Thursday, December 31, 2009

There's something wrong with my bed, Mommy.....

I don't have cable. Not real cable, I mean. I have the "broadcast tier," which-for a whopping $12.21 each month-gives me channels 2-13, pluse WE and TNT. I need it because we get such crappy reception here. Anywho, the lack of cable makes it necessary to amuse myself by unconventional means.

Last night, I short sheeted my children's beds.

What is short sheeting, you ask. Well, dear reader, short sheeting is when you take the flat sheet, tuck it under the mattress at the head of the bed. You fold it about half way down and it looks like a normally made up bed-except the sleeper can't get their feet to the foot of the bed.

So they do what any intelligent person would do-they kick their legs really, really hard as if it will make a difference. I know it sounds strange but it's absolutely hilarious! I set my camera up and recorded it for posterity. Then, my mother and I watched and laughed! Did I mention my lack of cable?

It was really funny, though.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Due to technical difficulites

Happy Thanksgiving!

My most sincere apologies first. I know I renewed my dedication to blogging but I hit a glitch shortly after my last post-my cord died. This meant that I could not charge my laptop. My only option initially was to go to my BFF's house and use her sister's cord on the weekends only (since she attends school in another town). They were really sweet about it, being my honorary sisters and all. The sister thing is another story for another day. Anywho, 2 big box stores, and 4 universal cords later I broke down and ordered the cussin' $90 replacement directly from Toshiba. I can't complain. It works and the shipping was amazingly fast. I ordered it late Monday night and received it on Wednesday. I though I might not get it until Friday which would have been even more of a pain.

Moving right along, I have much to blog about including date night, turkey day and my new love of the movies.

Let's start with movies. I haven't been to the movies in years. I think the last movie I saw in a theater was "Bogeyman." Seriously. It had been YEARS. So "New Moon"-GO TEAM JACOB!-came out and all that changed. I have been to the movies three times in the last week. I went to see NM-GO TEAM JACOB!-on last Friday night. I couldn't see it Thursday because I have class on Thursdays. I got all fancied up with make up and my Cullen crest shirt. I even wore a little red jewel by my eye.

That's my fierce sexy vampire look------------------->

The acting was better as were the special effects. After all, the actors were a bit more experienced and the budget was a lot bigger. My favorite part was Jacob not wearing a shirt of the last half of the movie. I cussin' swear, that boy has turned me into an incorrigible cougar! I am almost ashamed. He is so cussin' hot. Whew! I am a true Twilight fan because I actually read all four books, not like those Twi-lite fans who just watch the movies to see sexy Taylor Lautner.

He IS legal now, right? Ye Gods, he's a hottie. BTW, Rob Pattinson has one big nipple and one little nipple. Watch for it when he is about to reveal in the Piazza. Oh and here is Rosalie's wig.
You can get it for $5 at Walmart.

Her wig really was that bad. It was like Kim on RHOA's wig. Just a hot cussin' mess. But seriously, I cried while reading them and kept up the whole teen vampire angst by reading LJ Smith's Night World series and Dark Visions. Twilight is the best though. To be honest, the movies aren't really that good. The acting kinda sucks. I just watch because I love the books.

I really enjoyed myself so I began plotting on when I could return to the movies. Lettuce's birthday was Friday. I know, I went to the movies without him. Don't judge me, people. He worked that day! So I treated him to a date night on Tuesday. We ate at Dennys-quite delicious, bowled with my brother and his girlfriend, and saw 2012. It started off...cartoonish. But it drastically improved. I liked it, though if this particular doomsday scenario plays out I will not bother trying to survive. It's too hard. I'd just give everyone a big slice of chocolate cake, dose us all with Bendadryl and read the kids a story until we all fall to sleep together. Wow, that's pretty depressing.

Moving right along...

I shall lighten the mood with concise description of my mad bowling skillz, son! I hit 3 pins in the first five FRAMES. Yeah, cause I totally suck. I ended with a 54. Lettuce had the same score. My brother and his girlfriend annihilated us: he had 75 and she had 71. So sad, so sad.

Turkey day was delicious. Veni, Vidi, Vici. I did most of the cooking and it looked like this.

I caught the Itis and slept for 6 hours. So did Side Salad. 'Nuff said.

So today, and by today I mean yesterday, I took Princess to the movies. The Astronaut was with my brothers and the Squirrel went with her aunt so we got a little us time and while Lettuce and Side Salad hung out at home. We wanted to see Planet 51 but they were having technical difficulties. Probably the feds, always trying to keep us from knowing the truth [cue the X-Files theme]. Instead we saw the Fantastic Mr. Fox. It was a unique movie. I rather enjoyed it. Roald Dahl is the man. All his movies are getting screen time-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Witches-personal fave, James and the Giant Peach. We have those on DVD and I will def be adding FMF to the collection. I wonder if they are going to do the BFG next?

