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Entries from April 2012

Sunday Stealing: The Semi-Charmed Meme, Parte Dos

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're thieving today!

Sunday Stealing: The Semi Charmed Meme, Part Two

21. A better name for me would be:

The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane

22. I have a hard time understanding:

Why people can't accept the facts that are staring them right in the face but will believe things that can't be proven.

23. If I ever go back to school:

I'm going to go to law school, get my degree and study Family Law. Ultimately, I'd like to be a family court judge.

24. You know I like you if:

I lick your cheek. No, really, if my eyes are smiling when I'm talking to you, then there's your first clue.

25. If I ever won an award, the first person I’d thank would be:

whoever supported me the most during whatever it was I was accomplishing.

26. If I could bring back a TV show for a reunion it would be:


27. Take my advice, never:

take my advice.

28. My ideal breakfast is:

Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew, or a really good protein shake or smoothie. Low carb, sugar-free, of course.

29. A song I love, but do not own is:

"I'm Going Down" by Mary J. Blige is, oddly, the first thing that came to mind. When I was out of town 11 years ago, someone (and I think I know who, but he won't admit it) got into my apartment and stole all my R&B CDs. So I used to own that track, but alas, it's gone now.

30. If you visit my hometown, I'd suggest:

a visit to Beaver Lake Nature Center would definitely be in order, followed by the B'ville Diner. And not much else, as I recall.

31. If I could meet a couple of my blog buddies, I'd include:

Gloria, who rarely blogs anymore but is now my FB buddy, Mrs. 4444 from Half Past Kissin' Time, and Nicole from I think ... therefore I blog, although she was actually my friend online before we both started blogging... and Harriet. Who woudn't want to meet her?

32. Why won’t people:

stop smoking around children? And recycle? And accept people of other races/colors/ethnicities as their equals? And just be nice for the sake of being nice? And stop turning around in my driveway???

33. If you spend the night at my house:

be aware that 7yo Sophia gets up at night, wanders around and gets into things. Including your things.

34. I’d stop everything for:

saving the life of a child. Or almost anyone's, but you know, that's less poignant.

35. The world could do without:

those stupid Ernest Goes to... movies.

36. The last time I got drunk I:

was at The Melting Pot with three girlfriends and got very silly! I don't know if I can show my face in front of a few servers now...hee.

37. My favorite blonde is:

my OLDer sister, Stacey Jean. ♥

38. Paper clips are more useful than:

this question, really.

39. If I do anything well, it’s:

be obnoxious, annoying, and wholly neurotic.

40. And by the way:

it's after 11 PM and all three of my kids are STILL UP. This day didn't go the way I planned it at all. But when do they?

Happy new week, y'all!


Saturday 9: That's Why God Made The Radio


Link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: That's Why God Made The Radio

1. The Beach Boys are back together (everyone alive, Dennis and Carl have passed, including Brian) for the first time in 25 years. It's their 50th Anniversary tour. Their new single is called, “That's Why God made the Radio”. Did radio play a huge part of your growing up years?

Absolutely. 93Q out of Syracuse, NY, was my morning radio show while getting ready for school. More Z89, too, but mostly the former. We were always taping songs off the radio on our giant boomboxes!

2. What is something that you are disappointed about right now?
A friend called me out on something, a particular personality flaw of mine, and I disagreed with her... but upon further reflection, I've realized she's right.
3. What are you really anticipating right now?
Payday! (What else is new?)
4. When was the last time you watched your favorite movie? What is it?
It's been a long time since I've seen either Grease or Dirty Dancing, my two favorites, I think... but I did watch the original Karate Kid within the past few months, and that's on the top 10 list.
5. If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be?
My son, my baby boy, my living son's identical twin, my angel...
6. Who was the last person you hung up on?
My father. I'll probably never, ever speak to him again. Jerk.
7. Does it bother you when meme makers separate questions that could've been combined?
It's not something I've ever even thought about, so no.
8. What is the first animal you would run to see if you went to the zoo?
Elephants. They're my favorite land animal.
9. What is the food you always buy at the grocery store that you can't live without?
Well, I don't always buy them, but I always look yearningly at the hummus and Wholly Guacamole, if they aren't on my rigidly-stuck-to lists.
See you on the next post, peeps!

Team Odette: Health Watch

If you've been around here for a while, even if you've been in and out, then you know the five of us seem to LIVE at the emergency department and have lots of health issues. Well, we do, and I often get asked about what's going on with so-and-so with such-and-such, so here's a mostly-comprehensive update for all you concerned citizens out there. I'll go in age order, to simplify things, starting with the Old Fart.


Rob had a nasty, scary accident last weekend. We thought he'd broken his arm, which would have been a miraculously slight injury compared to what could have been, but he didn't even do that. He's got what's known as "Goalkeeper's Thumb," and he'll probably need to see a hand specialist for the resultant pain and nerve damage he's sustained. Currently, I'm hauling him to work and his various doctor appointments, which is killing us on gas, but at least he's here to kill us on gas, so I'm thankful.

Other than that, he's doing well. There have been no more stroke-like symptoms and nothing going on with the brain tumor. That's just a "watch and see" situation, so there's not a whole lot to report on that subject. He's great as far as that's concerned. Whew!

Oh yeah, one more thing: He's got an inguinal hernia on which he'll need surgery sometime next month. It's painful for him, so between that and the arm, he's in a lot of discomfort lately. I feel bad for the ol' chap.

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I've got several things going on, and I take an annoying abundance of prescription medications for my various physical and mental ailments. I eat more medication than food in a day, I swear! My diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder I With Psychosis continues to dictate much of how I function personally, and we function together as a family unit, although my current cocktail has found me in the fleeting myth that is mental stability with this disease once again. I'm trying not to focus SO MUCH on the disease, else it takes over and becomes sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy type of situation, if that makes any sense.

I remain in therapy, with the most awesome therapist I've ever had. And I've had a few more than a few! We have made great strides recently and are really getting into the nitty gritty now. It's tough work, but we've had several huge breakthroughs, and I know we are really getting somewhere. My therapist is proud of me, my friend Jenny From the Block is proud of me, and I do believe that I am proud of me. I now believe there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and I can see that someday there will be an end to the anguish and heartache that have shackled me for nearly three decades to depression and suicidal ideation. It's a tremendously wonderful feeling.

In other news, I'm currently suffering from a lot of bad migraines and have restarted the steroid treatment, along with three other maintenance and abortive drugs, that I used in the past to get things back on track in the ol' noggin. Starting in college and ending when I was pregnant with Sophia, I had a migraine or some type of bad headache every day for 10 years, and the same Headache Clinic diagnostician fixed me up then.  It's not happening as rapidly this time around, but I can feel things are improving.

And finally, I've recently seen the gastroenterologist, since I continue to (sorry) vomit several times a day since my surgery more than three years ago. I started having severe heartburn a month or two ago, and it's gotten progressively worse, so I'm getting another upper endoscopy in a few weeks to see how badly I've eroded my esophagus. More drugs for that, and they work great, so hopefully we can get things repaired in the food tube.


