. When I was really little I was able to get around with just braces.

My parents worked hard to treat me just like my other siblings. I had chores around the house and would get in trouble if my assigned tasks weren’t done.

In school I was mainstreamed into a regular classroom, and taken out only for short times for physical and occupational therapy. Those were the only times I was treated different from my classmates. I was also the only disabled student in my kindergarten, elementary and middle school.

It’s a funny thing; being a kid. You don’t think much about the future. And when you do, sometimes elements of the life you have are different in the future imagined.

And so it wasn’t until I was 16 and in high school that I had the realization that I had a disability. And there was nothing I could do to ever change that.

Whoa. Heavy stuff.

There was definitely an exact moment this hit me. And it felt like a ton of bricks (I know this is a over-used colloquialism, but in this case it’s the truth). So how did I get through this and come out stronger on the other side? I’m glad you asked:

1. Know that verbally saying it aloud helps you to accept it. Writing it down in a journal can also be cathartic.

2. Seek professional help-This was the best thing that I was able to do with the help of my parents. It was also during this time that we discovered I had been living with a chemical imbalance, causing depression, for a long time prior to this experience.

There is no shame in seeking outside help.

3. To your parents-listen to your child. It may seem strange that they are just now coming to terms with reality, but hearing their words and validating their feelings will go a long way towards healing.

4. Take a day-Again, this realization can be quite jarring. Taking a day to reflect and get your head together might be a helpful technique. I know for myself that taking a day off school helped me to focus and get my head back together.

You can and will get through this. And come out stronger on the other side.

I’m pulling for you

 

In Real Time: Where Lulabelle Watches a Movie and Records Her Thoughts in Real Time: My Best Friend’s Wedding…..

Today I’m so excited to present to you my second installment in my series In Real Time. This is how it works-if you were too lazy to read the title 😉 – I watch a hokey movie and record my thoughts in real time. And I had a special helper to write this one:

Photo on 2016-05-17 at 21.12

Today’s selection is a throwback from 1997. My Best Friend’s Wedding starred Julia Roberts as food critic Julianne Potter whose best friend, Michael played by Dermot Mulroney, is planning to marry a billionaire’s daughter, played by Cameron Diaz, whom he’s only known for a short period of time.

The catch?

Julianne is in love with Michael and when he calls to tell her of his engagement, she thinks he’s calling to tell her he loves her too (he calls within days of her 28th birthday, and years earlier they make a pact that if neither one of them was married by the time they turned 28, they’d marry each other–they were involved romantically for “one hot month”).

So as Julianne is on her way to see Michael, she devises a plan to break up the wedding. I won’t give away the ending, but here are my real time reactions.

The Opening Credits:

40 seconds in and the intro is Dusty Springfield’s song “Wishin’ and Hopin”with a dancing bride and bridesmaids.

Right away the hokeyness factor is set pretty high.

 2 Minute mark-Still on the intro. Ok, so full disclosure here, I did what this song told me to do to make me “his” and it didn’t work. Almost got a restraining order.

Thanks Hollywood! 😛

By the way, catching your own bouquet at your wedding is kinda a douchey move. I’d not recommend it.

 3:11-Ok lady, pick a veil length, short or long. You CAN’T have both.

 

The Movie:

4:36-WHOA! Is that an industrial sized walkie-talkie Julia Roberts just pulled out of her purse?

Oh, never mind. It’s just a flip phone. Phew!

9:18-don’t you just hate it when you are on the phone and go to sit down on the bed all graceful like and you miss and fall off the bed, almost cracking your head open?

10:11-No biggie, just a giant United Airlines plane taxiing down a highway overpass!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!

12:10-I’m not saying this is why they don’t allow me to drive, but…… 😀

12:18-I know I’m not really very physics minded, but considering Cameron Diaz is driving with the top down at a high rate of speed, wouldn’t her sunglasses have flown off her head and hit oncoming traffic by now or a bird?

13:22-As far as fashion is concerned, that bridesmaid’s dress has actually cycled back into style.

17:25-I’m not sure why the director had Cameron Diaz’s character stop the elevator during the middle of her monologue. Doesn’t seem to fit and just makes her come off as a freakin’ psycho—oh, I see what he did there.

18:00-Totally would have punched her in the face to get the elevator open. Julia Roberts has more restraint that I. Er, me? #grammarishard!

