Monday, September 29, 2008

Manic Monday - Nuts

I am so excited that Morgen – our Manic Monday leader – has started a Manic Monday Blog!! (You know, because he wasn’t busy enough already!) I hope you will all check out his new Manic Monday Blog here.

This week’s Manic Monday word is Nuts. I thought of a couple of things for this one, so I am going to post both of them. Some of you know that I have a problem at times controlling my cussing. Before I had kids, I never really thought about it. However, that all changed very quickly. I tend to yell at people when I am driving, and one day, a 2-year-old Eli came home after a trip out with mommy, and asked his dad, “What’s a fuckwad?”

After that, I tried really hard to replace the “F” word and the “S” word in my vocabulary. One of the terms I tried was, “Oh, nuts!” Dude! I’m sorry, but that’s just not the same. I also tried “Oh, fudge!” That one seems to have stuck with Eric. I just can’t do it. Sometimes you just need to use the “F” word. Now, I just say the letter in front of the kids, such as “I can’t believe that effing jerk cut me off!” That seems to work okay. For now.

The other thing that came to mind with nuts is all of the yummy fall recipes it’s time to make. Oh, I love fall baking – the pumpkin, the cinnamon, the cloves, the nuts. YUM! Tomorrow, I am making a new recipe for pumpkin loaf. I haven’t tried it before, but it sounds really good. Here it is:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup margarine
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.

2. Put softened cheese, butter, and sugar in mixing bowl. Cream together well. Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Mix in pumpkin.

3. In another bowl combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, cinnamon chips and walnuts. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour all at once over batter. Stir just enough to moisten. Turn into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60-70 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove to rack to finish cooling.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

13 Things I Thought About In The Shower This Morning

1. Oh crap! I forgot to post a Thursday Thirteen.

2. What the hell am I going to write about?

3. I am not going to go to Starbucks today. I am not going to go to Starbucks today.

4. I wonder if it’s going to be warm enough for me to wear shorts today.

5. Who used all my shampoo?

6. I wonder if Eric woke up the kids yet.

7. That’s probably why I hear screaming.

8. I remember that I needed something at the grocery store . . . now what was it?

9. I don’t know if I’ll have time to do my hair this morning.

10. Screw it. I’ll just wear a pony tail.

11. I sure hope Eric started laundry last night.

12. I wonder if hot water really kills all those bed mites like they said on the Discovery Channel.

13. I’ll bet I can come up with 13 things I thought about in the shower.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thank you, ma'am

Okay, you all know how much it irks me when I get called ma’am. I know I should appreciate the politeness, but it just makes me feel old.

I went to the store over the weekend to buy beer for a get-together we were having Saturday night. I remember when I used to go buy beer in my early 20’s. I would bring it up to the counter and set it down. The guy would look at me, and immediately ask for my ID. When I gave it to him, he would look at the picture, and look at me, and look at the picture and look at me. I used to hate it because they always made me feel like a guilty teenager trying to buy beer even when I was 24 or 25.

I’ve decided that was better than the way it seems to go down now. This weekend when I went for beer, I got my Boulevard Wheat and set it on the counter. I started to reach for my wallet to take out my ID, but before I could even get to it, the guy rang up the beer and said, “Thank you, ma’am.”

“Ma’am? Are you freaking kidding me?” Dude! That was so depressing. I would really like to know when I turned that corner. When did it go from “May I see your ID?” to “Thank you, ma’am.” *sigh* Not. Cool.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Manic Monday - Formula

This week’s Manic Monday word is formula. When you’re a mom with young children, only one thing comes to mind – baby formula. Dude! No one ever told me how expensive that stuff is. When I had a baby and got to the point where I wasn’t breastfeeding (and let’s be honest, it wasn’t long), I about hyperventilated when I saw the price of formula.

