Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I've Died and Gone to Heaven...

I love fruit. My kids love fruit. Lately, we've been into dried fruit, because it keeps longer when you're on the go. Grapes get mushed up and squished in sack lunches. Apples get brown spots and bruises. Don't even get me started on bananas. Fresh fruit rocks, but it doesn't "travel" well.
We were at Costco this weekend, and I discovered "Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps."I thought they looked cool, so we bought them. They had different types in the box--single serving bags of Fuji apples, Asian pears, and Bananas-n-Strawberries. They aren't dried fruit, they're freeze dried fruit--and crispy, like chips.

OMGOSH I thought I'd died when I tasted them for the first time! How could I have not known about these before? Zero fat, only 39 calories per bag and NO additives. Just fruit.

HALLELUJAH!!!!! A snack that travels well, and tastes awesome! Needless to say, the kids want them all the time, and I had to go to the website and order more. Shipping is free in the US!

I know, I'm sounding like an infomercial but for this on-the-go soccer/other sports mom, these are WONDERFUL! They're fruit! They're healthy! And they're YUMMY, which is a bonus!

I firmly believe moms everywhere must stock up on these. They rock. :-)

I finished my friend's critique last night--now I can begin on my own edits. I have lots to work on, I want this story to be the best it can. But I also have a laundry room calling my name, in desperation. And a dusty house. And...oh boy do I need to get going!

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's Monday--and I have the house to myself and the baby again. It's so quiet!

Didn't sleep well last night--that's the last time I watch back-to-back episodes of "24" right before bed. Bleah. I was up for at least an hour, trying to sleep but the adrenaline rush wasn't dissipating...

Friday night was Kids' Days at Boston Store, so we went and got the kids their Spring clothes. It was awesome--sale prices plus our associate discount PLUS a 30% coupon. We basically got everything more than half off.

Then Saturday was running everywhere, to Dicks for soccer shoes, and a trip to Costco (the closest one is in Grafton, an hour drive away) and we were so excited because they weren't sold out of the frozen fresh tortillas you cook yourself. We bought four stacks of them. We LOVE tortillas at our house. And fresh is the best. And I suck at rolling them out. :-)

Sunday we had seven inches of snow on the ground, and it blew and blizzarded most of the day. We hung out with the kids and it was a nice relaxing day. And the snow mostly melted after a while.

Now it's back to work! I'm finishing up a crit for a friend--I've already run to the cleaners.
I've neglected the yoga as of late, and I'm feeling it. I am committing to three times a week for an hour. That should be a good start.
I wonder if soccer practice will happen this week. With all the snow and melting, the fields will be small lakes.

*sigh* Spring better hurry up and SPRING already!

Friday, March 27, 2009

You've GOT to be joking...

So, we're supposed to get SNOW tomorrow? Did I hear that right? Not a major dumping, or anything, but SNOW. Last week my kids were wearing shorts to school. This is ridiculous.

Thing Two wanted to wear his Columbia fleece jacket to school this morning, and I told him NO WAY. He had to wear his winter coat. He grumbled and mumbled and got his coat on, and when I peeked at him outside, he had his hood up and was acting like he was going to die from cold.

Yeah, I love being right! The wind outside right now is probably making the temps in the single digits. It's FREEZING.

The weather is like that Katy Perry Song: Hot n Cold...

We had a big church soiree last night, and I did a lot of running around for it. It went very well, though, and we had an activity at every table where you write "Two Truths and a Lie" and my Lie was voted most believable. My lie?

"I have a series of highly successful romance novels published under a pen name."

They apparently didn't believe I was caught in a Tornado once, in Sugarland, Texas. But for some reason, they TOTALLY believed I was a high school cheerleader. I am not HALF as peppy as I was then, and frankly, I wasn't very "peppy" even when I WAS a cheerleader, so that surprised me.

Oh well, at least I had the best lie!

Time to run around for a while, I was hardly home yesterday, and I'll be hardly home today. At least the baby loves riding in a carseat/stroller/shopping/etc. etc. He's my little buddy in crime.

