Playtime

We are at the beach with McDaddy’s family and we are having a blast.

We went to Busch Gardens yesterday (Many thanks to the Busch bunch for offering free admission to military service members and their families. AND IN THE INTEREST OF FULL DISCLOSURE, I am not receiving any compensation for mentioning that fact, I’m just very thankful for their commitment to the military and hope to spread the word!) and I am one tired mama. Before dragging myself to bed, I mustered up just enough energy to edit a few shots for this week’s You Capture challenge which just so happens to be PLAY!

And people, I am not playing around when I say I am dead dog tired.

Only I’m not a dog.

Nor am I dead.

But I’m not far from it because we walked for miles and miles in the blazing hot humidity (OH MY WORD IT WAS SO FRIGGIN’ HOT!) and the early morning, midday and evening sun and even a quick rain storm that lasted long enough to soak yours truly.

McDaddy has four siblings and between the five of them, there are fifteen (15!) grandkids. The entire family (plus a few extras) are spending the week together here in sunny Florida.

Of all the topics that could have been assigned this week, PLAY is just perfect for this special time we are spending together, playing, laughing, eating (oh my word are we eating?!), and visiting.

While waiting for our family portrait on the beach my sweet Stevie (shown holding the yellow DS) plays DS with his cousins.

And speaking of cousins… Can you just imagine the amount of chaos play taking place this week?

And speaking of play, the family is having a shuffleboard tournament this week. We are playing shuffleboard round the clock to get the brackets filled in. For those of you keeping score, you can mark it down that McDaddy and I have been eliminated from the tournament. Pictured here are my sisters-in-law, Michelle and Stephanie. (Hi Girls!)

And of course, no beach trip would be complete without lots of playing in the pool! [Note: My sweet boy was not in the pool alone even though it certainly appears that way. I snapped the picture while hanging out of our third story window!]

While playing around with the settings on my camera, I took this shot from our balcony on Sunday.

The thunder and lightning were playing around with the atmospheric pressure just before the actual storm hit.

And speaking of playing.

Here’s Stevie playing baseball on the beach with his Uncle Mike, and cousins, Mallory, Zachary and Noah.

And guess who mentioned the word PLAY at least thirteen times in this post.

Yup, you guessed it. Thursday Thirteen.

There you have it.

Two birds. One stone.

I don’t play around when it comes to efficiency, folks.

[Fess up. How many of y’all scrolled right back up there to the top to double check my math skills?]

Thursday Thirteen – My Greatest Hits

It occurred to me recently that some of you folks are newcomers to this here blog.

For that reason, I thought it might be fun to visit a few of my favorite posts. I’m diggin’ deep in the archives today because that seems easier than filtering out some of the nonsense rolling around in my brain tonight.

Enjoy the crazy. Clearly, there is plenty to go around.

1. The one where I watch an embalming – What I Learned At The Funeral Home.

2. The letter I wrote to the naked lady – Y Are You Naked?

3. Very often here at From Inmates To Playdates, I write letters to crazy people. On days that I’m feeling, oh, I don’t know, particularly crazy, I might even write a letter to myself. – Dear Me.

4. The longest post ever and one you’ll certainly want to read if you’ve ever considered getting Mirena – A Long, Windy Tail.

5.  A post about what ails me – The Heels And The Spurs.

6. My first trip to The Price Is Right – The Price Is Right, But The Fashion Was All Wrong.

7.  About my time in Jail – I Spent Five Years In Jail. Really, I did!

8. One of the few times I’ve blogged about the Saturn Sky – This Is How I Roll!

9. Kicking deployment in the booty, after six long months – Taking A Deep Breath.

10. Topless and Shoeless – all in the same night.

11. The crappy job you’ll have if your child swallows a coin. – This Too Shall Pass.

12. Because I’m a control freak, I’ve planned every detail of my funeral. – Over My Dead Body.

13. Visiting McDaddy during his deployment on Guantanamo Bay – It Don’t GTMO Better Than This!

[Edited to add perhaps my all-time FAVORITE post]

14. The one where I FINALLY GET A SATURN SKY. – Me, My Guy And The Sky.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

And happy reading, too!

Daily Dose Of Crazy

It’s one of those days where my head is swimming.

Not that it’s any different than most days in my head, but today, I suspect I could come up with thirteen very random things to purge from my brain thereby making room for other, more important information.

