Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Take time to do what makes your soul happy

Some time ago a friend posted on their facebook wall this image...

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How horrible is it that when I saw this lovely image I became frustrated.  My initial thought was "Who has time for that?"  Isn't that a horrible thing to think?  The sad reality is that I've become so consumed with trying to be successful in every aspect of my life that I have forgotten a crucial thing; to do what makes my soul happy. 

Here's an even bigger problem, I don't know if I remember what makes my soul happy on an independent level.  Of course I know that being with my family and friends is the greatest joy (a majority of the time haha) of my life.  Laughter is my absolute favorite sound and being able to make people smile and laugh makes me feeling amazing.  However, I feel like my happiness is too dependent on others.  I want to find something that I can do daily to decompress.  Something that makes my soul happy.  Something that doesn't involve me staring away at Supernatural for hours on end... 

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Sorry, boys.  I love you Dean, Sam, and Cas...  But you just don't fill my soul with happiness.  Only lust hahahaha.

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While thinking about what makes me happy blogging came to mind.  Blogging is a good outlet for me.  Ever since I was 15 I've taken to the interwebs to post about my ridiculous shenanigans and inappropriate feelings.  As I'm getting older though I find that it's in poor taste to blast out every emotion I'm feeling.  Let's face it, I have a vagina, I'm always feeling something... and no I don't mean in the sexy time way.  The problem with blogging though is that is requires time...  I'll get to that in a minute.

 
In addition to blogging other things that I think I enjoy doing solo are home projects, puzzles, and... yea, that's all I can think about.  All these hobbies are things that require time.  Time. 

Time is the culprit in keeping me from remembering what makes my soul happy. Time is that one thing that I'm sure every person in this world probably wishes they had more of.  Lately my time has been between my career and my senior year of college.  While my career is awesome my senior year is not going so well.   The demands are much more than what I'm used to.  My weekdays are consumed with sneaking in readings, discussions, and postings.  My weekends (typically Sunday because I wait until the last minute) are filled with research and papers.  I had been trying to suck it up, but I noticed it was taking too much time away from my family and I was just really unhappy.  

I don't think it's fair to my family to have to deal with me being unhappy.  I don't think it's fair to myself!  This is why I've decided I need to take a break from college.  I wanted to be a successful mom, wife, friend, career woman and student but in that process of trying to be successful in everything I feel like I'm losing myself.  With the time off school I hope I can reevaluate the meaning of success.  It's not a piece of paper.  It's the moments where I feel peaceful, happy, fulfilled. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Scuba Dive Experience

When Ticklebug and I decided that we were going to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for our anniversary vacation I knew I wanted to do something different, fun, and adventurous.  I looked up what there was to do on the island and found multiple scuba diving shops.  There were so many to choose from but I ultimately went with Aqua Adventures. The reason for is it's associated with PADI the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and it had the bonus of being owned by a former Coast Guard service member.   

I emailed the shop a week before we left for vacation to ensure that they would be available but ultimately did not make any solid plans because Ticklebug wasn't sure if he wanted to dive yet.  It wasn't until our first full day on Isla that he decided that he wanted to dive.  That day we had rented a golf cart to take around the island and stopped by the shop.  

Daisy (one of the owners) was eating lunch when we walked in.  We offered to come back later but she said that was unnecessary.  We explained to Daisy that we had never dived before and were interested in doing a discovery dive (a dive for uncertified scuba divers).  She explained that even though it was a discovery dive we would still have to do a shallow water dive.  The shallow dive is just as it sounds, diving in the shallow water, but we would learn basic gear uses, hand signals and emergency skills.  Daisy made a few phone calls and arranged it so that we could do the shallow dive within the hour.  Doing the shallow dive this early would make it possible for us to do the actual dive the next morning.  While Ticklebug and I got fitted with our gear the dive master/instructor, Wilbert, arrived and took care of weights and air tanks. Once everything was ready we drove the gulf cart over to the site.

The site ended up being the pier where all the boats where kept.

