Totally Random Nonsense

It is with regret that I announce that I shot my wad on the SLIMpossible diet today.

While at the hospital for most of the day, I found myself with about six minutes to scarf down some “lunch”. I made a quick trip to the hospital snack bar and settled on a bag of Doritos and a chocolate pudding parfait, which I could not pass up because, HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE? And, in a moment of weakness, I swallowed four thin mints, almost whole.

On an unrelated note, who named those suckers THIN mints anyway? I realize they are THIN, but that’s the last thing anyone who eats them is going to be. (Especially when you eat an entire sleeve. * Not that I’ve ever done that! *

In my defense though, I did come home and spend an hour with Leslie Sansone in an attempt to work that parfait and the Doritos and those four measly 160 calorie THIN mints off.

For weeks (or maybe it’s been months at this point) my kitchen counter has looked like this because the screen on that pretty pink laptop decided to quit working.

Only, I did move the monitor and keyboard over toward the wall to clear up half the counter.

But alas, I am pleased to report that tonight I am no longer sitting on that HARD bar stool. Instead, I am blogging from the comfort of my big, blue, bloggy couch with a brand spankin’ new laptop with a screen that works.

Hallelujah.

And Amen.

My tailbone thanks you, McDaddy.

And I do, too!

I heard bad news today.

I mean REALLY bad news.

I haven’t been able to think about much else since I heard the news.

Can you believe that my beloved Maksim Chremkovskiy will not be on this season of Dancing With The Stars?

That makes me nine kinds of unhappy.

But seeing these at the hospital today sure made me smile.

Yes, those are tennis shoes.

The nurse wearing them explained that they are specially designed tennis shoes (called Z-Coils) for people with a bad back. I think they are super cool and really, I MEAN REALLY wanted to ask her if I could try them on. But instead, I just snapped a picture all secret-squirrel right in the middle of the E-R.

She bought them on a Canadian website and they were $240. And before you ask, for once I wasn’t the one asking nosy questions. My dad happened to be in the E-R with me and his nose is way bigger than mine! (Hi Dad!) He was asking her all kinds of questions.

[On an unrelated note: Since receiving a tablet for Christmas, my daddy has joined the ranks with LBF’s all over the nation. And you can bet the farm it is killing him not knowing what the heck an LBF is.

I do not suffer from back, joint or foot pain (but remember I still have butt pain from sitting on that hard bar stool!), still, I really want a pair of those shoes. They are cool and from what I understand very comfortable. Not to mention I am finding, at the ripe age of 39, that comfort trumps cute every. single. time.

Oh, and on the off-chance that the fine folks from Z-Coil end up here at From Inmates To Playdates, Inc., you should know that I would LOVE an opportunity to work with you on a review/giveaway promotion. Just have your people call my people and we’ll set something up!

And just like THAT, I realize the time on my laptop is an hour off.

Danggit.

Crazy random posts work for me!

What I Learned This Week

It’s been a crazy, busy non-stop week. We had things on our calendar almost every evening and I’m afraid that I fell off the mission SLIMpossible wagon. I only exercised three of the required five days, and I was barely able to get in 100 ounces of water. I am hoping this week will be better.

Because exercise is worth DOUBLE THE POINTS this week, I need to get back at it. Oh, and also because this is the last week of the competition.

Here’s a little of what I learned this week.

1. When you have a message from Fed Ex on your answering machine saying a package requiring a signature will be delivered the next day and you must be home to receive it, you probably shouldn’t be quick to assume it’s a piece of equipment for your husband’s work. It is entirely possible that the package you will be receiving is a new laptop to replace the set-up that is currently taking OVER your kitchen countertop.

2. It takes hours to get a new laptop up and running

3. The Fed-Ex wait window is 8AM – 6PM.

4. The elderly gentleman down the street gets empty milk bottles from the Fed Ex guy every week. (I sure wish I knew more about this whole empty milk bottle deal.)

5. My weight fluctuates more than the stock market. UGGGHHH!

6. Ordering Samoas and Thin Mints in the midst of a weight-loss competition makes no sense whatsoever.

7. I have no business visiting Pinterest when trying to write a blog post.

8. Typing on a new laptop takes some getting used to.

9. Using a new laptop (especially one with a different operating system) is kind of like driving a new car.

10. I have forgotten about A LOT of really great rap music from the 90’s.

11. The girl scouts have the whole girl scout cookie pick up line thing down to a science.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post (this is important!)

