Friday, December 26, 2008

First, we had a lovely Christmas, thank you for asking. The children waited until daylight to wake us up. I mixed up a big batch of real Belgian waffle batter to rise while we opened presents. I got the new MP3 player I was hoping for. Both kids loved all their presents, and they were not big, gaudy plastic toys. My Studmuffin actually grinned at his gift (a garden gnome dressed in a Cubs uniform. He asked for socks and underwear...see why I had to get something fun?) I baked up some yummy waffles.
And then the Studmuffin got the tummy crud.
He's better today, but it's never a fun thing to deal with a sick husband. At least not my husband. I adore the man, but when he's sick, he is 5.
Anyway, I made a huge dinner, my mom, sister, brother and kids ate with copious "mmmm" sounds, and I ran up and down the steps, fetching water, soup, and buckets. Did I mention I made biscuits from scratch?
We were supposed to leave for Peoria today, but out of respect for the seats of our vehicles, we stayed home an extra day. Which gave me some time to do some laundry, put away presents, and relax a bit. I nursed a decadent cup of hot chocolate and finished Jane Brocket's lovely book, "The Gentle Art of Domesticity." This book, a collection of essays about the domestic arts, and the author's love for such activities, was so warm and richly written, I took my time, reading in little nips and nibbles, as if it were a Godiva truffle. Even if the idea of baking bread, knitting or gardening makes you break out in hives, I recommend "The Gentle Art of Domesticity," as well as Jane's beautiful blog...and while you're at it, check out Amanda Soule's book and blog (her link is in my list of favorite links.) Admittedly, I haven't mastered knitting or sewing, but I don't feel guilty or anti-feminist for wanting to learn how...and I appreciate these warm and intelligent women sharing their love and experience for all that is domestic and creative.
Now. I should feed the fam, check on the husband, pack...take some time out for yourselves this week, sweet readers. Buy yourself a present, eat something delicious, read a decadent book. We are fabulous, and we deserve it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays...

A Very Very Merry to all of you I love and cherish!

And in that spirit, I am going to share with you my very favorite Christmas cookie recipe, handed down from my late, beloved, Grandma S. These are the very easiest cookies you will ever make, but they are oh so tasty.

Nighty-Night Cookies

2 eggs, separated (discard the yolks, or use them for something else.)

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Beat the egg whites until foamy, slowly add sugar. Continue beating until stiff. Fold in chocolate chips (last night I used dark chocolate...heaven.) Drop by Tbsp (I use a T scoop) onto foil-lined cookie sheets. Place in oven, turn oven off. Leave in there overnight - at least 8 hours. DO NOT open oven until done.

Yum. You'll like them. Now go enjoy your family.

I am off to Peoria and Chicago for a week, and will likely not be back online until I get back. Have a fabulous New Years!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hello hello

My, have we been busy here...we had our annual holiday celebration with my sweet friend A and her family (including adorable nephew), which was good fun. We baked a buttload of cookies, ate very tasty Mexican food, and opened presents. A and I decided to make each other gifts - I made her a pair of earrings and she made me these adorable little fabric ornaments. Super cute. Kiddles are off school and the StudMuffin took both weeks off work, so we are trying to do fun things. Yesterday they all went bowling because...oh yes...I got the stomach virus. Actually I had it all day Friday, all night, feeling better Saturday, fine Sunday, then back on the potty again all day yesterday. Super fab.
All the shopping is done, two more gifts to be made, and I should be getting two in the mail, hopefully today. Christmas dinner is planned, laundry is done in preparation for Illinois travel. Where it is, by the way, in the single digits, and covered in snow. Yes, Toad, I know, we should have done Dallas.
Ok, the kiddles are begging to go bowling, so I must be going. I hope to get back on here before Thursday, but if not, Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Night Updates:

I'm not feeling particularly "bloggy" this evening, but I know some of you get a little restless when I don't post here regularly (uhhuh, you know who you are...), so you get a list:

- Both of my children were up half the night vomiting. I am very lucky that it only lasted one night (knocking on the faux wood product my desk is made of...) Keep your fingers crossed that they both can go back to school tomorrow.
- I have finished all of my Christmas shopping. Go me!
- I have watched two more "good" movies since my post about "good" movies: "The Last King of Scotland" and "Into the Wild". I have to admit, I didn't much enjoy TLKoS. Don't get me wrong, Forest Whitaker was brilliant; but it certainly is not a movie I'll watch again. "Into the Wild", I might. First off, the lead actor, Emile Hirsch, is hot. Seriously. Second, the soundtrack is killer. Third, the story was true, and interesting. Kid graduates from college, gives away all his possessions and hitchhikes to Alaska. Along the way, he meets a lot of interesting people...but it seems he doesn't really appreciate the way they shape his life until he is alone. There is also a very important lesson: Do not give away everything and decide to live alone in a wilderness until you learn how to live in a wilderness. That's all I'll say, I don't want to spoil the ending. But I found myself wanting to kick him in the head, more than once.
- I am now really Needing to watch a dumb comedy.
- I have to make a batch of fudge for the girl's teacher.

My brain has just exhausted itself. I'll try to write more, interesting, things tomorrow.

edited to add: by the way, the lead of TLKoS (not Forest Whitaker), James McAvoy is pretty darn hot, as well. He was Mr. Tumnus in Lord of the Rings, and he was even hot then, with the hair and the extra legs and all. I do love me a Scottish man...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shows I Plan my Nights Around: yeah so, I'm an addict.

First off: if you tivo-ed it and haven't watched it yet, there are no spoilers here.

Dudes, did you see last night's CSI? I adore Laurence Fishburne anyway, and I am completely psyched to see him on the show - he was brilliant. Not that I'm not bummed that William Peterson is leaving and all...

I just started watching this show 6 months ago. It is just so freaking addictive. You learn so, cyanide smells like bitter almonds, but only a small percentage of the population can actually smell it. Blood can turn green - even if you're not an alien. (No, I do not believe everything I see on these shows, by the way. Obviously all crimes are not being solved by bizarrely attractive scientists with badges.)

Ok, now here's the fun fact of last night's episode: the serial killer featured in the show? Oh yeah, friends. It's Elmo's own Mr. Noodle.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Good" Movies

My younger brother is in town visiting, and has determined that I don't watch enough "good" movies. He's very likely right; I tend to watch movies merely as an escape, not really to think. Perhaps I need to change that viewpoint.
We watched Tropic Thunder the other night. I was looking forward to it; I enjoy several of the actors, the trailers were amusing. It was not a good movie. In fact, it was really just bad. It wasn't that I was offended or anything, it was just a stupid movie. That said, I did laugh once or twice (probably at whatever I laughed at during the trailer.) The movie ends, my brother expresses his displeasure with the movie, and makes fun of me for laughing. Then he asks, "what is the last "good" movie you watched? I know, you really liked IronMan, but I mean a "good" movie. Something that made you think." I had to think hard on that one - it's been awhile, but in the past 6 months Studmuffin and I watched "Hotel Rwanda" and "Juno", both excellent movies in their own way. So that's two. Two "good" movies in 6 months - maybe even the past year.
So brother has taken it upon himself to expose me to some of those "good" movies. Sunday night we watched "Stranger than Fiction", which I actually wanted to see, even rented at one time, but never watched. Excellent movie, I will watch that one again (and the soundtrack was fantastic.) Tonight we watched "Motorcycle Diaries", which describes the travels of Ernesto "Che" Guevera and his good friend Alberto Granado from Buenos Aires to Columbia in the 1950's, before Guevera became a revolutionary. It was based on books written by Guevera and Granado themselves, and describes the impact the hardships of travel and contact with indiginous peoples who have been displaced and mistreated by their governments, had on two priviliged and idealistic young men. The movie was thought-provoking; I will have to read further about Guevera and his ideals. This was definitely not my usual viewing pleasure, but maybe it's time I expand my movie horizons a bit. Oh, and the guy who plays Guevera? Seriously hot.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Thankful Thoughts

What a pleasant Thanksgiving weekend we've been enjoying. I cooked...and well, I might add. Stuffed and started cooking the bird around 9:00AM, then hopped on the treadmill for 40 minutes. May I announce I have lost my first 10 lbs. since starting SparkPeople, by the way! Woot, go me! So anyway, The power went out around noon, which was rather annoying considering our electric stove (I miss my gas stove.) My brother was concerned about the possible lack of mashed potatoes. We hurriedly transferred our baking turkey to the grill until the power came back on around 1PM. Mashed potatoes saved. We ate around 5, and I was conscious for the whole thing (did I ever mention the Thanksgiving I didn't eat all day before, then consumed a glass of wine (which turned into a bottle) while preparing the food? I made a lot of loving phone calls that night. And had to eat cold leftovers.) My darling nephew and his family came over for dessert, and a game of Yahtzee, of course, at which A thoroughly kicked our butts. My brother and I sat up chatting for a few hours after I got the kids to bed, which was probably the best part. Friday the boys went golfing, we ate pizza for dinner and watched Ironman, which is by far the best superhero movie I've ever seen (don't argue with me over that, I'm not exactly a superhero purist.) My husband just took my brother and BOTH kids golfing now, which means I am well and thoroughly ALONE...I shall read a few blogs and do a little crafting before meeting them at my mother's to decorate her tree and eat dinner. Ooh, I got my holiday lights up yesterday while the guys were golfing too, which is funny since I hate keeping up the holiday decor for long...but I was cleaning the garage, and they were there...
So. I am thankful for...
  • my family, of course.
  • Duke Energy, for getting the power back on.
  • Robert Downey Jr. for being him (and rather hot, at that.)
  • Eli's Cheesecake (if you're in Chicago, and you like cheesecake, check it out.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Only my daughter...

