Author Archives for Becoming Domesticated

The Trouble with Straw Cups

I am confused. I thought we sent a man to the moon like before I was born. And lord knows, that was a long time ago. I mean, before there was Google and cell phones, a man walked on the moon. We propelled a human being into outer space and he landed on the moon, took a walk and made it back to Earth. In one piece.

And yet, humankind cannot develop a straw cup that doesn’t leak. WTF. It isn’t rocket science, is it? And even if it is, we sent a man to the moon in the 1970s so this shouldn’t be an issue.

I collect straw cups because I am determined to find one the doesn’t leak. Most do. One has come close to not. And if you have found one that doesn’t, please, for the love of all things holy, or should we say leaky, please share with me!

The brand that probably ticks me off the most? Camelbak. I mean aren’t they like known for on-the-go drinking devices for the very active? And these cups are not cheap – $10 and up for a kids cup that leaks terribly is ridiculous. And when I say it leaks, I mean it freakin’ leaks.


Case in point. Not even 15 minutes after I set it down for my 4 year old son, and he was miraculously sitting quietly during that time, this is what happens. Now, imagine that in your kid’s backpack or even worse, your purse.


Camelbak = #fail

Munchkin. They are cheap and easy to find at Wal-Mart, Target and Babies r Us. But they inevitably leak at the top of the straw. A quick twist of the top usually sucks the liquid back in but if you don’t catch it in time it overflows like Mount St. Helen.


And just forget the cheap festive cups with straws from Target. I always get convinced into getting them for the kids only to secretly throw them out a week later.

So far, the closet I have come to the perfect, leak proof straw cup is Contigo’s Striker cup. They are comparable in price to Camelbak but only seem to leak when they get too hot. Like when left the car. This summer, we have only had a couple days hot enough in WNY to cause them to leak in the house. They are also much easier to clean than Camelbak. However, there is a rubber ring seal in the tops that has come out in at least 3 of our cups and it is a pain in the rear to get it back in. And I suspect the hubs, not realizing you can fix them, has thrown away a top. I recently bought a Contigo Gizmo, and had high, high hopes for it based on its straw mechanism but we have already had several leaks.  So the Striker is still an imperfect number 1 here in the Born house.


But seriously, we sent a man to the moon.

P.S. Shonda

P.S. Shonda

I honestly didn’t think it could get worse than last week’s uncalled for (and ordinary) death of Derek. I thought your 2 hour special the week afterwards would pay tribute to the character that, along with Meredith, made the show. A character that nearly ALL of the show’s fans LOVED for 11 seasons. A 2 hour episode for us, and the other characters, to grieve the loss of Derek Shepherd. A second chance for you to make us all ugly cry for inappropriate amounts of times. Cristina should have been there to support Meredith. Addison there for Amelia and to pay her respects to a man she loved and for which she would always have a special place in her heart. If you weren’t going to make his death epic, then his funeral should have been.

Well, I was dead wrong, wasn’t I? Seriously?! Seriously? You thought the fans, who made you who you are today, deserved to not even be invited to McDreamy’s funeral? That in less than 15 minutes, the funeral was over and it was already over a month after Derek’s death with barely any dialogue, grief or tears (by the characters or the viewers). And then during the following hour and forty-five minutes to fast forward nearly a year after his death with little to no real acknowledgment of Derek’s death. Rude. And insulting to the fans, Derek Shepherd and Patrick Dempsey in the process. That is what you thought was a good follow-up to last week’s horribly written episode? I think that you may have lost what made you so special. You have lost your mojo if this is the crap you are going to offer the fans who have followed you for over 10 years on one show.

Luckily, this terrible episode played out more like a series finale than anything, albeit a disappointing one, so not tuning into next week’s episode will be easier than anticipated. Thanks for killing my favorite show in less than half an hour, and then beating it down some more in last night’s episode. You should be embarrassed.

Enjoy the carousel, Shonda. I wouldn’t want to be on your ride.

