Friday, December 28, 2007

birthday parties

#2 son kept up his homework for the rest of the term. however, i spent too much on christmas, and was worried about his tradition dinner out to Kimono. it's a japanese hibachi-style restaurant, but without the show; they cook in the kitchen, the food is as good or better as the other restaurants, but at a fraction of the price. our favorite place has sushi, too.

we go every year for his birthday b/c they have CALIFORNIA ROLLS. this is #2 son's favorite food. on his birthday he gets two orders to himself.

fortunately, MIL sent us some cash for christmas, and this is how we took him out for his birthday. we came home and gave him his BRAND NEW BICYCLE! for his birthday. #2 children don't get new bikes very often. so we got him one. it is GREEN and he loves it.

he is now getting up every morning early, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and begging to go out and ride his bike. he's 8 now, so i let him! he's very happy with his gift, and isn't complaining about lack of party AT ALL. i'm so proud of him.

he was SO sweet for christmas, pure and innocent, full of genuine gratitude and love. why can't life be like christmas all the times? well, b/c relatives can make you insane, apparently. but we had a great one.

wine v. water

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine... and those who don't.

As Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop.

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health

Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information; I'm doing it as a public service.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Religion is Your Bra?

A man walked into the ladies department of a Macy's, shyly walked up to the woman behind the counter and said, "I'd like to buy a bra for my wife."

"What type of bra?" asked the clerk.

"Type?" inquires the man, "There's more than one type?"

"Look around," said the saleslady, as she showed a sea of bras in every shape, size, color and material imaginable. "Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only four types of bras to choose from."

Relieved, the man asked about the types.

The saleslady replied: "There are the Catholic, the Salvation Army, the Presbyterian, and the Baptist types. Which one would you prefer?"

Now totally befuddled, the man asked about the differences between them.

The Saleslady responded, "It is all really quite simple....
The Catholic type supports the masses;
The Salvation Army type lifts the fallen;
The Presbyterian type keeps them staunch and upright; and
The Baptist type makes mountains out of mole hills."

Have you ever wondered why A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, G, and H are the letters used to define bra sizes? If you have wondered why, but couldn't figure out what the letters stood for, it is about time you became informed!
(A} Almost Boobs...
{B} Barely there...
{C} Can't Complain!...
{D} Dang!...
{DD} Double dang!...
{E} Enormous!...
{F} Fake...
{G} Get a Reduction...
{H} Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up!...

They forgot the German bra. Holtzemfromfloppen
.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

my favorite thing about Christmas

the days start getting longer! i hate the dark, and the cold. it's why i live in the South, so both are much less than elsewhere.

here's to brighter days soon soon!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

ps

#2 son keeps coming into the kitchen and giving me bear hugs and telling me how much he loves me. guess i should've been baking all along!

Monday, December 03, 2007

and again i say

cookies!

just finished 7 doz. molasses cookies and 3 doz. chocolate chip pudding cookies. who's keeping score?

i'm switching to muffin breads tomorrow. gotta smash sweet potatoes and crush cranberries so i can make "leftover" muffins in mini loaf pans. yum!

update on cookies

let's see, i've baked 4 doz. andes, and 3 doz. sour cream cookies, and mixed up some crackle-top molasses cookies but they had to chill so they're not baked; today i'll bake them and maybe make some chocolate chip pudding cookies! yay me!

you'll have to keep track of my total for me.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas cookies

the year #2 son was born (on Dec. 21), i baked thousands of cookies. literally. i think i counted two dozen gross (keeping track of dozens got tedious after a while!). i baked early and froze them, b/c i knew i wouldn't feel like baking as i got close to delivery.

since then, i've baked very little, and i've missed it. since i'm missing my christmas spirit, i resolved to BAKE this christmas! until my pants split. then i'll quit. yesterday i baked some cookies with ANDES MINT CHIPS, chopped up andes candies, by their recipe on the back of the bag. they came out yum! and there were a few left to put away, yes.

#2 son is in alt. he can't believe how many cookies i can bake. i've done ONE BATCH of 4 dozen, a relatively small number of cookies in my mind. we'll just hafta see how he handles the number i plan to bake - FAR FEWER, yes FAR fewer than i did in '99, but also far more than i have in his lifetime.

Friday, November 30, 2007

children who won't do homework

don't get birthday parties!

let me tell you the saga of #2 son. i got a phone call from his teacher yesterday. she asked if i was aware that he didn't have his homework to turn in nearly every day. i said, but he does it! we've gone to extreme measures to help him stop "forgetting" to bring it home. every night i look at his assignments, sign the page, and he does work on his homework.apparently, that doesn't mean he finishes it. he picks and chooses what he wants to do. when i ask if he is 100% finished and ready for school the next day, he always says yes. but apparently, he isn't. he does what he wants to, and then quits. doesn't turn the work in.

the problem is the child is so damn smart. i was the same way, and stubborn like him to boot. he's bored out of his mind doing the busywork that homework means when you've already learned what you are supposed to learn.

however. he's been lying to me every day, and his teacher is about to pull her hair out. he's IN the "AG" program for academically gifted kids. today i told him if he would just DO the damn homework, they'd have put him up in the HAG program (highly academically gifted), where he would go to a special school and could fly if he wanted. the program is there in the public schools!

i took away his computer privileges for a month, his gameboy indefinitely, and his tv privileges for a WEEK. and i told him his birthday party was suspended, would only be reinstated IF he got 100% homework for two weeks (his birthday is 12/21).

what do you do with a child who is bored with the program but can't qualify for the better program (to fit him) without doing the busywork? pull your hair out, i guess! i'm going to get his teacher a NICE gift for all she does!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

dreams again

so, i keep having this dream that Brad Pitt is leaving Angelina Jolie for me... i know, crazy! i mean, crazy that i should be dreaming about them in the first place; i'm clearly the superior physical specimen.

couldn't even type that without ROFLMAO!

so, last night, i dreamed i was married to Tom Cruise (nothing sexual in that, trust me), and he moved Penelope Cruz in as his other girlfriend. this does not seem strange behavior for TC, let me add. she had a debit card on our account, which was no larger than it is now. and right after i got paid, she went out and spent $1100 on this card. (nobody had any money in this dream.) i was paralyzed in the dream, couldn't think what to do. i finally confronted her, and she was what's the big deal? i was yelling how our mortgage was going to bounce, the house would be repossessed, didn't she care about ANYTHING?

