Monday, December 31, 2007

Minus 9 hours and counting

The last day of the year has arrived. 2007 started off pretty rocky, and continued that way for more than the first half of the year. It's a year I'm looking forward to putting behind me.

I won't be setting any new year's resolutions because quite frankly, I think I've done enough on my own doing without a new year being the reason why. I stopped biting my nails and that would have been a darn good resolution. The only thing remotely close to a resolution is the fact that I'm going to try my hardest to drop some more weight this new year. I refuse to say much more than that, because then it just sets me up for disappointment, and I don't want to be down on myself.

So, here's hoping that 2008 brings everyone much happiness, good health, lots of laughter, and love.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

100 Things About Me - Part 2

11. I may just have a slight addiction to buying clothes for my kids. They have enough to potentially clothe the children of a small country. I can't help it. But in all seriousness - I don't pay anywhere near full price for the stuff. It's all bought at the end of the season for the next year. For instance - my kids each just got a bag full of summer clothes for Christmas. Add my shopping along with my mom's and anyone else that buys clothes and you have very stuffed closets.

12. I got pregnant before my husband and I were married. In fact, we had just started dating. I lost that pregnancy at 9 1/2 weeks and was devastated at the time. Now I look back and Thank God because I know my life would have been so much different (and this coming February, that child would have been 8).

13. I love capers. Chicken picatta is one of my favorite dishes. Yum!

14. My first 'behind the wheel' in driver's ed was humiliating. I didn't know how to turn the steering wheel back when making a turn and ended up on the front lawn of a house.

15. I have no living grandparents. I lost the last one, my Grams, over 2 years ago when I was just 25.

16. I was pregnant with my son at the time of my 21st birthday. I had no idea at the time, and I drank. Not heavily, but I did do a few shots that night. At times I feel really awful about that.

17. My cats are my furbabies. I get very, very attached to pets. I miss our family cats like crazy, even to this day. Right now I have 1 cat - Cosmo - he was given to me by my ex-boyfriend in 1996.

18. I don't cook. I can cook, just really don't have much time to do it, and I feel like I'm not very good at. Though, the several things I have made didn't make anyone go running away, so it must be not be too bad. I can bake, though. I'm pretty good at making dessert. :)

19. I don't know how to whistle. Okay, not entirely true - I can just barely make a whistling sound. I guess I just wasn't born with a very good whistler.

20. One memory I have of my paternal grandparents is being at their house, and always having Maurice Lenell pinwheel cookies and Frosted Flakes. I also remember this light-up gingerbread house that they put out at Christmastime on their kitchen counter. I found one on ebay this year, and bought it.

100 Things About Me - Part 1

"100 Things About Me" seems to be a popular thing around the blog world.

Since I just recently made my blog 'public' again, I figured this may be something nice to do for any new readers that may be lurking out there.

1. I have only held 3 jobs in my lifetime. I will celebrate 10 years with my company in November 2008.

2. I got married when I was 20. Yup, wasn't even legally able to drink at my own reception, but they made an exception. ;)

3. Some of my best friends are 8-13 years older than me.

4. Penguins are my favorite animal. Have been since I was a kid. I believe it all started off when I picked out a ceramic penguin statue souvenier while on vacation in Canada.

5. I have an extreme fear of tornados.

6. I used to bite my nails. All.The.Time. I gave it up on October 26, 2007. My nails look awesome.

7. I love music. Can't play it, write it, or even sing it - but I enjoy it. There's nothing like taking a drive on a beautiful day with the windows rolled down and the tunes cranked up.

8. Food is my downfall. I love it. All kinds. Junk food, fast food, Italian food, polish food; it doesn't matter. I love to eat.

9. Because of said food addiction, I'm overweight. Lost 35 pounds in 2006, basically maintained throughout 2007 and plan to lose more in 2008.

10. I love taking photographs. I'm not sure exactly when the passion started, but I launched a website in 2007 and hope to do a bit more with it in '08.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Penny Candy

I mentioned earlier that there were a few gifts I was pretty anxious about giving for Christmas this year.

One of them was a box of "Old Time" candy and a gift card to the movie theater for my folks.

A year or two ago, I had come across a website that sold nostalgic candy that they bought as kids. I never got a chance to order, and I remembered it this year.

They were so excited over their box of banana split chews, BB bat suckers, licorice pipes, zots and more.

It was just such a great, unique gift that brought a smile and I'm sure some pretty fond memories, too.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Black Currant Vanilla

For Christmas, I got this wonderful Bath & Body Works aromatherapy body wash and hand cream. It's "Sensuality" and the scent is Black Currant Vanilla. It is seriously almost to die for!

I'm fresh out of the shower, and smelling absolutely delicious I might add, sitting down to catch up on some blogs and have a cup of caramel cocoa.

And yes - the body is aching. Shoveling probably wasn't the best idea when I was already feeling run down, plus I'm pretty out of shape as it is. I'm looking at it like this, though -- that was an hour of probably some darn good cardio, and it's not even the first of the year (for my motto ... "Losin' Weight in 2008").

That's gonna hurt

I was just outside shoveling for an hour. I've already been feeling pretty darn worn down and yucky (I have a cold or something), so I am really gonna be aching later.

We're getting bombarded with snow. My boss called us at noon and told us we better head home. I won't complain! I managed to get home before the roads were really stinky (they were not so good but it still only took me an hour to get home), so I'm safe and warm.

I see hot cocoa and snuggly jammies in my future.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

That's All Folks

In a flash, it's all over with. A month of planning, shopping, decorating, baking and preparing, and it's all over faster than you can blink.

Our festivities started off on a very sour note. My family gets together on Christmas Eve. First my Aunt (my mom's sister) calls and says she won't be coming (no good excuse - she always does this sort of thing). A bit later, my sister calls. My mom already feared she was going to back out when the day before she coughed 50 times on the phone and told my mom she hadn't been feeling good for a couple days. Supposedly she had a 103 degree fever. Out of 7 family events this year, she's had excuses for 5.

I was pissed and probably didn't do the right thing - but I was tired of seeing my mom upset for the second time on Christmas Eve over her loved ones backing out (and we were expecting catering -- as it was, we ended up with 2 guests when we normally have 7, plus the 6 of us here.) So, anyway ..... I called my sister (home phone was busy - she probably kept it off the hook after the phone conversation with my mom, so I tried her cell) and it went into voice mail. I left a not-so-nice message and pretty much said, you don't show up, I'm not speaking to you again.

Unfair? I don't know - but I'm tired of every event, she's got an excuse at the last minute. I'd almost like to ask for a doctor's note. (sigh)

At any rate .... we had a good time regardless. Santa came last night, and left all the perfect goodies under the tree. I was incredibly spoiled (I scored 3 different digital photo frame goodies -- keychain, photo cube, and photo frame -- a FM transmitter for my iPod, lots of Victoria's Secret goodies, clothes, a loving family necklace, Willow Tree family plaque; plus we've got a good $150 in gift cards for restaurants and a nice set of fleece sheets).

I'm pooped, though. I managed to snag 6 hours of sleep last night, but I feel like it was a lot less. Either I'm just tired - or I'm coming down with something. I've been a bit achy today as well. So, it's off to bed I go.....life returns to normal tomorrow and it's back to work I go.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!




Well Blogger Friends, the time has come .... I hope you all have a very wonderful holiday - full of love, laughter and happiness. May Santa be good to you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Things Kids Say

It's a lazy day here; one of hanging out at home, watching tv and snuggling.

I'm on the couch under a fleece blanket, and the kids come over with their blankets and climb up and find spots to curl up. My daughter was laying on top of me, while my son was down near my feet. They were wiggly, unable to lay still and I commented about it.

Mike, who is snuggling by himself on the loveseat asks Braeden what the problem is.

B (as he's reaching down his jeans): My weiner is .....

Mike: What?

Me: Do you have to go peepee?

B: No...it's just my weiner. It's like .... a statue.

I look over at Mike, who pulls his fleece blanket up over his face.

B: Well, you know ... if you forget about it and walk around, then it goes back smooshy again.

At this point, I can barely contain myself and I throw the kids off me, and dash up the stairs because, that folks, is blog material!

