Thursday, January 31, 2008

The I-got-nothin' post. And Purple Day.

Some days I blog in my head all day long. It could be a whole post, a paragraph, or even a phrase I want to remember to post.

This is not one of those days.

It's an I-got-nothin' day. Meaning I have nothing worth anything to post. But in my ever-growing experience in reading blogs, I'd rather read "nothing" than, well, you know, nothing. Assures me the writer is at least thinking of me.

So, yes, I'm thinking of you, peoples. And so far the only thing I can think about enlightening you with is this:

Today is Purple Day at school. Did you know that no clothing manufacturer uses purple cloth of any kind for boys' shirts? I know this now, because we ventured to Super Wal-Mart last night and I sent Pete on a mission to find one while I shopped for important things like toilet paper. He came back empty handed (how dare he!!). But he did have the genius idea of borrowing a gigantic mylar balloon (with a weight on it) and allowing Alex to drag it all over the store so we didn't lose him.

I did manage to scrounge a purple-ish shirt from the closet for Mickey, and Alex, lest he get an "F" today, got a purple piece of paper cut in the shape of a T-shirt taped to his back.

I expect in a few years when I'm at the same Wal-Mart at 10:00 on a school night getting modeling clay and pipe cleaners for a science project that's due tomorrow, I will laugh and realize Alex could have made it through Purple Day with a red shirt.

But for today, his assignment is complete, even if he doesn't know it.

Tune in tomorrow for more nothin'.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I may have been 35 when I met Mr. Right

...but lordy, I was never this desperate (but talk about lofty goals!).

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Misc Post

1. Head over to Bloggy Giveaways to enter into a bazillion contests to win free stuff. I would have participated in it but I don't have anything anyone else would want (Pete is already taken).

2. My blog is in serious need of an extreme makeover (ya think?!). If you know anyone who does blog design for a reasonable price, please send me an email.

3. (Most important) Please keep this family in your prayers. They are related to a family at our church. And for the safety of your families, keep your smoke detectors working.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New discovery at Quizno', please.

...and so I'm waiting for our food at the register and the boys are sitting at a table and I look over and nearly screamed ala Monica Geller: they had discovered that some people dispose of their chewing gum on the underside of a table.

And this chewing gum was still fresh and they were pulling it like a two-man taffy machine.

I tried not to mow over any patrons on my way to the bathroom with them to wash their hands.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Do the words "threatening" and "parenting" sound alike?

I feel like our boys are normal kids. They run, play, bicker and and don't eat their vegetables (or fruits or a lot of other "grow" foods, but that is a post all its own). They are also helpful around the house to the best of their toddler ability and they looooove to help do chores and try to do things for themselves.

Most of the time.

Then Mickey decides he doesn't want to cooperate with anything I say, no matter how minute the issue. I tell him to do something ("Pick up the playing cards and put them in the bag..."), he says no ("well I'm not doing that..."), I sternly tell him again without raising my voice ("Mickey, Mamma said pick up the cards..."), and he says no again, or ignores me.

So I'm left with figuring out another way to ask/tell him to do it that suits his fancy. Then if rewording it doesn't work, I threaten him with time out. Then the job gets done most of the time. If not, he goes in time out.

I guess that's an okay way to handle it, but I just feel like he should do what I say (most of the time) without me threatening punishment. How can I motivate him to obey me without threatening him? I don't expect him to be-bop around the house picking up after himself, I'd just like one small request to not turn into a big production.

Comments welcome, and you veteran moms can be brutal.

The Fantastic Four Meme

My new bloggy friend Sportsmomma tagged me for a meme. It's riveting on:

Four Jobs I've Had:
1. Christmas-time help at a ginormous shopping mall. If you knew me during this time you'd think the Grinch was a cupcake.
2. Clerk at a golf pro shop (our greens fees were $5!).
3. Bank proof operator, work-study secretary for professor, retail shoes salesman. Simultaneously. And I was going to school. I think two or three nieces and nephews were born during this time but I didn't see them until they were two.
4. Technical writer. My last real job before I quit to do my current job of stay-home mom, which doesn't require writing but I like to create work by blogging.

