What's it all about?

It's a little about me and my five sugar cubes.
Never a dull moment.
Sit down, buckle up and enjoy the ride....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WHAT!?!? On Wednesday.

SHUT. THE. FRONT. DOOR. Yep. I'm here. *Cough*Cough*. Holy cow it's dusty in here. WOW. Okay, so I'm going to clean out the cobwebs and spew random thoughts of Annie. Who knows what will happen.

So I've been ABUNDANTLY busy with my photo business. So much so, that I don't have time for much else. But it's okay. I love it.. But having a passion turned into a business, things change. Sacrifices are made, things get neglected. A few things that have gone by the wayside are the blog, the duct tape, the kids, the hub, the house, the dog... Okay no. Now I'm just exaggerating. The kids are fine.. (hang on, where's the baby?? DOES ANYONE HAVE VISUAL ON THE BABY!??!??), the dog stays fed and watered (as do the kiddos).  The house stays picked up, the important areas get cleaned, but you know when your husband says "I think we should get someone in to clean the house"? You don't pass go, you don't collect $200 (well, I would) but you don't EVER question a suggestion like that, and you head straight to the phone and "get someone in to clean the house". So that's exactly what I did.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am the biggest pain in the tush person to clean for. I'm basically a cleanorexic that is never satisfied. I've stashed Cheerios behind trash cans just to see if they clean behind them. EPIC FAIL- every time. I've been through more cleaning ladies than I have underwear...and I have a TON of undies, people. Not that I wear them.. TMI for you? You can go. I didn't ask you to be here.. *insert big cheesy grin here*

My neighbor referred her cleaning lady, I interviewed her and have had my sights set on her for almost a year. She was pricey, but I knew she was worth every penny. (Detail oriented, BBB accredited, licensed, bonded and insured). I called her, and she said "There will be 5 of us there and it will take at least 4 hours to clean your house". HAL-LE-LUJAH! I've had people come in here and clean my house in an hour and a half. My house is 5000 sq ft. You can barely walk through it in an hour an a half. (yes, that's an exaggeration.. and no, I'm not bragging about the size of my house, if you remember we have like a hundred small children and a dog.. so, it's really the same as a 900 sq ft apartment with one child). Well, the crew came and.. what do you know? 4+ hrs later, they were done. All 5 of them were dripping with sweat. I didn't care, I hugged the owner (Martha) and wanted to kiss her on the lips, but thought I'd save that for another time.. once we get to know eachother a little better. My house sparkled. My blinds and baseboards have not looked this good since we moved in. Even the kids were excited. (Probably because I wasn't shoving a duster in their hand for once). Ahhh. Serenity nooooowww. It was so nice to sit guilt-free at the computer and facebook work on editing last night. Now if I could just get someone in to do the laundry and cook, all would be well.
So, if you are in the market for a cleaning crew, give Martha a call and tell her that I referred you.

That brings me to my "topic".. People always seem to ask "how do you do it all?" "how do you always seem like you have it together when you have so much on your plate?" "do you EVER sleep?"
My answer is simple. I am Undervixen. That's right. I'm a superhero. Oh, don't act like you didn't know. Please. I've been keeping it a "secret" for years. But now it's out. It's too much for me to keep up the facade. Sure, it's hard to run in thigh high pleather stilletto boots, and sometimes my cape gets caught on things.. but it's all good. Totally worth it.

Seriously, I do what I can and I have an excellent partner in crime. (He's like my Robin, if you will...Either Robin- the Howard Stern one, or the Batman one.) I would be lying if I said we had some secret formula that helped get it all together. (If you know of one, let me know..) The kids are on a schedule- that helps, I do my work at night. I have my work nights, and Mike has his mountain bike nights. He rides after the kids go to bed, I work after the kids go to bed. I don't do it "all". I have to let things go.. like duct tape, like scrubbing my house, like showers and shaving. When I leave the house to see people (exception: carpool line, grocery store, errands, playdates.. okay, seems like there are a lot of exceptions here..) I pull myself together. I like to pretty up and it feels good. Okay, so basically once a month for Bunco I get dressed and do my hair and makeup. There, ya have it. I fool everyone with one night of looking half way decent. That's all it takes. Oh, and I don't complain. I don't crab about how much editing I have to do, or how many kids I have or that my husband can NOT SEEM TO CLOSE THE LAUNDRY CHUTE DOOR TO SAVE HIS LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!! (you think he heard me????) But complaining is non productive. Yawn. It's boring and noboody wants to hear your crap anyway. Be gone with it.

I have so much I want to do.. I just wish there were more hours in the day. I guess I could sleep less, but I'm not one of those people who do well on little sleep. It's not pretty when I'm tired. And right now, tomorrow is looking pretty ugly for me.

I'm happy to be able to ramble on. I hope you got some pleasure out of it.. (don't be a sicko).. and now you can sleep at night knowing that I blogged. (Kaylin).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ten on Tuesday actually on Wednesday, 3 months late and not even really Ten of anything.

Okay, sooooooo- after much grief, nudging and pressuring from the "people", I have decided to give my baby blog a little sugar. I appreciate everyone that remains loyal to my absentee-ness. You know who you are- Shari, Heather, Kristin, Marjorie, Shari, Heather. :) It's mucho appreciado. And yes, I did just make up fake Spanish words. Whatever. We've had the convo about how it's my blog and I can do what I want, and if you don't like it you can leave, right? Riiiiiiiight. Okay.

So it's not that I haven't wanted to spew my thoughts on here- quite the contrary. I have a lot to say. In the spirit of all things Sheen- I could rant about nothing for days. About how I'm a winner. Winner, winner, Sullivan dinner. Seriously. However, considering that I'm not on whatever drug he is on, and don't have that insane Meth-energy that he has, I choose to be a troll and neglect my blog in exchange for getting other things done. Those other things would include my photog biz which is flourishing, feeding my soul and fulfilling my desire to smell new babies. I am so blessed to have this relationship with my camera. I am constantly learning, growing and changing in my art. And the beauty of it, is I can see and feel the growth. It's very rewarding.