Praise

Just four months ago I was nearly scared out of my wits as to how I would be able to handle the new position as general manager.

It was a nerve-wracking time, but I jumped in and I haven't sunk! I've had nearly everything that could be, thrown at me in these first few months.

Yesterday I received my Christmas bonus inside a card. The bonus itself was not a surprise, as I'm the one that does payroll and prints all the checks - but the message inside was nice:

"We are glad you stepped up as the new general manager - it's been going great. Thanks for all of your hard work & loyalty!"

Friday, December 21, 2007

If I can't get that to work.....

I might as well share some art.

I took this photo this past summer at a local arboretum. I got some pretty awesome shots that day, including one that my friend, Melissa bought poster size to have framed.

There's a lot you can do post-picture taking to improve or intensify your photo. Honestly, I don't like having this option. I mean - I do - but I also feel that if I can't get the shot and have it be exceptional without all the editing and photo shopping, then I just won't think the photo is right. This is just how it is in my mind - and there's nothing wrong with using photo editing software.

But, I found myself playing around tonight and made a photo look as if it's a piece of artwork that I painted.



Of course, looking at it in a smaller thumbnail image - it doesn't look like I did anything to it. But when clicked and viewed full, it's completely different.

Grrrrr!

I'm bored with the plain white background here, and I really haven't come across any skins out there that jump out at me.

So, I made a new title graphic and have a background that's ready to go, but I cannot get it to work for the life of me.

(sigh)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let's see what else can go wrong

As if there isn't enough on my mind, or enough bills and things to do and pay for this time of year; my car is sick. There's something wrong, and I've kind of known for awhile, but I've been putting it off and - unlike people that can get better without any medicine or care at times - cars don't tend to do that.

I finally said enough already, and my car is headed in to the 'doctor'. I've got a suspicion that it's the transmission. I hope it's something as simple as needing a trans flush.....but the car is almost 7 years old, and has over 120,000 miles on (I think at this point, we're even closer to 130,000). And really, is it ever something that simple when it comes to car repairs?

All of a sudden, this last week, the closer we get to Christmas, the more depressed I get. I'm in a lonely, dark place. I'm feeling worn down, achy, and tired. I haven't even watched my favorite Christmas movie yet this year, which really says alot. I never skip out on watching Christmas Vacation every year. I'm stressing more, and my body is feeling it. I've got a monster headache, and the stress is settling in my neck, making that ache, and in turn, making the headache worse too.

I'm sure not going to be gaining any readers with my downer posts, but writing is somewhat therapeutic to the soul.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wake me when it's over

I swear, I'm *really* trying to be in the spirit this year, and there are things I'm excited about, but for the most part -- this holiday season I'm just sort of bummed. Kind of ho-hum about the whole thing.

I'm actually looking more forward to it being over with. Totally odd for me, because usually after the last gift is opened and that the day comes to an end, I'm already feeling sad and depressed that it's over for the year.

I guess I am more unhappy with many aspects of my life than I thought. I wish things were different.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kolachky, Kolacky, Kolaczki .... however it's spelled!

The most delicate, delicious Polish cookie on Earth .... and I think the real official spelling is Kolaczki ..... at any rate, this is how they turned out this year.



I made these for the first time last year, and while they were D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S, they gave me a hard time in the oven and popped open. This year they stayed pinched closed, and came out looking like something you'd buy at the bakery. I'm quite proud.

Monday, December 17, 2007

That's the way the cookie crumbles

We - seriously - must have 30 pounds of homemade cookies in this house. It's been a baking frenzy here the past two days.

Of the list of 17 different types of cookies, 13 are done. We may very well end up with near 1,000 cookies.

Yeah, we're nuts. Or maybe this is a form of Christmas Cookie OCD.

I'm absolutely exhausted. We did 2 second interviews today at work and have 3 potential new drivers. Now it's just a matter of taking the next step; running their MVR and making sure they are insurable and sending them out on a 'test run' with a driver to see if this floats their boat.

I'm hopeful, excited, anxious and nervous that one of these guys is going to make the final cut. I can't believe that with all the excess stress at work lately, I have still managed to not bite my nails (going on 9 weeks now), nor become a closet drinker.

And .... can you believe it; Santa comes in a week!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm dreaming of a .....

No, not a White Christmas. But at this point, it looks like we're going to have one. We're under a "Heavy Snow Warning" until noon tomorrow and we're getting dumped on pretty good.

Right now all I'm dreaming of is an escape. Except the roads are too crummy to drive on anyway, so I wouldn't get very far.

It's just been one of those days - you know the sort - the type that you'd rather walk barefoot in the snow, or pull your toenails out with pliers.

And no, it's not all the kids. It's the husband.

If he keeps this crap up, he's going to find a nice big, gift wrapped box of all his belongings on the front lawn.

Good riddance. The joys of marriage. For those unmarried folk - take this as a warning.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Flashback

I wanted to hear Fergie's song, Clumsy, so where do I go? Youtube of course! If you can't find it there, you may be S.O.L my friend.

I do some further searching and find that Fergie was on one of my all-time favorite kid's shows.

I grew up watching Today's Special, Mickey Mouse Club, and Kids Incorporated.



I end up finding that, oddly enough, my favorite Kids Inc. star, Stacy Ferguson, is the one and only, Fergie.

While we're at it .... here's the kids-crack I was on back in the day....

'Tis the Season

I love giving gifts, and this year there are several gifts that I'm anxiously awaiting their opening. You know when you find a gift that is just perfect and you know the recipient is going to love it? There's a few like that this year, and I can't wait.

However, getting presents is pretty darn fun, too.

I had already gotten a gift from the grab bag we did at the cookie exchange (I scored a gift card to Kohl's! Thanks again, Nanci!) and then this morning, I'm working away at my computer when my boss comes in and puts three presents on my desk.

We finished up the morning rush, and then she comes back into my office for me to open them. I ask if there's a particular order, and she slides one towards me.

I open it up and have a laugh. It's a stuffed cow to dust your computer monitor with. I had actually seen these and thought about buying one for in the office.



Then she slides the next one to me. I open that, and inside is a clear blue pencil case with penguins all over, complete with matching mechanic pencil, eraser and pen inside. (Score! I'm always "losing" my pens around the office - this will be easy to spot just which are mine)

And then there's the last box. She tells me that she's got the receipt at home, in case I've got it already, but that she hopes I don't because she thinks it just came out and I might not have seen them yet.

My eyes probably lit up at this point, and I say "Is it a Webkinz?!?" (Yeah, seriously ... I'm the general manager running this business and I'm asking her if it's a toy in the box!)

She says yes and by the point I'm ripping the paper off as fast as I can, lifting the lid on the box, pushing the tissue paper aside - and there it is!



I had just seen these on ebay, and was super excited to see they made a penguin! Being the penguin-fanatic that I am, I just had to have it. You see, I've already got all the penguin beanie babies that have been made, and I've got some other super cute penguin stuffed animals. As I wrote before, I do already have a black cat Webkinz, so this was a must!

I love it! Simple gifts that are nothing special to some, but totally special for me because it means she's looking for things she knows I will enjoy. And then, for me to be so excited over it, I'm sure it made her feel really good, too.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

All wrapped out

I swear, if I have to wrap another gift, I'm going to scream. I have gotten to *that point* this holiday season where I'm entirely all wrapped out. Normally I enjoy wrapping gifts, and by the time I get about halfway done, it becomes much more of a job to get it done.

I was starting to feel the pressure, as the baking needs to be started this weekend - and - can you believe it - next week is the last week before Christmas! Where has the time gone?

So, I knew I still had plenty of wrapping left to do, and wanted to get it done so that I could focus my attention on cookies this coming week. I locked myself in the bedroom and got to it.

Finished all the wrapping aside from two gifts, which I'm going to make the husband do, because at this point I could bite his head off and spit down his neck. I've wrapped 81 gifts for this Christmas. The least he can do is 2. Well, let me be fair -- he does have to wrap the presents that he bought for me (not much of the surprise element when you have to wrap your own gifts).

