Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let Go

That's a funny saying, isn't it? "Let go". It could mean a variety of things. Some good, some bad, some indifferent.

Tuesday, for me, "let go" was a very bad thing.

I was let go from my job. With a company I've worked for for 11 years. Purely budgetary reasons, I'm assured - nothing at all personal against my performance. I'm not the only one to go.

Still - it sucks.

I spent yesterday with Hubby, my mom, and Sweetie. I networked via email with friends, family and blogging/writing associates. I made the most of my day.

I'm glad I did, as it all helped me realize something very important.

I'm good. Hubby, Sweetie and I are all good. This is an opportunity. This is the kick in the butt I needed. Now I can get on with my life, pursuing the sort of career I truly feel passionately about.

I'm actually excited. I'm optimistic. I'm setting off on a brand new path - eager to realize my dream career. Writing, editing, educating - these are my passions. These are the areas I'm skilled in and the career path I'm eager to finally - confidently - plant my feet on and march on down. I can do these things. I've been doing them. Now's my chance to actually make a career out of them.

I'm good now. Soon, I will be great!

Oh, and one more thing. I'm going to make the most of this extra time with Sweetie before she heads off to kindergarten in the fall. This, right now, is the last bit of time when Hubby and I can really decide how she'll spend her days. This time with her is truly a gift.

Here's to the future. Here's to pursuing one's passions.

Here's to letting go.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mama Monday #21.1

Theme: May

Okay. Enough with the sadness, death, and sacrifice. It's springtime, people! Let's get on with the newness, rebirth, sunshine and warmth.

The month of May (my favorite!) doesn't start until later this week, but that didn't stop the private school near our home from hosting May Day activities this past weekend.

Hubby suggested we go, and boy was it an experience! What a fun way to spend a truly beautiful spring day.

Here's Sweetie and I listening to some songs.


And we witnessed the spring play, with the Winter King and Queen trying to take over the season.


And then, of course, there was the May Pole Dance...


...with its beautiful finished product


It really was such a treat.

How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful state and share the gorgeous new season with members of our community.


Speaking of community and the spring....

With the weather being as nice as it has been lately, last Monday Sweetie and I were able to go outside and enjoy the day. So nice after feeling cooped up inside all winter long!

While outside that day, we met our new neighbors (well, new-ish. They've been there since November! Like I said, it was a bad winter). Particularly, Sweetie met their 4-year old daughter. They became fast friends, playing together for about an hour and even sharing a picnic lunch.

Turns out this is a large family with 5 daughters, a few of which are 'round about Sweetie's age. Now Sweetie's always looking out our window, seeing if "the girls" are outside, and asking if she may go play with them.


Lastly, getting back to the newness and rebirth of the season....

Look at our little Sweetie now


Yep, she finally lost that tooth! I mean, she literally lost it - either spitting it out and having it fall down the drain, or possibly swallowing it - we're not quite sure.

No problem. We just wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy explaining what happened. Apparently, she was very understanding, as she gifted Sweetie with this -


A gorgeous Tooth Fairy Bracelet.

What a lucky girl.

Happy spring, everyone. May you have a beautiful May... and beyond!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #104

Sweetie's had a better week this time around, but she's still been exploring all of her emotions.

For example, these feelings were expressed by Sweetie all during one meal time:
I have good news from Nana's house, Mama. Uncle Rob called!
I have some bad news, Mama. I'll never eat spaghetti and shrimp again. 
I have some sad news, Mama. My loose tooth hurts, so I can't eat anything for dinner.
I have some mad news, Mama. I don't want to eat this because it tastes like tofu! 

(Nope. Bad argument, Sweetie. Tofu doesn't taste like anything. It takes on the taste of the other ingredients with it. And anyway, this is the same tofu that I'm told you insisted had to be purchased when you and Daddy went grocery shopping last weekend. Daddy and I don't understand why you were so determined to buy it, though. I mean, he and I aren't opposed in any way to tofu. But you're not too familiar with it so we're confused why you wanted it so desperately - and then refused to even try it!).

(Obviously Sweetie's emotional tour de force that night was focused on one thing - not eating her given dinner. A dinner that, in the past, she's absolutely loved - save for the addition of the tofu cubes. Didn't work, though. There's no fighting about food in this house, so she had no choice but to eat at least most of what she was given).


Again with the word play - during that phone call with Uncle Rob, Sweetie talked to him, reminding him of the punny comment he made about the video of her play.

You said I was a hoot, Uncle Rob! That was so punny AND funny!


At kindergarten registration the other night, we received paperwork on the year ahead and "treats" for Sweetie - new safety scissors, a pad of paper, and crayons.

Included in the paperwork was a 2-paged letter, addressed to the kids, but really for the parents - telling all that a child should know before starting kindergarten.