and finally i started having rational thought in the dream, like, WHAT AM I DOING HERE? there is no way i'm putting up with this shit!

then the house burned down.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

me vs DH

Who eats more? me, but i'm cutting back
Who said "I love you" first? definitely me
Who weighs more? sadly, me again
Who sings better? me again!
Who’s older? finally, DH!
Who’s smarter? toss-up - we've always felt about equal
Whose temper is worse? i think DH, but he'd probably say me. when i get pissed off, i do a good job of it. but it takes a lot these days to push me there.
Who does the laundry? mostly me, some DH; i actually just started some.
Who does the dishes? kids do the dishwasher, mostly DH does the pots and pans; i do a little bit
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? me again!
Who plays golf better? oh, that would be DH; i haven't the patience. i enjoy a par-3 course/chip & putt type deal, only takes a couple of hours.
Who’s better with the computer? neither of us is VERY techie, but i developed my skills earlier, so i guess i win!
Who pays the bills? me, when they get paid...
Who cooks dinner? mostly me, since his commute grew to 3 hours daily. but i let him help on the weekends.
Who drives when you are together? mostly me; we both love to drive, and he gets plenty in with that commute!
Who pays when you go out to dinner? it's a joint account, but whoever has their wallet ready to hand; usually me.
Who is the most stubborn? tie game!
Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong? well, neither of us is ever wrong. it's very hard to resolve a conflict this way!
Whose parents do you see more? i'd call this a tie, too, it's all infrequent. only DH's dad passed many years ago, so if you count two sightings for my two parents, and only one for his, i would win.
Who named your pet? #1 son!
Who kissed who first? DH - i could never make the "first move."
Who asked who out? DH asked for my number, was very slow in asking/calling. after the first date, i had to steal a magazine from him to get him to call again (i was at his house with his sister). but that got things rolling.
Who’s more sensitive? we might each claim title to this...
Who’s taller? DH
Who has more friends? our current friends are equal/joint, and we've left a lot behind in our many moves that we would each still consider friends. so probably another tie.
Who has more siblings? DH - he has SEVEN, i only have FIVE.
Who wears the pants in the relationship? oh, me. b/c i always get what i want - eventually. i let DH think he does, and i let him think he wants the same things i do. :D

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

christmas survey!

Alana had some hilarious grumpy replies to these... her answers will be in WHITE after mine when i couldn't resist copying them.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
wrapped. Santa doesn't wrap the presents. He outsourced it to India.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
colored on the tree (it's pre-lit), white on the house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No.
Yeah because I like lovelry poisonous berries all over my house for the kidlets to eat.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Whenever DH gets around to it...

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
um... (tries to think) ... guess i don't have one.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
wrapping presents; the smell of Scotch tape will always mean Christmas to me!
Listening to Dad cuss through the ducts at toys he was trying to assemble on xmas eve.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
i honestly don't remember, but it's been a big deal #1 son finding out...

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
yes, to appease those who insist they need to. and it's jammies.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
i claim i need to work and let the family do it.

11. Snow, love it or hate it?
i have moved to NC twice, and it ain't for love of snow.

12. Can you ice skate?
i can stay up on them.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
no. i remember what i DIDN'T get that i wanted. ain't i a stinker?
OK, fave from DH is tickies to Phantom of the Opera. as a child, it was the big tin mom gave me with all kinds of fun office supply type jazz to play with. really.

14. What's the most important thing about the Christmas time for you?
if i gotta pick, it's cookies. and kiddies.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Fudge. only mine is MAKING fudge. and cookies.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
being with the big family and opening presents for hours. nobody else wants to do this anymore, but i love it. *snif*

17. What tops your tree?
we're talking about sticking our LaLa up there this year...

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
giving. receiving has been particularly disappointing in recent years. if you really wanna hear me bitch, i'll tell you about last christmas, when DH gave me a movie i'd told him i DID NOT WANT IN THE HOUSE, and a book that he had given me the previous year also. my giving tends to be much less problematic.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Silent Night.
Elf's Lament. And if you don't know it you suck reindeer balls.

20. Candy canes?
mmhmm. in my pockets all season.

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
Nightmare Before Christmas.

22. What do you leave for Santa?
nuthin. i eats up all the cookies!

23. Have you ever caught mommy kissing Santa Claus?
stupid question, i refuse to answer.

Monday, November 19, 2007

you won't believe this

it's the story of Dog and his Sweet Potato, link courtesy dooce (http://www.dooce.com/) last week. such a descriptive story deserves many links.

http://littera-abactor.livejournal.com/7748.html#comments

i only wish i knew how to edit those links to have cute little words that made you go where the codes do...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

i am SOCCER MOM!

ok, hopefully not really.

in an effort to keep kids' homework current AND get a little exercise, i have commenced this week picking them up from school instead of riding the bus. thus, they can DOUBLE-check their homework is coming home BEFORE leaving school. i'm parking across the street at the square/park, and walking; we're hoping to get to play at the park before going home most days. i'm actually feeling the effects from that little bit of walking, too; weird!

that's the theory, anyway. Monday they were out for Veterans' Day. Tuesday went well, but it was starting to rain, and we went to get flu shots instead of playing at the park and keeping moving. due to special activities, #2 son did not have homework, and his is the problem that has reached crisis state, and made me initate this change.

Wednesday, i arrived on time. #1 son was waiting for me. #2 son was nowhere to be found. checked the office, checked with his teacher, she thought he probably had gotten on the bus in error, though SHE knew he was to be a "car rider." when i got home, he was at the neighbor's (default when i'm not there when he's a bus rider). when asked when he did not go to the car line, he said, "I didn't have a note today."

you can 'splain and 'splain things, and still your children will make you want to beat your head against a brick wall.

so, not much homework this week or next. let's hope #2 son understands what being a car rider FROM NOW ON means before i start pounding those bricks to dust. and i'm getting moving, which is a baby step to being more fit!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

weather changes

seems like we had hot and steamy FOREVER; that being the nature of the South, i didn't complain. much. finally it broke, and has been cool for a week or two.

