Previous month:
June 2010
Next month:
August 2010

Entries from July 2010

Saturday 9: Bad Day


Link up with Crazy Sam if you're playing along today!

1. Is there anything that you tend to do to cheer up when you are having a bad day?

Sleep, if I can, and start over. Otherwise, it's just time. Not a good idea to talk to me when I'm in a really foul mood - just stay away! ;)

2.What’s the last card game you played, and with whom did you play?

I can't even remember the last time I played cards, which I love. But I played Bunco with my girls, on the 14th. That was fun.

3.What’s the last board game you played, and with whom did you play?

Oh, I shoulda read ahead. I didn't realize we were getting into this whole series. Um... hm. Probably either Scrabble or Monopoly with the hubs? Or Candy Land or something like that with the kids. It's been a while...

4.What’s the last computer game you played, and with whom did you play?

Words With Friends (aka Scrabble) with my MIL, hubs, and a bunch of other folks, on my iPhone

5. Is there somewhere you’d like to visit but have not, and where is it?

I'm dying to visit both Australia and Japan!

6.Think of your favorite movie (or a movie you really like, if you can’t think of a favorite). Some people say that the reasons you love your favorite movie are related to what you value in romantic relationships. How is this true or untrue in your case?

I don't really have a favorite, but I love Grease. I guess it's not true, because my husband can't sing or dance! lol

7.What physical attributes do you find the most attractive?

Arms. I like big, muscular arms. Whoo!

8.How many people live in your house? Tell us about them.

Five. Hubs, who will retire from the Navy in (probably) two years. Me, a stay-home mom for our entire (nearly ten-year) marriage. Chloë, who will be 9 in about a month. Jack, who is 7, and Sophia, who is 5 and the bravest AND most rambunctious of the bunch. The kids are all gorgeous, in our opinions, and smart. They're great.

9. Ever punch someone in the face?

No, but I've sure thought about it!



Aloha Friday


Link up with Kailani if you're in a questioning mood today!

Since I've been spending lots of time at the pool and beach this summer, and I'm a major people-watcher, this question has been on my mind a lot lately:

What do you think of women with, shall we say, (far) less than perfect bods sporting a teeny-weeny bikini at the beach/pool?

Some of these women must have major confidence, something I definitely lack. I say kudos to them, but on the other hand, some seriously have me shaking my head and thinking, "Whoa!"  LOL

Have a great weekend!


You've Already Won Me Over

Great. Now I have this song in my head. And I'm warning you right now, this is going to be one of my signature super-long posts.

So, Monday and Tuesday were pretty busy. Recap, anyone? Yes, good. I was going to anyway.

Oh, since I've been asked, I thought I'd update on the whole almost-at-goal-weight thing: My 18-month anniversary was Monday, and I did NOT hit goal (150 lbs) yet! I haven't gained anything, but I haven't lost that last 2½ lbs, either. I'm not worried. I haven't been eating properly. No excuses. I'll get back on track, probably starting today.


I pulled an all-nighter, because... ??? Just because I seem to do it once or thrice a week anymore. I really need to stop doing it, but the body wants what it wants, right now, and arguing doesn't help. So I worked on coupons (I have a TON, as you're probably aware, and accidentally dumped my entire box upside-down on the floor, so it took me forever to reorganize them) and finished this:


I think it's gorgeous, if I do say so myself! It's the "Ishbel" shawlette, designed by Ysolda Teague, that I started 2½ weeks ago and have been plugging away at off and on, ever since. Knit in the emerald-hued Yarn Love that I won, with zero modifications. It's not perfect, but it's VERY close; I actually went back and fixed my mistakes for once! (I normally hate to 'frog' and will avoid it at all costs.) I plan on wearing it with the black dress I'm wearing up there in my profile pic, when a little covering-up becomes necessary. Should be nice. The only disappointment I have in it is that I had a lot more yardage left over than I should have, and I could have made the larger size. Eh, well; probably, if I had attempted that from the beginning, I would have run out of yarn and had to rip the entire thing. So it's just as well.

A little close-up of the lace

Anyway, after the kids woke up, we had a long breakfast session, during which everyone wanted something different: blueberry waffle for Jack, oatmeal for Sophie, scrambled eggs for Chloë. Everything organic, natch. I didn't mind. It made me feel like a proper mother.

Afterward, I decided to finally, at long last, take the children to the beach for the first time this summer. Only, money is always an issue, and it costs to park at the oceanfront. (Yes, only 5-7 bucks, but if the kids don't want to stay, I'm not down with shelling out precious dollars for a half-hour jaunt, you know what I'm sayin'?) So after getting directions from Stephanie, we headed to a much more exclusive, non-touristy, beach somewhere else in town. I'd only been there once, and I think it was before Sophia was a gleam in my eye, so I couldn't remember exactly how to get there. But it's free to park, and the waves are calmer, so I hoped the kids would be less intimidated and actually enjoy themselves.

After a quick stop at McD's for the free caramel frappé for which I had a coupon (and I'm glad that was free, because I barfed it all up as soon as we got to the beach), and the bank to deposit a check, we were on our way.

Beach 026

You've already seen all the pictures on the previous WW post (and on Facebook, if you're my pal there), so I'll only show a few. They're not great, anyway; I'd forgotten my camera, so all these beach pics are from the iPhone. This picture keeps drawing my eye because Chloë's physique looks amazing in it, does it not? I keep marveling, lately, at the fact that she will soon turn nine. I can still vividly remember her first days, when it was just Baby and Mama - and Daddy, during the off-hours, of course - day in and day out. And now she is a tween. SHOOM! Those years just flew.

Beach 010

Yes, that IS Master Jack running TO the water, and not AWAY from it! I know!!! Amazing! He had an absolute blast and spent almost the entire six hours we were beachbound playing in the surf. I had the time of my life watching him, I truly did. (True to his nature, though, he complained on the way home that it was NOT fun and he did not enjoy himself or want to go back! I've learned to just chuckle to myself and ignore this from him, though, and sure enough, the next day he was asking to go back.)

Beach 016
Sophia spent plenty of time in the water, to be sure, but to my surprise, she spent more time than any of the kids on the sand. Rob had retrieved all our beach stuff from the attic, and she visited each sand toy in turn, making and remaking castles and immediately destroying them. I couldn't seem to convince her of where to find the "perfect" sand to shape the castles just right; she just didn't seem to care. True to self there, too.

Halfway through our stay, Rob rode in like a White Knight (only, in yellow) to stand watch over the kiddos while I drove off to a very necessary appointment with my psychiatrist. He and the kids crossed the street for sandwiches, while I sat with Dr. P. and told him of my latest troubles. I've been on the same bipolar meds for a while now, so it's disheartening that lately they have seemed to have lost their efficacy. My mood changes have been been quicker (sorry, honey), my temper has been flashing more (sorry, kids), I've felt myself slipping lower into a funk, and I've had a few "thoughts" (none of which I'd act on, these days). It hasn't been fun for me, and I'm sure it hasn't been terrific for my family. Dr. P. quickly agreed that a change was in order and wrote the scripts.

I headed back to the beach, or at least I thought I did, but my car had a mind of its own and took me home. Whoops! I grabbed the mail and then drove back to relieve Rob who, suckily enough, had to return to work for several more hours. He's changing commands for the second time in two weeks and has lots to do.

