Friday, October 30, 2009

Shout Out To My Homeschool Homeys - Holla!

I did a search on YouTube for homeschool videos.

Please don't judge.

My inner dorkiness thanks you.

Anyhoo, I came across this video from Christian comedian Tim Hawkins. The video is very clever and I appreciate his great sense of humor when it comes to all of the misconceptions about homeschooling. Plus, the music is great for this time of year.

For all of my homeschool peeps, this one's for you......I hope it makes you laugh! It's all in good fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Picture Day Was A Bust

Ben stayed home from school today.


He was coughing up a storm this morning so I had to make the call.


I was kind of disappointed for him to miss today because it was picture day. All of my preparations down the drain. And by preparations, I mean giving Ben a quick haircut last night and picking out a cool "picture" outfit. I know he will eventually have his picture taken on the make-up day at the end of November but it's not the same as having it taken as a group with your class. I was bummed.

Ben, he could care less. He was just happy to play Wii all day.

But who is the one who is going to have to re-cut his hair in a month and pick out the same cool outfit again? I mean, really people, how much energy do you think I have? It's like you don't know me at all.

Anyway, we were home all day and basically did nothing. Except for all the Wii playing. And all the cartoon watching. And all the chicken noodle soup eating.

It was a looooong day but I had lots of opportunities to "give" on day 2 of my 29 Day Giving Challenge. Mostly involving one coughing child and his kind of coughing sister. I know these are things I would do anyway, without the challenge, because I am a Mom. But I have to say, the meaning behind giving is more present in my mind ever since I started this challenge.

All of three days ago.

Seriously, before the challenge, I might have viewed having to dispense cough medicine and reminding the kids to wash their hands for the 100th time and the stress that comes with taking care of your children when they are sick to be a chore - something I have to do because I am their Mother after all. And although that is true, I am starting to see it differently. It is a gift to take care of someone you love when they don't feel good, not a chore. Stressful at times, yes, but I am giving them tender loving care. I never really looked it at that way before.

So, throughout the very long day (again, did I mention it was a looooong day?) I found myself actually appreciating the situation. The fact that I am a Mom with two wonderful children is such a blessing. And although it isn't easy sometimes being a Mom, I have been given this gift from God.

And since He has so generously given to me, I'm pretty sure He would enjoy me working on being a different kind of giver. This challenge is already changing my attitude about how I give to my children and husband. And they are so very worth this shift in my outlook.

I can't wait to see what else I discover in the next 27 days!

PS - Everyone is sleeping now and I don't hear any coughing. Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 1 - Giving Challenge

Today is Day 1 in my 29 Day Giving Challenge. It has been in my thoughts most of the day.

I didn't pick one specific thing to "give" today and then checked it off my "to-do" list. Instead, surprisingly, I was reminded to "give" throughout the day. Some of the things I did are things I might normally do but today my perspective was different. My attitude changed a little. I don't know how or why but doing these things just felt different today.

Here's what I did today in the way of "giving":

On Tuesdays, Ben is allowed to get pizza for lunch at school. Normally, we give him $5. This morning he asked if he could have an extra dollar to get bread sticks. My first reaction would be to tell him no, that $5 is more than enough to get a couple slices of pizza and something to drink. However, I found myself agreeing to give him that extra dollar. You would have thought I promised him a million dollars! He was so excited that I said yes and so happy that he would be able to get bread sticks with his pizza order. His smile and "thank you, Mommy" made my morning brighter. And it was a rainy morning!

After home school this morning, Ali asked if I would play Barbies. The girl loves her Barbies! Me, not so much. I am more of a Go Fish or Tic Tac Toe kind of woman. Not that I don't like Barbies themselves because I do. Jenn and I grew up playing with Barbies and we had THE best Barbie house ever. The house was built by my Dad and it was made of all wood, with paneling, three floors and a garage! It was nearly 5 feet tall. It was completely furnished with cool wicker furniture and it even had carpeting. My Mom still has it but I haven't been able to get her to give it up yet......hey Mom, you always said when we have daughters, we could have it......we have daughters about it?? :) Anyway, back to Ali. So, she asked me to play Barbies. Usually, I try to get out of it by suggesting we play something else. ANYTHING ELSE. But today, I wanted to give to my daughter. So, I gave her my time and played her favorite thing in the whole wide world of the US of A - Barbies. It actually was a lot of fun and you will be happy to know that we had a great time with our Barbies at a wedding, at cheerleading practice, getting a snack at the mall and playing "Dance, Dance Revolution." Boy, those girls know how to party.

Ray had a very hard day at work. His leg was giving him problems and he was in a lot of pain after a long day of climbing ladders and climbing over walls. When he got home he joked that, although my incredibly tasty leftover mostacolli was very tempting to have for dinner, he wouldn't stop me if I wanted to drive to Quizno's and pick him up an extra large cheese steak sandwich. He's thoughtful like that. And even though I was tired and it was raining, I got out of my pajamas (oh, I kid......I kept my pajamas on) and drove to the next town over to get my man a cheese steak sandwich. And it felt good. Tasted pretty good, too.

