What I learned this week…um, where do I begin?

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. I did some calculations, and I figured out that between the dog, my 3 kids and the cat, I have not gone to the bathroom by myself in approximately 9 years. I realize I just mentioned this a few days ago, but I tend to get irritated by things in phases, so sorry for the redundancy.
  2. I love the whole Christmas thing so much I embarrass myself. Candles, music, decorations, lights, egg nog. I’ve gotten totally mainstream in my old age.
  3. Clothes shopping is really not that fun when you’re, um, of a less-than-ideal weight. I’m edging pretty close to some serious weight loss efforts. After I finish all the egg nog, of course.
  4. So apparently I violated about nine thousand blog etiquette rules when I wrote an entire post in response to a commenter. Oops.
  5. But seriously, I am new to this (well, not that new, but new enough that I can use it as an excuse)…and even if I do this for 5 years, I have a sneaking suspicion I still won’t know what’s going on, but for sure I don’t want people to feel like this is an “unsafe” place to have a dissenting opinion. I love dissenting opinions.
  6. It’s helpful parenting advice that I loathe and I get pretty defensive when I feel it coming. Sometimes I ask my friends for help, as in “Hey. This is going on in my house. Have you encountered that problem? If so, how did you handle it?” And then they tell me what they’ve done that’s worked or hasn’t and I add that information to the morass of confusion in my head and we all move on with our lives. But that unsolicited, preachy, “If parents were in order of excellence I’d be top on the list” attitude really gets under my skin.  And it happens to be the reason I started writing this blog – for sure, open spewing of parenting advice is one of the main features of mainstream parenting blogs and chatboards that make me want to stab myself in the eyes with knitting needles.
  7. But I have to get real. Not everybody is going to comment in a perfectly like-minded way that speaks directly to what I’m trying to say – I’m not going to “get” everybody the way I get most of my readers and consequently I can misread people. Seriously, I’ve been spoiled. I love the comments on my blog so much – they often say what I’m saying better than I do and I look forward to each and every one of them.  At any rate, I’m sorry if I over-reacted and alienated people. I’ll try to relax next time. I can behave, I promise.
  8. Alright enough of that. The other day while I was listening to Christmas tunes on Pandora (oh yeah, I was not joking) this song by Toby Keith came on called “Jesus gets Jealous of Santa Claus” and I thought to myself: “DUDE. It’s Jesus. Do you really think he gets jealous of a fat, gift-wielding sleigh-riding IMAGINARY character in a polyester suit? Don’t you think he’s evolved past that shit at this point?” But whatever. I mean I get the sentiment, but why do people say such stupid things? I kept trying to wrap my head around that: Alright Mr. Keith, you are trying to get people to focus on Jesus and his spiritual teachings over the materialistic reality of Christmas, and your method for doing so is to cast him as a participant in the same superficiality that serves as the foundation for the materialism you are attempting to discredit. HUH? How is that effective?
  9. Yes, I realize these are not normal things to contemplate. But I can’t help it.
  10. Speaking of not contemplating things, I don’t think y’all have ever met my dog. FYI, he is not my baby. He is not even my fur-baby. He’s just my dog. But I love him dearly and he follows me around everywhere I go and he is, as we speak, snoozing at my feet. He’s an 8-year-old Tibetan Spaniel named Odie. He is our in-house Zen-master, all deep and chill and tuned-in. Seriously he’s an incredible watchdog. Very alert. Very protective and loyal. He likes eggs, me, and peeing in the litter box (not kidding). He dislikes vacuums, bacon, and me leaving. He’s my pal.

17 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | December 11, 2011
  • 1 Funky Woman

    Ok I’m thinking we are pretty close on the not going to the bathroom alone in well lets see my son is 11 and although he doesn’t come right in the stall with me he stands right outside the door. Ok we don’t have a stall at home but he seems to stand a few inches away. And don’t get me started on my 7 year old daughter. She has known how to put a tampon in since the age of 2! Both kids seem to think that they cannot wait while I’m in the john!

    Oh and we have 2 dogs, a bird, a bunny and a lizard so I’m always going to the bathroom with someone!

    Isn’t Mr. Keith the one who sings about war and politics? He needs to chill a little. We know what the meaning of Christmas is and seriously isn’t God the one who created Santa for us to have fun with, geesh!

    Maybe he’s still mad at Santa because he never brought him his Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two hundred shot range Model air rifle!


  • kim

    Apparently this whole commenter thing went right over my head. Where have I been? You can fill me in this Friday….SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!!!

  • Michael Ann Riley

    AW…Odie is so sweet!

    It’s ok Janelle, we all have our moments. That pissed me off too. I still feel safe here! I think the diff between that commenter and most of your readers is the WAY she commented. You can disagree in a kinder, less judgmental way.

    Anyhow, you ruined my day with that information about Keith. I LOVE him. Ok, not enough to even know what that Christmas song is…and honestly I don’t like country music…but he’s a badass and the sexiest musician I’ve ever seen, and well, I’m disappointed in him now, that’s all.


    I really enjoy your blog so I am passing along The Liebster Award to you! . Go to my blog to check it out. =)

  • GraceinAZ

    Congrats on the Leibster award! NJ Housewife passed it on to me, too! And, thanks for the chuckles…your sense of humor is much like mine! I tend to get on my soapbox once in awhile, too. LOL! It’s okay.
    New follower. Stop by & follow me, too. Growing Old With Grace http://growing-old-with-grace.blogspot.com/

  • Momtothree

    Hi there, glad we are back to normal – crazy women moaning about our lives as nurterers. I was so pleased to hear about Pete’s survival after being so sick, I had no inkling that you have ANOTHER dog. Wow, three kids and two dogs. We have the three kids, one dog, one cat (neutered), a guinea pig and a goldfish. And there are days … whole days when I wonder (after having picked up poo and washed the floors – again for the third time that day) why we take on so much. As if three kids with all their mess isn’t enough!
    Well done, anyhow, for coping as well as you do + homeschooling, + grad school, and your other half being away for work. And still finding time to write your blog. You amaze me …

  • Jennifer

    I think getting a negative blog comment means you have “made it” in blog land. Congrats!