Then after going through the emotional (and painful) hell of stopping the breastfeeding and switching to formula, you get the “looks” from all the other moms because you’re not breastfeeding. Or even better than the looks, the comments! Grrrr. . . I would get very annoyed with other women commenting on my breastfeeding, or lack thereof.

There are definite benefits to the formula – the biggest of which is that you don’t have to get up every single time in the middle of the night with the baby. Men can bottle feed babies with formula, too!!! Oh yeah!!

Eric and I were actually discussing this today. With the money we spent in formula and diapers, we could take a freaking cruise around Hawaii. I know some women who miss that baby phase. And okay, there is a part of me that does. However, now that everyone in my house eats regular food and wears regular underpants, I am jumping for freaking joy!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Ramble

I went out with my friends last night for a girls' night. (Woo hoo!) Except I am beginning to notice that when we get together, we talk about kids way too much. We spent so much time talking about the discipline procedures at our elementary schools that we barely had time for anything else. Dude! Where's the fun talk? Where's the hot sex talk? *sigh*

I was just happy for a break, which was interrupted half way through dinner when Eric called to wearily inform me that Georgia had not stopped screaming since I had left the house. Okay, quick note to my husband - calling with that information is NOT going to make me want to come home any sooner!

I was mainly enjoying my time away because I was recovering from my minor surgery . . . okay, so I'm being dramatic. I had an inflamed cyst removed from my back, but it freaking hurt! And I think it's safe to say that my husband was not a doctor in a past life. He can't even change the dressing without making gagging noises. And when he does change the dressing, he presses down, so the bandage will stay on - like he's sealing a freaking envelope. Okay, OW!! I finally just had my friend Andrea, the hospice nurse come by each day to change the dressing. Thank God for good friends.

I've also been using that as an excuse not to do vigorous cleaning around the house. How long do you think I can get away with that excuse? Hmmmmm . . .

Qlubb - Get Organized!

If anyone has read my blog, you know that I am about the least organized person on the face of the earth. I try so hard to stay organized, so anytime there is a new tool out there to help me, I get very excited.

When I found out that Mom Central teamed up with Qlubb to take your organizational skills to a whole new level, I was thrilled!

Qlubb is a web-based service that helps organize your real-life groups online, providing all the functions needed to easily and actively participate within a group. Qlubb allows you to connect, plan meetings, assign responsibilities and share pictures with all of the members of your group at once. Features include an event calendar, sign-up sheets, member rosters, a task reminder service, and bulletin boards, which every member of your community can access and update from their home computers.

This could not have come at a better time for me because I went to a PTA meeting the other night and got roped into being Head Room Mother. (I’m still trying to figure out exactly how that happened.) At first, I wasn’t too concerned because I thought about what the room mothers did when I was in grade school. They brought cupcakes, passed them out, and then sat and talked to each other. I can do that. Well, apparently, things are different now. You have to organize which parents are helping with which party, what they’re bringing, and you have to plan games and activities. Dude! Seriously!

Anyway, Qlubb is the perfect way for me to keep all of this organized as Apache Elementary’s newest Head Room Mother!! The best part is that it is easy, and it’s FREE! Accessing and using the site is incredibly easy for even if you’re not computer savvy. Qlubb's secure sign-in protects group information, so only members of your group have access. However, participants don't have to individually register and can simply sign in using the group password.

Visit to try it out today. You will love it no matter what it is you’re trying to organize. I know you will find it as incredibly helpful as I did!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

13 Valley Girl Words/Phrases I Miss

Yes, back in the 80’s I actually spoke like this. And some of these phrases I like totally still use, okay? :-)

1. To the max – Translation: To the extreme.

2. Barf me out – In response to someone who says something offensive.

3. Gag me with a spoon – A response to something you don’t like.

4. Tubular – something that is cool.

5. Totally – yes, I totally still say this all the time.

6. Rad/Radical – attractive

7. Gnarly – Great/cool

8. Have a cow – As in ‘Don’t have a cow, man.’

9. Grotesque – you’re making me sick.

10. Hoser – i.e. jerk/loser

11. For sure/fer sher – Used in exclamation, as “Fer sher, dude!”

12. Awesome – One of my all-time favorite words, still in high rotation in my vocabulary.

13. Bogus – Unfair.

Get back to the table

When you have children, moms seem to turn into the mom taxi! Children are so busy with activities – soccer, dance, cheerleading, etc. – that sometimes it seems almost impossible to find the time to sit down as a family and eat dinner.

