Friday, November 30, 2007

Looking for Peace and Quiet

So, I decided to try out the wonderful portability of my laptop. I sneaked out of the house tonight and went to Panera (where they have free WiFi) to do some writing in relative peace and quiet. I walked in, ordered up a nice big chai tea latte, and sat down to write. Now really, why do I even need internet access if I'm writing? All I need is a Word document, right? But no, the way I write is - write one page, then IM someone. Write a few more sentences then play a game (or twelve) of solitaire. Write another paragraph and then see if my friends want to play Canasta for an hour or two. Yep, I get a lot of writing done that way.

So anyway, I'm sitting here at Panera and behind me is a table of like 400 teenagers. At least that's how it sounds. Who'dve thunk that Panera was a teen hang-out? They're all talking really loudly to make sure that everyone can hear how cool they are. After all, they're teenagers and they know everything, of course. I mean, I knew everything when I was a teenager. I knew everything and my parents were decidedly stupid. I'm not sure when that changed, but my parents have actually become pretty smart now. Wise, even. I, on the other hand, have lost intelligence daily since my kids were born. Just yesterday, my son informed me that I was wrong and that 25 degrees is not cold. It's warm, he corrected me when I told him to put on a coat so he wouldn't be cold. I used to know this stuff.

Or like this morning when Clay was on all fours kind of walking around on top of the toy box. He said, "Mom, what am I?"
I replied, "You're silly."
"Noooo! Mooom! I'm not silly! I'm a dancing pig!"
Well, of course you are. I guess I'm the silly one.

So anyway, my reason for getting out was to
1. try out my laptop and be all cool-like sitting here typing away in this restaurant, and
2. get away from the noise and interuptions and distractions in my house.

However, as I pulled into the parking lot, my cell phone rang.
"Mom, I was playing on Webkinz and now I can't click on anything. What do I do?"

So much for getting away.

I sat down and started typing and before I'd even finished my first paragraph, an IM popped up.
"Hi Mom. "Whatcha doing?"

Would it be bad to log off and ignore them?

Five minutes later, another IM...
"Mom, how do you turn the computer off? This game isn't working right."

Meanwhile, 800 more teenagers have showed up here. I think it's time to pack up and go back home. Either there or to the airport. ;)

P.S. I just realized that tomorrow is December! Eeeeeee!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back to Plan A

I got a laptop. Hooray. The problem is - these keys are so small! Typing is so strange. It will take me 4 years to finish my book at this rate. And the little touch pad thing? OY! Now that I have a laptop, I figured I could sit out here in the family room with my husband instead of hiding away in my bedroom to write. Well, I've made it about 15 minutes. I'm ready to head back to my room. Know why? He's eating ice cream and making gross lip smacking noises and crunching chocolate chunks and scraping his bowl with his spoon. I swear I need a 12 step program to learn to deal with this.

Not only is he eating ice cream, but he's watching a stupid show on the History channel. I now know everything I never wanted or needed to know about cell phones. Oh wait - it's a commercial now. Time to pick up the remote control and start flipping. UGH! Why? Why do men do this? Seriously. Is it just a lack of attention thing? Is it that they always have to see if there's something better out there? Is it just to avoid commercials? Why? Why the constant channel flipping?

Back to the cell phone show. Did you know that AT&T stands for American Telephone and Telegraph company. Now you do.

Ugh, I've got to go check on the crash I just heard...

I'm back. I have no idea what the crash was. It's taken me about an hour to get back to this post because I have a procrastination problem. I just wasted almost an hour by playing this game. Yes, it's true, when I can't think of anything to write, I go play stupid games online. (I especially like Spider Solitaire.) Anyway, I'm back and still can't think of anything to write and now they're talking about bear traps on TV and my husband is snoring away. Can you hear it from there? No, that's not a plane flying overhead. It's my husband snoring. Trust me. I'm contemplating putting a pillow over his face. There's something wrong with me. I think I need therapy.
And I'm pretty sure sitting out here with the distractions of my husband and the TV is not a good idea. Back to plan A.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

TURN IT OFF!!!

I was making some pumpkin bread today because I'm such an awesome homemaker and that's just the kind of thing I do. No? Would you believe that I was making it because I had a sweet tooth attack and there was nothing good to eat in the house despite the fact that I'd gone to the grocery store just last night? I knew I should've saved some cookies for today!
So I was making pumpkin bread when my three year old wandered into the kitchen.

CLAY: Whatcha doing, Mommy? Are you making a birthday cake for me?
ME: Is it your birthday?
CLAY: Yes!
ME: Really? (in case you're wondering, it is not his birthday) How old are you now?
CLAY: One, two, three, five, six, eleven!
ME: Eleven? Wow! You're getting pretty old.
CLAY: You're really old Mom.
ME: Gee thanks, hon. Well, I'm not making a birthday cake today. I'm making pumpkin bread.
CLAY: Can I help you?
ME: Oh please no! Don't you want to go watch something stupid on television instead. Sure!

So I measured the ingredients and Clay poured them into my mixer. I let him smell the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves before spooning them out. He thought they smelled so good that he shared with Brooklyn and let her smell the container of nutmeg too. She took a nice big sniff, inhaled 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg, proceeded to cry, rub her nose and sneeze out brownish, nutmeg-colored snot. Note to self - next time no sniffing the ingredients before measuring and pouring.

So far, so good. He's actually doing a good job and is getting the ingredients mostly IN the bowl. I showed him how to turn my mixer on low speed and he had fun watching the bread dough combine. I added the last two cups of flour and turned around to put the measuring cup in the sink when Clay turned my mixer on. High speed. The highest speed ever. It looked like it was snowing in my kitchen. Flour poofed out everywhere. Have you ever had improvements that required drywall done in your house? You know that drywall dust that clings to everything for months? Flour might just be worse. I, of course, used the utmost calm as I called to Clay to turn off the mixer while I ran across the kitchen.

ME: Turn it off! OFF! Clay! TURN OFF THE MIXER!!! CLAY TURN IT OFF! OFF! OFF!!!!!! CLAAAAAY!!!! TURN IT OFF!!!!

Because I maintained such a serene disposition, Clay freaked out and turned the mixer up even higher. Boy, it was fun times around here. After I got the flour explosion cleaned up, I got to clean up Brooklyn who was playing in the flour and licking it up off the counters. Mmmm, who needs butter, pumpkin, spices, or eggs when you've got delicious plain ole flour.

I can't wait til we start making Christmas cookies! I make a LOT of Christmas cookies. Cookies are the best food group, after all.



Several of you have asked me for an update on Julian. Here he is his first day in FL... What a way to spend your vacation - in the hospital. :( At least he's got some cool friends around him!







According to the update on his Carepages, he had a good day yesterday and the whole family had fun. Here's a much better picture of a little boy having fun! Thank you for your prayers. I know Mimi and her family really appreciate them!




Oh yeah - if you're looking for interesting (in a good way) gift ideas, check out Mamaslike.



Monday, November 26, 2007

A "Trip" Down Memory Lane

I braved the Christmas shopping crowds and went to the mall this evening. Every row in the parking lot had dozens of empty spaces. I didn't wait in line in any store. In fact, I was the only customer in one store! I started to freak out that I'd actually slept through Christmas and it was now March. I mean, no crowds the Monday after Thanksgiving? Come to think of it, it's pretty warm outside for the end of November too. Getting a little scared that I really had somehow missed Christmas, I looked around the mall and saw the reassuring decorations. Garlands hung from the tall ceilings, snowflakes adorned stores windows, and Christmas music filled the air.
Has anyone else been out shopping the last couple days? Was it crowded by you? It was really eerily UNcrowded here.

After I finished my errands at the mall, I headed to the grocery store. You know how I shop when I'm by myself? However I darn well please, that's how! I take exorbitant amounts of time to walk up and down every single aisle. Very, very slowly. I see products I never knew existed when I shop by myself. I can easily get lost for hours if it's one of those super stores. The car maintenance aisle? Sure, why not? I don't need motor oil or tree shaped air fresheners, but I'll check it out anyway. Why? Because I don't have the kids with me and I'm not in a hurry to get back home. Baby food aisle? Bring it on! I don't have any little babies, but I'll check out what new flavors Gerber has come up with. Office supply aisle? I now know how many different types of pencils they sell.