The movie I am really waiting for is ALICE IN WONDERLAND STARRING JOHNNY CUSSIN' DEPP. I love Love LOVE Johnny Depp. We literally have over 300 DVDs and he is in like 50 of them. I think I have every movie he is in minuse Benny & June and What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Johnny, Winnona and Leo all in one movie and I don't have it. Oh, the agony!

I was about to start typing about how I don't have Girl, Interuppted but I think I am rambling so I will bring this to a close. I like going to the movies and that's the end of it. I will be going far more often.

Until next time...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Positive Motivation

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

This is the mantra by which I try to live my life. It's hard to try to keep my focus. We live in such fast paced times, and it seems like everyday just blows by. There is much we could all do to better ourselves but we get caught up in setting up a perfect situation prior to beginning something new. Why do this? Why not start making a better choice today? Why not change your life today? If you want to make a positive change, why no do it immediately. I am going to make a positive change beginning today. This is how my very busy day has gone and will go:

7:30 am Wake up, get dressed fix kids breakfast. We slept late
8:30 Astronaut and Squirrel to the ped for well child appointments
10:00 Big kids to school, stop by book fair and buy each kid a book
10:40 Drop Squirrel off at school and read her class "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Lily Brown Paints"
12:00 Home to toss in a load of laundry and fix Side Salad some lunch
1:00 Homework
2:30 Bus stop, to meet kids
3:15 Back home
3:20 Blog-I mean, help kids with homework, cook dinner
5:00 Take Lettuce to work
5:30 Pick up the mommy-mobile from the shop
6:30 Leave for class
7:00-9:30 Class
9:45-10:45 Gym...

It's a lot. But the very last item for the today is one of the most significat. I haven't been in the gym for ever and at my annual check up, my NP told me that I could stand to lose a few pounds. I haven't gone to the gym in months. So, today, I will begin anew. I will go Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and either Saturday or Sunday. I need to do this for me and for my kiddos. I may even take a class. The point is, I don't have to wait until the first of the year, the first of the month, the first of the week, any special time to begin. I can begin today.

Because today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I'm Back!

The Unofficial Hiatus has come to an end. I have been beyond busy of the past months with school and the kids but I have returned. I missed blogging so much! I don't really have much to say right now. I am about 6 months from graduating, the kids are doing very well. I am about to start teaching Side Salad to use the potty. Squirrel goes to school now. Princess just started first grade and is reading at almost a second grade level. The Astronaut, well I got him a Nintendo DS for his birthday so his favorite things are Animorphs books and the DS. More later....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 1: Morning

Well, I started my diet today. I am in phase 1, or the attack phase. I am debating whether I want to go 3 days as I originally planned or 5 days. Five days seems like a long time. I've only had breakfast, 2 eggs (one fried and one scrambled) and a cup of tea-Constant Comment. I love this tea. It's yummy. I have Splenda, but I am too lazy to go get it. Therefore, I am drinking unsweet tea.

I am only going to say this once so listen up. I currently weigh 192 pounds. This is the most I've ever weighed. Pre-ducklings, I weighed 127. By no means am I trying to weight that little. I would look emaciated. I honestly have very heavy bones (thanks, Dad!) so 127 on me looks like 110. After two babies, I weighed 145-155. That was my best weight. I was comfy and looked good. So basically, I need to lose approximately 40 lbs. I need to stay in attack phase for 5 days to lose that much. I am thinking that I will plan on 3, then see how I feel about going longer when I get there. I really think 4 or 5 days would be better.

Oh, about the food. I went grocery shopping last night and I got salmon, tilapia, shrimp, cage free vegetarian eggs, and tea. I already had basa and lotst of steak in the freezer. I will be having meat for lunch and a salmon filet for dinner.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hello, All I'm back!

It's been forever and a day since I've posted last. I have been so very busy with the kids and school and life in general. They ducklings are out of school and having a blast ripping and running and going to the lake. They take to the water like ducks. Side Salad in particular likes to grab a pool noodle and dash off as if he knows what he is doing. He has no fear. Here are Squrirel and the Astornaut playing in the water.

Notice the smears of sunscreen on the Astronaut's shoulder and forehead. That's nothing compared to this:

[Note to self: never let a three-year old apply her own sunscreen.]

I digress.

