Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #5

My Thirteen Favorite Alcoholic Beverages

I thought today was going to be a very, shall we say, trying day at work. A day to come home and enjoy a nice, full glass of wine after. Thankfully - it wasn't so bad after all. But still - a glass of wine (or mixed drink) is always a nice thing. So I thought I'd celebrate this Thursday by listing my favorite alcoholic beverages (in no particular order).

1) Gallo Cafe Chardonnay

2) Sutter Home White Zinfandel

3) Red Cat Wine - Hazlitt vineyards

4) Schmitt-Sonne Reisling Wine

5) Midori Sour

6) Midori Margarita - on the rocks

7) Amaretto Sour

8) Sea Breeze

9) Bahama Mama

10) Strawberry Daiquiri

11) Long Island Ice Tea

12) Mojito

13) Grampy's Christmas Punch (cranberry juice, ginger ale and Southern Comfort)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dude! You May Now Commence With The Oohing and Aahhing

So, I ordered one of my own products from my BlanchardCreative CafePress shop. I'm going to give it as a Yankee Swap gift at the MSBA Christmas Party this weekend. I got one of my Milo Mugs. It came today.

In a word, it's - AWESOME! See?!

That's right - none of that half-baked, screen-printed, image-disappearing-after-only-one-dishwasher-cycle crap here, boy. No siree Bob - this is nice! The image is bright and crisp and appears to be entirely baked into the mug - Milo ain't goin' nowhere, baby! Milo is here to stay!

Also, just so you know, on the advice of one of my faithful readers (Hi there!), I added a new product to my store - a messenger's bag. My reader suggested that I might want a second option for bags - one that would more easily work for the wheelchair using population. And thus was born the messenger bag. Yes, it is in yellow, but that was the only option with CafePress. Still, I think it looks nice and should serve anyone very well - wheelchair bound or not.

So take note - Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Whatever-you-and-yours-celebrate is fast approaching. But it's not too late to order your Milo-loving loved one(s) a truly unique gift. They'll treasure Milo forever because he speaks so personally and positively to their lives.

Heck! I even have Milo stamps you can use on all your holiday mailings. Now if that ain't jolly, I don't know what is.

Go! Check out my store, and my Hubby's too, and see if anything speaks to you.

Happy Shopping. And Merry Everything!


Double Dude! Hubby was just browsing through a catalog we got in today's mail when he saw an item for sale from my aunt! She's a weaver from Boston and I know she sells her stuff in shops and boutiques and such. But how cool/surreal is that to see her name and product in the pages of a catalog?! And just by chance, to boot!? Pretty darn cool/surreal.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm Fine, Thanks For Asking

I meet a friend for coffee** a few months back and she asks me how I am. I proceed to tell her all about Hubby's new work schedule and life changes. She repeats, But how are you?

A co-worker asks me how my Thanksgiving was and I turn it around onto her. How was her Thanksgiving? Did she host? How many people? Is that what she usually does?

People ask me if I'm getting excited for Christmas and I go on and on about how excited Sweetie seems to be for both her birthday and Christmas. About all the baking my Hubby hopes to do. And about all the gifts we have to buy for everyone and the places we have to go to see everyone.

Do you see a pattern here?

What? Am I uncomfortable talking about my own feelings? Do I feel I'm not worth my own time of day? Do I have nothing better to do than to concerm myself with the lives and concerns of others?

Well, not that I've ever really thought about it much before now, but, um - yes and no, I guess.

Maybe that's why I fit so comfortably in my role as mom. I'm much more interested in making sure everyone else is happy and safe than taking care of myself.

On the weekends, I sometimes literally forget to eat. But I make darn sure Sweetie gets at least some kind of breakfast, lunch and dinner in her.

I sit down to watch my all time favorite shows - or a special episode I've been waiting to see all week - when Sweetie calls my attention or Hubby asks me for help in the other room. And I tend to their needs. (Oh, sure. I'll probably complain for a minute that I'm missing my show - but I do give it up if need be).

I don't have any problem whatsoever buying gifts for others. Whatever they want - done! It's theirs. But I won't spend a dime on myself. So what if I'm wearing the same jeans from junior high school - the ones with ratty edges and expanding rips and tears? They still fit me just fine - they'll do.*

All I want for Christmas is The Little Mermaid DVD and a new bottle of Poeme perfume. But the perfume is expensive, I know. So whatever. If it doesn't happen - I understand.

Man oh man! What I downer I am! I'm really not as miserable as I'm making myself out to be. I just, for some reason, can't seem to take the time to care about myself as much as I do about the lives of others.

Call it self-sacrificing. Call it altruistic. Call it pitiful. Just whatever you do - don't worry about me. I'm fine. Thanks for asking.

Now, excuse me while I go massage my poor, hard-working Hubby's tired, achy feet. My sty on my eye can manage without one night's worth of warm compress treatments. And my counted-cross stitch can wait. I'm sure I can't finish it by Christmas Day anyway.

So, how are you?

* For the record, I did buy myself a few new pairs of jeans this summer. All from Coldwater Creek. All on clearance. And, at first, they were all great. But I quickly saw the truth of the matter - they were high waisted, unflattering Mom Jeans - every pair... and yet I proudly wore the Mommiest pair when I went for that coffee to meet my friend.** How cool am I?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mama Monday #40

Theme: Time

What to say - time just seems to slip away much to fast. As a child, I remember each new school year, each birthday, each Christmas Day - the passing of the excitement and the LOOOONNNNNGGGG wait for it all to come around again. Oh, to have that back again!

Now - I cannot fathom just how quickly the months pass by. Didn't it just turn into November? How can it almost be December? Didn't we just dress up for Halloween, like, two days ago or something? You mean now I've got to figure out which pretty little Holiday dress to put Sweetie in? You've got to be kidding me, right?

It seems like just yesterday that we were bringing Sweetie home from the hospital on Christmas Eve eve. How we added a second middle name to her full name to mark the time of year she was born. I remember our friends stopping by after catching a movie in our neck of the woods. All they expected was to drop in and say a quick hi to Hubby and I. What a surprise to find our Sweetie was here too! And then there was the phone call from another friend, warning me not to use the herb soaps he and his wife had given us as an early Christmas gift for fear that it would start early labor. Little did they know our bundle of love was already home.

We were to host our family's Christmas Eve dinner that year - and we still did! It's just that family came over ahead of time to help us prep the house. And the gathering was much more low key than it would have otherwise been. All that mattered that Christmas was that we had a brand new baby in our lives and in our hearts - to cuddle, coo over, care for and comfort. What a great Christmas present!