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I don't know why this surprised me.  I thought maybe there was some random pool.  The idea that we would do our shallow dive in the ocean kind of made me nervous.  There is all kinds of scary shit in the ocean!  Once we got on the pier Wilbert and his two guys checked our gear while Ticklebug and I stripped down to our bathing suits and jumped in the three feet deep water.  Once we were in the guys passed us our gear to get on. When we were all set Wilbert hopped in the water and began explaining to us how to properly use the regulator (the device in your mouth that gives you air), how to stabilize ear pressure under water,  how to inflate and deflate the vest with air, hand signals to communicate under water, and emergency basics like what to do if you lose the regulator, what to do if there is water in the regulator, and how to get water out of the mask.  Once he was done explaining he had us go under water on our knees.

Initially going under water (even thought it was only three feet deep) was terrifying for me.  I was thinking to myself, "Why did I want to do this?  My biggest fear is drowning!"  There were a few times I would start to panic and wanted to stand up out of the water.  However, I kept reminding myself, "There is air.  You're fine.  Breathe out your mouth calmly." Wilbert had Ticklebug and me demonstrate hand signals and the emergency skills.  I thought that taking the regulator out of my mouth and trying to reclaim it would cause me to panic but it was surprisingly not.  Not once did I accidentally intake water.

Once we had demonstrated that we knew all the basics Wilbert had us follow him (still underwater) further out the pier.  From there we started the actual shallow dive.  I was (again) super nervous because I hadn't mentally prepared myself to go out in the deep water.

Doing the actual dive it was a bit cloudy because of the kick up from some of the boats but it we were still able to see some of the fish hanging out.  Just seeing all that was amazing.  When we turned around to go back I noticed that I was struggling to keep the same buoyancy as Wilbert and Ticklebug.  I was pretty much on the bottom of the ocean floor at one point.  This had me freaking out.  Have you seen The Blue Lagoon? You know the part where Brooke Shields steps on the poisonous fish and gets really sick?  Yea...  I was thinking that if I touch anything like that I would die soooo I put more air in my vest.  This caused me moments later to be much higher than Wilbert and Ticklebug.  So I decreased.  I decreased so much that I was back on the ocean floor.  As I was trying to figure out the right amount of air to have in the vest I felt something scrap against my leg and didn't think anything of it.  When we got back to the shallow water I stood up, lifted my leg and saw that I was bleeding badly. 

With so much blood Ticklebug went into a mild panic and insisted that I needed stitches.  He was probably right because the fat tissue could be seen because the cut was so deep.  However, I refused to get them done because we were in Mexico and with my luck I would end up missing a kidney or something equally as crazy.  We went back to the dive shop to see what they thought.  Daisy was calm and just suggested bandaging back together. The island didn't have much in medical supplies so we just ended up using medical tape to put me back together.  Thanks to my injury Ticklebug and I spent sometime in the hotel with my leg up just to ensure that I was okay..  And he googled everything under the sun to make sure I wasn't going to "die in my sleep."

The next morning was our actual dive.  We got up early to eat a big breakfast (this was a bad decision I would learn later on.)  After breakfast we walked to get coffee and then to the dive shop.  From there we met up with two other divers, Josh a real estate agent from New York and Asher an animal/environmental activist/artist.  The four of us chatted while Wilbert and his guys talked with the boat owner and got the gear loaded.  Once all this was done we got on the boat and were on our way out to the first site, the Underwater Museum. 

Right before the dive.
 Although it was windy and the water was a little choppy the boat ride was okay until it was time to get our gear on.  As I stood up to get my wetsuit on I felt a wave of nausea hit me.  Getting on the rest of the gear was a chore after that.  I felt awful!  The lead instructor, Jame, was explaining that we would get into the water from a backwards entrance.  Since I was so sick feeling I was only half listening.  Normally, I would have been terrified but I just wanted to get it over with. 

I forgot to hold my mask when going back.
Ticklebug and I went back in the water together and then swam to the rope to begin the descend.

I was the first one to descend.  It actually wasn't too bad.  Ticklebug did have a hard time getting his ears to equalize to the pressure though.   Once we were down Wilbert took us around while Jame and Asher worked together on her certifiation. 

The Underwater Museum wasn't what I expected.  In the pictures it was really clean and clear of moss. 
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The sculptures were actually cover in moss.


Nonetheless, it was still beautiful and amazing to see the sculptures.  Some of them were kind of creepy though.  It felt a little eerie underwater because although the water is clear the visibility isn't all the way out.  After a while it's just darkness.  And the idea of not hearing really any noise..  also eerie...  I tried not to think about it though...  I was having horrible visions of a shark coming out of the darkness.  The sculptures were interesting, here are a few of my favorites. 

