Thursday, December 31, 2009

a final (?) delicious thought

my seester just summited the challenge of Julia Child's boeuf bourgignone. clicking idly through links from that recipe, i came across this gorgeous description of replicating Julia's first dinner in France:

myself, i saw Julie and Julia earlier this year and was VERY inspired. no, i'm not going to make all the recipes in her seminal opus, but i'm inspired. ;) one of my two requests for Christmas was MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. it is delicious reading and i feel even _I_ can make boneless duck en croute, the final dish in the movie. Julia was a scientist in the kitchen and her descriptions of how and why to take each step are masterful, truly.

now that i've read this article, i'm inspired to travel to France again, and to visit this restaurant, and to clog my arteries with beautiful BUTT-er. (alas, if only my funds matched my inspiration.)

but that is a wonderful thought, mental picture, what-have-you, to end a year on. Bon appetit!


so, if i make 36 more posts before the end of the day, i'll have posted as much in December as i did in the rest of 2009 combined.

no, not gonna happen (do i sense relief, kim?). Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

stray thoughts

my lolly is growing up WAY too fast. she recently started eating a TON and i'm waiting for her growth to explode. i'm FINALLY going to have to switch to #5 diapers (or maybe training pants? i have high hopes)!

just figured out why. she got another set of molars in the last month. i bet that makes it about 10 times easier to chew. she is always eating now - she can pound a clementine in under a minute! her absolute favorite food, though, is CHILI. just had some for lunch and her bowl was practically licked clean.

mommies worry about our kids eating enough, and eating right. i can worry less about this one. for now.


anxiety. decisions. fear.

i'm not making a "new year's" resolution, just a ME resolution. i'm going to work on ME this year. i'm an important person, too, and i am going to do things to help ME grow and be happy. been meditating this morning on how, when, where i'm coming from and where i'm going, and eradicating fear.

one of the best new "friends" i made in facebook is helping with this. she spends her days spreading sunshine and love, and embraces all who want to bask in her positive energy. she's a "game friend," don't know much about her, nor she me, but her posts make me feel more myself and wonderful ABOUT myself.

she posted about how she felt things were too good to be true with her recent move. and this is a note i wrote in reply to her today: "we moved into a place that was too BAD to be true in september and i feel trapped, can't leave until next sept. lots of fear on this, too. fear is the soul-killer, must shed it! it is what it is and i will get through this, too. have tried to forget that! thanks for all the beautiful reminders of how beautiful i am!"

mommies sometimes sacrifice too much for their children. seek out people who make you feel beautiful and loved, and don't forget that we are JUST as important as our children are and WE deserve to be happy, too! namaste!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

catching up

as Kim mentioned, i've been quite verbose this month.

i started on some medication for my anxiety about a month ago. coincidence? i don't think so. i'm feeling more like MYSELF than i have in ages. i just didn't realize how UN-like myself i had felt, it's a gradual slide. once things got just about rock bottom (i was mostly unable to function every day), i went and asked for help. yay!

thus, feeling better, i started posting more. when i realized JUST HOW MUCH i'd actually posted this month already, i started thinking i could maybe do 31 posts in a 31-day month. but only if i had something to say. when i'm MYSELF, there is never any doubt.

our move was so unequivocally HELLISH, and so hard on me. we have had at least TEN disasters as great as today's since mid-September, and it overwhelmed me so much and made me so depressed and anxious, I COULDN'T EVEN TALK ABOUT IT. major red flag. when i talked with my 2 seesters one day about this, they told me to get myself to the MD and get some meds. which i did. thanks again, seesters!


DH brought home a used treadmill he found on Craigslist (for $75!) tonight. it's COLD, and it took about 20 minutes to get through the door (#1 son helped). the temp in the house plummeted. i'm still chilly.

but i got my christmas gift! i got both things i asked for, which is awesome! and dressing up lolly is a gift in itself; she got so many new clothes she still hasn't worn them all. so better days are coming, and we survived 2009! and we learned NOT to cross the MamaBear. :D

water restored

i got a return call from the water/city office. they said they DID have a connection order with the correct address on it, that had been CHANGED to the other address later, and presumably 'twas i who supplied the original address. so they asked me to come in and pay my past due bill and i'd be reconnected.

i went and paid my bill. they waived the $75 reconnect fee. something to do with plat maps and post office and city regs (some major screwed-up regs, no doubt), they had to have the address they did to provide service. but once they verify that i'm right (like there was any doubt), they'll waive the late fees, which are considerably smaller.

they did not try to argue with me at the office. i said, I am definitely het-up, but I'm not unreasonable; you only have to deal with one of the two right now. one of the ladies laughed (the supervisor) but the clerk was too frazzled. apparently they disconnect a lot of people's water the same day of the month.

i told her she needed a new job.

they even had a sign up at the office saying people who yell or curse will be removed. RED FLAG that their policies are nutso!

i did not ask but really wondered later: WHY DIDN'T THREE BILLS RETURNED WITH A BAD ADDRESS RAISE A RED FLAG??? i asked my mailman, even, wouldn't that mail be returned undeliverable? and he said yes, yes they would. i only have one mailbox, i verified several times that i knew my correct address.

the issue is not resolved, but my water IS restored. the supervisor took a copy of my electric bill (proof that i receive my bills at this address), and will have the financial guy look into it.

this house has been here for more than 50 years. how is this the first time they've encountered this issue??? i'm more than outraged. i am ready to pick up and move TODAY. instead, i took my kids to see The Princess and the Frog, which all 3 thoroughly enjoyed, and we're going to take a nap now.

thanks for sharing my outrage! do not cross the MamaBear!

oh my water

NB: i curse in this post. i did not curse on the phone to the customer service people. give me a little credit.

i just went downstairs to start the laundry. i have no clean clothes. i have 3 kids at home for Christmas break and they are going through laundry fast.

turned on the washer, added soap and OxyClean, and the water stopped. sputter, sputter, dribble, dribble. can you say OH SHIT?

the first thing that crossed my mind was "I haven't received a water bill since I moved into this house. I wonder if the idiots cut off my water???" i ran upstairs and tried the kitchen sink. sputter, sputter, dribble, dribble. oh shit indeed.

called DH to tell of the sitch, then the city.

it's my fault, of course.

gave them my address, name, etc. they said, "we don't have you at that address; we have you at this one." well, DUH, that would make getting bills difficult!

the problem is we live in an OLD house on a corner. the mailing address is one street. apparently the water meter is filed under the OTHER street. i didn't even know that street number; we don't use that door, it's not the address you give out, so why would i keep it filed in the gray matter?

they took it upon themselves to change the address for BILLING to the address for METER-READING. when i suggest this is what happened, i'm wrong, of course; they would never do that.

IF i come in and pay them, they will try to get someone out before 5:00. no, i can't pay the water guy.

so i spoke to a manager. and i admit i'm pretty worked up. i have NO water, i received NO bills, i have 3 kids at home, it isn't my fault, and i will be DAMNED if i wait until some nebulous "by 5:00" time, AFTER i haul my butt to THEIR office to pay the bill. i will also pay late fees and reconnect fees WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!

not the most efficient way to get the replies i want. *sigh* in the north, being a ball-busting bitch is the BEST way to get response. when we moved west, our realtor treated me like a stupid little lady, and when i got tough he told me he had no reason to want my business, but when i cried, i got results. I HATE THAT! in the south, being firm that their policies aren't good enough doesn't work, either.

the manager had a hard time listening to the problem because "THEY" would NEVER change the address. EVER. but i didn't even know it! the address _I_ provided would have gotten me a damn bill! she says, you were told the policy that we bill monthly when you activated the account. sure, but i didn't MEMORIZE it! i don't think about my water bill every damn day! i have lived in other cities where the bill was every other month; i just figured it would come eventually. and got caught up in other things. because my water bill is not my life. until today.

so she said she would look at the papers i filled out when i activated the account. i said, fine, you can prove i'm telling the truth. i told the woman, IF THIS WAS YOU, YOU'D BE FURIOUS. she didn't want to admit it but eventually said, yeah, i would.

ok. i'm calmer now. i just want somebody to understand that this is a major problem and i didn't cause it. yeah, i might have prevented it, but if a type-A person like me can't worry about what bill has come when, who would?

i'm awaiting a return call. i'm dressed in dirty clothes and ready to go to her office once i get it, to pay what i must and appeal the fees they are sure to have assessed.

do not cross the MamaBear!

Monday, December 28, 2009

is it pathetic?

I dreamed last night that DH morphed into the loving, attentive, caring, kind man I had believed he was and always hoped he'd be. Is that pathetic?