The last thing I gave today was totally random. I was reading some new blogs and I came across across a blog called The Daily Dakin, written by a Mommy with a little boy who has a rare neuromuscular disease. She has such a bright and optimistic disposition and her little guy Dakin is just adorable. I am inspired by her and look forward to reading her entire blog and getting to know her and Dakin much better. In the meantime, I gave to Dakin and his Mommy by signing a petition to help with research and finding a cure for this rare disease. I don't normally sign things online but because of this challenge, I felt compelled. If you would like to get to know Dakin, you can read all about him at The Daily Dakin.

See you tomorrow.

In search of a very large hot dog......

We attended my sister Kelly's Halloween party on Saturday......I haven't been to a costume party in 15 years! It was a lot of fun! I'm actually thinking about hosting some type of fall fest next year. We have lived in the country for 10 years now and have never had a fall get together at our place. With 10 acres of land at our disposal, we could have a big chili cookout and offer hayrides and play games. We also have a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and making smores - perfect for this time of the year. We could plant pumpkins and have everyone pick out their favorite from our very own pumpkin patch. So many fun things we could do!!

Overly enthusiastic crazy woman takes a moment to reflect on her wonderful idea and unusually high level of ambition.

Hmmm......on second thought, sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I should wait and see how I feel come next year! :)

Until then, enjoy these pics!

Like I always say - go big or go home.

Ali showing off her lasso skills.

My Mom, AKA "Purple Flapper Girl," and my nephew Mike.
As you tell, Mike has really been working out lately!

My nephew Josh as "Barry Sagittarius."
I know, I didn't know who he was either. Josh, you funny guy!

Instead of musical chairs, we played musical men.
My Mom survives another round with help from my brother-in-law Tom.

Cowgirl cousins.
Ali with my niece, Shelby. Ali LOVES Shelby!

My sister Jenn's family, from left to right:
Tom, 10 month old Thomas, Anthony, Nicholas, Jenn, Natalie & Tim.
Aren't they a creepy looking family but in a good way? :)

Don't know what's going on here but it looks like Ben just saw a ghost.

BFFs 4-Ever!
Al & Nat (isn't that cool that both of their nicknames are boys names?)
They were born just 9 weeks apart and are both in kindergarten this year.

The greatest parents! In March, they will celebrate 59 years of marriage.
Doesn't my Mom look beautiful and my Dad look dashing?

Mom and her girls,
Kelly, me and Jenn.

Ben channeling his inner Michael Jackson.

Dad won "Best Male Costume."
He was Juan Carlos.......or Don Juan......or Don Quiote......
Actually, I don't really know who he was but he
was pretty funny none the less!

Tom and baby Thomas.
The day before the party, Tom attended the funeral of his Mother, Nancy.
I think being at the party and with family helped take his mind
off his grief for a while.

Party on!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Changing Lives One Gift At A Time

Today I signed up to do the "29 Day Giving Challenge." I was inspired to do so after watching an interview this morning of Cami Walker on the Today Show. After struggeling with multiple sclerosis and the pain and depression that accompanied her illness, Cami was encouraged to try giving for 29 days to see if it changed her perspective in any way. So, after a sleepless night at 3:00 in the morning, Cami decided to give the idea a try. Not only did it change her perspective about her illness, it changed her life in ways she never could have imagined! On day 14 of giving, she no longer needed to walk with her cane! You can read Cami's entire story at where you can also sign up for the 29 Day Giving Challenge. The gifts of giving can be whatever it is you feel compelled and able to do. Maybe you feel led to call a friend, who is going through a difficult time, to offer a few words of encouragement. Or maybe you want to make your husband his favorite dinner because he has had a tough week at work. Or maybe you smile and say hello to a stranger. Or maybe you have a few extra dollars and decide to pay for the cutomer behind you at McDonald's. Or maybe you bake some cookies for your eldery neighbor and deliver them as an unexpectied surprise. Or maybe......well, you get the idea!

I am really excited to begin my challenge tomorrow. I believe it will be the beginning of something really special. I'll be sure to post about my experience, as I begin this wonderful challenge!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When I'm An Old Lady And Live With My Kids

When I'm an old lady, I'll live with my kids,

And bring so much happiness, just as they did.

I want to pay back all the joy they have provided.

Returning each deed, oh, they'll be so excited! When I'm an old lady and live with my kids......

I'll write on the walls with reds, whites and blues,

And jump on the furniture, wearing my shoes.

I'll drink from the carton and then leave it out.

I'll stuff all the toilets and, oh, how they'll shout! When I'm an old lady and live with my kids......

When they're on the phone and just out of reach,

I'll get into things like sugar and bleach.

Oh, they'll snap their fingers and then shake their head,

And when it is over, I'll hide under my bed. When I'm an old lady and live with my kids......

When they cook dinner and call me to eat,

I won't eat my green beans or salad or meat.

I'll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table,

And when they get angry, I'll run - if I'm able! When I'm an old lady and live with my kids......

I'll sit close to the t.v., all the channels I'll click,

Then I'll cross both of my eyes just to see if they stick.

I'll take off my socks and throw one away,

And play in the mud 'til the end of the day! When I'm an old lady and live with my kids......