Here's what is on my mind...

First of all, what's the deal with men and women and losing weight. Have you seen that commercial- with the stick figures where the woman talks about losing weight and she loses nothing and the hub just thinks about losing and does? That's not really how it goes, but close. Well, that's happening at my house. Mike and I decided we wanted to lose weight- for different reasons.. He has a bike race coming up, I have some baby weight that I'd like to go away. My girlfriend Kristin suggested the Flat Belly Diet.. totally made sense to me. You eat real food, don't eliminate anything- it's not crazy, and you get to have chocolate. I won't give you the whole low down diet, but it's based on eating a MUFA (mono unsaturated fatty acid) with each meal. So, I do Flat Belly, Mike does a food log- he's lost TEN lbs, I lost THREE lbs.  And, apparently those three pounds did not recieve the memo to "get lost" and found their way back to me. Whatever. Shortly after I started Flat Belly, I had the honor of beginning my "cycle". Mike, trying to be the supportive hub that he is- kept reassuring me that the weight will come off, I just have to get through my time of the month, etc.. Then in the next breath, he's saying "don't hate me because I'm skinny"... Jerk. Just kidding, hon. I'm happy (cough, gag, VOMIT) that you are fading away and I can't lose a pound to save my life. I'm very diligent about this plan too.. I'm going to stick to it and see what happens. I'm not giving in or giving up. I will let you know what happens. I am determined to lose these last few pounds. Speaking of VOMIT.. Poor Chloe threw up tonight and I was thinking to myself (as Mike was cleaning up the mess) "maybe I should clean it up, then I'll get sick, because after all, I am really only one stomach flu away from my ideal weight".. Haha. No. I don't want to lose it that way. Or do I???? I ran twice- that was nice. Don't want to "overdo" it. (insert hysterical laughter here..) Okay- enough about that, I'm starting to get frustrated again.

I had mentioned on my facebook status, the amount of time I spend in my kitchen cleaning up. It's seriously an ALL DAY AFFAIR. And not the seedy Unfaithful type affair that leaves you sweaty and wanting a cigarette. Well, I'm sweaty, but not satisfied to the point of needing to fetch a pack of Marlboro's.. My new friend Marjorie (who I get the privilege of taking pictures of her family when I'm back east in June- shameless plug for Annie Sullivan Photography ) had mentioned that she and her sister referred to this ritual as the "Modern Day Cinderella". She is not kidding. I'm like a tattered dress, a pumpkin and some mice away from being Cinder-freaking-ella. In the morning I get up and make lunches for the bigs, and breakfast for myself. Mike is in charge of breakfast for everyone else. He's also in charge of taking the bigs to school- so I finish up with the littles, and clean up the kitchen. Then it's "I want a snack".. so, snack happens. And snack makes a mess.. So, I'm in the kitchen cleaning up again. And as much as we repeat to the point of sounding a bit Rainman-esque "food stays on the tile", it still manages to make it's way in to the playroom, the hall (technically it's "tile") under the couch cushions... Ugh. Then it's lunch time (this all happens by about 11:30 mind you).. And it's more food, more cleaning up. Then it's another snack, more cleaning, then supper, more cleaning. And sweeping? If I went ONE day without sweeping 15 times, I don't know if you'd be able to see the floor. Yes, I am exaggerating, but the 4 and under crowd is a rough one to keep up with. Sticky paws.. accidental spills in aisle 7. The whole nine. It's total karmic Murphy's Law when Mike mops the floor. (yes, he does the floors, I've mopped ONE time in 10 years and he actually took pictures. It's just his "gig". He likes it done a certain way.. and who am I to argue??). Anyway- Mike will mop and within 1 hour there will be milk spilled, or applesauce flung or yogurt dropped. Something. I don't get it. Oh well. It's all a lesson in patience and tolerance. I just want to get. out. of. the. kitchen. I did mention that it's amazing that I have time for anything else (aka 'facebooking') with all of the time I spend cleaning up.

And speaking of how much time I spend on facebook- I'd like to clear something up. I have a computer in a very central location in my house. If you've been here, you know where it is and what I'm talking about. I have to walk by the computer to get to the bathroom, the laundry room, the playroom, the back stairs. It's adjacent to the family room. So, in my defense (what, I'm not getting defensive, or okay maybe a little) I am not ON facebook all day. I have it up, I walk by, check what's new, put in my two cents, and then head to my destination (usually it's the kitchen). I also edit pictures while fb is up- and being the WINNER that I am, I can actually multitask and fb and edit at the same time. WIN-NER! Oy.

Well, this should satisfy the masses as an entry in the blog bank. I'm sorry it's taken me so long. It seems like I've not taken a breath since December. And there is no end in sight- however, I wouldn't have it any other way right now.

Peace out.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shut the front door... Thirteen on Thursday ACTUALLY on Thursday?

Last I checked, pigs weren't flying, monkeys weren't coming out of my bum, and hell hadn't frozen over. However, despite all of the busy-ness I'm wallowing in right now, I decided to blog.

I didn't think it was fair for me to list 13 things for dudes and leave it at that. We ladies could use a few tips on gents too.. After all, realistic expectations are the keys to ultimate happiness.

So here is my Thirteen on Thursday, actually on Thursday.. and it's 13 things we ladies could learn about dudes.

1. It's best to understand that Dudes are wired completely different than we are. Actually, while we are complexly "wired", they have ONE wire- that leads from the brain to the penis. It's like a monorail- it might make stops along the way, but it basically has two destinations and they are on the same path.

2. First stop on the monorail? The PENTHOUSE. Guys are VISUAL. They aren't turned on by what they can't see. Hence, the success of the "gentleman's" (ahem-debatable) club, girlie mags, Internet porn, Victoria's Secret commercials. (insert grunt here). Throw your man a bone(r) and give him something to look at. He'd rather look at you anyway. And if he's not giving you the attention that you need? Nagging ain't gonna change that. But I'm guessing wearing nothing but a smile and some stilettos will do just the trick.

