Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everyone

After spending Christmas Eve cleaning like a madwoman, I'm as ready for Christmas as I'll ever be.  The kids decorated the annual gingerbread house, and we're settling in to A Muppet's Christmas Carol with the kids.  I hope everyone's Christmas is calm and peaceful.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Little Drummer Boy

Little Man plays video games like he's never put a quarter in the machine.  Because he never has.  Since he thought my remake of 'Oh Christmas Tree' was so funny (since it was at his sister's expense), I decided to dedicate my latest one to him.  By far his favorite video game is New Super Mario Bros. Wii.  He's the kid who always has 99 extra Marios in his arsenal, and that's because the game won't allow him to collect anymore than that.  We've nicknamed him 'Thumbs' after the most developed muscles in his body.  (Actually, that's not true, we just tell him that)  The 'clickity clack' is in reference to the sound the controllers make as he pounds them furiously during gameplay.  Predictably, Little Man isn't very amused by my remake of "Little Drummer Boy":


Come, it seemed to say, clickity clack
A brand new game to play, clickity clack
Sucked into the screen, clickity clack
using my Wii-mote's beam, clickity clack,
clickity clack, clickity clack.

Who will I be today? clickity clack
When I play.

Mario rules, clickity clack
I am a hero too, clickity clack
Using my super skills, clickity clack
I hit blocks on the hills, clickity clack
clickity clack, clickity clack.

I will make Bowser pay, clickity clack
When I play.

One-up mushroom, clickity clack
This dungeon's filled with doom, clickity clack
The lava I must cross, clickity clack
To face the final boss, clickity clack
clickity clack, clickity clack.

The final boss I'll slay, clickity clack
When I play.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hollywood Dream Pets and The 12 Days of Christmas

As a child I saw TV shows and movies where the child in the story has a close special bond with a pet.  They'd follow the kid around, slept in their bed, allowed themselves to be put in baby carriages, and other acts of indignity.  The pet was cool with it because they loved the child that much.  Or just had a tremendous amount of patience.  Having grown up with animals all my life, I can't say I ever experienced such a thing.  Now I had good experiences (I wasn't a schmuck or anything), but the sight of a baby carriage was enough to send any animal running.  I learned from an early age that you had to respect your pet, and if he wanted space, it was wise to let him have it. So all those movies and TV shows that depicted differently seemed like a bunch of Hollywood bullshit to me. 

As an adult I still love animals, especially my cats.  My cats adore me because I respect their space, and they know I've got their back.  It wasn't until a few years ago that I witnessed the Hollywood type of bond I've heard about.

A few years ago we adopted 2 female kittens.  They were the last left of the litter, and I couldn't bear to leave only one there alone.  One was a tiny runt.  She wasn't much to look at, but I think all cats are cute, so that wouldn't stop me.  Divine immediately picked up the runt and dubbed her Ariel, after her favorite Disney princess.  Because she was 6, and that's what 6 year olds do.  Ariel became the Hollywood dream pet in Divine's world.  She'd put her in the baby stroller and push her around the house.  Ariel sleeps on her bed every night even to this day, and when Divine carts her around the house in her arms, Ariel is totally cool with it. 

I thought maybe it was in Ariel's personality, just laid back to allow herself to be mauled at will by a little girl.  But as an adult cat Ariel deals out vengeance on her much larger-girthed sister when she's tired of her crap.  Hands down Ariel is the best hunter, bringing us 'presents' of her conquests.  She kicks ass.  But NOBODY has her heart like Divine.

So this year Divine decided to write a holiday ode to her best friend.  She wrote most of it, with a little help.  (it's the condensed version, because the full one would be a little...repetitive)

Divine's 12 Days of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Ariel gave to me:

Twelve shreds of toilet paper
Eleven packing peanuts
Ten cotton balls
Nine plant pieces
Eight bottle caps
Seven chewed pencils
Six twist ties

Five pieces of string

Four ponytail holders
Three hairballs
Two dead mice
And one broken ornament from my tree

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's that time of year again...

Ah yes, break out your caroling clothes...it's time for a sing-a-long!  Just shy of the 12 days of Christmas, (uh, 11 to go).  It's time for a new round of traditional holiday tunes put to real life themes by yours truly.   As you may know, Little T is my youngest daughter.   When inspiration hit for this one, I didn't realize that the English version of this song has 7 verses.  I managed 5, which I thought was pretty good.  Maybe I'll add more later.  Anywho, perhaps you can relate to my re-written version of  "Oh Christmas Tree".

Oh Little T, Oh Little T,
Your whining sure annoys me.
You can't have every toy you see
advertised on our TV,
Oh Little T, oh Little T
your whining sure annoys me.

Oh Little T, oh Little T
that catalogue seems pricey.
Why is the picture that you bring
always the most expensive thing?
Oh Little T, oh Little T
that catalogue seems pricey

Oh Little T, oh Little T
they all have wee accessories.
Look at all those little parts,
Painful when I walk in socks.
Oh Little T, oh Little T
they all have wee accessories.

Oh Little T, oh Little T,
Yes, it sure looks real sweet.
Have you seen your bedroom floor?
all your stuff blocks the door!
Oh Little T, oh Little T,
Yes it sure looks real sweet.

Oh Little T, oh Little T,
We'll not succumb to pouting.
Little toys lost in your room
only get sucked in my vacuum,
Oh Little T, oh Little T
We'll not succumb to pouting.

Do you think she'll like my song?  (Bwahahahahahaha!  Yeah, sure she will!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Tassimo Brewbot

Jen over at In One Ear is hosting a giveaway for the new Tassimo Brewbot. The one where it transforms into a really cute looking robot on the commercial, although I don't think that's part of the real deal. That would be totally cool though. Anyway...I love coffee. I do. I do. I do. Like my husband knows to get up before me, make the coffee, then bring it to my nightstand before I even set foot out of bed. Some may call that caffeine addiction, you may have other words to describe it, but in my house my kids told me in a picture:




My kids swear this is what I look like in the morning before I've had my coffee.  And especially when I'm in a bad mood. (That's Stallord from Legend of Zelda:  Twilight Princess)

So needless to say, a sweet brewmaster like the Tassimo Brewbot system with it's cute little individual cups of brewing goodness would surely put me on cloud nine like say, every morning, right?

If you would like to win this baby, the links to the giveaway (and Jen's blog) are above.  Good luck!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Power Star Tree Topper

When we first got married, we inherited an angel tree topper from a family member.  Due to it's ancient electrical work inside of the 'candles' it held, it nearly caught on fire many years ago.  Since, I've been on the hunt for a new tree topper to no avail.  I wasn't real picky...not stuck on an angel, a star or anything else.  Much to my disgust all the ones I saw in stores were either cheap looking, downright hideous, or just...blah.   So the years rolled by without one.  Because I'd rather have nothing than some cheap, boring piece of crap on top of my tree.  And really, stuffing tree branches up an Angel's skirt is just a wee bit creepy.

This year, inspiration struck.  I had designed and stitched this power star (from the Mario games) for my kids.  After it was done, it sat in a drawer because I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.  I spent part of the day doing the finish work.  My kids were delighted to see it had become our new tree topper.  Our tree is huge (it hits the ceiling), so I had to make it work.  But I love the finished product.  It's fun and original!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bitchin Kitchen



I caught Bitchin Kitchen for the first time last night and loved it!  I never thought 'punk' could be married to 'cooking show', but that's what this is.  Nadia G reminds us that we are the 'mistress of our kitchen' and has a fun, playful approach in her show.    I've already talked about redecorating my kitchen `a la Nadia, but my husband seems to be against it.  At least for now...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Kristin (@dragondream)!  I'll be emailing you shortly!

edited:  I took out the random number generator because it didn't do what it was supposed to do, which was show the winning number.  Instead it just put up the generator without the pertinent information.  The winning number was 4. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spongebob & Scooby Doo Games Giveaway!

The holidays are coming, right?   Okay, I get it.  Nobody wants to hear that.  If you're like me, you're the one who stays home on Black Friday.  Because I hate lines, and crowds and fighting to get stuff.  I believe in the internet and it's ability to have merchandise magically arrive at my doorstep. 

The good people at Pressman Games have given me the opportunity once again to have my lab rats...uhh I mean children, test out some new games for me and get some feedback.  They are also offering one of each game to lucky winners! 



