Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

With this post, I'm completing Nanoblomo.  I have a blog post for every day this month.   Yay!

Today is the last day of November which also marks the end of Nanowrimo.  I can't call myself a "Nanowrimo Winner" because my novel doesn't consist of 50,000 words.  So you won't see any cool winner badges or certificates on here.

Originally uploaded by AdamBaronPhoto

I didn't hit 50,000 for two main reasons:  #1.  I'm writing a young adult novel and I don't believe I need 50,000 words.  #2.  I got to a point where I really needed some outside opinions to know where to go from there and I didn't get those before the end of the month.

While I'm annoyed that I can't add one of the cool winner badges, I consider myself to have successfully completely Nanowrimo.  I wrote every day and until recently, I met or exceeded the 1600+ word count per day.

So I'm happy with that.  I'm not a winner, but, with a word count of 36,339*, I'm going to call it good and just keep working.

*Final word count at 11:54 pm is 37,606.  I am officially calling this novel done.  From here, I move on to editing which I plan to do for a long time.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Latkes and music

I want latkes.  Chanukah* is only two days away and I'm already drooling over the thought of latkes.

On Facebook, a friend posted some Chanukah songs and another protested that it's not Chanukah yet.  The first friend pointed out that, if the goyim can listen to Xmas music two MONTHS before their holiday, then we can listen to Chanukah music two days before ours.

I must agree (and laugh).

*There is no one translation from the Hebrew.  Some people spell the holiday "Hanukkah," but I prefer "Chanukah," because it's closer to the actual pronunciation.  It's not a soft H sound.  It's that guttural "Ch" sound from the back of the throat.  Angelica said it best in Rug Rats, "CHanukah!  You gotta CHHHH when you say it." (5:05)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eat me. Drink me. BUY ME!

We had another house showing today.  I'm getting so annoyed with busting our butts to get the house ready only to have everyone pass.  This is a great house.  It's bigger than most others on the market.  It's bigger than any other one in this price range.  Most of the house has new hardwood floors.  We have a great sized yard.

I don't understand why it's not selling.  It's so freaking frustrating.  I just want to sell this place and move already.  I want my family to be back together.  I'm ready to move on (literally and figuratively).  Apparently, no one else is ready to move IN, though.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, "It only takes one person," people tell me in an attempt to give me some comfort.  It doesn't work, though.  It just frustrates me.  Sure, it only takes one right person to decide this is the house for them.  In the mean time, we have to bust our butts to clean for tours for all the WRONG people.  The only thing worse than that is not having anyone come for a tour.  You can't possibly find the one right person if no one is coming to see it.

Pardon me while I go pout in the corner--the corner of this lovely house that could be all yours if you get your butt here now and give us an offer.  Please, pretty pretty please?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful for...

I didn't hop on the Thankful bandwagon this season.  I haven't posted a thing a day for which I'm thankful, but I do like to collect a list of the things for which I'm thankful.  So I'll do that now.

I'm thankful for

  • creativity
  • optimism
  • understanding
  • love
  • compassion
  • a loving hard-working husband who sees me as an equal partner
  • parents
  • my kids
  • books
  • literacy
  • Judaism
  • the funny little things kids say
  • good music
  • beauty
  • working vehicles
  • heat
  • generosity
  • health
  • our home (even if I do wish it was no longer ours)
  • people in our area looking to buy a home (preferably ours)
  • old friends
  • inside jokes
  • new friends
  • insight
  • the interwebz
  • the ability (and desire) to strive for more
  • those who make a difference
  • pets
  • family history
  • glimpses of the past
  • photographs
  • family resemblance
  • sweetness
  • siblings
  • family
  • sushi
  • pecan pie
  • rum
  • coke
  • good advice
  • Feminism
  • spell check
  • funny and addictive websites
  • safety
  • memories
  • poetry
  • contentment

That's the list for now.  I'm sure I'll think of more later, but thus far, that's what I've got for ya.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and has much for which to be thankful.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shabbat Shalom

I'm signing off for Shabbat.  Before I go, though, I wanted to share this Matisyahu song "Miracle," for Chanukah.  We're only a week away and I love this song.

Enjoy your weekend.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sharing a card I made through Shutterfly

Freebies 4 Mom made me aware of this great promotion from Shutterfly. For sharing a card made there, they'll give bloggers a $25 credit. Well, I often make cards there, so I jumped on the chance. Here's one of my favorites.

Father's Day Damask Father's Day 5x7 folded card
Unique party invitations and announcements by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

I send New Year cards for the holidays because I don't have to worry about different holidays and how far apart they are (Chanukah is often much earlier) plus then I get to use the great photos I took of the kids during Chanukah. So I get extra time and extra photos. I'm a wee bit addicted to photographs and creating, though, so I've been known to spend hours (and a small fortune) creating cards.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: It's a zoo out there

This week's episode of Wordless Wednesday was brought to you by warm weather, the local zoo and cute kids.

