Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh, to have friends!

Julia, at Sometimes Lucid, gave me this lovely friendship award. She referred to it as a Beautiful Friendship Award. I think when she said "beautiful" she was referring to ME and or maybe both me and friendship.

It sounds weird to call all these people, who (whom?) I have never officially "met," friends. But when you read about what they are up to every day, see pictures of them and their families, know their children's and spouse's names (or at least their "blog" names) and more, you do end up with a 21st Century type of friendship. And it's fun.

The "rules" for this award are quite painless. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who can choose eight more and include this text into the body of their award. So here you go, you one blogger. Not because I can't come up with eight, but because I like all the bloggers I read. So I am being super selective today and picking ONE. Take the award and run with it. Or just wallow in the glory of being called "friend."

Georgie at Decisionally Challenged - there are times when I think Georgie and I have been separated at birth. Our love for iced tea will eventually bring us together for a tea brewing contest like you have never seen before.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Fragments

Is it finally Friday? This week has dragged on forever.  My husband even tried to put the trash out on Wednesday night, thinking it was Thursday and that Friday was just a few hours away.  Apparently, the week is dragging on for him, too!  So here we go, the drool of words that makes up Friday Fragments.  Visit Mrs. 4444 for more written drool.
  • Big E's blood tests were normal. All is well and it appears, he is just an alkaline kid. No acid trips for him.
  • It wouldn't be a day in public if I didn't piss off a mom. I seem to be on a roll for pissing off moms lately. CJ (again, it's him. He's been the one out of the three of my boys with that ornery twinkle in his eye...), Big E and I were in the waiting room at the doctor's office. CJ was playing with this musical toy, which he had sitting on a kid sized table. This little boy, who was about two, walked up to the table and tried to grab it. CJ slid it off the table and put it into his own lap so the kid couldn't touch it. I told him to share, but honestly, was too lazy to get up and make a big deal out of it and the little kid didn't really seem to care and instead started making googly eyes at Big E, who played back. His mom was busy checking in and I heard her call his name. When she was finished, she came over to get him and loudly said, "I need to teach you to fight back." Huh? Your kid was the one who was taking my kid's toy. And yes, my kid was being selfish, but "fighting back?"  I promise you, if the kid had been upset about CJ's selfishness, I would have made CJ share and give the kid a turn on the damn toy. Under the circumstances, though, I'm glad I didn't. That kid came around again and CJ did the same thing. I didn't say a word. I did smile very nicely at the mom, though.
  • Holy shit! I am about to break the 50 followers barrier. Do you guys see that? Unbelievable to me. Thanks to you all for following, coming back to visit on a regular basis and leaving comments! Like all bloggers, I LOVE COMMENTS! They are often much better than my posts!
  • Speaking of holy shit, I have written more than once about the traffic jam in my colon. I am improving in this area by drinking more water and adding some Fiber Sure to my "diet." In the last couple of days I have eaten big bowls of Cheerios and granola for dinner, hoping for it to do its magic overnight. BUT NOOOOOOO! Where was I on Wednesday (Ash Wednesday, hence the reason my shit was holy.) when it kicked in? Kroger. Doing my grocery shopping. We were in the baking aisle when I finally gave in and told CJ we were going to have to go to the restroom. He was happy because he decided he needed to pee. I nearly plowed over an elderly woman with my cart trying to get there before doing the dirty deed in my undies. Obviously, I have developed some trust with this public elimination room for I have now shat there twice. We must be forming a relationship because believe me, I will do anything not to use a public restroom.
  • Twice in the last few days I have blogged about poop. What's up with that? I'm not even having a shitty week. Ba-da-bum. I'm here all week!
  • I love this time of year when I start to notice the days are getting longer. I notice it EVERY YEAR because it means spring and summer are right around the corner.
  • Georgie is heading up a Love Dare program.  One of the dares was to ask your spouse/SO what three things irritate or make him/her uncomfortable.  I asked MG this and I am happy to say he had a hard time coming up with three.  He first said he has come to love the things that bug him and he just deals with it.  I didn't let that go.  Then he said "I am afraid this is just going to get me in trouble."  He finally came up with three and they weren't anything I haven't heard before or didn't expect.  He then asked me about the three things about him.  I could only come up with two.  The third one I just threw out there as something to wish for, but it doesn't really bother me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hair and food

Did that title get your attention?

Deb asked for a picture of my hair with my new hairdryer. Here it is. Please note, I did take a nap today, so it does not look nearly as good as it did prior to the bed head look. The good news, even though it is wet and warm today, IE: humid, my hair's biggest enemy, the frizz is staying away. Of course, the true test won't be until the 100 degree heat and 90% humidity hit this summer. So here's the hair. It's a little lopsided, but this will have to do. I think the next time I take a hair photo, I will get one of those fans the models use to make their hair blow and look sexy. Oh yeah, also a photo shop expert to give me perky boobs, no wrinkles, perfectly white teeth; you know, someone to make me look totally fake.

Now on to the food. There is no hair in my food, thankfully. But I did make this delicious soup this evening to take to a potluck.

Here's the recipe. You could make it a Friday Lenten meal by using vegetable broth and substitute wild rice for the chicken. I added a little bit of wild rice to my soup, but I burned most of it and only had a few salvageable grains!

Chicken and Mushroom Soup
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup each chopped onion, celery and carrot
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3 cups half-and-half cream
2-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a Dutch oven, saute the mushrooms, onion, celery and carrot in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually add the broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream, chicken, parsley, lemon juice and salt; heat through (do not boil).

Yield: 11 servings (2-3/4 quarts).

Weighing my options

I am not an indecisive person. I can easily choose "white or wheat?" and "sweet or unsweet?" I generally know what I want and how to get it, not that I am always ABLE to get it, but I know HOW to get it if I were able. Got it? Good.

So there was a 20% coupon for Ulta, where I got my hair dryer. I decided I would go back and buy the same hair dryer I had and then return it with the old receipt at the higher price, effectively meaning I bought it at the lower price. Got it? Good. The coupon clearly said I couldn't use it on previous purchases, so I decided I would outwit them. I'm sly that way.

Once I got there, I saw they had another Chi dryer with the same features as mine, but a different color and different "style" name. I asked the stylist about it and we ended up in a huge discussion about hair dryers. Then she tells me she doesn't like the Chi dryers because they only have one heat setting - H-O-T and it could burn someone's hair. That clearly explained why my hair was smoking the other day. Yes, it really was. I just thought it was that I had put some product on and then touched up an area with the dryer and the product was smoking, but indeed, I believe now it was my actual hair. Not to mention the couple of times I have been using the round brush and the air blew a little too long on my neck. OUCH! Unlike my hairstylist, I am not able to whip the brush and dryer around quite in the same manner as she is to keep the dryer moving and not burning. So I debated and read and looked at boxes and picked up and turned on a variety of dryers. CJ was runing around trying out all the different hair brushes asking me and anyone around "how's my hair-do?" I finally decided on one. This one is by Wigo and it has a high heat and a low heat setting, two speed settings and a cool shot (which the Chi also had). I have only used it this morning and I really like it. There was no smoking hair, so that's good, right? I used it on the high speed/low heat and it worked really well and there is no not as much frizz as with my drugstore hairdryer. It also is quite a bit lighter. You can turn the ions on, for smoother hair, or off for more body, which I.DO.NOT.NEED. This hairdryer was only $100.00, was on sale for $80 and I had my 20% off coupon. I can't find my camera or I would take a picture.  I think I will be taking back the Chi.

I forgot to warn my husband I went to Ulta. I had the hairdryer sitting on the stairs to be carried up to our bathroom. I heard him walking that way and then I heard him stop. The conversation went like this:

MG: "You bought ANOTHER hairdryer?"
Me: "Oh yeah, I meant to tell you before you saw it sitting there."
Me: "The other one makes my hair smoke and I thought that might be bad. And this one was cheaper and I had a 20% off coupon. I'm taking the other one back."
MG: Smile. I am fairly sure he will never know what to think about my eternal quest for beauty.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shits and giggles

I took Big E to the doctor yesterday to address some health concerns. Part of the exam included a urine test. His pH level in his urine came back pretty high. They then did a blood test to detemine if his kidneys are functioning properly. I should hear something today. Of course, I asked what all of this meant and most likely it would mean his body creates more alkaline than acids and he would have to take a med, if that's what the blood test reveals. To quote the doctor, "Basically, it's a prescription for acid." He then looked at me with a smile and said, "Not THAT kind of acid." Hhhmmm...what kind of mom does he think I am? Thankfully, I adore this doctor and he knows my sense of humor.

