Friday, December 31, 2010

The Hostess with the Mostest?

So this year, DH and I decided that we should have a Christmas Party.  Capital C.  Capital P.  Par-tay, people.  We've got an awesome group of friends and we get together *fairly* regularly.  There's New Year's parties, birthday parties, summer cook-outs, happy hours, Halloween parties, etc.   So we decided to throw Christmas party into the mix as well. 

First, the invites.  Do I evite?  Do I send "real" invites?  What message am I trying to send?  Because a lot of our parties revolve around tippy cup and drinking games, etc.  Do I want to do that?  I'm expanding to neighbors and other friends and co-friends - I don't know that they necessarily need to see how AWE-SOME I am at tippy cup.  I have a kick-arse team that we always try to get together because, seriously, we do rock.  But....do I want to do that?  Ordered invites from zazzle.com and they were super duper cute and had free shipping.  So that's that.

Menu - warm apps, goodies, and booze.  Done, done and done.  Simple recipes, but frickin good.  If I do say so myself (thanks to my seester and friends for bringing a couple things too!).

Kids - love 'em but they gotta GO.  Got one of our regular sitters and her friend lined up to watch my kids, my 3 nieces and nephew - even down the street at my sister-in-law's!  Wahoo!!   Cue 4:00, day of party - one of the nieces yuked.   NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  What the what??  Crap crap crap!  And no offense to my kids, but no, I didn't want to have to deal with them.  So I call up an awesome neighbor (seriously, she rocks) and she cancelled her sitter (who didn't want to sit anyway) and we had the two girls watch all of our kids at their house instead!  YAY!   We kept the babies home (9 months and 4 months) but the big boys stayed overnight at the neighbors!  WAHOOOOO! 

We had a pretty big crowd for a while, waned off a bit and then picked up again.  Boys did play some poker, girls gabbed and ate.  It was fun! 

I think fun was had by all!  YAY Christmas Par-tay!!! 

As here I sit at home on New Year's Eve.  Stinkin storm.  Oh well.  Kids are sleeping, wine is chilled and husband is across the street playing poker.  Life is good. ;)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tis the Season

Tis the season they say.  Of Overindulgence, I might add. 

I don't know abougt you, but I can't help it.  I have what I refer to as an adverse reaction when I even *think* about willpower.  Sure, I will hem and haw over things.  And usually end up doing/eating/buying it anyway.  I will go into this season with the best of intentions and don't even feel any remorse when those intentions get carted out to the garage in the bag from Target that held so many presents on the way home. 

I'm not sure what it is.  My kids do not go without, this is true.  BUT, I don't just buy them things willy nilly - usually there has to be a NEED for the item or it's their birthday or Christmas.  Sometimes a random Tuesday present will make its way to the house, but usually it's something that was so cheap, I couldn't NOT buy it.  And they still don't have as much as a lot of their friends. 

But I will go overboard at Christmas.  Every single stinkin year.  I've tried setting a monetary limit to their gifts this year again - but when one is older, his gifts get more expensive and so he's opening less presents.  And he's at the age where the number of presents IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH.  Heaven forbid that J-bird gets more gifts.  Even if they're crap $1 things.  So then I'm trying to juggle numbers and amounts at the same time.  Hello, I dropped my accounting minor - I don't wanna deal with this crap. 

And what does one get for a 9-month old child who is the third boy who has the benefit of every birthday and Christmas present his brothers have ever received?  So far, he has a pillow pet in the closet waiting for him.  I'm thinking of diapers and wipes as well.  Woo Boy, he's in for some excitement.  Probably some annoying singing stuffed animal as well since he is entranced when he hears stuff like that. 

I also know that they will get showered with presents from their grandparents and aunts and uncles.  They are extremely lucky children, I know this.  I know, I know, I know.  I guess I need to realize that maybe mom and dad get them the boring presents - you know, undies and socks, pajamas and jackets.  Ugh. 

I am going to try to get them in the spirit of giving as well.  Teach them that it's not all about receiving.  We've started to talk about this with the food drive at the school and at church, but I don't know that they realize that needy doesn't only mean food, it also extends to toys and clothes and to kids their own age.  Maybe even friends at school or daycare.  I am going to make that my mission for the next month.  And then hopefully I can also get something going every quarter that we can do so that we give throughout the year, not only during the Christmas season. 

Where do you draw the line when it comes to presents and Christmas?? 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time

Time....Why you punish me?  (imagine sung in a black man's deep voice.  yes, I pulled out a Hootie.  Whatev.)

Lately, time seems to be both my enemy and my friend.  How has it sped up to be so out of control?  Baby Boy is already 8.5 months.  I've got a pre-schooler and a first-grader.  And they can't wait to grow up and do more things that scare the bejeezus out of me. 

The hubs is no help either.  We were recently talking about my dad's birthday.  And he pipes up with "in 17 years, he'll be 80.  We could be grandparents and Sam'll be in high school.  We'll almost be empty-nesters." 

I hit him.  Hard. 

Ok, and then I started to tear up.  Sigh.

I've heard  a phrase and used it myself - the days are long but the years are fast.  And it's true.  Sometimes - ok, almost daily - I am waiting for bedtime to roll around so that the rascals will just STOP and it will be quiet in the house.  But then they wake up older.  And so do I.  Yikes. 

My 33rd birthday is this coming weekend.  And sometimes I feel like I'm still some 22-year-old kid and then I remember that I've got to be RESPONSIBLE for three little boys and then I feel like I've got to be 40.  I can barely take care of myself sometimes, how do I handle this?  Example - today, I drove across the state to meet my brother.  I was all by myself, it's November in North Dakota.  I have a jacket and nothing else.  No gloves, no hat, no boots - no NOTHING to have just in case something happens.  It's a ND winter - ANYTHING could happen.  Am I prepared?  Heck no.  And yet I can keep track of everything for the boys and make sure that they are almost always prepared.  How does that happen?!??! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tings

Yikes, been a bit since I posted last.  What have I been up to?  I don't even know.  There was Halloween, birthdays, traveling for work, and sick babies. 

BUT that's all in the past.  What's coming up?  Cakes and travel and end of one chapter and the beginning of a new chapter.  Thanksgiving festivities and sides of beef (yes, really).  Christmas shopping, Christmas parties.  Then on to New Years and mid-winter blues.  Then Hot Sam and Cheese will be turning 1, the school year will end, summer birthdays, school starting, then fall stuff, Halloween, birthdays, traveling for work and hopefully not sick babies!! 

It seems that time is relentlessly speeding up.  I don't know how to slow things down.  Or how to prepare myself so that while things are speeding by, I don't feel overwhelmed.  Yikes!! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

that's a lot of freaking cake

So I've been on part deux of my cake decorating madness through Michael's.  We're doing fondant and gum paste this session.  So I made my niece a birthday cake.  She was turning 4 and wanted a pirate/princess cake. 

I googled it.  And lo and behold, there's a lot of images.  Go ahead and look.  You'll find the inspiration for the one I made her. 

So for my very first fondant cake.....drum roll please (yes, I played the drums, I can do a sah-weet drum roll).....Ta Da!!!


It's a pirate/princess cake.  Bottom layer is a 10" cake - marble with ganache filling.  Top layer is a devils food cake with bavarian cream filling.  I think everyone liked it.  If not, they are good liars and that's ok too! :)  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Punky Brewster anyone?

I’ve been trying to inflict my 80’s childhood and 90’s teenage years onto my children. And they JUST DON’T GET IT.