And later in bed, I'll lay back and sigh,

I'll thank God in prayer and then close my eyes.

My kids will look down with a smile slowly creeping,

And say with a whisper "she's so sweet when she's sleeping!"

When I'm an old lady and live with my kids......

Poem by Joanne Bailey Baxter

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Funny Girl

Ali: "Mommy, do you want to hear a joke?"

Me: "Sure."

Ali: "O.k., what do you get if you have gold plus gold?"

Me: "I don't know......what do you get if you have gold plus gold?"

Ali: "Goldishy!" Followed by 5 year old daughter's hysterical laughter.

I don't get it.

But, of course, I laughed right along with her.

Finally, Ali followed up with: "I'm not really finished making up the joke yet. I'm still working on it."

Really? I couldn't tell. To me, it was perfect.

Monday, October 19, 2009

You're Faking

Today is "not me" Monday. After reading about what I didn't do today, head over to MckMama and read about everyone else's "not me" day!

Today did not start off with the alarm screaming at me, signaling the start of another week. I most certainly did not stay under the covers for 15 more minutes, delaying the inevitable. I wake up every morning feeling refreshed and excited to begin my fun-filled day of domestic responsibilities. I'm perky like that. I'm a freakin' ray of sunshine. So, I woke Ben up for school in my normal cheerful way. What? It could happen. Anyway, when Ben declared that his belly hurt and then proceeded to grab his stomach in anguish in a very obvious and overly dramatic way, I did not say to him "you're faking, you just want to stay home from school today." What kind of mother questions her child's digestion disturbances? Not I. I did not for a split second have this conversation in my half-asleep head: "I guess it would be ok if he stays home just this one time...... plus, it's cold outside...... plus, we could just stay in our pajamas all day" (which would be highly unusual for me, I assure you.) Hmmm, what to do, what to do...... I did not then contemplate my complicated dilemma for 5 minutes, now leaving approximately no more than 12 minutes to get "sick" child ready for school, out the door and make the 10 minute drive to school. I then did not have a second conversation in my very confused head, that did not go something like this: "if he really is "sick" and I send him to school, then I will feel guilty for not believing him...... plus, then I will have to make the 10 minute drive right back to school to pick him up when the school calls and says he just puked all over his desk during a spelling test and, really, that's just a waste of gas and wear and tear on the car...... on top of it, I will have to hear Ben say "I told you I was sick......" Who needs that? Not I. So, after much consideration, I finally decided not to let Ben stay home from school today. And I most certainly did not take advantage of this "sick" day, by plopping "sick" child and his sister (who actually has had a cough for a few days) on the couch. I did not proceed to make them comfy with their favorite blankets and I did not turn on Curious George because when you are "sick", cartoons is not the best medicine. I did not then tell my adorable children that I was going back to bed for a while because I was not tired at all. I did not consider at all forgetting about my domestic responsibilities because that would just be taking advantage of this "sick" day and that's something I just don't do. Taking advantage of a situation, that is. Never. While I was laying down, I did not hear Ben and Ali upstairs in their room jumping on the beds and I did not yell at them to knock it off and go back downstairs and be quiet because Mommy thinks she is getting "sick" and needs to rest. No, I would not do that. I did not hear my children running down the hall downstairs and then I did not hear lots of laughter and lots of splashing water. I also did not get a little upset to discover them in the bathroom, trying to quickly wash off permanent marker and glitter glue, which they had painted all over themselves. I did not tell Ben that he isn't really sick and the next time he claims to be "sick," he is definitely going to school. And I didn't respond with a big fat YES when he asked "even if I really am sick?" It was not at that moment that I did not have the realization that I had been essentially duped by my 7 year old.....again. I did not vow that I will never fall for his "my belly hurts" routine ever again because I am not onto him.
Until the next time he gets "sick." I will probably not let him stay home from school......

Sunday, October 18, 2009

To Nancy

My sister Jennifer's mother-in-law, Nancy, passed away this morning. It was rather sudden, as she went to the hospital this past Tuesday and didn't even think she needed to be there, only to pass away 5 days later.

Nancy was 76 years old and was preceded in death by her husband nearly 17 years ago, two infant children, two adult daughters and one adult son who just passed away in February, 2009.

Nancy was a sweet, easy going lady and will be dearly missed by her five remaining children and her many grandchildren. My thoughts and prayers are with my brother-in-law Tom and his entire family. May your tears of today be replaced with a smile when you look back on all of the special memories with your Mom.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

To My Better Half

Happy Sweetest Day, Honey!!!

Here's to another 22 more Sweetest Days together!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Remembering Our Angel

October 15th is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It is a day to remember all babies who were lost to a miscarriage, stillbirth or other complications after birth, that result in a neonatal death.

April 2, 2008 was a life-changing day for my family and me. It was the day that we learned that our third baby, who we were so excited to welcome into our family, would not be joining our family after all. In the beginning of my 11th week of pregnancy, we lost our little one. My due date was October 30th, so if things had gone as we had hoped, we would be celebrating our baby's first birthday this month.

