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Stuttering Shell: February 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Quickie

After 2.5 hours of sleep, one sick child, a hasty packing job, one speeding ticket, a nearly botched check-in and a TSA search of my carry-on I can finally say that I made it to Atlanta safely.

There's an Egg McMuffin in my belly and Adam just downed two sausage buiscuts...and now we wait. One more hour to go and we will be on a plane bound for Cancun, Mexico. We will only be there for the weekend, but it is a much needed trip that Adam and I have both been looking forward to.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Got coffee?

OK all of you coffee-aholics out there, you know you cannot pass up the opportunity to...


WIN A KEURIG!
(you know you want one!)

Want to know how? It's really simple:
  • First, head on over to MomLogic and join the MomLogic Coffee Club group (it costs absolutely nada to join MomLogic...free, free, free!)

  • Next, check out the Coffee Club's featured blog post for Thursday 2/26, Somebody Call The Plumber!, written by yours truly and show me the love...you know, leave me a comment

  • Then, show me even more love by leaving a comment on my profile page at MomLogic(remember to use the same name on my blog & on my profile page at MomLogic...that way they can keep the entries straight!)

Could it be any easier than that? No! So, whaddya say? Read my blog entry, comment me on my blog & show me some love over at MomLogic and get entered to win quite possibly the coolest coffee maker ever?! Yeah...you gotta do it!

And, definitely consider hanging around MomLogic, too, to mingle and get to know the other moms (and dads, too) that hang out there. You won't be disappointed!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

The house that Method cleans

Nathan over at Method Lust is having a contest and I entered it.


Here are the pics I entered for the contest...enjoy!



Check out Method products...they rock!

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To WHO This Concerns:

I am writing this letter to let you know that our relationship has come to an end. In fact, our relationship has been over with ever since you made it perfectly clear that my family and I do not matter to you anymore. You've said time and time again that I am no longer a part of your life, so why are you still trying to be a part of mine?

While I am flattered that you follow my every move (thanks to my blog), I truly think that it is in both of our best interests that you put an end to your little infatuation with me and all things concerning me. I am sad to see you go, but at least I know that I have provided you with some sort of amusement. After all, if my blog really wasn't that interesting I don’t think you would have continually come back for more.


On another note, it's been a pleasure knowing that you’ve been such a big fan of my blog and I'm sure you've told all of your friends and co-workers about it. But, I find it quite “stalker-like” of you to follow me to various websites just because you read about them on my blog. I am not sure what you were trying to gain by taking such a keen interest in my daily adventures, but I can assure you that following me has done nothing but prove that you just simply cannot let go.

I realize that I may not have been a complete angel when it came to our relationship -- especially here lately. Just like you, I don't feel you are owed an apology. You're not worth the apology. Please realize that I speak the truth. I am an honest person and, just like they say, the truth hurts. It’s a shame that you cannot stand me playing your own game. How does it feel to be on the receiving end? It’s not so nice, is it? So, perhaps you've learned a lesson and the next time you feel like back-stabbing a friend you might be more inclined to think before you speak. Just once you should take a step back and stop thinking about your own personal issues and realize just how many other people you’ve affected by your lies and stories. It’s amazing that you still have any friends after all was said and done. But, I’m sure you believe (just as I do) that those who honestly know you will stand beside you.

You were once someone I considered a friend. You were once a family member. I looked up to you and respected you. However, in the last year and a half I have seen you for who you really are. You’ve called me despicable. You’ve accused me of being an unfit mother. You made many false accusations about myself and my family and I can tell you right now your allegations have gotten you NOWHERE and will continue to get you NOWHERE. You set out to destroy my name and my reputation. It’s too bad that your tactics aren’t working. People who truly know me for me and understand me fully believe that I am not the monster you've said I am. Remember back in elementary school when kids would tease other kids out on the playground and someone would say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” Those are words to live by.

It breaks my heart to know that even this letter will set you off once again. And, in true scorned woman fashion, my family & I will once again be subjected to another bout of your bitter retaliation. Go ahead and print this blog entry out and keep it with the others. All you have is a stack of papers that you will try and use as a way to prove just how awful I am when in reality it's just a big pile of me exercising the freedom of speech. But, go ahead and keep those papers because it will serve as a nice memoir of what was once our relationship. ..who knows, maybe if you get a nice binder it would make for a nice coffee table book (or something to take to the bathroom to read while going poo).

It’s a shame we had to end our relationship this way. While I may be hurt by your actions, my sadness is only temporary and I take comfort in knowing that karma is a bitch; therefore, I really do wish you nothing but the best in life.

Hugs & Kisses,
Me

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Nn is for...

My son's imagination & creativity amaze me all the time. It's no secret that both of my children are geniuses, but this is brilliant:

They were studying the letter "N" and, to Aidan, "N" stood for necklace, napkin, Noggin and no!

He drew Zee for Noggin and the big red circle with a line through it for no!

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Looks like we made it!

Seven years ago, I married my husband (after eight years of dating and one child it was finally time to get hitched!)...happy anniversary to us!

Sorry...it's a scanned image!


Us on Valentine's Day 2009

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What's wrong with this picture?

Aside from me having to blur out a telephone number and the big green reminder card from my OB/GYN for my yearly "well woman" visit...what is wrong with this picture??

I'll give you a hint. We're nearly at the end of the MONTH...and it was just last week when my seven year old daughter pointed out my mistake.

Psst...and if you likey my calenar then you need to get thee hindparts over to Em Tanner Designs right now!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oh, God

I'm sitting here at the computer checking email, updating my Facebook status and just wasting time when the doorbell rang this morning. Who could it be?

Were my Girl Scout cookies being delivered?? (I mean, I don't see anything wrong with having Samoas for breakfast.)

Was it Caitlin from across the street coming over to see if Malia could play? (She can't...we've got a couple errands to run this morning.)

Was it my neighbor coming to tell me that one of our cats was on his car again? (Betsy, our female cat, likes to sit on cars...especially when they are moving.)

Was it the mailman? (No, it's only 10am...it's too early for the mail.)

Were my parents dropping by for a surprise visit? (Nope, my mom wouldn't ring the doorbell like that and, besides, my parents have a set of keys to my house.)

Normally, the kids are all over the door when someone rings the doorbell or comes knocking. Any Joe Schmoe could come a-knocking and my kids would open the door and invite them in. Thank goodness for the "hotel lock" Adam installed at the tippy top of the door (if you don't have one of those and you've got kids who are too friendly for their own good then I suggest you head to Home Depot or Lowe's and get one).

DING-DONG!

I get up from the computer. I'm moving slow this morning just because it's Saturday and, yes, I'm still in my jammies. The kids are in the living room (still in their jammies, too, I might add) with a clear view of the front door and they are not moving. Neither one ran towards the door. After I didn't get an answer as to who was at the door, I go into the living room to find both kids just standing there. They were both pointing straight at the door. From the small window next to the door all I could see was a man in a dark suit and coat. He had on some dark sunglasses, too.

"Oh, geez," I thought to myself, "this is Virginia Beach...why is there a Tony Soprano-like man at my front door? What did Adam do now? We're not behind on anything...so why is someone at my door on a Saturday morning looking quite official??"

As soon as I opened the door I felt like an ass:

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

Our meeting was quite brief. They (yes, there were two of them...the little guy was out of view when I saw "Tony Soprano") didn't want to keep me long because I didn't have any shoes on. Oh, God...he noticed my feet?! Thank goodness my toenails were cut & polished! He gave me a pamphlet about "life in a peaceful NEW WORLD." The picture depicts a family on a hillside, picking apples, enjoying nature while in the background there are snow-capped mountain peaks, beautiful trees with golden leaves and small white cottages to live in. I just looked at the pamphlet again and noticed a family petting a lion and a girl and her mother feeding a bear. (I really need to CUT BACK on my caffeine intake).

