Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Our internet connection has been soooooo sllooooowwwww today and yesterday. It took me 20 minutes to do some online banking this morning when it should have taken me 30 seconds. I'm a patient person, but - geesh! - this has been ridiculous! 


Last week was almost entirely snow-free. This week? Lots of snow. Yesterday it snowed, it's snowing now, and I do believe we'll get more before the week is through. I try not to pay much attention to the weather forecast - it's so depressing. And this week I'm on vacation, so there's not too much leaving-the-house I have to do anyway. But still - I'm so done with winter. It's been a long, bad one and its departure is taking its not-so-sweet, slow time.


Hubby was gone for most of last week, leaving his car behind. His car that gets much better mileage than mine. So I drove his car everyday. Now I'm on vacation and I still haven't had need to drive my car anywhere. But Hubby's home this week too and hoped to get out on his own today, using my car while I went out with his.

My car wouldn't start. Battery is dead. Again. Currently it's in its 4th hour of recharge. At this point, the lights flicker upon opening the door and, when you turn the key, the engine tries oh-so-feebly to make a comical effort to start. 

Let's all hope it starts in the morning. Yes, Hubby and I acknowledge both need new cars. No, we can't afford them right now. So please, oh please, die a little slower, would ya, little car?


I was so totally going to write about something entirely different tonight. I even had my cutesy post title all figured out. But now it's getting late, Hubby's got distracting T.V. playing right behind me, and I just don't feel I can put my heart and sole into my original post idea right now. I'll have to try again another time. 

Right now? I'm closing up shop, getting my jammies on, and I'll start reading our next book club selection

Luckily, we're all a little busy in March, so we're not meeting again until late April. Good! I can take my usually slow time with my reading, not feeling pressured to plow through it as quickly as I can. 

Sometimes it's nice to be slow as molasses.

(But not the car. Please - not the car...)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mama Monday #12.1

Theme: View

I know I've written here before about my being a very middle-of-the-road type person. That is, I've never been one to choose sides in an argument. I honestly understand each person's viewpoint.

My dad is like this too. At least that's been my primary impression of him until recently.

But, you know what? Dad's actually a pretty opinionated man. And, more and more, I'm finding that I'm rather opinionated as well.

In my case, I attribute my more solid views of the world to parenthood.

Being a parent thrusts a person, willingly or not, into a world of decision making. The kind of decision making of the utmost importance: making choices and forming opinions of people, products and ideas that may very well ultimately affect the well being and developmental milestones of a child - your own child.

You get a little more comfortable making decisions and forming opinions to mold your child, and you, in turn, get a little more comfortable making decisions and establishing firm viewpoints for yourself - in both big and small ways.

Huh - funny how that works. A little backwards, but whatever.

For me, I recognize my ability to see my unique viewpoint in small, silly examples. Like who I'm rooting for on American Idol (I don't care what anyone says - Jason Castro is awesome!). And what I think of our book club choices.

Heck - I think I actually take pleasure in disagreeing with book club members! If nothing else, having a different view of a book makes for a much more interesting discussion of it.

Playing the Devil's Advocate can be fun.

However, perhaps the most important development in my increasing ability to form and share my own views on a thing is simply based on time on this earth and comfort in myself.

Fitting in with others and not causing a stir? Yeah - not so much a priority to me anymore. Discussing options and understanding why others feel so strongly about a thing, whether or not I agree with them, is much more interesting these days.

Blogging gives me that too, of course. I'm free to write whatever I like, however I like. And my readers are free to comment or not, either in agreement with me or expressing their separate views.

It's all good. It's all fun. It's all part of learning, accepting and growing.

Yep - the view from where I stand right now, happy in my own skin and mindset, is pretty darn cool.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #97 - Short & Sweet Edition

Upon pulling up and parking our car at Pizza Hut (an establishment I think Sweetie's been to maybe twice in her life - and never to this particular location).

Sweetie: Why are we stopping at Pizza Hut?