I'm just a bit fed up. I do all of the Christmas shopping myself. Looking for good deals, going to 173 different stores a half a dozen times each, racking my brain trying to find the perfect gift for everyone. And yes, while we are giving some gift cards, 90% of our gift giving is actual presents. And then I have to break my back wrapping all the blasted things.

And now I can look forward to aching feet and back while I'm standing in the kitchen every evening for several days, baking.

Yes, I'm a bit miffed right now. Apparently playing computer games for 3 hours straight is a much higher priority than lending a hand to your wife.

Merry F-ing Christmas.....I'm just about ready for this to be over.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday My Boy!




Today was the big day.

On December 12, 2001 at 11:30pm, I became a mom.

My son entered this world and my life changed forever.

Happy Birthday Bubba! I love you with my entire being....

Got Driver?

The time has come that I dreaded the most when I took over the general manager position 4 months ago.......hiring a new driver.

I had just gotten some hiring experience when we were looking for someone new for the part-time office position.

So the time has come, and of course, I was nervous.

(Total sidenote: I've joked with my boss that I needed to keep a flask in my desk at work to get through the 'moments' that come along with the job. She tells me today that she was actually thinking about buying me one for Christmas! LOL I just had to laugh at her....I am totally not a drinker -- it's socially, and not in excess -- and I certainly would never be tossing one back at my desk -- but man would it have been a riot to open up a monogrammed flask)

Of course then I had the new face that I was growing on my cheek and had that to worry about.

Well, you tend to forget that your second head is actually conducting the interview when your interview-ee has leftovers all over his shirt. Have people forgotten that looking nice at an interview is a good thing? (This reminds me of another peeve: Wearing blue jeans to a wake/funeral)

So, a word to the wise - even if it is for a 3rd shift delivery driver position - looking your best really still does have an impact on your overall rating. I'm not talking a shirt and tie here -- but any sort of outfit without lunch all over it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice, Ice, Baby!

We are getting slammed this winter. The kids have their first 'no school due to weather' day for this school year today, due to an ice storm. Plus we've already got a good 5 inches of snow on the ground.

Roads were not bad on my way into work, but I fear what is to come. Apparently these school closures weren't for what was out there already .... it was for what is expected.

I'm not happy about this. I am 35 miles from home, and I have some very important Christmas presents to deliver to a friend that must get there, and this is really my only chance.

I'm trying not to freak out about it, but I do not want to be stranded here at work and have to sleep here. Did that last year during a really bad snow storm.....it sucked so bad that in the middle of the night I braved the roads and went home anyway.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Give Me Chocolate!

While visiting my friend, Jess' blog, I saw that she wrote about the new Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper (very yummy, BTW!). It reminded me of the the BEST pop (yes, it's called pop here) in the world, which I can no longer find.



Canfield's Chocolate Fudge ..... it is liquid heaven.

I used to be able to find it at Woodman's. The last grocery store I knew stocked it. Now they don't even carry it anymore. It's odd, as it was distributed by a local company; seriously just a town over from us.

What I wouldn't do for a can right now. There's a Christmas wish for myself - I'd like a case (or two ..... or three ...... or a dozen) of Chocolate Fudge pop. Oh man, I'd be seriously indebted to whomever could delver that wish.

I miss that Chocolate Fudge. It's been at least a year since I've had it now.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Why me?

You'd think I was still 13 with the way my face looks around *that time*. By Friday I had quite a few spots, and a nice red spot on my left cheek that I knew would end up being a feisty one soon.

Sure enough, by Saturday afternoon it was protruding from my face, swollen and red, and warm to the touch. It's a little worse today, and it looked like it was starting to come to a head, but the dang thing will not die. Sterilized a needle and poked it, but nothing. I gave up when the pain was making me feel like I could pass out.

I did a quick online search and found that it's likely a boil, and that I should NOT be poking or squeezing or stabbing it with needles because then you run the risk of the bacteria entering your bloodstream. Niiiiiice.

Instead, you should use hot compresses and let it do it's own thing. Except the Lord only knows what it's own thing would be. That might include climbing off my face, hopping into it's space shuttle and rocketing off into space.

While I'm telling my daughter that I have an owie, she looks at it and tells me that it's big. Yes, I know. Then she proceeds to say:

"Maybe you are gonna have another face"

Ummm......great. She'll probably tell everyone she sees that her mommy has 2 heads. Of course we're interviewing at work for a new driver, and I've got 6 or 7 men that will be parading into the office throughout the afternoon tomorrow. I'm sure they will be jumping at the chance to work for the general manager that - by that time - may have 2 mouths to yell at them with.

So it's off to my warm compress to see if I can scare this alien life form away before it slithers out the front door and terrorizes the neighborhood.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Cookies and Candy and Groping, OH MY!

We hosted our 2nd annual cookie exchange last night, and of course, it was a blast.

What else would you expect from a house full of women, cookies, food, good conversation and plenty of laughter?

I honestly don't remember what time it was when the last guest left, but I do know that it was after 2am by the time I finally crawled into bed. And I think it was about 7:30am that my daughter came in, punched me in the back of the head and told me it was time to get up. Yeah, she's lucky she still has teeth.

So, there was joking and laughing and pervertedness aplenty last night. Even some groping! (The scary thing is, we weren't even drinking!)



I love these chics. Happy Holidays, friends!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

When a conversation takes a turn for the worst

Tonight my mom and I are out grocery shopping and we stop to browse through the carts of reduced items.

There was a cart of health & beauty items, and I came across a box of condoms.

The following conversation progresses:

Me: Want some condoms? They're mint! (pause) Ick!

(I pick up a box of KY warming liquid)

Me: Want some of this? It's warming!

Mom: I've already got some.

Me (horrified): YUCK! Did you HAVE to tell me that?!?!

Mom: You asked.

Morph Yourself

Happy St Nicholas!

Today is St Nicholas Day, and we were up bright and early at 6am with the neighbor's car horn apparently going off by itself (think of laying your body against the horn for a constant, nonstop honk for a good 10 minutes straight).

But, we knew that St Nicholas had visited and filled the kids' stockings, and it was probably only a matter of time before they'd be waking.

When we all got downstairs, the kids found gifts from Grandma & Grandpa and their stockings stuffed with goodies. They were quite happy little children, even with receiving some new underwear in their stockings, too!

Then the fun was over, and it was time for Mike and I to head out to work. He had already started my car for me, so I climbed in and put my belt on. I notice a small, wrapped package in my cup holder, so I pull it out and on the tag, it says:

To: You
From: Me
Happy St Nick

By this time I'm already driving, so there I am, opening my gift while trying to remain on the road. (Okay, so not the best idea, but I had to get to work and I was anxious to find out what this gift was)

I get the paper off, and find a small, plain white box. Inside that box, is a blue box. I pop that one open to find a sterling silver diamond heart necklace. :)



If it wasn't for the rude awakening with the car horn this morning, and for the massive headache I've got right now, this would be a truly magical day!

Happy St Nick Day everyone!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I wanna be your ....

On my way into work this morning, a song came on that I haven't heard in ages, but I love it (I'm a sucker for 80's music).

Billy Ocean's "Loverboy"

I'm telling you, the video is scary, but I do love the song.

Snow Covered Chicken Pops

The 'pimples' never did change, and no more appeared, so we're breathing a sigh of relief that we don't have to deal with even a modified version of "chicken pops" (my daughter can't pronounce pox).

As if worrying about the potential of having a child down with chicken pox wasn't enough to deal with yesterday, we were under a winter storm advisory. Now, I love this time of year and fully expect to see white. After all, there's just nothing like a White Christmas.

But when it strikes while I'm at work, and I face a horrific drive home, I am not impressed. It started snowing in the afternoon, thankfully just flurries at first. By the time I was safe at home, the snow had picked up and we had a pretty nice ground covering within an hour.

Mike went out to shovel last night (per my instruction, since I was the only one in the house that needed to actually be somewhere today), and as his back is nearly breaking, he decides to get out the snowblower. I can hear it gobbling up the snow, even with the windows all tightly closed and I realize that it's late - already after 10pm. My apologies to any neighbor's that it may have disturbed, but thankfully we did it then. We still woke up to a large amount of snow on the ground, so back out he went this morning to clear it all again.