Let’s see what we can do, shall we?

1. I heard (or read?) somewhere that Harry Connick, Jr. may be the replacement judge for Simon Cowell.

– This news? Sweet hallelujah, this news absolutely thrills me to death!

2. At this very moment, I am playing Words With Friends with both Big Mama and MckMama. I feel like I’ve hit the big time.

– Do you play Words With Friends? I’m JulieWV if you’re looking for a game with a crazy person.

3. Earlier today, my sweet Alex asked “if we could get a pogo stick?”

– Why yes, sweet boy. Yes indeed we can get you a pogo stick. I can think of no better way to crack your head and bust your teeth? On top of that, what else does McDaddy have to do besides fixing a hole in the ceiling?

4. The new 4.0 iPhone software allows you to put your APPs into folders. Did you know that?

– Simply hold your finger on an APP until the little black delete x’s show up allowing you to delete or move them. Drag an APP on top of another APP and release. It will create a folder that you can name and show all the APPs in that folder and will consolidate your eight or nine pages of APPs into fewer pages.

5. Am I the only 30ish woman on the planet who has yet to get swept up in the vampire, Edward, Eclipse nonsense?

– Really. Have. No. Desire.

6. Stevie’s speech teacher had another job lined up for the upcoming school year. In her words, something “just didn’t feel right about the new job!” so she asked if she could have her job at Stevie’s school back.

-Answered prayers.

That’s all I’m sayin.

7. Very excited about two very cool blog reviews coming up in the next week. Stay tuned!

8. Our boys are participating in an eight-week program at our church called Centershot Ministries. Their web-site says “The Centershot Ministry teaches children the life-skill of archery while sharing the good news of Christ at the same time.” That means my four (4!) year old will be shooting a real live bow with real life arrows at a real life target at thirty feet.

Wow. Just wow.

9. Summer is more than half-over. That makes me very sad. Especially when you consider how s-l-o-w the school year creeps by.

10. McDaddy’s cell phone suffered a fatal accident this week. His new phone arrived today. I was concerned that he might need my precious for a few days while out of town on business. Thankfully, my old phone (two phones ago) charged right up and accepted his SIM card. Me and my iPhone have been inseperable and I’m not sure how either of us would have fared if forced to spend time apart.

11. Stevie’s left front tooth is loose and crooked. When he smiles, he looks like Tow Mater.

12. I’m planning an impromptu birthday party for a friend. I’m giving out princess treat bags and may even wear my tiara.

13. I am in the mood for Chili’s chips and salsa. Would love to have some at this very moment. They are warm and salty and wonderful.

I know. I know. I shoulda never brought it up.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

Thursday Thirteen – Because I Love Cheap Entertainment

From time to time, I run a special edition Thursday Thirteen straight from my feedjit reader because I get a kick out of the things people search for on Google that land them here on my blog. It is like cheap entertainment for me.

And I love cheap entertainment.

For your amusement…

1. Saint Paul, Minnesota arrived from Google.com on “Letters To Crazy People” by searching for letters for crazy people.

  • There is an abundance of crazy around here so it should come as no surprise that quite frequenly I write letters to crazy people. On really good days, I might even write a letter to myself. So there.

2. Melbourne, Victoria arrived drom hk.search.yahoo.com on “The Love Dare” by searching for lady Gaggag.

  • Melbourne, I don’t know who you are, but I like you. A lot. I think Lady Gaga should change her name to Lady Gaggag. She takes crazy to a whole ‘nother level and I can’t quite grasp why people find her entertaining. Her singing is average and her wardrobist (is there such a thing?) should go back to school or the circus or wherever he came from. Now, my question is why would Google send you to my Love Dare post when you were clearly searching for lady Gaggag?

3. Hsinchu, Tai-wan arrived from google.comtw on “Your Kiss Is On My Lips” by searching for “it’s your kiss on my lips.”

  • You readers would be shocked if you knew how many hits I’ve received on this post simply because of the title. What shocks me even more are the people searching for “your kiss on my lips.” I guess I’ve missed something.

4. Bombey, Maharshtra arrived from in.yhs.search.yahoo.com on “breastfeeding” by searching for “wife breastfeding husband wallpaper”

  • Wow. Just wow. Somebody is sure waving their crazy flag high and proud.