Beach 005

The kids wanted to stay until dark - actually, they wanted to sleep on the beach - but we ended up leaving around 1830 when bellies grew hungry. It was quite a fun day: they swam, made castles, found new temporary friends, played with abandoned crab shells, and generally had a superb time. I was extremely content watching them; my heart was swollen with adoration. It brought my back to my own many childhood days spent at the shore. I can't wait to go back. Maybe today?

Even though I'm saving the MO tax refund we just got for my abdominoplasty, I decided a dinner out was in order. No one felt like cooking, the kitchen was a mess, and food was in short supply. I had a couple certificates and made Rob choose one. He picked Guadalajara in the Va Beach Town Center.

To put it plainly, dinner was a disaster. It was terrible. We will NEVER go back. We complained to the manager, who volunteered to cover our tab. Good thing: The food was almost entirely awful, the service was worse, and I observed that we weren't the only ones complaining to him. My recommendation? Don't go there.

Everyone was pretty much exhausted when we arrived home, and we all conked out pretty quickly.


At my request, Rob had temporarily jailed the cat in the dog's kennel, so that she wouldn't walk all over Ishbel, which was busily being blocked on the floor near the litter box. I had nowhere else to put it, really... well, sorry Tinkerbell, but we forgot to let her out! She peed and pooped in the kennel, and now the house reeked ferociously. Before I entirely woke up, Sophia let her out, and she immediately went and walked on Ishbel, pulling a few stitches. Argh!! But that is beside the point, and totally my fault.

Anyway, so the stench in the house was overpowering and giving me a huge headache. I couldn't take it! I asked the kids where they wanted to go. Anywhere, I was game. Anywhere.

To my chagrin, they asked to go to McDonalds. Bah! But I'd promised. Why couldn't they have said, I don't know, Tahiti?!

So we went to the new McDonald's on Holland. I figured since it was big and new, there would be a PlayPlace. I'd planned to spend a long time there, letting them play while I read a magazine. So I was annoyed when we got there and there was no such place of play. Wha?! I could have sworn... but whatevs. I broke down and got them each a Happy Meal (normally I'd get a 20-piece McNugget and split it), because, you know, I felt like spoiling them a little. I even went back up to the counter to switch out Sophia's Littlest Pet Shop toy for the one she really wanted. They probably hate people like me, but rest assured, normally I don't do that. Normally, in such a case, we all repeat to the injured party, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"

We stayed a while, long enough for the kids to each eat half their lunches and play with their toys, and for me to throw up no fewer than three times. I don't know why I even ate there; I knew it wouldn't agree with Oscar. What a waste. Oh, well.


I still didn't want to go home to the cat pee stench, so I decided to take the kids to the big playground at Mt. Trashmore park. It's huge, and I didn't follow the kids around with my camera (which I didn't have with me anyway), so you just get this iPhone pic of the sign. We stayed a few hours, and the kids ran around, smiled, had fun, made new friends... oh, and so did I!

Her name is Ali. She's 21, cute as a stinkin' button, and now on our babysitter roster. She was there with two of her charges, including another Chloe. So that was a little confusing, but in a good way. Ali is GREAT!! The kids love her and can't wait for her to babysit them. I'd tell you more, but she probably doesn't want her whole life story on my blog, so suffice it to say that she's super-qualified and I'm thrilled to have met her.

Rob had come to the park about halfway through our time there (I sense a trend), to get my prescriptions from Dr. P and my military ID, so he could fill my Rxs. After he left, my phone died, so I stayed for what seemed a sufficient amount of time and then a lot more, before deciding he must certainly be home by now.

He wasn't. My phone charged up a wee bit in the car on the way home, so I called and found out he was still on base. Apparently, my script was higher than the max dosage, and they didn't want to give it to him. Awesome, what's that say about me? But they got it straightened out with Dr. P., so now I'm a highly medicated freakazoid once again.

I still didn't want to go home, so I asked the kids where to go next. Jack wanted to drive his truck around the lake in our neighborhood, and the girls agreed, so we went home and fetched the trucks and the Big Wheel. No pics of that either, sorreh! I tried to grab a few off the iPhone, but it died again just as I was about to catch a super one of Jack with a huge, joyous grin on his face as he drove his flashy wheels. He does love that thing! It's great for picking up chicks, too.

When they finally tired of the lake, we crossed the street back to our house just as Rob was getting home with my pharmaceutical sanity. I begged him to clean up the pee. I had cleaned it up off the floor where it had spilled out from the kennel, but there was no way I was touching the kennel. Seriously, ick. His 'solution' was to throw the kennel outside, NOT clean it yet, and spray Oust throughout the entire house. Let me just say right now, it didn't work. It still stinks in here. So whatever.

Now for some fun (for ME) stuff:


I'd purchased this cart online a few days ago, and it arrived while we were out. Yay! Another step in getting ready for homeschooling, I'd planned to use it to hold our art and music and crafting supplies. The kids all sat outside on the stoop with me while I put it together. Jack was thrilled when I gave him the little wrenches that came with it; he pretended to take apart and put together his truck and Rob's motorcycle while I put the finishing touches on the cart.


It turned out to be strong, sturdy, just the right size, and exactly what I was expecting, so for $19 including free shipping, you just can't beat it. Score!

Wanna see what goes in it? Yeah? 'Kay. This past Saturday, TAPS (the Teachers and Parents Store) was having a 20%-off-everything birthday sale, so I planned on going to get our music stuff. And that I did:


Hardwood block, "Flutophone," sand blocks, and crow sounder


My "Teaching Music to Children' manual, a kiddy castanet (we have real ones from "Spain" in Epcot... but darned if I know where they are at the moment), and finger cymbals


Tambourine (yay, fun!), harmonica, and a little baby ratchety-ratch thingy I thought would make another great percussive.

Later, the kids went and fetched the singular maraca they could find (there are at least two more somewhere), and my recorder. Those went into the top drawer, too. The only thing we won't put in there is Daddy's set of bongos!


Drawer full of muzak schtuff

Here's s'more stuff I bought at the 20% sale:


Three 200-pc Melissa & Doug puzzles, which I bought for the children to work on when it's their night to stay up late with us. I plan on getting a bunch more for cheap at thrift stores, too. If you have puzzles you no longer want, we'd be happy to be their new home, too! ;D


A thing of Silly Putty for each of them, because... every kid should have some? Chloë has played with some at her therapist's office and LOVES it, so I bought it with that in mind. I always liked it, too.


For Chloë. I got it on clearance, not for the price marked :)


More stuff for those later nights, one for each kid


I don't think I ever showed you this stuff? Maybe I did, but I don't think so? This is the art curriculum I bought for the kids at the HEAV homeschooling conference last month.


All our goodies for the art drawer. Looking at everything coming in, and all the set-up I've been doing, the kids are DYING to start homeschooling!! I am loving their enthusiasm, and it's infectious! I was going to start on 2 August, but I've bumped that back to mid-August, because Chloë is going to camp the 2nd week of the month, and I don't want to interrupt our schooling that early in the game. That will give me more time to prepare, too, which is great since I haven't done anything with it this whole month, really. 

