Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Review: The Ex-Files, by Jane Moore

It's that time folks- book review! Because instead of cleaning my house this extended weekend I ate treats and read books. Because I? Am fabulous like that.

This book was a really quick read and kind of fun. Was it fabulous? No. Was it super predictable but mildly entertaining? Yes. Actually- the description on the back of the book is misleading which is kind of weird because it's not what really happened, but that's ok. Luckily- I didn't read the back of the book until I had alerady started the book so that worked out.
For a chick-lit book I really expected more sex. Is that raunchy of me? I don't know- my chick-lit books have to have a little somethin somethin to keep me going. Fortunately, there was NOTHING on tv so that was what kept me going with this book.
The premise is that two people, who are so different and really not compatible at all are getting married. And because they are gluttons for punishment or idiots, they invite their ex's to the wedding. And then all hell breaks lose because it bounces back and forth between the present day and their respective pasts which only makes you realize how badly they should just call the wedding off, yet there they are, the night before having a party. And lots of their friends/family express reservations yet they think they will continue on. But then there's a twist and all kinds of nice things happen that tie the story off nicely. I thought it was super predictable which is always a downer for me, but it is a good book to just read when you get bored.
So if I haven't turned you off completely from the book, the first person to comment on this post to say they would like to read it, I will send it to you! For FREE! :) Yay!! Only losers don't like free stuff.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For your anal pleasure & home project #1 of 2010

Wow- I bet you thought I was going to go somewhere naughty there? What might be disturbing is the number of you who wanted me to go there. Perverts.

Anyways. So I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, FinnyKnits, the other day when I read this post about her reorganzing her under the sink cabinets. So I commented that yay! Mine are already organized.
And then I was challenged. She wanted me to post a picture. And I don't back down from challenges.
Welcome to my retro-ghetto kitchen. Things to note: The awesomness we call cabinets are original to the house. They are painted hunter green which is the most recent of colors but let me assure you- there was some pink on there at one point. This house is 100+ years old and nothing is aligned anymore.

Ta-da! Baskets organize all of my cleaning stuff. The left one is like every day messes, the right is like heavy duty. Then I have my blender (rarely used), my Rachel Ray dutch oven (used a lot) and an extra roll of paper towel.

Ignore the mess on my counters. I'm in a Xmas Eve frenzy. But notice the green? Notice the door doesn't shut. That's as close as it gets.

Yay! My uppers. But I'm short, so I need a chair to get to the tops. The doors are as closed as I can get them.

Ew- the grossest built in cutting board ever. I have never used it because it smells so bad. It's falling apart, but pulls out like a drawer. I'm 99% sure there is decayed stuff behind the cupboards.

But guess what Finny? When opening my cupboards today I'm like "Fucking gross- what the hell is this shit?!" and I cleaned them (notice the towel in picture one). Well guess what? My fucking pipes or whatever they are leak. Like bad. So I had standing water in there. So I call Matt in to you know- investigate when he informs me that the one pipe thingie that goes into the floor or wherever is cracked in half. Fan-fucking-tastic.
Matt and Jackson inspecting the problem. Jackson works better with his hand down his pants while holding a spray bottle and towel. I think Matt does too but he was busy with a flashlight.
So Merry effing Christmas to us. Thank god we didn't buy each other anything. Well we did, but just 2 small crappy things. Because now instead of buying my treadmill on payday, or buying more new cabinets to replace the pieces of shit currently in my kitchen, we'll be replacing plumbing. Matt assures me we're ok for awhile since he's using some good ole duct tape on the pipe thingie.
So Finny? If you'd like to donate to this cause, LET.ME.KNOW. :)

Book Review: The Sweet By and By by Sara Evans

It's that time for yet another book review. This is another one for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers and this was like a bonus book I got. :)

First off I have to say I was really skeptical when I saw that Sara Evans (yes..the country singer) wrote it with the help of another author. I automatically think "OK..how much of this did she actually write?" I don't know- but I do know it was a good book.

The story is of a woman named Jade, who had a not so ideallic childhood and clearly not coping with her abadonment issues. I have to say I hate characters, and people in general, who aren't able to move past things in their past. OK- so your dad left you. GET OVER IT. So this book really frustrated me because you just want to slap Jade up and let her know she's being an idiot. Get over yourself. But I did like how the book went back and forth from the present day to the past and how the story of her past unraveled as you went through the book. Jade is preparing to get married and her motto (and her fiance's) is "the past is the past" and neither has really talked about each other's pasts and so a lot of things are learned in the weeks/days leading up to the wedding.

I thought the relationship between Jade and her mother, Beryl, was relatable if not frustrating. I can definitely see a "part two" of this book happening because the ending left some loop holes (i.e- the relationship with the dad- what happens? What is it like for Beryl at the end? What happens with Willow? How does Jade and Max handle marriage? Are there more secrets to come out? etc)

Overall? It's a good story. It's a page turning, hard to put down book. It's a fast read and the story progress quickly and doesn't get lost in descriptions and plot set ups.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book Review: Obstacles Welcome, Ralph de la Vega

Another day, another book review. I swear, book reviews are going to be my weekend thing. I finished TWO books this weekend and started a third. Rockstar...that I am.

This book I received, free, from Thomas Nelson publishing to review. Again, like the last book, I really didn't think I'd like it. I'm very much not into the whole self help, learn something books. But you'll notice me sticking both feet into my mouth when I try to say that this book? Was really good. Not only did I learn that I couldn't be a manager because I'd be all pissy with people, but I also learned I could never work in telecommunications.
But more to the point- the book was great for people who are working towards career advancement and want to someday be big wherever they work. It's a how to guide basically to not be an asshole manager. Because really? I think we've all had one of those. At least one. Throughout the book there was terrific one liners that I thought, "Dammit- I need to write this down for work". My favorite two were:
"Hope is not a strategy" which seems straightforward but it kind of made me chuckle because I remember growing up my mom used to always say when things got tight financially "a check will come- don't worry, it always does". :) Now, nevermind the fact that it really did always come from somewhere. The point being is that you shouldn't just be waiting for something to happen- you have to make it happen.
And one that I kid you not will be used at a meeting at work: "God gave you two ears and one mouth. So listen twice as much as you talk." Really? I think that is priceless.
SO! Is this a book that you think you'd want to read? Then the first person to comment to this post saying you want it and will give it a good home, will have this mailed to you for free. Yay! It's like mother effing Christmas here every day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Book Review: The Girl From Charnelle by K.L. Cook

OK- looking for a really good gift for someone? You should buy them this book. It is AMAZING. I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly AMAZING it is because folks? It's that good.

The quick and dirty of this book is that it focuses around a family of 5 kids, specifically the middle child, Laura Tate. The mother leaves- which is the catalyst for lots of things in Laura's life specifically her relationship with a married man. One she babysits for no less. But what is amazing about this book is that you really kind of root for Laura and John, even though you know that it's wrong. You sympathize with Laura because at the tender age of 16 she doesn't really understand that every action has a reaction. She believes that if nobody knows then nobody really gets hurt and everything is ok- which hello? I think we all learned in college that life doesn't work that way. :)
The other part of the book that really kind of tugged at me was the mother leaving. Through the whole book you are trying to look for clues because it's like you want to solve that mystery for them. You can assume what some excuses would be but really? Who could do that. There is a part where Laura wonders if maybe the life her mother had, a husband and children, even though it's what she had always wanted- maybe it really felt like a cage to her. Like she was trapped and couldn't leave- that that was her life forever. And really? I can sympathize that. I mean I have always wanted to be married with kids and all Suzie-Homemaker and here I am. But sometimes I feel like this is it. This is my life and I'm not quite satisfied. Like I'm missing a big piece of me or something. Does that make sense?
But this book really hooked me. And even though some things you know are morally wrong are happening (like the affair) you really do kind of root for her. Probably because you know in your own life you can't do that.
This is a FANTASTIC author and highly recommend his book. I look forward to other books in the future of his- great writing that really pulls you in.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmases of the Past

OK, so since we're all trying to get Christmas spirity I suppose I thought I do holiday related posting. And every year, as I buy for my kids, I get to thinking about the Christmases of my past and which ones I remember because they were awesome. Only a few REALLY stick out in my head:

6th Grade: My brother and I got TV's for our rooms. Like the little 13 inch ones, but they had their own remote control. Which was fabulous. Even though from my bed I could easily hit the buttons on the damn tv, which was on the other side of the room, because my room was that small. But I remember thinking I was so cool because FINALLY!!! I could watch the late night shows, without my parents knowing, and totally be able to talk about it in school.