Then I got up and he'd made the coffee. weird.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

tree update

we didn't fully decorate the christmas tree because things were so hectic. the boys were talking about that, and i said "you can still decorate it!"

DH said, yeah, YOU can haul the ornaments up, put them on, and then when it's time to take them down, you can do that, and put them away, too, cuz I AIN'T DOIN' IT!

what a scrooge.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


the in-laws gave the boys "Harry Potter Clue." didn't get too excited, clue can be really boring.

Harry Potter Clue is not boring. it is AWESOME! it has some GREAT HP elements, random stuff, many secret passages, and is MUCH more fun and engaging than classic clue. we give it 6 thumbs up!

and just READING "The Art of French Cooking" is rewarding. good Christmas!

Christmas guests and feasts

i've been too busy with reality to post to the blog the past few days, lol. gotta love it when things work that way; that's a good life. and this is a LONG post about all the past few days; be warned!

dear sister-in-law (SIL) needed cataract surgery and last week they scheduled her for 12/23 (wed.), at Duke (which we're very close to). anyone who has had eye surgery knows that they require you to come back the next day for a checkup. so we planned to celebrate christmas with them early, and for them to stay over so they didn't have to drive back and forth and forth and back for the recheck.

tuesday they got the news that the surgery time was VERY early. they planned to drop off nephew4 and niece3 after checking in, but because cataract surgery is a very short procedure, they wouldn't let BIL leave, or they wouldn't do the surgery.

so they all showed up about 11 a.m., SIL VERY groggy - anesthesia really hits her hard - and everyone kind of dozy. we got SIL tucked into the recliner and she was out. i made some lunch (ham biscuits) for everyone and chased the boys outside (niece3's boyfriend picked her up, they have a long-distance relationship and take every opportunity to get together. nice.).

lolly ate a ham sandwich (the special, non-cured ham, because of her allergy), and i tucked her into BIL's lap while they watched a movie. she was hungry again (!) and ate two clementines and some popcorn (she shared). BIL is too skinny so i was glad he sat down for a quiet time and had a snack!

i got busy in the kitchen, between visiting briefly. made some smashed sweets (which i boil the heck out of whole, takes forever but the skins WIPE off afterward) and some cranberry relish. after the movie BIL took all 3 boys out shopping and for an oil change. and i tucked lolly in for a nap.

finally had some work there and worked for an hour or two. BIL came back with a CHRISTMAS TREE. we had not gotten around to deciding to have one and had just hung up last year's gorgeous gold christmas tree quilt. he came back with a little (skinny) tree and lights, and the boys helped him assemble the tree, and lolly helped put the lights on while the boys went back outside.

it was so nice having some peace - my sons get along better with the cousin around, which is awesome. and i about choked up when he brought a TREE back with him! obviously we don't have a huge emotional investment in a tree, but the thought behind it just overwhelmed me.

then i delegated him to cutting up chicken. orange chicken was on the menu and i had set aside 5 pounds (i didn't know if niece3 and her boyfriend would be there for dinner, and the BF is a BIG guy with a matching appetite) of chicken to make. BIL had it cut up in about 10 minutes - it takes ME that long to do the 1.5 to 2 pounds i usually make! (of course, i trim it well and knock off the yucky bits, but leaving them in really didn't make any difference to the finished product. i may not do this in the future!)

SIL woke up and was less groggy, so i put her on a chair in the kitchen while i breaded and pan-fried 5 pounds of chicken, then made orange sauce to go over it, also made rice and broccoli because you HAVE to have them with orange chicken. it took about a half hour to cook but EVERYONE ate it up yum and was very complimentary. and smashed sweets go really well with it, yay!

#2 son hadn't had a birthday cake so i made one for him earlier in the afternoon (i was a busy girl). we opened presents and had some cake, and stayed up late watching movies - edward scissorhands, a gift. lolly got a dolly and some talking cleaning things (vacuum, broom, trash can, iron), so she was in lolly heaven. clothes for all the kids and a video game for the brothers, and books for DH and myself. SIL brought gifts from other SIL in PA, whom she had recently visited, so there were lots of gifts to open for the kids; lots of fun!

got everyone to bed, everyone actually SLEPT! the 3 boys slept on couches and the 3 guests in their beds; #1 son has a double.

next morning BIL and SIL left early to go to the doctor, and we planned to meet up for brunch after the appointment. we left as planned to go to the diner, but the doctor visit held them up the whole time, they got there when we finished breakfast. :( and had to hurry home and SIL was pooped. but it was a great visit; when we visit them, they're always running like chickens, and it was really nice to get to sit and talk with THEM on downtime.

so, Christmas Eve, and i hadn't wrapped any presents for the sons. plus i planned a nice dinner. we came back from the diner and i made a potroast. DH put the baby down for a nap and i tried to work. not much work this time of year but they have to have coverage. set the bickering brothers to scraping carrots and washing potatoes, hahaha! then i sliced up carrots and put them in the steamer basket over the pot of boiling potatoes. quit work when those were done and smashed the potatoes, sliced the roast, and dinner was on the table! it was a killer roast; we made one a couple of weeks ago that was WAY too fatty and we didn't even keep the leftovers, they were too greasy. this one was PERFECT; i made it with lipton onion and mushroom soup mix and it was divine. PS - the carrots were DIVINE - tasted buttered though they weren't. bagged carrots have no flavor, and we've converted back to scraping carrots. :D

then i got to go wrap presents - WAIT! DH hadn't wrapped his yet! so i had to wait. by the time i was done, it was 9:30. relaxed for a little while, then opened christmas eve presents (jammies, a tradition). and chased everyone to bed. too tired to do stockings; my kids never get up early for christmas so i said i'd do it in the morning.

christmas morning, i got up at 7 and sneaked off to stuff stockings, then DH did the same, and after that the kids started waking up (~7:30). the first thing lolly said as she went down the stairs was "where's uncle P?" she's so sweet. she looked in her stocking and said "a candy cane! for me!" i could've quit after getting candy canes!

lolly got LOTS of clothes from various relatives. it's so fun buying little girl clothes, and she LOVES to dress herself and wear pretty clothes. i had to forcibly stop her putting them all on at once. brothers got books and Guitar Hero and a punching bag. i got Julia Child's cookbook which i asked for, but not the treadmill (still shopping for it, i'm afraid), and books.

i had searched and searched for that dancy dance dress and lolly LOVED it! it's a tutu that just pulls over all clothes, and i got her real dancy dance shoes, and she put them all on and danced and danced. when she stopped dancing she took them off and put them away. and when she wanted to dance some more, she put them back on. we didn't have to explain a thing to her. we DO have to find a dance class for her next summer; she's a dancy-dance girl!

lolly got a good nap with me, and i got what i REALLY wanted for christmas - no fighting for a whole day, and peace! had fun playing a little guitar hero and lounging about eating bon-bons. then i made a lovely salmon crusted with pecans for dinner. it was a hit!

i've cooked and shopped and wrapped and i'm in kind of a let-down right now but a good feeling anyway. i told DH i was doing 3 big dinners in a row and he was on duty for the rest of the weekend, lol! that was my christmas - guests, cooking, the leisure to enjoy cooking instead of the chore cooking usually is, and some peace with my family. i sure hope yours was as awesome as mine was!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

finally 10

#2 son hit double digits on monday. his gift: the dearest wish of his heart, a skateboard. (we've become a board family since #1 son's birthday this year.) he's a great kid, a scatter-brained genius.

#1 son has been having struggles at school with grades, mainly make-up work when absent, and forcing himself to do the part he detests, and letting one class slide while working on getting his grade up in another. sadly, this means he has been grounded from computer games for some time and didn't get his grades up enough to play over christmas break.

#2 son wrote me a note asking if i would let #1 son play computer games with him on his birthday, as a GIFT to #2. just melted my heart.

and of course, i said yes.

he truly is a great kid. (the other one is, too, just hitting the impossible ages.)

you have GOT to be kidding!

i came downstairs after working up a good sweat wrapping prezzies (not sure how that happened, but it's fact). DH was throwing something away - a white lunch bag that said "to mom and dad, from angela." he had taken it from LaLa.

i turn around and princess has a painted wood star in her hand. i say, "oh, no, baby, we have to wait for christmas to open the prezzies!"