Today was probably the last nice day of the season.  It was 80 degrees and relatively sunny.  However, a cold front is on its way.  So we celebrated the last nice day at the zoo with friends.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Out Of the Mouths of Babes

you talk too much

Oh the things my children say!  Here's just a small sampling of things they've said recently.

In the car, my son said,

"I'm glad I'm not three anymore.  I was obnoxious when I was three.  I'm not obnoxious anymore.  Now I'm only a little bit annoying."  He paused and added, "No.  I'm just joking.  I'm not annoying at all."

Upon realizing that it was lunch time and I hadn't yet had coffee, I made that announcement.  E then asked, "And you survived?"

Same child told her brother (who tried insisting the plastic wrench was a phone), "No, I will not use a plastic wrench to talk to Daddy.  That is not a way to communicate.  Well, maybe in your world."

Monday, November 22, 2010

My twins are not your ticket to stupid

This, right here, is far too true.

While not boy/girl, I do have fraternal twins who don't look a bit alike.  I've heard all of these and then some.

Some of the lines missing are,
"Your hands are full."
"How close in age ARE they," asked in a suspicious and judgmental tone.
"I could never handle twins."
"Are they sisters?"
"Do twins run in your husband's family?"  Um...that wouldn't matter since he played no part in the releasing of two eggs.

Some of my favorite lines from this clip include,

"I always get pregnant the first time I try.
Great job. Here's your cookie."

"Which one is your favorite?
The one who is not screaming."


"Which one is smarter?
I am."

Go.  Watch.  Enjoy.  This clip made my night.  I can't stop laughing at it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Whenever I Remember Linky Roundup

Okay, I give up on trying to do this on a regular basis.  When I remember, I'll roundup the links I've shared and post them here.

I found this Sparrow Mobile through Cool Mom Picks.  Like the vast majority of the stuff they feature, this is insanely over-priced (I unsubscribed from the newsletter recently even though I've been a subscriber from the very start because the prices are too insane).  The good news, though, is that it can be easily recreated for pennies.  I saved a few paint samples specifically because they were shapes which resembled birds.  So I could just use those and even customize it to the kids' room colors.

Kid Independent is a new favorite site of mine.  They feature lots of handmade items including this super cute owl.  I found a ton of items for the kids' wishlist from their Oddball Alphabet feature.

Facebook's Double (D) Standard on Obscenity was originally posted as a note in response to Facebook's constant removal of photographs of breastfeeding babies.  I shared that note, but, as expected, it was removed.  However, someone copied it and put it up as a blog post so that it could still be shared.

'Nazis': A Word With Deep And Brutal Meaning
'Weekend All Things Considered' host Guy Raz.
     I've been making the same argument for years.  He does it very eloquently.

This Someeard is a little early (Chanukah starts December 1st), but it cracked me up.

Lil Blue Boo's No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband looks simple and adorable.  I want to make a bunch with fabric scraps.

This cartoon about Pacman and twitter cracked me up.

I want to make my son this bow tie from an existing adult necktie.  My boy's all about ties of all sort.

These Seven Tips For Interacting With Kids while photographing them is brilliant.  I LOVE these ideas.  Whether you're a professional photographer looking for tips or a parent who just wants to snap some good shots of your own kids, you'll definitely get great ideas from that article.

I've liked Mattisyahu for quite some time, but just discovered Unique Is My Dove recently. I LOVE the message.

I found a few dresses I would love for my girls. This Cinderella Peasant dress would be adorable with some of the custom fabric she offers.  The striking colors and design on this Sunny Autumn Ruffle Dress are just gorgeous.

My father-in-law makes some gorgeous things with wood.  Unfortunately, I don't want to get/make anything large until we move and settle in, but when we finally do move, I might see if he'll have time to make this super cute doll crib with storage.

This story about a first grader named Katie who was bullied because she likes Star Wars broke my heart.  The hundreds of comments in her support, though, restored my faith in humanity.

As a coffee-loving, internet-addicted, homeschooling mom, I loved this cartoon.

I recently discovered Middle School Proverbs which sadden me and crack me up.  This one and this one are two of my favorites.

I was probably more excited to find an old version of Liz Phair's "Ant in Alaska" than I should have been.

"Well I look at the stars and I know you're under them.
I look at the cars and I know you insure them.
I look at the books and things people are reading.
I know that you've written them too."

It always bothered me that she took out the car insurance line.  It doesn't flow right without it and that line has a special place in my heart too.

While we're on the topic of Liz Phair.  I resisted most of the music on her self-titled album because it was too poppy.  This week, though, I was reminded how much I like this one:

Nerdgasm is right.  Star Wars images made using only type.  This is really awesome.