#1 son has decided this is soup weather. every time i ask him what we should have for a meal, he says SOUP. stocked up on progresso and chunky campbell's, and he loves those.

this week, we have made soup twice. steak and two-potato soup from a southern living cookbook, hearty and comforting; and a chili recipe my mom found in a mystery novel, simple but filling. what will it be next week? possibly WHITE chili, with chicken and cannelini beans. another southern living find, another mmm-mmm delish!

today we're up to 70 again, but the highs are below 60 for the most part, so it's soup weather!

--- was this a good break from my rhapsodizing about baby? hope you're happy, b/c i'm sure that's going to occupy my mind for the most part for some time to come! ---

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Gnome

He makes shrieky sounds and babbles at you when you squeeze his belly. It's not too irritating, makes me laugh!

It also makes the baby laugh. This is what distracts LaLa when she's screaming, calms her down, and is the FIRST item she has reached for.

Go figure.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

the year in review

yeah, it's a little early for that title, but it's a year ago that i got my BFP (pregnancy test), and that lends to some introspection/retrospection. or something like that.

reading my posts from a year ago, i'm so much better now! i'm not exhausted (well, not the same), i get lots more done, i'm not as despondent! having a new baby is a much better place for me than being PG. as i've mentioned before, old wives like to say to BIG pregnant women "it's much easier to take care of them now than after they're born," to which i reply HOGWASH! life and living is so much easier after they're born, plus you get a baby-moon to recover in and get used to taking care of an infant again.

it's been a VERY full year. i'm thinking of writing a book about this last year - i have so much material, i could write a dozen! when i start remembering, so much comes back that i am amazed i made it. but we both did! and life is good.

life is still hard, but i'm HOPEFUL that it will improve, and have plans on how to effect that. in fact, i'm more hopeful than i've been in some time; probably since i dropped out of school again a few years ago. that may be related to my decision to FIND A WAY to return and get a degree. we'll never be able to retire otherwise, and i live in dread of something happening to DH (for many reasons). i haven't felt close to him in a long time, and i'm feeling closer now than i have, too, so that makes a big diff.

DH turns 48 tomorrow! yeah, he's an old man. his daddy passed at 48, so the next year will be emotionally difficult for him. once he's 49 he's home-free!

i also rant about bras every year at this time, but don't see much point now; i'll be thrilled when i can sleep without one again, and put away the industrial-strength nursing bras, but anything i have to say right now has been said enough.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

more cheap "glasses"

hahaha - i went to walmart (yes, the evil empire has seduced me back into its clutches with its insanely low prices) and got 5-for-a-dollar plastic halloween cups. breakage may finally diminish!

and on the "glasses" subject, Da Boyz both had eye exams and don't need glasses. woohoo!

family pictures

Lifetouch does a church directory, and we were due for a new one (every 3 years). so we went and got our photo made Tuesday night.

it's exhausting. i will never take pictures at the end of the day again.

they were running behind, so by the time it was our turn, LaLa had had it. #2 son was antsy and kept shifting, and making bunny ears. #1 son was very good. DH and i bickered.

we all wore (dark) red b/c DaBoyz like that color a lot, and we all look good in it (well, i don't look terrific, but i like it anyway). got LaLa a lovely little Christmas plaid dress at Once Upon a Child (my new favorite place) - for $3.50.

she was spitting up all day. big spit-up just before time to get dressed. so we hopped in the shower and got clean. DH wasn't home yet so i went in in my undies, let #1 son take her from me and dry her off. while i was drying off and putting on clean/dry underwear, she spit up all over herself again. so DH wrapped her in a towel and off we went with her dress in hand. DH gets anxious when it's time to leave for such things and was nagging me. (the source of the bickering.) i put my makeup on anyway; dark red looks best if i have a face to go with.

so we got the poses, took forever, b/c LaLa was fascinated with her new dress and the ribbons attached, wouldn't look up. she generally has chin-to-chest-itis anyway. but it takes LOTS of concentration to play with those ribbons, mom! then they took us to the computer to pick poses to pay for. (we get a "free" 8x10 and church directory, anything else we have to pay [through the nose] for.)

this was the worst part. i actually nursed LaLa while we looked at poses. she was exhausted, hungry, i was exhausted. so we picked christmas cards, b/c they were cheaper than buying wallets to enclose. and the boys were rambunctious and DH wouldn't discipline and i was losing my hair that hadn't turned gray... DH wanted a shot for his mom, only $25 for one print. gr.

and i don't look like myself AT ALL. if the camera adds 10 pounds, so does looking in the mirror, b/c i look much bigger than i really am. and smiling adds wrinkles and i certainly don't have any of those.

my inner image of myself isn't stuck at 18, but it sure hasn't made it up to 37 yet. *sigh*

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

babies

keeping up with babies and work is distracting me from blogging about digestive processes. i do apologize.

well, it took her nearly four months, but she's got us all wrapped around her little fingers. AND SHE KNOWS IT. (we were wrapped from day one, but now she's figured this fact out.)

she beams at me and laughs, and tries to convince me it's PLAY time, not sleep time. one minute later (with the lights off and me gone), she's sound asleep. she pops off the breast and babbles to me, tries so hard to get me to play. and yeah, i frequently do.

it's wonderful having a (relatively) easy baby. we have our moments and our days, but for the most part, this is a cakewalk compared to the first two. thank God! and the boys wrapped around her little fingers who help out tons. now if only we could move closer to Richie's work, life would improve considerably. it's always something.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

cheap glasses

i was SO excited at back-to-school shopping, as i found really inexpensive glassware. i've had my sons doing dishwasher duties, and the price of that help is a high degree of attrition in glassware. i needed more glasses, and cheap is always good!

except this time, b/c cheap meant pressed-glass, and these not only break easily, but also SHATTER easily. maddening! my OLD dishes survive short falls, but these do not. never again! i may just give these away (to someone without children) so i can buy some safer ones.

dagnabit, i thought i had a solution! as with most solutions, it was only temporary. *bleagh*

Friday, October 05, 2007

where i've been

i just noticed i hadn't posted in days; further, hadn't had much to say. this is highly unusual for me. (surprise!)

i came down with the family cold finally on Friday last. it's been through the family, and now it's my turn. i'm AMAZED to be feeling better today. i cannot remember the last time i caught a cold and cleared it on my own without it becoming bacterial/infected and needing treatment with antibiotics. let's hear it for immune systems!

i've had the putrid sore throat that makes you want to scream, but you know that will only hurt worse, so you don't. i think LaLa has that; she gets fussy, and cries and cries. then i give her Tylenol and she feels better. she's not too stuffy and we've had the vaporizer running most of the time. i'm sure that helps both of us.

