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Entries from March 2012

Something's Fishy At Sweet Pea Academy...

So with the help of my MIL and her brother, along with lots of bonus points from doing community service with the Scouts (both Cub and Girl), we turned in enough Labels For Education to get the following goodies:


(Photo from LFE site) A world map, which hasn't come yet, or I'd have a better picture to show you,


a dozen bottles of tempera paint for our artistic pursuits, and,



our new 5-gal fish aquarium! The kids are decidedly most excited about this new swag.


We ran as soon as possible over to Petco to get some gravel, silk plants, food, and dechlorinator to set up our tank, as well as figure out which fish we were probably going to get after the tank had time to set up for a few days. I put it together, and the kids were beside themselves the whole time. Jack kept saying, "I'm going to cry happy!" He said it again today when we went to go get our fish.


This is Steve, who helped us both today with our new fish and the other day when we picked out what we'd need to get the tank ready, pulling out Chloë's Starfire Red Glofish and Sophia's Galatic Purple Glofish (both are Danio rerio).


The girls with their new fishies!


Then, Steve plucked out a Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) for Jack. We were originally going to go with something else, but Steve said no, too big. Jack recovered quickly from that setback.


Does Jack look like a little white monkey when he's super-excited, or what?!


We also picked out an algae-eater (Hypostomus plecostomus) for the tank, although eventually it'll get too big for our tank. That's okay; we planned on upsizing eventually anyhow. Sophia got to carry it on her lap on the ride home.



This is Hallie, the very friendly Scottish Terrier we met at Petco today. I always wanted to get a Scottie and name him Hamlet. Hallie was all over me; cute pooch!



I went against common knowledge, sense and practice and unceremoniously dumped our four new fishes into the tank, instead of taking the proper time to acclimate them to their new environs. Sue me. They seem fine.


I stopped at Jenny From the Block's house after Petco to bring her a few things, and we collectively decided that, since she's the tank "maid," we'll name the plecostomus Alice. Get it? C'mon, please tell me you get it. We briefly considered "Hazel" as well but quickly decided that was too old school for Alice. Hey, Alice? You lookin' at me?


And finally, we have Jack's Tetra, originally named "Little Frankie" but renamed "Speedy" since "he moves so fast" on the far right; Chloë's hot pink Glofish named "Moon" on the bottom left, and Sophie's "Starlight Starbright" above Moon. They all seem happy with their new home.

The kids are totally thrilled. I mean, it's been a couple hours, and they're still in their staring at the tank. Jack exclaimed, "This is even better than going to the Aquarium, because now we have our own aquarium!" Ha! I'm so happy they're delighted. So. Happy.


P.S. Thanks, Mamacita and Unc!


Premature Exposure

I've been knitting hexipuffs for my Beekeeper's Quilt. I bought 12 differently-coloured mini-skeins from the UK's The Knitting Goddess, but I've only finished knitting up nine of them. I don't care, I still want to show and tell, so you'll just have to wait for the other three. I showed you a few already, but I'm going to show you them again, just because I'm wild and crazy like that. Here we go, wheeeee:



Colour Pop Pink

Colour Pop Pink

Draw Breath

Draw Breath

Fibre Flurry

Fibre Flurry

Happy Feet

Happy Feet

Red Desert

Red Desert

Soft sky

Soft Sky

Summer Sun

Summer Sun



So do ya wanna see them all together now? Well, do you???!! (I love saying that; it's from the movie Up, from the beginning...) There are about 155 or so now, maybe more:


They kind of remind me of Easter eggs right now, but I suppose that's appropriate. Chloë thinks there are too many dark ones; do you? Well, do you???!! Okay, okay, I already did that once. I think it's dark with plenty of pops of color to make up for it, so it's aiight. And no, like many people do, I didn't go for any particular color theme, scheme or dream. I just went with what I had and bought some things I liked. Works for me!

Back later with more pics and posts.


P.S. Chloë says there are 158 puffs.

Saturday 9: Stuck In The Middle With You


Link up here if you're one of the cool people today! ;)

Saturday 9: Stuck in the Middle With You

1. In romance, have you ever been stuck in the middle with someone?
Oh yeah. But now now, so who cares?

2. Which current commercial is the currently most annoying to you on TV or radio?
I can't think of anything specifically, but when I'm listening to the radio in the car, I hate it when a siren plays on the radio. I think there oughtta be a law!

3. What do you think is the most difficult task when it comes to Spring cleaning?
Getting started.

4. What area is your expertise in?
Apparently grammar isn't yours... I don't think I'm an expert in anything except making people shake their heads, although my degree is in the biology of the marine world.

5. Have you ever bumped into a former lover and found out they were now gay or straight depending on your relationship with them?
Yep. At least one guy I've dated is gay, but I've always had a hunch about another one...

6. When was the last time that you got stabbed in the back?
Yesterday. I was beyond livid about it, too. That's okay, I dropped a dime or two on the person back and now Rob thinks I'll probably get sued for it, but I enjoyed myself. I didn't say anything I didn't hear straight from the horse's ass, er, mouth, though.

7. For a few years in a row, you receive a nice tax refund: do you make an adjustment with your payroll deduction so they’ll take less, or do you leave it that way so that you can continue to receive the big check every spring?
The latter part. I know it's stupid, but you know what? We like it that way.

8. Do you remember the most naughty night of your life? (And do tell a bit, if comfortable)
Yes, and no way, other than that there were more than two of us there...

9. How would you handle yourself if you were regularly in the press and tabloids?
Probably badly, just like I do now. I ought to have my own tabloid.
Have an interesting weekend!

When The Going Gets Tough...

