Monday, February 28, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies Renew My Faith In Humanity

and not only because Samoas are so freaking delicious.

Did you know Girl Scout cookies are kosher?  Did you know my big girls are Girl Scouts? Did you know that you can buy Girl Scout cookies from them?  Well, now my entire neighborhood knows.

Today, they set up a table in our yard and danced and paraded about on the corner as advertising.  They wore their sashes and jumped up and down while screaming, "Buy Girl Scout Cookies," while holding a skirt as a pom pom in one hand and a box of Thin Mints in the other.

Everyone got in on the action.  The baby held a box of cookies and jumped up and down yelling, "Cookies.  Cookies."  My son paraded up and down the street with a tutu on his head yelling, "Girl Scout Cookies."  A number of people told us they stopped because they saw him and he was just too cute.  So when cars passed, he frowned and said, "They didn't stop.  They must not think I'm cute."  Oy vey, that boy!

At Hebrew school, he charged into all the teacher's rooms and implored them to buy cookies.  He then told me repeatedly that he wants to be a Girl Scout too.  Oh hun, I don't think so, but you sure do make a great salesman.  

The big girls did a great job and they had a lot of business.  I was super impressed.  When a middle school girl walked home across the street, the kids yelled to her to buy cookies.  I explained that kids might not have the money to buy cookies, but wouldn't you know it, she stopped home and then came right to our house with her wallet and was the kids' first customer.  The UPS guy delivered the girls new L.L. Bean backpacks (on which I got a FANTASTIC deal) and then bought a box of cookies.  An EMT stopped and gave the kids a $6.50 tip.  I was actually surprised by how many people donated extra money.  The girls had a ton of sales in just an hour.  They were so proud of themselves.  I am too.  I'm also thrilled with everyone who came out.  I never dreamed they'd have as many customers as they did.

This has lit a spark in my kids.  Now they want to be out there all the time.  Tomorrow, they're selling at the local Hillel then they're coming home to open shop back up on the lawn once more.

Why yes, my son DOES have a tutu on his head.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why my shower looks like a murder scene and why I'm not happy (even if I do have cute hair).

I was awake at ungdly hours  fortunate enough to get my hands on one of Clairol's coupons for a free trial of their new Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam.  The coupon came in the mail last week, so I headed to the store to pick it up.  It was tricky to find, but I eventually found it on the end cap, near the dyes, but not with them.  I opted for a darker brown with red highlights (I'm usually a lighter red).

A few days ago, I tried it out and was not at all pleased.  I can't find any real benefit to this concept.  It smelled and was difficult to use.

The mixture smelled far worse than any of the major brands I've used.  It was horrible and made my eyes tear.

The top appeared to be a pump top and it took me a few moments to realize it wasn't at all.  You put the top on and then you need to squeeze the bottle to get the foam.  Personally, I prefer a standard applicator bottle where I could put the color directly on my hair when necessary.  When I tried to do that with the foam bottle, it was very difficult to direct the foam in the correct place and it made a mess.  Plus the bottle is a bit cumbersome to hold that way and squeeze.

This was by far messier than any of the other standard boxed hair dyes I've used.  The foam had a bit of a mind of its own and splattered quite a bit.  My bathroom looked like a crime scene with all the red splatter.  

Maybe it was just because I've never used foam hair dye before, but I found it far more difficult than the standard thick liquid mix.  I found it difficult to tell when the hair was saturated.  The foam isn't very thick, so I redid the same spots quite a bit because I just couldn't tell if they had enough product.

On the plus side:  I love the color.  It's even and is true to the box.  My hair isn't dry or brittle at all.  The included conditioner works well and, unlike other brands, Clairol's foam includes two packets of conditioner with the instructions to use one a week after dying.  I like that a lot.  The package also came with gloves that were more form-fitting and comfortable than those that you have to peel off the instructions which are pretty standard in most boxed dyes.

That being said, I just don't think it's worth it.  The retail price is a bit higher than some dyes and considerably higher than others.  I think some of the kinks could be worked out with repeated use, but I don't think I could stand the smell and the cost to the point where I could try it again.