This guy cracked me up:

Funny Pictures - Grumpy Owl

I LOVE this funny embroidery on etsy.

Oh look!  More 90s female rockers.  Embedding is disabled, but I watched this video of Juliana Hatfield's Universal Heartbeat  on repeat this week.

This Artichoke Sourdough Parmesan Stuffing is calling my name.  I'm dying to try it (minus any treif).

This article on kids' snacks and calorie counting ticked me off.

My sister sent me an e-mail forward with photos of a groom and his terminally ill bride.  When I checked Snopes, I found it was true and it was even more heartbreaking.  Gorgeous photos, horribly sad story.

This tutorial on making a skirt from a dish towel sounds like something even I could do.

This wacky furniture is too cool.

I needed this reminder on Detours.

I think these poppies are so pretty.

I want the light blue bird bank and the white salt and pepper shakers from Pier 1 so badly.  I haven't set foot in Pier 1 in years, but I think that will have to change.

This "table design" left me wondering, "What design?"  It's just some disposable plates on a table.  I don't see any design there.  Plus that family has the oddest collection of names I've ever heard.

This story, "The Cab Ride I'll Never Forget" brought me to tears.

I'm filing this kid's room away for possible inspiration for my youngest's room when we move.

I like this idea, not for a place card, but for a sign to hang (think first names in a bedroom or last name in a hallway).

On Veteran's Day, I shared, Bumper Stick Patriotism Is No Way to Honor Our Veterans.
From that article,
"During Veterans Week you're going to hear people -- particularly those for whom Veterans Week merely means we're one week closer to the Iowa Caucuses -- tell us to 'Support Our Troops.' And when they do I'd like us to politely ask them to put their pom poms down for a moment. I'd like us to tell them that if you really want to honor our troops you won't use them for an easy applause line, that you won't use them to get votes, or, most insulting to them of all, to divide us into real Americans and fake Americans."
"I'd like us to ask them what, other than saying it, are they actually doing to support our troops? I'd like to ask the people who say government's bad what they think of the Department of Veteran's Affairs. When we're fighting two wars, should they get more money or less? And where is that money going to come from -- magic or taxes?"

I thought this name sign was a neat way to use legos.

This XKCD cartoon is funny and sad at the same time.

I want to try making this dog necklace.  I, however, want to try altering it so that it looks more like a Chihuahua.

On Kristallnacht Anniversary, Critical Lessons Remain Unheeded.  November 9-10 marked the anniversary of Krystallnacht, which plays a large part in my Nanowrimo story and our family (my husband's grandmother's synagogue was destroyed on Krystallnacht).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful: Parents' Night Out

All this month, people are posting something each day that they're thankful for.  Today, I feel compelled to follow suit.

On November 20, I am thankful for Parents' Night Out.  Our synagogue youth group hosts a few throughout the year.  Tonight was one such night.  The big three got to play with friends, make crafts, watch a movie and eat snacks.  I got to chat with a friend and eat yummy pizza (which is usually too expensive to share with little people).  I had a great time.  We spent all 3 hours chatting and eating and chatting some more.

We've been ready to move for so long, but it's things like this which give me pause.  I LOVE our congregation.  I love that we have such great friends there and that there's such a fantastic youth program.   I love how at home we feel there.  I love my friends too.  I love that when I have a night out, I can find friends to sit and chat with for three hours.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Truly Thankful

People are posting "I am thankful for..." things every day this month.  I've seen some great ones, some funny ones, some flippant ones, and some thoughtful ones.

Thus far, my very favorite one says, "Today, I am thankful for my awesomeness."


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dork or Awesome? You Decide.

I can't decide if this makes me a dork or if it makes me awesome.

I was in a car accident earlier this week (that is not the dork/awesome part).  No one was hurt, but the vehicle wasn't safe for transporting the goat rodeo.  I hopped on the see-saw that is the party at fault's insurance.  Well, I was on the see-saw.  They were hiding behind the school building refusing to even come out and play.  They promised to get the ball rolling.  Then they didn't, but promised the next morning.  Then didn't.  So I turned it over to my insurance.

All this left me without a working vehicle all week.  Today, we got wheels.  Where was the first place we took these wheels?  We went to the library.

That, right there, is the part that leaves me uncertain.

I don't really care.  If it crowns me as the queen of the dorks, I'll proudly wear that crown.  The library rocks and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17: Prematurity Awareness Day

Today is prematurity awareness day.  

I've shared our girls' stories here.  I've marveled about just how much they've grown.  

Here's the brief version of our difficult story:

Our daughters were born two months too soon.  My OB ignored the many symptoms of pre-eclampsia.  It was only when I went for a level 2 ultrasound with a specialist that someone finally listened to my concerns and my symptoms.  Unfortunately, since I had gone untreated for so long, it was too late.  They immediately sent me to the hospital to deliver that day.  

