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Stuttering Shell: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010



i'm here, friends. i've always been here. i just haven't had much desire to blog lately. it happens, right?

so, let's play catch up, okay?
  • work is going well. some days are slow. some days are crazy. but, it's work.
  • speaking of work, i'm gonna get pudgy if i'm not careful. last week we had brunch for administrative professionals day and the other admin gal & i were treated to lunch at the olive garden in appreciation for all that we do. there's also a krispy kreme on the way into the office which means there are always donuts to be found somewhere in our portion of cubicle city. birthday cake, pizza, cinnamon i need to continue?
  • i never did go to yoga like i had every intention of doing.
  • but, i am committed to running in a 5k this october. yes, you read correctly -- a 5k. i don't run. my sneakers are nine years old. but, this is for the boobies. my friends & i are team 'twittering for ta-tas' and we need your support. donate. do it for the and our breasts.
  • my allergies have gone haywire. i broke up with claritin and started dating zyrtec. i'm not sure that i'm thrilled with zyrtec just yet. it knocks me flat on my back. really.
  • i need a hair cut. i haven't had one since january. nearly five months since my last hair cut? this is so not me.
  • i have a new nail polish obsession - essie's playa del platinum. go out and get it because i said so. my nails have never looked prettier.
  • move over super wal-mart because kroger is my new spot. not only do they double coupons {up to $0.99} daily, but i can also feed my family for approximately $60 a week thanks to their great deals.
  • adam got a raise at work. praise the Lord.
  • speaking of the Lord, he continually provides for me & my family daily. i love Him.
  • the weather is getting warmer. okay, who am i lying to, it's gonna be hot as hell this weekend. bring it on. i'm ready for it.
  • i bought this and i haven't told my husband about it yet {even though it's sitting in a box next to my side of the bed in our bedroom}.
  • the kids are doing great. clearly, i'm not exploiting them nearly as often as i should. this blog has definitely veered off of the "mommy blog" course it was originally set on.
  • frisco, our pup, makes me mad. he has to sleep with his butt pointed at me. he's a boston terrier. they are gassy dogs. do i need to elaborate?
  • we're going racing this weekend. gettin' our redneck on. boogity, boogity, boogity!
  • i'm pretty certain that i've caught up on most all blog reading that i can handle for the moment.
  • may 21st - it's g.n.o. time, baby!
  • "i've got my toes in the water...ass in the sand...not a worry in the world...a cold beer in my is good is good today" {toes by zac brown band} - that totally describes my memorial day weekend plans.

that's all for now. what's new with you?

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

pray for you.

pray for you by jaron & the long road to love

surely you remember that handsome face from pop duo evan & jaron. twins. good lookin' twins. hello. you know, the two cuties who sang this song. yeah.

anyways, jaron's gone country. and this song couldn't be any more perfect.

it's dedicated to all the haters. you know who you are.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

5 stars.

we had chicken tacos tonight thanks to the pollo asado from trader joe's. oh, and two kinds of beans - refried & black {again, thank you, trader joe's}.*

adam made some fresh guacamole. he lightly charred the corn tortillas {i love having a gas stove}. dinner was looking good & smelling scrumptious.

however, someone started squaking about how she didn't like beans. any kind of beans. and she didn't like tacos {really? since when?}. adam & i stress to the kids time and time again that neither one of us are short-order cooks...especially not on a night when i didn't walk through the front door until nearly 8 o'clock {yeah, we ate later than usual tonight}.

but, being the pushover wonderful father that he is, adam made the kids nachos. little individual nacho bites. i kind of wish now that i would have taken a picture because this blog post would be so much more meaningful, but...i didn't. bits of chicken were put into those 'scoop' style tortilla chips we all know & love. shredded cheddar was put on top and a dallop of sour cream went on each nacho {one child opted for guac}.

when adam served the kids, i heard aidan exclaim,

"ooh...nachos! how lovely, did such a wonderful job with the presentation, dad. nice job!"

dinner was a hit.

