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Entries from July 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Sophie's Sumi-e Ink Wash Painting


Sophia adores her Kiwi Doodle Crates so much, she did extra chores when I told her she had to do them in order to open the box right NOW. Anybody who knows Sophia knows this is a HUGE deal.


This month's subscription to the Kiwi Doodle Crate was for Ink Wash Painting. Lemme tell you, there was ink EVERYWHERE (blah blah blah, Sophie being the reason why) during this activity, but she really enjoyed learning a new artsy technique.

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The Sumi-e ink wash drawing she ultimately created was pretty cool, I thought, for never having done it before. I liked it so well, I forgave her for forgetting to do an important thing or two I'd asked of her before she started..!

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Sundays In My City: Random Snaps

Unknown Mami
Link up with the Unknown Mami here if you're going to show off bits and pieces about your hometown and surrounds today!
I took the chillies to see the movie Inside Out at the local theater with four free movie tickets a week or so ago. The three of them loved it; me, not so much. I give it a B- and am not looking forward to when it comes out on DVD. I'll inevitably buy it for the kids, and then, ugh. You parents know what comes next!
Jack and Sophia, the younger two kidlets, started martial arts classes last Thursday, after I purchased a killer steal of a Groupon online recently. Oh-em-gee, they love it. LOVE. Jack broke a board with a palm strike two days ago, and he has not stopped talking about it since then. (Sophie missed the class, not feeling well that evening). Now Chloë, who was adamantly against signing up, wants to join the class, too. Hopefully they do family discounts, eh?
July 2015
Last Friday, Jack and Chloë went in for five hours of growth hormone stimulation testing. They were super-tired, starving, and bored, so it wasn't long before a second bed was delivered to the room for Curls to, y'know, curl up next to Jack.  Everyone came in to admire the two of them snoozing next to each other; it was pretty darling.
As for the results, I got those on Thursday: Jack makes almost zero HGH even with artificial stimulation, and Chloë makes normal amounts despite being enormously small. Next step for Jack is an MRI of the hypothalamus before presenting his shoo-in of a case to our insurance; Chloë's idiopathic short stature case gets presented immediately to them sans MRI. Keep your fingers crossed for her, please!
Rob's tattoo (bottom right, on his tummy) is his jokingly self-proclaimed self-portrait. Then we found this chartreuse look-alike on the Interwebs. What the heck? Art imitating life, or what?
Rob's late kitten, Spike, has been mourned so much for so long, and Rob has missed him greatly. He finally requested, when the time was right, a new kitty-baby to love. Enter Henry. I found him and adopted him from the Humane Society as a complete surprise to Hubs, who has strongly bonded with Hank already. And if you can't tell from those paws, I think this is going to be one large feline!
Just a wee egg shell Sophie and I discovered outside the abode a couple of days ago. The other half was nowhere to be found, prompting her to do an impression of the newly-hatched birdie walking around with its half-shell stuck to its rump and... well, you probably had to be there. (She's very amusing, that girl.)
I found an awesome deal on Converse kicks for Rob the other day on eBay, so I snagged a pair in his hard-to-find size. The same seller had equally-rockin' prices on these TOMS shoes, and since (a) I never owned any but wanted to, (b) I needed red shoes anywho, and (c) I love their #OneForOne business model, I snagged two pair. And you know what? I lurve them so.
Speaking of eBay, I snagged a 30-critter set of Littlest Pet Shop toys for Sophia, who does various and sundry creative things with these guys (when our Chihuahua, Paco, isn't busy chewing them up). I got the set cheaply, and she was screamy-excited when they arrived. I guess one was pretty rare, too, so double the screaminess happened. Happy to make my kiddo so overjoyed!
Speaking of Sophia, she wanted a photo shoot with big sister Chloë on Wednesday, so I was altogether too happy to oblige. I just wish Jack would let me take more photos of him, to even things out a little bit. Alas and alack, he hates the lens being trained on him, so I need to sneak snaps whenever I can!
Rob (Hubs) needed a new daily-wear watch desperately, so I used all my many Shop Your Way rewards points from Sears and snagged him this $$$ Pulsar digital one - after getting his thumbs-up on the model - for exactly ZERO dollars out of pocket. Free is my favorite price, y'all. And, he thinks it's pretty great, so win-win!
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Y por fín, my wireless keyboard kicked the proverbial bucket today, so I let my kids and Luis, their BFF in the neighborhood, take a mini sledgehammer to it and utterly annihilate it. Keys went flying everywhere; I probably shoulda provided safety goggles, but I didn't think of it, so nope. But they had fun, no one got hurt, and they were able to cross off something on their Summer Bucket List. Hee!
Welp, thanks for stopping by. I'm sorry for being all over the map here, but I did promise randomness in the post title, right?!
Unknown Mami
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Sunday Stealing: Let's Not Be Difficult Meme