Dear Shonda

Dear Shonda,

You don’t know me but my name is Sarah, and I have contributed to your success. How? By faithfully watching every episode of Grey’s Anatomy (and subsequently Private Practice) since Day One. The thousands of other devoted followers and I are a huge part of why you have enjoyed the success you have had in your career over the past 10 years. The other part is Ellen and Patrick. There are not another two actors out there that could have brought to life your characters the way that they did. It is that undeniable chemistry between Meredith and Derek during the pilot that hooked me and everyone else for the next 11 seasons. Meredith and Derek made the show. And without them and us, their loyal fans, there would be no Shondaland.

Today I am exhausted, sad and angry. I am exhausted because I couldn’t fall asleep last night after watching Grey’s. At the risk of sounding a wee bit crazy, I had dreams about Derek and Meredith last night, woke up in the middle of the night and had trouble falling back asleep because I was so sad about Derek’s death. Sad for Meredith. Sad for Zola and Bailey. Just sad. And that sadness is still with me today. After more than 10 years, you get attached to the characters in your favorite show.

I am angry because of how you chose to end Derek and Meredith – a poorly crafted season ending with a terribly written episode. Derek deserved better. Meredith deserved better. WE deserved better.  Let’s start with this season, Season 11. It is like you have been cobbling together several half-assed and forced story lines all season long starting with Derek’s absence as he left his family to go to Washington DC. Something we all know Derek wouldn’t do. And the bitter feelings between Derek and Meredith, as a result. Then you tacked on that ridiculous “did he cheat” story line. That just made me mad. Nearly a whole season without Derek and then you throw in that crap?! At least you gave us a warm, fuzzy MerDer moment and then an episode of happiness for them (you’re so generous). But then. Then you kill Derek. You killed our McDreamy?! And don’t give us that crap that Derek’s death just “naturally came to be” that Patrick gave in an interview. I am sure that language was hand fed to him and a requirement of ending his contract early because there has been nothing “natural” or “organic” about this season, let alone his death.

Not only did you kill him but you killed our Derek in a completely craptastic way. Seriously, that is the best you could do? I probably put more thought into this letter than you did to Derek’s death. You gave that Mercy Wester with the gigantic head a better death when he died in Bailey’s arms during the hospital shooting. Derek, on the other, hand, Derek who is half of the couple that made this show, gets death by sitting on the OR table for an hour and a half while some doctor finishes dinner. Alone. You didn’t give him and Meredith a chance to say goodbye. It would have been gut wrenching, a la Lexie and McSteamy, but it was needed. They deserved to have one last moment. And then you make Meredith pull Derek’s plug. Alone. That is how you thought was the best way to write DEREK SHEPHERD off the show?! A terrible season followed by a lame death? Why didn’t you just leave him to his brain mapping in DC and have Meredith and the kids follow him next season, naturally ending a great series. That is the ending Meredith and Derek deserved. Happily after ever. That is the ending we all deserved after more than 10 years of rooting for Meredith and Derek through the ups and downs. But if you felt like you had to kill our McDreamy, he deserved a better death than you gave him.

I will watch next week’s episode so that I can say goodbye to Derek. Say goodbye to Meredith, Richard, Bailey, and Alex, who have been with us since Day One. To Callie, Arizona, Owen, Jackson and April who have become an important and enjoyable part of the show. Because after next week, Grey’s Anatomy is dead to me. In a boring, albeit shocking because I didn’t think you would kill him, half of an episode you killed Derek and the show. You are right, Shonda, it is the episode America will never forget because it was the terrible ending to 11 seasons of a beloved show. But you are also wrong because the carousel does stop turning. It stops when you put Derek Shepherd 6 feet under. And I can promise you that I will never watch another show by Shondaland because you obviously do not care about your loyal fans, the very people who have made you a success.



Keeping House

“Maybe you should start making frozen meals for dinner.” This was a recent suggestion by my hubs. The look on my face must have demanded elaboration because he went on to tell me that it wasn’t because of my cooking but that if I only dirtied one pot a meal, perhaps I would be more successful at cleaning up after myself.  Mmm hmmmm.

In my new role, I have been making a huge effort to cook dinner every night. This is far from easy for me and I am actually quite proud of some of my results. But that is another post for another day. Jeremy and I have a very different opinion of clean and philosophy on when to do dishes. To me, so what if there are a couple dishes in the sink. Or on the counter. Or on the stove. They will still be there when I am ready to take care of them. And I will take care of them – so long as I don’t have more important things to do. Like tend to my littles or my businesses.