Know another thing I do when I shop by myself? As I move the groceries from the cart to my van, I search for the cookies. Then, looking around to make sure no one is watching me (because that would be embarrassing) I sneak the cookies into the front seat with me. I just know there's a guy watching the parking lot surveillance cameras, laughing at me, and calling his security buddies over, saying, "Check this out! This woman is gonna chow down a whole package of cookies before she's even out of the parking lot! I bet you! Odds are five to one." All the security guards gather round the monitor and slap their money down. Of course I made sure I was out of the parking lot before tearing into the cookies just in case.

I showed my husband that Yo Gabba Gabba video last night. He didn't believe me that it was from an actual show that is on TV. Then we got to talking about old shows that we watched as kids. After digging up the following classics, we decided that Yo Gabba Gabba isn't quite as psychotic as the shows we watched when we were kids! If you have time and are interested, just click the titles of the shows and it'll take you to a YouTube video. Enjoy!

HR Pufnstuff is quite possibly the most warped show of the 70s. There's a kid who runs away from home with his magic flute. He steals a boat. A witch, appropriately name Witchiepoo, tries to get him. A very creepy looking thing (seriously what IS that thing? He's got a collar like Kermit the frog. He's got a tail- Maybe it's a dragon? A dinosaur? He has terrible bags under his eyes- Maybe it's a mom? I have no idea, but it's a wonder more kids of the 70s aren't seriously messed up.

Gigglesnort Hotel. Now here's a show that has everything! Strange crow puppets, a blob of clay that just makes strangled sounds, a puppet who thinks he's W.C. Fields, a dragon who smokes, and other assorted wacko puppets.

And who could forget The Great Space Coaster, Gary Gnu, and Goriddle Gorilla? And look at the end of this clip. There's yet another person dressed up in a creepy looking costume!

Sigmund and the Sea Monsters is another show that follows that simple rule for kids' shows in the 70s - you MUST have people dressed up in creepy costumes. And how can you go wrong when you've got Rip Taylor with green hair and some kid with five foot hair?

The Bugaloos is another great 70s show. It featured 4 kids (or were they bugs) and, of course, the requisite person in a creepy costume. Is anyone else getting the feeling that Sid & Marty Kroft were on some serious drugs when they created these shows?

The New Zoo Review is another show with, yes you guessed it - people dressed in creepy costumes! Check out the spectacular choreography in this clip.

Banana Splits is yet another show with creepy costumed characters. Apparently my generation really got into this. These guys are having fun at an amusement park though, so it's all ok.

The Land of the Lost didn't have any people dressed up like creepy things. Nope, this show had some grade A animation! A bunch of folks go for a river ride (down a very realistic river, I might add) and somehow wind up in a land of dinosaurs. What? It could happen.

And let's not forget all the educational cartoons we enjoyed as kids like Clutch Cargo who taught us that cartoons can be creepy too, what with their human mouths, Speed Racer who taught us that driving really, really fast and hanging out with monkeys is a good idea, Underdog, Magilla Gorilla, School House Rock, Zoom, Hong Kong Phooey, The Jetsons, TheFlintstones, Gilligan's Island, Scooby Doo, Fat Albert, Mr. Magoo, Bozo's Circus, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Shmoo, Popeye, The Adams Family, and The Munsters, and of course Tom and Jerry. What would cartoon violence be today if it weren't for groundbreaking shows like that?

I never thought Id say this, but Yo Gabba Gabba somehow doesn't look all that bad anymore.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Sound Out

I got a call from my friend, Julie this afternoon. She informed me that I was WAY too nice to Ron! LOL! She had Ron get on the phone and remind me of his "grand plan". The plan is - when the boys go to school, Julie gets a job while Ron stays home and does nothing. She may have a point there. Maybe ripping on Ron in front of 20,000 or so readers isn't enough. :D I know even though Ron may not totally get the whole "stay at home mom" thing, he's basically a good guy. Mostly.

I think I'm going to make Sunday my "answer questions" day. This way I don't have to use my brain too much and I can get back to all your questions at once.

Hi Dawn, I hear you about messes and the Notme's who did it. My son and his buddy had a sleep over the other night and they found a pillow with the stuffing coming out. Guess what they proceded to do?...You guessed it! All over the house.
It could be worse. Instead of pillow fluff, they could have been using the Foam Party Machine!

Just curious - do you have to deny many comments?
Nope. Very few, in fact. I deny comments that I think will make other people feel bad. My blog is a happy blog! I'm not publishing comments that put parents down or tell them they're doing everything wrong.
I also don't publish comments from sad, hate-filled people who write to say you're stupid if you have more than two kids.

People like that can start their own blogs and complain to their own audience, but they're not using mine.


Chaos comes when I moved everything from one room, (i.e my crafts) in the attempt to put everything back in an organized fashion.
You know 'a place for everything and everything in its place?'
I realized this past weekend I do not have 'a place for everything.' .....not even remotely so.
Yes! That is my problem too. It's hard to keep things cleaned up when there's no place to put things. The eight of us live in a house that's just over 1000 square feet, so space is limited. We don't have a basement or play room or spare room to put toys and things so they have to go in the kids' bedrooms. It's ummm "cozy" here.

PS I'll pay you good money, babysit the kids, make you rum and cokes .....Whatever!!! .... if you would come and organize my stuff while I read one of my 'how to' craft books.
You just said the magic word! :D

Dawn, Just wondering how many hits you get a day?
I get between 10,000 and 15,000 or so during the week and a little less on the weekends.

Please explain something to me, because I'm new to the blog thing...why do people apologize for being "lurkers" or "stalkers" if they do not regularly leave a comment? Is it not appropriate to just read for fun?
I have no idea. I don't care if people read and don't comment. In fact, I don't know what I'd do if all 10,000 readers commented every day!

Please, please -- I really want to hear the Tall Man story!
LOL! There's no story. My sister and I just talk to each other in silly movie quotes and we always know what the other one is talking about. My parents, otoh, have no clue, which somehow makes it even more fun. ;)

Could you please explain to me though what is Thanksgiving for? We dont celebrate it here in Australia and I couldnt fathom having to get a huge dinner and the family together this close to christmas?
Thanksgiving explained here.

One burning question--What is a yia yia?
That would be "grandma" in Greek.

Love your blog and this is such a nice post! And you comment about your in-laws cooking a turkey on the car engine reminded me - do you remember the episode of "Wings" when Lowell sold Roy a Car-B-Que! It cooked/grilled on the engine of the car??? Maybe your in-laws would be on to something?
:::snort::: Yes, I do! I loved that show. I just spent the last 45 minutes watching clips from the show on Youtube! That was a productive use of time.

Too Funny! This made me laugh out loud. And....how many hours did you take to "discover" these "neat" things?
Too many!

ROFL!!!!! That's all I can say... ROFL, WHO buys that stuff?????
Apparently half my readers do! Who knew I'd be actually giving you guys gift ideas with that post of what NOT to buy! :::cracking up over here!::: Oh yeah - for those of you asking where you could get those lame uh interesting items, just click the links in my descriptions.

What has prompted me to post here is that my hubby is a car buff and he says both those cars in the in-laws' garage are 1939 Chryslers. (I'm always impressed with how much my hubby knows, LOL.)
Oooo, so close! They're both 1940 Willys.

However, one thing that no one else pointed out is that you still have your pumpkins, and they don't look at all ucky or moldy in any way. Very nice!
Ummm yeah, about those. We didn't even get around to getting pumpkins this year. Oops! Those are my inlaws' pumpkins.

And last, but certainly not least, I got this email from my friend Mimi...
Dawn ,
Will you please mention Julian? He had a seizure or more...I need him to hang on until my mom comes,dec 4th. We are stuck in FL for now
love
Mimi

Julian, the little boy with cancer who I've written about before, went to FL through the Make a Wish Foundation. I believe, as soon as he got there, he was taken to the hospital because he was having seizures. If you're the praying type, please keep Julian and his family in your prayers that he might improve enough to enjoy their trip to Disney and that he hangs on until Mimi's mom gets here from France.
Thank you!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

After Thanksgiving



This is what we got Thanksgiving day. Snow! The kids dug out their mittens and snow pants so they could play outside in the 1/8 inch of snow. LOL! We went to my inlaws for dinner. The turkey wasn't alive when we got there, nor did they cook it on the car's engine. Everything was delicious and we had a nice time. (None of my inlaws touched my cheesecake!) :) Hee hee



Since I promised, way back in July, to show you pictures of my inlaws' garage, here you go...