Although it was a devastating loss, and one in which the emotions that accompanied it can not be explained, time has made it easier to remember. Instead of being distraught when I think of my baby, as I was most of last year, it now makes me a little sad wondering what could have been. I don't think that wondering will ever disappear and, in a way, I am very grateful for that - because that "wondering" also makes me smile.....thinking of our one year old beginning to walk, opening presents and digging into birthday cake!

But most of all, I feel blessed. Blessed for the time I had with our baby, although short. Blessed that God was there to help me survive. Blessed that I have a wonderful husband, two other beautiful children, supportive parents and an awesome sister, who didn't even tell me she was pregnant when I miscarried because she thought it was more important to keep from hurting me than to share her joyous news.

And, finally, I am blessed because I will forever have a guardian angel.

Mommy loves you sweetheart.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Things Kids Say

Ben and I got to talking about milk today, for some odd reason, and it's not like it's all that interesting of a subject.

Unless you are a dairy farmer. Which I am not.

Anyhoo, Ben doesn't like milk, he's really never been a big milk drinker like Ali. I told him that I love milk but I can't drink it because I am allergic to it.

He then asked if I was black toast intolerant.

What the? toast intolerant.

Yes. Yes, honey, I am "black toast intolerant." I do not tolerate toast that is burnt. Unless it is covered with a half of pound of butter and a ton of grape jelly. Oh, and with a side of bacon. Then I can tolerate black toast just fine thankyouverymuch!

I love my guy Ben. He makes me laugh.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Things I Did Not Do Today

Today I did not eat left over chili for breakfast because, seriously, who does that? Not me.

Today I did not watch Oprah, so I have no idea that Mike Tyson actually has a sensitive side.

Today I did not spend three hours reading my favorite blogs, so my eyes are perfectly rested and I did not strain them in the least by staring at my bright computer screen all morning.

Today I did not snuggle up with Ali and her favorite stuffed animals and take a two hour nap.

Today I did not spent $126 at K-Mart, which did not include purchasing cat litter, socks for Ali, a Spongebob t-shirt for Ben and miscellaneous Halloween costumes for an upcoming Halloween party which we are not invited to.

Today I did not play the memory card game with my 5 year old daughter and she definitely did not beat me...twice.

Today I did not forget that Ben's class was having a party for his teacher's 40th birthday, so I did not stay in all afternoon napping while the other moms were volunteering at the party.

Today I did not rush to the store, with only 10 minutes to spare before the store closed, to pick up roast beef sandwiches for tonight's supper.

Today I did not get pulled over by the police rushing to pick up roast beef sandwiches and I most certainly was not issued a $75 speeding ticket because I was driving 45 m.p.h., when the speed limit was only 35 m.p.h.

Today I did not tell the young, good looking man in uniform that "I was just following everyone else ahead of me...." And he did not say "Ma'am, you were going you want to see the video?" I did not reply "No, thank you. I believe you." I also did not mumble under my breath, did you have to call me ma'am?

Today I did not watch the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making the Squad and it did not make me want to go on a diet.

Today I did not eat a gigantic bowl of cereal after watching the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making the Squad because that would just be weird.....chili for breakfast and cereal for a bedtime snack?

And, finally, today I did not tell a bunch of lies to my blog peeps.

Nope. Never happened. :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

You Might Be A Stay At Home Mom If..... start counting down the hours to the kids' bedtime, and it's only 10:30 a.m. find yourself singing "clean up, clean up, everybody do their share" while vacuuming, even when there's no one else around. shave you legs before going grocery shopping because an hour at the store is your "night out on the town." get excited when a telemarketer calls because you are desperate for adult conversation, so you keep her on the line for a half hour but when she finally insists (for the hundredth time) that she MUST get back to work, before she hangs up, you beg her to "call me tomorrow, my new BFF!" can recite every word to every episode of Caillou. can totally relate to Caillou's mom because she wears the same outfit everyday and, sadly, so do you sometimes. hide in your bedroom closet when playing hide & seek with the kids and when they can't find you and they shout "come out, come out, where ever you are," instead of coming out, you stay in there for 45 minutes because you see this as an opportunity for a little "me time." can't eat your sandwich at lunch unless the crust is cut off and it's cut into four little triangles. have a blog. invite other stay at home moms on the block to your house for a wild and crazy afternoon of board games and then spend the whole evening telling your husband how lucky he is to be married to the new "Candyland" champ. refer to yourself as a domestic engineer. consider the DVD player man's greatest invention and can't imagine how moms before the 1990's ever survived motherhood without one and lived to tell about it. tell your husband that the only thing you want for your birthday is for him to take the kids somewhere, anywhere, for the day so you can have some peace and quiet but then you call him a half hour after he leaves and beg him to come home because the silence is deafening. put on your fancy sweat pants to run errands. intentionally flush a bucket of Legos down the toilet, just so the plumber has to come over and when he arrives at your house, you greet him with a cup of coffee and say "Soooo, how are you?? What have you been up to lately? So, how's the whole plumbing thing going for you? Sit, tell me ALL about it!" refuse to clean the little hand prints that adorn your living room windows because you see them as "artwork." consider the highlight of your day a heated game of "Go Fish" with your 5 year old. think they should make the first day of school a national holiday, complete with a ticker tape parade honoring those moms who survived summer vacation. can't call in sick to work because you are already there.