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 Cheers to all of us thieves!!!  

Let's Not Be Difficult Meme

Stolen from: Surveysurveysurvey
1. Do you like your movies and books to be more lighthearted or serious? 

 I like my books to be more dramatic and thought-provoking, but comedy is my favorite movie genre. I'm not married to any one style, though. Just, please, no sci-fi for me.

 2. What’s more important, first impressions or lasting impact? 

I would say they're pretty evenly matched in importance. If you don't make (or get) a good first impression, then you might not get a chance to have a lasting impact on someone. However, like the photo, first impressions can be deceiving, so... some folks are worth the second chance.

 3. Order these areas of psychological health from what you need the least improvement into what you need the most improvement in: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental, spiritual.

Well, that's not subjective much, is it? ;) Let's see. Least to most improvement: intellectual, environmental, social, spiritual, physical, emotional. Feel free to disagree, reader-people.

4. Do you react appropriately to things and control your feelings?

 I have a diagnosis of Bipolar I With Psychosis. If I take my meds, on time, every day, I can control my feelings more than I might even like. However, take 'em late - even by an hour - and woohoo! We're swinging wildly through the emotions now! (It's not fun.)

5. Do you have stable relationships? 

I mentioned the bipolar disorder, right? Stability is a myth. However... I've been married for nearly 15 years, I'm still chums with many of my childhood pals, and my children profess to love me. Ah, the miracle of modern chemistry!

6. Do you need to be in a relationship to feel good about yourself?

Nope. I've had several relationships in which I've felt horrible about myself. A wise friend once told me, "You've got to be a good single before you can be part of a great couple." I think she was right. 

7. Which is the clearest and most concise: your thoughts, your speech, or your writing? Which is the least clear and concise?

My writing is the most clear. My speech is the least. My thoughts are closer to speech than writing in clarity. Nothing about me is concise. I'm a "to-make-a-short-story-long" type of gal. (Sorry, Hubs.)

8. Are you always trying to learn new things? 

Absolutely! Definitely! Of course! (I mean, yes. See? I'm not concise.)

9. Do you feel at peace?

Inner peace is like stability for me. It's an unattainable goal, but it's still on the list.

10. Do you have strong morals and ethics that you believe in and adhere to?

Eh. I strive to. I f**k up a lot, but I aim higher each time. Hi, I'm human.

11. Do you think of the needs of all humanity or just the needs of yourself and those you know? 

I thought this meme was not supposed to be difficult? Haha! I see what you did there. I try to think of the greater good before myself, but if you hurt one of my babies, Mama Bear is coming out in full force!

12. Do you recycle? 


13. Are you active in your community? 

Kinda, sorta? Okay, no, not really.

14. Are you sensitive to the needs of others? 

I would consider myself extremely sensitive to the needs of others. But, I'm also lazy. The two qualities don't always play well together.