This is ummm, I don't know. I think it's part of the outside of a car. Don't ask me what kind
of car. It's an old car.





This is another section of the garage. Note the shiny blue car up in the air.





Here is yet another section of the garage. Here are a million and one car building tools. And a TV. I think there may be a fridge, bed, and toilet around the corner too.



Shiny blue car. That's as technical as I get.



I was all set to hit the stores Friday morning, but when my alarm went off at 4:00, I thought to myself, "What, are you INSANE?!!! Do you really want to get up now and battle the crowds?" I answered myself with a big, "HECK NO!" and promptly fell back asleep.

I did brave the traffic to go out yesterday afternoon however. I met a couple friends for lunch. I only get to see my friend, Julie a couple times a year so it was great to see her and her husband Ron. And I haven't seen my friend Heather in several years, so it was wonderful to visit with her and meet her new husband Christian.

Ok, now I have to make fun of Ron a little bit. You had to know this was coming, Ron. ;)

So, Julie and I were talking about taking care of the kids and juggling all the chores that need to be done on a regular basis. Ron made a comment to the effect that stay at home moms don't really work. We "get" to stay home all day. It isn't really work. You know, since we lie around eating bonbons and watching Oprah all day.

He went on to say, not two minutes later, "And then I get home from work and she (Julie) expects me to watch the kids. After I've been working all day, she wants me to do more work watching the kids."

Wait a minute, Ron. I thought it wasn't work watching the kids. Oh, I think I understand. When Julie watches the kids, while paying bills, going to the store, cleaning, and doing laundry, it isn't work. When you come home and have to play with the kids while she makes dinner, it's work. I see. Yep. That sounds about right. :D

Need some good ideas for Christmas gifts? Check out Mamaslike for unique presents!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

33 More Shopping Days Until Christmas

Mmmmmm, mmmmm good. I'm sitting here feeling like I'm going to throw up because I just had to take a second helping tonight. (I'll have pictures and more about Thanksgiving tomorrow.) After dinner, I spread out dozens of flyers and planned my strategy for hitting all the sales tomorrow. Actually, I'm only planning on hitting one or two stores in the morning. I bet about half of you think I'm insane for even considering going out into the crowds to get a deal. You're right. It takes a good dose of insanity to battle all the lines and crowds and craziness. Yet there's something fun and exciting about those after-Thanksgiving sales. The years I've gone in the past were filled with a kind of excitement. The people I encountered were friendly. Christmas music pumped through the store's speakers. I walked through the crowds of people juggling winter coats and packages while I sipped eggnog flavored coffee and thought about the upcoming festivities - decorating the tree, wrapping presents, having people over for dinner, baking Christmas cookies with my kids. I have good memories of this time.

Last year I sent my husband on the black Friday mission. He did not fare so well. There were awful traffic and parking problems. He ran into people who were greedy for the last toy. They were so anxious to get down the aisle that they didn't care about plowing their carts into other shoppers. He stood in long lines only to discover the item he was looking for was sold out after waiting an hour to get to the front. He came home empty handed after hours of frustration. He will definitely not be going again. I think I'm going to finish my shopping from catalogs.

'Tis the season for catalogs. Lots and lots of catalogs. I get about a dozen catalogs a day this time of year. I hadn't had time to look at them, but I just couldn't bring myself to recycle them either, so I'd been piling them up, fully convinced I'd get to them "eventually". When the stack of books hit my ceiling last night, I finally took the time to look through them. While perusing the holiday gift giving offerings in these books, I marveled at the many items that were actually for sale. I contemplated the kind of person who invented said items. I wondered how a company could think, "This is a great idea! Let's market it." I tried to envision the kind of person who would buy such items. And then I ran to my computer to compile, for you, my devoted readers, a top ten list of gifts you don't want to give (or receive) this holiday season.
10. Aqua Friends Bath thermometer - This handy gadget warns you with a flashing light when the bath is too warm. It's a good thing we have this marvelous invention now. How ever did generations of parents manage to bathe their children without scalding them before this nifty thermometer came along? Oh yeah, we put our hands in the water to make sure it wasn't too hot!



9. Butthead Game - What could be more fun than strapping on a velcro covered hat with a buddy and throwing balls at each other's head? I think the name says it all. And check out that kid's expression! This is what will happen to you after having balls thrown at your head for an hour.

8. Dog Doo Candle - It's a candle that looks like a pile of dog poop. Nothing warms your home on a rainy day like the smell of a dog poop candle flickering in the evening. Ahhhh home sweet home.

7. Foam Party Machine - You pour baby shampoo in and this machine spits foam out all over your house. It's almost as much fun as a broken washing machine loaded with an entire bottle of detergent! For those times when your kids don't make a big enough mess on their own, help them out with the Foam Party Machine. "Makes oceans of foam... use it indoors or out."
6. Airheads - It's a propeller that you lick and stick to your head. Its blades spin in the breeze. Why, you ask? I have no idea, but it's on sale and for only $3.48 you can look like an idiot.




5. Bug Listener - It's a microphone so you can listen in on bug's conversations. What do you suppose bugs say to each other? "OK, everyone understand the plan? We're marching into the house tonight and taking everything in the pantry with us. No prisoners! Ready ants? Go!" Or maybe, "Hey Mosquito Fred! How's it going? Have you tried the little red head's blood? It's De-Lish!"


4 1/2. Twirling Spaghetti Fork - It's a motorized fork that spins around. This is the perfect gift for the pasta lover on your list who is also too lazy to move his fork! Maybe next year they'll invent a fork that actually moves to your mouth by itself too.

4. Slingshot Flying Chicken - It's a slingshot! It's a chicken! It's both! What could be more fun than a flying chicken? I can't think of anything! Fling a chicken across the house, into the yard, or at innocent passersby! Fun for the whole family!


3. Farting Salt and Pepper - That's right. Salt and Pepper shakers that make farting sounds when you use them. Nothing says, "please pass the beans" like the sound of flatulance.

2. The Mathematics Calendar 2008 - There's a math problem to be solved every day in this calendar. For the love of God, WHY?!

1. The Mangroomer - It's a do-it-yourself, electric back-hair shaver. Need I say more?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! gobble gobble

I'm going to my inlaws for Thanksgiving tomorrow which means I do not have to cook! For real. Every time we've been invited to my inlaws for dinner, I've asked, "What can I bring?" My mother law, for years, answered with, "Green bean casserole. You do such a good job with it!" Yes folks, apparently I'm a whiz at opening cans of green beans and cream of mushroom soup. I didn't even go to culinary school for that! Impressive, huh?

So for years, I was the official "green bean casserole" lady. Then, a couple years ago I was demoted. I didn't think there was anything below green bean casserole, but I was wrong. I was asked to just bring Jello. I guess I didn't do such a hot job on the Jello as the following year, my mother-in-law requested I bring nothing.

I've never thought I was an exceptionally bad cook. Well, there was that one time I made shrimp creole for my inlaws and I substituted red pepper for chili powder. (We drank a lot of milk.) Oh well. I made a pumpkin cheesecake to bring anyway. I just can't show up empty handed.

My mother-in-law likes to get creative with Thanksgiving dinner. She never just puts an ordinary turkey in the oven. Last year, it was Cornish game hens. One time it was a deep fried turkey. Another time she got a turkey from a farm. A farm fresh turkey. This turkey was so fresh, it still had its feathers when she got it. As we sat down to eat, she told us how she had to pluck its feathers out. OK, I'm no country girl. I'm from Chicago. And I really have no need or desire to hear about or see my food in its alive state before eating. That was just a little too fresh for me. My inlaws are car people (as you might recall from this post) so I'm a little surprised that they've never tried to cook a turkey on the engine of a car. Maybe next year.

So, in honor of Thanksgiving, here is my thankfulness list...

I'm thankful for each of my kids even when they're poking each other, running around the house, messing things up, and burping the alphabet.

I'm thankful that despite all the ear infections and colds, we're all healthy.

I'm thankful my husband has a steady job.

I'm thankful for art even when it's on my walls.