i'm so stoked that i'm getting well without getting much worse first. this cold is bad enough without becoming bacterial/bronchitis/sinus infection/all of the above!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

wild hair

so, i got a wild hair up my butt. grabbed my good scissors and whacked my hair.

it had gotten really long, but it was stringy at the ends, damaged, and falling out postpartum. so i whacked off a good 6-8 inches, but it's still below my shoulders. i actually like it. did a good job, except the center of the back comes to a point; someone else will have to trim that. may run next door after the bus gets here...

i pulled it forward over each shoulder and lopped it off even, so it would curve in the back. then i pulled small chunks out and gave it some texture, chin length and longer. it's about as long as jennifer garner wears hers (see 13 going on 30). and it feels so much healthier!

i think i managed to do this without leaving any major holes, too. i've done this about two other times in my life; both times i was majorly depressed/stressed, and wasn't happy with the results. this time i planned, instead of reacting. and i'm happy! i just couldn't find time to go get it done, so i did it myself!

Friday, September 21, 2007

oh hell

LaLa has been growing, sleeping all day to do it. finally slowed down her feeding to every three hours all day, so i've gotten a nice break where i could get something done - not BFing constantly and she's asleep to boot!

today, she's hungry again. it was fun while it lasted... two whole days with less than constant demands. *sigh*

Thursday, September 20, 2007

his eyes will never be the same

last night, #1 son came into my bedroom (through the closed door) without knocking, exactly 10 seconds too late to scar him for life, but too soon to prevent seeing some nudity he'd rather not have seen.

it was bound to happen eventually. and that's what i told him. i also recommended knocking on the door if shut.

haven't bitched DH out yet, but have been nagging for FIVE YEARS for him to switch the bedroom doorknob (on which the lock doesn't work) with the bathroom doorknob from the master bath (which lock DOES work). instead, he placed a doorstop in the doorjamb (which apparently did NOT work, either), and proceeded to give me a massage.

repercussions? well, i threw my clothes on (remember, it was after the important stuff), and went to the boy. "you couldn't sleep?" "no." "and now you never will again!" (see subheader, i.e., inappropriate sense of humor.)

the child didn't freak out (and this is the one who does NOT want to know the facts of life, determined not to know), but he definitely won't come in without knocking any time soon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

odd little bits

4th-grade humor:

If there is H2O on the inside of a fire hydrant, what is on the outside?

K9P

and a couple special ones from Eddie Izzard:

-There's two positions in snowboarding. One is looking cool and the other is DEAD!

-There was Pope John if you remember, now there is Pope John Paul. The next Pope's gonna be John Paul George and we can see where they're going.

something right

you know you're doing something right when your child - who "doesn't like to sing" - comes home from church singing the hymns. seeing your kids happy is one of the great joys of life!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

going organic

but first, a rant. b/c you love me.

it all started with Quaker and Sam's. i get hooked on a breakfast cereal and eat it daily for literally YEARS before i change. i was on Special K vanilla almond for the last several years. after baby, i bought some Quaker granola. sam's carries it in big boxes. or i should say, USED to carry it. last week when i went to get it, really anticipating it, there was none.

i was so damn mad. it's crunchy and sweet and virtuous all at the same time. there are days when i eat it for lunch, too. i honestly was so mad i'm about ready to quit sam's. except their squishy chickens are the best in the biz.

so i went home and went to myfamily.com, where my family keeps in touch. it works fabu for us - everybody is as close as a click, even the brother who lives in Japan. honestly, i hear from him as well as i did when he lived 5 miles from me. my mother had posted recipes for granola that SHE used to make when i was a kid, as well as my grandmother's recipe (dad's mom), that we had when we went to her house (rarely, long trip, broke family).

the ingredients are mostly mass-market, except "rolled wheat." couldn't find it at the supermarket. asked mom (via myfamily) where to get it, and she said the health food store, dummy.

so i took a trip to Whole Foods. this is an awesome store! their prices for organics are often less than the supermarket's for chemicals and preservatives. grains available in bulk, 69c/pound. bought up a bunch of grains for my granola and went home to try it out, see if it was worth making my own. also picked up some organic milk, as it was cheaper than supermarket and only a little more than sam's.

making granola is seriously about the easiest recipe i've ever made. you stir up your grains (oats, wheat flakes, wheat bran, wheat germ, etc.), heat up your liquids (oil, honey, water, brown sugar, vanilla, salt) to dissolve the sugar, combine the two, and bake in the oven. they stir together easily, not like some stiff doughs. cleanup is a breeze. it's a bit messy b/c you have to stir on the cookie sheets multiple times. but i have homemade, organic granola, at minimal effort.

the best part is, i'll be saving tons on metamucil! all that bran is impossible to resist!

DH is thrilled about the idea of drinking organic milk all the time, so i may be saying sayonara to sam's most of the time. fewer hormones in our lives can only be a good thing, right?



i still shave my armpits, though.

Monday, September 17, 2007

a great big weird survey

1-The phone rings. Who do you want it to be? Lana said Ed McMahon, and i gotta stick with that answer.

2-When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? no, i make my 10-year-old do it!

3-In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? talker

4-Do you take compliments well? no, but i give them liberally

5-Do you play Sudoku? i particularly like the A-Z ones (25 across by 25 down). little bit obsessive...

6-If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? it's a lot more likely now than it was a few months ago.

7-Do you like nipple rings? no, they freak me something fierce

8-Did you ever go to camp as a kid? went to school camp, Clear Creek, loved it except for the coming home part. generally love camping any time they have TOILETS. will not squat over a trench for anyone.

9-What was your favorite game as a kid? Monopoly

10-Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you? that's about all the dates i ever had... DH and i started in the same place (none), and have reached the same place regarding faith now, so it's all worked out.

11-Do you like to pursue or be pursued? i like to be pursued, but my nature is to pursue.

12-Do any songs make you cry? where were you when the world stopped turning?

13-Are you continuing your education? trying damn hard!

14-Do you know how to shoot a gun? innit like a camera? point and shoot?

15-If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grab? kids, purse, keys - don't hafta grab hard drive like alana, b/c i bought a fire safe and stick backups of my photos in there.

16-Do you think more about the past, present or future? mostly present; too busy to think about other stuff!