*it's every man, woman & child for him or herself in our house tonight {poor frisco, he sleeps under the covers, too, but he doesn't need beans to assist in his stankiness...i'm just sayin'}.


last saturday evening we took the kids out for dinner & dessert. as we were leaving our local frozen yogurt shop, we drove by this restaurant.

malia: house & tavern. isn't a tavern an underground cave?

me: no, that's a cavern.

malia: ooohhhh. *giggle, giggle*

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Monday, April 19, 2010

brain freeze.

this here post goes hand in hand with my vacay {day}dream & it's also dedicated to the lvely summer b.

when in playa del carmen, adam & i love to indulge in adult {alcoholic} beverages. a lot. it's funny, the buzz you get down there is nothing compared to the buzz you get drinking at home. it must be because the weather is warmer, the water is bluer & you're in the freakin' tropics. yeah, that's what it is.

we drink beer. we drink tequila {well, adam does}.

and, the one thing we both must have while we are in playa del carmen is a margarita. but, not just any margarita will do. it must be from babe's noodle bar. why? because it's like a slurpee, but for adults only. don't believe me?

if you slurp too fast, you will get brain freeze. that's not just a promise, it's a guarantee.

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feeling {luna} blue

the boy & i have been through a lot in the last six months. and, while i'm sure what we're dealing with is far from over, i just feel like we've been stretched to our emotional limits. well, maybe not the boy because he is always cool, calm & collected {and i hate that about him!}. i, on the other hand, have a tendency to be a neurotic mess.

trust me.

which is why i think we need a vacay. a quick trip to our happy place.

sure, we'll be making plenty of trips down to hatteras island & ocracoke island this summer, but neither location can touch the beauty that is playa del carmen, mexico.

four nights with the boy.

{the boy...who isn't afraid to search for seashells for me,
playa del carmen, april 2006}

that's all i want. four whole nights. and, while i'd rather go as soon as possible, i'm thinking a nice, early november getaway would be lovely. it's far enough away to save up for, but close enough that we can start making arrangements now.

does our budget agree with my vacation plan? no. but, i'm sure there are a few out there {hint, hint} would would encourage us to indulge & rekindle some of the romance that has been lost due to stress, worry & work.

i'm feeling {luna} blue. i think the boy is, too.

vamanos. let's go!

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

small talk six: sob, sob, sob

it's saturday which means it is time for another installation of small talk six over at momdot. join in on the fun, will ya? you really don't have to be a mom to have fun at momdot. promise.

today's topic:

six movies that make you cry


* bolt * steel magnolias * the lion king * the notebook * an officer & a gentleman * my girl *

what movies make YOU cry?

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

how apropos.

the final hour of tax day is ticking away & i'm guessing it's a pretty safe bet to assume that just about all of us are broke, so...

for your listening pleasure i give you:

i heard the song on the radio this morning {a local radio station does a 'nine at 9' feature and today's them was - surprise, surprise - money!}.

yes, you heard right...reaganomics. this song came out in the mid-1980s. and, yes, they said 'cut back!' too.

just read the lyrics...very apropos for our current day, dontcha think?

I been laid off from work
My rent is due
My kids all need
Brand new shoes

So I went to the bank
To see what they could do
They said son - looks like bad luck
Got-a hold on you

Money's too tight to mention
I can't get an un-em-ploy-ment ex-ten-sion
Money's too tight to mention

I went to my brother
To see what he could do -
He said bro-ther like to help you
But I'm unable to
So I called on my fa-ther fa-ther
Oh my fa-ther
He said

Money's too tight to mention
Oh mo-ney mo-ney mo-ney mon-ey
Mo-ney's too tight to mention
I can't even qual-i-fy for my pension

We talk a-bout rea-gan-om-ics
Oh lord down in the con-gress
They're passing all kinds - of bills
From down on cap-it-ol hill - (we've tried them)

Money's too tight to mention
(spoken) cut-back!
Mo-ney mo-ney mo-ney mon-ey
We're talk-in' a-bout mon-ey mon-ey
We're talk-in' a-bout mon-ey mon-ey
We're talk-in' 'bout the dollar bill
And that old man that's over the hill
Now what are we all to do
When the mon-ey's got a hold on you?
Mo-ney's too tight to mention
Oh mon-ey mon-ey mon-ey mon-ey
Mo-ney's too tight to mention
Di-nero - mon-ey oh yeah
We're talk-in' a-bout mon-ey mon-ey
We're talk-in' a-bout mon-ey mon-ey
We're talk-in' a-bout mon-ey mon-ey
We're talk-in' a-bout mon-ey mon-ey…..