I'm thankful I live in a country where I'm free.

I'm thankful that even though it's miserably dreary and cold and the landscape is barren, there's the promise of spring.

I'm thankful that I'm tired because it means I have a lot of fun things to keep me busy.

I'm thankful for my parents who put up with all the things I did that my kids are now doing to me.

I'm thankful for a sister who's also a best friend and who understands what I'm talking about when I say, "He was a tall man."

I'm thankful for my Yia Yia and my aunt Vasiliki who are always thinking about us and cheering me on.

I'm thankful for Sue who is always on the other end of the phone when I need someone to talk to while I clean or when I need someone to commiserate with after paying bills.

I'm thankful for Jen who has been a best friend since high school. I would never brave camping if it weren't for her company. And who else would stand in an elevator with me for a full five minutes before realizing that neither of us had actually pushed the button for the floor?

I'm thankful for Julie who has been a best friend since high school. She gives me firewood and Chicken George and she laughs at my lame jokes.

I'm thankful for Gin who is not only a friend, but my hairdresser and she can always fit me into her schedule when my hair starts turning funny colors.

I'm thankful for my loopy friends and their endless conversations, jokes, and pretty blue lines.

I'm thankful for laughter, especially the tears from your eyes, stomach hurts, peeing in your pants, snorting kind of laughter.

I'm thankful my kids didn't scare my sister from having kids of her own.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to share a smile and a laugh with so many people on this blog and soon - my book as well.

I'm thankful for all the people who read and/or comment on my blog. You make my day.

And I'm thankful I have a God to be thankful to!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Talk to Monsters

I had this conversation with my three year old today.

CLAY: I dream about monsters. They talk to me when I'm asleep.
ME: Are they nice monsters like Elmo?
CLAY: Moooom! Elmo isn't a monster.
ME: Yes, he is. He's a friendly monster.
CLAY: Mooom. You mean cookie monster?! He says this as if I'm completely stupid.
ME: Yes, Cookie Monster is a monster. So is Elmo. And Grover. They're all nice monsters.
CLAY: Elmo isn't a monster.
ME: Ok. What is he?
CLAY: He's Elmo (DUH!)
How do you argue with that reasoning?

Kids know everything. Much like Bill Cosby, I realize there is no reasoning with a child. You'll feel your own IQ slip a few points if you try.

While cleaning her teeth this afternoon, the dentist informed my six year old that her bottom teeth were starting to get wiggly.
ME: Are you excited? Soon you'll lose your first tooth! You'll be able to put your tooth under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy!
DENTIST: What does the Tooth Fairy bring you when you lose a tooth?
LEXI: Well, if you put three teeth in your pillow, the Tooth Fairy brings you like three quarters. Or if you put one tooth in your pillow, she brings you a dollar.

Remind me to work with Lex on her math skills.

Stop by Mamaslike to see the latest, greatest gift ideas, find out what's on sale, and enter for a chance to win!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Messy Monday

Why, oh why does it look like a tornado ripped through my house every Monday? You'd think we'd had a marching band over to practice outside in the mud and then invited them in for snacks along with a half dozen sled dogs, the Bears defense, five clog dancers, ten toddlers, a horse, a dozen pigs, four coal miners, and the host of Dirty Jobs before he'd showered. Not that my house is so spotless during the week, but something happens to it on Saturday and Sunday. Something so extraordinary that it takes me the whole day on Monday to get it back in order.

During the week my kids do their version of cleaning in their rooms. It's notsomuch clean, but at least everything is kind of shoved out of the way. You know, clean folded clothes under the bed where you can't see them. Dirty laundry on the floor of the closet. Old food items in the toy safe. This is how my husband cleans. He figures if you can't see it, it's clean. To that end, he makes sure that anything left sitting out, gets either shoved in a closet or thrown out. Ta da! Clean! He stinks at that part of cleaning. On the other hand, he's good at the scrubbing part of cleaning, so I can't complain. Or rather, I shouldn't complain, even though I still do. He'll clean the bathroom, wash the floors, vacuum, clean the kitchen, and yes, he even does windows. I hate doing that stuff. I do it, but I don't like it. In an absurd sort of way, I enjoy the organizing kind of cleaning. Putting everything away where it belongs. Videos on the shelf, game pieces with the right game in the right box, Barbies in the doll box, Hot Wheels in the car box. Misc. food and other garbage in the trash. I don't think my husband gets the way I clean. In order to clean a room, I have to first destroy it. Does anyone else do this? I clear out all the junk that's not where it's supposed to be and scoop it into a pile. Then I carefully make sure everything gets back to its proper home.

Today I had this brilliant idea. I decided to pull the carpeting out of the girls' room. It's nasty and stained. God only knows what kind of stuff has been spilled in there over the years. There's a giant blue drawing of a potato person in the middle of the floor courtesy of Clay. It's been shampooed and extracted a hundred times. Every time it's cleaned, I think it attracts even more dirt. It was time to get rid of it. I'm glad I took it out, but boy, was that a project and a half.

So I managed to get the house fairly clean today. It no longer looked like a tornado had hit it. By early afternoon it only looked like a small wrestling match had taken place here. And then the kids got home from school. While I was ripping out carpeting, they were busy redecorating in the Early American Tornado period. When I came out of the girls' room and saw the disaster that was once the family room, I lost it. I had my little tirade, then sat down with a magazine and told the kids that they were cleaning the family room while I rested and read my magazine.

Why is it that kids suddenly act all stupid when you ask them to do something? My son had been giving me all sorts of details on these video games he wants for Christmas. He knew everything about them. My other son had just been reciting copious amounts of information on the care and feeding of chameleons. However, when it came to cleaning up the room, this is what I heard.
KIDS: What should we do?
ME: Clean it up.
KIDS: But how (whine whine whine)
ME: Figure it out.
KIDS: Where does this book go?
ME: The same place it's been for the last ten years.
KIDS: Well, I don't know where it goes!
ME: On the bookshelf!
KIDS: OK, can we go now?
ME: Is it clean yet?
KIDS: I think so.
ME: You picked up one book. Do you see all the other crap stuff on the floor?
KIDS: Yeah, but I didn't get it out.
ME: I didn't eat your dinner, yet I cooked it for you. I washed the dishes. I didn't wear your clothes, yet I washed, dried, and folded them for you. CLEAN IT UP!
KIDS: OK, I put two things away. Can I go now?
ME: Yeah, you can go. You can go to bed if cleaning this one room is too hard for you.
Meanwhile, the three year old is blasting off into space because well, because that's what he does. The one year old is walking around with a juice box that she grabbed off the table and is squirting juice from the straw all over the place.

Guess how much of that magazine I read?

I think, from now on, I'll just leave it messy until they're all in college.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Ultimate Diet

Have you guys seen this? I was unfortunate enough to catch this on TV this week.



It made my eyes bleed. It made me a little scared to eat. I think this may be the ultimate secret to weight loss.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What Was the Question?

Speaking of carseats. My son is 4 but not yet 40 pounds. Am I the only mom in the world who still has the 4 year old in a carseat vs a booster?
My 1, 3, and 6 year olds are all in carseats. My 9 year old is in a booster. The two older ones just wedge themselves between the car seats! So, you're not alone.

Just curious Dawn, when you are leaving the house with all the kids how long does it take for you to get everyone out the door (with coats, books, shoes and misc.) and into the car? Seems like it takes me forever with just one kid and you have 6! Is there much repeating and pleading involved?
It takes four days of planning to go anywhere. Ok, not really. But I inevitably forget something every time we leave the house. Every time! Seriously, once I drove straight to my destination without first circling the block and pulling back in the drive because I'd forgotten something. My kids were confused for days.

And what do you do when there is GUM on the part of the buckle that slides? That's what I'm trying to figure out right now!
Scrape it off and chew it to help freshen your breath when you've forgotten to brush your teeth that morning.

How do you keep mittens on your baby? I have a 12 month old who pulls them off with her teeth EVERY time!
Duct tape

...what is it they say about dementia sufferers forgetting recent things and remembering things long ago? Does that include reading blogs??
I'm sorry, what was the question?

A friend of mine has a sign on her fridge that says, "having children is like being pecked to death by chickens"
ROFL!!! I love it!

