Sunday, September 30, 2007

I want more

Though I love what I get out of Blogger because it is free, I would to hear what you guys think about your platforms. I am thinking about branching out and possibly selling some hand made/ machine sewn products online, and I would love to be able to have another section of my blog where I can upload images of my new product, possibly with links to my "store" (I'm thinking about Etsy for that).

I'm currently looking into Word Press and was wondering for those of you who use it, how much you like or love it, and how long before you really got the hang of it. As you know I have a slight geek streak in me, and love figuring stuff out.

If you are on another platform, let me know what you think about what you are using and I'll check it out. I love having options.

I know I will have to pay for hosting, but besides that I really don't want to have to pay for anything else, that's pretty much my requirments. Thanks!

Friday, September 28, 2007

What to do when your 6 year old child says "I hate you"

I have always known that Anna is a bit ahead of the curve in maturity and brain cells. Bearing that in mind I have also always known that eventually and inevitably the day would come when she said those dreaded words.

I hate you.

I wasn't expecting the day to be today, and I wasn't expecting her to be the ripe age of 6 1/2. I certainly did expect those words to be hurled at me from the throws of prepubescence, and I was even more certain that they would pop up during some premenstrual debacle.

Those are words that I know well. Too well. I cannot tell you how many times those words were said to me in anger as a child. I think what hurt the most is when those words were handed to me with apathy.

Anna said that she hated me, then told me that everything was my fault... and after that I can honestly say that I don't remember much. I told her she was to stay in her room and not come out until it was clean and that I did not want to talk to her.

I went down stairs in a haze. I walked in circles until I was crushed under the pressure and weight of those 3 words. I cried. I can honestly say that it grieves me.

So I did what I always do when furious or hurt, I cleaned. After I worked offf a little grief I decided to google 'what to do when your 6 year old child says "I hate you"'. I read various sites that stated that at this age they are not aware of the meaning of those words and say them because they are angry, but don't mean them. Sure, I know that younger children say these things to their parents, and I know that hypothetically they don't mean it. You can't say that about Anna. She's very intelligent. Though I know she may not realize the consequences of this act I can tell you that she meant them with every fiber, even for a brief moment.

This site said:
The unanimous chorus from experts: Don't take it personally. Kids say these things when they're frustrated or angry. It doesn't mean you're a bad parent. Of course, distancing yourself when your kid seems to be dissing your mothering skills isn't easy, but letting your child think that you're all too happy to get rid of him -- or worse, that you hate him, too -- isn't okay. Since the under-9 set are literal thinkers, they won't detect the reverse psychology at work, and you might end up undermining your child's trust...

...Easier said than done, of course, but if you're upset, wait until you've calmed down to say anything. "When you get emotional, you lose 50 IQ points," says Ray Levy. "But later on you can say, 'It hurts my feelings when you tell me you hate me.' Usually when kids are calm, they're pretty remorseful."

Even though I agree with the last part of the statement above, I do not feel it is OK to "just let it go". Not at Anna's age anyway, no matter how literal she is she is also very logical and emotionally driven. I feel at this age is entirely appropriate for Anna to understand the kind of fallout that can occur in this situation. I sat at my computer thinking about what I would say to her. On one hand I could gloss it over " and not dwell on it, as the article above insinuates, as well as all of the other sites I visited. On another I could explain how horrendously this has affected me at the risk of making her feel guilty, in order for her to understand how devastating this can be for a loved one; and for her to understand that she must never do this again.

Then I read this blog post... THANK GOD. Finally something that addresses the state of the mature child and what it means to be 6 years old. Shauna, the blog author quotes from a book that helped her immensely :
The six-year-old is a complex child, entirely different from the five-year-old.Though many of the changes are for the good -- Six is growing more mature, more independent, more daring and adventurous -- this is not necessarily an easy time for the little girl or boy. Relationships with mothers are troubled -- most of the time Six adores mother, but whenever things go wrong, it's her fault. It used to be, at Five, that she was the center of the child's universe; now, the child is the center of his own universe.
Yes, exactly. OK. I value my children's opinions. I expect them to be able to tell me what that think and feel. All I'm asking is for a little courtesy. I want so much for my kids to have what I didn't which is an opinion... but I need to be able to draw the line at hurt and disrespect , and I need to be able to tell them that it's not OK.

Anna eventually came downstairs about an hour after the incident and apologized for saying those words and that she didn't mean them anymore. I sat there with my mouth open for a moment, trying to compose my thoughts. She didn't mean it anymore.

I explained to her that it hurts me that she felt that way at all, even if it was just for a moment. I said that hate was a very strong word, and though I was glad she was sorry , it's hard to take that word back. I also said that hate is the strongest negative word you can say to someone you love, and when you say it- even though you will probably be sorry later- it stays with a person.

I explained that though I have been angry with her many times, I have never hated her and would never EVER say that to her. I explained that telling someone that you hate them and that you wish that they had never been born are the worst things yo could say to someone you love or care about. I told her that my mother told me those things more times than I can remember, and it still hurts to this day.