So much has been going on that I don't know where to begin, so I'll just start from now. I am going on vacation next month. That's right, I am taking a week long sabbatical. I'll be in Florida for the most part, and taking a short cruise to Nassau. It's my first cruise. The Astronaut and the Princess will be going with, but Side Salad and Squirrel are staying home with Lettuce. This is because we are going with my mother and she got some sort of deal but only 4 people can go-and all 4 have to share one cabin on the ship. Furthermore, the kids' club on the ship is for age 4 and up. Squirrel is 3 Side Salad is only 16 months old today (yay!). They wouldn't be able to do any of the activities. In light of this, we will be taking a family cruise next summer on Carnival, whose kids' clubs start at age 2 AND who has babysitting services until the wee hours of the morning.

Again, I digress.

I am going on a trip and I would like to look nice while I am galivanting across white, sandy beaches in a tropical locale. Therefore, I need to go on a diet and hit the gym like it's going out of style. Seriously, people, I need to shed some pounds. So, for the month of July, I will be using my blog as my diet diary. Bear with me, offer support, give advice, whatever.

It will be worth it because in August, this will be my vacation diary :)

The dieting starts today. I am going to try the Dukan diet. It seems easy enough. Click here to find out about it. I am going to the grocery store after I go to church.
One more lake shot, and I'm out!


Friday, March 27, 2009

My Perfect Princess

If any of my children is me all over again, it's my Princess. She is a true diva, late to her own birth. She stayed an extra 10 days before her eviction/induction. Our running joke is that she stayed in because her hair wasn't right. This child was born with a doobie wrap. She was due a week before my 21st birthday, but born 3 days after. This was NOT a good thing. Princess was my hardest pregnancy. Six straight months of vomitting during which I lost 20 lbs. My whole weight gain was only 16 pounds. She was 7 pounds 19 ounces and only 18 1/2 inches long. (A wee bit bigger than her mama, who was 7 pounds 1 1/2 ounes, and only 18 inches long). She was born rather quickly; I went from 6 cm dialated to her being in the isolette in about 20 minutes, epi free. That short birth is probably why her head wasn't very cone-y. We are both Sagittarius' and have similar dispositions and similar taste. We even look alike. Our baby picks are nearly identical. Except I think she is much prettier than me. She has this big doe eyes, with impossibly long eyelashes. They literally look like butterfly wings, they are so long. Sometimes I can't believe this gorgeous creature came from my belly.
Me at four:
She at four:

She stayed on her own schedule, not walking until she was nearly 14 months, not talking until about a year and a half-but spoke in full sentences immediately. She was very petite and looked like a little walking doll. In fact, I bathed her in the bathroom sink until she was nearly 3.

But now she's tall and lanky, like the horse who happens to be her Chinese sign.

Princess is a tough cookie. Her doc took her tonsils and adenoids at the tender age of 4. Dora accompanied her to the hospital for surgery that day. It was one of the most nerve wracking days of my life. Surgery and the whole anesthesia thing terrify me. But Princess was a trooper.

To be candid, she was born at the wrong time. She should have been a firstborn child, the oldest or an only. She is so competitive, has so much drive but she feels so limited and inadequate because Astronaut can do more than her. She gets so frustrated when he does things she can't, but at the same time, she is very advanced. Not to brag, but this child is quite possibly a prodigy. She taught herself to tie her shoes and write her name at 4 years old. While amazing, it is a major factor in her school behavior. She was bored silly by pre-K and it showed. I got a lot of calls home last year.

I love my mini-me. She is a challenge. I imagine her teen years will be memorable. And I can't wait until she is all grown up so we can do things together.
Sweet, isn't she.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Squirrel, in a nutshell

This is my Squirrel.

She is a most unique child. She possesses an almost elven, pixish aura. She is petite, slight, but she is by far my loudet child. She is quite possibly the brightest, most well spoken three year old I know. That is, when she chooses to talk. Squirrel is notorious for not acknowledging the presence of others. She won't talk to people she doesn't know well. She frequently hides from them. She has been known to run. This causes people to think that because she does not talk, she cannot talk. They are shocked the first time they hear her speak. I spend lots of time with her because the big kid go to school all day. We do many things. We play.
We put on puppet shows.

We cuddle.

We talk.
Sometimes, we talk late at night. She's been getting up at night for the last few weeks. She tells me the most unusual things. The other night she got up and we sat and looked out the window at the feral cats (that's another story). She looked at me and said...
Squirrel: I know what Mommies and Daddies do.
Me: Er, that so, sweetie? Ah, what is it that they do?
Squirrel: They kiss.
Me: Really. Is that all?
Squirrel: No. They eat food, too. And they look in the mirror and brush their teeth.
Me: That is absolutely fascinating.
We like music, all of us. We dance all the time. We have big band, opera, classical, disco, pop, R&B-basically our collection has everything from Gregorian chants to Bollywood. We have family dance parties (aka Mommy has to get some kind of exercise when she can't make it to the gym). We do this kind of Soul Train circle where someone gets in the middle and does a dance, then everyone does it. When it was Squirrel's turn, she hopped in the middle, started shrugging her shoulders and shouted:

"Do this, ya'll! Shake your hipples!"