Me: Because we're going to have dinner here.

Sweetie: We are?! Wow! It's like a dream come true!

(Hubby was out of the car during all this, walking around to Sweetie's side to help her out. So when he asked me why I was laughing so much, before I could answer, Sweetie said: Because I said something funny. Yeah - Mama always laughs when I say funny things).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sustain Hope

Yesterday I sent the following email to several close friends and family members of mine. And now I'd like to share it (in part) with you:

Hi All -

I just discovered a new website that I'm so excited about! I wanted to share it all with you ASAP. It's called Hope Revolution and you can find it here.

The premise of this site it to get people to spread hope in their communities. The current "challenge" - to be completed by April 1st - is to anonymously distribute "hope notes" throughout your communities. You can read more about the details here:

Hope Revolution was started by Krystyn, one of the founding Mamas of the site Mama Says Om. MSO, unfortunately, is now defunct, yet it still inspires me every week to write a Mama Monday theme post right here.

Like I said, I'm so excited by this new site and already have a very long list of "hope notes" text for me to create. I'd absolutely LOVE it if you'd all consider joining me in this inspirational excercise.

The notes can be as simple (sticky Post-It notes) or as elaborate as you like (check out some of the photos of notes at the site: Beautiful!). You can do as many or as few as you choose. It's not the QUANTITY or the LOOK that's so important here. It's the MESSAGE(s) that matter most.

So please - check out Hope Revolution, see what it's all about, keep visiting the site for updates and new challenges, and get to spreading the hope.

This email is being sent to wonderful, inspiring people - my friends and family alike -throughout the entire world. People who inspire and encourage me in big and little ways everyday. Please do what you can to spread your wise words even further.

Let's help start a Hope Revolution! Are you with me?! Good!



Monday, February 18, 2008

Mama Monday #11.1

Theme: Sign

(A.K.A: The Lamest Blog Post In History)


Ya know? It's a pretty bad sign when you can't figure out what to write about a theme word you came up with on your own.

Oh well - I hope others are inspired to take it and run. Have fun! And please link back if you do write a "Sign" post.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #96

Hubby and I were playing WordSearch last weekend. Sweetie was happy enough to play with our discarded letters, not paying us much attention at all or even asking how to play the game in the first place (you place the letter tiles randomly, then move available letters from all over the board to form words).

I was having a particularly difficult time coming up with a word at one point. After a long time, and completely out of the blue, Sweetie said,

Mama, why don’t you just do “king” in that line?

And you know what? She was right! Yay, Sweetie! Thanks so much for your help!


Sweetie: The only hot drink is coffee.

Me: What about tea?

Sweetie: The only hot drinks are coffee and tea.

Me: And hot chocolate?

Sweetie: The only hot drinks are coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Aaannnddd!… Sweet Juice!... (a warm mixture of water and brown sugar - something we give Sweetie when she's sick in the belly. Works along the same lines of having flat soda when your stomach is upset). Hey Mama – the next day that is a sick day when I’m spitting stuff in a bowl (throwing up)… can I have sweet juice again?


Valentine's Day morning, Hubby and I presented Sweetie with a card just for her. She loved it, but did comment:

Maybe next Valentine's Day you can get a card that's pink and green.

This is! The envelope is pink and the card has green, pink - and purple.

Oh - I mean the envelope.

Well, envelopes are usually just one color.

Well, maybe next time you can go to the two colored envelope store to get an
envelope that's pink and green.

Yeah. Maybe.


For Valentine's Day dinner, we three went to Sweetie's favorite restaurant - the Peanuts on the Floor Store (Texas Roadhouse).

Sweetie knew we'd be going here, but that morning I asked her if she remembered what our dinner plans were. I gave her the hint:

Are we going to the Almonds on the Ceiling Store?

Ahhhh! She remembered - and played along.

Nooooo.... Are we going to the Banana Nuts on the Roof Store?

Banana nuts?

Yeah! You know - those nuts that look like teeny tiny bananas?


