Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It Often Snows on Opening Day

Last night was the first official baseball game for both Austin and Lexington. I think it was 2 degrees here. The thermometer read 35, but I'm pretty sure it was wrong. I think my butt is still frozen from sitting on those metal bleachers. I should know better. I mean, how many years have I've been doing the whole baseball thing? Certainly long enough to know that you need to bring mittens and blankets until the middle of May. Thank you Laura and John for sharing your blanket with me!

By the third inning, hypothermia had set in. My butt was numb, my snot was frozen, my fingers hurt so much I could hardly push the buttons on my phone to call Joe and get an update on Lexi's game. When my frozen ear actually cracked off my head, I decided to go on a quick coffee run. I went to the McD's drive-thru and ordered 2 cups of coffee; one for me and one for a friend I was sitting with. As I placed my order, I realized I didn't know how Laura took her coffee, so I asked the guy for about 8 creamers and 4 sugars to make sure there would be plenty for both of us since I really didn't know how she liked her coffee.

So, I paid and pulled forward to get the coffee. The guy handed me 2 cups and closed the window. "Um hello? Can I get some cream and sugar please?"

"I already put it in the coffee," he answered.

Well crud. What if Laura takes her coffee black? Now what am I going to do? I asked for another cup, but my order had apparently drained the pot so I was told I'd have to wait until he brewed another pot. I didn't want to miss any more of my son's game, so I just took the coffee and hoped that Laura would like it.

When I got back to the game, she and I sipped our coffee and realized the guy had put 8 creamers and 4 sugars IN EACH CUP! Now, I put a ton of cream in my coffee, but this was ridiculous even for me. It didn't matter though, since the coffee froze into a nice mocha popsicle 3 minutes after I got back to the game anyway. Joe said he saw snow yesterday afternoon.

Gotta love baseball season! The good news is - both teams are undefeated as of now! Woo Hoo! So what that they've only played one game. They're still undefeated. :D

As I was doing some cleaning up in the boys' room this afternoon, I noticed some new artwork.

Nice huh? I've always wanted drawings of smiley faces on the bedroom walls.

Hey, it's almost like the picture my gyno's office!


It's an abstract.

This is what my NINE-YEAR-OLD did! Certainly he knows better. So when I picked him up from school, and he asked, "Can I go to so & so's house to play?" I cheerfully answered, "Sorry honey, but you have another commitment. You get to go home and scrub the walls in your bedroom! Won't that be fun and exciting?!"

He didn't think it was so fun and alluded to the fact that I was the meanest mother on the planet.
"The meanest on the planet? Really? Do you really think so? You mean, you think I'm the meanest on the whole planet? YES! Woo Hoo! I'm the meanest on the planet, the meanest on the planet, the meanest on the planet! Too bad there's not an award for that!" I gleefully cheered.

Kids do not like it when you mock them. It makes them all mad-like. I highly recommend it.

Maybe, next time, he'll use PAPER, for crying out loud!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mother's Day is Right Around the Corner!

OK, I messed around for like 2 1/2 years to get this to line up and look right. I give up! Here ya go.

Mother's Day is fast approaching. Have you gotten Mom something yet? If not, I've compiled for you, my devoted readers, a list of possibilities. You can use these while shopping for your mother, mother-in-law, grandma, or any special mom-like lady in your life. You can also, print it out, and nonchalantly leave it lying around where your husband will find it. NOTE: do not count on him actually finding it, reading it, understanding the hint herein, and getting you a thoughtful gift. It's only happened twice in history so the odds are against you.

flowers

If your Mom likes to garden, a hanging basket of flowers, gardening gloves, or other gardening gift sets make a thoughtful present. If Mom, like me, kills anything green, then maybe this plant is the way to go. The "Almost Unkillable Plant" is ideal for home or office. Just keep in mind the keyword here is "almost".

bears

I don't feel that I have a really big family, but apparently manufacturers disagree because every time I try to order a personalized gift, I run into the same problem. Most personalized items include up to 3 or 4 kids. Not here though! These sculptures of bears on a couch can be personalized with up to 17 family members! They have several different beary cute designs from which to choose. (I can't believe I just used such a lame pun! My sincerest apologies.)

mug

This mug pretty much says it all. playdoh

What mom couldn't use a bit of pampering? A gift basket of goodies from Bath and Body Works always makes a lovely gift. On the flip side, it's probably not a good idea to get Mom a fragrance that screams out, "I care for toddlers all day!" Case in point... Play-Doh cologne. Mmmmm! Nothing says, "I Need To Get Out More Often" like the smell of Play-Doh.

nightlight Check out these night lights from Light Affection! Are these cool or what? They take your picture, carve the likeness into some sort of material, and illuminate it from behind to create these night lights. Mom or Grandma would love this!

purse

I love these purses from Personal Creations. These purses come in different sizes, have black leather trim, and a zippered inside pocket. Simply upload your favorite digital photo to their website and they'll create your one-of-a-kind purseonalized bag. (Seriously, another one?! What's wrong with me?! Enough with the stupid puns!) And don't worry; you don't have to decide on only one picture. You can order additional snap-on panels of as many pictures as you'd like.