{'money's too tight to mention' by simply red}

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Monday, April 12, 2010


because i really should be in bed right now...

{my loves, wading - ocracoke island, nc august 2009}

i've been daydreaming about the beach. it's kind of funny when you think about it considering i live at the beach. well, about a 15 minute drive from it. but, i don't want my beach. i want playa del carmen's beach or hatteras island's beach. can memorial day weekend hurry up and get here, please?? {because, yes, we'll be beach bound.}

lots has been going on & i have regained my status as slackest blogger of all time.

got some good news last week that made me leap for joy. adam & i celebrated with sushi. of course, i will not absolutely believe it until i see the money in my account {my unemployment battle worked out in my favor}. adam got some semi-good news, too. but, his is work-related and he's not pursuing anything until all of his icky drama has been resolved. but, still, good news is good news.

we enjoyed our week off as parents. the kids spent last week {a.k.a. spring break} with my parents. adam & i spent our kidless week working ridiculous hours and going to home depot. woo hoo!

if i could cut my head off, i would probably feel much better. spring fever has taken its toll on me. i'm a stuffy, puffy, watery mess. i can't breathe. i feel like something is stuck in my eye. my nose is all flaky & yucky from tissue abuse. and, i've come to terms with the fact that yellow is indeed the new black.

i have all sorts of fabulous blog ideas running through this {stuffed up} head of mine but absolutely no energy to get them typed up.

a co-worker calls me shell and i like it.

i gorged myself at a korean buffet on saturday night and i haven't felt the same since. i think i overdid it on the duk bok gi {i know i totally did not spell that right}. i also brought home some chocolate frozen custard from carl's and i have yet to eat any of it. that's how effed up my tummy is feeling. pretty awful considering i'm turning down chocolate.

dare i say that another southeastern virginia blogger meet up could possibly be in the works? nothing is official yet, but i'm hoping something can be planned for the very near future - brunch? line dancing? something?

there's more, but i should really be going to bed. late nights & early mornings just don't set well with me anymore. i guess it's a sign that i really am getting old. bummer.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

there's a baby in there?

a quick stop into target influenced my desire to write this post. at first, i wanted to write about how important i think it is to give people some s-p-a-c-e at the checkout counter. i mean, i don't want some joe schmoe all up in my bidnass while i'm paying for my purchase, ya know? just because i'm not standing rightnextto the person in front of me does NOT mean that you need to stand rightnextto me. no way, jose.

however, as i observed the woman in line behind me who was standing rightnextto me, i noticed something. buried underneath her bounty of tank tops, swim suit coverups, face wash & other target finds was a baby. a baby in one of those infant carrier/carseat combos.

oh, my word.

so, seeing as how i am an expert {a.k.a. know-it-all} experienced in the art of shopping with children i figured i would share some of my knowledge with y'all. besides, a lot of my friends are parents or are having children & this will probably cause some giggles & laughter with the parenting set.

first & foremost, if you are fortunate enough to shop alone, please do. do not pass up the opportunity to hand the kids off to someone while you run out for 15 minutes or for a couple of hours. who cares if you're just going to the grocery store or the corner mart?! trust me, shopping alone is so much easier & so much more enjoyable once if you have children. i mean, have you ever had to calm a screaming toddler while wrestling to get out of a super cute dress you found on the rack that is obviously three sizes too small for your post-baby body? yeah. i rest my case.