I explained that those words will stay with me and in my heart forever... and that the reason why I was telling her this was for her to understand and learn from this situation.

I want her to learn that it's NEVER OK to tell someone you hate them, especially not the people you love. That it's OK to tell me she is angry with me, and I will acknowledge her feelings. It's OK to express anger, hurt and frustration. I respect her as a person, I respect her feelings.

I explained all of this and the fact that those words were unacceptable. She sobbed on my shoulder. We hugged and I told her I loved her, and she held on to me for what seemed like dear life for over 10 minutes.

My heart hurts a little less and I am hoping that over time that abyss will close and heal itself to the tiniest of fractures.

I know the joys will out number the sorrows. I have faith that the brilliance of her love and understanding will fill those little cracks with so much light that they will be unseen to the naked eye. Hopefully no one will know they are there but me.

TGIF- more cool stuff

Happy TGIF everyone! Here are some more fun and interesting sites to kill time while you wait for quitting time. ;) I hope you all have a nice weekend. :D

***Denotes favorite sites of the week***

Here are some amazing photographers I found I Stumble Upon:
Nick Brandt
Kenneth Parker

You guys know I'm all for friskin' and monthly breast exams, I found this site online- Feel Your Boobies- and also found out that
National Feel Your Boobies Week is October 12-19.

Six cool Flash games.

A tag browser that finds images on Flikr.

A Flash tutorial on how to draw a face/head.

Test your connection speed.

***Modern Living Neurotica Series. I loved this site! You simply mouse or click over the image and see what happens. I really love the 94-90 tab.***

***Monoface is also very interesting, you click on facial features to change them. Weird but fun!***

3D art.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Life

... Just flashed before my eyes! In typical Mert-Yes, I am clutz (and dork)- fashion, I was coming downstairs just a minute ago and my left foot got caught in the right leg of sweat pants, causing me to thud and bang down the stairs. Luckily I broke my fall with my left middle finger and right ankle and the closet door in front of me.

Did I mention I'm a dork?

My aunt sent this to me today. I'm trying to eat more healthy and feed my family right, so this is food for thought. Scroll down past the image to read more.

"Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. My blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high, I'd gained some weight, and I didn't feel so hot.
My doctor said eating right doesn't have to be complicated and it would solve my physical problems. He said just think in colors; Fill your plate with bright colors; greens, yellows, reds, etc.
I went right home and ate an entire bowl of M&M's and sure enough, I felt better immediately. I never knew eating right could be so easy."

I think considering my first aid kit, this is pretty appropriate. ;)

And to round the day off, let's throw in an Anna-ism, shall we? This morning we were arguing whether or not her choice of belt was 'en vogue", which now I realize is just silly. I mean seriously. Dork much? Anywhoo, Anna was mad at me because of this and the fact that I yanked a couple of knots while combing her hair. When her dad came back in from running out to buy milk she said this to him.

"It's all your for marrying HER." She just doesn't know how many times I have said this to the MISU.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sometimes I feel...

Recently I have reevaluated life here in the Special K household (John's nick name in the Navy since our last name starts with a K and can be hard to pronounce), and I resolved to make more time for family reading each day. Family reading time doesn't always happen the same time each day, and sometimes it goes on simultaneously in different rooms, but we get 'er done. ;)

The other night it was my turn to put Emma to bed and we decided to read one of her favorites, The Feelings Book by Todd Parr. This is what it looks like:Just so you know what I'm talking about, here are the first few pages. We encourage the girls to participate by pausing so that they can insert appropriate words that are related to the story, sometimes from memory.

Type rest of the post here

This fishy page is the one we found so funny in the video you are about to watch. Enjoy.

Yes... Mr. Fishy needs a Girl Friend.wink He could also use a bigger pad to impress the laaaaaa-dies...
Oh yeah, baby... that's more like it!
And yes, I realize I have waaaaay too much time on my hands and need to get out more. razz

OK, I want that , too!

The author of the blog Pointless Drivel is having a giveaway in hopes that the word will get out about his award nomination for the Blogger's Choice Awards "Best Humor Blog". Mr. Fabulous wants us to not only vote for him, but he wants you to enter his giveaway by asking your readers to vote for him too.

To enter (quoted from his site) :
That’s where you guys come in. All you have to do to get entered into the drawing is write a post telling people to both vote for me and asking them to also write a post urging their readers to vote for me. Once you have written your post, just make a comment here with the url and *poof* you are entered.
Want to know what is at stake? An iPod Shuffle (plus a very *cough* interesting iPod accessory, go to his site to find out more)

OR a $75 gift card to Barnes &

I want that!

How would you like to win $50 to spend in a vintage children’s store? Kailani of An Island Life is holding a giveaway to Warm Biscuit Bedding Company. Stop by before September 28th for all the details.