3. Next stop? Honey's Diner. One of the stops along the Male Monorail just happens to be at the belly. Most guys eat- and many enjoy it. Find something that your guy loves, and learn how to make it the best. Find a recipe that he grew up on and make it your own. Why do you think there are recipes out there for "Engagement Chicken" and "Get in my beddy Spaghetti"? Guys make a connection between food and comfort and happiness. Just don't pick something that his mother is famous for- especially if she's still around. First of all, you'll never make it as good as she can (and either one or both might just tell you that) and you don't want him thinking of his mom while he's enjoying the fruits (meats, vegetables, potatoes) of your labor.

4. Caution: ONE WAY TUNNEL ahead.. Guys + multitasking is like a clown with no arms trying to juggle. It's nearly impossible. This is due to their simple wiring. Don't expect them to be able to feed a baby, cook supper, talk on the phone, knit a sweater, help with homework, bake cupcakes and do it all while looking fabulous. Expect one, maybe two things to get done simultaneously. If you leave him in charge of the kids- understand that if you return and the kids are alive and accounted for, he did a good job. If you leave him in charge of supper- understand that when you return, supper might be on the table, but you might be short a few kids. I'm not saying that there is not the exception to the rule- there always is (and I just happened to be married to him) but for the most part- it's ONE MAN-ONE TASK. Basically it's an unspoken rule. Adjust your expectations and you will never be let down.

5. Next stop? Home Depot. Guys are natural FIXERS. The car breaks down? They try to fix it. Leaky pipes? Fix it. Loose screw? Fix it. Fix. Fix. Fix. Apparently they have a hardware store along their monorail line.  Guys don't understand that we are not an appliance in need of fixing. We are sad, they want to fix us. We have a bad day they want to fix it. We get mad at someone they want to beat them up. They have a hard time understanding that emotions can't be patched up with duct tape. It's okay though- that's what girlfriends are for. Don't get all emotional with your man and then expect him to get out the tissues, the blanket, a tub of Ben & Jerry's and snuggle up to Pretty Woman with you. It's not going to happen. He's going to offer suggestions, try and fix it and you're going to want him to shut up and hug. Call a friend. Let the man get back to fixing something.

6. Next stop? Vanity Fair. Guys need compliments too. While a guy won't come out and say "does this make me look fat?" he really doesn't want to look like a schlep when he leaves the house. Even if he says he doesn't care- he cares, a little. If you don't want to pick out his clothes, then make SUBTLE suggestions. After all- like it or not- he's a direct reflection of us lady-folk. Let's not let our men walk out the door with athletic pants, black socks and sandals on. It's not pretty. Let's help a brother out.

7. Next stop? The Price is Right. (or The Price is Good Enough).. Most guys don't like to shop. Especially COMPARISON shop. Yeeeeooooowwwch! That's the worst. Expect that if you ask him to get you something from the store, he's going to walk in, grab the first thing he sees that fits the bill- price be damned- pay and walk out. Badabing. Done and Done. Why ya gonna get in a tizzy because he didn't clip the coupon, read the unit pricing and mull over 10 brands of which walnuts to get? He may not have done it how YOU would, but you got your nuts, right? Don't drive yourself nuts trying to make him do it like you would.

8. Next stop? Appreciation Station. Guys are macho- and don't want to admit that they need kudos. But that doesn't mean they don't WANT them and won't accept them.  When is the last time you told your man he did a great job on something? He works hard, acknowledge. He does stuff around the house? Aknowledge. He tried? Acknowledge. You like it, why wouldn't he? Start small, don't go overboard- again, it will not seem genuine if all of a sudden you are all up in his grill about how "GREAT" he is.

9. Next stop? Testosterone Town. Let him have the time he needs to do what he needs to do. I know it sounds contradictory, but in actuality, if you let him have the time to get his things done, he will be so appreciative it will come back around to you. Let him do the guy things he wants to do- watch football, bike ride- fix stuff around the house. And don't get me wrong- I don't think this should take up every spare second of time.. but if you give, he will give back. Bring him a drink while he's working, pick up a hammer, sit down and watch the game with him. Don't be annoying or pesty though- that will backfire. He will find a million tasks to do to stay away from you if you are on him like a fruit fly. Just be chill.

10. Next stop? Gift Gallery. Okay ladies.. here is where the men need help. (refer to #7). Guys don't like to shop. Why are you going to be disappointed when you don't get what you want for Christmas, your birthday, Valentine's Day, etc...? Be SPECIFIC. S-P-E-L-L it out if you have to. Don't just ASSuME that your dude knows what it is you are DYING for. You might have mentioned it 50 times, but chances are you mentioned it during football, the fixing of something, or a Victoria's Secret commercial- in which case, you might as well said you were running off with Stan the Mailman. He didn't hear you. Save yourself some aggravation- make him a list, and let him know that the ONLY thing you would like is (insert 'must have' gift here). The other option is to have a girlfriend give him a hint, a heads up or offer to buy it for him and he can pay her back. Easy..

11. Next stop? Handsy Pantsy. Guys have a package- they like to make sure it's still there. Often. Who cares. If our junk was on the outside, I'm pretty sure most of us would be copping a feel every now and then too. We're just jealous because we can't be as blatant about it. It would be AWK-WARD to be in line at the grocery store checking to make sure that our vulva was still in tact. However, guys can check, adjust, grope, feel, and it's fine. They aren't groping someone else- they own the goods, let them feel it. What's the big deal.

