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Friday, February 29, 2008

Don't Forget...Miracle Monday is right around the corner!

Just a quick reminder that the first edition of Miracle Monday is almost here! Please don't forget to write a post on Monday describing a miracle that you have witnessed, that has touched your life or that you have somehow been a part of.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a miracle as "an event that seems inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be an act of God."

Miracles come in all shapes and sizes and I think it would be a blessing if we shared them with each other. No miracle is too large or too small. I want to hear about them all.

I hope that Miracle Monday will become a blessing to all who post here and to all who read them.

So get to writing and meet me back here on Monday morning!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Now that's the kind of customer service I expect!

I posted once before on my experience with Dell computers and their lovely customer service reps in India. My blood is starting to boil just thinking about it. After I posted my little tirade, I noticed on that on two separate occasions someone from Dell computers looked at my post.

Now I'm not sure whether it was an actual human or whether it was some bot that was trolling the Internet for articles or information on Dell. But when I saw that, I got excited. Perhaps now I will get justice. Perhaps now I will get an apology for their poor customer service.

But, alas, no one ever emailed me or contacted me. So I will just have to take solace in the fact that I bought a laptop a couple of weeks ago and as cute as that lime green Dell laptop was, I purchased another brand. So there! Take that, Dell computers!

I thought since I let my feelings be known on a company with poor customer service, it would only be fair to let the public know about two examples of excellent customer service.

Example # 1:

Several weeks ago, my soon accidentally broke a couple of critical pieces to one of his Lego's Bionicles. The Bionicle was rendered useless without these pieces and the screaming and crying and whining were more than I could take.

So I called their 1-800 number and was immediately connected to a very nice English speaking lady. She asked me for the part numbers of the broken pieces and asked me how many of them I needed. She then proceeded to mail all of the pieces (I even asked for and received extras) FREE OF CHARGE! I was floored.

I assumed I would have to pay for the pieces and also pay for shipping. But no. I was informed that if any Lego piece ever breaks, they will replace it FREE OF CHARGE. My son and I literally did a happy dance. We did another one when the parts came via UPS a week later!

Example #2

At Christmas, my niece Jillian gave Peter a Floam kit. Not sure if you know what Floam is but it is a molding compound. It's not like's much cooler and more grown up. It's sort of like a slime with tiny little Styrofoam balls in it. You can mold it and shape it and cover objects with it. The kids had a great time playing with the kit. The kit contained several small tubs of Floam, some Styrofoam forms and some googly eyes, feathers, pipe cleaners, etc.

A few weeks ago, I noticed some other Floam kits at Wal-Mart for $9.86 each. One was a robot you could put together and decorate and the other kit contained two picture frames you could decorate. We pulled the kits out one cold rainy afternoon and the kids were thrilled. Thrilled until we opened up the small Floam tubs and discovered they were hard and not the least bit moldable.

I thought about returning the kits to Wal-Mart. That store will take anything back, with or without receipt. But I decided I would rather contact the Floam Corporation to let them know about the hard Floam.

I emailed their customer service department and a couple of days later received a note back apologizing for the hard Floam. The rep told me that the Floam should not dry out like that if the container is properly sealed. She also told me that they were going to start putting seals (much like the inner seal on a cream cheese tub) on the Floam containers starting this summer. She said that would prevent the drying out from occurring as well.

She then asked me if I wanted a refund on the kits or if I wanted more Floam. Since the kids had so much fun with the first kit, I told her I would take more Floam.

Today, my door bell rang. The UPS woman (who looks exactly like a man...Sarah and I actually argued over whether it was a man or a woman) handed me a package that contained SIX LARGE tubs of Floam. Just one of these tubs at Wal-Mart costs over $6.00 and we got SIX...for free!

The kids and I did another happy dance and I have learned a valuable lesson. It never hurts to contact a company and let them know you have a problem with their product. You may actually get more than you bargained for in return.

And people, one other valuable lesson I learned...don't buy a Dell computer.

I'm still bitter.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pirate Themed Birthday Party - Works For Me Wednesday

I am constantly getting visitors to my blog because they have Googled something about pirate birthday parties, treasure maps or pirate costumes. So I thought this Works For Me Wednesday I would put links to all the pirate posts in one place in case someone else has a little pirate in their home and would like to do a pirate themed party for them as well.

Last year my son Peter went through a huge pirate phase. He had begun playing with Mega Blocks Pyrates sets and was fascinated with anything pirate, so when it was time for Halloween he went as a pirate, of course.

I was very pleased with myself because I put together an awesome pirate costume for $6. Is he not just the cutest pirate ever?