Ticklebug with the VW Bug.

Heads in the sand.

Creepy eel between the legs of the head in the sand statue.
Isla Mujeres means Island of Women.  Lots of statues of women!
Once we were done with the museum we went back to the surface.  On the surface I felt the choppy water hitting me making me feel absolutely awful!  As soon as I got to the ladder to get back into the boat I straight up puked...  Yup, I puked while trying to get in the boat.  When I got back into the boat I ran to the other side and puked more.  I puked all the way over to the next site.

When we got to the site I was still puking.  Since we were diving at a reef the puke was attracting all the fish.  Yay? LOL...  After I got all my gear on I said, "I think I'm going to be sick....again..."  Jame told me, "Get in the water.  You will feel better.  But if you do have to puke just keep the regulator in your mouth.  It will all come out the other way." Ewwwwww....  I did see the logic in that though so I quickly got the mask on and just went back, no anxiety of the water or anything.  I just wanted to feel better.  Again I was the first to descend.  This time we were diving around the reef.  It was beautiful!  All the fish and the reef.  No words can describe this experience... 
 
The schools of fish were my favorite.
Creepy fish!
Coming back up from this dive I was surprised to learn I had the most air in my tank.  I was much more relaxed on the second dive and had gotten the breathing down.  I also didn't feel as sick, probably because there wasn't anything left to puke...  We cruised all the way back to Isla and that was that!  Jame told us to stop by the next day to pick up the pictures. 

The remainder of the day Ticklebug and I felt off balance.  It took the rest of the day to get back to normal so we ended up calling it an early night.  I do want to try diving again, but I am unsure if I want to go as far as to get certified.  There was a lot of work in prepping the gear and the anxiety of forgetting something, doing something wrong and potentially being injured... Yikes!  I think I should do a few more dives to see if it's something I really want. :)

First Scuba Diving Experience!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bathing suit shopping as a mom

If you were to ask me if I would rather go to the gynecologist or go bathing suit shopping I would tell you bring out the stir ups!  A trip to the gynecologist is just a few minutes of discomfort and embarrassment.  Bathing suit shopping is hours of depressing, self esteem destroying, torture!

I had mentally prepared myself a few days in advance by searching the Google Gods (yes, I for real Googled it) for tips to make bathing suit shopping bearable.  Google God said to do the typical things that make you feel better about yourself, like shave your legs and bikini line, do hair and make up.  I wasn't completely satisfied with that answer so I talked with Ticklebug who recommended taking Andi and/or S.  He thought they would be best because they have awesome, healthy body images, and they are two friends who wouldn't run away from my rolls...hahaha!!!  He didn't say the roll thing, I totally added that.

Bug and Monster ended up having to come with me to look for the bathing suit because of Ticklebug's work schedule.  In my mind I had pictured my six and nine year old on their best behavior.  I figured they would understand that mommy was about to endure hours of torture.  I was wrong.  I swear they must have gone into the bathroom at some point and snorted a line of pixie stix because they were freaking crazy.

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The first stop was Victoria's Secret and they were I'm talking bouncing off the dressing room walls, knocking over my (much needed) coffee, and saying things like, "Mommy, your stomach is flabby."  Unfortunately, they made me lose my patience a few too many times.

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Resulting in S texting Andi (who was at a hair appointment and planning to meet up with us later) to see if we could take her hubby (Sunshine) up on his previous offer to watch my demon spawn.
I love this comic!  I don't know who did it...but I got it via
The girls did eventually end up chilling out before I took them over to Sunshine and Andi's house to play with their daughter, Blondy.  I thought about maybe keeping them around but in the end S and I decided that we were more productive without them. 

After dropping off the spawn and picking up Andi we went back to the mall.  The first stop was Macy's.  I had seen all kinds of cute suits on the internet and wanted to try them on.  Sadly, Macy's was horribly disorganized and I didn't see any of the bathing suits from online.  Be that as it may, Andi and S still managed to find close to 20 different torture devices bathing suits to get me into. 

After suit 23,203 I was becoming grumpy.  I think Andi sensed this because she came in and decided she would try on some suits too.  Okay, these next few sentences are going to sound really lesbionic.  While Andi and I were trying on suits together I turned and looked at her.  Her perfectly done dark black hair and naughty secretary glasses made me gasp.  Bitch was looking straight like Alex Vause from "Orange is the New Black!"

