-A mostly true journey of a girl, her man and their three kids; all trying to live harmoniously in a house somewhere in Utah. Names and exact locations may be changed in order to protect the grouchy.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fly On the Wall: February '14

Hey there!  Welcome to the February Fly on the Wall Group Challenge. This month, 11 awesome bloggers and I are describing what it would be like if you were to take a peek inside our homes....


Have a "look" around mine, and then go visit the other blogger's pages. There's always something fun, sentimental, or better yet, embarrassing going on. It's like your house, only we're admitting to the craziness. You have our permission. Buzz on over!

Cast:
The man
A., the eldest (daughter, 20)
C., The middle (son, 15)
J., The youngest (son, 9)
Henry and Lila- The dogs

We weren't in the house much. I'm assuming flies follow our family. It's probably the smell.

Trip to the Beach:

It was beautiful and warm. I counted every blessing while we were there. Getting away; hearing the ocean at night; feeling the sand between my toes. I was in heaven. It was good for my soul.


Hours before, we were looking at a foot of snow in our yard. It's amazing how you can go from that to feeling the warm sun on your skin.

I got punked by a bird. I felt so sorry for him! I tried to dig in my purse for something to feed this one-legged flyer. Look how he is balancing that round belly on just one little stick leg! It's like me in tree pose.

I step closer. With tears welling in my eyes, I close in.  Just like that, the chubby feathered animal popped out his other leg and laughed at me. They all laughed at me. 

I suppressed my cravings for eating poultry. That day.
***

On the way home, I got the middle seat. I tried to be friendly to the man beside me. (The other side). He wanted no part of my company.
I tell my husband about him at the airport.

Me: "That guy was grouchy."
The man: "He probably didn't want to be bothered."
Me: "I offered him some of my Red Vines. He rolled his evil eyes at me."
The man: "Why would he take your licorice? He didn't know you. He didn't know where your hands have been…"
Me: "Where my hands have been? They've been in a bag of Red Vines! Geesh."

The Lego Movie:

We saw it. We loved it. Morgan Freeman completes me.

The man and I were bumping each other and talking about our favorite parts of the movie. There were many.

C. and J. :"Um, Mom? Dad? Remember us? We came with you!"
The man: (looking at me and laughing) "Oh yeah. That's right. We brought kids. Get in the car, I guess we'll take you home."
***
C. : "Thanks for the movie. And the treats. That coke was huge!"
The man: "No problem. We only had to dip a little into your college fund for the concessions."
C. : (nervously) "You dipped into my college fund?"
The man to me: "College fund? What college fund??"
We simultaneously laugh for the next ten seconds…
***
Me: " (Walking into the boys' room,) "What are you doing?"
J. : "C. is helping me sort Legos by color!"
Me:  "Can I help?"
C.: "I don't know, Mom. You always get crazy over this stuff."
Me.: What are you talking about? That's mean!"
C. : "Never mind. Here." He moves, makes a space for me, and explains the process."
Me: (after about ten minutes of sorting,) "Hey. Don't you think we should put the boxes in order of color? ROY G. BIV any one? Where do the clear ones go? This piece is white and blue. Where does IT go? Why aren't the green pieces in a green box? Shouldn't there be a separate box for characters? Wheels HAVE to go in another box, right?."
J. is puzzled and C. is shaking his head. I decide to leave.


Dark green and light green in the same box? I can't work under these conditions.



Let's all make fun of mom:

C: "Mom needs a swear jar."
J. "Mom needs to put money in the jar every time she eats sugar."
A. "Gather round, my family. If this works, we're going to Disneyland!"
***

A. to me after I run to the mailbox in my bare feet: "Show-off. We all can't have reptile feet."
C. "Mom. Yeah, what happened? Your feet look like webbed-duck feet."
Me: "If dad and I ever get divorced, he's getting full custody."
The man: "HEY! Not so fast!."
***
We were laughing one night at dinner talking about silly stuff we used to do:

A.: "I remember when I was small, I thought the moon followed me."
C.: "When I was little I thought giraffes were really tall horses."
J.: "I thought EL-em-en-O-P was one letter."
Me: "When I was in first grade, I ate paste."
Pause. My whole family got up and left.


I refuse to think paste was made from any animal. At least the paste I ate.

After a few days, I wake up to this:


It's a Glue Factory. I'm sorry, PETA.


February 12th:

If you read this blog, you KNOW that I count my love of chocolate somewhere in-between the love of my three kids. (I won't say the exact order). You also know that in my world, candy makes everything better. You break a dish? You buy me a candy bar and all is forgotten. You are fifteen minutes past your curfew but you have a box of Sourpatch Kids? I lost my watch. Dog poops on the floor but he's bringing you a box of Mike and Ikes? I smell nothing. You get the picture.