His fifth birthday was in November and I had never done an official birthday party for him. We had always just done something with family but he wanted a party with friends this year. I think I went a little overboard (pun intended) with the pirate theme but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

I made a birthday cake shaped like a pirate ship. It was really easy and I was proud of how it turned out. Plus my son thought it was cool!

I also wanted to do a treasure hunt complete with treasure map and clues. I can't take credit for the clues because my husband wrote them. Too bad there's no money in treasure map clue writing...he could have a new career!

I think the kids had a great time and I know I had fun putting it all together. I hope these ideas help you out together a fantastic party for your little pirate.

Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday tips.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Announcing...Miracle Monday

I am not a worrier. If something is bothering me, I pray about it. So when I started getting an uneasy feeling about my blog I started to pray.

Was my blog supposed to be something other than humorous tidbits from my life? Was my blog supposed to be something different, something more? So instead of worrying about it and questioning myself, I started praying.

I asked God to let me know what my blog was supposed to be. I prayed about this for a while and my blog continued to be a blog about funny snippets from my life and I still had this nagging feeling that something was missing.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the shower one morning and I was praying about my blog again. And while I was shaving my legs, God spoke to me.

Now, when I say spoke, I don't mean I heard a thundering voice or saw a burning bush. I mean 'spoke' in the sense that I felt a sense of peace and excitement and I knew exactly what I was supposed to do.

While saving my legs and praying about my blog, I heard the words "Miracle Monday" and got the idea that I should use my blog every Monday as a place to encourage people to write about miracles and then link them back to my blog. It would be like a clearinghouse for miracles.

I started thinking more about Miracle Monday and then I decided that it was silly and that I should just drop it. But I couldn't get the idea out of my head and I kept praying about it and thinking about it. And I realized that if God wanted Miracle Monday to happen it would happen whether I thought it was silly or not.

So with no further ado, I present:

I am asking that you spend this week thinking about a miracle that you have witnessed or that touched your life or that you have somehow been a part and next Monday, March 3rd, write a post on your blog and link back to it from here. (I'll have a Mr. Linky.) My plan is to host this every Monday starting next week.

And if this is something you would like to spread the word about, please feel free to use this button on your sidebar or to even write a post it about it this week letting everyone know that we are getting started with it NEXT Monday.

I know many of you may be thinking that you don't have a miracle to write about, but I bet if you stop and really think about it, you do. Your miracle doesn't have to be someone walking on water or someone being raised from the dead (although if you have a story like that, I would love to hear it!).

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a miracle as "an event that seems inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be an act of God." Miracles come in all shapes and sizes and I think it would be a blessing if we shared them with each other.

So start thinking about your miracle, write about it, and link back to it here NEXT Monday.

Maybe now I can shave my legs in peace!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Mommy is tired so you get a rerun.

My husband has been gone all week and I'm tired, so the best I can muster up this morning is a rerun.

This was originally posted last summer when my blog was all shiny and new and I only had 3 readers. I hope you enjoy it.

Now I'm off to pour myself another cup of coffee and count the hours until my sweetie comes home and we can watch American Idol together.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What About All the Lasts?

All of the baby books go on and on about when to expect the first smile, the first step, the first word. They go on in great detail about what milestones your baby should be reaching and when they should be reaching them.

We made sure to get as many of these firsts as we could on film. We got Sarah rolling over for the first time and Peter taking his first step. I have journal entries about their first words, where we were, how we felt, how they looked. All of this care was taken so that I would be able to look back and fondly recall all of the important firsts in my babies’ lives. So that I could remember everything exactly as it was.

But no one warned me to be on the look out for the lasts. No one told me to pay attention so that I would notice and remember the last time my son twirled his hair the way he had done a thousand times before. I used to think it was an adorable little nervous habit and at the same time I worried that he might be sitting in his very first job interview nervously twirling his hair between his right thumb and forefinger trying to figure out the best way to answer the question “Which piece of fruit would you be in the fruit bowl?”

He used to twirl his hair all the time but he doesn't do it any more. I wish I could see him do it again. How did I miss the very last time?

No one told me to pay attention so that I would recall the last night, the exact last moment my little girl would fall asleep with her pacifier plugged firmly between her lips, sucking like she was Maggie Simpson. She always looked so calm and peaceful sleeping with her paci but I was so busy worrying that she would be the only kid in kindergarten toting a pacifier, an assortment of blankets, doll babies and other lovies with her on her first day that I forgot to notice the last time she used it.

And what about all the other lasts I have missed. When exactly was the last time Peter said “oh-goo” when he meant yogurt or “nambies” when he meant bananas? When exactly was the last time I carried a sleepy Sarah to her room and whispered “lay your head on my shoulder” and she did?