I personally loved the little purses and bags that they make since I have been making little purses the last couple of months that I am going to try to sell at craft fairs this holiday season. The designs at the Warm Biscuit Bedding Company are adorable, and you can have them personalized too.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

While your at it, why not check out Kailani's review site An Island Review. She has the inside scoop on giveaways and contests that are going on in the 'sphere.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Manic Monday- Kit

This Manic Monday is brought to you by the wonderful Mo at It's A Blog Eat Blog World, and the word kit.

This one is a toughie. I wanted to come up with something original, but couldn't think of anything. I could have written about my kitten, and the fact that she was bugging me while I was in my kitchen all Saturday making homemade cinnamon rolls. I took over a pan (from the first batch) to my neighbor and ended up talking for 2 hours... meanwhile the second batch sat rising, and rising and rising. I almost had a kittastrophy on my hands.

I also thought about model and embroidery kits, but I haven't done either of those in a long time.

Then I started to think about first aid/emergency kits... and this would be mine:

I think it has everything you would need in case of an emergency. The chocolate give a person energy to go find help, extra napkins could be used as bandages, and ice cold Starbucks could be used on burns. Oh, and the wrappers could be used to treat a sucking chest wound. wink

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Layered Meme

By the way, I just installed the peek-a-boo post format. Click "read more"... well, to read more!

On the outside:
Name: Mary
Birth Date: October 4, 1969
Current Status: married (18 years)
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Dark Brown and gray ;)

On the inside:

My Heritage: Half Mexican, half Caucasian (Scottish maiden name). My great grandmother was from the south and was a bigot, so half of me hates pinatas. Or I severely dislike them at last half of the time.wink
My Fear: Losing my children. That one day my husband will come to his senses.
My weaknesses: Chocolate, coffee (preferably Starbucks or Columbian roast but any old coffee will do, except for instant)
My Perfect Pizza: Deep dish pizza with mushrooms, artichoke hearts and bacon.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow:
My thoughts first waking up: "Who put this fur coat on my tongue?"
My bedtime: Somewhere between midnight and 2 am usually. I love the night life. I love to boo-gie.
My most missed memory: I can't remember. winkI think it has something to do with being a size 6-7 once upon a time.

My pick:
Pepsi or Coke: Pepsi.
Single or group dates: It doesn't matter, I don't have a baby sitter I trust yet. I'm paranoid like that.
Adidas or Nike: Nike
Tea or Nestea: Tea
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate.
Cappuccino or Coffee: Cappuccinno

Do you:
Smoke: No.
Curse: Ummm... I have been known to enjoy the odd expletive...
Take a shower: Every stinkin' day.
Have a crush: Only on unattainable celebs. Johnny Depp... call me!
Think you’ve been in love: Oh yeah. My very first love, Elvis. Second, chocolate. And last but not least, The Misu.
Go to school: Not right now, I'm still thinking about what i want to be when I grow up.
Want to get married: Married, been there- done that... never again. This one is for keeps.
Believe in yourself: Yes!
Think you’re a health freak:I was never really a health freak. My love for grease and chocolate took care of that.

In the past:
Drank alcohol: I was in the Navy...
Gone to the mall: Too much
Been on stage: Yes.
Eaten sushi: One of my favorite things!
Dyed your hair: Yes, I gave up though.

Have you ever:
Played a stripping game: Nope.
Changed who you were to fit in: In high school.. and I'm not proud of it. I learned my lesson before it was too late though.
Done something your kids will never know about (at least until they are adults): *This an addition from me (mert), just 'cause it's an interesting question.* Yes, enjoyed the company of Mary Jane... and had a very "good" first date with their dad. redface

Age you're hoping:
Get married: see above
Take your dream vacation: (mert add) Good grief, I hope it's before we retire. Italy is my dream vacation, an Alaskan Cruise is John's.

In a guy:
Best eye colour: Doesn't matter
Best hair colour: " "
Short hair or long hair: Short(er)
Best attribute: (mert add) smile and sense of humor.

What were you doing:
A minute ago: Talking Emma out of the curtains and arguing whether or not Monsters Inc. is really a "scare-wy" movie.
Hour ago: Drinking. Lots. Of. Coffee.
Month ago: Flying back home after seeing my sis and bro! biggrin
Year ago: Thinking about giving up my beagle puppy because she scared Anna.

Finish the sentences:
I love: My family, art, books, blogging...
I feel: Blessed
I hate: The fact that I procrastinate due to my fear of failure
I hide: behind humor too much sometimes
I miss: My step dad (who I consider my real dad, he raised me from the age of 5 or 6)
I need: to lose another 44 lbs LOL!

I tag:
Ladies: participate if you wanna, no pressure. I tag anyone else who wants to play, just leave me a comment so I know to check your out too! biggrin


Miss Charming and Delightful




Saturday, September 22, 2007

My chest hurts

More like my heart... I woke up this morning from one of the most horrible dreams. I dreamed that we let Anna (who is only 6 1/2) go to the movies with some friends and we came back to pick her up. After waiting several minutes for her we realized something was wrong.

