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Stuttering Shell: March 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I won a prize from the Ultimate Blog Party! How cool is that?! And, what's even cooler is that it's a Candy Apples bracelet from Cydney at Savvy Girl & Company!!
I am a very.happy.girl.

Candy Apples picture from Savvy Girl & Company's website

Go check out Savvy Girl & Company (either click this link or click the button in my sidebar)...Cydney's designs are so beautiful. Your jewelry wardrobe isn't complete without one of her pieces!
Thank you 5 Minutes for Mom & Cydney! And, thank you to Pamela who has worked so hard gathering and distributing the prizes!

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Our son is "vacationing" with my other words, he's staying at their house. I guess this means that WE are the ones who are technically on vacation, right?? Well, not exactly, but it's always nice to have a bit of a break from the kid (soon it will be a break from both kids, but that's a different blog post).

Anyways, at my parents house, Aidan always sleeps by himself in the spare bedroom. I should clarify that "sleeps by himself" means that he doesn't get up in the middle of the night or early in the morning and climb into bed with anyone. I don't know if it's because he's sleeping on a bed that's bigger than his puny twin size bed at home. I don't know if it's just because he's at Po Po and Gung Gung's house and not at home (I mean, things are always so much more special when you're at your grandparents house, right?). Or, maybe it's just because the queen size bed he's sleeping on this week (and for the next two weeks...woo hoo!) is so damn comfortable. I mean, even I had trouble getting up last weekend when we visited my parents because I felt as if I could sleep all day in that bed.

Well, he told me the reason why he sleeps in his own bed at Po Po & Gung Gung's house and NOT at our house (because he still climbs into bed with us in the wee morning hours)...

And, I quote...

"Because your house has bugs and isn't fancy enough."

WTF? Really? Thanks, son. I love you, too. My "all houses have bugs and no one in our family lives in a fancy house" talk didn't work. That was his story and he was stickin' to it.

So, I guess this means that when he gets home I should put some (fake) bugs in my bed and make his room as fancy as fancy could be for a 5 year old boy...that way he'll steer clear of my bed and want to sleep in his own bedroom all the time.

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Guess who is on the homepage for Momlogic?

Yep, that's right. ME!

(and, no, I'm not talking about the stripper story...sheesh!)

I'm with some good company, too...I mean, Momlogic has the best members (so you really SHOULD join to see what the fuss is all about!!). Moms, dads, those with kids, those without kids, those having's all for you! Just think, you could see your smiling mug on the homepage of Momlogic, too (that's me in the bottom right-hand corner!!).

For a direct link to the featured article:
Momlogic's Best Kept Secret: FREE STUFF!

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Monday, March 30, 2009

I have the nicest friends...

It's always nice to get a big ole cyber-hug from time to time...this time, it was my friend, Becca, who was tooting my horn. It was nice seeing her over the weekend...even if it was only a brief visit that consisted mostly of us eating the best frozen custard ever!

Now go read her blog...she's got a knack for finding deals!

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So, last night around quarter 'til 10 there was a big ole rumble outside. A rumble so big that our house shook...just enough to spook me and send Betsy, one of our cats, who was sleeping with our daughter into a frenzy. It was a rumble loud enough to cause me to say, "What the hell?" while on the phone with my father. It was a rumble loud enough to send Adam outside to see what could have caused the rumble...even though he swears he didn't hear it (men...seriously).

I thought it was a thunderstorm, but the star lit sky totally destroyed my theory...not to mention that my quick search of The Weather Channel's website showed no green on the radar in our general vicinity. So, we just kind of brushed it off. I mean, there weren't any sirens blasting after the boom and we didn't see or hear anything else until this morning...

Apparently we missed one hell of a space show because when I woke up this morning the news was all a-buzz about the different things people saw: fiery orange streaks, shots of white blue light, a ball the size of a grapefruit, a bright object traveling in the sky that was as big as a refrigerator (really??). What people thought was a meteor turned out to be space trash barreling it's way through our atmosphere and hurling itself towards the earth. Good thing it didn't land on my house...that would be one hell of an insurance claim to deal with!,2933,511501,00.html

Updated to say, well, I guess it wasn't space trash at all...or at least that is what's being said today:

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Sunday, March 29, 2009


Edited this post to add pictures!!

After driving through torrential down pours and crazy wind on Friday night, we finally made it to my parents' house in Fredericksburg - which I lovingly call Frednecksburg. This is the house that I moved into in the late 1990s after my sister graduated from high school and my mother finally moved so that our family was whole once again (a long story that included a retirement from the Navy, a job in NoVa and a family split by 200 miles for nearly 5 years). This is the same house I lived in after returning to school at Mary Washington College (granted, I lived in the dorms for one semester after I returned to school, but it was cheaper and just made sense to live at home after that). This is the same house that I came home to after giving birth to Malia in 2001. This is the same home that I finally left when Adam & I got married in 2002. I come back from time to time...not often enough according to my parents, but when they seem to be at my house all the time, well, you know why!