8th Grade: The cd player. Wow- was I the bad ass who was like the last kid in school to get one. Even the kids on public assistance got one before me. But what was truly cool was that my mom didn't care which cd's I asked for. I always got the ones I wanted.

9th Grade: A Discman! Again, last kid to get one, but dammit I didn't care. I listened to my Discman every chance I could. I went through batteries like it was nobody's business. I carried that thing around everywhere with no less than 20 cd's at any given time. It was also the year I got the Orgy cd, and I remember my mom saying, "Orgy?! Jesus christ, Sara- this better not be graphic." No mom, no band named Orgy would be graphic. ;)

10th Grade: Oh yes, I got my Led Zeppelin box set. AMAZING. Still have it, love it.

and other miscellaneous gifts I remember getting, but can't remember what year I got them:

1. The Cabbage Patch Doll my grandma hunted all over for the year the big craze happened. I hated it.

2. Oh! One year I got this pink pillow, but it had ears, and a big face on it. I loved that thing. I wonder what happened to it...

3. This had to be 8th or 9th grade when I got the double disc set of Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Those discs changed my life. I still have them, the case is literally falling apart but I can't get rid of it. Everytime I listen to it, I think of my friend Allena.

4. I remember in 8th grade I think, getting a pair of brown boots and a red dress with daisies on it. I had the red matching socks that you like scrunched up. I was one hot bitch, let me tell you.

5. I got a pair of jeans one year that was like a size 13 and I was so pissed because I was like a size 8 (I know, I really was that skinny before) and I was like, "You think I'm this fat?!" So I shoved them in my closet. Little did I know, fast forward a few years, I'd be a size 13 and they'd be my favorite jeans. Until I got fatter. We won't talk about my size now.

6. A few years ago, my mom made me a scrapbook of pictures the first year she watched my daughter. And my mom isn't a crafty person per say, she knows I love scrapbooking, but the fact she made this for me- full of pictures of Olivia doing things I never saw because I was working? Priceless. Very touching. I love that book. And I can't believe my mom would take the time to do that, it was probably in the top 5 of gifts of all time.

7. And last, but never the least, the mountain bikes Travis and I got when I was in like 5th or 6th grade. We obviously can't ride bikes here in the winter with the subzero temperatures and snow so they sit in the garage/basement/wherever until Spring. Kind of a bummer. So come spring, my dad takes us out "on the trail" to teach us how to ride a mountain bike. Can you guess what happened to uncoordinated Sara? Well while my dad was teaching Travis the art of braking he told me to "ride slowly down the hill" which to be honest- was really steep. So I figure I could do this. Not even two feet down I hit what turned out to be a half covered barrel. Yup. I proceeded to do mid-air flips, landed on railroad tracks at the bottom and just when I thought I hurt enough, my bike landed on top of me. My dad and brother took their ginger time walking their bikes down and when they got down, my dad made me take off my pants because I said my leg felt wet. Luckily, nothing was broke, nothing was bleeding, I had a bruise on the inside of my thigh the size, I kid you not, a small melon. Like a cantelope. It was instantly bright purplish/black. Gross. And puffy. I had to walk my bike home. I tell can tell you 2 things. 1. I never rode in the gully nor a hill after that. 2. I learned that you should never, ever, use your front brake.

So of all the Christmases I remember- these are the things that stand out. I'm missing a few others, but I totally remember these and love the memories I have of them.

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Music- Yay!

OK so it's not a lot of new music, but I'm pumped to have heard 2 new songs this morning that I secretly love. Now before you look at Ashley Tisdale on my player (#2) don't roll your eyes and judge me. It's awesome.

And Little Jackie? Yes, please!

And of course. I don't care what anybody else says, but Britney Spears' Blackout album was fun-fucking-tastic. The singles she released? Not so much. But I assure you if Toy Soldier had come out? MASSIVE HIT. I'm just saying, that's all.

Do YOU have suggestions for me? Leave me a comment and I'll head over to Playlist and check it out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December might not suck after all

Because it usually does, that's all. December usually blows huge fucking chunks because I'm stressed out and forced to be all well mannered because I'm at various things that require me to socialize. Politely and try REALLY hard not to use swears.


It's hard.


But this month- oh my, might actually be ok. First off- I'm not having a holiday party at my house. It's too much damn work. Plus then I end up eating the majority of the food because people are all frugal and trying not to gain any weight. Whatevs. By doing this, you only make me feel fatter.


Second of I decided that we aren't doing multiple holiday celebrations. No. We're doing Matt's family Xmas Eve, and I'm doing us on Xmas Day. Anybody else wants to see us will have to come here. I have no intentions of leaving my house Xmas Day. Unless my house is burning and even then I'll weigh the options.


Third, I'm going shopping with my awesome friend Tammy. We haven't shopped together in forever but this time we're both broke. Which is code for "we're going to spend a shit load of money, feel guilty, then eat food court food until we feel better". I'm looking forward to it.


Fourth, my AMAZING friend from forever ago, Allena, is coming to Superior next week. I haven't seen that girl since the very beginning of 10th grade. And for the record...that was awhile ago. And we've talked very sporadically through the years since she is in TX and I'm in WI and we're busy with families and whatnot. But holy crap- if we can get together? Will make my year. It'll be a GREAT ending to this dump hole of a year.


Fifth, um, Christmas is coming. I love Christmas. I love decorating but most importantly- PRESENTS! I have been dropping mad hints ALL YEAR for Matt so we'll see if he paid attention. Some things I want. Desperately:


1. Remote car starter (because really?? I hate winter and I hate having to go out in my pajamas to start my van and run the risk of it getting stolen)
2. Kings of Leon: Live at the O2 DVD/CD
3. Gift certificates: Barnes & Noble, True Colors (scrapbooking place), or just Visa. Because I like shopping.
4. Leather mittens from Target.
5. CD's (Alicia Keys' new one, 50Cent before I self destruct, new one from One Republic, Sara Bareilles, etc)
6. Blackberry or PalmPixi
7. Curb Your Enthusiasm and/or The Office DVD Seasons (I have none, so let's start with season 1, mmkay?)
8. A really great kit to learn how to knit.
9. Babysitter...for like an extended weekend so Matt & I can (maybe) go to Vegas this coming Spring.
10. My Dilbert calendar (I get this every year...it's practically tradition)

Oh and there is so much more but really? I don't think I'll get any of this. Actually, I'd just rather get gift cards because I want to shop. I find great deals and I have this insane addiction to jewelry and now shoes. *sigh*

So in order for me to get "in the mood" for Christmas I have to watch the best Christmas movie of all time: Christmas Vacation. I aspire to be that. One day Matt will enjoy lighting our house. This year we are being publicly spanked because our decor? Ghetto compared to the neighbors across the street.

Next year?

It's on like fucking Donkey Kong.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winner

Because I'm lame and got sucked into playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook for a long time I forgot to post the winner of the Northline book.

That would be Jen- from It's My Life!

Jen, I already know your address so I'll mail it with you Christmas card. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

All I ask is that you carry

Today I had to go grocery shopping. For some people, this is a lot of fun. People who enjoy this are the people who usually enjoy eating a wide variety of foods, including but certainly not limited to, fruits and vegetables. I'm not one of these people.

Don't get me wrong, I love to eat. My favorite foods are spaghetti, almost anything from Wendy's, and an item or two from pretty much every fast food restaurant I've ever been to. I get the same thing at the same places because I don't like trying new things because at the end of the day I know I probably won't like it.

I'm a picky eater.

So every two weeks, payday, it is my sole job to figure out what my family is going to eat every single day. Multiple meals. Which really sucks because I hate 99% of what I cook because it involves healthy choices, things that will make Olivia poop, and things that Matt will want to take for lunch the next day. I like cooking, I just don't like to eat what I cook. If I could afford to eat out everyday and not worry about my organs shutting down from fat build up then I totally would.

Today I planned our non-exciting menu for the next two weeks which is mostly made up of what I refer to as "ghetto meals" because they are easy and cheap. I planned the menu based on what we have, what coupons I had, what's on sale, etc. I clipped the coupons. I made the very detailed list (in order by department obviously), and I set off on my journey. But before I left, I asked Matt to be handy to help me carry stuff in. I hate carrying stuff in.

I get to the grocery store and the fact I had to park on the road was a clear indicator that church was obviously out and that said churchgoers were in full force at the store. Goodie. I get the last available cart that wasn't a motorized chair and lucky me, only one wheel actually works. This wasn't a big deal to begin with but after my loop around the outer perimeter of the store it was blindingly clear that this was now going to be an Army style workout. In the meat department as soon as I picked up a package of chicken breasts with a price so high I almost died knowing for a few dollars more I could probably buy an entire chicken, I turned around to see a guy puke on the floor.