Hi! I was wondering how you manage the mountains of papers and pictures that the kids bring home from school. I'm flailing in the quicksand of school papers and I only have 2 kids. Do you have a system that you can share?
They're supposed to bring their papers home from school? Just kidding. Actually, I have a Rubbermaid container (about 10 gallon size, I believe) for each of my kids. I keep a small sampling of their school work each year. I put the work along with report cards, awards, and such in the box. The box lasted my two oldest all through grade school. I don't think I need to start another whole box for junior high because they don't bring much home anymore. I used to keep every last paper for each of them, but then I realized my house had become a fire hazard. Now we have a nice sampling from every year without having to wade through a sea of paper.

One of the funniest things to me is that everyone is always seeking that coveted prize of being first to comment on your site. We sound worse than your kids (I get the front seat! No, I was here first! No way - I was!)
I laugh every time I see that comment (though secretly wondering if I ever will attain this "holy grail" myself!)
This cracks me up every day. Maybe I should raffle off a signed copy of my book to the first commenter of the day!

And might I suggest a topic, if not for your blog, then for your book?
I'd love to hear some good old fashioned pregnancy/birth stories.I'd love to hear your funny birth stories so I can feel I'm not alone!
Funny you should say this because this is exactly what I'd like to write the second book about - pregnancy and childbirth!

Love reading all your posts I just hope i will be able to buy the book easily in the UK when it comes out!!!!!!
Though a trip to the USA to buy it sounds good to me. LOL
I'm sure it will be available online.

Harpo studios? Are you going to be on Oprah? If so, I'm sure everyone would love to know so they can catch the episode......my TIVO is on standby!!
Not that I know of. Perhaps in the future. I imagine they book their shows WAY in advance.

Reading your blog is a bit like watching a TV hospital drama series - looks glam, sounds fabulous, and the pressure I presume is involved makes me feel happy to have my own very non-glam job and lifestyle.
Oh yes, my life is very glamorous. Want to see what I just found?


This is a little toy safe that belongs to my middle son. I found it in his room the other day. No big deal, right? Until I opened it...









This is what was inside the safe. That's a piece of pizza and an apple core. I think the last time we had pizza was four years ago. Well, maybe not quite that long...






Mmmmmm appetizing! I'm wrapping this up, labeling it "Grow Your Own Penicillin Kit", and giving it to him for Christmas.


The thing I can't understand is - Did he really think this needed to be locked up in a safe? Was he afraid one of his siblings might take it if he didn't lock it up?
Yep, that's a glamorous and exciting life if I ever saw one!

I love your blog - You go girl! I have another idea for a topic - potty training. What did you do for each of your kids? What worked? What didn't work? What did you learn along the way? This would really help out us moms who are embarking on the journey for the first time.
Good idea. I did something on this several months ago. You can check it out here.

Quick question being your so busy.
Have your kids or DH acted up with all the demands on your time.
You mean any more so than usual?

What no homophones? Really, you're slipping on the parts of speech.
OK, here's your lesson on homophones...





Do we get bonus points if we know the group you are referring to in the pic (Right Said Fred)?
Umm sure. Give yourself 250 points, but much like Whose Line is it Anyway, the points don't count.

Ah, jeans...the bane of my existence! If there is enough room in the trunk, they gap at the waist,..if they fit in the waist, they are way too tight in the trunk
OK, I've got to share this little secret with you guys! If you're a size 2, skip to the next question. For those who are, um, not quite a size 2 anymore, listen up. I have found the most awesome jeans! They're pear shaped and they fit! Seriously, they have 3 different fits, including pear-shaped (not to mention different lengths as well) for different shaped bodies. And (here's the best part) if you ordinarily wear a size 20, for example, you'll take a size 2 in these jeans. Yes, I know you're not really a 2 and the people at Lane Bryant know you're not really a 2 and you know you're not really a 2, but the tag in the jeans says 2!!! Really, I don't think I've ever had a pair of jeans fit so well as these do.

I anxiously await your alliteration lesson. If you are taking requests I love a good oxymoron too.
I'll get to that as soon as I finish my boneless ribs, jumbo shrimp, dry martini, and evaporated milk.

How can I view your older blogs, besides the "Favorite Posts?"
Go to the right column and click on a month under the heading "Old Stuff". I don't think you can access the old stuff if you're looking at one specific blog post. I believe you have to log into my blog at mom2my6pack.blogspot.com to be able to access the older stuff. Does that make any sense to you because it sure doesn't to me!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

What was I Going to Write?

People ask me how I come up with ideas for my blog. "How do you think of something new to write every day?"

I'll let you in on a secret. When my kids do something crazy or an idea suddenly comes to me, I usually stop at some point during my day and jot down a few key words so I remember it. Today, I had a great idea for a blog post. I didn't stop and write it down. Do you think I can remember for a second what I was going to write tonight? The idea completely flew out of my brain.

Was it about going to the doctor's office? No.
About my book? Nope.
Maybe it was about something Clay did? Maybe. I can't really remember anything specific though.
Was I going to write about how my son was practicing his saxophone while my middle son was asking me the same question he'd asked me fifty times this afternoon while my daughter was blaring her music in her room, while I was trying to pay bills, while the phone was ringing, while my husband was working, and while the youngest three were running through the house like lunatics in a game of hide and seek (or notsomuch hide and seek as hide and then scream at the top of your lungs "COME AND FIND ME! I'M IN THE BATHROOM!") No, I don't think that was it.
Perhaps I was going to write about how my baby wore her coat in the house all day long....BINGO! I remembered! (Seriously, it just came to me while writing this! I love it when my brain turns back on like that!) I was going to write that today was officially Winter Coat Day, the first day of the season that you have to drag out the winter coats. When I drove the kids to school this morning, it was 34 degrees outside. That meant, scrambling to find the winter coats and even more searching to find hats and gloves.

"Mooom, these gloves don't match."
"Sure they do."
"One is Spiderman and one is Cinderella!"
"Do you have a left and a right glove?"
"Yes, but...."
"Then you've got a matching pair. You're going to lose one before recess anyway, so don't worry about it."

What makes Winter Coat Day extra fun is the fact that you now have to readjust all the car seats because the straps no longer fit your child and their puffy coat. I suspect this is something you southerners never fully experience. School starts at 9:10 here. That means I usually get my kids to school at 9:11. Because I had to adjust three car seats this morning, I got them to school at 2:30 today. Ok, I'm exaggerating. Actually, car seats are much easier to adjust today than they were just a few short years ago. You no longer have to take them out of your car in order to loosen the straps or move them up a notch. And now, as long as you have a relatively new car (I don't) you can simply latch them in. What a great invention that is! I still have to do it the old fashioned way. You know, you kneel on the seat while you nearly amputate your arm on the sharp edges of the plastic as you try to thread the seatbelt through the little hole at the back of the seat. Then you bounce up and down on the seat a little as you use Herculean strength to make the buckle snap into the receptor. And if your seats recline to much, you have to wad up towels or use pool noodles so the car seat sits nice and level. Fun times, fun times.

Thirteen years ago, when I had my first baby, car seats were super easy to use. You just pulled the bar (much like on a roller coaster) over your child's head and buckled it in. Ta da! I absolutely cannot imagine how my parents did it without car seats at all. How do you concentrate on driving when your kids are bouncing around all over the car? Hmmm, I'll have to ask them this some day.

Anyway, Winter Coat Day only pertains to the little kids who need car seat adjustments to accommodate their poofy coats. The older kids don't celebrate Winter Coat Day because they're impervious to cold. Seriously, watch the kids walking home from junior high some day. These kids amaze me. It's 30 degrees outside and here they come walking home wearing shorts. Oh, there's one wearing a hat! And shorts. Here's a guy with a sweatshirt at least. Oops, too late. He's taking it off and tying it around his waist. Shorts, shorts, jeans and a T-shirt, jeans, shorts, a windbreaker, jeans and flip flops. One out of every seventy kids has on an actual winter coat. Why is this? Is it uncool to be comfortable? To be cool, do you have to literally be COOL? I'll never understand teenagers. Nor will I understand why I continue to live in Chicago when it gets so darn cold here. I didn't use to hate winter, but I think the years of bundling up kids, strapping them in car seats only to hear them say, "I have to go to the bathroom," the minute you start your car, has seriously impacted my idea of winter. I think I could get used to Christmas lights strung on a palm tree.

