Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Maddie!


Four years ago, my life changed. I never imagined how much having a child would change everything. And, for the better.

From you, I've learned just how precious life really is.

I've learned that it's okay to take my time and enjoy what life has to offer.

I've learned that it's okay for a little girl to be daring. You are 2 years old here, jumping off the diving board. The closest adult is about 6 feet away, trying to get to you before you jump.

You have provided countless entertainment for your family.

I look forward to seeing your smile, every day.

You are four years old today. I can't believe it. Three years ago, your sense of humor and daring were beginning to show. Two years ago, I couldn't keep up with you. One year ago, I saw a glimpse of the little girl you were becoming. Today, I see a beautiful girl with a quick smile, kind heart, and knowledge that's almost scary.

I can't wait to see what a million tomorrows bring.

I love you,


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Where Da Party At?

It started out with 7 kids. The count is now around 15. Apparently, Maddie's birthday party is the place to be this weekend.

I picked Maddie up from school last week. Her parting words to her classmates were, "Don't forget. My party is at Chuck E. Cheese- ask your moms."

We see some friends of hers at the gym. Maddie invites both of the little girls to come to her party. What could I do? Her mom was standing right there. I couldn't exactly uninvite them. So, I told her when and where and that, of course, we would love for them to come.

I told Justin, "Be sure to invite tell your friend about the party. His wife told me that she will never step into a Chuck E Cheese again, because of all the germs, so I'm pretty sure they won't come."

They are.

Another aquaintance, whose daughter Maddie invited, called and asked about the party. Again, what could I do? They are coming.

And, since I'm such a procrastinator, 2 days before the party, I decide I should check into having it at CEC. Yes, that's after the invitations were sent. Yes, that's after I told ever freakin' 3 and 4 year old in Nashville when and where the party will be.

I approach the manager, who looked eerily like a mouse, and told my situation. No sympathy from her. The rat.

I was told that the tables could only be reserved if you go through the CEC party special. Not gonna happen. I'm not really in the mood to go bankrupt over a birthday party. So, I asked if I could come early and put the cake on one of the open tables and hold it. Nope. Once you start setting up for the party, they start the timer. And you get an hour. How can anyone be expected to eat, play, eat cake, and open presents in an hour?

We've got a ton of coupons for the pizza and tokens. If all else fails, we are going to put the pizza on one table and let everyone find their own tables to eat. The kids probably won't want to sit for long, so there should be open tables, at any given time. We'll just call everyone over when it's time for presents and cake.

This is going to bomb, isn't it?

We don't have a clue about giving a party. We will probably let random kids and adults eat our over priced pizza, simply because we won't know if we actually invited them and didn't know it.

So, hey- if you are in the Nashville area, stop by Chuck's place. It's THE place to be.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wake Me Up!

You know that dream where you are in a crowded room, and you are the only one naked? Okay- now reverse it and that's what happened to me today. I was the only one with clothes on.

I decided to shower at the gym because I had a dentist appointment nearby, and it just made more sense. I walked into the empty locker room, got my stuff ready, and headed for the showers. As I was taking a shower, and thinking about how awesome the water pressure was, I started hearing people talking. Apparently the water aerobics class had just let out.

I finish my shower and get dressed in the little area right outside the shower. I walk out and head to my locker. Oh my. There were 4 old women standing right in front of my locker. And they were all naked. Just standing there, having a conversation. No clothes, no towels, no problem.

I am not a shy person and nudity doesn't bother me. I change clothes in front of my friends. I will even change clothes in a locker room, in front of strangers. But, I DO NOT stand around naked, talking about the weather and if Macy's is having a sale this week.

So, I say excuse me, and walk to my locker. Will my boobs sag that much when I'm 70? Should I disrobe and join in the conversation? You get wrinkles there?!? Must. Firm. Abs. I reach in my locker to get my shoes, and as I'm turning around, I see one of the naked jaybirds sit on the bench. Without. A. Towel.

I couldn't get out of there fast enough. And, as I was leaving, I made sure I grabbed a schedule of classes.