M&Ms

Who doesn't like chocolate? Except for my friend Sue's kids, (I know - weird!) I can't think of anyone! Go to MyMMs.com to order a bag of personalized M&Ms for Mom. Order pink and white M&Ms that say "Mommy" & "We Love You", or order yellow and aqua M&Ms that say, "Mom" & "You're the Best". The possibilities are endless. Check out their assortment of gift bags and containers too.

flask

Now here's a gift that Mom can really use! It's a diary. Or is it? Open it up and find the hidden flask. At the end of a long day, nothing helps you unwind like locking yourself in your room and "writing in your diary".

baby sock This comes from a website called stupid.com. I think the name sums it up. I did actually think this one item was kinda cute though. It's a baby sock change purse! I love how the small print in the picture reads, "$20 bill probably not included". If anyone is crafty out there, I bet you could make one of these. If you do, be sure and send one to me. :)

Is Mom a gourmet cook? How about Rachael Ray's cookbook, 30-Minute Get Real Meals? Throw together impressive and delicious dishes in minutes. Or maybe a creme brulee set from Bed, Bath & Beyond? Of course, then you'll have to invite yourself over for dinner and insist she oven mittry out her new present. ;) See? When you give, you receive.

It's perfectly acceptable to give cooking accessories if that's what Mom is into. If Mom is the type who orders take-out for dinner and has no desire to learn how to boil water, don't make the mistake of giving her something like this. This oven mitt set comes with instructions and a handy diagram showing you how to slide your hand into the opening so you don't make the mistake of putting it on your head or something stupid. Mom probably won't find it too amusing.

birthstone babies

This is my favorite necklace. I wear mine every day. Clayton comes up and quizzes me about which birthstone baby represents which kid on a regular basis. This would make a nice gift for Mom or Grandma.

BISS And of course, the number one item atop everyone's Mother's Day list, is a copy of Because I Said So! OK, so you won't really have it in time for Mother's Day, but a certificate that says, "A copy has been ordered for you!" is the next best thing. Right? Right? :D

Can't blame a girl for trying. ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

Why did you go to the dot com address vs the blogspot?
It’s easier to remember? Actually, I’ll be able to do more with a website. Well, I probably won’t be able to do more, but my web designer will.

What is the link to your other site where you review products?
I review some stuff here and Angie and I review stuff here.

Before you had kids, did you have any hobbies? crafting, gardening etc.?
I collected craft supplies (
as you may recall from this post) and I started many a project. I think I may have even finished one or two of them. As far as gardening goes – I have a black thumb. I kill everything. I kill air plants. All they need is AIR! Yet, I somehow manage to kill them. Plants don’t fare well around me and in all honesty, I don’t have the slightest interest in maintaining a garden. But it’s ok because I’m not an old southern lady so I don’t have to.

Can anyone name the movie?

When do you usually go to bed? (if you sleep at all... ;)
I’ve been trying really hard to get to bed before 2:00 lately. But I don’t actually sleep. In between Brooklyn sticking her feet up my nose, Clayton walking into my room in his sleep, Lexi waking me up because she’s had bad dreams and (the worst of them all) Joe snoring, I pretty much just stay awake all night. I seriously have pretty frequent fantasies of smothering Joe with his pillow. (Sorry honey, but it's true.)

As a parent, what is the most scariest thing that has happened to you regarding your children (i.e. illness, accident, etc)?
One of the scariest things that I can recall was when my oldest son was attacked by a neighbor’s dog. He was 4 years old at the time and had to get 12 of the bites stitched up. I still get all freaked out to this day if I think about it. Another time was when Jackson got swept out on a wave in Lake Michigan while we were at the beach. I think he was only 3 at the time. I hadn’t realized that he’d run back into the lake until he was a ways out. I had a Bay Watch moment while I ran down the beach, flubber thighs bouncing away, as I tried to reach the spot where he was floating away. It took a month for my heart to stop racing. Later we learned that a kid drowned in the same area that weekend.

Are you scared how your book will be received when it comes out?
Absolutely!

Also do you think you will be nervous to meet your fans?
Nah, not at all.

I hope you take this in the spirit intended: Why did you have six children?
Because I didn’t want twelve.

Dawn, When you were young, did you dream of having 6 kids, a husband who cooks green, jello fish and the most excellent blog in the history of blogdome?
No, I dreamt of having 10 kids and a husband who can cook a porterhouse on his manifold. (Don't get any ideas, Joe!) Actually, if you had told me, back when I was 22, that I’d have 6 kids and a husband who makes KoolAid fish, I would’ve thought you were off your rocker. And I had no clue what a blog was until a couple years ago.