Jeremy on the other hand would rather eat frozen meals for dinner than cope with a few dishes strewn around the kitchen! We will call this his adjustment period. I am also trying to teach him that a few toys on the floor isn’t the End. Of. The. World.  This is not an easy job for me. When he was home with the kids for the last 4 years, he obsessively picked up toys several times a day. Me? I start to pick them up in the hour I expect him to come home and usually get distracted in the process. Really, I try. But this has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember. I thrive in organized chaos. My bedroom growing up, my desk at work, my purse. All a hot mess. See….


But friends, Jeremy is the opposite extreme. This “mess” would send Jeremy Over. The. Edge.


Ya’ll think I’m joking but I’m not. I am set up for failure.

So I will continue on my quest to train Jeremy to embrace a lived in home, and maybe just maybe a little bit of his OCD will rub off on me.

Spring What?!

Apparently, this week is Spring Break. I am confused for several reasons. The first being it is March. The second being it is still winter here in Upstate New York. And the third, didn’t we JUST have a week off?  Like Mid-Winter Break, this break took me by surprise, and I only just realized it last week. Listen, the boy is in Pre-K so this is all new to me! But really, didn’t they just have a week off?

This is probably a good thing because we had a of a “traumatic” weekend that needs some time before Lucas goes to school talking about it. Hopefully, by this time next week he will have moved on….

So we just moved to the country, and by country, I mean country. I grew up in Central Square, NY. Pretty country. But this, this is way more country. The closest real grocery store is 20 minutes away. We at least had a grocery store in Central Square. We also have a herd, a flock, a pack of deer that are literally in our backyard. The kids, Jeremy and I all love it, though for very different reasons. So I am not sure why other critters are surprising.

About 2 weeks ago, I went to put a bag of garbage in the garage (this may be another post – the amount of garbage one family creates) and there was an opossum sitting out there who leisurely walked towards our mountain of unpacked boxes when he saw me.


Fast forward to Friday morning when I am rushing around to get the kids out the door to get Lucas to school. Lucas tried his best to open the garage door but opened the wrong side first. It stopped after a foot or two, and he proceeded to open the correct door. I am getting the girl in her seat and Lucas is just staring at the partially opened garage door. I am of course screaming at him to move his feet and get in his seat but he doesn’t budge. I finally look to see what on Earth is so interesting about a garage door, and see the little claws, butt and long tail of an opossum dangling out the crack of the door, suspended in air.


At this moment in time, I neither have time nor the desire to deal with that. Seeing it wasn’t moving at all (trust me, Lucas would have screamed in horror if it as much twitched), I knew it was dead. But I told Lucas it was sleeping, so we better let him be.  We get home several hours later (Lucas had school, followed by speech and occupational therapies) and our new friend is still there (not a surprise). Of course, Lucas has 101 questions about why it is still sleeping. Luckily, they are nocturnal, so I was easily able to explain that one away!

I rush the kids inside and say I will deal with it later. And so, later, I decide to open the garage door. The opossum falls to the fresh snow (yes, you read that right, FRESH snow), but now is triggering the sensors so I can’t close the door! Because I don’t need any of his friends in our garage, I get a snow shovel and get him out of the way. Garage door closed. Dead opossum still in the driveway. Kids want to go visit daddy at his store.


Lucas is obsessed with knowing whether the opossum is still sleeping. I decide to tell him the truth. Lucas, honey, it seems the opossum isn’t sleeping. He’s dead.

“Why he dead, mama?” “How he die?” “What that animal called again?” Over and over and over again. Sometimes with fear in his voice, other times almost in tears because he is sad that that animal is dead. My sweet, sweet boy.

You can guess what the first thing he told his daddy about when we got to the store. Oh, and when he woke up in the middle of the night? He woke me up saying, “Mama, what that dead animal called again?” Not what I want to discuss at 2 in the morning. Saturday was filled with lots of conversation about that dead animal. In fact, he told me he wanted to tell his best buddies, Brady and Marcus about it at school. Oye. Sunday, a little less. Today, it was the morning topic but hasn’t come up since.

So here’s to End of Winter, er Spring, Break. Let’s hope that by the time it is over, “that dead animal” is last week’s obsession!!