Don't start picking me apart because I did not cut them short of their mission...not at my house at least. For starters, I opened the door. I smiled at them. I chit-chatted about how we probably NEED some of that peaceful new world in our lives right now given all the ridiculousness that is going on in the world today. I listened intently as they shared a bible verse with me (2 Peter 3:13) and then I kindly told them thank you for stopping by...and I closed the door. I don't have anything against Jehovah's Witnesses or any other religious group.

But, boy, do I feel bad for those two gentlemen......

The only thing they witnessed this morning when they stopped by my household was:
  • My bed head (my hair is SAD...you can still see the pillow dent...yeah, sad)
  • My breath (gross as it is...I hadn't brushed my teeth yet)
  • My frumpy clothes (a sweatshirt and lounge pants is a really HAWT ensemble)
  • My son in the background chowing down on a bag of M&Ms (How did I miss that? What the hell was he doing with that bag of candy at 10am? That boy.)
  • My messy home (there was a path of destruction behind me that clearly showed exactly where both of my children had been and what they had done so far this morning)
  • My laundry (piled up on the couch waiting to be folded)

Say a prayer for those two gentlemen...but, if they survived a (not so early) Saturday morning encounter with me and my brood at my house then I think they are going to be alright...and maybe they'll realize that I truly do live in my own version of a peaceful (yet chaotic and not so new) world.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Ack, again!

OK, so I'm really nervous. Flattered, but nervous. I have been asked by Jenny over at
MomLogic to be one of their featured bloggers over at the MomLogic Coffee Club.

Whoa.

Seriously, people...up until a week ago this blog was just another blog lost in the land of blogs. I wasn't doing it for recognition. I wasn't doing it for a few minutes of fame. I was just doing it because I felt I had to. This mind of mine was going to explode back in 2007 if I didn't start getting stuff out of it and that was really what started my blogging journey. I'm not a writer by any stretch of the imagination and I think that sometimes I write about some meaningless stuff. But, I suppose if I'm putting it all out there then I am a writer of some sort and I'm not as meaningless as I think I am.

Anyway...

To me, this is huge. Yes, I put my blog out there on a few networks -- mostly in hopes of increasing my blog traffic and "meeting" other blogging mommas out there. I'm not gonna lie -- the buttons & widgets are cool too. But, wow, to have someone actually recognize my blog and ask me to choose a post that I would like to share with a gazillion other mommies (and daddies...yes, there are some daddies over at MomLogic)....ack!

I'm not going to turn away this opportunity...no sir. I think the hardest part is just accepting that someone likes what I'm doing and I should be recognized for it. That's pretty damn cool. Oh, but the stress of choosing a blog entry! There are so many...and so many seem so lame to me! I know, I know...I'm probably being too modest and I'm just stressing myself out over nothing.

1-2-3...BREATHE

So...what have I go to lose? NOTHING! What do I have to gain? EVERYTHING! Wish me luck as I scour the "SS" for the perfect blog entry to share with my fellow mommas over at the coffee club.

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Ack!

I don't use spellcheck and I am a really bad speller and sometimes my grammar is, uh, poor. Cut me some slack, though, will ya? I mean, I only took the required number of English classes for my major while I was in college. What was my major? Geography. So there.

It really makes me chuckle when I look back over my posts and see all of my typos and just bad grammatical errors. I mean, I just had to redo a blog post title because I spelled plumber wrong. Oh, gee.

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H-A-P-P-Y

Adam and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary on Monday and my gift has been ordered! I'm so excited to receive it!

Red Hots II Necklace

You need, need, NEED to go check out Cydney at Savvy Girl & Company right now.

Don't wait...go now! Bookmark her site...add her button to your blog...put her on your blog roll. Just go. You won't be disappointed.

I'll take pics once I receive it in the mail. :)

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Monday, Monday

What I would like to know is WTF happened this morning?

I woke up late. We ALL woke up late. I'm rockin' the "no, I didn't wash my hair this morning" look. Ugh. I cannot stand NOT washing my hair.

The other half was running late this morning and had to move around cars because he decided to take the OTHER truck to work.

The kids -- ohhhh, don't even get me started on the kids. I swear I have never heard so much whining before. Well, maybe I have...but this morning was ridiculous! M did alright...she got dressed with minimal fussing, but A really tested my nerves. Tears were shed. There was pouting. There was even an incident involving a belt...no, I didn't lash my child, he just wanted me to put the belt on him...AND HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE PANTS ON!

The kids were dressed and ready to go with only minutes to spare before the bus came. Breakfast was in the form of two granola bars and I nearly had a breakdown when I saw that both children were attempting to walk out of the door in just hoodies. Um, the windchill alone is about 22 degrees, GO BACK AND PUT ON YOUR WARM WINTER COATS!

Thank goodness today is Friday.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Somebody call the plumber!

Let me preface this story by saying that potty training my son was an ordeal. We switched from regular diapers to cloth diapers around the time he was two in hopes that it might ease the transition and make potty training easier (and, aside from the $$$ start up fees, cloth diapering WAS indeed cheaper than buying disposables). He did well and peeing in the potty became a breeze; however, pooping in the potty was a different story. Let's just say that I had heard all the stories about children holding "it" in and how potty training can sort of "mess" with their feelings of control and security -- yeah, we had THOSE issues. Aidan was not about to poop in the potty...it was his poop after all and no one elses. ANYWAY, after battling for many, many months we finally leaped that hurdle...only to realize that he refused to learn and even try to wipe his own hiney. His reason (and I quote), "I don't want to get poop on my fingers." Gee...thanks...and you think I do? So, here we are, FINALLY at the stage where he wipes his own butt (thank goodness for flushable wipes!) although I still have to spray Shout on the skid marks that are in his Transformer "unnawears"...

Bedtime is at 8:30pm sharp in our house during the school week (Sunday through Thursday) and during the week WITHOUT FAIL either one of the kids is gonna have to go poop right before bedtime. It always happens. Tonight, it was Aidan's turn. OK, no big deal. Poop happens. He'll wipe his own butt and wash his hands when he's finished.

Adam and I were on the couch watching last night's "Top Chef" when Aidan came out of the bathroom to apologize to me for using too much toilet paper.

"Mommy...uh...I forgot and I used too much toilet paper."

"How much is too much?"

"Uh...a whole bunch. A big ball of it. I flooded the bathroom...but I wiped my own butt!"

"You did WHAT?"

"I wiped my own butt!"

"No, no...after you wiped your butt...what's wrong in the bathroom?"

I shot Adam a look.

By this time, Malia ran to the bathroom...I mean, come on, she's not going to pass up the chance to witness something that her brother has done whether it's right or wrong...siblings LIVE for this kind of stuff!

Adam finally gets up off the couch and I'm hot on his heels.

Sure enough, water is swirling dangerously close to the rim of the toilet bowl and there is a big ole wad of T.P. stuck in the toilet. A whole lot of T.P. So much T.P. that I was surprised there was even any left on the roll. Immediately, Aidan chimes, "Don't worry, I'll go get the plunger!"

Oh, geez...here we go, I thought.

After being side-tracked in the living room by a television commercial and a trip back to the bathroom to watch the water swirl in the toilet, he comes back to the bathroom with the plunger (pretty sad that our kids know where to find the plunger, huh...in MY bathroom...don't ask). Adam plunges the toilet a couple times to dislodge the big BALL of toilet paper, I wipe off the seat and Aidan proclaims, "See, it's all fixed now!"

*sigh*

KIDS.

I would so totally take skid marked "unnawears" over a clogged toilet any day (this just made me have flashbacks of the day at work when my daughter clogged the office toilet and there were little turds regurgitating out of the toilet.....but that's a different blog).

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Don't bring the knife!

Tonight after dinner, Malia wanted an orange for dessert. Aidan wanted to skip dessert (gasp!) and decided that he would rather play for a little bit on the Playstation 2 (the kid is addicted...much to my dismay). While Adam was cutting the orange for Malia, Aidan came into the kitchen in a big hurry...he wanted Adam to come watch him play the Spiderman game. Adam finished slicing the orange and, as Adam was wiping his hands off, Aidan says to his father:

Put the knife down, Dad...I'm afraid you might cut the cord to the Playstation.