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Not a whole lot going on with Chloë at the moment, which is great. She was evaluated for her growth deficiency several months ago, which is a different form than Jack's, but she's not eligible for the growth hormone shots he gets. At least, insurance won't pay for them, because they're not "medically necessary" since her 5-year-old size correlates to her bone age (according to x-rays and bone scans done on her hands). This was devastating news to her, and she cries every time it comes up. She really wanted those shots; the novelty of being a pixie doll has worn off, and she wants to grow. I think she's lovely just the way she is - as is Jack - so it breaks my heart that she's so disappointed and upset about her body. We continue to work on her self-image, and other than that, she'll be followed by the endocrinologist for her growth issues from here on out. 

All three kids have well-child check-ups coming up on Monday, so I plan to discuss their respective migraine issues (all FIVE of us suffer from them, which sucks as a parent watching them in the same horrible pain you know and have experienced yourself) and see if I can't get them followed by neurology in the same Headache Clinic I visit.


Jack's migraines are the least frequent, and he continues on his nightly shots of Nutropin (growth hormone). He's doing fantastic with that, both in that he's actually growing and I've finally had to bump my 9-year-old boy up to 4T pants (hey, I didn't say he was huge) recently, and also in actually taking the shots. He barely flinches anymore and is this-close to giving them to himself. We're trying to get him to be able to do it on his own, but he's not quite ready for that, so he does everything to set up the shot except press in the actual injection. Other than that, he's doing wonderfully!


Sophia went back to CHKD (Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, based in Norfolk) on Thursday for the breathing issues with which she continues to intermittently experience.


Chloë was with Rob while he was getting an ultrasound over at Portsmouth Naval Hospital (for his hernia), which is why she isn't in these pictures from CHKD. There was a lot of hurry-up-and-wait time for this visit, so I kept Jack and Sophia busy with memory games. This is just a collage of the various silly faces they made while thinking of what was said before that they had to repeat, and what they would say on their turns. I kept having to simplify the game, which was an "A, my name is Alice" type of thing, because they couldn't think of enough place names for each letter and would get frustrated. Still, it passed the time!



Finally, we were taken down the hall so Soph could do another breathing function test, and she did pretty well on that. She struggled a little bit at times, but for the most part, she exhibited good, full lung function.


While I was trying to get a decent picture of that, my silly boy popped up in the middle of the picture and made this face. Goof!

So after talking with the pulmonologist, Dr. E., about the various tests Sophia's had (Pulmonary Function Tests, MRI, etc.), she continues to be concerned about the Cental Apnea and thinks there may be an Obstructive Apnea component to that as well, since I reported Sophia's increase in frequency and volume, and Dr. E. felt enlarged tonsils. I have to get her back to CHKD for an x-ray of her adenoids, and then she's going to see the ENT about possible removal of those and the tonsils.

As far as the daytime breathing issue, Dr. E. continues to be stumped by it. Upon further discussion, the two of us put together that she must have some sort of negative association with new van, and I'm going to get her into therapy to figure out what is wrong. We think they're panic attacks, since 90% of the time, that's where they happen, almost always when Rob's not with us or we are having any kind of dispute up front if he with us. She witnessed an argument shortly after we got the van - actually the night we brought it home - and this issue started within a fortnight or so of that, hence this epiphany. We'll see how it pans out, but I probably won't give a lot of detail on that except to give a yay or nay on whether it's been resolved, in the future.

In other news, Sophia is ENORMOUS. Well, for one of our kids, that is. She eats, like, 10 small meals a day. I mean, it's constant. She's solid and squeezy, but not chubby, so she definitely works off all those calories. She's over 55 lbs at age 7 now, while her 10½-year old sister is about 48 lbs and 9yo brother hovers around 40! The hand-me-downs from Chloë to Sophia have reversed to hand-me-ups, which aggravates the older child to no end, poor thing. When I buy clothes (size 7 for Sophia, while Chloë's still in a 5-6), I make sure to get a few special pieces that are new for Chloë, to ease that sore spot.

And finally, Sophia's migraines are worsening. She's had three since winter began, which may not sound like a lot, but they're really bad when they do happen. She rarely throws up, but she always does when she gets these. She had one on Thursday night and was absolutely miserable until she slept it off and woke up around 0400, bouncing off the walls as usual.

So that's that. Consider yourselves up to date. I'll be catching up on blogging today, since we're heading up to Richmond with Jenny FTB and her kids on the train tomorrow until Friday (sans Rob), and laundry and packing will be our main foci today. I'll need the break from that!

Have yourselves a good one!


National Child Abuse Prevention Month

This subject is near and dear to my heart, as someone who went through this as a child and has been living with the fall-out ever since, so I'm donating this post on behalf of the Social Moms Network in order to raise awareness for this worth cause.


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we can each play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of our children and the kids in our communities.

Child maltreatment includes all types of abuse and neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role (e.g., clergy, coach, teacher). There are four common types of abuse:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Neglect

In 2010, U.S. state and local child protective services (CPS) received 3.6 million reports of children being abused or neglected. Children who experience abuse and neglect are at risk for emotional and physical health problems for the rest of their lives.

Listed below are things you can do to help prevent child abuse (from Darkness to Light website -

  1. Learn the facts about child abuse and understand the risks.
    1. Read a book, attend a class, or look online to see how many children are affected by the different types of child maltreatment.
    2. Abusers are often people the family trusts; they look and act just like everyone else.
  2. Minimize the opportunities for abuse to occur.
    1. Avoid situations where a child is alone with an adult – and avoid one-adult/one-child situations with children other than your own.
    2. Monitor the Internet use of children so that they aren’t lured into inappropriate activities.
  3. Talk about abuse
    1. Talk openly to your child and understand why children may be scared to tell someone about abuse.
    2. Talk to other adults about child abuse. This helps raise the consciousness of your community and influences their choices about child safety, while also putting potential abusers on notice that you are paying attention.
  4. Stay alert to the signs of abuse.
    1. Read a book, attend a class, or look online to determine the signs (physical and emotional/behavioral) of the different types of child maltreatment, while also understanding that some children may not display any signs
  5. Know what to do if you suspect the abuse or neglect of a child.
    1. Your reaction to suspected child maltreatment can determine how the child responds so it’s important not to overreact.
    2. Provide support to the child.
    3. Report suspected child maltreatment to appropriate authorities, either by calling the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD or by calling local child protective services or law enforcement agencies in your community.
  6. Act on suspicions.
    1. Even if you don’t have proof but you suspect abuse has occurred/is occurring, you should report it. If you want to talk to staff about whether or not to report, you can call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD.
  7. Get involved in your communities.
    1. Meet and greet your neighbors and organize/participate in activities in your neighborhood
    2. Go to a parents’ meeting or volunteer at your child’s school or run for an office in the parent organization at your child’s school
    3. Participate in an activity at your local library or community center
    4. Attend local government meetings (city council or school board meetings) and let them know how important resources are in your community. Let them know how parks, strong schools, and accessible services help to strengthen your family and other families
    5. Support legislation that protects children.
    6. Call and write your members of Congress.
    7. Write letters to your newspaper.