I love the way her mind works. Appearantly she correlates shoulders to being similar to hips (which they kinda are, anatomy-wise. both have ball and socket joints) and they are close to your chest, where your nipples are located. Hence, we have hipples.

My sunny, funny little girl. My little squirrel.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Checkin' in

Hello, all!

I've been busy with midterms and first birthdays. That's right! Our side salad is now one years old. We celebrated in style at the local Mickey Ds. I think it's okay to have a McNugget or two on your birthday-you only live once...

School I am just exhausted. If I could figure out a way to pay off my student loans and have some sort of stable income, I'd say screw it and just be a SAHM.

Lettuce and I had a talk about breastfeeding. I know his family are pretty anti-breastfeeding so I wanted to gauge his feelings on me continuing to do so. He was totally fine with it. He can see the benefits in the health of the ducklings. Astronaut sleeps in his undies only, year round. Literally. The boy walks around in just underwear when it's snowing outside. He never gets sick. Lettuce and I have been together since he was 3 1/2 and he'll be 9 this year and he has never been sick. I breastfed him until he was 13 months old. The girls on the other hand, weren't so lucky. Princess was only breastfed 4 months. She immediatly stopped growing. She had tons of earaches and her tonsils removed at 4 years old. Squirrel was EBF until 6 months, though we started solids at 4 months. She had a combo until she was about 7 or 8 months. The ear infections were constant and she got tubes at 9 months. Whoa!! I've gotten a bit off topic. Anywho, Side Salad will be getting the good stuff indefinitely, that's the point. And here's a pic of us nursing in public to celebrate.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Picture Blog: Nature Walk 2/21/09

Haven't been blogging much lately

because I have been busy in real life. This semester, I am taking a full class load, including a field experience in a real classroom where I have to teach lessons to real kids-psychadelic, I know. It's a pretty heavy classload. Plus, I have to be Mommy, which is a full time job. And I try to squeeze a little gym in there sometimes, too. I haven't had much time to blog. I really miss ya'll. Spring break is coming soon, so I'll inundate you with blogs and pics then :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I NIP because I am close-minded

Yep, that's what one of my friends said to me on Monday. Let me explain.

Tris will be one in a few weeks. Over the weekend, my SO and I were discussing his continuing to BF and SO is staunchly on my side. This is surprising, given his family's opinion and I am so proud of him.

So my friend calls me Monday. Here is the basic gist of the conversation.

Her: Tris is about to be one. Are you going to wean him?

Me: Naw. Me and Romaine just finished talking about that and we are gonna keep going. The kid is teething anyways. Why make him more miserable.

Her: They say breastmilk doesn't have any nutritional value past a year or two.

Me: It's good for at least two years. Kids need it. That's why WIC gives 1 year olds full fat milk. They need it for their brain growth. But Tris is fine. He's happy, his mama is happy, his daddy is happy. We've decided that we won't be making any changes.

Her: Well, I just heard about that woman in Walmart. They are making laws about it because it really bothers some people.

Me: Actually, you have it backwards-the laws protect the babies and the moms from being harassed. They don't limit babies and mothers rights.

Her: I don't know why. Nobody wants to see that. People need to use blankets. They should be discreet.

Me: I don't use blankets but I am still discreet. Tris doesn't like. He'll pull it off. People rarely notice unless they are staring right at your breasts. And most people are intellegent enough to respect a child eating.

Her: I saw a woman use a blanket. Her baby was about 6 months old and didn't pull the blanket off.

Me: Well, my kids never liked blankets and all that fumbling around is aggravating.

Her: You have to teach them to use the blanket. Who is the parent and who is the child.

[at this point, i'm like wtf?]

Me: [speaking slowly] We are talking about small babies. All they know is that they are hungry

Her: That's why you should just use a bottle.

Me: Naw, I'm good. I will just feed my child when he's hungry. If people don't like it, they can eat in the bathrooom or put blankets over their heads.

Her: That's not fair to other people. Why should they be disturbe.

Me: They dont' have to look at my breasts. It's not like I stand on the table, do a strip tease and shake my boobs at peoples husbands and teenaged sons. We are not talking about sex. We are talking about babies eating. I will not put my child's needs aside for someone's comfort. A grown person should act accordingly.

This conversation went on for nearly an hour. i made several requests that she just drop it because we obviously felt different about this issue.

Her main contentions were that:

* Others might be offended. I don't care.

* Some one might say something to me. I don't care.

* People will talk about me. I don't care.