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Help April's Momma!

The blog world is a wonderful place. It truly is. It's amazing how tightly knit the blog community is...especially all the mommas out there...and how willing everyone is to help one another out.

That being said, perhaps you've noticed the graphic on my sidebar:



Have you? Awesome. April is the owner of April Showers, a blog design company, and she has a really fun blog and right now she's asking for everyone to help her mother out:

Uh. Oh. (A Plea For Help!!!!)

The goal is to help April's mom get a car...ssshhhh...it's a surprise! April's mom has unfortunately suffered from a few health problems and a car would really be beneficial for her to get to and from various appointments. So, go to April's site to donate or add the button to your own website or blog.

If you DO donate (as I have...hint, hint), then you will be put into a drawing for a PRIZE:

$700 Professional Photo Shoot

I know that times are supremely tight these days so even if you can't donate, your prayers and well wishes are still VERY much appreciated. Go on over to April's site and show your support!




You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~Mahatma Ghandi

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8-7-09

It gives me great pleasure to share my excitement with the world...

The picture is courtesy of MOI...8th row orchestra seats are N-I-C-E!

Dave & the boys (minus Roi..*sniffle*) are headed back to the amphitheater. I cannot contain my excitement...well, I can...squeals of delight just wouldn't be appropriate right now. I haven't missed a DMB show in years. Yes, years. At least not the yearly Virginia Beach show.

And, to add to the excitement, Donovan Frankenreiter is opening for Dave Matthews Band. I love Donovan...I haven't had the chance to see him live, but I do enjoy his music...very much. This is so exciting!

Now, the fun part.........getting my grubby paws on some tickets come March 13th. :)

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It's not Friday yet -

But let's just go over my week thus far (besides, I like making lists with bullets):
  • I worked on Monday -- the construction field does NOT go by Federal holidays (oh, how I miss my days working for the local government)
  • Monday was a snow make-up day for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Yes, a make-up day. A make-up day for the SNOWLESS snow day we had back on January 20th. How funny is it that on the snowless snow day make-up day there was actually snow on the ground?? Shocking.
  • On Monday (gawd, three bullets about Monday?!), I got a call from the school nurse about an hour after I got to work to come pick up my feverish daughter.
  • I guess I should backtrack to Sunday and remind you all that she threw up her dinner twice that night -- she's sworn off corned beef & cabbage f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
  • Tuesday I stayed home. I didn't want to stay home, but I had a sickly daughter and a "wannabe" sick son.
  • We watched Monday night's "Jon & Kate Plus 8" on Tuesday - afterwards, I talked to my daughter about greed.
  • After bravely venturing out to Wal-Mart with one sick kid and one "sick" kid, I came home and put dinner in the crock pot. What I thought was going to be fabulous turned out to be not so fabulous.
  • Wednesday...I'm back to work and the kids are back in school. Thank gawd!
  • Work was pretty uneventful and so was my evening -- I turned Tuesday's not so fabulous chicken into a pretty decent chicken, onion, sugar snap pea stir fry.
  • Too bad I just couldn't keep my eyes open to watch "Top Chef"...thank goodness for my DVR.

This list brings me to today:

  • I woke up this morning with a five year old boy stuck to my neck.
  • The hubby started the shower for me. Awww.
  • I battled a nosebleed -- Aidan said a "crunchy booger cut his nose open" and I really wish I would have taken a picture of him eating his Cocoa Puffs with a napkin shoved up his right nostril.
  • While driving to work, I noticed that I was on the road with some of Virginia Beach's finest drivers -- Hello, you are in a double left turn lane...why are you going to -- in mid-left turn -- turn on your blinker and change lanes? Oh, and why are you going to make a right turn when you are clearly NOT in the right lane? My car's poor brakes.
  • Now I'm at work...another day, another dollar.

Is it time for "Survivor" and "Grey's Anatomy" yet??

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why I do what I do

I've never been much of a writer. Never, ever. I have never been one to keep a diary or a journal -- although I do remember YEARS ago as a young child I threw a fit in a store because I wanted a "dairy." (Yes, I pronounced it dairy and not diary...I was probably 6 so cut me some slack.) Don't ask me what happened to it -- my parents did buy it for me...anything to ease the embarrassment of a screaming child in a store, I guess -- I'm pretty sure I never did use it for it's intended purposes.

But, I digress...

I have been blogging for the last couple of years -- off and on. I would say that in the last year my blogging has really taken off and I am finding that I am logging into my blog nearly every day. Apparently, I have a lot to swirling in my head that I just need to get out. My first foray into the world of blogging basically came about because a friend of mine said she had an online journal. I thought the idea of an online journal was pretty intriguing and suddenly found myself setting up a blog. After a few posts, I became hooked and it really became an outlet for me to bitch, moan, complain, praise, wonder, vent, recommend, brag, etc.

So, here are MY reasons as to why I do what I do:

  • Blogging is fun - plain & simple.
  • Blogging is not only a creative outlet for me, but it's also an emotional outlet - sometimes, it's better to type what I'm feeling rather than to say what I'm feeling because people don't always like to hear someone else bitching all of the time. :)
  • By blogging, I get to share things with people - friends, family or anyone else in the online community.
  • By blogging, I feel that I can relate to so many other moms out there and that they can relate to me.
  • My blog sometimes walks a fine line between sane and scandalous - yes, this blog has irritated a few people at times and, you know what, I'm proud of it. If you don't like what you're reading, go to another website.
  • Someone else said it, too, but I am my biggest fan - the instant gratification I get from just seeing my latest blog entry posted is enough to make me feel accomplished & put a smile on my face.
  • I enjoy reading other people's blogs and I hope they enjoy mine, too.
  • Blogging helps me pass the time.

I am sure that I could keep going on and on about why I blog, but why don't you share with everyone else why YOU blog?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sinu-what?

I just got over a sinus infection. In fact, I took my last antibiotic on February 8th. Obviously, the z-pack didn't do jack because here I am a little more than a week later and I feel something coming on. Could it be my sinuses again? Is it possible that the antibiotics didn't do their job. Possibly. Am I going to spend another $20 on a copay just to get a prescription for some $20 antibiotics again? Probably not.

After talking with my parents tonight, they suggested that I:
  1. Keep my cats out of the house -- um, this is not an option and, as far as I know, I am not allergic to cats.
  2. Use a warm compress on my face for 20 minutes three times a day -- again, probably not going to happen because I'm not THAT disciplined (besides, I'd look like a jackass at the office when I'm sitting at my desk with a washcloth over my face)
  3. Start using a neti pot -- a neti what?

The third suggestion intrigues me. My parents told me that they found some product at Costco today for sinus relief. SinusAid, SinusIde...I couldn't quite make it out and my father wasn't too sure about the exact name. My guess is this:

http://www.sinucleanse.com/index.htm

I figure it's worth a shot -- well, at least that is what my brief rundown of the website tells me. Of course, this warrants yet another trip to freakin' Wally World. Ugh. But, if it means my sinuses get bathed and pampered then I guess it would be worth it, right? I'm a bit skeeved out about intentionally pouring water in one nostril only to see it come out of the other one, but I guess I'll get over it, right?

Anyone out there have any experiences with neti pots or sinus cleansing? Anyone have any other ideas besides asking for yet another prescription (because I'm not good at remembering to take medication)?

I just want to be able to breathe again.

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Ridiculous

Since I'm home today with sick kids...well, one who is legitimately sick and one who is isn't really...I took the initiative to get the laundry caught up and get all of the folded clothes put away. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for those who know me or for those who are exactly like me, then you know that it's not the process of washing clothes that bothers me -- it's the act of folding the clean clothes and putting them away that I don't find entertaining.

So...

All washed clothes has been folded and put away except for my husband's pile because I r-e-f-u-s-e to do it. I feel that putting away his clean laundry is the least he can do. So far, he's got two piles of clean laundry in the bedroom and both are about 2.5' high. Yeah. It's sad.

