The Cool Kids

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fly on the wall #2

Hey friends. Welcome to the 2nd Fly on the Wall Group Challenge. This month, 11 "What-are-they -thinking?" 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, disastrous, or even better, embarrassing going on. Who can turn away from that kind of voyeuristic gold? Not you. Or me...

If you were a fly on the wall at my house this month, this is what you would have heard:

Dinner Table Conversation:

The youngest: "If I could invent anything, it would be a back-pack microwave. I could make Hot Pockets anytime."

The eldest (Dream-killer #1): "Why would you invent that? Where would you even plug it in? It would be so heavy!"

The middle child (Dream-killer #2): "I can see the commercials for it now. 'Do you love warm food? Do you have frozen-food on your person? Do you hate being home?..."

Snacks :

Me: "Where in the world did all of the pretzels go? I bought a six-pound bag of them at Costco!"
The man: "You put them out in that huge basket. It felt like a challenge..."

The youngest : "Can I have some fruit snacks?"
The man: "Didn't you JUST eat an apple?"
Me:"Yeah and there's a granola bar wrapper right next to you."
The youngest: "Well, the granola bar was my after-school snack, and the apple was my after-dinner snack."
The man: "What are the fruit snacks then?"
The youngest: "They will be my after-shower-before-bed-unless-we-have-ice cream-snacks."

Christmas Love

The eldest to the youngest: "You know what? If you step on this wrapping paper one more time, I'm going to give YOUR present to your brother!"

The youngest continues to tiptoe onto the paper...

The eldest: "Ugh. That's it. Hey C. (middle child)! I have the best present for you. It's so great, you're going to love it!"

The youngest, who has now jumped away from the paper, runs and whispers to his brother: "Shhhhh! It's all lies! You will not like that present at all."


The youngest: "Should we make Jesus a birthday cake?"
Me: I don't know. Do you think he would like one?
The youngest: "He will if it's chocolate..."

In all seriousness...

We are usually always joking or teasing each other about something. It's how our family works. But we are also kind when it matters most. I say it often. The people that live in my house are everything to me. There was so much to listen to on the news this past week. In my bouts of tears, when I wasn't asking, "Why?" or sneaking in to check on my babies (19, 14 and 8) in the middle of the night, this is what I really heard:

The eldest: "I was in my room last night and I was thinking about you and dad and this house and I realized, at this very moment, 'I feel safe.'"

The middle child: "You know you don't have to worry so much about us. We'll go to school and you'll do your thing and we all will know we love each other."

The youngest: "Mom, I know you have friends and dad, but if you ever need to, when you're sad, you can always talk to me."

 Thanks once again to the Fly's creator, Karen @ Baking In a Tornado, AKA Follow Me Home's biggest cheerleader, for hosting this challenge!

Take a look at what the other bloggers have going on inside their homes. Come on. You know you want to...                                                                                                              

Happy "It's okay to peek, just this once" Day, friends!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5 wishes under $10

I was tagged by my friend Karen@ Baking in a Tornado to come up with 5 wishes for the holiday season. (Yes, I really do have other blog friends in this world, people. Karen is just the only one who readily admits to knowing me).

Anyway, there are authors all over the blogosphere this week telling their five wishes. There are sentimental wish lists (see Karen's,) as well as many hilarious ones. See any "5 wishes" posts on my sidebar...

When I was little, I could rock a wish list. Alphabetical and in perfect handwriting via the Toys R Us catalog. As a teen, I would wish for anything in a mall window. We never had a lot of money, so wishes were about all that was happening, but still, it was always fun to dream. As I got older, my wishes became more of a "needs" list, like pots and pans or other things for the home. Nowadays, my wishes are for the health and happiness of my family and friends, or you know, fabric.

With the past week's happenings, I felt like I couldn't do justice to any sentimental type of personal wish post. I have a warm home, my husband and my children. What more, after last Friday could anyone ask for? Absolutely nothing, other than mended hearts, trust and hope. Those are things that will take some of us the rest of our lives to get back.

Until I get my sarcasm or humor back, (Did I ever really have them in the first place? Oh, of course I did.) I'm leaving you with my semi-serious wish list. Semi as in it is a partial list. Serious as in, seriously, feel free to wrap it up for me. Each one under ten bucks. That's my gift to you.

1. A tennis ball and string. The kind my husband can hang in the garage so I can park my car. I know; I am my grandmother. I could blame it on my vision, but the truth is, my garage is so full off crap, I can't judge where it (the crap) begins and my garage door ends. Approximate cost: $5

2. A pack of pencils and/or pens.  Yes, I was a teacher. Yes, I have three kids and tutor students. Still, I can never find a writing utensil. I'm always writing lists or notes. I'd like for once to record an idea without having to scribble it down with the nub of a blue crayon. Approximate cost: $3 per pack

3. Paper. To write those lists on. I don't like using my phone for that. It takes me 3.5 days to write out a post for this blog. My fat thumbs can't type that quickly. So paper, it is. Not the back of napkins or my counter tops. Not even the palm of my hand. Just available, easy-to-reach, paper. Approximate cost: $3. Less, if you make it yourself.