Things she should know include such things as the alphabet song, how to spell her name, how to cut with scissors, and when her birthday is.

Great! Got it. Done. All set with all that.

But the best part is how I found out about all the things she needs to know. 

Sweetie read the entire letter to me, only needing help with about 4 or 5 words.

Yep, she's all set. The girl knows her stuff.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Past, Present, Future

About 3 or 4 years ago a tragic story ran on the front page of our local newspaper. A young family of 3, on vacation out west, lost one of there members - while attempting to rescue another.

Their car was parked on the edge of the road, on the lip of a steep hill. Mom and dad got out to take pictures of the scenery, leaving baby inside.

The car started to tumble down the ravine. Dad did what he could to rescue his son. Baby survived. Dad did not.

Hubby and I had both previously worked retail with this man's mother-in-law. Hubby went to high school with his wife. She was also in Hubby's fencing class he took 6 or so years ago.

And the little boy? Is now Sweetie's good friend I____ at her pre-school.

I know this little boy's mom's name and what she looks like, but she doesn't know me. And Hubby and I still see and talk to her mom at the store sometimes when we stop in to browse. Still, even though our paths have crossed so many times in so many ways, no verbal acknowledgment of each other has ever been made.

And I feel bad about that.


The other night, Sweetie was observing that some kids have one mom and that's it. Some kids have one dad and that's it. And some kids have both a mom and dad - and that's what she has!

I asked her if she knew anyone who only had a mom or a dad. Then I remembered about I____. I said:

Oh! I know someone who only has a mom. It's.......

..... I____! I know that. He only has a mom.

Surprised Sweetie knew this (we've never talked about this sad story in front of her before), I asked if she knew what happened to his dad.

Yeah. He got dead. He died by a tree (????) and now he only has a mom.

Oh yeah? Who told you about that?

I____ did.


Then we had a small discussion about how I____'s dad will always be his dad. He just can't see him anymore - unless it's in a dream.

I'm not entirely sure what my point is here. I just think it's remarkable that this sweet little boy in Sweetie's pre-school class - a quiet, well-behaved boy whom Sweetie loves to pal around with - was the little baby rescued from that tumbling car some years back.


Yesterday evening was registration time for kindergarten in our town's public elementary school. I heard a father tell his little one - Look around. These kids will be in school with you in the fall. They will be your friends.

I felt like adding - whether you like it or not.

Maybe that shy little girl ahead of us in line will be Sweetie's life long best friend. Maybe that blond little boy who sat at the craft table after Sweetie did - both of them lefties - will be Sweetie's first crush. Maybe the cute girl with the blond curly hair - just like Sweetie's - will offer up Sweetie's first dose of merciless teasing and peer competition.

Or maybe we or another of these families will move from this town in the coming years, leaving other children heartbroken that their very good friends have moved away.

I saw Sweetie's future displayed in front of her last night in that classroom. I cannot wait to see what she makes of it. Such a smart, outgoing, creative little girl - she's sure to live her life to the fullest!

I___'s dad made sure his baby son had a future ahead of him, tragically ending his own life in the process.

I'm sure his dad is smiling down on I____ as he prepares for his own kindergarten experience.


I wonder how much I____ knows about the circumstances surrounding his dad's death. Whatever he knows - and from what I know of both this boy and his mom - I'm confident he's being raised with full knowledge of all his dad cherished in this world - first and foremost, I___ himself. Despite his physical absence, his dad is very present in his life.

Here's to the future. With kids like Sweetie and I____ at the helm, the world will surely become a brighter place.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mama Monday #20.1

Theme: Power

I'm turning this one over to Krystyn. Follow this link and - please - consider participating. Together, we have the power to make a difference.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #103 - Poor, Sad Sweetie Edition

Sorry, folks. If you've stopped by for your usual dose of silly Sweetie-isms, this post will be a disappointment.

See, despite her loose tooth good news (still in place, but now joined by a second loose tooth right next to it!) and her exciting acting debut a few days ago, it seems this past week has been largely a sad one for Miss Sweetie.

I first noticed it the night of her play, right around bedtime. Hubby tucked her in that night, so while she was still downstairs, I asked to go through our usual nightly routine with her.

Problem is, I was in a silly mood and I guess (to Sweetie) I went overboard a bit. Instead of asking for simple "Hugs, kisses, noses and poses" I had to continue on, also asking Sweetie for "toeses and elbowes and..."

... and then Sweetie smacked me. On the ear. To make me stop talking.

I yelled at her.

Ow! Don't hit! Don't hit me. You don't hit anyone - you know that!

Sweetie explained that she didn't mean to hit me, she just wanted me to stop being silly.

I understood. I knew she didn't hit me on purpose or out of anger. It was just her quickest way to get me to stop doing something. I explained that I knew she didn't mean to do it, but still - don't do it again. Ever. To anyone.

Sweetie started to wimper, tears rolling down her cheek. She gave me a hug. She was sad.

Without her saying anything, I understood. She wasn't angry at me for being silly or because she thought I thought she hit me on purpose when she didn't. She was sad because I raised my voice at her. Sad because she did something I didn't like. Sad because she hurt me. Sad because I was angry with her.

Recognizing this sadness, I gave her a hug. I took the barrette out of her hair, accidentally tugging at her hair as I did so. This hurt her a bit, making her cry even more. I apologized for hurting her. She still cried sad tears.

Why are you crying, Sweetie? Are you sad? What's wrong?

Still wimpering.

Are you crying because I said you hurt me when you hit me?

A nod of her head.

I'm sorry, Sweetie. I'm okay now. And I just hurt you when I took out your barrette. Does it still hurt?

A shake of her head. No.

Good. Then we're both fine now. And I know you didn't hit me on purpose. I know you know you shouldn't hit. I'm sorry I yelled. I love you, Sweetie.

I love you too, Mama.

Another hug, and she was off to bed. Everything was fine again - for now....

.... The next morning, as the three of us were getting ready for work and school, we all happened to congregate in the bathroom.

Back story: Since Hubby has taken up running again, Sweetie and I have become familiar with a certain smell in the house - a strong peppermint aroma coming from the Tiger Balm Hubby rubs on his knees before heading out to exercise.

So, as Hubby and we prepped and primped in the bathroom that morning, Sweetie had a question for her Daddy. But she didn't know exactly what she wanted to say. And she started to cry. Sad again.

She was soon able to explain enough to us - she wanted to know if Daddy was going to put that peppermint smelling stuff on his knees right then, but she forgot the name of it.

Poor Sweetie. I remember when you were just starting to talk and you got frustrated from not knowing all the words you wanted to say. It's tough to realize that even now, with your very large vocabulary, there are still words and ideas you're not sure how to express.


Moments later, as I drove Sweetie to pre-school, her sad state stayed on my mind. Gee... Sweetie sure seems rather emotional these days.

That afternoon when I picked Sweetie up from school, her daily note from her teacher reiterated my earlier thoughts.

(Sweetie) was quite emotional today.

Oh, boy.

It seems her friend I___ was not at school that day, yet there Sweetie was, wearing her pre-planned bright blue overalls - all ready to play Blue's Clues with this friend during recess. Poor Sweetie was so sad, that she had to change out of her overalls and into regular jeans to help her feel better.

The very next day, Sweetie donned her overalls again. I____ was there! Blue's Clues was successfully played! Yahoo!

But... upon that day's school pick-up, I found her playing with I____ at the sand table. I went to collect her things while she finished up. As I entered the play room again, I found Sweetie angrily yelling at another little boy who came to play with the sand as well.

Back story: For some reason, Sweetie has never liked this particular little boy, saying he's a bad boy who doesn't listen to the teachers or the kids. Oh, and I think he says bad words too - or at least that's what Sweetie's reported about him.

Instantly I intervened, angrily asking Sweetie what the problem was and explaining that A____ could do whatever he likes. She and I were leaving anyway, so it didn't matter what A_____ was doing.

After a bit more words and a Mama-enforced (half hearted) apology to A____ from Sweetie, she and I left. Sweetie's overly dramatic ways had her fully hunched over, a scowl on her face, and plodding heavier, slow footsteps. But I could tell her initial anger was subsiding. Now she was just sad.

How do I know this? Because the typical Sweetie is much more stubborn. As I've said before, she's a stomper. And as an angry stomper, Sweetie would have normally gone ahead of me, stomping and grunting loudly along the way.

Instead, on this day as we left her pre-school building and I was still talking to her about proper behavior and how to treat others, she quietly stayed by my side and reached for my hand. We walked calmly, sadly, out to the car together.

A____ is not my friend. He doesn't listen to the teachers or the other kids.

That's fine. You don't have to be friends with everyone. But you do have to be nice and treat people with respect. You know, Sweetie... the best way to teach someone how to be nice is to be nice to them.

Oh. (perking up a bit) I didn't know that. You never said that before.

Well, now you know and you can try that next time. Okay?

Later, as we drove along, I confirmed with her:

So I want you to treat everyone nicely now. But just know - it may not make that person be nice right away. Or maybe not ever. But you can still try. And if all else fails, just walk away.

Yeah, but if my friend I___ is there then I can't walk away. I have to stay with him.

You just take care of you. That's the most important thing.


Soon we arrived at our chiropractor's office for my weekly checkup. Sweetie's paper Super Hero Friend that she'd drawn and cut out had had one of her legs torn off. I suggested she bring both pieces into the doctor's office and ask for some tape to fix it.

