Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa's Cookies

Today was our annual cookie baking day so Santa would not go hungry on Christmas Eve.

Carter has been counting down the days until my parents would come over to get the annual tradition underway. He really enjoyed himself and of course his favorite part is covering the cookies with sprinkles. I stopped counting how many times we had to scrape the 1" of sprinkles off and have him 'do over' his cookies! Here he is making the inaugural first cookie cutout!

Do you like our coordinating aprons, Carter and I? Festive!

Olivia was not so sure about things, and she wanted the dough off of her fingers. She eventually enjoyed the shaking of the sprinkles and we gave her a small jar to shake and that kept her busy. Of course, she would shake once over the cookie dough, then a few times over the side of her chair onto the floor. By the time the jar was empty, most of it was on the floor. I gave up and just let her do it - the vacuum was close by! She mistakenly put a hunk of dough in her mouth and was not happy about it - then she refused an actual cookie that was baked because she thought it was the uncooked dough again. Hopefully she'll forget that experience tomorrow and enjoy a cookie! Here she is with my Mom...

She is not feeling so well today. I took her to the Urgent Care this morning and she has a double ear infection and bronchitis. We have Amox., a steroid and albuterol for the 3 x a day nebulizer treatments we have to give her. The medical equipment company came by this afternoon to drop off the machine - at least the guy got some cookies to eat on his way back to the office!

The end result! Can you tell which ones got a touch of sprinkles from a 7 year old?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Makin' Toffee

It's that time of year again, when a lot of us Moms bake goodies for the school staff, specials teachers, bus drivers etc. as a small token of appreciation at the holidays.

Tonight, was Toffee Makin' Night. We love this toffee and it never lasts long because everyone devours it. It's a unique recipe that my mother found years ago and it uses strangely enough, crackers!

It uses 4 ingredients, but it can be a little picky because you need to bring your sugar mixture high enough to crack stage, and not burn it. Or, the one complaint I hear a lot is that it was too chewy - which would mean that the sugar was not cooked to a hard enough stage. I've thankfully made this enough times (and screwed it up just as many before) to know what my sugar is supposed to look like when it's ready to pour.

It's a really easy and quick recipe you should try. Don't let the crackers scare you - no one knows they're in there until you tell them - trust me, the toffee is awesome!

Recipe for Toffee:
1 sleeve Saltine crackers (about 40)
1 pkg. 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks butter
1 C packed brown or regular white sugar
Aluminum foil to line sheet
Crushed pecan pieces or any nut you like (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a large cookie sheet with foil and place the crackers to fit flat.
Bring butter and sugar to soft boil for 4-5 minutes in heavy saucepan.
Pour mixture over crackers evenly, spread if needed with a knife.
Bake in oven for 5-6 minutes (sugar will bubble and boil)
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Put back into oven for 1 minute until chips are softened enough to spread with a knife. (note: chips will appear to hold their shape even when ready to spread)
Sprinkle with nuts if using.
Put into the fridge to harden for 1-2 hours. Break into pieces. Enjoy!

Tip: If I'm making several batches of this, I put them outside on my deck to chill in the winter, instead of taking up fridge space!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December Sky

Today we had the most gorgeous Indiana sky right before sunset... My camera is usually ready to snap at a moment's notice, so out I went to devour the beauty.

Carter and I sat watching the sky turn all different shades. These are my favorites... one from out front of the house, and one from out back.

He asked, "Who makes that sky do all those colors?"

I answered, "God does. Isn't He nice?"

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Conversations with a 7 Year Old

Sometimes the conversations in this house don't get beyond a one-word answer. And I'm not talking about the kids...

*Scene* Watching the football game last Sunday

Carter: Daddy, I can see those cheerleader's belly buttons

Hubs: Uh... yep.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy December

Wow - December's here already? I know I say that every year, it still feels like it came upon us so quickly.

The tree is up, and Olivia has already taken every ornament she can reach off and reorganized them. I will be finding ornament hooks in my carpet for years now, because every time she grabs one, the hook is nowhere to be found. My vacuum cleaner is not happy with this arrangement!

We already had our first snow of the season. Not much, just a couple of inches on the ground - enough to make it look pretty without being a nuisance.