I love the color, but was very annoyed with the process.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The kindness of strangers

The kids were all playing in the yard today when my oldest came in in tears. Turns out she kicked their favorite ball (a gift from my brother) over the fence into the busy road.

I assessed the situation (which really means I stood in the doorway and watched the thing roll further and further away while cursing to myself and trying to decide if I really wanted to risk my life in busy traffic for a $2 over-sized ball) and decided to go after it.

After risking life and limb to cross the busy road (that might be a wee bit of an over-statement, but hey, I'll go with it), I still couldn't catch the blasted thing. The wind just kept pushing it further and further away.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear but a pickup truck on it's way towards me. A woman pulled over, got out, caught the ball and brought it to me.

She told me it had flown in front of her when it sailed over the fence. She saw the kids in the yard and was afraid they'd run after it, so she came back around to get it for them.

Isn't that awesome? That, right there, made my whole day/week/month/year.

I think I shall invest in one of those quarter high bounce balls to keep in my van to remind me of this.  It will serve as a visual reminder to pass that kindness along whenever I can.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness

I've had a great couple of weeks. I've been very upbeat and positive.  I've played wack-a-mole with the Drama Llama and won.  I've enjoyed the company of great friends.  I've had an endless stream of potential buyers in the house.  True, sleep and I aren't BFF's lately, but I've still been in great spirits.  I realize how blessed I am and I've been pretty happy.

Out of absolutely nowhere tonight, I found myself having another one of those nights.  It's not even a whole night, just a sudden heavy heart in the past few minutes.

Miss the beard, but he's still hot.
I miss my husband.  It's not just the usual, "Wish you were here," type missing.  It's the, "I need you beside me RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW," type which should really be accentuated by ridiculous amounts of fierce punctuation.

Sometimes, I can pinpoint something specific that causes this longing;  a song, a phone conversation, seeing a sweet couple, an old photograph.  Tonight is not one of those times.  I have no idea where this came from.  It gave no warning.    Suddenly, out of nowhere, I had the overwhelming urge to be in my husband's arms.

I'm trying to stay positive.  I can't acknowledge this longing without realizing how blessed I am to have him in my life.  I know we won't be apart forever.  He's NOT in a combat zone this time.  Sylvr lynings, I haz dem in spades.

Still, I miss him and that's both wonderful and awful all at once.

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell.-Edna St. Vincent Millay


UPDATE (most likely a totally useless one, but I'm sharing it anyway) :

My husband and I met over an X-filed themed Rolling Stone cover in 1997 (we were both big X-philes, although I'm probably the only one of us who would willingly use that phrase and do so without rolling eyes).  While I still have the magazine (packed away now), we could never remember when exactly that was.  Turns out, the date on that issue is February 20, 1997.  So exactly 14 years ago.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Am I Suffering From Insomnia Or Just A Lack Of A Sound-proof Padded Room?

Sleeping Cuties

I have insomnia.  I've had it for over 20 years.  For me, that means it takes me a while to fall asleep and I wake frequently in the night.

The past few nights have been HORRIBLE.  I'm getting hardly any sleep.

This weekend, though, I came to a realization.  I'm so freaking exhausted that my insomnia isn't even the problem.  It might take me a while to fall asleep, but, once down, I would stay that way if not for EVERYONE ELSE IN THIS FREAKING HOUSE.

The other day, my big girls spent the night at a friend's, so I crashed early with the two youngest.  You might think, "Oh, early to bed and only 1/2 the kids in the house, that's a recipe for a great night's sleep."  You, however, would be so very very wrong.  