17-Favorite children's book? Princess Picky.

18-What color are your eyes? green

19-How tall are you? 5-5

20-Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? yes

21-Where was the furthest place you traveled today? ooo, i went to the grocery store around the corner - my exciting life.

22-Do you like mustard? just a little bit

23-Do you look like your mom or dad? mom, but dad's eyes (hopefully just appearance, not function; he's blind beyond joking)

24-How long does it take you in the shower? 15-20 minutes

25-Can you do splits? never could

26-What movie do you want to see right now? Bourne

27-What did you do for New Year's? don't remember... not much, i was PG.

28-Do you think The Grudge was scary? didn't see it

29-Do you own a camera phone? no, and no desire to

30-Was your mom a cheerleader? no

31-What's the last letter of your middle name? e

32-How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 6-8, but i nap on 6 days

33-Do you like care bears? um, no

34-What do you buy at the movies? tickets

35-Do you know how to play poker? yup, love it!

36-Do you wear your seatbelt? it became a law the year i got my license, so i never went without it

37-What do you wear to sleep? whatever i have on

38-Is your tongue pierced? yuck - did a speech on how hazardous that is in college a couple of years ago, at my last failed attempt to finish my degree.

39-Do you like Liver and Onion? i used to LOVE them but rarely eat them after taking anatomy and learning how the liver works. eeewwwww.

40-Are you in love? i fell in love again this June, you should try it!

41-Do you like funny or serious people better? oh, funny, definitely - the ones who think i'm funny are the MOST fun!

42-Ever been to L.A.? hadta visit Alana there

43-Do you steal or pay for your music downloads? no, i don't download

44-What do you and your parents fight about the most? religion and politics if i dare bring them up - mostly i pretend they don't exist and we're all happier.

45-Are you a gullible person? i prefer to be gullible to cynical, but i can't always choose.

46-Do you need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be happy?
um, the last time i didn't have one i was 20. i like to think i'm mature and balanced enough to be happy without a SO.

47-If you could have any job (assuming you have the skills) what would it be? B&B owner - it's a great fantasy, doubt i'd really like it.

48-Are you easy to get along with? _I_ think so. _I_ get along GREAT with me!

49-What is your favorite time of day? mornings - time for granola!

50-Would you rather sleep alone or with someone? SLEEP - alone.

51-Would you give up the one you love/care for the most to become immortal? stupid question - what kind of life would it be hating yourself for your choice?

52-What animal are you most like? a human

53-What kind of tea do you like the most? peppermint

54-Do you laugh at peoples' stupidity? yes

55-Do you feel guilty for doing so after you're done laughing? only if they caught me

Thursday, September 13, 2007

HEALTH QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... Don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain = Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: You're not listening... . Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable. It's the best feel-good food around!!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. And remember:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand, chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"

Monday, September 10, 2007

happier now

cute kid stories!

we watched Chicago last night. LaLa has discovered musicals, and the boys have seen it before so aren't scandalized by its reprobate nature.

at bedtime, i was still singing "the gun, the gun, the gun, the gun, oh yes, they both reached for the gun, for the gun." Tyler (#2 son) says "That's the problem with Chicago; it's got so many great songs, you can't get them out of your head." He's right! however, i'm thrilled they've supplanted the songs that WERE running through my head... [you're just jealous b/c the voices only talk to ME!]

and LaLa has this adorable habit. you burp her, and after she burps, she plants her pointy chin on your shoulder and swings her head back and forth rapidly. she's a bobble-head! especially to music.

i've got her hooked on 7 Brides for 7 Brothers already! #1 son's first favorite movie, he named his kitten Milly.

more exciting topics

are boobies more exciting than baby farts?

i have been accused previously of being obsessed with breasts. i disagree, but this will serve as further evidence for the person who so accused me!

i'm in PAIN!!! LaLa likes to have growth spurts, followed by seemingly-drugged sleep days. and on the days she ISN'T nursing every 1.5 to 2 hours, i'm producing that level of milk, and have the tatas from hell!

rant will have to wait - the leech is waking and i can relieve some pressure NOW!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

ssshhhhhh!!!!!

i hate to admit it, but LaLa is sleeping through the night. consistently. i wake up at 6:30 to the sounds of her sucking her thumb and grunting, and go feed her. then she sleeps some more.

very very quiet cheering sounds going on! what a gal!

Friday, September 07, 2007

open letter to Always manufacturer

This is an open letter written to the branch manager of Proctor and Gamble:

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years, and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core* or Dri-Weave* absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my panties.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from "the curse"? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my "time of the month" is starting right now... As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call "an inbred hillbilly with knife skills."

Isn't the human body amazing? As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers' monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women.

The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.

Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: *"Have a Happy Period."*

Are you !@#$!@#$ kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness *actual smiling, laughing happiness* is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James?

FYI, Unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything "happy" about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and KahlĂșa and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like "Put Down the Hammer" or "Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong"? or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effective immediately,there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending Bullcrap. And that's a promise I will keep. Always.

Best,

Wendi Aarons
Austin, TX

critics

everyone's a critic.

today's topic is the last thing i did WITHOUT a baby. also the first thing since she was born, other than a couple of quick grocery trips. (with a big fat pppppbbbbtttt to Alana. because i love her.)

i took the boys to see Shrek 3 at the $2 theater without the baby. because loud noises bother her, and all movies have loud noises these days. she did fine in Harry Potter 5 at age 4 weeks, but didn't do well at all in Spider-Man 3 shortly thereafter. too many loud noises.

so- here's the part without a baby. :D i checked the times and took the kids to the 4:30 show. we got there at 4:15 and bought popcorn, checked out all the quarters in the cash drawer to try to complete our collection, pre-emptive strike at the bathroom, all the good stuff. went into the theater to see - the middle of the movie. it started at 4:00.

fortunately, Da Boyz had seen this as a new movie with their auntie when i was incapacitated, so it wasn't the end of the world. slightly upsetting for mommy to realize just how decayed her brain had gotten, but a survivable screw-up, anyway.

even without seeing the beginning (which all the previews presumably gave away anyway), it was an enjoyable movie.

here's the part about critics. Critics go to movies to - surprise! - critique them. comment about what was wrong with them, in other words; rarely about something right with them if they just can't help themselves. WE go to movies to HAVE FUN. this is why i ignore most critics' ratings. if it's low humor, it's getting a D at best, and i'm gonna enjoy it anyway. if it's something i expect to get a B and it flunks, yeah, i'll probably avoid it until i hear word-of-mouth.

the critics had NOTHING nice to say about Shrek 3; overplayed, under-original, been-there done-that feel to it, nothing funny about it.

they were wrong. no, it didn't strike us as the most original thing we'd seen in ages, like the original Shrek did at times. but it did make us laugh, and it had good messages. sure, it's facile; its intended audience, after all, is CHILDREN. but we'll buy it, and we won't feel (very) guilty about it.

then i came home and laughed at baby farts some more. let's face it, if you think i'm supposed to have a more exciting life, you'd better come get me and drag me out.

and after all, there were green baby farts involved in my escape from baby-fart topics.

