Friday, May 27, 2011

UGH Post.

As in, running around like a chicken with my head cut off. BUT I wanted to wish my dear friend Michelle Miles a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope you have a great one!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just a quick post to say that everything is going well, and a thousand apologies to my dear friend Aimee, but I'm STILL allergic to Facebook.

People don't understand why I don't do it. Mostly because I know myself too well. I KNOW FOR A FACT that I would be ON Facebook way too much during the day. I know certain women (who shall remain nameless) who spend sometimes three to four HOURS on Facebook every day, and frankly, I have enough trouble tearing myself away from the Internet as it is in the mornings.

Which is the main reason why I don't Facebook. ;-)

My parents are here this week, and on Friday, HUBBY's parents fly into town. Can I just shoot myself now and get it over with I am SO excited to see them!

Anyway, we're having fun except Dad caught a cold and he's laying low. Poor guy. And hey, my kitchen has never been cleaner! I LOVE my mom!

I hope everyone has a happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pulled Pork and Weird Dreams

Had a good weekend. I've had my parents here, and I'm sure after hours and hours of playing with Thing Four, Grandpa will be ready to go back home. ;-)

Hubby got back last night, and tomorrow he's off again, to Atlanta. I'm fine with it, I am so used to him traveling it's not that big a deal, unless he's gone for a week, which is rare. Usually five days is the max.

I had weird dreams last night. Like, SUPER weird. I made my crockpot sweet pulled pork yesterday, and it was delish. OMGosh was it ever good. And it's so simple:

Lara's Sweet Pulled Pork (Crockpot recipe)

-10 pound pork roast (butt or shoulder)
-1 cup Salsa
-2 cups Brown Sugar
For later:
-2 boxes Zatarains Black Beans and Rice

You put them in a large oval crockpot in that order, (EXCEPT for the rice that is made separately) and cook on high for four hours, then switch it to low for the rest of the day until dinnertime. (I usually put the roast in at 8am, then it's ready by 5pm.) Shred the meat with two forks inside the crockpot, make the rice according to directions and voila! YUM! This makes a TON, so you can freeze the leftovers in portions if you'd like. We do a layer of tortilla chips on a plate, then black beans & rice, the pork, and shredded cheddar cheese, and eat it like nachos. Super yummy!

Well, the world didn't end this weekend, but that wasn't much of a surprise, was it? I feel bad for those people who truly believed this guy, and spent their life savings on billboards, expecting to be "saved." Major head shaker, there. I hope they set up depression counseling for the people who were convinced, because they have to be pretty devastated right about now.

Time to take the kiddos to school. I was THRILLED that gas went down by three cents a gallon. Yeah, I know it's psychological, but WHO CARES.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Being Malleable.

I seem to be learning a lot of Life Lessons lately. Not sure why, but instead of coming in threes like most things do, I've been getting them in fives and sevens, etc. ;-) And I've noticed a few of my friends have, as well. I'm not sure why--I guess for some reason we're all having trials, lately.

Granted, I'm not complaining too much, I still consider myself very lucky and blessed, but one thing I've discovered, is you just have to be...flexible, when Life throws things at you. You have to roll with the punches. Some of us (myself included) tend to be set in our ways, until something forces us out of our comfort zones, and how we react to the little bumps and hiccups (and sometimes MAJOR CRISES) defines who we are.

So, I have to ask myself, am  I going to let a not-so-bueno "experience" get me down? Or am I going to pull myself up, set my shoulders, take a deep breath and work around it/with it/figure it out?

We need to be malleable. Like clay. Otherwise we'll find ourselves stuck in a rut, unable to figure out how to adapt to our situation. We are always changing, always growing, evolving, if you will. That's kind of what it's all about, right?

I am trying to teach my four-year old this. He gets upset when things in his ordered world don't go so "orderly." Things get messy. Things get broken. Things don't work out the way you want them to. Things happen to you that don't make any sense, because of the behavior of others.

So, you adapt. You figure it out. Because you can. My own mom always tells me "things will work out." (The uncertain part is to what end they will work out, but they do, indeed, always "work out.")

So, the advice I'm giving myself, is to take a deep breath, spend the minimal amount of time feeling sorry for myself, and ADAPT. Make the necessary changes to make my situation better, and things will work out.

They always do. :-)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SPAM Texts????

