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Entries from October 2011

Bzz, Bzz: Tonka XT Ricochet Tricksters R/C

Disclosure: I am a BzzAgent, which means I was provided a product to try and review for this word-of-mouth publicity campaign. No monetary compensation was received for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


So, like, I don't know if you can tell, and stuff, but I wasn't the only one in Chez Odette who was excited when I managed to land this cool campaign, with a fun toy from Hasbro geared toward Jack, my 8-year-old son. I didn't tell him it was coming, so when he opened the box, this was his genuine reaction!


Immediately, he ran downstairs to get that thing Tonka XT Ricochet Trickster R/C out of the box!


This doesn't have to be just a toy for boys, though. Jack's older and younger sister eagerly awaited their turn to play with it, too. Here's Sophia, pointing out which one of the three Tricksters her brother received.


As with most boxed toys, this one came with plenty of packaging, but the boy wouldn't give up. He wanted to get it all out by himself, thank you very much.


Finally we got the little bugger out of the box! Here it is on one side...


...but check it out: when you turn it over, it looks like a completely different car!


See? Two sides! Cool, huh?  That's because each of the three Tricksters performs a signature trick: The one we received does the "Buzzsaw Spin," while the two others can do a "Rampage Flip" or a "Zig-Zag Jolt"! However, apparently they can all be done with enough practice, by each vehicle. We haven't gotten that far yet!


The boy-child had tons of fun that night doing stunts and, well, tricks with his new Trickster. The girls had their turns, too, but hmm, they seemed a little few and far between Jack's turns with the toy. I think maybe he'll get the other two for Christmas... if he's on Santa's "good" list, that is! ;)

Here are a few factoids for ya:

* Retails for about $25

* Requires (5) AA batteries (not included) for the controller

* Needs 20-30 min charge for 15-30 min of running time

* Use inside, only; not intended for outdoor use

* Available at Wal-mart, Target, Toys 'R Us, and Kmart (in the R/C aisle)

* Meant for ages 6 years +

So go! If you've got a youngster in the middle ages (wait, that didn't sound right, did it?) who LOVES cars (my kid lives for anything with wheels), try out a Tonka XT Ricochet Trickster R/C for him (or her!) - Jack gives it two big thumbs up!


Bzz,Bzz: Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin

Disclosure: I am a BzzAgent, which means I was provided with samples of this product to try and review, along with coupons to pass out to my friends, in a word-of-mouth publicity campaign. No monetary compensation was received for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


I've been lucky to get several great BzzCampaigns lately, and I was excited when I landed this one for Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Care products.(And psst, there's a link to a $2-off coupon at the site, there, if you want to print it off and go give this a try yourselves!)

When my BzzKit arrived - they sure do like to use lots of BzzWords, don't they? - I had gotten two full size Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin products: the Facial Cleanser, and the Daily Moisturizer, as well as samples and coupons to pass out to my friends.

Since I am a hardcore Jafra skincare consultant, just getting back into the sales game, my plan was to do a face-to-face (heh, heh, I'm cute, eh?) comparison of the two sensitive skin product lines and provide an honest review of which worked and felt better for me.

However, by the time I got my BzzKit, I just couldn't bring myself to use anything but Jafra on my face. I kept one of the sample size moisturizers for myself to try later, but I held off on using the full-size products. As for the samples and coupons, I distributed them in the usual fashion: by laying them out on the sample table in our mom's room at the homeschooling co-op we attend weekly and giving my samplers instructions to report back to me with any feedback.

By the end of the day, all the samples and coupons were gone, but I didn't get any feedback except from MM, who was absolutely raving about the product. She had used the sample moisturizer on her dry, cracked hands, which she said were painfully dry, and the Burt's Bees moisturizer felt so wonderful, she was going to rush out and buy some immediately!


The next week, I decided to bring the full-size products to MM and ask her to be my full-size product tester, for the first time in my BzzAgent history, since she liked it so much and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Not that it's not an excellent product - I'm sure it is - but Jafra is the one for me. She was excited and readily accepted the 'challenge' - use it for a week or two and then report back with her results.

The following week, I asked MM if she had been using the Burt's Bees on her face, and she raved about how wonderful it was, once again. She said it cleared up all the issues she had been having with her face - I had never noticed any, but she said, "Girl, make-up will do wonders!" - and let her skin feeling soft and clean. In a word, she was hooked.

So, if you feel like giving it a try, head on over here to get yourself a coupon or see what else Burt's Bees carries that might appeal to you. And don't cry, Burt - I still use your lip balm all. the. time!


Bzz, Bzz: Green Mountain Coffee

Disclosure: I am a BzzAgent, which means I was provided with samples of this product to try and review, along with coupons to pass out to my friends, in a word-of-mouth publicity campaign. No monetary compensation was received for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Recently, I was accepted into the Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified BzzCampaign, and for that, we received two pounds of coffee: one Pumpkin Spice, and one Organic House Blend, Medium Roast.


Rob was really excited to try the Pumpkin Spice. Pretty much, if it's pumpkin, he's a fan - and he was not disappointed. He liked the taste and the smell of this coffee, while I... well, not too much. It just wasn't the right flavor for me.


On the other hand, I really liked the House Blend, which made a rich, satisfyingly flavorful cup of coffee, tasty even before I doctored it up with cream and fake sugar in my usual fashion.

A few factoids for ya:


Fair Trade Certified™ coffee is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. specialty coffee market.

Green Mountain Coffee:

*has the largest selection of Fair Trade Certified™ coffees in the U.S.

*is a division of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., the largest roaster of Fair Trade Certified™ Coffee in the world - purchasing over 106,000,000 pounds of Fair Trade coffee in the past 10 years.

*has been supporting Fair Trade for over a decade, working with Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit third party that certifies and promotes Fair Trade products.

*is the leading brand in K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® brewers and is also available in ground and whole bean bags (both packages we received were for ground coffee).

*is available nationally in most grocery stores, online at, and in convenience stores, workplaces, college campuses, and restaurants across the country.

In case you needed even more reasons to love this brand, how about this:

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.:

*offsets 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions.

*invests in sustainably grown coffee.

*allocates 5% of its pre-tax profit to socially and environmentally responsible intiatives.

In sum, there are so many of varieties of Green Mountain Coffee® available, so give it a try. It tastes great, is socially responsible, and environmentally ethical. What's not to love?


Product Review: Fleischmann's Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix

(Be aware I've had lots of sampling opportunities lately, so I'm catching up on my posts about them.) ;)

Recently, MomSelect and Fleischmann's chose me and my "Mom Group" (aka my large homeschooling co-op) to receive a lovely sampling kit containing two boxes each of four different flavors of Fleischmann's new Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix. These include:


Country White (delicious),

309042_205761106158940_198765700191814_495839_507768805_nStoneground Wheat (yummy!),


Italian Herb (not my favorite but still pretty good), and



Multi-Grain (my favorite!!).