And here she is - about to turn 4-years old. And, yet, we'll all be celebrating our 5th Christmas with her. This seems to be the first Christmas that Sweetie truly knows what's going on - what it's all about (well - in Kid World, anyway - it's all about the presents!). She knows that her birthday comes first and that just a few days later, it's Christmas! I remember 2 years ago when we easily put her to bed on Christmas Eve. I noted how that would probably be the last time a Christmas Eve bedtime would go so smoothly. But then last year was fine too. We just told her she had to go to sleep or Santa couldn't come.

(It's great how, as time goes by, we as parents pick up more and more tips and tricks for getting things done. We also acquire more confidence in our parenting skills over time. Things that seemed so daunting a year ago now seem so old hat and so easily resolved.)

I wrote this post about a week ago. I complained how rushed I always feels at this time of year. How busy and stressed I am and how many things I'm always committed to do during the holiday season. But I vowed this year to take it easy, re-evaluate my commitments, and relax and enjoy my time more.

Then yesterday I wrote this post. And we 3 had a great day. Sweetie drew Christmas pictures that we can use to make our own Holiday cards with this year. And we prepped the house for the season. We played Scrabble. Hubby made Chex party mix. I picked up a holiday themed counted cross stitch that I started awhile back and then let go. We had a great, relaxing, enjoyable day.

What a wonderful way to spend our time together as a family. Enjoying each other in the here and now. Trying to hold on just a little longer, a little tighter - not wanting the moment to slip away too soon.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pajama Day!

We did all our running around yesterday - took the car in for its inspection, went to the bookstore for an Advent Calendar for Sweetie (and a small one for me), took Sweetie to see The Santa Clause 3 at the movies (Did you like that movie, Sweetie? - Yes, but, um, parts of it were a little not right so I hid my eyes and I was a little scared. - She didn't so much go for the whole Jack-Frost-freezing-the-Mommy-and-Daddy-thing). Then Hubby went grocery shopping and got a jump on his Christmas shopping.

Today - it's Pajama Day! We've got nowhere to go, and a large crock pot of turkey soup to stew. A fire is crackling in the woodstove and I just put a 140+ track Christmas CD in the player. Sweetie is busily playing, imagining that a comfy snowflake patterned quilt from her Auntie is a (Sweetie) Hospital Dancing Room (I don't know - just go with it), a garage to sleep in (seriously, I don't know where she got that from either - we don't even have a garage) and/or a boat with a dancing floor, depending on her whim at the moment. I kind of want to bring down the Christmas decorations (the absolute only season/holiday that I decorate the house for). I feel like making pretty and cozy, but not really cleaning/decluttering. How to do that?????

Well, Hubby seems motivated to declutter - maybe I'll take over once he's done...

Happy Pajama Day, Everyone!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #33

Sweetie's come up with a lot of doozies this past week, what with all the family gatherings, craziness and holiday celebrations...

At Nana's house the other day, Sweetie came in from the outdoors, having just run around and explored my parents' backyard with her cousins.

When she got inside and took her coat and hood off, my SIL commented to Sweetie, Look at your hair!

To which Sweetie screamed, NO! and ran off crying... totally, completely distraught over the seemingly innocent comment.

I went after her to find out what the big problem was.

Why are you crying so much?!

Because Auntie Wendy..... took my mind away! WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

What?!!! She took your mind away?

Well, yes, but not exactly....

And then I'm not positive what exactly Sweetie said, but suffice it to say that the great "offense" was Sweetie's Auntie had implied that Sweetie had straight hair (or line hair, as Sweetie calls it) and not curly hair. And woe be to those who don't recognize and appreciate Sweetie's curls. They're her pride and joy, you know, and therefore must NOT be messed with. So there....


Again at Nana's house - Sweetie passed by Nana at one point and noticed that she'd put red lipstick on her lips (much more so for the moistening effects of the lipstick than for vanity's sake). Since Nana doesn't tend to wear lipstick, it really made Sweetie stop and look.

Nana, why do you have lipstick on?

Because my lips are dry and this makes them softer.

Oh. But.... you don't look like Nana anymore.

Oh no?

No... you look like my Mommy.

Hmmmmm..... And I don't even wear red lipstick.....


Sweetie has decided for some reason that our staircase in our house is now called the A Table Pyramid (pronounced Ah Tahblah, as in the French phrase for to the table).

(See, Hubby studied in France and is pretty fluent in the language. Every night at supper time, Hubby says A table to get us to come sit and eat).

Anyway, Sweetie has regularly been referring to our stairs as such. So much so that, when my brother and niece came to visit last weekend, Sweetie took her cousin to see her bedroom and very specifically made sure her cousin knew they were taking the A Table Pyramid to get there.

And this is the A Table Pyramid, she proudly presented, as they trekked on up.

Yeah. I know. I keep tellin' ya - she's a crazy crazy nut girl.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Oh No, You Didn't!

Is it just me, or does it now seem like the worst, more offensive thing one person can do to another is to put his or her hands over another person's mouth?

I'm just sayin'.....get over it already.....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen Names That Can Be Played In A Game Of Scrabble

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! But, no, I'm not doing a "13 things to be thankful for" list. Too obvious. I'm thankful for too many things to list - one of which is having my family around at this time of year to visit and play games with. Like Scrabble.

My family loves Scrabble! My brother just started a list of people's names that are also legitimate Scrabble words. I think his list is approaching 200 names/words. Following is just the tip of the iceberg (along with their official Scrabble Dictionary definitions):

1) art - an aesthetically pleasing & meaningful arrangement of elements

2) ben - an inner room

3) carver - one that carves

4) dirk - to stab with a small knife

5) earl - a British nobleman

6) fletcher - one that makes arrows

7) graham - whole-wheat flour

8) herb - a flowering plant with a nonwoody stem

9) iris - to give the form of a rainbow to

10) jack - to raise with a type of lever

11) kelly - a bright green color

12) lily - a flowering plant

13) missy - a young girl

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mountain Maker

Okay.... so that wasn't so bad. I've got all my "have to's" done and it's just noon. Actually, I lessened my list by a considerable amount, to be honest.

I didn't give Sweetie a bath - I forgot. But tomorrow is another day. I don't really have to go to the bank - it can wait until Friday. The bread is on hold for us at the bakery, to pick up on our way to dinner tonight. The presents for my niece and nephew are wrapped. The thank you card Sweetie needs to make is to be handed out tomorrow - so that can wait. And all her birthday and Christmas gifts are now hidden in the house and her used activity books are weeded out of her current collection. I am all set.

I've even got a fire roaring in the woodstove, a load of laundry in the dryer, and a bid in at Ebay for a Christmas gift for one of my nieces. I rock.