Anyway...

Earlier this morning I cleaned out my daughter's dresser drawers. Currently, I have two bags full of clothing that I'm hoping to pass along to a friend tonight...I just hope his daughter (who is a year younger than mine) can fit into the clothes. Upon cleaning Malia's dresser drawers, I learned that she has enough clean underwear to last about two months. Yeah. That's a lot of panties. She is also set for the remainder of the winter and should not have any problems once we transition into spring & summer. The girl has clothes...tons of clothes! (I suppose that's my fault, but that's not the point of this blog entry...)

I haven't had the motivation (yet) to get into my son's dresser drawers. I know he's pretty well stocked as far as clothing is concerned. I just don't feel like going into his room to mess with the dresser -- there's only but so much laundry I can take in one day!

With that said, I do have a ginormous pile of boys clothing that I've been needing to list on eBay. I have found that I do better reselling his clothing than I do my daughter's clothing...probably because he's been growing faster than she has been lately...who knows. All I know is that I'm glad that the laundry is pretty much caught up for the moment and that all folded laundry has been put away (or sorta put away in my husband's case).

Now I just need to find the motivation to get dressed and venture out with the kids to the grocery store.......ugh.

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It's a home day, but not by choice -

I'm at home today.

I should be working.

I really should be working. However, even though I am afforded the luxury of bringing my children to work with me from time to time, well, let me just say that having kids under foot in the office is not fun whether they are sick or not. Malia stuck it out yesterday -- thank goodness for the sleeping bag, pillow & DVD player that I keep stashed in my office. However, I was fortunate enough to not have to deal with any vomitting spells at the office...she waited until we got home. *sigh*

So, here I am at 8:50am sitting at the computer wondering what the heck I'm going to do today because very rarely am I home during the week. I really don't like missing work (contrary to what some might believe). I suppose today is as good a day as any to just clean. Really clean. Put things away, dust things, fold things, vacuum things, mop things kind of clean.

Yuck.

Just the thought of all that cleaning is making ME feel sick. ;)

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Monday, February 16, 2009

The vomit monster has reared it's ugly head -

First of all, let me start off by saying that hearing your child puke up corned beef & cabbage at 10:30pm on a Sunday night is NOT a fun way to end the weekend...especially when that particular child actually enjoyed eating corned beef & cabbage and will probably never, ever touch the stuff again.

Second of all, I would like to say that the sight & scent was awful. Pure awful.

Third of all, the wretched stomach bug appears to have paid our family a visit and it is my hope that any more bodily expulsions are few and far between and are not inflicted upon anyone else in this household. I can handle one puking child, but having two at the same time isn't fun...been there, done that.

Where's my can of Lysol?

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Fingers & toes crossed...

...that the stupid Internet Explorer error stops showing up when I try to view my blog.


I just hope I didn't jinx myself.

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Desperately seeking summer...

I am over the cold weather.
I am over the colds.
I am over wearing a jacket & wool socks.
I am over the dry skin & runny noses.
I am over cranking up the heat.
I am over my gas bill.
I am over warming up my car.
I am over the howling winds.
I am over the wishy-washy weather forecasts.
I am over it being dark by the time I'm home from work.


I am ready for some warmth of a different kind.
I am ready for road trips to Hatteras.
I am ready for barbeques & horseshoes.
I am ready for humidity (I think).
I am ready for long, summer nights
I am ready for flip flops & pedicured toes.
I am ready for fireflies.
I am ready for sleeping with the windows open.
I am ready for tulips & daisies.
I am ready for seashells & sand.


I am desperately seeking summer.


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Snow Day! (Take 3)

There's snow on the ground today. Really. There is SNOW on the ground in Hampton Roads.

S-N-O-W

Of course, by the time I walked out of my house this morning to warm up the car, it was already melting and falling out of the pine trees. I was being pelted in the head by melting snow. Not fun.

But, anyway...

There's snow in southeastern Virginia and it's about damn time. Of course, it's nothing to warrant any closings in our area (which is a big surprise), but it's still exciting nonetheless considering this is the third time we've been told we would get some snow and, finally, the weather forecasters were right.

What I find to be most amusing is the fact that today is a school make-up day for my children. They are making up the snowless snow day from last month...and there's actually snow on the ground today. Go figure.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

The month so far and then some:

  • Bartending for a room full of men who hunt is always fun. Strong drinks = big tips.
  • Six 12-packs of beer for free = NICE!
  • It really IS flattering to be told that you have nice "hind parts" by a man you don't really know.
  • It's even nicer when the man who told you you have nice "hind parts" slips an extra $20 in the tip jar.
  • Driving alone - at night - through rural areas is quite nerve wracking.
  • Seeing family you don't see too often makes you miss them even more.
  • Fondue really is fun! But, you have to pace yourself or you'll never make it to the chocolate course.
  • Who knew that drinking three bottles of wine would get you a FREE fourth bottle?
  • Waking up at the crack of dawn on the weekend is just plain wrong.
  • The kids really, really, REALLY like strawberries & blueberries.
  • Surprises really aren't that bad...especially when they are in the form of a free vacation.
  • Being busy at work is a good thing -- and it makes the week go by fast.
  • Apparently this blog pisses some people off -- get over it.
  • Being petty isn't petty if it's being petty for the right petty reasons.
  • Thinking about formal dresses brings back flashbacks of prom in high school -- it's unnecessary stress.
  • Husbands really don't pay attention all that well...sometimes.
  • Rushing a tux when it doesn't need to be rushed - DOH!
  • Trips to Wal-Mart need to not be so frequent.
  • I love my "hippie bags."
  • It really sucks to cancel a planned vacation only to find out that the airfare is cheap. STUPID cheap.
  • My ends aren't split...they're just really dry (like everything else on my body).
  • Chicken Teriyaki three times in one week. Really? Yes.
  • Burning natural gas doesn't smell the same as leaking natural gas. So my sniffer is a bit off, sue me.
  • I'm good at rolling my eyes.
  • Spa appointments don't happen often enough.
  • Fights between friends often result in a better friendship.
  • My boss is cooler than yours -- she blogs. So there!
  • These dogs are barking -- that goodness for that above mentioned spa appointment.
  • Seven years of marital bliss...as soon as the 23rd rolls around.
  • The possibility of snowing on a snowless snow day make-up day makes me giggle.

It's hard to believe we're nearly halfway through with February. Where does the time go?

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Happy Valentine's Day (a day early)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frustrated!

I'm sick & tired of seeing that little window pop up that tells me that Internet Explorer cannot open the website for my blog so it's going to abort the operation. Argh!

I don't know if it's something wonky with IE...it wouldn't surprise me one bit if it was. Maybe it's just because it's only been one whole day since I purchased my domain name so things just aren't quite right yet. Or, perhaps it's just an easy to fix issue.

All I know is that it pisses me off that I can't see my blog...even when I click on "View Blog" while logged into Blogger! Ugh!

OK...I'm done bitching about it. I just had to get that out.

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I love my husband, but...

When I come through the front door with arm loads of groceries (IN plastic bags, too, because I forgot my "hippy bags" at home), please don't continue to sit on the couch and drink your beer because "the movie is almost over."

And, when I walk back outside to retrieve MORE groceries, don't continue to sit on the couch. I don't care if you were getting ready to get up, just get up and help. And, when you see that I've shut & locked the front door, please don't ask me if there are more groceries in the car.

And, while I'm running around putting groceries away, don't ask me what we're having for dinner when you knew perfectly well that you were asked to start on a couple sides while I was at the store. I mean, I brought home a rotisserie chicken, but I was expecting to come home to the smells of sauteed fingerling potatoes and maybe some kind of a veggie. *sigh*

And, when dinner is finished, and I ask you to either put away the leftovers or load the dishwasher, don't go back to sitting on the couch. I mean, come on, give me a hand! The same goes with the laundry -- if you see me folding clothes, help me out a little and get your fold on!