CJ was with us at the appointment and as the doctor was asking Big E questions, CJ just giggled. It went like this:

Doctor: "How often do you poop?"
CJ: giggle
Doctor: "Is it hard to poop?"
CJ: "He said 'poop'." giggle, giggle
Doctor: "Do you poop a big poop or do you shoot out little balls of poop?" (I told you the doctor is a funny guy!)
CJ: cracking up

Everytime CJ laughed, Big E tried to stifle a giggle or two of his own. My kids make me so proud.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jambalaya Recipe

I had a couple of requests for the recipe for Jambalaya, so here it is. I realized after I posted today that I have to work tonight and we will not be having Jambalaya for dinner and I won't have a picture of the delicious dish to post. I think this is a first since going to Mardi Gras in 1992!

2 tbsp. peanut oil, divided
1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
10 oz. Andouille sausage, slice into rounds
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz.) can crushed Italian tomatoes
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. hot pepper sauce (I use Tobasco)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. file’ powder
1 ¼ cups uncooked white rice (I use brown)
2 ½ cups chicken broth

Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the sausage and chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning. Saute sausage until browned. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and saute chicken pieces until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pot, saute onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic until tender. Stir in crushed tomatoes and season with red pepper, black pepper, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce and file’ powder. Stir in chicken and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sitr in rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

I follow this recipe, plus I add ½ - 1 lb. of shrimp. I saute it after the sausage and chicken. You can alter the red pepper flakes and the Tobasco for a hotter or milder version. This is good topped with parmesean cheese and served with sourdough or garlic bread and a salad.

Tuesday's Tribute: Fat Tuesday

Tuesday's Tribute
A Jay and Deb Production.
My first trip with my MG was to Mardi Gras in NOLA. It was 1992. We didn't go alone. We went with about 25 or so people. At that time, he was playing Ultimate Frisbee on a team that traveled regularly throughout the US for tournaments. So off we went with the players and their significant others. I have loved New Orleans ever since.

Our first day there we puttered around the city. The parades were just getting started and it was very tame, with the exception of seeing a guy laying on the ground after being shot or stabbed and hearing the police coming from off in the distance. Being that those days I was quite the drinker, I was more than thrilled to be able to carry my drink around with me from place to place. Funny thing, 16 years later I still love that about this city!

Our first day at the tournament, which took place in Baton Rouge, all I could think was "that partying city is there just for me and I am sitting here in a lawn chair watching these people run up and down a field throwing a frisbee." Karma is good and the next thing I know I hear my name. One of my roommates from college was in town, too, and she came there to find me and drag me to the French Quarter with her and her friends. It was a good day. I enjoyed all the debauchery that comes with Mardi Gras. I will leave it at that for fear of ruining my future political career. I don't even have many pictures because I was so drunk I managed to reload a roll of film (no digital cameras in those days!) and double expose what pictures I had taken. And those I do have are packed away in a photo box in the basement. I managed to get a photo of all of us gals with underwear (clean, I hope, but I can't guarantee it and I don't know where we got them) on our heads. Later in time, that photo literally brought life back into one of the women who was with us. She was in the hospital, trached and eventually put into a drug induced coma to force her body to rest itself to recovery, but when she received that picture from me, she said she couldn't help but laugh, even though it hurt, and it made her day.

I am not sure how I ever found my way back to my now husband late that night. I just remember hanging on a lamp post so I could see above the crowds on Bourbon St. and believe it or not, there he came walking down the street with his buddies.

We stayed through Fat Tuesday and all the big parades. It was a good thing when the time came for us to leave Mardi Gras and New Orleans, otherwise I was going to slither into the gutters due to all of the activities I had taken part in.

We had so much fun on that trip, that Big E's nursery was Mardi Gras colors. We have jambalaya on Fat Tuesday every year. (I have been told by a friend's husband that my jambalya is better than his wife's and she is FROM New Orleans! He made me promise to never tell her he told me that!). So Fat Tuesday, here you are again. I know I will be celebrating!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy.

Adlibby gave me a f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s award just in time for the Oscars! 

First, I have to list five things I am addicted to:
  1. Sleep
  2. Sea salt and vinegar potato chips
  3. Iced tea
  4. Hair products (The ooey-gooey and/or spray kind, like cleaning and styling products and the kind you plug in, like hair dryers and flat irons!)
  5. Television
And now I have to link to five blogs that I think are FAB.  Here they are:
  1. Amy Amy Bo Bamey at Life of a Nguyener (Win-ner) 
  2. Sassy at Well, okay Sassy Britches!
  3. Lee at Moms Without Blogs
  4. Rose and Jill at Delightfully Inappropriate
  5. Crazy Charm at Because the crazy is all part of the charm...
So go check them out!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Movie frenzy

As I have mentioned a couple of times, yesterday I attended all five movies that were nominated for the Academy's Best Picture Award. We had so much fun! We had free popcorn and drinks all day. I would never have guessed that 12 hours of movie watching would make me so tired! And my ass and hips? They are SORE. One of my friends said she was sure she had bed sores for sitting so long. Some people brought blankets and pillows, which I should have done so I could have slept/rested through the movies I had already seen. Instead, for two of those movies, some of us skipped out to go out to eat. The cool thing was, the theater was allowing you to go out and get food to bring in, so we saw a lot of Dewey's Pizzas, burritos from a local restaurant, salads, pastas and people with coolers. It was a very festive event and the place was packed full. In between movies they had a local DJ doing Oscar trivia and giving out door prizes. I really enjoyed the two movies I had not seen yet which were The Reader and Frost/Nixon. On the way home we were already talking about next year and how to plan better! We think we might even invite our hubbies to join us. Isn't that nice of us?


A friend of mine from childhood/high school (really, almost forever!), who lives in LA, owns an ice cream shop called Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato in Manhattan Beach. They have been nominated for Best Ice Cream and Best Yogurt and would like your vote! For you So Cal readers, if you have been to their store or would like to check it out and vote, go here (then click on Best of the Beach in the left yellow column and select Glacier in the dropdown menu for the ice cream and the yogurt category). They are also on the "hot list" for in City Wide polls.

They also have shops in the Denver/Boulder area if you want to check out that store and vote for the LA store! Or if you have never been and just want to take my word for it that they are awesome! go ahead and vote.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Installing a husband

While I am off to my movie marathon, I thought you might enjoy the following:

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as
· NBA 5.0
· NFL 3.0 and
· Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?



First, keep in mind,
· Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package while
· Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Please note that Beer 6. 1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend: Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck Babe!

Tech Support

(While I wish I was creative enough to have written this, I did not. I received it in an e-mail.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Fragments

My disorganized self is loving Friday Fragments this week, because I don't seem to be able to put a single thought together into one coherent anything.  Visit Mrs. 4444 for others like me.

Wednesday was the first day of the car drop off line. Unfortunately, Crazy Mama goes in the morning, so I didn't get the joy of watching her WALK her precious daughter from the distant parking lot IN THE RAIN. Maybe I should go sit out there one cold, blustery morning and get a photo to post.

Just like I have been unable to blog much about Octomom/Octopussy due to not being able to control my rage, I have not made much mention of Senator Burris confessing AFTER his statements at Blagojevich's impeachment trial that "oh yeah, by the way, I did talk to Gov. Blagjevich's brother about fundraising and also the Senate seat." What an ass. Did he forget this all important tidbit until after he had been confirmed? Does he think we are idiots? I am starting to believe that all politicians think we, the "average" Americans, are brainless and actually believe their stupid lies. Just because they have convinced themselves their lies are truth doesn't mean the rest of us are that gullible. Apparently, however, our Congress is gullible, because those ding-dongs approved the guy. Even I knew there was something fishy. I can't believe these are the ass hats who are running our country. Ok, I think my blood pressure stayed within the normal range.

I can't get shit done around my house.

