{ How Karma wears her pants }

Anyone who has raised a child - even those people with the braggy "look at how great my child is - I must be really good at this parenting thing" bumper stickers - knows about tantrums.  Vast tantrum experience has taught me that these usually fall into one of three categories.

Number 1: The tantrum of the misinformed - If you've ever told your kids that you're taking them to the park ... and then as you're leaving you realize that you're supposed to be taking a three course meal to some lady from church that just had a baby and all you have in your cupboard is an open package of broken spaghetti and some condensed milk so you end up at the grocery store at 5:10 buying dinner for someone else's family while trying to figure out how to talk your kids into eating pasta with condensed milk sauce... then you know about the tantrum of the misinformed.  This is often accompanied by screams of "but you said" and "but we always do something boring".

I am all for bribing my way out of this particular type of tantrum.  I find that a child whose mouth is full of candy has a hard time complaining about my mediocre and inconsistent parenting.

Number 2:  The tantrum of denial-  Unlike the tantrum of the misinformed, there's no negotiating your way out of this one.  You can never back down on "no".  Kids are like dogs.  To them, indecision is easier to sniff out than a teenage boy trying to cover up his teenage boy stink with half a bottle of Drakkar Noir.  Once a kid senses that their weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth is starting to sway you - they will not give up until you either give them what they want ... or die.  (This lesson is courtesy of the dog whisperer.  I'm just waiting for that guy to take on a 3 year old with a hankerin' for a breakfast of chocolate cake and fruit snacks.  We'll see how tough he is then.)

Number 3:  The tantrum of the overwhelmed- Take a little bit of tired, add a little bit of hungry, stir in a lot of noise/people/choices and voila!  The tantrum of the overwhelmed.  There's only so much a little kid can take and then, out of self preservation, they make themselves highly undesirable.  This one requires time, space and solitude... for the kid too.

When you put all of these together, you get what is called "the meltdown".  I'm pretty sure that there is an actual rule that says that meltdowns must be made in public, or else they don't count.  Usually  "the meltdown" happens at Target, in church, at the grandparents, or at the doctor's office... and unfortunately for the front desk lady at my doctor's office - she was on the receiving end of my last meltdown.

I often pick up my husband's prescription from our doctor.  He's never on that side of town and he knows that one of my favorite things is running in and out of stores, dry cleaners etc. with my 4 children.  It's big fun. On this particular day, I had driven the 20 minutes to my sister's to help with her kids because she was not feeling well.  I passed the doctor's office on the way there, but they were still closed and so I planned on picking up the prescription on the way back to get my children from school.

When I left my sister's I realized that I was not going to have enough time to get the prescription unless I wanted to be 10 minutes late to the school... at which point I would surely get a phone call from my daughter asking me where I was because she thought that maybe I forgot about her and she just wanted to make sure I wasn't dead or in jail for speeding.  (I've never been in jail for speeding - or anything else, I am not dead yet, and  (because I know that the smart money goes on me forgetting them) I've set an alarm on my cell phone to remind me about my children.  And yet - no trust.  Go figure.)  I actually did seriously consider just being late, but I went with "super martyr mom" and drove straight to the school knowing full well that I was tacking on almost an hour of extra car time with my kids.

After unpacking the baby and the 4 year old, locating my kids in the cafeteria and loading everyone back into the car (in the rain), I drove the 20 minutes back to the doctor's office to get the prescription.  I unloaded the baby, the 4 year old, the 7 year old, and the 10 year old (in the rain) and headed in.  After refereeing the fight over who would be the elevator button pusher I made it into the office... where I was told that due to a new office policy, I could no longer pick up prescriptions for my husband, and that they were "sure they'd left a message - didn't I get it?"  Yep.  That's why I'm standing here with my 4 kids trying to pick up my husband's prescription.  Misinformation.

The first thing I tried was asking nicely.  I said please and everything.  I pointed out that I'd driven here specifically for this prescription... and my kids... and the rain... and could I please just take the prescription this month and figure something out for next time.  Denial.  I guess that niceness is overrated.  I was starting to lose my grip.

I asked her to speak to the office manager to see if I could get an exception.  She went through the door to the back.  I looked around and could only count 3 children - the 4 year old had somehow escaped into one of the exam rooms with the front desk lady.  On my right the 7 year old was spinning in circles on his heel and knocked over one of the waiting room chairs.  On my left the 10 year old was telling me about how the office smelled bad and she didn't think I should make her do things like this because it was "not fair".  The baby was waking up and he had that crazy look in his eye that clearly said "got milk"... which would mean another 20 minutes in the car with the kids while I nursed him before we could even start the 20 minute drive home... and the answer was still "no" on the stupid prescription.  (I guess that the office manager watches the dog whisperer too.)  Overwhelmed.