Yesterday, Sunday, was the ninth anniversary of our son Robby's death. I always keep a three-day vigil, during what was once his short little life, and hope for a different outcome. It's always the same in the end, of course, but I do it just the same. I imagine I'm not the only mother to do this. Saturday, Day Two, was my "I'm so angry, I gotta MOVE" day, so I broke out the long-neglected rollerblades and went for an hour-long spin all over the neighborhood:


I hate how I look in these pictures, but there's nothing I can do about that right now, short of plastic surgery. Plus, I had shorts on under the skirt, so my butt looks enormous. Hee. Oh, well.

Sunday was the actual anniversary. I woke up sobbing around 0300. Sophia, to my chagrin, came down to find out what was the matter. I explained about Robby, and she went to fetch Daddy, who came to comfort me. My nose always expands about 300-fold when I cry really hard, I think:


I don't know why I took the picture; I just love the iPhone's Instagram app so much!

When I'm stressed, aside from taking my pills, I have to do something to de-stress, and my go-to hobby of choice is knitting. And so, for the first time in a month, or maybe two?, I started hexipuffing:

Summer Sun

At long last, I broke into my delightful mini-skeins from The Knitting Goddess, pulling out Summer Sun first because it was just the cheery colorway I needed at the moment. Each mini makes, for me, three full puffs with enough for maybe 1/3-to-½ of another. Plenty; I was expecting two!
When I finished that trio, I napped. For a very long time.

When I finished that trio, it was about two house later, or perhaps three, so I went down to "my" 7-Eleven for a Diet Coke and a white rose. I was in luck; they actually had one nearly-perfect specimen. Just one:


In past years, we let go a slew of baby blue balloons for a happy-birthday message to the wee laddie, but the environmentalist in me could no longer stomach that. I took to Facebook for suggestions and got a number of lovely ideas, but the one we decided to go with was letting rose petals go in the water for him. Hence the rose.


We got this stone out of a catalog years ago, maybe the first year, and it sits out in the front "lawn" with the rest of the stones that our living trio made with their hand- and footprints and various stones and marbles.

I started to knit some more, but by then I was exhausted again, physically and emotionally, so I napped. For a very long time.

At last, Rob was waking me up, telling me it was time we go let the petals free in the water. It was a cold, rainy day, just the sort of day for such a thing, I suppose, so we bundled up and headed out to Chick's Beach. It's normally a very calm beach with soothing waters and empty sands, much more suitable than the oceanfront for such an endeavor, but we were in for it this time. The tide was in, and the storm had riled things up quite so; we got soaked and froze our little selves to death!

Jack took his petals from me and went first:

Jack Petals

Next up was big sister Chloë:

Chloë Petals

She placed her petals in so delicately for her brother, true to form.

Sophia went next:

Sophia Petals

Unlike her more dainty older sister, Sophia, who is a bit more... brutish, shall we say... rather dumped hers into the water. All well and good. I told them each to do it however they wanted to do.

Daddy was the penultimate petal-pusher, before taking the camera from me:

Rob Petals

Poor Rob got absolutely soaked and frozen to the bone. I wore shorts and Crocs, so I was good:

Melanie Petals

I decided to just fling my petals all out at once, just as the wind blew in my face. Um, that plan therefore backfired, and my petals wound up all over the beach. Ah, well! I enjoyed the experience immensely; we'll be back to do it again next year.


Before we left the beach, Jack placed the rose stem and the sprig of Baby's Breath into the water for his brother and Robby's pals, before taking off running up the beach when the waves overtook him. Time to go.


When we got home, everyone showered except me, to get warm and rid themselves of wet and sandy clothes. And so, I wound a ball of the Goddess' "Twirl" colorway - it's beachy-hued and appropriate, right? - and knit three more puffs before taking another wee nap.

When I awoke, it was after 2300, just in time to go on my errand of bringing a friend to work, and now here we are, catching you up with Vigil 2012. I'm about to dig into another Goddess colourway; this time, it'll be Soft Sky:

Soft Sky

Maybe I'll have a few to show you on th'morrow, or maybe I won't and we'll just do our regular school routine. Until the next time, my loves, carry on and be well.


Sunday Stealing: The Last March Meme

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're stealing today - or stalling, as I originally typed...

1.) Which TV character do you think you are most like?
Dexter. Except I don't actually kill people. I get him, though.
2) What time do you go to bed?
Whenever. Sometimes I don't. Normal sleep schedules have eluded me since birth. My parents used to stick me in my crib in the basement because I'd be up all night...

3) What was the last meal you made from scratch?
Pasta dishes last weekend for our Johnsonville Italian Sausage House Party. A lasagna, some penne regato w/, and some pesto rigatoni. I didn't eat any of it - no four-legged creatures for me.

4) What is your favorite type of music?
I like all kinds, but I'm partial to anything that's highly sing-along-able, like Top 40 music. Kinda lame, but I own it.

5) In what position do you sleep?

If I'm on the couch, which is often, on my back or side. If I'm bed, which is rare, on my tummy, curled around my gigantic teddy bear from Hubs.

6) What is your first memory?

I'm 2½ or 3, running, squealing happily with my arms in the air, running from my bedroom to my Mommy down the hall.

7) What is your least favorite smell?



The paper mill in Panama City, Florida. Ugh. Nastay. Cigarette smoke is a very close second.
8) It's your round at the pub and your friends asked you to surprise them. What drink would you buy and why?


Everyone would get a shot of Goldschläger, because that's "my" drink, even though I can no longer stand it. I have a story

9) What was the last thing you read/watched that made you cry?

My surviving twin made a birthday video for his brother (the 9th anniversary of his death is today, so I'm feeling a little morose, sorry). I watched it with my therapist, and we both cried.
10) They say that you learn something new every day. What was the last thing you have learned?

Sophia was reading in her animal book tonight and told me that an electric eel could power five light bulbs. Of course, she didn't give wattage or any of that information, so it's incomplete knowledge. I'll have to read up on that. ;)

11) Which Literary love interests would you snog, marry and avoid?