So since we had a costume party at the co-op last Wednesday, wherein we were all supposed to bring healthy, delicious snacks to share with everyone, I decided to bake up all eight mixes and bring them to co-op. It took me less than two hours to make all that bread, starting with opening the first box and ending with taking the last two loaves out of the oven.

This bread mix could not have been simpler to use: the dough mix, a yeast packet, and a small package of sugar for feeding the yeast were included in each box. I simply had to mix the sugar and yeast with a cup of warm water and let it sit for two minutes. After that, I added the dough mix and stirred it up. No kneading was required! I just let it sit in a warm place for about 25 minutes and then baked it for another 25 minutes, two loaves at a time. Voilà!

The comments I received were identical to my own feelings about the bread: Utterly delicious, and incredulousness about how good such simple-to-make bread could be! The breads were a BIG hit in my own family and in my entire co-op. Huge TWO THUMBS UP from us!

(Note that I am a ding-dong and forgot to photograph the finished products. DUH!)

Questions were asked about the bread, such as price and availability. I'm not sure where it is and is not carried yet, nor for how much, but if you go to Fleischmann's Facebook page, you can get a 50¢-off coupon for submitting a picture of your bread. Maybe there's a way to get more coupons, but I'm not so sure.

Oh, I almost forgot: I also received a dozen or so high-quality oven mitts with the Fleischmann's logo to pass out to my co-op friends, as well as a logoed apron for me to keep. I wore it all day, over my costume! Hee.

In sum, look for this product in your store. It's great.


Make Your Vote Count!


If you're a gum chewer or have a sweet tooth, you're probably already familiar with Extra Dessert Delights. Inspired by real desserts, the indulgent flavors offer an irresistible treat for only 5 calories. The mouth-watering Dessert Delights lineup includes Orange Crème Pop, Apple Pie, Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry Shortcake and Key Lime Pie. There's a new sweet flavor on the way and that's where you come in! Let's meet the candidates.


Gum chewers everywhere will be able to choose among Bananas Foster, Root Beer Float and Lemon Square flavors. The Lemon Square flavor was inspired by the winning dessert of October 27th's Quickfire Challenge in the Bravo series "Top Chef Just Desserts." Until November 12, 2011, fans can vote for their favorite Extra Dessert Delights flavor as often as inspired on and on their mobile phones via The winner of the Fan Flavorite Vote will be announced on November 16, 2011. Good luck!

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win an Extra® Dessert Delights® gum prize package in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place.


Product Review: Kashi Cereal, Cereal Bars, & Granola Bars

Moms Meet logo

As a Mom Ambassador for Moms Meet, I had a recent opportunity to sample three Kashi products for review:

Cereal bars

The first product up for my review was a box of Kashi TLC Ripe Strawberry Soft-Baked Cereal Bars. We received one six-pack of bars, and I think I ate all but one of them myself. This is saying a lot for Kashi, because one year on college, I about overdosed on cereal bars (they were new back then, and I really liked them!), to the point where it made me ill just to think about them anymore. So, I was tentative about trying these, but they were SO good! I mean, delicious. I loved them and would definitely buy them. And my favorite part about them, as the box promotes (not the one above but my updated packaging), Kashi is celebrating "25 years of NO High Fructose Corn Syrup"! Woo! Go Kashi!

The bars also come in Cherry Vanilla and Blackberry Graham, and are made with juicy, sun-ripened strawberries and wildflower honey for a touch of natural sweetness. Also, of course, they are made with Kashi's unique combination of 7 whole grains, for which they are known. Three grams of fiber in every bar - that doesn't hurt, either!

Cinnamon harvest

The second product in my package was a single box (darn!) of Kashi's Cinnamon Harvest cereal. This is certified USDA Organic whole wheat biscuits baked with sweet cinnamon. I can't eat a bowl of cereal with milk since my gastric bypass surgery, but I did try a few pieces before giving the box over to my three children, so I could give my own opinions as well as theirs. First, I'll give theirs: "YUM!" They all liked it, and it was gone in one day. This says a lot, compared to some of the "healthy and nutritious" cereals Mommy brings home. As for me, I figured they'd be bland without milk, but they were full of flavor and not too dry to eat, at all. Another two thumbs up from us!


Finally, we received bunches and bunches of Kashi's TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars, which are new. For these, I was supposed to share them with my "Mom Group," also known as my large homeschooling co-op, so I brought them in and made sure everyone got one and gave me their thoughts.

The reviews on these were all over the board:

Some, like me, didn't like anything about them. The taste and texture were all wrong for us. Don't get me started on the chocolate. My feeling was, "That's chocolate?! No. No, it can't be." It just didn't even taste like chocolate to me. Others felt similarly.

Some were iffy. They said the bars were "okay," and they might buy them if they could get them on special. One mom of 7 kids really liked them, as did her entire brood, but she would have to get them at a great bargain in order to buy.

I would say about half of the group, the remainder, though, really liked them and provided positive feedback. They liked the chocolate, although some said too many nuts and some said not enough, and they liked the texture. One mom told me that Kashi "hit it out of the park," and she was "definitely going to buy some."

So, there you go. My own family were in the iffy/okay group, except for me. I give them a thumbs down. 

Too bad I didn't get bunches of the cereal bars to give out, so I could end this on a more positive note! ;)

I'd like to thank Kashi and Moms Meet for providing me with this wonderful sampling opportunity. It was delicious fun!


Sunday Stealing: The WTF Meme


Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. One of my favorite TV shows recently changed the actors who played two characters. Have you ever been bothered by a TV show or movie series changing actors who play a character you love?

Yes, way back as a kid when I used to watch soaps, and also the mom ("Vivian") from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, lol... That's all I can think of. I don't like it, though!

2. A coworker recently shared a link to a blog listing the "five things you should know before dating a journalist." As a journalist, I can honestly say the writer was spot-on. What are some things people should know before spending time with you?

A. I'm bi-polar. B. I'm extremely emotional and sensitive, which don't necessarily have anything to do with A. C. I've suffered some serious losses in my life, and they still cause me pain. D. I'm fun and I'm smart, and while I love intellectual humor, I enjoy the potty humor, too. E. I say, "I'm sorry" way too much; get used to it because telling me to stop won't work.

3. What is something you often do without realizing that you're doing it?

Pick at things. Not necessarily on my own person, either. Drives Hubs crazy. He calls me a mama gorilla.

4. Who has the capacity to make you angrier than anyone else in your life, and what in particular does he or she do to make you so angry?

Me, myself and I, and it's almost always caused by a failure to properly plan ahead, whatever the trouble is.