The only things missing from these pictures of what I picked up at TAPS on Saturday are a few posters I bought and our "classroom" calendar. I'll show you that stuff when I get it hung on the walls.


I 017

 I don't think I ever told ya, I managed to get this whole boxed set of Hooked on Phonics for truly a STEAL from a homeschooling message group I'm on. I was SO excited when it was posted; I pounced on it!! That's what I wanted for Jack and Soph from the beginning, and I have it for pennies on the dollar compared to what I would have spent originally. w00t!!


Also, while I'm on the subject, here's the rest of our homeschooling stuff! The bottom shelf (and what little you can see in the pile of white stuff to the left) is our Math-U-See stuff for the next however many years it takes us to go through it. On the top, to the right, are various workbooks and things we've collected over the years. The yellow books - and the bookshelf itself - were picked up from a Freecycler (the same one, two separate times). The books are a vintage set of children's encyclopedias, which I plan to use for ripping the pages out and using in the lapbooks we make. Don't cringe! This is done by many lapbookers. Okay, you can cringe a little; I am, and so maybe we don't do that. But that's the plan.


Since I'm showing you pictures of stuff, here's the food dehydrator I got for $3 on Amazon, after cashing in my Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards. It just came yesterday! I'm so excited to start drying all kinds of things (fruit leathers, turkey jerky, socks...), but I still haven't cleaned up the kitchen, so it's still in the box. I'll do that today, fo' sho'!


And finally, to wrap up this supah-long post, we decided to try our luck again after the fiasco at Guadalajara with another certificate for Tines Restaurant down the road.  Our experience was like night and day, compared to Guad. At first, I didn't think it was going to be any good, because we waited an age at the podium with no staff in sight. I finally stepped to the back and called "Hellooo?" and someone, who turned out to be our server, came out. She apologized and I asked, "Are you still open?" She said yes, so I rather bitchily responded, "Good. I wasn't sure, because we've been waiting a really long time already." But she completely won us over. She was beyond excellent with the children, and she bent over backward to make sure we were happy, too. The food was great, and they even turned the TV to a kids' station just to keep our kids happy. Not that I'm looking for my kids to watch TV when we go out for a nice dinner, but it was a nice touch. We left a good tip. My recommendation? Go there!

And now, after all that, I have to go back to work.You may now leave an abundance of delightful comments. Ha!


P.S. I forgot some things we did after the beach on Monday! Oh, well, I'll spare ya. ;)

Better Late Than Never


Well, we gardened, as a family. Stuff's planted. We didn't get everything we wanted done (the second box hasn't gotten built, so we had to skip eggplant, beets and spinach), and the rest (tomatoes, peas, beans, Swiss chard, radish, zukes, peppers, cukes, yellow squash, carrots & lettuce) are too-closely planted together. 

According to a gardening friend, we have 100 (!!) days left in our growing season, so the crowding is probably more of a problem than the lateness of the planting season. We decided to take our chances. It'll be a learning experience, for sure. And we'll thin and move things as they grow. Probably. Maybe. Perhaps.

Anyway, yay! I'm excited! Can't wait to start watering and observing and harvesting and eating... Yum.


Sunday Stealing: Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part Three

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along today!

45. Favorite color?

Green - but I like 'em all

46. Have you ever slapped someone?


47. Is your hair curly?


48. What was the last CD you bought?

I haven't bought a CD since Nixon was president.

49. Do looks matter?


50. Could you ever forgive a cheater?


51. Is your phone bill sky high?


52. Do you like your life right now?

It's all right, could be better if you gave me some money.

53. Do you sleep with the TV on?

Don't have TV

54. Can you handle the truth?

Give it to me straight.

55. Do you have good vision?

What? I couldn't see that one.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people?

Everyone that writes stupid blog questions, yeah.

57. How often do you talk on the phone?

Every year, whether I need to or not.

58. The last person you held hands with?

My hubs, at church tonight.

59. What are you wearing?

Tight black pants and a tight black and white shirt. I'm smokin'! ;)

60. What is your favourite animal?

I love my sharks

61. Where was your favorite picture taken at?

Um... I never really knew I was supposed to have a favorite picture.

62. Can you hula hoop?

Nope. Only on Wii Fit!

63. Do you have a job?

Motherhood count?

64. What was the most recent thing you bought?

I bought a mess of stuff today for homeschooling the kids, mostly for their music curriculum. Can't wait!

65. Have you ever crawled through a window?

More than once, when I've locked myself out of the house!


Saturday 9: The Sun Rising

The sun rising

Link up with Crazy Sam if you're playing along today!

1. When was the last time that you watched a sunrise? Who were you with?

A couple of days ago, all by my lonesome...

2. If President Obama promised he'd do one thing you asked, what would you ask him to do?

Make recycling mandatory nation-wide.

3. What is one experience that has strengthened your character the most so far?

You asked that last time. I refuse to answer it again! ;)

4. What is the first thing that you usually do after completing Saturday 9?

Uh, hit "Publish"?

5. Tell us about someone either in your life or in the blogosphere that you think is extremely funny.

Nicole cracks me up all the time.

6. Where was the last bed that you slept in that was not your own?

Richmond hotel, for the homeschool conference, in June

7. Have you ever been too drunk to remember anything?

Unfortunately, no, I remember it ALL

8. Have you ever licked something to clean it?

LOL Yeah

9. Who, outside of family or a S/O, has influenced your life the most?

That's a good question. I don't know. Really.



Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Is it Friday again already?! Sheesh, I am way behind on "regular" posts here, sorry! Well, thank goodness for Mrs.4444, or y'all would NEVER hear what's going on in our lives... wait. You might like that. Anyway!


Last weekend, Sophia went to the birthday party of her former preschool teacher's little boy. I didn't take any pictures of anyone else, ever since I got in trouble with the school for having pix of other preschool children here on the blahg. *insert eyeroll here* So here's Sophia having tons of fun at the newly-updated Chuck E. Cheese. I couldn't believe it when I walked in there - it's all different since her party in April! New games, new rides, new layout... too bad they didn't have new (organic) food. I let her eat, though. She was THRILLED and totally pigged out!

I talked to her teacher quite a bit; we get along swimmingly. Seems Sophia is a "fave" of hers from class, and she behaves like an angel while at school. Ha! She could not believe how seriously naughty Sophia is at home. Maybe I should send her back to preschool...? I mean, really, wth?

As we left that party, Sophia told me she was going to marry the 2yo birthday boy. I pointed out that she was quite a bit older than him, at five, but she seemed nonplussed. My daughter, the cougar!


Hahaha, this picture kills me. Not only am I wearing Ye Olde Fashioned Scary Mud Mask, but it looks like I have a giant boog on my face! Awesome.

This is part of a review I'm doing for my giveaway blog, Fishing and Wishing. I'm having lots of fun giving away goodies every night there, but I tell you what, it is starting to become a lot of work to keep up with it! I'm thinking about getting an assistant... and at times, I think about handing off the blog to someone else entirely! I just don't know how I'm going to have time to keep up with it AND this blog AND running this household AND homeschooling. Something's gotta give!