Here's how my night went:

  • 7:30 pm: Start to doze off while reading to the kids.
  • 8 pm: Kids in bed
  • 8:01-8:30 pm: Do all the end of the night hustle and bustle (put up the dog, lock the doors, etc.).
  • 8:35-9:45: Toss and turn and not fall asleep even though I was falling asleep on the couch just an hour before.
  • 9:50: Fall asleep.
  • 11:  Wake up for no known reason.
  • 11:20 (or so)  Fall back to sleep.
  • 12: Baby's awake and screaming.  Go get her.
  • 12:45 Put baby back to bed.
  • 1:30 Finally fall back to sleep.
  • 3 am: Cat pounds at the door to get out.
  • 3:00-3:02 Try to see through the dark if it's a smart cat who can actually get the door open or the stupid cat who will just pound on it for an hour without ever getting out.  Determine it's the smart cat and wait for her to work her magic.
        • LOLCAT BREAK:
        funny pictures of cats with captions
        Yeah, it was EXACTLY like that.
    • 3:03: Cat gets out.  Get up and close the bedroom door after her.
    • 3:10: Start to drift off to sleep when stupid cat then decides she wants out too.  After she bangs on the door, get up and let her out.  Leave door open.
    • 3:15 Smart cat returns and loudly opens the bedroom closet.
    • 3:16 Yell at the cat and put a box in front of the closet door.
    • 3:17 Cat then scratches loudly at box.
    • 3:18 Throw a sock at cat.
    • 3:18.32: Cat loudly jumps on box and attacks.
    • 3:19: Curse at cat while putting shoes on top of the box to hold it closed.
    • 3:20-3:30: Cat tries to knock shoes off box making insane amounts of noise.
    • 3:31: Toss cat in hallway and close door.
    • 3:40 (just as drifting off to sleep) dumb cat returns and wants in.  She is, not, however smart enough to actually GET IN, so she scratches at the closed door.
    • 3:41: Let the damn cat in.
    • 4:02 am (just as drifting off to sleep yet again), baby wakes up.
    • 4:03-4:04: Hope baby will go back to sleep, until you hear her yell, "Potty!  Potty!"
    • 4:05-4:10:  Take baby to the bathroom, throw together another diaper and put her pajamas back on.
    • 4:11:  Pray baby goes back to sleep easily.
    • 4:12:  Decide there's no G-d
    • 4:13-4:50:  Bring the baby to your bed and nurse her.
    • 4:51:  Baby is up for the day and you don't have any big kids to help with her.
    •  5am-11pm:  Be a general bitch out of sheer exhaustion

    Yes, that is EXACTLY how my night went.  I thought to myself, "My insomnia isn't my problem.  The kids and cats are my problem.  I don't need Ambien.  I need a sound-proof padded room."

    Hi we 8 ur Ambien.

    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Last Christmas, you gave me 90% off a tree skirt. The very next year, I turned it into doll clothing

    I LOVE seasonal clearance.  Xmas clearance is some of my favorite.

    Now, before you feel the need to point out that I'm Jewish (*gasp*  OMG!  I'm JEWISH?  I completely forgot.  Those sparkly red balls and freakish-looking inflatable santas must have induced some sort of religious convictions amnesia), I will point out that I use the clearance for non-Xmas related things.  There's even a Jewish blog which held a contest last year for the best use of Xmas clearance (if any of my readers remember which site that was, please let me know and I'll add a link).

    The (kosher) cake mix I bought, completely with Xmas tree confetti, was used to make Tu B'Shevat cookies.  Nothing says, "Happy Birthday, trees" quite like cookies actually filled with tiny trees.

    One of my favorite finds has been tree skirts.  When they go to 90% off, you can get them for less than a dollar.  They work fabulously for dress-up.  My kids use them as hoods, capes, shawls,  skirts, pretty much anything and everything.

    One came in particularly handy this week.

    My daughters' Girl Scout troop took part in a World Thinking Day celebration.  Each troop was assigned a country.  My girls' troop was given Mongolia.  The traditional clothing there is fascinating, so that was their focus.  They researched and made a board with a brief explanation of the clothing and some pictures.  They also wanted to dress one of their dolls in their version of a del/deel/dell (I can't find any one set spelling) which are worn by both men and women.

    However, nearly all of my fabric and craft supplies are packed up and in storage.  After brain-storming, they brought me a felt tree skirt from their dress-up drawer.  We just hot glued the doll in the thing, trimmed it to remotely resemble a dell/del/deel and then added a sash from their existing doll clothes.  There was also a pair of fuzzy boots in their doll clothes.  We found that in the winter, covers made of fur were added to the pointed toe boots.  Woo-freaking-hoo.  We noticed some of the traditional hats looked somewhat similar to berets, so they grabbed their doll's beret and we pinned a tassle on it to copy the look as best we could.