The roads were decent, though not great, but I did run into a road block and had to go an alternate way, as there must have been a bad accident from all the flashing lights I could see up ahead.

I made it safely, and now here it is 1pm and I'm ready to take a nap. I woke up at 1:30 this morning with the most God-awful stomach cramping ever......I didn't know if it was just IBS or if I was dying. My stomach is still not right, and I'm exhausted from being woken up such a nasty way.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pimples, Pox and other bumps of life

This morning my son was brushing his teeth while Grandma started to comb his hair. I was just about to walk out the door to leave for work, when she commented about a pimple on his forehead. I look, and say "Really?!? A pimple already?!?"

It wasn't until my mom lifted up his shirt that I thought, OH CRAP! Maybe it's not a pimple.

We find 5 more little 'pimples' on his back. That was all we could find and there's no other symptoms of anything.

So I call the pediatrician who instructs us to watch him for the next 12 hours, and as a precaution, to keep him home from school. If it's chicken pox, the pox will start changing. Since he's had the vaccination, it would be a "modified" version.

Now it's just a wait and see. The report I'm getting from home is that they all look the same so far. It's been about 6 hours from our first discovery.

My husband suggested that maybe it's just a heat rash (he's a very warm, sweaty kid, even when sleeping) - which I could definitely see as a possibility on the back, but I'm not too sure about the one on the forehead (there's another one right along the hairline, which I could also see as your head sweats and your hair gets wet).

Now to just see how he looks the rest of the night.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Christmas Rap

Or wrap.

I've starting my gift wrapping and I'm about halfway through by my estimation. I have already tackled 41 gifts and they are either under one of the two Christmas trees, or are in a separate pile in my bedroom.

Tonight I got 13 done. I felt like I was at it forever, and 13 seems like such a dismal number. I did watch the old Christmas favorites, like the Misfit Toys and all that, so at least there was some entertainment while I lost feeling in my feet from sitting, cross-legged, on the floor for so long.

And while we're talking about the Misfit Toys, have you all seen the Misfit Sex Toys?

If you are under 18, leave now.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We Survived!

Today we had B's birthday party for all of his friends. We decided on Pump It Up again this year since it was such a hit with his preschool class and because it was so easy.

They literally do it all - from supervising, to serving the food, to writing down the gift and gift-giver name for you .... I could just sit (or stand .... or bounce .... or slide) and enjoy.

This time the adults got in on the fun. Of course, when Melissa said she wanted to go down the big slide, I said if she did - I would. Well, she did. So I had to hold up my end of the bargain and go down, too. Even Nanci and my husband got in on the action and had some sliding fun (Nanci and Mike even hopped in another bouncer for some basketball, and another dad that was there was joining in the fun).

I think of the 80 photos I took, these are the best ..... 1) Because we all look quite goofy and 2) It was fun to blend in and be a 'party-goer' for a few minutes rather than the responsible adult. No comments from the peanut gallery .... Yes, I realize I look like an idiot, and No, I really don't care (well, I do, but I know if I put up my friend's photos, they'll be pissed if mine isn't up there with theirs). :)





Saturday, December 01, 2007

You Are a Good Friend Because You're Loyal

You stick with your friends no matter what, even if you feel like they're doing the wrong thing.
You believe in letting people figure out their own path in life. It's not your place to interfere.

And part of your loyalty means that you'll do a lot for your friends. You definitely go the extra mile.
You'll even do great things for friends without them asking. After all, that's what friendship is all about.

You are truly a friend for life. And you have friends you've known since you were a kid.
Your friends can count on you to do a favor, remember a birthday, or just be there to listen.

Your friends need you most when: They can't turn to anyone else

You really can't be friends with: Fickle people who change friends quickly

Your friendship quote: "Friendship doubles your joys, and divides your sorrows."

December 1st




Today was the start of the traditional advent calendars. As a kid, I got an advent calendar each year. I looked forward to that little piece of chocolate every night. We have continued with this tradition for our kids, and they were thrilled to have their candy tonight.

I've always loved them so much, that this year even *I* have my own calendar as well. Except, for the very first time ever, the chocolate leaves a lot to be desired. I'm quite disappointed.

My calendar is different than the kids', as we bought mine much later (just a few days ago, in fact), so the brands are different.

While the kids chocolate pictured a train, mine pictured a log, but oddly the candy bore a picture on it of a package (I'm kind of wondering if the candy itself isn't "generic" and that they will all be packages just with a different picture inside the calendar).

So, there it is .... tonight, I got a log.



Friday, November 30, 2007

Foto Friday



My furbaby, Cosmo (fondly known as MoMo, or about 2 dozen other goofy names). He's my "firstborn".....the first cat that was ever officially mine. Sure, growing up we had cats .... but they were family pets. Never really specially bought for me.

In November of 1996 my boyfriend at the time picked me up from school and put a box on my lap. Inside was a black ball of fur, with booger bubbles coming out of his nose. Poor thing had an upper respiratory infection and my mom and I had to force feed him pink liquid medicine (have you ever tried giving a cat liquid medicine?). He was the cutest little furball ever, and he's still my bestest little bud 11 years later.

Just recently I had a moment where I was petting him, and realizing he's already been in my life for a good portion of his kitty cat years and I started to cry. When my good friend, Melissa just lost her kitty, it tugged at my heart strings, not only because I just got to kitty sit this summer and Lucky and I had a special "bond" over cat treats, but because it made me realize that someday I'll be in that boat, too.

Throughout the years, I've gone through the loss of 5 cats. A couple (Wubs and Caeser) of them were when I was much younger, so I don't really remember the time (though, I remember the cats). I remember when my buddy, Binky, crossed the rainbow bridge. I came home from school, and he was gone. I was so incredibly upset that they took him away before I could say goodbye. Then, Tommy, our tabby (the three previous cats were all black), who could do tricks. He got really sick, and was pacing and pacing, just walking from one side of the apartment to the other. We knew something wasn't right; that it was his time, too. And then, the most recent was a few years ago. Our part Siamese, only female, Stephanie (because she had nice "software" (movie Short Circuit where Johnny 5 says "Nice software Stephanie!")) had a cyst by one ear that got bigger and bigger (it didn't seem to bother her, so the vet said it wasn't likely serious) and then it started oozing, and her ears started oozing....I remember driving my mom to the vet, Stephanie in a box on her lap because she was oozing so bad, we wanted to keep her contained (and she wasn't fond of car rides either). She was trying so hard to get out of that box, meowing desperately....it broke my heart.

And now as I write this, I've got tears streaming down my face....missing those 5 kitties like crazy. Longing for one more snuggle. And it kills me that my adorable little furball, MoMo is happily bounding around the house, and I know that someday he's going to leave me, too.

The Things Kids Say

We're at the mall tonight sitting down in the food court and a rent-a-cop walks by.

B: Uh-oh! A police man just walked by!

Me: He's probably coming to take you to jail. For disturbing the peace.

B: Which piece??

No Mo' NaBloPoMo

This is it! The final day of NaBloPoMo 2007. I made it!

Of course I've got a crazy work day ahead of me, so this is gonna be short, and I'll have to get you the Foto Friday later....

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thankful Thursday

This week, I'm thankful for my new employee, who is fitting in nicely, and adjusting quite well. Tomorrow will wrap up her 5 consecutive day training period, and she's doing very well.

Hopefully we'll continue to see improvements, increased efficiency and productivity.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wisdom Wednesday

Running too quickly on an icy sidewalk in front of a neighbor's house, you slip and break your leg. Would you be likely to sue the owner of the house if you were confident you could win the suit because of his negligence in shoveling the snow?

Depends. Which neighbor is it? If it's one we really like, then no. If it's one that minds their own business and is respectful, likely not. If it's the one that allows their dog to shit on our lawn, plays beanbags loudly in the backyard at 11pm on a work night, smokes pot outside so that we can smell it through our open windows, revs the car engine at 5:30 in the morning (I could go on), then YES, probably.

Revenge is a bitch.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Call 911, I'm wearing myself thin

By the time Christmas rolls around, I'll probably be hospitalized....or committed. Every year at this time, I start getting just a little bit frazzled by the amount of things I have to do, and just how little time there is to do it.