Pass. Too much thinking involved in that question. I'd be Jane Eyre and marry Mr. Rochester, though.
12) What is your oldest memory?

Pretty sure we covered that six questions ago. I know you're old, but my memory isn't that bad, yet...

13) Paperback, Hardback or Kindle? Which of these is your favorite reading format and why?

Any of the above, although I prefer a hardcover most, and one that I can lie around in bed and read all night and all day. The hard covers just seem more authentic, don't they?
14) If you could bring back any canceled TV series for another run what would you pick and why?

The original Dukes of Hazzard, because hello, they were hot. I don't care if I was in my single-digit years. I knew that Bo Duke was ca-yute!

15) Paperback, Hardback or Kindle?

Why are you fucking with me? I told you it wasn't a great day. Ask me 1,000 questions, but so help me God, if you repeat another one, I'll beat your ass. Oh, wait, that's the end. Okay, well, then, let's walk away from this unscathed, shall we?
P.S. Who calls it a "hardback," anyway? Not I, said the fly.  Cheers.
P.P.S. I don't know what's going on with these crazy changes when I post, but I'm not going to spend another ½-hour trying to fix it like I did last night! Deal. ;)

Whatever Works!


On a particularly sunny day recently, this was Sophia's brilliant solution to the problem of having left her sunglasses at home. I thought it was hysterical and made her keep it on until I got to a stoplight and could snag a quick photo! Fortunately, she had no intention of taking it off until we got to our destination, so little convincing was necessary.

That kid is such a hoot! ♥


Saturday 9: Come Dancing


OMG! My blog is going crazy!! If the q-and-a's are all over the damn place, it's Typepad's fault!

Anyhoo, link up here if you're cool and stuff, playing along with us niners on a Saturday.

1. When was the last time that you went out dancing?

I can't remember going since I left Miami, which was in June, 1998. Sad, huh? I mean, weddings don't count, right? And hubs doesn't dance. (Nor should he.) ;)

2. Have you ever had an argument with a teacher?


Heck yeah. When Fister Moster, my AP Chemistry teacher, told us four girls in the class that it was meant for the boys, I told him exactly where he could shove his 500-mL Erlenmeyer flask. I may have reported him to the Principal and Department Head for that, too. I don't play that game.

3. Do you have a tough time remembering people’s names?

Yeah. If I don't do some kind of word-association with the name, it's in one ear and out the other.

4. Would you rather change your past or know your future?

Neither. I'd rather take it as it comes. The other two options would just bring bad juju.

5. What’s one thing you feel you must do in your life before it ends?

Get my pilot's license and fly unaccompanied.


6. How many credit cards do you have right now that have a zero balance?

 Zero. I mean, I have zero CCs.

 7. What is the most expensive thing you purchased this year?

Maybe my awesome new Keurig coffeemaker? I think that. Totes worth it. (I think; I haven't opened the box yet.)
8 . If you're married, this probably doesn't apply to you, but: Are you mindful about getting tested for STDs/HIV at least semi-regularly? Why/why not? Married people: Were you mindful about this type of thing when you were single? Why/why not?

Of course. You can't be too careful. I'm not trying to die of AIDS, tyvm. At least now I know my blood gets tested regularly, whenever I donate.


9. If you could ask the president of the United States one question, what would it be?
I'd ask him to please outlaw smoking and make recycling mandatory, both things I can't believe haven't happened yet, FPS.
Thanks for stopping by, and have yourself a super weekend!

Nine, Nine, Fraulein

Twin Collage

Nine years ago this morning, I gave birth to these two little guys via emergency C-section, at 31 weeks' gestation. The identical twin on the left, Robby, was twice Jack's size, whereas they had been non-significantly different in size just one week earlier. Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome led to severe Hydrops Fetalis, which proved fatal to our sweet angel baby three days later.

Meanwhile, the itty bitty survivor on the right, Jack, is now this young, albeit still petite, man:

Jack 9

Happy 9th birthday to my sons, Robert William & Jack River! Mommy and Daddy love you both so very much. ♥


Sunday Stealing: The Partial Head Meme

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along today!