It's been a great weekend so far -- but we've got to head home today. I do have pictures to share and they will be uploaded once I return home. We've been busy...

We went to a home & garden show at the Fredericksburg Expo Center and I got to meet Vern Yip (the kids also got hopped up on sugar thanks to the ridiculous amount of candy being passed out...worse than Halloween...and the Fudgie Wudgie stand that sold the chocolate-covered strawberry kabobs).

Us - me, Malia & Mom - with Vern...sorta looks
like a family pic, doesn't it?! LOL

We got our drink on at the Fredericksburg Pub...hooray for the beer sampler! It's a newer restaurant that is located at the Spotsy Mall (that's Spotsylvania for those who don't know the county F'burg sits in)...well, not IN the mall, but out back in the new "village" area they are building (go figure that all of this is happening well AFTER I leave the area).

Queen Malia & King Aidan (drinking his Abita Rootbeer)

After coming home and dozing off, we decided NOT to head to Falls Church for a Peking duck dinner at Mark's Duck House and, instead, opted for some yummy Korean food at Choi's Korean Kitchen. Mmm...nom, nom, nom. I think I have some's not too early for some Jap Chae is it??

Aidan enjoying KimBob and Malia having some tempura shrimp

This is how we roll...

So, a trip to Bruster's didn't happen last night after dinner, but I'm hoping that we'll make we made it to Carl's at some point before we leave. I'm I also hoping to get got to see my friend, Becca, before we headed southbound on I-95 today. It's been a busy weekend...busy, but fun. Anytime spent with family is always fun and, if it's time spent with my family, then you know you will never go hungry!

Waiting in line at Carl's...

My friend, Becca

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Summer Sunset

I participated in a "Name that Piece" contest over at Savvy Girl & Company and I woke up this morning and found out that I was one of three winners! Wow! What a way to start the day!

This is the piece I named: Summer Sunset

You should really go check out Cydney's site -- aside from the beautiful jewelry she creates she also has the latest fashion trends & ideas posted as well as yummy recipes!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I'm a newcomer over at 5 Minutes for Mom, so for those of you who have found your way to my l ittle slice of the internet via 5MFM let me introduce myself to you...

Hello...I'm Michelle, but you can call me Shell. I'm wife to Adam and mom to Malia & Aidan. I work full-time, blog just about all the time and keep up with the housework any other time. :-) We live in Southeastern Virginia where spring hasn't officially seemed to have sprung just yet, but I'm ready for some warmer weather. My family loves heading to the beach and I've got about a gazillion seashells to prove it! But, enough about me...

I'm really glad that I stumbled across the 5MFM website with plenty of time left to participate in the UBP started on March 20th and runs until March 27th. So, what is the Ultimate Blog Party? Well, according to 5MFM it is "the mom blogging event of the year." It's all about exposure -- not only for your own personal blog, but exposure to other mommy & daddy bloggers out there. Even "Mompreneur" sites get exposure (this includes store blogs and business blogs) and also those of us who are addicted to Facebook & Twitter are even though this is a blogging event you don't need to be a blogger to participate! (So what are you waiting for??)

Of course, no party is complete without entertainment and prizes! The prizes are fantastic -- there are so many to choose from! While most of the prizes are geared towards babies & toddlers (which I'd rather not win...I know, it's selfish of me to say what I don't want to win, but my children aren't babies or toddlers anymore), there are so many really neat gifts to dream about and covet. If I were chosen a winner at the UBP '09, this is what I would love, love, love to win (in no particular order):

  • #19 or #21 - they are both $50 gift certificates to Target (that's a no brainer!) - one from Shoot-Me-Now and one from Agoosa.
  • #USC 27 - the Spanish language learning software from Peanut Butter courtesy of Life is Sweet.
  • #USC 44 - the Candy Apple bracelet from Savvy Girl & Company because her jewelry is just oh, so fabulous!

So, here's hoping that I:

  • Make some new connections via blogs & Twitter
  • Find some favorite new blogs to follow
  • Have fun, fun, fun!
  • And, maybe win a prize (or three!)

Remember, you have until the 27th so what's stopping you from heading over to the party??

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So, a really dear friend of mine, J.G., lives down in Pensacola, FL with her hubs & her cute lil' son, G, and they recently had a photo shoot with Monica Brown. Can I just say that I'm really jealous that J.G. is already wearing sleeveless blouses and capris?! (Hello spring...where are you and why did I have to scrape my windshield this morning???)

Anyway, let's help J.G. win a free print from Monica Brown:

From Three to Four

Check out the awesome pics that Monica took -- I would totally LOVE for her to be the photog for my family!! After you're doing "ooohing" & "aaahing" over Lil' G and how cute J.G.'s preggo belly is make sure you leave a comment (you'll see where after the pictures) to let Monica know just how wonderful everything is! If J.G. gets 25 comments, then she's a winner!!

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WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - There's a full moon in Hatteras, NC!

For more Wordless Wednesday pics, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

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I'll take any shortcut I can get...

I heart shortcuts.