How many children were there in your family growing up? Where are you in the birth order?
I just have one sister. I'm the pretty one. LOL!!! (Just making sure my sister is reading my blog!) I'm the oldest, but shhhh, don't tell my kids. They still think I'm only 29.

What does a typical dinner look like at your house?


Dawn, if I remember correctly, your house isn't much over 1000 sq. ft. How do you manage to keep everyone's clothes, toys, etc., organized and stored with that limited amount of space?
We just don't let the kids have any toys or clothes. Honestly, I don't know. We've always lived in this house so it's what I'm used to. It's not like we had to downsize and figure out how to put a ton of stuff into a small space. I should take a picture of our closets some day. It would probably scare you guys though.

How did you tell your husband and family about each pregnancy? What were their reactions? (I'm about to break the news about #4 and need some ideas and encouragement b/c #3 is only 7 months old!!!)
Well, I'll tell you what is NOT a good way to tell him. Don't take your positive pee stick and march out to where your hubby is snoring away on the couch, whip the stick at his head, and demand, "How the crap did THIS happen?!!!" It doesn't make for lasting memories. Actually, yes it does. It just doesn't make for GOOD memories. Not that I've ever done this. I've just heard. From other people. Not me.

What do you miss the most since you became a mother (hard to remember, maybe)?>
SLEEP!!!

How do your kids get along with each, really? Do they play together? What things do you do or say to encourage developing good relationships?
Some combinations get along better than others. And none of them get along 24/7. For example, when I took Clay and Brooklyn back in to get their pictures taken on Friday, the photographer got some great shots of them hugging, holding hands, giving each other kisses, just looking totally cute and adorable. Of course, as I was scanning at the proofs, I looked over at those same cute, adorable kids and saw Brooklyn on the floor with Clay tap dancing on her head. She then got up and chased him down and pummeled him with her little 2 year old fists while yelling, "Clay Punk!"
I've given up encouraging them to get along. Now I just tell them not to get blood on my carpet.

How do you respond to people who ask if you know what makes those babies?
I just look at them as if they're stupid and say, "Yes. Don't you?"

Does it ever bother you that people all over the world have an inside peek into your life (pictures of your kids, your couch, your carpet????)
Not really. I have control over what I write. I only write about things I wish to share. And I'm usually pretty good at just ignoring the ignorant people who think they have the right to pass judgement.


Edited to add: Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. For those of you who thought I was having a colonoscopy, I'm not. I'd be scared if my gyno gave me a colonoscopy to check out my cervix! :o
I'm sure it's fine, but I had this same thing happen about 17 years ago. It was precancerous at that time and my doctor did cryosurgery. I'm just kicking myself for waiting almost 3 years to go to the doctor this time around. Oh well, no sense in worrying about something you can't control.
Thank you again for thinking of me. :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

When Good News is Bad News

Good news: my thyroid is just fine. Wait, maybe that's not good news after all.

Bad news: I got the dreaded call that my pap showed abnormal cells. I have a colposcopy and biopsy scheduled for May 19th.

So, if any of you have still been putting off your visit to the gyno, GO NOW! Well, maybe not right now since it's like 9:30 on a Saturday night, but call on Monday and make that appointment!

I'm doing some reviews for my other blog this week. Check it out if you get the chance.
Check back here tomorrow for Sunday Sound Out.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why You NEVER Take the Kids to the Mall!

I've gotten into this lazy really smart habit of staying home with the kids during the day. I used to take them everywhere, but lately I've been putting off my errands until Joe gets home from work so I can leave the kiddos with him and enjoy shopping solo or with only one or two of the older kids.

Today I decided to run out to the mall so I could get Brooklyn's and Clayton's pictures taken. I needed to get Brooklyn's 2 year pictures taken. You know, because she just turned 2. Just a mere 3 1/2 months ago. Don't want to rush into these things, you know. Heck, if I'd put if off any longer, I could've just taken her in for her 3 year pictures.

I used to be good about these things. I used to get the kids' pictures taken on the exact day of their birthdays. Then I became a giant loser a busy mom of 6 and no longer cared about trivial stuff like pictures had the time to keep up with things like pictures.

Anyway, being the intelligent, organized person I am, I made an appointment at the photo studio 2 weeks ago. What? It could happen! Ok, so I didn't make an appointment. I got it in my head that I was going to take them for pictures when I woke up this morning. Unfortunately, the photo studio was booked and couldn't fit them in until 2:30pm. OK, no problem. We'll just walk around the mall for three hours and come back. No problem, mon.