I thought I was ahead of the game; my Christmas cards arrived in people's mailboxes today, *most* of my Christmas shopping is done, I just finished making 15 goody bags for my son's birthday party (could potentially have to make another 7) and I just completed an order for 90 personalized candy wrappers - not to mention the work load at my nine to five. So why do I feel like I've got more than I can handle?

I can probably guess why. I'm the type of person that when I know there are things to be done, I like to get them done NOW.

I really hate my impatience sometimes, but it's who I am (and lucky you! You just got another random confession for True Confession Tuesday .... yes, now you know, I am impatient.)

So, while I'm sure you're reading this and thinking to yourself "What is she bitching about?! Seems like she's got everything under control to me! Heck, her "I-took-it-myself" photo Christmas cards are already in people's possession!" But have I mentioned the boxes and bags and piles of presents that need to be wrapped? My count - I've currently got 65 gifts to wrap. And then there's the 800+ cookies I'll be helping to bake. And speaking of, there's the cookie exchange that I'm hosting with my mother. Scratch what I said before; I have 66 gifts to wrap because I forgot about the grab bag gift for the cookie exchange, too.

Take into consideration that I spend 10 hours out of the week commuting, and 43 hours a week working. No wonder it's just now 10pm and I'm feeling that it's well past my bedtime.

True Confession Tuesday



So, have you seen the movie A Christmas Story? Do you recall the 'tongue-stuck-to-the-pole' scene?

Boy, do I have my own story for you!

It was a cold, winter evening and my mom, dad and myself went out grocery shopping. This was something we did together, every Friday. So, we do our shopping and head back out into the blustery night with our purchases. As my parents are walking ahead of me, pushing the cart, I decide to test out that theory I saw in the movie.

So, I found myself a shopping cart at the cart corral and lick the metal cart handle.

In the meantime, my parents realize, "Hey, where'd Sarah go?!?"

And there I am, stuck, frozen tongue, to the shopping cart.

Movies and television really do influence our youth, folks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our House



Yep - that's our house this holiday season.

Menu Monday

Since this is the season for baking and cookies, I figured I'd present you with one of these best chocolate chip cookie recipes I've come across. I tested these bad boys out with different pudding flavors and they were a huge hit with family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (3.3 oz) package instant white chocolate pudding mix
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and instant pudding powder; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Blend in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Scoop cookies using an ice cream scoop or by heaping tablespoons. Place cookies at least 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly golden. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How can it be? Say it ain't so!

The weekend is over?!

So much for weekends being down time. I swear my weekends are busier than my work weeks.

I did get all my Christmas cards finished, and they are in my purse to mail from work tomorrow (if I remember ... I have a tendency of forgetting mail in my purse). My shopping is just about done (need to pick up a few gift cards), so I can get started on the wrapping any time now.

I printed out the personalized candy wrappers for my son's family birthday party, so they just need to be cut, wrapped and glued.

We got a few more RSVPs for the munchkin party, but there's still just under a dozen left that didn't respond. I did type up a letter to go home. If it was just a few kids, I wouldn't bother. Since it's so many, it could definitely play a part in not enough food, and not enough goody bags, and I'd hate to see any I-didn't-get-a-goody-bag-and-now-I'm-going-to-cry-until-I-throw-up drama. I like to be prepared, and I can't be with that many kids not responding at all. In normal cases, I'd take the no-calls as regrets. But when we're talking 1/2 the class; it's a lot harder to assume they all are NOT showing up. At any rate - my son is over the moon about the friends that are coming. He is so totally stoked to be turning SIX! (HOLY CRAP, really?!? Six? (sigh) I thought 5 was a weird age last year. Now we're even closer to ten!!!!)

But there I go rambling...... So.

Tomorrow starts a whole new work week. The new office girl starts tomorrow. She'll be in every day this week for training. Hopefully she'll adjust and ease in nicely. I'm a little nervous, but anxious to just have someone reliable and hard working in the office.

I've got plans to hit the stores tomorrow evening to pick up some goody bag stuffins and possibly finish off that Christmas shopping.

Oh! And wait! I just remembered I have to tell hubby to take my car and go put gas in it (yes, 80% of the time he goes and gets gas for me .... besides, it's too cold out there right now, and he's not entirely crazy when I come to bed with a frozen ass ..... that happened every weekend last year while we did Santa's Landing ... that's no fun -- even with long johns, my butt was still like a popsicle each night when I came inside).

Okay, goodnight blogworld! See you tomorrow to finish off our final week of November and NaBloPoMo 2007!

Stargazing Sunday

Are there a such thing as elves?

Because I'd really like one. Or two. Maybe three.

There's always so much to do this time of year, and not enough time to do it. I stayed up late last night and wrote out 90% of my Christmas cards. I just need to do the last few, stamp them all and get them in the mail.

The plan is to head out today and do a bit more Christmas shopping. It'll get me that much closer to the finish line.

I'm still holding out hope that a couple elves will show up on my doorstep to help out.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Snarkalicious Saturday

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.........

I'm ready to drop. Up early this morning to hit the mall for a round of Christmas shopping (though I have to say, I'm almost done!), then back home to decorate the inside of the house, and put up the trees.

We just finished our tree a few minutes ago. There's about two dozen ornaments for the kids to put on, but other than that - it's done.

Our Christmas cards came in the mail today (earlier than I expected, but that's a plus!), so now to get those all addressed and in the mail.

The first round of baking will be done in a little over a week for our cookie exchange. I do still need to make a decision on what type of cookie I'll be baking.

At some point I need to start wrapping presents. And of course we can't forget about my son's 6th birthday or his two birthday parties. And while we're on that subject, there will also be thank you cards to write out and mail.

I'm soooooo sleepy right now. It was a very productive day, but I ache. Actually, I'm wondering if I'm not coming down with something for how achy I feel. Oh how that would suck. This is just not the right time to be ill. I've had a cold, and it's gotten to the point that I can deal with it, but for a bit it was really kicking my ass.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz........

Off to bed I go before I start drooling on the keyboard!

No time

I don't have enough time for a good post right now.

Christmas threw up in our house, and we're trying to get it all organized and decorated around here. Right now it's a great big mess of storage totes, boxes and strings of lights.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Itty bitty



I was just googling some images, when I came across this photo. Found that the artist's name is Camille Allen and her work is just stunning. Such realistic, adorable little babies. Take a look!

Foto Friday



4 weeks! I haven't bitten my nails in four weeks. I love the way they look, but I am noticing them when trying to complete daily tasks. It'll take some getting used to, but I'm lovin' it! The desire to bite isn't there anymore, and I hope it stays that way.

(Side Note: I love that there is a piece of lint on my sweater, and that you can see residue from my last polish color....nice)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Thursday

What a perfect day for a Thankful Thursday!

The first half of 2007 was not a good year for us. From health problems, to losing a parent, job loss and unemployment that stretched on for 6 months. It was a tough time.

I'm thankful that we made it through all that. I'm thankful for my family, especially my mom and dad that are the greatest grandparents ever; my 2 adorable little children that even when they make me crazy, that I still would give my life for them. I'm thankful for my job, and the opportunity that came to me in August. I'm thankful for my friends, always able to provide a laugh, a smile when it's needed, or just a listening ear. I'm thankful for all the superficial things that we don't need, but are blessed to have anyway. I'm thankful for our health; there were a few health scares this year and recently. I'm thankful for my faithful furry companion, who loves to snuggle with a fleece blanket on the couch to watch TV with me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wisdom Wednesday

What things are too personal to discuss with others?

It depends on who these 'others' are. Random strangers? Acquaintances? A new friend?

First and foremost - it all depends on the individual; their personality and how they roll.

For me, I'm pretty open about a lot. Those that I have known a long time, or are very near and dear to my heart, there really isn't a subject that is off limits. As long as it's spoken about tactfully.

Hell. Who am I kidding? We had a girl's weekend in August in which we discussed landing strips, ball gags, and PVC pants.

Yes, truly some tactful ladies. Squeak, squeak, squeak!

Droopy Mind

I'm picking up Chinese food for dinner on my way home from work tonight.