Born via c-section, L. weighed 4 lbs.  E. weighed 3 lbs 3 oz.  They spent four weeks in the NICU.  Looking back, that doesn't sound that bad, but it seemed to stretch on forever while we were in the middle of it.  NICU's do not exist in real world time.  Each day had enough emotional ups and downs to last a lifetime.  Each week felt more like months.  

L. initially had problems with her lungs and suffered bradycardia episodes. I watched her stop breathing in her incubator, heard the alarms and had to step back as the nurse ran in to rouse her.  E. suffered heart problems.  She was so easily over-stimulated that she was kept masked and we weren't able to hold her until she was over a week old.  I later found this probably wasn't the best course of care and that bothers me to no end.  I should have had my tiny baby against my skin, not locked away from me in an incubator.  

In the NICU, they fell down to 3 lbs and 2 lbs.  I didn't know if L would make it through the first night.  B'H', she did.  The next day, though, E. took a turn for the worse.  For about the first week, I didn't know if E would survive.  I vividly remember repeating, "She's going to make it" over and over again once we realized that would be the case.  

Looking back, and then looking at the time since then, I realize just how amazing their story is.  Ever since then, our kids have had an ideal recovery.  I loathe telling our pregnancy story to pregnant women because I don't think they need that negativity.  I love telling the girls' survival story to parents of preemies, though, because it really is as miraculous as one could hope for.

The girls didn't even suffer their first cold until just before their second birthday.  By the time they were 2, they were completely caught up in size and development.  In 2005, our girls were among a handful of preemies picked to be featured in the November issue of Parents Magazine as a part of their feature on the March of Dimes.  Now, at eight, they suffer no lasting consequences of their prematurity.  Their story often surprises people who meet them today.  

Today, the only reminder of their awful early beginnings are the teeny doll clothes in frames, the stacks and stacks of medical paperwork from their first year, the pictures, my visceral reaction to the beeping of hospital monitors (to this day, I cannot hear them, even on television without being startled), and our involvement with the March of Dimes.  We do the March for Babies every year.  

75% of babies born weighing 3 lbs 5 oz (which, remember, is larger than E.) died just 30 years ago.  It's through research funded by the March of Dimes that treatments have been created which help save these babies.  My children are alive thanks to the March of Dimes.  So, every year, we raise money and walk to help support them.  In 2008, our girls were the local ambassadors for the March of Dimes March for Babies.  

And so, today, on Prematurity Awareness Day, I remember, I cry, I celebrate, I thank G-d for what we've been given, I mourn for others who have lost, and I hug my kids close.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wordless (almost) Wednesday: Shoes

This week's Wordless Wednesday actually contains pictures from a few weeks ago.  I found a pair of plain canvas sneakers on clearance ($1.09--90% off) at Hancock Fabric a few weeks ago.  My oldest daughters and I busted out the fabric markers and went to town.  Here are the results.  We have since bought rainbow-colored laces for these beauties.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This IS the House You Are Looking For

Jedi Master

We have potential buyers coming to look at the house tomorrow.  This has the potential to be perfect timing.  

I'm really done with the whole living apart from my husband thing.  I would really love to move along already.  

Please, please please please PLEASE. 

Help me, Obi-wan, you're my only hope.  

*Yes, I realize the "These are not the droids you are looking for" line was said by old Obi-Wan, but I like the lego version of the young one better.  So :-p to the accuracy sticklers.

**Just FTR, it kills me to use the screwy Star Wars grammar.  I love the movies, but I love grammar too.  

We've got grammar, yes we do.  We've got grammar.  How 'bout you?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Love Letter to the Medical Community

Quack doctors (pair-o-docs)  (or pair-a-ducks)

You won't see this often from me.  I'm not a fan of the whole white coat deity thing.  I prefer to stay healthy and treat things naturally.  I'd much rather avoid the doctor if at all possible (hence the whole homebirth with midwives thing).

That being said, I completely recognize that there are things beyond the scope of the more natural healing (for instance, the child who got stuck during the first planned homebirth which necessitated a transfer to the hospital and a necessary c-section).

After the youngest was sick for a full week (and the rest all eventually followed, including the herder of the goat rodeo), I realized this was one of those times.

Problem is, it would be impossible to make 5 doctor appointments at once plus it would cost a fortune (my 2 youngest have never been seen by our family doctor and would therefore cost us $150 each just for them to walk in the door, not counting whatever it would cost for the rest of us).  And, with the husband having a new job comes new insurance.  Unfortunately, with new insurance does not always come new cards necessary for using the aforementioned new insurance.