4. Box-Tops. You cut them out of any of YOUR participating groceries at home and give them to me. At the end of the grading quarters, my younger children race to collect them for school. I'm sick of reaching for cereal or cake mix and having the boxes torn apart and looking like we have rats. The "box-tops" have nice cutting lines around them. Use a shiny pair of scissors, cut those babies out, and give them to me. Approximate cost: Free, unless you now feel the need to go buy cake mix or toaster strudel.

Wrong way to remove Box-tops

Correct way to remove Box-tops

5. Fuzzy socks or a tank top. If I am not freezing cold, I'm having hot flashes. You can't go wrong with either one. Or both. Approximate cost $9.99 and under. Target. Go. Now.

Cheers to your wishes coming true, friends.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Subject Swap #3 :Pageant Edition

Hey friends! It's that time again. Month #3 of the Secret Subject Swap

Each month, a secret blogger gives us a subject/question/prompt to write about. It's always exciting to see who gets the topic you gave out. It's always terrifying to answer some one else's subject. Why in the world do I keep participating? Because the inventor of this ever-growing project, Karen @ Baking in a tornado is awesome and still lets me participate.  The best thing about these swaps is that you don't have to take the prompts literally. You can flip them or use them in any fashion you'd like. Some bloggers use lists or recipes, some tell jokes or make up fictional stories. You just never know! I have found that this whole swapping thing has made my Thursday nights (once or twice a month) pretty challenging (in a good way.) I need that excitement; that kind of last minute "dare" to write. Procrastination fairy? Don't let me down....

The subject for this swap was a fun one. It was given to my by Jen over @ Life on the SONny side. She is a funny lady that I've stalked for a while. Go check her out (click on the link here or at the end and give her a follow. I'm great at the stalking , but terrible at the following. I promise to improve on that.

Anywhoo, this was her prompt for me : You've been asked to re-invent the Miss America pageant to make it more relevant to actual human women...what does your new pageant look like?  Who are the hosts? What categories should they compete in? What should they wear? Who are the judges? What is the prize? Paint us a picture of your new pageant... 

Silly or serious? I wanted needed to give you both on this topic. At the end of this post, I've written a "Take Two". It's a bit of a rant. You may skip that part or jump to it first. Yes, I promise the same person wrote both ;)


Holy Spanx and pasties! Have I got a story for you. It's not a re-invent as much as a "re imagined" pageant, so get ready to go in the wrong direction. (Feminist friends, look away...)

Did I ever tell you about the time I almost came in 2nd place for "Miss Grocery Girl 2009?" No? Really? Well I know it's no "Miss America", but still. Have a seat my friend, this stuff is gossip gold!! ;)

It all took place at the local market on a hot day in June, 2009. The parking lot was packed on this, the last day of the Grocery Girl pageant competition. Our town was famous for the week-long festivities that led to the crowning. Women had been reared since they were tiny Stepford children to come and compete. Checking lists. Bagging groceries. Power shopping. Picking food in its prime. These were the skills we practiced after school and on Saturdays.

This particular week had been full of Grocery cart races, couponing, and putting dairy products back onto the shelves according to dates. I think that's what put me over the top that year; probably because I alphabetized those products at the same time. I'm an overachiever, for sure.

The last two contestants to survive the week were Ginny Dee and me. Ginny Dee was the same age as me. We'd been in the same classes all through our years in school and attended the same church, but we weren't really friends. We didn't have anymore in common as we grew up. She was single, blonde, leggy and tall. I was shorter, thicker, married and had a slight hint of a mustache. Thank God this wasn't a beauty pageant.

While I was exceeding in alphabetizing the dairy products in fervent speed, that Ginny was stuffing the frozen foods in their God-given places. Even the foggy windows and melting Popsicles were no match for her.  I beat her at the Soda Pop tower. She won "Vegetable Arranging". At the end of all the rounds, we were tied.

The mayor tried to top himself each year with a celebrity host.  This year, he booked the one and only Dr. Phil. I had always prayed it would be Oprah. I could just see her bending that beautiful head of hers back and saying, "Our second contestant has lived a fine, small-town life. She can use big words even if she doesn't know what they all mean... Everyone, please welcome Mi-SHEEEEEEEEEEEL." The second syllable of my name would become 2 different pitches. God bless Oprah. Oh well, Dr. Phil it would be.

The local PTA kindly brought in the judges for the day. Dorothy Lewis was last year's winner. There were also three elderly men who'd been bagging at the market for a combined total of 106 years, and, what do you know, my mother-in-law*. Awesome. And totally fair!

The very last competition of the day was, drum roll please! "Make an outfit ONLY from contents found in the grocery's paper-goods aisle." I was kind of hoping this would be the category. I love clothes. I love making them even more. The final category changes every year. I was in no mood to race to open 237 cans of creamed corn or build end-cap displays made out of feminine hygiene products. Creating paper clothes? I could do this.

The timer was set for 20 minutes. Ginny gave me the "I've got this!" nod and sweetly waved to my mother-in-law who joyfully waved back. Oh, it was on. The aisles were curtained off for our privacy and so we could make our entrances in front of the judges. I had my plan already in motion. When the bell went off, I raced to the aisle set up for me. I spun myself in paper towels the way one would use toilet paper in a mummy contest. Round and round, from my shins all the way up to, and over one shoulder. It may have taken two rolls, I can't remember everything. Classic-ish and not too uncomfortable. I then ripped off a large piece of tinfoil and crumpled it along its length until I could wrap it into a necklace. I had to hand it to myself. I looked great. If no one would notice that I hadn't shaved since April, I might be okay. "Keep your arms down, girl". Don't let the paper towels scratch your Chewbacca legs..."Those words were my mantra. I repeated them over and over. It was about talent anyway. I'll be fine. I slipped some white paper lunch sacks over my feet and carefully wrapped them up with baker's twine. Finished. I spun around in front of the mirror that was placed in the aisle. I was pretty pleased with my design.