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I don't know if you know this...  But Alex is freaking hot and makes me want to go deep sea clam fishing!

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The realization that Andi (from now on called Alex) looked like Ms. Vause became the obsession for the rest of the day.   S and I couldn't stop calling her "Alex," Ms. Vause," and "AV."

Back to the my suffering....  We didn't get any suits from Macy's.  We ended up going to the specialty shop Everything But Water.  Just for one part of a two piece it was like $80!  Again, I tried on a zillion different suits.  Thankfully, I had some coffee so I goofed off a bit.  I did some twerking for Alex and S. ;)

Alex and S's faces afterwards bahahahah!!!! via
I ended up walking out with of Everything But Water spending WAY too much money for a bathing suit and cover up that I'm not even sure I want.  I just wanted to get the whole experience over with!

If you want my advice on bathing suit shopping... I have none.  That shit blows harder than a starving hooker trying to make a dollar! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A firefighter had to come kill a spider for me

Yes, the title is true.  I'm not even kidding and I'm not ashamed!

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I was at work drinking my coffee when a small spider scurried across my desk.  Thankfully, on this particular day, the majority of the office was gone so only three people could hear my high pitched shrilling.  That spider was a fast little asshole!

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I grabbed my napkin and tried to smash him but he was dodging every advance I made!  In my urgency to squash Mr. Spider I dropped my napkin.  I refused to bend down and pick it up because I knew the second I took my eyes off the demon he would jump on me, climb in to my nose, and lay devil baby eggs that would suddenly crack and come oozing out.  I grabbed my spoon and just randomly started trying to hit the spider "Wack a Mole" style.  I must have angered it because the little cuntcake dashed towards me.  I threw my spoon at it and shrieked, "I can't!  I just can't!"

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Stephanie sat at her desk, watching me, and laughing.  (You Bitch!)

K came out from her section of cubical land with C.

K: "What are you screaming about!?  Is there a possum?  A rat?"
Steph: ::giggle:: "I know what it is..."
Me: "It's a spider!"
K: "A big spider?"
Me: "A SPIDER!!!!"
C: "Okay, resident spider killer is here."
K: "...Really, Ali?"

So C killed my spider and threw it in the trash.

Oh yea, I should probably mention C is a volunteer firefighter.  So, no, I didn't call the fire department or anything crazy like that...  But it's still funny to say "A firefighter had to come kill a spider for me."

Again, when it comes to spiders...

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Monday, April 28, 2014

The Time I Accidentally Went to a "Happy Ending" Massage Parlor

Baby Fungus (little sister) and I made a trip to New Jersey a few weeks ago so she could see Cabana Boy (her boyfriend).  That whole mess is another story but right now I want to take a moment to share my story appropriately titled,

"The Time I Accidentally Went to a 'Happy Ending' Massage Parlor"

I had some free time since I left Baby Fungus and Cabana Boy alone for a few hours in the dorm to do whatever 17/18 year olds do in their free time.  I got my nails done, did some wine shopping, and at 7:30 was driving around bored.   Along the side of the road I saw a big sign that said, "MASSAGE" in red.  In my past experiences massage spas close around 7 or 8 at the latest.  However, I saw a glowing "open" sign and figured, "What the hell!"  I went to check the hours on the door and they were listed as 10am-10pm.  I thought it was unusual, but whatever.  New Jersey is unusual, so I figured this might be the norm.

When I walked in I noticed that the waiting room was dimly lit, with minimal furniture. An old Chinese man was sitting behind the desk and looked confused whenever I walked inside.  Before I could speak to him a cute little Chinese girl (CG) came out of nowhere.  Our conversation went,

CG: "You want massage?"
Me: "Yes, please."
CG: "How long?"
Me: "Thirty minutes."
CG: "Okay!  You go in room, take off clothes."
Me: "Can I use the bathroom first?"
CG: "Okay, down end of hall."

I walked down the hall and looked to the right.  Behind a curtain was a bright white room with one desk and an older Chinese woman sitting at it.

When I walked back to the room I undressed down to my underwear.  Right as I got the blanket over my body CG knocked on the door and walked in.