Luckily, the magical mystical cards appeared on Friday.  Unluckily, it was Friday aka You Have Absolutely No Chance Of Seeing The Doctor Today Day.

Saturday comes and we're all still sick.  E. seems to be worse than ever.  So I decide that, after Shabbat, we'll all go to the closest urgent care.  That happened today and all is right with the world.

So, now, without further ado, I present my love letter to the medical community.

Dear Medical Community,

I love you.  I might even go so far as to say I "heart" you and I, as a grown woman, don't "heart" many things.

I admit, I'm not generally your biggest fan.  Your practices often baffle me.  You do things that studies have established are not helpful yet you ignore methods used for generations which are shown to work quite well.  I will, however, admit that there are things for which you are very useful.  Strep is one of those such things.

Today, I paraded the goat rodeo in to the urgent care lobby in all of our germy glory and the office manager's eyes stayed firmly in their sockets.   I was surprised when they didn't bulge out upon our arrival.  When she handed me all 15 forms to fill out (no, I'm not kidding), she even apologized.

Nurse cranky pants, I could have done without you.  I get that weights and blood pressure probably isn't the most exciting thing to be doing on Sunday morning, but there really was no excuse for being quite so rude.  My kids were awesome during all that, by the way, thanks for not noticing.  You were miserable and a bit of a pest.  Thankfully, our time with you was brief.  Here's hoping your day improved.  P.S. If you ever come across that big biker dude nurse who used to work here, tell him, I say, "Hi."  That guy rocked.

Doctor Buffy made up for Nurse Cranky Pants.  She walked into the room and introduced herself not as, "Doctor ....," but simply as "Buffy."  I hope I was able to hide my initial surprise that people outside Joss Whedon's imagination actually name their children such things.  Doctor Vampire Slayer, you were wonderful!  You commented constantly on how well-behaved the kids were and how cute they were (you get bonus points for that).  When you found out I was nursing (which YOU asked.  I didn't have to bring it up.  Thanks for that), you made certain any prescription was safe.  I could have made that easier for you if my copy of Dr. Hale's "Medication and Mothers Milk" hadn't gone for a walk somewhere.  Sorry about that.

While the Volde-Mart pharmacist was useless, you, Walgreens pharmacist, win the gold star award today.  You had the same initial issue as Useless at Volde-Mart, but you, Walgreens pharmacist, went above and beyond to solve it.  It took you ten minutes to sort through what the Death Eater seemed to believe would involve at least two full games of Monopoly worth of time to figure out.  We were able to pick up our prescriptions soon after and only pay a whopping $5 each for the ever-loving elixir of hope.  Thank you, Walgreens pharmacist.  I just about love you right now.  It took everything in my power to resist the urge to kiss you, but, as a friend pointed out, we all have strep, so you probably appreciate a thumbs up from a distance instead.

Happy Thumbs Up

Now, we've all started on our medication and we're all starting to feel much better.  We can, once again, peek our heads out from behind this curtain of illness go out into the wide wide world.  Oh happy day!  We can leave our home without fear of infecting our dear friends (or hope of infecting our mortal enemies).  I wish that we didn't need to rely on such medications, but we are ever-so-grateful that they are there with their magical powers.

From the bottom of my happy little heart (and unscratchy throat), I thank you.


Pill Head ACEO Collage

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Levels of Halloween Candy Eating

Halloween Candy

There are different steps to eating Halloween candy (or swiping it from your kids when they're not looking).

Step 1:  OMG!  Reeces/Twix/Snickers
   Yay chocolate!  This stuff rocks!  Nom nom nom.   Taffy?  Starburst?  Pixie Stix?  Milk Duds?  Oh hell no!  Throw those suckers out.  I've got chocolate.

Step 2:  Those are gone.  On to the Milkyway and 3 Musketeers.
  Not as good as the stuff I already scarfed down, but yay, more chocolate!  Nom nom nom.  There are still Pixie Stix and Taffy in here?  What cheap bastard thought these were a good idea? Moron!

Step 3:  Dude, where's my chocolate?  (Search through bag/bags hoping to find another Reeces, but with no luck.  Settle for whatever's there).  Well, Milk Duds are technically chocolate.  Nom nom nom.

Step 4: Find Reeces you hid from the kids, but forgot about.
   My life ROCKS!  Yes!  Chocolate.  Nom.  (only 1 nom since there was only one Reeces)

Step 5:  Surely there must be some more Milk Duds in here?
   Find 3 more packs of Milk Duds.  All is right with the world.

Step 6:  Oh hell!  No more chocolate!
   Reach for the Tootsie rolls.  Further down on the "Technically chocolate" scale than Milk Duds, but they ARE on the scale.  Pop a few of those.

Step 7:  Starbursts aren't so bad.
    Open them all and eat only the Strawberry.

