Leap Day

Today being a day that only occurs once every four years I felt I should write something deeply profound and thought provoking. However, I find myself contemplating things like:

Why does Steve on Blue’s Clue’s have such a hard time finding those darn clues?

Is is just my crazy imagination or does the Count on Sesame Street strike an amazing resemblance to villain Stefano DiMera on Days of Our Lives?

How can my 18 mo old possibly toss enough graham crackers over the edge of his high chair to feed a small village of chipmunks?

Why is it so much harder to lose weight now than it was ten years ago?

How do teenagers suddenly lose their ability to hear?

Why does the hubby suspect that when I claim, “we need to celebrate leap day” it’s just a flimsy excuse to go out to dinner?

If I close my eyes and walk barefoot across the “cheerio dust” on the kitchen floor can I convince myself I’m on a sandy tropical beach?

But in reality, I guess I can be glad that leap year gives me one extra day this year to remain in my thirties. **sigh**

Isn’t it romantic?

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. This cartoon reminded me of a story the hubby and I read during a book study on marriage last Fall. I was reading aloud a chapter about husbands showing their wives love through gifts on special days. The author gave the example of a husband either buying an expensive gift or doing something like taking a romantic walk with her and picking up a rock to give to her later along with a poem or note about their time together. The author went on to say that years later, when she’s ninety-three and he’s been dead for a decade what do you think she’ll have on her mantel? At this point in the story my husband pipes up and says; “The rock she killed you with!” I couldn’t stop laughing.

Okay, now they're just messing with me!

I realize that the ads Google places in my Ad bar are related to my posts-- for instance ever since I wrote the story: "What do Diaper Bags have in common with Purses, Panties & Frugal Spouses?" I have had several diaper bag ads shown. But after writing about my eyelash curler mishap in: "How on Earth Did you do that?!" it cracked me up to actually see an ad for false eyelashes! Google has quite a sense of humor I must say! Speaking of missing eyelashes, I think I see a few sprouting up so apparently I won't have to join the circus afterall.

“How on Earth did you do that”?!

This is what my husband said to me after I called him at work this morning to report what had happened. Let me back up a moment…I’m known for my “I love Lucy” qualities, both in respect to some of my “hair brained schemes” and in my general nature of being prone to mishaps. So this morning I’m getting ready, doing my make up like usual, and while using the eyelash curler something rather unfortunate happened. Apparently I did not have a good grip on it and somehow slipped. This maneuver caused the instrument to shoot across the room—sadly, taking my eyelashes with it. I now have one eye with no eyelashes. At. All. And yes, it hurt. In fact, the spring with which this thing went off caused me to wonder for a moment if I still had an eyeball. When I called the hubby and reported my tale of woe I could tell he was struggling not to bust out in uncontrollable laugher on the other end of the phone. After asking me how I could possibly do such a thing he comes up with: “Do they make a safety version of the eyelash curler? You know, one that so when you shoot it across the room it releases your eyelashes first?” Yeah. Funny. I’m over here with no eyelashes and hubby is teasing me. And all on the morning in which I am taking the baby to a playgroup for the fist time. This will be great—I’ll be known as the new mom—the creepy one with no eyelashes! Now I’m just sitting here wondering if they’ll actually grow back. I know they make false eyelashes but it doesn’t exactly sound like something I’d be into—or have time for. Speaking of which, I don’t really have time for such things as curling my eyelashes either, but hey, I had an eyelash curler that came as part of one of those cosmetics bonuses—I guess that could be the problem there. Note to self: go buy an eyelash curler--& look into getting one with a “safety” just in case.

Weight Watching, Gaining, Losing and Maintaining

So here we are at the beginning of a new year and so many of us are trying new diets to lose weight. For many years now I’ve been a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers [which I refer to as “WW” since it’s no coincidence it also stands for Wonder Woman!] I went back when my baby was just 8 weeks old to get the “baby weight” off and continue to go each week to drop the weight I gained the previous week “maintain”. I’ve learned a lot over the years about eating, exercising and in general the emotions behind the whole thing. To me, it’s all about a plan—not only do you need a plan to follow (for eating) you also need a plan to stick to the plan! Just sticking to it is the hardest part! I don’t know how many times I’ve stepped on the scale, known that I’d not followed the plan that week and lo and behold I didn’t lose or worse yet gained. Well surprise, surprise! [insert Gomer Pyle accent here] Then there are those weeks that I did exactly what I was suppose to do and I lost—it’s amazing what happens when you do what you are suppose to do! We come up with lots of little tricks in an attempt to stick to whatever plan we’re trying. Have you heard the one about not eating after 6pm? Yeah, that would work if I went to bed at 6:30. Then the other day we were talking about “trigger foods”; those things that you pretty much have to banish from your home because you know you’ll not only eat them but you won’t be able to stop eating them. One of my trigger foods is chips. Not tortilla chips or corn chips but good, crispy, fresh potato chips! One day I thought I had come up with the perfect solution to allow me to indulge in the occasional potato chip snack without going overboard—I bought one of those boxes with all the tiny little individual bags of chips. Sadly it hadn’t occurred to me that I can open multiple bags. Amidst a large pile of little potato chip bags I told myself this was a trigger food that needed to remain banished. ***sigh*** Another trigger for me is fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Not being much of a baker myself you’d think this would be easier to avoid. However, I have a mother-in-law who makes fabulous chocolate chip cookies and just happens to be a “cookie dealer” (like a drug dealer, only with cookies!) I have the hardest time keeping her from finding a way to get those cookies into my house! Since the hubby & I try to stay away from them she wants to try to give them to the teenager (who’s active, thin and can handle the extra calories) but I try to tell her I have no willpower and if they are in the house, even if she gives them directly to the poor teenager, I will tackle that kid to the floor to get them! Yeah, it’s pretty sad. And yes, I know, what a bad mommy for depriving my kid of cookies! (He does get treats so don’t feel too bad!) Seriously though, once she no-too-subtly smuggled him some cupcakes, later the hubby and I knocked on his door and said, “we know you have cupcakes in there—give ‘em!” (there were three, we all had one).

Flashback moment

As we approach a three day weekend I was thinking back to this very same time many years ago, when the now teenager was just in Kindergarten. I went to pick him up from school on Friday and said: "Do you know you don't have school on Monday because it's a holiday?" He said: "Yes Mommy, I know, it's Ma.. Mar... Martha Stewart day! After calming my uncontrollable laughter I corrected him and told him no, it's actually Martin Luther King Jr. day. Clearly a classic case of little ones calling something by a name that is more familiar and has a similar sound, I thought this was hilarious. Of course, back then, it was even funnier since Ms. Stewart had not yet done time in the slammer been briefly incarcerated. In any case, I’ll never forget this and have to remind the teenager of this each year.

Marriage & Entertainment

Just as I was thinking about writing a little post on marriage I ran across the following video that I thought would be perfect to share. I'm sure many of us are having to come up with new ways to entertain ourselves during the awful "writer's stike". {The hubby and I had to talk to each other last night after dinner!"} But seriously, I do miss my TV and frankly am kinda irked to even have to be paying for it right now when no one is writing anything! Grrrrr...

Enjoy the clip...

Houston, we have a problem...

So, the baby discovered the camera mounted above his crib and is apparently now tall enough to mess with it. I learned this when I flipped on the monitor to see my little angel and instead got a view of something that looked like the moon from the space station...seriously. Apparently, he turned it so it was a view of the wall, but was so close that it not only looked rounded but the wall texturing looked an awful lot like the "texture" of a planet! I recall not long ago some woman actually did get some freaky interference on her monitor and actually was seeing some NASA stuff, so I thought this was pretty funny. I guess I need to add "re-mount baby camera" to the hubby's never-ending to do list!

What do diaper bags have in common w/ purses, panties and frugal spouses?

Below is the story I wrote to go along with my recent e-bay listing for a diaper bag.
___________________________________________________

Why, you may ask, am I selling this fabulous diaper bag? Sadly, it wasn't perfect for me. My husband says I have a habit of doing this thing he calls “The Perfect Search” for various items—I guess over a decade as someone who helps others find items and learn ways of doing things to organize and simplify life might have something to do with this trait. Anyway, it drives him crazy. For instance my search for the perfect purse is still going on. He's getting a little annoyed at my buying purses only to state they won’t work for some reason. Is it so much to ask that a purse be large enough to hold “the basics” and have enough pockets/compartments to organize various items? A purse somewhere in between the size of evening bag and suitcase? *Sigh* I am still looking for “the one” (which reminds me I have a lovely Coach bag I will be listing soon!) A while back it was the search for the perfect underwear. My husband griped, whined and moaned about being dragged through store after store, weekend after weekend, on his wife’s search for the right panties. Apparently perusing women’s panties is not exciting anymore once you’re married. Finding a good pair of well fitting, nice looking and stay put-ing panties is near impossible! Don’t even get me started on “thongs”! What idiot thought of this?! Was it a man who simply wanted women’s underwear to be as skimpy as possible or was it a woman who figured, “well, they always end up my bum so they may as well start there!” Either way, I refuse to wear something that makes it look as though my behind is enormous enough to have actually swallowed a pair of underwear. When the hubby makes the comment that I should buy thongs I just threaten to give up the whole search and buy granny panties...this seems to keep him quiet for a while...but I digress.

My search for the perfect diaper bag led me to this one, the Fleurville Sling Tote. This is a $150 diaper bag that is gently used and comes with the wipes case [never used], the bottle holder and changing pad. Though I really liked it I ended up needing something that can hold even more (& this holds quite a bit!) I am one of those “take it all with you just in case” types and I found I couldn't quite fit the kitchen sink in this one. So, the hubby said I needed to get rid of it. I can’t argue with him since it was a battle to buy the thing in the first place. You see, my husband is a tightwad frugal man, who has trouble understanding why his wife needs a diaper bag that cost more than his first car. I just tell him that wouldn't be the case had he not waited a hundred years until his forties to find the woman of his dreams and have a kid. "Yes dear, things cost more now and a good diaper bag actually does cost more than an AMC Gremlin did back in the 70’s. Sorry!"

So hey, you are in luck because you can buy this beauty for a fraction of the cost which will come in handy if have a cheapskate husband practical man like mine! Good luck and happy bidding!

Life is Great in 2008!

Yeah, I know, it’s pretty corny. My hubby & teenager have been looking at me like I’m the biggest dork for repeating my new mantra when the mood strikes—I just can’t help myself! In fact it’s been so much fun annoying them with it that I think I’m going to do it every year..lemme see…I could get a head start on next year's (Everything’s fine in 2009? We’re at it again in 2010? Okay, I’ll stop now.) But seriously folks….I have a New Year’s tradition I do each year on New Year’s Eve. I learned this many years ago and have since heard of others doing it as well. Each year-end after writing my final journal entry I list the big negatives of the year along with my hopes for various positives in the coming year. Then I print out the negatives, cut each into it’s own little paper strip, and burn each one in a bowl at midnight, thereby “letting go” of them. New Year = new start. Of course I’m not going to list them here for you to see, but those of you who know me can probably guess some of them!

Anywho, I thought I would share my thoughts on the start of the New Year and getting started on those resolutions. We are all familiar with the old Diet resolution; we tell ourselves "No more bad foods!" and then come February (if not the end of January) we are at it again with our favorite junk foods. Then there’s the ever-popular “I resolve to exercise daily” which again turns into a week (maybe a month) of diligence followed by many weeks/months of guilt in which we just don’t “get around to it”. I suggest that making small, positive steps in the right direction is a better idea than making grandiose promises to ourselves that we know we can’t/won’t keep. Take the dieting thing for example…for years I was famous for telling myself that beginning January 1st I would no longer eat anything “bad” (high fat, sugar, refined grain, etc.) and of course I would never stick to this for long. Anything that is too restrictive is destined to fail (and that goes for other things in life, but I digress). So now, years later and wiser, I know that I need to be realistic. So, although some of my favorite foods are on the “naughty” list, I use moderation in choosing how often and how much I’ll eat of these foods and stick to a healthy eating plan for the majority of the time. I mean seriously, if I could never have pizza again—well, you might as well just shoot me!

I plan to have some fun blog posts coming up so “stay tuned” and Happy New Year! Oh, and hey, it's going to be GREAT in 2008! ;-)

Christmas Cleanup

So, the cleanup begins! The tree needs to come down, the halls need to be un-decked and all the serving-ware needs to go back to it's home...it's this time of year I'm thankful for older kids who are home on Winter Break to help! Of course the teenager grumbles about this significantly, but I remind him that he can enjoy the time working on the cleanup project while using his new ipod! Speaking of small music making devices, the baby got one, too! Just this year Playskool came out with an MP3 player for the little ones; the Playskool Made for Me digital music player --the unit sits inside a larger animal shaped sturdy thing and allows the baby to push a button and hear the songs we've installed for him as well as others it comes with. Why the ipod folks didn't think of this is beyond me-- (they passed on the opportunity for a babypod? crazy!) and frankly the good folks at Hasbro / Playskool should be paying me for blogging about this! (but sadly, they're not). Anyway, the kids are quite happy with their gifts though I can't say the same for daddy. (let's just say that a pair of cords looked like a nice blue color online and in real life they are apparently "periwinkle".) In addition, my hubby thought my feet are smaller than they are so my new slippers don't fit. So after the cleanup, let the exchanges begin!

Sometimes you have to improvise!

This December is flying by and we found ourselves with a packed weekend of Christmas preparations, get-togethers and general merriment—i.e., trying to cram as much as we can into the last free pre-Christmas days. We spent all day Sunday enjoying an old fashioned Christmas Faire. Lots of fun, though a long day for baby in the stroller. This was our first “trip” more than an hour away with the little guy and I thought I had all the necessary gear for our adventure. Sadly, I realized one small but important baby item: the binky holder. Without this thing the binky would simply end up being hurled out of the stroller onto the floor. Well, as it turns out, I cleverly fashioned a makeshift binky holder out of a silicone hand sanitizer dispenser holder! No, really! This thing actually worked, complete with being able to tether one end to the stroller harness while holding the binky on the other end! [and yes, I remembered to remove the bottle of hand sanitizer first!] I was so proud of myself- I had a MacGyver moment! I have to admit here that it wasn’t that long ago that when hearing others refer to making something like MacGyver would I had no idea what/who they were talking about—I actually never saw that show. After hearing several comments about this and finally seeing a couple of tv spoofs (MacGyver getting himself out of a jam with duck tape, a rubber hose and a bobby pin) I finally got this reference and always thought to myself; “hey, I want to do a MacGyver thing!” so, there you have it- I’m a MacGyver mommy!

Holiday mishaps

I couldn't let this holiday season go by without first taking a glance back a few weeks ago to our event filled Thanksgiving. (Since apparently the entire month of November got by me without any blog entries I have to try to make up for that with this story.) This year, since we didn't have any family coming to visit or any family to go visit we decided to go out to a nice restaurant for Thanksgiving. It seemed silly to cook for just us and we thought it might be fun for a change. Well, we chose a nice place that we'd been to before and made reservations. We all got dressed up including the baby and off we went. The place was packed (apparently plenty of other folks thought the idea of going out for Thanksgiving was fun, too). The baby was pretty content in his highchair and we had finished our appetizers and were starting on our salads when all of a sudden the baby threw up...all over the table! Yes, apparently he had a stomach flu type thing and it hit him at this particular moment. I immediately jumped to my feet, started cleaning up the mess while hubby informed the waiter we'd like our meals "to go" and we made a hasty exit. Once home we got the baby cleaned up and in bed. In a couple days he was over the virus and then the rest of the family, one by one, got the same thing. Fun times. I figure this makes an exciting holiday memory to tell many years from now at future Thanksgivings. Interestingly, this is not the first time we've had a nice-restaurant-baby-explosion-incident. When the baby was just a few months old and still exclusively breastfed we all went out to a nice Asian place for dinner. Since we don't often get to do such things this was a special event. It was made even more special when hubby, who was holding baby on his lap, all of a sudden heard a rumble and looked down to see a diaper explosion of biblical proportions--said explosion went up the back of the diaper to the top of baby's pants and down hubby's sweater and his pants and onto the floor! I quickly grabbed the baby, wrapped him in a blanket and headed for the restroom (which thankfully did have a changing table--amazing how many places don't) and cleaned him up the best I could. When I got back to the table I looked at the rest of the family and just started laughing and said; "you know, times like this all you can do is laugh!" Fortunately, we had been able to eat our meals for the most part before this event occurred. Another exciting story to share for years to come!

I guess anything can offend someone...

An interesting thing happened while listing a few of the baby’s item’s for sale on ebay. Apparently, the standard comment I have on my auction listings about being a stay at home mom and trying to make a few extra bucks on ebay offended someone who took it upon herself to verbally blast me in an e-mail. For entertainment, feel free to read the ebay auction listing here, complete with the nasty comment in the Q & A section and my response for all the ebay world to see. (No longer available since it's past the 90 days ebay leaves listings up.) I was not about to respond directly to the person who made the comment, but since she so conveniently provided me with a writing topic I could not resist taking that opportunity!

It amazes me what ruffles some people’s feather’s. When being a stay at home mom selling a few things on ebay can offend someone, then truly anything can.

It's a good thing boys are so tough!

The baby, 14 months old now, is already quite a rough and tumble little boy. He bangs things, hits things, throws things and frequently bonks his baby head on furniture stopping only briefly to rub it a little and keep on going. It amazes me. We even hear frequent "thuds" over the baby monitor when he bonks his head against his crib! We probably should get the kid a little helmet. Speaking of which, I’m reminded of a story my mom tells from my childhood. When I was a little girl (around 4 in this story) we had an unfinished backyard with a dirt mound that I loved to play in. I would dig in the dirt with a little shovel, make “dirt castles” and play for hours just having fun in the dirt. (As a mom now, just thinking of the laundry makes me cringe!) Anyway, the little neighbor boy would come over and of course, being a boy, he’d also love to play in the dirt. My mom will apparently never forget the day that he came over wearing some sort of helmet. We were out back digging in the dirt playing as usual and then for some unknown reason I bonked the poor kid over the head with my little shovel! The dialogue to follow went something like this:

Boy: Oww!! You hit me ..what did you do that for?
Me: Ummm, well, I don’t know, what are you wearing the helmet for?

I guess that logic is hard to argue with!

Isn’t that what Scarecrows are for?

So it’s Halloween around here alright. A few days ago Hubby hauled out the large scarecrow we decorate with every year and decided to put it out in front up against the garage. So as I head out the front door and turn the corner…there it is. As previously mentioned I startle easily- so, the darn thing scared me! The pathetic part is after the first time this happend I forgot about it and it got me again a couple days later (I only make it out of the house every couple days or so thanks to baby cranky pants.) Then hubby decides this isn’t the best location for our scarecrow friend and moves him to another location, closer to where I turn the corner when coming out the front door! And again—I get startled by the darn thing!