When it was my turn, I carefully walked in front of the judges. Dorothy, the reigning G.G., gave me an approving nod. My mother-in-law smiled politely, but couldn't help but notice that one of my shoelaces was longer than the other. I looked down and blushed. I should have measured better. I should have used a thicker twine. They had it stocked, right there next to the baggies!  Dr. Phil didn't hesitate to mention that while my dress was lovely, my severely crunched-up tin foil necklace and hairy ankles made him think that I had "Daddy issues." Ugh. At least the old men were smiling. Well, at least I thought they were...

What they were smiling at was not me. It was the next contestant. The only other contestant.  Ginny Dee.  Beautiful Ginny (who must have visited the teeth whitening aisle before this round,) stepped out from behind her curtain wearing nothing but a paper plate skirt that barely covered her nether region and two GINORMOUS red solo cups over the "girls". She too had used the twine. Her twine held the cups in place like bikini ties and served as a thong in the back. That girl had NO shaving issues at all. Dang.

The little old men had to be helped into chairs. The crowd leaned in closer. Dorothy had paled to the color of her creamy-white dress. My mother-in-law looked at me and then looked Ginny up and down. For a split second, I wondered if she didn't think that THIS is what a winner really looks like. Dr. Phil beamed, describing the pure confidence it took to create AND wear such a thing. Wha??? I was deflated. (no pun intended).

I watched the votes get written down. I saw them slowly being tallied. Then, a slightly hypoglycemic-looking Dorothy stood with the shiny Grocery Girl crown. I knew it. I'd lost my chance at the grand prize of free all-beef hot dogs and buns for a year. All of that training, went down the drain. Worse than that, I'd lost in front of the whole town to Ginny Dee.

I was starting to remove a paper shoe when a wobbly Dorothy bumped into Ginny. Ginny started to stumble, but steadied herself using Dorothy's shoulder. It was then that the crown Dorothy was holding, bumped into Ginny's chest and those two bright red cups of hers came loose and tumbled to the floor. It was like watching in slow motion. People gasped and Ginny grabbed herself where those cups once stood. One of the older men ran up with a paper sack. He was either going to cover Ginny or cover his heart; no one still is sure. As Dr. Phil bent down to pick up the once-admired OTSBH, (over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder, people) Dorothy gasped and grabbed the plastic cups from Dr. Phil McGraw's tightening grip. She reached inside and in what can only be described as pure horror, pulled out at least three pounds of Kleenex tissues.  The tissues, were NOT in the paper goods aisle at the time of the contest. Beautiful, guilty Ginny had stuffed her "plastic cups". Cheater! She was a disqualified cheater.

That dear readers, is how I ALMOST came in 2nd place for Miss Grocery Girl, 2009.

I actually won. :)

*I never even got to give a speech about doubling coupons or returning carts to the corral for discounts on groceries. Or world peace.

Thanks again to Jen @ Life on the SONny side side for the awesome prompt.

Would you like to participate in the next Secret Subject Swap? All bloggers are welcome! Feel free to contact Karen at Baking in a Tornado . She now has so many participants, the swap goes on twice a month. (Go girl!!).

*No grocery baggers were hurt in the making of this story.

Take Two:
 And now, ladies and gentlemen, a rant on how I REALLY feel @ pageants:
I could go on and on about how actual real women are the ones who have battle wounds; wrinkles, C-section lines and stretch marks, bruises, cuts and biopsy scars. I could tell you that there are no categories of swimwear for the female soldiers who have gone to war and are missing limbs, or for domestic abuse victims who have lost parts of their souls.  We all would rather be in beautiful flowing gowns than be forced to wear those that hospitals or institutions require. We all know that. Categories of competition should be how we talk to our children about death. How kind we are to those with less. How we pay the bills when times are difficult. How we go on in faith when we don't have the strength to breathe. Holding multiple jobs, raising children alone, raising our grand kids or caring for our elderly parents are the true talents. Platforms should be based on how we as women can hold each other up instead of constantly tearing each other down. It's all too deep for pageantry. Our hosts are our families or friends. The ones that see us at our lowest. Our harshest judges live in our heads. Who can say anything worse to us than what we tell ourselves? When we realize we are perfect in our imperfections, when we can see that our trophies come in the eyes of our loved ones, we can know that none of us needs to win a contest. The prize for most of us, is getting through a night and waking up to one live more day. Would we spend that day singing arias or twirling batons, or would we instead, lay in the sun listening to our babies laugh? The things we hold closest to our hearts, the people that make us laugh, the arms that wrap around us to hold us up when we haven't the strength to do anythings else are better than any sash or crown or thorny roses. Being an"awarded" woman shouldn't be about anything else.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

RIP, Mr. dryer...

It was a slow, painful death for the old Kenmore. I'd like to say it hurt me more than it did him, but if you heard the metal on metal screams or witnessed his last electric smokey breaths, you'd know better. My crying pleas and hopes of resuscitating him ala kicking and jumping up and down like a three-year old were fruitless.  My washer's life partner is no more.