Sunday Stealing: The Her Head Is Part Missing Meme

1. What is your most annoying habit?

I have a lot of annoying habits, like going up three octaves when I'm excited about something... and I'm just obnoxious in general. It would be had to say what is the most annoying! (I'd ask Hubs, but he's asleep.)
2. What habit would you change of your partners? (come on no-one is perfect!) [Editor's note: Not only does it assume you have A partner, but it is written as though you have multiple ones. If you do not currently have a partner or many partners, simply tell us about your last one. BW]
Hee. Okay. So I would change his habit of ending a sentence with "with." As in, "Are you coming with? Can I go with?" Ugh. SO irritating and grating on my ears!
3. Horrors or Chick Flicks?
Oh, easy, since I am a wussy weenie girl. Chick Flicks.
4. What is the most outrageous thing you have done in the back row of the movies?
Well. You know. There's a certain thing that the back row of the movies is specifically for doing, isn't it...?!
5. When have you lied to get a job?
Never. Ever. Haven't needed to lie!
6. What one thing is on your list to do before you hit 30, 40, 50 or whatever significant birthday is next?
I better get my tummy tuck before I turn 40 in five years!
7. Classic or modern films and why?
Hmm. I have to say I prefer modern films, just because there are so many incredible advancements made in cinematography... which isn't to discount the awesomeness of the classics at all. I mean, c'mon, though. Pixar.
8. If you were a vampire who would be the first person you would bite?
Well, you, duh.
9. If you had the power to make one thing better, what would it be?
I would eradicate the scourge that is tobacco.
10. What makes a great blog?
Apparently I don't know, since my consistent readership hovers around a dozen people. Don't ask me!
11. What was the inspiration that brought your blog to the blogosphere?
I needed an outlet for the things I wanted to say (which often and mostly consists of mundanity, but hey, twelve people like it.)
12. What easily ticks you off (puts you in a bad mood quickly)?
Truthfully? Opening my windows for fresh air, be they in the house or the car, and getting an instead headache from someone's cigarette smoking.  Pisses me off royally. And then they rant about their rights. Eff that noise.
13. How many children do you have?
Three here. One in heaven.
14. Is there anything you have ever regretted writing on your blog?
Just one post, which cost me a friendship I wanted to save. On the other hand, it was probably inevitable, so no. No.
15. What’s your favorite blog post you have written this year so far?
The one about Jim, my former boss. Wait, was that this year? They blend together so seamlessly, the years, you know...
16. Do you ever enter other bloggers competitions, and have you ever been lucky?
Like, contests and giveaways, that sort of thing? Yes, I've won a few things, like a game, and a Flip camera, amongst other things.
17.If you could be anyone else for the day, who would you choose and why?
Ghandi. I appreciate everything for which he stood. Or sat, as it were.
18. If you could time travel to any period of history what era would you visit?
I'd go find out which came first, the chicken or the egg. Okay, that was lame. I'd love to wear a flapper dress and do the Charleston in the Roaring Twenties!
19. If you had to be genetically modified, would you rather have a third arm, a third leg, a second head or some other modification???
If I had to have a duplication, I could always use another hand. (I'd have said, "It would be nice to be multi-orgasmic," but that would've been TMI. Oh. Wait.)
20. Which Disney character can you most relate to?
Dory from Finding Nemo. Isn't it obvious?
Have a splendiferous week, y'all!

Saturday 9: Forget You


First, let me just say that I have this whole album, and I have listened to it a bajillion times. Cee Lo's voice is like buttah, and the songs are swell, too. Totally worth every penny.  Anyhoo, link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: Forget You

1. Have you ever felt that you needed to just forget an ex-lover?

Of course. The guy before Hubs. He's probably the ONE bf I regret completely. What a waste of two years of my life! UGH. To think I almost married that... piece of crap.

2. Spring picnics and cookouts are here! What would you want to have on your plate as you head back to the table?

Chicken, but not BBQ. I hate BBQ and also blackened meat. (Sorry, Missouri-bred husband o' mine.) Something tender and juicy. I like corn, but I always cut it off the cob, because I can't stand stuff getting stuck in my teeth. I've been doing that since my braces days, way back when. And... deviled eggs. With paprika, natch.

3. It's St. Patrick's Day, March 17th! Do you celebrate? Drink Green Beer? Go out?

Normally, no. Never, ever. For one thing, I'm not Irish; for another, I have not-so-pleasant memories of TBFH (ex-stepmother) putting the four of us girls in matching green shirts and white pants, with green carnations pinned to our shirts, and having to go to school like that. And yes, of course I thought about changing or at least ripping off the flower when I got to the bus, but my step-sisters would've thrown me under the bus. Possibly literally.

However, we are having a St. Pat's Day-themed birthday party for my son today, as he's turning 9 on the 22nd and my very-Irish friends are hosting it at their house for us. However, we're having Italian food and Corona instead of Guiness, so, you know. It's all good.

4. Did you remember to wear green today?

I'll probably wear my U. Miami outfit, and there's green in that. I'll try to find green stuffs for the kiddos to wear. If it doesn't happen, my heart won't break or anything.

5. What phrase or saying do you over use?

"Totally." "Awesome." "Totally awesome." Okay, not really on that last one. Right now I'm digging on "totes" for "totally," though you can only say it once or twice before people start reminding you how old you actually are...

6. If you could (or could have) change(d) something about your relationship with your parents, what would it be?

Oh, God. I'd change everything about my relationship with my dad growing up. I was the "yes, Daddy, okay, Daddy, anything you say, Daddy" kid growing up, and it's still VERY hard and painful for me to stand up to him. But more and more, little by little, I'm doing it, and I'm extremely proud of that. I have lots of Daddy issues. We really don't need to get into all that, but suffice it to say I had everything I could have possibly wanted or needed growing up - except love, comfort, and safety. I've been looking for it in all the wrong places ever since.  And of course, I'd change my mom dying when I was 7 to still being alive and well today. Otherwise, I've put my mom up on this Pedestal of Perfection, and I don't like to hear about what faults she may have had. She was totes awesome.

7. If the NCAA Men's or Women's Final Four basketball tournament was played in your hometown arena or within easy driving distance from where you live, would you try to attend one of the games?

Not unless UM was playing, and then hell yeah!

8. No matter what's going on in your life, what always makes you smile?

The silly-smart things my kids say. I love hearing the incredible thoughts that rattle around in their young brains. So intelligent, but so screwy sometimes!

9. We've asked this before: What else is on your mind? Go ahead and rant.

Right this VERY second, it's the fact that I just singed my right hand pulling Jack (son's) cupcakes out of the oven, and my hand is on FIRE. I do that every freakin' time. I iron myself every time, too. I'm, like, one big scar and stuff.

Well, y'all have a great weekend. Don't drink and drive, m'kay?



Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up here if you've got newsable bits to share with the pulchritudinous Mrs.4444 and cohorts today!


I haven't fragmented in 3 weeks, because I've been SUH TI-RED. I've had my share of drama and stuff I could've shared with you, but I've actually been sleeping more, well, at least on Thursday nights I guess, so I didn't make it here. I won't bore you with three weeks worth of bits, though, rest assured!