Is your shopping done? Mine's not, and I'm very envious of those that shop year round, or have it already completed and can enjoy the rest of the season as it is without the mad dash to the store. I love the whole gift-giving part of Christmas time, but those that know me, know that I hate shopping. It's pretty difficult to avoid this time of year though. So I put on my Merry Best attitude and get it done. My favorite way is sitting right here, in my pajamas, hot cup of coffee or cocoa and the Internet at my fingertips. That's my kind of shopping! No crowds, no arguments from the children, no overheating in my winter coat inside the mall, no long walks in the frigid temps to the car, no traffic. Ah, sweet online shopping!

I like stalking the UPS and FedEx guys for my packages to be delivered too. One of my other favorite things about the gift giving season to do is wrap presents! Oh I love choosing the fun wrapping paper, the bows, pawing through all the surprises for everyone and sticking their tags on the boxes. All of this of course with Christmas music on in the background, the fireplace roaring and yummy smells coming from my Home For The Holidays Yankee candles.

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas - Yay! Carter's already begun the countdown to our annual cookie baking day. It's on Dec. 21st this year, which happens to be the first day of winter and also the start of Hanukkah. He said so excitedly, "Mommy, we'll have to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah!"....

Do you think all the Non-Jewish will be offended when he says that to people during that week?

I think it's cute - let's celebrate everything right? I suppose it's my job to inform him that not everyone celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas, but for now the joy it brings him to wish Merriness to all is priceless.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 30 - What Gets You Moving?

I MADE IT! 30 posts in 30 days - what a challenge! Here's my final posting for November - I'm going to go listen to some loud music in celebration!


Loud music makes me forget about the sweat dripping into my eyes, my shins burning and how fast my heart is beating.

At my Boot Camp classes, I don't usually need to put on the iPod because the trainer has her own mixes blaring for us - but on the treadmill, eeeegads that's boring! Ours has one of those bells & whistles types with a built in TV screen (yes, it's even set it up with satellite and Tivo, and only men get all excited about those gadgets - but whatever gets one through the workout, right?). However, I cannot concentrate on anything on the tv screen, so I don't use it. It's too slow for me.

So instead, I plug in my iPod and get going. I need the loud music beating to the same pace as my heart is... or I'll quit. Or maybe it's my heart that will quit. Either way, it's as simple as that.

I cover the console of the treadmill so that I don't have to see how much time I have left, or the incline I'm torturing myself with, but I know that when the first 5 songs on my playlist are over, I have 2 miles done and I need a gallon of water to drink!

What beats get you moving? Here are mine... for right now, because the playlist changes often!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 29 - Tree Lighting

Tonight was our town's annual Tree Lighting ceremony. It's always a fun time, and Carter looks forward to giving his letter for Santa to Mrs. Claus, who makes an appearance every year to collect them.

Here's some shots from tonight...

Carter giving up his letter for Santa!

Standing in front of Carter's Toy Museum in town. He thinks that pretty cool that he has the same name!

The kids waiting for the tree lighting to take place.

Decorating the Christmas tree tonight, Olivia was amazed at the ornaments. Her favorite is the glass cupcake ornament we have, and she was so proud to hang it.

Tomorrow we will be busy finishing the decorations inside, and the rest of the lights on the outside. It will have to be done early, because it's our Do-Nothing-Else-Because-Football-Is-On day....

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 28 - I'm Turkey'd Out

It's official, I'm sick of turkey. How can that be, Thanksgiving was just yesterday?

Well, I'll tell you.... after gorging on the feast for lunch with the family yesterday, naturally the only logical thing to have for dinner later that evening was the ever-traditional Turkey Sandwich. I'm my house, we grew up eating it in layers of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, salt & pepper and a smear of mayo. Sounds good doesn't it?

Well it sounds good, unless you had it last night for dinner, today as your lunch, then again tonight for dinner. Each time it was a small sandwich, on a leftover roll from The Feast, but still. So, needless to say, if I as much as hear a mere "Gobble Gobble" from someone, I just might be sick.

I would hate to waste the remaining leftovers, so I may be serving some form of turkey again tomorrow for lunch. Although, I might put the energy into changing things up a bit, and serve it hot with gravy and some leftover mashed potatoes. By then, my family will REALLY be sick of the bird 'ya think?

