Thursday, January 31, 2008

100 Things About Me...Part 2

So let's just pick up right where we left off, shall we? I'm sure you guys are all itching to know 25 more things about me.

26. I love People Magazine. I have a subscription because I figure if I'm going to read it anyway I might as well pay less than the cover price for it.

27. When I was 16, my Dad bought me my very first car. It was a 1980 Honda Accord. (It was 1986 at the time.) We lived out in the country and you needed a car to get around,especially if both parents worked and weren't available to serve as chauffeurs.)

I told him I didn't care what kind of car he got me as long as it wasn't brown or green. It was brown. Well, I guess technically it was copper colored because my friends and I called it "the copper penny". I drove that car until 1993 when I finally purchased my own car...a RED Saturn!

28. I got my first job when I was 16. I worked at Revco (now CVS). I was a cashier. This was before barcode scanners. I was an excellent cashier and could ring everything up without looking at the keypad. Pretty impressive, huh?

29. I can play the flute. I took band in the 7th grade. I continued until 9th grade. After that, I became "too cool" to be in the band.

30. My favorite place to visit is Charleston, SC. I love that town. If you ever go, stay at the Elliott House. My husband proposed to me in Charleston at Poogan's Porch. It's a restaurant in an old two story house. Poogan is buried in the front yard. Poogan is a dog so don't be too freaked out!

31. Thanks to my husband, I am now a huge Boston Red Sox fan. My husband is from Boston and got me hooked on baseball. Go Sox!

32. I am also a football fan. My favorite team is the Carolina Panthers. However, my husband's favorite team is the New England Patriots. It's nice to have two teams to pull for...especially in a year like this one. My team was horrible...his team is going to win the Super Bowl! (We hope!)

33. My favorite color is celadon. I also like lime green but that color trend in clothes doesn't seem to be as hot as it was a few years ago. However, I hear that Pampered Chef is coming out with a lime green line of products in March. Can't wait to see it!

34. I like to cook. I'm not very good at it but I enjoy it. I used to have dreams of becoming a chef but after watching Top Chef I know that I don't have what it takes. It looks like a hard, sweaty job. You also have to be very creative when it comes to preparing new dishes. If I was a chef, I think I would be fat!

35. I hate it when people that aren't handicapped, park in handicapped spaces. I also hate it when people pull right up to the front door of the grocery store, park in the fire line and go in to do their grocery shopping. Why do these people think that the rules don't apply to them? Why???

36. I do not have any tattoos. It makes me chuckle when I see cute young girls running around with "cool" tattoos on their ankles. That's going to look really hot when they are 65 and wearing support hose and sensible shoes!

37. We do not have any pets. I feel bad for my kids because at this point, I don't think I'm ever going to allow pets. I don't want to deal with the hassle of having to clean up after them. I don't want to have to deal with the expense of buying their food and taking them to the vet. I don't want to have to pay for an invisible fence so they can run around in the back yard without running away. I don't even think I want a fish! What kind of mean mom am I??

38. The last book I read was 1000 White Women. I highly recommend it! It was one that I didn't want to put down even though it had some very intense moments in it. Two of my favorite books of all time are She's Come Undone and Memoirs of a Geisha. All three of these books, were written by men from a woman's point of view. Too bad I'm not in college. I could probably do an excellent paper on this, comparing and contrasting these books.

39. I am a Republican. I am embarrassed to admit however, that when I was in college I voted for Bill Clinton. I am repulsed by this (and him) now. And do you want to know why I voted for him? Because I thought he and Al Gore were cute. I am hiding my head in shame now and slinking away from the computer. (I was 18. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)

40. The first concert I ever saw was Def Leppard. I went through an 80's hair band phase and have to admit that I still like to listen to Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Poison, Cinderella and Guns N Roses. There is nothing like an 80's rock ballad to bring tears to your eyes.

41. I also like country music and Christian music. I am such an enigma!

42. I met my husband at a Jimmy Buffet concert.

43. My husband and I saw Cirque De Soleil once. We did not like it. Everyone else was oooohing and ahhhhing and we were just sitting there wondering what the fuss was all about. There were some interesting moments but I don't think we would ever go back.

44. I was once in an elevator with Dale Earnhardt and his wife. This may not mean anything to you if you are not a NASCAR fan. At the time it didn't mean much to me either but now I wish I had asked him for his autograph. A couple of years after I was in the elevator with him, I went through a NASCAR phase. Dan and I went to quite a few races and we would always watch them on tv. But, once you have kids, you just don't have 5 hours to spend in front of the TV on Sunday afternoon!

45. I would love to have a house on a body of water. I used to have a condo on Lake Norman and Dan used to have one a few miles away. He had a boat and we would spend the weekends on the water. It was wonderful. We traded in the boat and the condos and got a house and some babies. It was a great trade off but I do miss it!

We talk about retiring to Cape Cod one day. At this point though, I'm not sure how we would afford it. Houses up there are so expensive! Maybe the housing market will change in 30 years when it is time to retire and we can make it work!

46. I do not like cold weather. I do not like snow. I like it hot, hot, hot! Hmmmm...maybe I better rethink Cape Cod and convince Dan that Florida would be a better retirement option!