From now on, if I have to take a shower at the gym, I'm making sure it's no where near the time water aerobics lets out. I've had enough sagging boobs, varicose veins, and bare butt on the bench, to last me a looooong time.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

That's What Friends Are For

One of the things that I most love about Justin is his loyalty to his friends and family. His best friend has been his friend since little league and is now his business partner. His other close friend he has known since elementary school and was his roommate for a while in college. He would do anything he could for them, and they would do the same for him.

Due to his insanely busy work schedule, family, and life, he hasn't had much of an opportunity to develop more close friendships. He has another friend- my friend's husband. They get along fine, and have a good time when we get together and hang out. He definitely has more aquaintances than friends, though.

We joined a couple's small group through our church. There are a few other men his age in the group and they seem to be interested in the same stuff- i.e. sports. After meeting everyone, I started thinking about how cool it would be, if he made a few more friends. Apparently, he was thinking along the same lines. I guess.

"So. . .I had a random thought today."

"Really, what's that?" Do I really want to know?

"I might be up to 4 pall bearers, soon." Um, okay- what am I supposed to say?

"That's right. You just need 2 more friends and you're all set. I guess we could ask 2 of my brother in laws, your choice. Or your brother. It's good to have some back-ups, you know."

"Can you ask family?" Well, big shot- you're running low on friends, who else are we gonna ask?

"How should I know? We could ask your niece's boyfriend. Even though we've never met him and we don't really like her. If I had to be in her wedding, he can be in your funeral."

Yep, he needs more friends.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fashion Faux Paux-leeezze

Last week, I bought Maddie a new sweater, which I thought was really cute. Upon seeing it, she claimed that she didn't like it. The next day, when I was getting her ready for school, she told me that she wasn't going to wear her new sweater because it was ugly.

"Sorry, my dear, but all of your other clothes are dirty. You're wearing this."

"I'll need my heavy coat. Zipped up. So nobody can see this ugly shirt."

So, I did what any smart mom would do. I zipped up her coat, dropped her off at school, and let her teacher deal with getting her to take it off.

My child is a fashion diva. She loves wearing smocked dresses that my mom made for me. She knows what shoes go with what outfit. She only wants to wear "priddy" clothes.

And, according to her, this isn't pretty. In fact, she called it tacky. It's the sweater my grandmother knitted for her and 2 of her cousins for Christmas.*

When my sisters and I saw the sweaters, we commented on how cute the owls were. And how much time it must have taken. And didn't Jenica have one like that when she was little? Then, we saw the tails.

"Oh. I mean kittens. Yep, those kittens are cute. And, look- matching purses."

I love the fact that my 80 year old grandmother took the time to make sweaters and purses for her great- grandchildren. And it infuriates me that Maddie won't even try it on, much less let me take a stinkin' picture with her wearing it. She sure uses her purse, though.

I've tried the guilt trip. I've tried bribery. I even told her that I wouldn't keep a copy of the picture, to show to future boyfriends. I just want a picture to send to her great- grandmother.

Next, I'm using threats. I'll just tell her that if she doesn't put it on for a few minutes, to take the picture, I will make sure ALL of her clothes are dirty and force her to wear it to school. Then to her birthday party. Where everyone will see her wearing it. And, lots of pictures will me made.

*Nanny, if you secretly got internet access and read my blog-I made all of this up. I love you, and Maddie LOVES the sweater. Wears it all the time. Promise. I'll send you a picture soon. If I can ever get her to take it off to wash it.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

I. . . got tagged!

I was tagged by the ever sassy, My Sassy Pants for this fun meme. The last few times I've been tagged, I filed them away for another day, and then forgot about them. This one seemed interesting, so I'm doing it today.

Finish the sentence with the first thought that comes to mind.

I know less than I thought I did.

I believe in God.

I fought with Justin, over chocolate pie. Nobody won.

I am angered not very easily or often.

I love my family.

I need my friends.

I take my time- with everything.

I hear what I want to hear. Right, Justin?

I drink coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

I hate using the word hate.

I use Neutrogena everything.

I want to stop renting and buy a house this year.