Then the teeny tiny leg blew away in the wind.

Poor Sweetie.

Then Sweetie wasted too much time crying and explaining about what had happened with the leg, that she ran out of time to play in the office's play room.

Poor, poor Sweetie

I may very well be making way more out of things then I should be. And yesterday Sweetie did seem entirely like her usual self - even angrily yelling at her younger cousin for getting "her" Teddy wet (read: slightly damp) at Nana's house (there's the good ol' stubbornly argumentative Sweetie I know and love!). But for some reason Sweetie's emotional state seems just different than I'm used to seeing from her.

Another example:

She woefully asked me the other day:

Mama? When's December?

Not for a long time, Sweetie. Eight more months.

Oh. Okay. I was just askin'. (Oh, the pitiful tones a Sweetie can make).

Are you waiting for your birthday to come again?


Well, your half birthday party is in June, and that will be pretty soon.


I don't know. Maybe it's nothing. Maybe Sweetie's just learning how to refine her emotions. Maybe acting classes helped teach her more than simple line memorization. She hasn't been acting sad this week. She's just genuinely realized how to express her sadness appropriately.

See, Sweetie has been sad before, of course. But until this week, it's always come across as a more angry emotion than one of sadness. But now? Perhaps we'll have numerous shades of Sweetie to deal with rather than Always Happy Sweetie vs. Always Angry Sweetie. That would be a switch.

Is that a good thing? Uhhh.... I guess so.

Ugh. Give me strength.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hoooooo's The Best Owl Around?

Sweetie is!

(Yes, I know I don't typically post on Tuesdays, but today is special. I just couldn't wait to share!)

I can hardly believe it, but today was the last of Sweetie's acting classes. Today's "class" was actually a review of all the little exercises and activities the kids did throughout their 6 week course. Attending family members in the audience got to see all the fun games and "controlled chaos" that ensued over the last several weeks.

It was both fun, and funny, to see a room full of outgoing/highly dramatic/comical mini divas - just like our Sweetie. Sweetie herself may very well have been the most outgoing/craziest/out-of-control student today - enthusiastically welcoming the audience to "our real play!", quickly getting lost in her own world of creative imagination while the other girls showcased the weeks worth of prep they did for today's recital, and even suggesting some additional snack options for the lion character towards the end of the production (you'll see - all Sweetie was supposed to say was "and seeds!" but she thought better of that in the end).

So! The recital! I'll not bore you with the entire play. But I did want to share just the parts that included our cute white-masked owl.

Enjoy! The audio is not the best, so you may want to turn this one up if you're able.

Congratulations, Sweetie! What a great job you did! Daddy, Grammy, Nana and I all really loved being there today, watching you and your friends put on such a wonderful show.

Looking forward to many, many more great performances to come.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mama Monday #19.1

Theme: Backwards

You won't be able to tell this once I hit publish, but I'm actually writing this post backwards today. That is, I'm writing what I want to write about, and THEN I'll decide - from that - what the overall theme of the post is.

See, since taking over Mama Monday as my own independent thing, I now have the luxury of doing things a bit backwards on a regular basis. Before, I was dependent on an outside source to tell me on what theme I should write. But now, I'm able to figure out what issue I'd like to write, and then decide what theme lies therein.

So today, I suppose, is really no different. I'm writing what I want to, and a theme will arise from that. Except - in today's case, I really don't know EXACTLY what I'm writing here (I have so much on my mind lately) and therefore don't EXACTLY know how to place it all neatly within a singular theme word.

Here's hoping I see things more clearly when I'm done writing this post...

Hmmmm.... let's see. As you can probably tell from recent posts, I've had finances on the brain as of late. In fact, it's close to the primary thought in my mind at all times this year. (Okay, let's be honest - I've always been worried about our finances. But this year, at least, Hubby and I are much more of a team about taking care of the budget).

Without getting into detail - things are fine for us. Really. But as I said recently in another post, it's a constant challenge. We're not using our credit cards this year (and hopefully that will get us in the habit moving beyond this year to not always turn to our plastic to help us out). So we're always having to think ahead before making bigger purchases.

Constantly looking into the future to see if we truly can afford something "extra" right now, or do we have to wait for another paycheck or two to come in before we can do something/get something "special".

Currently, the "special" thing is new running shoes for Hubby.

In high school, Hubby was a runner. He was on his track team for a long time. He did well and he enjoyed the sport.

In college, he intended to continue with this athletic lifestyle. But his knees felt otherwise. Nope. No more running for him. The end.

However, over the course of the 11 years I've known Hubby, he's occasionally attempted to take up the healthy hobby again. Usually these attempts get an awesome head start, have great momentum for a week or maybe three, and then peter out. His knees hurt again. The orthotics in his shoes aren't right. The weather isn't agreeable. Something.