DH immediately says, oh, _I_ opened it! i wasn't sure WHAT it was from, mother's day or something, so i opened it.

it's 3 days to christmas, and you couldn't figure out that it might be a Christmas gift? WTF? he is getting more senile every day, and at 50, that ain't good. i'm just appalled and kinda speechless.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

now that's customer service!

it's so rare anymore to get GOOD customer service, i have to brag.

after shopping yesterday, coming home at dusk, i stopped at bojangle's for dinner. for those who do not live near a bojangle's, i apologize. it's a sad, empty life you lead.

i ordered the tailgater special, which is chicken, biscuits, sides, and a half-gallon of iced tea. everybody do a homer and gargle your tongue. we had to wait a few minutes for one of the sides, and proceeded home.


let me describe bo's biscuits. no, let me confess the inadequacy of words to describe them. they are lovely southern bits of heaven. crispy outside, fluffy steamy white perfection inside, yes they really are this good.

to not get my biscuits REALLY upset me. i had to overindulge in ice cream.

so, while out today, i returned to bo's and whined.

the tailgater special comes with 4 biscuits.

they sent me home with A DOZEN free biscuits AND an apology.

merry christmas, bojangle's manager. you totally rock.

... and i survived!

it was actually rather nice shopping yesterday. the storm was over, but MANY many people stayed home, fearing to brave the cold and the snow. so it wasn't madness as one would expect on the last saturday before christmas.

i got #2 son's skateboard, yay! the second EE did not have chairs either. i will have to go to the first one again tomorrow and see if they got more in. also spent WAY too much time and energy at the mothership searching for dancy-dance dresses that didn't cost more than i'd spent on the rest of the family combined... i exaggerate. a little.

so things are coming together. i have one little project to finish today before shipping tomorrow. the kids are off school so i won't have to torment the princess dragging her to the post office the MONDAY before christmas, lol. and i have to start wrapping...

SIL is spending the night 12/23, so i have lots to do! as do we all. happy christmas to all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

i'm off

braving the elements AND the crowds (though given how much of the former we've had overnight, we'll likely have much less of the latter) to try to finish things up today. #2 son turns 10 on monday and i hadn't gotten his prezzie yet because i planned to get it yesterday. instead we watched the snow fall and cursed. lots. but i stayed in my jammies and survived it. :D

further bulletins as events warrant...

Friday, December 18, 2009

baby it's cold outside

it is SNOWING. i cannot express how unhappy this makes me. i do not live in North Carolina for love of snow, far from it! also i'm over-sensitive to the cold so i'm uncomfortable unless bundled up well when it is truly cold (some of these thin-blooded southerners break out the parkas at 50 degrees, while i'm still in capris and t-shirts).

let it snow SOMEWHERE ELSE is MY motto. bah humbug!

somebody's getting COAL

princess woke up and i went to put in a christmas movie for her. our DVD player died when we moved so we got a new DVD/VCR combo - we still have a lot of VHS tapes, kid movies mostly, and you can't even BUY a VCR anymore, just the combo, or a DVD player.

i went to put in Santa Clause, which is a VHS. it spit back out. tried 3 times, same result. hm. is it the tape? went to put in a different tape, tried 3 times, just spit back out. eek! is it my player? have we even USED the VCR part since we bought it? what if it doesn't work - i probably can't even get them to fix it after 3 months. ARGH!

let me peek inside and see if i can guess what the problem is. yeah, it's kinda like opening the hood of your car and peeking inside, but hey, might as well try, right?

there were THREE dvd's in the VCR compartment. i'm surprised the tapes went in at all. had to contort my arm to get my fingers in and pry them out (actually had to push them in farther to get them out). tried santa clause again. it's playing now.

three guesses who did this and the first two don't count? i'm not even asking. i know who it was. and she is getting COAL in her stocking!

only 7 days until Christmas!

i went to Target the day after the EE. no chairs. did get some things there that i had planned for, but i still need a dancy-dance dress; princess was with me and i couldn't shop. she wanted them all.

also hit Trader Joe's. not for Christmas but just because I LOVE THAT STORE! i wish it were a franchise because i'd open one in utah valley next week.

then yesterday we got Border's in. this marked a few names right off my list! whee! i love gettin' 'er done! lolly wanted a flashy-light ball, which i was prepared to get and hide, but then she saw a ty panda bear, and she was sleepy, and he was so soft and cuddly. i let her hold him and look at him, and when you have a sleepy 2-year-old you should NOT let them hold a stuffed animal unless you intend to purchase it. *sigh* which i then did. she introduced him to her favorite toy immediately. Poppy, this is panda - see? worth it right there.

still need to get to Play It Again Sports for #2 son's birthday present, but there's a winter storm headed this way (which just aggravates me NO END!), and it might not get done before his birthday monday. :( i have to return to my favorite stores once more WITHOUT the princess to finish up the little things (like tutus and guitar hero fake-outs), but i'm getting very close to done. i'll wrap and prepare things and ship monday to those that must be shipped.

i planned things out a week ago, what stores to hit in what order, and i must say things have really gone quite smoothly. we may not get the video-game chairs, but that's ok. they were the icing, not the cake.

how's everyone's prep going?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

yesterday's dollar

so we went to the Evil Empire yesterday, as previously posted. the Salvation Army was ringing their bells out front, so i fished out a dollar for Lolly to put in the bucket. i gave it to her all folded up, and helped her out of the cart so she could reach the bucket. she tried to put the long side in and it wasn't fitting. so i told her she had to put the OTHER side in.

she promptly turned it 180 degrees and tried to put the other long side in the slot. the bell ringer and i were both LMAO/LHAO and so proud of Lolly's smartitude. reached over and helped her turn it 90 degrees so we could get it in the bucket and go in the store! it's chilly when you stand still in the shade!

every day is a learning experience when you're 2. and when you're the mother of a 2, every day is an exercise in patience. good thing i built mine up with the first two kids. :D

my favorite kid

i tease my children every day.

#1 son: "mom, can i play on the computer?" No. "why not?" Because you're not my favorite kid.

#2 son, on hearing this: "mom, can _I_ play on the computer?" No. "why not?" Because you're not my favorite kid, either.

at this point, the 3 of us are laughing out loud. the sons figured out that lolly must be my favorite, although to be honest, i had forgotten she was a "kid" too in that exchange.

DH pipes up. "Only Mom can play on the computer because she loves herSELF best."

me: Oh, no. If I loved ME best, things would be a LOT different around here!


AGE - Mavrakos

they did it again. they seduced me into blogging about another company.

Mavrakos is a chocolate company in St. Louis with a long tradition and history and do i REALLY need to say anything beyond
CHOCOLATE: THEY MAKE REALLY GOOD CHOCOLATE!!! (if YOU wanna know more, click the link.)

so i KNOW all readers will need to hop right on over to A Giveaway Everyday and get their own names into the drawing. this gets ME 3 extra entries,
so it's a no-brainer to seduce some other chocolate-lovers into entering, which will work against me, to get those extra entries, which (obviously) work FOR me!

get a bib before you click.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

it's 10 days to christmas and...

today i went to the Evil Empire. (wal-mart, for the uninitiated.) i wanted to get the rocker TV chairs that sit on the floor for my boys. they're getting 3 good gifts and a few smaller ones and that's IT. of course, one is guitar hero, and one is a punching bag. so this was the other big gift and then we were just going with a few books and suchlike.

the EE is OUT of those chairs. le sigh. tomorrow i venture forth to the Mother Ship (target) for prescriptions and will try to acquire them again. later in the week doing borders, and there's another EE near there, so i have a third source to try. and after borders, i can ship gifts around the country.

so i'm mostly ready for christmas, in that i have a firm plan. but i'm feeling sick today and hope i can get it all done.

Monday, December 14, 2009

are you a humbug?


do the words thrill you or fill you with dread?

i just went shopping for the basics: everyone gets new jammies, socks, and underwear for Christmas at our house. the socks and underwear are really just so i know everyone has new ones every 12 months. the jammies are so the kids can open something Christmas Eve, because i'm a diehard traditionalist and think it's just so WRONG to open anything before morning.

it started out as a sweet little tradition, but as our family has grown, it's become a rather expensive undertaking. and my other sweet little tradition, that of everyone getting a new ornament in their stocking each year, and each person has their own theme, has become a hassle.

i still enjoy the shopping. but there's so much to be done, and i have to wait until the funds are in line before i can do the fun stuff, that mostly it's all become a chore. and i HATES that, precious, i does.

i'm pretty sure all of us experience the shopping at different times as BOTH a hassle AND a pleasure. (except perhaps DisGrace.) do YOU agree?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

my little princess

she's such a caretaker.

i'm working this weekend. the door opens and she peeks in. "do you want hot coffee?"

i reply with a laugh, "why yes, of course i'd love some hot coffee!"