47. I once dated a guy that forbid me to buy a computer. He forbid me. That is the exact word he used. I immediately broke up with him and proceeded to buy an $1800 computer to spite him! (This was in 1994 and of course, it had a modem. Dial up is so quaint!)

48. I have always wanted to write a novel. I even tried when I was about 12 years old. The two main characters were Mia and Tia. They were best friends. Their mothers were best friends since childhood which is why their names rhymed. They were also next door neighbors and Mia and Tia were dating twin brothers.

Sadly, I am not joking about this. The book fell flat after a couple of descriptive chapters on their hair, their clothes, their rooms, etc. I had no plot - nothing but a bunch of rhyming names and descriptions of long flowing auburn hair. The twin brothers even drove a red sports car. Hmmmm....wonder what the girls are up to these days? Maybe I should bring Mia and Tia back to life?

O.k. Maybe I won't.

49. I just bought a new bathrobe. It is pink and soft and girly and just lovely. For the last 10 years I have been using my husband's old bathrobe...the one his mother bought for him when he was a teenager. It is plaid and not at all girly. By my best estimation this bathrobe is at least 25 years old. It is probably closer to 30 years old. I think his mom got her moneys worth out of that purchase.

50. I wear contacts. I first got glasses in 4th grade. They were giant frames with lenses that turned dark whenever I went outside. I thought they were so cool until 5th grade when the novelty wore off and the realization that I was going to have to wear these things F.O.R.E.V.E.R. set in. In 10th grade I got contacts. One of these days I'm going to get laser eye surgery. Honestly though, I would rather have a lap top and a new couch first.

Coming up with 100 things about me is waaaaaaay harder than I thought it was going to be but once I start something, by golly, I will always finish it.

I am not a quiter. Maybe I should make that #51!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

God, Magic and Cookies.

Sarah was being her bossy little self at dinner last night and was trying to convince Peter that this is her house. Peter quickly informed her that it was Mommy's and Daddy's house because we paid for it. Back and forth they went. A battle of preschooler wills ensued, much like a tug-of-war match, the likes of which haven't been seen since ABC's Battle of the Network Stars.

Sarah finally trumped Peter when she said that God made everything so it must be his house. We were then bombarded with annoying questions like Did God make the trash can? Did God make the table? Did God make the plate? These questions were annoying but I felt satisfied that at least they got the general concept that God was large and in charge. They should have this concept down pat by now because we've had very similar conversations many times before.

Then the conversation veered off course a little bit...

Sarah: Is God magic?

Me: No. God isn't magic. Santa is magic. The tooth fairy is magic. But God is not magic.

Sarah: God is so magic.

If she had been standing up there would have been a little foot stomping but since she was seated all she could do was put her hands on her hips as she said this.

Me: No. God is all-powerful but he is not magic.

Dan: Think of it this way Sarah. Santa is magic but only because God made him that way.

Me: That's right. God made everything, remember?

Sarah: Yes. God did make everything.

Sarah: (reflecting quietly) Did God make his self?

Dan: Aha! That's a very good question, Sarah!

Sarah: Well, did he Mommy? Did God make his self?

Me: God has always been here and he always will be here. That's all you need to know.

Dan then proceeded to try to have a theological conversation with us. Sarah quickly shut him down by scrunching up her face, shaking her head, waving her hands back and forth and saying, "Let's stop talking about all of this stuff. Can I just have my dessert now?"

She may have grand questions that only faith can answer, but for now, all that really matters is the availability of a chocolate chip cookie! be three again!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My 100th Post...100 Things About Me...Part 1

I have failed miserably as a blogger! It is an ancient blogging tradition that for your 100th post you are supposed to list 100 Things About Yourself. I have known in the back of my mind that I was getting close to my 100th post, but this morning as I looked at my sidebar, I realized that this post would be my 104th!

I am overdue in keeping you good folks from knowing 100 mundane things about myself. And since I'm all about tradition, I decided that better late than never. So, here goes...

1. I am 38 years old. I look 38 but I still feel 21. There are many days that I feel like I'm still in college. There are also many days when I wish I was still in college!

2. I have been happily married to the man of my dreams for 7 1/2 years. I didn't meet my husband until I was almost 26 and we didn't get married until I was 1 week shy of turning 31. I prayed hard for Dan and God did not disappoint me! He tested my patience but he did not disappoint!

3. I always assumed I would work once I had kids. When I had Peter, I had been with the same company for almost 10 years. I took a 3 month maternity leave and after it was over Peter went to daycare while I went back to work. I began praying and 5 months later I got laid off with 10 weeks severance pay. We were so worried about not having enough money that I was too afraid to quit on my own. The lay off was literally an answer to my prayers. Once again, God did not disappoint me!

4. My parents are strong and faithful Christians. I was raised Moravian. My husband is Catholic. Last Easter, I converted to Catholicism. It was only after lots of prayer, soul searching and studying that I made the decision to convert.

5. I was born and raised in North Carolina and have lived here all my life. I moved from my little town to the big city of Charlotte to attend college. I stayed there for 19 years before I moved back to my little town to raise my kids.

