Pregnancy glow or fire hazard?

Posted in children,Family,Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on January 27, 2012
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I’ve heard about this elusive pregnancy glow for years. What a load of crap! I don’t know if I”m glowing wrong, but something is terribly amiss. The other day I was attacked by a sneaky afternoon nap (I swear I thought I was blinking) and when I woke up, my glasses were literally sliding off my face! I went to slide them back up, only for them to slide back down.

Seriously?! My skin has always been on the oily side, but never has it displayed the superpower of turning into an oil slick. Every few hours I can literally wipe my face and see oil. Isn’t that outrageously sexy? Speaking of sexy, I guess I better stay away from open flames. No mood candles over here. Surely, “Honey, your face is on fire” can’t be considered a sweet nothing no matter how you spin it.

Honey, your face is ablaze?

My darling, your fiery complexion? 

Yeah….there goes that!


It could all be so simple

Posted in children,Family,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on January 11, 2012
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…for someone else maybe. Like….aside from the fact that I watched Alien the other week on tv (don’t ask me which one because I don’t know!) I swear I’ve seen my shirt moving around ever since. I don’t want to think of tiny child as an alien, but the nurse telling me I”m so sickly all of a sudden because my immune system is compromised so my body doesn’t attack what it thinks is an intruder doesn’t help. I”m just saying…

Anyway, let’s talk about eating. I am now eating like a champion! Those weeks of soup and liquids and medication are finally behind me, so I’m making up for lost time. The kid is hanging right in there with me. I’m growing a snack champion–which seems to be when he wakes up-for meals and to play around at night. Have you ever tried to sleep while your stomach is moving around? It’s…different.Awesome? Awesomely different! Yup, that’s a keeper. 

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #4–Not adhering to family nomenclature

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on November 14, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #4 Not Adhering to Family Nomenclature

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve seen Star Wars maybe a half a time. But, that does not keep me from knowing Darth Vader’s overused line: “Luke, I am your father.” (Aside from the baffling point that I never actually hard Darth Vader say that exact line, let’s use the willing suspension of disbelief. Let’s pretend like he said it for real.) Now, what if Luke’s response was, “Father? Well, I guess technically that works if you had something to do with conception; now if we’re talking nurturing and actually raising me, I think not.”

That’s not all that exciting, huh? Well, that’s because you don’t know MY folks. If you aren’t familiar with my family structure from some of my other posts, technically speaking, I have a step father and siblings from that union with my other (and he also had his own kids). I love all my siblings dearly, and this post isn’t about them. We’re an odd bunch, but we bring the funny. 

Anyway, how big of a deal is naming? Oh, it’s almost reason enough to break out a Bible and some holy oil! My mom gets super bent out of shape if I refer to my step dad as anything other than dad or father. If you squint, I think you can actually see her body temperature quickly rise, fire spark in her eyes, and smoke come from her ears. Is my biological father dead? No. I talk to him pretty regularly-now. So what name does that leave for him? None. This leaves him with no name, like he’s a figment of my imagination. Last time I checked, Mary wasn’t the prototype of more immaculate conceptions to come. So, my dad isn’t imaginary. 

For identification purposes, I will toss around dad, biological dad, father, real dad, step dad, etc. depending on if I’m talking to someone who knows my family history/ structure or not. This, to me, is no big deal. It isn’t an attempt to undermine who may have taken care of me or who didn’t.  It’s like a name tag. If I was making a family tree, I wouldn’t change it so that it looked more nuclear. Is it a case of wanting to be more like the Huxtables instead of the Bradys? I’m not sure which family I liked more, actually. At any rate, good luck with that. Why? Because trying to make your family something it isn’t undervalues what your family really is. 

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #3–Getting Married

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 31, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #3-  Getting Married 

Ah, marriage. What a joyous occasion, right? Well…maybe. All of the plotting, planning, prepping, and primping that goes into pulling off a wedding takes a team effort. Who better to help you through such a joyous time than your family? The months of anticipation lead to such a big build up of emotions! Yeah…who’s really ever in the mood for all of that? 

Having already known we were going to get married, my (then soon-to-be) husband and I asked ourselves one crucial question: Why wait? After all, who is a wedding for, anyway? Let me rephrase that, who is a wedding supposed to be for? I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “The marriage is for you; the wedding is for them” (them meaning your parents/ family).