5. Boca Raton, Florida arrived from google.com on “A Little Bit Of Gross!” by searching for “peach and willowbark deep pore scrub milia” 

  • Boca Raton, um, I have no idea about peach or willowbark, but I can tell you that milia removal is a tedious job. I am quite sure I could remove it, but have never had the nerve to actually attempt it. I’d love to hear how that goes for you! If I ever run out of blog fodder, I just might try it.

6. United States arrived from google.com on 2009 July by searching for “pediatrician do x Ray to make sure it wasn’t swallowed”

  • I’m not really sure what you are referring to but you can take this to the bank: If you are referring to your child swallowing a coin, you’ll have a long crappy seven-to-ten-days ahead of you because you only need an x-ray if the coin is not found in the ‘pile’. Oh, and I’d advise you to buy plenty of gloves. And a boat load of patience.

7. Carlsbad, California arrived from google.com on “Broken Jaws” by searching for “Solid Mahogany Wood Casket bling”.

  • Carlsbad, I have a feeling you and I would be fast friends. It is my wish to have a solid mahogany casket at my last hoo-rah and if there is bling available for the cakset, BRING. IT. ON. (Are you listening McDaddy?) I say it all the time – Go big or go home! Everything is better with bling.

8. Warwick, Rhode Island arrived from search.yahoo.com on Thursday Thirteen – 13 Recent Visitors by searching for “child swallowed plastic fork”

  • Dang, what is it with you folks and your kids swallowing stuff? A whole fork? Really? I’d say if he swallowed the entire fork, you should take him to the ER because the fork prongs could damage something as its making its way through the digestive tract and that’s not even considering that eventually it will attempt to make its way out. Um, not good my friend. Not good at all.

9. Laie, Hawaii arrived from google.com on “Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things In My Purse” by searching for “10 things I should have in my purse”

  • money, beloved iPhone, keys, concealer, personal girl items, floss, credit card, ink pen, beloved iPhone charger, and extra underwear. I told you I was crazy.

10. Punta Gorda, Florida arrived from bing. com on “Jeep” by searching for “sexy topless jeeps.”

  • If you’re looking to purchase a sexy topless jeep, I would advise a red wrangler with removable doors. Totally fun. But, I’d watch the shoes if I were you. The shoes have a tendance to fly right off your feet when you’re acting all giddy with your husband and rocking out to 90’s rap. Or so I’ve heard.

11. Henning, Minnesota arrived from google.com on “Going Topless… And Shoeless.” by searchin for “mom and I topless.”

  • Sheesh people. Really? Who types the words mom and I and topless in the little search engine box? Unless of course you are referring to a jeep. Yes, we’ll just go with that.

12. Puyallup, Washington arrived from bing.com on “Thursday Thirteen – iTunes Picks” by searching for “Why isn’t “All I Need Is A Miracle” not on itunes”

  • The bigger question is why would you be searching for “All I Need Is A Miracle” on iTunes?  The only miracle I’m looking for is a break in this friggin’ West Virginia heat and humidity.

And last but not least.

13. Hillsboro, Tennessee arrived from m.bing.com on “breastfeeding” by searching for “comes home from kindergarten to breast feed”

  •  Hillsboro, you need to get a grip and spring for some Vitamin D milk. It’s time. Just ask anyone.

Happy Thursday, y’all! And just remember… the next time you visit John T. Google, you just might end up here at From Inmates To Playdates among the crazy people.

Just sayin’.

Thursday Thirteen – Last Thursday

Thirteen things I was doing this time last Thursday. You know, because you have nothing better to do than to read about what I was doing 168 hours ago while sitting in a hotel room in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

1. FEELING … crampy becuase the mones are raging.

2. DRINKING … a bottle of water because water is very good for you. And, because the hotel only subscribes to Pepsi machines, so there are no Dr. Pepper or Cokes for sale in the building.

3. RELIEVED… that it is summer and we can sleep until we wake up naturally or until 8:45 am because there is free breakfast at the hotel.

4. THINKING… they don’t really clean the carpet in hotel rooms. Likewise, the bathroom floor feels funky, too. My flip flops stick to the floor when I walk in there.

5. LISTENING … to the hum of the air conditioner and Garfield blaring on the TV.

6. SEEING … my iPhone light up every time it’s “my move” on Words With Friends. (By the way, I’m JulieWV if you’re looking for an other opponent!)

7. EAGER … to spend the evening with ‘the girls’ and to go camping with our friends next week. A relaxing week in the Amish Country with our closest friends. Good times, good food and good friends. It doesn’t get better than that!