I like sudoku.

I feel better after I exercise.

I wear my tennis shoes more than anything else.

I left a sink full of dishes.

I do the best that I'm capable of doing.

I hope it's the right thing.

I dream of actually winning the lottery.

I drive a gas guzzling, needs a new engine, 1999 Ford Explorer.

I listen to what others have to say. Most of the time. Unless it's stupid.

I type really fast.

I think after I speak.

I wish I didn't.

I regret not finishing college.

I care what others think of me.

I should go back to school.

I am 30 and loving it.

I said "I love you" first thing this morning.

I wonder what Maddie will be like as an adult. Will she have children? Will she be happy?

I changed drastically between the ages of 20 and 30.

I cry when watching Survivor and the contestants get to see their loved ones for the first time.

I lose at Scrabble- almost every time I play with Justin.

I leave clean clothes in the laundry basket until I need them.

This was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm not used to having thoughts, I don't know. . . Anyway, hhhmmmmm, who should I tag? How about Amy at Memories and Musings of a Mommy. I really think her's would be interesting. And Irene at Our piece of the world. I love reading her blog and hearing what she has to say. Ladies, there is no pressure to do this, but I thought it was fun and not very time consuming.
Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Adult Supervision Required

I offered to babysit Maddie's best friend, Ethan, next weekend so that his parents could go out and have some alone time. I haven't watched him in a long time, and the kids always have a crazy good time. Hhhhmmmm. I wonder why it's been that long? And, why is she taking so long to answer? Oh. Crap. She. Remembers.

Last Spring, the playgroup that I belonged to decided to meet at the zoo. I invited Ethan to come along. Everything was going great. It was a beautiful day, the animals were active, and all the children were getting along fabulously.

After looking at the animals, we went to the playground. There is an enclosed jumpy area for the smaller children to play in. As always, we took off all of their shoes and let them run around. The moms were all talking about different things. No big deal.

I glanced up and saw Maddie spit on a boy. The only word to describe the emotion I felt is livid. I was livid. I told her to apologise. She wouldn't do it. Is "livider" a word? I took her by the hand and marched her outside of the play area. I swatted her bottom and explained what she did wrong.

We went back to the play area and I told her that she could continue playing after she apologised to the little boy. As she was sitting there, sulking, I walked over to the other moms. I rolled my eyes, and shrugged. Where's Ethan?

I look up and see one of the kids in our playgroup run by- outside of the gazebo area. What the. . . ?

"WHERE IS ETHAN?! He. Was. Just. Here. How did he get out? I was watching them the whole freakin' time. How am I going to tell my friend that I lost her kid? Oh crap oh crap oh crap. I lost a kid. At the zoo."

I try running out, but I don't have shoes on, the bouncy mat was no longer any fun, and I was trying to keep my eye on Maddie, so that I wouldn't have to say that I lost TWO kids at the zoo.

Ethan was chasing the other girl in our playgroup- in the actual playground, away from anyone in our group. Apparently, while I was having my "talk" with Maddie, a few of them escaped the super safe, enclosed area. And wouldya look at that- Ethan had a goose egg knot on his forehead. He told me that it didn't hurt, and I never really found out how it happened.

When his mom picked him up that day, the first thing she noticed was, obviously, the bruise on his head. "Oh wow! What happened to you?" she asked. Not wanting it to sound worse than it was, I answered for him. "I'm not really sure how it happened, exactly, but I think he hit it on the slide, when I los-, um, couldn't find him. But, um, he says it doesn't hurt. Right, Ethan? Tell her it doesn't hurt. Tell her."

He hasn't been back to the zoo with us. In fact, I don't think I've babysat him, alone and without another adult present, since.

LouLou, go to dinner with your man. Justin will be with me the whole time. I promise.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Joy Is Gone

The only time I bother watching American Idol is during the tryouts. Admit it, you think that's the best part, too, don't you? The terrible singers, the judges' sarcasm and brutal honesty, the few really good singers, the possibility that Paula will show up drunk. . . that's what Americans really want to see.