I am pigging out like crazy this week. I don't know what it is; every once in a while, the former appetite seems to come back, and I feel like eating constantly. And I eat when I'm hungry, so I'm afraid to step on the scale this week! I haven't been keeping up with my protein, either, so... yeah. Maybe I'll skip that mean ol' weighin' machine for a few more days.


Two things about Sophia: She loves birds, and she loves bugs. She loves the cool bugs she catches, like this grasshopper, so much that she wants to keep them for pets. Mom never lets her, though. Today, she asked me, "Can we put him in a bucket and poke lots of holes in it so he can breathe?" I declined, asking, "But what would we feed him, honey? We don't want him to starve!" She had a ready answer: "We'll just go to the pet store and get grasshopper food, Mom!"


I usually get my crabcakes already made from the fishmonger at the Farmer's Market, Uncle Chuck. His are the best in the world, I sh*t you not. 

But the last time I went, he was out of them! Wha?! Didn't he know I was coming?

I had to settle for a pound of lump crab meat, instead.

That was at the beginning of this month, and yesterday, I finally decided to break down and make my own crabby patties. I had asked Steph how she made hers, but I lost where she told me (it was online, on Facebook I think), so I turned to the old standby: The Joy of Cooking. Reading the recipe, it sounded pretty much exactly like Steph's, so I decided to go for it (mustard and all! Eek!)

 I had to make a few subs: I didn't have scallions, so I used the organic red onions from the organic food shoppe. I didn't have bread crumbs, or even bread to make my own, so I used cornmeal (yeah, don't do that). Otherwise, I think I followed the 'structions pretty much exactly... and you know what?

Uncle Chuck's were a zillion times better. Seriously. If you're ever in Virginia Beach on a Thursday-thru-Sunday, get thee to his stand at the Farmer's Market and pick up some of his crabcakes! *drool*

Oh! Oh! Oh! I have perhaps the most exciting news you've read all year minute: We now have air conditioning!! I'm no longer stuffing freezer packs down my bra and underwear all day long, to keep from melting! Hee. Ahhhh. Everyone is feeling MUCH better, thanks. And I no longer have to listen to the poor dog panting like crazy. That was driving me insane in the membrane. (I'd yell at her, "Stop BREATHING, already!") Aw, poor pooch.

Jack, 7, is at Cub Scout camp this week. I heard from his Leader, Beth, that he's having a fantastic time and has gone boating and rock wall climbing. I didn't believe it - he's quite a chicken, and a whiner - but she said she has the pictures to prove it! I can't wait to see.

We miss him so much, Rob and I. It's very different without the little feller. The girls got along for the first time EVER yesterday, and played like sweet little sisters. Today, however, the fighting was worse than usual. It was outrageous! I felt like shouting, SHUT UPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!

So that's all from me this week. Hope y'all have a fan-flipping-tastic week, and I'll see ya back here next time!


Aloha Friday


Link up with Kailani if you're playing along today!

My question for you this week is:

Are you allergic to anything? What?

I don't think I'm allergic to anything... anymore. In 2008, I suddenly had allergic reactions to all sorts of things: the yarn I was knitting with, chlorine at the pool, strawberries and apples and other foods, medications I was given... it was really bizarre. And then, that summer, we went to Europe, and all of a sudden, the constant reactions stopped as suddenly as they had started. It was so weird, but I was grateful!

Moral of the story: Europe - it's the cure for what ails ya! Ha!


Wednesday Wickedness: Ellen de Generes

I know it's not Wednesday anymore, but I really feel like procrastinating on what I should be doing, namely, going to sleep. Because I haven't slept well in this heat lately, and tonight's prolly gonna be more of the same.

And, Ellen really is very pretty, isn't she? I love Ellen, so I decided to join the meme this week. Link up here if you played along!


1. "I was coming home from kindergarten--well they told me it was kindergarten. I found out later I had been working in a factory for ten years. It's good for a kid to know how to make gloves." How old were you when you started working and what was your first job?

--> Other than babysitting, which I guess I started at age 12, I got a job when I was 15 at the Big M "Supermarket" on State Fair Blvd in B'ville. I was a cashier extraordinaire. I loved that job!!

2. "My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is." Tell us about your grandparents.

--> I didn't get to meet my dad's parents at all, but my mom's parents were/are the greatest. Grandma died in '98, at Christmas, and I couldn't go to her funeral because I was in Vegas at the time. It was a working vacation; I was a live-in night nurse for a quadriplegic friend of mine, and he needed me. Travel arrangements just can't be made that quickly for the severely disabled, or at least, at the time they couldn't. I'll always regret not going.

Anyway, that doesn't really answer the question. I could go on and on about my grandparents. Grandpa's still alive and kicking; he just turned 84 last month! He's a funny old chap and has always kept me laughing. I wish I could get to see him more often; the last time was 3½ years ago.

3. "Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off." Do you procrastinate or are you on top of the situations?

--> "The situations"? I procrastinate all the time! I'm doing it right now! I'm best on a tight deadline; then I focus.

4. "Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others." What would others say about you?

--> Most of the time, I would care to guess, but (thankfully) I'm starting to reach the point in life where I don't want to know, and I don't want to care. I am who I am, take me or leave me.

5. "The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren't any space aliens. We can't be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we're not all there is. If so, we're in big trouble" Do you believe in life on other planets?

--> I believe it's possible, sure. Do I think there are little green men with three eyeballs and antennae? No.

6. "I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that." Do you have a godchild?

--> Hehehe, she cracks me up. No, I don't.

7. "I don't understand the sizes anymore. There's a size zero, which I didn't even know that they had. It must stand for: 'Ohhh my God, you're thin.'" When was the last time that you were called too thin?

--> Never. That'll be the day!

8. "I have the worst memory ever so no matter who comes up to me - they're just, like, 'I can't believe you don't remember me!" I'm like, 'Oh Dad I'm sorry!'" Who was the last person that you should have recognized but didn't?

--> Hm, I guess K. She worked at one grocery store that I used to frequent, and then I started working at the other grocery store. She came up to me and asked if I was so-and-so (she wasn't sure, because I'd lost a bunch of weight) from the first store, and I said yes... but who are you??? It took me a minute. It was embarrassing, because she was my girl, too! I always went to her line!  Oops.

9. "I gotta work out. I keep saying it all the time. I keep saying I gotta start working out. It's been about two months since I've worked out. And I just don't have the time. Which odd. Because I have the time to go out to dinner. And uh..and watch tv. And get a bone density test. And uh.. try to figure out what my phone number spells in words." Do you work out? Have you ever joined a gym and quit almost immediately?

--> I don't work out, but I'm gonna. I've got to. I got a gym membership, now I just have to go use it! I used to go to the gym constantly in college, though. Does that count for anything?

10. 'We use 10 percent of our brains. Imagine how much we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent." Do you feel that you utilize all your intelligence in every situation?

--> Psht, no. It's scary how dumb I feel since entering The Motherhood. I used to be a whole lot smarter. I swear.


Because I Am A JEENYUS

... I just had the most brilliant freaking idea ever.

I shared it with my husband. He agrees.


You see, Jack went to camp today. Here he is, getting his Wolf Cub stuff (I'm sure there's a better word than "stuff," but I don't care right now) from his Leader, Beth.


He was one excited little camper! Could not WAIT to leave! (Beth drove him up to camp, since she's staying there the whole time.)