I try to get them to watch the Smurfs and the Snorks on Cartoon Network. Turn off that Wow Wow Wubbzy and let’s watch some little blue half naked smurfs instead! And Asreal. And Gargamel. Loved them. The boys do not.

The other day in the car, J-Bird said something about his buddy. And so I burst into the jingle “My buddy, my buddy, my buddy and me!” And then subsequently “Kid sister, kid sister, kid sister and me!” He was not amused and told me stop singing. Do you remember those dolls? How freaky were they!?!? Yikes.

I’ve also tried teaching them some bad-arse dance moves. You know, the arm dribble up and down thing when Kriss Kross comes on singing “JUMP” – you know you’ve done it. You’re probably bobbing your head and doing the arm motion right now, aren’t you? I am. Hard to type that way, I tell you what.

I will also sing that stupid Dan Baird song to them “I love you period. Do you love me question mark? Please please exclamation point. I wanna hold you in parentheses.” I had to google who sang it and I honestly didn’t realize what the song was about but I swear I only sing that one chorus to them. Ahem.

Last straw the other day was trying to teach them the Joey Tribbiani “How YOU Doin” line. They could NOT get it. “How are you doing Mommy?” No, not quite. “How’re you doing?” No, not yet guys. “How you dooooing?” Sigh. Then T-Dog pipes up with “why can’t we say it our way??” And so I had to tell him it is FUNNY to say it like Joey Tribbiani. Cue a blank look from the backseat. At least my husband and my friends get my stupid references. I will teach these boys yet though!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Booky McBookerton

My oldest kiddo has been writing books lately.  He's done two this week so far, with the second book being a "chapter book" as well.  They've got illustrations, a complete story line with a beginning-middle-end, and the characters even talk throughout the books.  I think it's great.  He's in first grade this year and has developed a real interest in books and stories.

He reminds me of when I was young.  I wrote "books" all the time.  Ok, so maybe they were just glorified stories but I did them ALL THE TIME.  And drew pictures to go along with each one.  I was probably his age when I started, and I remember doing them throughout elementary school, but one time really stands out to me. 

My third grade teacher was Mrs. Julson.  Our grade was one of the largest to come through the school at that time and so the powers that be added a third section to our grade from first through fifth grades.  So Mrs. Julson wasn't one of the "normal" third grade teachers, but she got saddled with us that year.  Anyway, Mrs. Julson really encouraged me to keep writing and keep up with the drawings as well.  At the time, I kind of brushed it off - like, yeah, I know they're good but whatever.  It's just a story.  Just a picture or two.  I took sort of a little-kid pride in them, but was still kind of embarrassed by them as well.  You know what I mean?  I kept writing throughout elementary school, eventually phasing out the ones with pictures and writing "real" books - using Sweet Valley High and the Babysitter's Club books as my inspiration. :)

Fast forward to high school.  Mrs. Julson's husband (you know, Mr. Julson.  ahem.) was the school superintendent.  I was around the office for something and he stopped me and asked me if I still wrote stories. 

I was floored.  How did he even KNOW about them?  And further, how did he remember them?  I stammered out that I didn't really do them anymore.  I walked away with a mixture of pride but disbelief.  You mean teachers actually discuss students outside of school?  Shut the front door.  Really? 

Looking back, I realize I should have kept up with them.  I don't even know if my mom kept them over the years or not.  I do know that I will be keeping T-Dog's though! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chotchkies chotchkies everywhere!

I've become addicted to the blogging world.  I am a couple months in now and have my faves I check out every day (here's looking at you, Roo and Jen!), and then I start clicking on links and likes and comment-makers and it becomes this huge spiraling rabbit hole of blogs and ideas and whirling whimsical creatures, oh my! 

No seriously, I can spend hours clicking through blogs, seeing what I like and what I don't like.  Hours. 

I find myself drawn to the ones that have funny stories mixed in with your basic awesomeness.  You know, like me. ;) And I can spend eons looking at beautiful cakes and ideas there.  Then I get to the craft blogs.  There are A LOT.  And they all seem to be friends and use the same ideas as each other and tweak it just a bit to be their idea, but that's noneofyabusiness.  I'm not going to even attempt at understanding the rules of borrowing designs and whatnot.

What I don't get is this.  What do people DO with all of these crafts?  Are their houses just overrun with teeny tiny sculptures of metal and buttons?  Are they the Griswolds of the craft world?  The joke back in the day would reference doilies at grandma's houses.  These crafters nowadays are starting YOUNG.  They have a lot of years to jam pack their homes with "stuff" ("stuff" being the word that I chose to use rather than something that could be deemed as oh let's say offensive.  Wouldn't want those crafters come after me with their hot glue guns and shiny pennies). 

Let me get this out there though - I am NOT knocking the crafts themselves because there is really quite a lot of stuff that I think looks so cool.  What I'm questioning is the need to make 12 of that same thing.  What do you do with them all?  My seester made a wreath the other day and it looks awesome!  Would I mind if she gave me one?  Nope, that'd be great.  Hint.  Ahem.  But what if she makes them for every change of season, every occasion, every time she sneezes?  What would we DO with all those wreaths??? 

At least my chosen creativity outlet of the moment is edible.  Throw a party and there's nothing left. :)

Vino....my dear dear friend

There's a site out there dedicated and called "moms who need wine" and I *love* it.  There are a bunch of contributors who tell stories - I like to think they're all true, maybe I'm naive, but I like my life like that. 

And some of these stories just ROCK.  And make me cackle out loud.  To the point where my DH will push pause on the tv and wait patiently for me to catch my breath and wipe my eyes and read out loud to him the stories.  Some I edit because he wouldn't think that was funny AT ALL but I do.  Love love love them.

My seeester (let me insert OLDER here) has started a wine club for us girls.  We get together, each of us bringing a wine that fits the bill for the night and then $5.  We do some taste testing of all the wines and then rank them.  Whoever's wine gets the highest ranks wins the pot of moolah. We had our first club gathering last week - and it was F.U.N.!  I did not win the cash money, but I did get a good list going of new wines I like and will be trying out!  WOO HOOO!!! 

Thankfully I did not get pulled over on my way home, as my sister thought it would be funny to try to put a teeeny tiny amount of red wine in my glass and ended up spilling all over my jeans!  Yikes!  How could I explain that one!! 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Final Cake!

Well, my 'decorating basics' class is over at Michaels (sniff sniff) and we had to make our final cake.  I went with the good ol' devils food with a homemade raspberry filling.  Frosted with a bright purple and covered with some bright flowers. 

I'm not finding that the decorating is actually hard at all.  I think I was just scared that I couldn't do it but ya just gotta try.  So anyway - my final cake:

Again, it's off my cell phone, sorry for the quality.

This coming week I start 4 classes of fondant and gum paste.  I think it will be F.U.N.!!!! 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

shimmy shake

One of the precursers to a huge headache for me are these "auras" that happen.  I referenced them before, I'm not going to bore you here again.  BUT this post relates to those. :)

I'm in the car, driving home BY MYSELF (I must emphasize this because it NEVER happens).  Ok, so rarely happens, obviously if I was doing it this time.  K.

I look in the rearview mirror and the lights behind me are shaking.  Back and forth, back and forth.  OH Crap, I think.  I'm going to get another headache.  Crap crap crap, I don't have time for this!  I've got my final cake basics class tonight and I can't do it!! 

I continue to look in the rearview mirror, trying to determine how I feel.  Then I notice something. 