Confidential to Mamacita: I'll do the online Jeopardy! test if you will!! Surely they can get a stool or something so you can stand on it to see over the podium... ;)


The kids, normally night owls anyway, have been totes off their sleeping schedule since Daylight Savings time began. Last night, they were up until - no joke - 0500 (so, this morning, I should say)!!! I stayed up with them, to ensure they didn't burn the house down, and it was so late when they finally crashed that I just decided to stay up and face the day. Well, that plan was a FAIL, and I lay down at 10 AM for a "nap," thinking I'd just sleep 'til noon or whenever the kids got up. NOT! I didn't wake up until after 4:30 PM!!!!!!! S**T! That meant we missed our Girl Scout meeting, which was a field trip to the local Food Bank. Major suckage. :(

So this boy:


(2012 Pinewood Derby winner for his Den and overall Pack)

had his District races this past Saturday morning. There were only four heats this time, as there were four lanes, as opposed to our (ahem, much better) six-lane track. He won three of those heats and came in 3rd on the other. Our Pack drops the lowest heat score, so I thought that was standard operating procedure for all Derby races. Well, apparently not, because even though his car was zoomin' and it looked like he would take home a trophy, he didn't even land a 3rd place on the podium. I was stunned All. Day. Long. And I know, I know, it's about the fun and not the trophy, but dang, I so enjoy looking at those things up on my mantel! Having never earned a trophy of my own, I'm enjoying living vicariously through my kids' awards. Sad, I know, but ... ah, well. For one thing, there's always next year. For another, it was still fun and exciting.

(Still, though. Crap!)


The cookie sale is over! Hallelujah! It really wasn't that bad for me, since I'm not the cookie mom and didn't do a whole lot of door-to-door that year, but we did a bunch of booth sales that usurped our weekends for the past month or so. Anyway, I'm glad that's over and we can get back to our not-so-normal weekend pursuits.


AND, now that that's over (cookies), I can once again concentrate on my reborn Jafra business. I'm celebrating 13 years with the company this month! If any of you would like to order or have questions, check out my Jafra website or send me a message/comment through here. Anyone who visits from Friday Fragments will get 25% off their first order - the biggest discount I can offer! (Offer good through the end of March. Must mention FF to get discount.)


I hope you're reading this post slowly, because that's how I'm typing it. My thumb is all bandaged up, since I shoved the back end of a sewing needle ¼" deep in it, whilst sewing Girl Scout patches on Chloë's vest. I hollered. A whole bunch. Loudly. You may have heard me?

Our nice hunka-hunka-burnin'-tax refund is due any day now, and we have a looong list of things - mostly vehicular and medical - it's going to be parceled out to in a quicklike fashion. One of these days, maybe we'll actually be able to hold onto it longer than a week or so. That'd be nice. (At least I don't need more yarn...)


And finally, while my boys' birthday is actually on the 22nd, we're celebrating Jack's 9th birthday party this Saturday with friends. Yep, St. Patrick's Day. No, I'm not going to make the above rainbow cake - it just looks like ick to me - but you'll have to stay tuned to this blahg to find out what I do end up serving. He's SO excited and had been counting down the days!

Hope you all have a great weekend!



Aloha Friday (Open To See Embedded Poll)


Link up here to play along with Kailani and friends this week.

My question for you this week comes courtesy of Polldaddy:


I'm hoping this coming weekend will bring me some Facebook-sharing worthy news, since that's who I share the good stuff with, following Hubs. And you, too, of course... Stay tuned for Friday Fragments!


Sunday Stealing: The Not My Year Meme

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if it's not your year, either!

Sunday Stealing: The Not My Year Meme

1. Are you in a job that you truly enjoy?

I'm a stay-home homeschooling mom of three. I damn well better be, huh?

2. If you could do any job in the world what would it be?

I'd be a family court judge. And I hope to be, one day...

3. If you could be a character in a novel who would you be?

I'd be Tom Sawyer. What an imp! I like mischief as much as the next kid, you know?

4. When it comes to spending time with those you love, do you think it should be about quality or quantity?

Both count, but definitely quality over quantity. If you're not really present with each other, what's the point?

5. Is there a job/career you wanted but realized you couldn’t possibly do for one reason or another?

Pre-marriage and babies, I was a marine biologist. I was working with the pre-eminent scientist in our field (elasmobranch feeding ecomorphology, or in layman's terms, shark/skate/ray feeding behavioral ecology). A year and a half into my Ph.D., I realized I didn't have the passion to pursue that and be at sea half the year and then, when I was home, spend all my time stressing over grants and funding for research, etc. I wanted to be a wife and mom, and I didn't want to give up those desires, no matter how much I loved being a Biologist. And I did. And I still do... but. I love this so much more.

6. If you could live anywhere in the world or out of this world where would you live?

Oh, I'm so glad you added that last part. I'd love to live on Jupiter, assuming it were hospitable to humans. It's my favorite of our planets. (What, doesn't everyone have a favorite planet?)

7. Where would you most like to visit and with whom?

Everywhere I've never been, with Hubs and the trio of offspring we're raising.

8. Which skill would you like to learn?

Oh, gosh. I want to learn to spin my own yarn. And dye it. I want to learn to relax and meditate. I want to learn to practice self-patience and -forgiveness. I'd like to be fluent in every language, but at least five. It would be fun to be able to juggle while riding a unicycle... okay, now I'm getting carried away.

9. What made you laugh today?

A high school friend's Facebook status update: "Miracle Whip is actually tweeting on Twitter. What has the world come to when condiments are reminding us to set our clocks ahead?"

10. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

Cleaning, organizing, and doing.

11. What is your sign and do you believe in horoscopes etc?

I'm a Virgo, and to the extent that it's fun. I fit the typical Virgo profile to a "T," but I don't go all nutso about it.

12. If you could change one thing about your life thus far, what would it be?

Many things... like, if I had known then what I know now, I would have seriously reconsidered going to the University of Miami, where top students like me struggled financially and football players were treated like gods, and perhaps gone to one of the several schools offering me a full, free ride instead.

13. If there was one charity you could give a huge contribution to, which charity would it be and why?

Heifer International. I think it's an awesome program.

14. Should smoking be legal?

No fecking way. Ugh. Don't even get me started.

15. What are your views on the smoking ban in public places?

Fully supportive - what'd I just say?!

16. Why do you blog?

To answer questions for your total entertainment, edification, and... okay, for my own amusement, too. And other things, but I've already answered this question eleventeen times before now.

17. Do you have a favorite author?

I'm not sure, but Jodi Picoult would definitely be near the top of the list, along with Elizabeth Zimmermann.

18. Can you play any musical instruments?

After my mom died, I learnt to play the organ/piano, which she also played. And my vocal chords. But I've always had a terrible ability to sight read music, so I didn't go very far with the keyboard. I did sing all through high school, and I was going to sing in college, too, but I got mono right before my audition, and then I got stage fright. I hate auditioning. Just give me the part I want and we'll go from there. Hee. 

19. What would your ideal car be?

I would love to zip around in a cute little Mazda Miata convertible, or a Smart for Two convertible. Red, of course. Red cars go faster.

20. Describe yourself in one short sentence.

I am so weird.

21. What do you look for in a spouse/other half?

A penis, for starters. That's a must. He's gotta make me laugh and make me think, even better if he can do them both at once. Everything else ... let's just say I got so lucky with Rob. He definitely got the short end of the marital stick! ;)

22. Worst meal you’ve had?

Chicken a la king, when I was, like, five. I'd probably love it now, though I'm too scared to attempt another go.

23. What do you do to relax in the evening?


24. Do you get along with your siblings?

I have one full sister 17 months older, and yes, we are very close. Always have been. I have a much-older half-sister whom I've never met, and two former step-sisters with whom I no longer have a relationship.

25. Do you have any regrets?

Everytime I start painting my nails, I instantly regret not going pee first.

Have a great week, y'all!


The Primrose Schools© Family Dance-Off Is Back!

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Here is everything you need to know about the third annual Primrose Schools© Family Dance-off:  It benefits Children's Miracle Network Hospitals© and helps fight the childhood obesity epidemic by promoting physical activity, healthy lifestyle choices and quality family time...things all Moms and Dads can get behind!  And did you know? Primrose Schools© is the leader in educational child care.


Here's how you and your family can enter the Primrose Schools© Family Dance-Off Competition:

  1. Record a 30-second video of your family's best dance moves. Don't be afraid to let loose and be silly!
  2. Visit and upload your best take between February 25th and March 23rd.
  3. Share your video with your friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  4. View and vote daily (you can place one vote per day per device) for your favorite family dance video!

Of course, no contest is complete without amazing prizes. Primrose Schools© is providing prizes that are great for your family and your community too, with $81,000 in donations to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals©:

  • 16 families will receive a $1,000 donation to their Children's Miracle Network Hospital© and advance to the finalist round from March 26-30 to compete for the grand, second and third prizes.
  • Grand Prize: $5,000 and Primrose Schools© will make a $30,000 donation to their Children's Miracle Network Hospital©
  • 2nd Prize: $3,000 and Primrose Schools© will make a $20,000 donation to their Children's Miracle Network Hospital©
  • 3rd Prize: $1,500 and Primrose Schools© will make a $15,000 donation to their Children's Miracle Network Hospital©

Childhood obesity is a critical issue for young children in America. Dance is a fun, easy way to incorporate physical activity into your family's routine while enjoying quality time together. The Family Dance-off supports Children's Miracle Network Hospitals©, a non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals, which collectively treat 17 million children annually for every illness and injury imaginable.


So, let me know if you are going to participate - I can't wait to record our silly video and share the hilarity with y'all! Hey, it's for a good cause, so get moving!



Saturday 9: Easy


Link up here if you're feelin' "easy" today!

1. Have you ever had a romantic breakup that was easy?
Easy on me, yes. Easy on him/us... hmm, no, I don't think there was one that was "easy" all the way around.
2. When was the first time that you felt betrayed?
Oh, gosh. So many times, I'd have to do some deep thinking to put them in chronological order. I'll tell you about one time that certainly wasn't the first, nor the worst, though:  My dad gave us each $1,000 toward our first car when it was time to get our driver's licenses at 16. I had saved up about twice as much as that, so we got me a nice red '91 Escort wagon in 1993, when I was a senior in high school and ready to start driving.  He insisted I ONLY practice driving with him. Well, he moved away that Christmas, leaving me alone with The Bitch From Hell (ex-stepma) until graduation. When he came up to get me, and the car, after graduation, we picked up where we left off. Only, he decided I wasn't ready to get my license yet and refused to let me take the car down to Miami for college. Fine. I was mad, but fine. Until he drove it into the ground and had to get rid of it. Little did I know, until I found out much later, that he sold it for more than we paid for it and pocketed all of the cash. I was furious!!
P.S. The next summer, I got my license. Passed on the first try, to his shock and amazement. So there.  And I learned to drive a stick shift without his help and drove that all over Miami, too. So there!
3. Do you feel religious beliefs should have a role in politics?
I absolutely do not. Well, I don't know. What someone's religious beliefs are in private may influence how I think and feel about him or her as a voter, but those same beliefs should not influence policy-making on his/her part. Is that unfair?
4. Are you doing anything special this weekend?
Yes! We are taking my son to his Pinewood Derby race tomorrow morning. He won first place in his Bear den AND the overall Pack race, so tomorrow he's racing against the whole District. We're hoping for a third win! :D
5. Oreo cookies turned 100 years old this week. How do YOU eat an Oreo?
I don't, anymore, but before, I would shove half a bag in my mouth all at once. Barely an exaggeration, sadly.
6. If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?
Physically, I would get a full body lift that I desperately need. Otherwise, I would rid myself of the scourge that is Bi-Polar Disorder. I do not embrace this disease as "part of me"; rather, I resent it and all that comes with it, and I would do anything to "cure" it.
7. Describe a time when you should have tried harder.
Hmm... I guess this past year, I should've tried harder to get my baking business going before giving up and switching back to selling Jafra right when things were taking off. I don't know what made me do that. Don't get me wrong; Jafra is an awesome product, but it's not something I created out of my own two hands, and I took so much pride in my work. Except when it failed, which I admit, sometimes it did... but I kept trying! Until I just... stopped. Hmm.
8. What is your favorite baseball-related movie?
A League of Their Own! Love that movie. My sister and I saw it at the theater with my Grandma, who was never a Madonna fan, and I remember her grumbling about Madge being as bad an actor as she was a singer... lol.
9. What is one lesson you have learned in the past year?
I have learned I really need to ask for help when I really need it, and to forgive myself when I mess up. In theory, anyway; putting those things in practice is easier said than done for me.
Ciao for now!

