Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mom Rocks the Holidays from Rayovac!

Right now, you can enter to win $1000 from Rayovac just for telling them how you or your mom rocks the holidays. There are only a few days left to enter, so go! Quick! Go to Rayovac and enter today!!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Cards!!

Can we be Christmas Card Buddies?? If you'd like to exchange cards this year, please send me an email with your address. I'll gladly send you one of my cards and would love to get one of yours in return!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Decidedly Not Glamorous

I’m not really sure what I thought happened to the food that fell beneath the burners of our gas stove. I’ve lost pasta and veggies and other things over time, and I never really gave it much thought until Saturday when I dropped an entire strained pot of noodles on the stove, and lost a good portion of it. I thought to myself that I should check it out, and lo and behold, the top of our stove pops right up! Who knew? Clearly, not me. And definitely not my husband. And the food doesn’t get incinerated or anything when it falls under there either. Some of it chars, some of it congeals, and some of it just sits there and dries out, laying in wait for me to…well never clean it because I never had. It was an adventure, Saturday afternoon, scrubbing the underburner of my stove, scooping and scrubbing unidentified food, and caked on gravy(?), and who knows what the hell else. And we’ve only had this stove for a little more than a year. Could you imagine what it would look like after 5 years? There are things that you don’t learn about prior to becoming a grown-up, and when you do learn them, damn if they don’t take you by surprise.

Like for example, the joy that comes in potty training your youngest. Sure, you still have to wipe her poopy bum, but at least the poop is confined to the toilet. And she pees on her own like a champ, placing her potty seat just right on the toilet and peeing and wiping and doing a great job. You marvel at what an experienced pee-er she is. And you forget that sometimes, she pees in to the cracks of the seat. And at least twice a week, after cleaning the seat itself, as you’re hanging it on the hook that is a bit taller than you are, you get splashed in the face with cold urine. And you think to yourself: glamour.

Or, when you’re an experienced grown-up like me, you find the small things endearing. You didn’t wash last night’s dinner dishes, and so your husband has thoughtfully soaked the silverware in the pot you used to cook macaroni and cheese. “Two birds”, you think, because the cheesy pot and the spoons are soaking, making your job that much easier tomorrow. Until as you are washing the dishes, you dump the thoughtfully soaked silverware, along with the macaroni and cheese that was never put away, now thick and waterlogged, right in to your clean dish water. Dumbassery is easily disguised as helpfulness.

How about when you try to get ahead of the game and do some pre-thanksgiving cleaning? You scrub your bathroom sink and console with bleach, getting in all the cracks and crevices, cleaning the drain, the faucet, the unidentifiable grime that builds up behind the faucet, and spend about 30 good minutes doing it. At bedtime, your children will certainly leave toothpaste globs and hand grime and who knows what else all over the damn thing. And this is when you will realize that there is no such thing as pre-cleaning, and all cleaning, in order to be preserved, must be done within hours of the event. And even then, it’s a crap shoot.

Remember how when you moved in to your house at the age of 20, you thought painting the bathroom a pinky tan and installing glass shower doors was a fabulous idea? And how for the last 5 years you’ve been pining for new paint in the bathroom because the pinky tan was starting to remind you of Pepto? Your husband will get it in to his head to repaint right in the midst of pre-holiday cleaning. And what if he takes the glass doors off of the tub along with the track so we can give it a really good de-liming? This is how you will find yourself outside on a chilly fall afternoon, scrubbing shower doors that have been propped up on sawhorses. And you will wonder just what the hell you were thinking 12 years ago when going for the “no shower curtain” look. And the next day, the doors will still be outside in the rain, and you’ll wonder if your bathroom will be put together by the time guests arrive on Thanksgiving day.

This is not the romanticized grown-up life I dreamed of as a child. It’s almost comical how different it actually is. I’d say there should be a manual, or a textbook to study, but I know that my teenaged self would have never read it. Maybe it’s better just to be blindsided by the reality.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I am tired of people having no sense of/regard for other people. In the mall or at the store, nobody looks behind them before they abruptly stop and take up an aisle while examining an item. Nor do they apologize when you politely say excuse me. People cut in front of you in the drive thru line even though you have the right of way, and refuse to let you in to traffic on a busy thruway.

It makes me bonkers! Everything I do, I take in to account how it will affect other people. Are my kids running around like maniacs? Or talking loudly in a restaurant? Or banging on the church pew with their hymnal? Let me take care of it so that I don’t disturb you. Am I in your way at the grocery store? Here, let me move my cart around the corner. It seems like common sense.

This morning, I dropped Liv off at daycare and I was running late. I always like to have a few quick words with the teacher before I leave, you know, tell her how she slept, or if she’s eaten and when the last time she peed was. On my way in, another mother was at the front desk telling them about her son’s illness and why he had been out, and that she stopped in for his blankie etc.. She followed us to the classroom and as I bent down to take Liv’s coat off, she went in to the story with the teacher of how sick her son was. And then got out some DVDs she had made for the teacher. And then talked some more about her precious sick baby. And then inquired as to what Thanksgiving activities he would miss next week if he still happened to be sick, and this went on and on. Meanwhile, I stood there kissing and hugging the baby, getting her seated at her table and hoping to catch the teacher's eye or at least a break in the conversation. No luck. I loudly said goodbye to Liv and to her teacher, and left.