And, above anything else, you can be CERTAIN you are a SAHM FINALLY get out of the house by yourself for a little while and all you can think about is quickly getting back home because you miss your children.

Do you have any "you might be a SAHM if...." that you would like to share?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Take A Walk With Me Down Memory Lane

I am traveling down Memory Lane to April of 2008 for Ali's birthday. It was a Saturday and Ray had to work that day. So, I took the kids to the movies. If memory serves me (which many times it doesn't, even if it was only 18 months ago!) this was the first time I took both of the kids to the movies by myself. I think the movie was College Road Trip starring Raven Simone. It was the only movie playing that was mostly kid-friendly and it was a Disney movie, too.

Just a few weeks before, we lost our baby in the 11th week of my pregnancy. I was still grieving at the time and probably didn't feel much like doing birthday stuff but I needed to push forward for Ali's special day. Even in the midst of pain and loss, God reminds us that we can find joy and that there is always something to smile about.

Like my little girl's 4th birthday.

Waiting for the movie to begin. Ben looks less than thrilled that I brought my camera. Ali is holding her baby in one hand, while clutching her package of Starbursts with her other hand.

Ben can't wait for the movie to begin before diving into his popcorn, while Ali at least tries to keep up her smile all the while continuing to clutch her beloved package of Starbursts
(oh and her baby, too!)

Ben has apparently had enough of the whole picture taking thing
but Ali has never met a camera that she didn't like.

Later that night at dinner, the waitress at the restaurant brought her a
chocolate birthday cake and everyone in the restaurant sang Happy Birthday to her.
Notice the green icing on her face!

Wearing her birthday hat from Toys R Us.

While I was making her cake, Ali received a call to wish her a happy birthday.
I let her lick the spoon, as evidenced by the cake batter around her mouth!

Well, I hope you enjoyed sharing my walk down memory lane, even if it was only back to last year! Thanks, Erica at Scottsville, for setting this up! This is a great idea and so much fun!

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Pajama Daughter

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Food For Thought

My family likes to eat every day. They are needy like that. So, yesterday I went grocery shopping for food for the week. I'm thoughtful like that.

It's a relationship that works for us.

I usually do my grocery shopping on Mondays. It's one of my least favorite things to do, so I prefer to get it over with early in the week. It's kind of like removing a band-aid, I like to do it quickly and be done with it!

I made my list of items needed for the week, which may or may not have included a box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts. My intention was to get the shopping done before I picked Ben up from school at 3:15. Because shopping with one child is enough to make me lose it, let alone trying to get it done with two children in tow begging me for Pringles potato chips and Little Debbie's Nutty Butty bars.

Not that I ever buy Pringles or Little Debbie's.

Not for the kids, anyway.

However, I was extra tired yesterday afternoon, what with all the blog visits I made earlier in the day, so I tried to squeeze in a short nap before the dreaded event. I think I'm fighting a sinus infection and really wanted to rest before heading out. When I got up, it was 2:35.

Now, any rational thinking person might say to themselves "I don't have enough time to drive to the store (which is 10 minutes away), do a week's worth of shopping, check out, put the groceries in the car and then drive to Ben's school all in less than 45 minutes." But for someone who would rather have her wisdom teeth pulled out without the luxury of novocaine than do the weekly grocery shopping accompanied by her two children, rational thinking tends to take a back seat to crazy thinking.

Thoughts like "40 minutes? Psst! I'll do it in 30 and have 10 minutes to spare. Plenty of time to arrive to Ben's school early to welcome him with open arms as he emerges from the building, showering him with kisses and inquiries about his day at school and walk him lovingly to the car.

I'm a "the glass is half full" kind of girl.

What I didn't anticipate is that Walt's, my favorite eager-to-serve-you with a smile grocery store, was anything but eager to serve me.

There is a sign hanging above the courtesy counter at Walt's that reads: WALTS - We Always Love To Serve. Unless you are an idiot who only allows 15 minutes to do something that realistically could take 30-45 minutes to do. Which, apparently, I am. In that case, they don't so much as love to serve you, as much as they love to torture you.

So, all of the employees decided it was their civic duty to teach me a lesson about time management. Starting with the lady at the deli counter, who I swear, was giving me the evil eye the minute I walked in the store. I waited for a few minutes for my turn but she was slicing ham so painfully slow, that I decided to run and get a few other items that were near by and then come back to the deli. The only problem with that decision is that, when I came back, the line was even longer than the first time I was there.

I decided to ditch the deli because I'm sure Ray won't mind peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch all week. I then headed to the meat department to grab me some ground beef for the chili that I plan on making this week. Are you impressed with culinary ambition? I know. I even surprised myself with that one.

But the meat man, as I like to affectionately call him, was not aware of the fact that I had plans of welcoming Ben into my loving arms in less than 20 minutes. And I still had to find no less than 17 items. My list seemed to be getting longer as the minutes grew shorter and it was very clear that meat man was not down with giving me my meat in a timely fashion.

Now that's something I never thought I would say.