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



A Title Goes Here

For years, my mother-in-law has left comments here on the blog encouraging me to write a book. That thought makes me giggle because seriously, who in the heck – besides the mother-in-law (and probably my parents) – would buy a book written by a loud-mouth crazy person.

I can think of maybe three of you out there.

In honor and celebration of her first book Sparkly Green Earrings debuting at #27 on this week’s New York Times Best Seller list my friend Melanie is hosting a give-away over at her place – for what else? – sparkly green earrings, of course!

When I read about Big Mama’s giveaway I began to ponder titles for my first book. I’ve got strong opinions on an array of topics, so that means the writing possibilities are endless. In honor of thinking about writing my first book, here are 10 books that I could write, with confidence.

1. Organization: Be the most unorganized, organized person you know.

2. Powers of Persuasion: How to talk your husband into just about anything.

3. Getting to [REALLY] Know Your iPhone.

4. Beating The Clutter Isn’t As Easy As It Looks

5. Talking Is My Gift

6. 40 and Fabulous! (It would take me at least a year to write it, right?)

7. Sounds In The Night – Dealing With A Travelling Spouse

8. My Time In Jail – A Memoir

9. Does A Stay At Home Mom Have To Stay At Home?

10. What I Did Before Facebook.

Any of these sound like a best seller to you?

I Hate This Story

It is a treat having two little boys.

They are alike in some ways, but for the most part, the two of them are as different as night and day. At their well-visit a few weeks ago, their pediatrician informed me that at Stevie’s current rate of growth, he will be a 5’11” / 180 pound adult. Alex, on the other hand, at his current rate of growth will be 6’4″ and 220 pounds.

To which Stevie replied, “I better get to eatin'”.

I’ve told that story 318 times in the past two weeks and each time Stevie says, “I hate this story.”

It makes me smile because it is indicitive of the difference in these two. Alex is the little brother. He’s not supposed to be five inches taller than his BIG brother. (And yes, I do realize that often times these estimations are way off. Still, it makes me giggle.)

Some days these two push me to a ledge I want to jump off of. Other days, they crawl up on my lap and tell me how much they love me, and I know without a doubt I am the luckiest mom in the world. And lots of days I laugh hysterically because they say some of the craziest things.

Here are just a few of the things I’ve overheard from them this week.

1. STEVIE: Month, orange, silver and purple are the only English words that don’t rhyme with another English word.

ALEX: Well what about orangutan?

2. How do you think Einstein got to be so smart?

3. Don’t pee into the wind.

4. ALEX: Mom, did you know that VY Canis Majoris is one of the biggest and brightest stars there ever was.

[It is interesting to note that until that very minute, I had never even heard of VY Canis majoris.]

5. Coca-cola used to be green. Did you know that mom?

6. Mom, did you know that some sharks eat their babies?

7. If we ever get a dog we can’t feed it grapes, or it will die.

[I had to Google that one.]

8. Where does dust even come from?

[Dang, I’d love to know the answer to that.]

These boys are the light of my life. On my worst day, they can make everything seem like flowers and sunshine. I am blessed beyond measure that these two wonderful human beings call me mommy.

What I Learned This Week

It has been a crazy, busy, yucky day. And that’s after a crazy, busy, yucky week. And now, here I sit two hours before bedtime with a headache from you-know-where. If I were a bettin’ woman, I’d bet the farm that this pain in my head is directly correlated to the stress in my heart.

Because I am having difficulty concentrating this is going to be a short post.

Here are a few important lessons I learned this week.

1. You just never know what people have going on. Appearances can be very deceiving.

2. A headache makes it tough to concentrate on a blog post.

3. My face and neck produce an insane amount of heat and turn blood-red when I am flip-hoppin’ mad.

4. There’s a good chance that an insane amount of heat on my face and neck area cause a headache from you-know-where.

5. The older I get, the less patience I have.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Filled With Love

Well, because it is 12:04 AM EST, it is officially Valentine’s Day up in here.

Normally, I am all about a special holiday, but I just can’t bring myself to get excited because my sweetheart isn’t here to share in the Valentine hoop-la with me, so yeah, there’s that.

Still, I am counting on this day-of-love to be a great one.

Do you know what I would LOVE more than anything on this Valentine’s Day?