12. Next stop? Naghead City. Guys have limits. Guys have triggers. Guys have tempers. Most often, guys keep them in check. There are times (and this is a slippery slope) when guys reach their limits, most times because we lady-types push their triggers and they lose their tempers. Now, I am in NO way condoning or excusing abusive behavior- and this is where the fine line comes in... we push buttons, guys stuff their emotions down to spare our feelings. Those emotions get packed down like gun powder until BAM! POW! Explosion. Now a guy might hollar, throw a temper tantrum and get angry.. but we have to understand and accept our responsibility in it. AGAIN- to reiterate, I must say that it is NEVER NEVER NEVER okay to hit, threaten, abuse (mentally or physically) a woman/child/man/animal..EVER in any way.. Also, abuse is NEVER the victims fault. EVER. PERIOD. that's not what I'm talking about here... What I'm talking about is our responsibility in backing our men into a corner and just expecting them to take it and back down quietly. That's not how they work. We can't just say whatever we want to a guy and expect him to take it lying down. (Unless that's the game you're playing..*cheesey grin*).  Maybe it's best that we stop hounding, and understand the power that we have to push their buttons. Maybe we should pick up on their clues when they are trying to walk away and we follow them trying to get our point across. Let them be, the issues will still be there later. Sometimes guys just need some time to calm down. Don't get all big in your man's face and then when he gets mad call "foul" or dirty fighting. Check yourself. How are YOU handling the situation?!?.

13. Last stop? The Red Light District.  Sex. He wants it- probably more than you. Take one for the team once in a while. You'll always be too tired, too headachey, too busy, too mad, too whatever. Really? Chances are, when you first got together you couldn't get enough of each other. Wasn't that a good feeling? Try to get that back..... it will enrich BOTH of your lives. (And it's a better outlet for that packed down gun powder than the alternative.).

I hope the message that you take from this, is that really your relationship is simply based on expectations, accepting responsibility and understanding. It's all give and take.

Now go spell something out for your man. Speak slowly, wear something sexy and simmer something on the stove..

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thirteen on Thursday actually on Monday... Calling all DUDES. *HOT NAKED CHICKS* Get yer freak on this holiday season..

Do I have your attention?  I'm looking for my guy readers.. although my ladies might have something to add to this as well...

First off, let me just start by saying (in a petting, sympathetic voice)  "Poor neglected baby blog". I'm going to give you some love today. I've missed you, but am thankful for the things that have taken me away from you..

Okay, now for the dirty dirt-ay.

Hopefully I will have some guys read this- it promises to be beneficial to you. I'm sure it won't get the same amount of hits as the BOOB blog, but hey- not everything can be about boobs.

Thirteen things guys should know about girls. This will make your life easier. Read it, memorize it, and apply it to your everyday life. If you do, you will reap MANY benefits- in and out of the bedroom. (and FYI- there is life outside the bedroom. Sheesh!)

1. When a girl asks "does this make me look fat?" Have some tact. Of course we don't want you to say "HOLY CRAP! Your a$$ looks GINORMOUS!" but we do want your honest (filtered) opinion. Most of the time we're not asking because we're fishing- we're asking because we want to look our best when we leave the house. We're looking for our best friend inside you. We're looking for the "ya know, it's not that it makes you look fat, but it doesn't do justice to your ROCKIN' booty". Is that so hard? It's not a trick question, it's just a tricky answer. One wrong move and you'll end up not seeing that booty for a few weeks. Play your cards right and you'll have more booty than you can handle. Easy breezy mac and cheesy.

2. Undergarments are for us, not you...well, sort of. Push up bras, spanx, thongs... Sure, they benefit your visual senses, but really we are just trying to look our best IN clothes. More cleavage, less muffin top, getting rid of VPL (visible pantie lines).. we're just trying to get out of the house looking like the airbrushed models that you find so attractive. (even though you say you would rather a "natural" girl- we all know what VISUALLY turns you on is perfection). So throw us a bone. Give a compliment, even if you know that when we take it all off, we're a saggy, droopy mess. And then throw us another bone when we take it all off. You love the "au naturale" we are anyway..

3. When we repeat what we say a hundred times during an argument, we are not nagging.. we are just not feeling acknowledged. Take a minute to think about what it is that we're saying over and over. We repeat because it seems like you're not hearing us. Be the grown up, suck it up, HEAR us and address what it is. Trust me. This is not an easy one, and sometimes we act like babies.. That doesn't give you an excuse to stoop. We'll stop our tantrum a lot quicker if you just LISTEN.

4. On our wedding video, Mike's brother gave us some advice and it was the best advice (for guys). His brother said that any argument can be avoided with two words "Yes. Dear". So true. "Why don't we do it this (my) way" "yes dear". "Let's eat at this place" "yes dear". "Can you take the kids so I can take a shower?" "yes dear"...  See how easy that is? Soon there will be a whole planet of Stepford Husbands.  Perfectly simple. When in doubt, just say it. It will shock your wife's pants off. (and yes, most of these suggestions will land you more bedroom time with the ladies- and after all, isn't that what you really want?!)

5. Don't give us all of the power and then balk when we use it. Don't have us be responsible for the kids, the house, the bills, whatever, and then get mad when you do it different than we would and we call you out on it. Most times the "house" duties belong to us, and when you chip in to help and we "tell" you how it should be done. We're not trying to be bossy- or micromanage (okay, sometimes we are..). Most of the time we are simply letting you know how WE do it. More times than not, we've got it down to a smooth-sailing science, and we're just letting you know that. Give us some credit. We know that life is not going to fall apart if things are done your way- deep inside, we get it. But it's still hard to watch someone else do your job different than how you do it. Take your job for example. If someone came in and did it completely different than you- wouldn't you want to say something? Something  like "Dude, are you kidding me? Why would you do it that way?" Even if the end result is similar. If you were a surgeon, and a landscaper came in to do surgery, wouldn't you be like "um...are you seriously going to use a chainsaw to make that incision?" The end result is a cut, but the process is vastly different. Understand?

6. Little things go a long way. Less leads to more. Unspoken tasks lead to sex. Yadigg? Take out the trash, change a poopy diaper, hold the door, make dinner. Ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching.. deposits in the love bank.