Saturday is the movie "marathon" day. All five Oscar nominated best movies in one day. First movie starts at 10:30AM and the last movie starts at 9:45PM. We are skipping the first movie (we have seen it) to go to brunch and skipping out on part of another movie we have seen to squeeze in a quick dinner. I keep threatening to wear my PJs so I will be very comfortable all day and evening.  Visit Best Picture Showcase for AMC Theaters to see if this is showing near you.  There was NO advertising of this in our area, we just knew about it ahead of time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some mom is blogging about me today...

Today, CJ and I went to playgroup with our playgroup friends at the new McDonald's playground. They tore down the old McD's and built a brand new one across the street. We were there for breakfast AND lunch. The kids were having too much fun and the moms were enjoying the conversation and being able to let the kids roam freely.

As we were gathering up to leave, I went to tell CJ he had a few minutes before it was time to go. The one area of the playground has these large musical instruments, very cartoon like, that you climb, jump and slide on. When the weight of your body is on them, the instrument makes the sound it's supposed to and with repeated jumps, movement, etc. you can put together a "song." You get the picture.

Anyway, CJ wanted to go down the slide two more times, which was fine with me. This slide is about 3ft. tall at the highest point and looks like an organ. When you slide down the slide part, painted to look like a keyboard, it sounds like when you strum your fingers from one side of a keyboard to the other.

When I went back to get him some mom is walking towards me and she says, "Is that little boy yours?"
Me: "The one in the red shirt?"
Her: "Yes."
Me (knowing this is not going to go well): "Yes."
Her: "Well he just pushed my little girl right off the slide."
Me: "Oh, I'm sorry." And while not on purpose, but I think it was subconscious, my apology sounded very insincere. She picked up on that.
Her: "Well, I just thought you would want to know."
Me: "OK." Again, not so sincere.

At this point, all I could think was, "are you really tattling on a five year old?" If that was me, I would have told the kid who pushed mine not to do it again. Then, if it happened again/repeatedly, I would find the parent or I would have told the kid to go play somewhere else. She said it only happened one time. And it must have been quick, because I had my eye on him the majority of the time.

As we were leaving, her and another mom were chatting and glaring at me while one of the moms I was with was cracking up. I think this woman wanted me to give him a public whipping - you know, like the ones criminals get in Singapore. What I really wanted to say to her was "She looks fine. This can be a rough place." Obviously, if I had seen this happen, I would have been all over him. But I have been parenting long enough to know that one parent's interpretation of "being pushed off the slide" is very diffferent from another.

When we got in the car, I asked CJ about it and he admitted right to it. So I asked him why he did it.
CJ: "Because she was taking too long to go down the slide."
Me: "You don't get to push people when that happens. You should have told her it was her turn and people are waiting. If that didn't work, you could have gotten down and come to get me or her mom."
Me: "You could have hurt her."
CJ: "I know."
Me: "I don't like it when you do that. Her mom didn't like it that you could have hurt her and she told me about it. I would rather hear about you being nice."
CJ: "She probably wouldn't tell you about that."
Me: "About what?"
CJ: "About me being nice. She wouldn't bother to tell you if I was nice."
Me: "You're right. People don't usually point out nice. So when I am not hearing about your behavior, I know you are being nice. Therefore, I don't want to hear about it."

Not really the public lashing the mom had hoped for when tattling, but so be it. So, if you read a blog today about an incompetent, lazy mom at McDonald's who lets her kid physically assault the other kids on the playground, it's probably me she is talking about. Oh yeah, and let me know, because I would like to hear her version of the story!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What won't you blog about?

I have seen this discussed on a few occasions lately and even had a commenter say to me not too long ago, "Your husband must not read your blog."

So here are my blog rules that I have set for myself. I don't blog about anything regarding my husband or our relationship, our families, and so on, that I haven't said or wouldn't say to him. I follow the same rules when discussing him with friends. I have a few friends who will say something about their husbands, husband's or own family, etc. and then they say "Don't tell him that I said that" or "Don't tell him we talked about this" or they will whisper their conversation if their husband is within hearing distance. I don't do that. There isn't a whole lot I wouldn't say to my husband if I thought it or felt it. He actually appreciates the fact that I discuss some of my frustrations, issues and pissy moments regarding him, his and my family, with friends because that means I am not screaming at him about it. I assure you, though, if I am bitching to you about it, he has already gotten an earful. It's not anything cruel or vicious, it just may not be the nicest discussion in the world. But I say it, he says it and we don't need to tippy toe around each other in regards to venting to one another or to others. And that's how it ends up on my blog. If it's not MG discussed/to be discussed, you won't be reading about it here and you won't be hearing me talk about it.

As for my kids, I won't blog about anything that would be overly embarrassing to them. I won't out them on anything they wouldn't most likely share with their friends or extended family. They deserve some privacy. I will blog about silly things they say or do, which may be a LITTLE embarrassing for them, but not to the point of them crawling in a corner.

As for friends, I don't blog about them much except for fun and good things. I don't really have negative things to blog about them and if I did, I wouldn't.

As for in-laws, parents, siblings, acquaintances and people I pass on the street - that's a free for all. I (assume) they are not reading and if they are, it's not because I invited them here (with the exception of one of MG's sisters) and they will either have to deal with what they read or stop reading. If you have followed me for very long, you know I had this situation recently and changed my blog address and went somewhat incognito. I guess it worked, but I probably won't ever know for sure since when I did find out about it a couple of months ago, it was by accident. They had been reading for over a year without comments or a shout out that they stumbled upon my blog. (Although my husband is pretty sure my MIL, yes HIS mother, left the comment that led to this response.)

So those are my guidelines. What guidelines do you have, if any?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Blog Frog

At the request of a loyal reader, I have been asked to explain The Blog Frog. So instead of explaining it in my words, which would result in total confusion for you, I have copied the description directly from them. Here it goes:

TheBlogFrog turns your blog into a social blog. When you are a member of the BlogFrog, you can install "Social Add-ons" to make your friends a part of your blog. You can install the Recent Visitors Add-on and it will show a picture of your friend when they visit your blog. The Chat Wall Add-on let's your friends send you notes, or you can use it to write a mini-blog post. The News Feed Add-on will tell you when your friends have posted and what they're talking about on their Chat Wall. TheBlogFrog is also a personal blog directory. It helps you find blogs by High School, College, Email, and more. TheBlogFrog can even suggest bloggers you probably know, just by looking at your blog.

Some of the widgets on TheBlogFrog displays paid promotions on its widgets. The revenue from these promotions keep TheBlogFrog running. To thank you for displaying these promotions, TheBlogFrog will donate 25% of proceeds generated to the charity you choose. You can chose the Make A Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society, UNICEF, Conservation Fund and American Humane Association.
I guess I use it more as a newtworking kind of thing, hoping to get a little PR for my blog. I don't really use the "socializing" part, but many of my bloggy friends aren't on The Blog Frog so I can't socialize via the BF anyway. In this respect, it's kind of like Facebook for Bloggers. I do like to see the little avatars of Sassy at Sassy Britches, and Dzzblnd at Soggy-Doggy-Bloggy, though, so I know they have visited! Though I am not sure why it says she hasn't been here for seven days, because I know for a fact she was a visiting just today!

Join up at The Blog Frog and we can connect!

Tuesday's Tribute: The Learning Coach

She makes me laugh, she feeds me, she goes shopping with me and vice versa. Her husband is a lot of fun, too. I should also point out, she IS a little older than I am (I am just throwing that in there for her, she is not that much older than me).

Really, though, instead of focusing on just her, I would like to focus on her work. She is a Learning Coach and she specializes in helping mostly children, but also has young and older adults, who are spatial, kinesthetic and visual learners who are having difficulty reading. This often presents itself as dyslexia, but many other times there are other challenges involved, such as an autism spectrum disorder, ADD/ADHD and more. She loves this work and provides a wonderful service to the clients she serves. She is trained in the Davis Method and to hear her talk about it is really fascinating. It is a non-traditional approach but makes total sense, especially to someone like me who is a stronger visual learner than I am an auditory learner. Her ability to teach these people involves patience, patience and more patience. Something I.DO.NOT.HAVE, at least not at the level she needs. She has quite a few success stories and I admire what she does.