Have a happy weekend, all! I will be lost in Editland. Although we are going to attempt to take ALL the kids to see Monsters vs Aliens tomorrow. Hubby seems to think the baby (who will be two in May) will sit through it. I am skeptical. I guess we'll see. Cross your fingers for us!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Thing Four has become obsessed with the movie CARS lately. So, we watch the movie. A LOT. I've grown to really love the movie, and my favorite character ever? Not one that you would think:Yep, GUIDO. He's my absolute favorite. He's just so sweet and happy and...adorable. "Pit Stop?"

I just love him. I have him as my desktop wallpaper now. The scene where he changes Lightning's tires in four seconds flat is my FAVORITE.

Yeah, I'm easily pleased.

Short post today--since I stayed up until 2am critiquing my friend's manuscript. Well, Hubby brought work home and I promised I'd stay up with him. So we were each on our own computers, working, and finally at 2am I was DONE. Couldn't see straight. Same with him. And he wasn't close to being finished. A nice 19-hour day for him. Poor guy.

I'm off to make my church visits now. No rest for the weary, I guess. But you can bet I am SO taking a nap when the kiddo takes HIS nap! HA!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kids are Predictable.

The baby did his "I'll cry while I have an audience" thing again this morning. We all just ignore him while he lies there, moaning, eventually he just gets up and toddles around like he was never upset.

My 11-year old daughter was upset with me last Friday because I didn't want to go wait in line to buy "Twilight" at midnight. I was like, WTHeck? with her. The only time I've ever waited in line at midnight was for the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.

THAT, in my opinion, was warranted. But to go buy a DVD of a movie she'd ALREADY seen? That was just ridiculous. I picked it up Saturday morning. And I got the cheap DVD without the special features because she's obsessed enough with it and frankly, the extended makeout scenes and a scene where Edward sucks on Bella's finger to "taste her" is on the extended DVD, and my innocent little 11-year old doesn't need to see things like that.

I've also limited her viewing of the movie to once a week. No debate. She really hates that rule, but I'm not feeding her obsession. Yeah, I'm the mean mom who will only let her read the first book and not the others, and I thwart her at every turn. Yeah, I'm HORRIBLE.


I just happen to know her, very well.

On the writing front, I got back two SUPER critiques yesterday. Wowza. I didn't realize how badly I overused certain words, and adverbs (well I knew, but I'd hoped I could get away with it). I LOVE adverbs. A lot of people detest them. Not me. I'm a big fan. And ellipses. And italic font. Those are my bread and butter, right there...

Heh heh. Anyway, I have lots of editing to do. I think I have the plot where I want it, now I need to get everything else nailed down. I'm going to have to move my April 1st deadline out--at this point, when it's ready, it's ready. And I still have to write a synopsis. Grrrrr.

Thing Three was well enough to send to school today, he missed four days total. Poor little guy. I guess his pneumonia was bacterial, because he got better quickly after we started the antibiotics.

Now I wish the weather would cooperate! Where did the sun go?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Overheard this morning:

Thing Three: Where did your pokemon card collection go?

Thing One: I put them away.

Thing Three: Why? Now we can't trade!

Thing One: I want to sit on them for ten years and then I can sell them for a lot of money on Ebay!

Yep, those are my kids!

Back when I wasn't on a budget, I used to surf Ebay looking for things from my childhood: Trixie Belden books, Richard Scarry books, and of course, the Holy Grail of finds: A vintage 1978 Barbie Perfume Maker. (Which I happily have in storage, and I paid $50 for.)

Yep, you gotta love Ebay. I told my kids these people were smart. They held onto things, and now lots of people want to buy them, because generally, people are sentimental. Scratch and sniff stickers from the 80's. I had DOZENS of sheets of those things, and don't know where they went. Now, an intact sheet of Trend scratch n sniff stickers can go for $13. For ONE SHEET. And remember those little Village Lip Lickers lip gloss tins? I had the DUOs--Cherry and Cola, and Raspberries and Cream. Someone STOLE them from me, and I've always longed to have them back.

Of course I've never actually found those on Ebay, but every once in a while, I'll "peek." I found a copy of my FAVORITE KID MOVIE EVER on Ebay--"The Moon Spinners."

I've found so many treasures over the years. My kids know the drill. Treat your stuff nice, hold onto it for 20 years, and make a killing on Ebay.

Yeah, I'm chuckling, too.

Kids. You gotta love 'em.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Longest. Weekend. Ever.