A week or so ago, Hubby started running again. So far, so go as far as his past knee pains go. He's gotten rid of the orthotics all together (on the advice of our chiropractor), and he thinks this has made a big difference in how he runs. By now, he assures me, in the past he'd have serious knee pains after all the running he's done. But this time? Nope. Still good. Still enjoying it. Still motivated.

But - he needs new running shoes. His are literally falling apart at the seams. Last week he told me, flat out - I'm getting new running shoes this week. I don't care what you say - I'm getting them.

(Oh, but how fast I pointed out to him that that just is NOT likely to happen. Silly boy).

In short, I had to remind him - unlike our past financial frivolity - that just because he chose this time in his life to start running again, it doesn't mean that we can afford for him to get new running shoes right now. We'll have to look at our finances together, figure out our needs for this month's bills, see what his schedule looks like for upcoming jobs, and THEN we'll know when a new pair of shoes can enter into his life. I'm sure it will be soon enough. Just not immediately.

He gets it. Really. We both do. But we often need that reminder that we just can't do or get things "just because" anymore.

(FULL DISCLOSURE TIME: On the other hand, I too am constantly in the hunt for a decent, attractive, wearable pair of shoes for myself. A hunt Hubby knows is a terrible frustration for me, and that when I do find workable shoes, I should get them because so few pairs like this exist. My current shoes are too big for me, often making me trip along as I walk from falling out of them. However, I recently found two new pairs of shoes, which we were able to afford at the time. They arrived, I don't like them, and their back in the mail. Instead, I now have a new pair of shoes on their way to me today, replacing the two pairs that are going back. Hubby is good with this, thankfully, having settled down from his initial demanding statement about his own shoe needs.)

Anyway. Money. Always an issue. Always a major consideration in what we get and how we live our lives.

Because of this, I've realized for myself within the last month or so, that I personally don't need or want much of anything. Hubby needs stuff for work. Or to keep himself safe. But me? Other than the aforementioned shoes, I'm good. Whatever.

A massage person comes into our work once a month and gives 10 minute/$10.00 chair massages to those employees who want one. You can get 20 minutes for $20 too. For a good while there, I would do this for myself. I'm almost constantly sore, and $20 a month really isn't much. Yes, it's a treat of sorts, but a healthy, helpful treat. I was in!

Now - I've given those up for the sake of our bank account, realizing that I can get 2 full body massages twice a year for the same price or less.

Hubby and I decided at the beginning of this year that we'd each get a small weekly cash "allowance" to do whatever we want with - a cup of coffee, a new shirt, whatever. This worked for awhile, but then I saw how detrimental taking out the cash ahead of time - and potentially not even spending it (or spending it on stupid stuff) - was to our account. So I decided I'd not take the cash each week. There's hardly anything I want "extra" each week - save for a Friday lunchtime trip to Starbucks. And that's certainly less than the cash allotment I'd previously had. So - I just don't take my Fun Money cash anymore, which helps out our budget (Hubby needs to be given his spending cash, so he knows full well when funds dry up and he has to wait for the next week to come around).

I had a haircut scheduled for myself earlier this month. I love my hairstylist! I've been to other places, but no one cuts my hair as good as she does. But she's expensive. So I cancelled the appointment, figuring I'll just deal, grow my hair for awhile, find a new way to style it, until we can afford the cut. I'll live without it.

Then I've told Hubby that, really, I don't want anything for my birthday next month. Let's go out to dinner then, I told him, but that's it. I don't need anything material. Besides, there's too many event-type things I hope to be able to do with the family and/or for myself this year. Being able to afford those activities means much, much more to me than getting a new book or knick knack. Honestly.

(FULL DISCLOSURE TIME: I had tears streaming down my face as I made this birthday declaration. No, I may not need anything or even know of anything I may simply want, but I sure do like to get presents. I always have. Hubby doesn't know about these tears. Will he read this? I don't know. Maybe).

I haven't gone on a coffee date with my friend in a long time. We used to go at least once a month - maybe more. And no coffee date = no seeing her at all. Coffee dates are our "thing". But I've decreed that we can't really afford for me to do this extra "thing" so often.

I've been sacrificing my own self-declared "silly" desires for the sake of our whole family financial well-being. Hubby works long, physically demanding days. He can certainly allow himself a coffee or two each week. He's also very talented with his woodworking. He should be able to get tools and products that will help him pursue this love of his, perhaps even allowing him to make sell-able things that could further help our finances in the end. You gotta spend money to make money, after all!

Even though I've completely brought this on myself. Even though I'm the one saying I personally can't afford to do or buy such and such for myself. No one is making me be so gosh-darn stingy. Just me. And you know what? Little by little, it's making me sad.