The first game we've visited before, but this time in a new form:  Spongebob Squarepants Mastermind Towers.  I wrote a review for this game here, the only difference is that it's Spongebob characters on the tiles instead of animals.  This, of course, thrills my kids immensely.  Little Man is a HUGE Spongebob fan, and I don't have to listen to Spongebob's annoying laugh ad nauseum.  Because while I'm much more tolerant of Spongebob than some parents (I actually love the show), we all have our limits.  This game is great if you have a younger child with older siblings.  Little T is easily able to get her siblings to play this game with her over and over again!


Hold On, Scooby Doo! is the next game.  My kids didn't really get into Shaggy and Scoob on TV, but this game was a hit.  There are plastic blocks that form a wall, with a Shaggy and Scooby plastic figurine in their classic terrified pose sitting precariously on top.  Each player has a ghost 'hand' that they use to poke pieces out.  The object is to not be the person who makes Shaggy and Scooby fall to the depths of your floor, table, box of Scooby Snacks, or what have you. 

Kudos to Pressman for creating games that don't require batteries.  YAY!  My kids found Shaggy and Scooby to be amusing and had a lot of fun making them fall as well as not.  But since two of my children lean towards hyperactivity and impulsivity, this is game that really helps them.  It forces them to stop, think, and proceed with care.  They get all excited when they realize they're still 'winning', but when it's their turn they find they have to poke the blocks out gently. Even when having to rebuild the wall after a round, they can't just pile them on, but carefully stack them on top of each other in the proper place (which is clearly identified).   This would also help with fine motor skills.  The blocks are bright orange, so finding them isn't too hard.  Unless your decor is hunter safety orange or something.  They're large enough for smaller hands, but not for the toddler set.  And so far (knock on wood) they haven't lost a single piece, which is saying something because I pick up scattered toys all the time.

Pressman is once again offering one of each game to give away.  If you'd like to enter, here are the various ways you can!  (Each in a separate comment please)  Good luck!
  1. Mandatory:  Tell me which game you're interested in and why.  Because it amuses me.  And it's okay to say 'Because I love Spongebob' or 'I always thought Shaggy was hot!'   Please make sure I can contact you via email.  My carrier pigeon hasn't been feeling well. 
  2. Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.
  3. Follow me on Twitter @amygdalarevenge
  4. Tweet about my giveaway once a day for an extra entry.
This contest will run from today until November 27th.  I'll announce the winners here on Sunday the 28th.   I will email the winners, who will have until Tuesday before midnight to get back to me with the appropriate information.  Pressman gave me both of these games to review.  I'm not expected to return them, but give my honest review!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Truck Stop

Tailights flickerin', as he pulled up to a truckstop
The same old crowd was hangin' out again tonight
He said, "Fill up my tank while I go check my load
It feels like it's shifting all around"

He was the kind of man, do all he could
Above all he had integrity
But he was so young
And on a ten city run
In love with a truck stop girl

As he went inside, he was merrily greeted
By the girl with whom he was in love
She held out a glass and said, "Have another
This is the last time we can meet"

With her hair piled up high and a look in her eye
That would turn any good man's blood to wine
All his eyes could see, well all his eyes could see
Was the stare from all those around him

He ran out to the lot, and climbed into his rig
And drove off without tightening down
It was a terrilble thing, to see what remained
Of the rig that poor Danny was in

-"Truck Stop Girl" written by Lowell George & Bill Payne
 
This week my husband has been gone on a business trip.  Before he left, he joked about girls in truck stops.   Somehow this was supposed to evoke jealousy.  I don't think he expected the 'eeewww' look I shot back, which clearly said, "If you go there I am NEVER touching you again." 

He was baffled.

In his 40 years on this earth perhaps he had tunnel vision set on the direct path to the bathrooms, or maybe he was blinded by the allure of the snack aisle to actually stop and LOOK at what truck stops are really like.  Most of the time it's people milling in and out then going on their way.  But the ones that hang out there?  Voluntarily?

Maybe it's the male romanticism attached to it that was rightfully left in the late 70s. 

As my husband drove home last night, his eyes were opened.  He was approached by a 'truck stop girl' asking him if he was interested in a 'good time'.

"No thank you, my hands are cleaner."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wild Recipes

Warning:  If you're pregnant or otherwise have a sensitive stomach, you may want to skip this one.

Today I found this site called Wild Recipes.  It's full of gross stuff that people supposedly eat.   It's chock full of submissions of recipes to make this stuff, if you desire having your stomach pumped. And yeah, there's an app for that too.  So, say you're in your kitchen and have a burning craving for head cheese...BUT you forgot how to make it.  Just whip out your iPhone and voila!  Instant recipe! 

Perhaps you're the guy that goes to the convenience store and heads to the fountain sodas in the back.  You grab the largest cup, throw in some ice, then randomly squirt various amounts of each flavor into it.  I actually know a guy who does this.  He calls it 'Around the World'.  But even if you bore of that, this site has a myriad of new drinks too!  Like 'Peanut Butter and Coffee', or 'Coca Cola and Orange Juice'. 

Kids tired of the same old PB&J?  Spice up their lunch bags on this site!  Peanut butter and dill pickles anyone?  PB and mayo?  PB and tuna?  PB and bologna?

Numerous bugs also made the list.  So if you're starving out in the woods, your iPhone can come to the rescue while you wait to be rescued!

I've never thought of myself as a picky eater, but after reading this site, I may be proud to be one.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Potty Mouth

It all started because I've been on a quest to find a coffee mug that looks like a nuclear cooling tower.  Since Amazon has everything, they were sure to have it, right?  Instead, my husband finds this gem.  Which in his own way, I suppose it fits the bill.  As much as I love unique coffee mugs, even I'm not sure if I could drink out of this.  The Toilet Mug has all kinds of suggestions to fill the 12 ounces of space inside the uhh...bowl.  Like chocolate ice cream sundaes, chocolate milk, coffee, candy, and I would think some chocolate chips would be perfect for the veteran who wants to remember what it was like to eat MREs. 

Think of it:  it's The Oval Office for your mouth.  A throne for your tongue.  You could put your loose change in it and really flush your money down the drain.  Of course, just by buying it you're doing that already. 

Ahem.

Even worse, my husband had the thought to get one for Little Man...who actually said he'd drink out of it.  Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.  Because that in my cabinet?  Not happening.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear Maura Kelly & Marie Claire

Dear Maura Kelly and Marie Claire,

Your article on the show Mike & Molly was like being strapped in a chair forced to watch 'Heathers'.  First of all, I hate movies.  I can't sit still long enough and my ample-sized behind gets bored very quickly.  The abusive train wreck you called an article was nothing short of bullying.  Even though Ms. Kelly wrote an apology, the cat's already out of the bag, hon.  I'll draw your attention to your own words:  "To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair."  You say you're not size-ist?  Are you fucking kidding me?!?! Maybe you should slip off your size 1s and put on 'snotty bitch'.  And to be 'brutally honest', I hope my words hurt you, Maura Kelly.  Then maybe you can feel the hurt your article evoked in those who may not be 'naturally slim' like your model friends.  Because you see, many overweight people have been hurt, bullied, and humiliated more times than you can count.  You made vast assumptions and stereotyped them with your keyboard. 

You & I have something in common, Ms. Kelly.  I don't watch much TV either.  Like ever.  You admit to never watching Mike & Molly...that's really a shame.  At the risk of sounding condescending, it's a good idea to know what you're talking about before you write.  I'm sure you could have caught an episode on You Tube or iTunes...any episode...and perhaps your article may not have been nearly as shallow as it was. It's what good writers do, even under a deadline.

I really hope that through this experience, Ms. Kelly, you can learn to put your prejudices aside.  You've taken a lot of heat from your readership on this article, and rightfully so.  It is indicative of the 'acceptable' forms of bullying that are alive and well in our society today.  Whether it was your intent or not, that is precisely what your article articulated, even after your hasty backpeddling.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Pranks: Doggy-style

Today was a typical morning.  We were busy teaching the kids their lessons when Justice scratched at the back door to go out.  He'd open it himself but we keep the doors locked.  We let him out and he plays in the backyard with one of the miscellaneous sticks he finds.  A little while later we hear a scratch at the door again, his sign to ask to come in.  I opened the door, Justice picks up his stick and takes off back into the yard.   He knows I won't let him bring sticks in the house, so I figured he wasn't done playing yet.  Thirty seconds later, another scratch at the door.  I open it and no dog.  Through the window I can see him ducked around the corner with his ears perked up.

The little turd was playing ring and run.