And, when it's time to get the children in bed, don't just sit on the couch -- you and I both know that we have to light a fire under our son's booty to get him to brush his teeth (apparently the importance of good oral hygeine is not important to our five year old...oh, dear).

And, when you know that I've called the gas company's emergency line at 9pm at night, please don't fall asleep while you & I wait for the gas man to show up. It's already awkward enough having a stranger come into the house at night -- I mean, there was laundry everywhere -- but to have the gas man walk into the house while you're snoring louder than a hibernating grizzly bear? Seriously.

But, if you really are intent on sleeping on the couch, then by all means -- do so. I love ya, but I sure as heck don't mind having the king size bed all to myself. :)

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thank you, gas man!

I forgot to ask his name. I wonder if he's still sitting outside the house in his VNG truck?

Anyway...

I called Virginia Natural Gas tonight...their emergency line. I've since realized that what I thought was a gas emergency wasn't such an emergency. But, I'm glad I called and I'm glad I have an answer to our little issue.

We have gas appliances - stove, furnace, water heater. Our stove & furnace are cool...both are relatively young, but our water heater is geriatric. The serial number (and most serial numbers start with the date of manufacture) starts with 98. Yes, our water heater was built in 1998. That doesn't necessarily mean it was installed in 1998, but it still means the damn thing is about 11 years old. I've asked around and the average life span of a water heater is about, oh, 10 years or so. Yeah, our little water heater is a trooper.

But...

I smelled gas. I swear I did. Adam did, too. He actually believed me for a change and didn't think I was nuts! Of course, to smell the gas you have to get riiiiiight on the water heater by the temperature valve. We've had a gas plumber look at the water heater twice -- both times we were told nothing was wrong because the gas pipes weren't leaking...that maybe we were just smelling residual gas that had built up as a result of having to shut off the gas line to the house (we had some work done to the gas line behind our stove during our kitchen reno). Anywho...I still didn't think something was quite right and my biggest fear was having my house:

a) Blow up with us in it
b) Blow up while we were all at work or school
c) Blow up just after I get the laundry all caught up (wouldn't that be a bitch...I know, I know, this is a serious matter and I shouldn't make jokes...people have lost their lives due to natural gas build ups...)

So, I called VNG and they sent a tech out and he arrived around 9:30pm. Bless his heart. If I could hug the man, I would. He checked things out with the little gas leak detector -- it buzzes, whistles and hums depending on the intensity of the leak -- and, sure enough, it went cuckoo around the temperature valve. He did the soap test and then did some snooping. He messed with the valve and then had me put my hand just underneath the valve. When he cut the temperature up, I felt heat. My water heater is leaking heat! Well, not exactly, but basically when the temperature is up and the water heater cuts on, the gas or whatever gets all cranked up and whatever is leaking around the valve is being burned up by the heat. The smell I am smelling is the burned off gas smell and you can see it on the water heater. It forms a very long, light tan triangle on the water heater.

This, friends, is a sign of old age.

The gas man said that everything is fine. It was nothing for him to warrant shutting off the water heater or making us shut off the gas line and evacuate the house -- thank gawd! He did advise that, yes, we'll need to replace the water heater soon (oh, boy), but overall things were ok. One thing he did mention to me was that since we transformed half of the garage into a separate laundry area that we cut off some of the air space for the water heater. Had the room been made smaller, then our problem would have been greater. So, as a temporary fix, I have the door from the laundry room to the garage open to help better ventilate the laundry room.

*whew*

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Oh, my freakin' head!

This up & down weather is NOT being nice to my sinuses and now I have a KILLER headache. I'm grumpy, too.

I just hope I can make it through tonight's new episode of "Top Chef."

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I'll take one vacation...hold the kids, please!

Adam and I go on vacation together every year. It's only one week out of the year, but it's OUR week. The week belongs to no one else. It's a time for the two of us to reconnect and rekindle our romance. We get to relax, enjoy each other's company and forget about the stress that comes with working, owning a home, being a parent, etc. We truly enjoy getting away -- just the two of us -- and we both feel that it does wonders for our relationship and our marriage.

Do I feel guilty for leaving the kids to take a week's vacation with my husband? No.

Should I feel guilty for leaving the kids to take a week's vacation with my husband? No.

I love my children, but I also love having that time for myself and the hubby. Trust me, if you work for your husband (as I do) you need all the reconnecting and rekindling you can get!

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Tick, tick, tick...

That's my biological clock ticking. Don't mind it. I've been trying not to.

Currently, I have more than one pregnant friend. It's exciting and bittersweet all at the same time. Exciting for them (and for me, too, because I love to live vicariously through my preggo friends) and bittersweet for me because we're not having anymore children. Don't get me wrong -- I have moments when I catch myself thinking, "Hmm...one more child WOULD be nice." BUT, I quickly snap out of it.

That being said, it's time for me to (once again) start thinking about birth control. Blech. Is it just me or does it always seem like birth control is the woman's issue? I mean, what the hell happened on that October day back in 2003 when Adam was given the "A-OK" by the urologist for a vasectomy?! (He left that building so fast you would have thought it was going to blow up.) Hmph! Needless to say, since he didn't go through with the snip and I was over being on the pill, I took matters into my own hand and settled for an IUC (intra-uterine contraceptive) and in July 2004, just a month after our son's first birthday, my friend - Mirena - was inserted into my baby-maker during a routine visit to my OB/GYN's office.
This July will be mine & the Mirena's 5th anniversary. Five wonderful years of birth control. Five wonderful years of not having to worry about taking a God foresaken pill every morning. Five wonderful years of not temping (not that I have anything against NFP or charting your cycle -- we went that route in order to get pregnant with Aidan). Nearly five PERIOD-FREE years! Yes, don't ask me for a tampon, people, I haven't purchased any Tampax in a long time.

But, five years is the max with Mirena. July 2009 means it's time to re-visit the idea of birth control and figure out what to do. Decisions...decisions...however, I'm not discouraged. I'm not going to push Adam (again) to visit the urologist. I sure as hell am not going to have my tubes tied. I think I'm just going to have this Mirena removed and have another put in it's place...ya know, just in case I really want to be this again one of these days:

Behold, my preggo belly (38 weeks pregnant with Aidan, 2003)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy birthday, Spencer!



In 2002, shortly after I moved back to the area, I met a girl who would turn out to be my best friend -- Angie. We "met" online at a "young moms" forum. We found out we both lived in Virginia Beach and that we actually worked up the street from one another. We agreed that we would get together and officially meet in person one day. That day happened just weeks after she lost her son, Spencer. His birthday is tomorrow, February 11th, and he would have been seven years old.


I truly feel that Spencer had a role in creating a bond in mine & Angie's friendship that has lasted over the years and despite living miles apart from one another. He is a guardian angel looking down on his family and his two brothers and I believe with my whole heart that he's looking out for my family as well (just months after we met, Angie and I found out that we were both pregnant with our sons, Jeston & Aidan). He's a special boy who was asked to live in eternal paradise with the Lord.

Tomorrow isn't going to be easy for Angie. February 11th has never been easy...it will never be easy. But, I know that her unwaivering faith in the Lord and the strength of her family will help pull her through.

Angie -- I love you.

Happy birthday sweet boy!

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Her only love sprung from her only hate...

We eat in front of the television from time to time (but that's a topic for a different time) and tonight we ate our tortellini while watching Animal Planet. Tonight's feature was "Romeo & Juliet: A Monkey's Tale."


Picture courtesy of DVDtalk

First of all, I couldn't imagine living in that area of Thailand and having to deal with all of those monkeys! Second of all, the monkeys pick your pockets and steal food right out of your hands! Third of all, did I mention all of the monkeys?

Anyway, the whole point of the one-hour long show was basically a very simplified re-telling of William Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" but from the viewpoint of two love-struck monkeys from dueling monkey groups -- one group (Juliet's family) lived at the ancient temple, the Temple Troupe, and the other (Romeo's family) lived on the streets, the Market Gang or whatever they were called (my memory is shot).