Step 8:  Other Starbursts aren't so bad and I guess Taffy is okay.
    Eat the lemon Starburst and any tropical ones you find.  OpenTaffy, but not the Banana.

Step 9: Find one last remaining pack of Milk Duds
  OMG!  There IS a higher power.  Yay.  Chocolate!  Nom nom nom.

Step 10:  Screw it.  Nom nom nom
     Eat pretty much whatever's left.  Tootsie rolls go down first, followed by Starbursts (be sure to compare because the Mango looks a lot like the orange, but is higher on the "Yum scale," so must be eaten first), then Bubble Gum and finally Taffy.

Step 11:
    I suppose Pixie Stix and Banana Taffy are technically edible.

    If you make it to Step 11, call for help.

I should probably add a Step 9B:  Screw this.  I'm buying my own chocolate.  Buy a bag of whatever Halloween chocolate is still in stock and on sale for 75% off.  Do not proceed to step 10 until entire bag is gone.

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the 9th day of randomness...

Okay, so it's not actually the 9th day.  I suck at following directions, so I'm just filling these in whenever I can (or when I have no other blog ideas and need something to post about for Nanoblogmo).

Day 9 of the Randomness asks about something I've done recently of which I'm proud.

I'm probably proudest of the fact that I'm actually following through with Nanowrimo.  The only day I missed was last Friday and that's only because the wee-est of the wee ones was sick and then it was sunset and Shabbat means no writing.

Even with that day without writing, I still managed to catch up and average just about enough words for the month so far.

Last night, I sickness fairy beat me senseless and I went to bed early without writing.  I couldn't sleep, though, so after an hour in bed, I got up and decided to write anyway.

I keep telling my friends that I haven't written any fiction at all in years (most of my writing tends to be articles about breastfeeding, birth, and joy/wonder/horror/hilarity that is parenting).  The last piece of fiction I wrote was a short story nearly five years ago.  I've NEVER tackled a novel (even if it is a young adult one.  Fear not,  though, no mormon vampires anywhere near this YA novel).  During this month, I've not only worked on this novel, but I've gotten two other story ideas as well.  I'm floored by that.

So that's where my pride lies as of late:  I committed to Nanowrimo for the first time and I'm actually following through.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Down with the sickness

Well, I'm down for the count.  The sickness fairy has visited me.  Hell, the sickness fairy beat me senseless.

I only got 3 hours of sleep last night.  I thought it was odd when I woke up sweating, but didn't even consider the fact that I might have finally gotten the fever that everyone else has been through.  It wasn't until the sinuses started throbbing and the head started aching that I realized it was my turn.

Luckily, a mix of the netipot, sudafed (the original meth-making stuff that's behind the counter now, not the crappy useless version that's available on the shelves), homeopathic remedies and rest has helped quite a bit.  I'm not in pain anymore, but I'm absolutely exhausted.

Here's hoping I can get to bed sooner rather than later and that this passes quickly.  If the kids are any indication, though, these germs are in it for the long haul.  Ugh!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weekly/monthly/whenever I think about it link roundup

I keep forgetting to do these blasted link round up things, but I want to because this is an easy way for me to keep things in one place where I can easily flip back and find them.  Plus, if anyone's interested, I'd like to share the things that have caught my eye.  Heck, even if you're not interested, here ya go.

This Writer's Prayer is perfect for Nanowrimo.

Lots of great tips for your kids about Preventing Temper Tantrums in Parents (I understand a little more than I'd like).

I adore these mats.  Although, I think I could probably come up with something similar (and much cheaper) on my own.  I'd love to use that somewhere in the baby's room when we move.

I've seen the gorgeous (and expensive) felt playhouse card table covers, but here's a no-sew one you an make yourself.  I would LOVE to try this.

This made my day:

Funny Food Photos - Starbucks Costume

This artwork is so pretty.  I love the colors and the message is fantastic.
I just wish I had thought of it (and done it) first.  I love coffee, I love frappacinos, I love cute kids and I love making unique costumes.

Yesterday, I mourned the anniversary of Krystallnacht.  My husband's grandmother's synagogue in Germany was destroyed during Krystallnacht.  It's a Catholic church today and bears this plaque:

This video is phenomenal:

I recently discovered Rosy Designs on Etsy (and added a few pieces to the kids' wishlists.  I love the simple and sweet art.  Some of my favorites include Super Heroes, "I love you" notecard, Bonjour notecard and the Love is in the Air print.  

As I mentioned, I'm all about the coffee, so this cracked me up

funny pictures-De-Caff?

I'm dying to try this Asparagus Potato Brunch Frittata, just with fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned and minus the pig corpse.

I think this Fail Blog entry must have really been submitted by Captain Obvious.