So, how much of a ripple will it make in the family pool if you decide to forego the long wedding planning process? Probably a tidal wave. How much bigger of a ripple will it make if you decide to get married whether the majority of your family can make it or not?  I’m not even sure of the proper weather category to use for that one!

You robber of memories and destroyer of social envy! Despite the fact that you saved everyone from being forced to travel, dress up, possibly buy new clothes, eat questionable food, and socialize amongst rogue relatives, it wasn’t your choice to make. Family first, of course (Not your new family, your old family-duh.) By all means, go into unnecessary debt to impress your friends. As a matter of fact, go all out if the marriage doesn’t work out to well either! Throw an even bigger get together. After all, you owe it to them. Since such a big deal is made about the beginning, surely everyone should be there for the end. Bring gifts! After all, where’s the fun in a quiet, successful marriage? I’m all for it, but maybe I’m just lame.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #2

Posted in Family,Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on October 17, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #2-  Not including them in your relationship

Do you remember the day you were born? I dare you to lie and say that you do. You know who does remember the day you were born? Your parents. At the very least, your mother does. (She is the one parent who HAS to be there by default.) Maybe it was after this moment of your grand arrival that your future flashed before her/ their eyes. See, you were screwed from the beginning. 

Maybe that defining moment came later in life, like after your first crush, first date, or first whatever it is seemed supremely important at the moment. Whether you like it or not, your ideal spouse has likely been a fixed vision in the minds of your parents long before you even thought about it.

Imagine the day they realize you have been stealthily chipping away at their dreams by 

  1. Being in a relationship they know little to nothing about and
  2. Declaring that this same UBR (unidentified blossoming relationship) is serious.
My friend, you are now in trouble…uber trouble. How serious could the relationship be if you never made it a point to divulge pertinent details? Perhaps you wanted to make sure the relationship would last before involving the parental figures. Once it proved to stand the test of time, perhaps you didn’t want to involve the parental figures for fear that they would now scare the person away. Regardless of the reason, you have prohibited your parents from the right to grill your significant other, tell you all the things they don’t like, question your taste, project how well your life could possibly turn out with that person, or  find a potential person of their approval to usurp that person’s place. How dare you! 

Nevertheless, there may be one all-encompassing reason why this is so disappointing to some parents. They may feel like they had no active role in making a decision that may very well change the dynamics of your relationship for the rest of your lives. Some may be able to get past this; some may not. Whatever your case may be, good luck with that.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #1

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 10, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure that there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, I’ll just give you one.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #1- Not making money after college


They throw you a huge graduation party, brag to all their friends about scholarship offers, dutifully boast about your grades each semester, and now what? You’re sitting at home on their couch. Way to go, you! 

So, what went wrong? You picked a major you loved (likely where you went wrong if you chose something from the liberal arts), went to class (whenever you weren’t hung over and had actually done your homework), and participated in campus activities (that happened on nights when you had nothing better to do).  Is it possible that you did the college experience wrong?

If your parents sent you money during college, co-signed for student loans, or helped you to perpetuate the look of a self-sufficient adult, they’re probably disappointed if they haven’t seen a return on their investment.  After all, how well can their conversations go now? There’s nothing to brag about if you have a low-paying job, are employed in a job that has NOTHING to do with your degree, or are creating an unforgivable indentation in their furniture. At least they got their money’s worth from the furniture. You-not so much. 

Until you once again prove to be worthy of tabletop discussion, you might want to look into getting those shingle-looking gadgets that are supposed to give new life to droopy furniture. But, then again, that would require money.

Good luck with that.

Where’d I go? And more importantly….where has time gone?

Posted in Aging,Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 5, 2011
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How ignorant of me to disappear from my blog for like….ever and then come back acting like everything is cool. So, where have I been? I moved around a bit, but within the same state. I’ve juggled around my jobs, acquired a new one, and paid more attention to some old ones.

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about. I’ve had plenty of things I could have written about, but thought it best NOT to write about them.  In my opinion, that takes true discipline. I didn’t want to be one of those people who angrily writes something while in the midst of a situation and then later regret every word of it. I feel pretty confident now in my ability to freely write without remorse. Besides, there are a few things I’d like to get off my chest, so to speak, which means I’m going to have to start blogging more often.

In other events:

My little sister is about to turn 18. I remember when this chick was peeping at me after she was born. Now, she has the audacity to become the age of an actual adult. WOW! I’m so proud of her and terrified for her all at the same time. What will she decide to do about college? Will she decide to work? Will the economy screw her over? Will she leave from home soon? Does she want to marry and have children sooner or later than life? I wasn’t thinking about all of this when she was only just 17. But now, 18 is rapidly approaching in a few weeks. If this has me starting to feel old, how dirt-like must my mom feel? Awesome! 