So, I did a little summer clothes shopping for the kids. I was holding up a pair of capris and asking no one in particular, "Do you think Lexington will like these?" when a woman, who was walking by, turned and asked me, "Are you Dawn?"

I answered her in a confident, proud manner, "Ummm nope. Why? What have you heard? What did my kids do now?" "Umm yes, I'm Dawn."

This woman said, "I read your blog!"

Can you believe it? I was just recognized on the street (or in the young girls' clothing department at JCPenneys)! She introduced herself to me, but I'm such a dork and was so excited about being recognized that I forgot her name! Ugh, I could pick her out in a line-up, but I can't for the life of me remember her name. Anyway, she had her lovely daughter with her and told me that she was getting married next week. The daughter. Not her. I believe I said something profound like, "Are you excited?" Well DUH! Of course she's excited! Is anyone NOT excited a week before their wedding? This is exactly why I like writing - because I don't have a backspace button on my mouth.

So, we did a little shopping and then we stopped at McDonald's to waste a little more time until our photo appointment. After lunch, I stopped at a cell phone place because I'd been thinking of changing our cell phone plan and getting new phones. The phone Joe had been using weighed 15 pounds and was the size of a VCR. The guy who helped me was really nice, very knowledgeable, helpful, and not at all pushy. Despite this, it took some time to switch our service and transfer our numbers and Clay had officially run out of good behavior. He was bugging Brooklyn, shaking her sippy cup, sprinkling her with juice. He was jumping around, trying to push her stroller down a nearby ramp. He was grabbing cell phones and calling China. He even flung his stupid McDonald toy across the mall, just grazing a passerby.

I'd answer a question for the cell phone guy, and then reign Clay in. Sign a paper, then grab his hand. Pick out a phone, then threaten to leave him at the mall remind him of the importance of good behavior. I impressively kept my cool despite his wild antics and Brooklyn's tired, incessant screaming. Until the very end. I ran out of patience after about an hour of this. I turned to Clay, told him to SIT DOWN and said that I was one of the Incredibles and would shoot laser beams from my eyes if he so much as moved an inch.

It worked. Sort of. Well, for 30 seconds anyway. I finished up with the cell phone extravaganza and looked at the time - 2:20. Yay, just enough time to get to the photo studio for our pictures. The only problem was - Brooklyn was out cold, just snoring away. So much for that. We headed for the door to leave. Clay was walking along grabbing his butt the whole way.

"Clay, stop that. Clay, what are you doing? Stop grabbing your butt. Clayton!"

He responded in the loudest voice EVER. "BUT MOM! MY BUTT ITCHES!"

All I can say is that I'm so glad I didn't run into my blog reader at this point. I was sweating, my hair was sticking out like Roseanne Roseannadanna, I had a crazed look on my face, and laser beams were shooting from my eyes. I now remember why I avoid taking the kids out in public.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Who Needs Disneyland...

...when you have a chair?

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Don't Need No Stinking Pants

WOO HOO - I should reach 3 million hits tomorrow! THREE MILLION hits to this blog since I started in late June 2007. How cool is that? My readers are the BEST!

I had a meeting with the people from Guideposts (my publisher) yesterday. I'm still sitting here in a confused state because we covered a lot of information in a really short time and I'm having a problem processing it all. I ended up telling them, "Just tell me what to do and when to do it". I'm pretty sure those are the exact same words Joe said when we were planning our wedding. "I don't care what color dresses you pick; I don't care what kind of flowers you want; I don't care what we serve for dinner; I don't care what photographer we use. Just tell me where to go and when to show up."

Very soon, you, my awesome, faithful readers, are going to have a chance to win some really cool stuff. I'm so excited because you guys are all going to get the scoop before anyone else. ;) See what reading my blog will get you? - the scoop on cool stuff, stories that make you realize your kids aren't so bad after all, and pictures of miscellaneous people in airports...


Do you think he got dressed, looked in the mirror and thought, "Oh yeah, looking good!" Maybe he forgot to put his pants on? Maybe his buddies stole his pants as a practical joke? Maybe he went from Chicago to Minneapolis sans pants as a dare. These are the questions that keep me up at night.

Book Tour

So it looks like I'll be doing a book tour right before that most magical time of year (Back to School Time!) come August. I'm a little nervous about this because I'm afraid I'll be sitting at an empty book store, twiddling my thumbs, looking like a loser, and begging anyone who walks in the door to please, please, please let me sign a book for them. It doesn't even have to be my book. Any book will do. Let me just sign something so I don't feel so pathetic. Please.

Meanwhile, my kids (who will be coming on this tour with me) will be running around the store like loonies. Clay and Brooklyn will be playing hide and seek, knocking over displays. Lexi will be drawing in the books and asking me, "How do you spell this?" every minute and a half. Jackson will bring me a stack 249 books with the question, "Can I get these, Mom?" Savannah will be sitting there looking bored and complaining that I won't get her a cell phone of her own and Austin will sneak over to Starbucks, buy some coffee and then, hyped up on caffeine, act even weirder than he already does. Sounds like a fun time, no?