Now, I don't know if you know this about me (you would if you paid attention to previous posts) but I don't *do* puke. Anything fluid like coming out of a body, I don't do. That applies to everything.

So I high tailed it out of the meat department, but before I could the smell of raw meat and puke wafted towards me. I basically gagged my way through the dairy section. I am appalled to find that the only kind of premade cookie dough (in the tubes) is sugar. WHAT.THE.FUCK.?! I need peanut butter, ginger, and chocolate chip to start my cooking baking extravaganza. DAMN YOU.

In my rage I finished getting everything else on my list and debating the merits of making my own cookie dough when WHAM! Some old lady, on a cell phone no less, rams her super full cart into my leg. I almost went down, folks. But thank god the wheels on my cart didn't move, because by it standing still I was able to remain standing. And the topper? She tells me to watch where I'm going. If she wasn't so old I would have just laid into her.

BUT, I make it to the checkout and see the lines. I almost lost hope and then there she was- a cashier with nobody waiting. So I run (as fast as I can push the wheeless cart) into her line. I immediately figure out why there is nobody there. She's new. She's confused and looks scared. Fuck. My leg hurts so I decide to chance it. How hard can it be? It's not like I've got food stamps or something. So she's ringing everything really slowly. I had over my coupons and she starts almost hypervenitlating. She tells me I can't use more than $20 in coupons. Oh honey- today is not the day to try this shit. A manager obviously saw my face and comes over, instructs the cashier there is no coupon limit. I get my total, $121.78 and almost die knowing I haven't spent more than $100 in a two week grocery trip in YEARS. I panic. No lie.

So I start bagging and as soon as I lift my barely full bag of canned goods- the bag gives out on me- cans everywhere. Bastards. So I end up having to double bag everything because our local grocery store thinks a way to cut overhead is by providing useless bags that can't hold 8 cans.

After bagging I make my way out to the van only to realize that a cart with non-functioning wheels doesn't push so well on pavement. Lots of noise and skidding, I almost get run over by a guy who said he couldn't see or hear me coming. Really? The noise of metal on pavement is too quiet for you?

When loading my goods into the van, I almost get hit by a lady backing out of her parking space. Her vehicle is doing the "you are close to hitting someone" beeping that mine does, yet she doesn't stop. I kid you not- that lady only stopped when I banged on her back window, then she gives ME the finger. Right.

After driving home, I pull up to see the house looks mighty quiet. I start carrying two bags in, and fucking Matt has locked the doors. Oh.No.He.Didn't.

I dropped my bags on the porch, unlocked the door and hear the unmistable sound of Matt snoring. Must be nice. Asshole.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Review: Northline, by Willy Vlautin

This is actually another lesson on why I really need to stop judging books by covers, because yet again- the cover did nothing for me and I really LOVED this book. Loved it. I am insisting you read it.





This is another book I got mailed to me, for free, from Haper Collins' Publishing. I'm slowly making my way through that stack. But I also received another book of Willy's called The Motel Life which I gave away earlier. I'll talk more about that but let's get on with the review!

Amazing book. This is an incredibly fast read, I literally got it done in one evening sit down consisting of 4 hours. It is basically about our main character, Allison, who is fucked up 7 ways from Sunday in her own right, but she is in an abusive relationship. I found it curious that we didn't read a lot about the actual abuse- you get brief snippits throughout, but yet you knew that it was extremely abusive in every way possible right off the bat. The writing is really superb- maybe that's why you just knew all of this stuff without having to actually read it. Does this make sense? Probably not, but that's my operating thought at 8 a.m. today.

You are totally rooting for Allison through the entire book but everytime she makes a bad choice you are literally smacking your own head because it's like she can't really see what she's doing. I loved the ending of the book as well. It kind of ended it in the middle of nowhere, but I felt hopeful for her in the end. Like maybe she finally made the right decision and her path has changed.

Definitely a good read you should check out. The book also comes with a CD that is essentially the soundtrack to the book, performed by Willy and his band. I have to confess I didn't listen to it. Maybe you should put it in when you read. Dammit- why didn't I think of that before?! Well it's a brand new CD for you to enjoy.

Now, are you really wanting to read this? Like really, really? OK- so here are the rule:

1. You must be a follower of the blog.
2. Leave a comment on this post.
3. Be awesome.
4. Do all of this by Monday, December 7

and I will pick a winner Monday night and post it on my blog then. And then I will mail it to you, you will receive it, read it, love it. Because I said so. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

How To Be Better

In the spirit of being all honest and open, mainly because it's Christmas and that gets me to thinking about life and the people in mine, I'm going to share a bit about myself. I've heard you learn a lot about a person based solely on their family and how they grew up. You learn a lot about yourself and those around you once you move out on your own and are away from them. Now granted, I'm literally only a few blocks from my family but still. It's different.

But I've reached a point in my life where I'm not really sure where I stand. It's that awkward position of having my own family yet feeling like I'm letting my parents down because I'm not doing things they necessarily want me to do. I have also discovered I'm not alone in this. I would say at least 80% of my friends are struggling in the same way. We have a hard time growing up and standing up for ourselves when our parents expect us to do or be something else. I imagine I'll learn the other end of it with Olivia and Jackson are older but maybe I won't get it either. Maybe I'll just think they are being selfish and rude in their acts of growing up.

The way I raise my children is very different from how my brother and I were raised. And that's not a dig at my parents- they did an excellent job. They did the best they could with what they had. They worked hard and quite honestly, we didn't see them a lot. We didn't do a lot of family stuff together. Not to say we did nothing, because I remember afternoon car trips and stuff like that but we never really did the vacation thing, and I don't really remember my parents participating in stuff with us. Not that it's mandatory. I just noticed that my parents were a lot different than my friends' parents. And I was jealous. I wanted my parents to be the annoying chaperones on field trips, to make friends with my friends' parents, to get more excited about the things we wanted to do, etc. Does this sound lame? But my parents weren't like that and it's ok. They just aren't super social people. It gets to be a bit uncomfortable to come up with excuses when my inlaws want to do stuff (like holidays) as one huge group- but maybe I should stop making up excuses and just say they aren't social. They don't like parties and group settings. They prefer TV at home on a quiet night. I flip flop depending on my mood and my anxiety levels.

But when I was born my mom was so young (I ended up being the same age as her when I had Olivia) and she was married to my birth father. Now I don't remember him a lot. Scratch that. I don't remember happy times. I only remember the yelling, fighting, things being thrown, my brother crying, my mom crying, visiting grandma & grandpa's a lot, and wondering what I did wrong. Because for a long time I really thought maybe I did something wrong to make my parents fight. I didn't know why my dad was so mean to my mom, why he'd hit her and why stuff was always broken. I remember the very last night we were in the house with him vividly and dream of it often. I don't know that I could ever forget it. But I know now by having my own kids exactly how my mom must have felt. I felt it when things were bad with Matt. Not that things are great now, but they certainly could be worse. I know how scared she must have been striking out as a single mom with two kids with absolutely nothing. She had family that supported her and from that I learned that no matter what the disagreements may be- your family is family. You help each other out no matter what. Even if you don't like them- your job as a family member is to help out when someone needs it.

I had contact with my father about a year ago. When I turned 18 I paid a fee to find him and I wrote him a long letter. I wrote about me, my plans for the future, that I graduated high school and was going to college, how my brother was, what kinds of things we were in to, etc. I mailed it with the hopes that maybe he'd care. About a month later I received it back, but it had been opened, re-taped shut and had "return to sender" written on the front. I recognized his handwriting immediately. At first I was hurt that he didn't keep it but then I figured he read it- so at least I had that. A few years later I paid the fee again, wrote another letter when I had gotten married and was pregnant with my daughter. This letter never came back so I have no idea if he ever received it. Then out of the blue a year ago he called me. At work. I was so taken aback, I had no idea what to do. I was stunned. He obviously remembered I had married and did an internet search for me. Which I come up on the MN Senior Corps Programs website because I work for a program of MnSC. We spoke about 3 times on the phone but I was pretty sure he was drunk on all 3 calls. And I heard a ton of people in the background in one call so he could have been calling from a bar. And then about a month later I received a box that looked like it had been through hell and back. It was a photo album and a card. A belated birthday card. It was the first one I ever remember getting from him. I was so excited to think that maybe my dad really did love me and think about me. When I read the letter I realized he really was just a bum and a drunk. I copied the pictures I wanted and mailed the entire thing back to him. I haven't heard from him since.