5. If a fairy waved a magic wand and gave you the house of your dreams, where would it be and what features would it have?

It would be somewhere in the South Pacific, I think, and it would be enormous but only ONE level, with a humongous, fenced-in yard. There would be a bedroom for each of the kids, plus a huge master suite, and a guest room (or two). There would be a craft room/office space for me, and a garage and workroom for Hubs. The kitchen would be gigantic, with all state-of-the-art appliances and at least two ovens. And it would come with a full-time maid.

6. What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?

 I don't just believe - I know - that evolution is a fact.

7. I used to talk in my sleep. In fact, I could carry on a conversation with someone when I was fully asleep, and my mom used this fact when I was a teenager to find out if I did anything wrong and was hiding it from my parents. If you were talking your sleep tonight, what do you think you would say?

Ha. Hubby knows all my secrets, so I don't think I could get into too much trouble... Now if my dad was doing the questioning about some things from my teenaged years, I could spill a few surprises!

8. The fourth installment of the "Twilight" movie series ("Breaking Dawn Part I") will be released in theaters soon. Movie theaters started selling advance tickets for midnight showings months ago. Have you ever attended a midnight premiere showing of a movie?

I did back in college, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was!

9. On Tuesday, tigers, lions and bears were let loose in Zanesville, Ohio, by their owner before he committed suicide, leading to a hunt in which 49 of the animals, including 18 endangered Bengal tigers, were killed. How would you react if you saw "Caution exotic animals. Stay in your vehicle" being displayed on a road sign?

I'm nuts, so I'd probably go looking for them. Definitely NOT to kill them, though. That whole thing sucks. :(

10. If a company opened a theme park aimed at adults, what would you name one of the rides?

Oh my word, I have a dirty mind. You shouldn't ask me this question!! I'm just going to leave it at that.

11. Imagine you just moved onto Sesame Street. Which puppet would you want as your new roommate?

Maybe Big Bird. Or Snuffy. But definitely NOT Elmo. Ugh. (I think Oscar the Grouch is my roommate now, and not because of the grouchy aspect...)

12. Have you ever had a weird crush on a famous person that didn't make sense to you?

Hm, no? Can't say that I have.

13. If you get ten minutes to interview any celebrity of your choice, who would you like it to be?

Clapton, Eric! I would give a lot of things for 10 minutes with him!

14. You've just won the complete DVD collection of all the movies starring one actor or actress. Which actor/actress would you pick?

Either Parker Posey or Zooey Deschanel.They're cute, funny and quirky, and I like their work.

15. Actor George Clooney recently told People Magazine that he doesn't use Twitter "because I will drink in the evening and I don't want anything that I could possibly write at midnight to actually end my career." What is something you've said through social media and then regretted it?

Plenty!! I don't do well with message boards. LOL  I tend to open my fat trap and then instantly wish I could take it back. George is smart.

16. VH1 has re-introduced its hit show "Pop-Up Video," which gives behind-the-scenes facts for popular music videos. What musician would you be most interested in learning behind-the-scenes facts about?

Eh, I really don't care. It's interesting, and I liked that show back in the day, but I can't think of anyone I want all the skinny on.

17. If you stumbled across someone's personal written journal that was accidentally left in a public place, would you read any of the content?

Of course, duh.

18. What is the title of a self-help book that you'd never want to see on a store bookshelf?

How to Commit Suicide Easily and Painlessly... because I'd probably buy it.

19. Many media outlets have been asking this question a lot this week... Which Halloween costume do you think will be overdone this year?

I don't know. Since we don't watch TV, I have no idea what's going on in pop culture these days.

20. Should a marriage license have a renewal date or expiration date, like a driver’s license?

Hell no!! That should be for keeps. Unless it's my dad's, then yeah, totally.



Harris Teeter Deals & Steals

Hey, y'all. I haven't done a "deals" post in a while because, what with homeschooling, teaching 3 cooking classes at our co-op, Girl Scouts (holy timesuck - but I love it! ;)), all the extra-curriculars, and the mundane details of running a family of nine (what, I can't count our four fur-babies?), I just haven't had the time to do much with it. But I'm determined to jump back in, because the cupboard's been a little bare lately, and these people insist on eating every. single. day!

Anywho, onto the deals I snagged an hour or so ago (yes, at 0430) after just a bit of couponing legwork at home:


The breakdown:

  • (3) bottles Motts for Tots Apple Juice, 64 oz: reg $3.29, on sale $2.69, minus (2) doubled 50¢ MQs and (1) $1 MQ
  • (4) different pkgs WhoNu? Cookies: reg $3.49, on sale $2.50, minus (4) $1 MQs
  • (4) cans Campbell's Chunky soup: reg $2.49, on sale $1.50, minus (2) doubled 50¢/2 MQs
  • (2) cartons Pacific Organic soups: reg $3.29, on sale $2, minus (2) $1 MQs
  • (2) 4-packs Yoplait yogurts w/ granola: reg $2.99, on sale $2, minus (2) doubled 75¢ MQs
  • (4) boxes Jones natural sausages: reg $2.99, on sale $2, minus (2) $1/2 MQs
  • (4) pkgs Buddig lunch meats: reg $1.65, on sale $1, minus (2) doubled 55¢/2 MQs
  • (2) tubs Solid Smoked Whitefish (for Rob): reg $4.99, on sale $4.49, minus (2) $3 SQs
  • (2) jars Polaner All-Fruit (strawberry & blackberry) Preserves: reg. $2.50, on sale $2, minus (2) $1 MQs
  • (1) box Aunt Jemima Confetti Pancakes: reg $2.89, on sale $1.44, minus $1 MQ
  • (2) 7-oz pkgs Wholly Guacamole: reg $2.79, on sale $2.50, minus (1) $1.50 MQ & (1) $1 MQ
  • (1) 2-pack Stuffed Salmon Pinwheels: reg $10.55, discounted by mgr. to $4.22
  • (3) loaves small French bread: reg $1.69, minus (3) $1 SQs
  • (1) carton HT 6-pk biscuits: reg $2.99, minus $2 SQ
  • (2) bags Kruncher potato chips: reg $3.79, on sale BOGO, minus (2) doubled 75¢ MQs
  • (1) pouch Lindt hazelnut truffles: reg. $4.99, on sale $3.99, no Q (splurge!)

Total before sales & Qs: $143.76

Total OOP: $48.34

Happy savings!


Sunday Stealing: The Questions Galore Meme, Part The Third


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

41. What is a quote that you love?

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that is my religion.
-Abraham Lincoln

42. Do you think of pure hate as something humanity created?

Yes, definitely. Or inhumanity, as it were.

43. When was the last time you wanted to scream?

About five minutes ago. I'm sick and my kids are driving me nuts. I sent them out on a ten-minute errand with their father so I could have ten minutes of silence. Ahhhhh... Hear that? Nope. Me neither.