18:31-Don’t you just hate when you step off an elevator into a tray of expensive luncheon meat and land on the floor as it cascades over you? Yep. Me too.

35:00-Ah yes, the rite of passage we all go through when we call our closest friend and leave a ranting, maniacal message on their machine when they are hosting a dinner party.

Good times.

42:21-Ah yes, the “make my gay best friend pretend he’s engaged to me to make my crush jealous” trope. So prevalent in ’90s movies. Cinematic gold, people.

49:29-Speaking of tropes, no ’90s rom-com would be complete without the “breaking into song for no apparent reason” shtick. Classic.

It kinda makes me wonder if at this point the writers were taking too many hits of acid (eh, probably weed. It was the ’90s afterall) and declared this scene “perfection”

50:52-now everyone in the restaurant where the action is taking place is singing. What in the actual crap is going on?? :-O

59:02- The moment Julia Roberts’ character falls completely off the rails and goes into “underhanded psycho” territory (AKA-sending a fake email supposedly from your best friend’s future father-in-law to your best friend’s boss).

And Paul Giamatti makes an early career performance as “random bell hop guy” Superb acting chops. Hope he goes far. 😉

1:09:28-I’ve watched this movie like a million times and this is the first time that i noticed a piece of ash in Julia Roberts’ hair after the cigarette is thrown out. #dontsmokekidsyourhairwillcatchfire #unlessyouareinamovie #hollywood #HDbaby

1:14:49-Let me just say this once; in no real-world scenario is someone gonna choose jello over creme brulee unless they are lactose intolerant.

And even so I’m sure a soy vegan version can be produced. It would undoubtedly suck, but whatever……

1:16:01-Huh. John Denver still sounds cool when helium-ized. Now THAT’S talent!

1:19:54-So Garry Marshall is by far my favorite director of rom-com’s and it just dawned on me that in most of his movies, there is always a chase scene whether by car or rental truck.

Think about it: The Other Sister, Runaway Bride (even made the title), Pretty Woman…….wait, I just realized My Best Friend’s Wedding wasn’t directed by Garry Marshall. Oops! 😛 #icanttellthedifference

1:34:50-In no universe is giving a song that defined your relationship with your ex- boyfriend an appropriate gift to give your ex-boyfriend at his wedding. Just. No.

1:34:51-Let’s talk about bubble skirts for a minute. A carry over from the ’80s that made it into this wedding. I wanna know who thought it a great fashionable idea to make a skirt that looks like the front half is tucked into your underwear. I mean, really? Your grandparents are coming to this wedding. They don’t need to see that! 😛

 

 

 

 

Monday Motivation: The Best is Yet to Come….

I totally had a different topic planned for today. Seriously, it was almost finished, I had to run an errand and when I came back, I heard from the Lord that I was to write this one. So….

Hey you! Yeah, you reading this blog post. I know you are going through an excruciatingly hard time right now. I know it freakin’ sucks balls. (I also know that your mom probably doesn’t approve of that term, but dang it, when you are down in the pit, sometimes you just gotta say it! 😛 ).

But what I also know, what Jesus wants you to know, is that it’s gonna get better.

When? I don’t know. But dear friend, you need to hang on just a little longer.

I was in your shoes two years ago.

I hated going to work. I dreaded seeing my co-workers. I despised how I was made to feel during the work day. I’m not ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion I’d be in tears when Chad picked me up at the end of my shift.

I was IN the pit. And I didn’t know when I’d be getting out. And I felt myself losing something that I once loved.

And it sucked ba…well, you get the idea. 😉

When I was down in the pit, it was so dark that I couldn’t see the light of my future plans, but the Lord could. And he drew me up out of the pit at just the right time (Psalms 40:2).

Fast forward 2 years. You know what?

Today I have a somewhat successful blog that helps to encourage and inspire people from around the world every day. And I’m using that painful time in my life to strengthen and motivate others, including you, who are mucking in the pit. Hey, it only has 87 followers currently, but you can change that by clicking the follow button right up there (on the upper right hand side of your screen above my glorious face 😉 )

And today I had an impromptu meeting with my artist friend. About the cover of my book that she’ll be designing.

Yes, I’m writing a book to inspire and encourage others in the pit.

To let them know that they are never, ever alone.

That is the Song In My Soul.

PS: My upcoming book now has a title. Song In My Soul: Humor and Inspiration From An Anxious Housewife  will be available for purchase sometime in 2017 and feature blog content found here and original content currently in production.