In the process I did manage to contact a few aunts and an uncle from my father's side. That has been really fun. I like hearing about the family I missed out on. I don't know if we would have stayed in Florida if it would be any different. But when I met my Aunt Debi on our FL trip this year she was awesome. Super fun and outgoing and I just saw myself in her. Like I really match up with someone. Like I found the part of family that I belonged and took after. It was a big deal to me.

Now with my own family I try not to make the mistakes that my parents did. I am trying to be a better person than I was and I think that continually trying to better is what your parents want you to do. I want Olivia to be a better mom than I am. I want my kids to be smarter than me, more successful than me and so on. But as some of my friends have observed in their own family relationships, not all parents want that. Some parents assume that because the children want to be better it means they weren't good enough. Which I don't think is true at all. I don't know how my parents feel about that and it doesn't matter. I'm trying to be better. And one way to do that is that I am trying to make friends. Trying to give myself the outlet and escape from my kids and husband some days. You need that. Sometimes I feel like if my mom had a group of girlfriends where she could have gone out once or twice a month without us she wouldn't have been so stressed out. And as her daughter I feel guilty about something I had no control over. Like if we were better kids maybe she would have been happier. Maybe she would have wanted to do more with us. That might not be true, but it's what kids think. So when Olivia asks me to play with her and I'm in the middle of cleaning- I have to make a conscious effort to stop what I'm doing and play. Because someday she won't want to play and I'll be sad. I want her to look back and remember that I played with her a lot and that I went out of my way to make things extra special for her. And maybe her children will benefit from that.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'd like to thank my agent...

...and I totally would if I had one. Would YOU like to be my agent? I pay basically nothing but I can bake cookies and make a baked spaghetti that will rock your cocks off. And someday when I finish my book I'll even put you in my acknowledgement page. But until then-

I was gift another award! This time it is by a fabulous, would totally be my bestie if only she didn't live far, far away on the other side of the world (literally). Her and I actually have a lot in come what with our husbands and um...moods...yeah- we'll use that word, and other stuff. So I am not only honored that she follows my blog and emails me periodically, but totally thrilled she's bestowed an award onto me. Jandy- You Rock My Socks Off. (I'd say cock, but if we're going to be anatomically correct I can't really say that because you know...my parts are different.) Moving on.



And ew- there are rules and such like giving this to 15 other worthy bloggers. And because I hate rules and quite honestly, I can't limit myself to 15- I'm opening it up. If you follow my blog I want you to take this award because I follow you, and I love each and every one of you. You all have very fun blogs for all different reasons and I feel like if we all got together in one place- we'd have one hell of a super fantastically fun party. Yee-haw.

But I promise you that tomorrow I will post about something so you can learn a little more about me. And no it will not involve stripping and/or nude photos. Or sexting. (I just learned that word today and am trying to infuse it as much as possible.) Because if we're going to be honest here, I don't think anyone would be interested in learning that much about me because hi? I've had two babies. And if I'm going to continue on the honesty bit- I haven't exercised in awhile. And not like it'd help because I feel as if I'm teetering on the "I need a personal trainer to torture me" line.

We're close, yall.

So I'm going to go ahead and eat my bowl of tin roof sundae ice cream and think about what I can be doing to lose weight. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gay Cat + Feral Kitten = Friendship

I've written about Lenny and his ways before. Oh, and here. And I think I spoke very briefly of a new kitten that was coming to our house, unplanned, named Rosie Flower.

Well I should inject right here that Rosie Flower is feral. I don't care what anyone says- that cat was born and her formative weeks were under my mom's porch. Her mom was a pretty cat but scared of people, and she had two brothers one named Stormy and the other Stumpy. Stumpy had a different name originally but after it was discovered he only had 3 legs courtesy of some animal under the porch, the name change was obviously needed. And because my mom isn't a crazy cat lady (yet), and our house (with the gay cat and two kids) is in no shape to handle all these cats. I mean, really.

So the other two kittens and momma cat went to the Animal Rescue Federation. I hope they get homes. We decided to keep Rosie because Olivia loved her, and she's pure white- super cute furball. And purrs like a maniac.

The introduction between Lenny and his new forced BFF happened right after our vacation and actually, it went well. There was a lot of hissing, chasing, and ass biting but really- that's like any other first date. Wait...was that only me?? Moving on...


But now it's been about a month since the introductions and the cats get along really well. Lenny is still very gay what with his humping of our various blankets but I can happily report he has really taken a liking to Jackson's favorite stuffed duck. Sexy time happens usually during our dinner which is just fun too. Tell me my kids won't be confused when they get to Sex Education in school!

And Rosie acts just like a feral cat would- she's bat shit fucking crazy. She eats bizarre things (as Lenny has apparently mentored her to do) such as bread (chews right through the bag), licks pine needles off the floor in the porch, likes the outside of diapers, chews on dresser knobs, and her new thing- chewing the Christmas tree.

They also have taken to laying on the bottom branches of our perfect artificial tree which is now looking lame. Like we may have to cut the bottom branches off because they are flattened to the ground and looking stupid. Like our tree shit himself of branches. Totally dropped a load on the floor. They also lick each other and it's gross and disturbing. I mean, not to be too disgusting, but it kind of resembles the good ole standby of 69. (I see you and your horrified face)

But most importantly- the two cats play together. Unfortunately this usually happens in the middle of the night and that means we wake up to broken lamps, tore up couch pillows, mail spread all over the kitchen, chairs knocked over and occassionally a big and little puke pile. Super.

Get Your Holiday Fix, Shameless Self Promotion

I had to post on here that I had my FIRST ETSY sale (to a non-relative). YAY! So that totally put me into crafty mode since I realized that HELLO- my stock of Christmas cards was low. Like I had one left. Not good.

So I put 4 more sets up there (3 different designs). I re-posted some picture frames and other crafty bits I had literally laying around and so my shop officially has 20 things up for grabs, yo.

And don't forget- I make custom frames, scrapbooks, cards, invitations, announcements, etc- just let me know what you need and we'll work out the rest!

My Shop
http://scrapinsara.etsy.com

SPREAD THE CHEER. AND THE WORD.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review: The Arsonist's Guide To Homes in New England- Brock Clarke


The thing about being sick is that you get to do a lot of reading. And for those of you who care for a health update, I am over my H1N1, and now I have moved onto bacterial bronchitis which is, a pain in my ass. Or my chest. Whatever- either way it sucks and if this is even a portion of what death feels like, I hope I can just be trampled by an elephant to really round out the pain factor. Those around me are probably THRILLED with the fact that my voice keeps going in and out especially my kids who have been running wild since my commands of "stop throwing your milk" and "stop coloring on the carpet" are going unheard.
Anyways.
So I finished this book I found in the $5 bin at Barnes and Noble. There literally is an entire website dedicated to this book: http://arsonistsguide.com/. I think you'll like this book. It's written as if the main character, Sam Pulsifer, is speaking to you. And really this is kind of a tragic story essentially making fun of memoirs. I loved how the story unraveled and even though it's meant to be a comedy I found it to be kind of sad. I felt bad for Sam and in the end kind of felt like he always got the raw end of the deal except he doesn't think he did. So it was weird, but good.
And if I had more energy I'd go more into this. But...you'll have to settle for this. But to make up for my lack of energy- the first person to comment and say they want the book...it's yours. I will mail it to you for free. :) But leave your email address so that I can email you and get your mailing address because unfortunately, the illness has knocked out my psychic abilities. ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Review: The Search for God and Guinness


So this is obviously not the type of book I would normally choose to read since
1. I'm not religious and
2. I don't drink beer. Or any other alcoholic beverage.

(The horrors!)

But I agreed to review the book because it was free and at the time I had nothing else in my "to read immediately" bin.

And I have to say, this was a very hard read for me. It literally was a book that made me want to sleep. It has taken me over a MONTH to finish it, which is huge because I'm not only a very fast reader, but I can pretty much get through anything (except Anna Karenina...I still can't get page 5- my head basically wants to explode).

The first part of the book is a very lengthy, almost way too much detail for my pee brain to absorb about the history of beer. Where it originated (maybe), how it was made (we think), and the wonderful journey it's been on since. It connects beer with God and speaks of how different religions viewed beer.

Then it moves onto (finally) Arthur Guinness and his quest of making an even better brew, something that was better for you. The most interesting part of the entire thing was how Arthur literally built a business by being smart and savvy yet being an absolute gentleman to his workers and the community around him. He provided a great social service to Ireland which continues today in the Guinness world. The things he did and provided for his staff and their families was amazing and is ironic because in America, you are LUCKY if you get sub-prime health care coverage. It really shows that it is possible to provide generous wages and benefits to employees AND make a profit. Consumers are willing to support companies that support their staff- it's just too bad that more companies aren't that way.