So, I jot a quick note so I know what I need to order when I phone it in.

I jot 2 orders of egg rolls. Check.

An order of pot stickers. Check.

It was all fine and dandy until I jotted down egg droup soup.

Have you ever eaten egg droup soup?

Mommy Tip

A week or so ago I was looking for a contact through our school district's website, and I happened to find a link to a website that the kindergartener's use. I played around on it for a few minutes, and thought, "Hey, I really should let Braeden play this at home. He's always asking to go on hotwheels.com and such, so this would be perfect!"

Time didn't allow for computer play since then, so when Melissa posted about it on her blog, I made a mental note to make time for Braeden to use it.

He was excited to be able to play on Mommy's computer, and when I brought up the website his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree!

"HEY! That's what we have at school!" he exclaims.

And he proceeded to play on it for an hour and half. I sat by him and watched for a bit, and it's really neat. Easy for them to navigate, and it's got all sorts of fun pictures, animations, sounds and music.

If you've got preschool/kindergarten age kiddos, check it out!

Birthday Party Dilemma

Okay fellow bloggy friends....I've got a question for you all.

My son is having a party strictly for friends next weekend (not this weekend, but the first weekend in December). He invited his entire class and a couple kids outside of school.

So far we have only gotten a response from about 5 kids in his class. The RSVP date was November 25, so people do still have time to call in but I'm starting to get a little concerned.

Last night my son tells me that so-and-so said her dad told her she could go, but that they don't have his (my son's) phone number. I tell my son - well, it was on the invitation.

He tells me "Well, maybe you forgot"

Well. No, I didn't forget. Getting back on track ....

I was thinking about typing up a letter for each child and sending it to school on Monday with our phone number and all the party info again. Perhaps make reference to the conversation between my son and his friend, and that I may have inadvertantly forgot to write our phone number on the invites.

What do you think?

It's just that the class is like 19 kids - so there are over a dozen children I haven't heard from. I make goody bags up for the kids, and this leaves the potential of having kids goody bag-less and upset, or I spend extra money to fill all these goody bags and end up with a dozens of extra play-doughs, stickers, candies, and glo-bracelets than I know what to do with.

Plus - the party isn't cheap. It's nearly $300 for up to 26 kids. Obviously the more kids, the more you "get your money's worth". I'm really not too keen on spending $40 a head for 5 kids to show up - but it's not likely that I'd cancel the party anyway, so I guess that point is mute.

So, what do you think? Is sending home a note inappropriate? I don't have phone numbers for all the children, so this would be my only means of contacting them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

All clear

My mom's boobies are okay! She got the all clear today. Doesn't need to go back for a year. Everything is a-ok!

Thank goodness!!!!!!!!

True Confession Tuesday

Have you seen Mr. Mom? Do you remember the child who had a "woobie"? It was a raggedy blanket that he dragged along everywhere?

Well, I'm nearing 28 years old, and I have a woobie. Yes, you heard right. Except mine isn't a blanket....it's a simple piece of material that my mom used to make my money dance apron for my wedding. It's a white silky material that you would probably use to line something. I've had this piece of material for over 7 years now, and it stays under my pillow or tucked away inside my pillowcase.

It's a simple comfort, and I love it. Everyone knows not to touch and mess with my woobie!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sneak Preview

Our computer room has been dubbed the "Spy Room" in our house because it faces the street, and the way our house is angled, we have a pretty good view each way down the block as well.

We've used this "Spy Room" to keep tabs on the neighbor's teenage daughter (well, not really keeping tabs - but we were able to provide our neighbor with inside information while she was at work), and we've got the best (and warmest!) seats in the house to take a peek at the light show.

I'm being treated to a sneak preview right now. Of course the lights are just shining; there's no "dancing" and no music, but it's quite a sight anyway.

Here's a quick snapshot taken from the "Spy Room" window....



Notice the great big glorious Christmas tree! There's got to be a gazillion lights on that thing (hey Clark, er, I mean Joe -- care to share just how many twinkly bulbs are on that thing?)!

It's all my fault

I've been thinking a lot about this ADHD stuff, and decided to email Braeden's teacher today to get some insight about his behavior at school. Someone on one of my online groups mentioned that some kids feel act up once their home because they are "cooped up" at school throughout the day. So, I thought why not ask the person he's with for a few hours five days a week.

She called me after school this afternoon. She's noticed the same behavior. I was afraid of that answer. I wanted her to say that he doesn't do any of that.....I wanted there to be some glimmer that maybe I'm overreacting. Instead I've got more reason to believe there's an issue.

I spent a majority of my drive home in tears. I don't want there to be something wrong with my child. I found myself questioning what I could have done. Was it something I did wrong during pregnancy? Could I have done something differently while raising him?

His well child visit is December 8, at which point I'll speak to the pediatrician.

Menu Monday

This is a great side dish; perfect for with sandwiches, or just by itself!

Dilly Crab Salad

INGREDIENTS:

1 - 16 oz package medium shell pasta
2 - 8 oz packages imitation crabmeat, flaked
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dill weed

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse in cold water and drain.

Place in a large bowl. Add crab. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise and dill; add to paste mixture and mix well. Chill until serving.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stargazing Sunday

Stargazing ..... if I were to see a shooting star this week, I'd be asking for an answer on how to get the children to start listening, to stop the whining, to start behaving .... I'd be asking for there to be nothing wrong with them, other than 'kids will be kids' and this is all a part of the parenting process.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Snarkalicious Saturday

I'm truly beginning to fear that my children both suffer from ADHD. This was a thought we had regarding our son, but he was young, and we thought it was just normal behavior.

Things seemed to get better as he got a little older, but now I'm really beginning to wonder again. I'm not sure if it's truly his behavior, or if he's acting off his sister, who is now at the age that he was at when we first started questioning if there was something wrong.

Today has been one of those days, that all started off with Braeden taking forever to get dressed (not unusual, he is just too busy dawdling or watching television, or playing with something in his room to finally put his clothes on), then it's off to Kaelynn's last ballet class, where we were all invited to stay and watch them 'perform'. I don't know if it was all the people in the class or what - but she wouldn't participate. She was being defiant and was more interested in the other people/kids that were there to watch. It was embarrassing, and frustrating.

Add in the meltdowns, and the not listening, and being sent to their rooms -- all in a day, before one in the afternoon.

I could cry. I don't want there to be anything wrong with my children. I want them to be normal. I want them to listen to me for once. I want to stop having to yell.

I just want peace, cooperation, understanding and happiness in the house.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Foto Friday



Our first ice! But it's not just any ordinary ice! You see, it's not like we are under blizzard conditions or anything like that.

During the night, the irrigation system in the common areas gave all the bushes and trees on the berm a good soaking. Since it was in the 20s .... well, you get the idea.

I first saw it when I left for work this morning (without my camera - mental note: really should start carrying camera around at ALL TIMES), and luckily there was still a pretty nice scene when I got back home this afternoon.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for great neighbors.

It's not everyday - or in just any neighborhood - that you can look out your window and see The Grinch heading down the street to your house.

I have been blessed with some of the greatest neighbors ever. At this point they shouldn't just be called neighbors - they are friends. And I'm thankful for all of them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Say Cheese!

My handsome little man brought home his school pictures today. I knew they'd be at home waiting, as when I read Melissa's post about her daughter looking like the Joker, I figured I'd have a set of pearly whites staring back at me from matte paper as well.

Sure enough! (And yes, I took a picture of the picture, and YES, it looks bad, but I was feeling far too lazy to use the scanner)



So, I quickly went to work cutting and sorting because it just so happens that I was getting ready to print and mail the invitations for his family birthday party, so now I can just stick everyone's photos right there in the envelope! I love when things work out this way. Simple pleasures!

The invites and photos are stuffed, addressed and stamped, so now I've got the task of writing out my Christmas card list to see just how many cards I need to order this year. Once that task is completed, I'm heading off to watch the tube before heading to bed.

Is it the weekend yet?

Wisdom Wednesday

Do you have any specific long-term goals? What is one and how do you plan on reaching it?

Losing weight. It's long-term because it takes time, and I've found that doing it bits at a time works best for long-term results.