44. Do you ever at times see the world in black and white?

Sure, if it's warranted. But my world is pretty colorful most of the time.

45. Have you ever thought that cell phones are too obtrusive?

Yeah. Then I got one.

46. In your life, where do you think the rainbow will end?

My pot of gold was found the day I met my husband.

47. What is something that you never want to do again?

Smell mustard. See TBFH, aka my ex-stepmother.

48.When was the first time you realized the world was small?

When I went to Miami for college and some people down the hall recognized my accent as Central NY because that's where they were from, too.

49. How do you spend your time contemplating life’s mysteries?

I do my best thinking in the shower, and in my dreams. And, when I forget not to, when I'm driving long distances.

50. Ever discuss your political beliefs with people?

Honestly, I try not to. I hate arguing over that stuff. Hate it.

51. Do you care about the environment?

Yes, deeply, and it makes me sick that other people don't. Like, literally, physically ill. RECYCLE at the very least, dammit!!!!!!!!

52. What’s your motto for life?

It used to be, "If you want something done right the first time, you've got to do it yourself." Now, I still believe that, but it's currently, "Anything's okay, as long as it's funny."

53. Is progress destroying the beauty of the world?

Pretty much, yeah. But there is beauty in much of that progress, too, so it's a fine line. The problem is overpopulation, more than progress.

54. Do you believe there is life somewhere else in the universe?

I believe it's possible.

55. Would you like to rule a country?

You couldn't pay me enough.

56. Do you believe everything has a purpose?

No. Sometimes, things just happen, and you either accept it or end up bitter. After my son died, 90% of people said, "Everything happens for a reason." I wanted to kill every single one of them.

57. Is war ever for the best?

I'm not for it. Call me Ghandi.

58. Could you kill anyone in defense of self or loved ones?

I would do ANYTHING for the people I love.

59. How do you react to people (Such as Governor Rick Perry) who don't believe global warming is really our fault?

I think they're idiots, of course. Because they are.

60. Does love conquer all?


61. Is euthanasia morally acceptable?

I think it should be legal.

62. Is world peace impossible?


63. Is pride a good or a bad thing?

A little bit goes a long way.

64.What do you think is the purpose of your life?

Make good people out of these little monsters I created. ;)

65. Do you believe in karma?

I believe that people will reap what they have sown... eventually.


Once Upon A Time...

... there was a Mommy, and a Daddy, and they had a wee boy-child, and two girl-children, and those children were all in Scouts (Cub and Girl, respectively). And the Mommy was the Leader of the younger girl's troop, which was fun, except for the part where it took over every spare waking moment of her life, and some of the sleeping ones, and some of the not-spare moments. And the Mommy missed it when Summer came, but then when Summer left, the Mommy wished it would hurry right back, because between homeschooling those three youngsters and Scouts and chasing after four cats - two of whom were little kittens who didn't always feel the need to use the proper pottying place - and Gymnastics and running her own business(es) and occasionally wanting to play with her nice, (not-so-)little yarn stash, and doing the mundane things that keep a house running, and cuddling with the Daddy, and... and... and...., she felt like she never slept again. 

And then, one day, she learned to say "no."

"No, I can't do that today. I already have too much to do."

"No, I can't take that on, too. I already have plans."

"No, I really don't want to do that."

"No, I'm not interested."

"No. Just no."

And then, like a miracle had happened, it seemed like there were blank spots on her calendar where things weren't over-scheduled, and the Mommy and her three children had time to go to places like the park and the library again, and the Daddy didn't always have to cook the dinners because the Mommy had time to plan and cook them, and she had time to sleep again. And sometimes, read a page in a magazine or two, even.

And this blogger, who writes this blahg, wished she were that nay-saying Mommy, because she simply can't seem to put those two letters together unless she sings the alphabet, and is really much too tired to figure out what the proper tenses in this sentence should be. And she couldn't care less right now, because this is one of those nights where she doesn't get to sleep, and the kittens have soiled the floor for the eleventeenth time this week, and she has an upset stomach and a runny nose, and she has to bring her family to the beach in 3½ hours, and the only thing that matters is whether she should put on a pot of coffee or go run out for some more Diet Coke.

The End.

{Phew. That got to be quite tedious, didn't it? I'm glad it's over.}

Saturday 9: The Last DJ


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

1. Who was your favorite DJ and what radio station did you listen to as a kid?
I listened to pop music then, and I still do now. 93Q was the station of the day when I was a kid. I can't remember any of the DJs' names, though. I do remember that Wayne Mahar was my favorite TV meteorologist, though. Does that count? I'm now friends with him on Facebook.
2. What has been the weirdest thing you have worn in public?
Probably my Mrs. Incredibles costume at Walt Disney World for Halloween '06, when I weighed in the mid-200 lb region. I looked awesomely funny, I'm sure. Nothing like the real Mrs I.
3. What was the best part of last weekend?
Uh, what did I do last weekend? My phone is syncing, so I can't look at the calendar. Oh yeah, we went to DC, and Maryland. I'd tell you what was super-fun, but it was part of a mystery shop, and I'm not allowed. The only thing that sucked was one of my shops got rejected, and hello, I am NOT used to that. Ugh.
4. What was the most effective punishment for you as a kid?
I had an abusive childhood. I didn't have "normal" punishments. I'm afraid I don't know. Although when my mother was alive, I remember she spanked us one time, and that was pretty devastating for me. Mostly, she would stand us in the corner, and the other sister, who wasn't in the corner, would come and poke fun at the one that was. (Mostly it was me in the corner and Stacey coming to tease me.)
5. Would you lie to your significant other to not hurt their feelings?
6. We're taking your order for breakfast. What would you like?
Diet Coke. Maybe a hard-boiled egg. Thanks, I'm good. (What would I like but can't actually eat? How about some pancakes, or a huge NY-city bagel with Philly cream cheese? Sounds good, thanks.)
7. Do you celebrate Halloween? If yes, do tell. If no, why not?
Sure we do. I don't see why not. It doesn't make a person evil. My favorite part is handing out the candy. We supposedly take turns, hubby going 'round the neighborhood with the Littles and me handing out the treats, and then switch the following year, but I always try to persuade him that it's my turn to hand out candy. I just love it, what can I say?
8. Do you hand out candy to the neighborhood kids?
Oh, snap, I done ruint my answer to this question.
9. What's the favorite age you've been, so far?
Right now. I'm happy I lived through 33, though. Years birth-thru-7½ were good, too.

Happy weekend!

Friday Fragments


Link up here if you're fragmentin' along with Mrs.4444 today!

I've taken no fewer than three naps today. I've either turned into a cat, or I'm sick. Guess which. (I don't have whiskers, if that helps.)