Which brings me to my question. I really, really don't want to sit in an empty store like a dork, so tell me where you live so my publisher can come up with a plan that includes cities of folks who know who I am and who would love an evening out without kids enjoy getting to meet me or hear me speak.

Thank you!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Loopy in Minnesota

I've been without internet (the horror!) for a couple days now. I've discovered that going a day without my computer does not kill me. It makes me very cranky and ticks off the people around me, but it doesn't kill me. It's nice to know that I could survive if I was stranded on a deserted island without internet. Well, I could survive for 2 days anyway. Bear Grylls shows you how to survive by drinking your own urine so you don't get dehydrated, but I have yet to see a show that demonstrates how to survive without a connection to the cyber world.

I had a blast in MN with my girlfriends. What a fun time! We spent a lot of time shopping at the Mall of America. Do you think all the walking I did will offset the amount of food I ate? Yeah, I highly doubt it too. Why is it that you eat twice as much on vacation as you ordinarily would at home?

And so far, so good - 2 out of my 3 flights were delayed, but for less than an hour each. And I haven't had to sit next to Tuberculosis Joe, or the 500 pounds man who overflows into your seat, or the woman who bathes in cologne! In fact, I sat next to a nice guy named Matt on the way to Minneapolis and he didn't mind that I talked his head off. Although, come to think of it, he did put his earphones on 5 minutes after we took off....

Now I'm in New York and ready to meet with the folks at Guideposts tomorrow. For now, I need sleep. I think I got maybe 8 hours of sleep the last 3 nights combined! We were having too much fun to sleep.




Me and my loopy friends in MN. This picture was taken after I peed my pants and had to change. OK, I didn't really, but dork that I am, I did sit in a big puddle of water which made it look like I had bladder control issues. I knew there was a reason I packed twice as many outfits as I needed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Great Minds Think Alike Warped


Yes, this is the kind of thing Clay thinks up on a regular basis. I'm glad I took a picture of this because....



I KNEW it reminded of something! John Cusak in Better Off Dead (a movie Clay has never seen)

Edited to add - go visit Mimi's Relay for Life page!

I'm Off Again

Hey all! I still have to pack because I'm meeting some friends at the Mall of America tomorrow. I planned this trip a long time ago (before all the craziness and other trips came about). I'll be spending two nights with four good friends in MN and then I go on to NY on Sunday to meet with the awesome folks at Guideposts. I'm so excited and hope I find out some more details about the book tour and stuff. I was feeling guilty because I feel like I've been gone more than I've been home this month. I was kinda wishing I could cancel my trip to MN, as much as I want to meet up with my friends, just so I could catch up on stuff here at home and spend more time with my kiddos. And then today happened.

The kids had the day off school today and after listening to 12 hours of fighting, I wish my flight left tonight! Do you have days like that? You totally miss the kids while they're at school and then they get home and you wish they could just go right back? Ugh. It was one of those days here.

Again, I want to thank an incredible woman, Kendra, for getting Michelle, Mimi and I together at Oprah's show. Michelle said it better than I could over on her blog. And tomorrow is Mimi's Relay for Life. Here's a great opportunity for you to make a difference. Take a couple of those income tax return dollars and give them to help find a cure for cancer. Here's a link to her site.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's That Time of Year!

Those of you who read my blog know that I'm a terrible procrastinator and I'd been putting off making an appointment with my OB/GYN. Well, I finally called back in February and got an appointment for April 14. Then I got tickets to see Oprah the 14th. Hmmm, Gyno...Oprah. Gyno...Oprah. Gyno...Oprah. Yeah, that was a tough decision. So I called to reschedule my appointment and the earliest they could get me in was the end of July. Although that plan fits right in with my procrastination habit, I figured that was a long time for my mom to bug me about going to wait, so I made some sort of disgruntled sigh and the receptionist said she could fit me in Wednesday (today) with the nurse practitioner if I didn't want to wait for the doctor.

"That's fine for me as long as the nurse practitioner isn't a hot guy." I just have a problem getting that, umm, up close and personal with a good looking guy. A really cute male doctor can deliver my baby no problem though because let's face it - when you get to that point, you don't really care who delivers your baby. The hospital janitor could come up and deliver your baby, for all you care. You just want it OUT. But for that kind of check-up, I'll pass on Dr. Hottie Mc Hotterson.

So I had my fun-filled appointment today. After undressing and putting on a stylish "gown" {Seriously, why do they call it a "gown"? It's a large piece of paper with arm holes. Not a gown!}, the nurse practitioner came in and looked at my chart.

"So, why are you here today?"

"I'm here for my six week postpartum check."