Oh and to all of you who pointed out that Tupperware has a lifetime guarantee, thank you. I actually sold Tupperware for several years. I was pretty good at it too! I earned a cruise to the Bahamas and drove a company car, in fact. So I know that Tupperware does indeed have a lifetime guarantee. However, I also know me. The last time a plate cracked, I set it on my kitchen counter, intending on finding my nearest TW consultant so it could be replaced. That plate sat there for six and a half months before I admitted that I was never going to get around to finding someone to replace it, and so I tossed it. This time I just cut to the chase. I know - sad.

Lastly, thank you all so much for your wonderful congratulations and well wishes!!! :)

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guess What!

I awoke this morning to the sound something crashing. I jumped out of bed and as I headed toward the family room, I could hear my middle son laughing hysterically.

"What are you doing in here? What did you throw?" I demanded.

"Baby," came his one word answer.

"Baby?" I rubbed my eyes and tried to clear my head. The baby did it? He threw the baby? Wait - the baby's still sleeping. What is he saying? I think to myself that I really should take time to brew a pot of coffee before continuing with this line of questioning.

After interrogating him, I learned that he and my oldest son who had just escaped out the door to walk to school with his friends, had been whipping my daughter's baby doll across the house at each other. What a great idea, boys! In their game of catch, actually scratch that. In their game of Let's See if I Can Maim my Brother by Knocking Him Unconscious With a Doll Who Blinks, Drinks and Wets, they managed to knock over a large vase of flowers sitting on the kitchen table. Water was now dripping off the edge of the table and onto the floor. Water was dripping between the leaves in the table and onto the chairs.

Although I'd be ticked if they did this any time, I was especially irate because I don't do mornings. I loathe waking up to screaming, fighting, arguing, and flying dolls.

Fast forward. The oldest four are at school. The youngest two have been fed. I put a movie on for them (because I'm a bad mom that way) and came in my room to do a little writing. Approximately three seconds later, I saw the three year old go skating past my bedroom door on a couple of plastic plates. Why not, right? He cracked one of the plates. My Tupperware supply is dwindling thanks to stunts like this. I had him toss it into the recycling bin while I explained that plates are not skates. There's a Dr. Seussish book for ya! Mom says plates are not skates. Don't put them on your feet. Don't scoot across the street. Don't strap them to your shoes or you'll fall and get a bruise. Plates are not skates.

Anyway, you wanna know why I had a vase of flowers on the table to begin with? Because my husband brought them to me! Know why he gave them to me? Because a publisher made me an offer and I accepted!!! Or well, my agent accepted. Or my agent brought the offer to me and we both said, "Oh yeah!"

I'm so excited to be working with Guideposts in publishing my first AND my second books! The first one will be coming out in the fall of 2008! These folks have some really fun marketing ideas for the book and I can't wait to share them with you guys!
Hooray! It's official now! I'm getting my book published!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Questions, Questions, Questions

Time to answer some questions again....

I do have a question. Do you feel overwhelmed by all this attention you are receiving? Do you feel "invaded" at times by all these people hounding you for writing a book, sitcom writing, etc.? Just wondering how you balance it all out and still feel sane.
First of all, I never claimed to be sane. I have to admit it was really overwhelming at first. I mean, it's not everyday you get an email from Harpo Productions in your inbox. When I was doing a couple radio interviews a week, it was a bit nervewracking, but I finally put it in perspective - I have six kids. You can't scare me!
Before this happened, I'd been spending a lot of time praying that God would somehow turn around our financial situation and show me a way I could help out with bills. Now I spend a lot of time praying, saying, "Umm are you sure about this God? Do you really want me to do all this? Maybe you could just let me win the Lotto instead?" In all honesty, I think things happen for a reason and although it's really hard to fathom why at times, I'm just trusting that things will work out somehow.

Okay, aside from feeling a tad bit jealous that you are pulling in $4000 a month just from ads, I am wowed at your level of energy. I have half the children you do and a quarter of your energy!!
Oh how I wish I was pulling in $4000 a month. I did make almost that much one month, but it was an isolated thing. As far as energy goes - it isn't energy. It's coffee.

Hi Dawn, I loved your interview. You did not look as bad as you said you did.
Ummm thanks? LOL!

I was wondering how many vacuums you go through? Or if by chance you have any pets? Other then squirrels and critters. A dog makes a great vacuum!
We used to have a dog, but don't have any pets right now. My middle son begs for a dog every day. He's one of those kids who gets stuck on an idea and doesn't drop it. Ever. I think we'll probably get another dog at some point, but not quite yet. It's a trade-off, you know. Dog hair, no crumbs on the floor. Dog hair, no crumbs. Dog hair all over the place, no crumbs. Hmmm, I need to think about this some more.

I thought this was great, Dawn. You come across as such a warm person. You also come across as someone who is totally unflappable, even though that's hard to pull off with little ones running around.
Ahh yes, that's me. Completely unflappable. Yep! Yessiree. I never lose my temper and scream like a lunatic at my kids who have been burping at the dinner table and kicking each other's chairs and blowing bubbles in their milk. Nope, you'll never see me do anything like that.

Do I really get to be first? Thank you for posting the video. It took me long enough to find it on the ABC site.
Umm no. You're not first. Sorry.

This part cracked me up, said by the reporter...something like, "Moms today are turning to other moms for advice rather than the experts."
Ha! "the experts"....
How can they not get it?

Other moms ARE the experts!

I love the segment, and think you kept it real. Thanks for sharing it!
When is the book coming out, and have you picked a title yet?

I should know more details about the book in the next few weeks. Right now the working title is Because I Said So but that could change. If you want to get news on my book, you can sign up for updates to the right -----> I haven't sent out any updates as of yet because there hasn't really been anything to talk about. As soon as I sign with a publisher, I'll let you know.

FYI, with regards to your posts that you are holding back for your book... is this something that your editor is requiring (anything for the book shouldn't be on your site)? If not, please consider putting some of them on your blog, even if in condensed form and not all of them. I miss hearing some of the hi-jinx, and I can promise you that it won't keep me from reading your book!
Well, there's a fine line there. I am using some material from my blog and expanding on it, making it into an actual chapter. I really don't want anyone to buy my book and say, "Hey, I've already read all this stuff! What a rip-off!" There will be more new stuff than blog stuff in the book.

So if you are saving all the good stuff for the book what are we supposed to read about now? I can't wait for some book! My 4 year old son learns his sense of immediate gratification from me!
Patience, Young Jedi.

It still blows my mind that you get so many hits.
You and me both!

Just a thought...
People read your blog for the long stories about your hectic life. If you discontinue sharing such stories, fewer people will read your blog, and thus, fewer people will purchase your book.

Oh! What a great idea! So I can take care of six children, a husband, and my house. I can do the laundry, cleaning, shopping, cooking, homework checking, Sunday school teaching, and dishes. I can write an additional 20,000 words this month for the publisher, I can review products and websites from work-at-home moms and write up reviews on Mamaslike, and I can come up with long, funny stories for you to read every day. Sounds like a plan!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dawn's World News Tonight Appearance

I started to write a post about my trip to the grocery store today, but after the first thousand words, I realized that my trip was really book material. Sheesh - at this rate, I'll have an entire chapter of shopping adventures! I'll just let you know that it involved an evil bank that takes over a week to clear checks that you deposit, yet checks you write, get put through instantaneously. It also involved a rendition of Funiculi Funicula with ah, new and improved lyrics, and an incident with crackers.

And for a few people who have been asking me for this, here's my World News Tonight appearance. Thank you so much Kelli, for getting this on here! You're AWESOME!!!

video

Saturday, November 10, 2007

These Are the Things You Don't Say to Your Wife

I went on a date last night. Yes, my husband knows about it. It was with him. My church sponsored a couple's date night. They provided babysitting, showed a short, humorous video, and talked about communication before handing us a sheet with discussion topics and sending us out on a date. Although we were tempted to drive home and take a nap, we decided to make the most of our kid-free time. I have to admit, my husband and I started our date by running some errands. Hey - we were together and we were talking uninterrupted by the munchkins, so it still counts. We ended our evening having dessert while chatting at a little coffee shop. We didn't even fall asleep at the restaurant, so it turned out very well in my opinion!