Last night, I went out with one of my girlfriends for a mystery shop at a bar. I told Hubs I'd be be back in an hour and a half to help clean the house. Well, I strolled in 3½ hours later and felt fine about it, since I'd had more and harder laughs in that time than I'd had in ages. Love my Jenny From the Block! When I brought her home, we sat in her drive for at least another hour, "saying goodbye." I love having good friends like that, and the fact that she lives close by doesn't hurt, either.

Just before that, our sister troop's leader and I ran our annual Girl Scout Rededication ceremony with both her Junior and my Daisy troop, plus one Investiture for my new little Daisy. It was lots of fun, and my Daisies did GREAT remembering (and reciting, by themselves) the short Promise, and the Law, which is rather long. I handed out tissue packs for all the moms, because sometimes you cry at these things, and patches that the girls have earned in the last few months. This time, I made them into little books. Now, I have to get sewing and ironing, to get my girls' vests up to date!

Co-op is going FABULOUS on Wednesdays. If you're new here, or just forgetful, we're in our second year of homeschooling, and we go to a co-op for Christian Military Homeschoolers on Weds. I teach three cooking classes, and sometime, I'll get around to posting what we're actually up to in there, but I've gotten nothing but great feedback from my students and parents. One girl, M, comes into class saying, "Hello, favorite teacher!" which, you know, gives me a bit of an ego boost. My kids love it, too. Chloë frequently exclaims, "I wish Co-op was every day; it's so fun!"

When my son died, my MIL gave me a necklace representing each of my then-three children, with Robby as an angel. Then Sophia was born, and she took it back to have a new dangly child added. Well, a few months ago, I took off the necklace for one night, to wear something else (I almost always wore this one), and it disappeared. Earlier, my husband told me to turn around and close my eyes. As soon as I felt him reach around my neck, I knew what it was. "YOU FOUND IT!" I squealed. He's my new favorite husband. ♥

I have to get up way early tomorrow morning for three different back-to-back Girl Scout-related events. Seriously? From September thru June, it practically takes over my life. Oy. Is it wrong to be looking forward to Summer for that reason...?

That's all I've got for now. I'd probably tell you a hundred other things, but I have Sick Brain and CRS.  Have a great weekend!


Aloha Friday


Link up here to play along with Kailani if you've got a question today!

My question for this week is:

What are you allergic to?

I'm allergic to Percocet & Anceph, an anti-biotic they use in surgeries. In 1998, I was allergic to every other thing that I touched, but that ended after we went to Europe. It was way odd. Anyway, that's it. My son is allergic to morphine, and as far as I know, the daughter-children don't have any allergies. I feel bad for those of you with serious allergies! :(

Have a great weekend.


Sunday Stealing: The Questions Galore Meme, Part The Second


Linky linky, don't be stinky! (Whatever. I like rhymes. Busta, too.)

21. What was the last song you listened to that wasn’t sung in English?

"Si No Le Contesto" by Plan B

22. One of our SS players generally leaves a critical comment on our memes. Which is fine. All's fair. Do you let meme authors know when you hate their memes?

In my own post, yeah. Not on their page. Why, who does that? And why do they keep playing if they don't like it? Dumb.

23. What TV show would you like to be on?

The Apprentice!

24. What was the last video game you played?

Eh. Gosh. I don't play a lot. Wii Fit, I guess, but even that's been eons.

25. Have you ever been in a musical? If yes, do tell.

Yes, in high school. Well, and in 5th grade, I played the part of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. I totally stole the show, too, between the costume my stepmother made (one of her few good qualities was she was an excellent seamstress) and my song and dance. I developed stage fright after that, and I never soloed in public again. I haven't even done karaoke.

26. Do you follow your own style or everyone else’s?

I dress how I want. I don't know that I have a style, but I definitely don't have anyone else's.

27. What’s the last store you bought from?

The "Rock Shop" in Hard Rock Café, D.C. I got a shot glass for my collection, and a magnetic can opener thingy for Rob's. It's shaped like a guitar pick, which he likes.

28. In retrospect, have you ever let a person use you a lot?

Yes. I've been known to play the doormat quite well, thanks.

29. What are you doing two days from now?

Probably shopping for the groceries I'll need for my co-op cooking classes. I tend to go in the mid of night.

30. Did you ever believe there were monsters in your closet?

I can't remember. I had real-life monsters to worry about.

31. When you graduated high school, did you let random people sign your yearbook or just close friends?


32. Would you consider adopting a child that had a mental illness?

Definitely. I have thought about it, actually. I would do that.

33. Does thinking about death scare you?

No. I think about it a lot. It doesn't bother me. I welcome it. When it happens, I'll be ready. Unless I'm being brutally murdered. I have a low tolerance for pain. But never mind that.

34. If you died, do you believe that you go to Heaven or Hell and where would your spirit go?

Really? Again with these kinds of questions, in a meme? I believe I would go to Heaven, and that would be my spirit. My body will be fed to the sharks, I hope.

35. Who did you last write a snail mail letter to and why?

Um um um... well, I write postcards to my friend Erin all the time. She collects them, so wherever I go, I try to get one or six.

36. Do you care what people say or think about you?

Yeah, but less so, the older I get. I always will somewhat, though. I mean, who doesn't, at least a little?

37. Have you ever been threatened?

Heck yeah, and then some.

38. Which side of your family do you get most of your qualities from?

I have my dad's facial appearance, my mom's (and her mom's) body, and probably most of my personality from my mom. The fun stuff, that's all her. And I'm pretty fun, I think, so thanks, Mom!

39. What was the last thing with alcohol that you drank?

I had a Cuba Libre with Diet Coke today. I don't normally like rum & Coke, but I think b/c it was Diet and not to sweet for me, it was all right.

40. Have you ever kept a relationship a secret?

Oh, heck yeah. Numerous ones. If you read my Saturday 9 meme before this one, go back to #5. I hid a lot of those from my extremely racist (but mellowing with age) father, back in my college and grad school days.

Guess that's it. Have a great week!


Saturday 9: Mrs. Potter's Lullaby


So, I'm late. I still want to play. Link is here if you're late, too.

1. Adam Duritz (writer and lead singer of Counting Crows) mentions previous girlfriends in songs. In Mrs. Potter's Lullaby he sings “There a little piece of Maria in every song I sing”. Is there a piece of an ex that will always be a part of you?

Well, of course. It's those kinds of experiences that shape us, right?

2. Who was your very first significant friend?

"Significant friend"?? I literally just snorted out loud. What is this, Nancy Drew? Anyway... that would be Mike Pickard. We 'went out' for about 24 hours before I dumped him. Then again for a few months, several years later.

