Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Named Him Frank.

Man, I can't wait for school to start again. I love my kids but the boys are making me crazy! They are fighting constantly and I have to spend every second of every day separating them, making them share and trying to keep them entertained. It's time for Mommy to have a break! Why DO they call it Winter break anyway? It's certainly not a vacation for me! LOL

My house is a wreck. Although I have washed most of the dirty clothes and actually folded quite a bit of it. And most of the dishes are clean. And I vacuumed yesterday. It's just cluttered with toys everywhere. I need to have a chance to find homes for all of the new stuff. Thatw ay the boys know where they go when it is "clean up"time!

I got a fabulous new toy for Christmas. A Dismember-Me Plush Zombie! So much fun to play with when you are frustrated or irritated with someone! Here is a picture:


I named him Frank.
He is having a romance with Jenna's Smurfette right now. Pictures, and the story, will appear here soon. Let's hope the angry mob does not appear before I get a chance to document their lurv.

Catch ya on the flip side.....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Exciting Times

Between all of the wonderful exercise (Wii Fit!) and the dieting (marginal) and the lack of sleep (terrible twos, anyone?), I am having spastic moments lately. Squeeing and cooing over things and acting like a dork. Course my daughter probably doesn't see much different than normal, hehe.

I am very excited right now because I have been approved as the Hattiesburg Budget Meals Examiner for Examiner.com. I am in the process of writing my first article for them and then will be off and running. I think this is a great next step for me as a writer. I need to step it up a little and get ready for when both boys are in school and I can really get serious.

So, now I will be writing for Associated Content, Helium, Demand Studios and Examiner. I also have been approved to write for Bukisa and several other small sites but have not had the time to tackle anything yet. It's starting to get to the point that I am going to have to schedule my writing time instead of just writing when I get a chance. I really need to start doing more for each of the sites I write for and Examiner is going to expect at least 3-4 articles each week.

What all of this means is that I need to start working on a blog schedule as well. I will probably try to write here at least 3 -4 times each week but will definitely not be able to handle every day posting (not like I was doing that anyway).

I am just so excited by the fact that I may actually be able to contribute more financially to our family. And be able to build up my resume at the same time. One day soon I may just end up writing for some of my favorite magazines. You never know what the future holds! I may even attempt more in the way of poetry and even some fiction one day soon....

Wish me luck as I embark on the next stage of my writing career!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Belated Christmas!

I took an unannounced break from the blog to spend some much needed time with the family. My wonderful husband was able to swing four days off from the restaurant so he was home for the holidays with no interruptions. It was awesome.

We had a great Christmas and the kids had fun with all of their new toys and stuff. We got a Wii and Wii Fit for a family gift and Jenna and I have been working out every day. Love it! There were lots of other great presents but I really see no need to document every one. I will say a big THANK YOU to any of my family reading this!

I will be back later with another post, I just wanted to say that I hope all of my bloggy friends had as wonderful of a Christmas as we did. I will be by to visit everyone sometime soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Turn Around Tuesday - Baby Face

I am participating in Turn Around Tuesday over at The Soccer Mom's Guide to Wicca. It's all about sharing great posts with each other so that we can all enjoy some new blogs.... Well, unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to troll the blogoverse lately but I do have a post from my daughter's blog that I would like to share. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while may remember me mentioning this post and directing y'all over to giver her some support.

The reason this particular post, Babyface, is so interesting for me is that it reminds me of what it really is like to be a teenager. It makes it easier to interact with her when I am reminded of the feelings and emotions of that angst ridden time. Jenna is a wonderful writer, she loves putting words together and did a wonderful job in this post of pulling you in to see her side of things.

So, hop on over and take a look at Babyface. She would love some comments! And if you would like to participate in Turn Around Tuesday, click the button below and check it out!

Turnaround Tuesdays

Monday, December 21, 2009

Takin a Quick Break!

I baked 3 kinds of bread on Saturday, I baked approximately 70 dozen cookies yesterday and today I still need to make fudge and two kinds of candy.

I am exhausted!

Tomorrow I will pop in with a post and try to visit you all this evening/ tomorrow. For now, I am going to put my feet up and take a deep breath.....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thoughts o'Mine and a Giveaway

Do you ever feel like you are living your life way too fast? The past few months have sped by so fast that I have been left breathless and with my head spinning. There are times I would give anything to be able to slow down, take a deep breath and just go for a walk. I love my husband, I love my children and I love my life but boy is it tiring!

As of today, both of my older children are out of school for two weeks. That could possibly mean a bit of a break for me. Maybe I will get a chance to bake my cookies, breads and candies for Christmas. And maybe I will get a chance to wrap all of my Christmas presents before Christmas Eve. Don't laugh, it could happen!

Darling Steven and I were discussing the children last night and he was inexplicably struck with a slight case of baby fever. What I mean is that he refused to look at a newborn in the store because he didn't want to start cooing and making kissy faces! In the process of discussing this, the possibility of another child was brought up. We have decided to revisit the issue in another year and see where we stand financially and emotionally. Are we ready to go there again? No idea. But it will be interesting to find out!

So, over the next year I want to get myself to the point with my health (both physical and mental) where I can make a reasonable decision about getting pregnant again. If I thought about it right now, the answer would be no. With my High Blood Pressure and other issues, pregnancy on purpose is just silly. But, I am willing to try to get myself to the point that I can decide yes or no without my health being a deciding factor. We will see what happens in a year.

One of the things that I want to work on over the next year is my spirituality. I have been feeling discontented with some aspects of my life and restless. I need to discover what the root of this is and decide what path I need to be taking in my life. Both spiritually and otherwise. So, I have been doing some reading and be bopping all over the internet. One blog that I stumbled upon was Magickal Enchantments. This blog is run by a woman who also has an Etsy shop that sells items such as oils and incense, herbs and candles. Her wares are not only for use by Wiccans or Pagans but would be appreciated by many people of other faiths as well. Here is a little blurb from her shop:

Since the days of old people of all cultures and traditions have used herbs, flowers, symbols, and the elements to make charms and amulets to aid them in connecting to a higher realm, to banish negativity and evil forces, to empower themselves and to honour life's journey.
Every herb, flower, tree, and stone carries it's own energy to aid in these workings, meaning that Mother Earth and all her creatures are sacred and connect to a higher source.

The Magickal Enchantments blog is having a giveaway right now that I would absolutely love to win. She is presently giving away a Custom Spirituality Kit that contains a custom blended oil, a custom blended herbal sachet and a crystal specific to the intent decided to be right for the winner. Each of the items will be made to the winner's specific spiritual needs. It sounds awesome to me. If you are interested in entering the giveaway, head on over to Magickal Enchantments and check it out. The giveaway ends on New Year's Eve. You can also check out her Etsy shop here.

I haven't had a chance to post about the Christmas party yet, or about Braeden showing up the other kids in his class, or about Jenna rocking her AP American History test today (that means she is bring home a 98 on her report card!) or even about the cool fudge recipe I found. with the help of some friends on Facebook and Twitter..... I suck at prioritizing my time so that I can actually blog in a timely manner. One day I may just get around to doing everything I need to do. Then I would probably die of boredom. hehe

Anyway. Everyone have a great weekend. I will be baking for the next 3 or 4 days and may not be posting!

Here is a nice holiday wish that I read on another blog and loved and am now adopting for myself,

Happy Yule/Peaceful Solstice/Merry Christmas/Joyous Kwanzaa/Happy Hanukkah/Enjoy the holidays with peace and love whatever your beliefs!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Customer No Service

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful, sweet and supportive comments on my ranting breakdown of a post yesterday. Today was a better day for me emotionally. Even though Braeden brought home bad reports from school (again), it wasn't as earth shattering as it was yesterday. It's all about perspective and finding that balance.... hopefully I can keep my balance on this tightrope walk that is raising an exceptional child.

So, I mentioned the other day that I was having some issues with customer no service. And if you follow me on twitter then you may have an inkling as to what it is all about! LOL Over a month ago, I ordered a Christmas present for Jenna. I am not going to say what it is, cause she reads this blog (Hi Jen!) BUT I will say it cost several hundred dollars. I put this item on my Mother's Sears card and am paying her back in cash. So, we ordered it and waited for the package to arrive. All of the other items I ordered at the same time arrived within a week or so. No sign of this specific package yet and no tracking number sent to us.

On the 20th of November I got an email stating that my item was ready to be picked up. Okay. #1 We asked to have it delivered. #2 The store address listed for pickup was my home address. What? SO, I called Customer Service and spoke with several people AND called the local store to make sure that it was not there waiting for me. No dice. CS said that this was a new way of doing things and that the item was being shipped to my local store and would then be shipped to me from there. Fine.

The day after Thanksgiving, still no sign of the item. I called again. Was told that it had been received at the store on the 25th and I should get it by the end of the next week. Fine.

The following Friday arrives. No package. I call again. I speak with someone who tells me that they have no idea where my package is. But that they will forward the info to a recovery department. I then ask to speak with a Supervisor. Same story. Wait 3 days and the recovery department would either call or I would have my package. I waited 3 days. Then I called again.

This time, the CS rep went out of her way and discovered that the item was supposed to be at a warehouse in California. She then called the warehouse and was told they had no record of the order. She asked them to physically check the warehouse to see if they had one of the items to ship out to me. She then told me that she would call me back when she heard back from them. This was last Friday.

I waited until about noon on Monday. Meanwhile, I had tweeted about my frustrations with Sears and one of the Sears Homestore reps on twitter contacted me. He told me that if I was not satisfied with the outcome of the CS calls that I should send him my info and he would forward it to Sears Cares which is a separate customer service division within Sears. So, on Monday I went ahead and sent him a Direct Message with my info.

About a half hour later I got a call. I explained what was going on (again) and he checked into it. Told me he would contact the warehouse in CA and call me back. Fine. I expected to hear from him the next day. Maybe.

Ten minutes later he called me back. The basic gist of this was that the warehouse still had to locate one of the items. If they had the item in stock they would ship it out. It would be 3 - 5 days before they knew if they had the item. Then it could be as long as 20 days before I received it. WHAT?!? I ordered this thing on 11/14 specifically so that I could get it in plenty of time for Christmas. And so that I would not have to stress out and so that I didn't have to rush around trying to get it here in town. I asked the man if he really thought that I was getting the item by Christmas. He stuttered a little and said no. I then told him to cancel the order and I would reorder the item in another color since they could not just send me a different color without me doing that. He canceled the order and I hung up.

I was mad! I tweeted the results and the fact that I was disgusted that they did not even offer a free upgrade on shipping for the new item. Or anything. Just a sheepish "I'm Sorry".

About 10 minutes after I tweeted this, I get a call from the same man at Sears Cares. He is sending us out a $50 Sears card to help make up for the "inconvenience" that we experienced. Great. But I better get my package before Christmas anyway.

The new item has been ordered. It has been shipped and I have a tracking number. Hopefully this will be the end of my GAH! moments with Sears. I have never had issues with them before and was really surprised at the lack of communication between one CS rep and another. And the fact that they actually seemed really confused as to what was going on with this item. Maybe it is just the fact that it is Christmas and busy. I don't know. But I was really disappointed with my experience. Yes, they tried to make up for it. But not until I was a bitch. And not until I spoke with approximately 6 different people and two different departments. And tweeted with a third department!

Honestly. What ever happened to great customer service and caring about your customers? I guess it went the same way as the corner stores and mom and pop places. Sad.

Tune in tomorrow for stories about Steven's Christmas party at work. Highly amusing. But I will wait until tomorrow to post about it because I think I have rambled on enough for tonight!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What the Hell IS Normal Anyway?

**My Christmas Party/ Customer No Service post has been delayed due to a need to rant a bit.**

For those of you who are new to my blog, you may not be familiar with the super fun times that my middle child has given me over the past four years. He is one of the sweetest and most lovable kids ever, but boy is he a handful. He has given me trouble since the day he was born... colic, reflux, sleep issues, behavior issues, walking late, sensory problems and speech disabilities have all combined into one giant anxiety ball for me. I have struggled to figure out exactly how to handle all of his issues and make decisions on whether to push for a diagnosis or let things ride, tried to back off and let him find his way in school and social settings, tried not to be defensive and irritated when people treat him differently or look at us as if we are bad parents because of his behaviors and have truly tried my best to teach him, love him and raise him to be who he is.

This is an ongoing struggle for me every day.

We used to be part of a play group here in our area. I used to try to take the boys to meetups and to play with other children, do crafts and have little trips. I kept trying even though it was not working very well. I wanted, maybe NEEDED, to have them in a "normal" social setting. To act like and play with other "normal" children. And I wanted to be able to make friends with other Mothers. Mothers of "normal" children.

And one day, I was sitting at a table, watching my child wander apart from the other children and spend the next 15 - 20 minutes lining up cars along the edge of a bed, when I realized.... I was totally alone. Alone in the middle of all of these women. Not one of them had any clue what I was thinking. What I was feeling.

Just like Braeden was alone in the middle of all of the other children. And no one (including me) had any idea what he was thinking or feeling either.

And I realized that by trying to push him to act "normal" and play with "normal" kids... I was just pushing him into more aloneness. Even in the middle of a crowd, he was still separate. Still different. He didn't know HOW to play with these kids. And when they reacted badly to his overtures, he went off by himself and went back to what he knew made him feel better. Lining up cars.

So, I stopped taking him to the play dates. It was a relief in many ways. There were no more screaming fits when we went to a new home. No more screaming and fighting when it was time to leave. No more wondering if the other kids, and Mothers, really wanted us there.

When Braeden started school I worried about how he would interact with the other kids. But, he has done really well in some ways. I think it is because he is in a structured environment where he knows exactly what is expected out of him. When they go out of those normal areas, that is when he has problems.

When I picked him up today, he was in the middle of a full blown crying fit. One of the other boys had hit him. He was all blotchy and snotty. He really had his feelings hurt more than anything, he had no idea why this boy had hit him. And I think, honestly, the little boy had no idea why he did it.

And as I watched his teacher comfort him and wipe his face, I started to get angry. Not at the teacher. Not at the other kids. Not at Braeden. But at myself.

Here was my sensitive and loving little boy, crying his eyes out and so heartbroken.... and I was just wondering if it was "normal" for him to be such a big cryer. Was it "normal" for him to react that way. Or was this another sign that he was not "normal".

His teacher told me this morning that the school's behavior specialist had decided to implement some new things with Braeden. But she did not give me any details. So, I called and left a message for her to call me back. Because I have no idea what she is planning.

I am in the process of setting up more testing and evaluations for him to see what steps we need to take next.

And I really just want to cancel it all and say STOP! I just want my little boy to be happy. Is all of this really necessary? What is "normal"? Really? And why is it so important to me all of a sudden? Since when?

I used to tell my daughter that the only normal people in the world were really abnormal because nobody was really "normal". Everybody was weird in their own way. I used to revel in being different. But I guess the difference, for me, is choosing to be different and odd versus being that way and having no control over it. I want my son to be able to fit in if he wants to. I want him to be able to choose to be different. Does that make sense?

So, I am spending my afternoon feeling lost and scared. How do you parent a child when you have no idea what to do? How do you decide when to get help and when to stop? How do you know if pushing for more "normal" behavior is just making your child into someone they should not be? I told his therapist that I did not want to lose who HE is in the middle of treating his behaviors.

I don't want to wonder who he might have been and what he might have been like if I had done things differently. Being a parent is so hard.

Monday, December 14, 2009

so..... tired.... must.... sleep.....

Look for a post tomorrow all about ass grabbing at Christmas parties, Customer No-Service Centers and all of the extremely tiring stuff I have been up to.

Boy do the holidays wear me out......

Sleep tight, jelly bean.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

THIS

...is a post.

I always have these great ideas for posts while I am doing something like washing clothes or wiping asses. And then they get sucked out of my head by the demon children.

So.

Here I am.

With nothing to write about.

Cause I am boring.

And my life is boring.

And my kids are soul sucking demon children with direct call lines to the devil. And Santa.

And my daughter is a grammar nazi blog beyotch. Who is reading over my shoulder and correcting my spelling before spell check can even highlight it.

Go away evil child.

The zombies will eat your brains.

(She says thats not nice. But really... she has a big, juicy brain. Of COURSE they will eat her brain.) (Dib.)

Anyway. Back to what I was writing before the evil grammar nazi child interrupted me.

*clears throat*

*coughs loudly to shut up the grammar nazi again*

(I know. You just wish you could see what my blog looks like before I use spell check...)

um.

What was I writing about again?

Cheese.

I love cheese. I love cheddar and parmesan and mozzarella and....

Oh.

You think cheese is boring? WHat about cheese fonbdue? *sutup Jenna*

(I am leaving my misspelled words and ham fingered typing just to irritate her)

(Of course she DOES know my password for blogger so if it shows up fixed... blame her)

ANYway.

I am bored. How come so few of you comment on my posts? Am I really THAT boring?!?

(Lie to me, please.)

If I ever write a post (not a giveaway) that gets a lot of comments I just may keel over. In a dead type way.

Jenna says to stop using her lines. But, she needs to stop reading over my shoulder and commenting out loud.

Just sayin.

NOW she wants to know if I love her. What? Why are you getting all wishy washy touchy feely on me now? I am TRYING to be a bizatch here. God.

I am not even repeating the insulting comment she just made about me. Cause she is MEAN! Mean I tell you!!!!!!!!


(MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. This is ME, the DAUGHTER PERSON! I HIJACKED THE KEYBOARD!!! MUWAHAHA!!! I told the Mother-of-Mine that she is no longer chief bitch. 'Cuz I out-bitched her. And she is sour. 'Cuz I now have her crown.)

*Sounds of a scuffle as the keyboard is wresled away from the Daughter Person*

Haha. SHE misspelled that word up there. SHE did, the grammar nazi! LMAO as she throws herself ont he ground and beats her head on the floor....

OK.

Now, I promise.... really I do.... I promise to have a real post for y'all tomorrow. Really.

*wanders off in search of Jack and coke*

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Moon Madness


I swear, I wrote this post in my head a week ago and then completely forgot all about it! That happens to me a lot. What I need is some kind of special brain reading computer software that can translate my thoughts directly to the blog! Of course, that might get me in trouble... LOL

We went to see New Moon (the newest Twilight movie) on Thanksgiving night. Jenna and I and my MIL and my nephew went to a late showing. It was packed and full of swooning Rob Pattinson/ Edward fans. I am not an Edward fan. I totally love the hawtness that is Jacob. And let me tell you, Taylor Lautner did a great job!

The movie itself was okay. They did a good job of translating the book into movie format, I had wondered hwo they would handle it. New Moon (the book) was told so much in the thoughts of Bella that I wasn't sure how they would handle it. But, they did a good job. The acting of Rob and Kristen left much to be desired, IMHO. But, that follows right along with the acting int he original Twilight movie so it was no more than I was expecting. Taylor (Jacob) without his shirt completely stole the show! It was a decent movie, followed along with the book nicely and had great scenery. But, not a truly epic film and not something that made me want to rush right out and buy the DVD. My poor nephew was disgusted by the movie. Too sappy for him (he is 13) but he did love the special effects and werewolves so it wasn't a total loss for him.

I have a real problem with Bella and have had since I read the first book. She is not what I consider a good role model for young girls. WAY too dependent on her man. WAY too hard on herself, she has a poor self image and a definite problem with being strong and standing up for herself. The story is decent, but I would have liked it better if she had stood up for herself and told Edward to stop whining and being all emo and just bite her already!

What made the movie hilarious was the reactions of the crowd watching it! The first time Jacob took his shirt off, the entire female audience started clapping! LMAO At the end of the movie, it ends on a total cliff hanger. Like right in the middle of a line basically. I won't give it away to those of you who have not seen it yet. But, a lady behind me reacted quite loudly to the ending by saying "God Damn It!" right after the last line! The entire audience laughed hysterically. It was too much. She must not have read the books.

So, while half naked Native American hawtness made the movie worthwhile for me, it wasn't a movie that I would have chosen to watch if I had never read the books. I know many people may disagree with me over that opinion, but hey.... free country, my opinion. And, that said, I will probably go see the third movie(and the fourth if they make it) just so that I have seen them all! LOL

Any of you seen it yet? What did you think?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

ITSNOWEDITSNOWEDITSNOWEDITSNOWEDITSNOWED

It snowed, it snowed, it snowed, it snowed, it snowed, it snowed, it snowed, it snowed, it snowed!!!!!!!!!!! In Mississippi. It started snowing, mixed with rain, and at about ten we went out to watch. There were huge flakes, and the DD and I went out to play in it. The boys were asleep, so they missed out.

Jenna and I were total dorks, giggling and running around. Jenna made a snowman, we had a snowball fight, caught snowflakes on our tongues (and in our eyes), Jenna made a snow angel, and we basically had a great time.

This morning when we got up, there was still snow on the ground. I think we got more than two inches total. I took Braeden outside to play in the snow. He liked it a lot, until his hands got cold. Then he was ready to go in. Malachai stepped outside, felt how cold it was, shivered, and went back inside. LOL. He pointed out the window and said "I watch."

Here's some pictures to enjoy. Be back later.

Our front yard in the middle of the "snowstorm."


Me in the snow. What fun!

Jenna geeking out [note from Jenna, who happens to be typing this as Tracy dictates: That's what I do. I geek out. Yo.].
Lumpy Bumpkin, the Mississippi snowman. Notice the leaves and dirt.
In the boys' play yard. Wanna go for a slide?
Snow angel! The strategically placed snow is actually on the lens. LOL.
Lumpy is a little melty.
Snowball fight with Braeden.
Making a snowball.
"My hands, my handsss!"

"What is this strange white orb I see in front of me? It is cold. It is wet. Food?"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First It Rains - Then You Get A Damn Typhoon

Things are, as usual, crazy here. But more so than usual for the past few days. In between crazy car trouble and new job opportunities and decisions needing to be made concerning both, my two youngest children have decided to become demon children and eat my soul.

Just kidding on the demon thing.

Sort of.

On a happier note, rather than doing his normal Santa visiting routine of standing 10 feet back and hollering out his toy requests (oh, please don't let the big fat hairy guy look at me! Please no touching! No! No sitting on him! Don't let him look at me!) , Braeden actually sat on Santa's lap today. His school went on a field trip to the mall to see the big guy. Braeden sat in his lap. IN.HIS.LAP. And told him he wanted trucks for Christmas. By the time we got home this afternoon, the Christmas list sounded something like this:

A red fire truck
A white bus
A yellow car
A yellow dump truck
TWO purple BIG trucks

And a hundred cars.

Wow. He has really grasped this whole ask Santa and get presents thing.

I wonder when he learned the number 100? Damn school.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finally A Chance To Sit Still!

So. I think I might have caught up on reading blogs although I did not comment as much as usual. Now I guess it is time to actually post here! OMG. Imagine that! hehe

Jenna finished nanowrimo with more than 70,000 words in a whole new genre this year. For a 15 yo I think she just kicks ass in general. But I may be prejudiced! She is so hard on herself sometimes, it makes me wish I had a magic wand to make the next few years fast forward for her. High school sucks the big one. Go check out her blog post here and give her some comment love, she could use it!

Braeden is back in school after a week long break. He had a great day yesterday and I love his teacher. She is able to make him behave better than anyone else and he loves her. She is the one who brought up the fact that he has some issues and needed to be evaluated again for sensory problems. But, every day when I pick him up, she pats me on the shoulder and tells me that he will be JUST FINE. It really helps with the anxiety to hear that from someone else who deals with him on a day to day basis.

Malachai got caught beating up his older brother with a plastic baseball bat. I have told Braeden for the past year that he was going to regret picking on his baby brother so much! He certainly regretted it on Sunday! LOL Of course, Mal got a talking to and time out. But, I laughed in the bathroom about it. Where no one could see or hear!

I also caught Mal with a tub of cool whip yesterday. He was eating it with his hands and making his toy dinosaur eat some as well. What a mess! And what a sneaky little guy he is.... I never even heard the fridge door open. Time for a new fridge lock that he cannot open.

I am busily planning my last minute shopping lists for Christmas, I still need stocking stuffers and about 2 more gifts. I am also really wanting to get my Christmas Cards done this week but I may end up late with them this year. I am sooooo not in the mood to write them all out! And I think I may just wait until the week before Christmas for the tree and decor to come out this year. It is coming on way too fast. Where did the Fall go?!? I just don't feel emotionally ready for the holidays. I am ready as far as gifts go. Just not as far as enthusiasm. Maybe I need to spend the day tomorrow listening to Christmas music and baking cookies. That usually helps with the mood!

Coming up later is a post about a few more blog awards and I promise to actually give them all away to others this time! One day this week I will be posting a book review and giveaway. I also have a product review to post sometime in the next few weeks. In addition to my regular posts about the kids and my insanity, I plan to try to post about the stress of raising a teen girl, the joys of a dirty little boy and how frustrated I am with my son's psychologist's office. The joys of the season.....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Playing Catch Up

The past week has been crazy busy! My Mom, MIL and nephew all came to stay for the week. Add to that fumigating the house, cleaning, tons of laundry, Thanksgiving prep and then dinner and all of the normal day to day Mom stuff and you have me running around like a chicken without it's head! LOL But we had lots of fun and a great meal with great company. We even made it to a few Black Friday sales. We ended up at Toys R Us at Midnight, waiting in a line a mile long to get in! Wow. That was an experience that I do not want to repeat any time soon!

I have several new blog awards to post about, some bragging on my daughter to do and some stress release posting to get to. For now, just know that I am in recovery and trying to get back in blogging mode. I am also trying to catch up on reading evryone's blogs. And you all have such interesting posts lately!

Oh! My daughter made me a button for the blog, you can see it over in the sidebar. I love it! Feel free to grab it for your site and let me know so that I can giggle and blush.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Zhu Zhu for You

Just a quick note to let you know about a wonderful giveaway that I stumbled upon over at Quinoa and Corn Chips! Anyone with a kid probably has heard of the Zhu Zhu pets. If you are looking to acquire one, head over to Alyssa's blog because she is giving away one of them next Saturday!! Alyssa's blog looks really interesting and I can't wait to pop back over there and read more. But I wanted to give you all a heads up on the giveaway. But I know you won't be interested and I will win it. Right? Right? LOL

I'll be back in a bit with a real post documenting the Thanksgiving week that I was missing in action on the interwebz.....


Monday, November 23, 2009

In Which there are Injured Legs, Crazy Family Members, Tired Castle Keepers, Intense House Cleaning, a Crazy Writerly Daughter, and Many Dead Bugs

Hello, good readers of the Faerie Castle. This is Jenna, of As the Plot Thickens and The Delusional (loving that shameless blog promoting, eh?), Tracy's kickass and oh-so-modest (heh) daughter, here today (erm, tonight) with none other than a GUEST POST! Because Mother has all but LOST HER MIND!

(Which isn't exactly a good thing, but it does provide me with endless hours of amusement, so there ya go.)

Mah Mommeh has been a bit occupied these past couple of days. I succeeded in busting my knee on Thursday night and pulling a muscle, which caused me not to be able to walk for a day (which meant I, unfortunately, had to miss school and TWO TESTS AND A PRESENTATION). So she had to wait on me and take me to the doctor. But I'm fine now, so no worries there.

My grandma, nana, and cousin all got into town from sunny Florida on Saturday afternoon, and Mother-of-Mine and I spent most of that day cleaning the house from top to bottom. I spent three hours up to my elbows in bleach water, scrubbing my bathroom from tub to toilet. Most definitely NOT my favorite task in the world.

Over the past few days, I have been frantically trying to finish this year's National Novel Writing Month novel, which I have titled The Endless. It's a murder mystery, and it's hard work. I've met the official goal of 50,000 words, but I'm shooting for 90,000 total. Meaning that I've been holed up in my room for the past two days doing not a whole lot with the family unless they make me. Which irritates Mother-of-Mine. But hey, last year I typed through Thanksgiving dinner. I don't think much can top that level of irritation. But don't worry, I won't do that this year.

Maybe.

Anyway, we fumigated today (again) and killed some bugs (again). They're still sort of...everywhere...but we did manage to put a dent in the scurrying, many-legged, icky population. For a few days. Maybe.

Icky, icky, grosstastic, ucky, yucky, absolutely disgusting little creatures are bugs. Ugh.

Before I leave you to go do your thing, I'll toss a funny lil' video at you:



(Be sure to check out my blogs, kthnxbai.)

Love and hugs and stuff,

Jenna.

:P

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Laptop Envy

I really need a laptop. My PC has been acting up lately and really causing me loads of angst and anger. My husband has a laptop that I could use but I really don't care for it. The space bar sticks and the way the keys clack isn't nice. sigh.....

I love my daughter's laptop. I totally want it. And I was just getting ready to start trying to use it when she was at school and she decided to start taking it with her! How dare she! She takes notes with it in class and write sin her spare time..... so. I could be using it to read blogs, dammit! (LOL)

My plan is to get a laptop for myself next year. I think I will end up with one similar to Jenna's since, ya know, I like hers and stuff.

Meanwhile, I haven't really been on the computer much for the past few days because it hates me. And wants me to go insane from dealing with it's slow and irritating ass.

I'll try to catch up with everyone soon!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgivings for Good Behavior

I'm pretty sure the bug is gone so everyone can stop being all grossed out now. That includes me! LOL

My 4 yo had his Thanksgiving Program today. This is, of course, my 4 yo with interesting behavioral issues. I was dreading this as I had NO IDEA how he would react to #1 riding a bus for the first time and #2 being on a stage in front of a large audience. Oh yeah, not to mention #3 wearing a paper hat/ Indian headband and #4 singing (he does NOT sing).

I was honestly very pleasantly surprised. He stood on the stage and did not run away. He wore his headband and did not tear it up. And he listened to the teachers while getting there and back on the bus. He did not sing but that's okay! I think he did a wonderful job anyway. He is growing up fast and is actually making great progress at school with his behavior. We have started making absolutely sure that we follow HIS routines int he morning to get him ready for school and to school. That way he starts off the day feeling comfortable. And I have been picking him up each day before nap time so that he is not tortured with having to lay still for no reason. He starts his therapy sessions this week and we are still waiting to hear back from the psychologist for his appointment there for evaluation. Right now, we are going day by day. Once I have met with the psychologist we will know whether we are on the right trtack or need to go another direction.

Isn't it hard being a parent sometimes? Making decisions that could affect the rest of your child's life is scary.

So, while I am dealing with all of the wonderful and time consuming parenting business, cleaning my house in preparation for the holidays, doing meal planning and holiday meal planning, trying to juggle all of my other mom and wife duties, I am also trying to plan Christmas presents. And Cards.

I love sending Christmas cards every year. I really do! I try to have my addresses ready and get the cards ready to go as soon after Thanksgiving as possible. If any of you lovely people would like a Christmas card from em this year, I would love to send one! You can email me your mailing info to faeriecastle@yahoo.com and I will add you to my list!!

I could use ideas for unique and inexpensive gifts for The Girl as well. We have some ideas and plans going right now but other ideas are always welcome! SO, gift ideas for teen girls who enjoy writing, reading, blogging and being a dork would be great!! LOL

I don't have a whole lot going on right now to write about, so that's it for today. I have to go hang out some laundry to dry and put my 2 yo back in bed. He thinks naps are for wimps....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Let Me Put A Bug In Your Ear

First, I have to thank several bloggers for some great awards! Thanks to Kat from Kat's Confessions for awarding me the Lovely Blog Award again! I really love that people appreciate the work that went into this little spot on the blogosphere....

Second, I have to thank Feliciae from Living Just Like Grandma for giving me a special little award: This award is given to blogs that warm your heart and give you that fuzzy feeling. Unfotunately, I do NOT have time to pass out award today. I promise to post who both of these are going to just as soon as I can.

Right now I am dealing with an issue. A little bitty one. I have a bug in my ear. Yes. Gross. I woke up at about 4:30 this morning and I could hear it running around and FEEL IT!!!! GAH!!!!! Nastiest damn thing ever. So, I tried to beat it out and when that did not work, I turned to the trusty interwebz. I poured some oil in my ear and it smothered the bug. So, after it's death throes (totally freaky feeling and sound) it stopped moving and I was able to stop screechinga nd running in circles. Now the challenge is to get it OUT of my ear. We tried pouring a little water in hoping that it would flush it out. No luck. I have a doctors appointment next week before Thanksgiving so if nothing else works, I will see if I can get her to remove it! It's driving me crazy. That's all I can think about.

Do you think this is revenge for fumigating and killing so many of the bug's brethren?!?

Send chocolate. I need it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts

It's been busy here! Normal.... I got distracted on Wednesday and then was consumed with fumigating my house yesterday. So.Much.Fun.

Honestly, I have my Mother, My MIL and my nephew coming to stay for a week for Thanksgiving. And I have about four other people who will be here on Thanksgiving. So, it was necessary for us to take care of the yucky roach issue we have been facing. Now, I am in the midst of having to wash every dish and surface in my home to make sure that the yucky bug spray is gone from them. Again.... so.much.fun. At least my house will be clean when I am done! LOL

So, speaking of Thanksgiving.

Being married to a chef can make for interesting holidays. Luckily, over the past few years, my husband has worked at a restaurant where they are closed for both Thanksgiving and Christmas days. That means..... he cooks! I love that I am able to have him cook holiday meals and he loves doing it. In addition to that, we usually end up with several other cooks coming over to join us. This year we will have two or three line cooks from the restaurant coming over and helping with the cooking and joining us for the meal. Fun!!!! (That means I will get to hand over my title of sous chef to someone else and spend time sitting on my butt.... LOL)

Anyway, we have quite a few traditional dishes that we cook every year and Steven always adds one or two new dishes. This year, we may end up switching out some of our regular dishes. We haven't planned the total menu as of yet. I am going to link to articles I wrote that share the recipes for some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Feel free to pop over and read them, I get paid per view on these articles. Don't feel obligated, though! I am just too lazy to repost them here or I would.

Tea Brining A Turkey
Green Bean Casserole with A Twist
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Zesty Cranberry Sauce
Marinated Butternut Squash
Cucumber Salad

Of course, we also have sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes as well. Along with many other foods! What are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes? I would love to get links or recipes to some new dishes to try this year! Do you plan your menu well in advance or just a week or so? And how many people do you usually end up cooking for?

I am also trying to find some good, easy Thanksgiving crafts to do with the boys that week. We get the entire week off of school here so we will have plenty of time to craft and color.... if you have some great crafts or traditions I would love to have you share them with me!

Alright, back to post-fumigation clean up....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wicked Bewbs Of The South

Dear Bewbs,

I realize that after three children you are baby chewed and saggy. You resemble your younger selves no more than an elephant resembles a mole. Your perky, firm C cup selves would be mortified to see the ends to which you have come. You may even have succumbed to a little bit of banana bewb action. You are well loved dirt pillows. And I appreciate all that you have done for me, my children and my husband over the past years.

However. Seriously, bewbs? Seriously?

That black wiry hair that you decided to sprout overnight really just crosses the line. Haven't you noticed all of the plucking, waxing and shaving that goes on here on my body? Don't you realize that you will not be allowed to keep that hair? Is it jealousy? You need some attention?

Fine. I will break out the cocoa butter lotion and put on a romantic movie.

If you continue to try to morph into the Wicked Bewbs of the South with your hairy surprises, I will be forced to get firm with you.

Don't make me break out the nipple clamps.

Love,

Overworked and Under-pampered Me

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weekends Make Me Tired

Aren't weekends supposed to be relaxing? Not so much here. I did succeed in getting the boys' rooms rearranged and cleaned. All of their toys are still packed in bins and boxes and locked in another room. I still have to go through them. But, I got a lot done! And, I roatsed two huge pumpkins and now have more than 28 cups of pumpkin puree in my freezer and fridge. Time to do some baking this week!

I need some suggestions for new bands or groups to listen to. I want to keep growing my musical soul but I really hate the music I have heard on the radio lately. I would love suggestions for bands or groups that I may not have heard of or listened to. You can check out the post I wrote about the soundtrack of my life to see some groups I enjoy or check out this post for one of my favorite bands of all times..... The only music I really do not care for is country, gospel and that gangster rap stuff. Otherwise, I am open to anything! LOL

Just as an aside, I think I may have lost my taste for coffee. Either that or all the coffee shops here just serve really nasty coffee....

The Wingmen of Mayhem (my sons) had a great weekend. Saturday was constant whining from the moment they woke up until I finally got them to bed around 10 PM. I think it was all of the changes going on with their rooms. And Malachai is freaked out by his bed. No, OK, he likes the bed. He just doesn't want to sleep in it. I keep finding him sleeping on the floor next to his brother's bed. Sweet, huh? But, I know they will get used to it and it will be better in the long run for all of us.

Just so y'all know, I am planning to do some reviews and giveaways here periodically. This will still be mostly my blog about the daily life of me and family, but I do love me a good giveaway.... so we will see what kind of cool products I might be able to come up with for an occasional contest here! LOL

So, kind of random and floaty today, but I still feel like I got stomped on this weekend. I may just need a nap today.

Tomorrow, I plan to discuss Thanksgiving. Food, plans, traditions and deals. Catch ya on the flip side....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jiggly Butts Unite!

I am sooooo exhausted. I promise to update tomorrow. For now, I am too mentally exhausted to actually write anything..... So, enjoy the following video with Foamy the Squirrel.....

** CAUTION..... Adult Language **


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reorganization To Subvert Mayhem

I love my sons. I do. However, there are times that I could strangle them. The other night, while I was trying to deal with a situation involving a full box of Cheerios being dumped out all over the living room floor, the boys went to play in their bedroom. They destroyed it. Braeden seems to have this need for mayhem and destruction. I'm not sure what his deal is, we are working on that. And Malachai will do whatever his brother does. So, they took every toy they own and dumped them in the middle of the floor. They pulled every book off the shelves and tossed them. Every piece of clothing out of one of the closets. Every DVD off the shelf. Fun times were had by both boys.

I had a near heart attack when I saw it.

One thing about their bedrooms, they are arranged weird. The room is really two rooms. They are two rooms the same size as regular bedrooms with a connecting little hall and a separating wall that is actually a closet, built in desk and shelves on each side. If that makes sense. And there is a connecting bathroom as well. It's a great setup for kids. Normally. We have had the boys sleeping in one room and the other room has been a play room.

I am in the middle of rearranging this. I want the boys sleeping in separate rooms. I am really hoping that will help them to settle better at night. I am also in the middle of trying to buy and get installed closet doors that I can lock. That way I can keep them from pulling their clothes down. AND I can lock up their toy boxes at night to keep them out of them.

But, part of this process involves a need for a new bed. Braeden has been in a toddler bed (racecar) and will not let it go. He still fits in it fine so no problem there. But, we ended up having to put Malachai into the bigger bed that was meant for Braeden. And he needs a toddler bed. The twin is too big for him and it has other issues. I also need to get rid of a lot of their toys. They have too many. I think it is an issue for Braeden and is becoming overwhelming for him.

So, I posted on freecycle and am picking up a toddler bed and mattress this weekend from someone. I will be spending some time between now and then trying to box up all of their toys and books in preparation of going through them and getting rid of at least half of everything. Either throw away broken and incomplete toys or sell toys they have outgrown or donate things. I need to be able to have every toy they own in a toy box to be locked up at night, on a high shelf that they cannot reach or put away where they cannot get at it. That way, when it is bed time, they will have nothing better to do than go to sleep.

Maybe then I can get them settled better.

With Braeden's sleep issues, the only way he ever falls asleep is watching television. So, they have a TV in their room. However, Malachai goes to sleep better in the dark with no noise. This will hopefully solve that issue as well with them in separate bedrooms.

I also found some great cabinet locks on a child safety site recently that I am going to order. I am still looking for a decent refrigerator lock that they will not be able to open. Since I cannot trust Braeden to stay out of the fridge in the middle of the night, I really need to be able to keep it locked. Any ideas? We have a simple slide lock on it now, but he can open it....

Wish me luck as I tackle the mayhem that is their bedroom over the next few days!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Awards, A Giveaway and Maintenance Issues

First, let me tell you that Anne over at My Mommy Reviews is having a giveaway for some child safety items from the My Precious Kid site. This is a great giveaway with very few entries so far. Head on over and check it out! You won't regret it.

Ang over at Just An Army Wife and Just a Mommy has a giveaway going on as well!

Both of these end November 9th.

There will be a little bit of site maintenance here over the next few days. I am trying to add some different lists and buttons on my sidebar and may end up screwing some things up. I am sooooo not tech savvy. Hopefully Jenna will be available to help me out so that I don't ruin the blog....

I received an award from two different people over the past few days. It's a great award!

Margaret from Pickles and Lollipops gave me the award first and then Feliciae from Living Just Like Grandma passed it over to me as well! Both of these ladies have beautiful blogs. Take the time to pop over and visit if you never have!


So here are the official rules

Accept the award and post it on your blog.Make sure to link back to the person who awarded you. Then pass it on to 15 other blogs you find worthy and make sure to let them know they have been awarded.

I am going to have to think about who to award this to.... have patience! I promise to award it soon! I want to try to give it to people who have not already gotten it....

AND, just a shout out to my lovely daughter, Jenna, who helped me design this blog. She made the header up top for me and we worked to getehr to choose the layout and background. Thanks for making my blog lovely, kiddo!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Southern Charm

I've been reading a series of books by Carolyn Haines for a little while now. I picked up the newest book int he series at the library this weekend. The books are murder mysteries based in the Mississippi Delta. The author is actually from Mississippi and so the books are so accurate that it's almost scary! From the use of first and middle names when talking to someone to the friendly and charming actions and speech, it really is on the money.

The South is different. For anyone not living in the South, you just won't get it. I moved to Mississippi from Florida. We joked that we had to move North to go South! Because, let's be honest, Florida is sooooo not the South. Florida is a weird mixture of Florida Crackers who have lived there for generations, Yankee transplants, Cuban immigrants and Haitian immigrants. The culture is different. Where I lived, in Central Florida, it was like a melting pot. Living in a college town, we had all nationalities, religions and political ideologies all mixed up together. People were very tolerant and accepting for the whole. People tended to be a little standoffish but friendly. There was a tendency towards rudeness, especially in the college town, and while I loved my friends and family and liked my town, it wasn't a big wrench to leave.

Mississippi is like a foreign country. Talk about culture shock! People are open and welcoming. There is a tendency to be all up in other people's business that I was never used to. While welcoming everyone, the people (as a whole, not at all across the board however) tend to be more judgmental. Less tolerant of differences in religion, sexual preferences or political beliefs. It's been weird. I love the friendliness and the openness. I hate the fact that I feel as if I need to hide the fact that I do not go to church. Or the fact that I am pro-Choice. Or even the fact that I have friends and relatives who are gay. Now, if you know me.... you know I am not one to hide anything. So, I have struggled with my need to be as open and up front as I normally am and juggling that with not wanting my daughter to have issues at school because of people judging us.

Poor Jenna had a rough week last week. Some people here seem to find the idea that my husband and I got married on Halloween to be weird. They have called us Satanists or asked if we worship the devil or are witches. I laugh at them. Jenna gets mad. She spent all last week telling people they needed to get their facts straight and that Halloween had nothing to do with the devil.... she got quite angry about the whole situation.

I think I lost the point of this blog post....

Basically, what I am saying is that while living in the South has been a revelation and an education, I will not be sad to leave. I will miss some of the people. And I will miss the friendliness and charm of strangers.... but I will be glad to get back to where I can be myself without any fear that my children will suffer as a result.

The South. A big mish mash of wonderful, beautiful, charming people and places mixed together with a surprising amount of judgment and inability to accept change and differences. Maybe it is just the small town South that is this way.... or maybe it is just me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Eleventy-One in 1001

I have seen several lists on different blogs lately and decided to look into what they were all about. Day Zero started a movement years back that involves making a list of quantifiable and realistic goals for yourself. The lists are 101 items long and you have 1001 days to complete them. Here is what Day Zero has to say about it:

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

So, since I have been on a bit of a quest of self improvement lately, this seemed to be right up my alley! It took me a while to come up with 101 goals. Then, once I reached 101, I thought of some more. So, here is my list of eleventy-one goals that I will be trying to complete before July 29, 2012. I will update the goals weekly as I complete or am working on each. I will eventually have a link in the sidebar to get directly to this post if you would like to check up on me! LOL As I complete goals I will make them bold. Any that I am in the process of working on will be highlighted in blue.

  1. Implement a laundry plan

  2. Exercise at least 3 days per week for 30 minutes (0/429)

  3. Clean out and organize closet

  4. Sell or donate all old baby clothes

  5. Finish cataloging DVDs

  6. Catalog books and organize on shelves

  7. Pedicure once a month (0/33)

  8. Implement cleaning schedule

  9. Update address book

  10. Start a price book

  11. Finally go on our Honeymoon – Vegas or a cruise

  12. Make a recipe book for Jenna

  13. Finish teaching Jenna to drive so she can get her license

  14. Give away 7 of the 9 cats (0/7)

  15. Get two remaining cats fixed (0/2)

  16. Walk or Run a 5k marathon

  17. Reach my goal weight of 150 pounds

  18. Quit smoking

  19. Lower BP enough to come off of meds

  20. Implement a savings plan

  21. Research adoption laws for step parent adoption

  22. Write one snail mail letter each month to family (0/33)

  23. Visit Tupelo and Vicksburg before we move away from MS

  24. Grow blog followers to at least 100

  25. Write at least 5 articles per week for pay (0/715)

  26. Write a budget

  27. Get credit checks for me and DH

  28. Make a list for debt snowball

  29. Learn to knit

  30. Knit a Doctor Who scarf for DH

  31. Teach myself to quilt

  32. Quilt the three blankets my mom started and gave to me to finish (0/3)

  33. Learn yoga

  34. Set up iPod station/ speakers in kitchen

  35. Drink more water

  36. Stop drinking soda

  37. Cut out caffeine

  38. Make a master list of craft projects I want to complete

  39. Work on one craft project each month (0/33)

  40. Finish potty training kid #2

  41. Potty train kid #3

  42. Finish my MBA

  43. Get a new (to me) car

  44. Blog 3 days out of 5 each week (0/429)

  45. Go through old garage sale boxes. Donate or throw away everything.

  46. Move boys into separate rooms

  47. Get rid of at least ½ of all the boys' toys. Donate/sell/trash.

  48. Go through children's books and organize

  49. Build a second garden box

  50. Learn to can

  51. Learn to make really great risotto

  52. Buy a back scratcher

  53. Find a back washing tool that actually works good

  54. Go through the rest of the still packed boxes of junk. Unpack/throw away.

  55. Go through piles of old cords, electrical stuff. Organize/throw away.

  56. Buy myself a laptop

  57. Clean up and organize my favorites links on the PC

  58. Read at least 20 books from this list that I have never read before (0/20)

  59. Read 100 new books (not from the list on #58) (0/100)

  60. Listen to one new band each month (0/33)

  61. Have date night with hubby once a month (0/33)

  62. Get a family membership to the YMCA

  63. Swimming lessons for #2 and #3

  64. Take the kids to Animal Kingdom

  65. Take the kids to Sea World

  66. Travel to Gatlinburg, TN

  67. Sew a lap quilt for my Meme

  68. Sew lap quilt for Mom

  69. Sew lap quilt for MIL

  70. Work on learning to meditate

  71. Spend alone time at least once a month (0/33)

  72. Make a list of books I want to buy new copies of

  73. Grow pumpkins for Halloween

  74. Set up a cookbook of favorites in Mastercook

  75. Go camping with #1 in a tent

  76. Learn to do origami

  77. Take the kids on a picnic at least 4 times each year (0/12)

  78. Go to the zoo once a month (0/33)

  79. Make homemade play dough with the kids

  80. Make homemade gingerbread

  81. Start one new Christmas tradition each year (0/3)

  82. Try one new herbal tea each month for a year (0/12)

  83. Go to a concert or music festival once a year (0/3)

  84. Try one new food or new dish each month (0/33)

  85. Wake up one hour early each day for a month (0/30)

  86. Have one unplugged day each month. No computer. (0/33)

  87. Do something romantic for or with hubby at least once a month (0/33)

  88. Learn at least 10 new words each month in FRENCH (0/330)

  89. Make one truly awesome and decadent dessert each month. No calorie counting! (0/33)

  90. Watch all 50 of the top cult movies on this list (0/50)

  91. Buy a new camera

  92. Do a detox/ body cleanse

  93. Write to my Father once a month (0/33)

  94. Visit the farm for a hayride/ corn maize/ pumpkin picking grand old time

  95. Participate in bookcrossings.com and send out 15 books (0/25)

  96. Participate in postcrossings.com and send out 25 post cards (0/25)

  97. Learn to belly dance

  98. Take a strip tease class/ DVD class and then dance for hubby

  99. Buy all new lingerie/ night wear

  100. Get a new tattoo

  101. Take the kids on a train trip

  102. Take #1 to Rocky Horror

  103. Complete the Couch to 5K workout

  104. Complete the 30 day shred

  105. Complete NaNoWriMo once

  106. Explore my spirituality

  107. Write my will

  108. Implement a recycling program for home

  109. Take pictures of myself/ have hubby take pics

  110. Dye my hair black again – with blue highlights

  111. Make a new 11-1 list before the end of this one

A Falling Down Kind Of Day

Yesterday was long and tiring. Fun, too. The kids had a blast trick or treating and didn't care that it was daytime. In fact, considering the number of injuries they racked up between them, it was probably better that they were doing it in the daytime! Malchai was dressed up as William Wallace from Braveheart... blue face and all. Braeden was Steve from Blue's Clues.

1. Malachai fell down while holding the hilt of a wooden sword in his mouth. I had just finished telling him to get it out of his mouth before he fell on it! He scraped the roof of his mouth. Blood and tears but no serious injury. Thank goodness!

2. Malachai fell face first into the edge of a door at one of the first houses we went to. Big bruise on the cheek.

3. Braeden tripped over a root in someone's front yard and went face first full length on the ground. Dirty, possibly bruised knees and an injured pride were the result.

4. Braeden fell off of a porch. He wasn't watching where he was stepping and tumbled right off. I couldn't help but laugh. He was fine.

5. Malachai fell down a total of about 3 more times, not paying attention to where he was going.

6. Braeden fell into a ditch. Too excited.

7. Malachai got a bloody nose. Not sure if this was a result of one of the falls or just because of sinus issues.

They got tons of candy, several bruises and a wicked cool memory!

Steven and I had a nice anniversary, nothing much to speak of. We had a library date early in the day (we are too broke for a real date! And we love the library) and basically spent some time together both talking and doing the horizontal mambo after the kids went to bed.

Jenna had a bad time at her party. No details here, just imagine gawky teenage years and crushed feelings and you get the basic drift. Go here to see pics of her costume.

If you want to read anymore about our Halloween wedding, go here. I don't have the time to go into a detailed post about it again.... the kids are awake and chanting "food,food,food" I need to go take care of that before they start eating each other.... hope your Halloween was frightfully fun! I'll be back later when I have time to post by 101 Things in 1001 Days list!

Later!

Quick note: Jenna is in the paper again today! Go here to view the great article. We are proud of her.... as always!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Here's Your Sign

I think I need to make a sign. When my child/ children start screaming and throwing tantrums in the grocery store I will hang the sign around my neck so it hangs at my back and people can read it. Then maybe they will mind their own business. This is what it will say:

"Please ignore this screaming child. He is in no way being abused. I am trying to teach him that his bad behavior does not dictate what I do or what he gets. We will be leaving soon. If his behavior offends you, I am very sorry. If you think you can do a better job... I laugh in your general direction. Thanks for your patience!"

Think it would work?

Halloween Suckage?

First, thank you to all who commented/ gave advice on my last post. I will update more as things progress with him. Wendy, I will be emailing you as soon as I get my thoughts together....

Honestly, what has happened to Halloween? I remember growing up and spending 4 -5 hours on Halloween night begging candy and scaring each other with costumes. Then staying up all night eating candy....

This year, in my town, there are designated hours for trick or treating of 4 - 6 pm. What? It's not even dark then! How silly is that! Yes, it will actually make things easier for the little ones, I will be able to get them home and in bed on time, but that's not the point! How am I going to be able to steal my month's worth of chocolate from their bags if they don't get to trick or treat enough???!!!??? Seriously. I am not sure if this is a delayed reaction to terrorism. Or if maybe it is just because we live in the Bible Belt. But whatever it is, I hate it.

This will be the first year that Jenna will not be trick or treating with us. Se is 15 now and people no longer give her candy, even if she is dressed up! So, since she has been invited to a party this year, she will be attending that and getting her costume all set while we are out trying to get candy. I'm not sure how I feel about her not being there this year.... my baby is growing up! She is going to a real high school party and will be celebrating without me. Too weird for words.

In other news, tomorrow is my third wedding anniversary! I will be writing a special little post about my hubby and the wedding later today or early tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seeking Advice.....

When I went to pick Braeden up from preschool today, he was sitting in the Director's office.

#1: I was going to pick him up early because yesterday he spent the entire nap period screaming. I figured I would spare the other children his inability to settle down for a nap.

#2: When I picked him up yesterday he threw a tantrum in the parking lot and ran away from me in the middle of traffic. I then had to drag him (while carrying Malachai) to the van. He then proceeded to try to run away again when I set him down to open the door.

#3: Today, he spit on a little boy in his class.

So, he is not allowed to go on the field trip to the airport that was scheduled for tomorrow. I agree completely. In fact, it was my idea that he stay home. I am concerned that they would not be able to control him and he would cause problems. Be a danger to himself and others.

We saw his pediatrician last week. He has been referred to both a psychologist and a family therapist. I spoke with the therapist's office and his first appointment is in mid November. I spoke with the psychologist's office and we are in the midst of scheduling. I have agreed to a behavior log and observation by a behavior specialist at school.

(This post is just the tip of the iceberg with the behavior problems he has been having since starting school. And not just at school.... he has been horrible at home as well.)

We have tried every form of discipline and nothing seems to make an impression. I am at the end of my rope with him.... I am taking the steps to get him help and to help me help him. If that make sense.

What I need advice on is this:

He has a Fall Festival scheduled at the school for Friday. He will miss tomorrow because of the field trip. My gut reaction is to keep him home on Friday because I have a feeling that the festival will be too much for him. He will be overstimulated and act out. Plus, I think he needs to not be rewarded for his bad behavior. And if his first day back is full of parties and fun then won't he feel rewarded?

I don't know. Steven thinks him missing the field trip is enough punishment. Personally, I don't think Braeden has any concept of what a field trip is. He could care less that he is staying home tomorrow!

Not sure how to handle this one.

Any thoughts?

**UPDATE - My mother suggested taking him to school and just picking him up before the festival. Makes sense. But then I thought maybe I would just let him go.... I would be there to supervise as I was planning to volunteer and work a booth. And maybe it is best to just let it go until we speak to the professionals.... or, like Marilyn said in her comment, maybe it is best to let him see that school can be fun?

Still interested in any advice/ words of wisdom!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

OMG... I Suck Today

The 2 yo just smeared Organic Miso paste all over my kitchen floor. So much fun.

I am in the middle of one of the worst and most emotionally trying weeks that I have ever had. I'm sorry for the lack of blog posts but it really is all I can do just to get from one day to the next right now.

I am just glad that my teenager is decent and loving. If I had to worry about her doing drugs and getting preggers right now I think I would go insane. Thank you, Jenna, for having a good head on your shoulders. And thanks for the reminder that you love and appreciate me when I am feeling so down!

I promise to share what is going on with the 4 yo in more detail when I can. Just know that I am doing what I need to to get where I need to be with him. And trying to stay healthy and sane while doing so.

Wow. I guess Mal decided that since I just cleaned the kitchen floor and ruined his masterpi ece that it was now necessary to dump a 1/2 gallon of milk all over the clean floor. Impressive.

Just because I need the laugh today and I want to leave this post with something better than "OMG"....... enjoy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Geeking Out

SQUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Sorry. Geeking out and turning all fangirl there for a moment! But, I am so excited!

There are three movies that are about to start filming that I absolutely cannot wait to see. In fact, I can't wait to hear more about them in general. Casting? Locations? Anything?!?!?!?

First, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan was sold to Seven Star Pictures. Taht's all I know so far.... except that I lurved the book and I can't wait for the next one to come out. If you haven't read it... you should! Coming of age zombie book. What's not to like?

Next, The Host by Stephanie Meyer will be made into a movie. Read more about this here. OMG. I love love love love love The Host. Don't let the fact that it is written by the author of Twilight turn you off. This book is fabulous. Read a quick review of it that I wrote here.

Finally..... after more than 30 years, ElfQuest is finally being made into a movie. I started reading the comics and graphic novels when I was about 11 or 12. I love the story. I love the art work. I love the characters. I can't wait for this. I hope it is handled well and that it is not screwed up like so many comic adaptations are...

Anyway. I am geeking out majorly right now and I don't know if I can wait for any of these movies to come out! I am getting ready to reread The Host.

And if Carrie Ryan ever wanders over to my blog and sees this... I would LOVE to get an ARC of the newest book when it gets released! I would totally review it. And squee over it. And love you forever. And I would even have your babies. If we could work that out. Just sayin.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Memories Of Peace and Love

Thanks for the comments guys!

TentCamper asks: I'd like to hear about the place from your past/a time when you were at complete peace and the happiest that you can remember...we all have that one memory...what is yours?

Oh, wow. OK. See, I have had many times in my life when I have been completely content and happy and at peace. The times when this happens for me are when I am able to just live in the present. No worries about tomorrow. No concerns about what I might or might not have done wrong in the past. No thoughts about anything but that particular moment. That one spot in time when everything aligns just right to make happiness inevitable. It's all about the "now" of thought. Many of those times have been when I was nursing a child. Or cuddling in the middle of the night with one or more children. Or spending time with my husband. Or having really incredible sex. Or even just playing Monopoly with DH and the Girl... on a night when we had no TV and we all just laughed and had a great time.

Some time ago, I did a question session. And one of the questions was to describe my most sensual experience in less than 50 words. The result was the following poem that is about sensual experiences that, coincidentally, are also some of the most peaceful and happy moments of my life. (Yes, it is more than 50 words! LOL)


Sensual Snapshots Of Love

Soft flesh meeting softer
a kiss that consumes and devours
never the same after

flash

Heat beating down
warm, coconut-scented
oil-slicked skin
against soft grass
Muscles stretching and relaxing
to the rhythm of a Summer day

flash

Crisp Autumn air
wafting wood smoke in the wind
a roaring fire warming bodies
on frost-bitten ground

flash

Three in the morning
hot muggy air full of silence
rocking on the front porch
baby at my breast
a breeze drifts by
to dry the sweat
a kiss lands gently
to fill the heart

flash

Porcelain cauldron of bubbles
sweetly scented air
wavering light envelopes the night
as the candles surround us
music enchants us
love enraptures us

flash

Surrounded by strength
Captured by moonlight
Salty breezes ruffle
the scent that surrounds us
Shifting sands underfoot
Water rocking
Arms supporting.
Midnight at the beach

flash

Booming thunder
Roaring winds
Day bright lightning illuminating
icy rain on wet skin

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's All ABout The Attitude

Welcome to my corner of the Universe to any new visitors! The Castle is my place to be myself and kick back a little bit.

Since I have been nominated as a Hot Mama by the dads over at Hot Dads, I have been thinking quite a bit about attitude. Being "hot" has less to do with a physical "look" or a perfect body than it has to do with attitude. While I consider myself to be quite hot and really sexy, I am not perfect by any means. I carry extra weight and have flaws and features that I am not happy with. However, when a woman carries herself and acts as if she is desirable and sexy, then she is much more likely to be perceived that way by others. And that attitude and the ramifications of it can carry over into other parts of your life as well.

My friend, Chelle, has always called me her "Hot Mama" and it only seems appropriate that the rest of the world follow suit! LOL Here is my fave pic of Chelle and I together...


I am on the left and Chelle is on the right.... I am her "Hot Mama" and she is my "Sexy Lady". And whenever we went out..... everyone knew we were the shit! LMAO

As a part of embracing my "hotness", I decided it is time to change my attitudes about the hardships my family is facing right now. Rather than bitch and moan all over this blog, I need this to be a place to relax a little more and forget about the troubles. I am fighting enough depression IRL that I do not need to drag it into the internetz as well....

So, all of my regulars and any new visitors, tell me what you want to read about here at the castle! Ask me questions.... I promise to answer truthfully. There are only a few things that I will not discuss on this blog, and I would tell you why I won't answer a question if it hits that spot. And I am more of a NC-17 blog than Rated R or X... but only because my daughter reads me regularly. And so does my Mom! So, I will not give detailed info regarding me sex life. Unfortunately. hehe

For any of you who have not visited Hot Dads, you really should pop over. It is always interesting for women to read about things from a man's viewpoint. I love reading their posts and think you will too!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Balls Have Sharp Edges

Juggling can be dangerous.



I may not be juggling knives but I am feeling pretty "on edge" right now as I juggle our finances. *groan* (I know. Very punny, right?) Seriously though, I feel like if one more financial ball gets thrown into the mix, all of my balls will come crashing down around my head. And my balls have sharp edges. (hehehe) It's been a rough time here at the castle lately. And I see no end in sight. So, while I would love to be able to post amusing and enlightening posts for the entertainment of my teeming masses of readers, I will probably be stuck in the same rut I have been lately. Bear with me. I am sure I will get my funny back one day. While we wait, maybe I can at least be punny. LOL

I am also struggling with more issues surrounding the middlest child and his behavior problems. I will, maybe, address that in a future post. Right now, the feelings are a little too close to the surface. My emotions are tender and in need of cushioning.... so I will keep them to myself for a bit longer.

I will be planning my menu for the week soon. We are eating out of the pantry again for another week due to, once again, financial issues. I have plenty of food available, I just have to figure out ways to combine what I have to make it pleasing and interesting. Any budget friendly meals based around rice would be appreciated!

I am also in search of a "Steve" costume for my 4 yo. You know, Steve? From Blue's Clues? Yep. That is what he wants to be. The Steve shirts I have seen on ebay are going for about $35 each. Way too much in my opinion.... so, if you have a spare size 4T Steve shirt hanging around.... feel free to send it my way! LOL

The 2 yo will be, hopefully, William Wallace from Braveheart. We have the kilt and costume, we can paint his face blue and he loves to scream and holler. Perfect. LMAO Jenna is planning to be a shifter in mid change from the show Supernatural. Steven is going to be a clone. (He will look just like himself. Get it?) And I still need to figure out my costume. I could be lil' Bo Peep again. Or a sexy witch. Or lil' Red Riding Hood after being ravaged by the wolf. Or a bad Faerie. Or Super Mom. Or..... no idea. I am open to suggestions!

All three of the kids are playing with their guitars right now. Steven really needs to start giving lessons. These noises may drive me to drink. More. he.

Catch ya on the flip side.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Would Totally Be A Vegetarian But I Can't Give Up Bacon

My bacon cravings are through the roof today.... the taste, the smell, the look of bacon all make my mouth water. I could eat bacon and cheese sandwiches every day and be perfectly happy. Fat and unhealthy.... but happy! (Who am I kidding? I am slightly pudgy and unhealthy anyway! Bring ont he bacon!)

For today's viewing pleasure I bring you.... the Bacon Roll! Woven bacon baked in the oven, filled with cheese, rolled up and sliced. Yes. Oh, yes.

And then.... Chocolate covered bacon. So wrong that it seems just right. Anyone ever tried this?


Of course, just bacon and pancakes is always pretty nice, too. Or just bacon. I'm not picky.....