Yes, the lights are shaking.  But they're also stopping at regular intervals.  Hmm.

Interesting. 

Then I notice that not only are they stopping at regular intervals, those regular intervals are curiously similar to the beat of the song that I am listening to. 

Apparently, Bust a Move by Young MC really got me going that day as I had it CRANKED in the car since I was all by myself.  And it was loud enough to make my rearview mirror vibrate, not the car headlights behind me.  Woah.  I can't stop giggling about this.  I don't know why.  Little peek into my head today. :)

OMG Did you hear?!?!

I like to think people are geeky in their own fun, chic way.  Geeky is chic, right?  Please?  Um, no seriously, please? 

I'm going to reveal to you one of oh let's say MANY items in my geekiness arsenal.

I live for celebrity gossip.  Maybe live for is too strong, but let's just say I can rattle off useless celeb knowledge left and right.  Because it's SO USEFUL.  I use it in every day conversation, for example:  "Did you see that dude's facial hair?  SOOO a Speidi wannabe.  But why?  Speidi is SO GROSS.  So Fake.  So not RIGHT." 

I'd like to pause here and say that I feel like Elle Woods in her Harvard Law School application video when she uses legal jargon in every day life.  I object!  :)

Anyway, back to the gossip.  I watch E! tv.  I go to tmz.com and pore through People magazine every week.  I'm not a huge fan of some of the other mags as I think they're a little too trashy (yeah, I'll say it.  Some gossip is better class than others.  Whatev.)  I've never watched an episode of Jersey Shore but I know all the names, fave drinks and arrest records.  Hmm.  Let me repeat, this is SOO USEFUL. 

So a couple years back, someone with superior mind-numbing brilliance came up with the idea for celebrity fantasy leagues.  Like fantasy football, but for celebs instead.  Can you say AWESOME?

So we draft a team of celebs and are scored points based on their appearances in magazines.  We can drop the snoozers and pick up the hot ones.  I LOVE it.  My only issue is picking up celebs that I really just don't LIKE.  As in Spencer Pratt (see above reference to Speidi).  And Mariah Carey.  I can't think of any other celebs I really dislike off the top of my head - OH WAIT - Andy Dick and Kathy Griffin.  In equal amounts of dislike.  But you get the gist.  Can I really continue to hate a celeb if they're scoring me points?  Isn't that hypocritical?  Such a fine line, I just don't know.

New season starts next week.  And I'm pumped.  I sat out this past season as I was hugely pregnant and then insanely sleep-deprived with a newborn and I didn't feel that I could dedicate the time and energy needed to completely live up to my celeb league standards.  Though I probably watched more E! on maternity leave than I care to admit.  Ahem.  Yeah. 

Oh, did I mention we drink and have a good time and trash talk while we're doing this league?  I think that makes it a little more acceptable, right? :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ouch

So when I was in high school, I had some migraines every once in a while.  I got some excellent drugs for them but eventually they just stopped.  Yay!  Fast forward 10+ years. 

All of the sudden I had no peripheral vision.  Just black from the centers of my eyes out to the sides.  We're out of town and end up going to a teeny tiny ER.  They have no idea what's going on but they take pictures of my head and give me some uber drugs that I wasn't sure if the drugstore in town would even have.  Eventually went away, but I was basically falling down flat for a day and a half.  I had had a sinus infection and they thought it was related but couldn't give me any more than that.  Um, ok.

Six months later, I get another one.  I'm at work this time though.  I start seeing bright spots at first, and then wavy lines and then it was like I was looking through water.  I could barely even say my name.  My husband comes and takes me to the ER.  They pump me full of drugs and give me migraine medication to take in the future.  This time I've got an ear infection. 

Basically, I start with what they call an ocular migraine and then I get the horrendous backlash headache afterwards.  The ones where you stand up but your head either a) stays put on the couch, or b) zooms up faster than your body and keeps going.  You know, where you have to stand for a minute to get your head back to your body.  Make sense?  The only coincidences for those recent migraines are the antibiotics that I was on for the infections.  So as I continue to get sick, I ask for a z-pack instead of amoxicillin.  I've let my dr know that while I'm not sure I'm allergic to it, I have a bad reaction and it's just easier for all involved if I DON'T have it.

Two weeks ago I start to see spots at work again.  Son of a.  I'm not on any antibiotic or z-pack right now.  What the h?   I turn down all the lights, the auras eventually stop.  I immediately pop some OTC drugs as I have none of the migraine medication with me - hey it'd been like 18 months so I figured I was good to go and not need to carry them with me anymore.  Besides, they knock me on my arse and I had cake decorating class that night and dangit, I wasn't going to miss! 

I leave work, take a nap, am still wobbly by the time cake class starts but I'm able to participate and whatnot. 

Yesterday morning, I'm making biscuits and gravy and all of the sudden it hits me.  I can't see straight.  Feels like I'm looking through water and light headed.  I turn off the lights in the house and keep cooking.  I take some Tylenol and take a nap.  Horrendous headache all day.  What the heck is going on? 

I honestly think it's allergies.  Could that be the case? 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wait, hold the phone

I had to run to Target today to get a birthday present for a party that T-Dog is going to tomorrow.  So of course, it ends up an entire lunch-hour-long excursion.  So I find a present and start my wandering aimlessly around.  I peak at the Halloween costumes, brilliantly illuminated by the displays of Christmas lights across the aisle, by the way.  I find costumes for all three boys if I can get them to pin down what they want to be.  (Side note - Buzz Lightyear gets worn at our house every other week or so.  And so I assume that he will want to be Buzz Lightyear for Halloween again this year.  Of course not - he says Woody now.  Crap.  Figures.) 

I keep meandering, picking up toothpicks (for mixing my frosting colors) and some butt paste (for Sam's red bum - and I put the link so you know that's actually what it's called, not just me referring to it as paste that is put on his butt, k?), etc.  Then I remember I should get a card.  So I get to the cards, find one that's somewhat not too childish but not too adult for a 7YO, which is ridiculously hard.  Because does he really care?  Probably not.  Do I care too much?   Probably.  Ugh.

I start to look at other cards because that's the mood I was in.  And I see a whole section on "The Sweetest Day - October 16, 2010".  WTH?  Valentine's Day is in February, what is this Sweetest Day crap?  Never had I heard of it.

I get back to work and google it. 

It's a midwest thing, been around for ages.  I might be becoming more cynical in my old age, or some of DH's opinions are rubbing off on me.  Regardless, I do not see the point.  If it's a day to spread love and cheer, do you really need a card?  Do you really need a card that waxes poetically on your love on this sweetest day to your sweetest person in your sweetest life?  I want to raise the Bullshit card on this one.  I bet Hallmark doesn't make one of those, but I digress. 

People complain that Valentine's Day is too commercial, too orchestrated by the cards, flowers and candy industries.  While I don't necessarily agree, because again, we DO have free will not to buy into the cards, flowers and candy, I totally think this Sweetest Day "holiday" is something that we don't need to be observing.  Maybe I'm a scrooge today. 

Anyway that's my rant for today.  Even my delicious chai tea latte from sbux can't get me to thaw on this one!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Black hole

We built our house in the spring of 2008.  It's a nice house, I really do love it!  BUT there is one room.  In the basement.  Without windows.  Easily closed off and abandoned.  It's our office.  Slash spare room since there's a queen bed in there too.  It's also going to be my "lock the door and shut out the kids when mom needs a minute to get things done" room. 