How did my babies look as they drifted off to sleep the very last time I held them after giving them their very last bottle? Why don’t I have a picture of that sweet sleepy expression? How did they look the very last time they splashed happily around in their little plastic baby bathtub?

How did it look the very last time they scooted across the floor on all fours before they learned how to walk? How did they look the very last time they threw Cheerios off their high chair table?

How could I have missed all these lasts? Why didn’t I know to be looking for them, recording them, capturing them? There are many days over the last 4 and a half years when I have thought things like "when will he be potty trained?", “will she ever learn to walk?", “if only they were older we could…” and now I look back and in my quest to hurry and grow them up I’ve missed too many of the lasts. I don’t want to miss any more.

I want to remember the very last time Peter is small enough to be picked up or the last time Sarah gives me her hand as we are walking across the backyard. I want to remember the last time they call me “Mommy” because it won’t be long until I am just plain old Mom.

I want to remember it all. I want to savor it all.

I no longer want to hurry things along, because sadly, it seems, time is passing too quickly without any extra help from me.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways....

On Valentine's Day, I read countless posts where the bloggers were waxing poetic about their husband's love for them and their love for their husbands and I wrote about this. So, you know there aren't a lot of flowers, candy and poetry being dispensed at my house.

But it doesn't matter, because I know that my husband loves me, truly loves me. And if my husband ever has any question about how much I truly love him, he should now be convinced that my love knows no bounds because...

I have recorded both nights of American Idol and have not watched them yet!

Dan has been in Ireland all week and won't be back until Friday night. So I am waiting on him to return before I watch the shows.

He was in France on another business trip three weeks ago and I watched AI all by myself. Well, savored AI is probably more accurate.

I do love American Idol. I love American Idol the way I used to love Melrose Place and Beverly Hills, 90210, and Friends and Seinfeld. My devotion to the show is deep....I honestly don't think I have ever missed an episode. We used to record it on our VCR if we weren't going to be home.

Egads! Did she just say VCR? What's that?

Thank goodness we have a DVR now. I love the DVR.

Um, where was I?

Anyway, a few weeks ago, when he was he was gone I watched the show...both nights. It gave me something to do in his absence. When he got home he asked me if I had watched it. When I told him that not only had I watched it but that I had deleted it from the DVR I could tell he was a little dejected...or maybe he was a little annoyed. Whatever his emotion, I felt like a heel.

So I decided that I would show my true love and devotion for him and record the shows so that we could watch them this weekend together. That means I can't dish about AI with my BFF, my mom, or my friends on the blogosphere, until next week and well, by then, this week's episode will be so last week that it won't even matter.

Now if that ain't true love folks, I don't know what is.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Free Babysitting - And I don't mean Grandma and Grandpa

Yes, Grandma and Grandpa are great free babysitters and we use them as much as we can, but if you aren't near family, there is also another way to get reliable and free babysitting so that you can enjoy some time alone with your significant other.

Here's how it works. Find two families that you trust and get along well with that have kids roughly the same age as your kids. One of the families will babysit all of the kids while the other two sets of parents are free to go out to dinner, a movie, shopping, whatever they want to do. Then the couple that did the babysitting gets two nights out with free babysitting while one of the other couples babysits all three sets of kids.

Pretty simple, right? So for ONE night of babysitting someone else's children you get TWO nights of FREE babysitting for your children. You keep rotating until all three sets of couples have performed babysitting duties once and gone out twice.

When we've done it in the past, we have tried to follow a few simple rules:

1. The kids must come over already having been fed their dinner.
2. We agree to a start time and a stop time so both families are dropping their kids off and picking their kids up at roughtly the same time.
3. There should be a time limit so that all three families get the same amount of babysitting. We use three hours but this could be adjusted to fit the needs of the people in your little babysitting circle. You don't want one family babysitting for a 5 hour stretch one night and then only getting to go out for a three hour stretch when it is their turn.

One other thing to note, it helps if all three families have similar schedules so that it is easy to find evenings to trade off. For example, don't include a family that has a husband that works nights or weekends if you are going to want to trade out on Staurday nights. Or don't start this with a family that has a parent that travels frequently so that they are never able to participate. If all three families have similar schedules it makes it much easier to find weekends that all three families are available to participate.

This has worked great for us and when it's time for my husaband and I to babysit, the kids are having so much fun playing with their friends, there really isn't even that much for us to do!

This works for us! Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday tips.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Why does Megan's pee stink?

I love Google. I always say that if you have any question, just Google it and you will find the answer. It may take you a little while but you can always find the answer.

Another thing I love, is checking my stats at to see what phrases people are Googling to get to my blog. There are always lots of interesting queries but I think I finally found someone who believes in the power of Google even more than I do.