EDIT: after viewing this lovely post, i'm hungry for mint oreo's. wonder why? but i can't eat any more of them b/c i have NO self-control. *sigh*

Thursday, September 06, 2007

skrewt update

LaLa is quite the BES. i went in to check on her yesterday morning and heard her blasting away. she has figured out how to toot when she needs to! her tummy muscles have matured! woohoo!

so i laughed and said "you figured out how to play your tooter!" she's a natural with a musical instrument. she's very excited that she figured out how to do this; she's practicing that concentration and tooting away!

LaLa practiced her new skill all day yesterday, went through many diapers b/c sometimes the toots are not solely gaseous. i laughed and laughed. she is so funny.


she slept 9 hours last night and has finally found her thumb. grandma taught her to take binky but she doesn't do it much for anyone else. she'd rather have a thumb, but couldn't figure out how to get it in there... she's making all kinds of funny noises, talking in her bed, while i'm working. grunts and clicks, and coos and suckling fists. she's very happy b/c she SLEPT NINE HOURS last night! and thus so am i!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

PPPPPPP

alana tagged me. this is for her: pppbbbttt!

7 P's about me - not an easy task!

P: PPPbbbttt! aka Bronx cheer.

P: Princess Picky: one of my favorite children's books. i read it aloud in sPeech class a couple of years back and got an A. thanks Tyler! who brought it home from the library. check it out at amazon.com.

P: Positive Thinking. i try really hard on this, b/c i don't want to live in fear, and don't want to be a grouchy old lady, so i'm trying to train myself to think Positively!

P: PB&J. everyone in my house (except LaLa, so far) loves PB. Da Boyz even created PB&C: cinnamon sugar on the PB. it's quite good, changes the texture!

P: Presbyterian. i'm so Proud i'm a church member again.

P: Practically Perfect in every way. (Pause for laughter) major Julie Andrews fan, does that count? i have fallen asleep during Mary Poppins more times than i can count, and finally figured out why - she sings that stupid lullaby halfway through it! zzzzzzzzz

P: Persistent. aka nag.

and an 8th P: Please comment!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

didn't win yet...

We didn't win PowerBall. No requests for contributions are necessary!

However, we have everything else in life we need and want, so we're pretty happy. Wouldn't trade our lives for even $300 million, so that's saying something.

Big kids went back to school yesterday; #1 son wants to run for school president (5th grade). I encouraged him but have NO idea how to help him with this! suggestions welcome! LaLa and I stayed home and enjoyed starting a new routine. now if only i could get more hours in...

We de-listed the house yesterday. Plan is to stay here through the school year, re-list in Jan/Feb or so, depending on mortgage market and our credit status. DH is excited to look at housese again; I am NOT. in MY mind, we're still going to buy the same house we had under construction; it may be a different house, but the same plan. whether this remains the plan in future is uncertain and irrelevant; i'm having enough trouble staying calm about losing the contract without uncertainties!

The grandparents went to Richmond yesterday for the duration of their trip; my mother's father lives there, as do aunts and cousins. and Uncle Skip, who fished me out of the Green River in Utah last summer when i fell in (on a 0.5 rapid). after 19 years of marriage to my aunt (they got married in '87, i was already a teen), I'm finally calling him UNCLE. cuz he earned it.

we didn't get as many photos as we'd hoped; LaLa reached her saturation point too quickly. but i think we have some nice ones of her in her christening gown, (note to self: get it cleaned and returned to owner!) including a shot with its original wearer/owner, who started kindergarten yesterday.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

evil shots update

it took DAYS to get over being needled. and all she wants is to sleep, on mommy or daddy. or grandma! thank goodness we don't have any more for two whole months - our reactions could be completely different by then (or the same, but we're trying not to think that).

as mentioned, my mom is visiting, and we've had lots of fun spending her money. we went to michael's and bought beads and she is having fun making necklaces. we worked on one she can wear to church tomorrow for LaLa's baptism. also, she and my dad had their 40th anniversary today.

we (DH and I) bought lottery tickets with the #40 in them as a tribute, since powerball is up to $300 million. can you even THINK of that big a number? promised mom she can retire if we hit the lottery.

Friday, August 24, 2007

more on spandex

or Ace bandages, as you probably call them...

took it off yesterday and couldn't find it again. some aching and clicking, but improved generally from before i started wearing it most of the time. woohoo! just found it this morning at the desk (what a strange place to wear spandex!).

and i found fabulous headbands that are elastic with rubber feet run through them, and they don't hurt my head and take a while to slide out of my hair (my head is larger than average, and that extra 1/2-inch makes headbands hurt and/or slide out, depending on design). Goody for me!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

cruel torture

LaLa just got her shots Tuesday. They make mommy hold her little legs, and tag team her; two nurses come in, and shoot her twice each, but simultaneously so she only gets two "ouches."

oh, the agony! her little legs are knotty and swollen, and she's very unhappy. spent 24 hours straight refusing to be put down, wanting nothing more than mama. grandma is visiting and she is an acceptable alternative (yeah, grandmas!). spit up all day, but kept the tylenol down (yeah, tylenol!).

then when she was VERY uncomfortable yesterday at bedtime, refused to nurse. and refused and refused, despite being hungry. well, her tummy didn't feel great after a day of spitting up, so who can blame her? finally calmed down, had a short nap, asked for a binkie, and then took the breast.

why do we stick needles in our babies' legs? there MUST be a better way! if they came at you or i with a needle proportionately as large as these, we'd kick them too, and run!