Last Tuesday night was this season's premiere. I knew that this would probably be my only opportunity to watch any of the tryouts, because I work every Tuesday night. Maddie and I got our pajamas on and settled on the couch for an evening of hilarity. She had no idea what we were about to watch, but I promised her that she would like it.

The show started. . .

DANGIT!! I can't laugh at people's bad singing with my impressionable 3 year old sitting innocently beside me.

CRAP!! I can't smirk and roll my eyes when Simon tells the hopefuls how bad they really are.

AARGH! I can't make fun of how stupid the contestants families act, when they get the news that they are going to Hollywood.

Because, that would kinda negate the whole "be nice to others" thing. That would make it okay for her to say hurtful things to people. That would teach her how to be, well- me.

And I want her to be better than me. I want her to see the good. And not always comment on the bad. I want her to believe she is the best singer/dancer/piano player without the fear of someone making fun of her or laughing at her. I want her to be as happy as any 3 year old can be.

That's why we won't be watching American Idol tryouts this year. Unless, of course, she's in bed.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Knock Knock

Who's There?


Knock Who?

Knock me out, until this phase is over.

Maddie is big into knock-knock jokes, lately. She learned her first one from the Doodlebops. I hate that show, and so does everyone I know. Even Maddie. But, for some reason, the joke stuck.

Knock knock

Who's There?


Cargo Who?

Cargo vroom vroom

Now, she makes up her own knock knocks. And they aren't really funny. That's if they even make any sense. There is one about my hair. Hair who? Hair grows out of your head and looks crazy. And the cup. Cup who? Cuppity-doop-dee-da And the dog. Dog who? Dog is not a cat or a cow or a human.

And, when she tells what is intended to be the punchline, she laughs hysterically. Holding her stomach, rolling on the floor laughing. No matter what the joke is, or if it is really funny at all, she expects everyone to laugh with her. And we usually do laugh at, I mean, with her.

I wanted to teach her that most jokes make sense and are funny. I told her some of the old jokes that I knew when I was little. Didn't work. I think they were a little over her head. So, I tried a different approach.

Knock Knock

Who's there?


Mommy who? (already giggling)

Mommy needs a nap.

She looked at me, with the most serious look on her face "Mommy, that's not funny."

I didn't have the heart to tell her that her's aren't funny either. I just keep laughing like a hyena.

Cause that's what moms do.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!!

So. . . what do you think? You like? I LOVE IT! And I give all the credit to Judith Shakes designs. She totally rocks! I found her through several of my bloggy friends. It seems that I was the one with the most boring template. And, that's not what I was going for. I wanted something fun and quirky, and she made it happen.

My birthday couldn't have been better. It involved family, friends, and lots and lots of food. All of my favorite things.

I just spent an hour at the gym. Why? Tiramisu, cookies, lasagna, chicken parmesan, bbq, potato soup, french fries, and to top off the weekend- Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. The entire slice. OMG.

I've been 30 one day. So far, so good. Make that great.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Scrolling Saturday

This is my first, but not last, Scrolling Saturday. For those of you who don't know, Scrolling Saturday is a chance to re-post your older posts. You know, back before anyone actually read your blog, much less comment on it.

It was easy for me to choose this post. It's all about getting older and that first tell-tale sign of aging. Wrinkles. Since it's my 30th birthday tomorrow, I thought it fit. If you want to find more Scrolling Saturdays, click here.

When you are a mom of a very active 3 year old, certain things get left neglected. Between school, work, the gym, etc., there are days when I'm happy to have time for mascara. As I was helping Maddie brush her teeth yesterday, she said something funny. I laughed and glanced in the mirror. That was my first mistake. What. The. Crap? When did they get there? That has to be a mistake. I made another smile. Nope. Not going anywhere. In fact, I think another just appeared.

I dropped Maddie off and school, not making eye contact with anyone unless absolutely necessary. Headed straight to Target (best place in the universe) to the skin care aisle. Anti-aging to be specific. "Guarantee results in 2 weeks" 2 weeks? I don't have that long!! Do I need only eye cream or should I get face cream? Heck, at the rate these suckers are showing up, I need full body anti aging cream. Do they make knee cream? I'm at a loss. I make my decision- Neutrogena Anti Aging cream. Results in 1 week. Whew.

I put it on as soon as I get home. Feeling pretty good, I think one has already gone away. Confident that I will be back to my youth in super speedy time, I head to work. Things are great. Making good tips- I'm sure it's because I'm almost wrinkle free. After only 1 day, at that.

I have a table of 4 guys. All between the ages of 18-22. Really nice young men. I ask one of them if he needs a refill. And I hear the words that sent chills down my spine.

"Yes, MA'AM"

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Awards and Scrolling Saturday

I can't believe it! I got an award from the famous Kellan at On The Upside. How cool is that? The True Blue Award. I love it!

I would like to pass on this award to Irene at Our Little Piece of the World. Irene takes amazing pictures and tells great stories about her family. She also takes the time to comment on lots of blogs, so I'm sure you've seen her around.

The next award I received was from Amy at Memories and Musing of a Mommy. I love her blog about her two little princesses. The Daily Dose Award was created by Xandra Heart of Service and inteded for blogs that: They make you laugh, cry, think and feel connected every time you read a post. They give you a thrill as you see them loading into your browser and you get an equally satisfying thrill when you see that they have commented on your blog.

Pretty sweet, huh? So. . . drumroll please. . . the winner is Such Simple Pleasures This is a blog that is I have come to love. It's funny. It's honest. It's full of Crabby Mommy Powers.

And, she is one of the creators of Scrolling Saturday. Great for those early Saturday mornings, when you don't have a lot of time to create a new post. You can simply scroll through your archives, find one of your earlier posts and re-post it. If you want to find out more, go here.

I know that's a lot of links, but I truly feel each one is deserving. Check 'em out and show 'em some bloggy love.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Bare Necessities

Necessity Number #1: Coffee
Necessity Number #2: Exercise
Necessity Number #3: Naps

These 3 things help me make it through each day. If I have to give up one of them, on any given day, I tend to be a little moody. Giving up 2 or more, well, that's just not an option. Cause, it's not pretty. Trust me on this.

Last week, we needed groceries. Badly. As in, only enough coffee for half a pot- badly. So, I skipped the gym, to go grocery shopping. I went to Kroger, because FREE COFFEE. Only, the stupid free coffee machine wasn't working. Ugh. I was moving at half speed, because a.) no coffee b.) didn't exercise. Already, not a good combination.

After lunch, we have quiet time. Which means Maddie watches a movie while I read, blog or nap. Since 2 of my daily necessities were shot, I knew I needed a nap. I also knew I needed to wake up in 30 minutes, in order to get ready for work.

"Maddie, honey, I really need to take a nap. OK? So, you just keep watching the movie and be super quiet. Look at the clock for me. When the big hand gets to the 3, will you wake me up? Thanks. Love you."

And I shut my eyes and doze off.

"MOMMY! The big hand is at the 11. It's getting closer and closer to the 12. And after the 12, comes the 1, and then 2, and then 3. I'll wake you back up when it gets to the 3."

"M'kay. Only at the 3"

"Mommy, it's at the 12."

"Honey, I. Need. A. Nap." 5 blissful minutes passed.

"Mommy, I need some milk. But it's okay, I can pour it myself. Go back to sleep."

And I'm up.

I walked into the kitchen, poured her milk, and opened my freshly ground coffee beans, spilling them all over the counter. While my coffee was brewing, I started doing jumping jacks and pretending that I know how to jump rope, because that is so much cooler than jumping jacks.

"MOMMY!! IT'S AT THE 3!!!"

And since I was about to drink my coffee and had just completed more jumping jacks than I've done since elementary school, I didn't scream.

But I wanted to.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Party Planning

Thus far, Maddie's experience with birthday parties consisted of a group of friends playing, the birthday boy/girl opening gifts, and then everyone eating cake and ice cream. Her birthday parties were always low-key. For the last 2 years we had them during our weekly playgroup time. No big deal, but lots of fun.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to a birthday party for a girl in her class. It began like any 4 yo birthday party. The parents were talking amongst themselves, and the kids were running around like the little hooligans they are. The mom of the birthday girl came into the room and said, "If everyone would please come into the other room- the magician is here."

That's right. A magician. Complete with balloon animals, cards, and a top hat. He entertained this group of preschoolers with snot jokes and a fake magic wand for about an hour. Maddie had a wonderful time, but, to my relief, she never mentioned it again.

Until we started planning her party. She suddenly remembered the magician and how much fun she had. I nixed that one, off the top. We settled on inviting some of her friends to Chuck E. Cheese's.

But, apparently, some doesn't mean the same to a 3 yo planning her birthday party. When I asked her who she wanted to invite, she named all 20 kids in her class. She named all of the kids in her former play group. She named kids I have never even heard her mention before.

I sent out invitations. To her old play group members, her best friend, and 3 friends from school. But she doesn't know that.

I'll probably just tell her that the others couldn't come. And they won't be able to, because they won't know about it. Right?

And, realistically, she won't even care. She'll probably be too upset and crying under the table because her mom was too cheap to splurge for a magician. Oh well . . .

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another Edition Of Why I'm An Idiot

This morning, I decided to forgo the gym and run outside. When it is cold out, I usually just run on the treadmill, but I recently purchased an entire Under Armour Cold Gear outfit, and I was ready to try it out.

So, I squeezed and stuffed myself into my all black running gear. By the time I was through, I resembled Catwoman. Without any makeup, hair in a scruffy ponytail, and wearing white socks and tennis shoes, that is. Hey, look at me. I kinda look like a real runner. Just like the ones in the ads for Under Armour gear, I thought.

I began running. It was 25 freakin' degrees. That's 25 degrees LESS than I would have preferred. But, I was sure I would warm up. After all, I had Under Armour cold gear on. It would protect me from the elements. Right?

Once I establish my rhythm, I like to pray. I talk to God about the things that are going on in my life, what I would like to happen, and I try to listen. Today was no different, except my prayer went something like this:

"Oh God, Please stop the wind. Can't you let the sun shine a little brighter and warm this place up? Even if it's only for the next 45 minutes, I'm cool with that. Please."

Since that wasn't working, and I was really cold, I began making promises and talking to myself.

"If you finish 3 miles in under 30 minutes, you can have Taco Bell for lunch. Nachos BellGrande sounds good, doesn't it? Go faster. It'll be over soon."

And then, around mile 2- completely shaded, and really cold, by the way- I began wishing for Under Armour gloves, Under Armour socks, Under. . . under. . . OH. SCHNAPP.

Was I supposed to be wearing this under something? Something like a sweatsuit? To help keep me warm? But, what about those ads? They aren't wearing anything over their outfits. Of course, they aren't, you big dummy. How could they advertise it, if it was covered up? Great. I'm an idiot.

I finished my run, trying my best not to look like the biggest Jello Jiggler in history and not making eye contact with any of the other properly attired runners.

I had my Nachos BellGrande and a Taco Supreme for lunch. I thought I deserved it.

I probably didn't deserve the pizza I had for dinner. I'm taking comfort in the fact that now, I know I can wear something over my catsuit.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Got Pictures? Have Some Fun!

Wanna have some fun with your pictures? Then, send your new creations to your friends and family and have them think you did it all yourself? Of course, you do.

Check this out with your volume on.

The kind folks at Greetingflix made this possible and it was incredibly easy. Even for me. There are lots of different templates to choose from, and more to come. And, if you go "pro", there are even more templates to choose from. It's only $9.95. For ever. Pretty cool, huh?

So, check it out and have fun!

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Funny Baby Clothes

I pretty much gave up on having cool clothes, once Maddie came along. After all, no one really notices the mom- only how cute the kid is. And, more importantly, how cute the kid is dressed. Maddie has way cooler clothes than I do. I love the quirky, trendy clothes for babies and toddlers, that are out now.