Parents may feel they can’t prevent child abuse unless they personally see it happening to a child, or are involved in a field of work that helps children who have experienced abuse or neglect. But that’s not true! We all have a role to play and the role of parents is a crucial one. It’s critical that adults take responsibility for keeping children safe if child abuse is truly going to be prevented. This will require that each of us understands our role in protecting children and preventing child abuse. . CDC’s approach to preventing child maltreatment is promoting safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and their parents or caregivers. One way you can help ensure all children have safe, stable, and nurturing relationships is by supporting parents in your community

Bullying is another way that children are abused. There is evidence that children with histories of abuse and neglect are more likely to engage in bullying behavior and are at a higher risk for being bullied by their peers than children who aren’t maltreated. (Shields & Cicchetti, 2001) Check out our resource on how parents can stop bullying and violence against children in the classroom.
Visit Social Moms Network here for more infomation about this importan topic.

Saturday 9: 'Til I Hear It From You


Link up here if you're a late bloomer, like me!

Saturday 9: 'Til I Hear It From You

1. If someone, that you trusted, told you that your lover was cheating, would you believe them or not?

Yeah, probably.

2. What is something that you are disappointed about right now?
My daughter promised me something, and she broke her promise. She was so earnest about her promise, too. :(
3. Jonathan Frid, who was the original Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows from 1967-1971, passed away in Canada at the age of 87. Who is your favorite vampire?
Yeah, no.
4. Should there be age limits on social networking sites such as facebook?
No, I believer 80-year-olds should be allowed to make fools of themselves on there, just like the rest of us.
5. Tell us about your pets. Do you have one that you wish would run away?
Haha!! No! We have four very different cats, personality-wise. I love them all.
6. Do you ever have a hard time with morals?
Sure, I think everyone must struggle at times.
7. Did you make 'a plan' the first time you made love or did it just happen?
The latter, nosy.
8. Do you agree that fame is lousy or would you love to give it a try? Why?
I don't know, I've never tried it. I'm sure it has some lovely perks.
9. Do you believe in forever, as in 'love forever'?
Of course I do. Don't you?
That was short. Meh.

Product Review: Depend Silhouette For Women Briefs - Oh Yes, I Did That!


Never let it be said that I'm not a little zany. Some may say "crazy," but I prefer zany.

Anyway, I got a three-pack of these for free a little while back, and since I occasionally, well, leak when I laugh and sneeze and generally really need to pee (yeah, so? I had four kids in 3½ years, dammit!), I figured I'd give these babies a go. I wear about a size 6, give or take a size depending on make and manufacturer, so I got the small/medium size.

Well, the first problem was, they were HUMONGOUS on me. HUGE. So if they made an XS, I'd try that and report back, but I don't think they do. I'm going to get my friend Jenny From the Block to try them out, too, and see how they work for her.

Anyway, so I got my big ol' bladder nice and full, pulled on a pair of these Silhouettes, sat down on the living room floor, and... yeah. I did it. I peed my pants. Totes on purpose. Sitting on my laminate-wooden living room floor.

And they leaked like CRAZY. Rob thinks they would've worked better if they fit better, and he may be right, but I think the liter-plus of wizzy I put in them was just entirely too much. No lie, I can hold more than a liter at a time. Believe me, I've measured it.

So I had a huge puddle to clean up, and weewee all over my lower half, to boot.

To sum it up: If you're going to try these, make sure that you go down a size than you would normally buy. Although I have it on good authority that the Tena brand is better. I have some of those, too. Should I let you know whether I concur?


P.S. I thoroughly laughed my ass off while doing this. Yes, I had fun. And no, I didn't poop my pants. You've gotta draw the line somewhere, y'know.

Saturday 9: Ain't Too Proud To Beg


Link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: Ain't Too Proud to Beg

1. What was the last thing that you begged for?

Your pardon?

2. Have you ever lost a best friend after a fight?
I sure have, more than once, and more than once with the same person. Heh. But each time, we were equally at fault.
3. When was the last time you just wanted to be invisible?
Whenever I'm severely depressed, I guess. I can't think of a specific incident other than that, but when I'm in a depression, I just want to hide from the world.
4. Which room of your home tends to be the messiest?
The kitchen, definitely. But right now, ugh. My whole house is a mess. It never ends, the cleaning and re-messing. Can I just burn the place down and start over??
5. You are to be locked in a room forever with a celebrity. You get to choose. Whom do you pick?
Yeah, please, no. Unless my husband is famous, I'd rather pass, thanks!
6. Has someone ever left another person to be with you?
Yes and no, and I'm going to leave it at that!
7. What’s been kind of a drag for you lately?
Remember that messy house? That.
8. How are you different from your significant other?
We complement each other completely. He's a complete Type B, and I'm totally Type A. I'm neurotic and crazy; he's chill. I'm - by 'training' - a neat freak; he's a complete slob. I can sing and dance; he can't. At all. I'm sure there are eleventy-seven more ways in which we differ, but you're bored of this now. Well, I am.
9. What is the most perverted thing someone has ever said to you?
I'm not telling you what my husband says to me in the boudoir!! Hee.
Have a great weekend!

Hey! That Works For Me!

WFM 250x250 featured

As I mentioned previously, my pet tips "Works For Me Wednesday" post from several years ago was selected to be featured in this awesome new e-book, That Works For Me! How exciting! And now you have a chance to win a copy of that e-book from my little ol' bloggy here, Smellyann Strikes Again.

Check out this video to learn more about what's going to be in this book:


There's also another That Works For Me! contest going on, to win a $150 house cleaning, throughout the month of April. Submit a tip here for your entry to win!

Follow the e-book on Twitter for an extra entry, and for another extra entry, like them on Facebook!  Check 'em out and follow on Pinterest - you can add your blog posts with tips there, too!

Last but not least, if you don't win the giveaway copy of the e-book but would like a discount, here's your coupon code for $1 off the regular price of $9, making it $8 (but you could figure that out, right?): SAVE1. (Not sure when it expires, so don't wait!)

Giveaway ends April 18th at midnight EST! Just comment on this post about the e-book or whatever's on your mind, and don't forget about the contest they're running, too. Good luck!


Sunday Stealing: The OC 25 Meme


Link up here if you're playing along today! Happy Easter/Passover to all who celebrate!

Sunday Stealing: The OC 25 Meme

1. What is your origin of your first name? What about any nicknames?

My mom just randomly came up with it. I was supposed to be "Eleanor" after my dad's mom, or "Clayton" if I was a boy, but when my dad wasn't in the room, my mom quickly put down "Melanie" instead. Hee! I've come to appreciate that, although my elementary school BFF was Eleanor, so of course I had wanted that to be my name then. My middle name is Ann, so my dad always called me "Mellie Ann," which my wonderful older sister changed to "Smellyann" at some point. And there you have it.