This blog entry from Rachel Coleman (of Signing Time fame) about her oldest daughter who was placed for adoption made me cry happy tears.

I've been robbed!  The goat rodeo went as three blind mice and the farmer's wife for Purim this past year.  I, however, didn't submit it to Inhabitots.  This lovely family, however, did.

This embroidered long top is gorgeous!

This gorgeous artwork speaks to me on so many levels.  I'm going to order it for myself.

Webside Story is far too accurate and very funny, particularly to those of us who performed West Side Story in high school.

This guy on Lamebook refuses to argue with his unborn child via Facebook.  That's probably pretty sound policy.

Attack of the Redneck Mommy told me while Television and Tampons Are A Bad Mix and I couldn't stop laughing.

I couldn't stop watching this lolcat. It amused me to no end.
funny pictures of cats with captions

Liz Phair is still standing 6'1" and now I adore her even more.

Julie at A Little Pregnant does it again.  This time, it's an entry called "Baby Face" about Facebook, infertility and the original 90210.

Happy birthday to Neil Gaiman today.  He was animated and featured on Arthur recently.  You can watch it here.

I listened to this song a bit.  It always reminds me of my husband.

These two photographs spoke to me.

And lastly, a friend shared this with me Pretty Poetry Slam.  I think that's a fantastic note on which to end this installment of the roundup.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Cards


I love love LOVE holiday cards.  I'm all about graphic design and pictures of my cute kids, so it's no wonder I love creating them.

Here's a big tip from me:  Send New Year cards.  This works for us because we send cards to people who celebrate all sorts of holidays.  That way, we can send all the cards out at once (since Chanukah and Christmas are often fairly far apart).  Plus there's the added benefit of having extra time to create them.  I don't have to try to fit card designing in along with menu planning, shopping, wrapping, visiting, services, etc. Yet another benefit is that you can actually use all those super cute photographs you take during or leading up to the holidays.

From our Shutterfly New Year cards 2002

I like to design the cards entirely myself, but some years, I just don't have the time.  The year our twins was born was one such year.  That year, I was particularly thrilled that Shutterfly existed.  With infant twins and an active duty husband who worked an insane schedule (complete with training out of state), I just couldn't do it all by myself.  So I took that super cute photo over there of them in their bear snow suits, uploaded it, slapped it into one of their templates and bam, done!  

One of my big reasons for creating my own cards is because I like to personalize it more than the photo sites typically allow.  I love to add text and more photos.  This year, I'm really impressed with the options at Shutterfly.  There's far more room for customization than in the past.  I LOVE the holiday story cards.  They give room for lots of photos and text.  This "Year Of" card gives a space for each month.  I love the bright colors and the fact that it allows for customization (you can change out "Merry Christmas" for "Happy New Year" or "Happy Holidays").

I'm a big fan of photo gifts.  Our family all lives far away, so they miss out on most of the moments--big and small.  In the past, I've made calendars that featured all sorts of photos from the past year.  They love to see the pictures and they can keep and frame the pictures later.  I particularly like the feature that lets you add events for certain dates.  My father is famous for mixing up his anniversary date, so every time I make one, I make a point of adding that to the calendar.  :-)

I just found that they now feature canvas wall art.  They offer 12x12 which is difficult to find.  Other sites tend to have the standard 8x10, 11x14, etc.  I'm a scrapbooker and I usually work in 12x12, so I love that option.  I would love to get a canvas print of one of my layouts.  I've made a number of grandparent-themed layouts that I think the grandparents would love to have on canvas.

*Disclaimer:  I am taking part in the blogger 50 free holiday card promotion.  
That being said, I have been a fan of Shutterfly for years and have purchased a wide range of items from them and have always been very happy.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankful Ebay Didn't Let Me Sell My Kids

Today, I'm thankful for bigger kids who are willing to get out of bed to help care for a younger sibling who has a fever and refuses to be put down.

I called to E to ask her to get the thermometer.  Not only did she do that, she stayed up for an hour helping with the clingy baby.

When I realized I hadn't eaten at all that day, E even put the baby in her lap and read to her so I could quickly boil some water which I then added to a dehydrated excuse for a meal.

Some days, they make me wish Ebay would make an exemption to their "You can't sell your kids here," rule, but then something like this happens and I'm full of pride, hugs and kisses (albeit, not a lot of sleep or food).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

There's no place like home.

I had no idea what on earth I was going to blog about today.  Well, I DID have an idea, but then the baby got to feeling sick again and suddenly, I was at a loss.

Well, now she's on the floor flipping through books and I'm online flipping through Etsy.  That gave me a blog topic.

I've been putting together a wish list for the kids which involves lots of neat artwork for their new rooms (whenever we move).  I want to have a whole exciting array of new artwork for them to anticipate hanging on the walls of their brand new rooms.