Are you turkey'd out yet?

I'm not complaining about the leftover dessert though am I? Funny how that happens....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day 27 - Here's Some Free Music

Thanksgiving is over, and it's time to start blaring the Christmas music!

Oprah's giving away free music downloads to 8 songs from some new Christmas albums, until Friday afternoon.

You can go here to get the holiday songs and check out her other Holiday Tips...

Here's the list of tunes: (you can right-click on the songs, and choose "Save Target As" and it will download the song to your computer from my blog too).

Faith Hill, "Joy to the World" from the album Joy to the World
Tony Bennett, "I'll be Home for Christmas" from the album A Swingin' Christmas
Il Divo, "O Holy Night" from the album The Christmas Collection
Josh Groban, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" from the album Noel
Brian McKnight, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" from the album I'll Be Home for Christmas
Amy Grant, "O Come All Ye Faithful"
Harry Connick Jr., "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" from the album What a Night! A Christmas Album
Aretha Franklin, "Silent Night" from the album This Christmas


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 26 - Ready For The Big Day

Turkey in the brine - check
Stuffing ready to stuff - check
Set the Table - check
Drinks chilled - check
Misc lists - check
Alarm set for 6:00 am - check

Well, it's official. I'm ready for guests to arrive with arms full of dinner accompaniments tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I'm already salivating.

Carter made a cute little turkey at school that is proudly displayed on the dinner table (pic above). This, I'm sure, will become a yearly staple at the Thanksgiving table. My husband's turkey from about 2nd grade still makes an appearance at his Mom's table too. It's what us Mothers are all about...

We're ready for the big day - have a terrific holiday with your families!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 25 - The Redecorating Blues

How long before you redecorate a room in your house? Do you keep the same motif for years and years, or is your Being incapable of withstanding sameness for too long?

When I was younger, I used to be the type of person that changed around her living spaces all the time. I needed a change, even if it meant moving everything back to the way it was 6 months before, it was still a change. Now, not so much. I pretty much stick with something and it remains. I am going to be one of those people that has the same photos hanging on their walls for 20 years, in the same place. Nothing wrong with that, I'm just saying...

Which brings me to my son. He's not the type who likes change too much, he is comfortable in his surroundings and likes things 'just so' too. But he wants his bedroom changed to Football "stuff" now, and it's not a quick fix. I suppose I don't have a problem with that, except for all the time and effort I put into his bedroom 3 years ago. We are in Indy, so he chose a racing theme. He dreams of Fatheads now (life-size wall graphics), goal posts, lockers to put his gear in...
My head is spinning. We have so much football going on this time of year that I think he has just been brain washed.

Hopefully it will pass once the Superbowl is over? I don't really know, but I do know that it's less work than a puppy. A puppy that he has been obsessed about in his mind and can't wait until he turns 11 (which is when we said we could discuss it).

Perhaps Santa will drop a couple new jerseys under the tree and it will distract him from wanting a giant Peyton Manning or Marvin Harrison on his wall charging at him?

Maybe we'll tell him he can't have a Football room until he's 11. It will ease my redecorating blues I have about this situation.

Here's what it looks like now, although the furniture is different from this picture, the walls are the same. Wouldn't you have a hard time changing this after all your blood, sweat and tears too?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 24 - My Sarcastic List of Thankful Things

I'm thankful that Yankee Candles smell so much like vanilla cupcakes, that my kids think I have been baking for them all day when they are handed a store-bought treat.

I'm thankful for my dark wood floors that allow me to see every single spec of dust or crumb that falls on it. There's no need to wonder if the floor is dirty - AGAIN!

I'm thankful for removable spray heads in the shower, so that I can squirt off the Soft Scrub on the walls, in between shampooing and conditioning. Multi-tasking at it's best!

I'm thankful for the hands-free headset I use every day to talk to my girlfriends on the phone while I'm picking up the house or doing other domestic duties. And for cheap long distance service too!

I'm thankful that the kids have 5 days off from school during Thanksgiving break. It will give me the chance to remember why I'm thankful that it's only five days off.

I'm thankful for Kleenex coming in boxes of 1,000 sheets, so that I will never tire of finding the lone tissue that makes its way into the washer or dryer with the least once a week this time of year.

I'm thankful that the batteries are dying in my bathroom scale, and when I stand on it, it just says "Low"...

I'm thankful that I can fill up my gas tank now for under $30, instead of close to $70! Now I have more money to spend on Vodka.... KIDDING!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 23 - Under Pressure

... and no, I'm not listening to Queen's album if that's what you thought from my blog title today.

I'm under some serious pressure. Remember that post I did a couple weeks ago about the book I had my nose in? Yeah, well I still have not finished it. I am getting annoyed with the emails from the library telling me my book will be due soon. Then the others telling me how much sooner. Then the latest email telling me it's due TODAY. Have they forgotten who they are dealing with?

They keep good records over there at the library, so they should know that I am famous for returning my books late. But usually I can go online to their website and renew my book for a couple more weeks. Not this time, this book is in high demand, and people are waiting! It makes the guilt inside of me fizz up until I'm choking on it.

I can't take the pressure! I have about a quarter of the book left to finish and I can't find the time (or silence) to do it. I can't believe it's Sunday night already. I have read 5 pages this whole weekend. F-I-V-E! It should be many more than that, I'm not a slow reader. But when interruptions occur every few minutes with someone wanting something (gimme gimme right?), or the dryer is beeping at me, or someone needs a snack - I have to keep putting the book down and tending to the needs of the family.

Then I get back to the book, reread the same paragraph once or twice because I'm not quite out of my distraction, and realize I am farther down the page than that, and I FINALLY find my spot where I left off. Only to get a few more lines back into the story and get interrupted - AGAIN!

Can you sense my frustration? Can you see why I'm feeling pressure about this book now that someone is so desperately hoping to snatch out of my hands and read if I would only return it?

OK, deep breaths. I know what you're thinking. Why aren't you reading it right now instead of typing out this blog entry?

I'll tell ya why - it's because I cannot read when the THIRD football game of the day is blaring in the background, the kids are fighting and jumping around, the BlackBerry is bleeping and pinging and children's books keep getting shoved into my side with cries of "read me Mommy!" THAT'S WHY! And now that those beautiful little angels are in bed, I'm too exhausted for my eyes to focus on the pages....

Tomorrow's another day - I'll try to get in another 5 pages. My funny husband suggested maybe I go someplace quiet so that I can read my book in peace.

A place like say, the library!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 22 - Substitute Wit

So my husband has been hinting around about a few ideas for a guest post he's considering for my blog. I think this is a great idea, seeing as though his sense of humor is one of his finer qualities.

I'm trying to convince him to give me something to post during NaBloPoMo because as each day goes by, I'm finding it more difficult to keep up. There's only 8 more days until this challenge is complete, and the days are not going by fast enough! Or maybe, too fast since I almost forgot to do an entry today - AGAIN!

I really need some substitute wit around here, and I know he's just the guy to lend a hand.

(...hopefully he'll feel all buttered-up when he reads this. Or feel sorry for me. I'm trying both angles!)

I laughed out loud when I saw the comic that I put at the top. Maybe there should have been an asterik in our vows that included one of us becoming a blogger and forcing the other spouse to live through it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day 21 - Facebook Revolution

Ok, so I've been stung by the Facebook bee. I swore up and down I would never be one of those people who got sucked into the online world of having a "page" of some sort on a social network. I mean, my blog was enough to keep me busy online, and why would I care about "catching up" with people I see all the time anyway. Those were the friends who kept sending me the invites to join Facebook.

But after enough bugging from them, I decided to set up an account and check it out. Into the abyss I fell. It's almost like being Scrooge and seeing all the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Well, not in a bad way I suppose because I haven't encountered any bad-blood so to speak. I have no enemies, and there aren't too many people that I wouldn't be friendly too if I saw them on the streets. I have heard some friends say things like, 'oh gosh so-and-so found me on Facebook... then that awkward moment of receiving a "Friend Request" from someone you wouldn't have "Friended" had you seen them first. The question comes, do you say yes, or do you say no to their request?

I think it's funny, and a little juvenile at best, but it's totally with the times. I hear the same issues with LinkedIn too, although that's probably more harassing because it is work related and people want contacts and whatever else. And they are probably not sharing photos, and giving status updates every few minutes. Speaking of, have you heard of Twitter? I have heard of it, but once again, it's one of those things I am saying I'll probably never do. Ask me again in a month and I will probably be "Tweeting" my little heart out. Ugg.

Anyway, back to talking about wasting precious time on Facebook. But wait, it's pretty cool in the way it's like gathering all the people that represent your life's time line, in one giant room. You know you've always wondered things like:

What happened to my best friend from 3rd grade?
Remember the ski trip freshman year - where did those crazies go?
Where did all the families go that lived on my street as a kid?
I wonder what so-and-so is up to now that they are an adult?
Or even better, I wonder what ever happened to the kid that got his shirt stapled to his pants in 8th grade because it was always untucked (private school)?

Well guess what? I know the answers to all those questions now, because of Facebook. I've been in touch with old neighbors, high school friends, pals from other schools, current friends, parents of friends, former coworkers, long-lost relatives. It's actually been pretty neat to see Where Are They Now in real time.

It truly is the best little online blackboard for nosey creatures like myself. I love details, and I know just where to go to get them at my fingertips now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 20 - Writer's Block?

Um, hi... it's me. It's almost 9:30 pm and I realized I did not post yet today.

Now that I sit before you and stare at my screen, I cannot collect my thoughts enough to find any wit.

So, I will take this as a blog pass, and count my entry today with this comic....

Lame, I know! But others that blog totally know this feeling!

If anyone has any content ideas, or something they would like me to write about in the future - DO TELL! This has been a difficult challenge this month for me for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). I have 10 days more to go... eeeegads!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 19 - Trying To Find The Words

Dear BlackBerry:

I’ve been meaning to pull you aside and give you a talking to for quite some time now. But I have feared that I may 'accidentally' drop you and then be forced to put you out of your misery by stomping your parts firmly into the ground so that you are no longer recognizable. And I’m not the violent type, but those words do taste delicious.

I have been trying to find the right things to say to you about the space in our lives you consume. But I could not find words polite enough that would allow me to stay the Proper Lady that I am. No, you bring out the worst in me.

I did not give you the nickname “Crackberry” that you are stuck with, but I don’t need to wonder or ask why such a name has been placed upon you. I see it daily, actually hourly, no, no – every few minutes in fact. I hear it in your bleeps. Your buzzes. Your obnoxious ringtones and alerts. It is indeed like Crack to those who own you. You unsuspectingly became a rabid addiction to those who cradled your sleekness the first time they held you.

BlackBerry, you are rude and intrusive. You should come with a list of Support Group phone numbers so that we can all live in harmony. Your owners claim that you make their lives so much more productive and readily accessible, anytime, and anywhere to their employers, family, and friends. You are sneaky and deceptive and I don’t think you are waterproof if accidentally dropped in the toilet, so watch it.

I’ve just about had it with you. You have no boundaries. You lure your addicts in with your cyber claws, and they can’t go anywhere without you. You have become a body part – much like a limb. And sadly, your owners would risk life and limb when your seductive purr gives them an adrenaline rush. That rush comes at the most annoying moments too. Like during dinner conversations, or shopping, or when the children would like a page of their story turned, instead of seeing your screen light up with which running back is hurt on a Fantasy Football team.

I have challenged one of your owners recently, to see if he could go the entire 30 minutes in Costco and all the way home without even looking at or touching you. Do you know that withdrawal symptoms started before the period even got to the end of the sentence? The recognizable pull-the-device-from-it’s-holster motion is one I can spot a mile away. Said owner had difficulty not doing this sweeping motion out of pure habit. He was forced to catch himself in the act, and realized how pathetic it was that he was on autopilot to check his Crackberry every few minutes. Must you invade our privacy 24/7? There needs to be "family mode" option. And only the non-BlackBerry user gets to program it. Heh.

And just when I thought we possibly had a breakthrough – you know, the first step is admitting you have a problem – my doorbell rang. Mr. Fedex man was happily waving to me like a deranged character in The Twilight Zone as he drove away. What was in the package you ask? Oh gee, only some more crack, with a sprinkling of heroin to see if the new features could give an even better high. Nothing much, just the upgraded version of the crackberry, known as BlackBerry Bold.

And how 'bold' you are. You are relentless. You have no mercy on the rest of us. You now come with such an impressive screen, that you somehow make non-addicts like myself even want to touch you, but I’m not falling for it! My fingers are in my ears, I can't hear la la la la...

This won’t be my last letter to you, I have much more to say.

But I must close for now, because my husband just got home from work and I need to send him an email to his BlackBerry from this computer, and find out how his day was…

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 18 - The Next American Idol?

The most adorable cuteness totally trumps the terrible dark and grainy recording of Olivia's rendition of the ABC song. You'll notice she doesn't quite know how to end the song. The part where you are supposed to sing, "now I know my ABC's etc..." she just starts it over again and throws in a big cheer to end it.

Am I gushing? Nah, didn't think so....

In case you don't understand her speech, she gets distracted at first by the light on my recorder, and points it out, but then finds it within herself to perform.

Note, the pajamas, Easter hat and Tutu she is accessorizing with, is a common occurance in our home. She loves to dress up, and dance around.

Next American Idol? Possibly... or perhaps a contestant on Project Runway?

Here she is, 22 months old.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 17 - Mellow Monday

Since I can't keep the camera out of my hands long enough for you to miss seeing pictures of my kids... I present to you the latest installment.

It's nice to catch your kids doing something that requires imagination. Like drawing, which he enjoys now and has come such a long way with his fine motor skills. He's into making rainbows with pots of gold as you can see.

The eyecolors on our kids are so interesting to us. Carter's are blue like denim jeans, such a deep hue of blue. They remind me of my late grandfather's eyes, and I love to just stare at them when the sunlight hits just right. They are so unique, I think.

Olivia's, well hers are like the Caribbean waters. My sister-in-law has eyes like the tropical seas too. Can't go anywhere without someone making a comment about O's eyes. I'm sure Melissa has the same compliments!

This is a child engrossed in Sesame Street. I often find her all dressed up in a hat and boa, just being still and thinking Elmo is talking straight to her! The boa was on the floor, but I couldn't resist this shot.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 16 - 100 Things Meme

Why yes... my weekend is just filled with fillers such as another Meme for your enjoyment!

***** 100 Things About Me *****

1. I'm the oldest of three children
2. I grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts
3. I lived in Saudi Arabia as a child
4. We named our Saudi cat "Sheika"
5. I have two brothers
6. I have lived in 4 states (MA, NH, IN, VA)
7. I would love to visit every state in the US at least once
8. I have only been to 20ish so far
9. I have never been on a Cruise
10. I hate flying
11. I was married for 11 years
12. I have two children, a boy (almost 8) and girl (almost 2)
13. Four members of my family have a birthday on the 12th of a month
14. I love sappy movies
15. I need Kleenex during Hallmark commercials
16. I am famous for driving around with library books in my car with the intention of returning them, and making them very late
17. I knocked my permanent front teeth out in a rollerskating/bicycle accident when I was 9
18. My friend Carrie ran behind me holding my teeth - root and all - while I bled all through the house
19. I once got caught flippin' the bird to my Dad when he saw me in the reflection of a glass cabinet
20. You can probably guess, I had soap in my mouth a few times as a child for punishment
21. I still have the same best friends as I had in elementary school, some as early as kindergarten.
22. My family adopted a retired Greyhound when I was 14
23. His name was JA's Express. We called him Express, or 'Spressy
24. We always had cats growing up, and now I'm allergic to them as an adult
25. I used to be a smoker
26. I have been smoke-free for over 8 years
27. I quit in a Blind Field Study using test patches through an Indiana University research program
28. I still do not know if I had a placebo patch, a nicotine patch, or the "test" medicine in my patch
29. I have never fired a gun
30. But I have held and put together a shotgun
31. I believe in the Right To Bear Arms, but think it should be a lengthy process to have the privaledge of doing so
32. I was baptized and raised in the Catholic religion
33. My kids were baptized in the Methodist church
34. I do not attend church regularly, but that does not make me less of a believer
35. I miss getting envelopes in the mail from my grandmother, filled with clippings and comics from my hometown newspaper
36. I miss hearing my grandfather humming, and the smell of his aftershave and peppermint gum
37. I am not a good baker
38. I consider myself a good cook though, just don't ask me to make cookies
39. I can barely sew a button back on clothing
40. I have never used a sewing machine
41. I hate shopping
42. I hate shopping with other people even more
43. I have to touch everything I pass by when I'm in a store
44. I have a prescription for glasses
45. I haven't worn my glasses in years because I can't stand them on my face
46. I wore contact lenses for a handful of years and they were a pain so I stopped
47. Don't follow my example. Wear your glasses.
48. I love Yankee Candles. I burn them every day
49. I no longer have my thick Boston accent
50. I do not play an instrument
51. I took piano lessons as a child
52. I acquired a taste for Mexican food only in the last 10 years
53. Homemade meatballs and sauce is one of my favorite things
54. I like my steak cooked Medium. I can't believe I used to want it Well Done when I was younger. Uh!
55. The only seafood I like is fried clams, shrimp cocktail, lobster and scallops.
56. I have a child with Autism
57. I do not go past my waist in the ocean, and I don't like to do even that!
58. I miss the sounds of the waves and an ocean breeze though.
59. Fall in New England is hard to beat
60. I've grown to love the beauty of an endless field of corn stalks in August
61. I needed help from a fertility doctor to conceive my children.
62. My astrology sign is Virgo: Practical, responsible, sensible, logical, analytical, precise, punctual, dedicated, perfectionist, critical
63. I have an overwhelming need to pick someone's suntan if their skin is peeling.
64. I tell people if they have something in their teeth, on their face, or sticking to their person. I would want the same for me!
65. Sometimes the above recipients have been strangers. But thankful strangers!
66. I have had 2 c-section surgeries
67. I color my hair (are there women who don't?)
68. I would never, ever bungee jump
69. I love to sing really loud in my car
70. I don't stop singing even when those in the car next to me are glancing over.
71. I had a breast-reduction surgery 10 years ago
72. I have taken a liking to photography as a hobby
73. I have never eaten at a Hardee's
74. I do not like tomatoes on sandwiches or salad, but I love salsa. Go figure.
75. I watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette as my guilty pleasures.
76. I believe in a woman's Right To Choose. I hope they choose Life.
77. My first car was a 1970-something Chevy Nova. Red(ish), faded, no radio
78. My Dad taught me how to drive a stick shift. I learned in the hilly neighborhoods off of Lynnfield Street. Great practice.
79. I drove home the first time he took me out. He was very patient. I was freaking.
80. I went to a Catholic school until 8th grade
81. Horror movies scare me way too much
82. The most useful class I took in high school was typing
83. I love Disco music.
84. I get teary when the National Anthem plays at events
85. My friends and I doubled pierced our ears as teenagers using ice cubes and a needle
86. I believe in Gay Rights
87. I've had over 300 shots in the stomach and butt to have my two babies
88. I voted for Obama
89. I could never eat a live bug. And probably not a dead one either. No Survivor for me.
90. I'm fiercely afraid of spiders. Ew.
91. I know CPR
92. I love stuff that has to do with the weather. I want a weather computer thingy.
93. I have been through 2 hurricanes. Gloria and Bob.
94. I played Tiny Tim in a school play and got gasps when I took my cap off at the end and my long hair fell out.
95. I have too many shows recorded on my Tivo that I will never have time to watch
96. I am deathly afraid of going snorkeling.
97. I would love to see Van Morrison in concert, but only if he promised his Greatest Hits
98. I recycle all paper, newspapers, magazines, plastic containers, glass, cans and cardboard every week
99. I dislike reheating leftover meat in the microwave. I'd rather eat it cold.
100. When I hear a child say "Mommy!" I answer them out of habit even if it's not my kid

I am giving John the tag only because he threatened to rip my heart out and eat it. That would make him have to come to Indy, and I want to see them. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 15 - Seriously?

Let me just gripe for a minute people.

I mean really... this has been aggravating me since the envelope came home.

Two words. School Pictures.

Sometimes I feel like I need to open my own company and do this for a living because the people that those companies employ are just blind boneheads. You know when you feel like the job isn't going to be done good enough unless YOU do it? Yeah, that's how I feel about school picture day. And I feel it for every parent.

Why doesn't the photography company notice (or care) that the kid's hair is sticking straight up because his time slot for pictures was right after gym class?

Or the disheveled 8 year old that has their shirt only half tucked in, or the little girl with a crooked pigtail that takes 2 seconds to fix!