Enter Trendy Tadpole. These shirts are awesome. My favorites are the "Oh, snap" with the frog, and the octopus squirting ink, "Oopsy." You just can't get much cuter than that.

But, the best part is she's HAVING A SALE!!! 50% off- until the 22nd.

So, go. Go, now. And have your kid be the best dressed on the playground. Well . . . besides mine, that is.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

One Week

In one week, I'll be a little older- definitely. In one week, I'll be a little wiser- maybe. In one week, I'll be a better person- hopefully. In one week, I'll be. . .gulp. . . 30.

What is it about 30? I know, 30 is supposed to be the new 20. But, it's not, you know. It's still a whole decade older than 20 and only a decade away from 40. It's. Still. 30.

Looking back, I loved my 20's. It was a time of self discovery. I discovered what I loved-laughing, family, friends, coffee, running, and most importantly, Justin and Maddie. I discovered what I hated- olives, watching my child get shots, running, getting carded every single time I wanted to drink, worrying over every tiny detail that I had no control over, and the fear of the unknown. I discovered that I had it in me, to be a wife and a mother. And, a pretty decent one, at that.

But, I'm not going to settle for pretty decent.

My 30's are going to be so much better than my 20's. I can feel it. I no longer have that arrogance, that feeling that I was invincible, that I had in my early 20's. And that will help me make smarter, safer decisions. I no longer have the insecurities that I had in my mid 20's. I am confident in myself, as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Most of the time. Kinda. In my late 20's, I discovered that I have potential. In my 30's, I plan on proving it.

Last night, Justin and I went out for dinner. I didn't get carded when I ordered some wine. I'm not really sure how I feel about that.

I bought eye transforming cream, last week. It really needs to start working. Fast. After all, I'll be 30 in one week.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Maddie, Pack Your Bags. . . **UPDATED**

On Thursday, Justin and I realized that we had a scheduling problem with Friday night. We both had to work. No one could keep Maddie. So, I suggested he call his mom to see if she could watch her. She lives about an hour and a half away, so she spends the night when she visists.

"It's a go. Maddie can go spend the night with my mom Friday night."

"What?!? I thought your mom would be coming here and spending the night with us."

"No. She wanted to keep Maddie there, so I said okay."

Maddie has only spent the night away from home, one other time. She stayed with my parents, where there are plenty of cousins and aunts and uncles and toys to entertain her. At his mom's house, well, there's not a lot. Except animals, which I'm sure Maddie will love. We packed a bag of toys and movies, just in case.

Will Granny know to fix her peanut butter in a bowl, when she won't eat anything else? Will Granny know how to work the DVD player when it's too dark to be outside? Will Granny understand CandyLand, and be willing to play it with her? Why, oh why, did I let Maddie out of my sight?!? For an entire night? What if. . . ? And then. . . ?

Oh, wait, the phone is ringing. Maybe it's Granny and Maddie. Hhhmmmmmm. I wonder if she can keep her another night. . .

*Granny said that Maddie did just fine last night. And, she's keeping her tonight, too! That means no curfew for us. That means no worrying about a babysitter staying out too late. That means I need to go shave my legs.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

All In A Day's Work

Justin is a self- proclaimed snoop. Got a rash, that needs cream? I probably know about it. No medicine cabinet is safe. If you have pre- plastic surgery pictures in the guest bedroom, he will find them. And tell me. There is no maliciousness involved, he's just, well, nosy.

With his job (cleaning carpets) he meets lots of different people. And goes into lots of different houses. But, out of professional courtesy, he doesn't snoop in customers' houses, only acquaintances. You see, it would be bad for business if he got caught going through someone's bedside drawer.

And the crazy thing is- he doesn't even need to snoop through his customers' houses. They leave some of their most private possessions in plain view. He has had to kick a battery operated "friend" under the bed. He has seen compromising pictures from Mardi Gras, right next to a man's pair of leather pants. Eew.

Today, he cleaned an elderly lady's apartment. She was blind. Not a just a little blind, either. When she wrote him a check, she had to bend over until she was about 6 inches from the table- and still didn't write on the lines. Justin was casually looking around and spotted something crazy. No- not another "friend". Get your mind out of the gutter! It was something scarier.