Right now, it catches everything.  There's a computer desk with our old desktop and printer on it.  There's filing cabinets, empty tubs, an armoire, tubs of decorations, pictures, scrapbooks, etc.  There're pillows, extra bedding, wrapping paper, child-size cots, oh and the queen size bed in the middle of the room. 

My goal is to get this place organized.  First step - I bought a table.  The room is fairly large, and can accomodate quite a bit of furniture.  And if it's cleaned up, it will look a whole lot nicer and be more welcoming (in my head at least).

So this table...I see great things in store for it.  I can visualize sitting there, lovingly wrapping Christmas presents, birthday presents, addressing cards and letters.  It's where I will cut the boys' school pictures down to size to hand out to friends and family.  It's where I can finally get back to scrapbooking the memories of my children and my wedding (yes, I'm THAT far behind).  It's where I will keep all my extra picture frames and doo dads and whatchamacallits that I can't bear to throw out but I have no idea where to put them because I might need them someday and when will I run across that particular thing again?  You know what I mean. 

I brought home this table yesterday after work.  It's in the garage.  I need to clean out this room before I can get my husband to haul it downstairs.  Maybe his brother will help so I don't have to.  That'd be nice.  Anyway.  So I go into the room last night.  Open the door, turn on the light.  Wander to the far corner of the room that has been catching the most....oh let's just call it crap....for the past year.  I touch the bed, I move a chair.  I stare all around.  And then I slowly back out of there and hit the light and slam the door and go running back upstairs. 

I think I'm a little overwhelmed. ;)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Arts and Crafts and Cakes, Oh My!

Lately, I've been feeling the itch.  Hmm, that sounds bad.  Scratch that.  [heh].  Let's start over.

Lately, I've been feeling the urge.  Is that better?  I don't know.  ANYWAY.  The urge to what, you might say?  Please, say it?  So I can go on? 

K thanks. 

I'm somewhat artistic. I like to draw, paint, scrapbook, write stories, do "stuff" with my hands.  And by having 3 kids in 6 years, I'm not able to express myself as artistically as I would like as of late.  We've moved states, built a house, started new jobs, had more kids, etc and my crafting urges have continued to be pushed to the side.  I'm to the point where I *need* to do something.  I've continued to be able to read and love my books, but I need to DO something. 

So what did I do?  I signed up for some cake decorating classes at Michaels.  And I L.O.V.E. them.  I think that some of my love for this is because I get to buy "tools" to do the crafty stuff.  And Michaels keeps giving me 50% off coupons - how am I to resist?   I'm going to need an additional pantry to store all my cake decorating paraphernalia. 

What am I going to do with a cake decorating class?  Well, honestly, probably just make fan-frickin-tabulous cakes for my family and friends.  I'm 32 now (oy) and I have a LOT of cake making years ahead of me.  So far, just one cake down.  By my calculations, I could have 872 *decorated* cakes under my belt before I kick the bucket.  Not to be confused with all the *random cake that I like to make* (and eat, again, oy).  Here's my first creation - hubby's birthday this week.  He wanted yellow cake with chocolate frosting (yes, he's an original type of guy....). 
I know you professional bloggers out there won't appreciate my cell-phone quality picture (because hey, I took it on my cell phone, at class, with decorating crap all around) but here you go!  And guess what - he loved it! :)  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Don't buy the 5-cheese variety!

I think I have an addictive personality. Perhaps it’s the Irish in me. Or would that be “methinks its ‘cause I’m an Irish lass”? Either way, there you have it.


Now, I don’t have addictions that will get me fired from jobs or thrown in rehab (*cough* Lindsay Lohan *cough cough*). Mine are a lot more domestic. Like reading. I think I’m addicted to reading.

And eating. OH, how I love food. MMM, that could be an addiction right? I’m addicted to Facebook and reading other blogs. I’m addicted to celebrity gossip sites and lately, cookbooks.

Are you noticing a pattern here? I’ve got my addictions. And they’re all very sedentary activities. Son of a biscuit.

I’ve got friends who say things like “I’m addicted to running” or “I’m addicted to the gym.” Um, really? How is that possible?!?? When you have to FORCE yourself to get up and out the door, it’s not like it’s a willing addiction. It’s a battle between your mind (oooh comfy couch) and your body (oooh size 8 – in some cases. Not mine. Hmph. Anyway). And then you see those people out running in the cold and the rain and all I can think of is how happy I am that I am not them at that point in time. And then I start thinking about curling up with a book and a blankie, near a fire (well, when we install a fireplace I guess). And that is bliss to me.

Hmm, where’s that box of Wheat Thins?

On the Road Again!

This past weekend, DH and I took an adults-only mini-vacation for our anniversary. It was a long holiday weekend, so perfect timing. Pawned the three kids off on Grandma and Grandpa and away we went!

Wait, it wasn’t quite that fast.

First I made a list. Yes, I like lists.

First list included headings for me, T-Dogg, Jay-Bird and Secret Agent Sam (no, DH didn’t get a heading – he can pack for himself. Usually. Hmph.). Then the sub-lists began (did I tell you I love lists?).
 Clothes – socks, undies, jammers, pants, shirts, shoes, and hoodies,
 Hygiene products – toothbrushes, toothpaste, wipes, diapers, pullups, Tylenol, motrin, thermometer
 Toys – gotta keep ‘em entertained
 Equipment – stroller, exersaucer, pack-n-play (how does the smallest body get the most equipment!?!?!)
 Food – baby food, formula, bottles, spoons, rice krispie treats for the car ride
 Etc – blankies, burp cloths, bibs, nuks
Some of these of course were not on MY list, but on the ones for the boys. Heh. Anywho. Best part of lists is crossing items off. AmIright?

We pick up the kids early from daycare and school on Friday. We get the car packed. The entire trunk is full of their stuff for A 3-DAY STAY at Grandmas. FULL. Stroller, pack-n-play, and exersaucer take up the most room. Then there’s a box with diapers, wipes, food, bottles, formula, thermometer, pacifiers, spoons, Tylenol, and motrin. And these were just for the baby. Good grief. Throw in the boys’ Elmo and Diego suitcases and we’re stuffed to the gills.

Big boys had their backpacks full of Buzz Lightyear paraphernalia and toys. Just what Grandma needed in her house. Have I mentioned that the car was FULL? And we hadn’t packed our own stuff in there yet. Oh well, guess we’ll stop at home on our way out of town and get ours as well.

Why is traveling with kids (or even just a weekend at grandma’s) such an ordeal? AND I forgot a favorite blankie AND the nose sucker (aspirator)!!! ARGH!

Best part of the trip? How quiet the car was when we left Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Second best part? How loud the car was when I picked them up 3 days later. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ah.....finally.

"Back to school.  Back to school.  To prove to Dad that I'm not a fool.  I've got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight.  I hope I don't get in a fight..."

School started today.  T was very excited to be starting 1st grade.  Adn while I am super happy he likes school, I still worry.  I'm a worrier. 

What if someone is mean to him?  What if he loses his snack?  What if he eats his snack on the bus and goes hungry at snack time?  What if he bites it during gym class and cracks his big ol' noggin open?  Will kids play with him at recess?  What if they don't? 

I can't help it.  I think I've worried ever since I found out I was pg with him.  And it's not just him, it extends to all 3 boys and their dad as well.  Thankfully DH keeps me pretty grounded, but he doesn't ever hear the half of what I'm thinking and worrying about!  There've been times when he's let me know after the fact that he was worried as well, but thankfully he keeps that to himself at the time. ;) 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

If the shoe fits...