3. What are four (4) things you hope to do this weekend?

The weekend's already over, so I'll list four things I did do: Drove to DC and did a dinner mystery shop at a cool Portuguese chicken place. Drove to Maryland that night and did a mystery shop at a hotel with super comfy beds. Woke up and drove back to DC for a bar and lunch mystery shop. Drove down the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia for a fourth mystery shop. Home, sweet home!

4. What do you consider to be the main purpose of your blog?

Annoying people with my super inane drivel. It must be working, because I have like 13 followers. LOL

5. Tell us something that you've never before written about in your blog because it's too personal.

Hello, you want me to reveal myself just like that? In a meme? Hm. There's not much I haven't told. Okay, I don't know if I have written this before, but maybe I have? I have a major 'thing' for black men. Sexy black men, though. They have to be fine. And intelligent. And doing something purposeful with their lives. And make me laugh. Don't know what it is, but I'm most attracted to men of the darker-skinned persuasion.

6. If you could choose your doctor, do you prefer someone of the same or opposite sex?

I really don't care, honestly. I used to only want women, but once you have kids, all modesty goes out the window, so it doesn't matter anymore.

7. If you could dream about anything tonight, what would the subject matter be?

Uh, something to do with #5, maybe? Heh heh. Sorry, Hubs. It's just a dream, after all...

8. How do you react to practical jokes when they're played on you?

I've been the victim of very few. Probably like most people: mad at first, until I get what's going on, and then I'd laugh my fool head off.

9. What's on your agenda after this weekend for the upcoming week?

Oh, golly. I'll try and be brief: Dentist appointments for all three kids and myself; Outdoor II (Camping) training for Girl Scouts (part one, anyway); co-op, of course, on Wednesday, where I teach 3 cooking classes; erm, ah, my phone is syncing, so I can't look at my calendar and remember the rest. I think I'm taking Older Daughter to the Ped Endocrinologist, too. She and my son don't grow. Oh, and we're having a Girl Scout meeting, with our Rededication (and one Investiture!) for our girls on Thursday. That, and homeschooling, pretty much fills the week. I know I've probably left out half a dozen things, but y'all stopped caring three answers ago, I'm guessing.

Have a super week!


Friday Fragments


Link up here if you're fragmenting with Mrs. 4444 today!

So if you've been following my saga here, on Facebook, in real life, or via ESP, you know I've been dealing with the fear that the cervical cancer that led to my complete hysterectomy in 2008 (save one ovary) had returned. Well, I finally got in to see my GYN/oncologist yesterday, and the news was very good: there's no "Big C" in there, my "cuff" (what's left after they remove your lady bits) is well-healed, and I have a completely healthy, normal, uh, vah-jay-jay. So, yay! I'm celebrating today. How, you ask? By being happy. Smiling. Being content. And I'm going to practice what I preach to my children, by being "nice, kind, sweet and loving," to them and everyone else I may meet today. And hopefully, every day.

One last woot: Woot!

Tomorrow, I'm finally taking the Instructor's Course for the American Red Cross CPR/First Aid certification, so I can teach it to other Girl Scout volunteers and, if I want, whomever else may be interest. I've already gotten interest from the parents and teens in my homeschooling co-op, so maybe someday soon I'll be up in FRONT of the class demonstrating lifesaving techniques to my friends, instead of being the nervous fake-lifesaver on the floor, scared my dummy is going to expire before I can save it. Hee. Anyway, I'm excited. I just feel like this is one more step in the "growing" course I set myself on last year, to step out of my comfort zone and be more in charge of my life, instead of taking the back seat and letting others drive me around. If that makes any sense to you and not just me, good. It's early, yet.

The one thing I'm a little nervous about is, I have to give a brief presentation on the topic of my choice to my fellow classmates, and the only thing that's coming to me to talk about is what I know well: Loss. Grief. Bereavement. So... I'm not sure that will be the most fun topic for them to hear about, but I think I'm gonna stick with it.

After the course is over, the busyness continues. My family and I are headed for a full-on mystery shopping weekend in DC, complete with dinner at a fun restaurant, a hotel stay in Rockville, Maryland, breakfast at the hotel, lunch in the District at a well-known, huge restaurant, and then home again to run around doing about a half-dozen fast food mystery shops for dinner. I've been cutting way back on the mystery shopping now that school, co-op, and Scouting are back in full swing, but this will be fun. I like to travel, and I need to do it frequently or I get depressed and feel like I'm stagnating. Plus, I love DC. I just wish we had more time to go around and "do," y'know?

Oh! Sophia's saga continues as well. She's my 6yo daughter, who has struggled with breathing issues over the past year or so. She has had daytime issues as well as, we discovered through a sleep study ordered by the pulmonologist at Children's, central sleep apnea. After a recent MRI, we went back to the neurologist yesterday to discover that there are absolutely no anatomical abnormalities within her brain, which is great news. And her labs were all perfect. So, we don't have a concreet reason why she has the apnea, but it's minor enough that I don't have to fret and watch her sleep every night. We just have to watch and see. It's still a little nerve-wracking, but the Neuro. assured me that I can relax and not worry, and I believe her. Now, we go back to Pulm. with these results and see what they want to do next.

This afternoon, we have a field trip to the pumpkin patch with members of our homeschooling co-op, and I can't wait. Hayrides are one of my favorite things ever. I could go on one every single day. I don't know what it is about sitting on a bale of scratchy hay, being pulled around by a tractor going 3 mph, but I love it. The kids do, as well, but they're more excited about the petting zoo and pumpkin picking process (say that 5x fast) to follow. Can't wait!

My JAFRA business continues to grow and go well, although now everyone is getting busy, so I'm trying to find new and creative ways to meet people and get them to sit down with me. We went to the mall the other day, and I handed out candy bags with my card and an offer for a free pampering session in them. So far, no response from that, but if I can just get one, just one, then it will be worth it. Meanwhile, I'll be doing a few holiday craft shows/bazaars with my product front and center, so hopefully that will be a great way to get the JAFRA name out there and some clients for me!

Well, I guess I'm out of fragments for the time being, so here's to hoping a great weekend is ahead for all of you! Cheers!


Aloha Friday


Link up here if you're playing along with Kailani at An Island Life this week!

My question for you this week is:

What's the happiest, best news or thing that's happened to you in the past week?

For me, it was going back to my old oncologist yesterday and finding out that I am CANCER-FREE after having a recurrence scare for the past three weeks. WOOHOO!!!!!  I am so thankful, so grateful, so relieved, so thrilled!!!

Have a great weekend!