Four Movies Watched Over and Over:

1. Rocky II
2. Ocean’s 11
3. Fargo
4. Ferris Beuller's Day Off
Bonus: Brian's Song

Four Places I've Lived:

1. Smalltown, Oklahoma
2. Collegetown, Oklahoma
3. Metro area, Oklahoma
4. What, there are other places to live?

Four TV Shows I Watch:

1. Real Housewives of Orange County
2. Deal or No Deal
3. American Idol
4. The Girls Next Door (in a trainwreck kind of way)

Four Places I've Been: (You know, I'm changing it to "Four Places I've NEVER Been." Trust me, this is more interesting.)

1. New York City
2. Mexico, even Cancun or Cozumel
3. To a chiropractor
4. To see "Jaws," "Grease," or any Harry Potter movie at the theater

Four People who e-mail Me Regularly:

1. Rita
2. Amy
3. Pete
4. Land's End, Avon, (Seriously...what is the point of this question?)

Four Favorite Things to Eat:

1. Mexican food
2. Grilled hamburgers. Outdoors.
3. Corn on the cob
4. McDonald's french fries

Four Places I'd Rather Be:

1. On a beach. With the boys sitting in front of me under a gigantic canopy playing and sharing and smiling, with little halos floating over their heads. Pete's not there because he went to get me a drink.
2. In a new SUV with dual DVD players.
3. At the American Idol finale in the front row. Heck, I want to sit right next to Simon.
4. I'm right where I want to be.

Four Things I Look Forward to This Year:

1. Alex getting potty-trained (notice I didn't say "potty training Alex")
2. Vegas with Pete!
3. Swimming with the boys
4. Our fifth wedding anniversary

...okay, it's over. Wake up!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You missed your target, you dirty crook!

I'm a Clark Howard fan and I listen to his show whenever I can. Usually I secretly made fun of people who call in about scam prizes they've received. He has this cool sound effect of a dropping bomb exploding that he uses to interrupt such callers, signifying that the prize is a scam that will ultimately crash and burn.

I always think to myself "how could someone be so gullible to believe that?!" And, "I would never be so clueless; why do they even bother to call?!"

And then I got one such letter in the mail.

It was very official but not garish. It said I'd won $47,000 in an international online drawing originating in the Bahamas. I rationalized that I enter contests all the time and it could possibly be true (I have mastered the rationalizing mechanism!).

The only problem, said the letter, was that my prize money needed to be "released," and such release fees would be taken out of my prize. So they happily enclosed me a check for part of the prize (about $3500), drawn on a U.S. bank, with routing numbers across the bottom. I was to call "Mr. Oliver" and he would tell me what to do next.

So at that point I heard the bomb dropping. I heard it clear as a bell. And yet a small but loud part of me wanted it to be true. So I called the Clark Howard Consumer Action Center, just to be sure.

Here's how it works, I was told. I call Mr. Oliver and he tells me that in order to release the rest of my $47,000 I have to send them a U.S. money order for $2000, which shouldn't be a problem since we just sent you $3500. "Suuuurree!" I would say, and go to the bank to deposit the check. The consumer hotline lady said that by law the bank must release the funds from a deposited check within three days. So three days later I would go back and get the money order and send it on its way to Mr. Oliver.

Then 30 days later the check bounces all the way back to my bank. And guess who's stuck with paying the bank $3500 plus fees?

And Mr. Oliver uses my $2000 to continue sipping margaritas on the beach in Bali.

I really feel for people who are not as skeptical as I am. My theory is that if these scams exist, then they must work enough times to keep doing them.

Well, Mr. Oliver, move on to your next victim. I hope you choke on your margarita.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The holidays are over...time for a vacation!

You'd think we'd be fine for a while not doing anything after the holidays. But nooooo, a mere three weeks after New Year's, the Home Team had to get away for the three-day MLK weekend.

We ventured south to Texas and stayed one night at the new and shiny Great Wolf Lodge near Dallas and two nights at my sister's home. Now my sister is the ultimate hostess and we had much fun at a birthday party for her daughter, but the Great Wolf, oh, my...that's the place to go if you need indoor runnin' room for your chillun's.