Now, the lady wasn’t wrong for coming in or for talking to the teacher. And maybe she too had to get to work and had some things to say. But I had to do those things too AND I had to drop my kid off. And I was probably wrong for being a bit huffy, but come on! And I think the teacher should have stepped away from the conversation for a second too.

Am I way off here? Was I not as wronged as I thought? I don’t know. It seems petty now. But I do think that everyone could pay better attention to the people around them and think not only of themselves for a change.

Or, maybe I just need to think about me and nobody else.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


My am I feeling stabby today. This is likely due in part to breaking my toe this morning. No, I haven’t seen a doctor. It is the exact toe I broke about 12 years ago though, the one that never really healed, and the one that I felt crumple and spread as I jammed it full force in to the new red chest we have sitting (not in its rightful place) in our living room while I was on my way to stranglescold Lucy for fighting with her sister over a GD flashlight while Hub was trying to get some sleep after a long string of overnights. I have it taped. I feel a bit better. No kindergarteners stomped on my foot while I volunteered in Lucy’s room today. (Side note: her teacher needs a RAISE)

So yeah, stabby. And I thought that in the interest of not being perceived as a nag by my husband/kids/co-workers, I’d make a list of things that are bugging the crap out of me but that I never say anything about in the interest of keeping peace or choosing battles. Here are my top annoyances as of late:

1. Dishes and laundry: If Hub washes the dishes or folds the laundry, I always put them away. If I wash the dishes or fold the laundry, I always put them away. (I have started singing “All I want for Christmas is a dish-wash-er”.)
2. Nobody in this entire house knows how to rinse out a cereal bowl, or close and put away a cereal box.
3. Similarly, nobody seems to know how to rinse a milk cup.
4. Liv will not go to bed unless it is after 10 and the other kids are sleeping. I can’t seem to change this, hard as I try. I am getting NO time to myself after the kids go to bed. And she STILL wakes up 2 times a night.
5. Our cat is so fat that he can’t clean his own ass, so he’s dragging it across my carpet.
6. I’m tired of bathing said cat.
7. And of the fact that since he’s “my cat” it is my job to clean up his ass streaks. Never mind that Hub is a CARPET CLEANER.
8. I have a good friend who pronounces “never mind” as “nether mind”
9. FIL is constantly sneaking Liv crackers and raisins and other things. I never know if she is full at meal time for real because of snacking, or if she’s faking it because she’s 2.
10. My mother chimes in her 2 cents on ever single family member’s every single Facebook update. Like she is this all knowing and all caring person. She is not. Either.

Well, now I feel better. I could go on and on here, but I don’t want to get all worked up. What little things are making you stabby?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Indulge Me

Please don't look at this and roll your eyes and think "Oh God, another photo post". Please just indulge me and ooh and ah over these photos because I can not post them on Facebook for my family to ooh and ahh over since I am giving them as gifts.

The following are a few of my favorites from our family photo session on Thursday. We have over 100 shots, so to narrow it down to just a few favorites was hard. But-- here they are. Ooh and Aaah away.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5 Minutes for Mom-Christms Giveaway is HERE!!

Every year, I enjoy participating in the Christmas Giveaways 5 Minutes for Mom so generously host. I've never won, but this just might be my year!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend felt long, although it really wasn’t. We crammed a lot in though I guess. Saturday was the usual rigmarole, though I got to take Lucy to gymnastics alone, as in with no other children, and I spent the whole hour reading. I strategically placed myself away from the obnoxious Home School mom—mind you, she is not obnoxious because she home schools, but because she shoves how important home schooling is and how ENRICHED her son is down your throat. She’s also made statements like “I don’t claim to be psychic, but I am a Christian. Maybe it’s the Christian in me, but I just knew something was wrong there…” AND is very opinionated on whether or not children should be vaccinated (they shouldn’t). Anyway, I don’t mind her home schooling, or being a Christian, OR the fact that her kid is probably going to get Polio—but I do mind her shoving her overbearing views at me for a full hour.

Um, so …tangent. My point was that I got to sit and read for an hour because I didn’t have Liv or Niece with me, only being stopped to answer a question about my Kindle. It was awesome. From there though, Bud had a TKD tournament, and it was his first big competitive one. He was competing in 2 divisions, one at 12:30 and one at 1:30. They were behind though, and somehow we didn’t get home until after 4PM. He did a fabulous job though, taking 1st in weapons, and 3rd in form. He also got a 1st place trophy for sparring, but there was nobody in his sparring division to compete against, so he went against an adult—who I’m sure let him win. In any case, proud all around.