CVS Steals & Deals 3.4.12

WOW! Thanks to the help I got from, as usual, Collin over at Hip2Save in putting my deals together, I had an awesome trip to CVS tonight! I haven't posted my deals in a while - just too busy - but I thought I'd share this week since I need to stay up for a while anyway. I'll do the rest of the deals after we shop tomorrow.

I did the CVS deals in two transactions. Here's the breakdown:

Transaction #1:


(Sorry for my messy office; it's kind of in flux right now!) Anyway, going into this transaction, I had $40.79 in ECBs from last week's deals, another $5 ECB printed at the Magic Coupon Machine (MCM) for meeting the Beauty Club $50 limit, and I had another two $5 gift card rewards from the Viggle app (love that!). I also had a gift card, but I forgot about it, so I have it for next time... ah, well.


*Two bags of Purina ONE cat food for $8.49 each, with two $1 MQs, PLUS 10 cans of Purina Friskies cat food on sale 10/$4.50 = $21.48 (minus the $2 Qs) -> this SHOULD have generated a $5 ECB for next time, but it didn't, so I have to call and have that added to my loyalty card. ( I just noticed, or I would've had it printed at the store.)

*14 packs of CVS Toddler Wipes @ $1.49 each + 4 packs of CVS Soft Cloths Supreme @ $2.67 each = $31.54 OOP -> this generated $10 ECB for next time, for spending $15 x 2 in CVS products

*Two individual Snickers Eggs @ 50¢ each, minus (yet another) 25¢ SQ that printed from the MCM = 2 x 38¢

*One bag of Gold Emblem 7-oz jelly beans @ 99¢ -> generated 99¢ ECB for next time

*One 24-ct Zantac 150 @ $7.99, minus $5 MQ -> generated $2 ECB for next time

*Four Febreze Noticeables Refills @ $5.79 each, minus B3G1 FREE sale, PLUS four Febreze Noticeables Warmers @ $3.59 each, minus four Buy Refill Get Warmer FREE MQs 

*Two Colgate 3-ct Value Pack @ $4.79 each -> did NOT generate $3 ECB each, but they should have per the ad description, so I argued the point and got my awesome cashier to print them out for next time =)

TOTAL OOP after all sales, MQs, ECBs, etc. = $7.88, with $18.99 ECB generated (and another $5 missing)!

Transaction #2:




*Two 64-oz Welch's Cherry blend juices @ $4.79 each, minus B1G1 FREE sale & two $1 MQs = $1.40 each

*One "convenience pack" Oreo Double Stuf @ $1.50, minus $1.50 SQ from the MCM = FREE

*Two Olay facial cleansing wipes packs @ $3.99 each, minus $3/2 MQ, PLUS two Olay Body Wash @ $6.99 each, minus two B1 cleanser G1 body wash FREE MQs that somehow each took off $9.49 without beepage (!!!) = 2¢ moneymaker! AND -> generated $2 ECB for next time, AND I'm going to put this $21.96 toward the $15/$50 P&G Mail-in Rebate! Sweet deal!!

*Three Kashi GoLean bars @ $1.77 each, minus B2G1 FREE sale, minus $1 MQ = 85¢ each

After sales, MQs & SQs, and $5.99 ECB from Trans #1, my OOP was 53¢!


Total OOP: $8.41, I still have $15 in ECB for next time (plus the $5 I have coming to me) and the forgotten CVS gift card, with a good chunk toward my PG MIR... and $159.13 in savings.

Best part? I checked out from 11:40-11:55 PM (gotta love a 24-hr CVS), originally did everything in one transaction and realized I didn't have enough $$ on me to cover it when she totalled my order, and we had to split it into the above two transactions so I could use ECB from #1 for #2... and my cashier was sweet as pie, didn't give me crap about it, and thought it was awesome I saved so much money.

Yeah. I love CVS.


Sunday Stealing: The Eve Was Framed Meme

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're a dirty, dirty meme'er like me.

Cheers to all of us thieves!
1. Why is your favorite color your favorite?
It's the color of the clear sea in the medium depths of the Caribbean, the most beautiful color I've ever seen, and reminds me of what I love in the world.
2. Do you prefer dogs or cats or do you just hate animals, and want to kill baby seals?

That question made me snort! I prefer itty bitty little puppy doggies, but I love all animals. Even the ugly ones.
3. How much time do you spend on the computer?

4. Not including porn, what do you do on the computer?

This meme is cheeky, eh? I do everything, a little of this, a little of that, a little of s'more stuff... nunya, mostly.
5. Are you a clock watcher?

Rarely. Only if I'm bored, which I try not to be.
6. What did you look for in a partner?

Intelligence and a good sense of humor, decency and kindness, love and passion.... and obviously not height. Sorry, baby. Hee.
7. What type of clothing do you prefer?

Whatever I look good in and disguises my 7-to-10-year-old baby belly!
8. What is your favorite type of music?