No, meat man walks to the beat of a different drummer. He's got all the time in the world to calmly do his job, even whistling all the while. Unlike that of this hurried housewife. He even takes time to visit with Ali, asking her about school, telling her a joke and asking if there is time for him to get her a sticker. "Oh yes, there's always time for a sticker!" he laughs.

Is he on crack?

There is never time for a sticker.

But, I politely smile and nod but inside I am screaming "Give me my meat!"

After I finally got my ground beef, I ran through the store like a lunatic searching for my remaining items. Ali is pushing the cart, while I ran ahead of her grabbing stuff of the shelves and recklessly throwing them over my shoulder into the cart. I'm pretty sure that people were looking at me with sympathy, knowing that I am domestically challenged. That, or they thought that I must have broke into my box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts and I was high on sugar.

After getting all of the items on my list, we headed to the checkout lanes and managed to get there without knocking over any elderly people or small children in the process. But when we arrived to the checkout lanes, I gasped. Never before has Walt's ever seen this many people at one time. Not since New Year's Eve of '99, when everyone thought the world was about to end and wanted to stock up on bread and milk. And Entenmann's chocolate donuts.

I scoped out the situation for the shortest lane and dashed to get in line. Big mistake. Huge. (Did you notice I was channeling my inner Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman? Remember? When she goes shopping on Rodeo Drive and the sales clerk won't give her the time of day, what with her being a hooker and all, but then she goes back and they realize she does indeed have money to spend.....oh, never mind.)

The cashier in my lane is either new and this is her first day on the job or, like meat man, likes her job just a little too much because she is not efficient in the way that I need my grocery store cashier to be.

Slowly, with just minutes before I need to be at Ben's school, I have advanced to second in line. But then the unthinkable happens. The lady in front of me pulls out a fist full of coupons and, at that moment, I know I have been defeated. New cashier lady is never going to enter those coupon codes in the speed in which I need her to.

So, I did what any self-respecting person would do in this situation.

I abandoned my cart in the corner of the store by the courtesy counter and ran out of there as fast as a 5 years old's little feet would allow me and drove to Ben's school. It was not the glorious reunion I had envisioned but the good news is that I got there at EXACTLY 3:15.

Can I time stuff out perfectly or what?

This story does have a happy ending. I went back to Walt's after getting Ben and my cart was still in the same place where I had left it, with all of it's contents undisturbed.

Except for the box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts. Word on the street is that some crazy woman ripped it open in a fit of frenzy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Slow Start

My plan today was to begin my transformation into a domestic diva. Or at least to try to find my super hero Mom cape under the huge pile of laundry calling my name. Come to think of it, I don't think I own a super hero Mom cape.

Maybe that's why I stink at all things domestic.

No. It's because I lack direction. And a plan. Remember? Please stay focused. I obviously can't, so you will have to, ok?

So, because of the whole lacking direction and a plan thing, I didn't chart my chores for the week or tackle some serious messy closet issues. No, I spent 3 hours this morning visiting my favorite blogs. Sigh.

Please don't judge me.

I know. I know. Yesterday, I was all "I'm going to be a domestic diva! I'm going to be a domestic diva!" I was all prepared to bring it and get all up in my house's dirty grill. Really, I was. But then I woke up and I was tired. And it's Monday. And a few minutes on the computer couldn't hurt, I thought. The only problem with that last excuse, is that my brain doesn't understand "just a few minutes." It's like eating just one M & M. It's just not going to happen.

My only defense is that old habits die hard and it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

And I couldn't find my super hero Mom cape. Of which I do not own.

On the upside, I did stumble upon a great blog that, not only makes me laugh out loud but also offers great domestic-y kind of advice. If you are in need of some domestic inspiration, head over to Mom's the Word . Her post today is so true and exactly what I needed to hear. Whew! There is so much to learn. But to my defense, I have only been a SAHM for 7 1/2 years. I really shouldn't be good at all this stuff yet.

Should I?

Finally, so that you don't think I'm a total domestic loser, I did accomplish one of my very important duties today. I went grocery shopping. Ooohhh!! Aaahh!! I will post about that memorable experience tomorrow.

I promise.

Unless I forget.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Domestically Challenged? Welcome to My World.....

Today was a "do nothing" kind of day.

I have been having a lot of those lately.

I don't know why that is. It actually could be because of any number of reasons. Including, but not limited to, the following:

A) I don't actually like doing things (if those things involve cleaning, scrubbing, organizing, grocery shopping, cooking and all things domestic.)

B) I am old and tired. 40 is not the new 30, no matter what they say.

C) I am allergic to dust. And cooking. Strange but true.

I know what you are thinking. These are all very valid reasons for not cleaning and cooking. I hear you, I do. However, I don't think any of them are the real reason why I am so domestically challenged. I think if I were to dig a little deeper, I would discover why I will never appear on the cover of Martha Stewart's magazine.

Does Martha Stewart even have a magazine? That's how "out of the loop" I am when it comes to this kind of stuff.

After reading blog after blog of other super hero Moms who are able to keep their household running on an even keel, I finally figured out what my problem is.

I lack direction. And a plan.