7. We get clingy when we feel you pulling away. Think about when you're totally focused on something other than us.. Whether it be TV, football, movie, chores, whatever. If we feel like what you are doing is more important than us, we'll start to chat it up with you- or interrupt. Make time during the commercial, halftime, pause the movie, put down the rake- just recognize that we are present. That's all. It's very simple. The more you act like we're bugging you, the harder we'll try. So just concede. A little. It's okay to have testosterone time- just make sure the estrogen in your life knows that she's still numero uno.

8. Surprise us. Flowers (even hand picked ones), a card (even a post-it note), a car wash, a made bed, a Starbucks, muffin.. whatever. Just surprise us with something that we like once in a while. HUGE deposit in the love bank. Now, on the other hand, don't surprise us if we're not prepared. Don't have a surprise party for us when we just roll out of bed.. that will not go over well. You will not see booty for years with that one. Surprise times are the only times that little lies are acceptable. And only if they are for the greater good. Involve girlfriends if need be. They are your best resource.

9. No, we won't sleep with our best friend for you. Stop asking. We don't want to think about you thinking about her. Ever. Period. Fantasize all you want in your mind- but don't tell us.

10. Stop the primordial grunting when a Victoria Secret commercial comes on or a hot chick is on TV/movie/ walks by, etc.. It's juvenile and hurts our feelings. We recognize they are hot- but c'mon.. when you grunt, it makes us think that's what you want. We know that that's not what we are, so we are confused. Give us the grunt or keep it to yourself.

11. Compliments are awesome- especially when they are genuine. "You look hot", "This meal is great!", "you do a great job with everything you do". Be sincere and recognize that we try hard to be good at many things, and a lot of those things don't get credit. However, don't overdo it.. especially if you've not been doing it. Small steps. Otherwise we won't buy it.

12. For every "high maintenance" girl out there, there is someone who is even higher maintenance. If you can imagine that. So, when you think you're living with a diva, just know that there is someone out there demanding room temperature Evian, salad with 42 different kinds of lettuce from every corner of the planet, 4000 thread count sheets, 17 carat diamonds and Swarovsky studded panty-liners. You've got it pretty easy. Now love the one you're with.

13. Understand that almost every girl has a "Red Zone". This is the week prior to Mother Nature's gift. It is a free pass to act like an insane person, snap, nap, complain, groan, moan, and give the silent treatment. You have NO idea what's going on inside of our body. Let us have these few days. Don't aggravate, irritate, or argue. You won't win, you're not right, and we don't want to hear anything you have to say. And please don't ask us if we have our period or refer in anyway to "the rag". That will only seal your fate. Best advice here is just to "yes dear" us. Thanks.

It may seem like we are a species of our own, difficult to understand, and maneuver. It's not true. We may be complicated, but so are electronics. The only difference is, they come with a manual, we don't. But just because we don't have a "troubleshooting" section to refer to, it doesn't mean that you'll never understand us. These tips are not just for you to change- we don't want that. We just want you to "get" us. Even just TRY to "get" us. Don't try to fix what isn't broken. Sometimes we just want you to listen, and HEAR us. Get this, and get more out of your relationship. Promise.

Oh- one more thing. Do NOT buy appliances for ANY special occasion. Unless specifically asked for. Nobody wants a hand vac on Valentine's day. Nobody wants a blender for their birthday. Again, unless that's the only thing that she asks for. Save the toaster oven for an impulse buy on that random Tuesday trip to Walmart. Trust me on this one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thirteen on thursday.. Can ya believe it? And FIRST thing too!!

I so wanted to blog last night, but we recently had our wireless network "reworked" and the laptop could not find the connection. I had so much going through my head....... oh well. Let's hope I can pull it from the abyss of my brain and type it out this early morning..

Thirteen Things that my kids say/have said that have
a. cracked me up
c. mortified me or
d. a combination of the above

I love how free kids are with their speech. They have no idea. Their little mouths just flow like lava, and even when they don't even know what they are saying, they look for a reaction from others.

Connor, our oldest, has always been smart. He's a wise soul in a little body (even moreso a wisenheimer-no clue where he gets THAT from) and questions EVERYTHING. We imagine he will probably fall into the category of lawyer or judge when he grows up. He's our local law enforcement agent, making sure everyone (except for himself) stays in line. Presently, he's known around these parts for making sure that people excuse themselves after passing gas- oral or anal (it's my blog, I can say "anal" if I want to).  He's very persistent with it, and although, "YAY" for manners, "BOO" for driving us all crazy with it. So coming in at #13 is:

13. "Say excuse me".."SAY excuse me!".. ""say EXCUSE me!".. "SAY EXCUSE ME!"

FINE! Excuse me! Geez- just leave it alone already. And give someone a chance to say it on their own.
(ps I don't HAVE gas. so he's never saying this to me)

Chloe spoke real early- using big words from the time she was a teeny munchkin. Being the angel in a family of devils is hard work. Although I have always said, the only thing that keeps her halo on is her horns. She's not evil, never has been- but she does wear the crown well. When I was pregnant for Cooper, she was hoping he was a girl, and I kept saying "the crown is only big enough for one head". So true. I think she will do just fine being the only girl in a sea of boys. With that being said- Connor went to school first, and I knew that kids come home with things from school that *SHOCK* you- and dirty words are learned, etc. We were expecting him to come home with something first. Well, Chloe was in her first year of preschool- so she was 3  and we were all sitting down for supper. I was serving, and I put the plate of food in front of her and she said (coming in at #12)

12. "What the HELL is this?"

Now we don't swear, and she'd only been exposed to preschool (I'm pretty sure they stay far away from the 7 dirty words) and so this came as a shock to us. She had no idea what she had even said. I lost it, laughing so hard I was crying and had to leave the table. Mike was such a trooper- kept his composure until I got back, excused himself and had a good laugh in the other room. To this day, I think that line had been engraved in my brain as one of the funniest things ever said by a toddler. 4 years later, and it's still got me chuckling.