Yeah! Cashews! The Cashews on the Roof store!


Yesterday Sweetie stayed home with Daddy instead of going to Nana's house. Sweetie was so excited, as she was going to work with Daddy in his basement shop, helping to finish up a project for her bedroom.

As I was leaving in the morning, Sweetie was getting herself ready for the day - looking for her working underwear.

Then, Hubby said she was surprised to find out that her regular old purple sweatshirt was her working shirt.

Well - today it is! Hubby explained.

Good enough.


Bonus "Hubby Saturday" addition:

On one of our recent family grocery shopping trips, we stopped to pick up some orange juice. Sweetie saw the different kinds and asked:

What's that word say?

You can read that. Figure it out.


Plulp?! Nooooo. Close, though! It's "pulp".

Anyhoo, this "plulp" word was funny to us and, eventually, it evolved into "plarp". Now - about a month later - we three still talk about "plarp" a lot.

Did you go plarp today?

Are you feeling okay, or are you too plarp?

What do you want for dinner? Chicken? or plarp?

You get the idea.

So - cut to just this week when I got an email from Hubby (who was home), recounting to me how he made himself waffles for breakfast. He went on, saying he opened the fridge to look for some syrup and, not seeing any, he admitted to thinking to himself:

Oh! There's no plarp!


That's it! Have a plarp day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Strange Challenge

My cousin challenged me to post 5 strange things about myself. Hmmmm... okay. Let's go.

Here's what I came up with:

1) Whenever something uncomfortable or embarrassing enters my mind or invades my memory, I block it out by saying the word "potato". Sometimes I even catch myself saying it aloud. I also fiddle with my hair - especially, I've noticed, when worrying about money.

2) Of all the places in the world to visit, I would most love to travel to both Austria and The Isle of Wight. I know practically nothing about either of these places and I have no personal connection to either (that I'm aware of, anyway). But for some reason, they both intrigue me, both for different reasons. Austria seems like a truly beautiful, historically rich destination. And The Isle of Wight seems perfectly relaxing and serene - the perfect quiet weekend away location.

3) I am probably the biggest movie baby you will ever find. That is, I refuse to watch any movie with even the most mild scenes of injury and/or confrontation. I literally sobbed in the theater when Hubby and I went to see
Meet Joe Black because Anthony Hopkins' character was so volatile in his angry outbursts. He had me on the edge of my seat. Yeah - I know. Really pitiful. BUT - take me to see a movie with chaotic, world-wide catastrophe and mayhem, and I'm just fine. I loved Armageddon. I haven't seen, but would like to see The Day After Tomorrow. I guess the thing is, I don't mind seeing a ton of people killed, mamed and otherwise harmed. But one-on-one showdowns are too much for me to comfortably handle.

4) I have loved literature since high school when I decided I would major in English in college. As an English major, I read a ton of wonderful pieces of literature. Yet somehow, such classics as
Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (to name a few) have not crossed my path. And I only read To Kill a Mockingbird because Hubby bought it for me for Christmas one year.

5) I have an irrational fear of large-scale statues/carvings. Ironically, I also have a strong fascination with them. I first noticed this phenomenon as a child after visiting
The Old Man of the Mountain (RIP). The night following that visit, I had a nightmare about the Old Man. Well - I don't know how nightmarish it was, because what I remember of the dream is the Old Man wearing huge googly-eyed glasses (you know, the kind with eyeballs dangling from Slinkies) that bounced up and down the mountain. That's it. Ooooohhhh..... scary! Anyway, I would love to visit the Statue of Liberty - but at the same time, she scares me. I freak out looking at close up photos of her face. Also? For years I've said that I'd love to travel west to visit the in-progress carving of The Crazy Horse Monument. But at the same time? Googling the link and seeing the pictures literally make my heart race with a mix of panic, disgust and fear. Really.