It was a very cute movie -- the kids giggled and couldn't believe how naughty the street monkeys were. Bottom line is that this movie was a love story. Malia "ooohed" and "aaahed" the whole time she watched. Aidan kept laughing and tried to mimick as many monkey moves as he could (there were monkeys shaking light posts and hanging off of wires!). The ending was happy, the movie was short and sweet (only an hour...with commercials) and the kids were exposed to another culutre in another country. All good things in my book.


Now, I should warn you that if your kids are as keen as mine are, don't be surprised to hear comments about monkey butts or, even worse, monkey parts. I honestly did not know what to say, think or do when my daughter said that one of the monkey's looked like he had a brain between his legs (Were they testicles? I don't know...my guess is yes, but I was more concerned with trying NOT to choke on my pasta).

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MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE!

I purchased my domain name! It's not up and running just yet and Blogger will still make sure that you can get to me, but make sure you update your bookmarks, links, etc. to this:

http://www.stutteringshell.com

How exiciting...I have my own domain name! (It's really quite sad to think that something as silly as a $10/year subscription gets me feeling all warm & fuzzy on the inside...ah, simple minds, simple pleasures I suppose!)

EDITED TO SAY:
The domain name is up and running......hooray!!! :)

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Thanks, Becca!

I have a new bloggy-blog-blog that I adore and I owe it all to my friend, Becca, for having her friend, Tricia's, blog linked to her blog (are you following me??).

If you are a mom, you will love Tricia's blog. Even if you aren't a mom, you'll love it just the same:
http://mattmorgan.typepad.com/reston_mom/

Just click on the link...you know you wanna. ;)

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The Voice of Reason

Said no. Or, that I shouldn't.

http://www.cache.com/cache/control/product/~category_id=0120/~product_id=05044B22040411

It's so pretty...and it looks so good on. And it only needs minor alterations (the straps would need to be taken in just a bit so it's an easy alteration). And it would work with my black peep toe pumps and black clutch.

Needless to say, I decided NOT to have my ball gown altered & dry cleaned on the fly -- the price alone (which I'm not even sure of) scares me. I mean, to rush something like that would cost extra. There's no doubt in my mind about that.

So, for now I'm going to drop my other two dresses off at the dry cleaners and just go with it. I have a feeling I'll purchase the dress despite what my voice of reason says...maybe. We'll see.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

I have decided...

That I am buying myself a new dress for the formal we are attending on Saturday. I think.

In all honesty, I really DON'T need a new dress -- I have two perfectly good (black) dresses here at the house that I can wear. All I need to do is have both dresses dry cleaned. The dress I really, really, REALLY wanted to wear I've worn only once. Back in 2002. Even back then I had to have the dress altered in order to fit my body (I guess I gotta thank years of competitive swimming for my semi-broad shoulders and expanded rib cage??).

I tried on the dress tonight. I knew what the outcome would be. I mean, the last time I needed a formal dress I tried it on and it the fit was no bueno. The dress needs to be altered AGAIN in the same place it was altered the one and only time it was worn! It's also in bad need of cleaning. Had I planned a bit more efficiently -- wait, I only found out about this formal last week -- then maybe the dress would have worked. Of course, it's still quite the possibility if I can find a combo tailor/dry cleaner who would make the dress work for me. Hmmm...it WOULD be nice to wear it again. It's so damn pretty. Hmmm...

Well, maybe instead of buying a new dress I'll just see what can be done about this one. I just hope that whomever can do the rush job can take out the freakin' chocolate stains on the back of it. Yes, chocolate. That's what I get for asking my somewhat ding-dong of a husband to help me zip up the dress. I mean, really, what are you thinking? You're going to eat a chocolate covered pretzel WHILE you zip up my black and WHITE dress?? Yikes.

Oh, gee...now that I've typed that my indecisive mind has once again toggled back and forth from buy new to redo to buy new again. Maybe it's in my best interest to just buy a new dress. *sigh*

Gosh, I was skinny back then (about 20 pounds lighter than I am now...seriously) and so tan. But I lurves that dress! *sniffle*

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V-Day Cookies

The kids bought me a double heart-shaped cookie cutter from Crate & Barrel while they were at my parents house over winter break and last night we made sugar cookies and the kids decorated them.
Malia's cookie:
Malia's finished decorating & Aidan's getting a little "heavy handed" with the sugar sprinkles:

Aidan's cookie (he wrote "i heart u" on it):

Enjoying the finished product!

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Gassy Gus

My sister and brother-in-law gave the kids a game for Christmas. It's a real hit in our family. Adam and Malia are playing right now and all I hear from the living room is nothing but laughter (well, and Anthony Bourdain, but he's on the T.V. and NOT in my living room playing the game).

What are they playing?
Yes, you read right -- Gassy Gus. Everyone is dealt food cards and you basically "feed" Gus and pump up his gut until he farts, uh, bursts. It's really not as gross as it seems...it's actually quite fun and produces more giggles than flatulence in our household. :)

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Birthday bullhonkery

Let me be petty for a moment....

*ahem*

I find it rude & slightly irritating that I am called and reminded of people's birthdays, yet it is those SAME people that call & remind me who cannot seem to even remember when the hell my freaking birthday is.

Yes, that's right. I said it. Until you can remember when my birthday is and remember to tell me happy birthday, then don't call me to remind me about somebody else's birthday.

(It's not even remotely close to my birthday either, I might add).

Oh, and the funny thing is, it was a reminder about a birthday on my husband's side of the family. Why didn't someone call and remind him??

Hmmm....

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Don't be hatin'!

That's right.

In 18 days, I'll be here:

That's a picture I took from one of my last visits to the Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort. It's from 2005, so the hotel has changed a little bit since then. Adam and I spent one drunken night there this past September when we visited his father for the day since we were all in Mexico at the same time. While Adam and I prefer spending our days on the beach in Playa del Carmen (about 45 minutes south of Cancun), I am no dummy and will NOT pass up a free vacation -- well, mini vacation (we're only going for the weekend).

I'm excited about this impromptu trip. Adam and I just cancelled our March Mexico trip. We just couldn't swing it with work, finances, etc...well, we COULD, but work would have been the problem. But, like they say, when one door closes, another one opens and, in this case, when one vacation is cancelled, another one is booked! :)

I have a feeling that Adam and I will be heading south for a day while we're down there. We can't go to Mexico without saying HOLA to our friends in Playa del Carmen...not when we would be so close. I'm just excited to get away. The trip is just FOUR days after our anniversary (aww) and we'll be going with Adam's father (he's the best!) and our friends, Catrina & Fred (their first visit to Mexico ever!).

Yikes...I guess now it's time to do my water fast, exercise a little and figure out all I'm going to cram in my carry-on. :)

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

What to do?

The school board voted to end the year-round school option effective immediately at the end of this school year. My children attend one of the four elementary schools in Virginia Beach that operate on a year-round calendar, Corporate Landing Elementary. It is our daughter's third year at the school (she's been there since Kindergarten) and it's our son's first year there (he's only in Kindergarten). Our neighborhood is technically zoned for a different elementary school; however, we had the choice of "opting out" of our zoned school (which operates on a traditional calendar) for CLES since the year-round school was "super zoned" for our area.

We love the year-round calendar. Love it, love it, love it! I wouldn't change it for anything. But, budget cuts and all that jazz are forcing the program to come to an end. It's kind of sad to think about, really, but what weighs most on my mind is what happens now? Fortunately, the principal sent home a letter on Friday addressing a lot of my questions and concerns. My biggest concern was whether or not our children would be able to stay at CLES -- and the answer is NO. Not without a zone waiver approved by the principal of the school. Basically, this coming September, they would both be back at Ocean Lakes Elementary -- the school our neighborhood is truly zoned for.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking OLES, but I just don't like the idea of my kids switching schools. Maybe it's the change. Maybe it's the fact that we just love CLES. Maybe it's because the kids are already a bit upset about the prospect of changing schools....the way they look at it is that we're not moving so why do they have to move to a different school?? I know without a doubt that my children will thrive at OLES and they will receive the same superior education that they are receiving now. I am a bit biased in that respect only because I am a product of the Virginia Beach City Public School system having lived here since 1986 (I was in the 4th grade when we moved here).