Anna was gone. In my dream I cried the chest crushing sobs of grief, the kind where you actually feel like you are going to die... the kind where your heart hurts so bad it might explode into flames.

To make matters worse, I woke up briefly last night to turn over and went right back into the dream, only I had fast forwarded and I realized that we had never called the police. In my dream we went over to the MIL's apartment to ask for her help finding Anna despite recent real life events. As I was asking for help, Anna came out from a bedroom. In my dream I was trying to get John's attention while sobbing and holding my girl and all that would come out was a strangled whimper.

The MIL said in my dream that Anna had managed to escape from her kidnapper but Anna wanted to stay with her nana for a little while because she was afraid she was going to get in a lot of trouble.

I woke up and cried of course. Anna came into the bathroom and asked me what was wrong and I told her while she hugged me. "It's ok mom," she whispered, "it's not real."

Believe it or not, I always try to use these stupid dreams for good. I know that John and I would never be stupid enough to let our 6 year old go to the movies unsupervised. Of course I would never forget to call the police.

I also took the opportunity this morning to reinforce that the child is never to blame in these situations and she has to know that she can't ever give up because we will NEVER stop looking for her.It's also an opportunity for her to know the important things like how to call 911, that she knows her complete phone number and address. We went over again who is allowed to EVER pick her up ANYWHERE, even if someone seems to have detailed information about our family.

These dreams always confirm three things for me: That I am so afraid that I will lose one of my kids, and that I am so afraid I will lose them because of a terrible mistake that I have made.

(It also confirms how neurotic I am...)

And how much I love them, and I don't what I would do without them.

Things I learned since yetserday, Emma-isms

At night we like to play this game I invented called "I love you more than...". Basically think of all my favorite things and tell my kids I love them so much that I love them more than that.

Me: Emma, I love you more chocolate.

Emma: Yeah!

Me: Emma, I love you more books.

Emma: Ummmhmm!

Me: Emma, I love you more teddy bears.


Emma decides to give it a go:Momma, I love du mo' dan chawk-lit!

Me: Really? Yesss!

Emma:I love du mo' dan pea-budder san-nitches!

Me: Alright!

Emma:I love du mo' dan duh sun!

Me: Cool!

Emma: I love du mo' dan flowahs!

Me: Wooo-hoo!

Emma: I love du mo' dan trash. <------------ So very good to know.

I Also learned that Piglet isn't "a little teeny baby" like I suggested, he's a "little teeny tiny PIG". And he smells like sweet poh-tay-tohs. "Sweet Poh-Tay-toh Pie" to be exact. Also, very good to know.

A few minutes later-

Emma: Momma, my bell-lee hutz.

Me: Maybe you need to poot.

Emma: MAYBE I don't wanna poot.

Me: OK, don't poot then. But it might make your belly feel better.

Emma: *A short and very baritone-ish POOT*


Emma: You laughin' at me, momma?

Me: Uh *LOL* ... yeah...

Emma: Quit laughin' at me!



Me: *which makes me ROFL LMAO that much harder*

Emma: Quit laughin', IT NOT FUNNY ANYMO'!

...Lather, rinse, repeat.

Which made me realize this,... Six months ago, farting while sitting on her parents lap- hilarious. Now, not so much.
Which is all based on my own scientific research (click to enlarge):

Friday, September 21, 2007

ICHC Kitteh Zoey

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

TGIF- Gadgets galore!

I started this little thingy to get you guys off to a relaxing start for the weekend... I'm posting cool blog gadgets and other things I Stumble on that it enjoyed. Plus, having something to mess with at work while your waiting for quittin' time will help pass the time, right? TGIF, baby!

M E R Southern Cemetery

I saw this at Robin's blog, it's a funky name generator that takes letters off of Flikr. Get yours here.

Would you like to have feeds posted directly to your desk top? Check out Spring Widgets. Here is a screen shot of what mine looks like at cre8buzz.

I copied and pasted my feed URL into the preferences so that cre8buzz members can see what's on my blog. :) You can subscribe to any feed and have it load on your desktop widget or create a feed widget and embed code on a site. Vurrry vurrry cool.

If you're curious to see if there are any bloggers in your neighborhood, you can check out this nifty site called FeedMap. I tried it, but there aren't any bloggers listed near me yet :( It's a really interesting concept though, and you have the option to see actual aerial pictures of the locations, which is cool. It will be really interesting if more people sign up. ;)

And yet another widget gadget... there's BlogRush. You can see an example of BlogRush at work at the bottom of my sidebar. The idea is that you submit your blog name and feed, choose a category for your blog and you can get feed titles to posts of blogs similar content to yours. Also, your blog posts will eventually make the widget thus promoting your own content. This if also fairly new, but the folks at BlogRush are claiming that this has potential to bring more traffic to your blog, so once it really gets going I'll let you know. ;) But I'm thinking, the more the merrier, right?

