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, 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.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thirteen on Thursday...

Don't be all *SHOCKED* because I actually am posting my 13 on Thursday ON Thursday. Okay, it's alright to be a wee bit shocked. I'm a bit surprised myself. I actually did not think I would be able to come up with 13 things of my topic, but lo and behold, I was able to come up with 13 and then some.

Thanks to Julie from NY, AND Kristin from PA for the great topic of PET PEEVES. Apparently they are both negative Nellys and have a TON. I didn't think that many things bothered me, but once I got going, I no longer considered those two negative, as much as they are just probably very perceptive. Feel free to chime in on any peeves that you might have- and let's all revel in all things (or people) that are irritating. Mwahahahahaha. (evil laugh).

Here goes it- in no particular order.

1. Leaving your shopping cart in the parking lot- and not in the designated cart area. SERIOUSLY? I have 5 kids and still manage to put my cart where it belongs. It damages cars, and it's just plain lazy. Park by the cart corral and put it away. I love to catch people in the act of leaving their cart some place it OBVIOUSLY doesn't go and saying in my most kindest, sickeningly sweetest voice "Oh, I'll take that back for you". (While I have one child on my hip and 4 in tow). Usually they say, "that's okay, I can get it". I hope it gets them to realize that it's not that difficult after all.

2. Driving around for 20 minutes to find a spot close so you don't have to walk 10 yards more. Really? Who has time to drive circles in a lot just waiting for someone to pull out? Chances are, two rows over and three rows back there is an empty spot with your name on it. Stop being lazy, park a little bit away and walk that donut off.

3. Litterbugs. (are we sensing the "Lazy" theme yet?). Put your trash away. In a recepticle. Seriously. I  told my kids the first time they were small and tried putting some trash on the ground - "think about if everyone in the world dropped one piece of trash on the ground at the same time. What a mess that would be!!". Now they are little garbage pickeruppers. I have guilt if I walk by something on the ground and don't make an effort to find a trash to put it in. Let's just do our part to keep ol' Mother Earth looking her best.

4. Leaving cabinet doors open. SHUT THE CABINET DOOR- really. Just do it.

5.Rubberneckers. I dated a guy that was a TOTAL rubbernecker. Once we were driving by a wreck and he was staring. I said "stop being a rubbernecker". With his head spun and neck extended- looking like a cross between an owl and a giraffe, he said "What's a rubbernecker?!?". I broke up with him on the spot. It was worth the walk home for him being such a doofus. (ps only half of the story is true- I'll let you guess which half).

6. Fishers for compliments. "I look terrible". "I look fat". If that's how you feel, I'm not going to argue with you. Chances are you aren't fat and don't look terrible, but you need to figure that out on your own. Beauty shines from within and if you have it, it will show. The compliments will follow. I'm not biting.

7. Braggers. Along the same lines as "fishers" (both suffering from low self esteem) braggers are so over the top about themselves, it's not even funny. Again- if it were true, you wouldn't have to say it outloud. If you're great, we'll know it. Braggers come in two categories: Outdooers, and One-uppers. Outdooers can do the same things that you can do only they do it better (just ask them). One-uppers can not only do what you can do better, but they also have done it a hundred times more and 50 times more intense. This is a fun person to bait with conversation. Don't get irritated with them, just let them tell their "catch of the day, building Noah's Ark, SuperBowl winning touchdown" story and have a good laugh. It's sad-  but humorous at the same time.

8. Copycats. It's okay to borrow (okay, steal) ideas from someone- just give them the credit. Is it that hard? If you don't know where you got the idea, that's okay, but if you know it's not yours- fess up. I totally stole the idea for 10 on Tuesday from my good friend JT. And she knows it. But she's cool because I say "I'm totally stealing that from you" and then I ended up making it my own anyway. Half the time I say "I'm totally going to steal that from you" I don't end up doing it anyway, so nobody has anything to worry about. I'm not a wheel inventor, but I do have some (somewhat) original ideas. If you'd like to borrow (okay, steal) them, I'm flattered. Just give some props.