I can't lie. I like my Pop music best. I know it's lame, but it's so... singalongable, mostly!
9. Do you believe in the paranormal, ghosts, ESP, levitation, spoon bending?

Not right now, nope.
10. The most important question: Do you have a innie or outie belly button?

I've got a way-the-hell-innie.
11. What kind of car do you drive?

C'mon, I've got three kiddos. A minivan. 2010 Honda Odyssey. I've had it a year and a half, and I still miss my old van.
12. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun or The Boys Are Back in Town?
The former!
13. Camping or the Ritz?
As much as I love the great outdoors, I'm more at home in a fancy hotel.
14. What food are you craving RIGHT NOW . . . did you eat it?
I don't know, but no, because whatever it is, we don't have it. Oberweis cottage cheese, I think. It's the best!
15. The most thrilling place you've ever visited. Why?
Oh, gosh. I'm hard-pressed... Okay. Our 2008 Mediterranean cruise was pretty awesome. I love culture, I love travel, I love being on the water... and I was with my darling husband. The only downside about that trip was that I was still mighty big (I had my surgery the following January), and we couldn't do a few of the excursions we'd planned because of my size.
16. If you could slip into the skin of one public figure--celebrity, artist,--who would it be?
Does Matt Damon's wife count? Then he could slip into my skin. Did I just say that?
17. Look up from your computer. What do you see first?

The Britto we bought on the aforementioned cruise!
18. Sum up your philosophy of life in one sentence. You can borrow it from someone else, if you'd like.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take it all, and there you have the facts of life, oh, the facts of life... sorry. I'm in a singing mood.
19. Name the one thing you just don't understand about kids today.

No. The kids, I get. It's their parents I don't often get!
20. If you could steal one work of art from a museum or gallery, which would it be?
Dalí's The Persistence of Memory has always captivated me.
Have a stellar week, kids!

Join Lisa Loeb and Crayola "Inside the Crayon Box" LIVE on Wednesday, March 7th!

Creativity matters. It´s a skill that all children can learn and when it´s practiced every day, kids become the critical thinkers, problem solvers, and leaders in the classroom, and they´re better prepared for professions of the 21st century.

Crayola wants every child to be creatively alive, so they´re inviting parents "Inside the Crayon Box," for a special live chat with celebrities and trusted parenting experts that will inspire and spark ideas to expand your child´s creative thinking. If you find yourself looking for new ways to inspire your children to express their ideas and build their creativity, you´ll want to join us to learn and share!

The first "Inside the Crayon Box" live chat is Wednesday, March 7 at 9 p.m. EST. Join Crayola and musician, children´s author and mom, Lisa Loeb for a 45-minute live streaming video chat on the Crayola Facebook Page. Lisa, best-known for her number one hit "Stay (I Missed You)," will share as personal stories, practical advice and ways she brings a little creative play into every day for her daughter. We want to hear from you - participants can ask Lisa questions during the event, too!

Interested in the topics to be covered during the chat?

  • Why Does Creativity Matter? Creativity is not about who´s the best artists or becoming an architect. It´s a way of thinking that encourages kids´ original ideas and develops their confidence.
  • Growing Up Creative. Lisa will share stories about growing up in a home where creativity was encouraged.
  • Simple Tips. Easy Ideas. Like most moms, Lisa juggles a lot. She´ll share simple, easy ways she sparks her daughter´s creativity as part of their daily routine.

The chat will occur here in the Crayola YouTube channel on Wednesday. I'm going to be there - will you join me?

Also, be sure to check out Lisa´s book Lisa Loeb´s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs (Sterling Children´s Books, 2011) available at Barnes & Noble and Sing, laugh, and play with pop Lisa in this fabulous collection of ten of the silliest songs ever. Fun activities, games, and recipes accompany whimsical songs. Take Lisa's Silly Sing-Along with you wherever you go and get the high-spirited good times started. Includes a 10-song CD recorded by Lisa!

Information about the Crayola "Inside the Crayon Box" live event was provided to me by Crayola through MyBlogSpark.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday 9: Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow (RIP Davy Jones)


Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. How much do you worry about your future?
2. Do you believe that anyone could be perfect?
Just one, and He's not here on Earth right now. The rest of us... we're only human.
3. Regarding your future, what is the best thing you could hope for?
That I'm alive in it, with a modicum of happiness and sanity, and not driving my hubs and kiddos up a wall - whilst they're driving me up said wall.
4. What's the greatest extent you've gone to help a friend in need?
Well, my sister's two daughters are pretty hearty and hale, unlike my own four kids who have all had their various illnesses (and death, in one case) and weaknesses throughout their young lives, so when her younger daughter took ill with a common childhood disease, she kind of freaked out. I dropped everything and drove all night from Virginia Beach to Western New York to be with her and her family until little H got better. I hope it was appreciated, because I had to wean my then-nursing son to do it! (He'd turned a year old the week before, so I'd already planned to, but still!)
5. What did you do lately that was really brave?
I stepped away from my various (11??) positions in leadership in the Girl Scouts on Wednesday. It broke my heart to do it on the one hand, but on the other hand, I really wanted and needed that, and I feel great since doing so.
6. What do you wish you hadn't let yourself do?
Take on so many things all at once last year, and let myself get unstable because of it. It's been about a year and a half since I've been stable (I'm bipolar), and it's kind of been hell on all of us with all the med tweakings and freak-outs while we try and figure out the right (new) cocktail for me...
7. Who is the wisest person you know?
My mama-in-law is pretty sage. I ask her for advice often, and she's always got good stuff knocking around in that brain of hers.
8. What's the most tasteless joke you've ever heard?
Oh, probably something disgusting and racist, which I do NOT tolerate.
9. What does your answering machine / voice mail message say?
Call it and find out, Willises!
Have a good weekend.