I'm the Mama. I take care of my family. I do what's best for all of us to live well and be happy. But in return, I'm not entirely happy. Satisfied enough, yes. I still don't really want anything material. And our finances are now and will continue to be a major factor in the purchase of things for all of us. But still, with everyone else around me getting little extras, I feel - at the very least - a wee bit left out of the fun.

And it's my own dang fault.

It's all a bit backwards, isn't it?

Coffee. I'll start with coffee. Set 'em up! A coffee date - straight ahead! Our activity schedule will allow for this to happen in a couple weeks. I'll just throw caution to the wind and decide right now that - come what may! - our financial schedule will allow for it as well.

All $5.00 of it or so. Ooooohhh! Big spender.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good News!

Hi again! Just had to pop in here for one minute to report something exciting.

Sweetie helped me clean up the house a little today, taking some items upstairs to her room or my closet. After one trip, she stayed upstairs for a few extra minutes. Finally coming downstairs, she announced excitedly -

Mama! I have some good news!

You do? What is it?

I have a loose tooth!

Yep - a loose tooth. Already. Quite loose, actually. I'm surprised she hadn't noticed it before today. Instead, she noticed it while she was upstairs, making faces at herself in the mirror.

Wow. What a milestone! I better alert the Tooth Fairy. Looks like she'll be needing to pay Sweetie a visit in the very near future.

Sweetie Saturday #102 - Extra Winners of Stuff Edition!

Okay, so I never heard from one of my Alvin DVD winners, so I was forced to pull another name out of my hat.

And that winner is.....


Congratulations, Abby! I know how to find you - you'll have your DVD soon. Enjoy!

But, wait! There's more!

I've also drawn 2 bonus names from my original entrants. These lucky people have won themselves the Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack CD. Yahoo!

Congrats to Sarah (Sazz) and Wendy! Soon you'll be rockin' out to the Chippies. I'll have those out to you ASAP.

And now, on to the Sweetie-ness!...


In preparation for our hosting friends for Movie Night, Sweetie asked:

And are we gonna watch movies all together?


And are we gonna order pizza and have it delivered here?


And are we gonna use the plates that are made out of paper and say Baby Wash?

What? Baby watch?

No. Baby Wash.


Oh! Baby Shower! The paper plates (obviously left over from another event) say Baby Shower! Not Baby Wash!... Yeah - we'll probably use those.


Last weekend we took Sweetie to our town's High School's stage production of Seussical Jr (basically, it was Seussical The Musical).

She loved it! She loved it so much, in fact, that after about only the 4th or 5th song, Sweetie turned to me as we all applauded, asking disappointedly:

Is it over now?

No, not yet.

Good. Then I don't have to whine yet.


As we're watching Idol Gives Back:

Ooh, Mama! That's the boy I love!

Oh yeah? Which one?

That one! (Jason Castro). The one who sang Daydream. (I love him too, but I swear I don't go on and on about it very much. Plus, I haven't showed her that Daydream video or even talked about it in weeks!).

Sweetie continues:

Oh, and there's David Cook! I love him too.

(????? Boy, does she pick up on things well! And, I must say, she has excellent taste - those are my two favorite Idols as well)


Encouraging Sweetie's interest in words, I tried to explain to her what an onomatopoeia is.

It’s a word that sounds like it sounds. Like "Zap"! Or "Boom"! Or "Bam"!

Yeah. Or "Wow"!

Uhhh – maybe. I think that might be right.

Yeah. Or (at the top of her lungs) "Chocolate syrup"!

Uhhh – no.


Bonus Daddy Saturday tidbit:

After Sweetie was in bed last night, I set to working on the computer for awhile. Nothing was on T.V. that Hubby cared to watch, so he was a bit bored, waiting for his turn at the Mac. 

As he waited, he picked up my latest Parenting magazine. Something he'd normally never read.

Cut to this morning when Hubby helped me out by getting Sweetie her morning cup of milk. However, instead of taking it to her (as I always do), he handed the rather full cup to her, potentially letting her carry it into the living room all by herself.

Fortunately, I caught this right in time.

Don't let her carry that!

He took it back from her, but then informed me:

But Parenting says 4 year old can do it.

(Well, no - it doesn't. It says 4 year olds can help set the table - which Hubby soon admitted is what he actually read. Still, that doesn't mean 5 year old Sweetie can carry a full cup of milk a rather far distance wearing nothing but socks on her feet).

Lesson learned - Hubby is to stay away from my magazines at all costs.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How To Make A Daddy's Day...

First, you ask him to please - pretty please - put Sweetie to bed for you for the 4th night in a row. You know you promised you'd do it yourself tonight, but you just don't have it in you.