There are times when I am definitely not a “girly girl”. I live in a house with 4 males after all. But other times…I swoon at the sight of something pretty. I gasped audibly at Carrie’s remodeled closet in SATC. Part of that might be from my love of organizing (which is slacking right now, but that’s again, a tale for another time). I think part of it was also the gesture of it. But another part of it was definitely the fact that it was a closet built for a girl’s girl. The shoe racks, the lights, the bright white clean d├ęcor. Ah. Beautiful.


I have a tendency to buy shoes and purses. I don’t know when or how this started. The purses I will at least use. The shoes – I love them but won’t wear half of them because they’re too high, or don’t fit *quite* right. But if it is on sale, I’m buying it. As my husband likes to say “we’ll go broke with all the money you save us.” I’m an impulse buyer, it’s true.

So I happened to be near Minneapolis for work earlier this week. There was no way I wasn’t stopping at the Coach outlet. No way. So yes, I stopped. And yes, I bought. In my defense, it ended up being discounted twice – first 15% off and then 50% off that reduced price. I snatched it off the shelf. Looked inside, put it over my arm and continued to walk the store. One of the sales staff told me not to put it down if I truly wanted it as it was the only one like it in the store. Oh don’t you worry, I will not let it go. Found a couple other cute things but I couldn’t put down my first choice. It is khaki and pink – but more of a peachy pink. So cute. So perfect.

I will never be mistaken for a fashionista, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go nuts for a pretty purse.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Feelin Hot Hot Hot

How can a child go from 98.6 to 102.7 in the span of 2 hours of SLEEP?


Why do they always get a fever in the middle of the night? When they’re tired, you’re tired, and you have no idea what just woke you up?

J woke up last night and comes crying up the stairs. I meet him halfway, and you can feel the heat radiating off of him. So I tell him, let’s go into the bathroom and take your temp and get some medicine. He says no.

What?? No?? You LOVE medicine!!

No, he reiterates. Crying, with snot running down his face. Great. He has to go to the bathroom he says. So we go in, he does his business and then is ok to have some medicine. Ok, fine. So I lift him up to the counter and get out the thermometer (the ear kind, I can’t do the recommended kind – shudder). BEEP. 102.3 degrees. Awesome. So I grab the Motrin (well, generic since it was all recalled a couple months back).

No, no medicine he says. I want water first.

So I get him a glass of water.

Not THAT glass! I want Mickey!

Ok….deep breath. I go to the cupboard. No Mickey. He’s in the dishwasher. So I grab him out and wash him out. Mind you, we’ve got other Mickey Mouse glasses in the cupboard, but I *know* that they are not the one he is talking about.

Walk back into the bathroom where he’s still sitting on the counter. He can’t even hold the cup, he’s shaking so bad. Breaks my heart.

So I help him drink. And pour the Motrin.

No, no medicine he says. Oh for Pete’s sake. Immediately, I go from pity to pissed. Come on. Take your medicine. No. What about this medicine (holding up the generic Tylenol). Do you want red medicine instead of orange? No. I want another drink. This time he can hold it. So that’s good at least. Then I start the coaxing. You can have your medicine and then another drink and then you can sleep with mommy and daddy. Doesn’t that sound good?

He stares at me. Finally, he nods. YES!

So I pour the medicine in his mouth, hand him his water and then we head to my room.

Where I proceed to get kicked the rest of the night and end up with a heel in the eye.

But at least he’s not hot anymore, right?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hi ho, Hi ho, It's off to work I go!

Unless of course, I miss the plane.


A few years back a friend of mine was flying for her first time ever. She was extremely nervous about it. So nervous, that she was super early to the airport (DIA, nice airport). Since she was SO early, she decided to go have a drink at the bar in the terminal. Well, one drink turned into…let’s just say more than one. Eventually decided to say her farewells to the people she met at the bar and go back to her gate. She found her flight had left without her.

I’ve flown my fair share of times. Not a newbie, but not a real seasoned traveler either. I’ve flown for work, for pleasure, and for displeasure (traveling with kids, but that’s another story). I’m a bookie. Love to read. So I find airports and plane rides are perfect for me to catch up on a book or two.

When I’m at home reading, I can multi-task. I’m reading, watching tv, listening to the boys, listening to my husband, texting and surfing the interwebs. Get me into an airport and apparently I turn into a hermit and have no idea what is around me!

This past fall, I got to my gate at the Chicago airport and sat down with my book. I had two more in my luggage since I knew I’d finish this one quickly. I became immersed in the book. To the point where I didn’t hear them calling my flight. And you know airports – they call the flights NUMEROUS times before you have to run for the gate. Ah, I’m sitting at the gate, there’s no need to rush. Or pay attention.

Pretty soon, I think I hear my name. Hm, what was that? I look around. I don’t hear it again and I don’t see it on the screen. Huh, oh well. Must not have been. As I look around, I notice that it’s pretty dang empty at the gate now. Crap. Then I hear my name again. Yep, that’s me. So I get up and walk the 10 feet (yes, 10 feet) to the counter. Oops. I got to be the last one on the plane! Yay me!

I'm set to fly next week.  Let's see how this one goes! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sappy!!!

I used to be tough. I really did. I didn’t cry. I didn’t lament things lost. I could hit someone if I needed to (ok, just in the arm, but still). I was tough.

Then I got married. Shortly thereafter, my firstborn came along. And I got soft. Not just around the middle (because unfortunately, that did happen as well), but in life. I can cry at the drop of a hat, and it’s not just to get my way anymore. Well, not always. Heh. Some habits are hard to break.

Anyway, back to softening up. I used to mock the commercials that would induce tears (was it the Folgers coffee commercial at Christmas?). I now have to turn the station because I will bawl. Not just a sniffle, but actual waterworks and snot running down my face. Sexy. You know it. Anything can reduce me to tears. Movies. TV shows. Songs on the radio (this post was inspired by my eyes watering up at Brad Paisley’s “He Didn’t Have to Be” - and now I'm crying watching the video!!). What the heck is happening to me?

My mom is tough. Barely ever see her welling up. I wonder if she was a softie at my age as I am now. Will I regain my toughness? Is it lost forever? My co-friend and I have each other crying on a daily basis. What is WRONG with us!?!?!? I think with each subsequent pregnancy, I have lost a little more resolve. A puddle. I’m on the verge of a puddle almost all the time! But then other times…watch out!!

nananananananana Thunder!

That was my attempt at AC/DC classic Thunderstruck.  Can you tell? 

I think half of our community was up overnight with the thunderstorms whipping through the area.  The other half was asleep.  Lucky them. 

I woke up at 1:25 when a big bolt of lightning and the accompanying crash of thunder woke me up.  When talking with people at work and reviewing the news, it sounds like that's when EVERYONE was hit.  We are about 15 minutes north of town, and I know that it was affecting houses 20 minutes southwest of town as well!  That's a BIG storm.  Sirens were going off; there were tornado warnings; meteorologists were telling you to take cover.

I just went back to sleep.  I didn't trek to the living room to watch the news.  If I did, I wouldn't have fallen back asleep.  And with three boys, dang right I'm going to sleep if they're going to let me!  Now that I've heard a little more of what was going on out there, I'm second-guessing myself for not paying attention.  But oh well.  What can you do about that now? 