There is this site that I Stumbled Upon that has a similar theme with the animal cuteness factor at ICHC, called Cute Overload. This is what I saw the other day... it's just so stinkin' cute!

My favorite site this week (besides the kitteh above) that I StumbledUpon is this nifty face gadget, Ultimate Face Flash:

You can use many choices of each facial characteristic to make a self portrait. See the little box above that looks like it has a "cross hair" in it? Use that little slider tool to change the size of each characteristic to your liking. I only messed around with it for a few minutes but it was fun!
Edit to add: I just couldn't resist. *snort*

I hope you got a kick out of something in my post and have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

TYSVM, miss snarky pants.

So, as you saw from my previous post I bought me some al-kee-hawl. I like to have the occasional drink but I'm no connoisseur, and though I hate to admit it... I have a fruit fly problem. Yes, the vurry vurrrrry fine 6 dollah wine I bought was actually for the pests in my house.

I'm very hospitable, what can I tell you.

BUT I digress.

Six dollar wine. Right. I ran into the store to get a few things like fruit (no, not for the fruit flies... I have to draw the line somewhere), milk, stuff to make homemade cinny rolls, and yup, you guessed it 6 dollah muscato. I tried to pick something that both the fruit flies and I would like.

I head up to the register and totally like this girl? She was like totally bumming? and was like devastated that I actually would ask her to work? Totally. Like. Oh. Mah. Gah.

"Do you need my ID?" I asked politely, despite the fact that Little Missy Poopy Pants was put out. She curled her upper lip slightly while flaring one nostril, while giving me the once over,"Um. No. I don't think so."

"Actually most places want to swipe your ID when you buy alcohol."

"Well, we are supposed to but you're obviously old enough to buy it."

"Yessss, " I say coolly while pointing to the extinguished distinguished looking racing stripes I have going on at my temples, "Yes, I know."

"What, are you like in your 30's?"

"Yes. 37." Almost 38, I smiled as I thought about how 20 years will fly by in a blink. One day she will be me and she doesn't even know it. I kept that little tidbit to myself though. Though she may have tried to ruin a moment in my life, I chose to let her remain in Neverland for her moment. One day she will be in my shoes, and one day some cheerleader turned cashier will wait on her and remind her how old she looks. And she will probably need that wine as much as I did right then. :)

And maybe on that day, she will return the favor- pay it forward if you will- and give that cashier a little grace because little cheerleader doesn't know any better.

Now 'scuse me... The fruit flies and I need a refill. :)

This just in: Boobs

Boobs. You can't go anywhere without people talking about boobs anymore. Whats' the big deal anyway?

Here's the deal.

I'm a little afraid to visit Myspace and Facebook now. Heaven forbid we should see a naked breast, this country is not obsessed with body parts at all. *rolls eyes*That being said, I don't understand why anyone would want to find over 2 million links to this :
OR this:

My opinion? Boobs should be kept locked up and out of sight. ;) They hold mysterious powers over men and they make men AND children drool. A boob can be very dangerous, you know...they can be lethal. Prime example?

Click here if you dare. This boob should be locked up for good.

Almost Somewhat Positive: All the sarcasm and flavor of other blogs, none of the calories. :)

For more posted debates about nekkid boobies, idiocy and hypocrisy go to Suburban Oblivion.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm Just A Cliche'

***Please scroll down for Wordless Wednesday***

Well, it's official. I'm one of those moms.

"Don't run with scissors!" I said yesterday, calling after Anna.

Next I'll be asking if "all of her friends jumped off a cliff, would she do that too", or saying "You keep making that face and your face will get stuck like that".

OR the dreaded "Make sure you put on clean undies, you never know when you'll get into an accident".

Cliche' is French, so I guess it could be kind of a sexy name. Cliche' D'Ork. It has a ring to it, it could work.

Bonus dorkness:

Just because that's the kind of classy broad I am... this is how a a classy dork like me drinks their wine. Maybe I should stick to the screw on caps. Mmmm, nothing like room temp Ripple. ;)

*Sigh* A perfectly good 6 dollar wine, ruined. Whatever shall I do?

And this is how a dork pseudo-corks their wine...
Yup. That's how I roll.

Wordless Wednesday-: It's called orange marker, kid- not lipgloss.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mom's Turn

There is a new kind of blog on the 'sphere... a blog where all moms can go and vent anonymously. You guys know I have no problem venting here, but there are times when we would all like to be able to avoid those touchy subjects on our blogs but still get it off of our chests somewhere, right? Some of us have family and friends reading our posts and sometimes bloggers feel as if they can't say what they really need to. So, this site was born. Cool concept I think.

Quoted from their site:
  1. Just email what you'd like posted to: Moms Turn
  2. I will publish the post on on a first come first serve basis, with up to 5 posts per day. Your name/email address will NOT be revealed.
  3. You will feel so much better.
Ya never know... you might see me venting over there some day, only you won't know it's me.

Contest: Ipod Nano Giveaway!