Watch, and listen, as he slowly, painfully makes his way up the stairs to her room. Proceed to feel a bit sorry for him, but know that you would be slowly, painfully climbing those steps yourself if you were on bedtime duty - as you should be.

Then, moments later, see Hubby beam like a giddy school kid as he announces what part of Sweetie's bedtime storybook he got to read to her tonight:


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll - Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Saw There

(He was equally excited the night he got to read The Lobster-quadrille in the last book).


Oh how I love a man who appreciates good literature. A man who deftly slays the cruel beasties of our little world by bringing humor into our lives every day.

Happy (almost) Eleven, Hubby. It's been quite an amazing adventure.


(I'm still waiting to hear from 2 of my winners from my DVD giveaway. Danielo and Lee Laughlin - please contact me before the end of this Friday to claim your prize. Otherwise, I'll draw 2 new names as my winners. Thanks! Hoping to hear from you soon).

Monday, April 07, 2008

Mama Monday #18.1

Theme: Change

36 cents.

Starting this year, I keep track of our money in two separate locations: my bank registry (as usual) and a notebook style desk calendar. And right now? There's a 36 cent difference between what my registry says we have and what the book says.

I know it's mere pocket change at this point, but still - it's driving me crazy!

Actually - I feel better than yesterday morning, when our book said we had $4.96 more than the registry said. At least, after a lot of hard work, I was able to backtrack and make up for most of that difference. But that last 36 cents? I just can't find it.

I like practical math. Like accounting. I enjoy the responsibility of looking after the bills and recording our money's comings and goings. Even though I'm generally bad at other sorts of math, I'm rather good at this sort of math.

It's a constant commitment, though. For some reason, I find that if I settle our transactions in the book every single night (I already tend to write transactions in my registry right away), then I can always get the two money trackers to square up just beautifully. But then, if I let slip just one or two nights before going back to the book - all bets are off. Before I know it, I've got a 36 cent difference that simply cannot be rectified.

I know this sounds crazy, but you have no idea how satisfied I feel every night I find that both the book and the registry match. Yahoo! I did it! I am good! And if the monthly bank statement balances without making any last minute adjustments? Well, that's just the best! (and rare - a phenomenon that has only started to occur within the last couple months).

Likewise, I'm sure you can see by now how upsetting it is to me when the two documents do not match. Even when the dollars match, but the change does not. It's all I can do to not spend my entire evening working and reworking both my registry and book - often rechecking entries from weeks back - just so I can hopefully find where the mistake(s) occurred.

It took me quite a long time to find the majority of the $4.96 difference. Now, with only 36 cents difference and too much time spent with the book, registry and calculator already - I'm finally willing to let it go (kinda), knowing full well that our monthly bank statement will arrive later this week and then I should be able to figure out where things went wrong.


And now, for another - more fun - change!

Sweetie used to never let me put barrettes in her hair. NEVER. For the last few months, she's come around to not only letting me put them in, but asking that I do so. Very cute!

This past weekend, I offered up a new way to keep her hair out of her eyes - a headband.

Success! She seems to love it, only mentioning a few times that the band was too tight, but then quickly adjusting it herself, rather than taking it off completely.

And this morning? She left her bedroom, went straight downstairs, and as soon as I joined her I saw - she already had put her headband on for the day. Yippee!


Oh, Sweetie. You're growing, and changing, so fast.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #102 - Winners Edition!

Wow! You guys all have some really great Chipmunks memories. I really loved hearing from y'all and thank everyone for participating. Winners of the 3 Alvin and the Chipmunks DVDs will be announced at the end of this post.


Have you ever seen the show Cash Cab? We don't have cable, so I've only seen it a few times at my parents' house. Yet Sweetie proclaimed last week that Cash Cab is her very favorite show.

Why? Because she says the cab driving guy looks a little like my niece's boyfriend, and a little like her Daddy too.

Whatever - my promising to play it with her on our way home from Nana's last week got her into the car pretty quickly. So that was cool.

Later, Sweetie did what she's very good at - refused to eat her given dinner. Even though one of our family's rules is no fighting about food, Sweetie still gives it one heck of a go sometimes.

Never fear! Brilliant Mama to the rescue!

I know, Sweetie! Let's play Cash Cab during dinner, and every time someone answers a question correctly, everyone has to take a bite of food!


Long story short? Sweetie ate all of her salmon (oh, and we had to change the name of the game to Catch Cab, because you catch salmon, you know), and she ate nearly all of her veggies too.

And the next night when we served her Chicken Gorgonzola? Yet another dinner she took one bite of and turned her nose up at? Yep - we played again and she ate the whole dang thing.


A few minutes after Hubby put Sweetie to bed the other night, Sweetie appeared at the top of the stairs, declaring:

Dad, I hope I have a dream tonight about Super (Sweetie).