"i'll get you hot coffee!"

i follow her out and she is "helping" daddy in the kitchen, doing dishes, stirring things up. he had sent her to let me know the coffee was ready, and this is how she does it, by offering to bring me some. what a little lovey!


dontcha HATE dreams where you fight with someone all night? you wake up EXHAUSTED and crabby. wish those people would be nicer during the day so i wouldn't have to dream about fighting with them all night.

Friday, December 11, 2009

wherein i catch the spirit

bah humbug.

now that i've got THAT out of my system, i'm getting THIS into it.

cakewrecks is a fabulous fun website that is growing every day. and for the next 14 days, they're spotlighting a charity, donating their own money, and challenging their readers to EACH DONATE $1. major make-a-difference mojo.

who among us cannot afford $1 a day for 14 days? i'm TOTALLY broke-girl and i am committed to doing this! how many pledges can i get for others to do the same?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

internet woes

in my former life (lewisville), i used TimeWarner Cable for my internet and had not one single problem in 6 years. thus, when i moved, it was a no-brainer; keep TWCable! and in the apartment it worked great and i was pleased with my choice.

there are too many damn choices in modern life.

at the hassle/disaster house, disaster recently struck again. my modem has been on the blink (sporadic problems) and finally gave up completely today. actually, it's TWC's modem. so i called the service line, and it tells you to reboot your modem, and you curse at it and it says "i don't understand." so you tell it I ALREADY _DID_ THAT! and it gives you a human.

the human says, there are no other outages in your area, so we'll make an appointment for a service technician to come. the earliest appointment i have is saturday.

i cannot possibly be out of work until W-H-E-N-E-V-E-R saturday. she apologized for the inconvenience when i voiced this concern, but couldn't do any better. i told her i was sure the modem was the problem, so she told me to take it to a payment center and they could give me a new one; if that didn't work, we'd make an appointment.

obviously, that worked. but the HASSLE involved in finding a payment center AND directions when your modem is down? you would not believe. i could go to the other side of durham or the other side of chapel hill; either way, there goes another hour, on top of the 1 or 2 i'd already spent fussing over the damn thing. i had to reboot everything to get it to cooperate with the computer but it's working BEAUTIFULLY, actually.

and now i have a headache, lolly's irritated with me (i wouldn't let her play with the new one), and i have to leave for an orthopedist appointment in less than an hour.

moral: let's return to an agrarian society and stop having to make all these decisions all the time! i'm fed up with modern life. i'll keep science and medical advances, but the rest of the world can go to pot for all i care today.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

well aren't you just special?

lolly and i went to AC Moore today. why? to shop, duh. got color wonder christmas gifts and had fun.

some poor unfortunate soul had a small child along who wasn't happy about being there, and made sure everyone in the store knew it. the lady at the flower counter was making comments. fine. but she made sure she said "there's NOTHING so important that you can't take that child home when they're behaving like this." goes on to say she has 4 kids of her own.

well, i pity them. because a mom who doesn't get that people are different and have different needs isn't a fun mom to have. sometimes you don't get many opportunities to run errands. i needed to get some christmas gifts there, and today was when i could. if my kid was acting idiotic, i'd still need to get it done. and every kid isn't the same - some only fuss for a reason, and some fuss because they're a certain age and they need to fuss all the time.

no, it's not grocery shopping, the world won't end if you don't get your crafts done. but neither will it end if you have compassion instead of criticism. whaddayathink? whose side are you on?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

et moi?

i dreamed last night that i was taking the bear of all tests (thanks a lot, Boob Nazi! this dream is ALL down to you!). i was supposed to draw a map of europe - not label a map, draw the divisions for the countries in. i don't even know the NAMES of the european states anymore, since the world changed. i skipped this part of the test to do last.

i don't remember doing the math part because even subconsciously math is easy.

and it was an awful test, even as BNzi described. i can't possibly describe it as well as she did, go read hers. because 1) it was a DREAM! and 2) she's very articulate. because of the muscles in her face and tongue and throat.

i NEED to go back to school and retrain for a new job. and that probably contributed to the dream, but the timing is allherfault. i hope she feels appropriate guilt! (that would be, none, lol)

* * * * * * * * * *

i've accomplished my goal of posting more about me and mine than AGE and theirs. don't hold your breath for the NEXT post - it could be in 30 seconds, or 30 days, or who knows? i try to be inappropriate and amusing, not predictable!

the brothers

it's always more fun to post about twinkly 2-year-old than grumpy pre-adolescent males.

of course i still love them! and they're still awesome.

* * * * * * * * * *

#2 son will be 10 on 12/21. he's the biggest "absent-minded professor" type you'll ever know. i can't really call him an airhead b/c he's damn smart.

his school did a book fair this week. i came across his wish list (he forgot to give it to me) and he had asked for a book for his dad. i melt.

he takes care of his sissy every day after school while i run pick up his brother and never complains.

he goes to bed when he's tired and only gripes when others aren't quiet enough for him to sleep.

do i always understand him? no. am i always charmed by him? no. but he's an awesome kid and i do love him an awful lot.

* * * * * * * * * *

#1 son is 12.5 and has discovered the evils of the internet (nuff sed). he's withdrawn and moody, and then he turns into a little kid and wants hugs and kisses. he would like to take care of lolly-dolly ALL the time until she makes a poo in her diaper. then he gives her back.

he's authoritative and strict. (dunno where he gets THAT!) he's failed classes last term for failure to keep track of assignments and turn them in properly (or do them at all).

he stays up and late and hogs the comfy chair in the TV room.

he's helping with laundry a LOT and has the biggest heart ever.

he's my adorable little boy, and he's turning into a man, and i hate it but i love it and it's not an easy thing to live through. he's discovering LIFE isn't easy. i never want to let him go but at the same time i'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel - in 10 years i can buy a sportscar! for ME!

eh - he's a 12.5-year-old kid, ups and downs are par for the course. he's ready to get his stupid braces off every day. and he's mine.

when in doubt

i can ALWAYS post about my princess.

she came across a bag of clothes she'd outgrown that we'd misplaced in the move so they hadn't been handed down yet.

and put. them. all. on.

first the dancy-dance onsie (with a tutu attached). then a sweatshirt and pants. next a long onsie/one-piece jumpsuit. then her halloween costume (a bumblebee) which was floating around trying not to get saved for next year.

at this point, i had to force her to stop. nothing was fastening, but she was having a BLAST. so i guess we get to save some of these for dress-up.

* * * * * * * * *

she loves to sing and dance. she will stand up and dance even if she's almost asleep. twirling and lifting her arms like a ballerina - and where do they LEARN this stuff? she LOVES music. she's such a little PERSON, kwim?

* * * * * * * * *

i had another great story but my OLD brain has dropped it for now. more later.

AGE - diaper bag

i'm SO peeved with AGE. they keep having these adorable giveaways and as you can see, i'm blogging more about them than i am about my own adorable life!

today's is a diaper bag
. it ALMOST makes me wish i had another baby to need it. it's an AWESOME diaper bag. but i'm entering the giveaway because my seester is having another baby - surprise! - next summer. and she could REALLY use it.

now i have to come up with something to say about my defiantly awesome life... because i refuse to blog more about AGE than about ME!

Friday, December 04, 2009

AGE - kidorable

another giveaway everyday plug:

KIDORABLE is kidorable. the name says it all. their products are awesome and AGE has lots of great stuff to say about how they are very conscientious about keeping kids safe, too. you will want to enter this giveaway as many times as you can, too; come back and comment with a link to YOUR blog post!

Monday, November 30, 2009


help! Go Fug Yourself and the Fashion Police took the weekend off and only had BLAH shots of katie holmes and jennifer aniston today. i mean, seriously! they could substitute any pic of JA and i'd have the same ho-hum response. and katie just didn't have time after fighting with tom and splashing her face with cold water to do her hair and makeup. just saying, that's what it looks like.

this is my vicarious life, we gotta do better, folks! you feel me? f'reels!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

red-letter day

i opened a new deodorant stick. and the entire nation gave thanks. MLIA.

so, it's Thanksgiving

i'm thankful for little tiny candy canes. mm.

i'm thankful that the "thankful" posts are done!

i'm thankful for the Macy's T-Day Parade. even though i never get to watch it.

i'm thankful that it's FINALLY officially the Christmas season so i don't have to Bah-Humbug all the stupid false-starters.

i'm truly thankful for my sisters. (mum goes without saying, but just in case, i'm thankful for you, mum.)

and i'm thankful for my virtual sisters. friends are family you make for yourself.

i'm thankful i knew i'd hate doing this every day and saved up to post all my thankfulness at once.

i'm thankful for my kids. even the ones i curse at. (now i've got you wondering, right?)

and i'm thankful for fun colors in my blog.

