Monday, August 30, 2010

Why I Am Not Blogging This Week

  1. The kids start school this week
  2. Volunteer obligations
  3. Laundry
  4. World hunger
  5. Pea soup
  6. Laundry
  7. I broke the internet.
  8. Too much Twitter
  9. Too much Facebook
  10. Laundry
  11. Hostile takeover


  12. The cat ate my blog

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes

 I had to pick up the same puzzle pieces five times, only to discover pieces were missing.
The cat knocked over my dried eucalyptus, breaking a stem and tearing some leaves off.
I found my "Spring Tea" hat only to discover it was smushed and the green beads that decorated the hat were falling off.
I had to pick up Meg's gem collection again.
I found a craft brad with "Route 66" on it and I remembered "gettin' my kicks" on it when we were in Springfield.
I am always cleaning up messes.
Messes are ugly.
or are they?

My mess, remade.

All the things I had stepped on, lost and found, drove me crazy, made me sad and made me remember all on this tree.  It felt good.

My stapler loves to jam leaving me with crooked staples.  They litter my counter tops and fall to the floor. 
Glue and throw.
No rhyme or reason. It just happened like that. I added the bottle top: it reminded me of Carl and Ellie.  
They always make me smile.
So does he.

You should have seen him before, he was such a drab.
All these pictures were done in the, soon to be released, book "Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes" by Keri Smith.
I received an advance copy of "Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes"  to preview: please note I would not write anything about it here if I didn't love it.
And I love it.
The idea that life is messy so enjoy is something every person should embrace.  Take a second glance at the things that don't go the way you plan.
Find beauty in the random.

 Disclosure: "Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes" will be available in bookstores Sept. 7 2010, but is available for pre-order at Amazon and other online book stores.
  I received an advance copy of the book to read and do, the opinions and pictures above are my own.  I was given no money to write this post. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Scrapbook:Springfield Part Deux or Hark How the Bells

Part One here
After a long morning of traveling it is always nice to take the rest of the day to nap while the kids run around feral.
Or you can go to the park.

 
To cute to be feral.

It's nice to get outside and sweat like a pig.  
All proof of me sweating has been destroyed, furthering the illusion that I glow.

DUCKS!  they never get boring. or are these geese?  In that case:GEESE!
And we break for a public service announcement:
Geese and ducks poop. They poop a lot. When you feed geese and duck bread they not only poop more but the poop becomes a texture that is not normal and quite frankly is beyond disgusting.  Don't feed geese and ducks bread. 
Thank you , 
Friends who don't want to step in mushy duck crap, or is it geese crap?  In that case GEESE CRAP!

This park that we went to holds special meaning to my sister and her husband, it is where they were married.  And as Megan says, "YUCK MARRIED!"
She's a hopeless romantic.

One of my favorite things about the park is this....
Carillon bells

So cool. Last year we were able to not only hear them, but watch them being played. 
How are they played you ask?

On this contraption

The view from the top....

Amazing!

Hello down there.
Barf!

This should make you feel better...
Pretty!
More pictures to come.
It's like being tortured by your co-worker's 500 baby pictures, all in the same pose, but with less spit-up!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scrapbook: Springfield

The Land of Lincoln.  I consider it my home state, so it is nice to go back and pay a visit.
So we leave early for our long journey.  Lots of driving.  The view....
Corn


Corn


and WHAT?? More CORN.
Ahh! yes my weary travelers you learn well.

But between the corn and the tears you see something totally worth not letting your mind go to that deep dark place that makes you wonder, "Is there really such a thing as Children of the Corn?"  "And if there is am I better with these corn children then with my own children?"
That joke just doesn't gets old.
Ahh! Serenity Now.
It's all in the name.

When you plan a family vacation it is always nice to visit people you know.  Of course the less warning you give them the better, don't give them a chance to change their mind. Even better....
SURPRISE THEM! 
The best time for this surprise?  Right before their morning coffee, that way you can prepare yourself for the morning scare.
My sister is actually not that scary in the morning.  You should have seen her face when I came knocking with my two rug-rats at seven a.m..   Priceless.

She let us stay.   She's cool like that.
My sister's rug-rats.
Although I think my sister's rug-rats might get a stern talking to about the art of barking warnings when strangers come near.  Those puppies love early morning visitors!
Best dogs EVER.  I call them my dawgs.