CG: "You want light pressure or deep pressure."
Me: "Deep, please."

Maybe it's because I like to be beaten during a massage, but I would not call the massage deep.

I would probably say no. via
In fact, I don't think it was a massage.  It was like a rub down.  About ten minutes in CG was standing to the left of me, took my left hand, and moved it off the bed.  I was a bit confused.  Why would she move my hand?  And even more so, why is she nudging it with her legs and va jay jay?!?!

After she was done dry humping my hands she continued the massage by moving to my butt.  I've had my butt massaged before.  The difference is that it was always over a blanket and the masseuse wasn't trying to pull down my panties.  Yup, you heard me right...  CG was pulling my panties around!  She must have felt my butt cheeks tensing up because she stopped and said,  "Just. Relax!"  I blurted out, "I'm trying!"  I didn't know what to think!  It was then that it clicked that I was probably in one of THOSE massage parlors. 

The timer went off (finally) and CG left the room.  I got dressed, walked out of the room and went to the old man to pay.  While I was up there CG came up and I thought she was about to have a heart attack.

CG: "Don't pay with card!"
Me: "Um, why not?"
CG: "Do you have cash to pay?"
Me: "I have cash, but I need it because I'm leaving New Jersey and need to pay the tolls."
CG: "How much you have?  We can do discount."
Me: "I would really rather pay with my card."
CG: "...ok..."

I paid, left, and called Hubs to tell him the experience.  He asked me if I looked up the reviews before I went in.  I hadn't so I got on yelp and low and behold... I saw this!!!!



You see that!!!! YOU SEE!!!!???  That confirmed it!

Lies! via

So now I give you, ways to tell you're in a Happy Ending massage parlor

Ten Ways to Know You're in a Happy Ending Massage Parlor

1) Unusual hours
2) Tacky red massage sign
3) Windows covered with heavy blinds
4) Dim lighting
5) Creepy old man behind counter
6) Mama-san behind the scenes 
7) Masseuse moves your hands they touch her va jay jay
8) Pulling your underwear down
9) You're not being massaged, your being rubbed down
10) Insisting on paying in cash


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Getting over the lost of a pet

In the weeks following Kleo's death I was distraught.  There was an overwhelming feeling that something was missing in my life. Well, surprisingly enough, Hubs found a solution to helping me fill the void. 

Hubs and the girls were out on a mission to get another puppy almost immediately after Kleo passed.  To be polite, I humored their attempts but always gave a "No."  The Saturday before St. Patrick's Day we went to the pet store to pick up a few odds and ends for Kiki and of course we ended up looking at dogs.  A dachshund, scottish terrier and boston terrier to be exact.  All of the dogs were super sweet, but I said "no" to all of them followed by, "I'm just not ready."

St. Patrick's Day Hubs, Monster, and I (Bug was with a friend) made the trip back to the pet store because Hubs "forgot" to pick something up.  While Monster and I were looking at the birds and reptiles Hubs peaked out from a room, smiled, and said, "Ali, come here."  I rolled my eyes and knew what to expect, another puppy.  When I got into the room I saw the boston terrier. 

Monster sat on the floor and played with the boston terrier while quietly watched.  I knew the question was coming, "Mommy, can we get her?" and I was ready to give the "No."  Before Monster could ask Hubs walked by and said, "Monster, how about you come with me and look around so mommy can have some time alone with the puppy?"  Monster exited the room and I was left alone with this pitiful looking boston terrier.  She looked at me, I looked at her, and then she just walked over, crawled up into my lap, nuzzled down, and laid there.  I didn't know what to do, so I cried.  As soon as that darn puppy noticed I was crying she started licking my tears.

Claire Danes' ugly cries are a good representation of how I look when I cry  lol via

During my crying an employee came by

Employee: "Umm, are you okay?"
Me: "Kleo DIIIIEEEDDDDD!!!!!"
Employee: "I heard.  I'm so sorry."
::awkward silence::
Employee: ::walks away quickly::

Hubs walked by second later and looked at me, crying with the puppy in my lap.

Hubs: "Do you want me to ask about her information?"
Me: "I don't knooooowwwww."
Hubs: ::half chuckles:: "I'll be right back."

Monster comes in.

Monster:: "Mommy, why are you crying?"
Me: "I miss Kleo.  What would Kleo say if I got another puppy?"
Monster: "I think Kleo would want you to love another puppy as much as you love her."