Now I will throw in a plug for her blog and her business. I am in the process of helping her get a blog up and running. She hopes this blog becomes a resource and tool for parents and/or anyone else who is searching for answers to their reading challenges. Though it is VERY early in it's stages, you can check it out here: The Learning Coach.

So here's to you, Lorraine, and all the great work you do!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Life's Lessons

Sometimes when I write posts like the one I wrote on Saturday, I think, "You readers must think I don't like anyone." I can assure you, that is not true. But I can also say I don't automatically like people. In the past, I have judged too quickly and have probably missed out on knowing some really great people. I have struggled with this forever. There are many characteristics I have a hard time getting along with, including people who are high maintenance, overly sensitive, fake, bubbly for no reason, those who don't hesitate to tell you about how they have the "best" ________(best husband, best children, best house, best schools, best parents, blah, blah, blah...). I could go on. I also know that when I do make friends with someone, I am loyal and dedicated. There is almost nothing I won't do for them (However, I do draw the line at cleaning your house if you have surgery or other difficulties. I hate that job and I won't do it. I will, however, pay for someone else to do it! I have also been known to fill the freezers of friends in need with yummy, homemade meals!)

I realized this many years ago and have made a conscious effort to not allow myself to fall into this judgemental trap anymore. The story goes like this.

It was approximately 10 years ago, a friend of Chris's was killed. Andy was riding his bycicle on a rural road in Columbus and a car hit him and drove away, resulting in his death. I am the first to admit, Andy was one of my least favorite people ever. He was a foul-mouthed, offensive, pot head drunk. Honestly, it was his crude behavior that I disliked the most. The rest of it I could handle. I don't ever remember a time where I thought I might actually like him. I hesitated going to his funeral under these circumstances but decided to go to support my husband and our friends. Andy's mother gave the eulogy. It was beautiful. Granted, she is his mother and she may not have known the Andy that I did, but at one point, I received a "slap" in the face. I realized I did not know the Andy that SHE did. What did I miss? What if I didn't give him the chance to show his true self to me or I chose to ignore it because of my initial judgement? At that very moment in time, I promised myself not to do that anymore. To give everyone I meet more leniency, to not be so harsh, so quick to determine who they are.

You know what the result of that one conscious decision has been? I have met some really neat people. I have made wonderful friends, who, in the past, I would have totally blown off after that first introduction. I don't force myself to like people. I wouldn't do that to myself or another person. I also realize there are many people out there who don't like me. But I am thankful for my "aha" moment. Otherwise I would have been very lonely when we moved from Ohio to the Kansas City area in 2004. I would have shunned a lot of people because of my quick and often snotty judgements. Instead, I opened my mind and my heart and I met some of the most wonderful friends I could ever have. Now that we are back in Ohio and I meet new people on a regular basis, I constantly remind myself to not judge. I have met some neat people here, too. I do still meet people, who after several interactions with them, I just don't like or care to spend time with. But at least I know I didn't make that decision based on one encounter.

So with my rather serious entry for today, I leave you with a rather funny video. This drug would be perfect for those "overly bubbly" people who drive me nuts. It's less than two minutes and IT.IS.DAMN. FUNNY. (You'll need to pause the music.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Percicillin (pronounced 'perk-i-cill-in')

What is this mysterious percicillin? Well, I'll tell you. Percicillin, or a similar type of drug, is what the medical professionals need to concoct if people like me are to remember to "complete all meds, even after illness improves."

There is really no incentive for me to take my antibiotics once I start feeling better. While I am feeling bad, I can't wait to take them and make whatever nastiness, in my case recently, strep throat, go away. As soon as the symptoms are gone, the ability to remember the meds is gone. Therefore, I think the doctors should add a little "perk" to the antibiotics, as in percoset (or vicodin or valium or demerol or morphine or phentynol ... well you get the idea). Now THAT would make me look forward to taking my meds and I would definitely take them until they are gone.

(Thanks to my friend, Christine, for coming up with this new drug. I was saying I wanted an added perk to my amoxicillin and she coined this term. She also has an active love affair with all things pharmaceutical.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Do you know what the word "volunteer" means?

I volunteer, a lot. I have talked about how I don't volunteer for much that involves other people's children. (See #2, #3 and #4.) This means I am not the "go to" person to help out at a classroom party for crafts or games. I am happy to serve food or bring whatever, but please don't ask me to be directly involved with kids who are not my own and may not even be friends of my own children. There really are other folks who are much better suited for the job. (I actually had to tell this to the head of our Children's Ministries department at church so she would NOT ask me again to teach Sunday School. Funny thing was, she started laughing and said, "I totally understand!")

The room mom of Sous Chef's class is a very sweet woman and I don't envy that job. I have done it before and it sucks. We have commiserated in the past about what a crappy role that is. She called me last week about the class's Valentine's Day party. I told her I couldn't really be on the list to help because I was grading papers for Big E's teachers and then I would not be able to stay at the party long because I would have to leave to pick up CJ at preschool. Basically, I could only be at the one hour party for about 30 minutes. She told me if I just wanted to stop in and check it out that was fine and she would not put me on the list.

As it turned out, I forgot CJ didn't have school on Friday. (I think maybe Crazy Mama - read about her here and here - convinced them it was too dangerous for her princess to be in school on Friday the 13th and instead took her to their monthly Witch's Meeting.) Anyhoo, I decided to go to the party. There were, not including the room mom, three or four, maybe five, other moms and then a mom and dad there. The mom and dad were sitting with their daughter and conveniently left as things started really winding up. I let the room mom know I could help, so she gave me THE CRAFT. Fuck. It was me and another mom and I needed a quick training session to figure out how to make the damn thing. Then we were off. I eventually look up to see my co-helper is gone and chatting it up with the other moms. One other mom, besides the room mom, was actually doing something. The rest? Chatting, yacking, laughing. Basically, having happy hour in the corner of the room. Oh, they were MORE THAN willing to help their own precious darlings, but I guess the rest of the kids were persona non grata. One little girl at my table didn't listen to my instructions, and, well, quite honestly, it's one thing to have your own kid not pay attention, but when someone else's doesn't pay attention, that is downright irritating. The result, of course, was that she screwed up her craft. It couldn't be fixed and so I said, "I'm sorry, that can't be fixed and we only have enough for one craft per child, so you will have to work around the mistake." I was very nice about this, I promise. Next thing I know, one of the Chatty Mamas, obviously belonging to this little girl, swoops in and tries to fix the problem. "Hey bitch, where were you when I was trying to help eight kids with this? If you had been helping out then instead of ordering your next cocktail, your daughter wouldn't need your "swoop" right now!"

Ok, so not only do I prefer not to be surrounded by 23 children who are not my own, I apparently don't really care for their mothers, either.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Fragments

Yikes, how can it possibly be that each week I can come up with so much scattered jibberish?  Visit Mrs. 4444 to check out other Friday Fragments.
  • Thanks to everyone for their kind words on my attempt at beauty.  Now go out and buy yourself a salon quality hair dryer.  You won't be disappointed.
  • Octomom is nuts.  I have heard others refer to her as Octopussy, but I am just too much of a lady to use that kind of name calling. (OK, maybe not.)  If she gets any more air time from NBC I am going to have a fit.  If she gets a reality TV show, I promise to boycott whatever channel that airs that nutjob .  I can't believe I haven't written an entire post on her, but honestly, I don't even know where to start and I am afraid my blood pressure would rise to the point that my blood vessels would explode, leaving a bloody mess all over my office. 
  • I hope Octomom's infertility doctor is revealed to be the quack I think he must be.  However, I don't need to hear the entire process of discovering he's a quack.  Just investigate and then let the public know the final results in a summary of it all.
  • I recently purchased a ticket to go see the five Oscar nominated best movies all in one day.  A small group of us are going.  The first movie starts at 10:00AM and the last one starts at 9:45PM.  I have already seen three of the movies.  I am definitely looking forward to seeing The Reader, which I haven't seen yet.
  • My husband and I went to see Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood.  Honestly, I think that is the best movie I have seen of my recent movie going frenzy.  It was nothing like I thought it would be and I really would like to see it again.  So many good lessons in that one.
  • I know there is a recession, but I do believe most people in my neck of the woods are in denial with me.  MG and I went out to dinner prior to seeing Gran Torino.  We ate at Maggiano's - an Italian chain restaurant (We usually avoid chains, but it was at the mall and then we could walk to the movie.  We also had a gift card.).  We got there about 5:45 on a Saturday and there was a two hour and 15 minute wait.  HELLO?  I thought people were cutting back?  Apparently not, or maybe they are no longer dining at $100+ restaurants and have cut back to the $50 restaurants.
  • Did you see I am up to 37 followers?  Welcome everyone!  Check out the followers and go visit them if you haven't "met" them before.

