Monday, June 11, 2012

Cumbia is the devil

Last summer when I was in North Carolina, my cousin Debbie told me about the gym where she got her Zumba on. They have at least two Zumba classes a day, sometimes more. It's awesome. The instructors rotate, so there's always a different feel to each class.

I was a little late to class today because I couldn't find my car keys and I had to fill out some paperwork. I walked in on a Cumbia song.

Cumbia is my least favorite Zumba step because the I cannot make the rhythm work for me. No matter what, I'm always either ahead or behind a beat or two. Frustrating.

So I freely admit, I was pleased that I had missed some of the cumbia.

And then there was another one.
Trust me, there's more to it than this.

And another one.

And another one.

And another one.

I started to giggle in the middle of the third one because come on! How many cumbia songs could there be in a Zumba class.

Five. Five Cumbias.

I've never been happier to hear a salsa.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Playing Well With Others

I've been tagged by the awesomesauce Tatted Mom over at Inklings for Life. This is my first ever tag in such a thing, and I'm not the least bit ashamed to admit that I'm all giddy and giggly over it.

So here is the dealio: I offer up 11 facts about myself, answer 11 questions posed by Tatted Mom, tag 11 other bloggers, and then create 11 questions for them to answer. And then they get tagged too.


Let's begin, shall we?


1. When I put dishes in my dishwasher, I have to place them organized by size and sort the silverware by utensil. It doesn't bother me if other people don't do this - even in the same load. Weird.

2. I love to color. I prefer colored pencils over anything else, but I'll use whatever is there. Too bad I have no artistic skill. :(

3. I am a fiercely loyal friend. But once (and this takes a LOT of doing) you do something that crosses my invisible but damages-it-beyond-repair friendship line, you may as well be dead to me.

4. I often have an frowny look on my face. I'm not upset - AT ALL - it usually means I'm thinking really hard about something. It never fails to surprise me when people ask me what's wrong when I'm doing this. Probably because I'm not aware of it until someone points it out. I feel badly for all the small children I've scared doing this. Although, my kids totally ignore it.

5. Sometimes I think I was more of a grownup at 21 than I am at 41.

6. I over volunteer myself at the beginning of every school year. It never seems like that much until I need to be in six places at once on May 2.

7. I love to read. LOVE it! Doesn't matter what, just make it interesting.

8. I am hopeless with my phone. I don't know if it's just my phone or if it's me, but I cannot get pictures to upload on Facebook or Twitter, nor can I email them successfully. It's got to be me. Got to be.

9. I have serious doubts about my parenting skills most days.

10. I used to want to own a bakery, but decided it wasn't for me when I realized the hours involved. I'll just stick to bake sales and stuff, thankyouverymuch.

11. My head is so full of useless trivia that I don't have any more room for the important stuff - like doctor's appointments and the kids' social security numbers. Wait, what?

Tatted Mom's Questions:

1. What motivates you to write?  Hmm. I love to tell stories, which I think is probably the main reason. Also, now I tend to forget things pretty quickly (see #11 above) so a lot of the stuff I write is so I won't forget it. I also write as a form of therapy (shhhhhhhhhh! Don't tell anyone!)

2. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate? Almost always dark chocolate. Living so close to Belgium ruined me for milk chocolate. And white chocolate? Puh-lease.

3. What's the one thing when you were growing up you swore you'd never do, but now that you are older, you find yourself doing all the time?  Oh man. I hate to put this down - but I'm constantly on the kids about the never ending messes. It befuddles me why a seven and a five year old will spill a glass of whatever and then think it's okay not only to NOT clean it up but to walk through it and track it all over the house. Let's just say I have developed a whole new appreciation for my Mom. I mean, I get that accidents happen, but PICK UP YO' SHIT!

4. Uniforms. Hot or not? Depends. My husband in any sort of uniform? HOT HOT HOT. UPS uniforms? Not so hot. Baseball and football uniforms? Meh. I have a preference for sure for men in military uniforms - all crisp and starched and stuff. YUMMY.

5. What's the one thing you would do if you were President? Outlaw politicians. Our leaders should be effective leaders, not effective bullshitters. If we combine all the money that politicians have raised to get elected, we could freaking pay off the national debt in no time.

6. Sushi. Yes or no? No thank you. I've tried it, it's just not my thing.

7. What celebrity do you have a major crush on (keeping in mind Ryan Gosling is taken)? I don't know if he would be considered a celebrity, but I have a huge crush on Henry Rollins. His spoken word is awesome. Profanity heavy, but awesome.

8. Which current fashion trend do you wish would die? This one is easy. Dressing little girls like prostitutes - why is everything so tight and short? And the whole Toddlers and Tiara's thing mystifies me. Why? WHY?