9. How about when you are at the checkout at a department store and the phone rings. Now you are there, with your goods in hand, ready to pay- and the clerk is going to make you wait while they tend to the person who is on the phone. Oh- so rude. As a former retailer- I can tell you that it's so important to TREAT THE PERSON WHO IS IN FRONT OF YOU LIKE THEY ARE YOUR LAST CUSTOMER EVERRRRRR. The person on the phone is most likely shopping around and may or may not end up spending money at your establishment. Take care of me. I'm here, spending money, giving you job security. Give me your attention.

10. Artificial dye. In anything. Would we really know any different if everything "cherry" flavored wasn't red? And that stuff stains everything. People obviously realize that or there wouldn't be "dye-free" products. And why is Raspberry flavored stuff BLUE? What genius came up with that idea? 

11. Trying to do anything "quick" and having it take WAAAAAAAY longer than it should have. It could be anything from getting on the computer to running in the store. I know, I get it. Sometimes things just happen. I roll with it, but it's still a pet peeve.

12. Low pant wearers. These dudes defy the law of gravity with their "pants on the ground". I'm a total rubbernecker when it comes to that whole pants below your bum swagger. I have to stare. They amaze and annoy me at the same time. Pull your pants up and put your legs together. And whattup with the one pant leg up? I need to know. It buggeth me.

13. People that skim when they read. Especially when it comes to my blog. You know who you are. There will be a quiz later. You'd better study.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thirteen on Thursday...

You knew I would work my way up to this.. Either that or I let Tuesday pass me by, and my "Ten on Tuesday actually on Wednesday" never happened either.  So NOW, here I am, Thirteen on Thursday.

I was wracking my brain trying to think of thirteen things to share. And I came up with THIRTEEN goose-eggs. Big fat nothing. SO I went to my handy list of things people have asked me to talk about on here, and Stacey T (aka "Jethro") from AZ had suggested that I do a product review. What a great idea! So here are thirteen things I think are nifty, neat, or just can't do without. (Again, these are in NO particular order- also my star rating varies. It's a FIVE star system, but some deserve more than 5):

1. Pampered Chef Cut n Seal. I love this gadget. I actually own THREE in three diff't sizes. Forget those premade pbj's in the freezer section of the store- this makes them for you. You pick the bread, the fillings and VOILA! Presto chango. I love it. I make up a bunch of sandwiches with this, freeze them and it makes lunch making go by so much faster. It's also fun for parties that are around lunch time- kids love them. I've made them with cheese, tuna, pb & J, tofurkey, pretty much anything you put in your sandwich. TEN stars.

2. Oxo Good Grips Apple Corer. I know that Pampered Chef makes that peeler slicer, corer, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, but I always thought that was a little overwhelming to get out just for lunch. I found this one YEARS ago, and love its simplicity. It takes the core out of the apple and then you can half the apple, or cut it into circles, slices, whatever. Again, takes an ordinary apple and makes it fun. My kiddos love apple "chips". FOUR stars.

3. The Magic Bullet. If you don't own one- or if you have no idea what this is, you really need to watch more TV and focus on the infomercials. This little baby- WOW! When Connor was born, I decided to make my own baby food- I had a steamer, a food processor, ice cube trays, ziploc bags.. It was a process. I did the same thing with Chloe. When Collin came along, I decided to get a manual food mill- bought from Bed Bath and Beyond for $50. I got HUGE biceps from it. I used it to process everything. I thought it did a better job getting the texture that I was looking for than the processor. Still, I was making loads of baby food, freezing and storing. Then I got the Bullet and my life changed. Or, rather, the way I made baby food changed. Whatever we were eating, I just wizzed some up and fed the baby. It is that easy. No multiple steps, no freezing food. It is perfect. We use it for smoothies, salad dressing, milk shakes, anything. It's really great. Mine is starting to smell when I turn it on, I think I might be burning the motor out. But the use it has gotten has been worth its weight in gold. I give this FIVE stars.

4. Shark Steam Cleaner. I swear I don't spend all day and night ordering things off of the TV. I do shop at Bed Bath and Beyond and they do have a bunch of "As Seen on TV" items there. (Bumpits, anyone??) This item can be seen on TV and it works. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone with boys that use the bathroom. Once you clean with this, you will never clean the bathroom another way. And beware the "stuff" that comes out from the nooks and crannies. You thought your toilet was clean, ummmmmm- no, it's not. Not until NOW.  LOVE IT!! FIFTEEN stars. I'm on my second one. I'm not sure what that says about the quality- I blew up the first one, steam went shooting everywhere, but this one seems to be just fine.