2. Have you any claims to fame?

Apparently, I'm meant to be a writer. In college, I came in second (or third?) in a huge poetry contest - you've probably seen the ads for it - and my published poem was analyzed in the front of the anthology in which it appeared. I was supposed to have my boys' and my story published in the Chicken Soup for the Twins Soul book, but apparently they decided it was too sad and took it out later on, which is fine with me. And more recently, my "Works for Me Wednesday" pets edition blahg post was published in a book called That Works For Me! or something like that; I had to give the proper permissions and all that. I've always been a pretty decent writer and thought I've had more poetry and maybe a novel rattling around in there, but I haven't been able to get started. We'll see if that ever comes to fruition.

3. If you were famous, how would you introduce yourself to someone who had never heard of you?

The same way I do now, I suppose: I'd have the head of my huge entourage do it. Heh.

4. Which of your country's achievements do you hold in highest regard?

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation couldn't have come soon enough; I think it just edges out winning the American Revolution. JMHO

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

First, I wanted to be a teacher and librarian. As I grew up, though, I wanted to be a marine biologist. And until I got married, I was one. For a brief time, I was livin' the dream I grew up having. Now, I'm happier things worked out this way. I wouldn't change a thing, except for maybe a fatter wallet..

6. What was your most prized possession as a child? Do you still have it?

It was my red-and-white stuffed puppy dog named Snowflake, who eventually was missing an ear. The other ear had holly leaves and berries on it. I loved that puppy. I don't know what happened to her.

7. What would you change about yourself, if you could?

Pfft. What wouldn't I? That would be a shorter list. I would take away the Bi-Polar Disorder from which I suffer (as do those around me, I'm afraid), and I would give myself more strength of character. People who know the sorts of things I've been through always tell me what a strong person I am, but I don't feel that way. I feel like a weak, meek little mouse. My therapist tells me I am progressing though - she told me recently that I was "individuating," since I am no longer seeking my father's approval. I laughed and said it was high-time at 35, but she says she sees people much older than I am who haven't gotten that far and wow! I am babbling! Anyway, physically, I'd get my plastics to remove the skin I have hanging around (literally) after my 200+-lb weight loss.

8. What are you obsessed with?

Yarn. Picking at myself. My husband's nuts. Jafra. Couponing. And more yarn.

9. What is your greatest achievement so far, or the high point of your career?

Oh, I've received my fair share of academic accolades, but my proudest achievement was winning "Class Giggler" in 3rd grade. I still have the certificate!

10. When/where were you happiest?

January 2, 2001: The day we eloped was the most blissful day in my life. I'll never, ever forget that high.

11. And the lowest point in your life thus far?

March 25, 2003: The day I held my older twin son as he shuddered taking his last breath. Nothing is worse than outliving your child.

12. What was the best decision you ever made?

Marrying Rob! He is so good for, and to, me. We both have our share of shortcomings, but I definitely ended up with the better end of the deal. God knew what he was doing when he brought me this man.

13. If you have any body modifications, which was most painful, or which do you regret the most? If you haven't got any, do you have any planned, or would you ever consider getting any?

Other than four piercings in each ear, I have a nose ring. So that was the most painful. I haven't fully decided on getting a tattoo, but if I do, it'll be a joint one with Rob, honoring our four children together.

14. What is the most idiotic thing you have ever done while intoxicated?

We don't have to go there, do we? Let's not. Maybe the next time I get that intoxicated, which will be never, I'll share that story with y'all. ;) Let's just say I'll probably never drink Goldschläger again!

15. What is your favorite joke?

I am so terrible at remembering things like jokes and movie quotes. Asking me to tell a joke is putting me on the spot. I like stupid jokes anyway, like this one:

Knock Knock?

Who's there?

Little old lady.

Little old lady who?

I didn't know you could yodel!

16. What is the coolest/most impressive thing you own?

You mean aside from my iPhone? (You know I love that dang thing.) Okay, let me think on it a minute... probably the Britto. We bought a limited edition giclée of his called Deep Night Romance on our Mediterranean cruise, and it sums up our love for each other beautifully.

17. When did you last cry, and why?

I cried a little bit last night, thinking about this coming Monday. It'll be the 28th anniversary of my mom's death, and I always get a little weepy.

18. What's the best piece of advice you've ever had?

Surprisingly, it came from my dad. I'll paraphrase: "Don't let anyone rob you of your joy."

19. Similarly, what's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for you?

A semi-anonymous benefactor helped me pay for my college degree, the day I was going to get kicked out for non-payment of my classes. Biggest relief of my life!

20. Have you any vices?

I'm too self-indulgent.

21. Do you regret anything?

No regrets. I live for today, and tomorrow. There are things I wish I'd done differently, but I didn't, and I have learned and grown from them.

22. What is the best invention ever?

Hello?! The iPhone! lol

23. How would you describe your relationship with your family?

I have a very small living family. My mom is gone, my dad and I aren't speaking at the moment, and my sister and I are as close as we can possibly be from a distance. I love that broad! ♥

24. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Anyone with deep emotional fortitude, who can come through a tragedy and not completely fall to pieces. Well, falling to pieces isn't the thing, but someone who can pick up those pieces and make life work again - that's inspiring to me.

25. What are you going to do when you've finished Sunday Stealing?

Work on my April/May Jafra newsletter, a week later than I'd planned. Oops.

Happy Easter!


Saturday 9: I Must Be Seeing Things


Link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: I Must Be Seeing Things

1. Have you ever watched something unfold, that as you watched, you could not believe what you've witnessed?

Of course. 9/11 comes to mind, but other things to, sure. Princess Di's death (not that I witnessed these things, per se, but you know, on the news), JFK Jr's crash, the Challenger Explosion when I was a kid... now that I did see happen live on TV.

2. What is your favorite city in the world? Why?

I love big cities, so that's a tough one for me. Miami and NYC are probably tied for my favorite American cities, but I haven't been to them all yet, and I haven't been in L.A. long or often enough to claim that one... Overseas, Barcelona and Madrid were favorites, and Venice was amazing, as was Rome... I don't know. I'd have to say of all the places I've ever been, maybe New York. Hey, it never sleeps, like me!

3. What is the strangest film, to your sense of reality, that you have ever seen?

A Spanish-language film, Talk to Her, is the first thing that popped into my head. 

4. It seems that the older that you get, the less you want the hassle of seeing a live concert. Who is an artist or a band that you'd actually pay to see?

I guess I haven't reached that point yet, because I love going to shows. There are a lot I'd pay to see, but Clapton tops the list. Adele, Kelly Clarkson, and Madonna are somewhere on that list, too, which isn't exhaustive. The most fun concert, or at least most unusual, was Blue Man Group. That was crazy!

5. When was the last time that you lost your temper?

I'm about to. My kids are refusing to clean up their messes in the living room so I can hide their Easter baskets for tomorrow morning, and it's driving me up a wall!

6. When you were little, did you think "sex" was a bad word?

Not so much a bad word, but I was embarrassed by it.

7. What does your smart phone do that really surprised you when you loaded the app?

Nothing, anymore. I've had it a few years, so it's hard to say. At first everything was so amazing. I love my iPhone!

8. Have you ever been attracted to someone that you should not have been? (Feel free to take this lame question any way that you please.)