but, if you can't shop alone, take my advice*:
  • if you can, enlist a 'helper.' it could be your hubby, your bff, your momma...whoever. like the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
  • if you DO have a 'helper' with you, use two carts {that way you don't have to bury your child underneath layers of your new wardrobe, housewares & other miscellaneous crap}.
  • if you are shopping sans helper & with children in tow, learn to use every bit of your shopping cart wisely. if that means hanging stuff on the handle or over the side, please do. or, if you do find yourself needed to put things in the cart, please be strategic about it. but, don't be ashamed. it's okay if your purchases are nearly falling out of the cart or hanging over the sides haphazardly. back in the day, i was THAT GIRL who needed a "wide load" sign as i was coming down the aisle {and it was not because my ass had not returned to it's pre-pregnancy size}.
  • if you are not using a shopping cart, i hope you have a stroller. use it. even if it's to dash into the store. sure, it might take more time to wrestle that thing out of the trunk than it would to just zip in an buy milk, bread and eggs, but your sanity will thank you later.
  • keep your kids corralled - in a cart, in a stroller, in a sling/carrier {but not on a leash...i have nothing nice to say about those kid leashes}. it's not fun having to chase after your child in a crowded store or a busy parking lot.
  • stock up your purse - there is a reason why use women-folk have ridiculously ginormous handbags, fill 'em up with goodies that will keep your kid or kiddos happy, satisfied & occupied while you shop! to this day, you can still find candy, gum or a transformer in my purse {my youngest child is 6}. really.
  • if you're not stocked up, there is no shame in taking a box of crackers or gummy snacks off the shelf & opening them. just remember to pay for them. the cashier will not look at you like you're crazy. trust me. i've also done this with tissues when little snotty noses need wiping and i have no tissue or extra mcd's napkins in my purse.
  • if you feel silly about the whole "grab & open" thing, just make sure your cell phone is locked & you have insurance for the sucker. more often than not, my cell phone has provided hours {okay, minutes} of entertainment for my children.
  • if you are with a baby or toddler who is stroller-bound, you will suddenly find just how much that sucker can carry...even those umbrella strollers. and, if your baby isn't in the stroller or even if your baby isn't with you, do not be afraid to use the stroller as your very own personal shopping cart. i have.
  • definitely invest in a seat cover for shopping carts {they are also great for restaurant highchairs, too!}. they are a life-saver because you're protecting your kid from the icky unknown of the many hands {or butts} that have blessed that shopping cart. and, if you find yourself shopping with a drowsy child, the seat cover at least provides *some* comfort for a little head.
  • it is okay to leave a store in a huff. go ahead & grab the screaming child by the wrist or power walk that stroller right out of wherever you are. after a while, you learn to ignore the points, whispers & stares. it's okay to leave a shopping cart full of groceries, too. i've done both. you can always come back later...preferably, alone.
  • if you find yourself in a situation where your kid or kids are screaming and you are simply unable to let go of that pretty blouse that finally went on sale, don't fret. it becomes easy to ignore a screaming child, too. {this is usually the case after child #2, 3 or 19 {in the dugg@rs' case} comes along.} and, as for the points, whispers & stares, just take the blouse that's on sale & the screaming child and go stand rightnextto them.
  • if you have an infant/young toddler, use a baby carrier. i had a baby bjorn that i used all. the. time. with aidan. i am not ashamed to admit that he went to the bathroom with me more than once while strapped to my chest. we also took many laps around the mall together that way. of course, just make sure that if you have the baby facing out that you pay attention to what he looks like {imagine my horror when i sat down to take him out of the carrier only to find that he had spit up all over himself, the front of the carrier and onto my pants...not cool}.
did i forget anything? i am sure i have. i mean, that whole sleep-deprived, pregnancy brain thing seems to stick with you well after your babies are born & semi-raised. and, as for my advice, well, i still heed it. my children are now 9 & 6 years old; however, i still find myself in a bind from time to time {a.k.a. temper tantrums are never fun}.

mommas out there - what else would you add to the list??

{the reason i am experienced - malia & aidan, june 2003}

*remember, these are just my opinions. not words to live by. this is all in fun & not meant to be offensive in any way.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

pollen storm.

i was in bed this morning watching the weather channel when i saw this video {you might have to click on the 'skip this ad' X at the top of the player}:

the video was taken on monday night. the pollen is from a {north carolina} loblolly pine. i'm pretty
sure that the
pollen bombs pine trees in our front yard {all six of them & their 20+ feet tall glory} are loblolly pines.

no wonder i am such a puffy, stuffy mess. no wonder my green car is an eerie shade of ick yellow. no wonder the sea foam at willoughby spit was yellow {i noticed that while driving to work yesterday}. no wonder i walked through a layer of pollen just to get into the office door yesterday at work. no wonder i have become co-dependent on claritin & benadryl.

i like the spring time. i like the pretty flowers & chirping birds. i like the warmer weather. but,
please, pollen storm, stop.

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a serving of veggies.

i've told y'all about pat before.

i don't know who pat is, but i love pat. i love pat for sharing her {or could pat be a dude, i don't know} award winning carrot cake recipe on all recipes.

i used this recipe twice in the past week - once for a bake sale at work benefiting relay for life & once {for work} just because. i didn't bake a cake, however. instead, i made cupcakes* and not a 10" bundt cake** as the recipe calls.

behold, the beautiful crackberry photo {because i still haven't fixed my camera yet}:

for the carrot cake recipe, click here {i'm too hopped up on allergy meds lazy to type it out for you}. i did add some nutmeg & pumpkin pie spice to the recipe...just a dash of each.

as for the cream cheese frosting, yea, that is homemade, too. i used this recipe {again, from all recipes} and it hasn't failed me yet. my only advice is to whip, whip, whip the cream cheese first & then add the butter in small chunks. whipping the mess out of it makes a lighter, more enjoyable frosting in my opinion.

y'all this is a good carrot cake/cream cheese frosting combo. every time i've baked this cake, i've heard nothing but wonderful things. people love it. even people who don't like pecans or coconut {yes, both are in the cake} like this cake.

bake it. you know you wanna.

*the batter makes approximately 36 'regular' cupcakes or 24 'regular' cupcakes and 24 'mini' cupcakes.
** if you don't want to make a bundt cake or don't have a bundt pan, this batter makes a lovely two-layer 9" round cake.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

hoppy times.

{aidan & malia - halloween 2003}

how wrong is it that i'm using a halloween photo for an easter post??
but, have you ever seen a carrot-bunny combo cuter than this?
nope, i didn't think so.

but, really, what does this bunny & carrot have to do with easter or passover? nothing. except to remind you to enjoy your day with the ones that you love.

whatever you believe, enjoy this beautiful spring day.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

SMALL TALK SIX: not tonight, honey...

happy spring. happy saturday. happy small talk six. you know the drill, right? if not, click here, please. i'm too lazy to copy & paste paraphrase the 'rules.'

today's topic is a fun one.

let me just preface by saying that i think it's safe to say that all mothers out there will tell you that the chances of dancing the horizontal rumba on a regular basis post-children is slim to none. or, maybe it's just me. but, darn it, i'm still so effin' sleep deprived {and, yes, my children are now 9 & 6 years old}. and, because of that, i have excuses...a lot of them, but today, i'll just share...

6 excuses {i} have used to get out of sex
  1. i have a headache. yes, my head really does hurt and, no, that won't make it feel any better.
  2. i am too tired. "you're always tired," he says. yes. yes, i am. now leave me alone so i can sleep. because if i don't sleep, i get grouchy. and, if i'm grouchy then you really won't get any. {see, it's a vicious cycle.}
  3. i have to get up early. this one doesn't really work anymore because we get up at the same time {well, at least the alarm clocks ring at the same time, but the hubs is usually heading out the door as i'm heading into the shower}.
  4. can't you see i'm trying to watch t.v.?! yes, i realize i've seen this episode of the nanny 34675967 times, but it's my favorite {ha ha ha}.
  5. i think i hear one of the kids...they might need me. honestly, i can't hear the kids & they probably don't need me because they are either fast asleep or away or wherever, but still. i will use the kid excuse if i have to.
  6. no, not tonight. this isn't so much an excuse as it is a statement - no means no, ya dig?
what are some of your excuses? head over to momdot & share {because some of us might need new excuses...ha!}.

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