6. I live right next door to my parents. Many people have asked if it is hard living next door to my parents. I laugh at that question because it is the easiest thing ever! I have help (free and dependable babysitting) whenever I need it. Plus, mom insists that we eat lunch at her house every Sunday.

7. I was worried that I would be lonely moving back to the boondocks but I have way more stay-at-home Mom friends out here in the middle of nowhere than I did in the big city.

8. The only thing I miss about my old house is the fact that I was literally a two minute drive from Target, Harris Teeter, Kohl's, Old Navy, Gap, a McDonald's with a really big play get the picture. Now I have to drive about 15 minutes to get to all of the good stuff.

9. Before kids, I used to get a pedicure/manicure every other week. I also had acrylic nails. I loved my fake nails and my pretty toes! Maybe once the kids are out of college I can go back to splurging. In the meantime, I have to do it myself.

10. Every once in a while we buy a lottery ticket. It usually happens because we have had to stop at a gas station so one of the kids (or me!) can go to the bathroom. Dan always feels guilty if we don't buy something and a $1 lottery ticket is pretty cheap plus there is always the chance that we could hit the Powerball! Whenever we do buy a ticket I like to dream about what we would do with the money. Other than weekly pedi/mani's, I would hire a maid to clean my house. And I would hire Stacey and Clinton to become my personal shoppers!

11. I graduated from college with a business major and a concentration in marketing and a minor in psychology. So, if you need anyone to work up an ad campaign for your company while telling you how to fix your personal problems, I'm your girl!

12. I never really used my concentration or my minor although I came close. I was offered a job with a tiny little ad agency right out of college but the company that I chose to work for offered me $2000 more than the ad agency. Plus it was closer to my apartment and it is where I eventually met my husband! I think I made the right decision!

13. I have always thought I was going to be a famous. Not exactly sure what I thought I was going to be famous doing...acting maybe. I was in my high school play one year and I wasn't very good. I still to this day think I'm going to be famous.

14. I used to practice my signature in high school and give it to my friends. Tanya - do you still have my autograph? (Geez, was I a total geek or what? I'm lucky I had any friends!)

15. I love reality shows. My favorites are The Amazing Race, The Apprentice, Top Chef and Survivor. I also love, love, love, love American Idol...but does that count as a reality show?

16. My other favorite TV shows are The Office (I love me some Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael and Dunder Mifflin), The New Adventures of Old Christine and My Name is Earl. I used to also love CSI, Cold Case and Without a Trace but I would get depressed after watching them so I had to stop.

17. I'm not as one dimensional as all this TV watching makes me sound. I also like to read. Before I had kids, I used to be quite the avid reader. Now I only manage one book a month and that is only because I belong to a book club. Thank goodness for the book club or I wouldn't read at all.

18. I am very loyal. If you are my friend, I will stick up for you in any situation. I think this is a trait I developed in college because I am sure I have a couple of high school friends who would feel differently. But that's another post for another day.

19. In college, my friends used to call me "The Voice of Reason". They always asked my opinion and I was never afraid to give it!

20. I hate cloudy, rainy days but I love to sleep during a thunderstorm.

21. I go to bed before 11:00 PM and I'm up by 5:45 AM during the week.

22. My favorite food is the Chicken Bryan at Carrabba's. Love it! I also love their bread, their house salad and their sausage and lentil soup.

23. I have only been drinking coffee for a year and a half and now I need it to start the day! I like Dunkin Donuts and McDonald's coffee better than Starbucks and have never ordered a fancy coffee drink.

24. I have always wanted kids but I had no idea how hard being a parent would be.

25. I used to want 5 boys. What was I thinking??

All right anyone still out there? If so, check back later for another installment of 100 Things About Me. This is harder than I thought it was going to be. Not sure who came up with this tradition but if I ever find 'em, I may have to slap 'em!

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Friday, January 25, 2008

My Celebrity Look Alike?

O.k. so I had to do this at I did it because Jennwa did it and one of her matches was Chelsea Clinton. People are always telling us we look alike but I think it's just because we both have long straight unnaturally blond hair. I assumed that since she and I supposedly look alike and one of her matches was Chelsea Clinton, one of mine would just have to be Chelsea as well.

Um, no.

I got Annette Benning. Annette is very attractive but dang it...she's at least 25 years older than me! Laura Bush was another match and she is also a lot older than me. And Barbara Stanwyck? Good Lord people! Barbara Stanwyck? Wasn't she the old lady on Gunsmoke? Or was it The Big Valley?

Is this face recognition technology honing in on my wrinkles?? Should I consider investing in a better night cream?

Well, before you answer that, let me grab my cane and hobble on off to the K&W Cafeteria before they run out of the Early Bird Special!

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Diet Update

Almost three weeks ago, I told you I was going to lose weight and I told you I would periodically check in and let you know how it was going. I only told you this because I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the whole Internet. I wanted to go public so that I would have someone holding me accountable for everything that went into my mouth.

And it worked because every time I wanted a cookie over these last three weeks, I have seen your profile pictures staring back at me telling me not to do it. And now I am 4.8 pounds lighter.

But before you guys rush to the comments section to tell me how wonderful I am and how proud you are of me, let me let you in on a little secret...I am sure that it was all water loss and that it will come pouring back on to my thighs and muffin top region on Monday.

Why, you ask? Why would this hard earned weight loss (water or other) come back on Monday? Sunday represents the first time in three weeks that I will have had more than 20 grams of carbs in one day and will represent the first time in three weeks that I will have had SUGAR. Ah, sweet delicious sugar, I can hardly wait. (And if anyone wants to place a Pampered Chef order, please do so. Seriously. Go here.)

I also know that the pounds will come pouring back on Monday because I am switching diet strategies. For the last three weeks, I have been following the Atkins diet. I lost 23 pounds on the Atkins diet after the birth of my daughter. I followed the diet for 18 months and was the thinnest I had ever been and probably ever will be. Sigh...

But for some reason, this time around, the diet is gagging me. The staples of the early phase of Atkins (eggs and meat) are literally making me feel nauseous at the mere thought of eating them. I have been consisting on lettuce and cheese for the last three weeks and have been hungry.

Oh, so very hungry.

And the sad thing is, you are not supposed to be hungry on Atkins. You are supposed to eat whenever you are hungry on this diet but every time I try to eat an egg, I gag. Every time I even think about a sausage patty, a funny little noise comes up in my throat and I have to leave the kitchen.

So I have been walking around like a sad puppy for the last three weeks longing for an apple, a banana or even one tiny grape. And then it hit me....any diet that restricts fruit...FRUIT!...even for the shortest amount of time is probably not the healthiest diet. And what kind of statement am I making to my children when I turn down a piece of fruit they are trying to share with me?

So Monday morning (after I indulge on Chocolate Bliss at the Pampered Chef party on Sunday) I will start my new eating regime. I have decided to eat more fruits and vegetables and limit my tortilla chip intake.

Hmmmm....this sounds new and revolutionary. I'm not sure if it will work but if it does I may have to write a book about it. Wonder if anyone would buy it?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My daughter's burgeoning sense of style!

I'm not a girly girl. I never have been and I never will be. So you can imagine my surprise and dismay when my daughter comes home from school and says things like, "I want to wear my hair like Savannah tomorrow." or "Can you make my hair go like Sydney's?"

I can barely make my own hair look decent! How am I supposed to do hers? I put her hair up like Savannah's the other day and she discovered two cheesy dollar store scrunchies in a drawer.

"I want these in my hair!"

"No, sweetie. They don't match your dress." I may not be a girly girl but I at least know what colors match and the blue scrunchie looked ridiculous with the pink polka dotted dress.

"I want them!" Fake crying, lots of whining, lots of feet stomping.

"Fine! Whatever! " I'm not afraid to do a little of my own feet stomping and whining.

It was almost time for preschool and honestly, I've seen some little girls roll in looking like they picked their entire outfit from the dress-up bin so I doubted the teachers would care if my daughter's scrunchies didn't match her dress.

So I put the scrunchies in her hair and laughed at how silly they looked on her. She smiled in the mirror and said, "Don't I look pretty, Mommy?"

"Yes, sweetheart. You do!" Because you know what? She did look pretty. She was so proud of her little hairdo that she could not stop looking at herself in the mirror.

Later that evening, when my husband got home from work he took one look at her and then looked at me and said, "What's going on with her hair?" When I told him that she wore it to school that way, he said, "Isn't it your responsibility as a Mother to make sure she doesn't look ridiculous when she goes outside this house?"

Ha! I could only snort and roll my eyes at him. My dear sweet husband knows nothing about getting a stubborn, strong-willed 3-year-old dressed and coiffed for preschool, so I let that one slide.

But I did hide the scrunchies as soon as we took them out of her hair at bath time and she hasn't thought about them since! Mommy is so sly.

Luckily my husband is out of town this week and didn't have to see this delightful dress, shoe, sock combination she picked yesterday. He might have revoked my mommy license!

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

It was a good hair day...or so I thought.

I took my son to the barber on Friday. As we were pulling back into our drive way, I hoped out of the car to get the mail. As I was walking toward the mailbox I could see my shadow on the ground and I could see my hair bouncing in the breeze and thought to myself, Wow! I'm having a really great hair day today! As I got back in the car I glanced at myself in the rear view mirror and smiled and kind of shook my hair.

Sarah said, "Your hair looks good!"

"Thanks, honey! I'm using a new shampoo," I chattered excitedly, pleased that someone else had noticed my glorious mane.

"I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to Peter," she said.


"Oh," I mumbled.

My kids sure know how to keep me from becoming too pleased with myself!

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Friday, January 18, 2008

You are invited!

Jennwa and I are co-hosting a Pampered Chef party! It's going to be at her house on January 27th at 4:00 and you are all invited!

What? You can't make it? You don't want to fly in from Oregon, California, Alaska, Massachusetts, D.C, New York, (I could keep going here) for a Pampered Chef party? You should really reconsider because the theme of our little party is going to be Chocolate Bliss! And I for one am planning to step out on my diet for an hour and a half to enjoy some yummy chocolaty goodness.

Seriously, we really are co-hosting a Pampered Chef party and we thought we would let you guys know about it just in case you wanted to place an order. I know, I probably think you already have kitchen gadgets but come one! Who among us couldn't use the Food Chopper? Think about all the healthy vegetables I could professionally dice up with that thing?

Or perhaps a baking stone...because after all...Pampered Chef is known for their baking stones. Things don't burn on the bottom when you use a Pampered Chef baking stone (unless of course you don't hear the oven timer go off and you well, um, then, they might burn on the bottom but Jennwa and I don't have any personal experience with, we don't! Really, we don't!
And then there's my personal favorite...the versatile triffle bowl....Look, if it's not full of yummy and delicious triffle then you can use it as a decorating accessory! Jennwa even filled hers with Christmas balls over the holidays and left it on her counter as a decoration....she's so creative that way!

O.k, so if I haven't convinced you to come to the party, at least maybe I have enticed you enough to want to flip through the Pampered Chef online catalog. If you want to do that, please let me know and I can get you the link.

And if you decide to place an order, please use me as your host! I would really appreciate it....I'm trying to earn a free salad spinner...eating wet lettuce is wrecking havoc on my diet!

Won't you please help a girl out? All orders must be in my February 6th. Thanks!

Note - If you know me in real life and would like to come the party, please let me know! The more the merrier!

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Am I pretty or just striped?

Conversation at my house a couple mornings ago...

Peter: I wish I was as pretty as you Mommy.

Me: Aw, shucks. Thanks honey for calling me pretty. But you are a little boy and little boys are handsome, not pretty. And you are the most handsome little boy I know!

Peter: No I'm not.

Me: Yes you are. Why would you say you aren't?

Peter: Because I'm not wearing a striped shirt and you are. Striped shirts are prettier than plain shirts!

Geez. And I thought I was looking especially pretty that morning! Oh well. Maybe I should have spent some more time on my hair!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This blog brought to you by Jennisa!

If you visit this site often, then I'm sure you have noticed that I have a new look! I was really getting tired of looking at my blah bland blog. (I love alliteration!) I tried to spice things up myself but didn't really have the skills or the blog knowledge to do anything more than change my colors.

So I enlisted the help of Jennisa at Jennisa was so easy to work with and in less than three days I went from blah to blogerrific! And best of all, Jennisa is affordable (polite way of saying cheap!). If you think your blog could use some help, please check with Jennisa to see what she can do for you!

Look! I even have a cool little signature!

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Easy Tip for Keeping Your Bathrooms Clean!

I'm going to clue everyone in on a little secret that helps me keep my bathrooms clean. It's going to sound so simple that you will be slapping yourself upside your head and saying, "Why didn't I think of that myself!" or maybe even "Duh! I already do that!" or possibly even "I don't think that's going to make a bit of difference!" But just try it and I think your bathrooms will be cleaner in no time...

Previously, whenever I wanted to clean my bathrooms, I used to schlep a big bucket that contained all of my cleaning supplies from bathroom to bathroom. It seems I could always find a reason not to get that big bucket out and clean all of the bathrooms. Just seemed so overwhelming...not sure why that bucket of cleaning supplies held such power of me and my ability to clean but it did.

Then it struck me one day...wouldn't it be much easier if I kept all of the bathroom cleaning supplies in each of the bathrooms? That way if I had a free minute or two while I was in one of the bathrooms, I could clean it right then on the spot when the mood struck me. No more going to find the big bucket of supplies and no more excuses. Because what normally happened when I would go get the bucket is that I would get sidetracked by some other task.

Now, each of my bathrooms contain a scrub brush, a Magic Erase pad, a container of anti-bacterial wipes, a roll of paper towels, glass cleaner , toilet get the idea. I can quickly get my bathrooms clean and no more excuses! Seems simple but it really makes a huge difference for me and my sparkling toilets!

Head over to Rocks in My Dryer to get more Works for Me Wednesday tips!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One step forward, two steps back.

As I mentioned, Sarah has a problem with pointing out other peoples "differences" in her loud voice in public. But after this episode at Wal-Mart, I informed her that she should wait until we are in the car to tell me about something she saw that might hurt someones feelings or if she absolutely couldn't wait until we were in the car, to whisper it in my ear.

Yesterday we were in McDonald's and a couple tables over sat a very corpulent man eating his super-sized fries. Sarah got a big grin on her face, stuck her mouth right up to my ear, pointed and whispered, "Look how big his belly his, Mommy!" I guess the pointing and whispering is somewhat better than an outright declaration. We just need to work on being a little more discreet! One step forward...

Later that afternoon we went to Jennifer's house to play. Peter got very mad at me when I told him to let one of the other neighbors who was there play on the computer. He pitched a fit of gigantic proportion. He screamed that he hated me and that I wasn't being fair. There was a lot of running around in circles, crying, rolling on the floor, you name it....he did it. This is coming from a FIVE year old...not a two year old.

So we left and when we got home Peter had to stay in his room until Daddy came home. Daddy proceeded to talk to Peter about his behavior. Not sure what was said but we will see if the confinement and the discussion did any good. One step back...

Then later in the evening when Dan was giving the kids their bath, I heard a lot of doors opening and closing. I headed up the steps with a basket of laundry surprised to find both kids in their rooms (45 minutes before their normal bedtime). Apparently they weren't doing what Daddy asked them to do the first time and were being punished with more time in their rooms. (We have been having a big problem lately with having to tell the kids over and over to do something before they will just do it!) Another step back...

With my kids it seems like it's always one step forward and two steps back. But I guess we just have to try to keep moving forward and hope they learn to be sweet, compassionate, obedient, non-temper tantrum throwing teenagers. sigh...

Monday, January 14, 2008

I just can't stop thinking about this story.

I read this story Sunday morning while eating breakfast with my family and I could not get it out of my mind all day. A man threw his four children (all under the age of 3) off an 80 foot bridge after having an argument with his wife.

All day I kept looking at my children trying to figure out what would make someone do that. It doesn't say what the argument with his wife was about but I could never ever imagine being so angry with my husband that I would want to harm my children.

And to do it in such a cruel way? To throw them off of a bridge? I guess that is the part that really makes me so sad. I spent much of the day wondering what was going through their little minds as they went on that bridge with their father. Perhaps they were excited to be on a tall bridge, excited to see the water below. They must have thought they were going on a little adventure with Daddy.

But as he started tossing them over one by one I can only imagine what they felt. I guess this is what bothers me most, the confusion and sadness they must have felt watching as their brothers and sisters were being thrown off the bridge, their excitement turning to horror.

I am hoping that they were too young to realize what was going on and that their suffering was brief. That is my hope. I know they are now resting peacefully in heaven but I just can't shake the images I have in my head.

I'm sure that soon enough another tragedy involving a child will make the headlines and this story will be forgotten. But for now, I am just going to hug my kids a little tighter and thank God that they are safe.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Has anyone ever told you that you look just like...

While I was at my in-laws house for Christmas, I overheard my father-in-law, who was reading the Boston Globe, say to my brother-in-law Bob, "Don't you think Beth looks just like Chelsea Clinton?"

I almost fell off my chair when I heard this! Chelsea Clinton?! Was he crazy?? I got hopping mad! When Bob came into the room I questioned him.

"Dad's crazy," he assured me. "He doesn't know what he's talking about!" But Bob, sensing I did not consider looking like Chelsea Clinton to be a good thing, never officially confirmed or denied that my father-in-law was indeed talking about Chelsea Clinton.

My father-in-law went to bed a few minutes later and I grabbed the newspaper. I started scanning it for pictures of beautiful people, because surely he didn't say I looked like Chelsea Clinton. I don't want anyone to think I look like Chelsea Clinton !

Unfortunately the only picture I could find of a youngish woman was her. Egad! It must have been Chelsea Clinton! My father-in-law thinks I look like Chelsea Clinton!

So I did what any normal woman would do. I began to analyze her picture. After about 15 minutes with the magnifying glass (it was a small picture, what do you expect?) I confirmed my worst fears, Holy crap! I DO look like Chelsea Clinton!

I could see it. I could see why he thought I looked like Chelsea Clinton. I wanted to hide. I wanted to cry. I didn't want to look like Chelsea Clinton!

After I accepted the fact that I looked like Chelsea Clinton, I further analyzed the picture and then I thought Hey! She doesn't look quite as bad as I remember her looking. I guess it could be worse. He could have said I look like Hillary Clinton!

The fact that I looked like Chelsea Clinton was still bothering me though so when I got home I did a little research on my doppelganger and I discovered this picture online...

She has had plastic surgery! Check out those after pictures!

She actually looks pretty good now so I am going to take my father-in-law's statement that I look like Chelsea Clinton as a compliment. (I can not believe I just typed that!) After all, she has paid good money to look just like me!

My father-in-law may not be crazy after all! Picture me with my hair professionally styled, my eyebrows professionally waxed, and my make-up professionally applied and we are practically sisters!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I didn't want to have to tell you this...

I didn't want to tell anyone this but I'm going to anyway.

I have started a diet.

I know, I know. You are probably thinking, So, who isn't? or I don't really care. But I guess I'm telling you more for me than for you.

I figure the more people I tell that I'm dieting, the less likely I will be to backslide. If I just tell my Mom and Jennifer that I'm doing it, when I quit after a week, no one will be the wiser and I can go back to eating ranch dip and Tostito's in bulk and it won't matter. I am hoping that since I've told you I will be forced to keep at it until I reach my goal. Otherwise I would have to come slinking back here and admit failure.

I love Jennifer but it can be hard being her BFF because she works out EVERY day and she drinks only WATER. She eats whatever she wants to eat because she knows that very shortly she will be jumping on the treadmill to work it off. She works out before the food even realizes it has made it into her body, much less decides it wants to take up permanent residence on her hips!

For some reason, when I am around her I feel like I ,too, can eat whatever I want to eat, whenever I want to eat it, with no repercussions. I guess I have packed on a few a lot of pounds in the last six months or so.

I didn't really feel compelled to loose weight though until I looked at this picture which was taken on Christmas morning.

O.k. now that you've seen it, please ignore the shiny face and the greasy hair. Instead, please focus on how thick my middle is. I don't remember ever being this thick through the middle.

Granted I am wearing a white shirt. White only exposes fat. It does absolutely nothing to hide it. I guess it's the next best thing to sitting around naked. So I guess this picture is just me and how I look. Which is the most disturbing thing to me...this is HOW I LOOK!

After seeing this picture, I decided that since it was the New Year and since everyone was doing it I might as well do it too. I am going to loose 12 pounds by Mother's Day and I expect you all to hold me to it!

I won't bore you with how hungry I am right now or with frequent weigh-ins (unless I can't think of anything else to write about!) but I will let you know periodically how I am doing.

I hope the picture hasn't scared you guys off and that you will continue to visit my blog. And when you do come back, please look at my profile photo and try to get the other picture out of your mind!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Backwards Edition

Help! I have dry hands. My hands are so dry that they make me look much older than my 25 years, ahem...well, then....

O.k. so I'm not 25 but my hands really are extremely dry. I have tried all different types of lotions, creams and potions and haven't found anything that works. Since Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer was doing a backwards Works For Me Wednesday I thought I would ask the Internet if you had any suggestions.

So, do you? What works for you?

Monday, January 7, 2008

All I want for Christmas is my two gold teeth!

Going to Wal-Mart with a three year old is always an adventure. Wal-Mart is full of different types of people for my daughter to look at and comment on.

This morning we encountered someone that had really long dreadlocks and had them in one of those hat things that dreadlock wearing people wear, Rasta hats. His dreads were so long and thick that this hat was at least a foot long width wise across the back of his head. Sarah took one look at him and said, "His hat looks silly!" Luckily he wasn't in earshot so I sighed and we kept moving.

We almost made it through all of the aisles without any embarrassing-to-Mommy moments until we hit the canned fruit section. As I paused to ponder which canned fruit I needed for a fruit salad I was making, I noticed a very tall thin woman. She flashed a very large smile at me and I noticed that she had two gold teeth. These teeth were shiny and cast a beautiful glow on the canned fruit every time she smiled.

And then it happened, because what three year old is going to be able to resist that?

Sarah let out a tiny gasp and said, "Mommy! She has gold teef!" So I did the only thing I could do and smiled a weak apologetic smile at the lady and said, "Oh, well look at that. She sure does."

Then Sarah said exactly what any respectable tiara wearing, bejeweled princess is going say, "I want one!" I laughed a nervous little laugh wondering where the heck those mandarin oranges were and hoping that the gold tooth lady was finding this amusing instead of annoying and said, "Oh, you do?"

And then Sarah said, "Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas!"

"Maybe he will if you are good this year," I muttered.

The woman chuckled. I was thankful she had a sense of humor and I was thankful that I had found those mandarin oranges and we could get the heck out of there.

Sarah and I had a chat on the way home about not loudly pointing things out about people when we are in a store because it might hurt their feelings. She asked me if it would be o.k. if she whispered them into my ear.

So next time you are in Wal-Mart and you see two people whispering and pointing and snickering, it's probably us!

What is it?

I just wanted to share with you what I am greeted with most mornings....

Is it a bird's nest? Is it the Sasquatch? Is it a ball of thread that's been mangled by a cat? Nope, it's just my darling Sarah. I'm not sure what she does in her sleep but every morning I have to tame this beast with a brush and squirt bottle before we can go out in public.

As Sarah's hair has grown I've gotten better at brushing it out and she's got better at dealing with her head being jerked and pulled as I'm trying to get the brush through it.

Boys are so much easier but I figure when she grows up, Dan and Peter can go build something or tear something down and she and I can go get pedicures! I can't wait...meanwhile, I'll keep buying detangler by the gallon...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Just kill it already!

I'm sure many of you have heard the Legend of the Christmas Spider.

If not, take a minute to read it.

I think it's a creepy story. I've never liked tinsel and I am pretty sure I will never have a spider ornament hanging on my tree. Spiders give me the willies. So, imagine my surprise today when my husband found this in the box we use to store our Christmas tree....

I can't stop shuddering. Isn't it just the ugliest thing you've ever seen? And guess what? It's a black widow spider!
I know what I'm going to be dreaming about tonight and unfortunately, it ain't Brad Pitt!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Big is beautiful!

I was brushing my daughter's hair the other day and she looked woefully into the mirror and said I hate my head. Why did God give me such a big ugly head?

I put the brush down and asked her if someone at preschool told her she had a big head. She said no and then she asked again why she had to have such a big head. I then started the lecture that contained such brilliant and overused-by-moms-for-the-last-200-years phrases as everything that God makes is beautiful, you are beautiful, God wants you to look just the way you look, I think you are beautiful, etc. Then I listed all the people that think she is beautiful and then she finally started to smile and all was well again in the land of Sarah.

But all was not well in the land of Mommy. Where did she get this idea? I mean her head is big. Both of my kids have large heads compared to other kids their age. I like to think it's because they both have big brains. But a 3 year old wouldn't be comparing head sizes at preschool? Would they?

As I was thinking about all the places should could have gotten this horrible idea that her head is big and ugly, I froze. All of a sudden I knew where she got the horrible idea that her head was big and ugly....she got it from me!

I make jokes frequently about the size of their noggins. And I know I've even had conversations about their big heads while they have been in earshot. Had Sarah gotten the idea that her head was big and ugly from me? That almost broke my heart!