Bottom line is this -- Adam and I have a lot of decisions to make. This isn't about pros & cons, but what works for our family and what would be best for the children. I'm sad that my son might not have the opportunity to have the same first grade teacher as Malia and I'm sad that Malia might not have a chance to be in a friend's third grade classroom (she's a teacher at CLES). But, I do know that they would be in good hands at OLES -- a close family friend is the guidance counselor at OLES.

Adam and I need to decide whether or not we want to pursue an attendance zone waiver to keep the kids at CLES -- then all transportation becomes our responsibility (no sweat, we would only need to drive them to school). Or, do we just want to go with the flow and keep things simple by sending them to OLES. Some of their friends might be there (there are a lot of children from our neighborhood & surrounding areas who are zoned for OLES but opted out to go to CLES). The only major change despite being at a different school would be the fact that school would start a half an hour earlier than what they are currently used to. (The way I see it is that it's a blessing in disguise and I would actually be a half an hour earlier to work...) The only issue with OLES is whether or not Parks & Recreation offers an after-school program at the school like Malia currently attends at CLES -- if not, then this raises even more issues for US as a family due to childcare issues.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to think about. A lot. And, I want to have a decision soon.

http://www.corporatelandinges.vbschools.com/Fact%20Sheet-Possible%20Changes%20to%20the%20Year-Round%20School%20Program_.pdf

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/02/major-cuts-proposed-va-beach-school-programs

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/02/end-beachs-yearround-schedule-may-affect-800

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Me so sleepy...

I can't believe I'm already up -- it's just after 7am on a Saturday! I can hear Aidan in my room watching TV already, too.

I was in Elizabeth City, NC last night at ECSU tending bar at a Ducks Unlimited banquet.

http://www.dailyadvance.com/photos-and-video/see-photos-from-the-nc-ducks-unlimited-annual-membership-banquet-420120.html?slidshow=slideshowImage&slidNo=12 (I didn't realize there were pictures already! Ha...I can't tell you who some of these guys are by name, but I can tell who they are by their drink!)

It's my third year and every year it just gets better. Everyone is just so nice. The food is great -- catered by Kelly's from the Outer Banks. It's just a really great time!

Anyway, I usually just stay the night in Elizabeth City -- we have family there. But, this year, I had to drive home afterwards because Adam has to work today -- well, I should say IS working today (he left about a half hour ago). I woke up when he kissed me good-bye and now here I am -- wide awake. I guess there's no better time than now to go ahead and start my day. :)

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nighty night!

8:30pm rolls around and it's time to tuck the kids into bed -- Malia has a loft bed (that Adam built for her a couple years ago) and as she climbed into bed she found one of our cats, Ziggy, already snuggled up in her bed:

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I do it every time!

Poor Adam. He wants to go out with the guys. What do I do? I fuss. Ok, I bitch. I guess maybe it's because I see more of our finances than he does. I don't know. He makes more than I do so he should be allowed to go out from time to time to enjoy a beer (or ten) with his friends. I mean, he doesn't complain when Catrina & I decide to go out for a bottle (or four) of wine.

I guess it's because I worry. I worry about our money. I worry about him. I worry about his sorry ass friends who take advantage of him and get Adam to pay their way (yes, he does have some sorry ass friends...I have people who can verify this!).

I need to learn to let go.

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Yogi Tea thought for the day before yesterday :)

Attached to my tea bag on Tuesday was this saying:

"Recognize that the other person is you."
That's some food for thought, huh? I think I've realized this one with "my person" -- she knows who she is! :)

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fun with Funfetti

Since I'm sick (and because I'm feeling sorry for myself) I purchased a little gift for myself at Target while I was waiting for my 'script to be filled:

Mmm...funfetti. Valentine's Day funfetti. It's not chocolate, but who cares...it's funfetti. I even bought cute little Valentine's Day cupcake liners, too.

I'm gonna pop those Zithromax pills and commence to baking. I just hope I don't fall asleep while they are baking in the oven. :)


BEHOLD!! The yumminess that is funfetti cuppycakes:

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Breathing a sigh of relief...well, trying to breathe...

I finally saw my doctor. The phone woke me up around 1pm (I fell asleep watching Food Network...THAT'S how crummy I am feeling!) and I was able to get an appointment for 3:10pm. Thank goodness. And, thank goodness I was in and out of the doctor's office. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that it took all morning and part of the afternoon for them to call me. I'm glad I didn't just go up there and sit and wait. My doctor is a busy man.

Anywho...he saw me. He looked in my ears, nose and throat. Poked at my neck. Asked me about my symptoms...yadda, yadda, yadda. He told me what I knew. I have a sinus infection. He wrote me a 'script for some Zithromax and off to Target I went. And, holy cow, Zithromax is really a $20 'script?? WTF? I want my $4 generic. Oh, well. I'm too lazy to fight it and, besides, my head hurts.

So, I'm about to take my first two doses of the stuff...and then I'm on it for four more days. Hooray for medicine and here's to hoping I'll feel much better soon!

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I spoke too soon.

It's nearly 10am and I'm still here at home. I just took a nice, hot shower -- and I'm still congested, my throat still hurts and my ears have that funny clogged feeling. I've called the doctor's office already, too.

At first I called the after hours answering service line -- whoops! But, really, it's like the first number you see on the website. Did they really expect me to read? After I realized my mistake, I called the office number expecting to speak to someone considering how small my family doctor's practice is (it's just him and a nurse practitioner).....um, tell me why I had to leave a message? It was no different than calling a friend and getting their voice mail or answering machine. Seriously. The last thing that was said before the BEEP was that they would call back. So, I'm waiting.

And waiting and waiting and waiting. And, no, they didn't call back while I was in the shower because I checked the caller ID on the house phone and I checked my cell phone, too.

I hate waiting. Especially for something like this. I suppose I could just drive to the doctor's office and see if they are taking walk-ins and sit and wait, but then I'd just waste my whole day and, considering I'm not feeling 100% myself, I'd rather sit and waste the day here in the comfort of my own home.

What is even more irritating is the possibility of not even seeing the doctor today and having to go back tomorrow or even Friday. I really wanna see someone today so I can get on the right meds (if need be). I have a commitment on Friday -- and out of state commitment -- and I gotta be healthy...OK, semi-healthy (I'm only pouring drinks for a bunch of men at a Ducks Unlimited banquet). Ugh!



(it is kind of funny to think about it, though...I'm always sick this time of year right before the DU banquet...just ask Adam's cousin's wife, Cindy...she's the one pouring the drinks with me!)

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Finally.

After dealing with the congestion, the sore throat, the dry cough, the dark circles, the headaches, the lack of taste and appetite and just the feeling of overall crappiness, I am pleased to announce to the cyberworld that I am finally taking my sorry ass to the doctor's office today. They open in 13 minutes and I'm going to call and see if I can make an appointment for mid-morning/early-afternoon.

I've been dealing with this shit since Saturday -- when I felt as if I had been run over by a Mack truck. Not a fun feeling to have -- especially not when you're sitting at a car dealership waiting on a state inspection and you have two impatient kids in tow. But, I digress...

I made it this far trying to pass off whatever it was that is bothering me as nothing more than a simple cold. But, and this is your TMI warning, I've gone from nice and clear to yellow-green. Ew. That's no bueno. This sore throat isn't getting any better either...of course, it's not getting any worse. But, my ears...oh, my ears. If I could only release the pressure that I'm feeling right now.

So, for now, I'm going to fix myself a cup of Earl Grey tea and lace that bad boy with some honey. I'm going to crank up the shower and turn the tap so far to the left that hot water will just pour out of the faucet and steam up the bathroom. And, while I wait for my turn at the doctor's office, I'm going to try and steam/sweat the heck outta myself to get all of the cruddiness outta my head.

Being sick sucks.

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Something to think about a la Yogi Tea...