Actually, I feel badly for making so much out of the things I had to do today. I know there are so many others out there who have full houses for the holidays and who have to cook a full-out Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, probably after working all day today. I've got it easy. I've got it made in the shade. All I have to do is show up and eat. I think I can do that just fine.

It's just that I'm really good at making mountains out of mole hills. But doing so is a helpful life strategy for me. If I go into something thinking it's going to be the worst, most stressful, busiest, craziest thing - and then it's not - I win! I guess mountain making is my defense mechanism in that regard.

So, that's it. I'm good. I'm happy. I'm all set. I am blessed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Day Off - Yeah, Right

Yay! I have tomorrow (and Thursday, of course) off. Time to sleep in, lounge around and wait for the evening festivities!

Ahhhh..... no. Tomorrow I've got to:

Go to the bank

Figure out how to go to the bakery to buy 2 loaves of bread with Sweetie tagging along (not so easy for me to do on my own)

Give Sweetie a bath (I'm not one of these moms who insists my child take a bath every night. About twice a week is good, so tomorrow's the day!)

Wrap 2 Christmas gifts for my niece and nephew to take back to TX with them

Write/help Sweetie write a thank you card to her Great Grandmother for a Halloween gift she received

Bring all the Christmas and birthday gifts that we just bought tonight for Sweetie into the house -assess what's left to do for her - weed out old toys and used activity books - and hide all the goods

Go to my brother and SIL's house for a Thanksgivng Eve meal/family gathering tomorrow night

Oh, and then it's Thanksgiving Day at the in-laws

And then it's back to work on Friday

At least I'm not doing any cooking whatsoever for the holiday. We're bringing bread to both tomorrow and the next day's events. And hubby is whipping up a mess o' butternut squash. But that's his problem, not mine.

So much for the lounging. Oh well. There's always this weekend.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mama Monday #39

Theme: Inside

What? You lookin' for me?
Feb. 2006

My Sweetie - Adventurous, brave and curious.
Silly, cuddly and sweet.
A builder, a dancer, a jokester, a nut.

Forever and always - inside my heart.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Don't Get Mad, Get Bloggin'

So, the mouse went away (or at least I don't know where it is rigt now. But the cats are both sleeping, so I guess I'm safe). And we got through yesterday's evil day from Hell without too many scratches (seriously - I'd blog about it, but I can't really do that without committing blasphemy against the creche). And now today is Hubby's birthday! So let's move on to the good times, shall we?!

This past Friday my brother and sister-in-law and their 2 kids arrived from Texas. They're staying at my parents' house and will be here all week. They come every year to help us all celebrate.

And so begins the true holiday season for our family. Meaning a lot of family, a lot of food, many gatherings and lots of good times - basically, just plain a lot. This week in particular means spending as much time as humanly possible at my parents' house, not only visiting with my family from TX, but with local family as well. Since Rob is here, EVERYONE is here - that's just how it goes.

Every year Hubby and I get pretty stressed about all the holiday commitments we have to see through. All the places we're expected to show up and everything we'd like to find the time to do just for ourselves. And every year we have to do a good deal of give and take to get all the wants and have to's done. Like I said, it can make us stressed and even angry. Bah humbug!

But this year we'll do our best to take it easy. Maybe start some of our own small family traditions, therefore letting go of some other annual doings. We'll try to make some real time for the three of us to do Christmas crafts and relax in our cozy home watching Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate. And Hubby and I will try to get away both by ourselves and with friends to either get some shopping done or to simply enjoy each other's company during this crazy time of year.

Heck, Sweetie's ready for the holiday! She spent this morning bringing down all her train track pieces - individually - from her bedroom to our living room (from the train set she got last Christmas and barely played with at all) and had me help her set it all up. And she's just informed us that, since the train's set up, we can now put the Christmas tree in the middle!

Anyway, we will try to enjoy ourselves more this time. And I hope we succeed. But no matter. Every year we're simultaneously stressed, harried, angered - calm, joyous, merry and full of love and happiness. Every year we rush to the Big Finish of Christmas Day - and every year we're so sad to see it pass by so fast.

My main goal is just to take each day as it comes, enjoy every moment that we experience, and have the most fun that we can. And you can be sure that I'll be right here every step of the way spreading our Christmas joys - and beyond - with you.

Ho, ho, ho!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #32 - Retro Sweetie Edition

Sweetie really only said one noteworthy humorous thing this week, so I'll save that for the end. But first, here are some silly things she's said or done in the past...

1) Attribute this one to good ol' fashion baby talk cuteness. But I think it's adorable and I want to have some record of Sweetie's early words...When Sweetie was just learning to talk, I tried to teach her how to say Thank You. But the way it came out when she said it was kee koo.

2) This one is on-going, but she's been saying this for quite awhile now... Pretty much everyday when we all come downstairs in the morning, Sweetie's #1 request is for chocolate milk and for either Hubby or I to hold me with two hands. This 2-handed holding request is also made in the evenings, when it's too cold in the house, or just when she's feeling particularly cuddly.

Oh, and if she sees that one of our hands is holding something else at the time, she'll either adjust and say, Hold me with one hand. Or she'll insist that we put the object down so that we can concentrate all the holdin' goodness unto her.


And now for this week's Sweetness....

As I've briefly mentioned here before, Hubby was commissioned to make a creche (you know, a manger) for a client. One large enough for a big, outdoor display during the holiday season.

Most of the construction of said creche has taken place in our basement. But eariler this week Hubby finally brought it up to our dining room to put the final pieces all together.

Sweetie was very interested in this structure and wondered what it was. He told her it was a creche and that she and I could even help him finish building it.

So Sweetie and I did what Hubby requested and held one of the pieces in place as he fastened it together. As we were doing this, Sweetie wondered,

Are we creching yet?

Also, when we told Sweetie what a creche was - the place where baby Jesus was born - I followed up the explanation with a question for her.

Do you know who baby Jesus is?


You do? Who's baby Jesus?

Um.... I saw her the other day at somebody else's house.

You did, huh? Interesting...

Looks like we've got a lot of 'splainin' to do this Christmas season....

Friday, November 17, 2006


Regrettably, Amy cannot blog tonight because she thinks there's a mouse creeping somewhere in the vacinity of her computer desk. Or, at least so say her cats, who are very interested at staring into that corner of the house. And she heard something there too. So - she's out...

Will return in the morning for Sweetie Saturday.

I'm sure you understand....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen Books I Love

I watch T.V. much too much. Particularly, I'm hooked on too many reality shows. So - let's take a break from all that! The following books are just a few of my favorites reads of all time.