In January 2006, I finally felt that it was time to do something. I started off at 235 pounds (gasp!). I carry my weight halfway decent so many people couldn't believe I weighed that ever, but scales don't lie (though sometimes I wonder).

I was watching what I was eating, trying to cut out the nighttime snacking, and started exercising. It really helped and I ended up losing 35 pounds. I didn't reach my goal at the time, but how can you really get upset over losing over thirty pounds? I was damn proud of myself! I went down 2 sizes as well, which was probably even more exciting than the weight loss itself!!!

I'm happy to say that I haven't done anything in regards to weight loss throughout 2007, but I have maintained and even dipped to a low of 197.

I will be starting again in January 2008, and right now I'm still thinking about what my goals will be.

Freakin' Figures

Toys R Us was offering a $25 gift card when you purchased the new Mario Galaxy Wii game. I planned on buying it, and last night about 8pm remembered that it was the day that it came out. I was too tired to go out then, so I figured, eh...I'll do it tomorrow.

So this morning I'm talking to my boss about it, and she mentions that she called ahead and the store she went to only had 10 left when she went at 1 in the afternoon.

WHAT?!?! It never even occurred to me that maybe they'd be sold out. So I call FOUR different Toys R Us stores, and aside from one store saying they had some of the "presales" left (people put down $5 to reserve a copy) every single store was sold out yesterday.

!*(*&(&@#*@&@*)*#@#@&(())@#@*)@!! This does not make me happy! That was one gift I planned to pick up from the Big Guy (you know - the one that comes once a year wearing a red suit and expects a plate of cookies and a glass of milk to be waiting for him?) and thought, BONUS! A $25 gift card that I can turn around and buy more gifts with! Great!

Yeah, not so much. Looks like I won't be getting that deal after all and I'm pretty bummed about that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

When is enough, enough?

I guess I don't have enough to worry about right now. Last weekend my mom went in for a mammogram and pap. It's been a few years since she's gone (shame on her). Her doctor's office called her today; they want her to come in again for another mammogram - they found a nodule.

(sigh) Not to mention the large polyp they found and removed while she was there having the pap done. When the doctor removed it, afterwards she said she thought maybe it was just a cyst as the way it just kind of gave when she removed it.

Her next appointment is Saturday. I know we won't know anything right away, so it probably means a week of torture, and wondering, and worrying.

True Confession Tuesday

I play with Webkinz. My parents bought my the black cat since my real life furbaby is a black cat, who I lovingly call MoMo (short for Cosmo).

My children still do not have their own Webkinz. Well, they do, but they have not earned them yet. They remain in their bag from the store and will stay there until their behavior changes.

For now they sometimes watch me play the games and such online. My favorite game is the tile match; like mahjongg.

Do you own a Webkinz??

Monday, November 12, 2007

Menu Monday

Today is a twofer. Today's menu consists of 2 separate recipes that I put together to make 1 dish which was delish!

Lime Butter Chicken & Lemon Thyme Rice

Lime Butter Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until no longer pink, and juices run clear, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan, and keep warm.

Drain excess oil from pan. Stir in lime juice, and cook over low heat until it begins to bubble. Stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue stirring until butter becomes opaque, and sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and stir in dill weed. Spoon sauce over chicken, and serve.

Lemon Thyme Rice

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried thyme

DIRECTIONS:

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir in the rice. Cook rice, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes.

Mix chicken broth, lemon juice and thyme into the rice. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stargazing Sunday

I'd just like cooperation for once! That's all I wish for! Cooperation long enough for me to shoot one good photo for our annual Christmas card.

We just went through Shoot #1. Needless to say, I am not that impressed with the end results, and I only have 1 photo that I could potentially use if the rest of the shoots I do have worse results.

Here's a few:

Here my daughter looks like a mole ......


Look at the ceiling or look at mom? I think I'll do BOTH!


Are we done yet? We can't sit still anymore.


Yeah....hopefully I'll have better luck with shoot #2!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Snarkalicious Saturday -- Project: Christmas Cards



My next project is wrangling my offspring into matching Christmas jammies, posing them with festive props and snapping as many photos as I can in hopes of getting at least 1 good one to have made into Christmas cards. I started this once we had both children; so Christmas 2004 was the first year.

The first; they were both posed on the couch, with a green sheet as the backdrop, with a Christmas pillow and beanie baby along with them. The second; they are sitting on the stairs in the house, Christmas lights and garland down the banister and one is holding a wrapped present. And the third; they are back to back with Christmas lights lit and strung around them.

This year - I'm not 100% sure what the outcome will be, but I've got myself some new props. I just need to decide if I'll be using my backdrop stand or if I'll use a more natural setting. I sure wish I already had lighting equipment, but it looks like I'm just going to have to make do.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Foto Friday



If you read over at Melissa's you may have read the PVC related post. We had such a good time in Galena. So above is the gang that all traveled out there to celebrate Melissa's birthday.

These are some of the greatest ladies I know. :)

Crazy Day Ahead

You all will have to wait for the Foto for this Friday. I've got about the craziest work day ahead of me. I have to get the normal morning routine done, plus payroll all by 11:45 this morning. The first interview is at noon, and the entire afternoon is booked solid with interviews until I (hopefully) leave on time at 3pm.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I am not looking forward to this. Freaked out that I'm not going to do it right and look like a fool. My stomach is a bit freaked out about it. Ugh.

I just want this day over with. Plus I've got a desire to go out and do some more Christmas shopping tonight, along with an additional 30% off coupon for Kohl's burning a hole in my pocket (well, it's really burning a hole in my mom's wallet - she was lucky one to scratch off a 30% 'winner').

Anyone care to go shopping with me tonight?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dear Santa....

I have been thinking about what I want this year for Christmas. If I don't give the hubby specifics, he'd never buy anything. Getting him to buy me clothes is like pulling teeth. The few times he has picked something out on his own, he's done well. But most times I find something, grab the size I need and say "Here, I like this" and then I disappear so he can do his shopping.

There are a few things I would like this year, so I'm going to do my Christmas list here, and then hint to him that he should visit and read my blog.

Photo Mousepad (complete with a photo of my little chickybabies)

Willow Tree Family Plaque

FM Transmitter for iPod (I'm not entirely sold on exactly which one I want, other than I'd love to be able to listen to my nano in the car)

Loving Family Necklace

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for neck rubs.

Especially when they come after a long day at work. This week has been an especially busy one, as I am having to step up and just sort of wing it through hiring. Thankfully the bosses are both participating so I'm not at it entirely alone. But I've looked at easily over 50 resumes and I've got at least 9 interviews lined up so far for the next two business days.

Add in the driver work comp drama, and I found myself awake from 2-3:30 this morning, my mind racing. Have you ever just wanted to shut off your brain? Yeah, it was one of those moments.

I see another neck rub in my future. ;)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Widsom Wednesday

I've decided to introduce this new section in my blog, entitled "Ponder This".

I will post a question, and my answer. Please answer the question in my comments, or post about it in your own blog and put a link in my comments.

For the first....

Would you accept a much less enjoyable job paying twice what you make now? If you received the same pay regardless of your job, what kind of work would you do? If you were financially independent, would you continue to work? If not, what would you do?

Twice the money is pretty tempting, but I can't imagine being unhappy with my job and dreading it every single day. I can't say that I love my job now, because well, it's a job (wouldn't life be great if you could do things like read a book, surf the web, and blog all while staying in your jammies, eating chocolate rather than heading into work each day?), but I don't hate it either. For the most part I enjoy what I do, and I enjoy the people I work with.

For the same pay, I'd love to do photography on a full time basis. It's a true passion, and it's something I do to 'escape'.

Ah, to be financially independent .... don't we all wish? I probably still would work - at least a few hours a day, or just a couple full days and have the rest of the week off. It would give me something to do, a 'purpose' so to speak. Afterall, one child is already in school a few hours a day and will be in all day starting next year, and the other one is right behind. What else what I do with my time without kids around? Oh yes, that's right ..... there's a 3 Musketeers bar and a book with my name on it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mom Bloggers Unite!

The mom blogger quiz from MamaBlogga
Take the Mom Blogger quiz!

True Confession Tuesday

I bite my nails.

