In defense of the humble corn chip

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Ya know, I gotta say, the world is not kind to corn chips. They’re usually really salty, high in fat, and not really many people’s food of choice. However, I have to say, that people need to give them a second chance. Here’s why:

  1. They travel pretty well. Unless you’re physically stomping on them, a pack of fritos in your bag will stay pretty much intact through the chaos of travel.
  2. They take longer to go stale. A bag of chips with even a whisper of air in it seems to go stale too quickly. Corn chips? Nah, bruh. If they last a week without being eaten, they’re still crunchy and delicious.
  3. Fewer make you fuller. The flipside of being a salty and high fat food is that you don’t have to eat much of them to feel the effects. Yes, the saltier they are, the thirstier you will be, but I don’t mind as I usually drink a ton of water anyway.
  4. They aren’t as messy as other salty snack options. My other go to is usually pistachios, but that’s a goddamn mess even under the best conditions. A tiny bag of fritos can be consumed one at a time with minimal crumbling.
  5. They are yummy af. So, maybe this is subjective, but I love them. And so should you.

So let’s embrace our love of fritos and snack on together, friendos! ❤

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The alarm

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I set an alarm for 6 a.m., not because I think I’ll need it. It’s a dare to the universe to let me sleep that long. Although we’ve integrated the boys to sleeping in the same room, no one has gotten the memo that they’re actually supposed to sleep there…ya know, ALL NIGHT?! Because they don’t. At all. Ever.

The baby is going through a sleep regression. I think. Maybe he’s teething. Maybe he’s just not feeling it. Who knows? He’s a baby, and even if he understood his behavior, he isn’t sharing the rationale with us.

So, we still split our nights, although it’s been more of “ugh, I just had a turn, can it be your turn” type splitting. We often have to come to the other parent’s aide to allow them (or force them) to tap out when the lateness of the hour and siren song of the pillow are just too tempting to feign politeness and patience with a fussy child.

One day, though, maybe I can sleep in long enough to hear the alarm. Because right now, it’s only a reminder that I can go start the coffee maker since I’ve already been awake for hours.

Trouble at the zoo

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For as much as my son looks forward to field trips at school, particularly riding on the bus (his favorite thing ever!), you’d never know it based on how he behaves on them. Pretty much since the beginning, he’s always come home with a mediocre report at best on how well he did. This last trip was, unfortunately, no exception.

The daycare schedules these trips once a month during nice weather months. I was so excited when they announced the trip would be to the Philadelphia Zoo. My son has been obsessed with the Madagascar movies so this would have been perfect for him.

Except it wasn’t.

The report I got stated that he had behaved so poorly, running off from the group, pitching a tantrum so bad the teacher had to pick him up and carry him kicking and screaming, etc., that he was no longer welcome on any future trips without one of his parents. Sigh…

So that sucks. My kiddo loves to travel, and I think these trips are good for him. But we travel with him a little differently, I guess. Not sure where the next one will be, but suffice it to say, if I’m taking a day off work, it isn’t going to be so I can ride on a cramped school bus with 40 kids. I’m taking him some place where he and I can have some one on one time together.

The News – Part 2

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The day after the video of four hospital constables beating a patient in their custody, two men at a gas station near my home were confronted by a state trooper following up on a suspicious vehicle call. The details of their interaction aren’t clear, but what is known is that one of the men opened fire on the officer, who later succumbed to his wounds at our hospital.

After the man shot the officer, he fled to his parents home where he holed up for almost a whole day. The standoff resulted in neighborhood evacuations, schools in lockdown, and the general sad pallor in our small state increased exponentially as we all waited for this to be over. When it was, finally, the suspect was dead, his father’s home destroyed, and pretty much everyone in Delaware was talking about it. My heart aches from the drama and the horrific nature of the events. I don’t want to post more about the easily-googled information. I just want to get my feelings about it written out.

I know that the irrational part of me is feeling like there’s no hope left in the world, that no matter what, the evil in people will always win out over love and hope. That same part of me wants to leave this state, move back to PA and hide out in a quieter part of the country where nothing like this will ever happen again. I’m scared for myself, and my family, and there’s not much anyone can say to me to take that feeling away.