This world has officially gone to pot. My cell phone number, the privacy of which I protect quite viciously, has started receiving "texts"--from no one I know, telling me about certain promotions and Canadian Pharmecuticals, etc. Just three or four, but still, WTH???

TEXTS. Yes, for some reason, this really frosts my cookies. It isn't enough that I clean 100+ spam messages out of my junk mail every day (some of them with titles that make me cringe) and sometimes a pop-up or two escapes my computer's pop up blocker program, but to have TEXTS on my personal cell phone number, well, that officially feels like an invasion of privacy.

I've stopped giving it out, unless there really is a need. I mean, how annoying is that?

Last day of EOGs.  My kids are feeling good and only a "tad" nervous. I told them we'd have a yummy dessert and celebrate tonight, because they deserve it. I mean, UGH.

Hubby is out of town until Sunday, and my own parents are flying in, to stay for a week. It will be nice to have them here, and the kids are still at the age where they get "excited" the grandparents are coming. ;-)

Time to run around! I managed 1000 words at the carpool yesterday while waiting for the kids, and I am pretty impressed with myself. I wonder if I can repeat that today?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just a Little Sleepy...

Took Hubby to the airport at 5am this morning. Like total dorks, of course, we stayed up until about one a.m. I am DEAD. Just got back from driving the kids to school, and I think I'm going to put Thing Four in the bed with me and let him play on the iPad while I catch a little more sleep.

Yesterday was probably the most uneventful birthday I've ever had, but it was ok. I'm not happy that I'm getting older. At least I'm still in my 30's, but not for long! And THAT is not fun for me. I think with every birthday I have, I assess my life and what I haven't done, and maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way, but I have a lot of things I'd like to do, and tick tock, tick tock, you know?

The kids felt better about their EOGs yesterday after taking them. Thing One said they were a lot easier than she'd built up in her head--but she still double-checked her answers. They were all a lot more relaxed this morning, I noticed. I guess once you've done them, you aren't as nervous. Which is a good thing.

And now, I am going to read a few blogs and head back to bed. This Momma's tired. Happy Wednesday, all!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I am NOT a Fan of EOGs.

My poor kids. They are STRESSED. When we moved to Charlotte, I heard the kids had to take EOGs--End Of Grade tests. Apparently, if you fail any portion of these tests, you get held back in school.

I have taken both my middle schoolers, Thing One and Thing Two, to the doctor lately, for stomach-related problems. They're both on Prevacid, and the pediatrician flat out told me she sees a lot of kids with this ailment every year, around EOG time.  One child had anxiety so bad, he had to be hospitalized. HOSPITALIZED.

Here's the deal: The teachers STRESS THE KIDS OUT, by scaring them over the EOGs!! And since we moved here from Wisconsin, and my kids tend to believe what they're told (that the EOGs are very hard to pass) they are having health problems and dealing with extreme anxiety.

I have a very BIG problem with this. I had to email two of Thing One's teachers a couple weeks ago, and ask them if they were confident she would pass, because she was not sleeping at night and needed reassurance. Thing One has been on the honor roll all year, yet she's stressed to the gills about the testing. They start today, and she didn't get a wink of sleep last night. Which is NOT good.

But I also understand the schools want their kids to test well on the EOGs, so they review review review, unfortunately the kids get saturated with information to the point where they begin to doubt their abilities.

Yeah, I have a big problem with this. And I'm not alone. Other parents I have spoken with feel the same way. I guess if my kids weren't new to this and had done it before, they wouldn't be so nervous, but they are and they ARE.

Thank heaven the tests are only three days.

Monday, May 16, 2011

People Can Surprise You.

Had a nice relaxing weekend. But I had two things happen that sort of...surprised me.

Thing One is my 13-year old daughter. You know the type. 13 going on 17. She's in middle school, so, there is little individuality, and extreme pressure to be just like everyone else, not to mention everything and I mean EVERYTHING is dumb, embarrassing, or "lame."

So, this weekend, she surprised me. Usually, in church, she is standoffish and quiet (mostly because I probably tell her 306 times to pull her skirt down so it's at her knees and she gets annoyed) but this time, she actually talked with me. Instead of pretending I don't exist, she leaned in and chit-chatted with me. And at home afterwards, she was all "animated" (a rare occurrence these days) and talking about boys and about school, two things she NEVER has much to say about.

Pleasantly surprising.

Then there was my Hubby. Now, he is a very healthy guy. We had a health scare a few years back, and since then, he makes a concerted effort to eat right, work out every day (yes, he's one of those guys who comes home late from his job and still manages to go for a run EVERY night) and he usually shuns "bad" food.