Some one actually googled "Why does Megan's pee stink?" and their search took them here. I am 99.9% certain that the person was not wondering why Megan from Fried Okra's pee stinks so I guess she didn't find the answer on my blog.

I laughed and laughed at the thought of this person actually using their first name in their Google serach, but it made me wonder, am I using Google incorrectly? Perhaps I should be Googling "Why can't Beth lose weight?" or "Why is Sarah so bossy?" Maybe I should even be using our last name to get an even better answer!

I guess I was wrong. I guess you can't find an answer to every question you pose on Google. Hmmmm....maybe I should Google that....

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Oh no, she did not just ask me that!

Sarah must have preschooler PMS again. Every afternoon this week around 3:00 she has become unbearable. I have to walk on eggshells to prevent a major breakdown. Peter has taken to hiding so he doesn't have to endure the wrath of Sarah scorned and Dan,well he's just lucky to be at work at times like this.

Yesterday around 5:00, I'm not sure exactly what happened. I'm not sure if Peter accidentally called her 'Sarah' instead of her preferred pseudonym, 'Baby Anna'; or if I didn't let her help with something that I didn't even know she wanted to help me with in the first place; or perhaps, maybe one of the five hair clips she insisted I put in her hair that morning finally came loose and fell out. But whatever the cause, the whining, the crying, the short temper, the moaning, all finally reached a peak yesterday afternoon.

She was lying on the kitchen floor at my feet, rolling around in seeming pain. The very fake cries reached their climax and the very real whines reached their zenith when she abruptly stopped, looked up at me and said, "Mommy, do you remember what I was crying about?"

Oh no she didn't!

But yes, friends, she really did! She actually asked me what she was crying about.

I laughed at her because at this point, she had been 'crying' for so long I couldn't remember either. And, of course, that brought on more fake tears and more fake whining.

But really, what's a mother to do if you can't laugh at your kids every now and then? Because the laughter is the only thing that keeps me from crying!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Note to self...

Do not eat two very large bowls of Kashi Go Lean high fiber cereal in one 8 hour period and expect hubby to want to sit beside you on the couch.

Also, do not expect hubby to be as amused as you are with all the 'noises' you are making.

Hubby can be such a baby!

Dan - I love you for putting up with me. Happy Valentine's Day!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Heart Shaped Cupcakes

It's Wednesday again so it must be time for Works For Me Wednesday. I thought I would share this neat tip with everyone that I got from a great little cookbook entitled Not Just Beans.

This cookbook is written by Tawra Kellam who publishes a newsletter which you can sign up for on her website at Living on a Dime . Tawra and her mom are chock full of frugal tips and hints for living a frugal lifestyle.

Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, many of you are probably scurrying around trying to get ready for a party at your beloved offspring's school. If you are in charge of bringing the sweets, you may want to try baking heart shaped cupcakes. If you don't have a heart shaped tin and don't want to buy one, you may want to try this little tip:

Place a marble between the muffin tin and the cupcake liner. Fill half full with cake batter and bake as usual and tah-dah...the result will be heart shaped cupcakes! (I was thinking that if you didn't have any marbles laying around then this should work with small stones about the same weight and size as a marble.)

For more hints, tips, tricks and all around good advice, head on over to Don't Try This At Home who is hosting Works For Me Wednesday while Shannon is in Africa blogging about all the needy children in Uganda...go Shannon!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How Not To Lose 12 Pounds in 12 Easy Steps

1. Do not tell the Internet in January that you are trying to lose twelve pounds by May.

2. Do not go on the Atkins diet if you have an aversion to eggs and sausage.

3. Do not go off the Atkins diet after three weeks thinking you can eat like former self and keep off the 4.8 pounds you did manage to lose.

4. Do not make these.

5. Do not feel proud of self for giving away extra pretzels but then keep baggie of toffee chips and chocolate chips in pantry under the guise that you will use them the next time you make pretzels.

6. Do not eat yogurt and fiber cereal for breakfast, an orange and a can of tuna for lunch, and a small serving of pot roast and a small helping of carrots for dinner. (Well, o.k., I guess you can do this step but it will only lead to bad things...)

7. Do not remember baggie of toffee and chocolate in pantry while cleaning up dinner dishes.

8. Do not pour entire baggie of chips into mouth while trying not to let kids and husband see what you are doing because Lord knows, you do not want to share contents of baggie.

9. Do not feel like a bloated cow for eating entire baggie of chips.

10. Do not take a Midol thinking that the bloating they are referring to on the package is the same bloating that is occuring because you just ate a whole baggie of toffee and chocolate. (Note to self - Menstrual bloating and binge bloating are two entirely different things.)