Rob's Before & Afters


This is Rob on the same night, before and after his shower and application of facial products from Jafra. I neglected to do the pictures on Night One, which would have shown you the changes so dramatic that I spent about a half-hour raving over his vastly different countenance, so this is actually Night Three. I think you can still see the changes. For one, the Skin Brightener seems to have really done its job, as his face truly looks... well, brighter. Now, these photos are completely unretouched, with not even the slightest editing done on them. Yes, he's unshaven before and has shaved in the 'after' photo, but I don't think the stubble hides anything. We have work to do still, but after three nights, compared to him truly looking his age (39) in my humble opinion, I think to myself, "Not bad, not bad..."


He blinked in nearly every single "smiling" picture I took, so I tried to get him at the same level of blinky-squinty for both the before-and-after picture in that expression. Can you see how different the crow's feet look afterward? Not so deep, not so pronounced. Same, but to a lesser degree, with the smile lines and forehead creases. I think again, in both sets of pictures, the Skin Brightener really shows a difference in Rob's face.

If you're interested in a list of products used on Rob, let me know, but we used a number of our Specialty Skin Care products in addition to the Men's Skin Care Set. Once I try the PRO line on him, I'm hoping the transformation will really WOW you!

(Since I've been back to using more JAFRA products than usual, I've noticed wonderful changes in my own face, but they are less easy to tell through photography, so I'm relying on Rob to show the changes.)

Seriously, I'm so impressed by how different he looks before and after using the products. I think he is, too, and he doesn't feel at all "girly" about it. We haven't done a mask or any microdermabrasion on him... yet. That may be coming later, but for now, we'll just stick to this regimen and see how things progress. I'd like to knock 5 or 10 years off his "look" in the next month or so!


All About My Arse


You see this picture?

Well, it makes it look like the coccyx, or tailbone, should curve inward, toward the middle of the body, doesn't it? Mine doesn't do that. At least, for all appearances, it doesn't. It seems that it juts out, and it has become more and more prominently, uh, jutty, the more weight I've lost.

Now, I'm not the most active human being, at least when I'm home, and I spend a good portion of my time sitting down in my little comfort zone.  I haven't felt well this past week or two, so I've been sitting more than usual.

I guess that was enough to do it. My tailbone poked straight through and is now sticking out of my body.

Okay, okay, I made that up. But I do have a pressure sore from my jutting coccyx, and I had to go to the emergency room to have it treated today.

Here's me in the exam room:


Except, I was lying down on the bed, making sure my curtain completely covered the doorway each time. What else is there to do?! When you've got a sore in your "butt canyon," as my friend Jenny From the Block made me burst out laughing by saying today, you pretty much gotta bend over and spread 'em. Not the best hour I've ever spent in my life.

So the nurse packed my butt canyon sore full of squishy bandages, for maximum comfort, and now I have to sit on a 'roid pillow or other comfy cushion for the rest of my life, if I don't want this to worsen or recur. Awesome. I've been advised numerous times, including by the ER doc again today, against having the coccyx shaved down. I guess it's a pretty nasty surgery to have and from which to recover, and really, when you think about where they'd have to go in from and all the things they could run into while they're in there, I'm guessing they know what they're talking about.

So, fun times ahead.

Hemorrhoid cushion

Are those Eeyore hemorrhoid cushions? Hello, Christmas is coming!

And thus ends the post about my poor, sore hiney. Hope you enjoyed it.


Sunday Stealing: The Questions Galore Meme, Part The First


Link up here if you're playing along, folks!

1. Is there someone in your life you know you’d be better off without?

I don't think so, at the moment. If you'd asked me that a couple weeks ago, it would have been a different answer!

2. Do you get criticized because of your body?

I used to, but now the only person who really does is me (and the plastic surgeon I've seen twice now). LOL

3. Did you kiss the last person you called?

My dad, so yes, I've kissed him. He likes to kiss on the lips, but eww, I always turn my face. I mean, come ON. I'm 35, that's enough of that.

4. When was the last time you danced?

Thursday at my Daisy Girl Scout meeting, I taught the girls a sort of song-and-dance that I learned at my training last weekend. So fun.

5. Do you keep in mind other people’s feelings?

Certainly, I try to!

6. If you have a hang nail, do you pull it or clip it?

Clip, unless no such device is available. If I pull it, it usually hurts and bleeds, right?

7. Whom do you want to forget?

TBFH, my ex-stepmonster

8. Who was the last person to send you a letter?

Hmm... Does the utility company count? Jafra sent me a letter congratulating me on my recent successes, but someone who actually WROTE by hand... who remembers that? My MIL did write to the kids today, though. Well, the youngest didn't get her postcard; it'll probably come on Monday.

9. Who did you last tell to shut up?

I think it was probably Jack, earlier. He has been so mouthy lately. Driving me nuts! (He's 8.)

10. What’s the last thing that you smelt that smelt bad?

That was probably Jack, too. Haha!! No, definitely the litter box. Phew.

11. What’s your favorite cereal?

Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. I can't eat it anymore, but man, that's some good stuff.

12. How do you feel when people lead you on, but they don’t even like you?

No longer applicable, so I don't care. I hate head games, though. Seriously? Be real.

13. Could you live without sunlight?

I would be awake forever, I think. Darkness comes, and I pop awake, most of the time. I'm, like, nocturnal or something.

14. What’s something you know is bad, but you want to do it anyway?

I've never smoked weed... maybe someday I might try it. ;)

15. What was the last thing you lied about?

Uhhh... I'm usually pretty honest, really. I'm a horrible liar.

16. Do you regret anything you’ve done in the past week?

Yeah, eating that cookie earlier.

17. What was the last movie you bought?

I don't generally buy movies. I'm a renter-type of flick fan.

18. What is a sport you would like to do?

I'd love to be an Olympic Figure Skater, but that'll never happen. I'd like to take up archery, too.

19. When was the last time you felt like crying?

About an hour ago. Then I took my meds. I'm good now. ;)

20. Have you ever wanted to kill someone (not that you actually do it)?

Yep. See #7.

Don't miss my previous post - I'm offering a MAJOR sale on Jafra! It ends at midnight tonight, EST!

Have a great week!


Saturday 9: Someday We'll Be Together


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

1. Have you ever left a relationship but knew that eventually you'd get back together?

No. When it's over, it's over. For me, it's always been for a good reason.

2. Are there things that you hate to buy? Items that you either hate to spend perfectly good money on or hate to spend the time it takes to buy them?

I used to hate buying clothes, when I was a Chubby McChubster. Now I love it, though. I hate spending money on medicines, either Rx or OTC. Dunno why.

3. What is your favorite cartoon show and why?

The Smurfs! That's good TV right there. Oh, it's not on anymore, you say? Who knew?

4. Are you anywhere close to doing what you wanted to do as a kid?

Nah. I was a marine biologist for a few years, but now I'm a stay-home mom selling Jafra. Never pictured that, but I'm good with it. Quite happy, actually.