We had friends over Friday night and had a great time over wine, chili and Trivial Pursuit. The kids played well together, and it was just relaxing and nice. They left after 11, so the kids were up late, and with the time change, I hoped they would sleep in a bit, but figured it would never happen.

To my surprise though, it did. Hub and I were up at 7 and had a full hour of quiet in the house before anyone else was up. We read the paper and had coffee, and it was actually kind of weird. The kids were up at 8-ish and we had pancakes and bacon and filled the rest of our day with church, shopping and a birthday party. The party was decent; though I didn’t know anybody there, and the kids had fun—Bud bobbed for apples and for donuts off a string as well as emptied the piƱata of every single tootsie pop (Lucy is too cool for such shenanigans). It was in the community room of an apartment complex, and a winding staircase led up to a game room where there was pool, ping pong, air hockey and some other games. Lucy enjoyed trying her hand at pool, while Liv enjoyed zig zagging between all the tables. She was running fast, having had pop, cake and ice cream after not touching her pizza, and was bordering on wild. In an instant, she was close lined by the ping pong table. She was knocked flat on her back. In the second it took me to get to her, she was up on her feet and jumping in to my arms. I’ve never felt her squeeze my neck so tight as she screamed and screamed and screamed. I thought she had hit the side of her face, but upon further inspection, I saw a huge welt and scratch going across her neck. I could have passed out right then and there, but held it together to bring her downstairs, where Hub declared me to be as white as a ghost. By then though, the baby was ready to start running again, clearly fine. I guess it looked worse than it was, but I can’t remember the last time I was so scared. I was making sure she could swallow and feeling around in there for swelling for the rest of the night. I still get all goose bumpy thinking about it.

It was a good full weekend. I’m looking forward to this 4-day weekend though, where aside from a family picture on Thursday, and dr. and dentist appointments Friday we are free as birds. Hub has been pricing things for my office though, and I’m sure I will get sucked in to some basement remodel. Small price to pay for the future though. Please remind me of that phrase when I am up to my eyeballs in drywall and pulling my hair out in a few weeks. Please.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A while ago I declared my intentions to begin working from home full time. As I transitioned in to having 2 school aged children with homework and activities as well as the most demanding 2-year-old on the planet, it became harder and harder for me to be away from them from 7:30 am until 6:30 pm. Sure, they were with Hub or FIL or even my mother most of the time, but that wasn’t good enough for me. I missed my kids. I was tired of eating dinner and managing showers before bedtime in the course of an hour. Again, I just missed my kids.

So I, and my 2 colleagues started pushing hard for working from home. We all had our own reasons, but we all really wanted it. We were told over and over again that it wasn’t going to happen. And then, yesterday, our exec asked us if we were really serious about wanting it. And then there was talk of purchasing office furniture and phones and printers for our home offices. And suddenly, it felt like all my dreams came true.

By December, I will be working from home full time. I will see my kids on and off the bus every morning. I will be able to go to Tae Kwon Do with Bud, or sign Liv up for a Mommy and Me Gymnastics class that I can actually get to. I can get dinner started on my lunch break and we can eat at a reasonable hour. I don’t have to commute in the snow. I don’t have to get up at 4:45 to go to the gym anymore. The possibilities are endless.

I do have to make once per week appearances in the office to “stay connected.” I do have to come in for video conference meetings on occasion. I can totally do that. I feel like everything is falling in to place here. I am so, so excited. I have gained 2+ hours back in to my day.

I just….well I don’t even know. I’m overwhelmed with being happy right now.

Can you even believe it? I dared to dream, and I got what I want.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Well, the air has finally changed, you can feel the crispness of it now. Most of the leaves have been blown from the trees and everything suddenly seems so grey and bare. It is pitch black when I wake in the morning, and next week, when we change the clocks, it will be the same way when I’m driving home from work. In spite of just finishing all of our favorite fall activities, and all the holiday cheer that will spew forth in the coming months, this time of year, when there is so much darkness always leaves me cold, dark and anxious. I hate driving to and from work in the dark. I hate where my mind goes in the darkness. I hate that I’m already feeling the pre-darkness dread.

I wish there was a way to get on top of it, but there never is. I wish I could just shut my brain off, but I can’t. I try to drown things out with songs on the radio, but something always triggers it and my mind wanders.

Isn’t it weird how much we rely on the sunlight?

The last week or so, I’ve been making soups and dinners to put in the freezer. I’ve been cleaning up my downstairs area so I can focus on eBay-ing. I’m trying to get ready; to have additional focus—I don’t really care about TV anymore and there’s only so much to do on the computer at night. This issue could be remedied if I were able to work at home. The car, alone in the dark, is the problem. I should push harder for that.

The holiday toy books came this weekend. The kids are ridiculously excited for Christmas. And there will be Thanksgiving, and cutting our Christmas tree, and cookies and so much joy. And the days will start getting longer before we know it. The new year will come, and the light will come back.

I just need to get through the darkness first.