We lived out in Colorado for about 6 years - I don't remember having storms like these!  We've been just pummeled this summer.  It seems that everywhere is getting hit with extreme weather [i.e. China is having massive flooding and mudslides (due to record breaking snowfall this winter!)].  Is Mother Nature off her meds lately or what? 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's the Cheesiest!

Campbells Soup.  Huggies diapers.  Enfamil formula.  Bounty paper towels.  Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.  Kleenex.  Charmin.  Betty Crocker. 

Today I was making my weekly trek to Sam's Club for a few vital things and spent 4 excrutiating minutes in the laundry detergent aisle.  I always use Tide.  Have forever.  Yes, I realize it is more expensive.  I do know this.  Our littlest tike has sensitive skin and so I've been using Tide Free for the past 4+ months.  I really needed to pick some up since it's laundry day and I'm not sure if what we have at home would be enough.  So I'm standing there in Sam's.  Looking back and forth at detergent.  The only dye-free/scent-free one they had was All, no Tide.  I look at the price.  $11 and change.  Holy crap, way cheaper than the Tide I've been buying.  Do I want to make a second stop today?  Especially with 3 little boys with me?  No.  So I pick up the All.  Seriously, this took me 4 minutes of back and forth, weighing my options - who will melt down if I stop at Target?  Do I really want to lug the carrier in another store?  MM, Target has Starbucks though.  Sigh, if I get Starbucks then the two big boys will want something.  Argh.  What to do, what to do. 

Finally, the All is in my cart.  In my head, I'm thinking - hey, it's only $11 if I don't like it.  How can I get my thinking to turn around and say "holy crap, I just saved $8 on detergent and I bet it will work great!"?  As I continued to wander the store, I realized that I buy the name brand about 85% of the time. 

A major milestone for me a few years ago was to start buying Target brand tissues.  I actually prefer them to Kleenex brand now.  This was HUGE for me.  Unfortunately, I'm back to Kleenex brand now as I can buy in bulk at Sams and we usually have at least one runny nose in the house. 

A couple months back, DH texted me from Sam's to say that formula there was waay cheaper than Enfamil (like $14 cheaper).  Same exact ingredient list, same exact nutritional value.  So I hemmed and hawed.  Hmm.  Hemming.  Hawing.  Finally ask our pediatrician what she thinks.  Go for it.  So we did.  Do you think babycakes cares?  No.  Just keep it comin'. 

I sign up for deals and notifications on things going on sale.  But can I get myself to use a coupon at the grocery store?  No.  Can I get myself to buy the Marshmallow Matey's instead of Lucky Charms?  No.  Can I buy store brand Mac & Cheese?  No way Jose! 

When I think of all the money that I could potentially be saving, it makes me sick.  Yet I continue to buy generally the same way I always have.  I know this starts young - there's a study that's making waves right now about kids and McDonalds (yes, McDonald's again, though this study is from 2007).  Exact same food tastes better to kids if it has the Mickey D's logo on it.  Even carrots.  Seriously. 

So my quick trip to Sam's today - you be the judge:
All detergent
Generic Formula (Member's Mark?)
Tyson chicken nuggets
Gorton Fisherman fish sticks
bakery cookies (chocolate chunk if you're curious)

I guess we'll wait and see if our clothes feel any different once I start using the All.  Technically, no smell should change since I'm going from Tide Free to All Free.  Think anyone in my family will notice besides me?  I doubt it. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

To Infinity...and Beyond!

I've got a kiddo (J-bird) who is obsessed with all things Toy Story.  He can quote the first two movies.  He's not even 4 years old yet.  He sat in awe at the theater to see Toy Story 3 when we went a month ago.  I don't think he even spoke during the entire movie.  Every once in a while you'd catch him looking around (and close his mouth) but most of the time it was hanging wide open as he stared at the screen.

There've been times I've come downstairs and he will be watching cartoons with his Toy Story crew set up next to him.  He's got Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Mr. Potato Head and Slink.  Then he has improvised the rest of the gang - he's got a mini etch-a-sketch that he brought over to sit with them.  He takes a small piggy bank and that's Hamm.  He's got a dinosaur skeleton from a Matchbox cars set - yep, that's Rex.  His older brother got a bucket of army men for his birthday last month - so now we've got an army set up throughout the house.  We've also got RC made out of Legos.  It's fun.

It started with his big brother.  I bought Woody and Jessie at a Mothers of Multiples Sale out in Colorado Springs.  Seriously, probably $2 each at this mega garage sale.  NICE.  He loved Toy Story as well, but he's since moved on.  Not J.  He has glommed on to all things Toy Story related.  And I admit, it's easy to buy for him, so yes, I totally feed the obsession.  He was Buzz Lightyear for Halloween this past year and will randomly wear the costume around the house.  It's great.  Especially when he got talking Buzz Lightyear wings for Christmas.  It's quite the get-up.  You can hear him banging his wings into the stairway walls on his way up to tell you "I.  Am.  Buzz.  Lightyear." 

We decided to get him a Leapster for his birthday.  He's really gotten into playing with his big brother's and we figured it would be a good time for him to get one.  Lo and behold, today I see that they have made a Toy Story special edition Leapster!  WOO HOOO!!  Totally made my Friday.  Yes!  I think he'll go nuts for it.  And isn't that what their birthday is all about? :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cheese Curds, Mini Donuts, Carnies - Oh my!

Fair is in town.  Not just the normal Red River Valley Fair, but the Street Fair is starting this week as well.  My last year of college, I worked downtown and was able to partake in fair food and activities and shopping to my heart's content.  All I had to do was take a break and walk outside.  Now, I have to drive downtown, find somewhere to park ($$) and hoof it all over the place . While I do still enjoy it, it's definitely different not being part of the downtown experience every day anymore.

I'm always interested in the crafts and artwork.  I look at these things and realize that I could do it myself and not pay $65 for a curved piece of metal or $85 for a painted piece of wood for my kids' wall.  Sometimes I get caught up in the moment and will carry something with me for a while before I realize that it is NOT a necessity!  Then I put it back (with regret) and turn to walk away.  And then something else catches my eye.  Sometimes the street fair is NOT good for people distracted easily by shiny objects.  Just sayin. 

Then there's the FAIR out at the fairgrounds.  I used to go to as many concerts as I could during the fair...and quite frankly, drink as much as possible.  I've still got the huge mugs that they'd sell ya.  Now they have kool aid in them.  Is that wrong? 

Do you ever think about how far fairs have come from their original beginnings?  The country fair where you'd bring in your livestock for show, sell your jams and jellies and try to win prizes based on guessing how much a pig weighs (at least that's how Babe became a member of Farmer Hoggett's family).   There's still the livestock portions and 4H things but a lot of the "homier" type of activities are gone.  The midway is still in full force with booths and tents and rides galore.  And the carnies - YIKES!  Can you imagine some of the stories they could tell?  Nevermind, I don't think I want to know!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ka-BOOM!

Ah, the Fourth of July.  Best holiday EVER for pyromaniacs and deaf old men.  Worst holiday for nervous dogs and small children.  And nervous moms. 

We were at the lake.  Apparently, word is that fireworks are illegal to be set off in the state of Minnesota.  I'm reading the statutes regarding this and am confusing myself.  And here I thought I wanted to be a lawyer when I was growing up.  Looks like certain things are allowed and certain others are not.  Typical. 