He did this about 20 more times, obviously amusing himself.  The amazing thing is that nobody ever taught him, he just made it up himself.  Don't ever believe that dogs don't have a sense of humor.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Getting Laid

Two weeks ago my husband was laid off from his job.  We don't look at it as a bad thing, because his boss is a putz and we look at it as an opportunity to seek employment elsewhere.  It simply needs to be managed.  That being said, explaining this to the kids was a whole other matter.  They are at an age where any deviation from the norm is a cataclysmic event.  And let's face it, it'll be fairly obvious when they see Daddy home more often.  They immediately freaked out, like we're going to be on the street tomorrow.  We spent a great deal of time explaining that we just need to be careful about how we spend money.    In other words, don't ask me for stuff.

Apparently though, the kids still think there is a giant crisis.  For the past year my husband has been back in school.  His student advisor calls him occasionally to see how things are going, and last time Divine picked up the phone.  "You've gotta help my Daddy!  He just got laid!!!"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back to Work, People!

After a heart breaking hiatus, Mr. Desktop and I are back on speaking terms now that he has returned from the hospital.  He said something about 'exhaustion' and 'being worked to death'.  It doesn't take him nearly as long to do or remember things, maybe because he heard me say that his next fate will be one of those recycling days they have around here periodically.  (Who am I kidding?  They don't have those around here.)  Or maybe it's due to the extended vacation he decided to take and thus has more energy.  But I did have to have his mother, brain and memory transplanted to get that kind of obdience coupled with a few threats.

After he came back, we had a meeting to update him.  Since he couldn't remember a damn thing, that took all day.  Then I had to teach him how to function.  I pay for his food, which is unlimited.  In an act of kindness, his health insurance from Norton was reinstated.  I generously gave him an office with a window.  And I do allow him contact with the outside world, he just has to share it...kinda like a party line. 

But alas, there is unrest in the kingdom.  The VP of Operations laptop is resentful for having to take on Mr. Desktop's workload while he was in the hospital.  He says it's degrading that he doesn't have his own office or a desk, and wants to know why Mr. Desktop constantly needs bailouts.  His workspace has TWO windows, and a soft cushy seat.  Norton Health Insurance and all the food he can consume too. Until recently he only worked part time in the evenings.

The laptops in the education department are pissed too.  They're angry that they don't get an office with a window or a Norton health plan.  They tell me it's a 'Cadillac plan' and they're going to submit a grievance with the union.  They just don't happen to like the Kaspersky plan issued to them by said union.  They also seem to detest the Net Nanny system, muttering something about 'big brother watching'.  I reminded them that when they chose to join the army of education laptops in the union, they had to abide by union rules and programming.  They have the same food plan AND they only work 5 hours a day WITH summers and holidays off.  Let's see if they can renegotiate THAT contract!

They heard me discussing getting a personal assistant one day, so they're all miffed. They want the important job, but nobody wants to do the work required.  I'm a busy gal, you know.  I need reliable help ready at any given moment when inspiration strikes. Why is good help so hard to find?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

St. Elsewhere...as in NOT HERE.

My computer needs a lobotomy, AGAIN.  We spent the week attempting to breath more life in it to no avail.  So yesterday I trucked it back to the computer hospital.  After already installing a new motherboard, now it needs a new hard drive.  While it's undergoing surgical intervention and probably a few hits from a defibrillator, I've been patiently waiting my turn for use of another computer.  Which in this house means practically all day, cutting online time really short.  With any luck, I should have it back tomorrow.   And of course, barring anymore fatal errors.  The next one may put it down for the count.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Flo Juggling

So you're a guy planning your week.   Perhaps you're considering your social schedule and which girls you'd like to take out.  What do you do?  Whip out your phone and hit your FloJuggler

This is, perhaps, the most pathetic use of technology I've ever seen.  FloJuggler moniters women's periods, so men can plan their social lives accordingly.  This quote from the site is priceless:  "Flojuggler is for people who care about the women in their lives. It´s a fun and discreet way to handle a fact of life. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, and kids ALL track hella flos."  I can just imagine it...

Kid  - Oh shit!  Mom's period is due this week!  Better plan a sleepover at Susie's this weekend...
Dad - Dammit!  Goin' fishing with my buds.
Postman - I'll  deliver those packages next week.

I imagine this nifty app just marks the calendar every 28 days.  I don't know about you, but I'm not a 28 day girl. So for a guy's purposes I'm not sure this is nearly as efficient as they think it is.  What is sad though, is that there is a use for this for women with medical situations that require them to know when their period may start.  Not one piece of the site addresses THAT, which would be this app's redeeming quality.  Which is a shame, because it would turn this into something noble instead of trashy if it was phrased as such.  But perhaps this could be a piece of hidden treasure, because it's free.  Give it noble meaning and there'd be a cost to it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chasers

Justice has broken quite a few collars now.  Today being the latest.  After he broke the last one we bought a 'Kong' collar.  They have excellent hard-to-destroy dog toys, so we thought it would work.  Ha!  After spending 40 minutes chasing that dog's sorry ass around the neighborhood, I sat down, out of breath and wrote Kong a very curt email.  Their response was to throw the chain pet store they made them for under the bus.  I forwarded the entire exchange to the pet store, and have yet to hear a response. 
As I ran down the street to chase the dog, I yelled to Divine to call DH so he could come home to help me.  Since he works around the corner, it shouldn't be a big deal, right?  Divine was in class (cyber school), I told her to stay in class.  My help never came.  To say I was extremely pissed was an understatement.

Me:  Did you call your father?!?!
Divine:  Yeah, he said he couldn't leave right now.

Oh yeah, I was s.t.e.a.m.i.n.g...because Justice is HIS dog.  I have severe back problems, so running around the neighborhood really put me in pain.  Not to mention I still had to manage T and Little Man trying to 'help' me while I was scared shitless they would get hit by a car.  I made an absolute spectacle out of myself screaming at them to go home while my pathetic ass is jaunting after a dog in my Birkenstock-ish sandals.  I don't call him at work, let alone ask him to come home unless it's really necessary.  Ripping him a new ass was next on my list. He got that 'I'd-better-keep-my-mouth-shut-because-she's-really-pissed' thing on.  He supposedly had no clue I needed help.

Me:  Divine, didn't you tell your father I needed him to come home to help me get the dog???
Divine:  No, because it would be another car that might hit him!

Have you ever had a moment where you physically hit your head on something a few times?  A wall?  Your desk?  It was all I could do.  DH came home later and we had a talk with Divine about following directions.  You know, hours later..because I needed time for the pain meds to kick in and that long to calm down.

I brought the collar back to the pet store, and let the manager know how the Kong company threw them under the bus.  To their credit, they gave me a refund.  Suffice it to say I did NOT buy another Kong collar.  Think leather with a buckle.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Irresponsible Neighborhood Parents

Dear Irresponsible Neighborhood Parents,

When I became a parent, I fully expected that one day neighborhood children would eventually come to my house and ask to play with my kids.  Which is no big deal, except I didn't think they'd start coming to my door at the age of FIVE

I don't know who these kids are, I don't know where they (meaning YOU) live, and I've never met YOU.  Call me an overprotective parent, but I don't let my children wander the neighborhood to go to people's houses I don't know.  Your kids want to play with mine?  Cool.  Walk them over, knock on my door and introduce yourself.  We'll probably exchange phone numbers.  I might ask you where you live (since you obviously know were I live already), in the odd event your child might need something, or have an emergency.

But you didn't do any of those things, did you?

You see, I have this weird idea that if children are playing in my yard, I'm responsible for them.  Which, strangely enough, is the reason I'd like you to notify me that they would like to come.  But your children show up in my yard and I might not even know if they're there for awhile.  Ever ask a five year old the names of his or her parents?  Guess what they'll say?  MOMMY AND DADDY.  So looking you up is out of the question.  Moreover, I'm not traipsing across the neighborhood with 4 children in tow looking for your house.  In fact, one of you (because there is more than one of you that do this) stalks me for the sole purpose of sending your child into my yard.  Without showing enough respect to ASK FIRST.  You then somehow thought you had the right to act indignant when I yelled at you.  My kids weren't even here.  So what you thought your 5 year old child was going to do was beyond me, but you'd better consider it an act of compassion and generosity that I didn't call the cops on your ass. Which, next time I might, because I refuse to be held responsible for something I had no control over should something happen to your child. 