8. HOPING … that we get started on our new deck soon because the deck project got pushed in front of our basement renovations and right now the basement looks like a tornado ripped through it because there. is. junk. all. over. the. place.

9. WANTING …. what else, my friends? A 2009 Saturn Sky Redline. Standard transmission, please.

10. READY … to check out of the hotel but just waiting around because once we check out we’re on our own until McDaddy finishes the job he came here to do.

11. SEEING … room 021 at the Holiday Inn Express. Yes, I said 021. That means we are in the basement. But, we have a window, so it’s not like we’re really in the basement, except, that we really are.

12. NEEDING … to take a last look around the hotel room to make sure we are not leaving Lightning McQueen or any of his posse under the beds.

13. DECIDING … whether or not to have my hair trimmed in the mall here in Pennsylvania because my hair dresser is on vacation until after we’ll already be on our trip. I need it trimmed badly, but hesitate, because? My hair dresser knows my hair very well and knows exactly what I mean when I say ‘thin it out’. Not sure these jokers will understand.

What about you? What were you doing last Thursday? I’d love to hear from you lurkers to day!

Thursday Thirteen – Things I Love About Staying In A Hotel

McDaddy’s civilian job requires him to travel.

A lot.

Before Stevie started school, we travelled with him quite a bit. At the drop of a hat he’d find out his expertise was needed in another state and we’d pack our bags and head out with him not knowing what day we’d return. We travelled to Phoenix at least once a year for his annual training for a number of years. We’ve been blessed to travel with him to Louisiana, Ohio, Toronto, Houston, and Detroit.

Such is the case today.

McDaddy was needed at some plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania, so I packed clothes for three days and here we are. The “plant” where McDaddy is working is about six minutes away from the hotel and it’s a straight shot without any turns, which means I had very little opportunity to get lost.

Hallelujah. And Amen.

The even better thing is that there is a mall just across the street from our hotel. Granted, it’s a four-lane “street” but the point is I can see our hotel from the mall parking lot which means even if I get lost, me and the kids could risk life and limb and cross the highway to the hotel.

A friend of McDaddy’s is also here working here in Monaca, so he runs by the hotel to pick-up and drop-off McDaddy each day so that I can keep the grocery getter van.

As much as I hate for McDaddy to travel and be away from us, it does have its perks.

I thought it might be fun to share thirteen things I love about hotel rooms.

1. Staying in a hotel, typically means I don’t have to cook. And any day I don’t have to cook is a great day in my book.

2. Free Breakfast. Free breakfast is great. A free breakfast that I don’t have to cook is even better!

3. High Ceilings – I love the tall ceilings in hotel rooms. I remember from Industrial Psychology that hotel rooms have higher ceilings so that the rooms appear larger than they really are.

4. The little shampoo/conditioner/lotions. I am a fan of little bottles of stuff. Plus, every once in awhile you’ll find that a hotel uses Tommy Bahama’s line of toiletries. The Tommy Bahama lotion is the bomb diggity. (Am I too old to say that?) I might have even confiscated one, or two, or twenty a few from the housekeeping cart while we were in Florida.

5. The matching carpet, curtains and bedding. – The matching decor warms my OCD heart.

6. The card key thing – I’m a nerd oh yes, I am.

7. An assortment of  pillows on one bed. – The bed I am sitting on while composing this post has four pillows. Firm, soft, and extra fluffy. Okay, maybe not extra fluffy, but it certainly should say extra fluffy because it is.

8. The Pool – My favorite pool is an indoor pool because it means I don’t have to fool with that blasted sunscreen. It gets in my rings and makes my hands greasy and I’m just generally not a fan of it. I do use it though if we are out of doors. Also, an indoor pool typically means that the pool is heated and I am all about comfort. (Here on the east coast we couldn’t use an outdoor pool except for six or so months out of the year).

9. The Reward Points – Because McDaddy travels frequently for his civilian job, we generally have thousands of gold or platinum points which means we generally don’t pay for hotel rooms.

10. Nearby shopping – Folks, today in particular, I have hit the jackpot. As I mentioned earlier there is a mall just across the main drag. For dinner, McDaddy travelled past the mall and I found my homeland. Kohls, Marshalls, Target, The Mart of Walls, Cricut (whatever that is, I’m thinking its a Cricut store like the Cricut scrapbook machine I have), Michael’s, A cinema, Pier One (even though I don’t shop there), and I can’t remember half of what else I saw. I plan to check it out fully tomorrow.