I've mentioned before how grateful I've been to have my own washer and dryer. I know the nightmare of hoping for enough quarters to keep a load at the laundromat going. I've fought with other tired moms for a non-squeaky rolly-cart. I've prayed that I had enough detergent. I've even told an old man that I could fold my undies all by myself. (thank you very much).  I joke about doing laundry all the time, but it is one thing I really don't mind doing. At home.

And yes, I referred to my dryer as a "he". People call their boats and cars and wives, "she" ; my dryer (and other appliances) deserve at least that much. Plus, when a door to door salesman asks if I'm at home alone, I can always say, "Heck no, I have a houseful of guys here...." That's me. Classy, protected, AND 50 shades of "something" all at once.. Who wants to sell magazines/vacuums/home security systems to that kind of crazy?

In memory of my lovely, lint catching appliance and in the spirit of the holiday, I leave "him" these words of gratitude...

 Mr. Dryer :

*Thanks for keeping my toddler calm during those difficult years. If he wasn't laying up against you feeling those vibrations, he was watching clothes spin through your clear door during time-outs.

*Thanks for collecting everyone elses' money during your cycles. The crispy dollar bills and hot quarters paid for more than one cup of coffee. Finder's keepers, right? Shhh...

*Thanks for not burning up my house when I forgot to collect enough lint to make a new sweater.

*Thanks for not jumping across the room like your partner when drying comforters and tennis shoes.

*Thanks for drying stuffed animals, un-wrinkling emergency dress clothes and even warming up huge bath towels for the little ones coming in from the snow.

*Finally, thank you for taking one for the team of appliances. If the oven, fridge or dishwasher decided to die during the week of Thanksgiving, I probably definitely wouldn't be so kind.....

You were very appreciated.


Happy "Thankful-for-the-not-so-the-little-things" Day, friends

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fly on the Wall Challenge #1

Hello friends!

I've been away from the blog world for forever and six days a bit. I'm hoping to fill you in on why sometime soon...

A good way for me to get back in the swing of things is to jump on the next blog challenge that my dear blogger friend, Karen has created. Yep, that would be Karen, the genius behind Baking in a Tornado. Let's face it. If it weren't for her, you'd be reading my blog entry from the LAST challenge she created. So thanks again Karen, for helping me find my groove thang...

On to the Challenge:

15 shameless bloggers have invited you to be a fly on the walls of their homes. We are all sharing snippets of some of the drama/fun/embarrassing goings-on that happen behind our closed doors.

Yeah, yeah, I know. That is usually what my blog is about! Sometimes my posts are only a sentence or two. Usually, they ARE about the embarrassing behind-the-scenes happenings in my home. But let's remember, I have no shame. I am ALWAYS ready for someone to laugh with (never at!) me.  This is also a challenge for 14 other bloggers and I can not wait to feel as if I'm not alone in the crazy-town I call my house.

I'm using funny quotes heard 'round the home from my dear family members. Think of it as a super-sized "quote of the day" post. We are always "on"here. So come in. No need to knock. Laugh or cry. Just don't call the Police.

If you were a fly on the wall this month, this is what you would have heard:

The Exercise Room:
"I want to go run, but I also want ice-cream. What kind did you buy?"- the man
"I hit the punching bag and a bunch of dust came off of it. This tells me two things. I haven't exercised and I haven't dusted."- Me
"The window in that room scares me. Someone may look through and see you just lying there, Mom. They may think you're dead."- the youngest
"There's nothing like a Poptart after a workout."- the eldest, to me.

The Kitchen/Food:
"When is Dad coming back from his work trip? I need him to make me the macaroni out of the box. That kind is the best"- the youngest, turning up his nose at baked Mac and cheese.
"I'm going to church AND I look like a Hobo. Do you think I can get double Communion if they think I look hungry enough?"- the eldest
"You have to stop letting people push you around, Mom. Stop feeling like you have to help everybody!.... Will you make me some potato soup?"- the eldest

Things we shouldn't say to visitors:
"Our prayer is better than your prayer and we just didn't say it aloud because our prayer would kick your prayer in the neck."- the eldest's response to the middle child's friend who made the wrong comment about us not saying a prayer before snack.
"Hahahahhaaahaha. Oh, you're a cute young man. It was nice knowing you. Memorize the inside of our home; you won't be seeing it again."- an in-unison nervous laugh and comment from the kids to a visiting friend who said, "You should come to my house. My mom doesn't yell."

Random, but funny enough to make the cut:
"Mom, I've heard how my friends talk to their parents and I have to wonder, How do they still have a face?"- the eldest, gabbing with me about Respect
"I'd like to tell you a secret, Mom....but then you'd know." the un-trusting youngest
"Any pre-cleaning of the house isn't going to lessen the nervous ranting on the morning of Thanksgiving"- the middle child, trying to get out of cleaning.
"Good going, little brother on drinking the last Sunny-D! You know, Sunny-Ds were made in the name of kindness. I'm not sure you're showing that kindness by gulping down the last of it."- middle child.
"Yes, and I'd TOTALLY stick up for you, little brother. But my voice is too sore from not having a Sunny-D to quench my thirst. Your loss. But you probably figured that out while drinking the last of the Sunny-D"- the eldest, joining in on making my son a future serial killer.