Remember way back when...

Deb at Dirty Socks & Pizza is doing a First Post Friday where everyone lists their first post so readers can see where you are coming from.  I debated whether or not to participate because I didn't want to embarrass myself, but then decided, what the hell.  Lord knows, I have SO many other reasons to be embarrassed that this doesn't even really hit the radar.  So here it is.  It totally explains why I didn't have any followers for a very long time!  Oh and come back later for my Friday Fragments.  I hope they will be a little more entertaining than my First Day.

First Day
Well, at the encouragement of a friend, I have decided to start a blog. I have really enjoyed reading hers and keeping up to date with her via her blog. Now I can ramble on here and I won't be driving my friends crazy with my e-mails. I recently moved from Kansas to Ohio and I have been keeping my friends in KS up to date on my OH adventures, if you want to call them that. Now they can read at their leisure, or in some cases, maybe not read at all. They have a choice though, without me showing up in their inbox!

Today I made plans to have a woman from my mom's group come over on Thursday with her 7 yr. old. I have not met either of them, but I am trying to get to know people and find kiddos for my kids to play with. She extended an offer early on when we needed some friends and we are finally getting together. That's all for now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You asked for it ... price of beauty update.

There were lots of requests for pictures so here they are.  Before you go on though, let me say that hair dryer was worth every penny.  I blew my hair dry today in ten minutes and did NOT need a flat iron to smooth out anything after blowing it dry.  Some Sebastian styling hair stuff (on wet hair), a hairdryer, a round brush, a paddle brush and some Graham Webb Styling Paste (on dry hair) was all it took.  This may not seem like a big deal to you and you may be thinking, "Yeah, right.  Any ol' hair dryer will do."  I am telling you, prior to this hair dryer, my hair looked like this when I was done blowing it dry:

Ok, my hair isn't blonde, but you get the idea.

Today, it looked like this after blowing it dry (That's CJ.  He wanted his picture taken, too!):
Big E took this picture and our camera is sucky if you aren't in really good light  You can't even tell the wall is chocolate brown!  (The white above my head is chair railing.)  But you can see my hair is NOT frizzy, puffy or big (unfortunately, I can't say the same about my face!).  All without a flat iron.

Here are my products that I purchased. This is what $165 (including tax) can get you at Ulta!  The hairdryer is an Ultra Chi by Chi.  It's currently on sale for $129.95.  I also use a Chi flat iron (although now that I have this awesome hair dryer, I will be using it a lot less!) and would not use any other flat iron on my hair.  I love it so much, I actually have two of them!  It is also a little pricey ($150 or so), but as I discovered from trying some lower end flat irons, just like with the hair dryer, buying a high quality one does make a difference!

Oops, I forgot to rotate the picture.  Sorry.
So their you have it.  The price of ATTEMPTING beauty defined in pictures.

The price of beauty.

I wish I knew the actual price for beauty.  I can tell you the price of ATTEMPTING beauty and it ain't cheap. 

Today I went to Ulta to use a reward gift certificate I got and to check out some hair accessories.  Now that my hair is longer and I can pull it up, I thought I would look at some cute hair puller uppy things.  I ended up buying none of those and actually wanted to go screaming from the aisle.  Some of those hair puller uppy things look very S&M.  I was too overwhelmed.  So I went for two things - hair accessories and a free product.  I was now down to one, and it would be free.

What did I end up with?  A somewhat pricey hairdryer (not $300 pricey like one they had, but over $100 pricey).  My hair stylist swears the "salon" dryers are truly better than my drugstore hair dryer, so I figure I would buy one like hers.  We'll see what happens.  They also have tons of fun makeup and I ended up with some new blush and eyeshadow.  And the clincher, let me tell you, was the lipstick.  I have searched my entire life for a wonderful red lipstick.  Every time I buy one, even when it looks good on me in the store, it turns out to be too brown or too orange or too fuschia/purple/pink.  Too something and not enough red.  I have never been able to find a true red, at least not one that looked like a true red on me.  Today, I noticed that their store brand lipstick had some new shades, so I checked them out.  Their store brand makeup is decent, especially for every day wear.  So I pulled out Moroccan Red with almost no hope it would be what I wanted.  I put some on my hand and out of my mouth came a little yelp of joy.  I kept looking at it.  Could it be?  Is this it?  Have I found the red shade of lipstick I have been searching for since birth?  My sweet lord, I have!

So I skipped out of the store with $165 less than I had when I went in.  I was clutching a new hair dryer to make my hair shine and not frizz/curl/puff; red lipstick that will actually make my smile red (ok, so I am a little late for the Go Red campaign day from Feb. 6), cool eyeshadow and some new Bare Minerals blush.  That is the price of my latest attempt at beauty.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dog for Sale

Free to good home. Excellent guard dog. Owner cannot afford to feed him anymore, as there are no more drug pushers, thieves, murderers, or molesters left in the neighborhood for him to eat.

Most of them knew him as 'Holy Shit.'.

PS - I don't know this woman or this dog.  My mom sent this to me via e-mail and who knows where she got it from.

I need answers!

I have a couple of pressing questions that I just need to know the answers to or else ... well, reality is nothing will happen if I don't know the answers, but I might sleep better if I DO know the answers.

My first question is in regards to The Bachelor.  Where do the bachelorettes go when they haven't been given a rose?  I assume they don't go home right away and back to their life or else everyone around them would know they were not the "chosen one."  Imagine if that got out in the news - the entire show would be a bust (Not that it isn't already a train wreck, but I just can't look away.  That post will have to wait for another time.).  They must go somewhere until the taping of the show is complete.  So where do they go?  Where are they sequestered?  Is it one big party there or do they continue to cat fight and scratch each other's eyes out over who is the fairest of them all even though they are all rejects?

My next big question is in regards to the Octo Mom.  I fell asleep last night during the interview/re-interview.  I really didn't want to watch it at all but was too lazy to find the remote.  (MG is out of town and CJ and I have been sleeping in my room.  The remote was twisted up in the blankets somehwere.)  She said originally she was not receiving any type of public aide and then I saw somewhere that her mom said she receives food stamps and two or three of her kids receive income due to disabilities.  I did see the part of the conversation where Octo Mom talked about working and saving money, blah, blah, blah.  What I want to know - how much did those lips cost?  Did that money come out of the work money or the public aide money?  Did you buy those before you had kids or after?  I could go on and on about what I think of this crazed woman, but I am guessing many of you feel the same way, so I won't.  I just really want to know where she got the lips...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: Man noises

My husband is like a one man band in the mornings. First, it's the shower - farting, blowing his nose (yes, IN the shower), coughing and hacking while he uses his Neti Pot. I swear, it sounds like there are ten people in there with him. If all men are this noisy in the shower, I can't even imagine what a men's locker room shower must sound like. Or is it just my husband? Do the rest of you have husbands who sound like this or do they quietly shower each morning? Do they make noises that I have not already mentioned?

Then there's the kitchen in the morning. I am usually on the couch and I will get to that next. He measures and pours his coffee beans, which sounds like rolling marbles across a metal floor. Then he grinds them. Grind. Shake. Grind some more. Then he fills his coffee maker with water and generally fails to turn off the faucet to the point where it won't drip. DRIP. DRIP. DRIP.

I hinted about being on the couch. More often than not, I end up there. He is a noisy sleeper. The noises that emit from this man's orifices can be scary. He snores and/or makes this "puh, puh" noise, among other sound effects. I end up on the couch or if I am really tired, I just start out there so I don't have to make the move in the middle of the night. The result is at least I don't have to hear the one man shower band if I am on the couch in the morning and I just wake up to the one man kitchen band.

