middle children are okay!

hi, my name is anne and i’m a middle child.

growing up, i was the second of 3 girls.  my older sister is 2.33 years my senior, and my younger sister is 2.97 years my junior.  there is a fourth sister, but she was born when i was 13 so she’s basically a whole ‘nother generation.

3sisters
[my shirt is backwards here.  probably because i was a neglected middle child.]

recently, i’ve had multiple people with children ask my opinion on the welfare of their youngest if they have another kid.  one posed the question with concern by asking, “how do you think our second will fare, you know, if we have…a third?  will they be okay?”  another posed the question almost with contempt: “well we have the two, and we WANT more, but we don’t want the second one to suffer, you know, as a middle child.”

can i just say something here?  being a middle child is AWESOME.

unless you are an extrovert and/or like attention.

as far as i’m concerned, my childhood was a freaking blast.  i was always flanked by my sisters.  i was the 2nd of 3 but i always felt special and unique.  i got to try every sport i had a hankering for.  i got to quit every sport i had a hankering for after 1 year when i got bored with it.  i liked team sports the best because i wasn’t solely responsible if we lost.  once i got good enough at tennis to move from doubles to singles, i quit, because i didn’t like the attention.

3sisters4
[totally content being the mickey to my older sister’s minnie.]

i had my own birthday parties, i had my own identity, and it was the best.  no regrets, yolo, and all the jazz.

now i also must disclose that i was a painfully shy child and did not like attention.  one time, at the mall of america, i made my younger sister return something for me because i was too embarrassed to talk to the salesperson.  i didn’t like attention in the first place, so not being the center of it did not pain me one bit.

and as an adult, there is no pressure to show up to things because i’m the only child or one of two or something.  i never felt like i was compared to or competing with either of my sisters.  i like being part of a crowd and being able to slip in and out, taking a backseat and watching from afar.  i am comfortable with this.

[which is why it is EXTRA weird when hubs and i are the only “kids” at his parents’ house at christmas.  it’s like someone holding you down and tickling you and watching to see if you pee your pants.]

3sisters5
[just because they didn’t let me sit in the chair with my sisters doesn’t mean i wasn’t loved equally, probably!]

here are some fun facts about middle child syndrome that i found on the interwebz, and would like to dispel:

“Middle children often feel left out and invisible” – just the way i like it!

“Middle children tend to be more outgoing and flexible than their older and younger siblings.” – not even a little bit true in my case!

“Middle children tend to be ‘rebels,’ more so than their other siblings.” – nope, i am a giant chicken!

“Middle children are characterized by low self-esteem and extreme introversion, sometimes even leading to psychotic behavior.” – no…wait, am i a psychopath?  tbd.

“Middle children are also usually considered outcasts in their families.” – alright, let’s relax, everyone!

3sisters2
[if i close my eyes will i disappear completely? i wondered at the tender age of 4.]

now, are there times when i wished i was maybe a little more at the forefront of my parents’ thoughts?  maybe.  has one my parents’ forgotten the “e” on the end of “anne” on more than one occasion?  perhaps!  are there downsides to being a middle child?  probably.

but current and future parents, you need to calm down.  love your kids all the same and they will turn out fine.  and if they complain about being a middle child someday, tell them to calm down, too.

3sisters3[see? WE ARE AWESOME!  everybody calm down.]

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Words That I Hate

You know how there are some words that just grate on your soul and make you cringe every time you hear them?  Well, these are mine.  Add this to the collection of things I have issues with (see also: popcorn, snacks in general).

Cream

I can’t be the only one who hates this word, because this commercial for Olay Regenerist that recently used the word “cream” excessively was re-done so that instead of the woman with the weird accent describing the cream, a man’s voice is used every time the word “cream” is mentioned.  I noticed because I dreaded this commercial every time it came on, just for the use of the c-word.  I’m glad somebody else realized this egregious error.

Here’s the original:

And here’s the manly version:

Also see: creamy.  Blech!

Crisp

Crisp.  Did you feel that?  It was me cringing while typing that word.  I feel bad for people named “Crispin”, because if I were single and at a bar and I met someone and he introduced himself as “Crispin”, I would shiver (in a bad way) and walk away.

Bonus points if the words “crisp” and “creamy”, while counterintuitive, are used together to describe something.  Example: “A crisp apple dipped in creamy peanut butter is the perfect after work torture device, because I just used the words crisp and creamy.”  BOOM!

Take a Lunch

Does this bother me because I’m from the South, and we don’t “take a lunch”, we “eat lunch”?  Is “taking a lunch” for rich people?  Is it like osmosis, where looking at a salad makes you feel full?  I really loved watching The Rachel Zoe Project until one episode where she tells her assistant, “I never take a lunch,” because she said “take a lunch”, and also because it made me feel fat and insecure, and I think that it sent a bad message to people who work in offices and watch the clock slowly tick closer to 12:00 minute-by-minute, because we need our munchies!  And when we need them, we don’t take them, we eat them!

Supper

MAKE THIS WORD GO AWAY.  It’s the 21st century.  Is the word “supper” even appropriate anymore?  Is it historically acceptable?  What is supper?  If not lunch, or dinner, then what?!  Can this word please be extinct?