She could not understand why I wouldn't cater to a bunch of strangers that I'll never see again. She asked me if I would BF in front of my BFF Stacy (ssnelson26)'s hubby. I said that I had already, all four kids. She asked if I'd be offended if Stacy breastfed in front of my SO. She has. My SO and Stacy's hubby are not pedophiles so they are not aroused by babies eating.

She also said that she worked in restaurants and she knew how people talked. Ironically, I've worked in more restaurants than she had, and breastfed my kids in every single one.

She said what if someone came up to me and said "Excuse me, my hubby and I are on a date. Could you please cover up?" I told her that I don't breastfeed topless so I am not uncovered, but I would say "Sure, as soon as my child finishes eating." She seems to think that this will be the beginnig of WWIII. Um, I guess so.

She asked what I'd do if an employee told me I couldn't breastfeed. I told her I'd ask for the manager and pray they said the same because I love litigation. That's when she called me close minded.

Her: So all you care about is your child? You don't care about how other people feel?

Me: Exactly.

Her: You are being very close minded.

Me: It's close minded to raise my child according to what I feel is best for them, and respecting the rights of others to do the same?

Keep in mind, she breastfed her child. But she was ashamed, hiding in back rooms and what not. She only lasted a couple of months. Her family didn't support her and she stopped. The converastion finally reached a boiling point when I brought up a situation in which a stranger questioned her mothering in public. She was using foul and profane language and somebody told her she should have more respect for herself and her child than that. She was offended [I think, embarassed] that someone would say something to her. I told her that some people found cursing to be disgusting and that they don't want their children exposed to that.

I must have hit a nerve. People don't like having their parenting criticized or questioned.

She got all mad saying no one found bottles disgusting and breastfeeding mothers should use them. I finally gave up being nice and slipped into extreme lactavist and told her I found formula disgusting and it made me sick to my stomach that people would give their helpless babies the milk of another species that was pumped full of sugar and chemically modified in an attempt to be more like breastmilk instead of being unselfish. Mind you, I had to give both of my daughters formula due to life circumstances. I don't really feel that way.

I felt bad for saying that, but you have to fight fire with fire, ya know?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

Ni hao!

It is the year of the Ox. We celebrated in style with a dinner of roast duck, orange ginger tiliapia, steamed broccoli, fried rice, and Chinese noodles, with tangerines and fortune cookies on the side. We toasted with sparkling apple cider.

Squirrel and I originally went to the local Asian market in search of duck. They had duck, of course, but it was looking at me through the plastic. Literally. The ducks they had were "Buddhist style," which as far as I can tell means that the head and feet are still attached. My goal was to introduce my kids to new foods and I didn't want to terrify them so I went to Bi-Lo and got a less personable water fowl. I roasted my duckie and glazed it with some Iron Chef Orange Ginger sauce.

Here is the duck, who we affectionately called "Mr. Duck-Duck." Forgive my ugly roasting pan. It gets the job done.

Anyways, the food was much lovlier when plated.

Here is a shot of the table decorated with a pyramid of tangerines and plums.

It was a lovely meal and the kids enjoyed it. They also discovered that they like duck. Misson completed with flying colors.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh, the weather outside is frightful.....

That's right, it's snowing. Can you see the little flakes blowing around? Look close, they are there. My friend K who is a yankee say's it's dandruffing.

The kids are out of school by default. This is South Carolina. Our highways turn into die-ways at the mere hint of inclement weather. The district made the decision yesterday, before the snow began. This is due to the Great Snow Travesty of 2004. Or maybe it was 2003. It was one of those years. I remember it like it was 5 (or 4) years ago....

It was a cold winter, one of the coldest I'd ever seen. We got up that morning and the clouds were so full of snow they looked pregnant. The flurries began before sunrise. Everyone expected the district to issue a two hour delay to see how the weather was going to play out. Most of the time, the snow here doesn't stick. In fact, it melts by noon and then it's 50 or 60 degrees the rest of the day. This time was different. It was in the high twenties and falling. The snow stuck immediately. I warned my mother about sending my brothers to school. "They are just going to cancel." She didn't think so. After all, the district didn't even delay.

They should have.

She sent my brothers to catch their buses and went to work. By the time the kids go to school, it was a mess. The snow had begun to accumulate, a rarity here. Half the teachers couldn't even get to school due to the wrecks that littered ever intersection, stretch of highway, and side road. Two buses hit ice and ended up in ditches. No one was hurt seriously. School was cancelled at around 8:00 am. The district also stopped the buses from running. So, you had kids at school with no way to get home. The buses wouldn't take them and their parents were at work. I got my car down our hill as soon as it started sticking; otherwise, I would have been snowed in and I don't know how my brothers would have gotten home. I had just moved back from I had just moved back from Virginia-it was 2003, I remember now-and had some experience with real snow. I got in my car and went to get my brothers from school. On the way, I passed multiple wrecks, along with stalled motorists. I saw people so scared to use their brakes for fear of spinning on the ice that they just rolled throught red lights. I was more scared of the other drivers than the ice. We made it home safely in the end.