You can imagine my anticipation for the 14th of this month. There is a drill. We practice three or four days before. I sit quietly as my family lines up, bearing the gifts of their search. Roses? Set them aside please. Construction paper cards? I will read (and cherish them) in a moment. Boxes of chocolate. There we go. Turtles, chocolate coffee and Junior Mints. Yes. A giant chocolate statue of me? Don't mind if I do.




And so I wait. We have to take a day off of practice so I can go to a doctor's appointment. I don't mind. I think the family has the candy run under control…
If you truly believe in Karma,
If you get the saying, "Be careful what you wish for." If you think to yourself, "Damn that lady. she gets everything she wants. Who needs THAT much chocolate?" "She should get diabetes!"

Okay, you're (hopefully) not THAT mean. Maybe just wishing for a little "Insulin Resistance."
I say to you people, "Couldn't you wish for that any other time of the year?"

Indeed, I have a metabolic syndrome which is forcing me to "radically change my diet". (Doctor's words). I looked at her like she was talking to someone else. Perhaps she messed up paper work. Maybe she's mixing up the February holiday with April Fool's Day. Lots of other things were said this day, but I couldn't focus on any of them. I lost my ability to speak. I envisioned those chocolate treats swirling above my head like sugarplums.
"When does this diet have to start? How long do I have to do it?" I ask incredulously.
"Yesterday and forever." Says the cruel woman in a white lab coat.

Valentine's Day was much like a funeral. People still brought their pre-purchased gifts of sugar love and handed them to me with heads bowed. I had to smile. But I couldn't.

I have walked by the shrine of treats for days. Sneaking tiny pieces here and there until the box of Turtles was gone. What am I supposed to do? Don't answer that. Dang.

Any one up for a partial box of chocolates?

Thanks once again for stopping by, and to the Fly's AMAZING creator, Karen @ Baking In a Tornado, aka "The Blogging Original", for hosting this challenge! Would you like to join in the next FLY challenge? Click on the FLY button on my side bar. Karen will more than take care of you.
Take a look at what the other bloggers have going on inside their homes. Go on! Leave them a comment. You know you want to...

Baking in a Tornado                          
The Rowdy Baker                                  
Just a Little Nutty                                
Spatulas On Parade                          
The Sadder but Wiser Girl                                   
Follow Me Home                            
Searching for Sanity                           
Menopausal Mother                                 
Dates 2 Diapers 2                              
Stacy Sews and Schools                
The Lazy Mom's Cooking Blog                                   
Spinster Snacks   

illustrations by: CJM                                      

Stay sweet, my friends :)
-Michele

Friday, February 14, 2014

Use Your Words- February '14

Hello, friends!



Today’s post is a writing challenge created by Karen @ Baking in A TornadoThis is how it works: 16 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, but there's a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who received their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featured in this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they were given and how they used them. 


My words are: 


Family Guy ~ Modern Family ~ Revenge ~ Breaking Bad

They were submitted by: FBX Adventures (In Parenting)

I watch more TV than I should; let's just get that out there, now. I use the television for my news updates (updates of Salem, USA via Days of Our lives), as background noise and as a means to fall asleep every night. That said, I only watch one of the above shows on a regular basis. 

Because I get to use the words any way I'd like, I'm going to go with two of my other favorite pas-times; reading magazines and looking at my family. Yep, you read that right. Looking at my crew. We've recently begun to PRINT photos again. I've relied so much on my digital albums and Instagram, I've not needed any tangible "pics". When grandparents began asking for them though, the man and I rediscovered "prints" and "frames." I have to tell you, looking at iPhoto and holding actual photographs are two completely different experiences. 

The latest prints were going to go into Christmas cards. Some made it out of the house; some actually into the aforementioned frames as gifts. Most though, are in a pile waiting to be dealt with. 

As usual, I'm two months down the road and the children already look completely different. Time just can't stand still.

So bear with me as I mesh my given "Use Your Words" with photos of my fam. It's like watching someone else's' vacation photos (ack), but with the usual side of crazy only my family can bring. Can you find my words?







Check out the other participants in today's Use Your Words Challenge!

Baking in a Tornado        
Just a Little Nutty      
Battered Hope        
Black Sheep Mom       
Confessions of a Part-time Working Mom                      
Evil Joy Speaks          
Spatulas on Parade          
Searching for Sanity         
The Bergham's Life Chronicles              
FBX Adventures (In Parenting)             
Healing Tomato                        
Dates 2 Diapers 2                 
Follow me home                   
Outmanned              



Friday, February 7, 2014

Secret Subject Swap-February '14

Happy February, friends!

If you're a regular reader, you know that the Secret Subject Swap is a collaboration between various bloggers. We receive secret topics from a blogger in a secret e-mail and put our own spin on the subjects. The 11 blogs participating this time are listed at the end of this post. Go have a look and leave a comment. It will make my our day! :)

My “Secret Subject” is:
Martha Stewart, inspiration or horrible show off?
It was submitted by:  http://spinstersnacks.com

Martha, Martha, Martha.