I'm not your free babysitting service.  It's that simple.  Perhaps you thought that by not approaching me I wouldn't expect reciprocity.  You're right, because I would never leave my precious children with an irresponsible douche bag such as yourself. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Angel Hair Pasta

The cool thing about cyber-school is that they offer really cool courses the kids can take by choice.  Mine were eager for 'Introduction to the Kitchen".  The school sent them all these cute kid-sized kitchen supplies and they have to make certain recipes and stuff.  So tonight we incorporated one of their dishes into dinner.  We were having angel hair pasta as an accompaniment, which sent my kids into hysterics, because they couldn't understand where it comes from.  For some reason 'it's just like spaghetti, only thin.' wouldn't suffice.    So I told them that all angels have to be drug tested, and how they take a few hairs and it shows if they've been taking illegal drugs.  Because G-d runs a clean shop, you know.  After they're tested all of the hair goes to the factory to be boxed and shipped.  You see, G-d is also environmentally concious and doesn't waste stuff.  So it's recycled.  Since G-d needs a lot of angels to run heaven and for all of the people all over the earth, there is ample supply.  After it's shipped and bought, we boil it to rehydrate the hair and make it soft again. 

With all the laughter, I would think that my kids got it that I wasn't serious.  But I guess my explanation was a little more entertaining than 'flour and water, just in a different shape'.  It's almost become a tradition in our house, much like when I had to explain yeast and how it works when I told Divine that bread farts.  Or when my kids went through their picky eating phase and refused to eat mashed potatoes.  Somehow renaming it 'dinner pudding' made it all acceptable and delicious.  I don't get it, but hey, whatever works, right?

Monday, September 20, 2010

And the Winners Are:

Congratulations to the winners of the Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers Giveaway!  The winners are:

Mastermind - Jack

Animal Mastermind Towers - Jen from In One Ear

Please check your emails! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's Behind Their Door

Reminder:  Today is the last day to enter the Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers giveaway!  The contest closes tonight at 11:59 p.m. and the winners will be drawn tomorrow  Best of luck to all!

Today I'm donning my bio-hazard suit and tackling the kids' rooms and closets.  Perhaps you can relate to this scene, where you've asked your children to put away toys, clothes, books, pet dinosaur or what have you, only to find them under their beds, furniture, rug, crammed somewhere or still on the floor.  Then somehow they're shocked when I tell them to clean it, because after all...they already did. 

As parents, we all know that effectively cleaning your child's room requires a trash bag, which horrifies them.  Because they to keep everything.  Chewing gum from Kindergarten, every art project, and every paper they came home with since preschool.    There's nothing wrong with memories, but the sheer amount is staggering and it's usually covering up the snack bowl from last month.  You've been wondering where that bowl went, along with the ear thermometer, Q-Tips, a few cups or soda cans which you've knocked over at least one over with your foot.  Because no matter how many times you've explicitly told them not to have food and drink in their rooms, they don't remember or 'forgot'.  And so, now you're thinking about pest fumigation.  Despite their protests, their rooms are not a petrie dish or a massive ant farm experiement no matter how many times they attempt to convince you that they're budding scientists.

To ease your eardrums, perhaps you're waiting until they're not home and therefore cannot interfere with your efforts.  The horror on their faces as they enter their new sparkling abode is worth capturing.  Keep the cameras rolling while they yank open each drawer in shock, followed by heavy sighs.  Perhaps you've heard them yell "It's MY room and YOU had NO RIGHT in here!"  You know, as if they're not living in your house that you pay for, or the impending rodent and insect infestation wouldn't affect you.  My kids have actually attempted to save their crap from the trash.  I just laugh, and remember that one day, it will be THEIR home and THEIR kids.  Somehow that makes it all better.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Your Twit

When it comes to social media, I'm road stain on the information superhighway. Not road kill, because that infers that it's slow, but still fresh. I'm the one that's been run over so much there's nothing left but a few squashed bits. When My Space was all the rage, I was the last of my friends to sign up. It was listed under the name of a character I played on an online game. Because really, I don't want people knowing my real name or my location unless I want them to know. And if I do, I'll just tell you. Then like a week later it was all about Facebook. I dug my heels in for years about that. I didn't start that until last year, and I use my nom de plume over there. But no, a first name alone wasn't enough for Facebook. I had to come up with a last name too, which didn't exist. Since Kristin and I are SBC's (Sisters by Choice), I asked her if I could use her maiden name. I mean, being sisters on Facebook is almost as good as being sisters in real life, right?

Now it'a all about Twitter. Well it has been for awhile, but I dug my heels in about that too. There's nothing I feel compelled to say in 140 characters or less that I want to share with the entire world. It's a shame they're not called 'twits' that appear on your 'twit deck'. That would be far more amusing. It also seems like you need to meet an endless amount of requirements to enter blog contests. I get it to a degree, because companies want exposure for their stuff, and the more traffic a blog has equates to the amount of companies that want to do business with you.

Maybe that's the part I hate about all this the most: blogging has become more about marketing and less about communicating something. I'd like to think this blog will grow because of merit, not because I'm giving away free stuff.

On the same token, it has provided a pretty ingenious way for people to build themselves professionally. As a stay at home mom, I don't want to wait until I'm 50 and then attempt to contribute to the world starting at zero again. So I try to balance it all out in my mind. I realize people have bills to pay and there's nothing wrong with using the current structure to benefit one's self. So I guess it's about reconciling principles with the realities of life. I want to have both, and I think I can. And . so . with . much . prodding . and . heel . dragging . kicking . and . screaming ... ... I ... signed .... .... ... up.

I'm your new twit: @amygdalarevenge

It's from my other blog, Amygdala's Revenge.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My First Power Tool

My husband is in construction. That means that we have power tools coming out our wazoo. He has 6 drills, and he swears that each have their own unique purpose. AND he wants to buy more one day. His tools fill the basement in an obnoxious manner, and to tell you the truth I don't know if I could use any of his stuff let alone find it.

So imagine my husband's surprise when I saw this and wanted it. It's a Dremel cordless 7.2 volt rotary tool. It's small and I can hold it like a very large pencil. He was so giddy with excitement he never stopped to really inspect why I would want such a thing. It came with all these little attachments that I think will be pretty useful. I don't drag out his crap to do household fix-it stuff, because if I did, it would have to be managed with the curious trio looking to snatch it up as soon as my back was turned because they want to help, you know. Anyway, Hubby was busy whipping out his wallet, eager to release my inner Amy Matthews with uh...7.2 volts of power. It came with a kit that had all these different attachments. Not having a clue about what they did, I spent 2 hours reading about them on their picture pamphlet. Which is good because I need pictures. I've already used the paint stripper tool because we have posts on our back porch that we want to paint, but they're decorative. So the little tool is perfect for all the decorative grooves and such.

But that's not why I wanted it.

I want it to make kick ass jack o lanterns this year. You just can't sell the idea with a once-a-year use. Not that Hubby cares, because it's like a gift-by-proxy. And it's a tool that he didn't have.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Teaching September 11th.

Divine was just a baby when the towers fell on September 11th. She was oblivious to the silence while Hubby and I stared at the TV in disbelief. She had no clue that her grandpa worked just a few blocks away for the NYPD. We sat in silence in our living room, while the clocked ticked waiting for the phone to ring letting us know that my FIL was okay.

Since then, my children have known we've been in a war against this thing called 'terrorism' in far away lands. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Iran are only places they've seen in excerpts on the news. They've seen the pictures their grandpa took of Ground Zero and the blown out windows from the surrounding buildings. But they don't really understand it. They didn't grasp that the planes and buildings were filled with people, ordinary citizens just going about their lives.

Divine and Little Man watched the memorial services and the time line on TV. It wasn't to scare them, but to give understanding about what they see on the news. My FIL graciously answered their questions, with his grandpa understanding. He's really good at explaining things to the kids in an objective manner. Little Man was angry they had never taught him this at school, but I explained that it could be very frightening to some kids, like his little sister. T wasn't part of this because she's very sensitive. In a few years maybe she'll be old enough, but not now.

I want my children to understand that freedom isn't free. They saw the brave heroes who gave and risked their lives to save others, and that the actions of a few can't destroy us as a nation. We were very specific about the perpetrators...because ultimately those involved in planning and carrying out attacks are to blame alone. There was a dichotomy in that day, of those seeking to destroy, and those who gave all to save others. People they didn't know and had never met before. We can't control others, but we can make a difference. In life, we serve as either an example or a horrible warning.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers Giveaway!

While at BlogHer '10 I had the opportunity to meet the cool people at Pressman Games. While I'd heard of the company, I'd never played the games they had on display: Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers. I'm always on the lookout for interesting games that challenge my children to think and figure things out. It also needs to be a game that won't bore them easily and they can play together without fighting. I can say that both of these games exceeded my expectations. They are age appropriately challenging and as any parent can appreciate, don't require batteries!