Ever since then, our district is paranoid and overly cautious. There was a PR sh*t-storm after all this took place, of course. So my kids are home drinking cocoa and playing Operation.

Right now, our snow is only sticking in areas but I see the conditions being conducive to worsening. It's cold and getting colder. The ground might get really cold and the snow will stick everywhere. Then it will ice over.

I need to go to the store and buy some bread and milk.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My slackness is forgiven!

The Inaugural Ball fundraiser for my kids' school was Friday night. We all went. We actually had primo seats so thanks to whoever sat us at the Presidential Cabinet table. The stage was nice and the whole set up classy. Let me fast forward to the actually coronation. Her are the contestants for Little Mr. Inaugural Ball. Astronaut's in the green. Little Mr. is for K-2nd grade. And guess what?
That's right! Astronaut got third runner up! My son placed, even with the paltry funds he took.
Not one, but TWO trophies! He was super proud and so are we. To be fair, he got last place but since there were only 4 boys, all of them were winners. It gave him confidence. He even wants to do it again. Not bad for a shy kid. He was very apprehensive about particiating. He is super shy and was terrified of having to dance. However, he practiced a lot and when the contestants danced the shag-our state dance-he was in the front. Here is my boy, shagging like a true Southern gentleman.

And then we had a catered dinner of baked chicken, rice and gravy, green beans, corn, rolls and sweet tea. Hey, it's SC. We have to have sweet tea. Oh, and there was cake, yummy cake.

Then there was dancing. It was like a mini club in there. We did the Electric Slide-whereupon the children began to chant,"Go, old people! Go, old people!"-and some contemporary dances a la Soulja Bo, DJ Unk, and Vic.

The girls obviously had a great time and we got home late. It was a night to remember.

Tag-I'm it!

I just got tagged by fairlyluvr from Building Castles in the Sky and I am psyched!

Here are the rules:
~Link to the person who tagged you
~Post the rules on your blog
~Write six random things about yourself
~Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them
~Let each person know they've been tagged

Here goes..
1) I never eat anything blue. Seriously, I sort my M&Ms before I eat them.
2)I want to live on a farm, with my kids and some animals.
3) I think I am most beautiful when I am pregnant, which maybe why I have spent so much time being pregnant.
4)We're thinking about not getting cable when we move into a house this year (and just keep our tv for movies)
5) I love historical fiction. Some of my faes are "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden, "The Birth House" by Ami McKay, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and anything by Philippa Gregory.
6) I don't like condiments on my sandwiches or burgers. Just cheese for me, thanks.

so here I go to tags you...

1. Stacy
2. Lacey
3. Lori
4. Renee
5. Mary
6. Tamecka

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today was my Princess's party :)

Today, Princess had her birthday party. It was a full month after her birthday. We had it at the marionette theatre, of course. "Beauty and the Beast" was playing and it was fantastic. She had a blast and got some nice gifts.
Here of the party guests. My Princess is in the middle holding Side Salad. The Astronaut is the one in the glasses and Squirrel is down at the bottom in the pink

Princess, holding one of her gifts: a Tinker Bell blanket.

And another that all of the kids got excited about: Operation.

Getting ready to blow out the candles on the awesome custom mermaid cake! Here's a shot of the cake just for Smoo, who unfortunately had to miss the party.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Boiling Water

I was just thinking about something that happened few years ago, when I was momma to not as many kids. The Astronaut and his buddy were just hanging out. They were a couple of kindergardeners and were hanging out after school. His buddy was going to stay for dinner so I was making soup-shrimp and corn chowder to be exact.

They were watching cartoons and I was standing in the door way between the dining room and living room, talking to the boys. I'd placed a pot of water on the stove to boil to begin my soup. We were just chatting when the following dialog took place.
Astronaut: Mommy, the stove is on fire.
Me: No, that's just steam from the water starting to boil.
Astronaut: But it has fire on top.
Me: That's not funny, A. Mommy can't burn boiling water.
Astronaut: Mommy, you need to call the fire man.
Me: (agitated) A, for that last time-OH, MY GOD THE STOVES ON FIRE!!!!

I put the fire out with baking soda. And threw away my pan. And endured the laughter of 5 year olds, who retold the story to everyone for weeks.

Let's just keep this one a secret between you and me.