Finally, TV:
"I like getting out of classes early. Afternoon TV is ridiculous!  I'm starting to notice that Dr. Phil is picking up his game....and I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty excited about it."-the eldest, making her mother proud  scared.
"If you want to feel better about your life, you should absolutely watch the Maury show. I already feel like I've exceeded a million expectations."- same child, half-studying- half trash-talking.
"Have you seen this "Deadly Women" show? These wives may not know how to cook or clean, but they can wrap up and hide a body like nobody's business! Oh, BTW, you forgot to take the trash out. It's okay I guess. Sleep tight!"- yours truly, to the man, trying to spice up the ol' marriage :)

And that, dear visitors, is a small peek into our home. I can already hear you now, speaking through a forced smile... "There's THAT family. Quick! Lock the door!"

Please check out the great bloggers who participated in this challenge. You're sure to get a belly laugh or two. Better yet, you may get an, "Oh thank the Sweet Detroit Lions, that happens to other people too!".
In fact, that is my favorite part about the blogging world. Those tiny common threads that bind us together. You can nod in agreement or shake your head in disgust; no one will ever know. Hopefully.

Leave kind comments, kids :)

Happy "Pride-sometimes-IS-on-the-outside" day, friends :)

Blogs participating in today's challenge:

The Insomniac's Dream                             
De Bie Hive                                       
My Brain on Kids                                                                               
The Mommy Chronicles
Raising Reagan 
Sanity Waiting to Happen

Life on the SONny Side


A Big Old Happy Birthday to my baby sister today! If you're reading this far, girl, I hope you know how much I love and miss you :) You know what your birthday means? McRib is right around the corner :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Secret Subject Swap #2 Stripper heels can't be worn everywhere.

Hey friends! Well here we are again. Swapping secret topics with other writers across the blogosphere. The first swap was supposed to be a one time deal. It ended up becoming a regular thing because well, it was so much fun!  Not only did we swap subjects/questions/sentence starters, we did not know who was given who's topic or how they would blog about it.  From this, we ended up meeting new bloggers and by chance, made a few new friends.

My Secret Subject was given to me by, well what do you know? My sweet friend Karen@ Baking in a Tornado. Woo Hoo!  Her topic was : "I'd like the opportunity to explain..." Here goes nothing!


I'd like the opportunity to explain why I wore heels to do the laundry last week.

Yeah, I said it. Heels. High, strappy, patent leather heels. To wash dirty clothes. At home.

You see, I'm a stay at home mom now. Actually, I've been one for a few years. Not to seem stereotypical, but SAHMs need to dress comfortably for, um...staying at home. Or going to the grocery, or making that run up to the school for the occasionally forgotten backpack/homework/instrument/lunch. Most of the time though, we're tending to things inside of the house.

I also work from home running my little bag shop. Still. If I'm not lying on the floor drafting patterns, I'm contorting myself like a kid playing Twister to cut fabric. Even sitting up to the old Singer sewing machine does not involve dressing in wool slacks or blazers or ahem, stripper-height shoes.

It was an epiphany (brought on by a much needed swiffer-fest of my closet.) -The "aha" moment when I looked around and realized that I live in holey jeans, tank tops and cardigans. They are the uniform of my life. Usually topped off with a pair of flip flops. The colors of tanks or sweaters may change. I might venture into the occasional yoga outfit or ballet flats, but in reality this is who I had become.

I decided that night (mid-pout) that I didn't have to look "comfortable". There are always the moms with the bejeweled jeans and heels hanging out at the elementary school. (Don't ask.) There are ladies with perfectly coiffed hair buying up the healthy cereal at the market. Why couldn't I try a little harder?

The next morning, I made it happen. I brushed ALL-the-WAY through my hair. I brushed and flossed the BACK teeth. I put on my nice wool pants that had a dust line from where they had laid on the hanger so long. I buttoned up my blouse and slipped on those gorgeous shoes. Stopping at the mirror, I clasped on my metal bracelet and fastened a tiny pair of pearl earrings. I was set.

I carefully walked down the stairs. I was standing a little taller (both figuratively and literally). I walked over to the laundry room clicking on the tile floor as proper ladies do, and opened the laundry chute. Jeans first. Little boy jeans with a pocket full of sand and a package of half-eaten gummy bears. The sand fell and left a trail down my nice pants. I tried to throw the gummies onto the counter. I wasn't even close. They scattered across the floor. Breathing harder, I pulled a fully soaked towel out that was connected to 37 other towels and assorted socks. The socks were sandy too. As I reached over the side of the dryer for the "sock that got away", my rock-star shoes slipped on the sandy tile and I landed on my fancy-looking butt atop the soaking wet pile of towels.

A few words not worth repeating. A deep breath realizing how ridiculous I looked. A weak moment when I dusted off one of those gummies and ate it. Who was I kidding?

I undressed right there, down to my skivvies. I pulled open a drawer and grabbed a rubber band. The jewelry went in the drawer and my hair went in a bun. I finished the laundry that day. Looking just like that. The heels sat there in the laundry room for a few days to remind me how foolish I had been.

There may have been tears. There may have been shocked neighbors watching a 42 year old women folding towels in her underwear. There may have even been a few less gummy bears. Who can tell?