Animal Mastermind Towers is for ages 6 and up. Little T loves this game because it's equally interactive on both sides. Nobody has a 'better' or 'more important' role in the game. Both players secretly stack their animal tiles in their tower. They each receive cards that tell them which animals are in the other player's tower, but not in what order. Players must take turns asking each other if a tile is above or below another. They then use the cards to help themselves figure out what order the other player's tiles are stacked. What's cool about it is that my older children are willing to play this game with Little T, and she loves to bring it out when friends come over. The rules are simple and easily explained, and they must take turns. Pressman also has popular character versions available, such as Spongebob. In most games Little T is easily outmaneuvered by Divine and Little Man due to better coordination or developmental abilities. But in this game everyone is on equal footing.

Mastermind is for ages 8 and up, although Little T (age 6) easily understood the game. At one end the 'Code-Maker' arranges 4 pegs of their choosing behind a little shield. At the other end, the 'Code-Breaker' places pegs to guess the code. The only clues they would get is which pegs are correct, or right color wrong place. They continue to guess until they break the code. Players take turns in the roles of code-maker and breaker. The player who breaks the code in the least amount of turns wins. Divine, Little Man and Little T have played this game for hours. They giggle while the 'breaker' guesses, and applaud victories. They get a charge out of playing both roles, so there's no fighting over who gets to be what. I like that the kids have to use decoding skills, and that since it changes everytime, it never gets boring for them.

Pressman Games was not only nice enough to send me these games to try and review, but also offer a giveaway for one of each game! To enter, you need to do the following:

  1. Comment and tell me which game you would like to enter to win.
  2. Follow this blog on Google Friend connect.
  3. Do ten jumping jacks. (I'm just kidding, but don't you feel better now?)

I will announce the winners on Monday, September 20th. Good Luck!

Disclosure: Pressman Games gave me these games for free for review and I'm not expected to return them after the review period.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Glitter

I hate glitter. If there is an art supply every mother hates, glitter is it.

One thing about home or cyber schooling is that there are some lessons you have to do hands-on. The school sends me a giant box for each of my children with wads of supplies in them...crafting supplies, clay, construction paper, crayons, colored pencils, glue, pipe cleaners, glitter and whatnot.

I got the brilliant idea to do recycling art. Each of them had an empty tall Prin.gles can and went to town on it. And that they did. T made a telescope and Little Man made a musical instrument of sorts. And you bet they wanted to decorate the snot out of it...with glitter. So I opened one container and told them to decorate them outside.

Late this afternoon I noticed my front porch was covered in gold glitter. My kitchen sink had glitter all over the inside, including all over their snack bowls and juice cups that were in it. But I'm thankful. I'm thankful for my wonderful faucet that has the spray hose option that Hubby installed last year, and that glitter will go down my drain. I'm also thankful that glitter will sweep off my front porch. The worst that will happen is that Hubby will be covered in 'magic fairy dust' when he mows that section of the lawn. But mostly, I'm very thankful that there was only 4 ounces of glitter in that container.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Growth

This has been 'that' year, the one where you have to have the 'talk' with your first child. It's always a crapshoot as to how your child will react to the discussion of puberty. Since Divine is our first, I took on that responsibility.

I combed through books on the subject, looking for one that struck the right note. The right note meaning that becoming a woman was something to celebrate, not something to dread or feel weird about. After we talked, I presented her with the book so she would have her own resource, to cover anything I might miss or she could review on her own terms. She loved the book, and I reminded her that she could always come to me with questions or concerns, and she has. I'm very proud of her, and is very excited by the prospect of growing up.

Yesterday we went shopping, and Divine asked me to buy her first bra. I remember shopping for my first bra (what girl doesn't?)...I HATED it. I remember being completely embarrassed, although in retrospect I had nothing to be so self conscious about. Here Divine was ASKING, even though her little sister was with us. She made a beeline to the intimates section and held a fuschia D cup to her chest. "Whaddaya think, Mommy?" Little T grabbed a giraffe print (YES, freaking GIRAFFE PRINT) from the rack. "What about this one???" As I attempted to corral them into the grow-bra section, Hubby and Little Man came by to see how we're doing. (Could this get any worse? Oh, you bet it can!) Little Man son snags a lacy white bra, puts one of the cups on his head and tells Hubby "Look Dad, I'm Amish!" "So who's the other one for?" "My evil twin!" Little Man cracks himself up holding over the cart. My kids know no shame.

We eventually find the section that caters to younger girls. Divine is delighted with the cute prints and selects one with peace signs on it. Little T begs me for one too, even though she's far from ready, with little stars on it. Today they donned them proudly, showing off their 'boobers' (umm...padding).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Goodbye Summer

This is the last week before school starts on Monday. I love summer because it's the only time of the year when I don't really have to 'pay' for staying up late to do things like read blogs, or actually write in peace. Since my children attend a cyber school, lately we've been receiving their books and supplies in the mail. It's almost like Christmas for my kids, and in a way I'm thankful that they're excited to rip open the boxes in anticipation for the new school year. Perhaps I'm doing something right in that my children are excited to learn again, something they lost in the local school district. Next week we'll be back on a schedule, early bedtimes and homework duty.

But for the next few days, I'll cherish the 'me' time I have left before the insanity begins again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Roughing It

Divine left for camp this morning. She'll be going to a Girl Scout camp with platform tents and hopefully flush toilets. Last year their version of the girls 'showering' was dousing them with dish soap and sending them down the slip n' slide a few times. It was one of Divine's favorite things about it last year; I just made a mental note to have her take a real shower when she gets home.

The past two days were spent scrambling to find all the stuff people only use when going to camp, like mess kits, dunk bags, and bug spray. We had to find another flashlight when we realized that if Divine accidentally dropped Hubby's mag-lite, someone might get their toes crushed. Anyway, the camp had a list of things the girls should and should not bring. Everything on the NOT list were all things Divine was sure she needed. Like a cell phone. Because despite her ferocious independence, she needs mommy and daddy to say goodnight or her day is not complete. And her fashion sense certainly didn't allow her to wear t-shirts, she needed the tank tops that were in the 'no' column. Any why can't she wear her pretty sandals instead of boring sneakers?!?! SOCKS?!?! And why only ONE stuffed animal?!?! I assured her that it was only three days, and she would survive.

After all of the appropriate items were packed, we brought her bag by the door as to be ready. Something told me to check it last night. Divine had an ARMY of stuffed animals, toys, her iPod, and various other items from the 'no' list. We just took them out and decided not to say anything. Then we locked the bags in the car.

This morning at the drop off, one of the other mothers, a friend of ours, asked if Divine had grown a tail. Sure enough, she attempted to hide yet another stuffed animal in her skort.

Maybe my little girl will never be the kind who will enjoy 'roughing it'.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Low T

Little T is 6. She bursts into our bedroom where my husband was studying.

Little T: "Daddy I know what your problem is, YOU HAVE LOW T!!!"

She jumps on the bed clamors on top of him.

Little T: "Look, now you have HIGH T!"

Somebody really needs to get a handle on when these types of commercials air. Seriously.

Friday, August 13, 2010

BlogHer'10 - The Mature Edition

BlogHer '10 was an amazing experience. I was able to spend time with my best friend and sister by choice, Kristin from Dragondreamer's Lair. We haven't seen each other in a few years, and it was wonderful to hang out on our schedule, instead of our kids'! The fabulous women we met along the way were amazing. Creativity, possibility and writing are exciting, and to witness so much of it under one roof in so many facets was just thrilling.

The sessions were very interesting. I attended Dear Abby 2.o -Advice on the internet hosted by Becky Sherrick Harks and the ladies from The Mouthy Housewives. They were hysterical!
I also attended "Grief, Loss, Tragedy and Community on the Internet" hosted by Cecily Kellogg, Loralee Choate, Kim Trimble and Anissa and Peter Mayhew. A very touching and eye opening discussion. Cecily was a fantastic moderator and the tears welled in my eyes several times. Anissa stated "Those who think blogging isn't important can kiss my ass." I couldn't agree more.

The parties were a blast. On Thursday we went to The People's Party, which was quite lively and met lots of great people. We were honored to make tutus for the 5K race Tutus for Tanner. Later was Queerosphere, which had a quiet, intimate atmosphere. Given it has been such a busy day, it was the perfect ending. Sparklecorn was brilliant! By far the best t-shirts of the conference that read "Judy Blume never prepared me for this." We made glo-stick jewelry, took pictures next to fun standees, and ate white cake with peanut butter and jelly filling...until CheeseBurgHer! I'm still hopeful I won the hat contest...