I miss my little guy. It's been so quiet and different here without him. The girls are actually getting along instead of constantly bickering, which is amazing and, well, wonderful.

So just now, we were talking about camp. Chloë goes to camp in a couple weeks, but Sophia's not quite ready for camp this year. Maybe next year.

Well, here's my idea:

What if we sent all three of them to camp at the SAME TIME?!!!!

That would be, oh, my gosh, I can't even come up with a word for the awesomeness.

Because then?

We could have SEX WHENEVER WE WANTED (which is usually way before the kids' bedtime, and then bedtime comes around, and then we're too tired, and you know the drill).

Yay! Sex!

Haha. I may be the queen of TMI, yes?



Are Those Things Real?!

The other day, Friday to be precise, the kids and I hung out with Steph and Luke all day.

Steph owed us a babysitting favor, so I thought I'd ask her if we could cash in that night, spur-of-the-moment-like. She checked with her hubs, I checked with mine, and in the end, it was a go.

Sweet. We hadn't had a date in, like, a hundred years, and we definitely needed one. Rob wanted to go to "our" parking garage, where we... um, never mind... but it's 8 billion freaking degrees here lately, and I said no.

So we went to the movies. We were gonna see Grown-Ups, but I drove us to the wrong theater, so we saw the last Shrek, instead. Kind of lame (not the movie, but the fact that we were on grown-up time and still saw a kid's movie)!


Before the movie started, we walked around the mall and wound up buying a bag of cashews from the kiosk o' nuts. The nut lady was super-friendly. And cute. And her buxomation put Dolly Parton to shame.

While she was ringing us up, I eyeball-gestured wildly back-and-forth between Rob's peepers and the bodacious tatas in front of my face. His eyebrows went up. Daddy likey!

The transaction complete, we thanked and walked away. I whispered to Rob, "Were those things fake, or what?!"

Or something like that.

He dared me to go ask her.

So I did. Yes, I did, I totally did!

I went back there, and no one was anywhere in earshot. I checked. I asked her, "Can I ask you something completely personal and totally inappropriate?" She assented, so I asked her, "Are your boobs real?"

Without missing a beat, she said they weren't and laughed.

I quickly told her, feeling like I had to come up with a reason for asking, that I had just lost a bunch of weight, and my boobs to boot. Where did she have them done?

She told me all about it. She went from an A-cup to a triple-E.  {Hello! What is you, crazy or suntin'??}

She was definitely too thin for those boobies.

Or so I thought. Rob disagreed. He likes 'em big. TMI?




P.S. That is not the nut lady, just so's ya know.

Sunday Stealing: Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part Two

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along this week!

23. Do you rent movies often?

Oui. We use Netflix.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?

Yeah, all the jewelry I've shucked off and put on the shelf in front of me, instead of putting it away where it belongs. But now that you know that, I shall stow it properly. ;)

25. How many countries have you visited?

Somewhere between a dozen and 20, I guess. I don't feel like counting right now.

26. Have you made a prank phone call?

Yeah. Some good ones. Hee.

27. Ever been on a train?

Yep. I love riding on a train!

28. Brown or white eggs?

Brown, lately, but it really doesn't matter to me.

29. Do you have a cell phone?

Duh. [It's an iPhone.]

30. Do you use Chap Stick?

Not necessarily that brand...but yeah. It's an addiction.

31. Do you own a gun?

Psht. Hells no.

32. Can you use chop sticks?


33. Who are you going to be with tonight?

Just the fam.

34. Are you too forgiving?

No.  I think I'm just the right amount of forgiving.

35. Ever been in love?


36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow (or the next soonest week day)?

I have no clue. Who wrote this, a 9-year-old?

37. Ever have cream puffs?


38. Last time you cried?

When I watched Toy Story 3 on Thursday.

39. What was the last question you asked?

"Did you wash your hands?"

40. Favorite time of the year?

Usually summertime, but I haven't been enjoying this one without AC too much!

41. Do you have any tattoos?

Nope. No plans. I've decided I don't really like tattoos on a girl, with the extremely rare exception.

42. Are you sarcastic?

Does a bear shit on the pope?

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?

With Ashton Kutcher? Yeah, I watched it once.

44. Ever walked into a wall?


These were stupid questions this week. Sorry about that, y'all.



Saturday 9: Love Hurts


Link up with Crazy Sam if you're playing along today!

1. Tell us about the last time that you got hurt in the arena of love.

That's a very long story. I don't think y'all have time for that. I really can't think of the words to sum it up neatly here for you...

2. Have you ever been part of the wedding party, other than your own?

Yes. When I was 8, I was a bridesmaid in my dad's marriage to my ex-stepmother (aka The Bitch From Hell). I was also a bridesmaid in my best friend Lisa's wedding to (my high school ex-beau!) Faris. Oh, and I almost forgot, I was a bridesmaid in my sister Stacey's wedding to Michael. (Sorry, sis!) I guess I'll never be anyone's Maid of Honor, and I'm not disappointed about that at all. ;)

3. Let's say you find yourself in Hell after you die. Think about everyone you've known in your life. Who would be the one person that would least likely to surprise you by being in Hell with you?

The Bitch From Hell, of course!

4. What brings you good luck?

Nothing brings me good luck. I don't believe in that.

5. Do you have a photo blog? If so, feel free to share the link with us!

A blog just for my photos? I don't think anyone would want to see that. This is it.

6. What is your biggest source of news? (Internet? Newspaper? Television? Radio? The Daily Show? Other?)

The internet, and the newspaper. We don't have TV.

7. What's the hottest you've ever been in your life?

Hottest, as in temperature, or hottest, as in looks? Regardless, I think the answer would be right now, this summer. =D

8. If you had to choose a theme song for your blog, which would would you choose and why?

"Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, because our life is nuts and chaotic, and some of the things I do (and post about) are a bit off-the-wall, eh, folks?

9. Who was the last person you had an online conversation with that you've never met or talked to on your phone?

Hm, I guess that would be Gloria, mi amiguita in Massachusetts. I'm hoping to meet her @$$ sometime soon!!

Have a great weekend, y'all!



Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Mrs. 4444 is the brainpower behind Friday Fragments, so be sure and link up with her if you're in pieces this week!

So, despite the fact that:

 - We still have some fleas and our natural solution (sprinkling diatomaceous earth everywhere) isn't working well,

- we still don't have AC in the house OR in my van,

- last year's housefly problem has returned,

- pigeons have invaded our attic, and

- my bipolar meds are in need of tweaking, apparently, because my moods are all over the map lately,

I'm having a pretty decent week. I'm feeling happy, content, and grateful for my wonderful life. It's not a feeling I've experienced often in my mixed-up life, so I'm holding onto it this time with all my might.


Our monthly Bunco night was Wednesday, and I was the "host" (although it's always held at T's house now). These are the prizes I brought, and they were pretty well received. I love getting Bunco prizes and always put a lot of thought into it. I actually kicked butt this month and won TWO prizes, so I brought home the chunky red necklace from Torrid that I liked, and the Salt Water Taffy that my kiddos had been eyeing since I picked it up. Steph subbed in this month and snagged a couple herself!