Yep - no two ways about it - I'm strange. And I didn't even tell you about how I think I'm
Louisa May Alcott reincarnated. Or.... well. Actually. You can read 5 more strange things about me here. Because obviously, one blog is not quite enough space to record all my oddities.

Just try to keep the laughing to a minimum, okay? Please?


Monday, February 11, 2008

Mama Monday #10.1

Theme: Curiosity

Of all the personality traits that make up Sweetie, I think perhaps my favorite is her curiosity.

Funny, too, because she's never been the type of toddler/kid to pester us with the nonstop "why's", "how's" and "what's" that most kids typically ask.

Instead, Sweetie is quietly, determinedly curious. She has her questions, yes. But she's a smarty. She figures things out for herself. She comes up with her own reasonings - right or wrong as they may be.

I'm astounded by how many times she's right. Profoundly, philosophically right.

Sure, her curiosity may come back to bite me in the butt in a few years. But right now it is at its greatest, purest form. And it's wonderful.

Right here, right now, I'm loving her ability to turn the whole world upside down.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #95

This past Monday I told Sweetie we should go to her room and change her magnetic calendar for the month of February.

She was very happy to do so, challenging me on our way upstairs:

Race ya like a bowling alley!

(???? I have no idea.)


A couple nights ago, we three had a simple dinner - pasta with butter and cheese. Actually, it was organic alphabet pasta. We'd never had this particular kind before. But Sweetie sure loved it!

This is the best dinner I've ever had!

We don't always have a dessert after dinner, but on that night I happened to remember some special ice cream treats we had in the freezer (meant for a party Hubby and I were going to have, but it fizzled out).

Sweetie loved that too.

This is the best dessert I've ever had!

As you can imagine, for the rest of that evening, similar proclamations were often heard.

You're the best Mama I've ever had!

You're the best Daddy I've ever had!


(BTW - I guess Sweetie really did love those noodles, as they qualified for a mention - including a description of the packaging - to Nana the next day).


Today being Saturday, Sweetie knew she wasn't to come wake me up before 7am. However, around 6:30am I heard her up and about, running from her room, to the bathroom, to her playroom. Whatever - as long as she let me rest until 7am.

Nope. Within 10 minutes she was running to our room, sadly telling me:

Moooomm! My hair isn't curly!

I told her she'd be taking a bath when I got up (including a hair washing), so it would be curly again after that. Fine. She wordlessly left me be again.

Until 7am, when I heard her leap from some surface (???? I don't even want to know) and come bounding at high speed back to our room.

Good morning, Mama! It's 7:00! Time for my tubby!

Oy - how can she possibly wake up with so much energy?

Now, as I write this, Sweetie's watching Sesame Street and her hair is nearly dry - and beautifully curled.

Thank Goodness - it may just be a great day after all!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Books, Books, Books!

For book club this month we're reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I only have the very last chapter left to read, which I'll do before bed tonight. I've LOVED this book and have been fascinated with all its twists and turns. Yet my mom and aunt, who've both just read it, say that, even with only one chapter left, I've still got a lot to discover. Wow!

One of the next books I'm going to suggest we read in book club is The Other Mother by Gwendolen Gross. I started this novel several months ago, but I'm such a slow reader that I couldn't commit to reading two books at once (one as my own selection, the other for book club). Anyway, I really am intrigued by this one. It's the story of two neighbors - one a stay at home mom, and one who works out of the home. Their stories are told alternately in the first person, and the reader gets a very interesting look into how each mom views both her own family choices and those of her neighbor. I'm sure it will be a perfect discussion book for our mom-filled book club.

Then, on a much lighter note, I've recently finished Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler: A Memoir by Wade Rouse. This one was a light, fast read that I was easily able to read for pleasure at the same time as I read another book club pick. I liked this book well enough, but I must make my own confession: I felt that Mr. Rouse's writing style was no better or worse than my own. Which is to say, while I do feel I write well, I don't feel I'm talented enough to get a book published. Likewise, I'm surprised Rouse found an editor and publishing house willing to publish his work. I don't know. Maybe it was just the fru fru/unbelievable-yet-true characters and events captured within his story. Still, if you want a fun, light beach read, this may be a good choice for you.

Now it's your turn. What are some of your all time favorite books? What are you currently reading? What new titles are you looking forward to? (Me? I personally cannot wait until February 19th when Schuyler's Monster comes out! Go, Rob! Yet another book I'm putting on my book club recommended reading list.)

Come on - let me have it! Tell me what books I and/or my book club absolutely MUST read.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Mama Monday #9.1

Theme: Focus

Hey! The lovely ladies formerly of Mama Says Om (along with some new friends) have recently start a photo blog called Shutter Sisters. If your focus is photography, if you've taken it up as a new hobby, or if you simply love to look at lovely pictures - please do check it out!


Yesterday Sweetie and I joined some other family members to go see the Hannah Montana 3-D Concert Movie. Sweetie didn't seem to be too keen on the whole 3-D-ness at first, as the featured 3-D previews were rather scary for her 5-year old imagination. In fact, it took a bit of convincing to get her to wear the glasses for the actual movie.

But - she did. And she loved it. And she even noted that, when she took off the glasses, the movie was really funny looking, but with them on, things were much clearer and more exciting.


And now - instead of going on and on about losing focus and staying in the moment and behavior, frustrations and the focus that can be brought back into your life after a good nap.... I think I'll just let things be, and focus on having a nice, quiet, Mama-and-Sweetie-focused-day with my little girl.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #94

Sweetie's still sick (ish). She's still got an occasional cough (it's been 2 weeks, people!). She's still occasionally blowing her nose. She's still on meds for her ear infection (although the pain of that was pretty much gone early this past week).

She's generally back to her old self, spirit-wise. MOST of the time she's, if not happy, then quietly busying herself with activity books or imaginary play. However, there have been several instances which have made me think a good anger management workshop or two would be a beneficial addition to Sweetie's schedule.

Whenever she's hurt, upset, angry - whatever - Sweetie has always been much more of a pouter, pointer and grunter than an explainer. This seems to have gotten much worse, though, in recent weeks.

What's more, she's become a stomper. A HUGE stomper. Like - a 600 lb., 7 feet tall outraged giant, stomper. It's a wonder she hasn't broken her legs from the sheer impact.

As you can imagine - none of this behavior is acceptable. Yes, Hubby and I can sympathize that she's not been feeling well. But that's still no excuse to not use her words, instead using her body movement and random noises to show her displeasure with things.

All this = yet another rule added to her Life Well Lived list of behavioral mainstays.

No fighting about food, doors, or anything. No stomping. And - for the love of everything - use your dang words!

With this - I've got nothin' in terms of cutesy/funny Sweetie this week. I've basically just got Bad Sweetie to report on. Sorry.

See, the only real Sweetie-related anecdote I could share with you is the "hilarity" of how she unclicked her car booster seat while we were driving home last night because she believed her seat wasn't fastened in as it should have been. I told her repeatedly that it was fine - it had been just the same for weeks, and that she should just leave it alone. Instead, she unfastened herself, making me have to drive out of my way to find a parking lot, get out in the freezing/slushy rain, carefully walk myself around to her door without killing myself, to fasten her back in.

See? Yeah - not so much the good girl this week.

Oh well. Tomorrow is the start of a new week. I'm actually taking Sweetie (along with 2 of my sisters-in-law and two of my nieces) to a surprise treat event (too bad I already bought the tickets and I can't get my money back, given Sweetie's 'tude). And both Hubby and I are ever so hopeful that her Sweetie-ness will right herself as soon as her delicate sinuses completely clear up.

Wish us luck and good health. And have a good weekend. I sure hope we do.


(In the mean time, click on over to here if you're interested in some true childhood comedy. This post actually reminds me of Sweetie, as she's been doing the whole "What?!" thing lately too - yet another behavior modification we're working on with her. Oy!)