I actually meant to post this last month, but now is as good a time as any.
On October 12, the Studmuffin and I took our kids and my nephew to the zoo, meeting nephew's mom and brother there. We hadn't been there long - I think we had been to the playground area, taken pictures on a large pumpkin, and visited the rhinos and a few tigers. We were in the tiger canyon area, looking at the white tigers when the Girlchild says, "hey, I'm stuck!" I tell her to unstick herself, she can't. Her knee was wedged in the slats of the fence around the enclosure. I gave her a tug, she didn't come loose, and she started to whimper that it hurt. The Studmuffin tries to maneuver her going. She is crying by now that it really hurts, and Studmuffin (my engineer who can figure anything out) tells me to go find someone. Monkeybutt runs off one direction, I go the other (it took me forever to find someone.) I come back with a maintenance guy, but by that time, Studmuffin has the GC propped a bit so it didn't hurt anymore, and they have two employees with a screwdriver staring at the situation, trying to figure it out. Studmuffin informs them that they will need a socket wrench to loosen the board, and after poking at the slat a bit, they agree and call someone else to come with the right tool. (the mood has lightened by this point, A and I are giggling with GC a bit, saying only one of my children could get themselves into this situation, and I have taken out my camera and taken pictures, for the scrapbook, of course.)
Finally, a security guy comes along with the right tool, and they loosen the slat and get my darling daughter out. Everyone was happy. I have a new page to add to my scrapbook. And everytime we turned around that day, there was a security guy following us. I can just imagine the the radio conversations that day, "Do you have that troublesome family in view?" "No, do you?" "Find them, stat! We gotta keep an eye on this group."
I'm so proud.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Another one of those mornings I just can't sleep. Which means I can catch up on reading and writing blogs, but it also means by 2PM I will be very tired. It being so early and all, I am really not feeling the intelligent pratter vibe, if you get my meaning, so this will be a stream of consciousness blog. Which can be useful in it's own way...
Yesterday and the day before I walked on the treadmill for 50 and 43 minutes, respectively. All because of Sparkpeople challenges. I felt very good after. I plan to work out today, as well...probably aerobics, though. My legs are sore, but in a good way.
We had our MOMS Club open house on Monday. I put a lot of work into that, and I found myself rather stressed, which is odd for me, as I am all about the entertaining. It ended up being a decent event; we only had 3 new people come, but we had several existing members there, and 2 of the new people joined. So I guess it was a success.
I need to get my holiday cards started. Have you all started your shopping yet? I can't believe it is so late in the year...time is seriously flying. By next year I hope to be accomplished enough to make most of my gifts. I wish I was a craftier person...I mean, I make a lot of crafts now, but they're not exactly good enough to give to someone else. Everytime I put together a scrapbook page, or make a piece of jewelry I think, wow, someone else could do this so much better than I can. Which is not a big deal when it's for me, but I don't want to stick someone else with my sub-par garbage. Although I did make a pair of earrings for a friend's birthday last Friday, and they turned out pretty super-cute. My friend A and I have already planned some sewing lessons for January, so maybe I'll be sewing like a fiend by next year, as well.
This basement is a mess. I should clean it. Maybe later.
My stream seems to have dwindled. It wasn't flowing very smoothly, anyway.
Have a good day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Ok, admittedly, I have not been feeling too terribly thankful today. My knee hurts, I'm not sleeping well, blah blah. But I said I was going to start a new "thing", so darn it, I'm going to start it.
So, today I am thankful for the following:

  • Libraries. Purveyors of free entertainment since...well...whenever libraries started. Maybe I'll look that up. (apparently, libraries made up of actual books, rather than documents, first appeared in Greece in the 5th century, B.C.)
  • My new SparkPeople friends. They are terribly supportive, and even dealt with my whining yesterday. And they have never even met me. But we all know we all have "been there" if you catch my drift.
  • Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread/Muffin mix. It's really good. And I can make it up really fast tomorrow morning for the moms and kids who will be coming over to make a craft, for which I just cut out 16 paper bag cornucopias.
  • Kroger, for the free paper bags.

Dude, don't judge me. I never said these would be deep.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

One more Obama-mama post...

Hanging as I do with people mostly of the same mindset, I have read a number of blogs celebrating our new president-elect's victory which are much better written than anything I can compose. I'll only assure you all that for the first time in a long time, I am not feeling so terribly sarcastic about politics. Rather, I am...hopeful.

Taking part in CNN's rather silly "hologram" project aside, Will.I.Am makes me smile. Thank you to my friend at Eat,play,love for bringing this gem to my attention:

Allow me to share my experience with you...

It's late, and it's time to go to bed. But I felt like sharing with you all the lovely moment I had this evening.
First, I spent today immersed in a flurry of kid-related activities. 3 hours were spent drowning in the sugar- and token-fueled insanity of Chuck E. Cheese. We celebrated my nephew's birthday, and he is worth every second of suffering, but I came home ready to knock my head against the wall if it would rid my brain of the echoes of electronic beeps, the screams of young children, and the memories of the jerky, robotic movements of the mechanical mouse and his equally decrepid robot back-up band playing unfortunate '80s music. I had an hour of the relative peace of only my own children beating on each other before we descended upon another child-infested horror - the school fun fair. Or, as it's called at our particular school, the "Mann Mingle." We had it all, friends. Long lines, screams, shouts, and begging of children, a wall-to-wall packed silent auction (where I did score a 6 month membership to a local health club for $40, so I'm pretty freaking thrilled.) I was sooooo ready to leave (5 minutes after we got there.) Got the kiddles to bed, and treated myself to several hours of blog-surfing, scrapbooking, and then, bliss.
I sat at my kitchen table, daintily picking apart that most delectable of treats, the eclair.
I get my eclairs from Emerson's, a local bakery. Now, Emersons does not do everything right. Honestly, most of their pastries leave something to be desired, but their eclairs are sinful. The pastry is light and flaky, the chocolate coating is thick and amazing, and the cream. Oh, sweet heaven, the cream is decadent. It is heavier than a whipping cream, sweet and vanilla. The pastry is almost overstuffed with the cream. I have a woman's appreciate of all things dessert, but these eclairs are a true Experience. I savored my eclair whilst perusing my new Scrapbooks, Etc, in the absolute silence of my kitchen.
I feel well recovered from my trying day. Now I shall go to bed and dream of creative scrapbook pages and sweet vanilla cream. Good night.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I would like to start a new feature here - a post every Thursday expressing my gratitude for something, or many things. I'm thinking it will enrich my soul.
But before I do that, many of you are aware that the candidate I supported wholeheartedly won the election this past Tuesday. I was, of course, thrilled, and excited, and all those predictable emotions. I need, however, to describe how pleasant election day was for me and my family this year. Monkeybutt has been very interested in this year's election. He carefully researched each candidate and decided, for himself, which one he hoped would win. Tuesday morning, the kids and I went to our local polling place to vote. The line was not terribly long, and I took the kids into the booth with me. We discussed the process on or way to Panera to eat bagels. Whilst eating bagels, we discussed other positions to be filled, and who we thought would do the job well. My Girl Child suggested our youngest cat might make a good President. Monkeybutt suggested our girl cat for "the head judge person of the Supreme Court, because she likes to slap random people around. Is there a head judge person?" I said I thought there was, but I wasn't sure, as I am not so informed on the processes of the Supreme Court. The guy sitting next to us happened to teach Criminal Justice at UC, happened to be writing a test at the time, and (happened to be very very cute.) He informed us that yes, there is a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and it was likely our cat would be a fine candidate. The kids left the table to put their trash away and I thanked cutie professor guy. He told me, no problem, and my children seem "very intelligent. It's gratifying to see." The man captured my heart then and there. I mumbled something about thank you, they just talk a lot, and left, grinning the rest of the day.
Anyway, the rest of the day was relatively pleasant, and how gratifying was it to come home from an election party at 11:30PM, after watching the excellent and moving concession speech by John McCain, to find my Monkeybutt, snoring on the couch with the tv tuned to election coverage? Sigh. I'm so proud.
Ok, so I am very thankful for that day, for my son's interest in more than just his own four walls, for Barack Obama, and for cutie professor guy at Panera.
I am also thankful for the unseasonably warm weather we have been enjoying, my new microwave that can pop popcorn without burning it, and my sweet muffin-noodle nephew, Ben who celebrated his 2nd birthday today!
Happy Birthday, Ben!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day!