Libby’s has launched a Get Back To The Table campaign to remind families how important it is for families to sit down together at mealtime. Although 98 percent of moms think it is important that is important, only 61 percent of moms said their family actually sits down together every day at the dinner table.

I am thrilled to work with Libby’s and Mom Central on this blog tour to help spread the word about the Get Back To The Table campaign. The campaign highlights the benefits children receive from regular family meal times:

· Perform better in school
· Have a lower risk of smoking, drinking, and drug use
· Have higher self-esteem
· Develop stronger interpersonal relationships
· Eat healthier
· Teenage girls develop a healthier body image

For more information, visit Libby’s Get Back To The Table Web site at This Web site offers family dinner planning tools, time-saving tips, healthy recipes, and grocery-shopping and money-saving advice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When's my next vacation?

One week after being home from New York, and I am ready for another trip. We had torrential rain over the weekend, which somehow resulted in our house being infested with large black ants. I hate ants. They’re almost as bad as spiders in that they like to pop up at the most inopportune moments. Like in the kids’ bedrooms right before bed. I went into the bedrooms tonight ti see Eli standing on the bed, yelling “Squish it, Georgia! Step on it!” And Georgia was running around after an ant. Dude! That is so wrong!

Then I have to deal with the children not eating each and every day. Tonight for dinner, we had chicken and polenta. The children refused to try dinner, and after a few moments of arguing, Eric had enough. He stabbed a forkful of polenta and held it up to Eli’s face. He informed Eli that he was not allowed to leave the table until he tried it. Eli reluctantly took the bite of polenta, turned to me, gagged twice – long enough for me to say “oh no” – and then he threw up everywhere. Luckily, I have fairly good reflexes, so I was able to back up enough so the flying vomit just hit my arm, and went mostly all over the floor.

I looked at Eric, who was shaking his head in a combination of disgust and disbelief, and I said, “I am soooo not cleaning that up.” Dude, seriously! If you are the one who decides to force feed the children, then you are the one who has to deal with the aftermath. That is all I have to say!

Somebody tell me, when is my next vacation? While you’re pondering that, I need to go stomp some more ants!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Manic Monday Carnival

Don't forget the
this week, sponsored by

Friday, September 12, 2008

Circus Trip

Okay, we took the kids to the circus on Wednesday night. It didn’t start off well because it was loud, and Georgia was scared to death. She sat on my lap and wrapped her arms in a death grip around my neck, burying her head in my chest. She warmed up when the animals came out, so it got better. She really seemed to enjoy the tigers and the elephants.

However, things took a serious downturn when it was time for the human cannon. That thing is loud. So loud that it scared Georgia, who then peed all over my lap. Dude! This is the second time this has happened. Luckily, that was toward the end of the show, so we left shortly after. But still.

My only other complaint about the circus is that it is so expensive. For a snowcone in a souvenir cup - $9. If it was a souvenir cup that lights up - $16. A box of popcorn? $7. So yes, I spent $32 on two snowcones and a box of popcorn. Dude! That is so wrong!

Hasbro Noodleboro teaches manners!

My whole life, I have been a board game freak! I love Hasbro and their classic games that I grew up with such as Clue (my favorite), Scrabble, Battleship, and Candy Land. I was thrilled when I discovered that Hasbro introduced a new line of children’s games – Noodleboro. The Noodleboro games focus on listening well, cooperating with others, sharing with friends, getting along in groups, and acting respectfully.