15. Do you dress up to go out? 

I wear a dress or skirt 90% of the time, I bathe and fix my hair every day. I usually put on mascara, at least. So when I'm going out, there's a good chance I'm decked out pretty well. At least, that's my hope!

16. What could make you lose respect for someone? 

Abuse of... you name it. That pretty much does it.

17. If you won $1,000 every week until you die, would you still go to work?

Nope, to quit being a stay-home mom, I'd have to go get an outside-the-home job. And, uh, that's paradoxical to your question. -Ish.

18. What trend has been getting on your nerves lately?

Reporting celeb news, like whatever the Kartrashians are doing today, as "real" news. Like, really, as if, and stuff.

19. Do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake? 

Nope, not my forte, not at all.

20. Is ignorance really bliss? 

For the ignorant folks, sure, but for the rest of us, it's a pain in the arse! ;)

21. What can be described as ‘even better than the real thing’? 

Really. I don't. :\

22. What’s in your wallet right now? 

Let's see, here: I have $14 and some coinage I don't wanna count right now. Three debit cards from three different financial institutions. My Virginia driver license (tsk tsk, still haven't changed it to Florida) and my retired-dependent military ID. And a gift card to The Cheesecake Factory that I STILL HAVEN'T SPENT.

Oh, and some random Burger King coupon. I don't even like Burger King. Hmm. Clever product placement by a certain ten-year-old daughter of mine?!

23. Do you write letters that you never send? 

No, because I try not to be passive-aggressive. I know someone who is utterly and completely passive-aggressive like that, and it bugs the ever-living shit out of me. Just send the letter already, or don't bother. Meh. I really don't know why I'm getting all worked up over this question. Moving along...!

24. Do you ever get the feeling people are laughing at you?

 Yup, I get that feeling ALL the time. I'm completely self-conscious when people are laughing; I think it's at me pretty much 100% of the time. Sucks.

25. Who’s the one person you’d like to drop a house on?

Currently, Jeb Bush is the frontrunner for that honor, but only since you specified one person and, you know, not the entire GOP...

Welp, kids, thanks for stopping by!


saturday 9: Bubbly

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Saturday 9: Bubbly (2007)

... because Jodi suggested Colbie Caillat

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Singer Colbie Caillat says this song was inspired by a trip to "the beach and having a wonderful day with a person you like." Have you been to the beach yet this summer?

Kinda silly, since we live minutes from a local beach, but no, I don't believe we have!

2)  Are you careful about applying sunscreen?

I could stand to be more vigilant about it, but I am with my kids, so... I'm halfway there.

3) Colbie made her TV debut in a 2009 episode of Saturday Night Live. Are you a big SNL fan?

Once upon a time, I was, but things have changed for me, and I hardly ever watch it anymore. Probably not at all this whole last season.

4) "Bubbly" is often a synonym for champagne. When's the last time you enjoyed a glass of bubbly?

For Thanksgiving breakfast this past November, Hubs, my dad and I enjoyed mimosas. That was an interesting morning, since all three of us are lightweights!

5) Colbie sang the National Anthem at the third game of the Red Sox/Cardinals World Series in 2013. How is your favorite baseball team doing so far this season?

You imply that I have one; I really don't.

6) In 2005, Ms. Caillat tried out for Season 4 of American Idol but was eliminated very early in the process, before she could even audition for Simon, Paula and Randy. The winner that year was Carrie Underwood. Are you a Carrie Underwood fan?

I could really take her or leave her. I do think she's beautiful and has great singing talent; I'm just not a country fan.

7) In 2007, when "Bubbly" was popular, actress Yvonne de Carlo died. She was best known as Lily on The Munsters. If you had to choose (and yes, this Saturday you have to), would you rather hang out with Lily Munster or Morticia Addams

Hmmm... I think Lily and the rest of the Munster clan would be more fun. I'll go with her.

8) In 2007, MySpace was faced with a serious challenge from Facebook, and it's obvious which social network won. Did you have a MySpace account? If so, do you still post to it?

I did, yes, but don't make me laugh about whether I still post on it. Is it even still active?

9) Random question: Which have you had longer, your ironing board or your plunger?

The plunger is older. It moved here with us from Virginia Beach, whereas I had to replace our ironing board when we got here. That was random, haha!

Thanks for visiting!


Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Puppy


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Paco, our Chihuahua baby who appears to be fully grown at a hefty six pounds, passed the one-year mark this past weekend. Poor pup wasn't feeling too well for his big day, but we still treated him to a few licks of a Wendy's vanilla Frosty just the same. 

He's such a fun pooch, and we love having him as part of our family!

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Sunday Stealing: I Want To Be Famous Meme


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I Want To Be Famous Meme

Stolen from: Surveysurveysurvey
1. Would you like to be famous? In what way? 
Sure, but for something really great, like in the graph above. Scientist or author? Yes, please! I'd much rather be famous than notorious... just don't follow me around and document all my stupid moments. (There are far too many of those, btw...)

2. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? 

When it's important that I be clearly understood, I try to rehearse it. Then I make the call and bumble my way through it anyway. Eh. I should probably learn something from that, huh?

3. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? 


My perfect day would, first and foremost, be spent with Hubs and the kids. Everyone would be in a great mood. Maybe we would be doing something new and adventurous, something which none of us had ever done before. Maybe just trying exotic, new foods, or maybe something more physical. It doesn't matter what we do so much as with whom I'm doing it.

4. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? 

To myself? All the time. Daily. To someone else? Well, yesterday I was driving home when one of Hubs' and my songs came on the radio: Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason." I urged him to come outside, as I was rounding the corner to our home, and he rushed out. I turned the radio up loud, hopped out of the car, and embraced him, singing along with Tracy to my darling husband.

5. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? 

Definitely the mind. No 'bout a-doubt it!

6. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? 

No, not really (didn't we already do this meme??), but I would love to die by shark attack. That would be a great story for my descendants, no?

7. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? 

I am most grateful for having everything I could have ever wanted in a husband, and for the truly delightful children we have together.

8. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? 

Um, does everything count? How 'bout less fighting, violence, and dirty-conscience gifts, and more, y'know, LOVE? That.

9. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? 

I would wake up with the ability to fly. That could happen, right?

10. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

 I don't think I would want to know. I like surprises.

11. What does friendship mean to you? 

It's important. I don't know what more you want me to say than that?! I adore my friends with all my heart.

12. What roles do love and affection play in your life? 

I have freakishly short arms to Hubs' freakishly long ones, so we have an ongoing joke about me being a T-Rex... anywho, what roles? Erm, uh, I have them, and I'm truly grateful for them, and I try to return those feelings tenfold. Is that an appropriate answer? (I don't know what my current confusion problem is, but I suspect it has something to do with being a bit high on migraine meds right now...)

13. When did you last laugh? 

Just now at Hubs. We have another inside joke about him not sneezing the "required" three times - and no more - and he just sneezed. Once. Then he said, "You heard me. I don't need to repeat myself." He's an amusing chap. Maybe you had to be there?

14. Are you a morning person or a night owl? 

I'm definitely a night owl. I rolled out of, well, couch after the crack of noon today.

15. Seen anything weird lately?


If you ever meet my family, including myself but especially my 10yo daughter, Sophia, you would realize that I see weird things so often, it's stranger to see "normal" stuff.

And that's all she wrote, people!


Saturday 9: Crazy Little Thing Called Love

If you're playing along today, be sure and link up here!

Saturday 9: Crazy Little Thing Called Love (1980)

... because Diana suggested Queen

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this video, Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury is wearing a leather jacket. Do you have a leather jacket?

Nope, and I never will. Leather is no bueno for us librul, hippie-dippie, tree-hugger types! ;)

2) There's a statue of Freddie in Switzerland. There's another statue of him above the Dominion Theater in London. Tell us about a statue or memorial in your town.