I just want to remind everyone, no matter who you are for, Go Vote on 11/4/08! No excuses, I'll watch your kids for you, just go vote!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

May all your hauntings be benign!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Catching up...

Ah, so much to share, so much space in which to share it.

First...and my tail is between my legs here friends...I started taking pictures and preparing to do this "week in the life" project. I was all psyched about it. And then I stopped remembering to snap the pictures. And I had to clean the house for parties. And I started reading Brisingr (ohhhh...good book! REad it!) Yeah, I know, I suck. I'll do it sooner or later, 'cuz it looks like fun, but it won't be this week. Wanna know why?

  • My baby turns 6 tomorrow. Yeah. Six! I'm so old. Anyway, so I have parties to plan, cakes to back, pumpkin muffins to bake for school tomorrow, presents to wrap...
  • I went to the doctor and dentist today. I've had this wicked-a** toothache all weekend, and I was sure I had something lodged in the gum. Or a crack in the tooth. But no, nothing that easy. I'm a "clencher", which I knew, but apparently, following a marathon grinding session last week, I bruised the pulp in two molars. Sounds gross, right? Anything "pulpy" sounds gross. So I have to start sleeping in a bite guard and taking ibuprofen for the pain. Also, I have yet another case of bronchitis. I can't have a freaking cold without getting bronchitis. Hopefully, once I get all this weight off, I won't get it so easily.
  • Yesterday was my soccer teams' final (two) games. We lost the first one, won the second. After, we invited them back here for a pizza party. They worked so hard this past season, and improved more than any other team. I was very proud of them. They ate...a lot...and played in the backyard.
  • I had my first parent/teacher conference for the girl child today. Very glowing reviews from the teacher, much to my delight. Apparently, she is not the most talkative person in class. I guess she saves it all for me.
  • We went to the corn maze on Saturday night. Very good fun. Have I mentioned how much I love this season? Even with a toothache and bronchitis, I had a blast. I just coughed a lot.

Okey doke. I have to bake some pumpkin muffins and watch Heroes. Oh, our freaking TV lamp burned out. So I have to watch Heroes upstairs. Such inconvenience I suffer...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I know, I know, you're all waiting with baited breath for this great project I said I was doing...I've been taking the pictures, and writing down what I've been doing, I just need to post. And I will. I swear. I need to go to bed now, but I will do some uploading and posting tomorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fuzzy-headed rambling thoughts

I feel the need to post, but my head is a bit fuzzy (either my allergies are wicked bad right now, or I have a cold, which is kind of what I feel like is happening, and my sinuses are all nasty and I'm just feeling kind of cruddy...heehee, I do love a good run-on sentence), so this is going to be a bit "stream-of-consciousness"-like.
I was reading the blog of a friend of a friend, and that blogger has a friend who lost a butt-load (or more) of weight on SparkPeople. I joined a few weeks ago, but the last few days I've been participating a lot more, and I find myself wanting to do thing rights just so I can earn points and stuff. I mean, I drank lots of water today, and I logged my food intake. Go me. Do you know I burn over 1,000 calories mowing my lawn? You can look at my sparkpage if you want, I linked it to the left. Think thin and healthy thoughts for me.
Girlchild had 3 birthday parties to attend this weekend. THREE. She is quite the social butterfly. And I was quite the taxi driver.
I went to a Crop for the Cure-type event yesterday. I completed 6 pages. Not horrible. Could hav ebeen better. I would llike to start Ali Edward's "week in the life" project this week. I should probably put new batteries in the camera in order to do that. It looks like fun. It's over on her website, but I can still do it for myself, darn it.
My happy little soccer team lost their game today, but the score was 4-3. We played the team we lost to, 13-0 last time, so I think we have improved. A lot. The little annoying girl started crying again, and telling me if I had put her at midfield instead of defense, we would have won. It's all my fault. Little punk. I'm so glad she's 8 - I won't have her next season. I thought they did well. Well enough, the studmuffin and I are giving them a party after our last game next Sunday.
Um...I think that's it. I need to take loads of sinus relief drugs and go to sleep now. Have a happy Monday.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This weekend is our kids' "fall break." The studmuffin took today and Monday off as well. Today we met friends for Thai food at Mai Thai, a very tasty restaurant on US 42 in Florence. If you live in the area and enjoy Thai food, I highly recommend giving it a try. Then we went to World of Sports and golfed 9 holes. Now, most of you know my kids have been playing on a junior league for a few years now. My husband has been playing since he was a kid. I do not enjoy the sport. In fact, I haven't played since before the girl child was conceived, over 6 years ago. But...I did promise the Monkeybutt I would play golf with him sometime in the next 2 years, and I played today. And...kind of enjoyed myself. The weather was gorgeous, and I actually made the ball go in the general direction I wanted it to go. Go me! Walking through a wooded area on the course made me wish I had my camera. The foliage is so beautiful this year, I'm going to have to walk the arboretum soon. Ooh! Girl Child has a soccer game tomorrow at the arboretum!
Last night my Monkeybutt attended his first school dance. Another situation I should have taken pictures, but...what are you going to do? I picked him up at 9:30 and he said he enjoyed himself. He danced...with girls. Three of them. He also came home bouncing off the walls due to his excessive patronage of the pop and candy bar. Mountain Dew and Pixie Stix were only two of the many sugar and caffeine-laden products available to the students. This morning he came into our room, groaning. I laughed at him, and suggested he learn not to overindulge at these events. My baby's first dance, and his first hangover. I'm so proud.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An annoyingly upbeat post...

Today my sweet little gold soccer team won their first game! Hoorah! Thanks in part to my studmuffin, who has been taking time each week to help us practice and play. They actually use...strategy. They won 6-0, and they were so happy. Go them!
We have been enjoying two tiny, furry, temporary additions to our family this weekend. My good friend A and her family rescued these sweet little pumpkins when they were only 1 1/2 weeks old (abandoned by their mama). They were going out of town this weekend and, since the kittens are only now 6 weeks old, A asked me to keep them for the weekend. They are so much fun. Right now they are fighting over a dress up glove the girl kitty (Friday) found in the basement. The boy (Frisco) has wrestled it away, and if anyone goes near him, he grabs it with his teeth and growls. He is very fierce, and we are all afraid. They sleep all curled up together like a furry yin/yang symbol. They have been following me all over the house, they are delighting our cat Finn, and harrassing the other two. They purr a lot and love to snuggle and I have quite fallen in love, and dread giving them back.
Friday is in the cauldron, Frisco will not let me get his picture with his eyes open.
Anyway, it has been a rather delightful day. Winning the soccer game, haircuts (the girl child had her's cut short again, which is fine for now), playing with kittens, reading...I hope you have all enjoyed your Sunday and are ready for a new week...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Something I learned yesterday...

I've decided I need to take a major hiatus from political discussion groups and media commentary on the current presidential race. Don't get me wrong, I care, deeply, about the future of our nation. I vote at every election, and I bring my kids to give them a lesson in civics. I know who I intend to vote for this year, and I'm rather excited about it. I have made my decision based on issues alone - I agree with the stance of one candidate on most of the issues I care about, I don't agree with the other. I am not basing my decision on prior relationships, family trauma, or whether I like the person or not.

However, yesterday I walked outside and noticed my neighbor had put a "McCain/Palin" sign in her front yard. This is a person I care about, have fun with, listen to. But I saw that sign and I got mad. "How dare she put a sign in her yard, on my street, for a candidate I don't want!" I was irritated for about 5 minutes...until I took a step back and thought about why I felt that way. I have many Republican friends, friends who plan to vote for McCain, who are intelligent and interesting people. For that matter, at the heart of things, we even tend to agree on a lot of issues. Unfortunately, I have spent time reading political discussions where people have made hateful accusations (accusations that were addressed and proved wrong months ago) against my favored candidate, spread nasty rumors, and acted just plain stupid. And we're only talking 5 or 6 people here, folks, and I'm judging an entire group of people based on a few idiots. The media goes back and forth, lashing us with irrelevant details and constant hateful rhetoric like so many limp, sticky spaghetti noodles. I buy into this crap, and judge my neighbor harshly for having the gall to choose the candidate she likes best and agrees with. I happen to be proud of living in a nation where we can choose someone to lead us who stands for what we believe in - who am I to make that decision for anyone else?

So I chilled. And smiled and waved at my neighbor, while mentally kicking my husband for being a Republican. My own fair nature won't allow me to post an Obama/Biden sign in the front yard we share. The bumper of my fair mini van is another story, however...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stories for MY children.

There are few things as delightful as sharing a book with one of my kids. I started reading the Harry Potter series to Monkeybutt when he was 4. Once he started reading on his own, he read through the Fudge books by Judy Blume, the Ralph S. Mouse books by Beverly Cleary, and books by Roald Dahl - all stories I loved as a kid. I loved discussing the books with him, and finding that we were amused by the same characters and antics. In the 4th grade he attempted "Tom Sawyer"...he came to me one morning and whined, "Mom, I just can't finish this book. I can't stand Tom; he's so bratty." I couldn't fault him; I couldn't finish it, either. I told him to wait a few years and attempt Huck Finn - it's a much better story, with better characters. Last year we started the Eragon series...Monkeybutt read the first one and told me I "had" to read it. I did, and loved it, and went out to grab "Eldest." He read it first, with me standing over him, urging him to hurry up and finish. We both spent July, August and September in a state of manic anticipation, waiting for the publication of "Brisingr". And now I'm waiting impatiently for him to finish it (I should have it by this weekend.)

I can only hope my daughter shares this love for reading. I just spent the last hour reading to her before bed. We are reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I read the first three as a child, and loved them so much I just kept rereading them...I never moved on past "On the Banks of Plum Creek". So these past 4 books have been all new to me, and I am enjoying them immensely (we're reading "Little Town on the Prairie"). So much, actually, that I have a tendency to read on past her bed time, until she is softly snoring beside me. Then, of course, I have to go back a chapter the next night. Or I stop reading aloud and keep reading forward until Girl Child pokes me and reminds me I'm supposed to be telling her the story, too. It is just such a pleasure to share these stories with her, to talk about what life was like in the late 1800's, how lucky she is to be born now, when she has choices in her life, heat and food in the winter time, an opportunity to learn and speak her mind, and be an independent and free human being, rather than just a wife, mother, daughter (although, from the stories we're reading, Charles Ingalls was quite the progressive male for his time.) A few weeks ago, while visiting a homestead in Peoria, the Girl Child identified excitedly the butter churn in the corner and the chamber pot under the straw mattress in the loft. In the future, I predict various historical vacation spots, with the kids and myself running excitedly from relic to relic, telling stories and facts from books we've read, while my dear, bored husband trudges along behind me, asking to go back to the hotel to swim and play mini-golf.

whew...once again I have rambled. All of this is simply to express the joy I feel in sharing a love for reading and history with my kids. They drive me crazy in millions of different ways (not the least of which is their shared enjoyment of beating the crap out of each other), BUT discussing an interesting story or fascinating historical tidbit certainly takes us a large part of the way toward "totally worth it."

Monday, September 29, 2008

A bit LESS whiny...

Ok. So. I did some cleaning. Organized my scrap space (that alone made me feel better.) Watched Heroes tonight (I don't care how cheesy Josh says it is, I LIKE it!) There have been no crazy parent attacks in the past week. Even after my poor soccer team lost on Sunday (they tried so hard!) Things are looking up in the Missy household.
In honor of my improved mood, I wanted to share a cheerful photo. I realize those of you who are friends with me on Facebook have seen this picture, but there are those who are not on Facebook, and they, too, deserve to share the delight that is this photo.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A bit of whining

Forewarning: this is a pitiful post full of very personal details and a lot of boohoo-ing about my present psychological state. You may want to stop reading now.
You ever have one of those weeks? One where you felt just ugly and stupid and low? Your house is a terrible mess, but you can't summon even the a smidgen of the energy needed to clean it? You need to exercize and eat well, but you can't be bothered? This has been one of those weeks. And I'm feeling ridiculously sorry for myself. Even though I have friends who are going through so very much more than I have ever faced, I can't bring myself to get off my rear and do something about the pathetic state I am in.
I chat with a group of friends online, and I tend to feel a bit like an unpopular idiot when I talk to them...which is stupid, because it's nothing they say or do. I had a dream the other night that my husband was finding...extracurricular entertainment...if you will, and it was more disturbing than my usual dreams. When I confronted him about it (in the dream, not in real life), he laughed at me and asked, "what do you expect?" Yeah. Pathetic. Anyway, I've been overtired, watching way too much television, and not doing any more than absolutely necessary this entire week, but still feeling put-upon and crabby. And I'm nowhere near my time of month.
Before you ask, my medically minded friends, it's not an issue with my meds. I know what that feels like, as I've experienced it twice already this year. This is more a...self-esteem crisis. Something I need to attack. I feel this is sort of a first step in that process - a venting of the issues, a journal entry of sorts.

Thanks for listening.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gotta rant...

...singing in a high-spirited, Broadway style. Oh, and I apologize - I was a day behind in my "Talk Like a Pirate Day" festivities. I don't know where my head was. Off the plank, I suppose. It really should be celebrated for a whole weekend, anyway.
So, I mentioned recently that I am coaching Monkeybutt's soccer team. I need to say from the get-go: I am not a good coach. My soccer experience includes P.E. class and seven years of watching my son's teams play. However, MB wanted to play, he likes to win, but doesn't really require it, so we found a local rec league. They had a coach shortage, I wanted my kid to play, so I volunteered. The end. Well, I have a kid on my team. She is loud, obnoxious, and overly aggressive. Throwing elbows, kicking ankles, shoving. As irritating as she is, however, her parents are far worse. They yell - nonstop - through the whole game. Telling the kids what to do at every turn, and insulting me. So, today I pull the girl off the field (she had been playing for a long time). She stomps in, collapses on the bench in tears, yelling at me about how our players don't know how to play their positions, I don't know how to coach, and she knows far more about soccer than anyone (she's 8, by the way - the players range from age 8-11). After 5 minutes of this tearful ranting, I tell her to hush, we'll talk about it later. After the game, the father stomps up to me and yells at me, "What, my daughter's not allowed to talk now? You hushed her at practice, and you hushed her today. You'd better not make it three times!"
Uh huh. I sincerely do not think I was out of line. I didn't tell her to shut up, that I didn't want to hear her opinion, or anything else unkind. If I didn't hush her up once in awhile, we would never get anything done. I responded that she continued to yell at me about how our players didn't know how to play, and he tells me, there are 8 players over near the goal, obviously they don't know how to play!. I glare at him in response, and say, basically, what I said above, that I was up-front from the beginning, I am a volunteer here, I never said I was a good coach, but that I liked the kids, and wanted them to have fun. Here is when he threatens me with the "better not make it three times" line. I am proud to announce that I kept my dignity through the entire encounter (I am not a confrontational person - I do not handle that crap well.) I didn't start sobbing until I reached my car. Thank you very much.
Anyway...was I out of line? Am I not allowed to tell a player to "hush?" Would you lay into me, "get all up in my grill" so to speak if I told your child to hush? Ya know, so I could coach the game? (and by the way, yes we lost, but the opposing team was very good, and the ref told me we played very well - the score did not reflect how well our team played. So that's a good thing.)

Le sigh. Anyway, that's my sad story of the day. My mom was there and wanted to beat the guy up. My son looked like he was going to jump on the guy (I"m glad he didn't.) But we got home, and proceeded to go to the Octoberfest at the Catholic church down the street, where we had great mounds of fun. Time to put the girl child to bed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ahoy there...

It be Talk Like a Pirate be sure to guzzle the rum while you still have a chance.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Watch out, arachnophobes...

Every evening, this young lady builds a brand new web and catches herself a yummy morsel. She's lived here long enough to be considered a part of the family, really. I call her Alex (I don't know much about spiders, so I wanted to pick a good, gender nonspecific name. I certainly don't want to play favorites, so I took pictures last night:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Reflections on yesterday

I'm feeling very neglectful for not addressing the fact that yesterday was September 11. I certainly thought about it throughout the day. I thought about how thankful I was that I didn't lose anyone during those events. I considered what I did that day, and the days following...watching the news constantly, mourning other people's losses, keeping my son close. I suppose recognizing and observing 9/11 each year reminds me to not become too complacent. To recognize that my comfortable little life is just as transient as anyone else's, and to not take advantage of what I have. To hug my kids just a little closer, tell my husband I love him, and be a kind and loving friend and relative to all the precious people in my life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lalala, happy lists.

It's raining right now. I went out to take the garbage to the curb and could feel the earth sighing happily. It's blissfully cool and it smells so fresh. I came downstairs and caught up on one of my favorite blogs, Soulemama (check my links), and her most recent entry was talking about what she's loving right now. I love those lists, I make them regularly. So I was inspired:

1. My youngest cat is sitting in the windowsill right now, tail flailing about wildly as he stalks the birds looking for worms in our front yard. He is a trip and a half.

2. Soulemama's book, The Creative Family. I loved how calm and sweet it was, and the projects were inspiring. It motivated me to find some ways to add time for creativity into our lives.

3. Shadowbox Cabaret (Newport), and specifically, their cutie patootie lead guitarist. My sister turned 21 the other day and we celebrated there. We had a great time, and I drooled profusely. He's a wickedly talented guitarist. The whole troupe is pretty freaking talented.

4. My new owl stamp. I've been kind of owl-obsessed (in my crafting, not generally), and he has made his way onto everything from layouts to birthday cards to wallhangings.
5. Law and Order: Criminal Intent. I stay up way too late to catch up on the lives of Detectives Goran and Eames. I watch Logan too, but I am enamored with Vince D'onofrio's performance as the quirky Goran. I have never been one for crime dramas but some of my favorite chicks told me to check out some Law and Orders and CSI's. Yeah, I'm hooked. Thanks ladies.
That's good for today, I think. What are you loving these days?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Procrastination Update #2

I edged my lawn this weekend. Motivated by my brother. Perhaps another time I will write out a whole "why I adore my brother M" post, but I am not feeling eloquent enough right now to do him justice. So we'll just go with, thanks M, miss you already. Whoohoo, another step down!

I know I have a hundred things to chat about, but I am not feelin' it tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I was having bizarre dreams all night and I freaked out during one and fell out of bed (how old am I, 5?). I bumped my head on my bedside table, and now I have a lump, and a broken bedside table.

Friday, August 29, 2008

blah blah blah

She used to be a sleeper. She would sleep until 8, sometimes 9AM. I guarantee, if we had somewhere we needed to be, she would be sleeping late. There are two mornings a week I should be able to sleep until 8 - why are these always the mornings my irritating little girl-child wakes up early? And of course she's grouchy as all get-out, whining about everything. Add to that, I woke up with my sinuses draining. Ow. And I'm having an ecxema breakout on my left palm. What the hell is that about? Everytime I'm forced to wake up early I get on here and ramble.
Last night I worked on straightening out my basement. It was a royal mess. It looks much better now. Then I worked on a "favorites" layout. It's missing something - I'll work on it later. I have no pictures to scrap right now...what a bizarre feeling.
Have I mentioned I'm coaching Monkeybutt's soccer team this fall? What a freaking joke. You all know I've never played soccer (other than in gym class), right? It's kind of a trip, being called Coach, though.
We're off to the fabulous metropolis of Peoria tonight, so I have to accomplish some muy importante tasks today...packing and whatnot. Ah, Peoria. The home of Caterpillar, Richard Pryor, the guy who played Winchester on MASH...what a city.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good job, Girlchild!

My daughter had a cavity. A big one. I could actually see it when I looked in her mouth. I felt horrifyingly could I neglect my daughter's oral hygiene to that point? Anyway, lately she has been going through a fearful phase - everything scares the child. She wouldn't let the dentist clean her teeth the last time we were there, he had to use a toothbrush. So, understandably, the dentist was a bit worried that she would freak out when he had to fix the cavity. He suggested we make an appointment to have her put under at Children's and he would fix everything then. But I was a bit concerned about insurance, etc. You can see I really obsessed about this entire thing. I decided to make an appointment at the office for a regular pulpectomy and crown (pulpectomy - isn't that a disgusting word?) and proceeded to obsess and worry myself sick about the whole thing for 2 weeks.

You guys, she did great. I told them to take her in without me; I knew my presence would just make her nervous. She went right in and they did the whole thing with no crying, no screaming, no tantrums. I am so proud of her. She now has a silver crown on her molar, and hopefully will not have another cavity for a long time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Procrastination Update

Hey! Guess what! I made jam and cleaned and organized my MOMS files! Two steps down!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1st day blues

My kiddles started school on Monday. Unlike many of my mom friends, I have not been dreading the event...I'm one of those moms turning cartwheels at the bus stop as the bus pulls away. The girl child started kindergarten! She likes her teacher, she has lots of friends in her class, and today a boy (who's name she cannot remember) told her she was pretty. Yes, friends, they're learning pick-up lines in Kindergarten. Anyway, so I was excited for her, but I have been there before, and I really didn't cry or get too worked up about it. Monkeybutt, on the other hand, started middle school. Yikes. I actually had to get myself together before I could go on with my day after he left. He will never be in elementary school again! Time to go to bed and pout.
Anyway, here are pics from the first day:

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Everytime I read that word, I sing it to the tune of "The we go..." from "History of the World, Part I". You know, Mel Brooks movie? Now I will be singing that for the rest of the day.

So, anyway, I am a world class procrastinator. If I have something important I should be doing, you know I will put it off as long as possible. Even if it's a task that I enjoy, like organizing a file system...At any rate, since I am not getting any younger, we have lived in this house for over 3 years now, knowing there are tasks I need to complete is bad for my spiritual energy...Here is a list of the tasks I have been putting off and need to get to. Perhaps having them out there, you all read them and know my shame, will spur me on to complete at least one task a week.

  1. Edge my yard. I am in charge of most outdoor chores (I tend to enjoy them), and studmuffin bought me my electric edger 2 years ago. I have yet to use it. Yikes.
  2. Strip wallpaper in bathroom and paint the walls. (we've lived here 3 years and this house still looks like the previous owner's - if a little dirtier.)
  3. Strip wallpaper and border in kitchen. See above. Not my style. And I hate wallpaper.
  4. Reorganize my MOMS Club files. (I've only been president for over a year.)
  5. Clean carpets. (3 years of letting my kids eat in the living room and 5 cats puking have left their marks. And yes, I do clean up the vomit, but it leaves a stain.)
  6. Dust the house...well. And keep it up. With our allergies the way they are, this is bordering on neglectful.
  7. Adopt a healthier lifestyle: My mom had a heart attack at the very young age of 35. That, plus my weight, add up to a nasty set of risk factors. I need to start exercizing and eating better. In that spirit, I have started another blog documenting my weight loss adventures. check out Or just go to my profile page and click on the link there. And wish me luck.
  8. Figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Bizarre, I know. My daughter starts school full time next year, so I have a year to plan the next stage of my life. I know I would like to go back to school, but I need to have a job to pay for it first, and I don't want to waste the time or money until I know what I want to study. So I need to work on finding a way to make money next year, and I have the luxury of taking time to find something I may actually enjoy. From there, I can work on what I want to study. If anyone has any ideas, please, I'm listening.
  9. Adopt a meditation and yoga practice. I know this will help me with my anxiety and depression issues, and I need to take more control of my health.
  10. Develop and adopt daily and weekly routines. Again, will help with anxiety and depression issues, will help me become more organized and a better mother, will help my kids (kids thrive on routine, right?), etc. I am so not a routine-oriented person, so this will be a toughy.
  11. Make jam from those blackberries I picked the other day. I should be able to complete this one today... (edited at 4:42PM the same day - I made the jam and it is good.)

Ok, I know there's probably plenty more I am putting off, but this is a beginning. I can always add to it. Obviously some of these are very concrete - painting, organizing - while some are more long-term and will take a certain amount of commitment. But all are important...and I intend to put some energy into completing, or at least working on, these tasks each week.
Again, wish me luck...and a lot of energy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One Proud Mama

Ok. I don't really get a chance to brag on the monkeybutt much. He's a great kid and all, but a bit of a challenge, as those who know him...know.
But he deserves some kudos. So I will provide them.
Earlier this summer we had a garage sale. I told the kiddles whatever they sold, the money would be their's. Monkeybutt is passing up the little boy toy stage - he doesn't really play with cars, Beyblades, most action figures, etc, anymore (sniff.) So he sold a whole buttload of stuff - and decided to donate half of what he earned to our local animal shelter. Any other money he earned this summer, he put half into his animal shelter pot. This past Tuesday, after getting his school schedule and paying his fees for (sniff) middle school (small sob), we picked up a big bag of dog food, a chew toy, and took those and the money he raised (doubled by his animal-lovin' momma) to the animal shelter. They were very pleased to get it, and we spent the next 1 1/2 hours snuggling dogs, puppies, kittens...and mourning the fact that we couldn't take them all home. I think Monkeybutt would tell you - all that snuggle time was more than worth the work he did to earn the money.

By the way, for those of you in the Northern Kentucky area - the Boone County Animal Shelter has a large number of kittens in right now, and they all need homes. So they are doing a 2 for 1 deal - adopt 1 kitten, take a 2nd home free. Please, if you are looking for a pet, think about adopting. There are too many homeless pets out there. Just ask my Monkeybutt.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wow. Babble much?

So last night I stayed up late, thinking because my kids are at my mom's, I could sleep in, right? Wrong. Woke up coughing this morning (lingering cough from a nasty attack of asthmatic bronchitis), couldn't get back to sleep. I paid some bills, wrote up a whopper of a to-do list...and got on here to ramble. So here are some random thoughts that have entertained me thus far this morning:

1. A few years ago, I saw my first hummingbird. Seriously. I never saw one in my entire life until I moved to Kentucky. I planted red glads and the hummingbirds loved them. So this year I planted more, and my first blooms opened this week. This morning I was gazing out the window, wondering when I would see one - and there, happily sucking nectar from my first open glad, was a hummingbird. It tried the red hibiscus, too, but that didn't seem to work well. I paid some bills, looked up again, and there was another one. Kind of started off the morning on a nice note for me. I love those quick little birds.

2. It is so gorgeous outside. I went out to put something in my car, and it is sunny and warm, but not nasty hot and humid. I think at one point today I'll take my book out onto my back porch (have I ever waxed euphoric on this forum about my lounge chair on my back porch? I inherited from my grandparents - it is rather ugly, but probably the most comfortable chair I've ever sat on. I've been known to take a blanket out in chilly weather and lay on that chair reading for hours. My brother has slept overnight on that chair.)

3. I really need to start keeping some caffeine in this house.

4. My mom sells Avon and every so often, she will buy my kids useless Avon trinkets. My daughter has this Valentine's day snowglobe/music box thing that plays this very annoying electronic sounding version of some annoying song. Loud. Would she notice if I disposed of it today? Unfortunately, my mother probably would. Ok, just took out the batteries. There is certainly a better use for 3 AAA batteries in this house.

5. This basement is a serious mess.

6. Lately I've been addicted to strawberry Twizzlers. I eat way too many of them. They are perfect scrapping food - no crumbs or finger gunk. They can't be good for the teeth...

7. Speaking of teeth, my beloved girl-child has a cavity. A big one. I feel terribly guilty (should have paid better attention to the brushing), and she seems to be going through an "I'm afraid of everything" phase right now, which has prompted the dentist to suggest actually putting her under to treat the cavity. I've been stressing pretty heavily about this one.

8. I should probably get upstairs and begin my day, so I'm going to stop rambling now. Perhaps a photo? This is my snuggle-pumpkin girl-child, just after her first birthday. So freaking cute.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

In Memory of Gulliver

My mom's beloved cat died yesterday. Gulliver enjoyed laying on my sister, playing with my youngest cat, Finnegan, boxes, and sitting in odd positions. We all loved him and he will be missed. Please keep my mom, sister and brother in your thoughts.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Girlfriends and good reads

Today the kiddles and I booked up north to visit some new friends for a picnic. It was supposed to be a family event, but my studmuffin bent over today. Silly man. Anyway, I left him drugged and prone and groaning and hauled butt with the kids, some random beer and soda and a bag of chips to meet a group of women I've never met face to face. We had a lovely time. My son was quite taken with one of the young ladies there and happily discussed books and music with her, whilst my daughter played with every little girl she could find, and their mama babbled incessantly. We discussed books for awhile, which, coupled with a few hours of meditative mowing this morning, is the inspiration for this post.
Most of you who actually know me know I am an avid reader. This is not to say I read large amounts of great literature - I don't. I love chicklit, romances, and murder mysteries as much as the next person. But I read - a lot. Whenever I get the chance, really. Right now I am reading 4 different books, plus whatever magazines I happen to have on the table (I am also fond of periodicals, and I don't mean Scientific American, either.) So I have decided to present to my sweet readers my top 5 favorite books - right now. Please understand, this list changes from week to week - so the "right now" is important. Although #1 has been #1 for 15 years now. And anybody who wants to recommend a book - please do. I love recommendations. I generally read them. So here thay are:

My top 5 favorite books (right now) are:

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (The entire series was just so entertaining and well-written, but this was my favorite story of them all.)
4. Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams (I love Douglas Adams and have since I read his Hitchhiker series during my "I love geeks" phase in high school. He is by far the most quotable author I have ever read. This book is his account of a trip he took to see and document some of the worlds' most endangered species. It is a serious book, but written in his famous satirical prose; highly enjoyable.)
3. The Stand by Stephen King (favorite King book, ever. I know it was long - but could you tell a story like that in less pages? I didn't think so.)
2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Perhaps this book is not for everybody. I loved her writing, but it was more than that with this book. As a person on a spiritual quest of my own, I read this book at the exact time I needed to, and it gave me a renewed energy and purpose.)
1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (My favorite all-time book. Has been for years. I have since read everything Ms. Atwood has written, and this one is still my favorite - for the story, for the use of language, for the sheer beauty of description. I truly love this book.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008


It is terrifyingly late (for me, anyway), but I felt like writing a bit...
Tuesday was a lovely, rather free day for us. The kiddles and I had lunch out and finished the Monkeybutt's school shopping - all the fabulous pens and notebooks and whatnot an incoming 6th grader could need or want. I love nothing more than school supply shopping time. The schools offer the "convenience" of prepackaged school supplies - there is nothing in this world I want less, save a raging case of the ebola virus, perhaps. I relish school supply shopping - I await the supply list with all the anticipation of the next installment in a favorite novel series. It was a good time had by all. Even my beloved girlchild got a large vat of cheeseballs - her favorite snack - and one only available at the local price club (which we do not have membership for) or the local Staples.
Following a most successful and pleasing office supply shopping spree, the kiddles and I headed out to the music store where we obtained for the monkeybutt...wait for it...his rented saxophone. Yes, my friends, my darling son has been waiting 3 years to become an official band geek, and his first choice instrument was the saxophone, much to the delight of his jazz-loving mother. He was assigned his first choice, and we got it yesterday. I can't say enough about how great the guys at Wert Music in Erlanger were - they showed him how to put it together, care for it, and actually make it play. They also offered two "kick-start" lessons, so he can learn more about his new instrument, and maybe actually play a note or two before school starts. He was so excited about his saxophone, that as soon as he came home, he took it out, put it together, played on it a bit (who knew the saxophone could be so loud - even when played correctly without a squeak - of course, my kid is a natural, we all knew), took it apart, cleaned it...the boy is in love. I couldn't be more pleased.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Two big events, complete with pics

Some pretty major things have happened recently:

The girl child lost her first tooth. Isn't she adorable?

And...I knocked an item off the "before I turn 40" list: I planted these sugar snap peas and grew them from seed! Go me!

New pictures

Monkeybutt and some of our Texas friends.

darling nephew and my brother's dog, Jack.

Girl Child at her first dance recital.