That's a nitty-gritty little secret, isn't it? I know - totally lame, BUT - there's a reason behind this post.

It's a bad habit I have, and I'm trying to break it. I'm currently on Day 11 of Not-Biting.

It all started when I painted my nails black for Ghoul's Night where I dressed up as a black cat. I had to keep my fingers out of my mouth to keep the nail polish looking nice. So I took the opportunity and ran with it.

I've now got a chrome pink color on and I can see and feel their growth. It's minimal for now, but probably longer than they've ever been in a really long time.

So there you have it .... it's not the best confession, but I'm proud that I've managed to make it this far in trying to break that habit!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Menu Monday

CHEESEBURGER & FRIES CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden mushroom soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1 (16 ounce) package frozen French fries
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Combine the ground beef and onion in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until beef is no longer pink, and the onion is translucent. Drain off excess grease, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Return to the heat, and stir in the golden mushroom and cheese soups until well blended. Heat through, and remove from stove. Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover the ground beef mixture with a layer of frozen French fries.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. When the fries are golden brown, remove the casserole from the oven, and sprinkle cheese over the top.

Return to the oven, and bake just until cheese has melted.

(This is a great, easy recipe. Great for families - my kids loved it!)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Stargazing Sunday

Our help wanted ad hit the paper today, so I'm suspecting I'll be swamped with phone calls tomorrow. My stomach is in knots because I haven't done hiring before.

At least this first time it's to fill the part time office position and not for a driver (that's much harder to find someone for).

I wish a fairy godmother would fly along and grant me a wish. Or two. Heck, I'd even be grateful for three. At this point, just one would do.

So, I'd wish that we'd have someone in the office that I meshed well with (you know how women can be) and that adapted to the duties quickly and worked efficiently.

I am so not looking forward to tomorrow.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas?!?

It sure is on our block. Right now, including our house, there are 3 with lights along the roof line and around second story windows.

Our neighbor got a boom truck, so this was today's scene:





You do realize just how close Christmas really is, right? A local radio station (The Lite 93.9 for those in the area) already switched to Christmas music as of yesterday morning. Believe it or not, the "season" is in full swing.

Snarkalicious Saturday -- Free Pass

Just recently at the office, we were discussing celebrities and the men on screen that get our pulses going.

The conversation geared towards having the opportunity to sleep with said celebrity, and how it would all factor in with the infidelity thing.

I commented that I felt it was like a free pass.

In all honesty, can you imagine a conversation with your best friend when you tell her that Vince Vaughn (or fill in your favorite actor here; for the record, he would not be my first or second choice at a free pass) propositioned you and you turned him down?

You: "You will *never* believe who I met at _____ bar the other night!!!!! VINCE VAUGHN!"

Friend: "You have got to be (fill in expletives here) kidding me!!!!"

You: "Really! We were talking, had a few drinks....and then, he actually asked me back to his hotel room. I said no, of course. I mean, I'm a married woman!"

At which point, your friend's jaw is sweeping the floor and her eyes have bugged out of her head as if you just mentioned you birthed a baby elephant at home in your bathroom.

You see? It wouldn't go over well at all. A one time, once in a lifetime opportunity like that should not be passed up. And it's not fair to induce cardiac arrest on your friend when you tell her what you did (or in this case, didn't do).

So tell me....who would you use your free pass on? Who would your husband use his pass on?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Foto Friday




In honor of the holiday just passed.

The kids had a fantastic Halloween. It didn't get too chilly until the sun went down, and the drizzle they were calling for avoided us. We just did in our subdivision, and the kids got a load of candy. More than they'll ever be able to eat, so I guess I'll just have to lend a hand with that (oh, darn!)

I must say though, eating a bunch of fun sized candy bars before going to bed 2 nights in a row had made for some interesting and vivid dreams. But that's a whole other post in itself!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rough Day Ahead

All fun and kidding aside for a moment.



I just placed an order with a florist to have an arrangement sent to the funeral home for Katrina's father. The obituary is in today's paper and visitation is tomorrow evening.

Since reading it online, I've been in sorts and not able to think clearly. I couldn't even remember my zip code when I was placing the order.

Tomorrow is going to be a rough day. I don't handle seeing others upset very well, so I imagine there will be many tears tomorrow.

Thankful Thursday

Oberweis Cinnamon Pecan Coffeecake ..... truly a heavenly indulgence. It makes work that much easier when you cut yourself a slice and settle into your office to start the day.

It's a given that I'm thankful for my kids and my family, and the roof over our heads and all that -- so I'm going a slightly different route with this, and yes - it may be about things like coffeecake. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NaBloPoMo 2007

I've signed up to participate in NaBloPoMo '07, which requires me to post every single day for the entire month of November. If you've read here, you know I have a tendency to kind of forget about my ol' bloggy friend here and I go MIA for awhile.

If all goes as planned, you'll be seeing a whole lot of me for the next 30 days.

I figured I should set up some sort of 'format' to follow along with, otherwise I'll get writer's block and be staring at my computer screen until I go blind.

So, I've come up with a weekly calendar to follow and a brief explanation of what each day will be.

Menu Monday (A recipe of course! I will try to keep them to dishes I've already prepared, but I can be culinarily (is that a word?) challenged, so I may just post things I'd like to make)

True Confession Tuesday (Hold onto your hats, folks! Learn more things about me than you've ever liked to have known.)

Wisdom Wednesday (This will actually consist of the "Ponder This" category I have already been brainstorming about and will consist of a question that I'll answer, and expect your answers in my comments (hey, it's a two-way street you know, start spilling!)

Thankful Thursday (What a more perfect topic for the month of November, as we stroll along towards Thanksgiving)

Foto Friday (Pictures of course!)

Snarkalicious Saturday (A free-for-all of anything goes, from Ms. Snarky herself)

Stargazing Sunday (Daydreaming, desires, or maybe just a fictional tale.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Black Friday

Where will you be the day after Thanksgiving?

I likely won't have the flexibility to take the day off work, so if I want to do any butt-crack of dawn shopping this year, I'll need to do it and then head off to the office so I can be there at 8am. I've done it that way before - being a die-hard shopper and all.

Whether or not I'll be dragging myself out of bed at 4am will all depend on the Black Friday ads this year.

I've already started my Christmas shopping, and I'm actually late with it this year. But I've started brainstorming and getting ideas on what to buy everyone, in hopes of having my shopping completed by December 1st.

So tell me .... will you be out bright and early bargain hunting? Or still hunkered down in your bed snoring blissfully?

Where's my pole?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Life is so unfair

I'm sure you all recall my post about my friend Katrina's friend, Dana, being murdered not too long ago, right?

Well, with deep and utter sadness that I write this ... Katrina's father passed away this morning.

All was normal this morning, and I was busy with the normal Monday routine at work when my cell phone bleeped that I had a text message. I flip open my phone and see that it's from Katrina, and I'm thinking she's just going to be sending a Monday Morning greeting. Until I open it and read these simple words:

"My dad died this a.m."

How can I just send a text message back to that? I immediately called her back, the tears already springing to my eyes and when I heard her voice, I lost it. The tears fell quickly, I could no longer hold them back. My heart was breaking apart for her, and I still feel an ache, knowing just what she must be going through right now.

I thought back to how unfair I thought it was that my husband at almost 30 lost his mother. How much more unfair that my good friend lost her father when she was just 28? I'm pretty sure her folks are younger than mine - maybe not by a tremendous amount, but my folks are not quite 60 yet. There's still a couple years until the big 6-0.

I feel helpless....like I should be doing something more for her. I told her how sorry I was, and that if she needed anything, to call me. I guess that's all I can do at this point, while she grieves with her family and helps to make the arrangements.

My heart is hurting.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkin Heads

Tonight was pumpkin carving night. The kids kept picking the 'challenging' stencils, and I had to decline. I'm not willing to have a throbbing arm for days just for pumpkin carving. It's fun and all, but not thatfun.

So, we settled on a ghost. Looks pretty good if I do say so myself. This year we also picked up a Mr. Potato Head set (or in this case, Mrs.) that you just stick into the pumpkin and viola! ... instead festive pumpkin, no guts necessary!