Happy T-Day! try to be thankful, and if you can't be truly thankful, be glad i'm done with this post! hahahahahahaha.

Monday, November 23, 2009

who doesn't love ladybugs?

when we moved to our home in Lewisville in August 2002, the house had evidence of prior ladybug infestation - lots of yellowed dead shells in window sills etc. we moved from that house 6 years later and had never had a problem with ladybugs.

the house on hassle street (one disaster after another) had some ladybugs when we moved in late september. as the weather cooled, they came inside, and even when they're in your hair and on your ceilings and everywhere, you feel bad for them because they're dying and so cute. LOTS of dead ladybugs right now, and they've been around obviously for 2 months.

my Sweet Precious Darling Lolly has started preschool and LOVES the eensy-weensy spider song. we sing it regularly. today i was singing it to her, and got to the spider climbing up the spout again, when she interrupted and said it was a LADYBUG! i love watching her little mind work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


i'm gaga.

if you have a Krispy Kreme store near you, get up and go get a pumpkin doughnut. MMmmMMmmMM!

if you don't have one, i'm sorry.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

my week

oh my.

before i start whining, i must say that my last 3 years have been one crisis after another, and i'm ready for all that to be over with. can we all just tell the universe to comply? thanks.

but it isn't ALL whining. a week ago today, LaLa started preschool. it's one morning a week and she LOVES it. no separation anxiety, nothing. and she's never been left this long - babysitting is RARE, and she's alone here with no one she knows. immediate transition. *sigh* woke up late today and went right in, no hesitation. and she is ANGELA now, tyvm, at least when she's at school. calls herself Lolly the rest of the time.

#1 son got his report card also last Tuesday. he failed two classes and has become my slave and bond servant until the marks come up. the 3 years of stress haven't been easy on any of us.

both sons have whined their way out of 8-10 days of school before the first term ended. #1 doesn't do his makeup work, doesn't hand his homework in reliably, and thus failed two classes. that is the entire reason.

so he got a couple of tongue-lashings and is now my laundry dude. because he's grounded from computer until at least december, so he may as well spend his time productively.

#2 son has been fighting a urinary tract infection for MONTHS. so i got him in to see a pediatric urologist friday. their take on the sitch is that he likely NEVER had an INFECTION. but he doesn't drink enough. we're doing further workup with x-rays and ultrasounds, but pushing fluids. he also has always had a problem with constipation which can place pressure on the bladder and make it irritable (thus the pain), so we're pushing fluids AND exercise. going back to duke this friday to get scans.

DH wants to go to philadelphia for christmas but the plan as it stands is simply un-doable for me. no deets, sorry, i'll get too irritated. he says he doesn't understand but he often says that when he doesn't WANT to understand.

so, my schedule was to work last week. to take off tues/wed and work sat/sun. guess when i remembered? sunday at 2 p.m. while running errands. got home at 4 and crashed (errands can wear a girl out!). groveled monday. working this weekend. so my penance for not working last weekend is to get 2 days off immediately - today and tomorrow! wild.

and how could i forget? my october weekend was later because of our trip in early oct. for nephew's wedding. then we've been swamped and i've worked on weekend days i wasn't scheduled. so it was too soon in my mind for another weekend. and with the week i had, keeping myself going at ALL was next to impossible.

so. good news? we didn't burn the full 100 gallons of fuel oil this month and can afford to eat for the next month! whee! (i'm ordering more while i'm feeling good about it because we KNOW we'll burn it up before spring.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

my latest discovery

MY LIFE IS AVERAGE. keeps me laughing all day long. true stories? who cares! sometimes a little contrived? still hilarious! go check them out. you know you want to. MLIA.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


can i just say, that didn't come out like it wanted it to, and MULTIPLE attempts at editing have been fruitless? it was really cute on the "preview" page, but then on the "publish" page, lumpy. there ya go.

selfless postings

i know. it's hard to believe how selfless i am. i share because i care. and also because it gets me MULTIPLE ADDITIONAL ENTRIES in the giveaways. (it's clear i've been reading Seriously, So Blessed, from its influence on my post today. enjoy, and thank TAMN!)


today's giveaway: Southern Magnolia Minerals (that's the giveaway linky). their website (that's the link to it) is GAWJUSS, and i'm excited about trying some of their stuff. [warning - it will PLAY MUSIC AT YOU. i hate that.]

my face could use a break, and some new makeup is just the break it needs, right? i know. many of my family sells Mary Kay and i used to but i just couldn't SELL 24/7/365 and putting on makeup EVERY DAY? bummer. i hate sales because i have to be ON and i have to give up my family time. *sigh* but the point was, they won't try it, probably. but my loyal followers deserve to read this, right? i'm so fractious today, i apologize.

so i'll be getting me a starter kit if i don't win it, and i'll blog again about how it works! (better than blogging about DH's birthday, which i totally dropped the ball on, i know. shut up. luv u!)

Thursday, November 05, 2009


the folks at AGE have done it again. you will be so hungry after clicking this link. i'm warning you now.

it's a bakery that delivers and you won't believe the stuff they sell. honestly, if i'd seen this before DH's birthday, i'd have bought HIS cake through them. it would have been for me, yes, but so what?

my favorite item, though is the chocolate AND vanilla cake. the chocolate cake is gorgeous, but the contrast in this just makes my mouth water.

grab a glass of milk and enjoy browsing!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

what the?

i was upstairs reading last night when i heard the television from downstairs. wal-mart has a commercial on that started singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

WTF? hell no! it is NOT the most wonderful time of the year YET! it's barely November! i do my best to enjoy the extended christmas season because i can't make retailers wait until it's REALLY the christmas season before they start pushing it. but no, no, and hell, no, it isn't that time yet! at least have the decency not to put that song on until it IS the most wonderful time of the year!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

old men

DH is officially 50 today! we have big celebrations planned and fun surprises, so stay tuned because i'll blog about them AFTER the event - so i can include his reactions!

if you gotta get old, you might as well do it with a BANG!

AGE scarf

i've blogged before about A Giveaway Every Day and what fun stuff they have. LOTS of stuff for babies, less often great stuff for mommies, but today is a gawgeous pashmina that i NEED extra entries for. Go here to see today's giveaway!

follow them on Google Reader if you like them - then you get to see the giveaways every day, and pick which ones to enter!

Friday, October 30, 2009

scared enough?

last week, little princess locked us out of the downstairs bathroom. the doors have locks with holes in the back side of the doorknob, but they're not pop-locks, and we couldn't unlock it. DH was in philadelphia and we just waited for him to come home. he had to take the knob apart, and we learned that a slim slot-head screwdriver would work great as a key. and we planned to go buy one to keep around.

today, i was working hard, and the kids kept slamming doors and shouting, and i asked WHAT IS GOING ON???!!!???

LaLa locked herself in her room and we're trying to get her out. Is she scared? i ask? VERY, they reply. then why didn't you ask me for HELP??!!??!! um, we thought you'd just know, because we were shouting. while i had a headset on - i can certainly tell they're shouting, but not WHAT they're SAYING!

ahem. so i disassembled the doorknob and let the frightened child out. is she traumatized? probably. will she do it again?

will she do it again? i don't even want to finish that thought. but i reassembled her doorknob with the lock on the OUTSIDE. and we'll HOPE she's scared enough. and we found a screwdriver that fits in the locks.

our house in lewisville, which we lived in for 6 years, starting over 7 years ago, had a bedroom with the doorknob lock on the outside, and we could NEVER FIGURE OUT WHY. now we know.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


if you haven't read my header/subheader in a while, NOW would be a good time. because my posts today are mostly inappropriate. but they WILL make you laugh!

you don't want to know

men should avert their eyes now.

things have been JUST A LITTLE hectic since our move. there are boxes everywhere. and there is a 2-year-old who thinks all boxes are left out JUST for HER to EXPLORE.

ahem. apparently i HAD a box of pantiliners that were individually wrapped. i didn't put them away because they aren't my usual brand, my sister-in-law gifted them to me with other hygiene products she got for free.

i do not have pantiliners stuck all over the place ONLY because the child doesn't know they are sticky.

what she DOES know is that they are fun to unwrap. so little folded-up pantiliners all over the place, and a little box full of unfolded pink wrappers.

i'm torn between putting them away so she can't do this anymore and showing her about the sticky side to see just what she does.

things are looking up

oh, you're so going to laugh at THAT title.

i've always been pretty casual about nudity. when the boys started noticing it, i was more careful with them, and now they're prepubescent they freak about nudity - theirs or mine. but i still shower with my little girl and she gets a kick out of taking a "quick shower" with mommy.

so last night we were in the bathroom getting ready for our quick shower, naked, and i sat down to pee before we got in. she says, "What your bubbies doing?" (um, nothing?) then she takes one breast between her two hands and lifts it up so it faces forward. "There!"

apparently pointing down while unsupported, slouching, and urinating is unacceptable. they need to face the world and be happy! at all times! like my Lolly!