So I would recommend this book if you like beer, are interested in companies who changed a social and economical climate of an area and a person who genuinely strived to do more and be better. On the other hand, if you aren't a history person (like me) you may be bored to death. But I assure you- you will survive. And might learn something.

If you want to become a Thomas Nelson book review blogger, go to: http://brb.thomasnelson.com/join

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are My Kids Still Alive?

Jeez- I am realizing that I have posts far and few between of my kids. I'm sure some of you wonder if I even really have kids- but I assure you I do. And I don't have a basement or cellar, or even a really usable garage, to stash them away only to parade them out to show off their cuteness. No, they live in the house with Matt and I. Which could really be good or bad depending on the day and their temperament.
I'm sure you understand.
But dang- my kids are getting bigger which translates to me getting older and possibly my boobs starting to sag. I can't be sure if it's true sagginess or if I just need a new bra. Let's go with bra! and hope I get a very nice Victoria Secret giftcard.

(hint, hint, Matt. GIFT CARD does not mean BUY FOR ME. As much as you maybe wish I was, I am not a 34D. Bless your heart. Up that by 4 inches and in some cases another cup size and there you go. Sorry. I'll do better on the diet bit next year. Maybe.)
So let's start with Halloween. My kids had a blast and although it was so cold that according to Matt- your balls could fall off- we made them parade around in their costumes that cost me $30 combined so I'd get my money out of them.

Olivia the wicked witch and Jackson the monster. Both fitting to their personalities most days.

And some thanks should go out to the houses of South Superior- huge improvement on the candy this year. I enjoyed it. A lot.
Fast forward a few weeks (so like a week and a half ago maybe) and we are sitting in weather that's in the 50's. We were putting up outdoor Christmas decorations. I hate doing it and according to Matt I suck horribly and should just sit on the sidewalk.
Olivia dragging the plastic snowman across GRASS!!

Jackson having a special moment with plastic Santa.
Matt really isn't one for decorating or caring about stuff in general so it's always been me to pretty much force the issue. For the kids. And their memories. Which we will continue to do until his life insurance policy discourages him from getting on a ladder to put up icicle lights when he's old and stuff. Then we might hire out.
And Matt has always kind of gone with the flow. But every year we get more and more decorations. And this year- well we hit the motherload. A former boss has given up on the whole decorating scene and has given it all to us. I know. Major. So I pretty much made Matt drive the distance (a little over an hour each way..) to get them.
The best stuff in there??? The gigantic 8 feet tall snowman and Santa!! (The Santa really waves, yall!). Matt could have died. Because every year I have debated on buying items such as these but he hates them with such a passion, I mean he has joked about deflating other people's blow up thingies because he hates them. And my mom always joked that ONE DAY she'd get him one as a gift. And he'd be so mad, but try to be polite and it'd be hilarious. For everyone, mostly me.
So here he is. Trying to get these bastards inflated. And they look glorious once they are up. But here, Santa kind of resembles a drunk, eh? That's ok. That's how we roll in South Superior.
And because it was so nice out, we busted out our sidewalk chalk. Olivia and I colored pretty flowers and such, but Jackson- well he ate a lot of it. It obviously tastes good otherwise the first bite would have stopped him. But nope- after eating 4 sticks, I finally caught onto where it was going and took them all away. Gross diaper after nap, that's all I have to say on that.
But our neighbors have out done us those bastards. So I'm hoping once I pull my Christmas arsenal out (all 6 jumbo rubbermaid boxes not including the tree stuff) I will have more to make Matt put up. I will not be out done. If needed I will buy more. OH!! Maybe I can get one of those inflatable domes! How awesome would that be?!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Songs. Because I'm tired of laying down.

H1N1 is kicking my ass, yall. Like I cannot stand to lay in my bed another minute. Which is a travesty because I am so tired I can barely function. So if this post makes little to no sense- sorry.

I've gotten a ton of emails lately about my playlist. Yes, I have it automatically play because I am lazy and I listen to it at work. Continuously until I get bored with it. So if you know this, and you don't want to hear it (and really...what is wrong with you?!) press pause/stop.

AND, I've been getting suggestions. Which, cool- I guess. But I was browsing blogs the other night, in one of my "I can't sleep even though I'm so tired" phases when Matt is snoring, and I came across Cristina's blog (see below for link- she gave me my most recent award...) and she mentioned a Jason Mraz song she likes lately. And so since I hadn't heard of it- I clicked the link. And Cristina?? I LOVED IT. So I added it. And I added a few more that remind me of the Twilight series because I firmly believe I should have been a consultant on the soundtracks because the New Moon soundtrack? Sucks fucking ass. Like really???? Where was Hana Pestle's "Need"?! They pick "Meet Me At the Equinox" from Death Cab For Cutie but not "I will Follow you into the dark"?! WHO WAS IN CHARGE HERE?! And Sara Bareilles' "Gravity" should have been on there. Bitches. And if you want to hear these songs- scroll through my list. But really, Hana Pestle's song is beautiful. I've loved it for awhile and it's a shame she didn't get the big break on this soundtrack. Maybe next time 'round.

OK- I'm going to try out the comfy couch. And an ice pack. And my big down blankie. Did I mention I suspect I have strep and just this morning I have a wicked cough? Yup- I think I'm dying.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Because I know you wanted a poop update

(edited to add: This was actually written on Saturday but it is just going up to day -Monday...I hope- and I will be MIA for awhile as I have H1N1. YAY!!)

Some of you (who know me in real life) know how Olivia and I struggle with her poop. Or lack thereof. To give you a quickie synopsis- basically she will hold her poop for 7+ days until she looks pregnant (see picture below- this is only day 3 of holding it) and then complains of horrible pain, and then proceeds to poop something out roughlly the size of a softball. It could literally been used as a softball because it is that big and hard. Poor kid.




Jackson had to get into the picture action, too. He poops perfectly and a lot. Just like his daddy.


I'm at my end with this. We have tried bribing, threatening, scaring her, etc and nothing has ever worked. We've tried ignoring it, special potty games/books, candy (this was Jackson's favorite), we did a game, I have tried every single thing in all the potty books. Nothing worked.

We saw a pediatric G.I last Wednesday. OK- so basically we've learned nothing new about Olivia's poop or lack thereof. She's full (obviously) and so we are to do what an adult would do to prep for a colonoscopy. Yuck. She's to drink an entire bottle of the miralax mixed into a drink (preferrably Gatorade, but she threw up when I gave her that so I went with Kool-aid and instead of mixing it all once, I gave her a huge mound of the medicine with each cup) and poop until nothing else comes out. They did a blood draw to test for celiac disease and we are waiting for the phone call with results, but they were only able to draw one tube of blood instead of two, but instead of poking her again (because she was screaming "help me mommy" the entire time which makes me feel like complete shit) they are going to use that, and if they need more blood they will call and we'll go to her reg. doctor to do that.

She saw her regular doctor Friday to get x-rays and to basically see how the process is going. And let me tell you- I was nervous. Mostly because even with adult doses of Miralax ALL DAY, the kid only pooped two times. That's it, folks. And it was like wet farts, basically.

So we went. And she is still down 8 pounds which isn't good but guess what? Her X-rays? AWESOME. Girl was empty. Now I can really see how stretched out her intestines and poopin' parts are. :( That's no good. But the best part of her being cleared up is that we don't have to get her poop pumped out. Because that doesn't sound fun, and not only would I not want to do that, I wouldn't want to hold my gorgeous 4 year old down to do that. :( Boo.

Now that she is officially cleaned out we start a new medicine routine. We do 1 to 2 caps of Miralax every day so that she poops one or two times a day, normally. Like not major huge balls, no "leakage" (and that's as fun cleaning up as you are picturing it to be), but normal. Then we start her on more Benefiber. Apparently, instead of the spoonful once a day, she needs it 3-4 times a day. Yikes. This is because girl don't eat veggies or fruits. Like mommy. :) The closest to veggies I get are french fries, because those are potatoes, yall.

Anyways.