I was reading Kailani's site An Island Review, and I saw a post about this giveaway at It’s Write Now.I love gadgets, and love free gadgets even more so of course I am entering! If you want to enter you must link to her blog, link to The Contest Post, then leave a comment at the contest post. Pretty simple for such a great reward. I've got my fingers and toes crossed, how about you?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Manic Monday: Crsip

Today's Manic Monday is brought to you by the lovely Mo and the word Crisp! For more MM's, go to Mo's blog.

This time of year I begin to think of all the wonderful things money can buy, like a pine tree that gently hovers over Christmas presents wrapped in crisp sparkling wrapping paper. I dream of apple and pumpkin pies, the warm and gooey cinnamon goodness that I bake with love in a crispy, flaky crust.

This time of year also makes me think of the crunching of leaves under foot, the bite of the crisp air while walking in the evening... and money. All of that crisp, green paper, delicately adorned with gold little numbers, and the way it's warm glow always seems to burn a hole in my pocket.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Adding feed chicklets to your blog

I have been trying to become a little more "blog aware" by submitting my feed to several feed subscription sites, and I had a little trouble finding the page to each service that allows you to create a chicklet for your side bar.

Eventually I hit the jackpot though! I found this site called Online Marketing Blog and on this page you can make a chicklet for just about any RSS reader out there. All you have to do is fill in your blog URL and name, then your feed URL. Then just add any tags you want such as the line break tags, which will separate your chicklets so they wont clump together in groups of 2 or 3 per line in your sidebar... unless you like it that way. ;) In which case, don't worry about tags.

Click the image below to see the tags I placed to make a single column of chicklets, as seen below in my side bar.

Click the "create buttons" button, this will take you to the next page with your code. Just copy this code and paste into your sidebar. And that's it, easy peasy rice and cheesy. ;)

Now playing: Sheryl Crow - I Don't Wanna Know
via FoxyTunes

Friday, September 14, 2007

Stumble this! OR TGIF Stumbles

Though I am at times reluctant to try new things, I'm not that way when it comes to stuff on my computer- especially the internet. I love this thing called Stumble. You truly never know what you are going to stumble on.

Today, for your enjoyment, I bring you TGIF Stumbles. Every Friday I'll highlight some of the cool stuff I have Stumbled on, just a little something to get your relaxation gears going.

  • Ok, the fist site I happened upon was this site called Inspired by the Molecular Muse. The geek in me screams "YES!". How could you NOT want a a pair of earrings like these? My birthday is coming up... I must send the link to the MISU.
Want to know what these are? The earrings are the representative of the molecular make up of "the favored symbol of chocolate: theobromine".
Coffee anyone? Here is a necklace that is based on the caffeine molecule.
The creator is a scientist-come-artist, and all of her jewelry is made from reasonably priced sterling silver considering they are hand crafted.
I think out of all of her jewelry, this one is my favorite though. Isn't it purty?
Quoted from Molecularmuse's page:
Creativity Necklace:
I love being creative - and that state of flow when you are consumed with the project. So, I made a necklace to commemorate it.

The charms dangling on this sterling silver necklace represent the 3 major neurotransmitters (those brain chemicals responsible for mood and emotion) critical to creativity:

(from left to right)
serotonin - happiness, satisfaction
dopamine - love, passion, pleasure
acetylcholine - learning, memory, dreaming

  • Another page I found was this cat haiku... check it out if you are a cat lover. It's pretty funny!
OK, that's it for me! I hope you all have a nice, relaxed weekend. Enjoy!

PS- Don't forget that tomorrow is the 15th. You know what that means!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

School Year's Resolutions

*** Check out an earlier post of Emma-isms for today, below***

Kelly over at PTT has a wonderful idea- focus on goals for your family throughout the year. This is such an inspiration, especially since Kelly added her own special note to her idea, which is:
I believe the better me I can be, the better mom I can be.
Nothing could be more true. How can I expect to keep my family happy and on track if I am no where near achieving those things for myself? At first I struggled with this idea. Change is hard, so I began to think about what we were already doing right... things we had already implemented just before the start of the school year.
  • Family reading time, every day.
  • (More recently) Eating healthy by making meal plans and allowing everyone to choose a meal for the week, then finding lower fat versions of the recipes.
  • Being more diligent about our routines and schedules and wavering as little as possible once school started. (Anna's post school routine of snack, 1/2 hour of TV to unwind, home work, clean room... all the way up to bed time routines)
  • Being less negative when disciplining the kids by correcting them, but by also giving positive reinforcement by highlighting and praising them when they do something the right way.

Things I resolve to work harder on:
  • Exerting more patience in my life.
  • Dealing with negative forces as tactfully as possible.
  • Make an actual exercise schedule and stick to it, 3 times a week (dusting off the exercise equipment on the porch!).
  • Take over the bills to relieve the stress on my poor forgetful and over- worked hubby, therefore creating a less stressed family environment because the bills are getting paid on time and our (insert utility here) isn't getting turned off. (Like our water yesterdayLOL!)
  • Being more diligent about returning important phone calls
  • Making appointments for the family (mostly myself...moms, you know how that goes), because a healthy family is a happy family.