11. The curved shower rod – I’d like to find the sweet soul responsible for designing the curved shower rod and shake his or her hand. As best I can remember, the first place I ever remember seeing a curved shower rod was in a hotel room. I used to hate being in the hotel shower and feeling my bare butt rubbing  against that shower curtain wondering how many hundreds thousands of butts had rubbed against the thing prior to mine.

12. The elimination of the bedspread – Sweet Moses, it was time. The only thing nastier than the shower curtain in a hotel room is the bedspread. When I first learned that those things were not laundered after each patron checked out, I was appalled. It disgusted me that someone somewhere thought that practice was acceptable. The bed at this hotel has what appears to be four or five sheets on it and a fuzzy blanket (which will more than likely find its way over to my 2/3 of the bed tonight!)

13. Less Responsibility – If I’m staying at a hotel that probably means I am not being depended on for most of the things that I am required to do at home. There is no laundry, no stove (in most cases), and more than likely no jam-packed schedule. Not that I at all mind a jam-packed schedule, but sometimes its nice to have a break.

And speaking of breaks, I hope you get one soon!

Enjoy your Thursday, y’all!

Thursday Thirteen – Compliments of Alex

This post generously provided by: Alex Ryan

I guess I should have titled this post – Thursday Thirteen. Plus Seven.

I did a little interview with my sweet four-year-old a few days ago. Here are his responses.

1. What is something mom always says to you?

To Clean up

2. What makes mommy happy?

Hugging you and kissing you.

3. What makes mommy sad?

Uh, not giving you kisses and hugs

4. How does mommy make you laugh?

By tickling me.

5. What was mommy like as a child?

Did you like ponies whenever you were a little girl?

6. How old is mommy?

I don’t know. Are you 42?

7. How tall is mommy?

About this tall *holding hands about 18 inches apart.

8.What is mommy’s favorite thing to do?

Like shopping.

9.What does mommy do when you’re at school?

Goes somewhere like Stevie’s school or just stays home.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

I don’t know.

11.What is your mom really good at?

Like exercizing and changing laundry.

12.What is something mommy is not very good at?

Fixing something like vehicles.

13.What does your mom do for her job?

I don’t know. Maybe the laundry.

14.What is mommy’s favorite food?

Candy

15.What makes you proud of your mom?

Buying something for me and Stevie.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

Jerry

17. What do you and your mom do together?

Shopping to get color changers…  (which are CARS cars that chance colors when they get wet)

18. How are you and your mom the same?

We’re both persons

19. How are you and mommy different?

Because you’re a girl and I’m a boy.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

Becuase you rub my back.

You are so right, sweet boy. I love you so much!

And now, I’m off to do some laundry or something.

You know, because it’s my job.

And becuase I am really good at it.

Happy Thursday, y’all.

Questions and Conversations

Sometimes, I have conversations in my head.

I don’t mean just senseless banter. Well, actually it probably could be filed under senseless banter, but, I’m talking about all-out-back-and-forth-full conversations.

I told y’all I was crazy.

The good news is that I fit in nicely here in my head.

For example, last Wednesday I took the boys to Chuck E. Cheese because it was an early out day. Between the time I dropped Stevie off for school and the time I picked him up (5 hours later!) I totally forgot that he had a dentist appointment at 3:30 PM. Three days later the appointment caught my eye on our family calendar and it dawned on me that I had completely forgotten about it.

I’ve ran the phone conversation with the office person in my head a number of times.

I’ve not actually called the dentist to reschedule yet, but I’ve had several versions of the conversation in my head.

I don’t know why I do that.

Maybe because I come from a long line of loud.

Loud talkers, that is.

Then there are other times that I ask myself questions in my head.

Or out loud depending on who else might be within ear shot.

I’ve been perplexed several times this week by stupid questions. I spend way too much time thinking about stupid stuff. And this week, I thought I’d share some of them with you on the off chance that one of you might have an answer.