Being the only female in a household full of males is never more apparent than at Halloween. The other day while looking around at all the neat Halloween d├ęcor at Target I catch both “boys” (that would be hubby and teenager) attempting to “surprise” the baby with one of those candy dishes with the hand that reaches out for you. They continued to put it in front of him to see his little baby suprised reaction --they thought it was just hysterical! Poor baby, Mommy will save you from your big brother and Daddy!

So onto more mischief and mayhem. We are the proud owners of an infa-red/automatic opening trash can. I love this thing! There are many opportunities to rejoice in not needing to have my hands free to open a trash can since I am frequently “icked” by something or other as a mommy trying to dispose of the mess of the hour. Well, apparently the thing needed more than just changing the trash bag because after announcing; “Hey honey, the trash can smells” to the hubby who graciously took out the trash, I noticed it still smelled. Eww! So, we took the thing outside and sprayed it down with some disinfectant. While it was laying in two parts on the patio, the can and the automatic opening lid, both hubby and I were standing in the kitchen looking outside at it waiting for the cat to walk by the right place, trigger the automatic sensor and jump a mile high when the lid suddenly opened up….much to our disappointment we kept watching her walk by and it never happened-darn! Of course it was then I realized that when the possibility of scaring the heck out of the cat is the highlight of our evening perhaps we need to get out more often.

That’s roughly 3 years…

Way back when I always thought it was odd that mothers used months to state their kids ages…."little Emily is 38 months and Sam is 56 months"… Now I understand! I think there is something just a little bit sad in acknowledging that your baby is getting older—after all, my baby, who for all intents and purposes is still a baby, is technically a year old, but I cannot bring myself to say that! So, he’s 13 months—much better. Ah, sweet denial! Of course my other “baby” is 179 months old!

Speaking of getting out of the baby age, now that my dear little one is past the year mark we are transitioning out of bottles. Thank heavens! You see, being fairly health conscious about things when we did have a need for bottles we chose to use glass instead of plastic. Thanks to this choice my baby’s “WANTED” poster has gone up all over town due to hurling his bottle out his stroller and onto the floor…. CRASH! Now there’s a coffee shop and a baby store I cannot show my face in. The last time he did this the bottle was aimed directly at some poor woman’s feet. She was very good natured about it and made a comment about how she didn’t know they even made glass bottles anymore. Thank goodness she was wearing tennis shoes and not flip flops!

I guess it’s the time of year for this sort of thing….

So the other day I am minding my own business sitting at the kitchen table checking e-mail when from the other room I hear my baby’s little talking house go off all by itself! "Doo deedle doo da doo: seven", "Doo deedle doo da doo: nine" and it keeps doing it! Spooky! I decided to just go with it and start writing down the numbers in case they are lottery winners!

Speaking of spookiness, I am known for being easily startled. My husband will frequently sneak up behind me (though he claims he’s just walking normally) and out of the blue will appear around a corner and I’ll scream! Growing up, my oldest son thought this was hysterical once he learned mommy got scared and screamed if you snuck up on her so this was something he enjoyed the heck out of when he was little. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the new little guy starts this fun-filled activity! The other day was the kicker though. We had just finished breakfast and hubby mumbled something and disappeared into another part of the house. A few moments later I head back to the master bedroom, open the door to the bathroom and..... scream! There’s dear hubby on the potty! Apparently I scared him as much as he scared me! Next he just bursts into uncontrollable laughter! {I just wasn’t expecting to see anyone in there!}

Well, I must say other than being scared I do enjoy this time of year; Halloween, the onset of cooler weather, Thanksgiving, crisp, cool nights, crunchy leaves, having dinner when it’s actually dark instead of brighter than the noon-day sun. I guess I must be an Autumn person. It’s this time of year when I look forward to scenic Fall drives, going to a pumpkin patch, wearing sweaters and other Fall clothing, and getting holiday shopping started and hopefully finished long before the holiday season hits!