Don't get me wrong. I love my husband and I have more than learned to live with these sounds. In fact, I have come to enjoy expect them. When he is out of town, I actually miss it a little. I am so used to the cacophony of his one man band that it is just too quiet when he is away. I think he should start his own one man body band version of the Broadway show Stomp.

Monday, February 9, 2009

There are some days when I need this...

Mama Drama, Season Finale

For parts 1 and 2 go here. Part 1 is at the bottom, Part 2 is the top entry.

Well, Crazy Mama had the school all abuzz. The car drop-off line will proceed! Yay! It is no longer mandatory, which was what she claims to have had her panties in a wad about. However, anyone who can read between the lines really knows it's about her not wanting to admit her child is able to function without her mama and that only she, as the mama, is qualified to get her girl to class safe and sound. The "walk-in" moms, though, will have to park in a separate parking lot and take a sidewalk around the church to get to the preschool door so they are not trying to walk in between the cars in the car line. That will be wonderful for them when the rainy spring days hit! I will be waving from the driver's side of my very dry vehicle.

The school sent out a two page memo explaining this whole damn process. However, I am fairly sure when they started this "drop-off line" discussion, at the request of some parents, they had no idea Crazy Mama and others like her were lurking in their parking lot and loitering around the halls. The memo explained they were looking for ways in which to best serve the preschool families, that the drop-off line benefits parents, children and teachers; that the board and administration is responsible for making the decisions that affect daily policy and procedures and they are not required to get parent approval. I really liked that part and I'm sure Crazy Mama went berzerk over this one. "What? You are going to make a decision that impacts me and my daughter and not ask me first? Not verify that new policies and procedures won't rock my world? And that of my daughter?" I was happy to see they also pointed out that the most children coming into the building at one time is 42 kids and that we only have THREE classrooms. Crazy Mama tried to say there were SIX classrooms and 12-14 kids per class. That's the equivalent of 72-84 kids at school. Gee, math challenged are you, Crazy Mama? Proof that this woman is quite the drama queen.

The clincher was the final paragraph pointing out that the school directory is to provide social connections for play dates, car pools, etc. It is not intended to provide an open forum to discuss preschool staff, board members, children or policies. All questions should be directed to the director or board members. There Crazy Mama, you have been bitch slapped! And I think she owes me an apology for interrupting my day with her whiney-ass concerns. Maybe I should take that to the board. Request Crazy Mama and her high maintenance kid be kicked out of the school because she did not follow the rules and she did not first confirm with all of us that we wanted her crazy ass e-mails.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Craig's List - Be afraid, be very afraid...

On Saturday, we listed one of our vehicles on Craig's List. I don't know how much or what kind of experience you have with Craig's List, but I am kind of a Craig's List virgin. I don't really like buying other people's stuff and I prefer to just give my stuff away and write it off on taxes than to mess with uploading information and pictures, fielding calls and/or e-mails, and then having strangers come to my home.

Saturday changed that. We have two cars, a mini-van and a motorcycle. We only have two people in our house who drive. This car really has served its purpose with this family and needs to move on to a home where it will be used for spare parts loved and nurtured. Thanks to the fine German engineering of this car, it has truly lasted forever.  So I listed it on Craig's List. Within a couple of hours of listing it, we had one phone call and two e-mails in response to our ad. Man, there are some crazies out there. Here is the first e-mail:

Hello there, How are you doing over there, please i will like to know if your named item above is still available for sale, i am interested in buying it, take care of your self and i hope to read from you soon.

Now everywhere in Craig's List when you register and receive e-mails it warns you about avoiding scams, deal locally, watch out for cashiers checks, money orders, escrow, shipping, etc. This particular e-mail immediately says "Run, run away!" especially since the phone number the guy left was for Colorado and we live in Ohio. I only answered to him that yes, the car is still available. His next response:

Thanks for the prompt response, i want you to know that i am ok with the price and i will love to make an instant purchase,so pls do withdraw the advert from Craigslist,i don't mind adding an extra $50 dollars for you to take the advert down from criagslist so that i can be rest assured that am in hand of the car. I will want you to choose out of this mode of payment via check or Money Order and it will be over night payment due to the distance .You dont need to bother your self with the shipment ok,i will take care of that**Once again, I will like you to know that you will not be responsible for shipping.i will have my shipping agent come over as soon as you confirm the payment. take care.

So at this point I respond with, "This is a cash only transaction. If you would like to have your agent make the cash payment in person, that can be arranged."

And that "interested" buyer was nothing compared to this e-mail:

i just got layed off want to trade i have a brand new 3 week old smith and wess 460v...purchased just before i got the boot from work..low ball from gun broker. i need a car bad mine is getting repoed now since i cant afford to pay it and i have 3 kids.

Uh-huh, like I want to trade my car for your murder weapon. What's up with that? My luck, we would end up with a gun, that we don't need or want, and then when we go to register it, we would be arrested on the spot for some unsolved murder. No thanks! And having worked in the automotive finance industry (granted, it was in Human Resources, but I still know a little about automotive financing!), your car doesn't get repoed two weeks after you lose a job. You have to miss many payments and avoid a lot of phone calls before they come for your car, so this guy should not have bought that nice, expensive gun to start with considering he was already late on his payments. I am going to go back through the local news and see if any repo men have been shot by a Smith & Wesson recently.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Parade for Tuesday

Today is the day to honor and celebrate the life of Tuesday Whitt. The blogging community, thanks to Lee and Em (visit either of them to join the parade), are hosting a virtual parade to show our love and support for this family as they host their own wagon parade for Tuesday today. We are posting pictures of parents and children having fun, riding in wagons, and doing other fun things together. May this family feel the strength of this wonderful blogging world!

My pictures may seem a little odd, because it's really just us BEING, not us DOING. But I can tell you, what you are about to see may be the most important family tradition we have. The family sleepover. We do this every Friday and most Saturdays. We make our beds in the family room, among all the toys, tossed aside clothes, newspapers, magazines and more. We are always looking for a reason to have a family sleepover - snow days, school holidays, school delays, summer ... the list goes on. So look between the mess and see that this tradition is one that, I have no doubt, our kids will carry on into their parenting years. MG took these pictures last night.

Awards and such

Thanks to because the crazy is all part of my charm... for my most recent award! Check her out.

"This award acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write. Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It's a way to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."

Obviously, it doesn't say my effort is to transmit POSITIVE cultural, ethical, literary or personal values, because if it did, the Academy would revoke this award faster than I can say "THANKS!"
Now to pass it on:

Adlibby - She's funny and she's from my previous living location!
Can't Hardly Wait - Her tagline is "If you were me, you'd be excited to get belligerantly drunk every once in a while, too." We were almost neighbors.
Dirty Sox and Pizza - She will keep you rolling, especially when she does videos explaining things like why her kitchen cabinets are missing glass.
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit... - She comes out from under rock on occasion to check out what's going on in the world. Check out her Friday's Food for Thought and other entries for enlightening material.
Please hesitate to ask... - She will keep you up to date on things like "throw away dresses" and high heeled shoes for babies. Plus she is a friend of mine from WAY before blogs.