11. Do not run to computer to check the price of Nutri-System.

12. Do not...and this is the most important step of all...tell the Internet in January that you are trying to lose twelve pounds by May.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Guess we can cross Doctor of the list...

The following conversation occurred in the car today:

Sarah: Ouuuuuuch! Owwww! (lots of tears and wailing) I gave myself a paper cut! (more wailing and crying)

There was so much pain from this little paper cut that even a Band-Aid wouldn't stop the tears and the screaming and the crying. I knew it must have really hurt because a Band-Aid will normally stop all tears in my house.

I have often wondered what magic power is contained in those little plastic strips.

Peter: Don't let me look! Don't let me look!

I thought it was interesting they way he phrased this sentence. It almost sounded as if he was commanding himself not to let himself look.

Peter: Don't let me look! I don't want to see blood!

It was at this point that I crossed 'doctor' off the list of potential careers for my son. I'm not panicking though. We still have lots of other high paying professions on that list.

His Daddy and I are just trying to look out for our retirement. We haven't given up on a retirement home on Cape Cod just yet. But Peter and Sarah really need to kick it up a notch in preschool if we are going to make it happen!

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

I've hit the Mother Lode.

I've mentioned before that I am not a baker but I sure can make a mean chocolate covered pretzel stick.

Today I decided to try something a little different than just your average run of the mill pretzel stick.

I made these beauties from a recipe in Taste of Home Magazine.

They are called Mother Load Pretzels and they sure lived up to their name.

Aren't they gorgeous?

Here's the recipe in case you are interested in trying them out for yourself:

Mother Lode Pretzels

1 package (10 oz.) pretzel rods
1 package (14 oz.) caramels
1 TBS evaporated milk
Bag of minature chocolate chips
Bag of Butterscotch chips
Bag of toffee bits
1/4 c. chopped walnuts, toasted (I omitted these since my son is alergic to nuts.)

With a sharp knife, cut pretzel rods in half; set aside.
Melt caramels and milk in microwave for 3 minutes.
In a shallow bowl combine chips, toffee bits and nuts.
Pour caramel mixture into 2-cup glass measuring cup.
Dip the cut end of each pretzel piece 2/3 of the way into the caramel mixture.
Allow excess caramel to drip off*, then roll pretzel into the chip mixture.
Place on waxed paper until set.
Store in an air tight container.

Next time I make these (and there will definitely be a next time) I think I will make two batches. One batch following the recipe exactly and a second batch using white chocolate chips instead of the butterscotch chips and using Andees Mints bits instead of the toffee bits. My son has also requested that I make them using the minature M&M's. So, I guess I may be making three batches next time!


*Public Service Announement - Make sure you don't get too much caramel on each pretzel or when it hardens, you won't be able to chew them. Trust me on this one!

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Let's hug it out.

Last week as we were leaving Jennifer's house, her son, Colton, climbed into the back of our car to give Peter a hug. My son was already strapped into his car seat so they ended up just kind of putting their heads together and then waving good-bye.

Note to Dan - Honey, do not panic! This does not mean that Peter is gay! It just means that he is too young to know that as a male he is supposed to feel uncomfortable expressing his emotions. There is still plenty of time to teach him that men should only hug if they have just won the World Series.

Yesterday as we were leaving, he came running up to give Peter another hug and once again it was the same strapped in the car, heads together, then wave, kind of hug they shared previously.

As he hopped out of the car, Sarah looked at me and said, "I want Colton to give me a hug too!" Sarah asks for anything her brother gets whether she really wants it or not.

I asked Colton if he would give Sarah a hug too. He came running over to her side of the car and gave her a hug. As Colton was leaving her side of the car, Sarah looked at him with a little twinkle in her eyes. I wanted to tell Colton to run fast and hard but before I could, he turned and came over to me, grabbed me around my legs and gave me a tight squeeze.

Aw, shucks! I love that kid.

Jennifer, you are doing something right, girl! Keep up the good work.

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Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.

My mom has told me for many years Beth, if you ever need to put me in a home, just do it! Don't feel bad about it, just do it. I don't ever want to be a burden on you. And don't feel guilty about it.

I have always thought this was a selfless thing for her to say but there was always one caveat with her selfless request. Just make sure you pluck my chin hairs. I don't want to be one of those old ladies with lots of wild chin hairs.

This last request always used to make me chuckle.

Chin hairs? She's nuts!

Several years ago, I discovered what she was talking about. I looked in the mirror and to my horror; I noticed something growing from my chin. It was a tiny hair. I quickly grabbed my tweezers and got rid of it.

There, I thought. It's gone. No one saw it. I don't need to worry about that anymore.