I would absolutely LOVE it – if Sears would send a repairman to my house today who could actually repair our new fancy front-loading washer (which we’ve had all of three months, mind you!) and ensure that it will no longer SPEW WATER ALL OVER OUR BASEMENT FLOOR.

The first joker that Sears sent to our home to repair it (I sure wish I could remember his name) spent more time telling me 1. I’m probably using too much detergent, 2. Am I sure the detergent I’m using is HE, or 3. I’m probably using too much detergent, than he did actually attempting to repair the thing.

And here’s the thing. I have always filled the detergent dispenser to the “normal” wash line, just as the fancy “load-sensing” sensor instructs me to do, and always with the HE (highly-expensive) detergent.

So, either the repairman who didn’t really repair anything has no clue what he’s talking about, or the fine folks at Kenmore Elite have no idea that it only takes 2 teaspoons of detergent to run a load of laundry through their machines.

On the off chance that the Kenmore Elite folks have someone on staff whose job it is to scour the internet for the words Kenmore and Elite in blog posts, chat rooms, and reviews (Like my good friend at Suddenlink who found my blog and fixed our internet problem) I’d LOVE it if you’d drop me a line and let me know if the repairman is feeding me a line.

In addition to that, I’d like your word that this new fancy [read: expensive] appliance will be replaced in the event that a second repairman fails to find the problem.

So in case you missed that, I would LOVE to have my washer fixed once and for all today.

In the meantime, I’ll be counting down the hours until the LOVE of my life is back home with us.

Mission SLIMpossible Update

So, we just rounded the corner into week five (of eight) and I am so happy to report I am down nine pounds.

NINE!

As in, almost ten!

I am so stinkin’ happy about that because, well, NINE POUNDS IN FOUR WEEKS AND TWO DAYS.

The nine pound loss makes all the 45-minute exercise sessions worth it.

The nine pound loss makes the 2 minute, 20 second wall-sits worth it.

The nine pound loss makes the frantic searches for foods on my Fitness Pal APP worth it.

If I’m being honest, the nine pound loss might be a twelve pound loss if I could cut the coca-cola umbilical cord for good. I allow myself one 90-calorie can per day (roughly about two swigs) and if we eat out, I usually only allow myself one glass. Still, I am so happy because y’all, I’VE LOST NINE POUNDS. You can’t imagine how excited I am that my middle number FINALLY changed!

And I might have heard harps playin’ and angels singin had I not been whooping it up and dancing around the bathroom like a crazy fool.

On top of that, for the first time in three weeks, I actually consumed half of my body weight in water over the past 24 hours.

My bladder is screaming for mercy.

But my booty is saying BRING IT THE HECK ON sister! I can tell a noticeable difference in the way my pants fit. And my thighs ache all the time, probably from the darn wall-sits.

All in all, it’s been a great week for this shrinking sunshine.

How I Lost Big This Week:

  • My normal 45 minute (6 day per week) exercise video (which is a 3-mile walk) along with the addition of crunches, donkey kicks and wall-sits.
  • In the past two weeks, I have been slacking on the water consumption. I am an all-or-nothing type of gal, and when I couldn’t do the “half my body weight in ounces thing” I just decided I wouldn’t even try to get the original 64-ounces in. I decided to kick that back up a notch this week and get the 64-ounces in. But I decided that today is the day I would. put. it. away. (Anybody remember that cheer?)
  • Stayed within my allotted calories five out of seven days.

Goals For Next Week:

  • Drink at least 64-ounces of water each day.
  • Stay within my caloric limit at least five of seven days.
  • Steer clear of sweets at least four days this week.

Unfortunately the jury is still out on the Ceylon cinnamon / raw honey gag gig. Everything I have read online about the dynamic duo suggests a person can expect to lose 3-4 pounds a week by simply taking the nastiness just before bed and first thing in the morning. And y’all, I not only added the nastiness… I am also exercising at least 45 minutes a day, drinking water like I’m being paid to drink it, not eating anything after 9pm, and counting my friggin’ calories.

*big sigh*

I’m gonna give it one more week and then I am done with the CCRH ritual.

And as always, if you have any advice, dietary, or exercise suggestions, I’d love to hear it.

What I Learned This Week

I had a glorious day. And by glorious, I mean there was no school today which means NO STUPID ALARM CLOCK FOR ME thankyouverymuch!