I will add more to the list as I think of them, mostly to keep myself accountable. ;) This was actually a really pleasant experience for me because I had not realized how well the improvements we made a month ( or so) ago had been working. if you like this idea, head over to Kelly's blog, leave a comment and/or leave a link letting her know you are participating. I hope you all have a happy and healthy school year!

Crabby Emma-isms

Last night we were out getting something to eat a little later than usual and the girls both got Scooby Doo toys with their meals. The fact that we were waiting for daddy to come home to eat coupled with the fact that daddy forgot to call and tell mommy that he would be coming home late led to a very grumpy and hungry 2 1/2 year , despite a snack or two- so there as a bit of yelling and screaming before we even left home. Ok, not just a bit but a LOT.

While eating dinner, we were having a discussion about Emma's behavior since she deemed it necessary to show us that she is indeed an individual with needs and opinions... by refusing to eat the "cheese boogah" she had requested for dinner, focusing all of her attention and appetite on the yogurt and granola. Emma yelled and screamed after I told her she needed to eat some of her burger before she got anymore yogurt (the kid is so bony, she needs all the protein I can force her to eat) and I told her if she didn't stop, she and I would go and sit in the car while Anna and daddy finished their dinner.

When Emma stopped yelling and said"Finally! Sheesh!". I told Anna to shoosh (while Em started crying again, now complaining about her hand-me-down shoes not fitting), that she screamed and complained just as much as Emma did. Emma stopped crying for a moment to interject, 'I complain too-oo-oo!"

To which I replied, "Really?" with a healthy eye roll.

As we were headed to a store to return some things Emma said, "Daddy, I have a qes-chun, daddy." John asked her what her question was, and she asked, "Does dis thingy open, daddy? I wan' take the little ball-ies out."

No, I said, it doesn't open.

"I was talkin' to daddy, nah you momma." I snorted then clamped my lips together and thought to myself that that is what I get for butting in, all while trying not to laugh. ;) Emma persisted. "Does dis thing open, daddy?"

No, John said after chuckling, it doesn't open.

"Fine, I'll ask Anna then."

Though we are in the dreaded "if you don't give me the answer I want I'll ask someone else/ crying and screaming about minute details because I want to exert a little independence " phase, at least she realizes she has options, right?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Money for Nothing: a book review

***Wordless Wednesday post below***

I was offered a chance to review a few books, but just from reading the title of this book I was hooked. I will admit that I am one of millions who plays the lottery, and though I do not play on a regular basis I still get a thrill; so the idea of reading about the dark side to business was intriguing.

Throughout the book Ugel struggles with the morality of the Lottery Buyout Business, but he also gets into the more technical underbelly of what he assures the reader is the full fledged business- the lottery. He describes where the money made from the lottery is actually used and the way in which it divided in most states, and he describes the fact that in most states the money that is supposed to go towards a state's education is actually divided differently. Yes, the lottery does give the state their yearly cut, but it is the state who chooses to take the money, cut back and reallocate state funds to compensate. Where is this money going? Good question.

In this fascinating book, the author Edward Ugel also recounts his life before the business and the aftermath of his actions towards hundreds of lottery winners... and himself. Ugel is quite frank about what it means to really win these days for most people, which is to end up flat broke months after winning the lottery because they make the mistake of taking yearly annuity instead of a lump sum payout. He describes the good, bad and the ugly of lottery winners by giving many examples of the type of clients he normally bought lottery winnings from by buying their next lottery check (for a cut of course), so that the winners could get their hands on the money they so desperately needed. Out of seeing a need, The Firm was born.

The most important thing to take away from reading his book, and something the author stresses periodically throughout the book? Take a lump payment. With an annuity, you don't earn interest on the money the lottery owes you, and though 200 grand a year for 20 years may seem like a lot- in the end you have to consider inflation and the value that dollar will have in 20 years. 200 grand isn't going to be worth what it is today.

If you play the lottery even on occasion, I highly recommend this book. It's filled with insightful information, grit and many funny anecdotes about his life in the industry. To read more reviews of this book, click the image to go to Happy reading!

If you are interested in reading this book, let me know in comments. I will mail it to the the first person to ask for it. ;)

Wordless Wednesday- Sisters Snuggle

Monday, September 10, 2007

And there you have it. (MIL caa-caa)

OK y'all... I just wanted to let you know that I REALLY appreciate all your kind words about the monster-in-law. ;D Now on to the news...

This last Sunday I told John that the fact that She saw fit to talk about this to John on Wednesday AT WORK, and the fact that I had yet to confront her on this whole slapping issue... well, I felt that by me saying nothing in my defense was probably to her most likely an admission of guilt. I also told John that we needed to find a baby sitter ASAP then call the MIL to let her know that we wanted to talk to her.