Friday, October 23, 2009


My little LaLa, SIGH, what to say?

i went to get the mail, and she insisted she needed mail. so i gave her the Walmart circular, which she promtly identified Walmart!

then she brought it to show me the lello (pink) pumpkin and lello (pink) dancing dress and tutu in the circular. i told her all 3 items were PINK, and that THIS color was yellow. to which she repeated "pink" and internalized a moment. then told me they were lello, and she NEEDED a lello pumpkin and a lello dancing dress.

never argue with a 2-year-old.

she turned the page and saw cupcakes, and decided she needed CAKE. RIGHT NOW. since i choose not to argue without GOOD cause, i gave her cake.

she does NOT like being told which numbers come in which sequence, and can be relied upon to count 1, 2, 5, 1, 2, 5. but she dropped the pages of the circular and the other junk i gave her, and picked them up, and counted PROPERLY to 11. when i heard 6, 7, 8, i tuned in, and she went all the way to 11. she just doesn't want to REWARD us by doing so!

she is a stubborn little stinker, but she's mine, and she's sunshine EVERY morning!

Friday, October 16, 2009


mama programmed me well. i feel guilt over good things, bad things, small things, and large things, and sometimes not for the things i probably "should."

yesterday, 10/15, was a day for remembering miscarriages and preemies who didn't make it. y'all may not know or remember, but i did have an early miscarriage before my firstborn made it to term. it was just 8 weeks, looked like the pregnancy didn't do anything more than start.

and it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me at the time. (having an infant in the NICU was much harder, i believe.) it broke my heart and i went to counseling and i was certain we'd be expecting again before the due date. and i was and i've moved on with my life.

other women who have suffered losses will say things like "i think about you every day of my life" or they mourn, especially on 10/15.

and i don't. i don't think of it as a child, i got the children i was meant to have. i don't feel bad every day, i don't really feel bad about it ever. i lit my candle last year and thought about it, but i didn't remember yesterday and i don't even feel guilty over that.

life is complicated enough. i'm glad i'm healed and i don't feel bad, especially every day. and as of now, i'm done with feeling guilt over being emotionally healthy in this one aspect of my life!

(insert politically correct words here about not diminishing anyone else's experiences and whatnot... y'all know i'm not a hater.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


a friend of mine just posted a link to this fun site. most of the things i've seen are for small children, but this one today is for MOMMIES! to get more free entries i'm blogging about them but you'll enjoy it.

my favorite product on the etsy site is the secret garden heart lock. it's on the third page of items, and her products are all just fun and cute. enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

wedding stories - or, the incredible disintegrating pants

we went to a nephew's wedding over the weekend. drove to philadelphia friday, wedding saturday, home sunday. a quick trip but it actually was really nice.

the wedding was wonderful. a simply lovely wedding, flawless reception, just as nice as anyone could ever ask for. when you get married in the basilica of ss. peter and paul in philadelphia, you've got a leg up on atmosphere! but it was gorgeous and they both looked just so happy.

saturday morning DH took the kids to the hotel pool for a while, then we got ready for the wedding. we all drove over to rich's mom's apartment, arrived around 1. she had arranged a babysitter to watch the kids there; the plan was to get to visit with her a little bit, be more comfortable with leaving our kids with a complete stranger before we had to go, and the plan was to leave at 2. i noticed my LOVELY velvet pants that i had bought for the wedding were shedding a bit but didn't think twice about it because they were new.

at 1:45 i noticed that the seams on my new dress pants were disintegrating. they must have been cut too close, and since velvet is cut to make it plush, when the seams pull out there's NOTHING there to sew back together. so i had a gap of 2 inches on either side of the inseam. can we panic now? (later noticed that the entire fly had pulled apart too. they WILL be going back!)

MIL lives next to a shopping center that contained a kohls. so i bolted to kohls and dragged DH along with me - i was much less panicked not having to do this myself. (besides, i already SHOPPED for this event!) pulled 3 pants off the rack that were in the right size range, black. they weren't as attractive but at this point the goal was COVERING MY BUTT, not making it look good. threw them on and off and on again, picked a pair, and wore it out.

i went to the cashier and said, "I'm in the middle of a fashion emergency, can you scan my butt?" which he did capably and we paid and got back to MIL's place at 2:10. i am so efficient.

the wedding was downtown at 3. the plan to leave at 2 left room for emergencies. we jumped in the car with MIL and headed to the church. only the route was closed for some special event - and that's the only way DH really knows to get there. fortunately the detour wasn't long, WAS well-marked, and put us back on the road we needed before it diverged.

got to the cathedral at 2:50, 1 minute after the bridal party. MIL and i got out while DH parked, and we all got to our seats in good time. whew!

from there things went very smoothly. the reception was gorgeous, food was amazing. it was so well put together. i drank rather more than i have in some time, but i had a really good excuse with the stress of having to dress for the wedding twice!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

NOT what you thought i'd be talking about, or things that make you go HM.

we moved on 9/28, and have had one disaster after another every single day since. yesterday was finally disaster-free. i could hold forth on all of them but frankly i'd rather not revisit. i'm anxious just thinking about talking about them.

so instead, i'll mention how i just realized HOW MUCH babies change your life. it's a TMI post, at which my regular readers will not NOT be surprised.

i no longer go to the bathroom until i cannot hold it any longer (that duration is affected, too, with my big-headed babies, but that's not the point). because my precious darling LaLa must always accompany and/or bang on the door yelling "what doing mama? i go poo! i go poo too!" this is not conducive to the relaxation that facilitates one's business. so i put it off in order to reduce the number of times every day i must live through the experience.

every single minute detail of your life is changed once you have children. and you never regret it and wouldn't change it for the world. but sometimes you stop and realize how EVEN THAT has changed. yes, even that.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Hot Fat Girl Manifesto

i stole this from cupcake's blog.

Because being a hot fat girl is a lot of work and is undervalued or unrecognized.
Because a fat girl still has to pay more money for uglier clothes or spend 11 hours at the thrift store to find anything hot to wear.
Because if you take the elevator people think you’re lazy but if you’re on the treadmill people laugh.
Because men like John Goodman and Bernie Mac get to have careers on television but sitcom moms of three still have size-two waists.
Because even feminist magazines publish fat-phobic articles under the guise of it being a “health issue.”
Because anti-capitalist activists still use expressions like “fat capitalist pig.”
Because girls are dieting at the age of nine.
Because side effects of the most popular diet drugs are seizures, heart failure, fecal urgency, breast cancer, lung disease, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, dangerously high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, psychosis, strokes, hallucinations and sudden death.
Because the Cooper Institute’s ongoing study of 30,000 people has found that those who are fittest live the longest, no matter what they weigh.
Because the doctor who said that there were 30,000 “obesity-related” deaths each year received over $2 million in research funding from Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.
Because that study prompted the FDA to approve Phen-Phen and Redux.
Because fat hatred is a money-making industry.
Because fat people who exercise live longer than thin people who don’t.
Because if you lose weight ’cause you’re sick people tell you how great you look.
Because hatred is so ingrained in every single one of us, especially inside the heart of even the hottest fat girl.
Because even the most progressive people don’t talk or write about it.
Because I am tired of being ignored, invisible, de-sexualized and told that I have such a pretty face.
Because it’s not fat that kills, it’s fear of fat.
For all that and more I am a part of the HOT FAT GIRL REVOLUTION!