And since there was no school, that also means I didn’t have to check any math homework. But, just in case you were wondering, Stevie did receive the requirements for yet another 4th grade project on Friday, less than a week after his last project – The Martin Luther King, Jr. passport – was due. Heaven help me, I’m sure there will be a time when I will miss scouring the house for pipe cleaners, and repeating “We need to get this thing done!” 419 times over a three-day period, but right now, I just need a break from the project. In the meantime, I’ll be overseeing the painting of a cereal box.

It was 64 degrees today so I decided today would be the day I would do all my runnin’.

First, we had to drop off scout shirts at the tailor because Alex is a first-time scout, and as a Webelos, Stevie changes from the navy blue shirt to the khaki one, so there are all kinds of patches to be sewn on. And no, I cannot do it myself, because 1. I don’t sew, and 2. I don’t think I even have a needle up in this joint. The cub-master made an announcement at our scout meeting that a seamstress at a men’s clothing store downtown charges $1.00 per patch, but I found that out to be a big fat lie when I was charged $21.20 for 18 patches. And then, when I discovered that I had given her the wrong information about Stevie’s Webelos shirt and returned to the store to let her know I only needed 8 patches sewn on, she told them to credit my card $5.00. I questioned her about the charge-per-patch fee and all of a sudden her broken english became EVEN MORE BROKEN and LORD HELP ME AND MY PATIENCE. After some “negotiations” they credited my account $7.00 and I learned a very important lesson today.

1. Next time, let McDaddy take the shirts to the Guard Base and be done with it, even if it takes two more weeks to get them back.

After that, we headed for the mall so that I could get my grubby hands on a copy of Big Mama’s book, Sparkly Green Earrings. Seeing Melanie’s name in print totally makes me want to write a book now (which will make my mother-in-law happy because she has told me for years that I should totally write one!).

And yes, I realize this wasn’t the greatest of hair days. You can blame the crazy West Virgina wind. Still, I am so excited for her. If I lived in Texas I suspect we’d be fast friends, because we share a love for reality television and chips and salsa.

And speaking of chips and salsa… (don’t you just love my segue?) I learned something else today.

2. Even during the Biggest Loser competition it is possible to eat your favorite meal at Chilis, even though combined it has more than 2,500 calories. The realization that I could just eat half the meal was like getting hit upside the head with a football. I was so proud of myself for sending 2 whole chicken crispers and half of my sides back.

I also learned:

3. I am really craving chocolate this week.

4. I am having a hard time not eating chocolate this week.

5. I have no business buying Betty Crocker’s Brownie Cookie Supreme Bars.

6. You can’t really count salsa as a serving of vegetables. Or can you? It is made up of mostly vegetables….

7. Those little 90 calorie Cokes are handy as all get-out.

8. An itty-bitty Peppermint Patty has 50 calories. A total waste of 50 calories in my humble opinion.

9. I really, really, REALLY need to sync my calendars.

10. Always back-up your beloved iPhone before updating your operating system.

11. If you lose your contacts when updating your IOS, it is possible to get them back, though, they may return in duplicate or triplicate form.

12. Zumba for Wii provides a great workout.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and then, be sure to link BACK TO MY BLOG. I have never really pushed this issue, but it’s the nice thing to do.

2. Paste the link to your post in the Mr. Linky form down below. Please be sure you are posting the link to your post and not the front page of your blog.

3. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week, too!

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!


Math Blaster – A Review

Recently, I received an e-mail asking if my boys (and I) would possibly want to check out the new features on the Math Blaster site. They were eager to get started because they really enjoyed the site the last time they were provided with a membership.

Math Blaster is a fun arcade-style video game that incorporates math into its space-themed site. The site “Provides “Blasters” with a fun way to learn essential math skills. In a nut-shell, Math Blaster is a futuristic online adventure site that is filled with wacky aliens, gadgets, and lots of math.”

According to the Math Blaster Site:

Once your kids are logged in and on board the spaceship to Math Blaster, they are able to design their own Blaster Cadet, a personalized avatar that will run, jump and blast through the Math Blaster spaceship. Using the Molecular Modulator, kids have their choice of different hair styles, faces, eyes, and even species for their Blaster Cadet! As kids progress through the game and tackle the math training activities, they will earn merits and achievements. When they earn merits, kids will climb the ranks in the Intergalactic Space Patrol (ISP), and their Blaster uniform will be upgraded for all of Math Blaster to see!