Whether I'm driving, working, cleaning, cooking...I just love a shortcut. Anything that can make my life easier and help me manage my time (and my sanity!) is worth it in my book. My latest shortcut obsession has to do with cooking.

I already have this love affair with Birdseye Steamfresh frozen veggies and now I have another goodie in my freezer that I just love, love, love...These little bits of frozen herbs rock. One cube equals to one teaspoon of herbal deliciousness and there are so many varieties to choose from! We currently have in our freezer the crushed ginger and the chopped parsley. Don't get me wrong, I love using fresh herbs, but when fresh isn't an option, this is the next best thing. I don't even want to reach into my spice cabinet anymore for the dried herbs!

Check out Dorot Foods and then head to your local grocery store to see if you can find this product in the frozen vegetable section. Don't let sticker shock get you because once you start using them you'll see why they're worth every last dime (and, if you are lucky like I was, maybe you'll catch them on a BOGO sale).
Edited on 4/1/09 to say that at my local Harris Teeter, the Dorot cubes are $2.99...and that's no April foolin'!

The picture above is from Dorot Food's website (gotta give credit where credit's due!).

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My son asked me that today as we were driving to his sister's school to pick her up. He was telling me a story about how one of his friend's hurt his feelings this morning in class. I was paying attention to the traffic in front of me and humming to a song that was on the radio. I was listening to him, but certainly my attention was not completely directed towards him.

And he called me out.

I'm not going to lie. I don't always pay attention to my children. It doesn't make me a bad makes me a smart mother. I've perfected the art of ignorning a whining, crying child in a shopping cart while trying to wheel $200 worth of groceries through a packed Wal-Mart on a Sunday afternoon. I've become a professional at ignoring the bickering that goes on at the kitchen table during the school week when both children are supposed to be eating their oatmeal. I'm an expert at ignoring their begging and pleading to do something else when they know they should be cleaning their room or getting ready for bed. See, you really don't always have to hang onto every last word that comes out of your child's mouth. If I did, I would have had myself institutionalized by now.

My children receive all the love, attention and affection that they could ever possibly want. I sit and listen to their stories. I laugh at their silly knock-knock jokes. I ask them about their day and how they are feeling.

I do listen.

And, there are times when I don't listen -- when I choose NOT to listen. It's like a switch that I can flip on or off inside of my head. Just ask any mother and I'm sure she's probably got the same internal switch. It's like we have a mute button built into our brains. It's not the same as selective hearing that only seems to afflict men and dogs...our ability to know when to listen and when not to listen is far more sophisticated than that. As a mother, I (well, we) just know. And, even when we're choosing not to listen we really are still listening...we're just not letting it be known.

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I'm on the assumption that the number one sign of sleepover success is a room that looks the same as my daughter's did (see above) the morning after she had six of her friends spend the night for her birthday. And, to think, we spent the morning of the sleepover cleaning her room and putting everything in it's place. I mean, I don't mop before we have friends over for a cookout, so why did I ever possibly think that it would have been necessary to reorganize and power clean an 8 year old's bedroom just hours before her friends showed up??

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Old man winter has come and gone in Southeastern Virginia (or has it...I mean, it was freezing cold this morning and the ground was, dare I say, frozen??) and so our yearly yard clean up began a few weekends ago. It started off by getting the patio furniture cleaned off and sweeping the pavers. That led to weeding the flower bed and pruning the different bushes and trees in our backyard. The weeding and pruning led us to basically overhaul our flower beds so we laid down a weed barrier and mulched all of the flower beds in our backyard. It took two yards of mulch, but it was done (yesterday). And, during the process of all of this backyard business, we decided to move around a few plants and will soon start dividing some of the hostas we have back there because they are getting out of control! Oh, and did I mention that we got the garden ready and currently have red onions, rosemary, cauliflower, bok choy and brussel sprouts planted?

So, all of this backyard business is my toot for today because we did it. The backyard is ready for the spring weather, cookouts and horseshoe games that are sure to come once it warms up a bit.

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Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm guilty.

I took a cue from a few other mommy blogger's out there (like Mary from Pajamas and Coffee) and decided to interview my kids. The results are pretty funny. Both children had some very different ideas about mommy and daddy.

I interviewed my 5 year old son, Aidan, first. While he was giving me his answers, his 8 year old sister, Malia, kept asking, "Is this some sort of test? Why are you asking us these questions??" Our little interview session proved to be a fun activity for a Friday night -- Adam and I were thoroughly entertained by some of their answers.

You'll see why...

1. What is something mommy/daddy always says to you?
Mommy - Do not scream.
Daddy - Do not watch gun movies.
Mommy - Clean your room.
Daddy - Um....<giggle>...<long pause> what your mommy says.

2. What makes mommy/daddy happy?
Mommy - you hugs & kisses.
Daddy - Uh...<long pause> kids being good.
Mommy - When we do what we're told.
Daddy - Football.

3. What makes mommy/daddy sad?
Mommy - Not listening.
Daddy - Uh...uh...not listening, too.
Mommy - When we don't do what we're told.
Daddy - When we're bad.