But here is something that is not a secret, the New Year's Survival Pack. It will help you get organized and lose weight in the new year. I think the meal planning guide is absolutely fab.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I am a slack mama.

The Astronaut, my second grader, is participating in his school's Inaugural Ball. It's basically a big fundraiser/pageant thing. I have raised absolutely no money. I am really disappointed in me because I worked so hard to get him to be a part of this. We joined late and I am thinking that I wasn't sent all of the information. Then Lettuce got sick and had to have what was supposed to be outpatient surgery. Except it wasn't outpatient and they kept him in the hospital. It's just been so stressful that the Inaugural Ball slipped my mind. Now this thing is Friday, and I just feel so bad. I am going to send out a last minute call for donations but I don't know what will happen. Then all of a sudden the school sends something about business sponsors. I had no idea we were supposed to solicit businesses. I hate asking the people I know for money, much less strangers. I feel so bad. I wanted him to do this to get out of his box. He is kind of a shy kid and I thought it would be good for him. And I totally fail.

I talked to Astronaut and he still wants to do it, so Mommy is going to have to make a last minute miracle.

If the kid only has a hundred bucks-donated by me, I will be there clapping for him. And taking pictures.

I am very disappointed in me today.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New year, new me? I'm game.

I joined a gym yesterday. That's right, I am going to be a gym rat. My friend K and I visited our local gym and liked what we saw. Plus, they gave us the teacher discount even though we are still students. Hey, we WILL be teachers in a year and a half. Plus their hours are awesome. They open about an before and close about an hour later than all the other gyms here, and they have free child care. They have a crapload of free classes-Zumba, pilates, yoga, yogalates, step, spinning, so on. Best of all, they are only 1.9 miles from my house. I no longer have any excuses.

Today I got up and put that Christmas crockpot to use. I tossed in some chicken and roasted garlic pasta sauce. When it's done, I'll toss some feta in and serve it over couscous or pasta and put some Mediterranean veggies on the side.

Then I dressed Squirrel and headed for the gym. K and I had a fitness evaluation at 10. We got weighed and measured and put through the paces by our cute, yet strangely sadistic trainer Antony. That's AnTONY, not AnTHONY. Get it right.

Antony first humbled us with his evil scale. By evil I mean it told how much I really weigh, not how much my drivers license says I weigh. A pox up on that scale. Then he measured all the parts of me that have "cute" nicknames: badonkadonk, muffin top, and wings. All those special parts. Then Antony had the nerve to-brace yourself for this one-write this information down. WTF? He says it's for posterity.

Next, Antony led us to the chamber of horrors. They call it the "Weight Training" area. I call it the seventh circle of Hell. The first thing he subjected us to was this device that was obviously designed to kill. It consisted of a little bench that you laid on and this slab of metal that you had to press up with your feet. I am absolutely certain that if failed to press it up sufficiently, I would be smashed flat. What better motivation to to complete one more rep than your immediate demise otherwise.

Moving along, we did squats. More like squeals....of pain! Because that's what my thigh muscles were doing. Squealing from the pain.

Next me moved up to our abdominals. We did sit ups but not normal sit ups. These were special sit ups. We did them on an exercise ball. Yay. Fun. Whee. It was at this point that the meatheads started working out behind us. They held a distracting conversation about some chick who had "the face of a Dallas cheerleader." I tried to focus, and luckily, just trying not to topple off the ball. By the time I completed my reps, they were gone. Plus, cutie Antony was supporting my back to make sure I didn't maim myself.

Next, we did something like sit ups, but it was done on another medieval torture device. In addition to lifting my upper body, this contraption had some sort of weight that we had to lift simultaneously.

By then, our free session was about done. Antony tried to escape us, but he made the mistake of asking if we had any other questions. Heck yeah we had more questions. He'd addressed some of the cute parts, but not those wings I have hanging from my upper arms. He directed us to the tricep press. It was definitely my favorite. It'd didn't frighten me or cause me pain.

K and I roamed about the gym for a while, considered getting on some cardio machines, which we decided no to as our legs and thigh muscles were so shaky we could barely stand and instead headed to the smoothie bar. There I got a smoothie and we chatted with Christie, the first vegan I have ever met in real life-though she does indulge in sushi from time to time. She gave us a lot of info so we headed to Publix to get our own smoothie ingredients. I even got organic stuff.

All jests aside, I had a wonderful time at the gym. I feel really good. Even though I hurt, it's a good kind of hurt. It's meaningful. I am doing something good for me and for my kids. I'll keep ya posted on the results.

While you are online, please head on over to Andrea's Classy Closet and vote for Renee @ Cutie Booty Cakes for the co-host! Thanks a ton!