So yes. She is so cleaned out. She pooped two times yesterday without crying and strain, no accidents. I wouldn't know first hand because I've been sick and in quarantine in my room, but I take Matt's word for it. But let me tell you- when we left the doctor on Friday, I kept telling her that I knew she could do it, I'm proud of her, etc- and she was BEAMING. Like beaming ear to ear and she was so happy. She was telling everyone about it. My kid is a trooper, that's for sure. Let's hope we don't have to do this EVER again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon, I am in love

You all know I had to see New Moon on opening night. Thankfully, I have a kick ass sister in law who got us tickets as soon as they went on sale. Although I was apprehensive of a midnight showing what with my playing chicken with 30 an all, my love for Robert Pattinson took over my common sense. And it was all I thought it could be and more. :)

First off, I have to tell you that seeing the movie at the Duluth 10 theatre in Canal Park was awesome. They had the entire place decked out in Twilight inspired decor. This is only 2 pics I have , but the whole place was decorated. On the walls to the ticket counter they had huge posters with memorable lines from the book which was awesome.


And a cardboard cut out of my love Robert that I seriously debated on stealing. Yummy. And since this is probably the closest I'll ever get to him, I had to get Kate to do the picture. Obviously.
This is after the movie, around 2:40 in the morning, and I am VERY tired. And bloated. YAY period. But at least I got a "Team Edward" shirt. Which apparently makes my boobs look bigger. Which sucks. They need no assistance. They should carry their own I.D.'s for god sakes. But that may also be because in this picture I'm wearing 3 shirts and a sweater. Because you know- I can't think ahead and realize hey- I'm buying a shirt, so maybe we can lose a layer or two.
But before the movie we ate yummy, super greasy food at Old Chicago. Have I ever expressed my love for their Italian Nachos? Fantabulous. Yum. Then we headed over to wait in the line. Amazingly- there was hardly a line. Of course you have your die-hard Twilight freaks with their home-made shirts (which we are totally doing for Eclipse, Kate!!).
And obviously, you have the people with little to no hygeine skills who insist on testing our lung capacity by standing dangerously close to us in a poorly vented area. These two women in particular, in their early 50's or so, who came just as we were getting seated but a husband held their spot in line so they got to cut in line and unfortunately got stuck next to us. And let me tell you- my lungs ain't what they once were which is disconcerting because I don't smoke. I avoid second hand smoke and yet my lungs suck. I thought I was going to vomit. The only way to explain the stench is that it was a combination of smoke, cat, possibly really stale liquor and lack of showering. And there were two of them like this and everytime moviegoers from other movies walked past- a cloud wafted towards us. It was seriously, the longest 30 minutes of my life standing next to them. They were continually referred to as "cat lady 1 and 2" and it was bad. Like I could smell them through the movie but thank god weren't sitting next to them. They ended up being 4 or 5 rows back. But still. Ew.
So before the movie started we got to see the first promo poster for Eclipse. *Exciting* and I almost pissed myself when I realized that it comes out in June. June 2010, lambs!!! The same month True Blood, Season 3 starts. It's going to be a hot month for me. I may turn into a hot mess. Which is fine- I'm totally ok with that. :)
When the movie started, super excited. Basically the movie rocks socks, the ending was GREAT, and now I'm so fucking excited for Eclipse I may not make it. Even more so because Eclipse was my favorite in the series. And Kate- WE ARE MAKING SHIRTS. Or I will make one for you. ;) HA!
But the most annoying thing? College and high school girls screaming everytime Taylor or Robert came on screen. Now don't get me wrong. Seeing Robert makes me all hot and bothered and makes me think crazy thoughts of leaving Matt and the kids to throw myself at the mercy of Robert and beat the living shit out of crazy Kristen Stewart because I fight dirty and would totally win that. But damn. You don't see me losing my shit up in there. Like have some class. Freak out in your car or something afterwards.
And in the bathroom after? There were a couple of chicks crying. Absolute sobbing because they are so in love with the movie and can't wait for Eclipse. Again, control your crazy yall.
So yes. It was awesome. You must see it. And can I just say? Even though I don't like the Jacob character, Taylor Lautner is yummy. And I know he's 17 but damn. He's got to be turning 18 soon. It's fine. And Robert in the almost revealing himself scene? Well, we won't talk about it. Or the beginnign at the school on Bella's birthday? The facial expression? Matt has no chance on a sunny day in hell against Robert. And he totally knows that. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cristina rocks my world...

...because she has given me a blog award!


She amuses me daily and I really look forward to all of her posts. And despite the fact that she's a busy gal, she posts at least once every day. So that means she practically shames me in the blogger department, but it doesn't matter because I am a winner. But you know her goodwill comes with strings:

The rules:
Share 7 things that you don't already know about me.
Name 7 other blogs to receive this award.
Leave a comment on each of the blogs I nominated.
Thank the person who gave you the award.



Giddy Up Yall:

1. I wanted to be a singer when I was growing up. Which obviously didn't work out because I can't sing. But I try anyways when I'm cleaning or with my kids in the van and dammit- I know the lyrics to a million songs. At least.

2. I am an absolute SUCKER for mix tapes/cd's. Like major sucker. And there's more to come on that in another blog in the very soon future (like maybe tomorow). But I'm a sucker because when I was in like 10th grade I met a boy online (stop your eye rolling) named Brandon who I thought would be the PERFECT person for me based solely on the absolutly fabulous mix tape I got in the mail from him. Sadly, not only can I not remember half the songs on there, I've lost the tape. Sorry, Brandon- wherever you are. BUT, one of the songs I know for sure was "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star. Wasn't he dreamy?? *sigh*

3. I sometimes get sick of being a mom. And before you start throwing things, cursing me out, and have your trigger finger on the phone for CPS, hear me out. I love my kids absolutely and unconditionally but SOMETIMES I wonder what it would have been like if I don't know...waited. And sometimes (usually when I've been up in the night for poop blowouts, woken up at 5 a.m when technically I am able to sleep until 7, or when I'm in the house listening to screaming for no reason...) I wish that at that very moment- someone would come kidnap me.

4. I don't drink. I've never smoked. I've never done drugs. I am constantly referred to as the permanent sober cab and have lost a lot of friends because I don't drink. Which is kind of ok because if I have to hang out with them while drinking and they suck when they drink- that's fine by me. I don't like sucky people.

5. I struggle between the balance of work, family, and friends. My family doesn't like me as much as my friends do and I think if they had to write down a list of all of my positive and negatives- you'd get two very different lists. Which is odd because I'm the same around everybody, so explain that! And I work full time and I think the biggest complaint people might have about me is that they don't spend enough time with me. Which in theory, is great to hear people like you and want to spend time with you, but on the other hand- sometimes people forget my life doesn't necessarily revolve around them. Shocker!

6. I like to drive. I don't care where I'm driving- I like to drive. People think I mind driving us to places far away- quite the opposite. I really like it. It relaxes me and I get to sing in the car. And this whole thing is kind of funny because I hated driver's ed and my parents had to force me into the car. Plus, the fact I almost killed us all (my driver's ed teacher and fellow driver, Steve) probably didn't help me much. But I drive ok now and I'm not scared! (Except for the time I almost killed Tammy and I on the way back from Paramore..)

7. Despite what you might read or think based off my blog....I have really shitty self-esteem. I don't see myself in a positive light and sometimes that might come off wrong to people. I don't like how I look, I don't like how I feel, and I struggle daily with getting dressed without crying every morning.

Sharing the Love:
1. Mr. O from A Rush Of Blog to the Head is super. Like he could have the potential of being mix tape worthy. I know- big deal. He is into all kinds of music and I look forward to his posts on concerts because really? I'm jealous he obviously lives in a non-ghetto concert area.

2. Jessica from Alright, Still is awesome. I try really hard not to hate on her for being all skinny and shit. Because I bet she can wear button up shirts without flashing her boobs. But her blog is clever, she has a fashion sense that puts me to shame and if she lived near me I would literally hold her hostage for a make over.

3. Nikolett over at Better Than Coffee is simply cool because she did my header and rocked it out.

4. Finny from FinnyKnits is like the coolest person I have never met. And I know she's all gonna be like, "Psh- I ain't doing an award" and whatevs but I DON'T CARE. Because if she ever made badges that said "finny's whore" I would totally wear it. If she needed someone to plant 800 bulbs with her I would totally do it if I lived closer. But I don't, so 'dem the brakes yo. I feel like she could appreciate my in-person smart ass-ness and would totally join in my public remarks about idiots walking past me.

5. Smile Steady. Because anybody who can continue smiling after dealing with gross people at a dentist office? Awesome in my book.

6. Rhonda from In The World of Rhonda. She's my cousin and I'm making a completely biased choice here. And she's new- so show her some blogger love!

7. Sara from Handy Hooker. I mean, can you really not-nominate someone who unabashedly calls herself a handy hooker? Didn't think so.

Have fun!!