Disclosure: I gave my sister fair warning I was coming and this trip was planned well in advance.  No pre-coffee surprises were bestowed upon unwilling sisters, but if  pre-coffee surprises where bestowed upon sisters they'd love it.   That is why sisters rock.
 Please do not show up to people's houses unannounced.  This makes you a total douchenozzle or a Cousin Eddie .   Don't be a Cousin Eddie. 

Stay tune, more trip photos to come.
It's like that totally awesome slide show your Aunt Edna  showed you when she went to the Poconos, only with less mumus and heart shape tubs.

Unwind

We got back yesterday from our trip to Springfield and St. Louis.
I loved it.  I had fun.  And now off to the "Back to School" races.
I will be back with trip pics, but for now I will leave you with this....


The Gateway to the Midwest
If you happen to be in St. Louis, and need something to do with the kids, check out "The Magic House". Simply amazing and fun!
Those travel books I made?  Worked like a charm.  They are now a permanent fixture in  the "mom-mobile. "

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scrapbook: Madison

I love living near Madison.  It this big city wrapped up in a small town package.
My kids love it too.  A favorite place to visit is the State Capital Building....


The kids run up the steps, just like there home.
  This time N asked me if you can find money there.  Sorry N you will find no money here, sadly you are more likely to lose money here. 
Get it.  Government.  Lose money. 
Wakka wakka the jokes just never end!

Laying in the middle of the Capital

The view laying down on that cold marble, right smack dab in the center, is AMAZING!!  Next time I will wear pants so you can see for yourself.

On top of the world
  Or on top of capital.  Which is actually the bottom part of the dome.  It's high up there.
Knows no fear


The timid one.

Once you get to the edge, the view.....
AMAZING!!!!



360 degrees....


...You have to see it for yourself.

Stone men. They don't talk back. 
I get me one of these?
Good times.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Changes Made

Last night, well the past month I have given a lot of thought to what I want to do with my life.  Maybe it's the fact that school is starting soon.  There is something new and fresh about this time of year, it begs for change more then anytime of the year.  Yes, even more then New Year.  It is cold in the New Year, bleak, well at least in my neck of the woods.  The idea of starting something new among frigid below zero temperatures is not appealing.  Starting change among the changing fall leaves, the breeze that cools me and the fact that two screaming, fighting children are safety enriching their minds giving me a chance to actually think for a change is my kind of atmosphere for change.
So some changes made....
Did you notice my new blog title.  Yeah I am kind of like it, I think it is a good change.  Sometimes I need to be reminded that home is where my heart is.  I am the type of person who is ready to go off into the next thing.  Sometimes you need the reminder to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.  It fits my life right now.

I bought a daily planner.  CRAZY I know.   I will actually plan my day.  Well not really.
I always think that I can remember anything, and I can't.  I do have a great memory but one of two things happens when it comes to the important stuff....
  1. I remember it till the day I die or
  2. I totally and completely forget that it exists.
That can cause some issues.  There really is no middle ground here.  To be faced with a mind that keeps or dumps has caused it's problems.  I often hear people say "don't you remember that???"  Um... no not one little bit but I believe you becauseI have issues.

I am making it an issue now to not be afraid to speak my mind.  I am that cowardly lion.  I am always afraid that if I speak my mind I might.....or I might....you know I might...
Wait I have no idea why I am so afraid.  I am not talking about being a total itch-bay here, what I am talking about here has to do with something along the lines of doors and mats and DOORMAT.  Which is a very easy thing to be, a doormat.
So no more doormats for me.  Except my actual doormat outside my front door, it's personalized and way cute.

Next up I will try to blog more.
Blog about the things I love.  I hate.  I love to hate. and hate to love.  Keep up on this little home I created for myself.
I will actually read my e-mail associated with my blog.  The fact that I just spend an evening emptying 1000+ emails out of my inbox makes me want to keep up on it more.  Sure most is not things I need or want, but every once and awhile there is a diamond in the rough.  I don't mind helping people out, and you can't help people out if you don't listen.
After learning a friend was going in for surgery for the BIG "C" it was nice to read an e-mail about a company that was helping out the cause.  In a way it gave me a chance to help the cause, only if it in in a small way.  Only if one person clicked and one dollar was made, it is all good.
I will try to spend a little more time here.  Even if it is just for a minute.