We spent this weekend being...sick. Fevers, coughs, sore throats, stuffed up noses, you name it. Thing Three was worrying me so I took him to urgent care yesterday, and he has pneumonia. They weren't sure if it was viral or bacterial, so they prescribed antibiotics and we've got our fingers crossed. He's pretty much the same today, and I'm keeping him home from school until his fever breaks and he feels better. Poor little guy.

I feel like I need to douse my entire house in alcohol--I've been running the washing machine on "Sanitary" wash for two days. All the sheets and towels, clothes, everything. My sanitary wash cycle ain't slow, either. One hour and 55 minutes of boiling hot water and soap. So, two hours for one load. But hey, if the laundry comes out Sanitary, that's the idea.

We missed the Pinewood Derby. I felt awful, but Thing Three had a fever of 103 and was coughing up everything under the sun, and Thing Two had a fever and a sore throat. Why would I drag them across town to race cars? We'd infect everyone. It wasn't an easy decision to make, and Hubby and I put a lot of time in on their cars, but what can you do?

The boys were OK with it, they didn't really feel like going anywhere anyway. We stayed in our jammies all day Saturday, and ordered food in.

Now I am a Cleaning Fiend. I didn't feel like tidying up much yesterday, so I have Clutter House. I really hate clutter. So, I'm knocking it out slowly.

Thing One was really bored so I gave her my story to read, and she read it in six hours. She really liked it, so I guess that's a good sign. ;-)

I just hope the lungs heal up quickly, the kids have soccer practice this week. Running around a grassy field after you've had a chest cold/pneumonia can get a little tricky...

Hope everyone is healthier than we are!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The In Between...

Soccer Practice starts tonight! Now I need to run to Sports Authority because Thing One has outgrown her cleats since last season. Her feet are getting HUGE!
Thing Three needs new cleats too. He's been doing winter soccer, but complained of his cleats feeling a little "tight" the last two games. New soccer cleats all around, I guess.

That's my main chagrin about kids--they grow out of everything so fast!! Urgh.

We got our pinewood derby cars finished, and we're scrambling because the Derby is tomorrow and they WEIGH TOO MUCH! One is 5.30 oz. and the other is 5.25 oz. Thing Two's car last year was 4.95 oz--just .05 under the limit! We got lucky with that one. We're trying to figure out what we can take off and lose. .30 oz really isn't a whole lot...

I literally spent the whole day yesterday on the computer, researching agents. And I only found a handful that I'm truly excited about. My YA fiction is very juvenile and "safe" with very little cuss words and no sex whatsoever. And I'm looking at all these agents with sales in edgy, dark YA, and I'm thinking, we need to get back to the wide-eyed innocence of the 80's novels. Maybe I'm outdated because my characters don't do drugs or get abused or raped, but frankly, I think being a teen is depressing enough, why would you want to READ a depressing, edgy book?

So, I guess my book isn't a true "YA" but it's too advanced for Middle Grade, so what does that make me? Somewhere in between? Juvenile fiction isn't quite right, either. My friend Brenda brought this up. Maybe we should invent a new genre: "Happy Young Adult!" ;-)

When *I* was a teen, I was horribly self-conscious--to the point where I was nearly retarded, and I loved the "happy escape" books provided for me. You know, the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" type books. Books that took you away, and had a HAPPY ending.

The trend these days is towards the DEPRESSING, if you ask me. I want an escape, for Pete's sake, not to be pulled into the personal hell of some abused teen trying to make a better life for him/herself.

Or maybe it's just me.

It's a tough market out there. I guess we'll see!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chop Chop Chop.

Why is it I always have an epiphany about my writing in the shower? Well, had one yesterday, and it was a doozy. Rotten timing, since I have the story out for critique, but I had to run with it. So, last night, I sat down, and took a machete to the story. Usually, I'm in favor of tweezers, and occasionally, pliers, but last night, the machete was resurrected, and I CHOPPED.

Gone is the boring, non-compelling beginning. I get right to the meat of the story, and got rid of the interaction between the "Nana and her grandson" which frankly, was jarring every time they interrupted the action. It chopped the manuscript from 67K to 63K, which is more around where I want it to be, in terms of length.

I think it flows better, and the storyline is cohesive. GO ME. I'm sure my critique readers will hate me, though, since they have the older, sluggish draft.