My children always love when we get a new board game, so when I can find a board game that actually teaches them something, I am thrilled. Mom Central and Hasbro sent me the new Noodleboro game to try out, and my children and I have had fun playing it. This newest Noodleboro game is the “Learning About Manners Picnic Basket Game.”

This came at a very appropriate time for my 3-year-old, who seems to be struggling with the concept of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. The age on the box is 4+, but it was perfect for my 3-year-old.

The game comes with a game board, of which, each side has the pictures five tokens that you are trying to collect for your picnic. All the tokens go into the picnic basket. Each player then asks “May I please have a token?” “Thank you.” Before drawing a token. The first player to match all the tokens on his side of the board wins.

I did like this game. It’s great if you are trying to teach your child about manners. I would definitely say it’s perfect for children in the 3-4 age range. My 6-year-old son sat down to play the game with us, and after a few turns, he said, “Is this all we do? That’s it?” Apparently 6-year-olds need a little more action. But the Hasbro Noodleboro games are great because there are so many different game options, and they have specialty games for all aspects of learning. If your goal is to teach your child manners, and the importance of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ this is a good game that is simple enough for younger children to comprehend – a great concept!

In addition, the game comes with a story book, ‘A Very Pleasing Picnic’, and an audio CD for the children to enjoy!

Look at the game aisle in your local store, or visit Noodleboro’s Website to learn more about the “Learning About Manners Picnic Basket Game” or other Noodleboro games.

If you are interested in receiving a free Noodleboro game, Mom Central is raffling off 200 Noodleboro games to moms who sign up through the following link:

Sign up today for your chance to win a great Noodleboro game to share with your child!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

13 Things About My New York Trip

1. This was the first time I had met the people that I have worked with online (some of them for almost four years), and I was pleased to know that the friendships you make online translate very well to real life.

2. The drivers are extremely skilled in New York. Dude! When the car was taking me from the airport to the hotel, I had to close my eyes about three times while my driver weaved in and out of traffic.

3. The drivers REALLY like to use their horns.

4. The panhandlers are more expert than the ones here in Kansas City. New York panhandlers don’t just ask you for money. They come up to you with a long, detailed story. Then they ask for money.

5. Going through security at LaGuardia airport is not fun. They yell at you.

6. I’m shocked I didn’t get mugged, as I walked down 7th Avenue with my big “I Love New York” bag in one hand, and my camera in the other hand. Next time, I might just have “tourist” tattooed on my forehead.

7. I LOVE New Yorkers! I have never been much for quiet people – I always think they’re hiding something. New Yorkers are loud (like me) and say exactly what’s on their minds. I LOVE that!!

8. I got to experience one of those few times in life when you click with someone, and you know in moments that you have found a true friend. This is Nirel:

9. As cool as New York looks on TV, it is soooooo much cooler in person. In fact, I think my coolness factor has gone up just because I visited New York. Yippee!

10. I discovered that I really miss the corporate world. Oh, did I really say that?! I think I miss the adult interaction. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have conversations about other adults that didn’t have anything to do with children.

11. Even though I loved having a break, I still can’t be away from my children for two days without crying. I know – I’m a big wuss.

12. I thought drinks were expensive in KC. I don’t think that anymore after drinking a $10 Cosmo in NYC. (and it was really little)

13. I love my company! I can’t wait to go to New York and see them all again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - New York

Hey all! I'm home from New York, and I am sooooo tired!! I had a fabulous time, which I will write all about after I've had some sleep and caffeine. In the meantime, here are a couple of my favorite pictures I took during my first New York trip!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Extra Table

I am finding out that kindergarten holds a lot of surprises. The first of which is lunch. Lunches at Eli’s school are $2.05 each day. That alone makes me cringe because the boy eats like a bird. But, I figured this would be cheaper overall than him taking his lunch.

Every day when Eli comes home from school, I ask him what he had that day for lunch. We get the menu a week in advance, so we can see the choices each day. They always have two hot lunch options (I think today you could choose either Nachos or a Hot Pocket) and a cold option - peanut butter sandwich. I started noticing that when I asked Eli what he had for lunch that day, he was telling me things that weren’t on the menu. For example, he told me he had a giant pretzel for lunch, or a big chocolate chip cookie. I wondered why these items weren’t listed on the food menu, so I asked one of the other moms.

She explained to me that there is an “Extra table” in the lunch room. It’s a table right before you get to the cash register that has lots of extra goodies on it. Uh-huh. These extra goodies are not included in the $2.05 school lunch. Dude! I would like to know who the hell came up with this brilliant idea. Who thought it would be a good idea to have a table with cookies on it in front of 5- and 6-year-old kids.

Plus, the kids have a lunch card that they just swipe, so they don’t even understand that they are actually spending any money. Eli told me yesterday that he got cookies off of the Extra Table. I asked him how much the cookies cost, and he said, “They don’t cost anything. You just ask them for the cookies, and they give them to you.” Grrrrrr!

When school started almost three weeks ago, I put $100 into Eli’s lunch account. You can go online to see how much money is left in the account. I haven’t done that yet. Because I’m scared. And in denial. And I’m jealous because things sure have changed since I was in grade school. We didn’t have any freaking Extra table!! WTF?!!

It's A Circus!!

I absolutely love the circus! It is truly a show for kids of all ages. When I found out the Ringling Bros Circus was coming to town, I immediately bought tickets for the whole family. I have not been to the circus since I was 8 years old! I can’t wait to go and take the kids. They are going to love it!

We go to the circus on Wednesday night, so I will still be tired from my out-of-town trip, but I know the circus (and the cotton candy) will pep me up! When I was a little girl, I thought the Ringling Bros Circus was a truly magical experience – the colorful clowns, the acrobats flying through the air, and the performers on elephants. It’s an experience that you never forget, and it’s a childhood experience that is not to be missed.

I had already bought my tickets when I found out that Mom Central was doing a blog tour on the Ringling Bros Circus. I wanted to participate so I could share my love of the circus with my readers, and so I could share the discount code!! Hopefully this will help you buy tickets to enjoy the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus in your area. I want all of the moms and dads out there to experience the pure joy on the faces of their children, their gasps of delight, huge grins and mesmerized stares.

When you buy your Ringling Bros tickets, be sure to use the code MCC for 20% off your purchase!! You can visit the Ringling Bros Website to learn more about the circus, and to purchase tickets online.

The code is valid for the circus shows in the following cities:

Indianapolis, IN - Sept. 4-7, 2008
Kansas City, MO - Sept. 10-14, 2008
Grand Rapids, MI - Sept. 18-21, 2008
Denver, CO - Oct. 2-13, 2008
Boston, MA - Oct. 8-13, 2008
Cleveland, OH - Oct. 24 - Nov. 2
Chicago, IL - Nov. 6 - 30, 2008
St. Louis, MO - Nov. 6-9, 2008
Auburn Hills, MI - Nov. 12 - 16, 2008
Highland Heights, KY - Feb 27 - Mar. 1, 2009
Cincinnati, OH - Mar. 4 - 8, 2009

Please take advantage of the MCC code, and spread the MCC code around to your friends and family. You can simply go on and type in your zip code to find the shows and purchase tickets online with the MCC code.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

13 Things About My Week

1. My baby started preschool on Tuesday, and she did very well! She was happy as a clam to be left with all her new friends and teacher. I, on the other hand, walked out crying.

2. This was a perfect excuse for me to head to Starbucks and drown my sorrows in a triple-shot latte.

3. Today, I spent the afternoon with Eli at the doctor’s office.

4. This is not a fun experience when you’re there for an hour and a half, and Eli and Georgia are fighting.

5. My son became a total drama queen when they had to prick his finger.

6. We found out that he was positive for strep, and negative for mono.

7. This means I have to leave town on Saturday, and leave a sick child.

8. I think the universe is trying to give me something more to worry about than the actual flight.
9. I hate to fly. Is a 9:30 am flight too early to drink?