"The only tool you need is kindness."
It was on the tea bag. I have another one at work. I'll share them with you daily as I drink my Yogi Tea at work.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Be my Valentine?

It's almost Valentine's Day. The kids have been coming home from school with information about the school dance (held on, of all days, Friday the 13th). Information about class parties will start coming home which means I will be headed to the store to buy pre-made cupcakes and cookies (even though I love to bake I do look for the easy way out sometimes!).

The kids will also exchange Valentine's with their classmates. A list of names has already come home. Wait, make that TWO lists. I haven't received a third one...yet. Perhaps we won't. Anyway, my point is this -- the kids are encouraged to write their friends' names on the cards themselves. One name caught my eye....I'm sure it will catch yours, too:

Abcde

(I was shocked to hear how it is pronounced and even more shocked that I know someone who has even heard of the name....I'm just sayin'.......)

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Snow?

Seriously? They are forecasting snow for our area? 1-3 inches of the white stuff? Really? I'll believe it when I see it. My children have already had one snowless snow day...what's another? Of course, watch, this time the sky will just dump on us and we'll get MORE than the forecasted amount. That would be my luck.

Well, I guess I should get the kids prepared for a possible day at the office. Oh, joy. (can you tell I'm thrilled??)

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If you really think you're wearing those today --

-- then you've got it all wrong.


I said that today to my 7 year old. Well, not those exact words, but the point was still the same.


We were standing on the front porch this morning waiting on the school bus when I looked down at her feet and saw these:

Photo courtesy of Payless Shoes

Now, had it been, oh, I don't know in the 60s or 70s today I would have let her gotten away with wearing them to school. Or, if she had on tights today I would have let her wear them. BUT, none of that was the case this morning. In fact, we were outside, standing in the cold, 20 degree (with that wind chill factor) weather and it was drizzling rain. She was in jeans, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a hoodie AND had a 3-in-1 jacket on with the hood up and had gloves on...and she had those blasted open toe dress shoes on.

Seriously. I don't care that we live in Virginia Beach where people (including myself) wear flip-flops all year long. I made her go inside and change the shoes -- I mean, she had her sneakers and a pair of socks stashed in her bookbag anyway for P.E. She threw a fit. I think she even shed a tear or two. Big deal. I'm sorry, but you are not grown. You are seven. I realize that you want to be fashionable and look cute, but you're in the 2nd grade. It's also not summertime, picture day, dress up day, etc. You will abide by my rules and that includes what you will and will not wear on your feet when it's fuh-fuh-fuh-reezing outside. So there.

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Jon & Kate...fake?

I'll admit it...I watch Jon & Kate Plus 8. I've skimmed through their website. I own the Kate calendar (Em Tanner Designs rocks!). I guess you could say that I'm hooked on their show. I'm a curious person by nature (aren't we all?) and I'm not ashamed to admit that I do enjoy the voyeuristic look into their day-to-day lives. However, now that the show has been on for a few seasons, the kids are older and the family has sky rocketed into quasi-rockstar status, I'm just not so sure about it all anymore.

I don't remember what made me Google the Gosselins. Oh, wait. I do. It was a link from their book's page over at Amazon.com that piqued my interest:
http://www.amazon.com/Multiple-Blessings-Surviving-Thriving-Sextuplets/dp/0310289025

If you scroll down to the customer discussion section there is a forum-like area where, I guess, people can discuss the book, the television show, etc. From there, I came across some information about a few blogs that are out in cyberspace and I checked out a few:

There are numerous articles out there, too, and I found this one to be most interesting:
Jon & Kate Plus 8 Vs. Aunt Jody - a Family Member Finally Speaks Up

I don't know what to think now. Well, I do. But, I don't at the same time. The television show is like a train wreck -- you just keep watching...over and over again. Heck, my DVR records the show (first-runs only...ha ha ha) every Monday night at 9pm. Part of the reason I like watching it is because, like it or not, the TV show does portray certain traits that I feel that most all families can relate to...the house isn't always clean, there is chaos, siblings fight, mom & dad bicker, husband & wife disagreements, inconsistencies between parenting styles, discipline issues, etc. And, while I think that Kate can be overbearing and quite neurotic at times, I do see some of myself in her because -- scary to think -- perhaps she and I share some similar personality traits. Of course, I do see some of my husband in Jon, too. I guess what I'm saying is that I can understand and relate to certain aspects of the show and that's why I like to watch. It makes me feel as if I'm not alone in how I feel as a wife & mother -- when in all actuality, I know I'm not.

But, on the flip side, I'll admit -- I'm always catching myself thinking:

"Wow, it must be really nice to outfit all eight children in nothing but Gap or Gymboree clothing."
or
"Hmm, if THEY can go to and afford Disney then we can, too."
or
"Holy moly, they just spent HOW MUCH on certified organic meat?"
or
"Gee...tummy tuck, hair plugs, ski trip, vow renewal in Hawaii, Oprah, magazine covers, NYC trips, Disney, OBX vacay......."

A twinge of jealousy? Perhaps. I think it's human nature to be even slightly jealous. However, I also know that there's no way in hell they would STILL be doing a show for TLC if they weren't getting paid! That's right, $$$. We're talking benjamins, grips, G's -- cold, hard cash. Must be nice. All good things come to an end, though, or at least that's how the saying goes. So, when is the end? When will it all be enough? As much as I love the show, it's getting to be, in my opinion, too much.

Last night, I caught up on the last few episodes. I don't know if it's because my opinon has been swayed slightly from reading the other blogs online, but it's like I don't give a damn anymore. It's not about being jealous, it's not about envy (because like Jack Johnson sings, "we've got everything we need right here and everything we need is enough.")...I just think that enough is enough already. While I don't find the family to truly be "fake", I do think that it's time to let the kids grow up be "normal" kids. The six little ones don't even know what it's like to live day to day without a camera in their face...am I wrong or am I right? It's time to stop exploiting their young lives to fulfill a lifestyle that many of us can only dream about. The show isn't about parenting or the journey from two kids to eight kids anymore. It's about greed, wealth and lifestyle changes...changes that aren't necessarily all for the good.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

If looks could kill...

In this Dec. 11, 2008 file photo, President-elect Barack Obama, right, stands with Health and Human Services Secretary-designate, former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, during a news conference in Chicago. Daschle recently filed amended tax returns to report $128,203 in unpaid taxes and $11,964 in interest, according to a Senate document obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Wow. I don't know which is worse -- the cold, hard stare Obama is giving Daschle or the red glasses. Here's the whole article:

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

One month down...

Just some random musings from the Chissler household...

  • My son pulled dental floss out of his PJ bottoms tonight. I knew he didn't want to share the dental floss with his sister, but really...was it necessary to hide it in your pants, Aidan??
  • Adam swears that laying Rockcast stone pieces is much easier than raking pine needles -- I guess the 8 lawn size garbage bags full at our curb are proof of that.
  • I'm not so sure about these honey-blonde highlights. I feel weird being even slightly blonde. I have a back-up box of hair dye...just in case.
  • I love it when I get sick courtesy of my children.
  • Waiting three and a half hours for a state inspection on the last day of the month pays off -- it was free. Hooray!
  • I find myself at Target and/or Wal-Mart every damn weekend. Every. Damn. Weekend.
  • Our 7th wedding anniversary is in 22 days. I reminded Adam that gerbera daisies are my favorite and that, according to today's paper, they are "in."
  • I'm excited -- I get to bartend on Friday at the Ducks Unlimited function in Elizabeth City, NC. We could use some extra cash.
  • I'm so glad that football season is officially over with -- as soon as the Super Bowl is finished.
  • That being said, I dug out my Dale, Jr. ballcap today -- NASCAR is about to begin, folks!
  • It's amazing how wonderful my kids truly are -- I felt absolutely horrible yesterday and, even though I was really warm from a fever, the kids came and snuggled next to me and put their cold little hands on my forehead to make me feel a little bit better.
  • The dryer stopped -- I guess I need to go continue my date with the laundry.

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