Despite at least one attempt by Pete to send Alex (THE TWO-YEAR-OLD) down a three-story high waterslide, it was a stress-free stay and well worth not-so-cheap room rate. And to make up for that, we used the in-room microwave and fridge for some meal prep and the boys ate comfortably at a nice table and chairs.

The weirdest thing about staying there was getting over the thought of wearing a bathing suit. In winter. In public. I had a couple of days to self-medic...uh, self-tan and at 11 p.m. on the night before we left I got a coat of paint on my toes. Good to go!

The boys were oblivious to this fact; they were thrilled to put on their swim trunks. And I broke down and bought them a pair of moc-Crocs at Target pre-trip. I never really liked the looks of these on boys but they are great! The boys love them and omigosh even Alex can almost put them on by himself!

Speaking of...guess I better go get them from MDO...byeee!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bloggin' Break

I'll be taking a bloggin' break until Tuesday next (you think that's weird wording unless you've been reading Harry Potter).

And then maybe I'll explain why I'm posting this at the insane hour of 5:59 a.m.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I wish I could take credit for this

Since I've totally abandoned Works for Me Wednesday, maybe because I'm still searching for things that work, I must send you this one from today. It's magic, I tell you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I won't be doing that again

Editing, sweet's good to see you again!

Last night after I gave in to temptation and posted this without edits, I settled down to go to bed. Then my head began to hurt. Throb. I rarely get headaches; I can't remember the last time I took Tylenol or Advil. So I laid down and started reading the second Harry Potter book (yep...I'm hooked) and thought my headache would go away. I'd been stressing a bit about getting that post written so I figured, whew, it's done let's read and go to sleep.

Not so fast. I couldn't get that stupid post out of my head. I think that's what caused the headache! I was thinking about all the errors and poorly structured or blah sentences I PUBLISHED. Knowingly. The whole experience was like nails on a chalkboard, not exhilarating and fun. I should have let that high school English memory remain a memory.

So thankyouverymuch but free-blogging is one post idea that I should have let die. (Die! Die! Die!)

Ahhhh, that feels better...who needs Tylenol?

Monday, January 14, 2008

The naked post

I'm afraid to type anything.

See, this is it. The post I wrote about the other day. The one that isn't supposed to be edited. At all. No spelling, grammar, or usage changes. So far, so good. Oh, who am I kidding? I'dhave probably scrapped that begginning. Nice spelling there, C. You know, I think I still harbor ill feeling toward the girl who sat next ti me in 9th grade typing calss. I'm not kidding, this girl typed 70 wpm on her IBM Selectric. With no errors. I would see the little ball on her machine move across her page like a blur. And I'd struggle to find the homerow. So you see, any angst I'm feeling now is Marsha's fault. Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!

I just lost my traing of thought since I heard Alex in his bed wimpering... That's right, wimpering. That's all it took for me to get up from this agony that is writing without a net. So I went in and got some baby hugs and now this is slightly easier to take. My skin is almost not crawling! And did I mention that this is totally honest? I know it is hard to make you believe, but those who know me believe I'm telling the truth here: no editing watsoever has been done to this post so far. If you don't b I mean, know me, then you have probably stopped reading by now and have moved on to something less painful to read...

I think I can sufficiantly sleep tonight now. Knowing that one naggin post has been accomplished. Good riddance...and I think I speak for most of ou. You! Crap. Goodnight.

YouTube: Scrapbookin' 4 Real!

See?! It is too cool!

Quality YouTube humor

My friend Chilihead has a hilarious YouTube moment up on her blog. The video is funny, yes, but reaches a new level of humor when she compares it to talking to her (very sweet and loving and beautiful) mother. Go there now.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sharing the bargain love

If you live anywhere near a Williams-Sonoma...go. Now. They have a table of linens on sale that will make you weak in the knees. I got four placemats and a large tablecloth for $17. One-seven dollars.

Yeah, this post would be a lot better with a picture of my treasures, you might think. But my camera is at the shop getting fixed ("has this been dropped?" Uhhhhhh....). Hope Alex and Mickey don't do anything cute while it's gone.