So, yesterday I was making scones for "fun" and was getting ready to fry them up, and Hubby asks me if we have any Oreos. I check the cupboard, and yes, we have a few double-stuff left. And he asks me if we can try DEEP FRYING THEM.

I was like, "Huh?"

I remember Hubby, during one of his travels, ate at a restaurant where one of the desserts was deep-fried Oreos. He said they were SUPER yummy. So, I wrapped a few of them in scone batter and we deep-fried them, and can I just say they WERE yummy??

But it surprised me. I mean, a deep fried Oreo? That's something you only eat at a state fair next to the deep fried Twinkies and Snickers bars! Granted, we only had enough to have one each, but that still surprised me, coming from my health-conscious Hubby. ;-) I guess people can surprise you.

Now I need to surprise myself today and see if I can actually get some weeding done. *sigh*

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I could leave it at that, but I won't. ;-)

Thing One has finally learned her lesson, I'm happy to say. She now tells me AS SOON as she finds out a project is due, what she needs for said project, so I'm not running around the night before it's due. Ha Ha.

So, the last couple of weeks, I've been looking for GOOP GLUE. My son had to build a rocket to launch an egg in a couple weeks back, and we used a glue called AMAZING GOOP. My daughter told me her teacher said we needed to buy "Goop Glue," NOT "Amazing Goop." Specifically. So, I called stores, asked at  stores, and finally, one wise associate told me they were the SAME THING.


Anyway, I got the glue, bought the 2-liter bottles, and Thing One spent days making her rocket.

Cut to yesterday, the DAY BEFORE the rocket is due, and Thing One casually asks me which brand of soda I bought. (She used the 2-liter bottles.) I told her Mug Rootbeer, because I didn't want to be wasteful and we had rootbeer floats that night.

She freaked. Apparently, the teacher said the bottles had to be COKE products, not PEPSI, because PEPSI BOTTLES DON'T FIT ON THE LAUNCHER.

So, guess who had to run around and buy Coke bottles yesterday, and hurriedly help Thing One construct ANOTHER rocket???

I hate school projects.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Thing Two turns twelve today. That's a major deal. Thing Four turns, well...FOUR! That's a major deal, too, because he's my "baby." And now he's really not a baby anymore.

How did I get two kids on the same day, 8 years apart? Well, I remember 4 years ago on May 9th I was ten days overdue with Thing Four (and SO ready to have him) and my OB said "Well, I can induce you tomorrow, or we can wait until next week."

Hmmm...let me think about that one...

I didn't really want them to share a birthday, but now they have a special bond. And hey, we get TWO birthday cakes: one Batman with blue and black frosting, and one double triple quadruple chocolate. Life is good.

Happy Birthday to my guys!!!

Monday, May 09, 2011


Lots of running around today. I have TWO kids' birthdays tomorrow! (Yes, Things Two and Four were both born on May 10th--crazy, I know!) So, I am going to attempt to get everything done. Happy Monday! Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Does anyone have a paper bag?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Sick Day

I was a mess yesterday. I'm even more of a mess today, but I need to try and suck it up. Why are colds so nasty? You've got the headache, sore throat and body aches. And THEN you get the Sneezies and the watery eyes and THEN you get to walk around feeling like a cement head and then you have cold-related insomnia and if you DO sleep you sleep with your mouth open, which NEVER is fun.

ANYWAYIHATEGETTINGSICK, I had a productive day yesterday on my novel. I wrote 5K and got my momentum back. And I had soup. And I stayed in my jammies. ALL DAY. Go me. Luckily my jammies are usually sweats and a tee shirt, so I wasn't too horribly embarrassing when I dropped off/picked the kids up for school. And between writing, I played my new favorite game.
I downloaded a game called PUPPETSHOW: MYSTERY OF JOYVILLE for my iPad a while back, and fell in LOVE:
It's a Steampunk-themed Adventure/Search and find, and the music is haunting and it is just dark enough to be REALLY fun! (Cassie, you listening???) You can go here and download it for your PC or Mac and play it for free for an hour before buying. I beat the first one after a couple of hours (I'd play it a night in bed and Hubby even bought it because it looked cool) and yesterday I downloaded the sequel, SOULS OF THE INNOCENT and BOY is it fun!