Book Review: I'm Down, by Mishna Wolff


First off I have to tell you that in case you haven't noticed, I'm on somewhat of a memoir kick. And I prefer funny ones a la Jen Lancaster and David Sedaris but I'm not a complete loser. I'll read other ones too. Just not today.
So I can't even remember where I heard about this book, and it may have been on Jen Lancaster's summer reading list although let's be real- it's not summer now and I can't remember that far back. But I knew I wanted to read it and one day there it was. The lone copy on the wrong shelf looking at me. It was practically destiny. Our Barnes and Noble employees are getting slack on keeping the place tidy and orderly. Whatever.
So the premise of the book is Mishna is white (obviously from the cover) and is from a totally white family. Her dad however, believes he is black and after her parents divorce insists on raising Mishna and her sister, Anora as black people. Which is just dandy for Anora being the younger child, but Mishna is pretty white and the black kids let her know. She tries, throughout her childhood, to become black enough for her Dad who I am sure in his own mind tried to be a good dad. But what becomes an insight into poor America is the realization that Mishna is very much left to raise herself. She doesn't fit into the black neighborhood she lives in and really stands out at her rich white kid school so she never really belongs anywhere. She tries multiple sports and other activities to find the one thing she is really good at but her childhood is a struggle.
And it wasn't until the very end of the book when everything clicked into place for me and I suddenly realized why I felt so connected with Mishna. My childhood was very much like this and I continue to live in that "not sure where I really belong" middle ground. I'm white and grew up in a semi-white neighborhood when in Florida but we were poor but we didn't know any better. It wasn't until I grew up that I realized that we were poor and that wasn't going to change. And I have always struggled with trying to make my parents happy. I never really felt like I did anything that really stood out and made my parents brag about me. Sure, I got good grades and for the most part was a good kid. I had my faults as all kids do, but I wasn't really good at anything. When I went to a technical college and graduated I was proud of myself. But years later in a conversation (and truly, I can't remember what we were even talking about) I remember one of my parents said, "Yeah, but that's not a REAL college" and it really sunk me. I think my parents had higher aspirations for me to be something better. But to be honest, I like being a secretary. It requires me to be organized (check), detail oriented (check), I get to make and follow lists daily (check), and I deal with people (check). PLUS- office supplies are like the most fun thing ever. I can't even tell you how exciting it is to get new supplies. Back to School shopping is my 2nd Christmas.
Anyways. But I related to Mishna because I have often felt the way she felt. I had a great childhood and my parents did do a lot for us and worked very hard to give us what we had. And in truth- I think every kid grows up and later feels badly at something that was lacking in their childhood- it's unavoidable. There is always something.
But it is a great read, and I read it in 2 days so it's a good weekend book. And you root for Mishna the whole way through and then you thank god that your parents weren't racially confused. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Black Friday Countdown

Almost all of my friends refuse to shop on Black Friday. I only know a small handful of people who do shop on Black Friday yet the stores are mobbed. I love it. I love getting all of my shopping down in matter of 5 hours. Because that means I have the entire Christmas season to sit back and eat all of the baked goods I keep making for no reason and ponder the reason I can't lose weight.


Moving on...


I get a lot of leaked Black Friday ads online and kind of decide from those what people are getting. And in the past Matt and I used to go all out and get everyone lots of cool stuff but in recent years I've given up on that. I just buy for the kids and I get our siblings like a small thing or gift card because it gets too expensive. And nobody ever really wants what you get them unless it's really a big thing but who can do that? I know people who spend $800 or more on gifts and that to me is insane. Like you really don't have anything else to spend $800 on? Our banner year of spending was $500. Last year I got us right under $300. I am hoping to do that again this year, but we'll see. The kids last year got nice toys and games and I think I ended up getting them 7 things each. But I got them things I knew they'd love, thigns we could play together and let's be honest- things they could only play alone.

Last year Mom and I ventured out at 3 a.m. and went to Kohl's and Walmart. Target's ad sucked monkeys last year, but this year...looks better. SO, the plan is Kohl's at 3 a.m, Walmart at 5, and Target at 6. We go in, we get out. We know what we are looking for and tag team and help each other out. Someone waits in line while the other person shops. Easy cheesy peasy, man.

But what really gets me are:
  • the psychotic soccer moms who are out for blood on Black Friday. I mean really- they are just legos. And no, your child does not need the Xbox 360. He's probably overweight and ADD already- put that money toward some exercise equipment or meds. I mean jesus, people.

  • Then you have the people behind you in line who bitch about the lines. What did you expect? I guess if you are a BF virgin, but jeez- watch the news.

  • You have the people who get up to the checkout insisting they get the $5 gift card with the purchase even though the sign clearly states you don't, but because they are so fucking stupid and ignorant they continue to embarrass themselves over $5.

  • There are the people who use their cart to block an aisle off so they can look at everything at once. Really? Did it occur to you that MAYBE you should know what you are here for first instead of making people angry at you.

  • Let's not discount the violent people who run (while wearing heeled mules no less) through the store. RELAX. The last time I checked, toys don't get up and move around.

  • Oh, and my favorite- the eager eBay seller who thinks it's wise to buy every PlayDoh set on sale for $6 to turn a profit only. Guess what bitch? I? Am taking some of the shit out of your cart. Otherwise you can explain to my children why Santa was out of motherfucking playdoh.

So gear up folks! Stop paying your bills now so you can stimulate the economy by spending! Negotiate for higher balances on your credit cards so you can rack up more. And then have a nervous breakdown when you get your bills in January and realize that not only do you not remember what you got everyone but now you owe a lot and you have late fees. :) Thankfully, I won't have to do any of that because I? Have cash this year! Which actually means people will get less than last year, but that's ok. We'll survive. And maybe it's good to remember what Christmas is about rather than if you can outspend your relative.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear...part one

Dear Lenny,
If you could stop eating Rosie's food and then puking it up in nice little surprise piles all over the place, that'd be super.

Thanks,
your mommy who yells at you daily for this.

***********************

Dear Matt,
It would be really fantastic if you could put the kids' shoes and other outdoor gear all in one place. Let's be crazy and put it in the front porch where all the other outdoor stuff is. I'm really sick of searching for Jackson's lone shoe that can't be found. 20 minutes was wasted on this morning and he went to Grandma's with the snow boots he can barely walk in.

Sincerely,
The wife who thinks you are very lucky you aren't there in the morning because you may have died. Again.

**********************

Dear Drivers,
I am not sure if you are aware that there are road laws put in place for a reason. I mean- green lights mean go. I expect you to go. And I realize you might be stumbling out of Jack's bar at 7am, but that's really no excuse for you to do 8 mph down a 35 mph stretch of road. SOME of us don't live off of welfare and disability. We have jobs. And we need to get there if you want us to continue to support you.

Sincerely,
The lady honking and screaming at you who is thankful her kids weren't in the car hearing what I was shouting.

********************

Dear laundry sink from the 1800's,

Your time is coming soon you big piece of shit. You need to start draining again and stop being a bitch because as soon as Christmas is over and the tax money comes- your lazy piece of shit ass is out of there.

Angrily,
Your master. Bow down.

********************

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let's Chat About Poop.

Unless you can't really read, you know that I have two kids, Olivia who is 4 and Jackson who is 19 months.

And I've previously mentioned our escapades on poop here and here and that really is not even close to the amount of poop stories I could have told. We've been dealing with Olivia and her bizarre poop problems for almost two years now. And a normal person would have thrown in the towel like...2 years ago, but I'm one of those people who live in sometimes denial that there may be a problem and since she is my first born, I really have no idea what the hell I am doing.

At least I'm honest.

But everything has come to a bit of a head about two weeks ago where I felt as if I'd have a nervous breakdown in my bathroom when I realized that after 27 accidents (in a row) in her underwear of poopy goo and me screaming at the cats for not helping, Olivia crying on the toilet, and Jackson unraveling the toilet paper that I realized- I need help. I can't keep doing this. So I called her doctor and made an appointment for the following Friday.

And this wouldn't be our first round at the doctor. This summer I took her in for multiple visits to different doctors for the same thing but at the same time she also had lost about 10 pounds. Now my little girl is a tiny little thing. She's (on a good day) 35 pounds. Stick thin. (If she's lucky, she'll keep her dad's figure and not inherit my "bubble butt" and extra weight in the front. Moving on...)

And basically I was told to keep her on Miralax, use suppositories as needed and change her diet. Well I did all of that and yet we continue with the issues. I'm done. As I've mentioned.

So when I took her in on Friday they of course did another x-ray and I thought this would be misleading since the day before she pooped something as hard and as big as a softball. I am so very much not kidding. This is her routine- hold it for 6-7 days, poop a softball. Well the x-ray revealed that she was FULL. I mean as full as a 31 pound kid could be. Which explains why she isn't eating- there is nowhere for it to go.