How do you like them apples? Pretty profound, huh?

In all honesty, I really do want a clean, organized home. I really do want to be a better cook and make delicious and healthy meals for my family. I really do desire to sew all of our clothes, make soap and churn butter.

My life motto is "Go Big or Go Home."

Seriously, I would love to be a better homemaker. Is "homemaker" politically correct? Or are we now called Domestic Divas? Again, out of the loop. Anyway, what I have found is that other moms who have it all together, seem to have some type of method to their madness. I am learning so much about domestic issues that I never knew I wanted to know.

Surprisingly, I am all excited about it.

Originally when I discovered the blog world, I really enjoyed reading humorous stories of women keeping it real for the readers. Stories of moms pulling their hair out and drowning their stress in a double mocha cappacino latte something or other. Those stories made me feel like I wasn't alone in this crazy ride we call motherhood. They still do.

Then I started to notice that many of these same hair-pulling, caffeine-drinking mamas were also getting stuff done. And they were pretty good at it, too.

Because they have direction. And a plan.

Whether it's following daily chore charts, preparing a months worth of meals and then freezing them or organizing the entire house in handy storage containers, there is a secret to their success. All have incorporated ways of doing things that have helped them to be more organized and efficient, thus succeeding at getting things done.

Did I just use the word "thus?"

So, I think when it really comes down to it, it's just a matter of learning the tricks of the trade. It's not rocket science or a "domestic gene" that I wasn't born with. It's just a matter of incorporating some of these clever little household tips, little by little and week by week, and maybe I just might start making some progress. I will continue to scour (scour, get it? oh, never mind) my favorite blogs for helpful hints and domestic advice. There are so many awesome domestic divas out there to teach me the ropes. So, if you have any smart little tips you would like to pass on, please don't hesitate to share! I'm very excited to begin the process and report on any transformation that ensues.

OK. Seriously, did I use the word "ensues" properly? You never know with me.

So, here's to starting over and turning over a new leaf. Tomorrow is a new day!

Because now I have direction. And a plan.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I Can Do This, I Think

When I first started my blog back in June, I had every intention to post every day. If you're going to dream, dream big right? Well, 3 1/2 months later, I only have 13 posts to show for myself.

Mediocre at best.

I do love reading other people's blogs. There are just so many great ones! I could literally spend ALL DAY reading the touching stories and humorous antics on other people's blogs. Not that I have ever done that. All day? No. Never. Not me.

Really. Think about it. How would I be able to read blogs during my daily 3 hour nap?

Priorities people. Priorities.

Anyway, today's a new day and I am overcome with renewed ambition. God willing, from here on out, I am committed to posting every day. And by every day, I mean those days that my brain decides to cooperate with my computer keyboard. To be honest, my brain cooperating in any capacity is really hit or miss most days.

Keep me in your prayers. I'm gonna need it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Best Mommy In The World?

First, I want to give a big shout-out to the awesome ladies that left comments on my blog in the past 24 hours. Thanks so much for taking the time to come visit me! You made my day!! I'm feeling the love!

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I had a doctor's appointment today at 11:30. So, I promised Ali that afterwards (if she was a good girl in the waiting room), I would take her to McDonald's for lunch where she could also play in the indoor playland. I usually don't take the time to eat at McDonald's, so the kids don't get the chance to do the playland thing very often. I'm usually all "let's just take it home and have a picnic on the floor like Caillou's family would do!" Not that Caillou's family would actually eat McDonald's. But if they did, you know the mom and dad would totally have a picnic and make a learning experience out of it, all the while Caillou finding something to whine about.

And by the way, why is a 4 year old bald? I mean, Rosie has a head full of red hair and she is only 2 years old. What's up with that?

Anyway, I usually like to eat at home because then I can multi-task while I'm having lunch and by multi-task, I mean vegging out on the couch watching a thought provoking movie on the Lifetime channel starring the ever talented Tori Spelling, while balancing a double cheeseburger and a super-sized order of french fries on my lap.

Now that is talent, my friends.

But today I was feeling like "nice Mommy," so we skipped the drive-thru and headed inside. The only problem with this "best mommy in the world" moment is that the the playland was closed for repairs.

OK. Did NOT see that coming.

So, I had to think quick for an idea that Ali would think was equally as fun as jumping into a pit of germ infested plastic balls.

And if you think I do quick thinking, it's as if you don't know me at all. I am a planner and any deviation from the plan usually throws me into a tizzy.

I don't really think "tizzy" is a word but I like the way it sounds so I'm gonna go with it.

So, during our healthy lunch, which included the likes of one ginormous root beer for added "thinking" power, I had to do some some heavy soul searching and decide if I could actually bounce back from McDonald's so rudely deciding to do "repairs" to the indoor playground and jeopardizing my "Best Mommy In the World" title. I mean, who do they think they are? I am trying to earn some major Mommy points by actually eating inside McDonald's, instead of taking it home and eating in the comfort of my pajamas and they're all like "we're McDonald's and we can close our gross indoor playground for repairs whenever we want."

Repairs. Yeah, right. My hunch is that some kid went down the slide after eating one too many McNuggets and then ralphed all over the place and nobody wanted to clean up the smelly mess.