Friday, August 17, 2007

font change

after two years with the blog, it was time for a change. whether it lasts or not, who knows? but i just figured out HOW to change the color scheme and font for each object, had to try it out. (i'd always wanted to make my subtitle more readable.)

comments are welcome, suggestions as well. (i may not TAKE your advice, but you're welcome to give it!)


*edit* apparently almost THREE years, not two. i was overdue for a change!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

housing developments

well, we've lost the contract on our new home. it wasn't looking good anyway b/c we had no interest in the old home from buyers. still, i'm pretty dang bummed about it.

apparently one's credit scores can drop without reason. i've gotta follow up with the credit reporting agencies. regardless, we can't get a mortgage with the numbers as they are now. further, lots of mortgage companies are going under and/or experiencing extreme hardship due to the slump in the housing market AND formerly liberal lending policies. these two problems sound like they're going to feed one another.

since school is starting in about 10 days, DH doesn't want to sell the house in the middle of the school year, just to stay in an apartment locally thru the school year. i told him we should leave the house listed but not market it aggressively (note to self, tell agent that!), so we wouldn't miss a potential sale. sounds like our plan.

if we aren't buying the new house, which was a higher payment due to our poor credit anyway, we can afford for me to work part-time and do more to keep the house and the kids and the DH happy. a year from now, many things will have changed, the nature of which we know not now.

i was REALLY upset about this and couldn't even talk about it - it's been weeks since we found out. but we're finding the silver lining.

the REASON we had time to talk about such issues was car troubles. i got to drive to chapel hill yesterday to pick DH up - there went three hours of work time i should have gotten done. but it was a blessing in disguise; we're determined to view it as such. and just move forward.

STELLAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Annual Stella Awards. Law and the Courts in the USA.

For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee. That's right, these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts that happened in the U.S. during 2006. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the "Stellas" for the past year: To kick things off the right way, there was a three-way tie for 5th place.

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas , was awarded $80,000 by a jury ofher peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who wasrunning inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.

Also in 5th place is Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California - you knew California had to be in the list somewhere, right? - who won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps. Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.

The last of the 5th Place winners was Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to subsist for eight - count'em, 8 - days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching.


There are more. Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the"Stellas" when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in it's owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite, because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun. Grrrrr scratch, scratch.

Third Place went to Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on soft drink and broke her tailbone (coccyx). The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions? Scratch, scratch, scratch.

Hang in there, there are only two more Stellas to go.

Second Place: Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000 ... oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

Finally, (may I have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos please) this year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, ofOklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motorhome. On her first trip home - from an OU football game, no less - having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Don't look so incredulous. Remember, we're talking about Oklahoma here. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her - you are sitting down, right? - $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might buy a motor home.

PS - i don't really care if these are all true (though i suspect they are, human nature being what it is) - they're funny enough to post regardless! oy ve!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

on aging

it's weird, the older i get, the more varied an assortment of braces and wraps i accumulate...

the latest one is a wrist brace. apparently, the way i'm holding LaLa when i nurse is aggravating to my wrist. very shortly after she was born i started noticing my wrist hurt. then it would wake me up. it's progressed to locking when i'm asleep, catching lots of the time, feels weak, and i don't dare lift anything with it!

so i'm wearing the cussed wrist brace most of the time, and not feeling pain, mostly. you wouldn't believe the assortment of elastic i have around the place!

stinky talk

dont you HATE when companies discontinue products you're addicted to? like Tato Skins in the '80s, which have come back under TGI Friday's label... i used to go on treasure hunts for those things when they were on their way out!

back to the present, i've been battling a continuing problem with deodorant. i was on almay for a while, which was really nice b/c it had nothing "extra" in it. i loved the soft solid, like a cream that dispensed through a standard-shaped deodorant tube.

the local stores stopped carrying, that so i stocked up the last time i saw it. then i tried secret clear, which also dispenses through little holes in a tube, more like a gel. don't like it as well, but it was close enough. except i became allergic to it before long.

so i switched to Dove deodorant, which was a new product a few years ago. they had the soft solid and i LOVED it. then target stopped carrying it so i bought it online, and wherever i saw it, and several tubes at a time.

and now i have been searching for MONTHS and it's no longer made. i actually went to dove.com (they had it for sale there previously), and it's discontinued and they have no back stock. ARGH!

ran out a month or so ago and bought regular dove deodorant. it doesn't work as well as the cream! i'm so frustrated!

i finally went and bought more deodorant when i wasn't out - i got a Degree "little black dress" stick. and it works! this has been years in the process.

i'm sure hoping degree doesn't change their formula any time soon. if the stick can hold up to a sleeveless top and running lots of errands, in and out of the heat and humidity, it's a good one. plus, it really IS "body heat-activated;" when i would normally start feeling sticky, i noticed the fragrance would intensify, but i didn't get sticky.

so, when they discontinue YOUR favorite item, i recommend Degree.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

pottery-based quiz

1) Harry begins Hogwarts and sorted into a house. Which house do you think you would be sorted in?
Gryffindor = Brave
Ravenclaw = Smart
Hufflepuff = Loyal/hardworking
Slytherin = Sly, looking for the easy way

Ravenclaw, probably, or maybe Hufflepuff. Everybody wants to be in Gryffindor after reading the books, but I doubt I'd be brave enough. Then again, I've never been good at knowing myself.

2) The Mirror of Erised, instead of showing a reflection, shows what the subject wants more than anything. What would the Mirror show you?

A stack of cash and a carefree life... A big house (not bigger than needed, just big), everyone I love living near me (which is a physical impossibility, but this is fantasy), sunny days... Guess I'm still wanting to live on Sesame Street!

3) In The Chamber of Secrets, Harry’s new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is a celebrity with an overdeveloped case of ego. Which current celebrity do you think is overblown?

Paris Hilton has always irritated me the most, but everyone who's made the tabloids lately deserves to be there, seems like. The biggest waste to me is Lindsay Lohan, who has wasted her talent and her career.

4) Harry calls Fawkes (Dumbledore’s phoenix) to him by exhibiting loyalty. What non-family member would be able to call your phoenix?

Tough question. Hayda and Beth, Sue and Jessica.

5) In The Prisoner of Azkaban we first see a Boggart, which takes the form of whatever the person fears. What would your boggart turn into?

My biggest "fear" is being out of control. Yes, I'm a control freak (*gasp*)! Spiders definitely still wig me out and probably always will, but if I'm thinking about what I dread the most, it's a control issue.