I've learned my lessons.
1. No more playing dress up.
2. Kids MUST empty their pockets before throwing their clothes down the chute.
3. Kids must notify mom before throwing down soaking wet towels.
4. Gummy bears, in a crisis, can surpass the five second rule.

Happy "Be-yourself-all-of-the-time" day, friends!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Joan Rivers would have a field day...

Hey-O friends. I hope you're doing well. This is a long post. Stick with me, please!

Over the last few weeks months, I've been lucky enough to receive some new awards for the blog. The wonderful thing about getting them, is that someone is acknowledging admitting they've been reading or checking in to see if I'm still alive. They are kind enough to pass on some blog love.

The awards, which are very much appreciated because they are given by our peer-bloggers are  blessings, but they are also a lot of work. Much research to link and pass on the accolades are involved, which is time consuming. That said, I accept every one of them with the most humbleness. It's been the blog-land lately, that I've turned to when things were difficult in my world. There is something wonderful about people who only know you by your words, understand your surface issues and are still willing to give you advice and kind words.

To you, my readers and commenters, I thank you for making it worth typing out my thoughts. Your comments are so welcomed. Sometimes, it's the only chance I get to keep up on your worlds; sometimes you are my outlet when I'm dealing with real world things. I'd much rather keep up with my friends online than say, grocery shop, rake the leaves, or finish the 187 pressing things I have to do...

Pardon all of the cut and paste..there were a lot of topics to cover!

I happily accept the Liebster Awards from Leslie @ Proud Mama's Corner

and from Vicki@ The Greek Housewife Vicki was kind enough to offer up the award even after knowing I had previously received one, but hers is pink and round and who am I to give up some love???

Okay, the rules of the awards:

1. Link back to the Nominators. You can reach their blogs by clicking on their blog names.
2. Write 11 facts about yourself.
3. Answer 11 questions given to you.
4. Pass on the award to 11 deserving bloggers (preferably those with under 200 fans) and give them 11 new questions.
5. Post your award, Link back to the person who gave it to you! Congrats!

2 awards= 22 facts.

Holy Hannah. 22 things you probably don't need to know:

1. I am 5'5"
2. I can't remember my real hair color.
3. My father was born in Tokyo, Japan.
4. My middle name is Lynn.
5. I hyphenate my last name.
6. I'm not a fan of helicopter moms.
7. I love school lunch corn dogs.
8. and sloppy Joe's
9. My favorite ice cream is Pralines and Cream
10. I'm afraid of fire.
11. I love microwave popcorn.
12. I could win an award (if there was one) at burping. Classy, I know
13. I don't think you should have to rake your leaves until they have all fallen.
14. I can twirl a baton.
15. I miss snow days.
16 I love dill pickles.
17. and olives. (and their juice).
18. I make my bed every day.
19. Okay, not every day...
20. I don't understand why vendors set up food samples at Costco.
21. I don't understand why they do it on the end caps of aisles. On Saturdays.
22. I love cinnamon dental floss. Yeah. 22 things are hard!

Here are my answers to Leslie's questions:

1. What is the most unforgettable moment in your life?
The births of my children.

2. To whom are you dedicating every post you do?
Anyone who can take something from it and smile or relate.

3. Given a chance to write about someone, who would it be? Why?
My blog is all about my family. I am working on a second project about...ahem, me.

4. What is your greatest fear?
Losing the ones that I love.

5. What is your best asset?
My empathy.

6. If you are to rate yourself as a writer, what would it be from 1 to 10? 10 is the highest.
On the blog? 7

7. Can you imagine yourself performing on stage play?
Not live on stage, but I would rock the world playing some one's evil twin on a soap opera.

8. What made you cry easily?
Seeing children hurt.

9. Have you tried to write a song? What title did you give to it?
Always wrote songs/lyrics/poetry...they were sad little "woe is me" teenage-love drivel.

10. Are you a romantic person?

11. Have you been to the Philippines before? What can you say about the Filipino people?
I've never been to the Philippines. What can I say? Someone from the Philippines gave me an award! They rock :)

Here are my answers to Vicki's questions!!

1.  Why do you blogTo keep in contact with the ones I love or to document things I won't remember tomorrow.
2.  What can't you live without?
  My family
3.  What's your star sign?
  I think horoscope sign? Virgo
4.  If you were stranded at a deserted island who and what (one item) would you like to have with you?
  My family and my laptop.
5.  What is your favorite pastime?
  Sewing/ Writing
6.  What is the silliest thing you've ever done?

  My college roommates and I would throw big parties and collect all the leftover cans to recycle. I believe those parties paid for the electric bill more than once.
7.  Where in the world would you like to travel to? (Pretend money is not an issue)  Anywhere that I could hear the waves at from my bedroom.
8.  Describe yourself in 3 wordsI can't do it. (See?)
9.  What is your favorite sport? (to play or watch) Football
10. Which is your all time favorite song?

  "I ain't missing you" by John Waite

11. What is your favorite love story?

  I fell in love with the Time Traveler's wife. Not so much the movie, but definitely the book. Movie: "An Affair to Remember"

Thanks once again to Leslie and Vickie

Here are my 11 Questions for the next nominees.  If you're nominated, choose the "Leibster" that you like :)
The 11 Questions are short and sweet!

1.What was your Kindergarten teacher's name?
2. Coffee or tea?
3. Do you watch much TV? Favorite show?
4. What is your favorite holiday?
5. Do you use Twitter or FB?
6. What was the make/model of your very first car?
7. Can you drive a stick shift?
8. Pie. What is your favorite kind?
9. What was your first job?
10. Mac or PC?
11. What's for dinner?