Anyway, so my BIL2B (brother-in-law-to-be) shows up with bags and bags of fireworks.  There are three 3-year-old boys and one 6-year-old boy that are immediately enthralled.  I think it was the highlight of my 6YO's year so far, AND he already had his birthday and got a baby brother too!  I spent most of the night in the house, with the baby.  I'll say he was sleepy and not feeling well.  Ok, so I was napping too, big deal.  It's probably a good thing that I didn't witness all the fireworks festivities, especially when I now see pictures and my 3YO and 6YO are just right up in there the entire time. 

Did you know that people DIE from fireworks?  Ok, so some of them are from heart attacks out in their boat after watching a fireworks show, but still!  Yes, that came up when I googled "fireworks fatalities".  Weird. 

Anyway, I'm trying NOT to be a helicopter mom, but when it comes to fireworks, I get freaked out!  The boys just don't pay enough attention to their surroundings (and not just the little boys either).  When the baby and I finally did make our appearance, I was trying to play it cool but I was freaked.  I can't help it.  Pretty sure the DH (dear husband) knew this but by that time, the supply was dwindling and it was a little too late to say they couldn't partake! 

I'm going to go with the fact that maybe we're teaching them fire and fireworks safety at a young age and they'll carry it on through adulthood?  Does that work?  Does that ease my mind?  Well, until next year at least....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

They paved paradise...

...and put up a parking lot. 

Today's lunch expedition brought me to a bakery, a party supply store and then to the old standby - Sam's Club.  So that's three parking lots I had to maneuver, in addition to the one at work.  What has happened to basic parking lot etiquette?

Have you ever felt like Evelyn Couch from Fried Green Tomatoes and just go off on someone in the parking lot?  Towanda!!!  "Let's face it honey, I'm older and have better insurance."  I would LOVE to say that to someone (eventually, not now, as I'm NOT older, I swear). 

I found a wikiHow website that talks about parking lot etiquette.  Dang, there's a lot on there.  I was only really concerned today with how SLOW people walk when they're going across the walkway in front of the store!!  Oh, and the Mountaineer that took up two parking spots in front of the bakery.  That had me PO'd too.  I don't know if that was on purpose or what. 

Anyway, back to the slow walkers - am I the only one who picks up the pace when I'm walking on the crosswalk and cars are waiting for me?  I speed up and give the little "thanks" look and nod.  You know what I'm talking about.  Just a little acknowledgement.  That's all that's needed.  But today, this couple and their two children were crossing.  And STOP.  In the middle of the crosswalk.  They STOPPED for pete's sake.  Why?  I couldn't tell ya!  Kids kept walking forward, so it wasn't anything to do with them.  Did they forget their membership card?  Forget their shopping list?  I don't know.  By this point, I could barely see through the red tinge my eyes had taken on!  Seriously people, what is up!?!  And in my head, I'm questioning what type of example these people are giving their children!  Ok, extreme, but I couldn't help it.  It's a good thing that at that point a woman came out of the store carrying two canteloupes.  Inject your own melon humor here.  Heh.  Now I can't stop giggling.

The other thing that drives me the most nuts in parking lots is waiting for spots.  Yes, I will drive around the lot.  I will stalk people to their cars, especially if I've got little ones with me.  The shorter distance I have to haul them, the better.  So I car-stalk someone.  I wait.  And I wait.  And I wait some more.  I won't car-stalk the people who have really full carts.  I don't want to wait THAT long for their spot.  I find the person who walks out without a cart.  And wait.  And wait.  Seriously, what are they doing in that car?  How could it take that long to get in, buckle up and start the car?  Sigh.  So I'm waiting.  Eventualy they've got to back out, right?  Can I out-wait them? 

A long time ago, I heard or read somewhere that women are better for scooting out of those parking spots faster than men.  That men view it as territorial and they will deliberately slow down when they know someone is waiting.  Do you think that's true?  Sometimes I wonder.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tweaks? Twi-Hards?

Speaking of books...and then books being made into movies.....and then movies becoming filled with craze-filled fans.....

Are you a Twilight fan? 

I resisted.  I really truly resisted.  Years I resisted.  No way.  Vampires?  Puh-lease.  Werewolves?  Are you serious? 

BUT, I've caved.  This past spring, a co-worker/friend (can I call her a co-friend?  co-worker who becomes a friend?  so then would I have to refer to my husband as a co-husband?  nevermind.) brought the four books of the series to me to read while I was on maternity leave.  Yeah yeah yeah, I'll get to them if I have time.  I leisurely finished my books that I had out from the library.  Looked around the house and my eyes settled on these big black books with red and white stuff on the covers. 

OOOh spooky design.  Uh huh.  I'm still battling in my head whether I want to or not.  So many friends had said they were great books, even my sister who doesn't strike me as liking fantasy fiction stuff.  But even the reviews says things like "teen drama" and "teen romance" and there are posters in the Teen Room at the library.  Fine.  All right.  I'll do it.  I'm 32 years old, and I'll read Twilight.  [And really, the whole "teen" thing should bother me as I am addicted to what my husband calls "teen dramas" - The OC, 90210, Gossip Girl, to name a few.] 

So I sat down to read while babycakes was napping.  And I finished the book that same day.  Woah.  Powerful stuff.  I am sure that I looked like an idiot with my mouth hanging open in a half smile as I'm reading.  Way to go Stephenie Meyer!!! 

I immediately start New Moon.  Again, can't put it down.  I think my family is lucky I was even able to take care of myself much less the baby while I was reading!  Enthralled.  Mesmerized.  Bewitched.  Spellbound.  Enraptured.  It was all I could do to put it down to tend to the kiddo's basic needs.  Though, I could potentially place the blame for this on him as well - he was napping ON me.  For hours.  I couldn't move for risk of waking him up.  Handy excuse, isn't it?  Hee hee. 

Anyway.  So yes, I finished all four books of the series in about a week and a half.  I managed to tear myself away from them for longer periods of time so that I could get some basic housework done.  But I could hardly wait to sit back down and pick up where it left off!  AND THEN, wouldn't you know it - I read all the books and then Starz has a free weekend on our cable so I can watch Twilight the movie!  AND THEN, New Moon came on PPV three days later!  So yes, I read all four books and watched the two available movies.  All after I decided was that I *might* read the first book.  Good grief. 

So I go to her website and start snooping around.  Holy crap, there's a version from Edward's point of view I find out (again, from my co-friend).  It's called Midnight Sun and I read it just as ravenously as I read the books.  It's not complete as it was leaked online and she never finished it.  I honestly hope she does finish it and does the same for the subsequent novels as well!!  There's also a novella about Bree Tanner!   

Now Eclipse is in theaters.  I know people who went to the midnight premiere.  I was not one of them.  Will I see it in the theater?  Perhaps.  I might wait until it's out on PPV though.  Will I end up buying the movies?  Probably.  I returned the books to my co-friend and promptly went out and bought my own.  It's true.

So are you a Tweak (Twilight freak) or a Twi-Hard (die-hard, obviously)?  I think I'm just a fan.  Maybe a big fan, but not quite to Tweak status and definitely not a Twi-Hard. 

GO TEAM EDWARD!!!!!

Books, Nooks and E-Readers, Oh my!

A friend's status on Facebook triggered this post.  She questioned "Kindle: Y or N?" and it reminded me that I want an electronic reader.  But as of right now, I'm too cheap.  I have heard that books are $10 for a download and plus the cost of the reader and whatnot, I didn't want to invest that much money into something when I can go to the library for free.  I used to buy books all the time - until I realized I had bought the same book multiple times (at least I know my tastes didn't change much, eh?). 