The doctor wanted me to admit her to the main hospital right then so they could basically rotor-router her, and I just didn't want to do that. I opted to try some enemas at home, Miralax every two hours, and suppositories in between. We were going to wage a war on her butt. And colon. And intestines. Yuck.

Well guess what. NOTHING HAPPENED. All weekend. I kid you not. Now today she did her softball and then I gave her an enema thinking that with the ball being gone, the enema could get to the other stuff. Nope. I got one wet fart, tons of screaming, and leg cramps from sitting on the bathroom floor.

And I have to tell you that I felt like an idiot. Seriously, I felt like a labor coach when I was repeating, "Just push it out. You are doing a GREAT job. You are such a big girl, you are doing so well, keep going", etc while rocking and massaging her. All I needed was some ice chips. Discouraging isn't even the word I'd use here. Defeated is more like it.

And at the bottom of it all, I have a little girl with a pooping problem. I honestly don't know if we have a health issue at the root or a kid who for whatever reason is holding this poop in. She's never had a traumatic experience on the potty, but she's always (since an infant) had gas issues and really hard, pellet like poops. But now we just hold it for days. I just want her to feel better. So now we see a pediatric GI the middle of November and then we also have a follow up with her doctor. I am going to call on Wednesday to let her know our at-home clean out efforts didn't work. My guess is that she'll make us go into the hospital Wednesday or Thursday to get her pumped out clean. I am REALLY hoping Matt can come with me, because I don't do well with medical stuff. Like, I'm not a nurse for a reason, yo. But she needs me so obviously I wouldn't let her be in there alone. But if you have some really amazing tips on how to get a massive amount of poop out quickly- let me know.

So if I'm not around much this week- that would be why. I'm coaching a 4 year old to poop. And slowly losing my sanity at the same time- which means I can't guarantee what kind of shape I'll be in when I get back. :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Swellers, Paper Route and Paramore Oh My!

This is going to be a long post with a bunch of pictures. So you know. But I got to go to another concert with my super fun friend, Tammy. She is awesome. I wish I could just parade her on here for you to fully get how cool and fun she is. So on Friday we had our Swellers/PaperRoute/Paramore concert that was not only moved to a new venue but rescheduled because of Hayley of Paramore's voice being a bitch. But FINALLY we got to go.

(As a side note, if you want another review of this concert check out my bloggie buddy Mr.O. His blog rox.)

I had a ton of errands to run Friday morning and then I had to work for a bit in the afternoon on some projects that I pretty much put off all weekend. BUT by late afternoon Tammy and I were hitting the road so we could check into what we were afraid was going to be a super ghetto motel. Like real ghetto. Thankfully, on a scale of 1-10 ghetto-ness (10 being 100% ghetto) I think ours was like a 7. I mean our key was huge- look at it.


And they had the real motel rooms where your doors open into the parking lot. Which I hate. But we got a room on the second floor. Which turned out not to be a ton better because it wasn't sound proof at all. And our neighbors (translation= everybody else in the joint) was having a really good time. If you catch my drift. AND, there was this gem in the parking lot.


The neighborhood wasn't too bad until you got like a block down to what is called "Porky's" which looks like some kind of fast food place. Let's just say I wouldn't want to be hanging out by Porky's after dark. And then the bars near us all had cops arresting people, so I don't know. We stayed in our room after the concert.
But yay! I got us there, without getting lost (translation= I followed the GPS directions perfectly). And can I just say of all the places I've seen concerts, the Roy Wilkins Auditorium kind of sucks. It's like a glorified high school gym. But whatevs. We stood in line FOREVER, like 2+ hours with people (translation=kids under 18). The guy ahead of me had some bowel issues and believe me- the gas clouds around him were horrible. And you are crammed in there, so it's like you have no where to go. And then we had to hear a 19 year old preach to her 13 year old sisters about socially awesome Paramore are and how much human trafficking sucks. For 2+ hours.
So when we finally get in and realize that it's going to be packed on the floor and that we are older than 90% of the people there Tammy and I longingly look at the balcony. After paying $5 for a coke and tyring to understand why you can't get lids or straws in a concert anymore (seriously, weapons??) we decided to fuck it and go to the balcony. Plus, we're both 5'3 so the chances of us seeing anything were slim if we were standing.
Finally- the Swellers started. I can't say that I know the Swellers but let me tell you- I will be buying their music. They are awesome. They played a short set (bummer), but they had a ton of fun up there. It is always really exciting to see a band perform when you can tell that they not only want to be there, but love being there. Love playing, love their bandmates, etc. Plus it does not hurt that all 4 guys were hot. It's like a bonus.
The Swellers


And then after them came Paper Route. I have no pictures of them because they sucked so mother fucking hard core. Tammy and I both hated them. Like hated so much that I debated how far I could throw my ginormous coke. They had literally 11 instruments, and at one point there was an accordian and sleigh bells. I was waiting for cowbell because that may have brought them up a notch but nope- they leave out the cowbell. Bastards. They literally just banged on things, you couldn't hear lyrics, one of the lead singers (there appeared to be 2) was so annoying. He's up there trying to be all bad ass going from one instrument to the other and nothing sounds cohesive. They sucked. THANKFULLY they had a super short set. And it should be some indication when very few people clap for you. Ever.

And then after another round of rearranging the stage Paramore came on. And if there is ever been anyone who should be a singer in a rock band that person is Hayley. She is awesome. I can't even tell you all of the songs they performed but they obviously did the two off of the Twilight soundtrack (both amazing), a lot of new ones of the current album, and a few from their other two albums. And for an encore they did 3 songs one of which was the acoustic "Misguided Ghosts" which is such a terrific song and EVERYBODY in the place sang to it. Great moment.

They interacted with the crowd and in return got a lot of crowd participation.

Tammy and I. Sorry it's super blurry but my camera was being a douchebag. But let me assure you we looked hot. As usual.
I will note that about mid-way through the concert Hayley started coughing in between songs, and throughout the entire thing you could see her drinking tea. A stage helper dude kept bringing warm tea out to her. Tammy and I both thought her voice was going to completely give out towards the end, but somehow she rallied for the encore. But I'd bet my next paycheck she paid for that the next morning. I hope that she is able to make it through the rest of the tour. AND, if you are able to see them- it definitely is worth it.
So on the way home, it's obviously dark but I had my trusty GPS, Maggie. (Thanks, Dad!) And I don't know if it was because I was tired, or that my eyes burned BAD from being in a smoke free, yet really smoky auditorium, or if because I'm truly just an idiot, but when Maggie tells me to take a left and dings- and I do so- I don't expect to be going the WRONG WAY ON A HIGHWAY. Maybe my expectations are too high. And I realize this as soon as my only two options of A)drive into a grassy embankment or B) continue going the wrong way until our real exit because that sucked. And I apologize to the lady getting into the turn lane that I happened to be driving in because I know she probably peed. I almost did. Thankfully, I do Kegels like it's nobody's business and was able to hold the urine that threatened to come out all over the seat. AND, thankfully we only had to drive about a block the wrong way until our exit. And I figured there's no point in waiting for a green arrow since I'm already breaking road laws left and right. But once we got onto I94, we were just dandy. Except our blood pressure was pretty high and I was paranoid this all happened in front of a state trooper or something. But it was Maggie's fault.
Fast forward to the next morning. We decided that on our way home we'd hit up the Tanger Outlet mall in North Branch because that's fun. And we got some GREAT deals. Like cute stuff for the kids. And I got a scarf at the Old Navy outlet for $1. Yippee.
And then we had to stop in Hinckley at Tobies to get baked goods. I picked up Matt two of the lemon poppyseed muffins (his favorite) because I'm a good wife. AND because he did the enema on our daughter (more on that later) because he has his good moments. :) But as we turned out of Tobies- this is what we were stuck behind for 3 minutes at a light.
Welcome to Minnesota- Deer Hunting Season.
You can probably guess that I don't hunt because it's so disgusting. And don't comment about hamburger or chicken because in my head I still believe that these come from a grocery store and I like my meat injected with dyes and water. THIS is not my idea of food. And I don't know if you can tell, but there is another deer inbetween the ATV's with it's legs all sticking up. Disgusting.
Anyhoodle. We finally made it home and on our way back decided that we must get together more often. Of all of my friends, she is the one who understands my "married with kids and don't want to get old" struggle. Have I mentioned how awesome she is??
Stay tuned for my next post tomorrow about enemas, poop and tears. It's riveting.