This is something we don't do nearly enough. We never even went out for our anniversary this year. It's sad really. If I could give only one piece of marriage advice to young people out there, it would be to take time for each other. It's so easy to get wrapped up in everything that needs to be done. There are always the kids and work and sleep (a very precious commodity to be sure) and household chores. You can certainly see how a couple could put off and/or forget about taking time for each other. The problem is - the couple starts to become disconnected. How can you be good parents and set a good example for the kids if you and your spouse don't take time each day to talk to each other? How about if you don't take time once a month or so to spend time alone together? My husband said, "Well, the kids come first, right?"

I think that's true in one way. On the other hand, they always tell you to put your oxygen mask on first so you can help others. If you don't take care of yourself and your marriage first, you won't be any good to take care of those little ones counting on you, right?

This is something my husband and I have sadly neglected for too long. We've decided to make an effort to get out for a nice dinner together once a month. I figure we'll make it until January before we forget about our little pact.

I'm sharing part of this funny marriage video by comedian, Tim Hawkins. I love his song at the beginning. It's hilarious! Enjoy!



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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Busting Myths While Busting Out of Your Pants

OK, for the hundred or so of you who wrote me asking what the heck a palindrome is - it's a word that reads the same forwards and backwards. Eye, Bob, Dad, and Racecar are all palindromes. The really, really, really long comment was an insanely huge palindrome that didn't make a whole lot of sense, but read the same way backwards as it did forwards.
OK, this concludes our English lesson for today. Join us tomorrow when we explore the fun and exciting world of alliteration!

So, I was watching Mythbusters with my family this evening. My older kids love this show. Although I find the show entertaining, it scares the snot out of me that one of my kids will try to imitate one of their experiments. I just know I'll walk into my son's room some afternoon and see him with a scale model of the Hindenberg on fire, or a rocket made from a scuba tank, or a pig's stomach filled with Coke and Pop Rocks, just waiting to explode.

So, I'm watching the show tonight and they're testing a myth about shrinking jeans. The myth was that if you put on a pair of tight jeans and sit in a tub of hot water for six hours, your jeans will shrink so much that they'll cut off your circulation and you could either lose a limb or develop a blood clot.

I have to admit that I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the results of this experiment as I was still stuck on the WHY? of the whole thing. As in - why on earth would anyone want to purposefully shrink their jeans?! I can't think of a single reason. Jeans shrink enough in the dryer, thankyouverymuch. I actually think it's a bad thing when you have to lie flat on your back on your bed, suck in your abdomen until your stomach actually hits your spine, exhale, use a pair of pliers to grab the zipper and pull with all your strength. If you succeed in getting the pants fastened, you then have to find a way to get up off the bed. I've found a crane works well.

OK, so your pants are fastened and you're standing upright. Now you have to learn to walk like Frankenstein because you can't bend your legs and God forbid you breathe or eat anything while wearing your tight pants of death. The extra food in your stomach could cause your jeans to stretch just a millimeter too far resulting in a dangerous situation. If the button holding your pants up should pop off, it could ricochet at speeds over 100 mph and seriously injure an unsuspecting passerby. These things have been known to poke out eyes.

Anyway, my point is - if you think your jeans just aren't tight enough, you
1. have obviously not had six kids
2. have not eaten enough of your kids' Halloween candy
3. may be a super model
4. are testing out a Mythbusters theory, or lastly
5. you're this guy...










T-shirts, and pillows, and bracelets, oh my!

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

Because I'm too tired to write anymore tonight - here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite comments from last night's post.....

quiescentaphobia- fear of what's happening when my kids are quiet!!
Ain't that the truth!

i am 37 and starting to develop a double chin. i frighten myself.
I often frighten myself too!

Long toenails of "The Lost Boys" proportions on other people also totally skeeve me out.

commentaryclaustrophobia- the fear of what comment might come out of your child's mouth while you are trapped in a small, crowded elevator.

I am afraid of wooden spoons.
Thank goodness for harmful toxin-releasing plastic spoons! :)

"Turningintomymotherphobia"
My sister and I have found a way to cure this. We have a pact. If either of us does/says something like our mom, we just slap the other one. I think it's working so far. Although, come to think of it, I did go out of my way to avoid making a left turn across traffic the other day....

What is it called when you to to the Planetarium & you're afraid to get spontaneously sucked up into the dome? Or on a crystal blue cloudless day (yes it has to be crystal blue & cloudless) you're afraid you'll suddenly get sucked up into the sky?
Crazy? Just kidding - it must be really scary to be afraid of this.

Fractophobia -- Fear of Fractions. 95% of all high school students have this.
I absolutely have this one!

Lackocashaphobia...fear of not having enough money to get through the month.
Oh yeah. Who doesn't have this one?

I have a sevenpmpmphobia aka as nightlymarathonphobia - the fear that once you come home, you will have to complete the following tasks: cook dinner, feed the kids, bathe them, put pj's on two squirming toddlers, and nurse a toddler with full set of teeth to sleep - all in one hour.
I almost wrote about this one last night!

Fear of Escalators......my family makes fun of how I get on and off and of how I just stand there stiff the whole trip up (or down). It stems back to a childhood injury where I actually sat down and got my youknowwhat pinched....and another time as a child when I pushed a red button to see what would happen......and it stopped and the security guard yelled at me. So, with that said, I fear escalators.
I have this fear too! But I was never injured and I never had any scary incidents with the escalator. I'm just a dork. In fact, I took my daughter shopping at the mall this evening and we had to take the escalator. To this day I still stand there for a full minute while I try to time my jump onto the escalator just right so it doesn't eat me. They're scary! I mean, what's with the glowy green light that emanates from beneath those moving stairs?

Sippycupunderthecouchforaweekophobia - fear of curdled milk

Callingmybluffophobia - Fear of your children finding out that you won't really pull the car over and make them walk.
LOL!

Itsfridayandsomeonesgottocleantheican'taimwithagameboyinonehandwhilebeingshotatwithanairsoftgun bathroomaphobia.
This one wins the award for the longest word ever.

And thank you to the person who wrote an entire Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia song! LOL!


And my favorite one of all....

aibohphobia: fear of palindromes

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?

A lot of you guys have been emailing me to get the details on my book. There isn't too much to tell yet. I've spoken with a couple of publishers. They're looking at my proposal and deciding if my book will be a good fit with their publishing house. Within the next few weeks, I expect I'll have some offers from one or more of them. Then my agent will go through the offers and figure out which one is the best for me. I did learn something interesting though. The earliest my book will be out is fall of 2008. That's the EARLIEST! Crazy, huh? It's even crazier because I've almost finished writing it! Who knew that the books we buy in the bookstore were written at least a year or two before they went on sale? The good news is - when I finish up this book in another couple weeks or so, I can start on my second book! :)
Anyway, that's where my book stands now. I'll be sure and let you know when I sign with a publisher in the next couple months or so.

My daughter brought home a list of common and not so common fears the other day that I'd like to share with you.

First off - I'm not making fun of anyone who actually has one of more of these fears. Everyone's afraid of something. These are just more uncommon than most and I find some of the names humorous. (Yes, it's sad that I have to preface my post with this disclaimer, but I just know someone's going to comment that I'm a horrible, cruel person for making fun of those who are afraid of air or something.)

Ephebiphobia - fear of teenagers
I think I might have a touch of this.

Geniophobia - fear of chins
Avoid Jay Leno if you suffer from this affliction.

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - fear of long words
Anyone else see the irony in this? How do you think patients feel every time they see their diagnosis?

Mycophobia - fear of mushrooms
After seeing the Dirty Jobs episode where they showed how mushrooms are grown in poop, I may just develop this fear.

Optophobia - fear of opening one's eyes
Must make driving pretty difficult.

Pantophobia - fear of everything
Man, that would sure stink.

Pentheraphobia - fear of mother-in-law
No comment.

Phobophobia - fear of phobias
Guess the profession of psychologist is out for these folks.

Scolionophobia - fear of school
I think a lot of kids have this one.

Technophobia - fear of technology
Oh yeah - this one fits me too. In fact, I kinda fear people who don't fear technology too.

Telephonophobia - fear of telephones
I only have this fear when my bills are overdue

Tocophobia - fear of pregnancy or childbirth
I have definitely developed this one!