I've found some adorable artwork for them, but I've also found some art that I want to hoard all to myself.

The word "Home" as always had a different meaning for us since we were a military family.  That quotation is one I've loved for the longest time.  Now that we're separated again in our quest for "Home," this rings even truer.  I love that art from  Volume 25.  I have no connection with that shop.  Heck, I've never even heard of them before, but I can't tell you how much I love that piece right there.  

And oh my stars and garters!  This one titled "Wherever we are together is home" is another one I must have.  What a fantastic reminder this is!  I think this would be perfect in my youngest's room.  I love the colors and there's a bird.  We called her "Tziporah" when she was tiny.  She reminds me of all things birds (plus she was even a bird for Halloween).  

Oh, that shop just made my heart so happy!  I want to stock up on just about everything they have.  Happy distractions ROCK!  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nothing says, "Happy birthday, baby Jesus," quite like this.

This is an actual Xmas ornament I found today at Hobby Lobby.  Um...er...why?  Hobby Lobby is run by the same type of Christians who get their panties in a wad when people want to respect ALL faiths by saying, "Happy Holidays."

How dare you show respect.  That's wrong!  That's a war on Xmas.  

Showing respect is an act of war, but declaring that one of your holiest holidays is really "All about the Benjamins" is okay?

This leaves me itching for a little caroling.

"For unto us a child is born.  Unto us, a son is given and his name shall be overshadowed by cheap ornaments hanging from a pagan remnant as we celebrate his birth."

Reminds me of another song I rewrote last year in honor of the Xmas season.

(to the tune of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus").

Your own inflatable Jesus.  Santa blown up on your lawn, deflate at dawn.

Too Much Eggnog?

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Not much blogging is getting accomplished today.  Not much of anything accomplished today actually.  Why?

I have this sad sickly face on my shoulder.  That's why.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 8: Goooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!

My short-term goals for the month include Nanowrimo.  I started out just wanting to write to do something for me as a way to force me to focus creative energy, which I admit I don't do nearly often enough.  Now, though, as a completely unexpected story starts to take shape (not at all the one I set out to write), I find that I really do want something to come of this.  Even if I don't write something commercially viable (I'm working on a young adult novel right now), I at least want to get this story out there.  I really am committed to getting that done.  My goal is to write something my daughters will read and enjoy.  I don't care if it doesn't get beyond them.  I just want to be able to finish it, hand it to them and have them honestly enjoy it.

Another goal is to sell this blasted house.  In my dream world, I would love to have this house sell in November.  Then I could celebrate one last Thanksgiving here (although, sans the husband) as a big going away party and it would probably take just enough time that we could look at moving in December right after the girls' Hebrew school consecration.

And, of course, there's always keeping the kids alive and our world in order.  I'd also enjoy saving the world, but I think that will probably be relegated to the "Long-term goal" folder.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On the 7th day of randomness, your blogger gave to thee,

a picture of someone or something that has the most impact on me.

Oh, this is a rough one.

I could post photos of my family.  My husband and kids are probably the people who have the most impact on me.  I think that's a given, though.  That's to be expected.

So I'm going to go with this:

Tikkun Olam is the concept of repairing the world.  We're all expected to work together to bring about improvements.  That idea that change IS possible through cooperation and concern for each other is a huge driving force for me.  It guides much of what I do and what I believe.  

I couldn't post this photo directly (well, I could, but not in an ethical fashion) because it's not available for sharing, but I love the photo and the explanation.  True, it's specifically about the magazine, but I like the description.

I also liked this photo "Fragments/Tikkun Olam" and this as well, "Tikkun Olam," but both restricted sharing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On the 6th day of Randomness,
My blogger gave to me...

A superhero.

Day 6 (I realize my computerzilla baby left me WAY behind with these) asks for my favorite super hero and why.

My comic-book-loving husband and brother will gasp in horror when I say this, but I don't think I have one.  If I have to choose, though, I'd opt for Wonder Woman simply because I watched the t.v. show as a child and had the Wonderoos.  I thought she was pretty damn awesome.  Even as a kid, I LOVED strong female characters and Wonder Woman fit the bill.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Broken Computers and A Month Full of Blogging

Sorry for the absence.  The weest of my wee ones took it upon herself to destroy my laptop, so I had to wait on a new computer.  My imac has appeared and so too has November.  I'm taking part in Nanoblogmo which means you'll see at least one post from me every day this month.

Feel free to cheer or jeer, which ever you feel is more appropriate.

I'm also going to take a stab at NanoWriMo for the very first time ever.  I was toying with an idea for a young adult novel and then, at the library, books with a somewhat similar theme just about jumped out at me.  So I'm going to take that and run.

Of course, I just realized today is November and that means I'm supposed to get started on all this stuff.   Oh joy!