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Over at My Sentiment ExactLee, Lee is giving away the most tearjerking item a breastfeeding mother could ever have: a pendant with a drop of breastmilk in it from Hollyday Designs. I literally teared up for this one. Check it out and enter to win.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Places I want to go

Have I ever told you that I love to travel?

I don't get to do it much and I haven't really been anywhere that far, but I love it. When I was young, we used to go to Florida every year-Daytona Beach, Kissimmee, or Orlando. My grandparents used to take us to Atlanta ever summer, too. I have so many fun memories. I love short, impromptu trips, too. We used to dash off to Charleston, Folly Beach, and Spartanburg when the mood would strike my mom.

The furthest away from home that I have been would be New Orleans, back in 2002. I had so much fun, even though my car nearly got stolen in Gretna. It acutally turned out to be a plus as we got to stay nearly a week extra with insurance remimbursing the stay and meals. I will never forget eating at The Court of the Two Sisters. It was hands down the most beautiful place I have ever eaten in. It was also there I met the love of my life, crawfish. Mmmm, I drool just thinking about it. I also love to eat and isn't that the purpose any vacation-to eat?
(Photo by Terry Thibeau)

But there are so many places I would love to visit. Greece is at the top of the list becasue of the food, weather, culture, food, art work, and food. And the food. I would also like to go to Egypt. Again, the history and the culture attract me. I don't know much about Egyptian food, but I am sure that it is delicious. I want to go to Spain. Food again, and I love the culture and language. And the food. And the siestas. I want to visit Japan because I love the culture. The food is interesting. I actually just ordered bento boxes for the kids and me. I'll save that for another post though-I just wanted to whet your appetite. China has so much culture (and food). It would be amazing to go there. I think I'd like to go to Kenya, also, and take the kids on a safari. Finally, I would love to go to Brazil. It seems like such an exciting place. Acutally, I'd like to hit Peru, too, while I am down there.

And Israel. I definitely would like to eat there. I mean, visit.

Where have you been? And where would you like to go?

Oh, and I joined a gym today. More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Something to celebrate

The Chinese New Year occurs on January 26th this year. I think we shall do a little something to mark the day. It will fulfill my NYR of exposing my children to worldly cuisine on the montly basis. I will plan a menu and patronize my local Asian markets to get the supplies.

They really have a wide variety of stuff at the markets. We went there yesterday, which is where this whole idea came from. The Astronaut chose a Sarsi, which turned out to be a sasparilla. The Princess decided to get two Hello Kitty lollipops and gave the Squirrel one. The Squirrel decide to get Lotte Strawberry Koalas which she generously shared as they were much better in theory than they were in practice. I got some pepero, which are biscut sticks-by biscuit I mean unsweet cookie-dipped in chocolate and almonds. They were delicious. I picked up a few other little items, too: jasmine tea, rock candy, rice wine vinegar, lemongrass.

I don't know much about Chinese New Year and the foods that surround it. I've been researching and this is what I've found:

Most of the dishes served during Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival) are symbolic of something positive and hopeful.

  • Chicken and fish, for example, symbolize happiness and prosperity--especially when served whole.
  • Dishes made with oranges represent wealth and good fortune because they are China's most plentiful fruit.
  • Noodles represent longevity: therefore, they should never be cut!
  • Duck symbolizes fidelity, while eggs signify fertility.
  • Bean curd or tofu, however, is avoided because its white color suggests death and misfortune.
I don't do tofu anyways, so no love lost there. I don't know about whole chicken, but I can swing a whole fish. More:

Another popular Chinese New Year dish is jiaozi, dumplings boiled in water. In some areas of China, coins are placed in the center of jiaozi. Whoever bites into one of these dumplings will have an exceptionally lucky year. Try some of these lucky Chinese dishes for a prosperous year to come:
I think that I shall try some. I am getting excited already!

Oh, and while I am on the subject of NYR, Squirrel and I went to the Museum on Sunday. The Astronaut and the Princess weren't home. They went to my brothers and their grandma's respectively. We had a blast. Side Salad went too, but he was cranky. He has a little cold and two teeth coming in, poor little guy. Squirrel had a blast toying with inventions that came from the great mind of Leonardo da Vinci. I think her favorite part was the dinosaurs. There was this full of....stuff and the kids used paint brushes to unearth a dinossaur fossil. She even got to touch fossils and touching is always good because little kids tend to be tactile learners. She also got to get on a full sized replica of the tragic Best Friend and go in a one room schoolhouse. It was special becaue the bigger kids were gone and I got to spend some time alone with her.

I have got to get on the ball, compiling my recipes and creating my grocery list and getting the kids started makng decorations for the Chinese New Year. I think they will really enjoy this. I know I will!

Until next time, ni hao!