That is when it happened. Meltdown.  Some crazy, angry woman, starting yelling out terms like "you people are ridiculous" and "had to make 2 trips to this part of town" and "we are finding another doctor".  I looked around to see who was throwing the tantrum.  Then I realized that I was throwing the tantrum.  Still melting down, knowing I should apologize to the poor-little- front-desk-girl, but totally not in the mood to apologize to the poor-little-front-desk-girl, I grabbed my kids and marched back to the car (in the rain)  - without the prescription.  I thought to myself  "call and apologize", but I went all stubborn and did not call.  Time, space, solitude.

2 days later I called and apologized to the poor-little-front-desk-girl... except she could barely hear me... because my tonsils were swollen together in the back of my throat... because I had a raging case of strep... and I needed to come into the doctor's office... to get a prescription.
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{ Winner of the Rants In My Pants January Giveaway }

Tweet has a new home.  Congratulations to
Megan May
our winner of the January Rants In My Pants giveaway.
Assuming that I hear back from Megan May within 24 hours of this post, she is one lucky girl.

Thanks to everyone who participated in January's giveaway, and a huge thanks to our wonderful sponsor
If you're looking for some good Valentines' Day gifts head on over ... or leave the computer screen open to your favorite thing... every day... and hope that the person who finds it gets the hint.

Thanks again for making this such a successful giveaway.  We'll see you all back here in February for the next one.

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{ Final Day of the BluHour giveaway hosted by Rants In My Pants }

Just a reminder...

Today is the final day of the January Rants In My Pants giveaway featuring "Tweet" by BluHour.  If you want this little beauty, you need to enter by 5 pm PST.  Just click on the January giveaway link at the right to get to the entry page.

Good luck.
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{ Hey lady- are you talking to your pants? }

I am a big fan of a British accent.  This is probably why I'm a big fan of British TV.  I think that the line,  "I'm not dead yet"would be a lot less "hey, that's really funny" and a lot more "hey, someone call 911" if the Monty Python guys sounded like they were from Brooklyn... and I'm pretty sure that Mr. Darcy would have a lot fewer followers if he sounded like an accountant from Salt Lake City.

The British can get away with saying things that other people just can't.  Like when I heard Nigella Lawson  use the term "spotted dick" in an interview on NPR. With a British accent?  A yummy pudding/dessert that sounds like it would be good with cream.  Without a British accent?  A horrible, horrible disease that requires lots of tests and  a totally different kind of cream.  (Also, laughter.  The kind of 7th-grade-health-class laughter that you try not to do, but can't quite manage it.)

The British accent is also one reason why I like the British period/costume dramas.  You name it, I've seen it.  Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Cranford, Return to Cranford, North and South. (When my friend A. suggested that I see this last one, I thought she was talking about the trashy mid-1980s miniseries starring Patrick Swayze pre-"Dirty Dancing".  I was so excited that  someone outside of my family actually watched that thing, that I started to clap and yelled out "I love North and South".  Turns out that my admission was slightly premature.  When she asked me if I liked  the book too, I started to suspect that she did not share my love of the Civil War soap opera genre. I forgave her after I watched her North and South.)

My favorite, favorite word from the British costume drama is "vex".  Vex, vexing, vexed, sorely vexed, vexation.  Basically, this is a word that tells someone that they're the most annoying person ever, but in a way that requires them to think "Oh my gosh.  I vexed her.  What does that mean?  I'd better apologize right now and never, ever do that again.  Oh, and I should probably send flowers - just in case".

I am currently waiting for my flowers from the State of Oregon - because they have vexed me.

Beginning January 1st it became illegal in my state to use a hand held cell phone while driving a car.  Like "pull you over and charge you money" illegal...and if that's not vexing I don't know what is.  Personally, I don't see how talking to one person on my cell phone can possibly be any more distracting than listening to my daughter tell me about her 10 year old girl drama while my son recites random (and often totally boring) facts about birds that he learned during his science unit while my other son sings the song from Star Wars that warns you that Darth Vader is on the move while the baby does his impression of a very loud, very vexed Pavarotti.  One adult conversation vs. Four kid conversations.  I think you've outlawed the wrong conversations, State of Oregon bossy rule writers.

In an attempt to stick it to the man and thwart what I'm fairly certain is some kind of conspiracy between the legislature and the powerful cell phone accessories lobby (where's Michael Moore when you need him), I tried to come up with a few ways to avoid buying some kind of new head set/ear piece/cell phone-surround-sound device.  My "go to" was, (what else), duct tape to the dash board.  This was unsuccessful for two reasons.  1.)  I couldn't find my duct tape  2.)  I was afraid that the tape would leave a residue on my phone and then it would stick to my face while I was doing non-car talking.  I decided that a duct tape facial/hair removal was not something that I was interested in.