Hubby, hardly cracking even a tiny smile, simply responded by asking her:

Can you put yourself back to bed or do you need me to come tuck you in again?

No, I’m all set. I didn’t untuck.

Okay. Good night, Sweetie.

Good night

And that was that. Except then Hubby and I cracked up, with Hubby asking the rhetorical question,

How can you not love her?


Sweetie has always been interested in many things, and this week her main focus seems to be on words.

She's been interested in homophones after seeing this short on a recent Veggie Tales episode:

Ever since, she's been coming up with unnecessarily long sentences featuring at least one set of homophones.

Oh! I've got another homophone sentence! If you want to go on a trip to Texas then I'll take a plane there and then I'll eat a plain sandwhich for lunch.*

*Perhaps not the exact wording for a sentence she came up with, but - like I said - they were very longwinded, so I had to go with giving you a representative example instead.

She also got a huge kick out of Daddy's joke that, if we got a dog, we'd name him Stay.

Come here, Stay! Come here, Stay! Stay - why aren't you coming?


Sweetie also actually has told some pretty decent knock-knock jokes this week:

Knock Knock.

Who's there?


Tish Who?

Tissue? Did you say tissue? Do you have a cold?


Knock Knock.

Who's There?


Tatt Who?

Tattoo?! What?! Are you tellin’ me you have a tattoo?! Is that what you’re sayin?!


And another cold-related one:

Knock Knock.

Who's there?


Ach Who?

Achoo! I have a cold!


Asked of me right before leaving her room for the night:

Mama - why does everyone have eyebrows?

Because when it's really really hot outside and you get all sweaty, eyebrows help keep the sweat from going in your eyes, which would sting.

Oh. Okay.

(Then, when I'm almost out the door)



Well, I don't get sweaty.

Okay. Maybe you will when it's hotter outside this summer.

Okay. Goodnight!



After viewing this Maytag commecial, Sweetie observed:

Wow. I guess that policeman really knows how to fix dishwashers.


Okay. Drumroll, please!

And the winners are:

Lee Laughlin




Congratulations to you all! And thanks again to everyone for entering. I hope to offer many more contests in the future. So if you didn't win this time, keep trying next time!

As for you lucky winners, please email me at sbmoms at gmail dot com with your mailing info. I hope to get the DVDs off to you on Monday.

Thanks! And, again, congrats!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Karma, Generosity and Hope

So, yeah - we recently went to the Museum of Science. I posted pics from our trip in my last entry. I told you what a great time we had. But I didn't tell you about the best part:

Back story: There's a local-ish production of Anne of Green Gables on stage this weekend that I wanted to take Sweetie to see. But tickets for the three of us would total just under $50. Too much for our tightly budgeted household.

Instead, I remembered that the library gives discounted passes to the Science Museum. Great! We'll go there instead! Less money and more fun - yay!

But then I realized. There'll be parking to pay for. And T tickets. And museum food. And coat check. And maybe entrance into a special exhibit. And Sweetie will most definitely want a museum gift store prize.

Oy! This is actually going to cost us more than the play!

As it turned out - Hubby drove us there. No T tickets needed. This also enabled us to leave our coats in the car - no coat check cost! Lunch turned out to be a couple dollars cheaper than I figured it'd be. And Sweetie's gift shop choice was an activity book that cost all of $4.99 (rather than the adorable Smart Chick sweatshirt I really liked for her).

But the absolute best part of it all? That would have to be when we first walked in the museum and found the ticket-buying counter.

Right as we were about to head up to the desk, a friendly older gentleman walked up to us, asking us if we were museum members. When we said no, he explained that he had just purchased his own membership and, with that, came 4 free museum passes. Would we be interested in using three of them?

Heck, yes, we would!

Honestly - this generous man was so very kind to give us these passes. The kindness of strangers - it's something you just don't see that often anymore, unfortunately. But good fortune was definitely smiling down on us that day.

Hubby and I have been working so hard at tackling our debt this year. Yet family fun time is still a top priority. How lucky we were that good timing and karma worked in our favor, allowing us a less-financially-stressed day together!

And while we were there? I secretly left my last 4 Hope Notes in various locations around the museum. Just trying to do my part to pay it forward. (I thought, too late in our stay, to hand off our library reduced rate pass to other patrons just arriving at the museum. And as it turns out, the ticket lady had already marked up our pass before the kind man took care of our entrance. So the pass was no longer valid anyway).


Here's an idea! While we anxiously await Krystyn's next Hope Challenge, let's play the Generosity Game? Cuz take it from me - there's no better feeling than making someone else's day - or being on the receiving end of a simple act of kindness.


Oh, and don't forget to enter yourself in my Alvin and the Chipmunks DVD Give-Away Contest. You've got a couple more days to do so. Tell your friends!