1) Tess of the D'Urbervilles - I wrote my college thesis on this one

2) Jane Eyre

3) A Prayer for Owen Meany

4) My Sister's Keeper

5) Girl with a Pearl Earring

6) A Yellow Raft in Blue Water

7) The Da Vinci Code - Loved this one before it became "the" book to have

8) The Secret Garden

9) Anne of Green Gables

10) I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

11) Wicked

12) The Time Traveller's Wife

13) Little Women - Sometimes I think I am Louisa May Alcott reincarnated

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Good, The Bad and The Very Very Ugly

G - We no longer feel so strapped for cash now that Hubby is working with his dad. It's good, consistent work that Hubby loves (even though his 2 part time jobs make for long, tiring days) and we're doing well.

G - The dishwasher, which I thought was on the fritz, is okay. A wayward spatula was preventing the top rack's spinner from spinning, that's all.

G - I got another added bit of money this week when I got paid for some tutoring hours I didn't actually perform. My student cancelled (repeatedly) too close to our meeting times. So - her parents still had to pay for the sessions and I still got paid. Works for me!

B - I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with a cold. My poor mom has had a cough and been sick since early October, it seems. Now she's cough-free, but much more coldy. Sweetie is drippy and I'm drippy. I'm having flashbacks to last year at this time when both mom and I each had terrible ear infections. Ouch!

B - One of our cars goes in for its yearly inspection this weekend and it's definitely going to mean big bucks. We know we need 4 new tires and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were other repairs to make as well.

B - As the days get shorter and the weather creeps closer to snow season - I'm getting more and more concerned about managing Sweetie when Hubby is at work. For instance, my weekly chiropractic appointment. Sweetie comes with me and I just know that it won't be easy to get her in and out of the car and office when the snow and ice comes. It's hard for me to manage on my own - how will I handle her? But picking her up after my appointment is a lot of extra driving. So - who knows what I can do....

U - I was absolutely LIVID at Sweetie tonight.

Plopping-her-on-my-lap-getting-right-in-her-face-yelling - LIVID.
No-television-and-no-interaction-with-me-until-she-did-what-I-asked - LIVID.
Stripping-her-down-and-into-her-pajamas-on-the-1st-step-up-to-bed-1-and-a-half -hours-before-bedtime - LIVID.

All because she wouldn't eat her popcorn shrimp dinner.

Once she saw how serious I was about putting her to bed early with no story or anything, she changed her tune. Then she ate all her shrimp within a 20 minute span of time and the rest of the evening went smoothly and without further incident.

I apologized to Sweetie but told her how important it is that she eat her food to grow up strong and healthy.

So much for my creative, kid friendly steps to a happy meal time. No - tonight, I was one ugly mutha. And I feel so badly about it....

Pick your battles, Amy..... Pick your battles wisely.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The One Where I Ignore Even More Personal Blogging Standards *

* Warning - ho-hum daily life anecdote coming up....

Yesterday my mom, Sweetie and I went to visit my grandmother for the day. My cousin and her daughter met us there as well. We arrived around noon, first picking up a pizza lunch to share.

As usual, it took much bribery (in the form of leftover Halloween candy) and mama mental gymnastics to get Sweetie to eat any lunch whatsoever. In fact, when all was said and done, I think she may have managed to eat only 3 bites of a slice of pizza and perhaps a full crust and a half. That's it.

On the other hand, my cousin's daughter, who's not yet 3- years old, requested and ate 3 whole pieces of pizza! Wow! I could hardly believe it.

You see, eating has always been a challenge for Sweetie. She's just not very interested in wasting her time to put food in her mouth. It's our ongoing battle with her.

But for tonight's dinner, I came up with an awesome idea (if I do say so myself).

I made Sweetie a Rainbow Dinner! With her help, I found a food item for every color of the rainbow.

Red - dried strawberry slices

Orange - baby carrots

Yellow - corn

Green - peas

Blue - jelly on her PB&J roll up sandwhich (okay, so that one was a bit of a stretch. But I couldn't find anything truly blue to offer her).

Purple - apple sauce (What?! I don't know. Some crazy apple sauce we picked up that has berries mixed in. She didn't like it the last time she tried it, but tonight it filled it's purpley purpose to a T).

Yes, it was an eclectic mix of food options - but she loved it! And, while Sweetie didn't eat all of any of it (oh, wait. Yes - she ate all the strawberries), and she didn't even touch her peas (despite excitedly requesting that peas fill the green spot) - she did eat more food than I've seen her down in a long time.

Actually, I didn't mind that she didn't eat it all. I didn't expect that she would - it was a lot of food. Anyway, I wasn't sure what I was going to eat tonight. So I basically ended up finishing her food and then I was fed too. Yum!

I have to say, I'm proud of myself for coming up with this menu. I'm proud of Sweetie for getting excited with me about this idea. And I'm proud of her for eating a healthy amount of a healthy assortment of foods.

Yay, Sweetie!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mama Monday #38

Theme: Outside

I'm not much of an outdoors type of gal. I'm much more at home within my home. Sweetie, however, is a true lover of the outside world!

Every day that she's at Nana's she gets to go outside and explore their yard - almost 2 acres worth of grass, woods and fun. And if my dad is around, you can bet Sweetie is right outside with him, helping him pick up sticks and exploring the land with the added knowledge only Papa can provide.

At home, it's sometimes difficult for she and I to go outside on our own. When Sweetie was a bit younger, I was afraid she'd get away from me and I'd not be able to run after her. Now maybe I'm more afraid that her wild explorations will result in injury that I won't be fast enough to prevent or properly take care of.

Still, we manage. In fact, the last few Mondays she and I have ventured outdoors to rake leaves. And, as I should have expected, I'm finding my biggest problem is getting her back in the house. But I've found a solution that's working just great!

Let's go in and have hot chocolate!

Works every time.

This and That

Yesterday I had Hubby take the mail out. Later, I added one more paid bill to the lot - and raised the flag that Hubby neglected to put up.

Later, starting after 3pm, I started watching for the mailperson. I know they always come pretty late on Saturdays, but it was getting to be that time...

Later I looked again. Okay. Friday was a holiday, so that always seems to make the mail come even later the next day.

Later - I'm talking 7:30/8pm, I'm turning on the outside lights to check on the delivery status. Our flag is still up!

Me: Where's the mail?! Isn't it, like, illegal or something not to deliver our mail to us?!

Hubby: I don't know.

Later - maybe around 9pm or so....

Me: Oh. Today's Veteran's Day. Maybe that's why we didn't get mail.

Hubby: Yeah. Maybe.


Bonus Sweetie Saturday (er, Sunday) tidbit:

My parent's lost power on Friday when a tree in the area fell on some power lines. Sweetie had a hard time with it, not understanding that she'd not be able to do some beloved things now.