Zemmiphobia - fear of the great mole rat
Seriously? There are enough people with this fear that they had to give it a name?

Xanthophobia - fear of the color yellow
What do these people do when they pee?

I think I've come up with some more. These should definitely be added to the list of phobias.

Styrophobia - the fear of styrofoam

Uncomfyshoephobia - fear of pointy-toed shoes

Flushophobia - the fear that one of the kids has just flushed a toy down the toilet

Scalophobia - fear of looking at your bathroom scale while standing on it

Pajamaphobia - the fear that someone will see you dropping your kids off at school in your pajamas

So, what's your biggest fear?

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Curious George and I Went out Tonight

I got to meet my agent in person tonight! Yay! She took me out to dinner at a really nice restaurant. Ya gotta love a restaurant that doesn't have a clown wandering around making balloon animals or peanut shells on the floor or ball pits and tunnels.

So I met with an editor at a publishing house near me. Guess what the first thing she said to me was. Give up?

"So, let me see your shoes." LOL! She reads my blog! That just cracked me up! And I didn't even wear the really pointy shoes I'd just gotten. She, on the other hand, had on very pointy shoes, in case you're wondering. The other editor in the meeting was wearing tennis shoes. Ahhhh, comfort!

So, even though I managed to wear nice shoes and nice clothes, I just had to accessorize with a Curious George bandage. Right before my meeting, I sliced off part of my thumb while cutting up an apple for my son. These were the only bandages I could find. Oh well.


Oh! For those of you asking how I made the bacon, I used rolled fondant. I tinted half of it reddish-brown and I left the other half white. I randomly threw down pieces of each color on my table dusted with powdered sugar then I took a rolling pin and rolled all the pieces together nice and thin. After I had a thin sheet of reddish/white fondant mixed together, I cut bacon sized slices. Finally, I thinned out the edges a little bit so they curled up some like bacon does when it starts to cook. Viola!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

It's Not a Party 'til Someone Gets Hurt

We had Austin's birthday party yesterday. He's going to be 13 on this week. I'm going to be the parent of an official teenager! I don't know how that happened. It seems like I just had him yesterday.

Anyway, the party was fine until Savannah fell off the bunk bed. She was sitting on the top bunk, leaning back against the guard rail when the wood snapped and she fell backwards off the top bunk and landed flat on her back on top of the broken wood. It knocked the wind out of her. For the next hour she cried that her chest hurt and she couldn't take normal breaths. I really thought she was just bruised, but how do you know that nothing more serious is wrong? I had my mom, mil, aunt, grandma, and everyone telling me to take her to the ER, so I took her in and they did x-rays and an EKG to make sure her heart wasn't bruised. Everything looked fine. There were no broken bones. She's just bruised and really sore.

Honestly, if I'd had to guess which of my kids would go flying off a bunk bed, I would've put money on Clay. Oh well. It's not a party until some furniture gets broken and someone winds up in the ER, right?

My almost teenage son refused to tell me what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, so I made him this one...





Yes, it's a bacon cake. Not terribly creative, but the kid likes bacon. What can I say?





This was his cake last year. The most warped version of the Simpsons ever!
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Friday, November 2, 2007

If the Shoe Fits...



OK, those of you who know me, know I'm not a fan of shoes. These are what I wear when I have to wear shoes. I wear these until we have several inches of snow on the ground at which point I change to tennis shoes (or sneakers, or gym shoes, depending on where you're from.)




I have a meeting with an editor coming up. I figured I should at least pretend to have some class for this meeting so I went out and got these shoes. After all, Stacy and Clinton always tell people to get pointy-toed shoes. I have to admit that it was kinda fun trying on shoes like these. The only problem is....


This is my foot. Do you see how these new shoes are shaped NOTHING like my foot? It's OK though. I have a plan. I'll continue to wear my Crocs through the winter and the snow. I figure I'll lose two or three toes to frostbite by February and then my new shoes will fit perfectly.



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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bless his Heart

My husband, bless his heart (Southerners tell me that you can say anything you want to as long as you add "bless his/her heart". That somehow negates the insulting nature of the comment. For example, "That dress makes her look like Shamu, bless her heart." Or "Her cooking's so bad, it could kill a horse, bless her heart.") Anyway, my husband, bless his heart, is making me insane. He's basically a good guy. He doesn't go out drinking with the guys. He doesn't feel the need to watch sports on TV twenty-four hours a day. He's had the same job for over twenty years. He cleans up after himself and he's pretty good with the kids. No complaints really.

So why does it make me absolutely insane when he does something like eat ice cream? Seriously, the sound of his spoon clinking against the bowl sends me over the edge. It's a perfectly normal reaction to want to jam the spoon down his throat when he does this, right?
I'm sure it's a perfectly well-adjusted reaction to want throw his toothbrush in the toilet when he leaves globs of toothpaste in the sink or when he walks around taking a tour of the house while brushing his teeth instead of just standing over the sink like a normal person.

When he talks to me while I'm typing, it also makes me nuts. It isn't the talking so much that bothers me as it is the "hovering". I hate when people hover over my shoulder while I read my mail or type anything. It's not that my mail contains any top secret government documents or that I'm writing private letters to secret admirers. I'm really not sure why, but it just drives me up a wall. It makes me want to type something like, 'tonight is the night. I'm going to poison his dinner...' just so he'll stop reading over my shoulder. My kids do this all the time too. Actually, they come in my room, flop down on my bed and sigh repeatedly until I ask, "What's up? What do you want?" in an effort to get them out of my room so I can finish typing. Inevitably their answer is, "I'm bored."

"Oh you must have seen the sign on my door that reads, "Entertainment Committee". Please, come in, come in, and let me find something fun for you to do. Let's see, you could fold those twenty baskets of laundry I haven't gotten to. No? You can wash the dishes that are piled to the ceiling or scrub the bathroom floors. Not challenging enough? Perhaps you'd like to go around the house with the magic eraser and eliminate all traces of your siblings' artwork from the walls. Oh! I've got a good one for you! How about you practice your instrument that I paid a million dollars for and is now collecting dust! Do you even remember how to put it together?"

They usually decide they're not that bored after all at this point.

Here's the thing about having a computer tucked away in your bedroom. Everyone wants to come in your room to see if they're missing out on something. That's fine. I can (usually) deal with all the interruptions. The thing I don't deal with very well is the fact that they never just walk in my room to ask me a question. No, they bring half a dozen toys with them every time. And they leave them there. On my floor. As if I don't have enough piles of mail and homework and other stuff to go through, now I either need to pick up dozens of toys every time I walk out of my room or I need to get the kids to pick them up. Maybe I should put some of those airport security bins outside my bedroom door and make them empty their pockets, deposit all toys, books, food items, shoes, and socks before entering my room.
I am SO saving up for a laptop.

Lex just came in my room singing a song that had the melody of the alphabet song, but she didn't name any letters. Instead she sang nonsense words in an unknown language.
"What do you think Mom? Do you like my song?"
"Yes, that was interesting. What were you singing?"
"The alphabet song."
"Really?"
"Yes, I was singing in Hawaiio (sounds like a combination of Hawaii and Ohio)."
"Ha-wai-oh?"
"Yes, it's like Spanish."
"I see."

After Lex left, Clay ran in full speed ahead (the only speed at which this kid moves), banged into my wall, fell back on his butt, and said, "I wish I was a hot rod."
Do you know what this is? It's a medicine holder. This morning when I gave Lex her penicillin, instead of drinking it, she poured it in this case. Not in the sink or the toilet or even the garbage can. Nope, she poured it in here because obviously I'm too stupid to possibly catch on to this little trick. Every day, twice a day, Lexi screams and cries and otherwise tries to get out of taking her medicine. Today, she walks away with the cup of medicine and returns a few seconds later, the cup miraculously empty, not a tear in sight. Yeah, I'll never have a clue that she didn't drink it. This, my friends, is why you never let a child out of your sight to take their medicine. This is also why there's always an extra tablespoon or so of medicine when your child has finished their course of antibiotics. Doctors and pharmacists just know that the kids are going to spit out or try to dump a dose somewhere along the way.
Thank goodness I have my new super soft cloth diaper to put on my baby since her butt is the color of this Barbie case. Yep, diarrhea is what happens when you let your baby have just a bit too much candy.

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