4. How does your mommy/daddy make you laugh?
Mommy - By telling me funny jokes.
Daddy - tickling me.
Mommy - When we take a picture & she makes a funny face.
Daddy - When I tickle him.

5. What was your mommy/daddy like as a child?
Mommy - Uh...I don't know.
Daddy - Hmm...playing with him.
Mommy - Little, cute, pretty, sassy (hmmm...sounds like who?? *cough*Malia*cough*)
Daddy - Kinda tall, funny looking, um, curly hair with greenish eyes kind of

6. How old is your mommy/daddy?
Mommy & Daddy are both FIRTY ONE (I love how he makes the "f" sound for anything with the "th" sound)
Mommy & Daddy are both 31.

7. How tall is your mommy/daddy?
Mommy - Uh...I don't know.
Daddy - 22, I fink (think).
Mommy - 7.4 inches
Daddy - 10.0 centimeters (wow, she said I'm taller than Adam...woo hoo! LOL)

8. What is mommy's/daddy's favorite thing to do?
Mommy - Uh, clean the house. (Adam started laughing and said, "That explains a lot." WTF is that supposed to me...ya big jerk!?)
Daddy - Working...really late.
Mommy - Baking cakes.
Daddy - Watching football & NASCAR

9. What does your mommy/daddy do when you're not there?
Mommy - Uh, go to work.
Daddy - Uh, he just, uh, goes to a wedding...actually, he goes to work, too.
Mommy - Go to work.
Daddy - Go to the field and work.

10. If your mommy/daddy becomes famous, what will it be for?
Mommy - Uh, lucky.
Daddy - Super duper lucky. (I think he's right, if we were to ever become famous it would be just because we're lucky and nothing else. LOL)
Mommy - Her cooking. (Seriously? Surely she must have meant my baking.)
Daddy - Um...the world's most laziest dad. (OUCH! He's really not lazy...thank goodness he's useful to have around! Ha ha!)

11. What is your mommy/daddy really good at?
Mommy - Uh, doing yardwork.
Daddy - Uh, he's good at tickling me.
Mommy - Art.
Daddy - Bricklaying.

12. What is your mommy/daddy not really good at?
Mommy - Uh, not really good at, uh, I don't know. (smart answer, son)
Daddy - Staking papers.
Mommy - Hmmm...that's a hard, cleaning? No, no...wait, wait...I don't know. (another smart answer!)
Daddy - Um, doing what you tell him to do. (That's my girl!)

13. What does your mommy/daddy do for a job?
Mommy & Daddy both make money.
Mommy - She fills in orders of what my dad needs out in the field to do his projects.
Daddy - Bricklaying.

14. What is your mommy's/daddy's favorite food?
Mommy - Rice and drumsticks. (does he mean the ice cream or chicken??)
Daddy - Peas, onions and peppers.
Mommy - Apples, grapefruit and grapes.
Daddy - Carrots, cabbage and spinach.

15. What makes you proud of your mommy/daddy?
Mommy - Uh, about you going far away somewhere and always coming back.
Daddy - When Daddy tickles me.
Mommy - Knowing that she cares about me.
Daddy - Knowing that he loves me. (Hey, I love Malia, too, ya know!)

16. If your mommy/daddy were a cartoon character, who would she/he be?
Mommy - A Smurf.
Daddy - He would be Superman.
Mommy - Wilma Flintstone.
Daddy - <giggling>...he would be Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

17. What do you and your mommy/daddy do together?
Mommy - We play together.
Daddy - We tickle each other.
Mommy - Girl stuff...go to the mall & things.
Daddy - Cook.

18. How are you and your mommy/daddy the same?
Mommy - 'Cause we both have the same skin.
Daddy - Uh, 'cause me and daddy, uh, we have hats.
Mommy - Because we both like to go to the mall and we love each other.
Daddy - Um, because me and my dad like to cook and we're both deep sleepers.

19. How are you and your mommy/daddy different?
Mommy - 'Cause you have long hair and I have short hair. (how funny -- I just cut my hair yesterday and it's really not much longer than his in the back!)
Daddy - 'Cause daddy has a mustache and I have no mustache.
Mommy - Because my mom is older than me and she has a job.
Daddy - Because my dad has a job and he, um, he mostly uses knives.

20. How do you know that your mommy/daddy loves you?
Mommy - You give me kisses.
Daddy - He gives me hugs.
Mommy - She cares about me.
Daddy - He cares about me, too.

21. What does your mommy like most about your daddy?
Aidan: 'Cause you guys got married.
Malia: He is very nice.

22. What does your daddy like most about your mommy?
Aidan: 'Cause he gives you kisses.
Malia: You're pretty.

23. Where is your mommy's/daddy's favorite place to go?
Mommy - The Melting Pot
Daddy - El Tapatio
Mommy - The wine festival.
Daddy - To the Redskins football game like when he went with Fred.

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The 40 Year Old Caterpillar

Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" turned 40.