5. Now that you're in the "real world," is your current job now really what you want to do for a living? If not, what would you ultimately like to do?

Ideally, I would be a perpetual student. I guess in a way, everyone is, but I mean academically, at a university.I don't know anyone who pays for that, though, so I would own a yarn shop slash dive/fishing shop with my husband somewhere tropical, and still sell Jafra. I'll never stop using it, so I may as well make money at it!

6. A local university has asked you to teach a class about the one thing you know the most about. What would you be teaching and what would the name of the course be?

Surviving a Crisis 101 - unfortunately, I know a thing or 10,000 about that.

7. Commercials ... they can make us laugh or can annoy the heck out of us. Tell us about your favorite commercial and/or a commercial you simply loathe.

I can't really answer this one, because I don't watch TV. Ever.

8. Tell us about your favorite comedy movie of all time.

The Toy, with Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason. Always got a kick out of it.

9. Tell us about your favorite black and white movie of all time.

Was Paper Moon in B&W? If so, that. Good flick. Y'all should see it, if you haven't.

All righty, then. I'm off to pamper myself with my annual bath (I normally hate them, but I'm in the mood for one) and various lotions and potions. Have a great weekend, y'all!


Aloha Friday


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

I saw this question on a friend's Facebook status update a little while ago, and it's been making me think ever since, so I thought I'd steal it for this post:

What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?

Now, I realize some of you may not believe in God, so apply it to your particular belief system and don't be offended, please. As for me, wow. What a heavy-duty question. I would be stripped of a lot of THINGS that make life comfortable and interesting, but I would still be super blessed. And now I'm making sure I express my gratitude, whether silently or out loud, for those "things" on a daily basis.

Happy weekend!


Sophia's MRI


A week ago, Sophia had her MRI at CHKD. She has central sleep apnea, which is different than the obstructive sleep apnea that's far more common and well-known. Unlike that form, which is when you stop breathing because something is blocking the airway (it's common in heavy people; I had it before my surgery and want to get another sleep study to see whether it's gone away or diminished significantly, at least), central sleep apnea is a rarer condition in which the brain doesn't communicate well with the lungs and the message to keep breathing doesn't quite get passed down, during sleep. Kind of scary, when you think about it. So her neurologist at the children's hospital ordered the MRI to see if there was a structural reason in her brain for the disorder. We'll meet again with her next week for the results.

We were at the hospital for about six hours. Her test was originally scheduled to be at 1400 (2 PM), but we had to get there at 12:30 for check-in, and all that fun stuff like getting her IV put in, and filling out a billion forms and stuff. You know the drill, right? We had dropped off Chloë with her Girl Scout leader beforehand, because I knew she wouldn't make it back for her meeting at 1600, but Jack was with us. The difficulty with that was that Sophia wasn't allowed to eat anything, and both kids were hungry. So you have one kid who CAN eat and one who CAN'T, and you pretty much have to deny both of them food to be fair to the one who isn't allowed food. For what turned out to be three hours, by the time they took her back for her test.

Jack at chkd

You can bet he ate like a champ in the hospital cafeteria when she was taken away, and as usual was a mess with food all over his face. (I don't know if it's just our family, but my kids are not clean eaters! They wear their food all over their lips and cheeks. The heck?! When does that end?)

Anyway, we spent a long time in the café, just chilling out and getting a change of scenery after the long time spent in the pre-procedure room, and then we went to the waiting area to let Jack watch some cartoons and, well, wait. I had my second boo-hoo of the day, there. Sedated for her test, Sophia, who is very active even in her sleep, was unnaturally still, and besides that, it's just that it was my baby, and I had to cry. And cry I did. (Note to the hospital: Invest in softer tissues, please.) I mean, I know it wasn't surgery or anything, and I know she wasn't a super-sick kid coming in there for chemo or some other horrible thing, so I felt a ridiculous being so tearful, but I couldn't control the tears. The nurses understood. They said it was common.


After we realized we were in the wrong waiting area, we were walking to the MRI one, and Jack was commenting on everything he saw. "Oh, there's the room we were waiting in, and there's a picture of (something I can't remember), and that's the MRI room, and there's Sophia, and..." "Wait, what?!" We stopped in our tracks and took a few paces backward. Yup, there was Sophia, already out of her MRI! Much less time had passed than we expected. The nurse stepped out of the hall to say that she was still asleep and had just come out, but they would be waking her in a few minutes.

Of course, I wanted to be with her, and so did Rob, but only two people were allowed by her side at a time. So Rob stayed with Jack for awhile in the waiting room, watching telly, and then we switched off. She was very groggy when they did wake her, but she absolutely wanted a drink and some crackers. They told me not to feed her - to let her do it herself, because being able to meant that she was ready to take food. She had no problems and ate her little baggy of Teddy Grahams between short snoozes. She didn't like their apple juice, so we gave that to Jack and let her sip my Diet Sierra Mist instead. Not quite Sprite or Ginger Ale, but it's what she wanted.

Finally, it was time to release her, and they wheeled her out to the van that Rob had fetched. We had to have him sit in the back with her, so her head didn't flop forward and block her airway. That was a chore; he kept having to reposition her. She seemed depressed and just... sad, in the intermittent moments when she woke up. It broke my heart to see her that way, since this is a normally happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care child. We picked up Chloë from her Leader's house, and Leader's youngest child, who is one of my Daisies with Sophia, came running out to see her friend. "What's wrong with her? Why does she look like that?" Poor Soap was just so out of it! Daisy Friend was sweetly caring, but we sent her back in the house, so we could get Soph home to rest on the couch.

Around 9:15 PM, a good six hours later, she suddenly woke up and asked for some dinner. And she was up for good, running around and bouncing off the walls like her usual self.

Gotta admit, those few hours of quiet were kind of nice, once I got used to them. Life in this house is pretty hectic, often chaotic, and always noisy. Shushing the older two children so Sophie could sleep, we had a few hours' peace, and I enjoyed the time. But she was back to her old self eventually, and I will say, I like her much more the way I know her, troublemaker that she is. That's my girl!

As for the results, I'll keep you posted. And one more thing. I just want to say how grateful I am that we have an excellent children's hospital nearby, and that our insurance is willing to send us there when necessary, because they took fabulous care of both us and our daughter. For you locals, support CHKD when and how you can. Thanks.



Jack In 100 Years


We stopped into the drugstore the other day, and when Jack walked next to this old-guy Halloween statue thingy, I had myself a good laugh. "Jack!" I called. "Come stand next to this thing!" He's good-natured about his stature (for the couple of you who are new here, my 8-year-old diminutive son is growth hormone deficient and takes a nightly shot of HGH, but he's still the size of an average 3-4 year old), so he played into the joke willingly. He thought it was pretty funny himself, actually!

Just thought I'd share.