No, not in my mind! You can't help to whom you're attracted, so unless you're a pedophile or something,.. well, I'm not!

9. Will you see the new "The Three Stooges" film?

Uh, no. Why should I?

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up here if you've got bits & pieces rattling around in the ol' noggin to share with Mrs. 4444 and friends today! I have quite a few, so take a load off and stay awhile, won't you?

I've got new news, so pop on over to this post if you want to know what big changes are afoot in my (and my older daughter's) lives!

Likewise, I'd love your input on my Aloha Friday question for this week, which is here! Let me know if you have an AF post this week, too, so I can be sure to check it out!

New Looks

I've been playing around with the new Jafra color collection lately, so I'm experimenting with some new looks instead of my usual standby, which is closest to the bottom right in this collage. Which do you like best?


Chloë, my oldest, was looking particularly adorable today, so I snapped this photo of her and then played around with it in Picasa by Google. I can't claim credit for those curls, which she gets from her daddy. His hair looks just like this when he's not, well, in the Navy for 19 years!



Chloë wanted a makeover, so we played around with some of my make-up on her for a little while Thursday evening. What do you think about make-up on a 10-year-old? Totally wrong, or okay if it's just for fun, like this? Obviously, we don't do this very often, but I think it's fine once in a blue moon, for kicks.


Speaking of Jafra, I've been painting my nails with our wonderful lacquers faithfully, and they're actually growing and not breaking! I have paper-thin nails normally, and they break easily. My sister's nails are long and strong, so I sent her this picture on Facebook. Yeah. We bonded over nails. What can I say; she's a cosmetologist!

Feb Kiwi Crate

Sophia and Jack have been having so much fun with their Kiwi Crates over the past few months, that I finally relented and renewed their subscription after being asked approximately 8700 times. They worked on it a bit Thursday evening and made parrots and treasure boxes. Can you guess the theme? Yep. Next we'll be making pirate hats and eye patches to go with them. Fun!


After nearly two years of trying to get a table to our local Melting Pot's Girls' Night Out, I finally scored us a table - at 10:30 PM! It ended up working out to be a good time, albeit very late, because my friend Tabby and I had preview tickets for the movie American Reunion, the American Pie sequel, the same night. So for seven hours, I was out with first Tabby, and then Tab, and two of my "Turtle Friends," Saritah and Jenny From the Block at dinner. And oh, my gosh, I laughed so hard and often during both events. The movie was hysterical from start to finish, and we had ourselves a hilarious time at dinner, too. I hope we don't have to wait another couple years to do it again!

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Our tax refund check came in recently - well, partially, anyway, as the IRS denied Chloë as our child based on a clerical error on their part, argh - so Rob and I got some very necessary new tires for his motorcycle, Elsie, and my Odyssey, Penelope. The tire appointment was supposed to take about two hours, so I asked Jenny From the Block to keep our kiddos while we were there. I just wasn't up to deal with the boredom whining, basically! She agreed, so in the end, Rob and I decided to venture out together on his motorcycle for the first time, to use one of our Groupon-like certificates for a local Thai restaurant which we'd never tried. We were the only people there for quite a while, as you can see, but it certainly wasn't because of the food quality!


Our meal was excellent, although mine was spicier than I expected. I can't do spicy, and not just because of my sensitive gastric bypass pouch; I never could handle it. I just don't have the stomach - or tongue! - for it, sad to say. Still, it was good. But better than that was the fun of riding around on the back of the BMW with Rob! I had so much fun! I was a little scared, sure, but it was a breathlessly-exhilarating kind of fun. I hope we get another chance to do that again soon, too!

So pretty much other than the pictures and details of Jack's birthday party, I'm all caught up now on my blahggy show-and-telling. I really ought to do that, especially since it'll be time to show Sophia's birthday party pictures in another week! On Friday the 13th, my youngest child will turn seven! We'll have her, 9-year-old Jack, and 10½-year-old Chloë. It' to face the music: my family is aging out of the "little kid" stage. I guess we're pretty well established by now, huh?

And now to leave you with my old standby, a Cute Kid Quote. As you may or may not know, in my previous existence as a singleton, I was a marine biologist, studying shark feeding behaviour. My kids know all about that, and for whatever reason, it comes up frequently. Anyway, Thursday afternoon, we were driving around, when Jack suddenly asked what a car's muffler was for. Before I could answer, Sophia snapped at him, "She doesn't know! She's not a car biologist! It's not like she dives into cars!" I had quite a chuckle over that one! These kids. They kill me.

On that note, thanks for stopping by, and have a fabulous weekend!



Sarah's Baptism

On Sunday, we were invited by one of my "Turtle" friends, Saritah, to witness her and her two sons' baptism at their church in Portsmouth. I love her to death, and I've also never witnessed anyone's baptism - except Robby's, of course, but that was hardly customary - so I was overjoyed to attend.

It was a beautiful ceremony, and it really got me thinking. I grew up as a Christian Scientist (which is not Scientology), so I wasn't baptised in the traditional sense, as they believe you're baptised in the Holy Spirit without the ritualism of the water baptism. (That's truncating the full explanation, but feel free to ask if you need more.) Anyway, I've been struggling my entire adult life - that's 17 years, folks - with the decision about whether to be water-baptised, ever since I left Christian Science after college. I'd read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and it inspired somewhat of a Christianity identity crisis in me that has had me on a path of questioning and wanting to soak up all I could about living according to God's Will ever since. I have often failed, but I continually try... and anyway, back to my point.

I decided, at Sarah and the boys' baptism, that when my first living child decides to be baptised, I would do it with him or her. I didn't have long to wait, as later that day, Chloë and I were out together, and she brought up the fact that she, too, wanted to be baptised. Rob and I had decided long ago that we wouldn't baptise them as babies, because we wanted them to come to the decision on their own, when they were old enough to understand the full gravity and import of the decision.

I was so excited to hear of her choice! I gently interrogated her, and without prompting, she was able to clearly explain to me the meaning and importance of baptism in her life, and her walk with Jesus, so I was satisfied that she understood the undertaking. So, like that, we decided that together we would be baptised at our church at the next opportunity. I can't wait! I'm beyond excited. The time is right for me. I'll find out at our Easter services on Saturday night when that will be and, of course, let y'all know!



All four of us Turtles - and our collective 16 children - met up at a nearby Golden Corral for lunch after the baptism. The Other Melanie's family went home to change first, so her kids aren't represented here, but you'll see some of them in a minute.


Saritah's 8-month-old baby, Tempe, was lucky enough to join us at the adult table. She's sitting next to her mama, with Jenny From the Block grinning across the table. Jenny's hubs was ducking out of the picture, next to her; he's camera-shy!


After Chloë shot her straw wrapper across the table at Sophia, Saritah's hubs mentioned something called, "The Snake." I'd never heard of this before, so I made him demonstrate. Here he is getting it ready.


And there it is. Silly. Am I the only one who had never heard of this before?!