My sisters had some promising ideas.  One suggested tying a string around the phone and hanging it from the rear view mirror - like fuzzy dice.  I'm not sure how you string up a cell phone, but I was concerned that even if I managed such an engineering feat, that the phone would go swinging around, bashing into the windshield, forcing me to hold on to it, effectively defeating the "hands free" goal.

Another suggested that I just stick it in the visor.  I tried this one, but the only way I could manage to get it to stay in there ended up blocking the voice receiver part.  I kept having to talk really loud and point my chin up as far as I could so that my mouth would be closer to the microphone.  Again, I didn't think that perpetually looking at the ceiling of the car while operating a moving vehicle was going to help with the "distracted driver" thing.

So, basically for the last two weeks I've been, (what my sisters and I are now referring to as) "crotch talking".  In other words, yelling at the speaker-phone in my lap, while both hands are on the wheel.  The upside to this is that it doesn't cost any money.  The down side?  (Beside talking at your crotch)- the person you're talking to only hears every third word you say which is mingled with the drama-birds-Vader-Pavarotti mess you've got going on behind you.  This means that you are constantly repeating yourself, thus using three times the minutes of a normal conversation... thus costing you money.

I finally admitted defeat to my cell phone accessory maker foe, and told my husband that we were going to have to buy a hands free device for me to use in the car.  It was then, after 13 days of sort- of -lawbreaking, that I found out that my husband owns an extra head set/ear piece thing, (which he claims he told me about some time in December)...

... and without even attempting a British accent, I let him know that I found the whole thing extremely vexing...and that I will be expecting flowers.
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BluHour Giveaway hosted by Rants In My Pants

Get your tweet on with this amazing bubble glass charm necklace from BluHour.  This little guy (Tweet) is up for grabs for the next two weeks in our first giveaway of the year. (Branch not included).  (Seriously, I am so excited about this I can't even stand myself.)

I just love this piece.  For the girls out there - good with jeans, good with a dress.  Enough said.  For the men- here's a way to get a Valentine's Day present for your wife or girlfriend that you didn't pick up from the grocery store on the way home from work on February 14th. (Love at home, people. Love at home.)

So, about BluHour - the owner, Brooke, lives here in my fair city of Portland, Oregon with her husband and dog.  She has been designing and selling jewelry since she was a child and set up her Etsy shop to keep up with her passion for art and design.  As you will see, when you visit her shop, she's all about sparkly things and stuff that feels vintage... but with a modern twist.

Her "must have" pants?  Jeans.  My kind of girl.

Three things I love about BluHour-
1.  I like pretty things.  All of the pictures on Brooke's site are really well done.
2.  The Bee Charmer necklace.  This came in a close second to Tweet.  (I went with Tweet in honor of my son.)
3.  Reasonably priced. ("Tweet" normally sells for $24 plus shipping.)  You'd think that buying handmade stuff would be a lot more expensive than buying from chain stores or whatever, but it's totally not.  You can find some really good deals by buying straight from the artist.

Winner or not, you'll want to take a peak at this shop and get your Valentine's shopping done early.

So, how do you enter? Well...

To be entered in this month's giveaway please visit BluHour and then hustle your pants right back here and- 

  • leave a comment about your favorite BluHour piece. Doing that gets you ONE ENTRY and ONLY ONE ENTRY.  (No duplicates please, that's cheating.)  Please leave your email address so that I can contact you. 

  • If you just can't stand losing and would like to rack up some additional entries, listen up.  You can earn ONE ADDITIONAL ENTRY EACH by becoming a follower of Rants In My Pants (my blog must show up on the "blogs I'm following" portion of your dashboard or it doesn't count, if you are currently a follower you qualify for this), linking to the giveaway from your blog or website, posting a link to the giveaway on Facebook, Tweeting about the giveaway, and/or writing a post on your blog about the giveaway or about Rants In My Pants (or both).  Make this a separate comment (just write "follower" or "linked from" ... etc.) or it will not be assigned its own number when I go to pick a winner and you will lose one of your chances.

  • If you purchase something from BluHour in January (2010) you will earn 5 ADDITIONAL ENTRIES.  (I'll need an invoice number or some other type of verification so that I can double check with our sponsor.  Like I said, I don't want cheaters to prosper.)

YOU MUST post a separate comment for each entry.  If you don't, don't blame me when you don't get your rightful chances.  I will use random.org's random number generator to pick our winner.  The winner's name will be posted on Rants In My Pants and will be notified via email.  They will have 24 hours from the time of the post with the big announcement to claim their prize.  If the prize is not claimed within the time limit, everyone (except the "too bad for you" winner) will stand up and cheer, because we'll try again with the random number, claim it within 24hrs. thing.