Even Google paid homage to that hungry caterpillar:
"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is one of many Eric Carle books that my children have in their library. We were fortunate enough to visit the Eric Carlie Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts back in 2006 when my sister lived in Easthampton, MA. The kids had a blast in the art lab and Adam & I enjoyed looking at the different exhibits. It was fun to see the illustrations from quite a few of the books that he and I enjoyed when we were little. It truly is a neat place to visit!

M & A in front of the Eric Carle VW Beetle parked in
front of the museum.

M & A making art with Daddy at the Eric Carle
Museum of Picture Book Art

Eric Carle's books are, in my opinion, an essential part of any childhood library. His stories convey a message and the brightly colored illustrations engage the reader. You don't get tired of reading his stories and they seem to find a special place in your heart -- so you will never forget them.
Happy birthday, Mr. Caterpillar, and thank you to Eric Carle for giving us such a classic book that will surely be treasured for 40 (and more!) years to come!

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Spring is in the air and the gals over at Momlogic want to give you a chance to capture all of your favorite spring moments...

But don't wait -- this is a weekend-only contest and the winner will be chosen on Monday!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009


Jade Goody's very public battle with cervical cancer and Natasha Richardson's tragic death have left me wondering...

Both women are/were mothers. Both women love(d) and cherish(ed) their families. Both women will leave/left behind a loving spouse. I think it's safe to say that Jade Goody has come to terms with her terminal illness and is doing everything and anything she can to preserve her memory for her two young boys. Natasha Richardson never really got the chance to do that for her sons.

Life is precious. It's taken away at a moment's notice. I think as a mother both women touch my heart in very different ways, but one thing is for certain - how would I want my children to remember me...what do I want for my children...what kind of legacy will I leave behind? I can't think about this without getting emotional. All of the "what if's" aren't something that I normally tend to think about, but here lately I just can't help but to.

So, this is my wish for my children:
  • To be honest and capable individuals
  • To have an open mind
  • To love with no boundaries
  • To have unwaivering faith
  • To make a difference
  • To never give up
  • To be fair
  • To know that they are loved
  • To be a friend to all
  • To be compassionate and empathetic
  • To cherish each day as a gift
  • To never forget that family is forever
  • To dream big

It's not a complete list. I think the list is constantly evolving. As my children grow older, their needs and wants change and my needs and wants for them change, too. I certainly hope that my children will never have to face the same situation that Jade's boys are facing or that Natasha's boys are going through. But, should something happen (God forbid) I truly hope that my children realize that I will never be gone from them and that my memory will live forever in their hearts.

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Just a small brag for the moment...

I work with some of the best girls. We are a tough bunch. We have thick skin, but we do have a vulnerable side. We cry. We laugh. We bitch. We moan. But, we always get it together and work it out (walk it out?? LOL) because there is no I in team.

We have our faith. We have our faith in each other. We have fun, but we also know how to get work done. Heck, we know how to have fun while doing work!

I'd say we're a pretty good bunch of girls. Yes, things get catty at times -- blame it on the excess of estrogen -- but when it comes down to it, I would do anything I could for them (well, maybe not anything). ;-)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009


In certain circles, some say that I'm an alcoholic. In other circles, I'm a casual drinker...ya know, every now and again. And, in a few select circles, I'm that girl who gets out from time to time (with or without the hubs) and has no problems bellying up to the bar having a few drinks.

I am in no way, shape or form an alcoholic. And, don't go giving me that "I'm denying my so-called alcoholic status because denial is the first sign of addiction" crap. You can keep the bullshit to yourselves. I have had four beers in the last three weeks, well, since we left Mexico on February 27th! Yeah, that really makes me an alcoholic, eh?

Fact of the matter is, I'm a mother who likes to induldge from time to time in adult beverages. I pick and choose when and where I am going to imbibe. I decide how sloshed I want to become -- and, for the record, I've never blacked out or done any dumb shit while "under the influence" unless you count drunk (or, as I like to say, DUNK) texting and then I'm definitely guilty of that. Also, most of my buzzed shenanigans occur within the four walls of my humble abode. So there.

I'm a smart gal who knows her limits. I good at picking my poison, too. Some days I just want an ice cold beer while other days I would prefer some Canadian Club & ginger ale. Mmm...Canadian whiskey. Most of the time I settle for wine. Ah, wine. Good ole MOMMY JUICE. You can never go wrong with a glass (or four bottles) of wine. Red is my favorite color, but I'm not so much into red wines. Gimme a good Chardonnay, a crisp Riesling or a yummy Pinot Grigio ( tasty!) any day and I'll be your friend for life.

I currently have three opened bottles of wine in my fridge, three bottles in the rack and two bottles stashed at a friends house (ha!). Adam tried to dump my stash over the weekend. What the heck is wrong with you? Those are perfectly fine! I mean, so what if there are two bottles of Moscato wine in the fridge -- they're by different brands and taste totally different. And, don't go messin' with my $12 bottle of Duplin blackberry wine from Wal-Mart, OK? (Yes, $12 blackberry wine and, yes, it's from Wal-Mart...hey...don't be hatin'...haven't you tried their $2.95 wine? I have.)

So, where am I going with all of this? No, I'm not drinking while I'm writing this either. Oh, yeah...I'm a mom. And, I'm a mom who likes to drink...not in excess, but in moderation. Don't hate me because I have a "Floozie" for my beer. Don't hate me because sometimes I drink a bottle of wine all to myself. Don't hate me because, gasp, there is beer, wine and liquor in my house.

I'm a mom. A busy mom. And, like most other busy moms, I enjoy some time to myself...time to unwind. And, if my "unwind time" involves a glass or three of a fine tasting adult beverage then so be it. *CHEERS*

So, after typing this, hitting "publish post" and then re-reading the blog entry, I guess it really does sorta kinda make me seem like an alcoholic. LOL But, I swear. I'm not. Far from it. Caffeine addict, yes, but hooked on alcohol, no. No one at home, including myself, has been harmed in any way because mommy likes to drink every now and again so don't go calling C.P.S. on me.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Witching Hour

Back in the day when my children were toddlers, the witching hour would bestow it's presence upon us on a regular basis. Daily. And, sometimes for hours at a time.

Tantrums would be thrown, patience would be tested, messes would be made, crying would ensue, headaches would come and go. As crazy as it would seem, all would be right with the world once whichever child it was settled down and got a grip on reality. The same went for mom and dad, too.

It wouldn't be right of me to say that the witching hour has completely departed from our lives because it hasn't. Of course, now my children are older and the witching hour is more like the witching day or days. Yes, that would be a plural variation of the word day. Uh, huh...D-A-Y-S. With a bossy 8 year old trying to rule the roost and a defiant 5 year old acting either as the partner in crime or the arch enemy, the witching hour has found a permanent place in our home. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, knows when the witching hour will strike. It could be first thing in the morning -- the kids haven't even brushed their teeth yet and they're already at each others' throats. Or, it could be during dinner -- one child is talking over the other. Or, it could be at bed time -- neither child wants to go to bed because they swear it is thundering & lightning outside (when it's really 35 degrees outside and lightly raining).

And, I'm not gonna lie, the kids aren't the only ones pitching fits around this household anymore. Although, Adam won't admit that he acts like a witch...rather than turning green and sprouting a pointy, black hat, he just turns green and grows big muscles. Ha!

Yeah, I snap every now and again. What's wrong with that? What mom doesn't?? I mean, the people living under this roof had better recognize just how important I am to their daily functioning. Like that saying goes, if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy - or something like that. Yes, I have evolved into the wicked witch herself. Fortunately, tossing water on me doesn't make me go up in smoke and I'm not being crushed by a house (unless you count our crazyridiculous mortgage payment as being sorta-kinda like a house and, well, that's a different story). I have my moments, too. I'm either barking orders or breaking down because my micromanagement skills seem to fail me from time to time.

Ah, well. Once the kids are tucked into bed, the house is quiet and I have a glass of wine in my hand, all seems right with the world again and that inner witch of mine simmers down and saves her stamina for another day.

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Sleep hasn't been my friend lately.

I don’t know if it’s because our time had to go and spring forward – yes, I’m still upset that I was robbed of one precious hour of sleep. I’m seriously convinced that the magical hour that was taken away was KEY to me getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. But, whatevs, I won’t get that hour back until the fall so what can I do about it? And, no, I will not try to go to bed an hour earlier.

I don’t know if it’s from stress. I mean, it’s possible. It’s quite ridiculous some of the things I think about while trying to fall asleep. My mind starts to race the very minute I close my eyes – it’s so sad. But, I’ve been trying really hard to clear my mind and my thoughts before bedtime. I really have.

I don’t know if it’s my habits – the good ones and the bad ones. The good – I’ve been really faithful about drinking enough water every day, so maybe it’s my multiple trips to the bathroom that keep me from falling asleep as fast as I should. The bad – I’ve tried very hard to limit my computer time after dark. As silly as it sounds, sitting up and staring at your computer monitor starts to mess with your circadian rhythm and, if that’s the case, mine is already messed up thanks to the time change.

I don’t know if it is unnecessary excessive noise that’s keeping me awake – and the unnecessary excessive noise I’m referring to is my husband’s God awful snoring! I mean he should really try using those Breathe Right strips or just sleep on the freakin’ couch. No one in their right mind – and I don’t care how tired you are – can fall asleep with all the noise he’s making.

All I know is that I toss and turn...turn and toss.

I get up. I lay back down. I try watching television. I try reading. Sometimes, I try to blog. I check on the kids. I go pee. I toss and turn some more. I kick Adam. Sometimes, I get a snack.

When I do finally manage to make myself stay in bed and I find my eyes starting to close, I bury myself in the covers. I need darkness. I need silence. I stuff my head between two pillows. And, as always, I must have the cold side of the pillows up against my skin. Maybe then I will finally fall asleep.

The pillow picture is from Country Living.

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Wanna see more Mexico pics?

Then carry your hind parts over here:

My friend, Catrina, who is author of The Delima Dilemma just posted a few of her Mexico pics and they're a lot of fun!

And, while you're there, check out her blog and show her some love. She's fairly new to the world of blogging - all thanks to me, ha! - and I think she's got a good thing going on over there.


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Monday, March 16, 2009

Budget be damned...I want clearer skin!

Well, I guess I should start off by saying that I have pretty decent skin. No, I'm not being stuck up, I really do have nice skin. I've been told that by friends, family and aestheticians. But, I want to take care of my skin and get rid of these pesky blackheads and make my pores appear smaller.

Once upon a time I was a faithful facial girl. But, that was many, many, MANY months ago back when I really didn't give a damn about dropping between $60 to $80 at a time to have someone professionally clean my skin. Ah, those were the days! Yeah, those really were the days because I would also treat myself to a pedicure, too. But...

Here I am, a 30 something mother of two who has semi-sensitive and slightly temperamental skin (I fluctuate between an oily/normal to dry's fabulous to have a shiny ass nose and a dry, flaky the same time...not). I think I take good care of my skin. I wash and moisturize faithfully every day. I use sunscreen. I'm brand/product loyal and I've been using Philosophy's skin care line for YEARS (and trust me, I've used many skin care lines over the years including Proactiv, Dermalogica, Biore, Neutrogena, Bliss, Joey New York, L'Oreal, Cetaphil, etc...yes, I'm a beauty/skin care product whore!). Anyway, tonight I was in bed watching QVC and (yes, I actually got up out of bed to type this but that's a whole 'nother ranting blog post in itself) and they were talking about the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush. I've seen it before on QVC and in the Bliss catalogs I receive every month. I've even seen the cheaper knock-offs in the discount stores. I've always wondered how well the Clarisonic cleans and whether or not it's really worth the money -- the Clarisonic, which is made by the same people who make the Sonicare toothbrushes (funny, I use a plain jane manual toothbrush), retails for damn near $200.

Wow. $200. $200 for a spinning brush that will supposedly help me clean my skin even better than I am cleaning it now -- or so I think I'm cleaning it.

I read the testimonials, I saw the photos and, I'm almost ashamed to say, that I finally succumbed to my curiosity and I just ordered the sucker from QVC. Thank goodness for the four payment option! At least this makes my new $200 face brush a bit more budget friendly and I don't have nearly the amount of buyer's remorse I would have had if I had purchased it outright for the full price.

So, here's to cleaner, clearer skin -- you had best believe that I'm going to charge that sucker up once I receive it and use it faithfully two times a day. And, hopefully, my new $200 friend will make my skin look as if I'm spending $$$ every month on facials and other beautification rituals.

OH - and the best part?? I bought this at QVC online via Ebates so I get 3% BACK of the total amount I've spent. Yes, that's right - 3%. It's not much, but it adds up. It actually pays to shop! Wait...what's that you're saying? You're not Ebating? Well, then you need to click here.

Seriously - sign up, it's free and you've got nothing to lose and only money to gain! You get paid quarterly and I've already earned two checks totalling nearly $150. Don't believe me? Then click
here to read a post I made about my first Ebates check.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

I love my man!

Should I feel bad that today is the hubs birthday and he's currently in the laundry room scrubbing the tile and grout?


I don't think any woman should feel bad for a man that's actually doing some housework. And, let me clarify that yardwork does not constitute as housework and neither does taking out the trash.

So, on that note...

Happy birthday, honey!

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Our dear, sweet Betsy...

She's really nice -- I promise! The sweetest cat you'll ever meet -- seriously! I swear she's up to date on all of her shots -- just ask the vet! No, she doesn't bite -- unless you're a rabbit, bird or rat.
Betsy -- she's the ruler of our home. She's keeps us all in check.

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Fondue Fun

In celebration of Malia's 8th birthday and Adam's 31st birthday, we decided to treat ourselves to some fondue fun by having dinner at The Melting Pot on Saturday night.

Adam & Aidan "hiding" behind the steam - we were waiting on the cheese course.

Malia & I -- I guess Malia felt the need to "bug out" her eyes. Silly girl.

Apparently Adam & Malia (that's her hand with the fondue fork) didn't believe that all of the dippers for the chocolate course were gone -- that dessert plate didn't stand a chance with our family!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Not superstitious, but...

I've seen bus 666 twice in the last two days. Yes, that would be a SCHOOL BUS whose number is 666. I've seen it before at a gas station near the office and once I passed by it driving down the road, but this is the first time I've seen it at my children's school.

Yesterday, I didn't think anything of it except I do remember thinking to myself, "Gee, I'm glad my kids don't ride that bus." This morning I saw it again as I was dropping the kids off at school...and today's Friday the 13th. Is this a sign? I hope not.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Attention all GIRLIE GIRLS!

If you have a stash of beauty goods like I do, then you might want to read closely and do as I say...


All you gotta do is join Momlogic's Beauty Logic group and share your beauty tip and you're instantly entered to win! Easy peasy!

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Must. Have. Some. Self. Control.


Self-control...what in the hell is that?

I sure don't have any of it, especially when it comes to things like, oh, shopping, bitching and eating. Eating. It's been my downfall lately. Well, not so much eating, but snacking. I like to snack. Very much. I snack while working. I snack while fixing dinner. I snack at 9pm while watching television. I'm ashamed to admit that I've even snacked in bed.

I don't know if it's like a permanent PMS thing I've got going on -- ya know, hormone-related crap. I don't know if it's because I work in an office full of chocolate-addicted women -- could be. I don't know if it's the weather -- because this warm, cold, sunny, cloudy pattern sucks.

I just don't know!

What I do know is that my eating habits have turned to crap (and it's good to know I'm not alone...go read J-Ko's latest blog entry, "Sex and the Mommy"). I mean, just yesterday afternoon I was stuffing Thin Mints into my mouth as I'm sauteeing broccoli in olive oil and garlic (hey, at least I was fixing a healthy side for dinner, right?). Girl Scout cookies should be listed as the 8th deadly I the only one who thinks this? The other day I opened the freezer for a sweet treat and I totally bypassed the frozen strawberry popsicle things for an ice cream sammich. Oh, did I fail to mention that this was like around 9:30 at night? Yeah. Yesterday, for lunch, I rekindled my love affair with Taco Bell and gorged myself on soft taco supremes...I saved the bean burrito I bought for today's lunch. Earlier this week I had a #1 from Wendy's and today I totally devoured some waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A after I already had lunch. Shoot --this whole month has just been bad. I mean, a beer binge in Mexico, eating my weight in meat at the Brazilian restaurant in Atlanta, pizzas from Pizza Hut for wonder my energy level is next to nothing and my muffin top is looking oh, so fab.

Something's gotta give...but not after we have ice cream cake tonight for my daughter's birthday. Tomorrow's another day, right? A new beginning. The perfect time to start working on that self-control. Maybe.

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A princess turns 8 today!

In May 2000, I graduated from college and had landed my first "real" job with a county government office in a locality not too far from home. I loved my job and I was very excited to start my "adult life." However, in June of that same year, I found out that I was pregnant. I was 22 years old, unmarried (although Adam & I had been together, at that time, for nearly 6 years) and very much determined to make the best of the unexpected gift that was given to me.

Fast forward to March 12, 2001 -- the day I gave birth to our daughter, Malia. It was on that day that I truly learned what love was. She and I had formed a bond the moment I found out I was pregnant with her, but that bond took on a new strength & meaning when she entered into this world. Adam and I were truly blessed to have such a wonderful little girl brought into our lives.

Malia is my heart & soul. She is the exact spitting image of me -- looks, sass, wit, attitude, smarts (*wink, wink*) -- and my life has become all the better because she is my daughter. Adam and I love her so very much. She's our girl...our sometimes goofy, a little bit spoiled, very smart & sassy girl. Malia is such a wonderful big sister to her brother, Aidan, and she is - without a doubt - the best granddaughter our parents could have asked for. She is truly a special little girl and she is loved more than she'll ever know.

Happy 8th birthday, sweet girl!

This was about a month before Malia was born -- I ate many blueberry pancakes when I was pregnant with funny is it that Malia absolutely despises blueberries?!

At only 5 days old she already had an inquisitive look about her...

Drama, drama, drama...who knew her very first birthday cake would have an effect like this? Maybe it's because she never liked being a messy baby...this picture just screams, "No, Mom...don't take any pictures of me like this!"

Not even 2 years old and playing in the snow (a very rare event for Virginia Beach) -- and already looking stylish with her fleece-cuffed jeans and hot pink puffer jacket.

Always a ham for the camera...she got that from Mommy!

Oh, how I miss that bald head of Malia' took nearly two years for her hair to start coming in.

The proud big sister -- exactly 27 months older than her brother -- and look at those curls! She did so well transitioning from being the only child to becoming the big sis (and to this day her brother hardly ever calls her by her him, she's always been "sis").

Malia was never far from her "yellow blankie." And, even with us reeling in the clean up & after effects from Hurricane Isabel, Malia was prepared for anything -- blanket in one hand, a dress in the other, and a clean pair of "unnawears" on her head.

Three years old and so much fun!

Four years old and such a big girl!

Ah, the family that coordinates...we were a hit at that wedding! And, Malia was the life of the party.

Five years old and, yes, Mummy does love her!

Six years old and ready for the first grade! It still amazes me that she's no longer the sassy bald headed baby who was saying, "Wassat? (what's that)" at 6 months old and walking at 9 months old. Where has the time gone?

Seven years old and so pretty in pink!

Malia -- my "mini me"

Malia - this morning - it is school picture day & her birthday...what a day! She's so sweet, stylish & smart. She's growing up too fast for my liking (but don't all kids do that?!), but she's my love & I am so proud of the wonderful young girl she's become.

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