At ten, Chloë has her first puppy-love crush on Sarah's older son, Sebastian. It's not unrequited. The two of them... *sigh* I'm trying to discourage such attachment so young, but I've been pretty unsuccessful thus far!


Here's Ginny, another of Sarah's four children, showing off her chocolate mustache. At some point, nearly all of the children were sporting one!


After lunch, a nice couple took Jenny's and my cameras and took photos of all of the Turtles and most of our family's - a few of T.O. Mel's kids opted out. T.O. Mel is preggers with #8! I'm delighted for her, and yeah, a little envious, too. 


The Turtles, Left to Right: Jenny, Melanie, Saritah, and moi

So, that was that awesome day. I'm so happy for Sarah and the boys, and excited for Chloë and myself! Stay tuned...


Coppertone Water MOM Here!

Coppertone Water MOMS Blog Button

Disclosure: As a member of the Coppertone® Water MOMS group, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit. No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience.

Guess what?! I've been accepted to this new product sampling and review opportunity for Coppertone sun care products, and I'm so excited to get my first sampling kit in a few weeks. Stay tuned for my review(s)!


Aloha Friday


Link up here to play along with Kailani & friends!

Cuppy & Muffy

Yesterday, I took our two youngest (of four) cats, Cupcake and Muffin, to get spayed at the SPCA. So my question for you this week is:

Unless you're a breeder, do you spay/neuter your pets? If not, why not? If so, do you opt for the take-home pain meds?

Especially for spaying, I can't imagine not getting the pain meds, since it's a major surgery, but I would opt for it for a neutering, too. I mean, owie! All of our pets have been "fixed." It's the responsible thing to do, IMHO.

Have a great weekend, and happy Easter/Pesach!


Wordless Wednesday: It's Easy Being Green

Link up here if you're Wordless (or not-so-) today!


So here I am, wearing one half of the new Jafra Mariposa Color Collection, called "Morpho," which I think is so pretty on everyone I've seen it on. I think it even looks good on me, too. If you'd like to try it, head on over here to my Jafra website, or let me know in the comments! Or just let me know what you think of it on me - do I pull it off? Normally I wear more brown shades because of my eyes...



This is today, wearing the other half of the Mariposa collection, "Monarch."  I like both! My link is above if you'd like to try the new collection(s)!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Hump Day! ;)


Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Us Away

Once upon a time, also known as Friday morning, Jenny from The Block, her kids, and my kids, piled into Penelope (my Odyssey) and took a road trip up the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The main purpose of the shop was to do a mystery shop for which I was well-paid, but we got, shall we say, side-tracked, after that was finished. Had ourselves a little adventure, we did. Would you like to hear about it? Good. Grab a seat, your beverage of choice, and your mouse, because you're gonna need to do some scrollin'. For once, I had the Nikon with me and got over my camnesia!


So we meandered down the road a piece and, after talking to the scarcely-toothed manager of a local convenience shop, found our way here. You know the book Misty of Chincoteague? It's about the wild horses that roam this area. Well, I've been meaning to bring the kids up here for the entire, oh, nine years we've been living in the Beach o' Virginia to look for them. Finally, we made it. Too bad our respective Rons weren't with us. (Which is Jenny-and-me speak for "Rob," both our husbands' name...) Eventually, we plan to return for longer than a few hours and do the trip proper justice.


The first creature we spotted wasn't a horse, though. It wasn't even a vertebrate. The flutter-by captivated the five children's attention for a good few minutes before we went hiking in search of the Assateague Lighthouse, our first conquest.


I love watching the kids on a mission. Look how big Sophia is - she's the second-youngest, too! Jenny's kids are peanuts like Jack and Chloë. ♥


Ooh, looky! There it is, just over yonder!


Oh, whoops. Hang on, Moms. We have to stop and do a kickline together. The kids came up with that on their own, and then the did it about six more times during the day, in various places. Too cute. Especially the way Jack can barely stand up to do it. He's kind of, um, awkward. You should see him run. I can say it, because I'm his mother. The boy runs funny.


In short order, we found the clearing where the lighthouse lives, in all its resplendent glory. Or something.


Jenny and the kids checked out the structure, while I checked out... them.


I love that the cinderblock seemed to have been placed there just for my wee laddie!


Here's what he was so fixated upon: acres and acres of pure, unadulterated Nature. Gotta love it!


Yeah, welcome. Except, what village? I must've missed that part. It was the blink-and-you-miss-it type of town.


More signage. You can read it. I don't need to describe it. It was there, so I took its picture. That's what we perfeshunul photographers do, y'know.


The entrance of the lighthouse was all one-room schoolhouse-looking. I liked it. All old and historical. Pretty cool.


The Assateague Lighthouse. And some other little building. The keeper's quarters? I don't know.


We found a nice lady to take a picture of the seven of us together. Look, you can see the kids doing their kickline again. Hee.



Sophia taking a quick breather... (edited in Picasa for coolness)


Curly Sue had a look-see through the thingamajig, too. Nature at its finest, ready for its close-up!


Sitting on the bench near the lighthouse, Sophia deduced that the logs used for it were cut down by the late Mr. Jones memorialized thereon, and I was pretty impressed by that. Maybe you had to be there, but it was a great example of logic and reasoning for an almost-seven-year-old!


(Click pic to embiggerate) The kids all sat on the bench for another rest, and while they did so, I had them show me all the emotions I could think of. The funny part was, Jack was super-grumpy at the moment (tired), and all his expressions were exactly the same while the other four were being theatrical. Goof.


Hiking back to the van, we spotted this flash of white in the distance. Could it be a pony? We had to go see.


Oh. Nah. It was just a log. A log that proved to be quite entertaining to the shorties for several moments.


Gavin: "Get your hands out of my butt!" Madison: "Get your butt off my hands!" Okay, I made that up. Paraphrasing from the movie G-Force... ah. I entertain myself.


Cutie-pie little Gavin... he's such a sweety-kins!


More walkin', and lookin', and standin' around... And yes, we drove all the way up there and forgot to shoe poor Sophia. I carried her around a lot that day, and she is decidedly not a lightweight. Whew.


Another Gavin capture, looking cutesy-pie


Okay, yet another one, but I just love seeing little kids crouching like that! We were trying to decide whether a nearby plant was poison ivy. (It wasn't.)



All right, back to Penelope, to go find us some horsies!


I just love a van full of bebes!


This was the view out my driver's side window, when we were watching the horses, of which I did not actually obtain one dang picture, because they were so far away and well-covered by the brush and trees. Poopsticks. But it was still cool being out there and watching them. It was like being on safari. For horses. In Virginia. That was my fantasy.


Somewhere, out there, beneath the pale moonlight.. okay, it was daytime, and now I'm going to have that song in my head. Anyway, out there is where the ponies were roaming. We probably saw 6-8 of them. It was all very exciting. I can't wait to go again!


After we left the Assateague/Chincoteague area and did a little souvie shopping, we found the NASA Visitor Center and decided to go in there and check things out. And behold, it was good. A very good idea.


Yeah. The boys were in seventh heaven with all there was to see and do, rocketry-related. It wasn't lost on the girls, either. Fun times!