The Hot Fat Girl Manifesto by Zoe Whittall

Thursday, October 01, 2009


i can see my new car from the window of the office in my "new"house. how's that for cheery?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

road rage

i was talking to someone on the phone while driving the other day, and stopped the conversation to rant about people who DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE TRAFFIC CIRCLES. we took our honeymoon in england so we learned very quickly how to use traffic circles. well, as i approached the circle, someone who was ALREADY IN THE CIRCLE stopped DEAD to let me in. very very big mistake. but she was smoking and i was on the phone so you know neither of us had our full attention on the road. (that's tongue-in-cheek, btw.)

and let me just put in an aside here - i have a headset, and if i'm on the phone in the car, i use it. there's still a risk, but one i'm willing to incur, as i truly believe an experienced driver is in no more danger talking on the phone than they are talking to a passenger, which is still legal, i believe.

the situation reminded me of our expedition to West Point last year for nephew's graduation. (nephew was recently deployed to the Iraq/Afghanistan zone, can't tell us where exactly! so please keep him in your prayers.) while in New York State, and WP is only an hour from NYC, give or take, we witnessed extreme road rage. we pulled up to a red light at a big intersection; there were 2 left turn lanes and 3 continuing lanes. we were in the left-hand continuing lane, when someone pulled up in the far left turn lane, GOT OUT OF HIS CAR, and proceeded to run to the car in front of him, and began CURSING the driver and HITTING the driver because he'd "nearly killed him back there."

fortunately at this point the light turned green and we were able to get the heck outta there. i'm a good samaritan and would like to help but not if it puts me or my kids in danger. and i didn't know the area well enough to call the cops and get them out there. this man was freaking nuts! and the little guy in the car in front of him was in such shock he couldn't even defend himself! the weather was nice and his window was down, and he was suddenly accosted and beaten right through the driver's window!

this reminiscence reminds me WHY I LOVE LIVING IN THE SOUTH. there were many fine things about the philadelphia area that i loved and i do miss sometimes. but people tend to be more laid-back and calm instead of aggressive and violent in such situations. i would beep the horn (in an appropriate situation) in philadelphia and my friends would panic and tell me someone was liable to shoot me for honking the horn! and i replied i refuse to live my life in fear of some idiot. but at least that's rarer here!


sucks. that is all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


A "There but for the Grace of God go I" post.

i type medical reports for a living. some make me laugh, some make me swear, and every now and then, they will make me cry.

A 3-month-old baby hospitalized with seizures, brain bleed, broken ribs, broken leg, and diagnosed with "nonaccidental trauma" will make me cry.

hug your kids and be glad they're healthy. i'm fierce about protecting my kids, but we can't protect them 24/7/365 for life. and this breaks my heart.

Friday, September 18, 2009


LaLa just discovered butterscotch krimpets. we found them at the store last night, and she went nuts on them.

this morning, i let her have them for breakfast because i'm the best mommy (also she's not feeling well). inhaled the first one, then ate JUST THE FROSTING off the second. because that's just how she rolls.

she makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

25 firsts

1. Who was your first prom date?
didn't go to prom. did later go to a frat formal, which i decided was as close as i was getting so it was good enough. and that was kent.

2. Do you still talk to your first love?

3. What was your first alcoholic drink?
jungle juice probably

4. What was your first job?
paper carrier

5. What was your first car?
1978 Datsun F10, which i lurved

6. Who was the first person to text you today?
no texts. :( but most of my texts are between #1 son and me

7. Who was the first person you thought of this morning?
the last person who made me smile

8. Who was your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Lott

9. Where did you go on your first flight in a plane?
Washington DC

10. Who was your first best friend and do you still talk?
it took me a long time to have a BFF and i don't talk to my first one but i talk to lanalana all the time now!

11. Where was your first sleepover?
my aunt Tam's house

12. Who was the first person you talked to today?
DH? or #2 son?

13. Whose wedding were you in for the first time?
my own, lol

14. What was the first thing you did this morning?
hit the snooze for 30 extra minutes

15. What was the first concert you went to?
u2 with ryan!

16. First tattoo?
i'm planning a pixie

17. First piercing?
ears, age 8

18. First foreign country you went to?
France, Feb. 1992

19. First movie you remember seeing?
Mary Poppins, and i always fell asleep during the STUPID lullaby in the middle!

20. What state did you first live in?

21. Who was your first room mate?
my big sister

22. When was your first detention?
middle school, for not getting something signed (so many people didn't that they told us we'd get detention the next day if it wasn't signed, and a lot of us then went to detention) - but that was my ONLY detention. ever.

24. What is one thing you would learn, given the chance?
i love learning languages, i'd love to study italian, or german, or japanese, or all of those and then some. and i really want to sky dive before i die, it's the first thing i put on my bucket list

25. Who will be the next person to post this?

Monday, September 14, 2009


excuse me. had to take a break to COLOR tinkerbell in the color wonder coloring book.

LaLa wants ALL the pens open, all the time, so she can color when the whim strikes her with whichever color she likes, without having to go to the bother of uncapping/capping them.

i got tired of fighting the battle after weeks on end, and left the damn things open. today she tried to color with the dried-up one, and i said, "THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T PUT THE LIDS ON YOUR PENS!" so she hopped up and found the box and got out a new one.

does she get it? i don't know. but those things take a LONG time to dry up - as they should, given their high cost.


somebody is wearing panties without any diapers for the first time today. they have tinkerbell on them, so that's a motive. also i was painting my nails saturday and when LaLa wanted some, i told her only big girls who don't wear diapers get their nails painted. she has been using the potty (except naps and at night) since then.

yes, i'm excited!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

cake wrecks

ALWAYS a joy to read, highlighting stupid mistakes "wreck-erators" make (usually look like grocery store bakery level cakes). BUT - on Sundays, they show gorgeous cakes, like the food network level stuff.

today's spotlight: wedding cakes with string work. you will plotz.

the best story

how could i have forgotten this one?

i went in my room and locked the door 2 days ago, then headed to the bathroom to do my business. LaLa HATES when we go in another room without her, and started yelling. a minute later, a little red head peeked around the corner with the BIGGEST smile you ever saw! "i DID it!"

my 2-year-old has learned to UNLOCK doors. they're the kind of locks you can undo with a penny or a thumbnail. she used a craft popsicle stick/tongue depressor.

when i came out, she showed me how to _lock_ the door with the popsicle stick, too.

i'm doomed.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

princess diaries

since i have THE CUTEST 2-year-old on earth, i've been saving up a list of LaLa-isms to share.


can you guess what "teenabudr" is? (peanut butter) her loves herm teenabudr.


Diego came on TV yesterday. she started shouting EGGO!


woke up just in a great mood yesterday. changed the diaper and she hopped up, headed for the kitchen, saying "i get chippies!" i said WHAT? sure i hadn't heard her right. and she said, "i have some chippies PLEASE?" who could tell that child no? i usually only prompt her manners, but she's learning this from how i correct her brothers!


she was taking a nap in the car not long ago, woke up, blinked, and said "i happy!"


last road trip we took, she asked what are you doing mommy? and i said, I'm Driving, What Are YOU Doing? reply: "I Happy!"


i took princess to the grocery store a couple of days ago. she always insists on pushing the bitty carts, and she always has to open the bread to get a snack. so she was pushing her cart and eating her bread - which wasn't easy for her - i'm training her to multi-task early!


the stubborn thing has potty-trained herself twice since 16 months of age, looked around and decided this wasn't enough fun for the fuss, and quit. she's starting again to be interested in using the potty. hoping this time sticks! won't wear pull-ups, only wants diapers - she can get them off more easily. i'm going to invest in some sticker rewards, since she's mad for stickers lately.


we went early to carpool line one day because we were already out and about. she did NOT like the wait and begged to get brother NOW and go swinging. for 15 minutes straight, she wanted to get OUT and go SWING. we will NOT be going to carpool early in future.


and a newish thing she does ALL THE TIME - that's (brother), ALL RIGHT! that's my purse, all right! etc. only it comes out ah-wight.


and a mom-ism: i've been using my spray gel again because my hair looks better, and i was thinking of this as a styling product exclusively. then i'd get up the next day and be astonished at how nice my hair looked in the morning.

that might be because it's GEL and it's meant to HOLD the style, not just create it. i don't want to tell you how long it took me to catch on. *blush*

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

on white shirts and orange juice

I no longer buy white shirts. I only seldom drink Orange Juice. But it seems, if I'm in the mood to wear a white shirt, I'm also in the mood to drink OJ. and the twain shall ALWAYS meet with me in the middle! OJ does NOT like to come out of white shirts; thus the reason I no longer buy them.

Being nearly 40, it's nice to know a few things about yourself. and you don't BUY the stupid
white shirts anymore. (My wonderful mum gave me one a couple of years ago. which I promptly stained. I just stenciled over the stain so I could wear it again, and I'm enjoying wearing it. It doesn't provoke the OJ response like a clean white shirt would.)

So. Last month, I bought a

Yes, you can guess where this is going. I can hear the groans.

I parked at the curb at Trader Joe's, and returned my cart to the corral. Before I even got INTO the car, I heard a thud. The stupid
RED cart had fallen off the curb and onto my bumper.