She looked back at my chart and asked, "Six week postpartum check?"

"Um yeah, I'm two years late."

I told her that my thermostat was broken. This is me a hundred times a day...


Of course, this is me now and then too...


"I'm too young to have hot flashes, right? I'm too young to wake up in a puddle of sweat at night, right?"
She was supposed to say, "Yes! Of course you're MUCH too young!"
She didn't.
She said perimenopause was a possibility.
But given my state of tiredness, and my personal and family history of thyroid problems, she decided to have some blood drawn to check for thyroid issues. I hope that's all it is.

Then I endured the whole cold metal jack up the hoo-hah thing. As I lay back on the table, I noticed a picture of a lone palm tree swaying in the tropical breeze on a white sand beach. Yeah, what a perfect distraction. I'm sure any woman staring at that picture would really believe she was sunning herself on a beach and not sitting there with her legs in the air while a virtual stranger poked around "down there". A-hem.

She ordered a mammogram too. I can't wait to schedule that appointment.

Sooo, if any of you are two years overdue for your six week postpartum check-up, go ahead and call the doctor! I'm not going to say you should take care of your health. I'm not going to tell you that it's "not that bad". I'm not going to preach to you how important it is to rule out breast cancer or cancer of the cervix. It's just that misery loves company and if I have to go through it, I think you should too! ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'd Like to Thank the Academy...

So, when I finished the book, I was told I could write a dedication and/or acknowledgements. Do you have any idea how long it took me to write these? Longer than the entire book! How do you acknowledge everyone that helped to make the book a reality? What if I inadvertently leave off someone? Will they stop speaking to me? Will they throw rotten tomatoes at me every time we cross paths? What if I thank too many people and my acknowledgements end up being longer than chapters 1-5? How do you go about writing acknowledgements? How do you decide to whom you'll dedicate the book?

I sent what I'd written to my agent with the question, "How does this look?" She replied with something along the lines of, "Oh that's interesting. Or you know, you could always use actual sentences when you write it." Guess my first draft wasn't so great after all. Apparently it's not good to write stuff like, "I thank my editor, Beth, for making me sound not stupid." Gee, yeah, that doesn't sound too stupid. @@

I looked over that original draft and decided that maybe I didn't thank enough people. Oh no, I'm going to offend someone by leaving them out. I rewrote it. "...and I want to thank my first grade teacher who was so nice even if did she cast me as a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz and gave Cheryl the part of Dorothy. And I want to thank my mailman for delivering my mail and that one guy at the grocery store who held the door for me a couple months ago and, oh yeah, I can't forget Jen and Sue and Julie and Deb and Ginny and Dee and Melissa and Jane and Candace and Nancy and Amy and Stacie and Debra and Kim and Kristyi and Erin and Michelle and..."

OK, maybe that's a little ridiculous. Back to the drawing board. "I want to thank everyone who has helped me." Nah, not specific enough.

Sitting back down, I wrote, "thank you to the library who let me write there where it was quiet except for the time those obnoxious guys who reeked of stale smoke sat down and talked way too loudly about chess..." Ummm, "thank you to the good people at Bacardi...". How about, "thank you to the makers of Ghiradelli chocolate..."

"I want to thank the academy..." Oh crap. I'm not accepting an Oscar! This is HARD!

I went to my bookshelf to look for examples. Unfortunately, I only have kiddie books on my shelves and most of them didn't have a page of acknowledgements. If they did, they'd probably sound like, "Thank you to Lou for taking me to the zoo, where I learned about the gnu and ate a slushy that was blue."

I finally gave up and let Brooklyn and Clayton type the acknowledgements. So, when you get my book, please understand that I will sign it in bold, black marker right over the acknowledgement page.

BECAUSE I SAID SO!

At long last....
here it is!


Monday, April 14, 2008

O! O! Oprah!

WOOOOOOO What a weekend! After getting a whopping two hours of sleep last night, Mimi, Michelle and I got up at 5:30 and got our butts to Harpo Studios at 7:00 am (after a big cup of coffee, of course). After moving through the lines, showing our IDs, checking our jackets, and spending some time in a waiting room, we were seated in the studio. Remember recently when someone claimed she was trampled going into the studio? I find that very hard to believe as everything was really organized and orderly. It was FAR from a free-for-all. (Let's hear it for alliteration!)

Anyway, Mimi, Michelle and I were seated toward the top and off to the left in the "dork section". LOL! I haven't watched a tape of the show, but from what I heard from friends, they didn't show us in the audience. Oh well. It was pretty darn fun anyway!
None of us are big Mariah Carey fans, but we enjoyed seeing her and listening to her sing. Get this - (if you missed the show) Oprah showed a tape of Mariah's home where she showed off part of her 3000 square foot closet! That's right - her CLOSET is three times the size of my HOUSE! Can you imagine? I think Mariah now weighs 57 pounds and wears size 6X. Oh and she had some guy (who would've annoyed the snot out of me) who came out and combed her hair like every commercial break.