Would you?

Anyway, I finally came up with another idea that I hoped a 5 year old would find equally as stimulating as the indoor playland and one that would require minimal effort on my part. So, I carefully presented Ali with plan B.

"Honey, since the indoor playground is closed and I know how disappointed you must be, we could go to Dollar Tree and I'll you pick out a few things." She replied "OK. 'Cuz I didn't really want to go in the playland anyway. I just like sitting on these seats that twirl around and watching Barney on the McDonald's fancy big screen tv, even though I don't really like Barney but this is fun!"


Note to self: stick to the original plan and if original plan fails, don't device a plan B because 5 year old daughter is happy to just twirl around and watch purple dinosaurs on tv.

When we got home, Ali hugged me and thanked me for the cool stuff I bought for her at Dollar Tree. She said she is so happy that I am her Mommy. I told her that I was so proud of her for being so good at the doctor's office and that I was the lucky one because God gave me the most special little girl ever.

Talk about a warm and fuzzy moment. You can't put a price on that.

Not unless that price is $5 for a princess paint set, a package of butterfly stickers, a jumbo coloring book, a purple wig and a box of Swedish Fish.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Now What?

Now that I have finished my 100 things about me list, I have discovered that I may not have anything else to write about. I am drawing a blank big time. It was fairly easy coming up with 100 useless and random things about myself but now I am searching my foggy brain for something interesting to write about.

Nope. Nothing. Nada.

I gotta tell ya, this blogging thing isn't getting any easier. How do people find something interesting to post about EVERY DAY?

Is my life that boring? Am I not creative enough? Am I too tired for my brain to put coherent sentences together?

I think it might be all of the above. Especially the one about being too tired.

Speaking of being tired, have any of you (and by any of you, I mean my 1 reader - God bless her heart) watched the new tv comedy Cougar Town? Did you like that segway? I know. I just pulled it out of thin air. I guess I'm getting the hang of blogging after all.

Anyway, Cougar Town is about a divorced forty-something woman named Jules (played hilariously by Courtney Cox), who is trying to "re-capture" her 20's, which she feels she missed out on because she was raising her son during those crucial "partying" years. The trouble is, she's too pooped to party.

I can totally relate.

Except the part about being divorced.

And the part about having a baby in my 20's.

Oh, and the part about missing out on partying. I didn't so much as "miss out" as much as choosing "not to participate."

I am, however, in my 40's and I am also too pooped to party. So, I totally get her!

The difference between Jules and I is that I was happy spending my 20's with my boyfriend-turned-fiance-turned-husband doing absolutely no club hopping and what-not. My wild and crazy days weren't so wild and crazy. When it came to living on the edge, staying up past midnight on December 31st to watch Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve is about as wild and crazy as we ever got. Pathetic, I know.

Some things never change.

Don't get me wrong. We can shake things up a bit. Now on New Year's Eve, we throw confetti at midnight, made out of newspaper that we spent the whole day cutting into little pieces, that I will still be vacuuming up come 4th of July.

Do we know how to party or what?

My husband and I have never been big social-drinking-party-going kind of people. Except for the occasional wedding cocktail, I don't drink. I never had any interest. So even though I could have partied it up in my 20's, especially since we didn't have children at the time, I chose not to. It wasn't a conscious choice really. I guess I'm just more of a homebody. That's how I roll.

There are plenty of other things I did in my 20's that I can look back on and smile about. Memories that I can actually remember because I was sober. Like Ray and I taking a 45 minute walk to the 7-11 every Saturday night after dark to buy a candy bar, chatting and holding hands the whole way there and back. Like renting the movie Trains, Planes and Automobiles and laughing so hard when John Candy is driving the wrong way on the express way. To this day, that movie has remained our all time favorite comedy movie for both of us. Like drinking bottles of pop all night and returning the glass bottles for a refund. Like taking weekend trips to Galena just because. Like adopting our four kitties (2 from the Humane Society and 2 strays) proving that love knows no bounds. Like ordering hot dogs and a big basket of hot french fries from Wally's. Like buying a water ski boat and spending lazy, summer afternoons at the lake. Like never missing an episode of Friends or The Wonder Years.

I think it's because I am not too hard to please (although Ray might disagree on occasion, just maybe) that little things like candy bars from a convenience store and watching a favorite tv show make me happy. I don't need fancy clothes or expensive jewelry or a vacation to Australia (ok, that last one I might need) to feel content.

When it comes down to it, whether I am 21, 31 or 41, my needs haven't changed much. I am a simple girl, who doesn't need or want for much. I have a roof over my head, food on the table, two precious children gifted to me and the love and devotion of the most wonderful man. What more could I want or need?

Just give me a bottle of pop, a big basket of Wally fries and a rerun of Friends (preferrably the one where Ross wears leather pants on a date for the first time but then he starts sweating so bad from the pants that he has to secretely call Joey from his date's bathroom for help and Joey tells him to use baby powder so Ross does but it becomes a sweaty, powdery mess and Ross cries to Joey "it's not working man!") and I'm good to go.

Seriously. It doesn't take much to make me happy.