The rational part of me knows this is just part of life, that crime happens everywhere, and we are no exception. My logical mind knows that because we live in a small state, the impact of events like these is even more shocking because of its proximity to home. I know we shouldn’t flee just because some crime has happened. I mean, crime happens around us all the time. Nowhere is truly safe.

I’m not sure which part of me I like better right now. Both perspectives are equally frustrating and depressing. I just feel yucky and there seems to be no end in sight.

The News – Part 1

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A few days ago, the hospital where I work made the front page of the local news. A video was leaked to the newspaper showing four of our hospital constables beating a man in their custody. The video, about 4 minutes in length, showed the four men restraining a man in an arm cast, then beating him as they tethered him to the wall like an animal.

The video was taken in February, but published in the paper about two months later. The men in question, and their two bosses, were summarily dismissed from their positions. The hospital’s reputation for serving the community, at a time when racial tensions in our country are at an all time high, has truly suffered.

It was hoped that in the coming weeks that the new hospital administration would roll out our new mission statement: to serve with love. In light of this news, though, I’m wondering if that idea (already grossly unpopular among staff) will be shelved permanently.

The mood at work has been awful. We all feel like more should have been done, sooner, and with more transparency. The public apology posted on the company’s website is a cookie cutter apology taken from the most basic textbook of media relations. It’s harder to come to work or tell people where I work, because of this incident.

Likely, the suit that will be inevitably filed will cost us our annual bonus. Four hothead cops who felt the need to flex their nuts at some random person will impact the lives of about 8,000 employees. Not to mention the permanent damage to our reputation for serving the community in general. I’m just so, so angry.

Easter

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We’re not a religious family, by any stretch of the imagination. However, living in the US has certain expectations that some holidays can’t be avoided. So, when Easter was rolling around, we were excited since my older son is finally old enough to really “get it.”

We had an extended weekend because the daycare was closed. We had every intention of driving downstate for a kite festival, but the weather was still rather chilly and very windy. I didn’t really want to be 2+ hours away from home with a cranky toddler and baby if things didn’t go down the way we’d hoped. So, we stayed in Good Friday.

Saturday we decided to go upstate to this place that has these tiny steam trains that kids can ride on. They were also hosting an Easter egg hunt, but my son could not have cared less about that. His priority is and has always been getting on that train. After the Easter egg hunt was over, the lines became unbearable so we left.

Our next stop was a nearby brewery that had opened up. The place was packed when we got there. We learned that they hadn’t intended to open until later in the day, but when one of the employees stopped by to do some lawn maintenance, she saw a line around the building and had to open early. To their credit, they handled everything beautifully, and the beer was awesome.

Easter Sunday, we hosted my in-laws for a meal at our house. They brought a ton of chocolate for the boys and had some quality time. It was a lovely day that really couldn’t have gone better. My MIL did bring up the idea of keeping the boys overnight sometime, which I am considering. The last time she had my son, it didn’t go very well, so I’m a little gunshy. However, he’s bigger now and can communicate better. The baby is relatively easy too, so I think they can probably hack it if they want to try. I know I could use the break.

Dreams and the scumbag brain

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Sleep is precious and rare these days. Because the boys share their room, if one makes too much noise, it wakes up the other and a vicious cycle is born. A few nights of that lead to an executive decision to retreat back to the living room for the sake of the rest of the household. Since waking early falls on my shift more often than not, I’ve had situations where I am unable to get the baby to go back to sleep and am simply starting my day at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m.

When I do sleep, the brainwork is frantic and fraught with chaos, fear, violence and despair. There is rest in it but not netting out as well as I had hoped. My mind goes to dark places and it wears on me in my waking hours. I’m glad to be back on my medication because it takes the sting out of whatever’s going on at the moment.
To say I’m under stress is putting it lightly, but I’m going through a pretty hectic time in my life. It feels proportionate to my scheduling decisions and is therefore tolerated, as I have no one to blame for it but me.

My mood is garbage though. I’m overwhelmed and stretched thin. I snap more than I should and I have to do a lot of apologizing. The joys of my life are my boys. Our little family, now complete, is just the happiest thing ever. I’m trying very hard to overcome the garbage brain nonsense that’s getting in the way of my happiness. To be mindful in the moment and present to enjoy it is all I want in life.