9. What's a nickname you've been given? Lots of people call me Brookie, but a friend of mine from high school calls me Babbles. Like, to this day. I have NO IDEA why. LOL!

10. If you crash landed on an island, what items in your purse would help you survive? Sadly, probably none. I rarely carry a purse and instead carry a small wallet with me, which is ironic since I'm a chronic over-packer. If I could salvage my suitcase, I'd be golden. But with just my wallet - unless the island takes debit or credit cards, I'm out of luck.

11. Would you ride a broomstick to get around instead of drive a car, if the option were made possible by modern technology?  Um, YES! YES YES YES YES YES!! I would Harry Potter it up!

Those who shall be tagged:

1. Tatted Mom, but she's already done this, OBVIOUSLY.

2. Jessica at the Spit Up Chronicles

3. Dawyn at Living with IBC

4. Heather at Expect This

5. MB at EmBee's Place

6. Diane at Be Still a Minute

7. Lollygag Blog

8. Samantha at The LeMay Bakery

9. Shannon at Golladay Fit

10. Katherine at Katherine's Corner

11. Gingerbreadmama at The Adventures of Captain Fussypants and Little Miss

Inquiring minds want to know:

1. Iced tea or hot tea?

2. What is your least favorite household chore?

3. What is your fondest childhood memory?

4. What is the best book you've read lately and why did you like it?

5. Do you believe in fate?

6. What made you decide to start blogging?

7. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

8. What is the one thing you could eat every day for the rest of your life and never get tired of it?

9. To be or not to be?

10. What is your favorite hobby - other than blogging, natch.

11.  Truth or dare?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sucking it up

Things have changed here in the Dahl household.

And by changed, I really mean that I have decided that I am, in fact, the boss of the house and that being super nice and acting as the peacemaker is getting me nowhere.

I know, I know, these seem like good things in theory. I thought so too. But it has come to my attention that my kids tend to treat me like a doormat lately and seeing as how I don't care to be trod upon, it was time to do something about it.
photo from

The kids, predictably, have been somewhat resistant to my demanded changes.


I, predictably, have been fighting the urge to shout lectures at them. You know, the whole 'you don't know how lucky you have it/when I was your age/my house, my rules' sort of baloney that they don't listen to anyway.

I keep telling the kids that words are nice to hear, but actions speak way louder and way more convincingly.

The best way to demonstrate that is to lead by example, right?


Yeah. It's harder than I thought. 

And my kids are, for the most part, really awesome kids. But we are having a lot of issues with disrespect lately. If it's bad now, I can only imagine what it will be like in five more years. So! It's time to nip that right in the bud.  And also thank God that I didn't have kids with my ex-husband, but that's another story entirely.

My kids are used to me saying things are going to change and then slowly slipping back into parental slackness where I let stuff slide (and build up) until I explode and repeat the process. That's not how I want to parent. So this time I've been sticking to my guns.

It has not been pleasant. Predictably, when they figured out that I wasn't kidding and that I wasn't backing down, things got way worse instead of way better. But I also realize that once there is an established foundation of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, that things will be easier for everyone involved. Right? RIGHT?!?

Tucker told me last night that he didn't like me because I am so mean now.

I'm okay with that. I figure it's actually  healthy that he doesn't like that things have gotten more strict around here. Not to mention he is 'using his words'! Which, really, doesn't that sound completely patronizing? Of course he uses his words. That's how he speaks. Duh!

Let's face it, there have been days when I haven't liked him all that much either and I clearly remember not liking my parents back in the day when things didn't go my way. Yet, everyone survived.

Yeah. Right. (photo from

And also - life isn't fair, kid.

To my great surprise, Sara has been the one to adapt the quickest. She and I? We are doing much better than a few months ago. Who would have thought it? (not me, that's for sure!)

Thankful Tuesday

I've been grumpy lately. It's much easier for me to focus on negative things than positive ones, and that's something I work really hard at to change about myself.  So I'm bringing back Thankful Tuesday as a reminder to myself to look at the bright side too.

Last week, a friend of mine asked me to take some pictures of her kids. I was really flattered, because I would LOVE to get more into photography. I don't feel like I'm quite ready to try and make money at it...yet. I need some more technical knowledge, and to take a class in Photoshop or some other similar photo editing software, and of course lots more practice.

I didn't even have to pay them to sit like this!

Oh my goodness, I love this kid! Look at that sweet face...

Boo-boos happen :(

I don't know why I love this one so much, but I do.
But I got some great shots of my kids too, and wanted to share.

I also wanted to say how thankful I am for my children, for good friends, for sunny days, and parks. Other than Zumba, there's no better therapy.