Anyway, to WS with you!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Outta my head and onto my blog

Since I began an online blog, I've also started blogging in my head. I blog while I'm brushing my teeth, while I'm trying to go to sleep, while I'm driving the boys to school. Where, you might wonder, is all this eloquent prose? Um, still in my head.

But that's going to change. It's like when you're flipping through a magazine and you see a really delish recipe and you, I should really try making that. And then the magazine gets buried under a stack of stuff and eventually thrown out with the delish recipe.

So here we the coming days (weeks, months, whatever) I'm going to cook up some delish blog posts I've been wanting to try. Hold on to your hats...

The latest idea that has me losing sleep is The Unedited Post (this one is not it). In high school creative writing class, we had an exercise called "free writing." No editing allowed, you just wrote whatever flowed out of the pen. I always liked the exercise; it was like going into my closet and putting on whatever clothing was comfortable and not having to worry about whether anything matched or not.

So last night I'm thinking...wouldn't that be a bloggity challenge: write a blog post without going back to edit. The thought of it makes my skin crawl, to be honest. But this could potentially provoke better writing, more creativity, better sentence structure (right). The whole thing sounds like going to a party while wearing the aforementioned comfy-but-not-matching outfit. The horror! But it's sort of risky, too! No one can say this housewife doesn't live on the edge...

Okay, so I'm going to do it...soon ('cause who needs commitments?). I will think of a subject, write on it for five minutes, and publish it AS IS.

Stay tuned...(help me!)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"Meanest mom on the planet" story

This morning there was this story about a woman who put her teenage son's car up for sale after finding alcohol in it. The ad itself reads:

"OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."

Do you think this mom was too harsh? Or did she teach him a lesson he'll never forget? Was there a more effective way she could have handled this (if, in fact, this way is effective)? Did her punishment fit the crime? Whaddya think?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What I learned this week (or sometime in the recent past)

1. My oldest boy can make steam come out of my ears at lightening speed. Tonight's example:

Mickey, pick up the benders before we eat dinner.

Wellll, Alex did that.

Well, I want them picked up.

Weeeelll then you do it.

2. This year I will be the same age as Elvis when he died. I don't know why but this is scary to me.

3. Someone truly needs to admit publicly that they, too, think Jennifer Love Hewitt should lose a few pounds. No one for the taking? Okay, then let it be me! Peoples, she is not obese by any stretch, but puh-leese! Should she lose a few and tone, tone, tone? Who amongst us disagrees with that?! Everyone's afraid to say anything, though, since JLH is too cute for words and built wonderfully everywhere else. But not me and my blog...we say what everyone else is afraid to say. Within reason. And G-rated.

4. I'm ever so slightly sad to see college football come to an end. I also think Britney should get to keep her kids.

5. The other day I rocked both boys in Pete's grandma's spindle-backed rocker. The three of us push this poor rocker to its very limits; soon they will be too big for that. Biiiigggg siggghhhh...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Vicarious living anyone?

Check out my niece's blog post about my other niece's New Year's visit to see her in New York City. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don't know Potter well enough to use puns. Yet.


Is anyone still here?

Yeah, that would be me in mid-December arriving to the Harry Potter party about eight years late. The important thing is I'm here now and half-way through The Sorcerer's Stone. "Half-way?!" you say? Yeah, that's right. HALF. It's what happens when you wait until one eye's already shut to start reading.

Anyway, I've got a Potter question for you, since I know there are peoples who read me who know these books well:

Without giving up too much information, when can I expect the Dursley's to come back into the picture?

They are too juicy to just leave hanging and puh-leeese tell me they get theirs at some point.

Okay, that's all I want to know, really. Except...

No, really, that's all.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Precautionary scale

The instructions that came with my new bathroom scale had this precautionary note:

" not drop, throw, or kick scale..."

Well fine.

They should have added:

"This scale does not perform miracles."

"This scale does not know when that time of the month is."

"This scale does not know what time of day it is."

"This scale does not know how many times you've been to the gym."

"This scale does not lie."

...and perhaps the biggest precaution...

"This scale cannot determine what kind of day you're getting ready to have."