The sequel is much darker but the imagery is right up my alley. :-)

I can't believe Friday is tomorrow! Yikes!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

"Mom, Where's Fishie Heaven?"

Little kids are awesome.

So, the other day, Thing Four (who will be four in just a few days! Eeek!) and I were at the store, and he wanted to pass by the pet section and see the fish. I got a "tad" nervous, because his betta fish, Sushi, died a few weeks ago and I didn't have the heart to tell him, and have been hoping he hadn't noticed. (When the fish was ailing I moved his bowl to my room where it wasn't visible to the other kids, I didn't want to have one of them catch him floating.)

Anyway, we pass by the fish section and he waves at the fish and we talk about them for a while, and of course, after a minute he looks at me and asks:

"Mom, where's Sushi?"

I gulp. How will he take the news? Then I realize, he's kind of an "old soul" so I tell him the truth. The conversation went like this:

ME: "Sushi died, sweetie.

HIM: "He died?"

ME: "Yes. I'm sorry."

HIM: "What did you do with him?"

ME: "I flushed him down the toilet." 

HIM: "Oh. Okay."

A few seconds pass...

HIM: "Mom, where is Sushi now?"

At that point I decided it would be unwise to tell him Sushi was probably floating dead and rotting in a sewer somewhere, so I opted for the easy way out:

"He's in Fishie Heaven, sweetie."

Thing Four seemed okay with that, and that was the end of that conversation. Until yesterday. Thing Four had to go to the bathroom. So, I assisted him, and just before he flushed he stood, studying the toilet for a minute. I asked him what was up. And he said:

"Mom, if I flush my poopies down the toilet will they go to Fishie Heaven and be with Sushi?"

I had to explain to him that NO, that wasn't the case. But in retrospect, I can see his line of reasoning: I flushed Sushi down the toilet, Sushi currently resides in "Fishie Heaven," ERGO, you can get to Fishie Heaven via toilet, in his mind, right?

And THAT is why little kids are awesome.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Yesterday Gave Me the Heebie Jeebies.

Yesterday was NOT a fun day for me. I finished cleaning the garage (DEFINITELY not fun) and came inside the house, washed my hands all the way up to my arms, got myself a piece of toast, surfed the web for a minute, and GUESS WHAT DECIDED TO CRAWL OUT OF MY HAIR???

Yes, a SPIDER. So, of course I did my "bug dance" and was all sicked out, and immediately jumped into the shower.

Cut to about 11am, I piled Thing Four in the car and we set out for the grocery store. As we were driving out of my subdivision, we passed by a bunch of landscapers mowing the common areas, and there was this big black hose in the road, and I didn't want to run over it, so I swerved and only ran over the end of it with my car. Then I realized, as I ran over it: THAT WASN'T A HOSE.

I stopped the car and looked back to see this HUGE black snake in the road, flailing and twitching because I'd run over the end of it. It was about as thick around as a paper-towel tube, and about five feet long I KID YOU NOT. One of the mowers stopped and looked at it in awe and looked at me, and uttered what is probably the most Obvious Statement Of The Year: "You hit a snake."

I immediately wanted to throw up. I was so sick--mostly because I have never, EVER seen a snake that big unless they were behind glass at the Zoo or in a PET STORE, and I'd just run over it. I was completely freaked/grossed out. My flight instinct kicked in, and I drove off. I guess the snake survived, because it wasn't laying in the road when I came back. Or the landscapers did something with it.

My sons are convinced I ran over a copperhead snake, apparently they are very dangerous. But I Googled "snakes common in North Carolina" and from the images I'm convinced it was a Black Rat Snake. Because it looked just like this:
I just didn't realize they were HUGE and LONG. And yeah, it kind of freaks me out they are BY MY HOUSE!!! Eeek!!! I'm a "live and let live" person, but I really hope not to see one of those babies again. EVER. Because I probably will throw up. I didn't realize I would have such a visceral reaction to seeing a snake up close. Guess I learned something new about myself.

And then later I found sugar ants in the mud room. Not a good day for me. Not at all.

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Day for Celebrating.

Had a nice, relaxing weekend. Now it's back to the grind! I'm a little freaked out by all the stuff I have to do, but I will get through it. I just need to buckle down and GO FOR IT.

And can I say, I've never actually been happy to hear about someone being killed, but today, I am. And if that makes me a horrible person, so be it. That madman represented all the suffering we endured on Sept. 11th, and all the anxiety and pain since. May he enjoy his new home. I bet it's got a great view: