Friday, November 30, 2012

Noel, The Elf You Love to Hate

I'm soooo not one of "those" moms. I don't plan meals and rarely cook. When I do it's not good (refer to blog name). I find the school note about Silly Hat Day a week late. I can't even keep up with the 30 days of November facebook posts about what I'm thankful for. I start off with my family and my friends, skip a week in the middle and then the last day of the month I'm thankful for indoor plumbing and on-demand Elmo.

And yet, here I am . . . with my Elf on the Shelf. I have many over achieving Elf mom's. I laughed my butt off when I read this post on the blog People I Want To Punch In The Throat. Last year our Elf did a few fun things and other times he just found a spot he liked and stayed there for a few days. Did anyone else notice those were the days we had soccer practice or mom was cranky and not cooking?? Anyone?

The best is when he was hidden so well that it took her a day or two to find him. I actually started to see where I could hide him just to stretch it out. I think I crossed a line into passive aggressive Elf hate when I put him in my sock drawer for three days. Oops! I guess Noel is at the North Pole telling Santa how you shoved a kid at school and then came home and drew with sharpie on my kitchen table.

So, I'm doing it again this year. I have an 8 year old and a 2 year old. If all the stars align and God sees favor with me, this will be my last year of Santa White Lies to my 8 year old. But then she's got to be in on the act for the 2 year old . . .so at least I'll have a partner in crime. That is, until it's July and she's mad at him for be-heading her Barbie and then she'll have some major ammunition to leverage.

Here's what Noel is up to tonight:

Hopefully she won't wake up at 2am and have to go to the potty. That could really cause some wear and tear on both her nerves and the carpet. 

And here is Noel in his hiding spot:

The single most brilliant story line for the dude that wrote up this crazy story is that the kids can't touch the Elf. If they do, he loses his magic and he can't go back to the North Pole to tell Santa about how they sat around like slugs and watched TV for four hours and STILL managed to destroy an entire living room. How do they do that???

Squirrel. So Noel is here for this month. We'll see how this goes. No promises. And I'm not ruling out the sock drawer again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Women Who Curse

I work in a department that is made up of four women and two men. We are a fun loving and rowdy group that knows when to turn up the radio and take a three minute FOOTLOOSE dance break and when to put in the headphones and crank stuff out.

But in our office we would say crank shit out. Because we cuss.

Now, we're all church going folks who serve in various capacities of our churches and even know a few verses. We're all believers in do-unto-others, paying for the occasional coffee of the car behind us and praying over friends who are sick or going through rough times. We believe in helping others and being kind.  And we also cuss.

And not just in the stepped-on-a-leggo-in-the-middle-of-the-night kind of cuss (but that kind too). We cuss when we're excited and happy! We cuss when we talk our way through last night's Gray's Anatomy or The Voice. We cuss when we are pissed. Why? Dunno. Never thought about it much until one of the guys said he'd never seen anyone throw down the f-bombs quite like this group, never mind that we are all chicks.

Does it mean something different when a woman cusses than when a man does it?
Does it mean anything significant to cuss or not to cuss?
Does it ever feel good to just . . . .say the f word???
I think sometimes it does. But never in front of my mother.

The above image is from This is not an endorsement for their company or their product. I did not receive any compensation for using that photo. I just liked it. My opinions on cursing are my own and in no way reflect the cursing opinions of the folks at Zazzle. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hobby Lobby Has It Out For Me

The craft stores have it out for me. They know . . and they taunt me.
Can someone please explain to me why we have Christmas trees up and five rows of ornaments up in August??? So, I get the crazy Canton crafty people that need to make their wares so they are stocked up in time for the Jr. League Holiday Bizarre. Isn't that why we have an internet? So that I don't have to go into Hobby Lobby on a balmy 109 degree August day looking for extra large, multi-colored construction paper to complete my 3rd grade back-to-school shopping list and be taunted by these trees, and lights, and stars and colored shiny balls. They know December will come around and I'll still be unprepared. We both know it. Six months to go by and I'll still be crazy.

How many events do we have between now and Christmas?
- First Day of School
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- National Guacamole Day
- Halloween
- Thanksgiving
- Hanuka
- Kwanzaa

That's at least eight. Now seriously . . .I'm still finding Easter decorations that I missed. And did I mention .. .it's 100+ degrees outside!

oh well, at least I have six months to work on my excuses.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easy as Boiling Water

When I say I can't cook, it's not the kind of statement looking for the "oh, you cook just fine!!" kind of compliment fishing. Seriously. I can barely boil water. I've screwed up so many boiled eggs that I found this handy dandy egg timer from William Sonoma. The best six bucks I've ever spent. The only time I've walked out of William Sonoma with a purchase that didn't require a credit check and a promise of my second born. (too many stories out there about my first born)

First, we boiled the eggs:

Sounds easy enough, right? No fires yet. Success.

Then we color the eggs:

Sorry for the blurry photo. Next blog will be called "Burnt Photos"
We escaped the dying process without any loss of blood or staining of porous tile. Success.

Even though I put all the eggs in the fridge overnight, I still felt iffy about them to actually serve with our Easter meal. Plus I bought waaaaay too many eggs and a family can only eat unless they're on the Atkin's diet so it was the best bet for burning through them. Refer to first photo. Success.

We decided to actually do a project or two from Pinterest and make bunny and chick deviled eggs. They look a little psychotic . . .but close enough to be recognizable. 

All in all we had one claim tummy problems following partaking of the eggs but no one died. Success.

Blogging- It's more than just free stuff

So, I work with a lot of bloggers every day. I read blogs. I even register to win prizes from time to time although I've never actually won. I read tweets and facebook posts. I see blogs come and go. I see blogs grow and grow. One might think: cool! I get tons of free stuff and all I have to do it write a little post here and there. So, check the dates on my last post. I think it was February?? I'm not even sure.
I love the idea of having a blog but it does require a little effort . . .and oh yeah . .committment.

I have gotten a few freebies, that's true. But unless I get serious about this, I'll never grow. I'm not even sure anyone out there wants to hear my thoughts. But alas, cyberspace is a big place. Maybe if I store my thoughts out there, I'll have more room to remember things like field day lunch money and charging my phone.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Date Night and the Art of Reflexology

It's been a while since The Hubs and I have had dinner at a restaurant where 1- didn't ask for a high-chair and 2- actually ordered off the wine list.

We scammed employed my nephew for the evening, had non-veggie foods delivered to our doorstep and ducked out while the everyone was grabbing for the grub,   We even took The Good Car.

First off for a drink at a bar (so we could use their parking lot) and then walked to dinner. Fun was had by all. And then I surprised my husband with a trip to the local reflexology foot massage place otherwise known in my mind as The Place of Chinese Awesomeness and Back Rubbing Giddiness. Giddy? Yes, I was! I actually squealed in delight and clapped my hands when I realized they were open until 10pm.

This part of the date was a surprise to The Hubs and he, of course, eyed me suspiciously. But I totally reassured him that I knew it had been a tough week for him and this was all about relaxing together for both of us and totally left out the part where I've been trying to figure out how to get to this place for two weeks and finally landed on date night so I wouldn't feel guilty about leaving HIM home with the kids while I got my tootsie's rubbed. So, see . . .it's not just for me. I was totally thinking of him.

First they bring out this big bucket of hot water with a tea bag in it and you soak your feet. Aaaahhhh.
Then they start on your head. The ear rubbing kind of hurt but then they did the hands and the arms and each.individual.finger. *sigh*

By this time the water is getting kind of cool so they take that away and start rubbing all the reflexology greatness on your feet and toes and I don't know what all that foot chart means but in my book it's just awesome and if they could only find the spot that turns off the part of my brain where that spends this relaxing hour making grocery lists in my head, remember what's due at my kid's school and wondering how old the wet clothes in the washer are and if I'm going to have to restart it . . .again.

Then the slapping starts and I know that sounds totally weird but petite Asian women who know how to work my feet and then start slapping my legs . . i don't know. It was just heaven!

This is also when I realize The Hubs has fallen asleep and is starting to snore.
He didn't even wake up when they put the hot towels on our feet. Later he even said, "they used hot towels??" 

About this time some new clients walk in. It's another couple. I can't see them but the wife comes in first and then the husband who WREAKS of cigarette smoke. UGH!

Then they flip you over and start on your back. So the cool thing about this is that they do all this and you don't have to take off your clothes. I have some friends who visit a Korean Spa and they go all crazy with the naked time and love it, but it's just not for me.

That little lady actually climbed on top of me and started to dig her elbows into my back and shoulder blades and spine. By the time she was done I didn't know if I should smoke a cigarette or maybe just french kiss the dude on the second row.

When it was over and I had to sit up I felt like a jelly fish. By the time we got home the kids were in bed. After the babysitter was paid and goodbye's we did exactly you do when you have a wonderful meal, great conversation and a hour and a half of Chinese rub-down.

We got in bed . . .and went to sleep.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recipe Review- Betty Crocker Chicken Cupcakes

Tonight we tried this recipe from the Betty Crocker website.
They call it "Impossibly Easy Mini Thai Chicken Pies" but we called them Chicken Cupcakes.
I made two versions, one with the Thai curry sauce and one without. Needless to say, the hubs was the only one that ate the curry sauce.

Their Pie Picture. Pretty, huh?
These weren't too bad. I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken from Kroger and added mushrooms because I thought I could cut them up small and sneak them in. It worked. Kids didn't even wrinkle a nose at them.

My version came out looking like this:

So, I'm thinking these might be really good for a party situation or an on-the-go kind of need. They worked really well for dinner. We also had some side veggies and a salad and overall it was pretty decent.

Burnt Salad Snapshot:
Difficulty: Not bad considering the title advertised as "Impossibly Easy". The site also has a lot of other varieties of this that includes a lot of different ingredients and meats. Click Here

What I Screwed Up: Not too much. The paper cups were cheap-o's and they got a little sticky. During clean up I put them in the trash and the dog ate them whole. So paws up from the dog. Note to self . . .dog doesn't need to ask twice to be let out tomorrow.

Second Chance: Sure. It was really quick and easy with the rotisserie chicken and made a good meal with the veggies. I'd try the other varieties as well.

Family Quotes: Nothing block buster here. Lots of chewing and nodding. That's a good sign, right?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Giving in and Winning

Ever finish up work and head home, glad that it's the end of the day only to realize that it's actually the end of the first part of your day and the beginning of the second part of your day.

It's usually a mad rush to get to this side of town, pick up G7, then on to B1, most likely the store, possibly gas or whatever, home, let the dog out, homework check, dinner, daddy comes home, dishes, bath time and then finally . . .family time.

Tonight we did the usual but skipped the store. We walked in the house and a feeling of overwhelming chaos hit me. The living room got a good cleaning last night and was vacuumed. Now it seems disheveled and uninviting. We did dishes last night after dinner but the sink was full of pans.
Breakfast was still on the kitchen table.

On any normal night this is the part of the show where I burst in to flames, yelling, pouting and in general being a Mom Monster.  But not tonight. I didn't have the strength. I told the kids to get back in the car and told my husband I would start driving towards him and where ever we ended up was fine with me.

My house cleaning problems are not solved, my sink is not empty. We spent money we vowed last night to do a better job saving. But then again, there was no stress, no yelling, no giving into the fear of inadequacy as a mom and wife and housekeeper. I will save that for tomorrow.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The House That Rosco Ate

Standing in a small area of Operation Kindness, the local no-kill animal shelter, it came down to two dogs. One, an energetic black lab named Peanut. The other, a small black and tan mix with floppy ears, huddled in the corner of his small cage. Beat up from being tossed to the elements and suffering from a slight case of worms he was a little under the weather. He only wacked the very end of his tail when spoken to. Rosco (1), was the choice hands down.
Within a few weeks he was healed and de-wormed, ready to claim his space on the couch. Over the next year we imagined an energetic pup to motivate us to take more walks, play catch in the backyard and rough house with in the living room. Instead, it came to a point where at the end of a long day, home from work, we would put the key in the door and brace ourselves for what might be on the other side. It was always a mystery. Even with crate training. We’ve never had our home destroyed by fire, flood or invaded by robbers. But all the same we learned the valuable lesson in what material possessions really mean. And let me also add that people told us this was just training for children. I call BS. Abigail in five years old hasn’t come close to the dollar cost of destruction of this pooch. Not even close.

People tell me all the time I could write a book about Rosco and his Counter Hound antics. A stomach of iron and a will to match his digestive system . . .he was- and is to this day- unstoppable. The truth is I don’t need to write a Marley and Me version of Rosco. A simple list will do.


•Jennifer’s Shoe’s: I’ll guess and say 15 pairs and know that’s probably under.
•Charlie’s Shoes: Dr. Martin sandals, Dr. Martin boots and $150 dress shoes
•Three corners of the coffee table
•Four or five mini blinds
•Bottom three rows of CD’s and CD cases
•College text books ripped down to the spine
•35 MM Film canisters (from my trip to Europe. Thanks!!)
•Several pillows (even ones I put in the crate so he could be more comfortable . . instead I came home and he was knee deep in pillow stuffing)
•Several photo albums chewed to various degrees
•The arm of my couch
•The large seating pillow of the couch I stacked so he would not sleep on them at night
•Walked in on him standing on the couch (no pillows) where he had ripped open the lining and was in the process of burying his bone
•Chew toys
•Stuffed animals
•Wicker basket that held all the chew toys and stuffed animals
•Metal screen off the back door
•Countless fabric leashes
•Entire loaves of bread without ripping the bag
•Entire sticks of butter without ripping the wrapper and instead licking it flat
•Half a bottle of ImmunoStart (chewed apart the bottle to get to it)
•Stole a canister of chocolate OsoLean, took it in the living room and chewed the lid off on my new cream carpet. His nose and snout were caked with chocolate and his water bowl was chocolate.
•Various seasonal decorative items left too low
•VHS tapes
* Lifted his leg to the real Christmas tree and put an end to that tradition
•Countless magazines and books
•Wireless phone (headset piece)
•Charlie’s work phone which he bit a hole in the battery and Charlie took it in as proof to his VP
•Took a bag of whole coffee beans off the counter and took them in to the living room. Once he got a whiff he stopped caring2. Hmm..

There’s a lot I’m sure I’ve forgotten. One time Charlie left two huge T-bone steaks on the counter to marinate and while we weren’t looking they BOTH disappeared. One we never found so we assume he ate it. I think we found evidence of bones. The other one was MIA for a good eight hours before we discovered it, still whole but cleverly hidden in a tipped over pile of toddler sized Lego’s in Abigail’s room.

We moved our couch once to rearrange the living room and found two corn cobs underneath it. Clearly stolen from the trash. I guess he was saving them for later.

He likes to take used Q-tips from the trash and chew on them like an old man chews a toothpick. No kidding. He walks around chewing with the end hanging out one corner of his mouth.

Maybe my next writing on Rosco will be “Adventures in Shock Collar Land.” It only proved that he, like other mammals in my life are too smart for MY own good and relaxation.

And despite it all, after just passing our nine year anniversary of rescuing Rosco from another poor family, I would have to say without a doubt that he’s the best dog I’ve ever owned and if I didn’t have to relive that first year I would probably clone him.
Although, it would be a great excuse to buy a new couch . . . .

1. Yes, I know some people like to spell it ending with an E. But we don’t. So there.
2. That happened just this week.

Her Spirit Cannot Be Fenced

For those of you with compliant children: good for you! Please feel free to pop open a Diet Coke and browse your Pottery Barn Kids catalog.

I’m not bitter. Really. There’s a reason God gave me this child. I understand it’s my job as a parent to ask for wisdom and find a way to make this human a functioning, contributing member of society. Pay your taxes, drive the speed limit, give to those in need. These are the things we hope for out in Future World.

Right now our main goals are to brush our teeth BEFORE we come down stairs, keep our hands to ourselves and please do not stand in the middle of the soccer field and eat your boogers. Please- for the love of all that is holy. I beg of you.

I love my girl. Her personality is second to none. I have stories about The Girl that are so delightful that people check in with me on a regular basis for story updates. Is she still scrubbing grout? Has she invented any new holidays lately? Has she tried to sell her brother on eBay yet?

I liken my dah-ling to a bull in a lovely meadow, peacefully munching grass and soaking up the warm sun. But all the while her eyes are on the fence and the bull is pondering. And if we could listen inside this little calf’s head I wonder: what it is we would hear?

“The last time I touched the fence it was electrified and it gave me a big shock. This grass tastes like salad. I bet the grass on the other side tastes like French Fries and Chicken McNuggets . . or possibly even Hibachi. The farmer is busy attending to laundry. I don’t really need to leave my grassy pasture. The farmer will not know if I simply stick my head between the fence for a taste of the frenchy fried grass.

*********BBBZZZZZ***** Yep! Still electrified!”

The good news here is that the bull ultimately recognizes the limits set forth and the possible consequences of the actions. The bad news here is that the bull ultimately recognizes the limits set forth and the possible consequences of the actions and is still willing to go for it.

This year has been an opportunity for growth. We’re having a lot of talks about how to look at an action and think three steps ahead to the consequence and I do believe my girl is trying hard. Bless her heart, she tries hard but sometimes she just can’t resist the temptation of the prize. Sometimes she’s just trying to please other people and sometimes she’s just so excited she wants to share her joy and it simply doesn’t fit the time or place.

I wish I could throw her these pearls of wisdom so that she could avoid the pain of the consequence. But that is not her spirit. And her spirit is too precious to break. Sometimes she’ll just have to learn the hard way how to calculate the risk. But one day she’ll take a risk everyone around her will warn her about. They will tell her how much it will sting and hurt and she will access and decide. Ultimately, I have no doubt, she will choose her time and go for it. One day the payoff will be so incredible sweet and it will be hers and hers alone for the taking.