Curls will pose with any old satellite model if you train a camera lens on her. A born model.


A big ol' NASA balloon model, which is ginormous compared to the Washington Monument model. How come I've never seen one of these floating around? I guess maybe I wasn't paying attention, because, um, they're really big. BIG.


Madi and Gavin checking out a rocket trajectory


Chloë was transfixed by the astronaut-guy, who was all Madame Tussaud's-looking. Kind of creepy, but cool. Kind of.


I had fun following Jack around while he ran here-to-there, pointing out all the things hanging from the ceiling. It was too cute!


More walking and pointing. No talking, just the pointing.


At some "point," I wondered if he really cared where he was aiming that finger and just got into the habit of doing it!


A-ha! A center just for the wee folk, in the middle of the museum. There was all kinds of nifty stuff in there for the quintet.



Right after this was taken, Sophia accidentally leaned on that lid Gavin was lifting, while his bitty fingers were underneath it! Ouch! Poor little fellow.


There's Jack, doing his engineer thing, figuring things out, making 'em work. He spent a good chunk of our time there at this propulsion exhibit.


Finally, he had enough and went to go look at models of Naval ships. Jenny's husband works on this kind when he's away... but I'm blanking on what it's called at the moment.



And of course, we have an aircraft carrier here, which Jack stepped aside for me to snap, knowing it was his Daddy's kind of ship.


Then Gavin came over and found the ship his Daddy goes on, whilst Jenny brought over some free educational loot materials for us to use in our respective homeschool pursuits. Sweet!


A quiet moment for Soap


Chloë was watching a video about I don't know what, because I was too busy admiring her curls and ringlets.


Sophia kept insisting the two bacteria samples on the right were mixed together to form the color on the left, despite my continually telling her that it was three different organisms. Stubborn girl!


Here's what they actually were. ;)


The kids learning about El Niño and La Niña


Hey look, Gavin's a pointer, too! Must be a boy thing.


Jenny wanted to pose with the astronaut suit thingy, so I told her to "look spacey," and this is what she did. Ha! She's a hoot, that Jen.


At the end of our impromptu field trip, we stopped in the gift shop. Of course, Jack wanted one of every. single. thing. he saw in there. Little did he know I'd already scooped up some goodies from the souvenir shop we'd visited in Chincoteague, so it was killing me that he waaaaaanted something so badly and I (thought I) had left my wallet in the car. (Turns out I didn't, but that is probably a really good thing, since I kinda wanted one of everything, too!)



What? The back of his head is pretty cute, too - especially since you can tell his eyes are bugging out in the front, right?


*sigh* All right, all right, I can't stand it anymore. I whispered in his ear that I had something special just for him out in the car, and it was our little secret, and I'd show him later, and shh-shh-shh-shh-shhhhhh!


Oops, one more last pointy-point before we headed out to Penelope and back home.


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When we got home that night, and the girls weren't looking, I gave Jack his pressies. He was pretty excited, so much so that the first thing he did was go show his sisters. D'oh! Jack! Good thing I'd gotten them each a Chincoteague/Assateague snow globe to make up for it, but they (rightly) felt shortchanged. Ah well. I just said it was "late birthday presents," and that seemed to do the trick.

And that was the end of that little jaunt.


P.S. Sophia's snow globe is already broken. Le sigh.

This Week's Drugstore Steals & Deals


So it's lame; I just made it on the fly a minute ago until I can come up with something better for this feature. 

I'm going to consolidate the trips as concisely as possible to make sense for you, since I had to visit each of them at least twice, if not three times, to get things corrected that weren't rung up properly or were (gasp!) my mistake. As always, big thanks to Collin over at Hip2Save for helping me put together my deals. (Visit her site for an explanation of he coupon lingo I'm using as well, if you're confused.) So let's go!




Two trips; four transactions (five if you count the return I had to make to re-buy the items in the bottom pic at the right prices with Qs). Details:

1. Not shown: Photo collage and 8x10 enlargement, for mi amiguita Saritah of her and her sons' baptisms yesterday, which I'll blog about later... Both FREE, for a total savings of $6.98.

2. (2) boxes Kellogg's Rice Krispies, on sale 2/$5, minus $1/2 MQ = $4.13 OOP. $6.58 Wag & Q savings. Earned $2 RR.

3. (2) boxes Rice Krispies, sale 2/$5, minus $1/2 MQ;

(2) Colgate MaxFresh 6-oz Toothpastes, sale 2/$5, minus (2) $1 MQs;

(2) Lady Speedstick deodorants, $4.29 each, on sale BOGO, minus (2) $1 MQs; and,

(1) 24-ct Zantac 150, on sale $7.99, minus $2 SQ and (2) $2 RR Qs from two weeks ago.

OOP: $13.87; $25.65 Wag & Q savings; earned $5 RRs.

4. RETURN: Zantac & Lady Speedstick deodorants, for $17.00, despite my protests that it should be less because of the Qs I used. Lucky me!

5. Repurchase of Zantac, on sale $7.99, minus $5 MQ and $2 SQ, and

(2) Men's Speedstick deodorants, $3.79 each, on sale BOGO, minus (2) $2 RR Qs from (2) and (3).

OOP: 97¢; $18.79 Wag & Q savings.

OVERALL: $1.97 OOP, $58 savings, and $3 RRs for next time. NET: $1.03 moneymaker on the above items!

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Two trips; two transactions. Details:

(2) bags (12.6-oz & 9.9-oz) m&ms, on sale 2/$6, minus $1.50/2 MQ, earned $2 ECB;

(3) 12-packs Coke + (1) 12-pack Sprite, on sale 4/$10;

(3) L'Oréal Studio Style hair products, on sale 3/$9 + (2) L'Oréal EverSleek shampoo & conditioner, on sale 2/$12 + (1) L'Oréal Go 360 facial scrub, $4.39, minus (2) 75¢ MQs, minus (2) $2 MQs, minus $1 MQ, earned $10 ECB;

(3) Reese's + (1) Hershey's Easter candy bags, on sale 4/$10, minus $2/3 MQ, minus $2/$10 SQ, earned $2 ECB;

(4) Purina Beggin' Strips dog treats + (4) Beneful Baked Delights dog treats, on sale 2/$6, minus (2) BOGO MQs, minus (2) $1/2 MQs, earned $5 ECBs (I get these for my therapy dog, Mojo, whom I love to smithereens!);

(3) 20-oz Diet Coke bottles, on sale $1.50 when 2+ are purchased, minus (3) coupons from My Coke Rewards for FREE 20-oz bottles, which the cashier took off the non-sale price of $1.67 for...;

(1) Complete Multi-Purpose Contact Lens solution (which I need since I just got new contacts today!), on sale $8.99, earned $8.99 ECBs;

(2) 3-ct Thermacare Neck & Shoulder Heat Wraps, on sale $5.99 each, minus (2) $3 MQs, earned $5 ECBs;

(1) 3-ct Small/Med Depend Sillhouettes, on sale $3.99, minus $2 MQ, earned $2 ECBs;