After talking about it again tonight I realized that I needed to take the bull by the horns. So I called her :

This is Mary, I need to know when it would be a good time so I can hire a sitter for us to come over so we can talk.

Well, we will be working 10 hour days for the next two weeks...

Well, we need to sit down and talk- me , you and John. We also need to talk because you accused me of slapping you and I DID NOT.

Yes you DID.

No, I may have pushed your hand away roughly, but I did NOT slap you, and I have NEVER slapped you out of anger. Well, I really don't want to discuss this over the phone, so that is why we need to sit down and have a talk before you ever see the girls again.

*silence* ...What exactly is this talk about, before I agree to do this...?

Oh, lets see... Our "rules", slapping, the way you treat Anna...

That sounds like a bunch of accusations to me... not a "talk"...

Don't EVEN get me started about accusations! You seem to feel that it's OK to tell people I have slapped you and I'm NOT OK with that.

Well, it sounds like you have already decided...

NO, YOU are the one who hasn't bothered to see your granddaughters in 5 weeks...

No, Anna was supposed to be the one deciding when she was ready to see me!
Which is true, but the monster-in-law didn't know about this until last Wednesday when she decided it was appropriate to discuss all of this at the hospital that she and John work at. John and I had decided that Anna could tell us when she was ready to see the MIL, but since the MIL had made no attempt to fix things, we've haven't told the MIL anything up until that point. So she is once again trying to blame someone else for her mistakes... and she chooses to put responsibility on the 6 year old?

NO. YOU should have had your BUTT over here BEGGING for forgiveness the day after, bearing- (gifts, I said but she interrupted me)

Give me a fuc-! CLICK!

Well folks, it looks like she has sealed the deal. She is refusing to be reasonable about this. I'm pretty sure that is not at all fixable. The fact that she continues to blame everyone else including Anna, and refusing to take any responsibility...

She's nuts. Anyway, at least I said a little of what I needed to say. I was so amped that I was a bit out of breathI intend on sending the copy of car keys and her house key back to her in the mail, with a letter stating that she knows our terms and conditions. No talk- no grandkids, and that "the ball is in her court".

Oh, and that if she could stop being unprofessional and inappropriate and refrain from discussing family matters in the work place, that would be just peachy.

There's a first time for everything!

This last Friday Anna lost her first tooth! When I picked up from school that day I actua;y heard her before I saw her, I was looking down for just a moment to see what Emma was doing, when I heard her yelling over the din, "Mommy! I lost my tooth today at lunch!" She went on to tell me that she took a bite of her roll and felt something hard... and spit it out in revulsion on her tray. Which we both got a good laugh out of. She went to the school nurse and she got a cute little container to put her tooth in, which also happened to be a ring with a picture of a tooth on it. Very cute! She wore it very proudly.

I would love to say that I have cute pictures of my less-toothed (but not toothless) girl, but being the over achiever that she is her new teeth had already grown in behind her baby teeth. Though I am a natural worrier, I tried to ease her discomfort by telling her that she was a bit like a shark. We just had to wait for the other row to fall out. My worries were about how the new teeth were going to throw the alignment off since they came in behind the old ones, and the fact that if they didn't come out by the time the new ones were completely in, she would have to go tot he dentist to have them yanked. My bottom teeth are very crooked and I have always worried that my poor kids will inherit them... but Anna has been told by the dentist that over crowding is likely and she will probably need braces. "That's OK, I'll just get the ones that are pink and purple!"

We are still waiting for tooth #2 to finally relinquish it's title to the new heir. ;) I'm just glad we haven't had to take to her to the dentist to have them pulled.

Also, yesterday Emma went #1 on her potty for the very first time after telling us she had to go! She was a bit embarrassed afterwards that we would make such a big deal about going pee, and she smiled shyly while sauntering off to the kitchen to regroup. :D

Always the character, but Anna did the exact same thing her first time. It's funny how they are so much alike! Which makes us think, "Well, at least we know what to expect!... Oh, yeah. Right. DARN!" ;)

Just kidding, we wouldn't have it any other way. They are very much a product of their environment and though they can be a little too loud, "focused" (read as stubborn) and spirited, at least I know my kids feel comfortable enough that they can share their opinions.

And I'm sure that later on- when they are both entrenched in hormones and teenage angst- I will look back on these words and scoff... or at least have a good laugh. Until then, I'll continue to meet all of their firsts with love and joy... And we can hold off on the "guess what's in your mashed potatoes" game for a little bit longer.

Friday, September 07, 2007

This is cool!

As I told my good bud Maggie:

My stomach is upset and hurting (which used to happen when I was fighting with my own mother)... I need to talk to the MIL and get it over with so I can stop feeling like this, but until then I'm thinking I wont have anything good to say on my blog.

I'm going to make my rounds in the blogosphere though... it will be a good opportunity to blog surf instead of wracking the brain to figure what to write.

.... in the meantime, check this site out for lots of cool widgets and gadgets for your blog. :D