There was a LOT of swag. Now admittedly I love free stuff. I'm glad I brought the enormous bag with the expandable zipper, because I barely got it closed. My kids loved it, and the flash drives and little mice (for laptops) are very useful. It brought the conference home to my family to a degree.

The most touching was the Keynote of the International Activist Scholarship Winners for this year. These are women who risk much just to express their voice and bring it to the public. Imagine being silenced, or someone constantly trying to silence you. They have immense courage to stand up in their societies. Please check out Humanity Ashore, Mideast Youth, Mujeres Libres and The Afghan Women's Writing Project.

On a personal note, BlogHer was the first time I allowed my picture to be taken in public. This may sound trivial to you, but having my picture taken makes me extremely uncomfortable. Inter-personally I'm pretty outgoing, but break out a camera and I'm out of there. I'm still not brave enough to go in front of a video camera, but just getting in front of the camera is progress.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine!

I came home last night from BlogHer '10. We met a sea of incredible bloggers; I came home with a stack of business cards from them! Some have requested that I don't put photos of them online, therefore I will respect their privacy and requests. There is LOTS to talk about, but this is more of a light post from the perspective of what my kids were dying to know about BlogHer.


Divine, Little Man & T were thrilled to see me and hear all about NYC adventures. They were thrilled to see the pics as I shamelessly name dropped who I got to meet. First up of course, is The Sun from the Jimmy Dean commercials. After the sun rose, we had breakfast.

Bruce Jenner was representing Tropicana. Admittedly the only person who was mildly impressed was Little T, because she drinks orange juice everyday. So I had to explain that he was an Olympic track & field star, because my children are blissfully ignorant of the Kardashians and I didn't want to have to get into that. They understand the Olympics.

After breakfast we watched some morning TV.

Who can resist Elmo? Well, T is partial to Dora...

Then it was time for lunch.You're darn right that's me pressing his belly! Then we decided on some video games:

They also had a stage set up for people to play Just Dance. I applaud anyone who had the cojones to get up there and shake it. When I dance it looks like a marionette with somebody else yanking on the strings, which Kristin forced me to display at one of the parties we attended in the evening. Speaking of parties, my kids were MOST jealous of CheeseburgHer, because it's in their wildest dreams to be in a party filled with tables of McDs food. I assured them that I did my best in the paper hat contest (making the best hat possible from a McD's bag), because that's like a week's worth of happy meals paid for.
The swag item my kids were most impressed by? Play-Doh perfume. They're a strange bunch.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My bags are packed!

I leave in the morning for Blogher! I can't tell you how excited I am; the idea of spending a few days away is SWEET! If you're going, I'll be the one hobbling around. I sprained my ankle the other day AGAIN. Yes, again. Like the 15th time in 5 years. This time wasn't as bad as others, so I'm pretty thankful. It's still a bit stiff, and to tell you the truth I'm not looking forward the extensive walking in NYC. But I've brought some meds to cope with that, and it's obviously not stopping me!

Little T isn't taking the news too well that Mommy is going away for a few days. She's been mopey now that it's drawing near. Divine just says "Mom, bring me swag." In typical boy fashion, Little Man hasn't said a word. As long as he isn't separated from his Wii, all is right in his world. Besides, this isn't the first time I've gone away for a few days, despite Little T's reaction.

I'll be posting pics as I can!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Separated At Birth?


Here we have Food TV's Alton Brown and musician Thomas Dolby. Uncanny.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Everyone's Normal Until You Get to Know Them

What is normal? As kids we think we know...it's whatever we grew up with. That was our normal. Then we get to school and compare ourselves to others and television to figure out yet again what normal is. Was it designer jeans in the closet? (Showing my age here...) The brand of shoes on our feet? Having the latest technology? At some point I remember a kind of shock to learn that not everybody had a fully stocked bar in their house. Everyone that I knew did (well, their parents did), and my neighbor had a tap. It wasn't odd for some of my friends to have wine with dinner, because in their cultural upbringing it was the acceptable thing to do. It wasn't until later in life after witnessing a few jaws drop that I came to realize not everyone grew up that way.

After Hubby came home from work today I showed him the results from the ADHD test. He found it a bit humorous and said it 'explained some things'. Since he's known me for a long time, I asked him to be the second opinion. He answered the statements and scored it how he saw me...until question 17.

There is a lot of 'static' or 'chatter' in my head.

Besides not having a telepathy helmet, he was baffled by the statement. Completely lost. I understood what chatter was without looking it up, because it's something I can't get away from.

Me: You mean you can turn your brain off anytime you want?

H: Yeah. (said matter-of-factly, with a 'Why can't you?' tone.)

Well I can't. It's always been that way, so I don't see it as anything but normal. I don't understand how someone can will their brain to turn off. Perhaps that's why I'm a night owl. Engage my brain to exhaustion, then there won't be a lot of time between hitting the pillow and sleep, thereby circumventing it. Because maybe I can't shut it off, but I can direct it. Which brought us to this statement:

My thoughts bounce around as if my mind is a pinball machine.

Hubby couldn't comprehend this one either. Probably because he can will his brain off. Something, anything from whatever environment I'm in will trigger a ping in my brain and connect it to something in my memory, which will in turn ping and connect it to something else, then something else, then something else. There are rational connections, but unless you were there you probably wouldn't understand them. And to explain it? By the time I've ping-ed about 5 times only a few seconds have passed.

Now a simple online quiz really doesn't say much, other than call the doctor I can't afford. I've been down the ADHD route with my son, who was completely misdiagnosed. The medicines they kept trying nearly bankrupted us, which amounted to teachers attempting to force compliance out of a bright child who simply wouldn't tolerate their busy work. So after witnessing the process, I'm leery of the whole thing. It reminds me of the depression medication. So for now I'll do some more reading, see if this fits (or I'm just really off my rocker), and look into attempting the 'lifestyle' and 'organizational' changes that supposedly help. Of course if I could do those things, I probably wouldn't be here today in the first place.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You've Been Warned...



Serious ADHD Likely!



While aimlessly surfing the web, I came across this test and decided to take it. The results really aren't that surprising...I mean, I don't call myself a clutter queen for nothing. But on the results page it actually encourages you to copy the code out of the box and put it on your website. As if you'd want to advertise such a thing. I imagine the graphic is a misfiring neuron or something, maybe ready to explode.

Now I realize that ADHD is a serious thing, and I'm not making fun of that. My score was through the roof and I probably need to do all the things it says to do. It would probably answer many things about my life. I'm just not sure that putting their graphic on my page is it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Sound of Silence, Blogher Style

Last year Hubby and I wrote all these Christmas Carol parodies for our kids. It was a joke, and Kristin egged me on to post them. Truth be told I was too chicken shit, because some stick-in-the-mud would think I was abusing my kids. In reality they just rolled their eyes and went "MOM" in that way where it has two syllables instead of one. Inspiration strikes in weird places. Today 'The Sound of Silence' rolls through my head, Blogher style, complete with alternate ending:

Hello Kristin, my old friend,
We get to share a room again,
At the Hilton in big New York,
and now I'm feeling like a real dork
And the conference
we've come miles to attend,
my best friend,
is known as Blogher

We entered through the doors and saw,
Ten thousand women maybe more,
I screamed "Holy hormones, Batman"
"I think I need to pop some Ativan"
The elevator crammed
while piped-in muzak played,
Our nerves were frayed,
In all the bustle
of Blogher

We went to seminars galore,
Met new friends at Sparklecorn,
"Did you get a lot of swag?"
"How will it all fit in my bag?"
While the bathroom lines
drastically increase in length,
I've got the strength
To wait my turn
at Blogher

Having to call my man was hard,
I think I maxed my credit card
Times Square and 5th Avenue,
I don't have a single clue
how to continue
after eyeing all that swank
And so my bank
just adores Blogher

We pack our things with a slight frown,
My bag weighs a thousand pounds,
After lunch with A.L.I.,
we said our goodbyes
embracing friends
we've just met face to face,
I've made my case,
to return
to Blogher

alternate ending:
How did we end up here in jail?
I hope our husbands can post bail.
Did it happen with our consent?
We meant no malicious intent
The experience would cement this in our brain,
While we refrain
from blame
at Blogher

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Attraction Attachment

Divine likes to watch Animal Planet. As we drove down the road, she announced she finally understood the difference between boys and girls.

Me: "Plumbing." (standard answer)

Divine: "No, Mommy...it's their BUTTS."

Hubby: (muttering) "...oh my god..."

Divine: "On Animal Planet I noticed it on the puppies! The boy puppies have attraction attachments on their butts so the girl puppies will notice them. It's the fuzzy sack in between their legs, and the darker it is the more the girl puppies are attracted to them!"

Hubby: (snickering) "I smell a blog post coming..."

Truly, what can you say to that? Without launching into a very inappropriate conversation in the presence of her younger siblings?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cookies in the Car


During last week's heat wave, Kristin casually mentioned the idea of baking cookies in the car. I decided to actually try it. Little T thought it was 'stupid', Hubby thought I was nuts, and the secretary at his office laughed. Divine and Little Man were into it because they wanted cookies. But I didn't do it just for a fun household experiment. See, Little T loves to sneak off and play in my car. She can't understand why this is a problem, even if we find her with sweat pouring down her face. Once she locked herself in Hubby's truck and couldn't get out. Lucky for her we regularly keep tabs on where they all are at all times. At 6 a numerical temperature means nothing to her, so I had her shadow me during our experiment. I wanted to show her that the inside of a car can indeed get as hot as the inside of an oven.

We decided on chocolate chip cookies. Overall the experiment worked. The cookies took longer than the '1 hour' it suggested, but the tops did cook and set. Underneath they were very soft, but it didn't seem to stop everyone from gobbling them down. Most of all, Little T got my point. Fingers crossed, so far it has kept her out of the car!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Awesome Week Ahead!!

For the first time since Divine's birth (she's my first), ALL of my children will be away, regularly, for an ENTIRE 5 DAYS. They're going to a summer day camp! Maybe I should explain why this is so thrilling, other than the obvious...

This little blog is what it is...the confessions of a clutter queen. There's a ton of it in my wee house and it drives me crazy. With 3 kids here all the time (literally), there isn't much breathing room or time to keep after it. I told myself that last September would be my opportunity to finally get this place under control. Little T (my youngest) would enter Kindergarten. But then IT happened. My infamous run-in with the local school that caused me to pull all of my children out and enroll them in cyber-school. While cyber-schooling has done wonders for my children educationally, the house fell into complete disarray. No exaggeration. So while my kids are completely stoked to go to camp, they're quaking in their flip flops because mommy is going through their rooms this week. Well, my daughters anyway. As soon as they came home my girls bolted to their rooms:

Divine: "MOM! Where are my companions?!?!?!?!?! Where is Sweetie's locker?!?! WHY DID YOU MOVE MY STUFF???!!!???"

Me: "I have no idea what you're talking about, and I moved your stuff because the dust bunnies are plotting a hostile takeover. I destroyed their fortress they made from the toys you left on the floor."

Little T: "MOM! Where is B-100????"

Me: "Who?"

Little T: "You KNOW, B-100!"

I really have no clue 'who' they're talking about. They give their animals names, then use it as an excuse to throw a toy grenade on their floor. It explodes in all of those tiny parts that frustrate you on holidays because you have to unravel each piece from the twist ties in the packaging. Of course there's already a drawer in place for these items. There always has been. Did they look there? Or under their beds and furniture where they cram stuff and think I don't know? Nah, it's just easier to yell MOM!

Meanwhile, Little Man comes in the house and walks directly to the video game console. He's completely unconcerned.

Little Man: "Mom, can I have a snack? I'm hungry."

The funny thing is that I really didn't spend much time in their rooms at all. I collected the stray clothes they didn't manage to put in the basket so I could finish the laundry. Maybe that was enough to disturb the delicate balance (or eco-system) of my girls' room. Tomorrow is the day I actually enact my assault on their rooms. I'm planning my arsenal as we speak, because there is concern over what the dust bunnies could do with all of the lost Legos on Little Man's floor. But today a smile plays on my lips because the kids were truly entertaining, and I didn't even do anything yet!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Depression Sucks


I've battled depression for a number of years. Depression isn't something you wake up with one day or decide on. It's years in the making. Some would argue it's your outlook on life, at some point you stop looking for the positive. Maybe for some it's a single cataclysmic event or a series of them. I can't answer any of that. I've read lots of blogs...people dealing with serious, horrible issues, and their strength amazes me. I don't know if their writings are reflective of who they are or if they're just putting on the happy face. I know I'd like to think it's who they are, but I imagine their realities make their positivism something they must fight for daily.


Being in any kind of relationship with a depressive person must be difficult. To try to cheer up the uncheerable all the time would seem like banging your head against a wall. Sometimes I catch myself with my friends, realizing from an outside point of view what it must sound like. It's a sort of weird out-of-body experience, this awareness, but necessary. Healthy, I would say. Otherwise you could just bring down a whole bunch of people. The very people who care about you the most.


Being married to someone with depression...oh my the labrynth it becomes. In public we put on our happy faces...it's nobody's business anyway. My children don't need to see it either. They'd never understand, nor should they, the issues that brought me to where I am today, and their needs outweigh anything else. They need a parent who is mentally on and alert. But pushing back the demons all the time don't deal with the underlying issues either. And so we go to the self-help books, websites, the therapist or whatever else. As understanding as a spouse can be, it is taxing over time. That's not even including any issues or expectations they themselves bring to the table.


Now I'll insert my little tidbit of personal experience with anti-depressant drugs here. People believe they're an amazing cure all, but it doesn't exactly work that way. Can they be helpful? Yes. But understand they are non-formulary drugs. This means it will be an out-of-pocket expense every month. Nor are they cheap. I was on Cymbalta for quite awhile. But then it did happen...my prescription ran out and I didn't have enough money to fill it. These aren't drugs you can stop on a dime. The warning labels are real, folks. I am very thankful I had the adult mind to realize the thoughts coming into my brain were caused by the abrupt stoppage of medication. But the thoughts were real...and powerful. My husband was very upset when he found out I stopped taking the medication, but I never told him why, other than my 'side-effect' symptoms. For what? So he could feel like dog shit? So we could go through this again maybe next month, or a few months down the road? The reality is it all sounds good. But unless you have the resources to make the financial commitment, don't even start.


All my husband knows is that he wants me to be happy. So he does things, in hopes that it will magically work. He absorbs it like a personal failure when it doesn't. Now this isn't to say I don't appreciate him, because I do. Greatly! He's a loving, hard-working man with integrity, compassion and character. I don't doubt his love for me, and I love him. But it's not his job to make me happy. This is my problem, and I need the time and space to deal with the issues that brought me here today. But that's the kicker, isn't it? Time and space. Like all people, we have responsibilities and commitments. Children that require time and attention, or perhaps a job. The issues get pushed to the back burner because they have to be. One day, we think. But the reality is that day never comes. Life happens.


Today I was given the impossible ultimatum: get happy or my marriage is in jeopardy. I recognize his feelings, but really I don't even know how to begin to address this. How? If I could do it on my own, I would have by now. It seems like an impossible mountain to climb. I could put on the happy face, never say a word...a marriage in slow death. Hell, I don't even know if I could pull off that good of an acting job. I always thought that somewhere in life would be that place where I could be me, but it just doesn't seem that way.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Door to Door Salesmanship

Today I had one of those door to door salespeople come to my door attempting to sell us 'educational' books. The exchange was so entertaining I just had to share it. Perhaps you've seen these people, they're college interns attempting to make a few bucks working for The Southwestern Company. The kids stay with a host family in a completely different place and peddle books all summer. The guy who showed up at our door's name was Tyler. Tyler from Nebraska. He was a nicely dressed, clean cut kid. I kinda felt sorry for him because I figured he worked for a scam outfit that cashes in on the naivete of their employees.

His first mistake was to try to enter my house. I think it's rude for a stranger to assume he/she can enter your home. He was probably hoping we had A/C, which we don't. It's been 102 degrees for the past 3 days, so I was out back watching my kids swim in their pool. I led him around the house to the back. Next he had to face Justice. Justice is no longer a cute, little puppy, but a rambunctious 70 pounder who's still learning manners. Justice is very protective, but Tyler passed his radar. We sit at the table on the back porch and Tyler begins his spiel; the one they must teach him at the Southwestern sales school. I politely listen.

"Are you the one who makes the decisions regarding education?" he asks. Isolationism.... I inform him that my husband and I make those decisions together. He goes on about how he'll only be in town today. Pressure attempt.... From there it gets downright laughable.