    My oldest decided to wear the red wizard robes she made at camp last summer backwards and we pinned a pillow case around her waist so that it resembled a dell/del/deel.  She even matched with Claudia, her doll (named after her favorite character from the Baby-Sitter's Club books.  My daughter specifically asked for that doll for Chanukah because of the resemblance to Claudia).

    Claudia and the fashion board.  

    Claudia in all her Xmas tree skirt glory

    RANDOM FACT O'THE DAY: Did you know that Queen Amidala's costume in The Phantom Menace  was inspired by the fancy traditional Mongolian women's dress? When searching for pictures of the traditional fancy dress, we were all shocked by how true they stayed with Padame's costume.  Take a look at those two pictures from my daughters' display board.

    Whoever is in charge of keeping track of geek points
    had better make sure I get some for working this in.  

    abc button

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    And now a word from my daughter

    There is very little in the world funnier than what comes out of the mouths of babes (assuming it's not Harry Potter's lego head or a purple marker).  Here are a few gems from my youngest.

    Today, she ate the purple marker and was covered in purple ink all over her face and hands.  As I cleaned her off, I said, "Oy vey!"  She then exclaimed, "Oy vey, boy!"  That's my usual exclamation since it's typically her brother who elicits an, "Oy vey!"  I told her, "No.  This time, it's oy vey to you."  So she exclaimed, "Oy vey me!"  

    Yesterday, while playing outside with her brother and sisters, she got distracted and had an accident.  When I peeled her wet clothing off of her, I told her, "Even your socks are wet."  She then said in surprise, "I peed in my dox."  Maybe it was the tone of voice, but it cracked me up.

    Today, we ran late when picking the big kids up from Hebrew school.  I scooped her up and exclaimed, "Oh holy hell!"  She then repeated me.  So I told her, "You don't have to repeat that." She morphed into a mini Beavis and said, "Huh huh huh Hell."  

    Oy vey, this girl!

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    If It Looks Like A Horse, Walks Like A Horse and Sounds Like A Horse, It's Probably Not A Zebra

    A very dear and wise friend gave me the above advice (the zebra bit, not the blunt card) when I was still in training for some health care work I did. The gist of it is to always look for the simplest explanation first because there's a good chance that really was the answer. We saw a variety of problems including some pretty severe and complicated ones, but we needed to remember that those were rare.  For the vast majority of people we worked with, the solutions were simple and basic. We needed to be aware that the troubling situations existed and required extra care, but we also needed to remember that most people would not have those complex difficulties.  If it seems simple, it probably is.  Treat it as such without jumping to uncalled for conclusions.

    I was reminded of that advice this week.

    Why would a 5-year-old child cut his things with scissors?

    Some suggestions included that he was one step away from self mutilation, that he was very angry and unable to express it, he was deeply troubled, he was feeling abandoned and (as would obviously be the case with any of these) that he needed professional help.

    However, all of those suggestions were way off base.  The child's true motivation is actually a horse, not a zebra.

    Here's a simple little story to explain.

    This is the comforter that S. slit.

    Here is the bed all cozy and warm covered by the comforter that S. slit.

    Here is the window alongside the bed all cozy and warm covered by the comforter that S. slit.

    There hang the curtains in the window alongside the bed all cozy and warm covered by the comforter that S. slit.

    Here is a curtain rod threaded through HOLES THE BOY'S MOTHER CUT to hang the curtains in the window alongside the bed all cozy and warm covered by the comforter that S. slit.

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, when I sat my son down to have a heart-to-heart talk as to what his possible motivations could be, the conversation went very much like this:

    Me:  What were you feeling when you cut your comforter?

    Him:  I wasn't feeling anything.

    Me:  What were you thinking when you did it?

    Him:  I wasn't thinking anything.

    Me:  Were you angry or frustrated when you cut it?

    Him:  No.

    Me:  Were you feeling sad?

    Him:  No. (pause) Well, I guess a little sad.

    Me:  What made you sad?

    Him:  Because it looked bad and it wouldn't even hang up.

    At this point, I was completely and utterly baffled.

    Him: (pointing to his curtains)  You cut holes in those and got them to hang up, but it didn't work for me.

    (pause here for mom's "Eureka" moment)

    Me: So why did you hide it from me?

    Him:  I didn't hide it from YOU.  I hid it from ME because it doesn't look cool.  It just looks broken.  I don't wanna see that.

    "No Zebras Here"

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Valentine's Day Revisited & Redefined

    valentines day
    Originally uploaded by
    rebecca anne
    I hated Valentine's Day. As a teenager, I boycotted it. I donned all black and bitched about stupid made-up Halmark holidays.

    To this day, my husband and I don't celebrate it. When it comes to companies encouraging people to spend insane amounts of money to honor a painful pagan fertility festival, I still feel as snarky as I did when I was 16.

    Once I had kids, though, I found myself longing for the Valentine's Days of my youth, the ones full of glitter-covered hand-made cards and pink cupcakes with red sprinkles.

    This year, our homeschool group had a Valentine's Day party with a card exchange. The kids had a blast. I had a blast. It was so much fun and helped put me in another frame of mind.

    While we don't celebrate it, I still found myself missing my husband today even more than usual. That longing made me feel the first itch of pitty for myself.  But how can you feel sorry for yourself when the little people in your life insist on addressing Valentine's Day cards to everyone they've ever met?  Watching a little friend tote your youngest around so sweetly through nearly the entire party tugs the corners of your mouth in an upward direction.   When your son demands to give his Hebrew teacher his very favorite brand new Toy Story Valentine pencil, you simply can't feel down.

    I think I've found a way to reframe the day so that I can truly enjoy it.  Instead of the sappy jewel-incrusted anti-single-fest Valentine's Day has been forced into, I found myself enjoying time with friends and watching my children doing the same (only their interactions contained far more screeching and hanging upside down than mine).  It made me thankful for it all--my friends, my kids, my situation in life, my husband (even if he's not here), my marriage (which can survive these absences time and time again) and yes, pink cupcakes with edible heart decorations.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Oh hell! I forgot all about the Linky Roundup yet again.

    I haven't done a link roundup in months.  So much for that goal of doing it weekly.

    I'm going to attempt to play catch up, but this may take a while.  I'm just going to shove them all in here.  Feel free to follow along.

    This Valentine is oh so funny.

    I saw this today and had to share. It made me laugh.
    epic win photos - Mr. Tea WIN

    I'm dying to make this dress-up clothes wardrobe out of a box.  We'll have enough after the move to make one once we get to a new place.

    $10 from any flower order on this page goes towards the March of Dimes.

    This song by Jenny Owne Youngs has been on repeat at my house lately

    This link about fonts/typeface cracked me up.

    This showed up in my feed thanks to a friend and I had to share.  We had a round of ThunderSnowSleet last week (which prompted a number of "Thunder cat" references from my friends on FB).

    These Feathery Owl Balls are adorable.

    Shalom Sesame now has a YouTube channel.

    I strongly disagree with this woman's conclusion.  Why I'm Passionate About Education.  I disagree with her on both points.  I do NOT believe a Classical or Christian education is the best for all or even most children.

    All breastfeeding mothers should save the link to the Infant Risk Center.  Despite what many doctors and pharmacists may tell you, the vast majority of medications are safe for the breastfeeding mother.  Visit that link to check on the safety of a specific medication.  Dr. Thomas Hale is the foremost authority on medications and breastmilk.  Yes, he DOES know more than your doctor or your pharmacist.

    The Lil' Vader VW ad is stirring a great discussion on gender.  FTR, I believe, based on what we're shown in the commercial, that Lil' Vader is supposed to be a girl.

    Now that my youngest is potty training, I can ditch the diaper bag once and for all.  Now I'm on the hunt for a new handbag.  While these two ad Mod Cloth are beyond my budget, I love them anyway; Traveling Translator Tote and the Traveling Translator Satchel.