I am the one person in this world who is supposed to make her feel beautiful all the time. I am the one person who is supposed to help her feel good about herself, inside and out, so that she can go out into this mean world with confidence knowing that she is beautiful because her mommy has told her so.

I don't ever want her to think she is ugly. I know there are many days when she's all a part of growing up. But I want her to always know that Mommy believes she is absolutely gorgeous...because to me she is the most gorgeous girl that God ever put on this earth! And one of the luckiest too, because in addition to being gorgeous, God gave her a really big brain that he is covering with a really big beautiful head!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

If you insist!

Yesterday Sarah wanted to plug in the new Disney Princess nightlight Santa brought her.

Sarah: I'm going to plug in my new nightlight!

Mommy: Let me go with you so I can help.

Sarah: No Mommy! I want to do it by myself. I'll go by myself!

Mommy: No, Sarah. I need to be with you to help you.

Sarah: Why?

Mommy: Little kids should never plug anything into the walls by themselves.

Sarah: (big sigh) Oh, all right. If you insist.

If you insist?! Sometimes with her, I feel like I'm talking to a 30 year old instead of a 3 year old!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Dreaming of Spring

I know it's only January and its 25 degrees outside but I'm dreaming of Spring!

Works For Me Wednesday

When Peter was 3 1/2 and Sarah was 2, I took them both to the dentist for the first time. We went to the man who was my dentist growing up. I really liked Dr. Brown as a child. He was a sweet gentle man and I thought my kids would like him. And they did. He wasn't scary and I think they had fun laying back in the chair while he counted their teeth. However his office was a mess.

There were piles of junk laying all around. The whole office had a very 1970's vibe too it and honestly, it looked like it hadn't been organized or cleaned since then. As the good doctor was digging through some junk drawers looking for toothbrushes to give my kids, I decided that we wouldn't be going back.

It took me a year, but I finally took them back to the dentist that Dan and I see. I asked her if the kids needed to be brushing twice a day and she told me yes. I groaned told her that they were great about letting us brush their teeth before but it was always a fight in the mornings and in my rush to get us out the door it was a fight that I usually let the kids win. (Bad Mommy!)

She told me to let the kids do it themselves. My husband and I needed to help them at night before bed but in the mornings it would be perfectly fine for them to do it alone. She also told them directly as they were in the chair that they needed to brush in the mornings.

I'm not sure whether it was the dentist telling them that they needed to brush in the mornings or whether it was the novelty of brushing by themselves that did it but it worked! We no longer fight about brushing teeth in the mornings. The kids willing do it all by themselves. I will admit that they manage to get toothpaste all over the sink, the mirror and the towel but I figure that is a small price to pay for fresh breath and clean teeth!

Now, if I could just get the dentist to tell my kids to clean the playroom we would be in business!

Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Miracle Monday Link List

Here are links to all the previous Miracle Monday's. Enjoy!
Announcing Miracle Monday
Miracle Monday - Edition 1
Miracle Monday - Edition 2
Miracle Monday - Edition 3
Miracle Monday - Edition 4
Miracle Monday - Edition 5
Miracle Monday - Edition 6
Miracle Monday - Edition 7
Miracle Monday - Edition 8
Miracle Monday - Edition 9
Miracle Monday - Edition 10
Miracle Monday - Edition 11
Miracle Monday - Edition 12
Miracle Monday - Edition 13
Miracle Monday - Edition 14
Miracle Monday - Edition 15
Miracle Monday - Edition 16
Miracle Monday - Edition 17
Miracle Monday - Edition 18
Miracle Monday - Edition 19
Miracle Monday - Edition 20
Miracle Monday - Edition 21
Miracle Monday - Edition 22
Miracle Monday - Edition 23
Miracle Monday- Edition 24
Miracle Monday - Edition 25
Miracle Monday - Edition 26
Miracle Monday - Edition 27
Miracle Monday - Edition 28
Miracle Monday - Edition 29
Miracle Monday - Edition 30
Miracle Monday - Edition 31
Miracle Monday - Edition 32
Miracle Monday - Edition 33
Miracle Monday - Edition 34
Miracle Monday - Edition 35
Miracle Monday - Edition 36
Miracle Monday - Edition 37
Miracle Monday - Edition 38
Miracle Monday - Edition 39
Miracle Monday - Edition 40
Miracle Monday - Edition 41
Miracle Monday - Edition 42
Miracle Monday - Edition 43
Miracle Monday - Edition 44
Miracle Monday - Edition 45
Miracle Monday - Edition 46
Miracle Monday - Edition 47
Miracle Monday - Edition 48
Miracle Monday - Edition 49
Miracle Monday - Edition 50
Miracle Monday - Edition 51
Miracle Monday - Edition 52
Miracle Monday - Edition 53
Miracle Monday - Edition 54
Miracle Monday - Edition 55
Miracle Monday - Edition 56
Miracle Monday - Edition 57
Miracle Monday - Edition 58
Miracle Monday - Edition 59
Miracle Monday - Edition 60
Miracle Monday - Edition 61
Miracle Monday - Edition 62
Miracle Monday - Edition 63
Miracle Monday - Edition 64
Miracle Monday - Edition 65
Miracle Monday - Edition 66
Miracle Monday - Edition 67
Miracle Monday - Edition 68