I've been reading up on the agent's submission policies, and the majority of them want only a query and the first ten pages. And I felt the first ten pages were BORING. Not to mention in them I commit the most egregious of writer sins: a big ol' info dump.

That's all gone now. The info dump has been dispersed throughout the story, and I stayed up until 1am fixing it. Now I'm tired. Dang it.

It's Thursday! Basketball game, and I will have to drop Thing One off again and miss it. The baby is still not 100%, and now Thing Three (my eight year old) is home with a fever. At least we're all getting it at once--it's not dragging out over several weeks, like it usually does. :-) That's something to be happy about.

I've put the machete away for now. It actually felt liberating to lighten up the story, and from now on...I'll only be using tweezers.

I hope...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


First off, I have a shout out to my good friend Aimee, who is living abroad in Istanbul. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROSSMAN!!! WOO! And since you're living in Turkey, I have a Turkey Cake for you:Yeah, I kill myself. Heh heh.

So, I am tired of all the squabbling. I hear it all day long between my two boys (and sometimes my daughter joins in the fray) and lately, when the news is on, everybody is squabbling about everything. About AIG. About the earmark-laden spending bill (if I remember correctly Obama said he'd VETO any bill that crossed his desk with earmarks...hmmm) and all the political yadda yadda yadda. And I am horribly saddened by what happened to Natasha Richardson.

I turned the TV off. Rather, since Hubby loves the squabbling, I went in another room. I turned on some music, and just...existed.

Our society likes to squabble. It thrives on turmoil. I am getting tired of it. Yet I like to be educated on what's happening in the world, so it's tough. What's a person to do?

The baby won't eat. I fix all of his favorite things, and he throws them on the floor. The little stinker. But he drinks milk like no tomorrow. I actually got some oatmeal in him this morning, which was a miracle. Baby steps to recovery, I guess.

Now Hubby, Myself and Thing Three all have scratchy sore throats. I swear I could turn this house inside out and sterilize it with every chemical known to man and wash everything on SANITARY wash cycle and we'd still all get sick.

Hmmm... maybe I could put everyone in their own individual bubbles...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pinch Me Now.

Happy St. Pat's Day! Go and have a Shamrock Shake! (Unless you don't like mint. Then I don't recommend it).

It's supposed to be nearly 70 degrees today. All I can say is:

Holy Schmoly!!!

You can't imagine how happy I am. Is our weather turning a corner? Will we stay above the 30's from now on??? Oh please, let it be. Spring is such a wonderful time. Everything gets warm and everyone looks good in pastels. Of course my favorite spring color is green--that sort of cross between Kelly green and lime green---I think you know what I mean. I really wanted a trench coat in that color, but Target.com is sold out of them! SADNESS!!! And of course they never carried that color in the stores.

I just hope the weather stays mild. It would be very sad if things started to bloom and we got another snow storm. That happened last year, and it was devastating. Lots of farmers around here. We don't just grow cows, in Wisconsin. ;-)

Lots to do today. Spring cleaning, and I'm critiquing a friend's novel. She has such great imagery.

Kids are better today--Thing Two is back in school, and the baby is ON ANTIBIOTICS. Sure, what he had has viral, but his ears succumbed so the antibiotics will help. I plugged in a cool mist humidifier last night in his room. He was a little scared of it, at first, but then he conked out and slept like...well...a baby the rest of the night.


Monday, March 16, 2009


Okay, so I'm being a BIT of a drama queen, but if I don't get a decent night's sleep soon, I'm going to mutiny/have a nervous breakdown/go on strike/end up on the news.

I've been up the last three nights straight with Thing Four, who we took to urgent care Saturday. At least he tested negative for strep, but he's got a NASTY viral something. He whimpers and cries all night long, despite me piggybacking the Tylenol and Motrin every four hours, and he won't eat or drink unless he has the pain relief. Poor little guy. And now Thing Two is sick. Lovely. I'm waiting for everyone else to start dropping like flies. It's their own fault for kissing the baby--they can't resist his chubby cheeks. (Well, neither can I.)

It was gorgeous weather yesterday and Saturday--sixty degrees and sunny. Of course the really cold wind kind of made it chilly, but I don't care. The kids and I went for walks (Hubby stayed home with the baby) and the kids played outside. It was great.

Soccer practices start up this week, and I will be living in my car again. WOO HOO!!!
My edits are temporarily finished on the story--I've sent it off to be critiqued (I always hate asking for someone to read a novel but the feedback is always invaluable, because I tend to be "blind" to plot errors after a while) and now I'm just giving myself a day or two off. I still need to write a synopsis. Yeah, procrastinating on that one! I've built my agent list, and now I can focus on the second book for a while. Or at least assess what I'm doing and what I need to do. I have two sequels to write, one for my LDS fiction story, and then my most recent project. I will be busy! But busy is good. It helps keep the nerves at bay when I'm waiting for answers from agents and publishers. ;-)

Lots to do today, and my house is VERY cluttery from the weekend. I've been so tired during the day I haven't cleaned. And frankly, I didn't feel like it.

:-) Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Agents and Lightbulbs.

...not that the two go together, mind you. They just happen to be on my mind this morning. Because I blog "off the cuff" and my blog posts are more like streams of consciousness coming out...

So, I'll start with agents. I've finished the second draft of my story. Which means the third draft stage will begin soon. I've written a query letter and had some close writing friends critique it and give me suggestions. Now all I need to do, is write a synopsis (hate those!) and formulate an agent list.

Why? Because most publishers won't even look at your manuscript unless it's through an agent. And if I get a sale, I'd rather have someone seasoned about the business to guide me through the process.

Sure, there's good agents and shady agents. I queried several years ago, and landed an agent who was wonderful, but not the right fit for my writing. (Only for the one story I wrote that he loved.) Now, I have a new story, and I want to "get it out there." But I need to find an agent to rep it. I spent yesterday and I'll spend today formulating my list.

What do I look for in an agent? A member of AAR. A member of SCBWI is a bonus--because they tend to "get" the children's/Middle Grade/YA book scene. I also look for agents with SALES, because agents without sales, unless they're brand spanking new, make me nervous.

Then comes the hard part. Convincing the agent of my dreams, in one page or less, that they need to fall in love with my story. Most agents these days want you to do your homework. They want to feel like you researched them, and you know what you're "getting into" with them, BEFORE you query.

Which, frankly, is an excellent idea. You don't want to query an agent, for example, who won't rep fantasy, for your fantasy/romance. You need to know what they like, and figure out how to hook' em. Which is easier than it used to be in the sense that once I get a name, I can google it and there will be interviews with said agent online, and some of them even blog. (a big bonus!) Although most agents these days are so saturated with queries and clients, a lot of them have closed their doors to unsolicited queries. THAT is scary.

The fishing will begin April 1st. I hope. I've got a list of about ten good agents I really want, and fifteen that I would query if the first ten don't work. So, we'll see what happens! I just need to get some readers and some feedback, and I'm set. Oh, and that tricky synopsis. Yuck.

And the lightbulbs--I'm just glad we switched our house out to the less-wattage curly bulbs. When the kids leave the lights on (which they usually do) I don't freak out as much any more. We're only using about 20% of the wattage we used before, and that has made a difference in our power bill. Because we have a LOT of lights and lamps. I highly recommend the "green" lightbulbs. They are expensive up front, but they save over the long term.

And that's it for me. I hope everyone has a happy weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dragging my Lower Lip on the Ground...

Heaven help me if I ever have another baby. I'm getting too old to be awake all night.

The baby finally got the stomach flu. Or what I SUSPECT is the stomach flu. Last night, around bedtime, he got really fussy, which is not normal for him at all. He was whining and crying, and wanting to be held. So I held him, and he was burning up. I took him to the kitchen, gave him a sippy cup full of water, and he took two large gulps. Then he REALLY started crying, so I decided to calm him down before I gave him some motrin. We sat on a chair in the living room, and suddenly...


All over himself, me, the chair, and the rug. I didn't know such a little thing was capable of spewing forth that much vomit. I was waiting for his head to turn around...
I whisked him to the sink and got his jeans off and rinsed him off, while I asked Thing One to clean up the mess on the rug. (Yeah, she really liked that one.) But she did it. I sat down with the baby and held him, and realized he'd fallen dead asleep in my arms. Poor thing.

I gave him medicine and put him in the bed in his room, and stretched out next to him. He was tired, but fighting it, and making little whimpering noises. Hubby came home around 9pm, and we put him to bed. I slept in the guest room with the baby monitor, and like clockwork, he woke up about every 45 minutes all through the night, crying. Every time I ran up there to comfort him and hold him, he was shaking. I piggybacked Tylenol a few hours later, and that seemed to help.

He's still hot this morning, so I've given him more motrin, but at least he's not getting sick. He's having crackers right now, because I'm scared to feed him anything else. I guess we'll see as the day goes by.

I am DEAD on my feet. Hopefully he'll sleep through the night tonight, because I need some sleep. And yes, I can nap when he naps, but I always have so much to do when he goes down, because I don't have him underfoot and I can actually concentrate on something.

Cross your fingers for us!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Edit Mode.

I've really been attacking the story since Monday. I'm 3/4 of the way through--but I really need to make some decisions. I need to cut something out. Or I'm going to have a 70,000 word first novel. Not a good thing, usually, for YA. I'm going to finish my edits, and see where I end up. I guess adding details and depth adds WORDS, too! ;-)


It's Devon Ellington's Birthday today! Hop on over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday! Hope it's a great one, Dev!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

We had some SERIOUS rain last night. Thank heaven we're at the top of the hill in our subdivision--the poor houses at the very bottom of the hill the next subdivision over have lakes in their front yards.

And now they're telling us to expect 60MPH winds later today? HUH? Hubby is in Chicago for the day, I hope he doesn't get blown off the road on the way back. Scary.

I am functioning on about one hour of sleep. Hubby had to wake up at 4am for his trip, and we went to bed at 11pm. Then the rain started. I had been editing for two hours before we went to bed, so it was midnight before I could even turn my brain off --I was still deep in my story. Then I tossed and turned because I couldn't sleep, and Hubby tossed and turned because HE couldn't sleep, and by the time we fell asleep at 3:30 he had to wake up an hour later. And I couldn't go back to sleep. I went and crashed in the guest room (dang it I'd just put on clean sheets!) but I couldn't be in the room with him puttering around.

So, I'm DEAD. But I'm here and I'm ready to edit. I've got my mini on my lap and the baby is running around pulling toys out of his toy box. I'm on page 166 of 280, so I've got a ways to go. But at least I've passed the halfway mark!

Just took the kids to school in DENSE fog. Seriously, I couldn't see more than 50 feet in front of my car. The kids thought it was eerily cool. Actually, so did I!

Hope everyone stays dry!

Monday, March 09, 2009

I think it's psychological when you "Spring Forward." For some reason, I feel so TIRED the next day! Like that extra hour lost made a HUGE difference.
But we're back on today--I think.
Busy weekend as usual--dropped the kids off at their church activity Saturday and went to Target to hang out for a couple of hours. BAD IDEA. They have too many cute things. Then grabbed Subway for lunch and ran home. Then we actually relaxed--because it was pouring outside. And it continued raining, into the night, and Sunday, too. About 36 hours of rain, until it got cold enough to snow. We got about an inch and thankfully that was it.
Now we're supposed to have more rain tonight, and it will get COLD tomorrow. Then it will warm up again. Hot, cold, hot, cold. Should be interesting.

Thing Three flooded the bathroom Saturday night. We have early church, so I make them take their showers the night before. Well, on this particular instance, Thing Three decided to shower with the curtain OUTSIDE the tub and he had two inches of water in the bathroom in no time. About 50 towels and a major yelling session from me later, he was in bed and very much in trouble.

Why do my children attract calamity? A while back it was a gallon of milk spilled all over the basement carpet. I swear, they're out to destroy the house...at least we haven't had anything catch fire...YET...

I need to get back into Edit Mode on my story. I took a few days' break because I sort of "burned out" on the edits last week. Now I'm back and ready to roll. AFTER the errands, of course.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Commitment to Healthy Snacks

You would think, since I have been a mom for eleven years, I would have already figured this out. Well, the mean truth is no, I haven't. My idea of a snack is a granola bar, or a cookie, or pretzels, etc.

Not any more. My kids need GOOD snacks. So, we're going for it. I've stocked up on fresh fruit and veggies. Carrot sticks and celery. Apples, grapes and bananas. The kids will be eating THOSE instead of the crap they've been eating. So far, so good. They like those things anyway.

Let's see how long I can keep it up. No more chips and Swiss Cake Rolls for us.

You think we can do it?

Friday, March 06, 2009



Wait, what am I thinking? Friday means nothing to me. What am I getting all excited about?


Sorry, inside joke with my Mom, who unfortunately reads this blog.

Thing One's basketball game last night was INTENSE. I know, how can a fifth-grade game be intense? Well, it WAS. They were neck and neck. Thing One had several key assists, and her team pulled away early. Then the other team pulled six points ahead. Then her team caught up. Then they were neck and neck and finally, at the buzzer, they were up by two points and one of the girls on the other team shot the ball...and missed. Thing One's team won! It was very exciting. All the parents were totally into it! Usually I'm gabbing and I see about 20% of the game. This time we were all glued. You don't usually get NBA-caliber tension from a game played by 11/12 year-olds! It was a hoot.

I'm going to try and convince Hubby to drive all the way to Milwaukee tomorrow so we can go to the only SONIC for like, a thousand miles. (Okay, I'm exaggerating but it FEELS that way!) They just opened up a brand new one, and I suspect it will be very busy but I must have a Cherry Limeade. We used to go to Sonic all the time in Texas. And Chick Fil-A. And Panda Express. Okay, I must stop or I will get VERY sad...

Hubby is home from New York, and he's back at work. I actually missed him this time, so that was nice. (kidding!) This weekend will be busy, but I'm looking forward to Sunday. After our morning church, we come home and have lunch and TAKE NAPS. Yessssssss.....

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bang Bong Boom Boom Bang Boom.

We have a new subdivision that is going in right behind our house. Which kinda stinks because we had this backyard that seemed to go for MILES. But now, they're building in the lot right behind and to the left of us, and all day long they're banging and hammering away. Cement trucks, rock trucks, port-o-potty trucks, contractor trucks, cranes, etc. Can you say noise pollution?

And they're building a monster house, so it's taking FOREVER. I don't know why, I guess I just find it annoying today for some reason, more so than the other days.

I got some editing in last night, but pooped out on the sofa. I was too tired. I spent most of the day cleaning my house and I was TIRED. Hubby comes home from NYC tonight, and I will throw the kids at him and go to Thing One's bball game by myself. Heh heh. He'll survive.

I took the baby for a walk yesterday. And yes, he WALKED. We only walked half a block and back, and mostly he ran on the grass and played in the snow patches, but he had the time of his life. When his cheeks were pink I figured it was time to go in. It was warm--about 45 degrees. Well, for HERE that's warm. I had him all bundled up, so it was good. I love having a toddler! Watching them discover the world is so cute. *sigh*

Time to get going!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Hazzards of Eating Coffee Icecream Before Bed

Yesterday was busy--Tuesdays usually are for me. When we finally got home from our cub scouts/church activities/meetings at NINE O'CLOCK AT NIGHT, I got the kids in bed (the baby was dead asleep--I changed his diaper and put him in footie pj's and he didn't even wake up) and I went and sat in front of the computer and looked at my story and thought: I need a break from editing.

So, I took the night off. Hubby is still out of town, and I decided to reward myself with a movie. I chose Iron Man (love that one!) and got myself a bowl of (drumroll please) Caribou Coffee Icecream.

Yeah, that was SMART. Since I'm not a coffee drinker, I am a caffiene lightweight. I finished the movie at midnight, and I was surprisingly AWAKE. I went upstairs and noticed the formal living room was a bit cluttery with baby toys. So I cleaned it. Then I noticed the kitchen still had a few things out from dinner. So I tackled that. Then I went to go to bed, and saw that I'd messed up my perfect shoes looking for the "right" pair to wear a few hours before, so I fixed that. Then I STILL felt awake, not a bit sleepy, and I went and folded the basket of clean laundry I had sitting in the laundry room. Then I dusted the guest room while I was back there in that part of the house. Then I detailed the guest room bathroom. THEN I went back downstairs and made ten birthday cards from scratch for women in my church ward who had birthdays this month. Then I sat in front of the computer and realized I still didn't feel like editing, so I went back upstairs and organized the towel closet. De-junked the kid's cubbies in the Mud Room. Swept up the crumbs underneath the high chair. De-fooded the high chair seat cushion. Opened up the mail and shredded about seven days worth of junk mail. Gave myself a manicure.