You can't watch TV because the power's out.

Well, can I watch a video?

No, because there's no power.

Okay. Then let's play on the computer.

Sweetie - the computer doesn't have power either. We can't!

After awhile, my mom asked my niece, who was at her house suffering from a cold, if she'd like some tea.

I can't have tea, Nana.

Why not?

Then Sweetie answers -

She can't have tea because there's no power!

She finally understood.


So, I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been switching up my blogroll this weekend. Actually, it's pretty much always in flux, but I've recently done a good deal of changing all at once - taking out some (sorry - I'd keep you if only you'd update more frequently) and adding others. I'd love to add even more! What are some of your favorites? Point me in a direction and I'll surf around. Thanks!

Basically, in my search for new links, I've really come to understand what I like and don't like in other people's blogs. I like people who update frequently, who write (A) brief entries &/or, (B) timeless/thought-provoking/well written/funny entries. Non of this "this is what I did today - I sat around on my butt and took a nap" stuff. Nope - don't really care about that so much.

Also - I like pretty blogs that are easy to read. Not so interested in the cookie-cutter templates that haven't been made to look unique in any way. Likewise, if the font is too small or just not easy on the eyes - I'm not sticking around.

Basically - I'm looking for mommy and daddy bloggers who've got fun/interesting things to say and who care enough about their writing to do it often and well.

With that said, let me introduce you to a few of my favorite reads - both old and new....

Blogs I check out every single day:

My friend Beth over at -

So The Fish Said...


Diary of a Playgroup Dropout

Hysterical Amy over at -



Mom's Daily Dose

And, wow!, a blogging dad! Rob over at -

My Beloved Monster and Me

He's writing a book about his daughter! To be published next year! I can't wait!

Some newly discovered gems:

Girl Gone Child - yeah, I know. I'm late to this party. She's awesome!

Crooked Pigtails - too, too cute. And a fellow New Englander. She's a fabulous story teller.

Oh, the Joys - perhaps one of the funniest new finds I've come across. Love her!

Three Beautiful Things - Just a wonderful idea. This blogger finds 3 things about each day that make her happy. She makes me happy.

Oh, and also? If I could "make" some people I know blog, I would. I think my friend Courtney should look into it. (Hi Courtney) She's an awesome person, a great writer and I know she'd reach a lot of wonderful people with her unique mommy perspective (she's a SB mom too. We need more of us blogging, don't ya think?!) And my brother Rob. He and my sister-in-law Wendy could blog together. Rob is my funny brother and I know he'd be able to tell great stories in an absolutely hilarious way. Plus I know they read my blog and I think others as well. They should get in on the action themselves. I'm just sayin'.....


Finally (yeah, I know. I've totally broken my "short entry" rule of good blog reading material. Oops. My blog, my rules).....

I'm having a Lia Sophia Jewelry Party - internet style! Woo hoo! This was the party I was supposed to actually host in my house this weekend but it fell through and became catalog based. Well, now it's internet based! That's right - I'm bringing my catalog party to you. Get psyched!

Click on this link and see if there's anything you'd like. Type my name - Amy Blanchard - as the hostess and then you're in - look around at all the pretty things!

If you purchase 3 or more items, the 3rd, 4th, etc... items (the top most expensive items) are all half price. Cool deal! But hurry up. I'm closing this party in exactly one week - on Sunday November 19th. So make your selections soon. Thanks. Happy shopping!

Okay, okay. I'll stop now. Gee - I thought I didn't have much to say today. Guess I was wrong...

Thanks, as always, for reading!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #31 - The Sweetness of Others Edition

After months of separation, it finally happened. Sweetie reunited for a lunch time playdate yesterday with her former babysitter and her 6 year old daughter. Halleluja!

After lunch my mom, Sweetie, our former babysitter and her daughter headed over to a nearby playground (which was packed because of the Veteran's Day holiday off from school).

Apparently, Sweetie was much more interested in climbing up and down stairways and walking around in general than going down any of the slides. However, at one point she found herself at the top of a fort-like structure with a slide to the bottom. She didn't want to go down.

Apparently, a little boy who was there called my Sweetie a chicken for not going down the slide. Hmmmppphhh......

But Sweetie's friend came to the rescue and stood up for her, telling the boy to not call her a chicken!

I didn't call her a chicken., he said. I was calling the tree a chicken.

Yeah, right. Sure you were, kid.

Luckily, Sweetie couldn't have cared less either way. But how totally sweet of her friend to look after her!

And I guess she kept it up for the whole time they were at the playground. Whenever she saw this boy, Sweetie's friend gave him what for....


Last weekend the three of us went grocery shopping. Sweetie was pretty good, walking along with us and eventually opting to ride in the carriage for the rest of the trip.

Along our way we passed another family out doing their shopping. The little girl (about Sweetie's age, maybe slightly older) and her little brother were riding in one of the car-shaped carriages that Sweetie always prefers to ride in - but there were none available when we arrived. Oh well.

As our two families stopped in the same aisle to fill our baskets, Sweetie and the little girl got to know each other a little better.

LG - Hi. I'm ________ What's your name?

S: I'm (Sweetie)

LG - This is my brother _________

S: Hi.

LG: Are you being good for your Mommy and Daddy?

S: Yes.

How sweet! It was too cute and too funny. Hubby and I witnessed this whole exchange, but the other Mommy and Daddy were too busy discussing what to buy to pay attention. Too bad - I think they would have been impressed with their daughter's politeness and concern for others.


Okay, okay - now for some good ol' fashioned Sweetie-ness....

Last weekend Sweetie was all about nonsense - nonsense words, that is. Some of them were real words used in crazy ways, and some of them were complete Sweetie creations and I can't for the life of me even begin to remember how they sounded.

However, two examples of real word nonsense talk follows:

Chicago - it means either goodbye or that's my Nana (or something like that) depending on the day you ask.

Allergy Ticket - it means Chicago.


The other day Sweetie and I were coming home from a long day of work and school. Sweetie was singing in the backseat.

One way or another I'm gonna gitcha, gitcha, gitcha, gitcha....

What are you singing, Sweetie?

Just a song.

Who told you that song?

No one told me. I made it up.

No you didn't - that's a real song!

No it's not. I made it up!

Okay, whatever. But it is a real song. Crazy girl.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And Around And Around We Go

Hey, lookey here...

Sweetie and I are featured over at my friend Beth's Club Mom blog - Diary of a Play Group Dropout.We're one of her Fabulous Friday links this week. Woo hoo!

Let's see now... I link to her post about Sweetie where she links to my blog here....

Y'all could keep clicking back and forth all day long!