So as some of her friends and myself are commenting back and forth on her status, one of them recommended checking with our local library to see what they do for ebooks and the like.  Hmm, good question.  So I go online and see that yes, our library DOES participate in ebooks - they'll download to your computer for offline reading or direct to your portable reader!  WOO HOO!!!  This makes me happy!  As of right now, it doesn't look like they'll do the Kindle, but they specifically mention the Nook, Sony Daily Edition and Sony Digital Readers.  And something called COOL-ER.  

So I bring this up at work today as one of my co-workers is an avid reader as well.  She thinks it's worth waiting for the iPad to be more readily available around here.  And then you could do all sorts of things just on one portable unit, rather than juggling so many things.  Makes sense.  Do I have the patience?  Do I even want to spend the money?  I feel like I'm behind the times (I don't even own an iPod or a Zune or a Blue-Ray player!) but I think eventually I'll get with it! :)  I think I'm too chicken to take the plunge!! 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Murphy's Law (for Parents)

Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.  Thanks Wikipedia.

In my view, early on a Sunday morning (real early, like some friends were probably just getting home kind of early), this can be changed to: If a kid's going to wake up, it's on the weekend.

I don't know what it is.  All of our children go to bed roughly at the same time every night, weeknight or weekend.  Doesn't matter.  We've got our routine down, and we stick to it.  But somehow - and here's my adaptation of Murphy's Law coming out - my children will sleep in every weekday and wake up early every weekend.  Parents, are ya with me? 

I am dragging their little booties out of bed every day of the workweek.  And then on the weekends, I can hear their little feet charging up the stairs a good hour before they wake up during the week.  ARGH.  Seriously!??!

And the little one.  He's still confined in a crib, so he basically just makes noise until you come to him.  I guess I should be thankful that he *usually* sleeps all night during the week when we have to get up for work, but dang it would be nice for him to sleep through on weekends when we can potentially sleep in.  So today - up at 4am.  And again at 6:30.  COME ON!! 

While we keep the boys on their same bedtime routine on weekends, we don't stick to it for ourselves.  So it's my own fault that I'm tired.  I know this.  But just let me blame the boys, please!??

Saturday, June 26, 2010

RoadKill Cafe

I hate roadkill.  And road construction. 

As of right now, they are intertwined in my head.  I live in an area that has the longstanding joke that there are two seasons - Winter and Road Construction.  Since there's no snow right now, you know what's going on.  Road construction.  Of my 12 mile commute to work, 10 of it are under road construction.  If I'm going to daycare, then my commute hops up to probably 20 miles.  And 15 of it is road construction.  I do need to admit that these are estimates - I don't usually measure in miles, I measure in minutes it takes.  I am a girl.  Anyway, I can't escape it - the road construction, not the being a girl.  Well....hmm.  Nevermind.

The other day, I had to go through neighborhoods that I've never been in to get to my favorite grocery store (yes, it's a chain and they have other locations, but I LIKE my store and yes, I will get there however long it takes).  It's got 2 main roads that meet right by the store - both of which are under construction.  I'm following detour signs and kids on bikes and finally see it shining like a beacon in the orange.  Phew. 

So that was a lot of info and I haven't even gotten to the guts [heh heh] of the post.  Back to the roadkill. 

I swerve to avoid anything that might try to cross the road in front of me.  Big animals (of course), but also gophers, mice, squirrels, etc.  I will flinch if a bird swoops in front of the windshield.  Probably not the best way to drive.  Right now, on the one section of two-way traffic on my drive, there are 3 dead raccoons and 2 deer.  Unfortunately, they are in the middle of the two-way traffic - not off to the side of the road where I don't have to look.  So yes, I close my eyes (or avert them) when I see that I am getting close to where they are. 

Who is responsible for removing roadkill from the highway?  Is it the DOT or the DOW or the construction company that is out there every day seeing them?  Let me google it.  Well, first I binged it.  I'm not a binger, I'm a googler.  I need to stay true to my roots here.  Let's google.  Huh.  I don't think that I need the menu from Texas Roadhouse.  Really? 

I can't find crap.  Here's what I found. My state is very hard to find actual regulations (after being re-directed etc).  There are websites with pictures or videos of roadkill.  Gross. 

Does anyone know?  Or will I have to continually close my eyes while driving?  Is that better or worse than texting and driving?  Food for thought. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good ol' Mickey D's...

I was *extremely* disturbed by an article on MSN Money the other day. It was about a group that is planning on suing McDonald's for including a toy in their Happy Meals. The gist is that Happy Meals aren't the healthiest for our children and now they're (McD's) forcing parents to feed their children crap because the kid wants the toy.

You can read the story here. If you want to read it first and then come back, go ahead. I'll wait. I would hate for my opinion to color your impression of the article. Mm, that's not true, I'm hoping you are as PO'd as I am about it. Ok, go ahead and read and come back.

Done yet? Can I go on? No? Ok. I'll give you another minute.

Now? Ok, good. Here goes.

First off, I think this group has too much time and money on their hands. What are they hoping to accomplish? Hmm, let me think....LARGE SETTLEMENT. That's why they're going after McD's rather than the rash of other fast food joints that offer toys with their kids meals. And yes, Mickey D's has set a precedent of settling outside of court on other issues. But still.

Second, REALLY??!?!? I'm pretty sure that I'm the adult in our car when we're looking for something to eat. My children are not holding a gun to my head to make me drive to McDonald's for a Happy Meal. If a little toy from a popular movie or tv show is going to make the kids happy, and I feel like a quarter pounder with cheese, no onions extra pickles, then I'm all for it. Remember, it's called a Happy Meal. It makes the kid happy, it makes the car quiet and then yes, a happy mom.

Third, they are going for the shock factor. Comparing McDonald's to a child molester? SERIOUSLY? Ok, I'll give you that Ronald McDonald is a little freaky with his bright red/orange hair and the whole clown thing that people have a phobia of (it's called Coulrophobia), but c'mon.

Where does it end? Pretty soon they're going to sue restaurants for serving wine. Dangit, sometimes I need that wine. You better leave them alone.

Am I a Blogger?

Over the past few years, I've been told quite a few times that I should start a blog. This is based on the fact that I am a Facebook addict. I can't help it. They make it too easy. So yes, I update my status quite regularly. People start to worry if they don't see a status update in their newsfeed. I can't help it, I am who I am and I don't hide that fact on Facebook or elsewhere. My dad was mortified when I posted that I had ran out of gas on the street outside of Sam's Club. He couldn't believe that I would put something so embarrassing. I however, had no qualms about sharing. :) That's just who I am.


SO. Rather than work this afternoon, I am dipping my toes into the blogging world. I've had a blog in the past that was mostly pictures and sharing cute child quips with the world. This time - you're getting my thoughts. Brace yourself, as a lot of the time I have no idea where they come from. I hope you smile, laugh, or even just a solemn nod if something hits home for you. What am I going to blog about? I'm not even sure.


The title of my blog is based on the fact that I've got three boys now (well, four if you count their father). A lot of my life revolves around them of course. Being a mother has been absolutely life-changing and such a blessing (oh, don't pounce on the use of the word "blessing" - yes, I believe in God but I don't go to church and won't have preachy posts about religion on here - to each his own). Anywho. I think that being a mom has made me even more random than before - I didn't think it was possible. I've always been the girl who gets distracted by shiny objects and couldn't sit by a window in class or else I'd be in la-la land most of the time. And I might be raising my sons to be random as well. Or is that just the way that kids are? I don't know.


So yeah, I might be a blogger. We'll see!