Really, I could include all the blogs I read, because if I didn't think they rock, I wouldn't be reading them!  So go check these people out! What are you waiting for - GO!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Fragments

Can you believe it's Friday already? I can. It's been a long, sickly week and I am happy to finally have my razor blade on-fire sore throat under control. Since it's Friday, that can only mean one thing. FRIDAY FRAGMENTS. This is the day for me to try to get those thoughts that are constantly swirling around my cluttered brain put into words and then flowing out my fingers onto the keyboard and into this blog. Visit Mrs. 4444 for people just like me.
  • First and foremost, if you have not checked out the Join the Parade link for Tuesday and the Whitt Family, either through my blog or another blog, please do so! Join the celebration, post your pictures on your site and submit your link to MWOB or Life, Liberty and the Pursuit... If you don't have a blog and want to share some pictures here, just e-mail them to me (e-mail available through my profile) and I will put them here and let everyone know they belong to you!
  • My BFF pointed out, and I had noticed, too, that in my picture on Saturday, the light switch is above my head. I am not a little person (though I am only 5' 3"). My five year old took the picture, so I squatted down to his level.
  • I broke the 20 comment barrier for one blog post! Up until I blogged about drugs, the most comments I had received is 19. Now I know what kind of readers I truly have! I must say though, I got some of my more entertaining comments regarding the Mama Drama posts (found here and here. Thanks a bunch. I LOVE comments and if you haven't commented recently or ever, please feel free to join in on the fun!
  • Michael Phelps, marijuana, a bong and a camera. Go figure. Really, why are people surprised? It's the 21st century and he's a young, college aged guy. I swear, of all the people I know, I don't think I could come up with more than five or so people who have not smoked pot. I just don't think it's that big of a deal. For adults, not teenagers! Hell, if he can travel the world, make millions and is old enough to go to war, I think he should be able to take a toke or two without so much criticism. Of course, I am the one who thinks gonja should be legal. I realize parents are using him as a role model for their kids. Sous Chef, being an aspiring swimmer, loved watching him in the Olympics. Sous Chef cheered as loud as anyone when Michael Phelps won that race that put him over the edge for the most gold medals won. But Michael Phelps didn't agree to be our kid's role model, so he is not required to live by the standards of the parents who put him on that pedestal for their kids.
  • A big thanks to GEORGIE who, through a week of e-mailing back and forth with me, talked me through a "tutorial" of how to find Blogger in Draft. Now I don't have to do that crazy equation for strikethroughs and my pictures go where my cursor is without screwing up all of my text spacing!
  • Did you hear the great news on the Today Show this week? They were doing a segment on aging and used twins to show how environmental and life choices can make you look older (ie: sun, smoking, etc.). I was so thrilled to hear that when you are over 40 yrs. old, having a little extra weight can actually make you look YOUNGER! The reason is because the fat in your face helps to fill in the lines and sunken areas where the collagen has been lost. Woo hoo! Finally some good news.
  • Our local meteorologists are at it again with their elementary level predictions. They predicted a dusting of snow on Tuesday. When I woke up from a nap, this is what I saw. Eight inches on top of about four inches left over from last week.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

WOW! 15 years.

When I took a vow of "til death do us part" it was hard to see into the future.  At 26 years old (and 31 years old for my hubby), it's nearly impossible to know what the future would hold.  I did know, though, that barring any craziness or tragedy, I would still be married "til death do us part."  And here I sit today, 15 years after taking those vows, and not regretting one moment of it.  I have a great husband and we have adorable kids.  We have a good great life.  Yes the hubs and the kids drive me CRAZY at times, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

One of the best stories of our dating and married life is our first date.  My husband looked directly at me from across the table and said, "If you are looking for a husband, this date is over."  I sat there for a moment and said, "That's fine with me.  I don't care if I never get married."  That was October of 1991.  We were engaged in May, 1993 and married in February, 1994.  How's that for eating one's words?

One of my favorite moments with my husband was when we were meeting with our pastor and discussing our relationship, etc.  He asked my husband, "How do you know you want to marry her and spend your life with her?"  And MG said, "I knew when she didn't try to change me into someone else that I wanted to be with her."  Little does he know, I am a master sculptor and the changes I make are so subtley instilled that he doesn't even realize it happened!  He is putty in my hands.  (And I would like to say he is a better person for it, but that would just sound cocky.)

At the end of our meetings, the pastor told us, "Well, you are NOT two peas in a pod, but I am confident you will have a long and happy life together.  You remind me of my wife and I."  His homily for our wedding was about how a house has two independent pillars but they are both needed to keep that house standing.  Ok, it was much more eloquent than that, but you get the idea.  He was incorporating the fact that we were cleary two individuals and would remain that way, but that we needed each other for support and foundation.

So today we celebrate 15 years of marriage.  FIFTEEN!  Wow.  I don't have a scanner, but if I did, I would include our wedding photo!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mama Drama, cont'd.

(If you missed Part 1, read the entry below.) 

I am getting such a big kick out of this. My god, what does that say about how BORING my life is when I am thoroughly entertained by a high maintenance mama? I know it's because I am not directly having to deal with this woman and her whiny ass, because if I were on the board at the preschool, I would be pulling her my hair out. (Hey, look! I used strikethrough!)

Here are the e-mails that have been tossed around yesterday and this morning. Of course, I am going to have to add some comments just to liven it up a little more!

From: Crazy Mama
To: PM 4 year old parents
Subject: Drop-Off Liability Concerns (She even uses the term "liability" in e-mails. Oooh, how threatening!)
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009

Dear fellow HPP Parents,
My name is Crazy Mama, and I am a mom of a 4-year-old in the morning classes.

I, like you, was informed via flyer about the new drop-off procedure. (Yes, we all know, they should have had a banner flying over your house so you were aware of this prior to receiving that nasty "flyer.") This was the first I had heard of the new procedure and through speaking with other parents discovered that I wasn't the only one with concerns. (We are also well aware that you think you should be consulted on matters relating to how to run an effective preschool.)

Attached, please find the letter I sent to the HPP Board. I urge you to make your voices heard. Please email the board with your questions and comments. (Oh, I e-mailed the board all right. With my SUPPORT!)

Thank you,
Crazy Mama

From: Kelly
To: Crazy Mama and PM 4 year old parents
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Subject: RE: Drop-Off Liability Concerns

Dear fellow HPP Parents,
I have no problems with the new drop off procedures. I think it will save a lot of chaos in the halls and help with children who may have separation anxiety. For the students who are going to MECC next year and will be dropped off instead of riding the bus, this may be a good transition for them. This is what MECC does, and it works quite well.

Thank you, Kelly (You go, Kelly!)

From: Jo
To: Crazy Mama and PM 4 yr. old parents
Sent: Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Subject: Re: Drop-Off Liability Concerns

I agree and e-mailed the board in support of it. (I didn't want to be left out of showing my support! Maybe on the first day of curb drop off I will stand outside with a cheerleaing uniform on and a megaphone cheering the car line on!)

CJ's mom

From: Crazy Mama
To: Jo
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Subject: RE: Drop-Off Liability Concerns

Hi Jo,
I hope CJ is doing well. Emily still talks about her old classmates. (Really? CJ has never mentioned Emily. In fact, he didn't even talk about her when they were in class together.)

I am not trying to change your mind. (Oh, I think you are!) I am just asking you to see that perhaps the new procedure shouldn't be mandatory. (And why is that? Oh wait, I'm sure you are going to tell me.) There are many parents of younger children and even 4-5 yr olds who like walking their children in. (I think she is implying those of us who don't mind dropping off their kids at the curb are of "lesser parenting quality" than she and her minions who have separation anxiety.) I should think that if they are going to make it mandatory, they shouldn't change the rules mid-year when the parents who don't want to do this didn't sign up for it. (Should, shouldn't. Just relax and PERHAPS you'll see it's a good thing.) Perhaps (there's that word again) it should be optional for the remainder of this year and mandatory from the start of next. (Perhaps not.)

Any thoughts? (And this is where she made her biggest mistake. Asking for my thoughts. That is very dangerous.)

Crazy Mama

From: Jo
To: Crazy Mama
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Subject: Re: Drop-Off Liability Concerns

Hi Crazy Mama. I also like walking CJ in, (See, I'm a good mom, too! Just like you, Crazy Mama) but I also think dropping him, or any other child, at the curb is no big deal. Whether I kiss and hug him in the car or at the door doesn't really matter. He still gets a kiss and a hug, location is not an issue. I am guessing the curb drop actually helps out many moms. More importantly, it allows the kiddos to practice some independence in a safe and secure environment, which many kids don't seem to get the opportunity to do. (Do you think she caught that underhanded jab? IE: let your kid practice some independence?)

As for mid-year and mandatory, I don't have a problem with those, either. At least by starting mid-year, there should be no transitional issues since the kids know everyone - staff and students. Then next year shouldn't be a problem either, because it will happen from the beginning. Either way, I think kids are pretty resilient and like to exercise their independence and doing so in a safe environment is good for everyone - kids and moms. (Again, do you think she realizes I am pointing a critical finger at her saying "stop hovering"?) The mandatory part, I am sure, is so the teachers know where the kids are. They will know to expect everyone at the curb and won't have to keep track of who they get at the curb and who is going to be walking in.

I'm sorry you are having a hard time with this, (What I really wanted to say was "Get a life you crazy bitch!") but I just don't see a problem with it.