Might as well go in order here.. Collin is our sweet one. Sure he's got his moments, but he'll run up to me just to tell me he loves me, he's very cuddly. Most of the time he's polite and thanks to Connor, he always says "excuse me". Well, he had gotten some money and wanted to buy something at Target. We went through the line, and the cashier was commenting on how well behaved he was. Collin was using his manners, please and thank you.. adorable. After the cashier finished checking us out, he handed Collin the bag and without hesitation, Collin said:

11. "Thanks....ya big FATTY!"

Crickets. I was mortified.  The man wasn't even fat- so it's not like he was being insulting (thank goodness) but still. "ya big FATTY?" Where on earth??? We had a talk all the way to the swagger wagon about that one. (Don't think I didn't laugh in my sleeve though...)

Cole is our big bear. He's a BRUI-SER and I do believe he'll be destined for football greatness. He's all out- rough and tumble, but wrapped up in sweetness. He'll come at you full charge like a bulldozer. At the same time, he's the best snugger- and cuddles like nobodys business. He's also funny. These kids, come up with these things.... I told Cole he needed a hair cut, and what does he say?

10. "No mum, I don't have time".

Seriously? You just turned THREE. All you have is time. In his mind, he's dead serious. Toys await, haircut will have to reschedule.

Cooper is too little to say anything sarcastic or embarassing, although his first word (aside from da-da) was

9. "Pepper".

Clear as day. I grew him in my womb from a cell into a full sized baby, nurse him from the breast and who does he give his first props to? THE DOG? Yeeeooooooowwwwch. "Pep-per". Thanks.

Words are part of our every day. Can't do much without them, this blog would be nonexistent (can you IMAGINE? Oh the horror). Thankfully we have words, and I can entertain with them.

Connor, as previously mentioned, is the local law enforcement. He governs the littler ones. Who am I kidding? He governs (or tries to anyway) everyone in the family.  First in line to tattle, first in line to point the finger, you get the point. He is very aware of things that are not kosher. For example, he will break out in a cold sweat if a movie has a "cuss" word in it. He will have to leave the room. However, he is fascinated by them, and does what he can to point them out. He's curious as to which words are okay to say, and likes to ask about everything. The word du jour is

8. "Ball sack".

Apparently Connor asked Mike if that was a bad word, Mike said no, Connor asked if he could say it, Mike said "I suppose". Now Connor takes that, engraves it in stone, and decides it's best to teach Collin to say it.  So yesterday, Collin kept saying "ball sack" over and over and over. REALLY? Now I grew up- only child, single mom. Very female environment. We weren't loud, we weren't gassy, and we certainly didn't go around shouting "ball sack". I grew up using proper names for everything- and I even had an anatomically correct boy doll so I could learn the "parts". I think his name was Peter. NO LIE. But even now, as a mom, I encourage the kids to call a spade, a spade- or in this case, a penis, a penis, but I'm not sure of the technical term for ball sack. !?!??! I told Connor it was okay to say in an emergency- which hopefully doesn't translate into 911 "BALL SACK" calls...

I don't even think this next one deserves an intro

7. "Well, how do YOU know?!?".

Infuriating. I know because I'm 30 yrs older than you and I just know. OKAY? O.K.A.Y. Geez Louise.

Everything in Phoenix is new- relatively. I mean if you think about the state only being 98 years old.. It's very new. We don't have centurian homes, we don't have much history.. When we visit back east, everyone lives in an older home, things are "historical" and it's new to the kids. Connor is 8, and the two houses he's ever lived in have been brand spanking new. Most of our friends and family have homes that are around 10 yrs old. 25 yrs for a home is old. Shopping centers are new, when an area gets "old" and rundown, new areas are built. On a trip back east, we were staying with my aunt- she lives in a very old house- they are always updating it. It's charming, very different from the homes here. Just about everyone that we visit has an "older" home.. older fixtures, older appliances. Well during our last trip back, Miss Chloe said

6. "Is everyone here POOR?" No honey, they aren't all poor- they just have historical homes.

Beyond the circle of my family, I have been shocked, surprised and amused by people saying dumb things to me over the years. I used to work retail, and people would be looking for a certain size. Lets use, for example, shoes in a size 7.  This is TYPICAL and anyone who has ever worked retail can relate to this...
Customer "Do you have these in a size 7?"
Me "Let me check"
Me "No, we have a 6 1/2 and a 7 1/2"
Customer "Oh, you don't have a 7?"
Me "Nooo, we have a 6 1/2 or a 7 1/2".
Customer "So, you don't have a 7?"
Me "No, did you want to try the 6 1/2 or the 7 1/2?"
Customer "You're sure you don't have a 7?"
Me "let me just check one more time"
This is about the point that I pretend the past exchange has never happened, I go into the back, use a sharpie marker to change the size on the box and inside the shoe, tell them I actually DID indeed have a 7, sell them the too small 6 1/2, make my sales goal and move on to the next victim. Suckahhhhhhh!

I don't have anything more. For those of you who have made it this far.. thank you and good day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thirteen on Thursday actually on Friday a few weeks late.. for Shari and Linda and Heather and Stacy...my loyal

Oh Shari♫♪... I've heard your pleas♫♪. I'm here for you. ♫♪ (Thanks Steve Perry for the first part of that song- the rest I made up)...

(I have a friend who has been suffering such deep depression and angst- and apparently the best medicine is this blog, so she has been (im)patiently waiting for my entry in order to gain a speedy and full recovery..)

My first thought was to write about 13 reasons that I'm too busy to write in the blog- but couldn't narrow it down to just 13. Now maybe if it was 1.3 million reasons.... But then I realized I needed to stop making excuses- because it's not only theraputic for others, it's also good therapy for me to get on here and rant every once in a while.

Believe it or not, I'm OUT of topics- (from other people) and I find that usually my readers (all 10 of you) are interested in my wisdom on other peeps topics. So this time, I'm forced to dig deep in the matter of my own brain and come up with something.......... Here it goes....


*more crickets*

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Here. I think I have it. 13 things I'd like to do before I die. aka "The Bucket List"

1. Play the drums. I play a wicked air drum- discussed here- but I would love to know how to play the real drums. And I mean all out, sweaty brow, stick spinning, arm flailing, drum banging, rock star playing.
2. Run a marathon- again brought up here- but the more in depth version- is I was injured and I am bound and determined to complete a marathon. I'd also love to do a triathalon. The energy at a marathon is nutty- it's such an awesome atmosphere, except for if you didn't run, you're an outsider. It's very emotional. I want to be part of that. I'm not dogging half marathoners, 5kers, 10kers- I admire anyone who runs.. but it's a personal journey and I want a piece. I want that notch. I will get there. And you all better be there to cheer me on.
3. Shoot a gun. We have a gun- we have a Glock something. It's cute, but I have no idea how to use it. And I'm sure if my life depended on it, I could shoot it, but I'd like to know how to handle it with skill. Like Dirty Harry. (Go ahead, make my day). They have classes at the local shooting range, and it's just a matter of making it a priority. HA! I can't even make it a priority to blog once a week, I don't forsee going to Ben Avery Shooting Range anytime soon... hence, why it's on the "list".
4. Play the guitar. Along the lines of the drums, there is something so cool about someone who can sit down and strum out a familiar tune. Again- I play a wicked air guitar.. but the real thing? Yeah, not so much. Ideally I'd love to play the guitar and the drums at the same time. Don't laugh- I have 5 kids...I can do a lot that would surprise you.
5. Get published. I have had people tell me that I should write a book, a TV show, something.. Well, I do write a blog.....AND (shhhh- here's the big secret that only YOU know now) I am working on a book. It's started, it's being co-written with a friend, and it will be awesome when it's done. That's all I'm telling. I will say that we (coauthor and I) both said that we pictured ourselves on Oprah's book club- sitting on her stage chatting it up with her. I guess we better get a move on if we are going to make that happen. Darn Oprah and her retirement plans.
6. Adopt a child. As you all know, I have a "thing" for kids. I love them. I should probably NOT physically carry any more- considering 5 c-sections is pushing the record amount. And the last one they brought in a plastic surgeon to "tidy up" my stomach muscles that had been torn apart in the middle (goodbye 6 pack).. But there is something appealing about giving a child a home that would not otherwise have one. I would not take in a child that is within the age range of my biological children, but after they are a little older, I would take in a younger one. The one thing I don't want to do is to adopt for selfish reasons. It would have to work for the entire family. Period.
7. Bring Sexy Back..... Right? Or just meet Justin Timberlake. No- but that song just came on and I was like "Yeah!!!!!!!!!!! I'm totally gonna get my sexy on and bring sexy back before I die"... Sexyback on the bucket list. Annie- you so CRAZY!!!!!!! (and yes, I did just have dialogue with myself). You don't like it? Leave now and never come back.
8. Meet the President. Keep in mind, when I wrote my list- it was not in this current administration. I have time to meet a better one. I'll keep that one open...
9. Drive a race car. Open throttle, full on- 200 mph racing. Okay, so maybe a ride along at that speed- but for sure just let me get behind the wheel for one little lap. Mike and I did a fun test with Volvo and we got to drive a course, get timed and we had a race car coach riding along with us. They told us to drive it like we stole it. I totally did- and it was a blast. I didn't kill any pedestrians, didn't knock over any cones and didn't do half bad.
10. Own a convertible. I'm not even picky (well, I mean, w/in reason- mama doesn't want a hoopty). I know that at some point I will have one- obviously it won't be when my kids are little- unless it's a third car. It's not practical. But me WANTS one- bad. Always have, and always will until I have one in my driveway or garage.
11. Renew my wedding vows. My wedding day was so fun- I'd love to do it again. Dress up, tuxedo on Mike, have the kids involved. I think to share that day with our monkeys, and the friends we have now- would be so special and fun. I also think that it's important to come back to square once in a while with the hub- just to remind one another of the reasons you're together, the promises you once made, and verbalize the love that you have for one another in front of 200 of your closest friends and family at the hugest party evahhhhh. HOLLLAAAA!
12. Sing to my husband. He's always asked me to sing to him. And sometime I will. I come from a very musical family- both my parents sing and play instruments.. I can sing. I can carry a tune, and when I was little I was darn near pitch perfect. That was when I was little. Singing is a skill that needs to be honed and taken care of- fostered and loved. I think that if I had really put effort in to my voice and developing my vocal chords, I could have been a good singer. Mind you- I'm no Christina Aguilera - (who, by the way give me chills on every square inch of my body when she sings.. especially belting out those arpeggios. oy vey. she's amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing) but I think I could definitely carry my own.
13. Sky dive. Crazy? Yes. But really? No. I've bungeed- way fun. Even though I was scared and almost tinkled in my pants- when I was doing it I was one happy, giggly, adrenaline rushing fool... I think it would be an experience that would stay with me until I died. Unless I died doing it- and in that case I would be one happy, giggly, adrenaline rushing, bucket list accomplishing fool. Done deal.

As I was just reading over my list, I'm thinking I might be able to incorporate them all into one big fun party. How fun would that be to check all off at once?
Picture this- driving up in my convertible race car, I get out wearing my wedding dress. I have a gun- shoot it- which is the start of a marathon. I run the marathon, and when I get done, I renew my wedding vows, head to the reception where I am the one man girl band at the party- singing, playing the drums and the guitar. I sing to Mike, dance while getting my sexy on, bring sexy back and who walks in? JT! We get down, he takes me to his private jet, strap on a parachute- I jump out, land on the White House lawn where the President is there to welcome me. I swing by the adoption agency, pick up my child, go home, write my memoir- get published, go on Oprah and DONE! Bam. Bucket list complete.

Bada bing. Now wasn't that worth the wait Shari? You can come out of your state of depression now.