    I love this Fairy Parade 3 Panel Wall Art for the new place.

    This website is oddly hypnotizing.  Move your mouse around and see what happens.  Keep going.  It just keeps changing.

    It's important to note the title of this lolcat entry; "Aifink Momma Needz a Drink..."
    Funny Pictures - Cyoot Kittens
    see more Lolcats and funny pictures

    I love these library posters on Flickr.

    I suddenly had to urge to go find this blast from past.  I'm so glad YouTube exists.

    An amazing, though clearly little-known, scientific fact: We get more snow storms in warm years!  I've been seeing quite a few comments mocking global warming since we have gotten snow.  That link explains things quite well for anyone who is confused.

    I want this A Latte A Day kit.

    Stories About Girls: Picture Books   There are a number of books there I want to find for my kids.

    I've never seen this show, but I appreciated the discussion on "The Talk" about breastfeeding laws.  FTR, when my twins were in the NICU and I pumped, my pump said, "Hoover Dam."

    Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth   I love the Onion.

    We've had a bit of snow, so I loved these alternatives to snowmen.  Thanks Ohhdeedoh.  The snow melted before I could finish my snow Totoro.

    I've been playing this song quite a bit lately. It reminds me so much of my husband.

    "We can always look back on what we did,
    always memory of you and me, baby.
    Right now it's you and me forever girl.
    You know we could do better than
    anything that we did.
    You know that you and me
    we could do anything"

    Why It Matters
    That entry explains why it's so important to make sure kids are safe in appropriate car seats.

    I labeled this entry at DYAC, "The breakfast of midwives."

    The Redneck Mommy wrote about Long Distance Marriages.

    The guy on YouTube signing with his daughter.  I love the song and their YouTube video and I love their story even more.  Everyone in my house has been singing, "Home," constantly lately thanks to their viral video.

    I discovered Nan Lawson Illustration on etsy where I fell in love with The Boy Who Lived (on blue) and A Couple Of Mugs In Love.

    I love love LOVE this "Family" photograph on Flickr.  Look through her pictures.  This is one stunningly gorgeous family.

    I Want To Be Reincarnated As A Weatherman

    Jake Shimabukuro plays "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the ukulele.

    I am now on the hunt for a foam playmat that I could paint thanks to the fantastic idea in this post.  I love this idea.

    This "Refill Required" t-shirt suits me quite well.

    I adore this "Shoe Loves You" print from the boopsiedaisy etsy shop.

    This entry from The Customer Is Not Always Right is my favorite one ever; Love A Jedi Shall Know.

    Funny Mummy: Battle Hymn of the Lager Mom – Why Chardonnay Moms Are Superior

    I love this archive of breastfeeding related Baby Blues comics.

    I'm not a big fan of the Keep Calm meme floating around, but this Harry Potter/library themed one is perfect.  I seriously want that in poster-size so I can hang it on the wall.

    We may have a meshugenah chihuhua rather than a truly dangerous dog, but I still want this sign.

    Oh Failbook!

    I love giraffes and herd the goat rodeo, so of course I want this shirt and I want one for each of my children.

    This is certainly a different approach to Facebook privacy.

    On Happy Meals and marketing.
    "So, if advertising to young children is inherently deceptive, and deceptive advertising is illegal under federal law and in most states, how is it even happening? And doesn't this mean that not just food, but all marketing to young children is currently illegal? I get this question a lot. The answer is yes. "

    I want these Metro Marvel Comic Wall Murals.

    I want to try to make these wire bird nests.

    My son loves ties, so I really want to make this simple Tie Rack for him.

    Since our house is on the market and we're looking to buy a new one, I can truly appreciate these 5 of the Funniest Real Estate Listings of 2010.

    This blog entry on cruelty really got my attention.  I'm often astounded by the amount of cruelty I see in comment threads.  This has lead me to insist that comment threads are where common sense and humanity go to die.

    Why I Need To Quit Facebook

    Bill Maher: When Will Obscenely Rich A**holes Stop Crying About Taxes?