1. First of all, what in the heck is wrong with our Internet? It is spotty. At best.

My first instinct is to blame the spotty service on our Internet provider, Suddenlink. However, before I go spouting off about Suddenlink, perhaps I should stop to consider that maybe, just maybe there’s another sucker to blame cause. Because, as you may recall, there is a big-wig vice-president at Suddenlink and his job is to scour the Internet looking for mentions of Suddenlink in blogs. And tweets. And forums. And then, he contacts those folks to get to the root of their Internet woes. And that kind of customer service goes a long, long way!

So, I’m not necessarily saying Suddenlink is to blame. All I’m saying is that there’s a problem and hopefully it will be fixed soon!

And in the meantime, I’ll be having the “Why the heck is our Internet not working conversation” in my head!

Oh, and why does the spell check insist on capitalizing the word Internet?

2. Why is it that obituaries never list the cause of death?

Am I the only one that wonders this?

3. How am I supposed to blog during a week-long camping trip at a campground without wifi? As I explained to McDaddy this morning, this is unacceptable because I have posts to write a business to run.

4. Why is it when someone calls my cell-phone and I miss the call, then immediately return their call, it goes to voicemail 97% of the time?

I don’t get it.

5. Why does the Words With Friends computer dish out five I’s? 

What can one do with five I’s?

6. Why do I find it necessary to squeeze and pick bumps that I know would be better off left alone.

Why?

7. Why is my stupid heel spur hurting again after a three-year hiatus?

If you have the answers to any of my perplexing questions, please feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

And I know this is Thursday Thirteen and all, but with the internet coming and going and going and going, I’m going to hit publish before it goes again.  

That is all.

Happy Thursday!

Thursday Thirteen – 12 Guys and Some Commentary

THIS IS AMERICAN..Simon stop talking… WHAT?

I love that line. Ryan Seacrest, why did you ruin that line? I mean I love you and all, but I look forward to those words each week and when you don’t say them, it’s like you’re cheating on me.

Simon, I love the shirt, dude. So glad you ditched that black tee. It was time.

Okay, so I’m totally playing fast and loose with the whole Thursday Thirteen thing because there are only 12 guys on Idol tonight, but rest assured that I’ll add my two hundred cents and then we’ll round it up to thirteen. Y’all know I’m not good at math.

So…

Todrick Hall– I was tapping my toes in my big, blue, bloggy chair and I liked it. Alot. Even though I have never heard that song. I enjoyed the performance. I enjoyed the vocals and I enjoyed the arrangement. He’s a keeper. And based on the judges’ remarks, I suppose knowing the original version makes a difference because I didn’t agree with them at all. I liked it even more when I found out that he heard it “in his head!”

Sweet mercy, me and Todrick would get along fabulously because I hear things in my head all the time. It’s just not usually a song variation that I hear.

Aaron Kelly – Don’t think I’ve heard this song either. (Can you tell I listen to KLOVE 94% of the time?) This fella is only 16 and the judges are probably going to unload on him because he sounds a bit pitchy to me. I like this kid though. He has a cute face and a good voice.

Jermaine Sellers– Haven’t heard this song for awhile and I wasn’t a big fan of it when it was a hit, but it was okay. Just plain okay. I loved his version of Man In The Mirror during Hollywood Week. “BooBoo the Fool” should have done another Michael Jackson tune. On top of that, he is feisty. And I like feisty.

Careful, Ellen. You’re dangerously close to walking down Ramblin’ Road. Say “hi” to Paula when you get there.

Tim Urban– I know this song. Seems like a weird song choice with all the tuuu laaates, but I’m keeping an open mind. I think this might be the worst song choice ever. Everytime he tries to hit that note, I find myself squinting one eye and cocking my head sideways hoping he can pull the note out at the last minute.. There has to be a better song out there for him. Hopefully he’ll get the chance to bring it, because obviously he forgot it at home this evening.

Joe Munoz – This guy was one of my favorites during Hollywood Week.  He too sang Man In The Mirror and he rocked it out. In my opinion, this wasn’t the best song choice. In fact, it was a bad choice. I was hoping for a little pep in his step. Instead, he tripped over his own feet. He’s probably safe though.

Tyler Grady – Um, no thanks. Not a fan. Pee break.

Movingrightalong.

Lee Dewyze –  Is it just me or does this cat sound strikingly similar to Danny Gokey? Yes, I think so too. My favorite so far. I like the whole scratchy, raspy voice thing. Great performance.

Ellen. Shut it.

Ditto Randy.

Kara. Change your shirt.

Simon. YES YES YES!

Thank you, sir.