Or hell, how about maybe notice the PIZZA ON MY KID'S FACE? Seriously.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 14 - Food For Thought

Today's post, is mostly pictures. Strange pictures. Pictures of food items with, uh, shall we say, unique names.

What prompted this post, is the first picture you see here. I was browsing the shelves at our local grocery store this week checking out the ethnic section. They usually have some great marinades and interesting cooking items I pick up now and then.

All of the sudden, I see this.

I KNOW! You're laughing aren't you?

I'm all...looking left and looking right like I just found someone's dirty little secret or something, before I grab it down and start reading the label. I mean, with a name like that, what on earth could be in there! I shuddered at the possibilities, because in some foreign lands, that name would probably be a delicacy. I was quite relieved when I read that it was a very popular English pudding, and not some weird microwavable penis in a can.

But still... inside I was laughing like a giddy 5 year old! I was thankful that my cell phone was just charged, and I had plenty of juice in it to snap a picture of this food find for some blogging fun. I immediately sent the picture to my friend's phone, who was at the library studying. I can imagine what she thought when she opened her picture mail. I'm willing to bet she was giggling like a 5 year old inside too, and probably was ready for a little break from the books!

So naturally, I did a web search on other foods with strange names and came up with these. They all sound so appetizing, no? They seem to have the same theme, or are at least all in the same general "area" of grossness!

Here we have the Plopp Chocolate Toffee Bar...

Care for some Spunk flavored Gummies?

Oh, this one will make you hungry... Shitto Spiced Pepper Sauce

Mmmm... care for some Poo brand tofu sticks to snack on?

And lastly, these here come in other flavors, but the Choco Puff Collon sounds the best don't you think?

I sure hope you just worked up an appetite!

Maybe you could try out the English Pudding for your Thanksgiving day dessert and let us know how it tastes?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 13 - Do You Believe In Fairy Tales?


So I thought this comic was pretty funny, since those of us in the blogging world can probably relate to this pondering when we are having a bit of writer's block.

But guess what I found to blog about when I glanced out my front window (waiting for something to blog)....


Yeah. I KNOW!

What on earth is Mother Goose doing here, right? Well of course I went outside with my camera in hand. It just looked up at me as if to say, What? You thought I was just in fairy tales?

And I'm all like, Um, Yeah so where's your apron and hat? And shall I wake Olivia so you can read your book to her in person? Perhaps she can fly around on your back?

So after I followed her around a bit, (she was as tall as my shoulders!) I snapped some photos and tried to get her attention again by making silly noises with my mouth. She comes over to me, and leans in to whisper a little something in my ear with a bit of an attitude.

You stupid humans, she says. Look at how big and regal I am. Look at the beautiful black feathers around my eyes and the way that my neck curves so elegantly. Do you really think a GOOSE of all creatures, would look as lovely and as big as me? Mother Goose and I have nothing in common.

Then she informs me that She is a He. And that if I want to be a proper mother to my own kids, then I really need to brush up on my Fairy Tales, and read the story about *The Ugly Duckling.

I blushed. He's right, I'm not as current with my Children's Tales as I should be. Dora the Explorer, Elmo, and Wheels On The Bus usually trump whatever suggestions I might give for reading material.

So, next time I just happen to see a 4 foot tall white bird walking across my lawn, I will do my best not to insult it by calling it a goose.

....But I must say, whatever story He came from, it was nice to see that sometimes, Fairy Tales do come true!

*I'm a Swan, not a Goose and Animal Control was called to come rescue me and my broken wing. No animals were harmed during the making of this blog post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 12 - Photo Contest

I decided to enter Olivia's picture into this online Photo Contest, in which the winner wins a $500 grocery card from a store in their area. Who wouldn't like that?

I recently posted a blog about her enjoying some chocolate here, and thought this picture was perfect for the contest, don't you think!

I'll post info here if she makes the cut, and you can then vote for her over at 5 Minutes For Mom!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 11 - A Day Of Thanks

A huge THANK YOU to honor those today that have served, and are serving our country. Let us not forget those who have also died for our country! I'm thankful that you volunteered and gave of yourselves to protect the USA.

I'm proud to be an American - and so are they!

Here are a few of pictures honoring my Dad's most recent service overseas before retiring from the US Air Force.