    This recipe for cake pops makes them seem a lot easier than I expected.

    A template for every awful Facebook discussion you've ever witnessed

    With a Mother-in-Law Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

    The original article had the most gorgeous nursing photo (featured here as well) and this article makes fantastic points about NIP and the uproar in the original comment section (again, see my point about comment sections and humanity): Supermodel Miranda Kerr Breastfeeding Photo Haters, Read This

    La Leche League GB’s response to the article reported in the British Medical Journal, January2011

    Nursing in public isn’t just convenient — it’s a holy act

    How academic physicians turn into drug company shills

    This entry at Etiquette Hell broke my heart: Dad Crippled By His Own Selfishness.

    AP advocate Mayim Bialik is the newest TODAY mom blogger.

    I Was Homeschooled: What it Taught Me That a Classroom Never Could

    I love this one from When Parents Text.

    These 7 Playdough recipes could prove very useful for those who are snowed-in.

    These photos of Chernobyl 25 years later are absolutely amazing.

    This photo accurately sums up motherhood, particularly life with twins.

    You can get 10 free photo postcards.

    I love this Upcycled Vintage Baby Buggy. I'd love a chance to try to make one, but I'll have to wait until we move.

    This entry from Just West of Crunchy is a real eye-opener: Similac: Fox in the Nurses’ Hen House

    If Your Mom Wrote Movie Titles

    This post made me laugh so hard and reminded me that I'm not alone: My Two-Year-Old Is An Evil Genius.

    I must share this, if for no other reason, than the fact that it includes the phrase, "Playing nude musical chairs with Skynet." Dear Public Toilets Of the World

    Here's an ecard from me for everyone in the whole wide world.

    Scary Mommy writes about making a blog into a book.

    These photographs are heartbreaking and gorgeous all at once.  The East Side library made me gasp.

    I love this idea for a finger print pendant craft at A girl and a glue gun.

    This polymer clay family portrait is adorable.

    This Starbucks inspired necklace is calling my name.

    Quite possibly the sweetest proposal ever.

    You can't top puppies.

    I want to make these adorable fabric flowers.

    How About Orange shares some adorable tutorials.

    I want this shirt for my son.

    This quotation on children and patience says it all.

    I love Charlie and Lola's doll house.

    The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas. It's not my holiday, but that was my hysterical laughter you may have heard.

    Oh so cute!
    cute baby animals - Lint Owlets

    I want this Joy Print from Arian Armstrong's etsy shop.

    This house diorama idea is so neat. I want to make one.

    This about sums it up:
    demotivational posters - DON'T DOUBT ME

    This is an accurate depiction of some of my days:
    Funny Gifs - Kitten Slide

    Dr. Oz's cauliflower pizza sounds intriguing.

    I love these Morfs Brand shirts, but I can make something similar for much less.

    You can build your own cute miniature village.  This is another link that might be useful for those snowed-in.

    I'm still undecided about how to decorate once we move, but I LOVE this nursery.  I'm saving it for possible inspiration for the toddler.

    This blog article about the members of the Macabeats and their "Candlelight" video is funny as can be.  FTR, Teddy Bear gets my vote, but I also have a soft spot for both Ginger Jews (she only mentions one, but there are actually two) and the opening Jew.

    This recycled book page bird is SO cute.  I want to make a bunch and hang them all over my youngest's room (and mine too).

    Vintage Strawberry Shortcake paper dolls

    Ever since I saw this idea, I've been looking for broken wooden puzzles to use to make room decorations.

    Thanks to awesome friends, I discovered Reasoning With Vampires.  If you love the English language and detest the Twilight series, you MUST read that website.  

    And on the topic of English, there's this. I miss Sifyl and Ollie.

    Make a Batman felt mat for anyone who loves super heros.

    This Baked Pumpkin French Toast looks delicious.

    My youngest loves her dolls and loves playing with doll accessories.  I'm hoping we can have this doll crib made for her when we move.

    I love this paper sparrow mobile and I think I can do something similar with paint samples.

    And finally, there we have it.  This concludes the insanely long collection of links I've collected, but forgot to share.  Now they are shared and life, as I know it, can return to normal.