After all that, I STILL wasn't sleepy. But it was 2:30 am, and I needed to go to bed. So I got into bed, and lay there, staring at my ceiling fan. It was looking a little dusty...

Long story short, I will never, EVER indulge in coffee icecream close to bedtime again. Unless I'm pulling an all-nighter for some reason or another.

Right now I feel like I've just crashed and burned. Orange juice. I need orange juice...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

That's It--I've HAD IT.

So, I have a dilemma. I find that I yell at my kids a lot.

Not in ANGER, mind you, I'm only angry at them about 40% of the time I yell. Mostly I yell, because my kids are in a part of the house where they CAN'T HEAR ME.

We have a pretty good sized house. When a meal is ready, and I'm in the kitchen, I have to yell down the basement stairs for them to come up, or yell up the stairs for them to come down. In the mornings, I plant myself at the foot of the stairs and yell, asking them if they've brushed their teeth, gotten dressed, etc. Only because I'm TIRED of running up and down two flights of stairs just to talk to them. Or DOWN the stairs to talk to them. Sure, some mornings I just do it because I don't want to yell, but then I find I'm running up and down the stairs several times to remind them of things. UGH.

They yell, too. They can't seem to get it through their head that if they need my attention, COMING TO FIND ME as opposed to yelling is the way to go. Oh, no, they have to stand where they are, and yell for me. Which irks me to no end.

So, I've had it. I'm tired of yelling, and running up and down stairs. Because when they act like they can't hear me, it makes me mad, and then I REALLY start to yell--only it's angry yelling. And I can't stand that. And I'm tired of them coming to me and asking "didn't you hear me yelling for you??" THE YELLING MUST STOP. For all our sakes.

I'm going to go look at a wireless intercom system. I have to. For my sanity, and my blood pressure. I've found a few good ones online, and I've found some outrageously expensive ones. I probably need about four units. One for the foyer upstairs where the kids rooms branch off--one for the basement, one for the kitchen, and one for the BOYS' room because frankly, they dink around a lot in their room and pretend they can't hear me.

Wish me luck.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Foot Patch Experiment

WARNING: This blog shows graphic pictures of...well...I'm not exactly sure what. All I know, is it came from my foot. So, if you're faint of heart, or eating your breakfast, DON'T SCROLL DOWN...



Okay, so I decided to perform a little experiment. I'd heard of those "foot patches" you can buy online and in stores, where you attach them to the soles of your feet while you sleep, and they "suck out" all the toxins in your feet. And if you wear them every night for a month, you detoxify your whole body. Apparently they are THE RAGE in Asia. Everyone there uses them.

I was skeptical. I asked a few friends what they thought. One thought the foot patches were complete bunk, the other swore by them. The other wasn't sure. I suppose, in retrospect, I should have asked my friend Aimee (who lived in Asia for sheesh...was it a decade?) what she thought of them.

Anyhow, I bought a box from THIS WEBSITE online. They claim there are a lot of "cheap imitations" out there, but their stuff is the REAL stuff. So I took the plunge. And I got this:
I have to say, I got a good laugh trying to read the box itself--the English was very funny.

Anyway, before bed, I pulled out one of the patches. Here is what they look like:I went ahead and attached the patches to my feet, and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning I had this:

Nice, huh? NASTY is more like it. And my feet REEKED from the bamboo vinegar or whatevertheheck the stuff was they put in the patch to suck out the toxins.

Now, my feet were CLEAN, mind you, before I applied these things. In fact, it recommends you wash them.

I was still skeptical, so I took one of the patches and ran water over it. It turned a light brown, but that was it.

So, am I looking at yucky toxins that got sucked out of my foot? Not sure. I tried it another night, and it wasn't "as bad" as the first. So, I'm not sure. I talked Hubby into trying it, and his looked the same.

So, we must be TOXIC, ha ha! That's really the only conclusion that I can draw. That, and these things REALLY. REALLY. STINK. The ingredients smell terrible. Even before you put them on. I washed and washed my foot afterwards, but I still smelled like a pickle.

Anyone else try these?