Plucking that one stray chin hair 10 years ago seemed to be the catalyst for all the others that were going to make their march across my chin. What I thought was a one time plucking inconvenience has now become part of my daily grooming ritual.

And is there anything more embarrassing than having your husband walk into the bathroom when you are plucking your chin hairs? Ah, the romance.

Every time I pass a mirror in a sunny room, I cock my head at a certain angle so I can see if there are any wild chin hairs growing.

I am constantly rubbing my chin to see if I can feel any stubble because when you pluck a chin hair, one thing is certain, it will grow back. And never content to grow alone, it always seems to bring a friend to the party.

I have often thought about waxing my chin. I have never had anything waxed before and I'm not even sure if they do chins, but I have seriously thought about it

Now that I am older though, my mother's words are ringing in my ears.

Just make sure you pluck my chin hairs.

I guess that means Sarah is going to be the one responsible for my chin hair maintenance after she puts me in the home.

Perhaps I better think twice before sending her to her room, denying her a new dress or not letting her have a second helping of ice cream. I don't want her to hold these things against me when she is the one wielding the tweezers.

So mothers, be good to your daughters.

Or perhaps, consider electrolysis.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

100 Things About Me...Part 4...Praise the Lord It's Over!

I can see the end so let's just do it!

76. I used to love dolphins. Well, I guess I still like them but about 12 years ago, I was fascinated by them. The first gift my husband ever got me was a framed dolphin print. I had always wanted to swim with the dolphins and I finally got the chance on our honeymoon. We went to Cancun and took a daytrip to Xel-ha. This was the most beautiful place I have ever been. I got to get into a lagoon with dolphins while they swam and did tricks around me. I tried to grab on to one of them as it was swimming past so that it could pull me through the lagoon but apparently that wasn't allowed. People started blowing whistles and yelling, "Do not grab the dolphins! Do not grab the dolphins." Whoops!

77. I love cafeteria food. In fact, I blame my freshman 15 on the fact that I had a meal pass that allowed me to eat as much food as I wanted three times a day. I was amazed at the sheer volume of food in that cafeteria. Luckily, I was able to quickly shed the weight when I moved into an apartment and was required to do my own cooking. Perhaps I should try a diet of tuna sandwiches and frozen meals to help me loose my current excess weight? husband and kids might object!

78. I like my husband's family. I know so many people that don't get along with their in-laws but I don't have that problem. I consider myself very lucky after some of the things I read on other blogs.

79. We did not have air conditioning when I was growing up. I live in the South and wonder now, how we ever did it. I like it hot but I guess I like it hot with the option to quickly cool down!

80. I am a Google fanatic! I believe that if you have a question, you can find an answer on Google. Wish I owned stock...

81. I had a miscarriage in November of 2006. I was only 9 weeks pregnant but I still think about that little baby almost every day. He's going to be waiting for me when I get to heaven...

82. I have a brown thumb. I have a really hard time getting house plants to grow. For instance, my sister-in-law gave me a wonderful rosemary plant and in less than two months, I have killed it. I keep watering it thinking it will come back to life but right now it looks like Charlie Brown's pathetic Christmas tree. There a little rosemary needles everywhere! Sorry, Cathy!

83. I hate chain letter emails. Please don't ever send me anything that says, "Please forward this to 10 people in the next 10 minutes or your life will be ruined." Can't stand those things! Why do people continue to forward them on?

84. I also hate those WARNING emails. Please do not forward me any emails warning me of a horrible things that are going on in the world without first checking it out on 99.9% of the time, Snopes will confirm that it is nothing more than a hoax.

85. I have a huge fear of heights. I first realized this when I was about 8. My parents took us to the Mile High Swinging Bridge. It is 228 foot suspension bridge at Grandfather Mountain. We had to walk up a bunch of steps to get to the bridge and then we walked across the bridge to watch hang gliders glide off the mountain.

The bridge was blowing ever so slightly in the wind. I was scared to death. When we made it to the other side of the bridge I decided that I would just sit on the rocks and watch the hang gliders for the rest of my life. There was no way I was going back across that bridge. My parents finally coaxed me back across and I haven't been the same since.

About 10 years ago, I had a business meeting in Monterrey, California. I flew into San Francisco and spent the weekend sight seeing there. On Sunday, I drove Highway 1 up the Pacific Coast to Monterrey. I hear the scenery is beautiful but I wouldn't know. I was so scared driving along the cliffs that I couldn't even take my eyes of the road. I drove well below the speed limit the entire way. I had traffic backed up and wanted to pull over at one of the scenic overlooks to let everyone pass, butI knew that if I stopped I would be too scared to start again. So I kept going at my snails pace until I finally arrived. It really annoys me that I let my fear of heights get in the way of enjoying such beauty which I may never get the chance to see again.