The questions may seem short, but people will learn a bit about you from them! Good Luck friends! 

That cute Vicki from The Greek Housewife also awarded me with the Sunshine Award! Woo Hoo! I didn't read about this one until later....but, Yay!!! IF you haven't checked out Vicki, click on the link. She is a funny mom living a Greek Goddess life. (She'll love that!)

How cute is that?

The rules for accepting the Sunshine Blogger Award are:

1.Thank the Award giver.
2. Post the award.
3. Link the Award giver
4. List 10 facts (Oh dear..)
5. Give away to 10 bloggers.

10 Facts

1.This is the part where I think you've stopped reading..
2.I love smelly candles.
3. I have just enough of everything.
4. I wish I had more energy.
5. I love my phone more than I ever thought I would.
6. Very few people know all of the parts of my life. I like it that way.
7. I wish I was a better mom. (cue energy)
9. I truly enjoy reading other's blogs.
10. I will never have a clean garage.


About 2 weeks ago, I received the "Sisterhood of the World Bloggers" award from an awesome lady who writes a hilarious blog with a hilarious name Menopausal Mother. Now yes, I have a few bloggy boys that I love to read, but the women that I'm most in contact with, have given me a whole new circle of "girlfriends" to enjoy and look up to. I have learned, laughed and cried when reading what these bloggers share. Some posts are raw, some make me want to say, "hey, I've been there too". There are even a few I can give my own advice to. I'm telling you, if You're thinking of blogging about ANYTHING, someone will find you and make you feel like you count. I love that.

Rules for the Sisterhood Award:
1. Post award.
2. Thank the giver /link back
3. List seven interesting facts.
4. Pass on to 7 deserving bloggers.

Instead of facts, I'm going to write seven things I'm grateful for. Hopefully by reading them, you'll learn even more about me (I know, I know. What else is there?) Don't ask, just play along.

7 things I'm grateful for:

1. My husband makes me coffee every single morning. Even on the days he'd like to poison it, my coffee is always waiting for me.

2. I am beyond grateful to all the bloggers who give these silly, but meaningful awards. 

3. I'm grateful my soon to be 19 year old daughter decided to come along on our latest family vacation. It ended up being one of my very favorite trips.

4. I'm grateful to have sold all of my latest bags. It couldn't have been done without my friends sharing/tweeting/FB forwarding...any of it. 

5. My mother in law made a beautiful comment about the kind of teacher I was. I was humbled and proud. It meant everything to me.

6. I'm grateful for the ridiculously fun time we had carving pumpkins last night.

7. I'm grateful my family doesn't shake their heads in disgust when I ask them to pull out the pumpkin guts for me.

Nominees: (I'm using my first Swap Sisters)

I appreciate the chance to even write a post like this. I'm not an every day blogger. I don't always have a lot to say (unlike today). But it's become a happy part of my life. Thanks for checking in.

Oh, and Joan Rivers. When accepting these awards, a normal person might have on their custom dresses and high heel shoes. They may be wearing jewels borrowed from Harry Winston or be carrying decked-out clutches shellybean bags.

But not me. Eat your heart out Angelina,
 you cute little thing. I'm accepting these awards at home AND>>>>>>

Oh yeah.  I BROUGHT it.

Shoes: Lavender Fluffy slippers by Target
Ducky Robe from the now defunct Mervyn's
Pajama bottoms- purchased after the birth of my second child (now 14)
Hairstyle by "Hey, it's been a hard day!"
Handbag replaced by 2 pound jar of Gingersnaps from Costco. (They were on an end cap)!

Happy Spread-the-Blog-Love Day, friends!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Preparation is key...

"There are going to be a lot of things said tomorrow, mom. I'm pretty sure some of them will be good..."- Quote from the youngest on the eve of Teacher/Parent Conferences.

Happy Crossing-My-Fingers-And-Toes Day, friends.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Secret Subject Swap!

Hello friends! Today, I'm participating in a "Secret Subject Swap". It's my blog's very first swap and I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty nervous. What could possibly go wrong? Wait.  Don't answer that.

A few weeks ago, my good blogging friend Karen over at Baking in a Tornado suggested that anyone who wanted to, could enter into her Blog Swap. She thought it would be fun if we asked and answered a simple question or talk about a certain topic given to us from another blogger. ( I don't know who is answering my silly inquiry, but I will find out right along with you and the other participating blogger-contestants.) No, there aren't prizes. I  probably shouldn't use the word contestants. But if you stop over to Karen's site, you will find a nice collection of sweet recipes. Some have chocolate! I always call that a win..

I received my question 2 weeks ago and have been allotted all this time before posting. It won't surprise you to know that I procrastinated until the end. I knew what I wanted to say, just not how to say it. (Some things never change.) Anywhoo, here I am and there you are. That's all that matters.

The secret subject given to me was: "If I could have one weekend all to myself, I would..."
The topic was given to me by Roshni over at Mom of Big A little a 

When I first read the topic I thought I was mis-reading it. I mean, two days? Alone? Does that really mean "by myself?" Couldn't there, wouldn't there be some place that a mom would HAVE to be? Might there be ANYTHING that HAD to get done? Could those magic words guarantee that there wouldn't be any door-to-door solicitors or phone calls or house projects or COSTCO shopping? That's crazy-talk, right there.