10. I’m still trying to figure out my iPod.

11. And my camera.

12. After buying a bunch of new clothes for the conference this weekend., I found out that we are supposed to wear a company T-shirt and jeans.

13. I’m not taking back my new clothes.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Mommy's a wreck!

I'm late in posting my blog today mostly for the fact that Georgia started preschool this morning, and I've just been an emotional wreck. She seemed fine, except it will be really anxious to see if she listens to her teachers better than she listens to mommy or if they have a problem with her tantrums like we do.

One thing I have noticed about both Eli's and Georgia's schools is that they waste no time requesting money. In Eli's second week of school, the kids are already selling stuff. We're selling the Entertainment Books for $20. Some of you may have received an email from me. I should point out that the Entertainment Books are specific to your area. So if anyone is interested in buying one, shoot me an email. So far, we've bought one, and Eric's parents have bought one. Yes, we've sold two. woo hoo.

When I dropped Georgia off this morning, they had a list of school supplies we needed to bring, along with $5 for a "processing fee". Dude, I don't even know what that means. I paid a $40 "registration fee" in the Spring when she enrolled. I don't know what that's for either. They should just start charging a "we can't think of any reason to charge you money, so we're just coming up with an inane fee" fee. That's probably coming next week.

Tomorrow, I will post pictures of Georgia's first day of preschool. *sniff*

Monday, September 01, 2008

Manic Monday - Iron

Okay, I’m anal as all hell. That shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone, should it? I mean, usually, I’m just crazy obsessive anal-retentive on a daily basis, and thank God, my husband has chosen to find it endearing. However, when I am in any sort of a stressful or unfamiliar situation, my OCD is taken to a whole new level.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that I like to have all details ironed out. Apparently, this drives everyone else completely insane. I am leaving for New York on Saturday morning for a business trip. I am very excited because I have never been to New York City. I am also a little freaked out because I have never been to New York City. To top it all off, I am traveling by myself. You can imagine my stress level.

For the last two weeks, I have been ironing out every little detail I can possibly think of. I have lists upon lists – lists of what I’m packing, of what I’m carrying on, of what I’m going to do when I’m there – lists, lists, lists. I have a new book to take on the plane, as well as a new iPod, which I bought specifically for the trip (and, btw, I did figure out how to rip a dvd to the ipod, if I want to pay $30 for the software). I bought a huge new suitcase for the trip, and I’m hoping it’s going to fit everything for my 2 ½ day trip. Yes, I’m leaving Saturday morning, and returning Monday night. Eric just gawked at my suitcase, and said, “I could pack two weeks worth of stuff in that suitcase!” He obviously doesn’t understand that I need to pack options! Hello!!

The next set of details I needed to iron out was getting to and from the airport. Once I get to New York, I won’t know where the hell I am or where to go. My plane lands at 1:30 at LaGuardia, and I have to be at the hotel by 3:30 if I want to make our group bus tour. Everyone says, “Oh, that’s plenty of time!” Is it? Is it really? Because to be perfectly honest, I don’t think I have ever ever had a flight that has been on time. My flights always get delayed! I don’t mean to send out negative cosmic energy here, but I’m just saying.

Luckily, I found out on Friday, that my company is providing transfers, and there will be someone waiting for me when I get off the plane, holding a sign with my name on it. Just like in the movies!! Woo hoo!! I have my camera ready so I can snap pictures of whoever it is that is holding the sign. Eric rolled his eyes at that one, thanking the heavens that he wouldn’t be with me.

I just hope that after ironing out every detail I could possibly think of, I haven’t left anything that could go wrong. Cross your fingers for me.