5.Tot Locks. Whoever invented these were nothing short of GENIUS. (I'm thinking it was a woman). These are the best locks. They keep my kids out of things- right up until about 3 1/2 when they can figure out how to open just about anything. If you've not seen these, and you have kids- check them out. They are magnetic- and they don't allow the cabinet to be opened at all without the magnetic key. Forget those spring locks, Cooper can figure those out. Think about all of the things you could keep lower if you had a great lock. FIVE stars.

6. Dyson vacuum. Oh My. I love the Dyson. I wanna plant a big fat kiss on the man that invented the vac that doesn't lose suction. MWAH! This vac is not stinky, it sucks like the dickens and works every time. Well worth the money shelled out for it. Vacuum with your current vac, go buy a Dyson, come home, vac again and you will be sold. That did it for me. A HUNDRED FIFTY stars.

7. Oxi Clean. If you have kids, you have stains to get out. If you have multiple kids, and expect to keep those clothes for siblings, you want to keep them looking as new as possible. I heart this product. I have actually had friends say "I can't get this stain out, can you?" And I have. With this. If you have something that hasn't come out- after washing- try this. HOT hot water in a bucket- mixed with Oxi. Let it soak for a couple of days. You'll be amazed. Most stains come right out. I'm kind of a laundry freak- okay, more than kind of.. and I panic when I run low on this stuff. I buy it from Costco in the BIG box, and keep a box on deck at all times. SEVENTY-FIVE stars. (Oh, and Billy Mays -RIP- IS the reason I tried this to begin with. He was one convincing pitchman!)

8. My Honda Odyssey with it's sliding doors. GENIUS! (I do have some compaints about the vehicle- like the LACK of ability to fit 3 car seats across the back row- with LATCH and TETHER- but that's another story).. I love it when I have my hands full and can open my doors with the push of a button. I'll be in the preschool parking lot, and see a mom with her big SUV struggling with kids and the stroller and think to myself (if you didn't have to be so COOL- you could have had your doors open, kids loaded and be pulling out of the parking lot by now). I also see parents in the carpool lane actually having to get out and open the door for the kids. Hell-o you are wasting valuable time here.. Mini vans have come a long way. They are way cool. I was NOT having one when we first had kids. Mike was the one who said "Let's just try one". He was ready to make the switch long before me. We rented one on a trip back east and I was sold.  Now I wouldn't give up the swagger wagon for anything.. NINE stars.

9. The computer. (More importantly- the INTERNET- thanks Al Gore for inventing it). Google, Yahoo, Mapquest. FACEBOOK, aol. All of it. So handy. So fun, and so much information right at my fingertips. If I want to know how to spell something? I look it up. If I want to know where something is? I look it up. If I need a recipe? I look it up. Wondering what an ex is up to? Look it up. (Just kidding on that last one). Seriously though- thank you world wide web for being the doctor in the middle of the night, helping with homework (how else would we have known what to put in our Diorama of Mesopotamia?), and making me the smart person I am today. A BAZILLION stars.

10. A full length mirror. No home should be without one. Enough said. INFINITY stars.

11. The Itzbeen baby timer. What a lifesaver this is. I don't use it as much now, but it was my "secret tool" for keeping track of when the baby ate, how long they had been sleeping, how long it had been since they had a diaper change. It actually allowed me to nurse the baby, and then go run errands because I knew just when the baby would have to eat again. If you are a follower of Babywise, this helps with keeping the baby on a schedule. Great little gift. It used to come in just the color shown, but now it comes in pink and mint green too. So cute. A must have for any mom. TWO MILLION stars. ps- it also has a * button on there that I used to keep track of medicine for me or for the little ones. AND- it has a backlight and a little flashlight. Perfect amount of light for changing a diaper in the wee hours.