I saw a million and two opportunities float above my head like a dream. Which one of those conjured-up fantasies would I grab a hold of and choose? Let me check again. Yes, we're talking about a WHOLE weekend. 48 beautiful hours. Hmmm.

There are beaches and hotels I'd love to see. There are mountain retreats and National landmarks I could put on my list. There are places to meditate and there are Lifetime movies to be watched. What would a girl like me do?

As I was thinking of the perfect answer, it came to me that  I couldn't immediately choose. What I could do however, was answer for my family members. If I asked them (and I did) what they would do for an uninterrupted weekend, would they have to think about it, too?

Nope. Before they told me, I already knew.

The man: He would hang out with his computers. He'd perform delicate surgeries nine ways till Monday with his computers, i.e. his"other kids". Like some sort of "Lord of the Electronics," he would giveth and taketh away, spending two days without even watching the clock.

 He'd take from the big guy..

And give to this guy.. 

and so on...and so on..... until someone told him to stop.

The eldest? She'd break that plastic pink pig into a hundred pieces and then shop and/ or hang out with her friends. The people that couldn't come along would be updated via texts by-the-second. Or instagram. Now that couldn't take all day, let alone all weekend, could it? Oh yeah, it could.

 The middle child?  He would sit in his cave and play X-box 360 until he ran out of food or water. Actually, he does that now. (Enter Mother of the Year Award.)

Finally, the youngest (who is busy building a Lego airport as I write this) would be spending his 2,880 minutes clicking plastic, feet-destroying blocks together until he ran out. Does anyone EVER run out of Legos?

So you see, it's easy for them to plan a weekend alone...

For me, though? Well, after some thought, I guess... I would take the longest bath known to man. I would refill the tub over and over with hot water until the pipes ran dry. I would stay inside my home like the hermit that I am and I would curl up and read. Then, I would throw in some naps, because I can't remember what those are, but I hear they're fantastic. I would try to practice a bit of yoga knowing I wouldn't be interrupted by breaking dishes or fighting..

Finally, with any time left over, I would eat everything in the house that I could get away with. Those of you who read this blog know very well that I could eat that burger (with that same expression) ON my yoga mat, WHILE watching Lifetime. All day long. A girl can dream, right?

Well would you look at that. It was easier than I thought!

Thanks for the topic, Roshni! Here are the links to the sites of the 8 lovely ladies who are participating in today's Subject Swap. Give them a visit, a follow or a kind comment if you like what you read. Chances are, you will :)

Happy "Making-friends-all-over-the-place" day, friends.

Monday, October 1, 2012

QWERTY kind of clean...

I always get antsy on Sunday nights. If you've read the blog before, you know this goes back to my teaching days and my anxiety over a new week.

Each Sunday at about six o'clock,  I start banging stuff around. I begin stepping over the weekend's accumulated junk and continue panicking about the all the things we need to do and asking aloud,  "What if someone suddenly stops by to visit? What will they think?"

Sometimes the family remembers this and starts straightening up the house.

Okay, not really. They actually look surprised EVERY Sunday as I start the "Who made this mess?/Whose shoes are these?/ Who dumped Chex mix in the living room? Where is everyone?" rant. Eventually, everyone comes huffing and puffing, grabbing and throwing, until our house is a collection of grouchiness and wishing at that moment, we each lived ANYWHERE else.

They (my family) all know what the base of the problem is. It is NOT their stuff lying all over the house. It's not the piles of books, shoes, soda cans or paper plates that are upsetting them. It is, in fact, the crazy-lady who has suddenly noticed a room looking like a tornado passed through it. Where did this woman with the waving arms and voice with an unrecognizable octave come from? What happened to our dear mother who picks up after us every other day of the week? Same story. Any given Sunday evening...

It was about five o'clock THIS week when I rounded the corner and saw the man with the vacuum. What? It was out and so was a Magic eraser. My first thought was, "Okay what did he spill?" My second thought was, "What did he spill?" Yeah, same thought. I'm loving like that.

The man was carrying Q-tips, tooth picks and Lysol wipes and I have never been more turned on in my life. What was he doing? Did he notice all the crumbs in the coffee table too? Was he setting up some system to get the filthy fingerprints off the wall?


Wait for it.

Next to the Q-tips were these.

 That adorable man of mine overlooked the crushed cookies on the floor. He kicked away the shoes under the coffee table with one foot, and smooshed the Chex-mix chip bag under the sofa with his other foot. There was important work to be done.

Yep. My first husband found it necessary to remove, clean and replace every single key on a keyboard.

Welcome to my world.

Just look at that attention to detail. Excuse the blurriness of my pictures. I was literally shaking.

Feel free to visit my house on Sundays, friends. You may be appalled at the cluttered living room. You might look past newspapers strewn in the hall or back packs lined up the stairs. There could be a chance you won't break your ankles tripping over LEGOS or cell phone chargers.. Just make sure you're wearing sunglasses. Because your eyes might wander far enough. They may just scan across two rooms and possibly make contact with our computer keyboard. (Under the desk.) You will immediately recognize it. It will be the only thing that is blindingly clean and NOT covered in Chex mix.

Priorities, people.

Happy "Take-what-you-can-get" day, friends.

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