86. I do not have an iPod. I haven't seen the need for one since I think most people use them when they are working out and since I don't work out...

87. I have never had any broken bones or any surgery...unless you count the two C-sections I had.

88. I attempted breastfeeding with both of my kids and I hated every minute of it. I breastfed Peter for 2 months and cried the entire time. I'm not sure if it was post-partum blues but I know that as soon as I allowed myself to give Peter a bottle I felt so much better. I thought it would be different with Sarah so I tried to breasfeed her but it only lasted for 1 month. I greatly admire women who are able to breastfeed and at times still feel inadequate for not being able to do it longer.

89. My eyes fly open two minutes before my alarm goes off. This happens every single morning.

90. My oldest and dearest friend is Tanya. We met in the 7th grade but our friendship really blossomed in the 10th grade. We were roommates all through college and even after college until she got married. We even both worked at the same company for 10 years until I got laid off. And just like me, she met her husband at this company!

91. It took me five years to graduate college. But in my defense, I did have a part time job for 4 of those 5 years.

92. I worked at a copy/printing shop for 2 years in college. I really knew my way around a high speed copier back then! Then I got a real job at IBM. I thought I was hot stuff because I was making $8.50 an hour...don't laugh! That was 1990 so I think $8.50 an hour was pretty good for back then.

93. I saw Hootie and the Blowfish at a frat party in 1992. (Their album Cracked Rear View didn't come out until 1994.) I remember thinking, these guys are good but I wish they would sing some cover tunes because all they sang were their own songs. I also saw Bare Naked Ladies at a little club in Charlotte about two years before they were famous. I used to be so cutting edge. Now I'm just edgy.

94. I love that when I look out of my front windows I can see horse pasture with three horses and a dilapidated old red barn. And I love that when I look out my back windows I can see the roof of my BFF's house.

95. I love to blog. It makes me happy. I don't scrapbook. I don't exercise. I don't take photographs. I don't paint. I blog. But I don't like to tell people that I have a blog. I feel like a big dork when I talk about blogging in real life, especially if the people I am talking to don't have a blog or don't read blogs.

96. I am Pro-Life and I am against the death penalty.

97. I try to start the day and end the day in prayer. And I pray a lot in between too. I am not a worrier and I don't fret. If I have a problem, I give it to God and let him take care of it.

98. I do not like to play games with my kids. I will read to them, do crafts with them, play with them at the park but I do not like to play board games, play with toys or play with dolls. I hope my children will forgive me when they are older. But don't feel too bad for my kids. I schedule a lot of play dates so they can have fun with their friends and they have learned to play by themselves which I think is a good thing.

99. I have always wanted to go on the Amazing Race with my husband. But I doubt I will ever be brave enough to apply. With my horrible sense of direction, fear of heights, inability to drive a stick shift, noncompetitive nature, irritable bowel and laid back attitude we would never make it past the first leg of the race any way!

100. I think I gave you more than one thing about me in #99 so I think I have finished.

If you read all 100 Things About Me, I commend you! I hope you feel like you know me a little better now and will continue to visit my blog.

I am just glad to be finished!

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Friday, February 1, 2008

100 Things About Me...Part 3

Here we go again...25 more things you always wanted to know about me but were afraid to ask...

51. I love Jennifer Aniston. I was heartbroken when Brad Pitt left her for Angelina Jolie but I guess I'm over it now.

52. My favorite day of the week in Thursday. I know this might sound odd but when I was working and Must See TV was all the rage on NBC, I really started looking forward to Thursdays so I could get my Friends and Seinfeld fix. It was at that point that I realized, by looking forward to Thursdays, my weekend started earlier. And if your "weekend" starts on Thursday, you have only a 3 day work week and a 4 day weekend every week! I guess I like to look at the glass half full instead of half empty!

Now that I have a DVR, it doesn't really matter which night any of my favorite shows are on but I still like to think of Thursday as the beginning of my weekend!

53. I have hazel eyes. Growing up I always wished they were green. In high school, I even got green tinted contact lenses. But I always felt like I was misrepresenting myself and they looked fake, so, I came to terms with my brownish greenish eyes and have learned that with the right eye shadow shade, they can look more green than brown.

54. I have no patience and I don't hide my frustration well. My daughter is always asking me "are you happy or mad?" knowing full well that I am upset.

55. I am a homebody. I would prefer to spend the weekend at home with my family than going to birthday parties, cookouts, neighborhood events, etc. Don't get me wrong...I enjoy these things too but only every once in a while...not every weekend! I know this sounds boring but it suits us just fine!