Btw, see those cards with the elephants on them, near the top left? Made with real elephant poop. Awesome, right? :D


Speaking of Bunco, I wore this pendant that I reviewed on my giveaway blog, Fishing and Wishing, and it got raves! Check it out if you'd like one for yourself. ;)

And not only that, but I'm thisclose to my goal weight and very definitely plan to reach it by the time I hit the 1½-year post-gastric bypass-surgery mark on the 26th, so my new figure got a lot of attention at Bunco night, too. I purposely dressed up in my LBD (Little Black Dress) to show it off a little, hee.  Two of the other ladies were talking, and they told me that I should be a spokesperson for the surgery! Another one even called me "skinny," which is, like, the awesomest compliment I can get right now.

Love those girls, MWAH!

I had my 18-month follow-up with my surgeon (Dr. C, thank goodness; I think the other guy is a complete @$$) this morning, and he was full of praise for my progress.

He doesn't want me to lose much more at all, actually. I'm at about 152.5 lbs, and he'd like to see me go no lower than 150 lbs, even though I'm only 5'2" and my "ideal" BMI-chart weight is about 125 lbs. He said that a frame that can hold 341 lbs (I know!! Shame on me) just would not look good at 125, and I would probably feel terrible. I asked him to elaborate on that, and he just said I'd feel completely miserable. (Wouldn't I like to test that theory, though?!)

So, I know I will go substantially lower than 150 when I get my jiggles and stuff cut off, which I plan to start doing as soon as our still-outstanding tax refund comes in, but maybe the 120s aren't the destiny for me. Eh. I got called a "MILF" by two hot guys recently, so what more do I need?! :D

Oh, also, I asked Dr. C. about the fact that almost every time I stand up, I get so light-headed that I almost black out. It's a major nuisance. I wasn't sure it was related to the weight loss, but he confirmed that it definitely is and is very common.

The problem?

My blood pressure is too low.

Which is a switch, considering I used to be on meds for my very HIGH pressures.

The solution?

I need to add more muscle mass, since I've lost a considerable amount of that, to help bulk up my weakened blood vessels, and I have to add more salt to my diet. (You don't hear that often, eh?) And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, of course, which I am always conscious of, but it's especially hard in the current heat.

He promised that it would stop when my weight loss finally levels off, and that is one thing I am looking forward to. Having to stop and hold on to something for 10-20 seconds every time I get up is a major pain in my arse!


Tonight was fun. With the gift cards I've been racking up with my Swagbucks, I was able to get a free Ice Cream Maker, and it arrived last night. Rob went out for the extra ingredients we needed tonight, and we made some awesome organic vanilla soft serve. I can't really have any, but I did steal a few spoonfuls of the finished product. Oh, my stars, it is GOOD. GOOD!!! Next time, I forewarned them that we'll be making me some sugar-free strawberry sorbet, so Mama can actually enjoy some frozen goodness. I can't wait!

(Those pictures are from my shutterbug-in-training, Chloë.)

I had two free passes to see Toy Story 3, so I bought two more tickets and took the kids to see it at the local theater today. What a great flick! I actually cried my eyes out at the end. The kids loved it, too, and they talked about it all evening. Have you seen it?

That's it. I didn't record any Cute Kid Quotes this week; hopefully I'll get some for next time!

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Aloha Friday


Link up with Kailani if you're playing along this week!

My question for you this week is:

Painted car

Would you ever do something like this to your car??

I totally would! If I had a talented artist friend who wanted to muralize something cool on my minivan (yes, my minivan, haha), I'd do it in a heartbeat. Why not? Fun stuff.

{Also, I love that Smart Car. Too cute.}


Who You Callin' A Cracker?

I'm in a Picasa collage frame of mind, lately. If you couldn't tell.

So I started this homemade cracker recipe on Monday night, around 0200, when I had expected to stay up all night. For various reasons.

I got out all my ingredients, mixed them properly in my lovely red KitchenAid mixer, and then... I started to go blind. Or, I thought I was going blind. My head was all pinched-in feeling, and my eyes couldn't focus right. There was no way those crackers were getting made, not then.

I thought for a minute about waking Rob up, and then I thought it was a horrible oncoming migraine.

And then, wait a minute! I know this feeling!

Yup. Sure enough.

I went to the cabinet where we keep all our meds, and looked in the spot where I reach for the same four bottles every night: Effexor, Abilify, Iron, Vitamin D. But the D was missing, and in its place? My Trazadone! My sleeping pill!

Sigh. Nope, those crackers weren't getting made right then. I quickly threw the mixer bowl full of ingredients into the fridge, stumbled heavily across the downstairs, and crashed on the the couch.


I didn't wake up for a very. long. time.

You see, before my surgery, I used to take a whole pill, and sometimes even two, to knock myself out at night. But now? I rarely take one (not that I don't need it), because it hits me SO hard. And when I do, I only take a half a pill, and sometimes only a quarter.

But I took a whole one, thinking it was my Vitamin D. D'oh! I blame Rob. It's at least 3% his fault, for moving the pill bottles around in search of his own. Right?


(He disagrees. Oh, that Rob, always refusing to take responsibility for my foolish mistakes. Some husband he is!)


After I roasted a marvelous 100% organic free-range chicken on Tuesday night for dinner, and Rob made the accompanying locally-picked green beans, plus organic mac & cheese for the kids, I decided to pull that mixer bowl out of the fridge, and continue with the crackers.

The pictures above are all Chloë's work. I ordered her suggested she photo-document the process. She eagerly complied. Didn't she do a great job?

And so did I:


That, there, is one satisfied customer, enjoying his homemade organic crackers topped with fresh, local, organic tomatoes and organic herbed cheese. (Yep, we're still doing the organic thing. Even though the world is going to end. Never mind. It's not. Carry on.)

He raved, at my prodding, about my creation. He said it was "the best snack I've had all night."

I almost forgive him for the Trazadone mix-up, after a compliment like that.


Wednesday Wickedness: George Steinbrenner

I think I did this meme once before. I'm doing it again now because I'm totally going to end up staying up all night and I'm procrastinating on the hundred other things I really should be doing. About Wednesday Wickedness: We are like other memes in that we will ask you ten questions each and every Wednesday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a famous person and pick ten of their quotes. Each of our questions will be based on the quotes. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!

Today we picked George Steinbrenner (who passed away Tuesday morning at age 80). Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. "But why shouldn't I speak out? Don't you speak out in this country?" Do you speak out as often as you should?
--> No way. In many situations, I am a timid little mouse. I wish I had bigger balls... but I don't.

2. "I am tough. Sometimes I'm unreasonable. I have to catch myself every once in a while." Are you ever tough and unreasonable?
--> Tough? I rather doubt it. But unreasonable? Well, yes... but thankfully, Rob usually calls me out on it!

3. "I haven't always done a good job, and I haven't always been successful - but I know that I have tried." Do you believe that sometimes you learn more from a failure than a success?
--> Well, of course!

4. "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next." Do you feel that you always have to win?
--> I'm pretty competitive, but only when it matters. "Winning" doesn't always mean getting the best score, though.

5. "It is unbelievable to me that the highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk.” Do you think money always buys greatness?
--> Nope. Hello, Paris Hilton? Hello, Jessica Simpson? Should I go on?