(2) 9-oz Dawn + Olay Hand Renewal dish liquid soaps, on sale 99¢ each + (2) 8-pk Bounty Basic paper towels, on sale $6.49 each + (2) 9-pk Charmin Basic UltraSoft, on sale $5.99 each + 60-ct Always pantiliners, on sale $4.39, minus (2) 50¢ MQs, minus (5) $1 MQs = (2) FREE boxes Cheerios cereals;

(1) Revlon Quad EyeShadow "Seduction," $7.29 + (1) Revlon 10-ct emory boards, $3.37 (Not rung up, which I discovered later, but they told me not to worry about it when I brought it to their attention today, so FREE for me :\ ) + (3) Revlon Nail Clipper Deluxe, $2.87 each, minus $2 MQ, minus (3) $1 MQs, earned $7 ECBs;

(3) Kellogg's Special K cereals, on sale 2/$5, minus $1/3 MQ, earned $4 ECBs;

(1) CVS Green Bag Tag, 99¢, minus 99¢ SQ;

(1) 60-ct CVS Sheer bandages, $2.37, minus $3 SQ;

(25) 4x6" photo prints, $7.25, minus $7.25 SQ;

also used $10 ECB, (6) $5 ECBs, $7.50 ECB, (3) $5 Viggle (the awesome TV-watching app) gift certificates, $5 Gift Card from meeting the pharmacist, and $10 Gift Card from

OVERALL: $29.39 OOP, $156.21 in CVS and Q savings, and earned $45.99 in ECBs. NET: They paid me $16.60 to take home all of the above. WOOT!!!

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Rite Aid



Two trips, two transactions. Details:

(2) 14-lb Arm & Hammer kitty litter, on sale $4.99 each, earned (2) $1 +UPs;

(6) 9-oz Dawn dish liquid soaps, on sale 99¢, minus (6) 50¢ MQs;

(2) 80-ct Dentyne Ice gum + (2) 80-ct Trident White gum, on sale $2.99 each, minus (4) $1 MQs, earned (4) $1 +UPs;

(2) 5-oz Haribo Gold Gummy Bears bags, on sale 99¢ each, minus (2) 30¢ MQs;

(4) Hershey's Pot of Gold boxes of chocolate (three of which I gave to Jenny from The Block, Saritah, & The Other Melanie, my "Turtle" friends, today for a little pressie), on sale $3.99 each, earned (4) $2 +UPs;

(2) 16-oz Gillette Men's Bodywash + (1) bonus deodorant on one, on sale $3.99 each, minus (2) $1 MQs, earned (2) $2 +UPs;

(1) 36-ct double-pack Scunci Hair Elastics, on sale $1.99, earned $2 +UP;

(1) K-Y Intrigue Personal Lubricant + (1) K-Y Yours + Mine (yeah baby, you know it, I said it), $20.99 each, minus $2.10 for being at "gold" level Wellness Rewards, minus (2) $5 MQs, earned (2) $7 +UPs;

(2) 25-ct Halls Defense cough drops, on sale $1.50 each, minus $1/2 MQ, minus 50¢ SQ, earned $1 +UP;

(2) 50-ct One-A-Day VitaCraves Fruity Gummy Vitamins, on sale 2/$18, minus (2) $2 MQs, minus $1 SQ, earned $5 +UPs;

(2) Rite Aid Weekly Pill Reminder containers, reg $2.99 each, on sale B1G1 50% off, very much needed!;

(4) 50-ct Mentos Curvy Bottle gum, on sale 2/$4, minus (2) $1/2 MQs, earned (2) $1 +UPs;

(1) 20-oz Pepsi Next, on sale 99¢, minus 99¢ SQ;

 also used $22 in +UPs from last time.

OVERALL: $63.20 OOP; $135.23 in RA & Q savings; earned $51 +UPs. NET: $12.20 OOP for all of the above! Not bad!

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

Stay tuned for Target deals coming up later this week!


Sunday Stealing: The April No Fools' Meme

Sunday Stealing

Linky-link is here! Join, won't you?

 Sunday Stealing: The April No Fools' Meme

1. What was the last clothing item that you bought?

 Our Easter outfits, for all five of us.

2. If you could stay one age forever, what age would you choose?
35 isn't bad. If I could get the skin surgery I need, I guess I'd choose 35!

3. When you say “lol”, are you really laughing?

At least on the inside, sure. I'm a giggler, though, so I probably am outwardly as well.

4. What is the most interesting thing you’ve done in the past year?

Shoot, just the other day, we finally drove up and found the wild ponies of Chincoteague/Assateague... that was pretty cool. I'll be posting about that later.

5. If you started a business, what would it be?
Well, I did start a business, a bakery. I gave it up to pursue my other business, selling the incredible Jafra skin care, which I've been doing over 13 years now and still love it!

6. Do your friends/family/coworkers know about your blog?

Most people do, yeah. They can't help but know; it's automatically linked to Facebook when I publish a post.
7. How long does it take you to write an average blog post?

It completely varies, depending on what I'm writing and how photo-heavy it is. If I had to venture a guess for the average, though, I'd say an hour.

8. How do you keep up with the blogs you follow?

Well, theoretically, in Google Reader, but I'm so behind. I probably have a couple two-three thousand posts to catch up on by now.

9. What is your bedtime? Is sex always involved?

*snort* No, but that's nunya! My bedtime is whenever I get tired. No set time.

10. Introvert or extrovert?

I'm the former.

11. What is your biggest fear?

Losing another one of my children. And mustard.

12. What is the best job you ever had?

Working at the dive shop on Key Biscayne, Florida. It was just fun times, always. Lots of close runners-up, though!

13. Dog person/cat person/both/neither?

I used to be strictly a dog person/cat hater until I got my then-bf a cat. Now I'm both. They're lovely pets, kitties.

14. If you had $1,000 to spend any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

If I could be boring and spend it on bills, I would. If I had to be frivolous, I'd go on a small trip or buy a bunch of premium yarn. Love my yarns!

15. How do you "dress your toast"?

Either butter (real) or cream cheese, preferably whipped.

16.  How do you feel about snow?

I hate it with a passion.

17.  What was the worst job you ever had?

Hmm... I can't really say I've had a bad job. I've enjoyed every job I've ever had, more or less.

18.  What song can you not stop listening to?

Well, I was all about Adele, but they're way overplaying her songs now. Right now I'm liking Rihanna's "Talk That Talk," especially the hook. And I love Wiz Khalifa's "Young, Wild and Free" as well.

19. Love your name or hate it?

Growing up, I hated Melanie, because I couldn't stand when people called me Mel. Now I don't mind it when friends do it, but when people I barely know call me Mel, it pisses me off. I love my name now, but still not the nickname!

20. How did you choose your blog/twitter handle?

Well, they're the same (how'd you know?), and it's the childhood nick bestowed upon me by my loving older sister. I own it, though. I am Smellyann. LOL

Have a great week, y'all!


P.S. Typepad is being funky with the posts again, so if this gets all weird when I hit "publish," 'tis not my fault! Things are moving around and changing colours, and it's driving me nucking futs!