While this continues, I notice Tyler's 'list'. I'm getting even worse vibes about this company. Not only was it a listing of names and addresses, but their occupations. Public information is one thing, but it seemed like this company was stalking our town.

"Do you know Mrs. Brown? She teaches at the school." Of course I know her. She was the one who allowed Divine to read during math class and the reason I pulled her out of that school. Tyer alludes that teachers use his books as reference materials to help their students learn in a variety of ways, but never actually says whether Mrs. Brown actually bought the books. Not that it would matter; if she did it probably would have sent me running, but I was planning to do that anyway. I inform him my children attend a cyber school.

"I noticed that parents here are very involved in their children's education." Okay Tyler, don't patronize me. Your peer pressure tactic isn't working. I want him to cut to the chase, so I flat out ask him to show me the books. He whips out his condensed volume and flips to the math section, where he goes on about how confusing it is for students because of the way the texts are organized.

"Each chapter introduces a new concept, then the problems get harder, right?" I can't help myself anymore. "No, each chapter introduces a new concept on a basic level, has problems to correspond with the new concept, then each subsection introduces the next step to gradually increase difficulty with subsequent problems for students to practice in each subsection." I'm getting the idea that Southwestern's premise is that parents really aren't aware of their children's curriculum.

Tyler's next tactic is to show me how the books are designed go through high school and college. In other words, when my kids get into advanced math, I won't be able to help them anymore. Again, patronizing. What he doesn't know is that I'm married to the human calculator. Hubby loves math. He does nothing but math all day as an Estimator and Project Manager. Then he comes home to work on his continuing education classes in exciting (sarcasm here) subjects like Accounting (1&2), Advanced Algebra and Business Law.

Sensing he may have chosen the wrong subject material, Tyler shoots to English and Grammar. Now I'm really feeling sorry for him, since that was my major in college, as was education. He asks me if I know when to use a semi-colon or a comma. I answer in great detail. Poor guy, I'm probably the only person in town that has two grammar books sitting on her shelf, as well as an MLA. I feel bad for him because the company he works for assumes people are idiots. They assume parents don't have the motivation or desire to peer into their child's textbooks. For all Tyler's yammer about 'noticing parental involvement in their children's education', it's all a sham. His company assumes differently and uses that lip service to pressure people.

Divine is insanely curious (nosey), so she is nearby listening. As a last ditch effort Tyler shows her his book and asks her if she would use it to help her in school. Divine laughs. "No."

How Technology has REALLY Changed Motherhood

I love my 2nd gen. Shuffle. I clip it onto my shirt, crank up the volume and have relative peace because I can't hear my kids. When their lips move, I just yell "WHAT? SORRY I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" Technology has done wonders for motherhood. We use our digital cameras to capture those priceless moments our husbands would never believe actually happen because we cleaned it up before they got home. Then we blog about it to embarrass our kids just enough to make sure they never EVER do it again. But opportunity never presented itself so lavishly until Divine begged for an iPod Nano. It had to be the NEW one of course, with the video camera. The answer was immediate: NO. We cited oodles of lost DS games and the cyclone she calls her bedroom. But since her birthday and Christmas practically stack each other, she pooled all her resources. After one of her gifts didn't work (a real cheap digital camera), she decided to return it for the cash to put her in buying range.


Divine uses her Nano constantly. So constantly I had to take it away because she was playing with it during class. My kids go to a cyber school, but only Divine has classes on the computer in a Virtual Classroom. While she's there I teach Little Man and Little T. After confiscating it, I set it up from a distance to capture what she does while she's supposed to be paying attention in class. It's so slim and compact she never saw it. No tell-tale cords or red light. Hubby and I use the voice recorder to deliver messages like "If you're in bed and listening to this, you're grounded!" or "Clean your room, pick up your toys!" then set it to repeat and play. Divine created her own 'web show' (after iCarly) and I hijack it all the time. As much as she pretends to hate it, I think she secretly loves the attention she gets because the camera is still on her.


The torturing possibilities are endless. By far though the best gift it's given me is peace in the car. I can download TV episodes (some of their favorites were recently available to download for free), and all 3 kids huddle around the little screen. No fighting, just giggles as we go down the road. It's also given me the opportunity to introduce them to some of my childhood favorites, like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner. They love it so much that Little Man decided it was the only thing he wanted for his birthday months later. He forked over all his birthday money and we kicked in the rest. Now he records himself playing video games. *sigh*.


So, I've decided that I'd like an Ipod Nano too. Occasionally I make up songs on the fly. They usually involve my children and disciplinary action set to familiar tunes. My friends tell me I need to blog about them, but by the time I can actually sit down and type, it's gone out of my head. I'll put those 'cute but slightly embarassing' baby photos on it to show friends, relatives and complete strangers in front of them. I can envision it standing in line at the pharmacy, perhaps the typical 'baby in the bath' photo while casually mentioning that we're there to pick up their acne medication.

Thinking ahead, the day will come all too soon that they will want their own cell phones. Right now I live in a dead zone, so I can stave that off at least for awhile. But one of those 'app' phones would be ideal, just for the GPS function that tracks your kids' phones. Noting their location, I could call them up warning them not to use the bathroom at 'that seedy place' should they happen to need to go. Should they decide to not answer when my number appears it's no matter. I'll just text it. They'll know I'm watching. See, the glory of technology isn't all the gadgets, but how to use them in a manner where my kids understand they're accountable...whether they're at home or not.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sharp Flats (Shoes!)

Okay, I hope you can excuse that groaner of a musical pun.

I got an email from the BlogHer people the other day about the upcoming conference. They were discussing shoes, and how we should save the pumps for the parties but pack flats for the day. That got me thinking. As many cute heels as there are out there, I can't wear them. I have a congenital condition that prohibits it. That's never been a problem, because I've never been a shoe freak to start with. Give me a pair of Nikes and I'll beat them to death. Then there's 'the old standby', you know... those obligatory pairs of white, tan, black or blue plain flats that get the job done when you have to dress up for something and sneakers just won't cut it.

But damn it, this is BlogHer. I'm signed up for a few parties and I wanna look nice! Not in school marm fashion neither. My big dang feet wanna party in a cute pair of shoes! So I'm combing the internet for flats with attitude. Something fun and party-worthy. I found a site called madaboutshoes.org with an article on flats. I'm still looking for that pair that screams 'me' and 'I gotta have it' in the same sentence. So, I'm calling all of you shoe-freaks out there...what are your fave sites? Suggestions?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Withdrawals and Other Random Stuff

My computer took a giant shit. That's really the best way to describe it, because it's not working. Hubby reloaded the OS and it still doesn't work. So I guess this time I'll actually have to pay someone to fix it. And really this is very unfortunate. I mean, is there ever a time when one can be without a computer? So I'm using Hubby's laptop. I've discovered I hate laptops, because I don't like the touch pad mouse thing. It keeps moving my cursor while I type which me lose my train of thought, which hangs in the balance 100% of the time. There are 5 computers in this house (I'm not kidding), but I can't only access my blog from 2 of them. And one doesn't currently work. And I'm having withdrawals. My kids attend a cyber school, so their laptops are net-nannied to death. If it's not an educational website, the school's system blocks it.

Speaking of school, there are two major announcements! One is that Little Man is officially in 3rd grade. He finished 2nd grade early, and because of the self-paced platform he's enrolled in, he can move on to the next grade. We already have his books and have gotten started. Divine is less than thilled that her little brother is on her 'turf'. She's been doing fairly well, but isn't very motivated this year. Perhaps this will spark some. The other major school announcement is that Hubby is back in school! He left college just shy of graduation, so he is completing his bachelor's and is looking to get his master's. He's aready completed his first semester with straight A's. We're very proud of him!

School and other end of year things have kept me very busy. Divine has many end of year projects due, and Little T has been plugging away at Kindergarten. We just finished Girls Scouts for the year. It seems everyone needs my attention, which leaves little time for blogging. :-( The sad thing is I have TONS of ideas to write about, little things that happen that are so blog-able. BUT...drumroll please...I AM going to the BlogHer conference in August! Kristin and I will both be there together (be afraid, be VERY afraid), and we're counting down the days until the conference!

Speaking of Kristin and blogs, she bestowed upon me an award that is completely COOL! It is the Nobel Award for Awesomeness! It means a lot to me because I never really thought of myself as awesome. Strange in a bizarre, sick and twisted way maybe. Yeah, that's probably how I'd term it. Anyway, she told me I need to pass on this award. That will have to be a separate post (I think it deserves that), but I wanted to thank Kristin for it!