6. "I take my last phone call at home at about 11pm." What time is too late to call you?
--> I don't have a "too late" time. I have a "too early" time. I prefer not to take any calls before noon!

7. "Don't talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what's good right now." Do you think tradition matters?
--> Well, of course it matters. Sentiment matters. But not in all cases. Progress and change are good, too. It depends what we're talking about!

8. "And what the American people like is to think the underdog still has a chance." Do you tend to root for the underdog?
--> Sure, in a lot of cases. I love that kind of story; don't we all?

9. "I don't think I ever could exceed my father's successes. He was a completely satisfied man, he knew what he wanted to accomplish and he accomplished it. I did do a lot, though, to try to please him." Do you ever feel that you want to exceed your parents successes?
--> God, I freakin' hope so. :|

10. "I'm really 95 percent Mr. Rogers, and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch." In terms of cartoon characters, who are you like?
--> Well, neither one of them is really a cartoon character, but... I don't know, Velma from Scooby Doo? LOL
Back to bidness.

"An Origin," Featuring Chloë Odette

An Origin from Chris Strider on Vimeo.

"A Man living in a surreal world where reality and time aren't linear, encounters three different characters who are blinded by this same logic of what reality truly is."

Written, Directed, Filmed and Edited by Chris Strider


Woohoo, Chloë!  ((This was a year and a half ago... she seems like such a baby there, compared to now!)) ♥


Our Day In D.C.


On Saturday, La Familia Odette made the nine-hour round-trip up to Washington, D.C. so that Chloë could reshoot part of her role in the short movie Boom. The director, Olivia, had received a grant to rework the film a bit, so fortunately, our trip and Chloë's acting were paid for this time by the grant. W00t!

The trip up was fine and ordinary. I started out driving but didn't even make it to Richmond before I became too drowsy to drive. I hadn't slept much the night before, and in any case, it seems like driving for any distance puts me to sleep anymore. It really sucks, since I actually like taking road trips.

So I napped for a while and then woke up to navigate Rob into the city. It was our first time actually driving in the District, and we were both, I think, a wee bit nervous. Last time we went, when Sophia was still in utero, we stayed outside the city and rode the train in and around town. At first, Rob claimed that it was really no different than the kind of traffic we see here in Hampton Roads, but later he admitted that no, it was a bit more complicated than that. I drove out of the city and was pretty at ease about it, but then, I really did most of my learning to drive in Miami, while at the same time figuring out how to drive a stick shift!


I had put Rob in charge of bringing the food for our time in the car, and, well, he really didn't bring that much. Everyone was starving. Fortunately, there was food on set, but I don't think Olivia meant to feed my entire family for the day! Um, oh well. Here's Jack on a pile of chairs, eating a cup full of grapes.


Everyone was pretty restless, as we waited about 3 or 4 hours while Olivia and the crew shot other scenes. We tried to keep them calm and quiet, but that was a pretty futile effort. Thankfully the crew members didn't make us feel bad about the noise; they just quietly shut the door to the conference room we were in and went about their business.


Sophia was pretty stoked when I let her have a Sprite. Of course, that meant the other two had to get one, too. As for me, um, I had some M&Ms and a piece of doughnut. Exactly the sort of thing I should be eating, right? But I'm 2.8 lbs away from my doc's goal for me, so hey. (I'm going to try to lose that last 2.8 lb before my check-up with him on Thursday, so it's nothing but protein shakes for me this week! Bleh.)



At some point, I put down the knitting I was working on and fell sound asleep, facedown on the table. Somehow, Rob was able to get Jack to take a nap in the chair, but Sophia was another story. Jack napped and napped!

And then it was finally time for Chloë to Do Her Thing.  Rob had to stand in as an extra, but Olivia really didn't laugh when I told her he'd only do it if he got a credit on IMDb, too. Hee.

I was shut in the conference room with The Littles while they were out there filming, so I have no idea how it went. And when they were finished with Rob and ready to do her close-ups (closes-up?), he joined me. So it was with immense pleasure that we took the following commentary from Olivia: "Chloë really has tremendous camera presence. She is a natural. Whenever we did a take, I didn't even have to ask the crew if it was a good take, because we all could just feel that it was." That's not exactly what she said, but pretty close, so we are quite proud of our little actress!

After Olivia told us that, and we were walking out of the building to return to Vanna, I asked Chloë, "So, do you want to be an actess, honey?" She said to me, "No, I am an actress." Well, you go, girl!


We were in the MidCity section of D.C., and it was really a beautiful and interesting area. Rob and I had a great deal of fun looking at all the colors and styles of the area's architecture. There was so much to look at. I could really see myself living there. We just loved it.


There were so many flowers and lovely plants and gardens in each of the townhouses' front yards, too. Everyone looked so content, walking around town, enjoying their little MidCity lives. It was fun being one of them for a day.


For a special treat, we decided to take Chloë out to dinner. She wanted Subway, but we couldn't find that, so we ended up at Point Chaud Café & Crêpes, which had every kind of crêpe one could possibly imagine. The kids all had to use the bathroom, so I chose several different kinds of crépes for them off the menu, figuring they could nibble on a little of this, and a little of that.


A lady at the next table over saw me photographing the family, so she volunteered to take a family picture of us. And here we are.  Sophia's face cracks me up!  (Can you tell I have no boobs? hehe)


Point Chaud had real Coke, made with real sugar, in glass bottles: Rob's favorite. So I got him one. He was well-pleased. Now if only those folks would make some organic Coke...!

  Sophia loved that she could stand up on her chair and watch the "cookers" make our crêpes through the window. She kept reporting back to us on their progress: "Ooh, now they're using Nutella! They're putting some kiwis in! Ew, what's that green stuff?" etc.


I thought I knew my kids, but apparently I don't: I ordered three bottles of apple juice, and all three handed them back and asked for OJ instead. But Mama knows best, because the juice tasted nasty to them compared to the wonderful stuff we've been getting delivered to our house each Wednesday afternoon!


Finally our crêpes arrived, and they were YUMM-O!! The kids really had no interest in the kiwi or the turkey and cheese ones, but they were all about the Nutella and banana one. Surprise. I liked my egg, cheese and spinach crêpe, and Rob's mushroom, tomato and Swiss was pretty good, too, although he didn't really like the whole wheatness of it. I liked mine, though.

So that was our little trip. We meandered the short distance back to Vanna and counted about 38 CVS Pharmacies on our way out of the District. I made it almost all the way to Richmond this time, before surrenduring the driver's seat to Rob.

So now, we wait for the release of Boom, and I couldn't be more excited to see it!






Sunday Stealing: Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part One

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. First thing you wash in the shower?

My hair

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?

White, but I no longer have it. I forget why. I think it got stained.

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

If he brushes his teeth ;P

4. Do you plan outfits?

For my kids, yes. Not really for myself.

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?

Getting less and less grumpy than I was just a little while ago, so that's good.

6. What's the closest thing to you that's red?

The straw in my cup

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?

It was actually pretty sexually graphic, and that's all I'm gonna say about that!

8. Did you meet anybody new today?

Not today, not in person. Online, yes, for a promotion I'm going to do for them on Fishing and Wishing. :)

9. What are you craving right now?

cheese and crackers

10. Do you floss?

At least once a year, yes.