12. Maytag 3000 series washer and dryer. With the amount of laundry I do- 5 kids, 2 adults- school uniforms + play clothes + pjs, + mountain biking duds + gymnastics oufits + whatever = the need for a washer and dryer that can accomodate large loads so I can cycle through Mount Laund-a-rama quickly. I don't have the side stands, but I do have the underneath ones- and sure it looks cool, but they really don't get much use. (I have been blessed with an abundance of cabinet space in my laundry room). Not to mention they make the washer and dryer as tall if not taller than me- making it hard to put anything on top of them. But, they are cool, quiet, and do a heck of a job getting my clothes clean. Now if I could just find someone to automatically FOLD and put away all of the clothes.. that would be something. TEN stars

13. My camera. (last but DEFINITELY NOT least). I love my camera- any camera. I think it's one of the most important things that someone can own. Memories may fade, but pictures capture priceless moments and preserve them for years. (Oh my, Hallmark much?!) I really think everyone should carry around at least a point and shoot with them. Your phone is good, but what do you do with those pics? Ever print one? I have, the quality is less than great. (Although- back to Jethro- who has an Iphone that takes pretty sweeeet pictures- I'm sure if she printed them out they would be just fine). Even if you don't think you take great pictures, it's still great to snap those memories. Even if the memory is not what or who the picture is of, rather of the person that took the bad picture- I guarantee you will smile inside. For example... (ya didn't think you'd get away without a story did you?!?). My besties gram was taking our picture one time when we were getting ready to go out. She had the camera up to her eye, and was saying "I can't see you girls". She wasn't even looking through the viewfinder, and I think the camera might have even been backwards. It was adorable- and once she got the camera turned around, she got a shot of us and even though it came out blurry- and maybe even our heads were cut off, Stacy kept it because it was a reminder of that time with her gram and I.  Her gram is now gone, but that picture and that memory lives on. PRICELESS stars.

Share some of your favorites with me!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ten on Tuesday actually on Tuesday

So I'm feeling a bit ambitious this week- maybe because the week is short and I do well under pressure? I dunno. But here I am ACTUALLY on Tuesday thinking to myself "Self? you should blog right now". And then I was thinking- "doesn't everyone want to know the 10 guys in Hollywood that are candy to my loin?" I guess if I could have 10 "Free Passes" this would be my list. (These are in no particular order)
1. Johnny Depp  (nuff said)
2. Chrisopher Meloni (I'd like to be his "special victim")

3. Mike Rowe (boy do I have a dirty job for him!)

4. Matt Damon- (he's like hot dogs and hot Apple Pie)

5. Bruce Willis (yippee ki-yay m'er f'er)


6. Mel Gibson- (just so he can scream obscenities at me)

7. Matthew McConaughey (no shirt, no deodorant? no complaints here)
8. Nacho Figueras (he's nacho average looking polo player)

9. Hugh Jackman (anyone with a name that sounds like "Huge" rocks).

10. Jude Law (if breaking the "law" is wrong, I don't wanna be right)

Of course there are a few fictional characters (Stiffler, anyone?).

Luckily for me, I don't have to wonder what life would be like with any of them, because I was fortunate enough to snag the best guy. And he used to be a model, and he was on a soap opera and he adores me- flaws and all. So, even though this list exists, it stays safely tucked away in my mind, because I know when all is said and done, I have got it made.

This one was so easy, you might even see more of me on here this week.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ten on Tuesday on Wednesday almost Thursday.

So I've seen a few people that do "Ten on Tuesday" on their blog, and feature ten whatevers. I was thinking it would be a great idea, and thought maybe I could do it on another day to be a little original, but couldn't come up with any other catchy phrase like that. I thought about "Many on Monday", but how many? "One on Wednesday" but- I don't ever have just "one" of anything to say. "Thirteen on Thursday".. hmmm. Ehh- maybe. But for now, I'm going with "Ten on Tuesday" on Wednesday.

I love when my blog readers let me know it's time to get on here and jot down some thoughts. Thanks to Shari from GA for the nudge. I even got to sing a little Steve Perry to her to let her know how thankful I was for the prodding. ♪Oh Sha-ri♫

I've been busy with my photog blog and if you haven't seen it yet, please take a look. http://www.anniesullivanphotography.com/ And if you are interested in having pics taken, let me know! I'm the gal for you.

Sooooo- this little blog of mine, well, I am going to dust her off and give her some love tonight. I have been asked to post some recipes, and I think that's a great idea. For another post. Another time. I really want to get to my top ten. I'm just typing until I decide what ten I'd like to share with you. All 13 of you. *cheesy grin*. So, duhduhduhduhduhduhdudhudhudhuhduhd (drum roll) here it is.

Ten things you didn't know about me until now:

1. I played the flute in band (insert obvious band camp joke here) and was actually pretty good at it.
2. I used to smoke cigarettes (don't judge, I quit a LONGGG time ago- way before I was married or had kids). There's actually a VERY funny story about that, and because it's my blog and I'll share if I want to- I'm going to tell it now.
When I first started dating Mike, he came to my apartment to pick me up (I believe it was for our second date) and there was a pack of Marlboro Lights on the counter. My bestie was staying with me at the time (she had maybe smoked 4 cigarettes in her entire life and that's because she was intoxicated- otherwise she was totally NOT a smoker) and Mike said (in a disgusted tone, with an even more disgusted look on his face) "EWWW- whose are those????? And without skipping a beat I said "ew, yeah I know, those are Stacy's". And we shared a look of disgust and went out on our date. That was the last time I ever smoked. I told Stacy that I totally threw her under the bus, and she pinky swore my secret was safe with her, and Mike and I went on to date and eventually get married. It wasn't until around our 1st anniversary and Stacy was out here visiting that we told Mike the story. He told me if he had have known they were mine, we probably would NOT have continued dating. I'm so glad I had a friend to blame it on. And I did quit right then, so it all worked out. The funny thing is, I'm surprised we even had a second date at all, considering on our first date- he took me to TGI Fridays and I ordered the most MASSIVE beer ever (and he doesn't drink at ALL).
3. I have lived in 21 different places. I moved on the average of every 2 years growing up. The first house that Mike and I built out here I lived in the longest that I have ever lived anywhere.
4. I am a music JUNKIE. I know a lot of words to a lot of songs- my favorite band of all time is Pink Floyd.
      4a. I have traveled to see the Grateful Dead more times than you would expect and more times than I can remember
      4b. I love classic rock (Doors, Zeppelin, Dead, etc.)
      4c. I have had a crush on Eminem, Snoop, Fred Durst and Rob Thomas  (again..with the judging)
      4c. I would never watch tv again if I could always have music playing (although there is always music playing in my head)
      4d. I can't stand country music
5. I ♥love♥ the smell of Nag Champa incense
6. I have a bucket list
7. I play a wicked air drum
8. I trained for a marathon, and even though I didn't run it because of injury (stupid IT band), I ran 3 half marathons during my training. And FYI 3 halves do NOT make a whole. I will run the entire one- mark my words. (One of the 1/2's I ran in just over 8 minute miles)
9. I lived in a fraternity house one summer during college- also one summer my girlfriend and I packed up and went to Bar Harbor, Maine. We had very little money, one car and didn't know anyone. We stayed in a cabin in the woods with no running water, no indoor plumbing, no electricity. We moved from there to a tent, to a hotel room and then to a mansion on the water. It was the best summer ever. Thanks for the experience Tiffany!!!
10. I believe you get back what you put out, positive things come from positive thoughts, negativity breeds negativity and you should be careful what you wish for. The things you want do not always come packaged how you would expect.

Thank you and goodnight!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

cheating and vegetarianism. Caution- certain parts are not for the weak stomach.

So I've been cheating on my blog with my 'soon to be up' photog website. I've been up to my eyes in all things photography, and this poor little funny spot has been shelved. Have no fear- I'm here and I'm... no.. not "queer" even though that DOES rhyme and sometimes does apply to me when you use it in the "bizarre" sense.. Anywhoooo- where was I?? Oh yeah..

Heather from New York wonders how and when the best time to go vegetarian is.
Well Heather, I would say it would be on a Monday and start with breakfast. Unless you're eating meat stuffed with meat wrapped in meat as your first meal, it's a good place to start. Plus, I like to start anything NEW on a Monday morning, and that's just another one of my "theories". Monday is a new beginning. Forgiveness for the sin that occurred on the weekend.

Seriously though. For me, it was gradual- giving up red meat early (teens), turkey and then chicken last. Although the college years I can NOT be held accountable for anything I consumed. There were plenty of 2 am hot dog stand visits (any fellow Brockporters know what I'm talking about) smothered in whatever they kept on that dirty cart, and the occasional "Garbage Plate"  from Nick Tahou's.

At some point, I became more and more disgusted by meat until I couldn't stand the thought of eating it and gave it up altogether- which was sometime in my early to mid 20's. I read the book "Alive" about the rugby team's plane that crashed in the Andes and were forced to eat their fellow frozen passengers to survive. Gross, but then I watched the movie and SAW them digging the frozen flesh off of the corpses and it just looked like chicken to me. I NEVER looked at chicken the same after that.  The thought of eating meat since then became hard for me to swallow- figuratively and literally.

When I was pregnant with Chloe, my dr said my Amino Acids were low and that I should try to incorporate some chicken into my diet. I attempted to eat it twice (for the baby) and was grossed out to the point of almost vomiting- and thought there had to be a different way. Enter Braggs Amino Acid.. yummy on veggies, rice, pretty much anything you would want a salty flavor on. Kind of tastes like soy sauce. And it must have worked- she turned out perfect, if I do say so myself!

I met Mike and he was also a vegetarian. BONUS! He will occasionaly sneak some turkey at Thanksgiving, and he has over the past 10 years had chicken a few times. He did mistakenly eat some pork once and ended up on the couch very ill for a couple days. I think he realizes he should stay away from any mystery meats.. Not that pork is a mystery meat, but it was in a Chinese dish- just sayin'. Once he took the kids to McDonalds to play (Connor was 2, Chloe was 1) and bought nuggets for Connor (apparently he didn't know they were meat??) and Connor had an upset belly and diarrhea for days. I couldn't figure out why until Mike said "do you think it could have been the nuggets?" I was like "what nuggets?" And then he told me. He said he ordered them and half way through Connor eating them he "remembered that they were meat".. I think I gave him a dirty look that pretty much said more than I ever could outloud. He's a smart guy- not some "ham and egger" so needless to say I was a bit surprised. It was the last time the kids had anything other than ice cream or fries from McD's.  

Reel it in Annie... So, Heather- I would say to start off making some meatless choices for yourself once or twice a week. I don't know if you like to cook, but if you do, there are a TON of veggie recipes out there. You could even try some of your favorite meat dishes and replace the meat with Morningstar Farms crumbles. Even give tofu a try- it tends to take on the flavor of whatever it's in. It's bland, and some people are not fond of it's texture, but you can do a lot with it. You can even use it as ricotta in lasagna to kick up the protein. If it's substance and texture you crave, you can get that from tempeh- which is compressed soybeans. I just made enchiladas with it and it was even kid friendly. Of course I fried up the tempeh first, and it was loaded with cheese and sour cream and enchilada sauce and more cheese- but I used whole wheat tortillas and they were good. I didn't say they were low cal..

Try some meatless "meat" dishes first, and ease your way into veggie eating. And then you can venture into tofu dishes, lentils and black beans for supper. I'll get around to posting some more of my favorite recipes one of these days... Best of luck!

Monday, June 7, 2010

you made your bed, now do NOT lie in it.

So I have a few theories- many of which I am sure will get shared on here eventually- but one main one has to do with my bed. I like a made bed. I personally think that the bedroom is the beginning and end of an organized life. I know that the days that my bed does not get made are more chaotic. If my bed gets made straight up, the day runs smoother and I have a sense of peace in my life. I know it sounds strange, but so much time is spent in the bedroom that when it's tidy, it seems to flow throughout the rest of the house. 

This theory started when I lived alone and was a bit of a neat freak (no comments from those who know me)  and I realized that if I didn't make my bed, I was more likely to put clothes on there that I tried on and didn't wear, the messier my room would get and the mess would seem to trickle out into the rest of my apartment and seemingly into my life. Think about it. If you have a made bed that looks pretty, do you really want to muck it up with messy clothes? Nah- I don't think so. Think about the chaotic people in your life- I would be willing to bet quite a few of those people have an unmade bed. Now if those people took 2 minutes each morning to make their bed, I would be willing to wager that not only their bedroom, but also their life would be a little more organized. I'm right on this- you know I am. Of course it's not 100% true in every situation. And it IS only a theory...

ALSO- if your bed is made, you will have to get up and around and are less tempted to get back in bed and slack. I don't even like to sit on my made bed. I'm telling you.. it works.

If you are reading this, and you are not a bed maker- try it for a week, and see if it has any influence on your day. Please let me know. If you are a bed maker, and your life is in shambles- you have pretty bad issues and should seek professional help. And even then I don't think that will be enough. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

I've been "SEW" busy that I've neglected my blog...

And sew on and sew forth... Sew, did I tell you?... (I could go all day, but I'll spare you the corny humor and get right to business). We'll reap what we "sew" later.. (or at least I will explain what all this "sew" talk is about..)

Thanks to the bestie for gently reminding me that it was time to post again. I miss you Finna and here ya go.

In my quest to be a little greener- I've been wanting to use a safe cleaner that doesn't make me feel as if I have to wear a hazmat outfit if I'm going to spray it near the baby, the kids, or the dog. One day Dr. Oz had on something about the things in your house that are killing you. (Nice.. I know. Nothing like a little SCARE tactic to perk you up). Anyway- he had on a recipe for a cleaner. It goes a little something like this:
1 t Borax
3 T vinegar (I heart Vinegar, but that's a post in itself.. it's 10001 uses)
1 T dish soap (I like Seventh Generation- it smells nice and rinses very clean)
2 c H2O (that's Water for those of you who failed Chemistry)
I also put about 3-4 drops of Peppermint Oil or Thieves Essential Oil in. The peppermint gives it a great clean scent, and the Thieves has antibacterial properties. AWESOME. *If you are interested in the oils, let me know. I'll be more than happy to share. They are a big part of our everyday life here...*
I use this to clean granite, glass (windows and mirrors!), placemats, high chair, toys- even as a fruit and veggie wash. It's my new favorite. I have a spray bottle with the ingredients written right on the side with a Sharpie.

Try it, I think you will like it. I know I feel good when Cooper is in the Bumbo and I can spray it right next to him and there are no toxic fumes.

I've been busy with my photography. (soon I shall have a business blog with all my pictures but that's coming.. you'll just have to wait.). I shot a wedding, I shot a family, I shot some kids for Mom's day, I even shot the sheriff, but I did NOT shoot the deputy. (I know.. but that's why you read this, right? Because of my uncanny ability to interject humor in the most random of places?) Anyway- back to shooting... I had the pleasure of borrowing a suhweeeet! camera from my friend Stacey to photograph the wedding. Wow. I wasn't sure whether to have camera envy or be completely overwhelmed. I felt like the paparazzi. I'm pleased with how the pics came out and even though I'm in the middle of edtiting, I think the bride and groom will be happy when they see the final results. (PS If you are looking to have pictures done... um HELLO! I'm here for ya. I'm running a special right now. Contact me on Facebook, or by phone.)

"Sew" here's what all the fuss is about.. I took on the project of window treatments for the front room. Mike and I decided that we would make cornices and then I would make the drapes. We seamlessly and effortlessly constructed the cornices. I'm telling you- it was smooth as butter. Mike and I get along very well, unless we have to do something "projecty" together- and then we tend to butt heads (and no, I didn't just call him a "butthead"). We approach things very differently, and both of us think our way is right (mine always is) and that leads to conflict. It still comes as a surprise to me when we bicker about dumb project things, especially when we see eye to eye 99% of the time. Usually we end up laughing because it's so trivial. The best example of this was on our honeymoon- where we almost got divorced (not literally) while taking a "romantic" ride in a canoe. It was an outrigger and we could not get our groove down. We got so mad and were paddling in circles.  When we finally got our mojo (or so we thought) we slammed the outrigger in to one of the over water bungalos. We had to laugh because we broke the boat- not to mention we must have looked like complete idiots rowing in circles arguing in the beautiful waters of Bora Bora. So when I say this project went smooth- it's no lie. We were like pb and j, beans and rice, milk and cookies..unicorns and glitter! No? (love that commercial). So they are so close to being done. I have one window pinned for the hem, and the edges need pressing, but I'm happy with how they turned out. Connor came into the room when we were putting them up and he said "It looks like a HOTEL in here!" I said "if loving my handy work is wrong, then I don't want to be right".

 Well, I was going to post a picture, but considering I've tried it FIVE six seven times and it's STILL not working, you will all have to wait. Sew sorry.

Sew now you know. I'm sew tired. Sew long, farewell...