Have fun on our fun-filled internet-style merry-go-round! Try not to get too dizzy, now. And, please - whatever you do - no tossing your cookies on my site!

Thanks for the post, Beth. Love it!

Thursday Thirteen #2

Thirteen Holiday Season Commitments

1) Ohio State Football Party At My Parents' House

2) My Mother-in-Law's Birthday

3) Hubby's Birthday

4) Thanksgiving Eve Dinner With My Family

5) Thanksgiving Day Itself - At My In-Laws'

6) MSBA Christmas Party

7) Holiday Party with Friends

8) Tree Trimming Party At My Grandmother's House

9) Sweetie's Birthday - Obligatory Visit To Santa Included

10) Christmas Eve At My Brother & Sister-in-Law's House

11) Christmas Day Itself - Hopefully Just One House To Visit, Not Two

12) Post Christmas/Pre-New Year's Gathering At Hubby's Grandparents' House

13) And, To Cap It All Off - Surgery.


'Tis the season. Happy (freakin') Holidays.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Don't Call Us. We'll Surprise You.

Out of the past 3 bedtimes, Sweetie has called either Hubby or I back up to her room two of those nights very shortly after putting her to bed. The first night, she called Hubby back twice - the first time because he apparently forgot to give her a kiss goodnight. And the second time because her nightgown sleeve was all twisty and she needed him to straighten it for her.

Last night she called me back up because I had forgotten to tell her what time to get up in the morning (no, I didn't).

So tonight, before I left her, I asked her if she was all set. If she needed anything. If she had any questions. If she was comfy. I told her I wasn't going to come back upstairs to her. That she couldn't call to us. She needed to be all set right now.

Um, okay. I'll call Daddy.

No, you won't. We're not coming back tonight. You need to go to sleep. No calling to us.

And there you go. All went well. There was no calling to us tonight after all. Good.

No - bad! What have I done?! I told her she wasn't allowed to call to us. I told her we weren't coming back to her if she called. That's terrible!

Of course I'd rush right back upstairs if she needed me. If she really needed something, she's got to know that it is perfectly fine to call for us. AND WE WILL COME. No problem. No questions asked. Right away.

All I wanted to do was stop the nonsensical questions and trivial issues she was presenting. I don't want to have to go back up for nothing. I don't want this to become a game.

But I do want her to know she is safe and can count on us to help her whenever she needs us to.

I just worry that she'll take my don't call us words to heart and seriously not call us. Even if she's sick. Or scared. Or hurt. Or whatever.

Because she has learned to listen to us, for instance, about what time she should get up in the morning. We tell her on the weekends to get up at 7 or 8. So, if she wakes up and her digital clock says 6 - she really won't get out of bed. She'll call to us maybe. But she won't get out of bed. Because we told her not to until 7 or 8.

Likewise - maybe she won't call us now - even if she really needs to. Oh - that would be bad.

I'm probably way overreacting, though. Seriously - if she was really that scared over something, or really felt that sick, I know in my gut that her immediate reaction would be to call out. I know she will. I just hope she does.

On another note - but similar, I think - is the whole issue of secrets. For a couple days last week, Sweetie was walking around not telling us things because everything was a secret. Cute for awhile, but then I didn't like it. I had to move in...

No. It's not good to keep secrets. We don't keep secrets from each other. Stop this.

And she did - eventually. Like I said, it was a couple days worth of secretiveness (and I'm positive she didn't actually have a secret - she was just experimenting with a new word), and then it was over.

... Until she and I watched a cartoon (sorry, can't remember which one) where the characters were getting ready for a secret, surprise party for one of the other characters.

Oh, boy. Secrets - bad. Surprises - good. Sometimes. Sometimes you need to keep secrets - like for surprise parties. Sometimes it can be more fun that way. But sometimes it's bad to keep secrets.

Oh, boy.

Luckily, Sweetie paid little attention to the whole surprise/secret issue playing out on the T.V. So I was more or less saved from going into any kiddie-sized explanation of good and bad secret/surprise keeping. But, at some point, it will all come up again. And I'll have to say something profound.

I'm reminded of the time, just about 4 years ago, when one of my brothers and his family were visiting our house for the afternoon. Hubby had taken everyone but my 7- month pregnant self and my 6 year old (I think - about that age, anyway) niece outside to see our yard. I took the opportunity to ask my niece if she was excited about the birthday party we'd be attending that afternoon for my grandparents.

Yes! And after their party it's going to be your baby shower!

Oh, really? Huh - isn't that nice?

My niece very nonchalantly informed me of the surprise party my family was planning for me. She didn't mean to ruin the surprise. It was just an exciting event she knew about and she wanted to share that excitement with me.

In the end I confessed that she had filled me in. And, no, of course she didn't get in trouble over telling me. She was a little kid. She didn't know any better. And, in fact, maybe it was actually a good thing that she didn't keep the secret. Maybe she knew, however subconsciously, that secret keeping, essentially, was bad. And so she told.

Now my niece is 10 years old (again - I think) and we'll be seeing her and her family very soon to celebrate Thanksgiving together. But now maybe she can actually help me explain to Sweetie the difference between keeping good surprise secrets and not keeping other things so private.

Whatever. All I know is that I can use all the help I can get.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm Famous!

Well, not really.

But, I was interviewed!

Well, kinda sorta. It comes with the territory when you register your blog at Five Minutes For Mom. But whatever - it's still cool.

Mom Blog DirectoryAnyway... do you like finding great new mom blogs to read? If so, check out some of the blogs listed at Five Minutes For Mom. They have free blog listings for all women-run blogs and each listing includes a full page interview. It's a great way to quickly browse through a bunch of blogs to see what ones you might like to visit. They do the same thing with webstores that are owned by women. What an awesome networking system! Whether you're for educational toys, kids clothes, baby gear or unique gifts - shop first at mom-owned stores.

Click on the links and look around. Five Minutes For Mom rocks!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mama Monday #37

Theme: Heroes

Okay, MSO. I know you're trying to "cash in" on the new Heroes hit on T.V. these days. I personally don't go for that kind of show, but my Hubby absolutely loves it. Whatever - I'll indulge you anyway. Here goes. Get ready for the schmaltz fest...

I have several heroes - pretty much everyone in my family. I am blessed to come from a large, loving, close-knit family full of many interesting, intelligent and wonderful human beings. A retired military man, a few entrepreneurs, artists, free spirits, activists, healers, parents, students, babies, etc., etc., etc.... Each and every one of them leading full, happy, amazing lives in their own right.