The deadline for entering this giveaway is January 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm PST.  The winner will be posted on January 20th 2010.

Good Luck.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Must be 18 to enter.  If you're not 18, get your parent to enter for you.
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{ Who Doesn't Like Free Pants? }

In church on Sunday we were talking about hypocrisy - specifically how hypocrisy in our homes affects our kids.  I raised my hand and told all of the ladies in our women's organization that I am the biggest hypocrite I know. I yell at my kids and husband for two hours on Sunday mornings in a vain attempt to get them to move faster, because I'm afraid that we might not get to church early enough to get a squishy pew, sing the opening hymn (which, inevitably, turns out to be "Love At Home", or "Home Can Be A Heaven On Earth."), and feel the influence of the Holy Spirit.  I'm pretty sure the Holy Spirit is with me on the getting to church early thing.

I also told them that although I am a big old hypocrite,  I'm also the first to point out to my children that I'm a big old hypocrite... and I tell them that hypocrisy is a bad thing ... so I'm not sure if what I do counts as hypocrisy at all.  It seems more like honesty to me.

In my defense, I don't think it's just me.  This time of year seems to bring out some "do as I say, not as I do" in a lot of us.  All I'm saying is if we really believed that "it's better to give than to receive" there would be a lot longer line at the mall's giving tree and a lot shorter one at Santa's workshop.  (Which, by the way, is where we have our children sit on the lap of a stranger, talk to a stranger and accept candy from a stranger... after having threatened them with a very painful death if they wander off... because a stranger might take them...resulting in a very painful death- or possibly candy and presents.)

After Christmas passes,  there's a lot of the making of promises that we know we can't keep - even if  (and maybe most especially if) the promises are to ourselves.  I don't believe in resolutions.  I'd like to pretend it's because I believe in constant progress and goal setting and all that other stuff that makes highly effective people highly effective.  Actually it's because I am honest enough to admit that sometimes good enough is good enough.  I know myself well enough to know that it's gonna take a lot more than a resolution to get me to embrace changes like getting out of bed, in the dark and the cold to go running at 5am, or giving up the mini chocolate bars I stole from my kids' stockings for breakfast.  Fear of public humiliation, however usually does the trick - which is why I have committed to running a half marathon with my sisters and mom in July.  This means it's either run now and work off my bouncy parts in private, or wait until later and embrace the possibility of having people stare as they watch me bounce...and then pass out.

I am, however, going to try at least one new thing this year... right here on my blog...and (luckily for you) it doesn't involve bouncing.

Even if we are still up in the air on the "better to give than to receive" thing, I think we can agree that it is at least as good to give as it is to receive.  So... I've decided give a little something to the readers of Rants In My Pants.  Each month I will be hosting a giveaway (giveaway sounds better than "friendly bribe") where you can score some very cool stuff.  I will be announcing the first one within a couple of days - and let me tell you it's gonna be good.

I'll be concentrating on featuring unique handmade items that will make all your friends jealous.  I've lined up some really cute things that you can only get from the sponsors of our giveaways.  No corporate giants allowed.  (Take that WalMart.)  Just to be clear - I am not getting any compensation from any of the giveaway sponsors.  I just found some stuff that I thought was cool/cute/rad and asked nicely.  I will however, do a review of their shops and share a list of my favorite things for sale there.  Everything I get from them, goes straight to our winner or winners.  Too bad for me.  Really good for you.  (I will post the rules and guidelines for the giveaway when I reveal the item for that month.)

 I hope that all of you have happy, happy pants in 2010 - made only better by the great stuff you're going to win from us.


(PS - Our giveaway slots have all been claimed for the first part of the year, but if you are interested in sponsoring one in a few months, contact me via the E.mail button on the sidebar.  If I like your stuff, you're in.)
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{ I Almost Wet My Pants}

When people send me emails that they are forwarding from someone else, I typically roll my eyes and delete them without even opening them.

My sister A. forwarded these to me, and then as a backup, read them to me over the phone.

I have to admit... I laughed.

(ps- I don't know if these are real or not - despite the claims that "they actually appeared in church bulletins".  I have serious doubts.  I mean, who exactly are the people gathering up all of these multi-denominational programs for republication in never-ending chain emails?  If they aren't real, I don't care because they're funny and I wish that I'd written them.  If they are real... I'm glad I didn't.)


Love those Church Ladies.. They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank you church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'


Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.


Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.


Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.


Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.


For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.


Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.


Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.


A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.


At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice


Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.


Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled.
 Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.


The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.


Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.


The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.


This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.


Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hallafter the B. S. is done.


The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.


Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.


The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM.. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.


Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.


The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday:  
"I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours".

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