From: Crazy Mama
To: Jo
Sent: February 4, 2009
Subject: Drop Off Liability Concerns

Thanks for your comments!

Crazy Mama

I think maybe she didn't really want to thank me for my comments.  How polite of her to do it anyway.

Mama Drama

I'm not a big fan of Mama Drama, unless of course I am not involved in it and can watch from the sidelines. Then all of a sudden I can't get enough.  Watching one woman, or a group of women, go nutzo over something that doesn't even register on my radar is one of the most rewarding forms of entertainment that I can think of!

Preschool seems like it should be a pretty "mama drama" free place. WRONG. I met this woman last year who I wanted to bitch slap. You can read about my first encounter with her here. And then here. Oh yeah, and here. Thankfully, this year she put her precious darling in morning preschool and CJ is afternoon. Now she has her panties in a wad because the preschool has organized a new drop off method. Instead of having the parents walk the kiddos inside, the school has organized (gasp) ... a  car drop off line where the staff will be there to gather the kids and walk them into the building.  And it's only for drop off.  We do have to go inside after school to pick up the kids so there is some regular interaction with the teachers, etc.  She wrote a letter to the board and then e-mailed it to the afternoon moms asking us to speak up about how we feel about this new drop off schedule. Sorry for her, I followed up to the board with "I think this is wonderful and it's long overdue!" Stay with me here because I am going to include the letter. She's a long winded melodramatic mama, so it's a long one.  And my snarky comments in pink just add to the length!

RE: Liability Concern with Drop-Off Procedure (she had me at "liability". I wonder if her hubs is an attorney?)
 Dear HPP Board Members:
This is Emily’s second and final year at your school. Barring a few mishaps and unpleasant situations, we have been fairly pleased with the progress she has made during her time at HPP. (She may be "fairly pleased" but I am guessing the administration is fairly pissed with her whiny-ness.  I feel sorry for the admin. of whatever primary school this girl goes to.  I'm thinking the HPP Board and admin are thankful Emily will be heading off to kindergarten next year.)

There seems to be a disconnect between the “Board”, the parents and the faculty. J passed out flyers upon pick-up this morning stating the new drop-off procedure and casually breezed through the hallway asking if anyone had any questions regarding the new drop-off policy. After having only heard of the new procedure at that moment, I grew rather angry that this was being force-fed to us. (Yum, I love being force fed!)  I questioned how this decision was reached and J could only say that it wasn’t her decision, that there would be no exceptions and that myself and other parents would have to “deal with it” or take it up with the board by writing them a letter. This is an unacceptable and unprofessional response. (This is an example of Mama's melodrama.  Having known the director for the past two years, it seems highly unlikely this is really how her response went down.)

Not only as a parent, but also as a participant in the school, I feel that more collaboration was needed before reaching such a decision that impacts everyone.  (Don't like it?  Take that perfect child of yours somewhere else.  And for many of us, that impact is a POSITIVE one!  And, oh yeah, why didn't you join the board if you want to be such a participant?  My guess is, the admin and other board members all said "HELL NO she can't be on the board with us!")

J gave three reasons for the change in policy:
1) Many parents requested this and threatened to leave the school if the change was not implemented. (Hhhhmmm, Mama, though I have no clue who these parents are, it looks like you might be outnumbered.) 
a) My response to that is twofold…. First, the parents threatening to leave have been dropping their children off for more than half of the school year. (Some for more than 18 months.) They clearly knew what they were signing up for.  (Maybe they believe, like me, "change is good.")
b) Secondly, It is halfway through the year…. Now is not the time to make changes in a routine that has been established in a child’s life. It is well documented that new behaviors take 3-6 weeks to become habit or absorbed as routine. Not only is this disruptive to their routines, but it will remove their focus from learning. (What are you, a child psychologist?  It's also good to have kids who are flexible and can adjust to new things!  If you didn't fuckin' coddle your child to the point that she can't function without you, this would not be an issue.  And walking into school without Mama is going to disrupt their learning?  Then you/your child have bigger issues and should probably seek professional help immediately.  Besides, it's PRESCHOOL.  They are not preparing for Harvard.)
2) Many parents are not dropping their children off until 9:15 and are causing circle time to be interrupted.
a) It isn’t remotely fair for parents who can be there on time and who enjoy dropping their children off to be penalized for those who cannot make it on time.  (The only enjoyment about dropping off the kids is that you are DROPPING OFF THE KIDS.  Bye! Bye!  Have fun!  Mommy's going to enjoy some down time!  ALONE!)
3) Parents with more than one child don’t like having to drag all the kids into the school to drop-off.
a) What was MOMMY WATCH for?  (Obviously, Mommy Watch was a bust.  For those who are interested, Mommy Watch was where you could pair up with another mom who has little ones and you take turns taking the kids in.  Kind of like a car pool, but you meet in the parking lot.  Prevents you from having to drag all of your kids into the building.  And for those of us who don't have other kids in the car but are just too lazy to walk into the building, this new method is awesome!)

I have many reasons why I feel the drop-off procedure is a bad idea. I also feel it was handled miserably.  (The only problem she has is teaching her daughter a little independence.)

Furthermore, these are OUR children. There are many of us who enjoy the interaction with our children at Pick-up and Drop-off as well as the interaction with other parents. (HUH?  Who are these mad women you speak of?)  It is a time when we can witness the interaction of our child with his/her classmates and evaluate their mood.  (Evaluate their mood for what?  So you can analyze it the whole time she is separated from you?)

I am not comfortable with the idea that the six classrooms (actually, I think there are only four) full of children are going to be dropped off at the same time and my child will be taken from my vehicle to be “directed” to her class.  (Of course you don't want her to be directed.  You don't even direct her.  She DIRECTS you.) I do not feel comfortable leaving my child without knowing she is in her class. (Because that's a big bad church and who knows what kind of crazies are lurking in the halls!)  Not to mention the fact that there are only two teachers per class. One is supposed to get the children from the cars and one is supposed to get them to their classrooms, get their coats off and hung up all while watching the children in the classroom. That is quite a liability. (There's that legal-ease again.)  I find it hard to believe that 2 teachers will be more efficient getting 12-14 children to their classrooms and coats off and hung up than 12-14 parents helping their own children one on one. (Um, it's 10-12 kids per classroom.  Ten for the younger ones, 12 for the older.)

I like to see my child’s name on the door.  (I'm sure you think everyone else likes seeing your child's name on the door, too!) I like to know that the teacher has seen her enter the classroom and know that she will be staying there until the entire class is led elsewhere. I think the teachers do not need the added responsibility. I think it is hectic enough as it is.  (Jeeze, based on this, she makes the staff sound incompetent.  I am surprised Mama doesn't stay in the classroom for the entire 2.5 hours.)

Finally, I think something that impacts the entire student population and their parents needs to be discussed with the parents before implementation. (Oh my, she is in for a BIG awakening when that girl gets to elementary school.  This Mama is every teacher's/admin's nightmare!)

The “Fall In Line” or “Deal With It” theory is neither professional nor parent-friendly. I feel a meeting needs to be scheduled, or a letter sent home for discussion on such issues. To have a decision made that will impact all children without parent input is unprofessional and VERY disappointing.  (Again, elementary school through college is going to be very tough for this Mama.)

I look forward to hearing your response. I hope a school-wide meeting can be held to further discuss this situation.  (Oh, I think she only looks forward to hearing them say she is right and "what the hell were we thinking when we wanted to help you Mamas have an easier time of dropping off your kids?")

Life would be so much better for us, kids and adults, if these helicopter type of Mamas/parents would lighten up.  We all love our kids more than words can explain.  But that love does not translate to coddling, over protecting and being downright irritating because you are trying to control every flippin' moment of your child's life.  I wonder if this Mama plans to ride the bus to school next year with her daughter?  And people wonder why we have young adults now who can't manage their lives, their finances, their educations, their careers, etc. etc.  Maybe it's because they were never taught or permitted to do anything on their own and gain the confidence that comes with that independence during their growing up years.  Baby steps, Mama, and having your child walk herself into a preschool building and down a ten foot hallway WHILE BEING SUPERVISED is about as safe as it gets in the real world.