John Park – Oh shucks. He reminds me of a lounge singer. Not that I’ve spent much time in lounges, but there was that one time in Vegas when I ended up singing onstage with a band at the Excalibur. But that’s a story for another time. John’s got a great voice but that song didn’t do much for me.

Michael Lynche– Now this boy can sing. Yessir. I like it. He’ll be sticking around a very long time.

Alex Lambert – I like that his voice is different from the rest. Different is good. Just ask me. He seems a bit nervous, but this is the first show, so, I hope he gets to stick around, because hello? his name is Alex. 

Ellen has gone completely bananas.

Casey James – This feller was singing to somebody. You could see it in his eyes. Very good performance.

Andrew Garcia – I liked the version of “Straight Up” that he did during Hollywood week. It was memorable. This guy is one of my favorites even though he’s singing something about going down to a mausoleum. Or something like that. I like his voice and I like those fat diamonds in his ears, too. Nice. Very original.

My favorites were Michael, Alex, Andrew, and Lee.

I think Tyler and his screech might go home this week.

Just my two cents.

Sweet hallelujah, my boy Kris Allen will be in the house tomorrow night. Yes indeed, I will be there.

Thursday Thirteen – Valentine’s Day Gifts

In a few short days, we will celebrate the lovely holiday associated with heartfelt messages and short, fat arrow bearing cupids. The US Greeting Card Association (Google it!), estimates that nearly one billion valentines are sent throughout the world each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year – behind Christmas, of course. And surprisingly, statistics show that women purchase approximately 85% of all valentines. Ahem!

I am a big fan of the holidays. All of them. I decorate for July 4th, Christmas, Halloween, Easter and Thanksgiving. I enjoy celebrating and I enjoy purchasing and giving gifts. Actually, I am like a little kid when it comes to giving gifts. When you marry someone who enjoys holidays, you are pretty much signing on for a lifetime of expectation and, well, a proverbial pain in the butt.

I love the whole gift thing and McDaddy pretty much knows that I expect gifts on those special days. That doesn’t mean he has to spend a butt-load of money. It just means that it is important to me that he make an effort.

For those of you who are looking for the perfect gift, this blog is for you. Keep in mind that this is my blog, which means it contains items that would excite me. Your significant other may enjoy other things, but, its a pretty safe bet that something on the list will interest her.

1. Jewelry is always nice. Especially, nice jewelry. There’s something about a gift in a little box that was chosen especially for you. Especially a little blue box from Tiffany & Co.

2. Or any other jewelry for that matter.

3. A massage is a great gift. And, if you’re feeling frisky, you can throw in an extra service, like a facial or a pedicure. And, the good thing about a massage is that YOU can actually give the massage, meaning it will cost you nothing. The massage should however, last longer than five minutes and should not come with any strings attached. (Ahem!)

4. & 5. Shoes and purses are always a safe bet. Nothing makes me happier than a new handbag, or a new pair of shoes. A woman and her purse become close friends. So, if you know her style, surprise her. Pick it out yourself.

6. I suppose if you are the type that loves to cook, this cookware from Rachael Ray would delight you. I like this particular cookware because it’s orange, and because it has nice gripper handles and because, you know, it would look great in my cabinets.

 

7. Remember earlier in this post I mentioned that the value of the gift is not nearly as important as the effort behind the gift? So, if none of these gifts seem to be within your budget, you may want to try one of these. They are free and they need to be done.

Empty the dishwasher.

Run the vacuum.

Give the kiddos a bath.

Do the laundry.

8.Or buy one of these handy suckers to do the work for her,

 

9. If the special gal in your life enjoys smelling good, perhaps you might look to Ralph Lauren and his peeps for some sweet smelling awesomeness. I wear Romance daily.

10. And speaking of sweet smelling awesomeness, how about some Yankee Candle Cranberry Chutney. My favorite scent.

11. And, if you, like me are getting older and appliances appeal to you, how about these beauties?

12. The greatest invention of my time is always a great gift choice,

 

13. And my number one wish? Um, no big surprise here. Its not real practical for a stay-at-mom-with-two-kids, but a girl can wish… and dream. In fact, I spend way more time thinking about this car than I should. I have never been a huge car fan, but, my love for this car has grown into a full blown affair. And, since I really LOVE this little ride, I would be remiss if I didn’t include it on this list.

If all else fails, love your mate, and take her on a date!

Happy “V” Day peeps!