Good news: NO DAMAGE.
Bad news:
BIG RED STRIPE down the bumper of my BRAND-NEW car (3 weeks old then).

I grumbled and cussed for a few minutes, and tried to decide if I needed to be distraught over this. Then I remembered the
WHITE-SHIRT phenomenon. And I decided I'm GLAD the car is stained. Because NOW it won't ATTRACT ORANGE JUICE!


My precious darling LaLa fell and got several large scrapes on Sunday. We didn't even see the one on her back (she was wearing a dress, which flipped up) until that evening.

So I went into my first-aid kit and got out my giant Band-Aids with Neosporin built in. I LOVE Neo Band-Aids because I don't have to find the stupid ointment. And I said, as I got them laid out to put on her poor swollen scrapes, "This is why I keep these on hand."

and the 2-year-old immediately told me "No, mom, on my back!"

It's only funny until someone gets hurt.

No, no, that's not what I meant to say. I meant it's funny the first time they say something like that; around about the 100th you want to go Homer on them. Fortunately it will take a while before I'm that frustrated with her know-it-all-ness. I know this because my 9-year-old is presently smarter than any living thing.

2-year-old know-it-all: CUTE.
9-year-old know-it-all: MADDENING!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

anybody notice?

that i've posted more this week than just about the whole calendar year of 2009 combined? weird!

well, i was struggling with depression and colds for most of the spring up until this week. so i guess it makes sense. can we say i've done my time and refuse to be sick for the next 2 years? wouldn't it be nice?!


a few months ago, my precious darling princess got hold of a dry-erase marker. and what did she ruin with it? none of her winter clothes, outgrown clothes, hand-me-downs, or even nice things someone else bought. no. nothing i bought ON SALE, even (which is the majority of my spending).

she drew on the front of her BEAUTIFUL pink shirt i bought at FULL PRICE. the second time she wore it.

i tried hair spray (takes out most inks), OxyClean (takes out most everything else), spray-n-wash, multiple washings with the above, combining every cleaning product in my arsenal. just about any other marker would have been gone or mostly gone by now.

but no. DRY-ERASE markers apparently are the most tenacious things around. we should all mark our personal property with them in case of burglary! black marks on this adorable blouse. every time i see it i kind of want to scream.

but all i can do is thank karma, because i did worse than that to my mother (and sister's hand-me-downs, for which she has yet to forgive me). and save the blouse for a quilt-to-be-named-later.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

full-time feelings (day 2)

#1 son: i have to do too much helping
#2 son: what?
DH: why are you so tired?
me: i can do this. i just wish i could do it better.


everybody go read this article:

Universal Health Care is neither Universal nor understood

seriously. i've heard so many people who don't know anything about it who TALK as if they DO. i didn't know much about it, but i figured why worry about something unless i'm willing to do the research and find out what it's about?

so somebody else did that and i read their information. and it's good.

comments encouraged!

zac efron

what GIVES? i don't see any appeal in him at ALL. he's not cute, he has bad hair, he dresses like a throwback (and NOT a good one like MY era was).

i have no trouble with sharkboy or harry potter being young enough to be my SONS and still thinking they're awful damn cute, but zaccy is just a flash in the pan that needs to be OVER already.

that is all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

and an update

we have a new car! it's a beautiful new mazda5, just what i wanted only MORE, b/c inventories are disappearing rapidly with the government money available. got great discounts b/c i took delivery from dealer stock.

we have a new (old) house, too! we'll be moving late september (must put in 60-day notice at apartment complex), and i'm super excited for it. i daydream about where i'll put what all the time.

one wonderful feature is that there is a daycare ACROSS THE STREET from the new/old house. i talked to them before we put down the deposit about the neighborhood and their rates, and they are much more affordable than anyone i've found previously, PLUS they will do part-time, PRO-rated, not some 75% for half-time deal. serendipity again!

and i'm sposta be werkin but had to take a break to update my internet buddies!

my little omnivore

DH made a "light supper" last night: pasta salad with olives and onions, and some grated cheese, and a green salad. (i mention this primarily because it's not a combination i would have come up with.)

LaLa ate my cucumber, which she has tried once before and didn't like. i removed the rind so she could get a good first bite, and that was the last i was allowed to touch the thing. then she wanted to try the olives. and that was the last anyone else saw of OLIVES. she ate all of mine, then DH's, then foraged through the boys' dinners and ate them all. meanwhile, she tried green onions (liked taste, and they were STRONG, but not the texture, gave back some slippery layers), and Pepperoncini off DH's plate. kept going back for more tastes until all the interesting food was gone.

she ate 2 noodles and one lettuce leaf, as well. i told her to eat more pasta intermittently during the olive expedition, but was told No, I eating OLIVES! last new food was a tomato (also in a salad), which she similarly loved.

i could have worse troubles than a kid who will only eat vegetables. she is SO 2!

we did have a similar experience with #2 son when he first encountered olives, but he didn't do the 2-year-old thing and accepted other foods. we just had to order a side dish of olives for him at restaurants if we wanted him to eat for a while...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

some good luck

and now for NEW news, lol.

on the job front, my supervisor called me yesterday and asked if i was still interested in first shift. YES! i can move to first shift if i'll work full-time, she said. what a dilemma!

child care is the first hurdle. and my fervent desire to finally get a degree is another.

since traveling, and pondering life choices and goals, my Far Eastern brother had mentioned some of his dreams and goals (online). and that provoked some thought, and i had decided to go after a teaching degree. i'll never get rich, but i'll never be out of work - because my best skills are math and science, and there has been a shortage of such teachers since before I was a kid. so.

because of the way the community college teaches anatomy and physiology, i have to take both at the same school in order to transfer them. knew this going in. finished A but not P. so i need to take P, but chemistry would make it lots easier. so i had realized i wanted to take chemistry fall '09 and physiology spring '10, and do my damndest to find a way to get to school full-time in fall '10.

and on reflection, full-time employment shouldn't preclude those courses, b/c they're available online and i'll only have to travel for exams, if that (we moved 80 miles east of that comm. college last august).

the housing luck makes the employment full-time more possible. we have spent a year living on each others limbs in a nice apartment, but with 3 kids AND a work-at-home me, way too small. viewed a house for rent (SAME PRICE) this week with 4 bedrooms, only 1-1/2 baths, but an office, a dining room, an unfinished basement (storage), and a sunroom. DH will be viewing Mon. and i'll be transferring the deposit to my checkbook so we can apply. can't beat it, can live in it until we can buy (probably after degree obtained).

i am SO excited about the house! i can't really describe it here. but it would make our lives so much easier. especially the working!

and car news: who hasn't heard about the Cash for Clunkers program? i have wanted a Mazda5 since its introduction. now it's a possibility. especially with the increased work hours, we can afford it.
so many things are coming together for us, it's just bound to work out. (we haven't quite qualified yet, and i probably can't get a manual transmission which i'd really rather have, but i'll take a new car over an old and about-to-break-down van any day!)

fabulous vaca

We had a wonderful trip, nearly 2 weeks away from home. It was GREAT to get out of our routine. LaLa shared her cold with all of us except #2 son, which WASN'T great, but i'll take a vacation + sick over no vacation and no sick any day!

visited the family, saw everyone except my Far Eastern brother, his wife, and their halflings (in Japan they call mixed-race kids "halfs" so this is my term for them). it's several months' salary to travel to the U.S. so it's a rare event. *sigh* our trip was less than 1 month for DH, and we spent his bonus to do it. woohoo!

not much exciting other than visits. #1 sister's dog had to make emergency trips to the vet twice for an allergic reaction and a chocolate disaster. LaLa fed the 8-pound dog a mini Dove bar, but 1 ounce of chocolate is toxic in a mini daschund, so off she went for purging. and not one, but TWO nephews broke their arms the first day we were together.

my craft project above (a reunion shirt) was very popular and consumed mass quantities of time, energy, and space. i'm so proud. but it provoked some neat creativity and originality, and was lots of fun. (the toes are just extra; it's a camera phone and not the best resolution, but gives you the concept.) the tree has one branch for each of my parents' children, and one leaf for each member of the respective families.

got to meet one of my e-BFFs, and sadly i was ill and couldn't love on her baby (super-preemie, age 8 months/5 months adjusted). but still awesome to meet up and be able to put a FACE to the person i know so well!

been home 5 days and life has upheaved and rearranged itself and put a new pudding in the middle - eclipsing some of the nonsense i would otherwise have posted about the trip. DH and I are doing lots better since having a break from routine and each other (he only stayed 7 days). we even had a DATE last night, the first in well over a year! woohoo!