There is this Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach. I haven't been yet, but the depiction is so profoundly moving to me. I would like to go and pay my respects. Soon.

3) Mercury said this song was inspired by Elvis Presley. What's your favorite Elvis song?

Either "Hound Dog" or "Jailhouse Rock," I think. I'm not sure. Maybe "A Little Less Conversation" or "Suspicious Minds." Okay, I admit, I'm kind of a big Elvis fan. My dad is the biggest fan, and I grew up listening to it.

4) This song was covered by the animated Alvin and the Chipmunks. Do you still watch cartoons?

I have kids, so yeah. Of course, they're tweens and a teen now, so we watch more adulty-type cartoons now, but we all still get a kick out of the more kiddie-type shows and movies plenty-much. I just took them to see the Disney movie Inside Out the other night. Have you seen it?

5) The members of Queen met while attending Ealing Art College in London. Are you still in touch with the friends you had in your late teens and early 20s?

Oh, yes, very much so. Some, not so much, but many are still quite a part of my life - at least virtually, since we're mostly geographically separated!

6) During Queen's heyday in the 1980s, Mercury stayed in shape with tennis and swimming. Are you more accomplished on the court or in the pool?

I have horrible depth perception and I'm naturally quite buoyant (hee), so... I'm just not very athletic, in general, y'all. I do love the water, and badminton is quite fun, but. But.

7) In 1980, when this song was popularBrooke Shields made a jeans commercial where she said, "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins." It actually only aired for a short time because so many viewers called and complained about it. Have you ever called or emailed to protest something you saw on TV?

I was four years old then, and I don't remember that incident. I'll have to Google why it was so offensive - was it because she was commando? Anyway, yeah, I have, but exactly what about escapes me at the moment. It was probably something about breastfeeding; as a young nursing mama, I was vehemently in favor of it sometimes. Eh. Bygones.

8) 1980 is also the year the Post-It note was introduced. What's the last Post-It you wrote?

have them, but I rarely use them, because I deem them wasteful. And you know what? They just don't stick where I need them for as long as I need them to do so. Surely it was a reminder about something I forgot as soon as the Post-It drifted off into oblivion.

9) Random question: Do you blush easily?

Oh, my gosh, yes. And I hate it. HATE it. It's a vicious cycle for me of get embarrassed - blush - get more embarrassed about my visible discomfort - blush more furiously - etc. HATE IT.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wordless Wednesday: Independence Day 2015


We started off our July 4th celebration at the Homestead Speedway just down the road from us, for fun, games, food trucks and fireworks.


Silly string was definitely involved... Hee!


When Chloë's flag wouldn't light up, Sophia happily donated hers to the cause. ♥ Love my babes! ♥


A quick pre-fireworks selfie with Sophie, my youngest lassie.


And boom! There they go! I didn't take a million pictures of the fireworks (you're welcome), because hey, you know, they're just better in person, right?!


Back at home, we did a couple dozen sparklers... definitely one of THIS mama's favorite parts of the holiday!















(That's Luis on the left, one of the kids' best neighborhood pals.)


Sophia having entirely too much fun!



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Thanks for visiting!


Sunday Stealing: Mash-Up Meme


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Mash Up Meme

Stolen from: My Random Randomness

1. What’s overdue for a good cleaning? 
My daughters' room. My son, Jack, actually keeps his room quite neat (and thank goodness, because it IS full of LEGO), but the girls room is a perpetual pigsty.

2. What’s overdue for some kind of professional examination, service, maintenance, or upkeep?  


Everything is breaking here. The dryer, the dishwasher, and the stove... it's just a matter of time before the whole thing falls apart, y'all. Oh, and I could stand to get an oil change.