I wrote a small note to Martha and Bob Villa a few years back. It sadly explained how we three were NOT alike in our decorating. I respect both for their careful, planned-out projects; but for the love of wood-glue and sawdust, I just can't be a step-by-step girl. I re-did my whole staircase with fall garland still on the banister. I begged my husband (ignoring his pleas) to install a glass door on our bathroom. I'm a little off. Admit it. That's why you're here in the first place.

Martha's likes: delicate china, bidets, and building things "plumb, level and square."
My likes: eating cookie dough from the mixer,  peeing when the kids will let me, and using tons of caulk.


So. Is Martha a show-off? I'm not sure. Anytime I think of the ridiculous, glitterific-dodecagon crafts she comes up with, I try to remember that she has a huge staff behind her. Those people are probably coming up (hourly) with more ways to make humans feel inadequate. I doubt it's purposeful. I also doubt that Martha milks her own cows and rips her own cheese cloth to come up with cream for her morning coffee. She's a brand. There are things I disagree with regarding her process, but she's obviously doing something right to be where she is today. Rather than tear her down as a person, I thought I'd high-light a few differences between ol' Martha and me. There are many solutions to problems. Some are careful, calculated, precise and thorough, and some are mine.

Here are a few quotes from Martha and me:

Martha: "I have cotton or flannel sheets, depending on the weather. They have to be ironed, and I get my bed changed nearly everyday.".-brainyquote.com

Me: "If I make it to bed without having to shake off a pound of dog hair, without having my fitted sheet pop up from where the fabric pulled away from the elastic, or even if I have to kick off a few jellybeans/popcorn/kids from the bed, I've had a good day. The man knows when the sheets have been freshly washed because there is always a "damp spot" that the dryer has missed; and somehow, that always ends up on his side."
***
Martha: "I have a minor gripe…Who are these bloggers? They're not trained editors at Vogue magazine. I mean, there are bloggers writing recipes that aren't tested, that aren't necessarily any good, or are copies of everything that really good editors have created or done. So, bloggers create kind of a popularity, but they are not the experts. We have to understand that."- Bloomberg TV

Me: (gritting my teeth) "Bloggers are wonderful. They've used social media to benefit their businesses, build contacts and network. They connect with others offering advice, support or an often-needed smile. Many bloggers are beyond educated. Not only by holding college degrees, but by raising children without "guides". We pull foods for dinner out of what we have left in our pantries (not from french cookbooks). When our children are crying, we are the only ones who get to solve their problems. Most of us do not have a "staff." I have about 100 followers, which is anything but popular. Still, I write for my sanity as well as to share my ideas. As for using our recipes and having them work? If they can feed a husband, three finicky children and 2 dogs, I say they are more than tested. Dang it, I can rock a grilled cheese sandwich! Can an editor at Vogue make micro-wave popcorn ala shellybean? I think not. You know what? That's okay too. I'm happy to share the recipe. You're always welcome to read about my world; my successes and my epic fails. That's what bloggers do."
Micro-wave popcorn ala' shellybean


***
Martha: "It's a good thing."
Me: "On the eighth day, God made caulk, and it was good."


***

Martha: "I'm never sick. Why get sick? It's a waste of time." -brainyquote.com
* "I love to be sick! There is nothing like throwing up or writhing in pain on my 'down-time."- said no woman EVER.
***

Martha: "I find that when you have a real interest in life and a curious life, that sleep is not the most important thing"- thinkexist.com

Me: "I find that in order to walk upright and produce clear thoughts, one needs to sleep. Lack of it often makes the creative dull; it makes workers (blue and white collar) incapable of properly doing their jobs. Most of all, it makes for one grouchy household. We all know it: When mama ain't happy….COME ON NOW."


studying sleep :)



***
Martha: "Never ate fast food. I proudly can tell you that I've eaten one Burger King and I think maybe two McDonald's... and today I ate an In-N-Out burger. It was okay. You know, it's not my favorite food. I would much rather have a salad or sushi or something like that.-credit: Foodista
Me: "God Bless you, Martha Stewart."

If you are interested in joining us for the next Subject Swap, you can visit its creator, the wonderful Karen @ Baking in a Tornado. She is an amazing woman. You can also read all about the swaps by clicking on the SSS icon on the side of my blog.

Don't forget to check out this month's 15 talented participants!



Baking in a Tornado                          
The Momisodes                                       
Stacy Sews and Schools               
follow me home                     
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                                   
Dates 2 Diapers 2                       
Confessions of a Part-time Working Mom                        
Evil Joy Speaks                   
Spinster Snacks                                         
FBX Adventures (In Parenting)                           
More Than Cheese and Beer        
Searching for Sanity                     
Small Talk Mama                                          
Juicebox Confession                         
Spatulas on Parade 
     
Digital cartoon credits: CJM Happy Friday, friends :)
-Michele               
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