These are easy changes, not like when I say I am going to keep a cleaner house, that's a promise easily broken, especially with my two children.
I don't know how to end this post, maybe a quote is in order?  When in doubt, end with a quote?  Sounds good to me!
The key to change... is to let go of fear.
~Rosanne Cash

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Energized For a Cure

A friend will be having surgery this coming week, after a long road of chemotherapy.  After the surgery she will go through more treatments.  Breast. Cancer. Sucks.  Big time.
Could you please go to "The Energizer Bunny's" Facebook page and "Like" him.  For every new "like" Energizer will donate $1 (up to $150,000) to Susan G. Komen for a Cure!
Please note I was not compensated in any way for the above post nor am I being compensated to say....
Energizer is providing "ReCharge:" stations at Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk events, that provided....
Laptops for walker to share their journey, Energizer® Energi To Go® portable power items such as the EnergiStick™ and XP 1000 portable cell phone chargers, flashlights, lanterns and battery-operated games. Also at the "Recharge" Stations are chair massages, provided by members of the American Massage Therapy Association.
The Energizer Family will also be making a $400,000 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.
In honor of my friend, my grandmother and mother-in-law who survived Breast Cancer and women everywhere every dollar that goes for a cure is a dollar well spent!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Travel Workbook

Make no mistake I am nervous, with a capital N, about this car trip with the kids. Five plus hours one way. No T.V. with fancy DVD player for us. We rely on imagination. Yes, I am crazy. Yes, I do have a death wish.
Last year on our five hour tour I used cookie cutters as trays for the kids to color.
I discovered the wonder that is audio books from the library. My kids love listening to chapter books and can recall story plots and details. Makes a momma proud.
Now this year I had a moment of genius, which does not happen that much.
A travel workbook.
Games.
Puzzles.
Stuff to learn.
Things to keep the minds busy.
What more could you ask for?
So here is how it is done!
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Supplies:
  • 3 ring binder.  I purchased mine at The Dollar Store.
  • Plastic paper sleeve/  The Dollar Store again, they sell packs of 25 plastic sleeves.
  • 3 ring binder pencil case.  Wal-mart has these pencil cases right in their "Back to School" section.
  • Dry erase markers.  I spent a little more money on these to get the bright colors.  A pack of eight has pink, purple, green, orange.....The Dollar store sells dry erase markers as well but in more basic colors.
  • Cloth washcloth, the thinner the better.  I took an old cloth and cut it into four squares.
  • Printable puzzles and car games.  See below for suggestions and links.

Now for the simple steps:
1.Take one of your printable puzzles and stick them in one of the clear plastic sleeves.  I placed two puzzle/games, front to back, into each sleeve.
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2. Place each sleeve into your three ring binder.


    Photobucket
    3.Take your dry erase markers and pieces of cloth and put them into your pencil case.
    Photobucket
    4.Put your pencil case into the 3 ring binder.
    Now for the magic
    Photobucket
    Play Bingo, color all over your plastic covered puzzles and games and then....
    Photobucket
    It's wipes clean! Now you can OHHH! and AHH!
    Car Bingo can be played over and over. Puzzles can be done and mistakes can be erased.

    What to put in your travel binder
    I did the hard work so you don't have to.  Aren't I nice???  Here is some of my ideas, if you have any PLEASE leave them in the comment section.  I love, with a capital L, new ideas.

    1.I went to Google maps,  go to "Get Directions" and fill in your travels plans.  What is great about this is the children get, not only a map of where we are going, they also get a numbered trip planner.  As you pass each mark the kids can cross it off!
      Photobucket
      from Google Maps
      2. Roadside Bingo and Travel Scavenger Hunt from Momsminivan.com.  This site is a great resource, lots of fun stuff.

      3. Find the Difference Travel Puzzle at Disney Family Fun.

      4.Dora Dot to Dot for the little girl at Nick Jr.  (Lots of other printable at Nick Jr.)

      5. Map of the USA at National Atlas.gov

      6. I put in special coloring and facts sheets for our specific destination.

      7. Using a word processing program write out the alphabet, space it out and place into two columns.  Their are endless alphabet games and the kids can check off the letters as they play.

      8.  More dot to dots at Raising our Kids and ABCteach

      9. Mazes at All Kids Network

      All you have to do is search "Printable Worksheets" or "Printable Puzzles" and you will have an ENDLESS supply of fun stuff to keep the kiddos busy and happy!
      I invested a couple hours into this project, but I think it will be well worth it.
      Here are the finished books...
      Photobucket


      Happy Travels!!

      Sunday, August 8, 2010

      Sisher 10'

      I changed my blog name again.  I have ADD, I know.  I am just trying to find my grove here.  I get bored easily. Yada.  Yada. Yada.

      Someone else has the same blog title, I always look before I switch, but they stopped blogging in 2007 so I am thinking it is all good.

      In four days I leave for a weekend of fun with my little sister.  I can't wait.  I had to sit and listen to the endless hours/days of #Blogher10 on Twitter so now it is my turn to repay the favor!  So be prepared for.....
      #Sisher10
      That's right you are going to have to live vicariously thorough my vague drunken tweets.  Fun, drunken hedonism.
      Actually I will have two kids, so it will be long whiny days of paying for my own shit and going to bed at 9pm.  Fun, Right?  Right???  Jealous?  Right.
      I am prepin' and packin' and ziplocin'.
      I'd totally make out with the person who invented the gallon size zip-loc bag.  Even if it was a girl.  Or a lady.  Or a tramp.
      Why the lady's a tramp.  Sing-a-long time.
      Woo! total ADD moment there.
      Yes, I pack my travel shiznit in baggies.  It is the bestest way to travel.  It is the ONLY way to travel.
      Before zip-locs my kids would rifle through their suitcase scattering all my hard work and messing up my system.  Now I pull out a bag, give it to them.  Underwear, socks, shirt , pants it's in there. Get dressed.
      For the little girl I use snack-size bags to put the coordinating hair bows/barrettes and jewelery.  It is OCD at it's finest.
      Never doubt the power of a zip-loc bag.
      *Disclosure: No money was given to me to say zip-loc.  Zip-loc is in reference to the bag not the brand.  
      Like band-aid. 
      No one says "Can I please have an adhesive bandage for my cut finger?"  No, they say "I want a band-aid."  They probably could give a shit if it is an actual "Band-aid" brand band-aid or some nameless brand of bandage.   Really just give them the fricken band-aid, their finger is bleeding.  Don't be the asshole who says "Well it's not really a "Band-aid" it is actually a "I'm a Douche-Bag" brand adhesive bandage."   Fricker.
      So basically I am referring to a bag that you put shit into and seal it up so nothing comes out.

      Saturday, August 7, 2010

      a good cry.


      I could absolutely never get sick of this song.
      It is my go to cry song.  Sometimes you just have to let the dam burst.  Let go of everything.  On days I just can't make the cry come I put on this song.
      I am not talking one glistening tear cry.  I am talking whole self, shake the world kind of cry.  Everything and Anything that has built up, letting it out and loose and free.
      It is an amazing feeling.
      A good cry.

      World Breastfeeding Week

      Pablo Picasso
      I have been meaning to write about "World Breastfeeding Week" but life got in the way.  That and I am always afraid of what others will say.  I am afraid of that person that will come to my blog and say "But my milk didn't come in"  or complain about "Breast-feeding Nazis" or woman who let their boobs hang out and jiggle them around in peoples face all in the name of breastfeeding.
      And really I can't speak for those people, I can only speak for myself.
      I loved breastfeeding my children.  I loved breastfeeding my toddlers.  If I was to have another child I would breastfeed them without a second thought.   Breastfeeding my children is one of my greatest accomplishments.  I am proud of myself.  Proud that I didn't give up, even when my breast were sore and hard.  That I didn't give up when thrush and fever exhausted my body. 
      If I had it to do over I won't change a thing.  I loved the little moments.  Sometimes I sit with my children now, long past the stages of nursing, and they will rest their heads on my breast and my breast still ache.
      I loved breastfeeding my children.  It is my hope and prayer that every mother is given the chance to nurse her child.  It is my hope that when my daughter goes to nurse her baby she will not be met with stares or judgment but met with love and total support.

      Thursday, August 5, 2010

      Clarity

      You know when you have so much to say but you just don't have the energy to say it?  It's called lazy.  Okay maybe not lazy.
      Yeah Lazy.

      I would love to share my take on the economy, but really that would bore you to tears.
      My thoughts on peace in the Middle East are fascinating, but really a mom from the "Cheese-State" won't solve that problem.
      I have an opinion about Kate Gosselin, but you know what they say about opinions.  And Assholes.  And Kate Gosselin.
      Okay she's not that bad.  Let's think about it moms.
      1. Stay home with kids.
      2. Go on endless vacations.
      3.Get paid to do it all.
      And now douche-bag free....Ummm...yes please where do I sign up.
      And don't even tell me you won't do it.

      I struggle with what really to blog about.
      I use to do product reviews.  But as much as I loved getting free stuff it became  lot to do and I hates when there is expectation in blogging. 
      And I want to write. Someday I want to be a writer.  When I grow up and I thought if I bogged myself down with books and buttons and bugles I'd won't have a chance to write.  But if you would like me to review a bugle I so would.  Bugles are kinda cool.
      I'd tried my hand at a collaborative blog, but generally as a rule I don't work well with others.  So working with people was a beast.  I mean people have opinions.  And you know what they say about opinions.  and assholes.  I am an asshole which means I am not easy to work with.
      Business blogging was a bust.  You have to spend money to make money and I don't have the money to spend.
      I have like blogger ADD. 
      I have been funny.
      and serious.
      and insightful.
      and GOD knows I have bored you to tears.
      So 2 plus years into this all I still have NO voice.
      Yeah ME! 
      So two plus years I have seen people come and go.  I have seen people who have started before and after gain great success, I am a little jealous.
      I know one day this will all come together.   One day it will all make sense.  Till then I will keep truckin'. 

      Tuesday, August 3, 2010

      Give Good Book

      So I happen to glance at my comments today and noticed people want book suggestions and I aim to please.

      I started off early spring by reading "SookieStackhouse" If you ignore the children most of the day, only breaking to feed them 3 square meals, you can finish these a book a day.

      Now it is all about Vampires and if you are like most people you are in Vampire overload. Thanks "Twilight."  I promise though these are some good reads, they are Vampires for grown ups.   Vampires that don't sparkle and aren't so emo.  You know if you add an "L" into emo you get Elmo, not so depressing now is it?

      Some good summer reads are Carl Hiaasen books.  I've read both "Skinny Dip" and "Basket Case".  I plan on reading more of his books, he is a great suspense writer.

      Another great  suspense writer is Harlen Coben. If you only read one of his books may I suggest "Hold Tight". but fair warning here start it first thing in the morning so you aren't up all night, it will hook you.

      I think Harlan's "Caught" should be mandatory reading for all bloggers. Although somewhat dramatic, the demonstration of cyber-bullying would make anyone stop and think before they post filth online.

      Now if you have two weeks to devote to a series may I suggest the Millennium Trilogy.  The translations can be a bit rough but if you stick with it I am sure you will enjoy it.  I am now finishing up the trilogy with "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest". I am pleased I stuck with it and finished the first two books.  The author is VERY narrative but in the end you are left feeling full, I love to feel full.

      Now as a reward for finishing Millennium you might want to check out the Stephanie Plum series.  If you aren't much of a reader I suggest starting off with this series.  We aren't talking high-brow literature here.  We are talking laugh out loud awesomeness and sometimes that is just what you need in a book.  I loved the main heroine, Stephanie and I was hooked from word one of this series.

      I was able to get this whole series in the library, except for book sixteen.  My suggestion is to get three to four books at a time, they go fast, and trust me, you are left wanting more.

      These are my suggestions, have any for me?
       





      Above is a slide show of books mentioned. If you click on it and purchase a book I might get all of $.10. My hope is that is 20 years I can purchase a Kindle. Thank you for helping the cause!

      Monday, August 2, 2010

      Random

      *I have been bloggy neglectful. It is sad.  I really need to up my game here. I guess I am bloggy depressed.  Is there by chance bloggy Prozac?  Cause I'll take the economy size bottle of that.  Big bottle.  BIG.
      My life is the same.  The kids have given up on outside play.  The humidity and the mosquitos....OMFG the mosquitos....have taken threre toll on their poor undeserving souls, and mine.  We walk outside to go back in five minutes later with sweat covering our upper lip and five mosquito bites.  That's a mosquito bite a minute if you don't want to do the math.
      *For the record we have many repellents, but these mosquitoes seem to be immune to any sort of repelling chemical.  And also lip sweat is the worse sweat in the world.  It shows the lip hair.  YUCK! and YIKES!
      I am reading "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"  which for the record is the last book in the Millennium Trilogy.  If you have a week, I suggest these books highly.  Give yourself some time, the translations wear on you but it is so worth it!
      *I am officially 33 years old.  Officially.  I don't feel a day older then 32.  So I guess I have got it good. 

      just

      I never knew much about my Grandfather's job.  I knew he was a police officer.  A Sergeant on the Chicago Police Force.  When he came ho...