Friday, October 15, 2010

And you thought I forgot...Thirteen (or 8) on Thursday!

I could list 13 things I SHOULD be doing right now- but what fun would that be? Who really wants to see my "to-do" list? Although- there are more than one of you out there that have asked "How DO you do it?"
I've been asked to share some time management tips, and am thinking maybe it might be helpful for me to jot them down to share... as I might benefit from reading them as well. I've been off track.
Kristin from PA, Darcy from NY and I'm thinking Sherri from PA have asked about time management, or a day in the life of ME....
Here are some things that make my life easier, and help me stay on the path that I need to be. Now, as of late, I have not been true to my time management tips and some of them have gone by the wayside- TEMPORARILY. This is in part to my double business ventures- duct tape and photography. Both are ALL me, and both are time consuming. I'm so thankful for the abundance that has come my way in both areas, and right now I'm just holding on until I figure out how to juggle it all. That being said- here are the tips:
1. Make a list.. I don't care if you have to write "make a list" on your list and check it off. Seeing what you have to do, and checking it off feels SOOOOOOO good. I'll make a list and actually add things that I've already done just so I get that "freshly checked" feeling. How do you know what you have to do if you don't have it in front of you? Not everyone is visual, but I do believe that everyone can benefit from list making. And put little boxes next to each thing so you can put a check or an X. Ahhhhh.
2. Make a schedule.. I love scheduling. Maybe it is from my days as a manager, but it makes life easier to have assigned tasks for certain times. One example is a cleaning schedule (I say this, and can still smell the cleanliness from the HIRED help that was here yesterday.. I'm such a (temporary) hypocrite). My cleaning schedule helps keep my house in order- because I never feel overwhelmed. Each day is a certain task- or two and easily done in a short period of time. Consider it a rotation. It's not great for people who like to have their house clean at one time- but great for people who like to keep it clean everyday.
Monday- dust/vac bedrooms (excluding master)
Tuesday- upstairs bathrooms (again- excluding master)
Wednesday-dust/vac downstairs
Thursday- dust/vac master & master bath
Friday- downstairs baths / kitchen counters
That's just an example. Weekends are for stripping beds, mopping floors, changing towels- things that need to get done that should go on the "to do" list, not necessarily the schedule. It's a good guideline- and if you miss one day, the tasks are still manageable for rolling over to the next day.
3. Make a meal plan.. I have talked about my pantry before and shopping and feeding my family. The best thing I do is make a menu. Have a theme set aside for each day of the week and plan accordingly. Make a menu a month in advance.. or rotate the same one. You won't feel like you're eating the same things, even though you're eating the same type of food on the same day each week..
Monday- pasta/Italian
Tuesday- Mexican
Wednesday- casserole
Thursday- kids choice
Friday- Pizza
Weekends are usually thrown to chance- we eat out, we cook out- etc... But if you set up a month at a time- you aren't eating just spaghetti every Monday, you can plan to have lasagna, stuffed shells, whatever you want, and you can plan around it. Salad, bread, whatever. Mexican can be tacos, burritos, enchiladas.. you get the idea. Wednesday can be quiches, chili, anything that is a "one dish" dinner. Should be easy. Thursday- let the kids pick. This is usually breakfast for supper (YUM!) or "string noodles" (ramen). But I like giving them the power to choose what our family will eat. They like it too.
Friday, we alternate ordering in, eating out or making pizza. It's a fun family meal...and who doesn't like pizza?
4. Make supper a priority. We eat together every night. We set the table with place mats, and sit together. We don't get up until we've all been thankful for something. Even the little ones are "thankful". I think it brings everyone to center- it's important to sit and have that time. It also teaches the kids that dinner is for eating and sitting still. It is helpful when we eat at a restaurant and the kids sit the whole time. People see us coming in to a restaurant and you can't believe the looks we get- especially from the senior crowd. It's inevitable by the end of our meal we usually have at least one old couple tell us how surprised they are at the kids good behavior. I think its great, but at the same time sad that the expectation has gotten so low that people think that kids will run amok during supper. Our kids still get antsy- they are kids, and there are times when we have to talk to them about "indoor voices" but for the most part, it's not a terrible experience to eat out with 5 kids. And we do it pretty often too..
5. Make a bedtime.. My kids go to bed early. Earlier than most. Tonight they were in bed (all 5) by 7:30. It just makes sense for us. Night time is MY time and Mike's time and getting them to bed early gives us more time to blog, tape or edit. Or in Mike's case- bike ride, bill pay, watch grown up shows... you get the picture.
6. Make a calendar... back to scheduling- my calendar area in the hall - inspired by Real Simple and it is a lifesaver. If it's not on the calendar, it doesn't get done. I put everything on there from what specials the kids have to birthdays to holidays. It was a fun project- it's big enough for everyone to see and it helps up see the month at a glance..

7. Make a space for your kids.. Kids need an area that is theirs.. A room, a corner, a chair. Something. We have a playroom- and when we were looking to build this house, we were adamant about having a play space for the kids. It keeps my life somewhat sane. It doesn't mean that my kids still don't drag toys from here to the next county, but at the end of the day, they do a little parade walk around the house- picking up and putting everything back in the playroom. I also try to make it very easy for the kids to stay organized. I have hooks up for their backpacks, hooks for their PJ's, bins for homework/school papers, etc.. Now this doesn't mean that they always put things where they belong... but at least there is a landing spot. If I had a nickel for every time I said "I work very hard to make sure we have places to keep things organized, now if you can just PUT IT AWAY..." Someday they will get it. Probably when they do, they won't live here with me anymore... but at least I will know that I did my job.
8. Make time to do the things you like to do... I think the most ineffective thing you can do as a parent is not do things that make you whole. You can't completely wrap yourself up in other people so much that you forget to take care of yourself. Even if it's just a few minutes in the closet to gather your thoughts- do it, it will help you in the long run.
Excuse me, I'm going now. If you need me, I'll be in the closet.