MISTAKE: I just looked it up on dictionary.com, and the definition for “supper” reads: “Any light evening meal, especially one taken late in the evening: an after-the-theater supper.”  TAKEN LATE IN THE EVENING!  AN AFTER-THE-THEATER SUPPER!  It’s like dictionary.com knows my deepest fears, and is exploiting them.

See also: Anything called a Supper Club.  Just say it like it is and call it a bar, people.

What are your least favorite words?

10 Things You Don’t (Want To) Know About Me

Thanks to the very generous yet awfully misguided Squirrel Circus, I have received a blogging award!  I’m supposed to share 7 secrets about myself, but I’m not that secretive, mostly because I have a big mouth, so since my blog is fairly new and mostly read by my friends and my husband (when I make him, out loud, in my presence), I’ll share a few things about me that you probably wouldn’t know otherwise.

1. I was born outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a town called “Coon Rapids”.  That is listed on my birth certificate.  Forever.

2. I have a degenerative autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis that attacks my thyroid and will eventually render it useless.  Then it will move on to my brain.  Just kidding.  About the brain part.

3. I grew up as the middle of 3 girls (now 4 + a step & a half), so I took on the role of tomboy, since somebody had to.  I had the boy haircut, and I still feel awkwardly boyish when my hair is shorter than chin-length.

4. I was allergic to strawberries as a child, which only caused problems one time, when my parents went on vacation and forgot to tell my grandma about my allergy.  A trip to the clinic and a ginormous needle in the thigh later, and I would never look at a strawberry the same way again.

5. I collected Ninja Turtle action figures.  I still remember the day I got April.  Although Leonardo was (and still is) my favorite.

6. When the Mickey Mouse Club was on, I wanted to legally change my name to “Britney” because I thought “Anne” was super dull, and because Britney on the MMC could do back-handsprings.  Yeah, it turned out to be Britney Spears.

7. I played the trombone in 6th grade band.  I was 2nd chair.  And the only girl.

8. I played volleyball all through high school, where I was obviously the setter, because I’m only 5’4″.  Sometimes my English teacher would come watch our matches, which creeps me out now that I think about it, because we were all underage and wearing spandex.

9. I was the lead singer of my church’s high school praise band.  I KNOW.

10. My original major in college was architecture.  I switched to engineering once I realized that I didn’t want to sleep under a drafting table for another 3 years, not realizing that I would be sleeping under a library table for the next 3 years instead.

I wish I had more exciting fun facts, like that I’m not-so-distantly-related to Kate Middleton, or that I’ve wrestled a baby black bear in the Smokey Mountains (partially true, actually), but alas, this is all I’ve got.  I appreciate my totally unremarkable upbringing.  I’m very lucky to have had it.

The Second Dog Dilemma

I am a crazy dog lady.  If I were single, I would be a puppy hoarder, no doubt about it.  I just love them.  Growing up I had all sorts of pets: goldfish, frogs, lizards, turtles, betafish, hamsters, gerbils (to replace the suicidal hamsters…more on that later), but I wouldn’t touch any of them.  Especially not the hamsters, with their little scissor teeth.  I am a puppy person.  I will plead the 5th on my feelings regarding cats, because I don’t want to alienate any of my nonexistent readers.

We got our dog Buster from a pet rescue back in February 2011, and I freaking love him.  My only worry is that he’s home alone for too long during the day.  He has no problem holding his bladder while we’re at work all day, and he doesn’t have separation anxiety, but I feel bad that he’s all by his lonesome, and I’ve heard wonderful things about adding a 2nd dog to your family as a companion for the first one.  The biggest pro I’ve heard is that your dogs will play with each other instead of messing with you.  There are lots of times where Buster is all, I will keep punching you in the ovaries until you throw this tennis ball, and it would be nice to have a break from that.

However.

I had to twist my husband’s arm for about 5 years before he finally relented (out of sheer exhaustion) and let me get Buster.  Now, six months later, he’s not super interested in adding another canine companion to our household just yet, or ever.  I’d been using my old strategy of sending him pictures of adoptable dogs from Petfinder.com, with captions like he will be euthanized if we don’t go get him!  Or doesn’t she look like Buster’s long-lost sister? which he finally got fed up with, I guess.  So he made me a deal.

If I can keep my mouth shut about dogs for the next 9 months, then he will let me get a 2nd dog.

The problem is, looking at dogs online is one of my favorite things to do.  Now I can’t send him pictures like this:

(Go here for reference: http://youtu.be/nGeKSiCQkPw)

Or like this:

Or like this:

But I think I can do it.  My ovaries might depend on it.

For a semi-helpful article on adding a second dog to your household, go here.  And if you have any advice for me, please leave a comment!

Inauguration Day

Well, here it is, the first post…and I have no idea where to start!  I have so many things I want to write about on my blog: my fitness goals, redecorating my new home, being obsessed with my dog, finding humor in the slog of the work week, being a grown-up in general…so let me kick it off by saying this: this blog is going to be a journey, and I hope you’ll stick with me as I figure it out.  I hope I can entertain you, occasionally teach you new things, and hopefully make you laugh, a little or a lot or somewhere in between.

FYI, I’ve filled in some information on the “About Me” page, so you can get to know me better, if you wish.  Go here to read it.

And off we go!