Perhaps though, above all else, I look up to my brothers. I'm the youngest of 4, and the only girl. Sure, my brothers teased me and were annoyed by me when we were kids. That's the way it should be. But looking back on it, I wouldn't have had it any other way. My brothers took great care of me. They watched out for my wellbeing, helped me try different activities that they knew I really wouldn't/shouldn't be able to do, and they allowed me into their activities whenever I wanted (or, more acurately, whenever I whined enough and whenever my parents insisted that I be included. But who cares).

As kids, I got along best with my middle brother (Hi, Rob!). The youngest of the boys - he and I were too close in age to do anything but fight and bother each other. And the oldest of the boys - he and I were too distant in age (an 8 year difference) to care much either way about each other. But my middle brother - he took an interest in me. He volunteered to learn how to take care of some of my personal needs as a disabled child. And he was generally very caring and considerate to me. What a nice brother!

As adults, all my brothers impress me. My youngest brother of the 3 was courageous enough to follow his dreams and pursue a whole new career - recently going back to school and learning a brand new trade. Plus, he's an absolutely awesome family man! He's a wonderful father to his 3 kids and a caring, attentive husband as far as I can tell. He and I have grown much closer over the years, but I'm sure he still doesn't know how great I think he is and how much I love him. Yes, he's definitely one of my heroes.

My oldest brother of the 3 impresses me with his hardworking, busy lifestyle combined with his laidback, no pressure type of attitude. He works nights so that he's available for his growing family during the days and weekends. He and his wife and kids are all very intelligent, well-rounded, active people. Along with my sister-in-law, he has made a great foundation - both morally and financially - to provide for his family and to demonstrate how to live life to the fullest. What a hero!

Then there's my middle brother. He's still the best! He too is a wonderful family man. But he's more than that. He's very smart. He's very determined. He's patient, caring and concerned for others. And he knows what's right. Like most of us, he's had his share of troubles - life hiccups - forks in the road - whatever you want to call 'em. But he knows how to not sweat it. How to take the situation by the horns, whatever it may be, calmly weigh the options, and make the best choices possible for everyone involved. And, knowing how great he's doing in his career as well as seeing my wonderful niece and nephew he and his beautiful wife (Hi, Wendy!) are raising - I'd say every choice he's made has worked out just perfect! You go, Rob! You're my hero for sure!

My heroes are my family. My heroes are my brothers. True, it may be schmaltzy. But it's definitely true - I love my heroes so very much!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Let's face it - I don't keep a clean house. Stop by my place anytime and you'll see stuff all over the counters, laundry on the floor, and a carpet in desperate need of vacuuming (if not also a good ol' fashioned carpet cleaning as well).

I try to do better. But, of course, just when I'm wanting to clean up a bit, Hubby seems to get extra careless about what he leaves out where and not cleaning up various spills. On the other hand, when Hubby's the one on a cleaning tirade, he's forever pointing out to me all of my housewifely missteps.

So why is it that for, like, the last 2 1/2 weeks or so, I've been more or less obsessed about keeping house? And not only inside the house, but outside as well. I've gone outside to rake and bag leaves, people! Something is wrong with me!

My "red room" is looking down right cozy these days. Yes, there is still peripheral junk around the edges, but almost every chance I get, I'm up there redispersing items to their rightful homes and generally tidying up.

I'm trying to keep the kitchen and bathrooms cleaned up too. But the kitchen is Hubby's domain, and I often get in trouble if I put something away in the wrong place. I don't do it on purpose. I think I know where things go. But it's never quite right. Yet I do what I can to keep up as much as I can there anyway.

But, you see, the trick to cleaning for me is - I'm much more apt to do it, and actually want to do it, if it's wholey my idea. Like, if Hubby said to me, Hey, you're here all day on Mondays. When I get home I want the living room spotless and all the beds made. Yeah - there's no way. Please - don't tell me what to do. I'll only resent having to do it. (Luckily, I've got to admit, Hubby has basically never ordered me to clean - or anything - like this. He knows better than that).

It was like this when I was a kid and teen as well. Like most kids, my room was typically a sty. And if my parents told me to clean up, I totally didn't want to do it. So many better things to do with my time, ya know? But if I took a Saturday and decided on my own to think of my room as my own little apartment, then I took much pride is neatening it up to look just beautiful. "Homeowner's pride", I guess. Whatever works, right?

So, yeah. If you don't ask me to clean, I'll gladly do it anyway - eventually. And, when I do, I probably won't even tell you that I've cleaned. But hopefully I've done a nice enough job that you'll notice anyway and tell me how nice things looks now. That would be cool.

Yesterday my mom and I went to a party thrown by one of my co-workers. One of her friends is starting her own re-decorating business. She'll come to your home, "shop" around in your rooms, and resituate your furniture to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Very cool! And especially nice that she's using all your own things. What an inexpensive way to liven up your space!

I was thinking of hiring her on to come check out our house. Our living room is basically a big, long rectangle with a wood stove in one corner. We've got 2 big sofas (that don't match each other), a computer desk, a pub table, our T.V., and random toys that need a place to be too. You'd think we'd have lots of choices with how to arrange it all. But that's not our view of things. So - we need help.

But my mom is really awesome at rearranging furniture too. In fact, she was kind of hoping this re-decorating woman would hire her as an employee. Not sure that will happen, but I can "hire" her! I'm just sorry it took this long for us both to realize this. Hopefully mom will come over soon to help me beautify our living room and put things where they make the most sense.

Once that's all rearranged, I can continue on with my secret, undercover cleaning mission. Shhhhhh. Don't tell anybody. I'll get it done. Just leave me be about it, okay?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #30

Sweetie is so verbal, it's hard to remember that she still doesn't quite "get" everything we say. I do love how literal she is, though.

Hubby: Do you want to see a picture of me when I was a little boy?

Sweetie: Yes. You were my age, Daddy?

Hubby: Once upon a time, yes.

Sweetie. No, I don't want a story! I want to see a picture!


I put Sweetie to bed the other night and, just as I turned off her light, she frantically told me to turn it back on.

What is it, Sweetie

I have a blue line on my hand!

Upon taking a closer look, I saw what she'd discovered - the veins in her wrist.

While I can't remember exactly what I said - or, for that matter, her exact words - I can tell you that I did my best to explain what veins were. How they carried blood all over your body and all that. This resulted in my giving a cursory explanation of what blood was, which was pretty hard for me to describe without bringing up images of cuts and owies and fear. But I tried nonetheless.

No matter. As I was going on about the wonders of the human body, with Sweetie seemingly paying close attention, she follows up by asking me/telling me something about eating yummy cake.

Ummmm. Okaaay. Now, I know my explanation wasn't very good. And it probably wasn't even very accurate. But I also know that I didn't make any mention whatsoever of eating yummy cake. So - I don't know. Sweetie's a nut, what can I say?