Family of Phlegm

It's been a rough couple of weeks, my friends. We attended my youngest brother's wedding the beginning of the month. It was fun, but on the ride home, the girl child started coughing. I thought, perhaps, she had inherited my dog allergies, which would bite. When I took her to the doctor the next week, she said she was wheezing and prescribed two inhalers and some allergy medicine. The girl child was not cooperative when it came time to use the inhalers. I literally had to wrestle her to the ground and pin her down while forcing her to breathe in the medicine. This was not a fun activity, and I started having panic attacks afterwards. She did start taking the inhaler better after a few days of wresting. That weekend we attended StudMuffin's company picnic, which was good fun - well it was hot, and I hate the Tilt-a-Whirl.
Anyway, MonkeyButt developed a cough, I developed a cough...This past weekend the girl child and I drove up with my mom to our family reunion in Columbus. Also good fun, although it was tempered with some sadness - my mom's cousin passed away on Wednesday so we went to the wake yesterday. I'm hoping that as I hugged and kissed multiple family members, I didn't pass on the germ that has slowly taken over my family - we all have bronchitis. Ugh. I haven't slept in a few days with all the coughing, but my doc gave me good drugs today, so we should be sleeping happily tonight.
I have some new pics to post so I'll get on that - you all have a pleasant evening.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

More movie reviews.

I've seen a bunch of movies in the past few weeks. Both at the theater and on DVD. Here's what I thought:
Ironman: Really freaking cool. Best superhero movie I've seen. And I've seen a lot. Admittedly, I kept waiting for Robert Downey, Jr. to stop and ingest some form of chemical (sorry RDJ), but he was just a really cool superhero. Honestly - it was fantastic. Go see it.
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: Eh. It was ok. Great effects and whatnot, and I loved the first movie. This one was a bit lacking. I hated the ending. But Prince Caspian was hhhhot.
Get Smart: Very funny. Now I was not expecting the television show, people, just a funny movie with Steve Carrell. And that's what I got. I enjoyed this one.
Stardust (DVD): Wow! How on earth did I miss this one? Great movie. Great cast. Two thumbs up, friends, and my kids loved it too - both the 11 year old boy and the 5 1/2 year old girl. Go rent it. Or buy it.
Semi Pro (DVD): I giggled in some spots. But I wasn't expecting great film here.
Grandma's Boy (DVD): I had never even heard of this one. My studmuffin stuck it in last night saying his coworker had recommended it. Seeing as his coworker is an engineer from Ohio, I wasn't expecting a good movie. And it wasn't. A good movie, I mean. But it was entertaining. Grandma's Boy was done by Adam Sandler's company, Happy Madison, and the cast consisted of all relative unknowns from all the Adam Sandler films (the main character was his best friend in Wedding Singer). Grandma was played by Ray's mom in Everybody loves Raymond (Doris Roberts?) Anyway, this was a definite guy movie - lots of pot smoking, video games, bodily functions, and sex...or wishing for sex. The guys are video game testers, after all. Yeah, so basic synopsis: main character is 36 year-old pothead video game tester, kicked out of his apartment (by Rob Schneider)for not paying rent (his roommate spent the rent money at a "house of ill repute".) He goes to live with his grandmother and her two female roommates (Shirley Knight and Shirley Jones, you know, the Partridge family mom?) In the meantime, his company hires a lovely female consultant to help release their game on time. The geeky genius guy with a tendancy to talk like a robot (he was actually pretty great - played by Joel David Moore, funny as heck) who actually designs the games tries to woo the lovely consultant chick...My favorite guy is the drug dealer named Dante who befriends a bushman and Chinese martial arts expert. Anyway, the movie is not smart, and kind of gross at times, but it was...enjoyable. I couldn't really turn away, for some reason.
Ok, so that's it for movie reviews this month. I have kids to put to bed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I need to be cleaning right now. A lot. We have our Texas friends due to arrive here for a week's stay in 4 hours...and I'm sitting here blogging in order to put off the cleaning. My daughter is sitting here whining and crying and really just driving me insane. Lalalalalala...
And now, for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, June 13, 2008

A great new childcare option for northern Kentucky!

My good friend Tiffany has been working on this really cool project, and it has just opened - Skidaddles is a drop-in daycare; a safe and fun place to leave your kids whether you are going to work or just out to dinner. It is something we don't have here, and it is something we need, as this is a very transient area and not everybody has family in the area. I brought my daughter to check it out last week, and there is so much to do. There is a theater area, dress up, games and books, arts and crafts, Wii and computer stations - and it is so colorful and fun, I wanted to move in. There will even be a preschool curriculum - a place to learn and have fun!
Skidaddles opened this past Wednesday! I am just so excited for Tiffany - she has worked extremely hard for this, and it is so very cool. I hope anyone in the area in need of a facility like this checks it out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Catching Up Part II: Let the ennui begin

To quote the immortal Alice Cooper, "school's out for summer." Of course, Mr. Cooper, along with most of America's children, sang these lyrics with glee. I do not. I happen to like school. I like my kids being in school. I like the few hours a week I get alone while my children are in school. We have only just finished our second day of summer break, and I have heard the complaints, "we're bored", "you never take us to the pool", and "are we ever going to do anything fun?" The last I answered with a definitive "no!"
As most of you know, both of my children will be starting pretty major years in August, which means we had to face "graduations." I know many who agree with me when I say, how freaking ridiculous is it that we celebrate "graduations" with ceremonies for the end of preschool and 5th grade. The preschool that we went to didn't do so badly, actually, they sang a few songs, got little certificates, and went on their merry way. My neighbor actually had to purchase a cap and gown for her little 5 year-old cherub to march down the aisle in.
The 5th grade "ceremony" was cheesy beyond belief. They had an airplane theme, and they ushered the 5th graders in with the lights off, using those orange flashlights they use to direct planes on the tarmac. They announced each segment as a flight attendant or pilot announces flight information. All awards were given to girls. They ended the event with a slide show (which was little more than flashing the kids' school pictures up on the gym wall to music), set to music from "High School Musical" and Hannah Montana. I will discuss my desire to maim somebody everytime I am subjected to cutesy bubblegum pop music sung by teeny boppers at another time. I did, however, rejoice when I caught my son rolling his eyes at the beginning of "We're All in This Together". My son has some musical taste, thankfully.
At any rate, Monkeybutt is now out of elementary school, and looking forward to middle school. Miss Girl Child is anxiously awaiting August, and the beginning of elementary school. Honestly, so am I. I think, though, once we get past this initial week, the summer should prove a bit more enjoyable. We have bestest friends coming to visit from Texas, Monkeybutt has camp, both kids have golf and other activities...and I INTEND to instill routines and learning opportunities in our lives this summer. If anyone has any ideas to help me with this, I will gladly welcome them.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Catching Up part 1: Missy's Family Goes to Washington

Well, hi!
This has been a very busy last few weeks and I have so much to tell you all, that I'm going to have to break it up into segments, or chapters, if you will. The following chapter will describe our trip to Washington D.C.
My son has been wanting to visit Washington since he was 6 years-old and his aunt went and brought him a book. He memorized the memorials and monuments before he ever visited, and I promised we would go when he was ten. Well he turned eleven a few weeks ago, so I figured we'd been haul rear and go. So, Memorial Day weekend we packed up our trusty Saturn and drove the 8 hours to Washington D.C. (personally, I suggested Memorial Day weekend might be a bad idea, and terribly crowded, buy the love of my life insisted it was the best weekend for him.) It was actually a relatively nice trip - the scenery was quite lovely. We made a wrong turn just before getting into the city, and ended up driving through Alexandria, but the trip was only extended by an hour, and we got to see the Pentagon and the monuments driving into the city, which was nice.
We found a spot on the street by our hotel - score! We stayed at the Topaz, about a 15 minute walk from the White House. The hotel was lovely - not really child-friendly, but very friendly to my children, and very peaceful. It was perfect for a group not planning to do anything but sleep there. We walked to Ben's Chili Bowl for dinner that night - a restaurant we had seen on the Travel Channel (we are all about the food. You will see many descriptions of meals here.) I had the Chili burger - it was quite tasty. We also walked past Duke Ellington's house to get there. Pretty freaking cool. That was one of the things I loved most about D.C. You walk by all these obscure old buildings and they end up being something important or interesting: The Embassy to Micronesia or the Association for Middle Eastern Peace or something.