Oprah was sick and sounded like she felt kinda crappy. Despite that, she was still entertaining and made jokes and spoke with the audience on commercial breaks. When the show was over, she took the time to thank the audience and she told us how much she appreciated the fans who spent months trying to get tickets and who stood in line all morning. As she walked out, Mimi leaned over the side of the stairs and Oprah shook her hand! Michelle told Mimi that she couldn't ever wash her hand. Mimi, knowing that Oprah had a cold, ran to wash her hands right away! LOL!
Oooo, and we got a big bottle of Mariah's perfume "M" too! Thank you SO much Kendra! What a wonderful experience that we'll never forget. We're so thankful to have had the chance to meet each other in such a fun way!

The lyrics to Mariah's song go... "This is for my peoples who just lost somebody. Your best friend, your baby, your man or your lady..." Michelle and I kept looking at Mimi, wondering if she was going to cry. Oprah had boxes of tissues under the chairs, but we choked back tears and didn't need them. We all had a great time!



Harry Carey's - Sorry Michelle, but I just have to tell everyone how you thought that was DREW Carey. Hee hee


The three of us after our day of fun!


Umm yeah, well, yes, I'm hugging a yellow Lego-man with a chicken on his head. I'm not sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.


He was a pretty cute Lego guy...


I took the girls out for REAL pizza!


Mmmmmm!


Yummy!


OK, we're not shoe people. Mimi was wearing her Crocs, Michelle was wearing her awesome bargain shoes, and I don't even like to wear shoes at all. Yet here we were, looking at all these fancy schmancy shoes. We'd break our necks if we tried to walk in them. And get this - they were like $700+!


Looks like my kids scribbled on these.


$800 for shoes with a heel that looks like a teacup


$1400 for these babies!


We had to drag Mimi away from the shoes! LOL! Actually, we all walked away pretty quickly after salespeople started giving us strange looks. Apparently shoppers don't often walk around taking pictures of their shoes.


Cute look, Michelle! At least she picked the "right" ones: the Cubs ones.


Chicago


Mimi came back to my house for a little while and hung out and played with my little goofballs.


Balloons for everyone!


:)

It's so nice to be home. I missed my kiddos.

P.S. Michelle, I hope your train doesn't tip over. Next time - FLY! ;)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Meeting Friends!

Wow, it's been a long week! The play is done hooray! It went well, but I'm glad it's over because it's one more thing I can cross off my list.


"I don't understand. Am I the only dumb bunny here?"

I'm in Chicago with Michelle and Mimi! We went out to dinner at Italian Village and Manic joined us for a FUN time. I will never keep a straight face when I hear the word "Twitter" again.


Now we're sitting here in our hotel room and every time a firetruck goes by or a car makes some noise, Mimi and Michelle freak out. Michelle says that cows don't make noises like that. I'm cracking up here!

No Sunday sound out (mostly because I just realized it was Sunday about 5 minutes ago and I have to get to bed. Don't want bags under my eyes for Oprah tomorrow, right? Instead I'll show you the cover of my book this week!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Some Stuff

We've had a ton of rain here. The good news is - it isn't snow! And the grass is looking really green these days. The bad news is - it's been really dreary and depressing. And I lost phone and Internet service yesterday! Oh the horror! I won't bore you with the details of my call to AT&T, but after being on my cell phone for 42 minutes and 10 seconds, I learned that, "Yes, there's a problem with your line. It should be fixed by 9:00pm tomorrow night." Gee, thanks.

So, I'm back and writing out a quick update now since opening night is tonight and I won't be around here. Yesterday a couple photographers came by to get pictures for an article that will be in Guideposts Magazine. The art director called me the day before and explained what kind of picture she wanted. "Maybe there can be a pot boiling over on the stove and one kid could be coloring on the wall. Another kid could have a baseball bat aimed at the window and the water could be running full blast in the sink while you sit at the table typing away on your laptop oblivious to the chaos around you."

"OK, so basically you're saying you want to come out and shoot a typical afternoon in my house. No special set-up necessary."

The kids were extra insane yesterday afternoon. I don't know if it was just the cameras, the fact that they've been cooped up inside because of the rain, or what, but they were nuts. I think Clay informed everyone that he had farted like 15 times. I'm so proud. They were sitting upside down on the couches and acting like loonies. Well, except for Brooklyn. I think she's getting sick. She was tired and crabby and didn't crack a smile once.

I can't wait to see the pictures. And check this out!!!
My book is listed on Amazon now! You can't buy it yet, but how cool! It's finally starting to seem a little real now.




And thanks to Kendra, I'm going to Oprah's show on Monday with Michelle and Mimi. We were told to set our VCRs because Monday's taping will air on Monday. Look for us in the audience! :)




the eye


I'm usually pretty good at keeping things like soap, diapers, and toilet paper in stock, but we were down to our last roll of tp yesterday and what did Clay do with it? Yep, he unrolled the whole thing onto the floor. Why, you ask? Because he wanted the cardboard roll, of course. Duh.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This is the School Nurse...

I got a call from the school nurse today. I'm on her speed dial. She informed me that Jackson had bumped into someone at recess and had a nasty contusion (that's bruise to you and me) on his cheek. I said something along the lines of, "Oh thanks for letting me know. I'll take a look when he gets home." She was really concerned about his cheek and wanted me to come get him from school.

OK, so I loaded up the little ones and headed to school. Remember my rant about visitor parking spots being taken up by faculty and staff? Well, they took care of that. Want to know how? Instead of making the staff park in the staff lot and enforcing the rule, they simply painted over the "visitor" sign on the parking spots, so now they technically aren't parking in visitor spaces, because there aren't any visitor spaces! Well, they left 2 spots, but that's it. Meanwhile, the staff lot sits half-empty. I just have to roll my eyes at that. Pathetic.

Anyway, I took one look at Jackson and said something like, "Sheesh! You've got yourself a black eye already? You haven't even had your first baseball game!" It really wasn't his eye, but his cheekbone right under his eye. It was swollen and purple. But still, it was just a bump under his eye. I think the nurse, who I actually like a lot, wanted me to take him home and bring him to the doctor. Because I'm such a wonderfully sensitive, compassionate mom, I told him something like, "Suck it up. It's a black eye. Go back to class." "Aw does it hurt much, Sweetie? Do you think you can make it another hour?"

It really wasn't that bad and Jackson wasn't even complaining about it. Still, you know how black eyes go...it'll look a lot worse before it gets better.

Then I came home and made a cake for the kids. Clay stood on the chair, like he always does when I bake anything, and asked me if he could help.
"Sure! You can put this flour in the mixer," I told him as I handed him the measuring cup.
He looked dubious and said, "Mom, [duh] don't you remember what happened last time?"
I about fell over laughing. How did he remember that? And how did he develop those perfect teenage "Duh" mannerisms?




We had our dress rehearsal tonight. Whaddaya think? Yes, I'm playing a dumb blond. It's not a far stretch for me. Oh man, that wig is so tight and hot and itchy. Boy, will I breath a sigh of relief when the play's over.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Naked Mole Rats Escape!

First, I want to thank all of you who took the time to leave me a comment yesterday and today. You guys are the best! You made me cry. In a good way! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!



This is what Clay and Brooklyn did this morning....they dragged out all their blankets, pillows, and bean bag chairs and piled them up by the front door. It was 11:00 in this picture. Yep, they're still in their jammies, just hanging out in a pile of "squishy stuff".

It's fine though. I didn't have any plans to leave today. They were playing nicely and getting along just fine and I was able to get some of my stuff done while they were burying themselves like Naked Mole Rats in their giant pile of blankets.

A couple minutes later, Brooklyn came and sat next to me on the couch. Within seconds, she fell asleep.

Looks comfy, no? I picked her up off the couch to lay her down in bed when I heard someone at the front door. "Oh great! I'm never going to be able to open the door with all that stuff in front of it." No one comes to our house for months and today, when I can't make my way to the door, someone shows up. I put Brooklyn down and waded through the sea of slumber things to the door. I managed to open it a crack and peeked outside. There stood Clay in his pajamas at the front door!

"How did you.... Where did you.... Wait, aren't you in these blankets? What the...???"

I swear, I had no idea how he got outside. I never heard the back door open. He couldn't have opened the front door. I was sitting right there next to Brooklyn and Clay had been in the blankets just a minute before...

I told Clay to walk around to the back door, but he couldn't get into the backyard because the gate was locked.

"Then how on earth did you get outside?" I began wondering if time travel was possible. Or maybe in all his "experimenting" with household items, he'd actually built a teleportation device with some Tupperware, a AA battery, a plastic shark, and a granola bar wrapper. That must be it! He'd beamed himself outside!

I saw him run to the window in my bedroom. The window which was open. The little stinkerbutt had opened the window, climbed outside and walked to the front door in a matter of 5 minutes. And I was RIGHT THERE! Ugh.

After I'd lectured him on the rule of NEVER opening the windows unless he had permission, I crawled into the pile of blankets and took a nap. What? It could happen!

OK, I didn't really take a nap. I took pictures, of course!

I haven't been reviewing products, but Angie's still working to find the latest and greatest from WAHMs. She's always got a giveaway running on Mamaslike. Check it out!
And you can read more about my trip to New Jersey here. I'll be posting about that for the next week or so.

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