Yes, Sweetie is almost 4, but it does continue to amaze me that I can hold real, honest-to-goodness conversations with her (above example being the exception to the rule, of course).

On Tuesday afternoon I asked Sweetie if she had fun at her school's Halloween party (actually, it was called Fall Festival because, God forbid, we can't have Halloween in the schools anymore). I asked her, for instance, what some of the other kids dressed up like.

After some consideration, and no further prodding, she informed me that,

_____ was Minnie Mouse and _____ was a pterodactyl.

Wow! A pterodactyl! How does she know what that is? Okay, I'm sure the teachers said it, but still. She remembered the word and said it correctly. Very impressive!

Then I asked about one specific boy I know from her class - what did he dress up as?

He was a cowboy.

No, nothing funny there. Just me being impressed with my conversin', thinkin', growin', happy little girl.


Ramblin' Thoughts....

Hello! And welcome to Day Three!

Three - it's the magic number. Three, three, three. Fantastic number three. (oh, forget that. It's nine that's fantastic! It's perfectly consistant, it works out everytime.) Three rhymes with tea, which is my favorite drink and which I'm drinking right now. Really - I swear. Okay, okay. So I did have one small glass of white wine. But that was like an hour ago. And small. So - Yup - LOVE tea. Nothin' fancy - just good ol' fashion Salada orange pekoe. My favorite.

So, what are you all doing this weekend? Sweetie and I have a party to attend both days! And Hubby is going to be creche-ing and porching while we're gone (No, I'm not explaining that. It's more fun this way - yes?)

But we also hope to go out to dinner and maybe a movie too at some point. We have free moving passes, but the only movies we want to really see are opening this weekend and won't yet accept passes. So we might not get there. Anyway, we're not so sure we want to take Swee (people - I'm tired. Sometimes we just call her Swee - get used to it) to see Flushed Away at all. Thanks to my dear ol' mom, Sweetie has it in her head that pee and poop, once flushed, goes to a fun-filled place called Pee and Poop Park. In fact, more often than not, once she's flushed, you can witness Sweetie waving into the potty, bidding adieu to its contents...

Goodbye Pee! (or Poop, as the case may be) Goodbye napkin! Goodbye water! Goodbye everything! Have fun at Pee (or Poop, as the case may be) Park!

Because of all this, when Sweetie sees the commercials for Flushed Away she thinks it's about the adventures one can have at said Pee and Poop Park. (and, really, that is more or less what it looks like, right?). However, Hubby and I are leery to take her to see it because we don't want her to end up being afraid to use the potty again. Or, conversely, we'd rather not have her eagerly wanting to go down to Pee and Poop Park herself. She's doing so well - we don't want to rock the boat (don't rock the boat, baby. Don't tip the boat over!)

Dinner, though. Yeah, we'll probably head out for some sushi at some point. Yum! Oh, and Sweetie has officially declared tomorrow to be Booster Seat Day. Nana replaced her carseat in her car for a big girl booster seat a couple days ago. Now Sweetie wants one in all the cars. And so it shall be. Amen.

Okay, well.... um.... I kinda sorta just said my prayers inadvertantly, right? Yeah - let's go with that, m'kay? So - there's nothing left to do but go to bed and dream happy thoughts about booster seats, pee and poop, numbers, tea and sushi.

Oh, boy. Looks like it's going to be a nightmare-filled night....

And a looooonnnnnngggg month.

I'm so, so sorry.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #1

My mom said she's read my last few posts. She thinks I'm too down on myself and that I need to write more positive things. And so, with that, I bring you...

Thirteen Things To Be Happy About

1) We got an unexpected check in the mail yesterday. Woo hoo!

2) As mentioned before, I cancelled/re-situated my stress-enducing jewelry party

3) Because of #2, I don't really have to clean my house anymore (since I'm no longer expecting a house full of guests)

4) Our house's "red room" - I tidied it up this past Monday and it makes me smile everytime I enter it.

5) Sweetie's bravery, determination and curiosity

6) Sweetie's humor

7) My Hubby

8) Mondays off with Sweetie

9) My new "home" and "family" at work

10) The possibility of participating in NaBloPoMo if I want to - while simultaneously accepting that it's very alright if I don't (so far, so good).

11) Likewise, the realization that I'm free to continue with the Thursday Thirteen thing in the coming weeks if I want. Or not. Whatever.

12) Doing the unexpected to help around the house - i.e., raking the front yard

13) Finally having the money to go out to dinner and a movie

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Party, Schmarty

Remember last week when I posted my List of Yuck? Yeah. And how one of those things on the list was how I have to both attend and host various at-home parties in the coming weeks? Yeah.

Well - I'm not hosting anymore. I give up. I pre-invited (in a "Save the Date" type mass email I sent about 1 month prior to the party date) more than 20 people. I waxed poetic about the wonders and awe they will behold at my awesome upcoming jewelry partty. I said how, even if they weren't "jewelry people" per se (heck, I'm not even a jewelry person) then they could just come anyway and enjoy the good company and have some wine and relax. I made it sound fun. I made it sound exciting. I thought it was enticing.

Yeah. Not so much. Out of 20-some invitees, I only got 1 "yes" RSVP. And that's from someone I invited kind of in a last minute second round group of invitees! Oh, and my mother-in-law said if I needed her to come, she would. But otherwise - no. Even my mom said no! And my aunt, who LOVES jewelry - she said no.

True, some of the no's seemed to legitimately be due to scheduling conflicts. But many were because people just didn't want to come. And this was all from my "Save the Date" email! The actual invitations hadn't even been sent out yet!

So - it's cancelled. Or, rather, it's switched to a catalog party. Good - this works much better for me. And others, I think. No real pressure to buy anything on anyone's part. I'll show you a catalog and if you want something, great. If not, that's fine too. Whatever.

My husband and mom both got it right, I think. People generally go to these in-home type of parties out of obligation, not genuine interest. Furthermore, they usually end up buying something out of obligation, not interest. And when, in my case, you're hosting a jewelry party, you have to consider that jewelry is a very personal thing. People have very specific tastes in jewelry, so it's a harder sell. Plus it's probably going to be more expensive than other in-home party type offerings. I mean, it's relatively easy to justify buying Tupperware or Pampered Chef items. Not so easy to justify a bracelet, ring or necklace. I get it. I really do.

So - what do you all think. Do you genuinely enjoy the in-home party experience? Do you prefer hosting them or attending them? Or do you agree with me, Hubby and my mom that it's all mostly an obligatory thing?

At any rate, I told my husband to never let me offer to host an at-home party again. I've done candles, make-up, food, etc. I can't do it again. I just can't take the rejection.