3. Who’s overdue for a phone call or letter to you? 

TO me?! I prefer not to answer the phone. Texting me is better, #kthxbai ;)

 4. What’s overdue for an appearance in your neighborhood? 

No one. I'm good. I'm not really enjoying this week's meme too much... #SorryNotSorry

 5. Who’s overdue for a good comeuppance? 

The Donald

 6. What’s a gross food you like anyway? 

I wouldn't eat anything I thought was gross... would you?!

 7. Who’s an unlikeable person you like anyway? 

My dad... #NuffSaid

 8. What’s an unpleasant task you enjoy performing anyway? 

I like folding the laundry. Which is funny, because I have a mountain of it waiting just for me and have for a week now... :\

 9. What’s a dumb song you enjoy anyway? 

Anything by Carly Rae Jepsen. Her "music" sucks but it's catchy, so... #JustNotWithTheCarWindowsOpen 

 10. What’s a lousy restaurant you frequent anyway?

I like a Taco Bell bean burrito now and again... 

 11. What's your favourite Sci-fi film/program etc?

Sci-fi really is not my genre. Does The Big Bang Theory count?!

 12. Have you ever had a proper Tarot reading?

Negative. I don't do occult.

 13. Have you ever used the phrase "back in my time" to someone younger than you?

Of course; I have kids, don't I?

 14. Have you ever done something really unbelievable, only to have no one around to see it?

That's what smartphones are for, dude. #SamsungGalaxyFTW

 15. If you were famous would you want a statue or a building named after you?


I could make a pretty dirty joke here, but I wont since some of you might have weak hearts. ;) Hee. (It's funny, though.) What were you saying, now? 

Oh. Statue, but it better be of me doing something funny.

Thanks for stealing some time with me. See what I did there? :P


Saturday 9: Hungry

Playing along today? Link up here!

Saturday 9: Hungry (1966)
... because it's 4th of July 

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Are you eating anything as you respond to these questions?

No, but I did just toss a few handfuls of Kellogg's Krave cereal down my gullet. That stuff is good.

2) Paul Revere and the Raiders performed in Revolutionary garb. Have you ever worked at a job that required you to wear a uniform?

Oh, sure. I worked at Publix for a number of years. Somewhere I have a picture of me in that uniform... but I'm in no mood to go digging around for it right now, so you'll just have to imagine. I know, you don't care too much. ;)

3) The "Paul Revere" of Raiders fame was born Paul Revere Dick in Boise, Idaho. What else is Idaho known for?

My husband saying "And I da pimp!" every time I say "Idaho" 

4) The original Paul Revere was a silversmith by trade, known for making church bells. Can you hear church bells from your home?

Nah, but there are plenty of various flavors of church around here.

5) In April, 1775, Paul Revere literally rode into history when he galloped into the night, spreading the word that "the British are coming." Name another Revolutionary War-era hero.

General-cum-President George Washington!

6) Historians tell us that Revere's famous "midnight ride" actually took place between 9:00 and 10:00 PM. When is your usual bedtime?

Whenever I'm tired. I have no regular schedule. I never have. Pretty much sucks, I tell ya.

7) Earlier this year, officials from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts uncovered a time capsule buried in 1795 by Paul Revere and Gov. Sam Adams. It included coins and newspapers. If you were to bury a time capsule that reflects American life in 2015, what would it include?

Cool question. Hmm. Money of every denomination from penny through, oh, say $20 bill, newspapers. Maybe some family photos since clothing and hair styles change with the times. I don't know what else. We should do this, though!

8) Will you attend a fireworks display during the 4th of July weekend?

Abso-freaking-lutely! This is my favorite holiday of the year. We're going to the Homestead Speedway, where they put on a cool show, bring food trucks, and have other entertainment. I love it.

9) What's your preferred way to celebrate Independence Day - a parade, a picnic, or both?

I'm not big on parades. We were supposed to go on a picnic Thursday, and then Friday, but since I haven't been feeling too well, I left my kiddos disappointed. Hopefully Monday... maybe. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!