Saturday we walked to the White House and Annika informed us the President lives there, can we go see him? I'm pretty sure he wasn't home, or he would have invited us in for breakfast. As it was, we ate at the Cafe du Parc, a fab old French place. A little pricey, but the berries were delish. We walked through the gardens behind the Smithsonian Castle, visited the Air and Space Museum, the Lincoln Memorial and the WWII Memorial. I took a lot of pictures, here are a few:

We walked back to the hotel, completely wiped. We decided to sup at a place just a few blocks from the hotel; Mai Thai. The whole family gave it two thumbs up - and these are kids who have not eaten a lot of Thai.
Sunday we started walking toward the Mall area again. We decided to just look for somewhere to eat breakfast, and ended up at the Old Ebbit Grill. The oldest saloon in Washington, apparently. The cool part is that it is right next door to the tavern where British generals toasted one another as they watched the White House burn during the War of 1812 (my son isn't the only history buff.) The other cool part is they made one fantastic hamburger, and they served it to me at 9AM.
From there we walked to the Museum of Natural History. We saw the dinosaurs and the Hope Diamond. I would have liked to explore the geology exhibit a bit more, but honestly, the museums were so packed, we couldn't read an entire display without getting shoved out of the way. So we left there and visited the place I wanted to go more than anywhere else: The National Archives. We stood in line for a long time. Luckily, however, the outdoor line was entertained by a 3 hour parade of motorcyclists. Apparently this is a Memorial Day thing - thousands of motorcyclists, with POW MIA flags flying, riding down Constitution and around the national monuments. It kept the kids interested for the 45 minutes outside, but unfortunately there was nothing to keep them interested inside, where Monkeybutt continued to remind me that we were just here to see "pieces of paper." I lectured him on how these were not paper, but parchment, and they were the most important parchments in the history of our nation. He didn't shut up, but I did get to see my pieces of parchment. We walked to the Capitol Building, my other favorite, but they were packed and we didn't get to go in there. I took lovely pictures though:

We walked on to a carousel in the middle of the mall, which perked the kids up a bit. Monkeybutt offered to carry the Girl Child with whiny feet on his back - as long as he could, anyway. Then we went on to the Jefferson Memorial. My very favorite of the Memorials - not only because it is so beautiful, sitting off the tidal basin like it does, but also because I have always admired Thomas Jefferson. After climbing up to it, and looking around, we walked back across the bridge and rented a peddle boat. My knee was bothering me (I may have done something stupid and jumped from something high) and the boys offered to pedal we girls around. The Girl Child and I just sat back and looked purty - and I took lots of pictures of the Memorial from the water.

We walked back to the hotel in much better spirits than earlier, and we ate at California Pizza Kitchen, which is not at all interesting, but we always liked it when we lived in Illinois and there are none around here. We went to bed with the understanding that we would try to be out of the city by 8AM the next day. We checked out at 7:30, well on our way to our goal. We walked to the car, which had been parked safely right down the street from our hotel, which was in a very safe area - and found the rear driver's side window smashed. Happy Birthday to my Studmuffin (did I mention it was his birthday?) He got to spend the next hour vacuuming glass and taping cardboard over the window, while I cleaned out the car. The hotel staff were very lovely about talking to my kids and feeding them breakfast, on their dime. I really have to give that hotel high marks - even with the smashed window. It could have been much worse, it really was little more than an inconvenience, and mildly amusing when you consider how very disappointed that criminal must have been when he or she found nothing to steal but stale Goldfish crackers, beef stick wrappers, some dirty stuffed animals and paged through comics, and an old Gameboy, not worth the energy to try and sell it. Here is a picture of our most interesting souvenier - our smashed and covered window:
At any rate, we had an uneventful trip home, and the window is fixed. We had a nice visit - I don't know that we'll go back much, but it was a nice visit. It was interesting to see how countrified my kids have become since we've lived here. They were seriously shocked, not only by the assault on the car, but by the sheer number of homeless people sleeping on park benches and in doorways. Girl Child kept asking why they slept there, and I tried to explain, but she really didn't get it. Perhaps that will be a good way to introduce my children to civic duty and volunteerism. I'll have to consider that.
In a future chapter, I will discuss the last few weeks of school, my birthday (yesterday), and the opening of a good friend's business...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

When Animals Attack XI

So, the craziest thing happened. Friday morning my mother called me, crying. Apparently one of her cats had gotten spooked by a stray outside the patio door and attacked Mom's foot when she went to close the door. He scratched her pretty good. She stopped the bleeding, cleaned the scratches and put on a bandaid - went to bed. She woke up in the middle of the night in a lot of pain - and couldn't walk on that foot. By the time she called me the foot was throbbing in pain, and she was worried about the other cat. I had to drop my kids off at school, but I said I would stop by after. Her foot was swollen and the area around the scratches was red; I suggested we go to the doctor. The doctor said it was infected, gave her antibiotics and pain pills and sent her home with strict instructions to keep it elevated. I bullied my sister into staying with her (school's out, no responsibilities). This morning Mom calls - the foot is feeling worse, and the redness is spreading. She asked if I would come look at it. I suggested she should have someone who actually knows something look at it, so she went to the ER. They admitted her - apparently she has cellulitis, is in a lot of pain, and it was a very good thing she went in, or she could have had some serious repercussions.
Ok, how bizarre is this? Honestly, I have been scratched by cats thousands of times, and have never suffered more than a little bleeding. Trust my mother to get a wild mutant cat scratch that lands her hospitalized on Mother's Day. That's my insane family for you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

11 years ago today...

The world was made a little bit better by this guy...
Happy birthday to my favorite Monkeybutt!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Little More Myself

So I'm starting to feel a little better. I have been sleeping - so very important. I'm still waking up shaky and uncomfortable, but each day gets a little easier. I've realized, though, I do not want to spend the rest of my life waiting for the meds to stop working. I'm going to look into seeing "someone" - you know, a (whisper) psychiatrist. Figure out what is going on up there. I'm also starting yoga classes this week, and I'm going to learn to meditate.
But for tonight, when I'm feeling not so bad, and needing to get to bed - I'm simply going to post a small list for your reading enjoyment. These are the things I am grateful for tonight. Because a little gratitude never hurt anyone...and can only make me sleep better.
I am grateful for:

1. My son, who will play endless games of Yahtzee with me when that seems to be the only thing making me feel better.
2. My daughter's hugs - ever plentiful.
3. This gorgeous state I live in. Have I mentioned how much I love it here?
4. My husband - who continues to love me no matter how crazy I act.
5. The amazing friends I have made here - every one of them will allow me to sob on their shoulder or babble incessantly about my state of mind.
6. My mom. For everything she is. And that is worth an entire post on its own, to come later.

Ok, so this has been an unusually sappy post, but I can't help it. That's just me tonight. G'nite sweet readers. I am grateful for all of you.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I saw the doctor yesterday. I told him my meds seemed to have stopped working and he just nodded and said, "yeah, they'll do that." Lovely. So he prescribed a new one - I started the first one this morning. I'm praying that they will kick in quickly.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I can't sleep.
Sunday I started getting a little shaky. Not too bad, just a little shaky and nervous. The next day I woke up a bit early, spent the morning shaky and anxious, felt a little better by afternoon. Each day has gotten a bit worse. Yesterday I spent the day going between anxiety attack and sobbing fit. Today I woke up at 1:30AM - and I can't get back to sleep.
Many of you know I've been on antidepressants for 5 years. I was very lucky - the first one I tried worked for me. I've felt normal - with only 2 setbacks, for 5 years. I know how lucky I've been, I've never taken it for granted. So why, all of a sudden, does it feel like I'm not on anything at all. Why do I feel like I'm going slowly and uncomfortably crazy?
I don't mean to make it sound like I'm the only person to ever suffer this crap, but if you have anxiety issues, then you understand - it makes you very self-focused. All I think about is the fact that I can't calm down, my stomach feels a constant dropping and nausea (and hunger, since I can't seem to eat), and I'm absolutely miserable.
I have made a doctor's appointment for later today. I'm hoping he can do something for this. Wish me luck, please.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Easter pics...

I'm not entirely sure why this won't let me move these around, but here are more Easter pics. My gorgeous nephew, his scrumptious brother, and their way too hot to handle mother. The mother, by the way, brought these confetti eggs over, which is what Monkeybutt is breaking over her head. Oh, and the other two hotties are my mother and little brother. And the girl in the pic with nephew's big bro and Girlchild is my little sister. We had a fun Easter.
By the by, my feet are no longer quite so freezing.

Monday, April 14, 2008


and by the way, I have this huge honkin' zit on my chin. The kind that starts out as a painful lump under the skin, and then you keep picking at it, even while you're asleep, and now it's a big nasty sore on my chin. And totally obvious, and purple and ugly. I'd take a picture, but even I'm not that weird. Eww.

Easter pics

My dear friend Donna reminded me that I never did post Easter pics. So, for your viewing pleasure I've included pictures of both kids egg huntin', a picture of Monkeybutt with an egg (we actually colored eggs this year. My friends, I had never, before this year, colored eggs with my kids. Have I mentioned MB's almost 11?), and a picture of Easter kitteh...