  • Momtothree

    Layin’ back in my easy chair
    Late last Christmas eve
    Silent night, twinkling lights
    Presents ’round the tree
    I heard my little girl’s two bare feet
    Comin’ down the stairs
    She was sad as I looked over
    Draggin’ her teddy bear

    She said, now daddy, I had a dream
    A little angel came down to me
    She wasn’t happy like angels ought to be
    She was cryin’ when she gave me the message
    For all the world to hear
    You know that Jesus gets jealous of Santa Claus
    Sometimes this time of year

    So, with her head on my shoulder
    And her tears mixed with mine
    I thought how little baby Jesus
    Gets left out at Christmas time
    It ain’t about the money
    Oh, money can’t buy love
    And I saw the light that Christmas night
    With help from up above

    Like you, I kinda get the sentiment. But yeah, this is just as syrupy Hallmark, make-you-wanna-barf bad as the whole seasonal consumer-fest. I didn’t even hear the song, just found the lyrics. Man! And someone said this guy is hot? I can’t picture it in my mind, it jsut doesn’t add up. Sorry …

  • Janine Kloss

    Ok, so I’m not a blog experty kind of person (don’t know the protocols cause I don’t care)… I only read yours because I’ve met you, think your kind of awesome and we have one of my favorite things in common. So I jump on here when I can to read what I consider some very funny sh… er, stuff. However, what happened with your commenter situation got me all fired up. You have a situation where you’ve checked all the angles and you’re pretty darn sure you’ve been insulted. You point out said insult and like 99% of the voices agree with you, however, calling out the situation causes the inevitable “people are allowed to have their own opinions” situation. I think the subsequent comments are even WORSE and still you must be the bigger person since you write a blog? I think you handled it well. You were honest and nicer than I would have been. Aren’t you allowed to say, hey that sucked or even defend yourself? It’s not the disagreement. It’s the obviously rude way in which the disagreement is worded that bothered me. BTW, who the heck cares if you harbor violent thoughts or anger? Even if you did (which it doesn’t sound like you do)… are you not allowed to? Did you profess at some point that you are a saint and I missed it? This person is exactly what I don’t like about people (or at least online personalities) and I am proud of you because I woulda said, none of this is worth dealing with this one person and walked away. That’s how come I’d rather be a cranky hermit than a socialite!

  • Shan

    There are protocols?!? Dude, I’ve been blogging since 2003 and never heard such a thing. Granted, there was that five year hiatus… maybe that’s when it came out. By the time I returned everyone must have buried their manuals and forgotten about them. Well, obviously not everyone. There’s always SOMEONE with a manual at hand, and thank god for them or we might not be aware of the fricken rules.


    • Janine Kloss

      Haha, sorry I work in government and there are protocols for everything… I have no idea if there really are, but apparently some kind of blogging rules were in questin so I figured there must be protocols :p

      • Shan

        LOL, I work in public education. I know all about the protocols. We have manuals for our manuals, I’m pretty sure. And an online ethics test… er… “training” to go with it. Bah!

  • Tela

    rules are meant for breaking.

  • The UDG

    Um I love your dog. My resident scruffy faced terrier is also interested in getting to know him better as well. I told her at 2 she’s too young, she can wait another year.

    Also, I often relay what you write to my Maternal Unit, whom I consider to be the foremost authority on parenting (you should meet my brother the Middle Child). Her response is usually, and I quote, “Yeah that’s about right.” Keep up the good work.

  • Quiet Monsters

    #8! I can relate…have you seen this going around on facebook?

    “Jesus: Santa.
    Santa: Yes?
    Jesus: I’m sad.
    Santa: Why are you sad? It’s Christmas right? It’s your birthday!
    Jesus: .Yeah! That’s the point.
    Santa: Why?
    Jesus: Because whenever its Christmas the kids only wait for you and not me! They only celebrate Christmas because of you! Why Santa, why not Jesus?
    -Dec. 25 is for Jesus not for Santa. Re-post if You Believe in Jesus ! P.S He Knows You Looked ♥ -deny me in front your friends and I will deny you in front of my father….”

    Where to start? Jesus whining to an imaginary friend about his unpopularity? Jesus talking about himself in 3rd person? Santa being portrayed as zen-Gandhi dude?

    Like you, I get the sentiment, but man…who the hell makes this shit up? It rattles me.

  • Meg

    I also have an 8 year old Tibetan Spaniel who I love dearly. You’re right about their perpetual state of Zen, being good watch dogs and all around great friends. When I travel for work I miss him the most.

    There’s also a 9 year old and I cat. If I ever use the bathroom in private again I’m buying national ad time to anounce it so you’ll know.

  • Jess

    About a year ago I wrote a post, and got some very STRONG comments in response. And then I wrote a blog post responding to the responses, and it did not go well. At all. Like, really, really didn’t go well. I will so never do that again.

    And um, yeah. I went clothes shopping a few weeks ago, figuring that being 6 months postpartum I’d be less, uh, droopy. No. No, I’m not. Things are not pretty. I left with nothing. It’s just not FUN when you don’t like the way your body looks in anything. *sigh*