56. My favorite month is September. I was born in September and I got married in September. I love the starts to cool down and the sky is usually a magnificent shade of blue most days.

57. I love Jersey Mike's subs. My favorite is the vegetarian. There isn't one very close to me now and I miss it. Subway just doesn't cut it if you have ever had Jersey Mike's.

58. While we are on the subject of favorite fast food place is Wendy's. Unfortunately, the kids like McDonald's and Dan likes Chick-Fil-A so we don't ever eat there.

59. I don't like Chick-Fil-A because the chicken sandwiches are too chicken-y and their waffle fries are too potato-y. My family loves to make fun of me when I tell them this. It does sound silly but it's true!

60. I like to keep my house neat. It's not always clean but everything is usually in it's place. I do my house cleaning (and I use that term lightly) on Fridays so that I can enjoy the weekend with a semi-clean house. Although, it usually looks like it needs to be cleaned again by lunchtime on Saturday.

61. One of my pet peeves is toothpaste in the sink. I don't know what it is with my kids, but whenever they finish brushing their teeth, there is toothpaste strung from one end of the bathroom to the other. Drives me crazy!

62. My favorite flower is the tulip. I love white ones, especially. They are so simple and beautiful. I carried a bouquet of red roses when I got married but I love tulips the best. My husband rarely gives me flowers and on the rare occasion that he does, he will bring them home instead of having them delivered.

When I worked, it used to drive me crazy when all the other ladies would trot through the office on Valentine's Day with their gigantic bouquets of flowers and I never got any. He did bring me some tulips home one year but no one got to see them except me. That should be good enough but I wanted to parade my flowers around the office.

63. My husband and I never exchange gifts. For our birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine's Day, we exchange cards but never gifts. I don't mind this at all. It's actually quite nice. There's never any stress associated with the holidays. My only requirement is that the card be a Hallmark card. I'm a snob that way.

64. My favorite time of day is from 6:00am to 7:00am. This is my time. Monday through Friday, I can be found sitting in front of the computer drinking coffee, checking email, reading blogs, writing posts, etc. This is the one hour of the day that is just for me and it absolutely flies by!

65. I have never smoked a cigarette. Not one. Ever. My parents used to smoke when I was little...this was back in the 70's and I think everyone smoked then. I got really worried that smoking was going to kill them. (I was very smart for my age.) My brother and I hid their cigarettes once. They got upset and when they asked why we did that, I responded, "Because your breath smells like a heart attack." They quit shortly after that.

66. I am a goody two shoes.

67. I wasn't part of the popular crowed in high school but I had a lot of friends. I was a nerd, but you know what? I wouldn't change a thing.

68. My hair grows fast. Really fast.

69. I shave my legs I guess it's because my hair grows fast. Really fast. In fact, usually by noon, my legs look and feel like I never even shaved them at all.

70. I have horrible skin. In addition to my wrinkles, I still get acne. This is confirmation that life is, indeed, unfair.

71. My favorite Christmas present by far was the year my parents surprised me with my very own phone line in my bedroom. I was about 11 and was on the phone all the time. My Dad worked from home and needed the phone for his business. This was back before call waiting so the only answer was to get me my very own phone. Lucky me!

72. I have traveled to Mexico, Canada, Penang, Wales and France on business. I would like to be able to travel overseas again but definitely for pleasure and not on business.

73. I was once given a raise at work because I had been given a lot of extra responsibilities. I told my manager that the amount was unacceptable and that I wanted more. Guess what? I got it! Never sell yourself short.

74. I used to have a poster of Shaun Cassidy in my bedroom. I thought he was cute! Da do run run run...Da do run run...

75. I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed in 1997 after I had numbness and tingling in my feet that would not go away. An MRI showing lesions on my brain confirmed the diagnosis. After 10 days of massive doses of steroids, the numbness and tingling went away.

I also began taking Avonex which is an intramuscular shot that Dan gave me once a week. I am now taking Betaseron which is a subcutaneous shot I take every other day. It's less painful and I can give it to myself...although my husband is a sweetie and mixes the shot for me.

After 1997, I was symptomless until one month after giving birth to my daughter. I started experiencing horrible burning pains in my upper right arm which eventually moved to my right shoulder. I still have this pain 3 and a half years later, but finally, finally, I think it is under control with the right combination of drugs.

I thank God every day that the only symptoms I have are the burning pain. It could be so much worse. Always look at the glass half full!

This is so much harder than I thought it was going to be. I knew I was boring, average and ordinary but I didn't realize exactly how boring, average and ordinary until I started this list. I will keep working and hopefully be back soon with the last 25 very soon!

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