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?

Soup. That cabbage soup diet, remember it? I did it once. I don't remember if I lost any weight on it, but I actually liked the soup.

12. Are you emotional?

Hahaha. Um, yeah, just a little bit.

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000?

Yes, in Roman numerals! And maybe in Spanish

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?

Depends whether it's on a cone or in a cup

15. Do you like your hair?

About half the time. I'd like it more now, but I badly need a trim.

16. Do you like yourself?

I find myself dwelling on my many flaws, rather than what's great about myself.

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?

Not only no, but hell no.

18. What are you listening to right now?

A whole lotta whining, argh

19. Are your parents strict?

My father was pretty strict. My mother was less so, as far as I can remember.

20. Would you go sky diving?

I told my husband I would go with him, when I lost all my weight. I'm now 2.8 lbs away from "goal," and I'm now trying to figure out how to get out of that promise...!

21. Do you like cottage cheese?

Sometimes. The 4% milkfat small curd from Breakstone's is muy excelente, but of course, I really can't eat that now...

22. Have you ever met a celebrity?

The only celeb I've ever met was very exciting to me, but perhaps less so to you: Dave Barry, the humor writer from the Miami Herald. I'd read his column since I could remember, when it was published in the Syracuse newspaper. When I was in college at UM, I worked at the local Publix supermarket, and he was a frequent shopper there, with his wife, Michelle. I talked to him many times as a cashier and then later in customer service. Once I brought in a copy of his column and very shyly followed him around the store, until Michelle noticed me and asked if I wanted his autograph. I could barely speak, I was so nervous! But I still have that paper... somewhere.



Saturday 9: Go Your Own Way

Go your own way

Saturday 9 is served up by Crazy Sam - link up if you're playing along!

1. When was the last time you were told to go your own way?

Earlier tonight, but I can't really discuss the specifics of that conversation, sorreh!

2. What one experience has strengthened your character the most so far?

Regular readers might expect me to say something about the death of my son, but I feel so weakened by that experience, that I don't know if that's true. I can't even think of what has. Maybe the death of my mom when I was a little girl. That completely shaped who I am today, as an adult, a wife, a woman, a mother...

3. What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

I have a lot of choices. I can completely entertain myself, whether it's farting around online, knitting or crocheting, reading, watching a movie with the kids, scrapping... you get the idear.

4. How long can you go without your cell phone?

Dude. If I stir in my sleep, I grab it to check my email. I have an iPhone. I can't live without it.

5. Do you wish you were somewhere else right now?

Oh, hell yes. Same people, but anywhere but here. I freaking hate this house.

6. Of all the people you've ever known, who have you most feared?

My ex-stepmother. She laughed at me when I told her I was afraid of her, once. Fucking psychotic bitch.

7. Do people tell you that you look your age?

No. I mostly hear that I look a lot younger. Mostly by me.

8. Your ex shows up randomly at your house, what do you say?

Depends on which ex. If it's my most recent ex, I wouldn't say anything. I'd just slam the door in his nasty face. (I'm talking about Jamil, if you're wondering...)

9. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

It completely depends on what they have done, but generally, yes.



Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments are brought to you by Mrs. 4444s; link up if you're fragmenting today!


I just love melon-balling. (Not to be confused with "balling melons." This isn't American Pie, here.) I love the digging in, the wrist-turning action, and the pulling out of a nice, round hunk of fruit. I could do it for hours on end. It's very satisfying to me. Weird?


Our first tomato, from the plants given to us by the Keeneys, finally ripened and was ready to eat! I'm not a raw tomato girl, but still, it's our very first fresh produce, and I'm excited about it! There's another little one coming along behind it... now if only the hubs would get those raised beds built so I could plant the rest of our garden. *ahem*


Chloë, nearly 9, a serious raw tomato fanatic, dug into it within minutes after I plucked it from its vine. She declared it "delicious!"


Speaking of Chloë, today she had an achievement at the pool. She and Jack, 7, are both HUGE chicken-sh*ts, so while brave Sophia, 5, is completely comfortable with taking a running leap into the pool, the older two are more comfortable going slowly down the steps. Hubs and I have been trying to get Chlo to jump from the side, too. Today, I offered her 20 "dad dollars" (our rewards system) and the chance to stay up as late as she wanted if she would just give it a try. After several false starts, she finally did it! And of coure, as we knew she would, she loved it and did it about eleventy-nine times after that. Way to overcome your fear, Curls!

(By the way, it is 0225, and that little girl is STILL up. A promise is a promise!)


While the girls were busy jumping in and out of the pool, Jack and I sat most of our time out, underneath an umbrella. Why? We are the fairest of the bunch, and even the SPF 8000 I had was not enough to keep us from feeling the oncoming sunburns. So while I knitted, the boy played games on my iPhone. When it's just the two of us, he's very companionable and sweet. When the girls join us, he totally tuns into Mr. CrankyPants.

Note to self: Schedule in lots more one-on-one time with the boy-child.


Speaking of knitting, wow. I love this yarn, which I won in an online giveaway. It has Teh Awesome, as my friend J would say. (I'm knitting Ysolda's Ishbel, if you're of the fibery sort.)

Today, a friendly lady on Freecycle gave us a case of Oberweis chocolate milks. When the kids and I arrived to pick it up, she asked, "How many kids do you have, again?" I told her "three," and she told me to wait a minute, disappearing back into her house. She returned with an Oberweis ice cream bar for each of the kids, just as a special treat. What a sweet surprise! I was touched... and Chloë was so thoroughly pleased by the gesture herself (and the ice cream, natch), she asked to write the woman a thank-you note! I'm bursting with pride about that!

The other day, Rob informed me that when he dies, he wants a green funeral. "You mean eco-friendly?" I confirmed. "No," he retorted. "I want everybody to dress like leprechauns."

Har, har, honeybunch. (He makes me giggle.)

And now, finally, I am in the mood to post some recent Cute Kid Quotes. Here we go:

Sophia came up to me out of the blue and said, "Mommy, when you're old, and you die, I'll drive you to the stones, and I'll bury you."

Aw. ♥

With all the talk in our household lately about eating organic foods, this conversation that we overheard between The Littles really cracked us up:

Jack: "... and we're going to tear all the buildings down and build organic buildings..."

Sophia: "Yeah! And it'll be Organic Town!"

Hey, I kinda like the idea.

Sophia asked me, "Can we go to other planets, and live on other planets?" Thinking she meant "we the species" and not "we the family," I said, "Well, right now we really can't..." and she replied, "Yeah, because we don't have a rocket!" I informed her, "Well, no, we do have rockets..." and she interrupted excitedly, "Where?! In the attic??"

Something made Sophie laugh, and imitating her older sister, she exclaimed, "Oh, that's definitely going in my diarrhea!"

Chloë, rolling her eyes, explained matter-of-factly, "DiarY. Diarrhea is a kind of poop."

That was over a month ago, and it still makes me giggle.

Dog collar 1

So, wanna win a hundred-dollar dog collar? Mrs. 4444s does! That's one of our giveaways over on my review blog, Fishing and Wishing, so check it - and all the others - out if you wanna win! Some have really low entries, so your chances are outstanding!

Have a great weekend, y'all!