6) Harry is able to fight off dementors by using a patronus charm which calls upon a very happy memory. What would your happy moment be?

I think our last vacation was one of our best ever, sunny days (sensing a theme here!), no demands other than baby, spending time with our family and our kids and not lacking anything that counts. So I'd draw on that. (I REALLY enjoyed maternity leave!)

7) In The Goblet Of Fire Fred and George try to put their names in the goblet even though they are not old enough. What “mature” activity did you try too early?

Marriage, clearly.

8)In The Order of the Phoenix Harry discusses what he wants to be when he gets out of school. What did you want to be when you were 15?

At 15, I think I still wanted to be an astronaut. I also really wanted to be a pilot, but I couldn't see paying for lessons and hoped to go into the Air Force. They wouldn't teach me to fly because my vision was too bad (so I left THAT thought behind). My first hit against life's realities and disappointments. I'd still love to have gone that route.

9) The kids take their defense against the dark arts in a room of requirement where the room becomes whatever you need. What would your personal room of requirement be–when would it appear?

A sound-proof room with Time-Turners and computers - I could work in peace, get in a nap, and not miss anything!

10) In the Half-Blood Prince we are exposed to Felix Felicitas, a potion that will make you have a wonderful wonderful day. Tell us about a day that you would like to live over again–a wonderful day.

I think I answered this one up above, with my happy memories.


SPOILERS AHEAD

B
E
W
A
R
E
.
.
.


11) In the Deathly Hallows, Hermione blanks her parents' memory of her existence. Is this something you would do to protect those you loved?

This would be so hard, because nobody's ego wants them to be forgotten; the ancient Egyptians believed that their spirit lived as long as they were remembered, and I've embraced that thought for years. But in the end, yes, I'd do anything for my babies (as I've proved lately), so I'd have to do this too. But I'd cry. Lots.

12) We find that Dumbledore entrusted Snape to kill him. Do you have anyone that you would trust enough to kill you if you asked them to?

Since we've had the discussion about pulling the plug, I'd trust DH and he me. I think anyone would have to know why to do it a la Snape, and knowing why, finding someone who COULD follow through would be the hard part, IMO.

13) Many beloved characters do not make it to the end of the book. What fictional characters' deaths affected you (besides the ones in Harry Potter)?

The dogs in Where the Red Fern Grows, even though I'm not a dog person. (will add others as I think of them, I'm sure I'm missing some...)

Friday, August 10, 2007

back to work

i've been back at work a week now. i knew before i went out on maternity leave that when i came back, i'd have all new accounts. this is a REALLY big deal. it's like having all new work, all new rules, and still trying to produce at the same rate. that's really impossible; there's a transition period before production comes back up, while we learn the new rules.

i'm no longer feeling completely adrift. all this transitioning taken together has made it difficult to get hours in - i have to put the baby down, and neither of us likes that much. i CAN wear the sling and work for an hour at a time, which helps us both, but babies usually don't like that when they get a tad bigger and don't sleep as much.

this is neither amusing nor inappropriate, just my life, such as it is. :D no apologies here!

i'm feeling lots happier and more patient than i have in a while, too. i'm sure my sons are thrilled! i took them to the used bookstore yesterday and picked up a set of LOTR books for #1 son; he's deep into The Hobbit already. it's good, b/c he likes to read, but lacks the attention span for heavy projects. they intimidate him, i think. he's been SUCH a big help with baby, this is his reward. (#2 son wants to read these books, too.)

i'm also reinstituting bedtime stories, which had gone when they both learned to read; they need more mommy time, and i can't think of a better way to give it - or a better time! only NOW we'll be reading the HP series together!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

HOW TO BE A MEDICAL TRANSCRIPTIONIST

At Last! this Hot Topic has been much-requested and I've been "too busy" to put my thoughts together. Since I've jump-started my brain upon returning to work last week, I'm going to compile data here.

Since I started working from home 10 years ago, I have been asked on a frequent basis, "How can _I_ work from home doing your job?"

HOW TO GET CERTIFIED:
The simple How-To answer is here! Most companies do not train their own employees anymore; they want someone with a certificate or experience, or both. The company _I_ recommend for certification is Career Step (
www.homecareerinfo.com/0518). My sisters have both completed their program, and one is employed full-time, with very good earnings. (My other sister has just taken the final exam, and I'll be updating her status in "Comments.")

People ask me if it's worth the investment. I truly believe it is. I'm sure my sisters would agree with me!

HOW TO APPLY FOR A JOB:
After becoming certified, you'll need to apply to companies for a job. Career Step will help with that process, too! I'm employed by MedQuist (
http://www.medquist.com/transcriptionists/), and my sister works for another company. Both of them give us bonuses for referring you, so please contact us before applying so we can get credit for you! (contact info. available at my Career Step page, www.homecareerinfo.com/0518)

IS THIS THE JOB FOR YOU?
Working from home isn't for everyone. It can be tedious, frustrating, and lonely. However, if you knew my personality, you'd NEVER think _I_ could do this! So you really can't tell who will be successful, and who will just get by, working from home. You do have to be disciplined to earn income, so I would caution you not to decide to do this without giving it some careful thought.

This job requires you to listen and type at the same time, while operating a foot pedal. You also have to have good grammar skills, to be able to spell, and to be able to learn words with Latin and Greek roots. You will get doctors with heavy accents and you will need to be able to figure out what they are saying - practice helps a lot with this!

There are many rewards to working from home, too! Your schedule is flexible, you don't have to shower before work, you don't spend money and time commuting, you can eat lunch less expensively at home, your kids can be around (depending on their personality and demands) while you work - or they can be at daycare, if that's a big benefit to you! And companies now offer benefits to us, which is a more recent development. I've really enjoyed the years I've put in, both from home and in the office.

If you have questions or comments, please post them! I welcome your input!

as if that weren't enough...

DH is a jokester. he likes to break wind and blame pets, children, anything in the vicinity.

last night, he blamed Angela. at least, so i believed. it really was her - this skrewt is LOUD! explains her discomfort, that degree of pressure and volume of gas.

she toots away, and i tell her we're having a farty party. this is the life of a newborn's mother. at least they're not stinky YET. *eyeroll*

Monday, August 06, 2007

new nickname

Angela's latest nickname: BLAST-ENDED SKREWT.

anybody need an explanation? think Harry Potter...