    Thank you and good night.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    It's my party and I'll completely ignore it if I want to.

    Happy Birthday

    or just bitch and moan. Whatever works.  The bitching moaning and crying never seems to, so I'm opting for just ignoring it this year (right after I finish dedicating a whole blog entry to it).

    The husband was supposed to be only a few hours away for training starting just days before my birthday.  He would be there for a full month, so that also would have freed him up to come to our youngest's second birthday party as well.

    Well, apparently, there's a change in plans. And so I sigh and moan and hope maybe there's more to this than meets the eye (no, my husband is not a transformer), but go on the assumption that there's not and my birthday is just going to suck.

    demotivational posters - FML

    I'm the type who always gets bent out of shape about birthdays.  This year, though, I don't have any plans and the more I think about it, the more I think I just don't want any.    Despite that photo of Mr. Grumpypants the pissed off feline up there, I'm really not depressed.  I just think it might be best to skip any celebrations.

    So, I think I'm just going to pretend it doesn't exist.  I won't mark it on the calendar.  I took it off my Facebook profile.  I'll avoid my usual birthday count downs.  While I didn't plan on telling the kids, the oldest saw me type my birthdate to sign up for something the other day and she remembers it.  She keeps telling ME how many days until my birthday.  Gee, thanks a lot, kid.

    I'm really not even feeling particularly upset.  I'm just exhausted and I really can't see how we could anything to celebrate, so I'll try a new approach. I don't want to get myself worked up with hopes for anything, so I'll just try this and see how it works.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    One Of Those Nights

    Lonely stairs

    It's one of those nights.  I hate these nights.  I miss my husband.

    We've done this distance thing before.  We're used to it.  Honestly, now that the kids are older, it's not that bad anymore.  We have our routines.  I have help from the bigger kids.  I have fantastic friends who help out when they can.  I can handle this stuff on my own.

    I don't need my husband to function.  I can handle the day-to-day stuff by myself without him around. The fact is, I LIKE my husband.  I actually want him around.  I know this, combined with the fact that he's not an asshat is a shock to many folks.  It seems to be the standard belief (and often practice) that husbands must be awful and wives should want to spend as little time as possible with them.

    When he returned from his last deployment, he had a month off--a whole glorious month home with us.  We loved every minute.  A friend of mine, though, countered with, "You only feel that way because he just came home.  By the end of the month, you'll be dying to ship him back."  By the end of the month, we were sorry to see him go back to work.

    I've known people who anxiously count down the days until a snippy spouse gets a vacation only to then immediately start counting down the days until their over-bearing spouse goes back to work.  We've never been one of those couples.

    I like having my husband around.  He's smart.  He's funny.  He's hot as hell. He has good taste in movies.  He's a genuinely nice human being.  He's a great father.  He really is a partner--we're in this together.  We really do work together in most things (okay, so I wind up as the only one who cleans the bath tub 97.5% of the time no matter how many times I ask him to do it).

    Yeah, obviously I love the guy.  We've been together 14 years (OMG.  I just realized that this year marks 14 years.  Yeah, I gasped at that realization) and this year will mark our 12th wedding anniversary (Why yes, that was another gasp you just heard escape from my mouth.  I knew last year marked 11 years so I have no clue how 12 managed to surprise me, but it did).  But the simple fact is, I like him.  After all these years, I still like him--really truly like him.

    I don't know why tonight turned into one of "Those" nights.  I'm not even sure how it did.  I just know I suddenly and achingly miss my husband.

    I'm trying not to let myself get too down.  "Always look on the bright side of life," and all that jazz (and yes, if you heard the Monty Python version, you're doing it right).  I really do know how lucky I am to be married to someone I still respect, still love and still like.  Still, when I remember how fantastic he is, I get a wee bit frantic and I get the urge to yell at the sky, "Then why the hell can't I be with him?"


    This house will sell.  This house will sell.  This house will sell quickly so that we can move and our family will be together again.  

    Could we just have that happen sooner rather than later, though...please

    lonely heart

    Today is February 1st. 5 months apart