That Monster, she's a smart cookie. :) Kleo is the type of doggie that would want me to be happy and show love to another dog.  She wasn't the jealous type.


I'm not sure how it happened but somewhere between my crying and rambling Hubs had gotten the information together and we walked out of the pet store with a new puppy.


This is Azura Kleopatra AKA: Zuri

She has been a blessing to have in our home. She's smart, easy going, and loves to cuddle.  Having Zuri around has eased the pain.  She reminds me so much of Kleo.  I know that she will never replace Kleo and I don't want her to.  I hope that with time Zuri and I will grow to have as great a bond as that Kleo and I had. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

School Puberty Talks

Last week J and I took Bug and Pill (Bug's bestie/J's daughter) to their school's "Girls Night Out".  "Girl's Night Out" was for female students grades 3rd - 5th and an adult female (mom, aunt, grandma, sister, etc) to listen to a talk about the upcoming changes in the young girl's bodies and emotions.  Concluding the talk there would be crafting and zumba.  

The school counselor (a woman) did the majority of the talking at the event.  She explained how puberty starts in the brain, sending a signal throughout the body to start the changes.  She got down to the nitty gritty explaining painful, developing breast, vaginal discharge, crazy hormones, etc.  She even gave us moms/grandmas/aunts a pep talk about how to prepare for the upcoming  hormonal changes.  Afterwards there was a cheesy 1990s video that explained how to put on a pad. 

It sounds so awkward, and it was a little bit, but it was really so great because it was all laid out there and the counselor did an AWESOME job of making everyone feel comfortable and relaxed.  I give her mad kudos!  I hope every school has a counselor like her!

Following the talk and video the paper was put out on the tables and the students could write down any questions they had.  The counselor would pick the up and answer them out loud just in case anyone else was thinking the same thing, but just too embarrassed to ask.  The questions were pretty simple, the most challenging one for her to answer was explaining WHY periods were needed.  She just said "A period is our bodies way of telling us that we can have babies."  She didn't go into any further detail than that, which I'm grateful for.  Bug wanted to ask "Why do we need armpit hair?"  But she didn't get to give it to the counselor.  When I saw it all I said to her was, "We don't need it.  That's why mommy shaves it off every morning."Yea, probably not the right answer, but I am ill equipped for these kind of conversations!

At the conclusion of the talk the event was broken into to two groups.  One would do the craft and the other would zumba.  After 20 minutes the groups would switch.  The craft was making a picture frame together.  It was a really cute, simple craft.  While the craft was going on the students were called out with their mom/grandma/aunt to take a picture to put in the frame.  I really liked the way that zumba was incorporated zumba into the event.  The teacher/zumba instructor explained the importance of staying active.  The movements the teacher used was really basic so everyone could participate in it.  Bug had a good time!  She wants to take a zumba class, which is great because there is a kid one at my gym and we have it on the XBox so she can do it with me!

Leaving the event the counselor said that there would be a bag for the girls to take home and a calendar for them to use so they can track their periods.

Bug: "Mommy!  Don't forget to remind me to get a calendar!"
Me: "Why do you need a calendar?  To track your imaginary period!?"
Bug: "YES!"

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Apparently she wasn't the only one because Pill was saying the same thing to J.  Oh, and what was in the bag?  Pads!  The girls were so excited to get pads...  I don't know why.  They are weird! 

Walking back to the vehicle J and I talked about how impressed we were with the event.  She said "That was pretty good!  I remember back in my day the boys got to go have a pizza party while we had to go learn about tampons!"

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All the way home the girls were talking about periods and pads while waving around their "period bags."  The winning conversation goes to Pill for sure!

Pill: "Do boys have to wear pads?"
J: "No.  They-"
Pill: "No, they can't, because it would get in the way of their candy sticks."
Me: "WHAT!?"  ::laughter::
Pill: "Ugh! I meant their candy canes!"
Me: ::still laughing while half apologizing to J for not being able to stop the laughter::

Within the following days I was telling the guys at work about the "puberty meeting" and how great it went.  Turns out that none of their children's schools were doing anything like that.  I feel very lucky to have Bug and Monster in a school that took interest in educating the kids and making it fun.  Does anyone else have children in a school that does something like this?