I’m not sure what all the future will hold for her. She was a pretty cool/ odd/ interesting/ hilarious kid, so she has the makings of a fantastic adult with a lot of quirks. (The best kind to have around.) I just hope that whatever choices she makes, she makes them because they make her happy. At the end of the day, if you’re not happy with yourself, what does it matter if you’ve made others happy in the process?

Facebook creeping me out

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on March 18, 2011
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Okay, so usually it’s gmail or plain old Google that creeps me out. Now it looks like Facebook wants to take a stab at it. About a week ago, Facebook suggested a friend for me. At first I was excited because the individual is a new friend that I hadn’t thought to look up. My excitement then turned into confusion. How did Facebook know we knew each other? We have none of the same friends. I don’t even use my gmail to access my FB account. No one is listed under my “manage invites and imported contacts” tab.

I let it go. Today I logged into FB and saw that yet another individual with whom I’ve only had contact via gmail has been listed as a suggested friend. I want to know what’s going on. I did find this link in my search, but it’s just another confused person.

I clicked a link on the page from that link, and it said my imported contacts have been removed. I’m still trying to figure out when and how they were imported in the first place. What’s happening with my privacy?

Thanks, Facebook, for proving I’m not a nurturer

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on February 11, 2011
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Every few weeks, I say to myself, “Maybe it’s time to start a family.” I mean, I”m not getting any younger. (Don’t get me wrong; I’m not super old either.) It never fails that in ten minutes or less, something happens to quickly make me rethink it. Sometimes it’s a snotty-nosed child throwing a tantrum on the floor for no apparent reason. Sometimes it’s an awesome moment with my husband that makes me think that I’m not quite ready to share him yet.

When one of those type moments are scarce, all I have to do is log in to Facebook. Remember when the “Make a Baby” app was popular? Hunny, I had like 5 kids. They were well fed, nicely clothed, and I worked hard picking out their names. I was in close contact with all of my “baby daddies.” My fervor lasted all of maybe 3 months. The ease of clicking the kids to happiness was short-lived. They grew up. They were temperamental. They took up more and more time. They were expensive. They were a pain in my butt. They ended up on doll mode.

Much, much later, I boarded the Happy Aquarium bandwagon. Every few hours I was cleaning, feeding, breeding, and decorating. My tanks were immaculate! I trained fish. I bought fish. I sold fish. I bought them larger tanks. Then the app got fancy. I was supposed to go on a treasure hunt, do something with shells, help out neighbors, etc. I was supposed to care too much for fake fish. I’ve had many a betta over the years that didn’t require as much effort. It’s been easily 4 months since I’ve logged into Happy Aquarium. I see the new gimmicks they regularly come up with, and I’m momentarily intrigued. Then the realization hits me that I”ll have to clean ALL of my tanks and feed ALL of those fish.  Yeah…no thanks.

Perhaps I should have known better. The days of my always-dying Little Mermaid Tamagotchi are definitely in the not-so-distant past. Maybe I should start on a Baby Alive, lol. Do they even still make those?

My god-awful in-laws

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on January 14, 2011
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They have yet to appear. I know it’s not the norm, but I’m so not even lying. Think about all of the movies, TV shows and friends’ stories that you’ve seen or heard. How many of them are about wonderful in-laws that take the person in as their own and never made him/her feel the least bit uncomfortable? Don’t worry; I’ll wait.

My husband and his mom are so close that I was honestly expecting a monster-in-law situation (good movie by the way). This woman was so nice when I first met her that I thought she was playing mind games. Well over a year later, she hasn’t changed. Either she’s a diabolical genius or she’s authentically this sweet of a person. The same goes for the rest of my husband’s family-from his aunts to his cousins. They’ve been amazing about welcoming me into their family. I couldn’t have asked to be connected to a greater bunch of people.

I know many people who aren’t too fond of their in-laws, so I consider myself to be quite fortunate in this area. My first Christmas away from my own family went pretty well too. Of course I missed doing some of the things my family usually does on the day, but I got to see how another family does the holiday.It was fun. My father in-law has always been a gem, holiday or not.

I don’t really like the term though. “In-laws.” It makes me think of outlaws by default. How could I not think of folk in cowboy hats, spurs? Well, maybe that’s just me and my imagination.

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