I have always been impressed that the site is suitable for both of my boys, in spite of their three-year age difference. I think this is largely due to the fact that the site has a nice variety of math subjects with different levels of difficulty. Both were able to quickly navigate the site and they really enjoyed creating their own avatars, or in this case Blaster Cadets to play with. Stevie, my ten-year-old (whose blaster cadet is named Jason StoneLaser) enjoys playing hide and seek with his Mutt – Cyber Xenon. His favorite thing about the site is “The robot who gives interesting information about different topics (how much the earth weighs, each fingerprint it different, Venus is the only planet that rotates clock-wise, etc.) when you click on him.” Alex’s (age seven) blaster cadet is named Sean SilverFireball and his MUTT is named Speedy Crater. Alex’s favorite part of the site is “The red alert door that requires you to shoot asteroids and soccer balls and cheese.”

*Knowledge Adventure’s Math Blaster is proof that video games can be educational and fun! As a parent, I love that. The site has this to say about Knowledge Adventure:

Knowledge Adventure is the creator of award-winning educational products like JumpStart and Math Blaster and is trusted by over 20 million parents. You can find our virtual worlds online at www.MathBlaster.com and www.JumpStart.com. In the Math Blaster galaxy, kids can explore a futuristic world, voyage to strange new planets and discover wacky alien races, all while practicing their math skills. At JumpStart.com, kids can explore magical worlds, discover and unlock games, videos, and story books that teach everything from math to reading.

Since they last visited Math Blaster, the boys were excited about some of the new features on the Math Blaster site.

  • In HyperBlast, players can hop on a hypercycle and blast through aliens while solving math problems.
  • The Monster Mutt Pod allows you to decorate, feed and play with your Mutt in its own room.
  • The Nebula Knockout allows your pet to train and then battle other Mutts.

Another cool feature of the Math Blaster site, is the Math Blaster Blog which is a great resource for parents (and kids, too!) because it is chock-full of math and science information, including family fun, current events, learning tips and science facts. I also “liked” Math Blaster on Facebook so I can keep up with new site features, games and stories.

 

Math Blaster is a hit around here. My boys and I appreciate the opportunity to play around on the site.

In the interest of full disclosure: I was given a three-month membership to Math Blaster in exchange for this honest review. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Holding On

As I sit on the couch, I hear a thud.

I am startled.

I hear a whimper. And then footsteps.

He stumbles through the hall holding his head. When I ask what happened, he mumbles something about hitting his head on the bed.

In flannel Diary of a Wimpy Kid pajama pants, he climbs onto the couch and slides across my body. He settles in – on my lap. His lanky arms wind around my neck and he holds on tight.

I tickle his bare back. I close my eyes. I bury my nose in his hair and inhale until my lungs fill with air. I run my finger down his cheek and try my best to count his eyelashes. I take note of several light freckles scattered on his cheeks. There is a faint mark on his nose, no doubt left by the black glasses that he couldn’t be talked out of. He is missing three teeth (must get a picture tomorrow) and needs a haircut.

I want so badly to soak up this perfect moment. I long for the image of his sweet face to be engraved forever in my brain. I want to remember the ease with which he slid into my arms and how perfectly my arms wrapped around his little body. I want to remember his smell.

There will soon come a day when he will no longer want me to hold him. Even now, he rarely sits still long enough to count his fingers, much less his eyelashes. He is fiercely independent and strives to be good at everything he does. He can match clothing better than most adults. He is the tallest kid in his class, and takes great pride in his work. He is rough and tumble and cuddly and loveable. He is a responsible allergic kid and would want you to know that he has the most Accelerated Reader points in his class. He loves to play Legos with his big brother and taught himself to ride a bike. His laugh brings joy to even the worst of days.

A whopping ten-pounds, five-ounces at birth, he was the biggest infant in the nursery. At his most recent well-child visit, his pediatrician charted his growth to be well above average. At his current rate of growth, he is slated to be a 6-foot, 4-inch man averaging 220 pounds. That seems impossible. He will always be my baby.

This child – this sweet, lovable child – is like me in so many ways. I see myself in so many of his mannerisms, and I smile. He is the child my mom hoped I would have. The one who would be just like me.

It is late. I should send him back to bed, but I don’t want this moment to end. I hug him a little tighter, I hold him a little longer, and I take a deep breath.

And then I exhale thinking I am the luckiest mama in the world.

I love you sweet boy! You will never ever know how much you mean to me!