It was an application for a driver's license. In her name. Great.

Oh, and it De- Lurker day! I didn't know anything about it, but every blog I've looked at today is doing it, and I'm always looking for a bandwagon to jump on, so- do it, show yourself, it won't hurt (promise), leave a comment. De-Lurk.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Maddie has discovered something, that I wish she never had. But, at least she's no good at it. Telling lies. Yes, dear friends, my child is a liar. And a bad one, at that.

Last night, she didn't behave as well as she usually does, which resulted her getting in trouble from her daddy. Justin told me how she wouldn't listen to him, argued with him over everything, and didn't obey him, when he told her to do something.

This morning, we were all in the den, watching TV. I asked Maddie how the previous night was.

"It was good."

"Really? Did you listen to Daddy? No problems, at all?

"Yes, I was very good. I didn't get in trouble, I promise."

Justin says, "Maddie, you realize that I'm sitting right here, right? I know what happened last night."

"Mommy, just don't ask Daddy how last night was."

And it doesn't stop there. She lies about totally random things. And gets caught 99% of the time. "I put up my toys, like you told me to, but don't go in my room to see." "I need clean clothes, but I didn't get them dirty, I promise." "I tricked you!!!"

It's getting old. Fast. We've talked to her about the difference in telling the truth and telling a lie and how a lie is wrong. We've told her that she shouldn't be afraid that we will be mad at her, she should just tell us the truth. We've told her that when she tells lies, it makes us and God sad. Nothing works. Maybe I'll tell her that liars' pants catch on fire. Think that'll work?

But, like I said, she's really bad at it, so we always know when she does it. I just hope she's still bad at it when she is a teenager.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Doll

I love horror movies. I even like haunted houses. Wax museums scare me, but only because it all looks so real. And because of that 80's movie, Waxwork. Scary stuff, I tell ya. Other than that, not much else creeps me out.

Today, after I dropped Maddie off at school, I was standing in the parking lot, talking to Maddie's friend's mom. Along came another mom. She got out of her van, and said. "Do you want to see my newest baby?" Of course, we said yes and she reached into the back seat and pulled out a basket.

Okay, the first thought that ran through my head was, Why is it in a basket? Then I thought, wait a minute, it's not moving.

It was a doll. A very lifelike doll. One that looked exactly like the picture that was in the basket with it. It sent chills down my spine. Apparently she makes these, and sells them at craft shows. You should say something. Don't be weird. It would be rude if you leave right now. Put your keys back in your pocket. Say something nice. Say something. Now.

"That's amazing. It's looks so weir- I mean, life like." Ok. Can I leave now? Please don't make me look at it anymore. Chelsea, she doesn't know you. Do you want her to know what a freak you are? It's just a doll. A very creepy, looks like it's about to cry any minute, doll. Noooooo! What is she doing. Don't touch it. Please don't touch it. You might wake it up.

Then she starts talking.

"I made it the exact weight it was when he was born. And look at the eyelashes." What? No no no. PUT. IT. DOWN.

"Here. Wanna hold it?" Deep breath. It'll be over in a minute.

So I took the doll. What could I do? Was I supposed to cuddle it close? Try to burp it? I didn't know what the proper etiquette was, so I held it, reminiscent of how I used to hold Maddie when she had a really, really bad poopy diaper. Under her arms, far away from me and my nose.

And the doll's head flopped to the side. AAAAAARRRRRRHHHHHHHH!! What have I done?

She reached out, like the ever- ready, protective new mom, and took her doll back.

"You must always support his head," she said, like it was my first time to hold something that resembled a baby.

"I gotta get home. Good seeing you." I jumped in my car and drove off.

And made the vow, once and for all. I'm never going into a wax museum. And probably not to her house for coffee, either.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Tasty Lessons

I know that my daughter is the pickiest eater in the world, so I asked her what she wanted for her dinner. I was cooking salmon patties and fried potatoes for Justin and myself. I know- healthy, right? I offered to cook her macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes instead of the fried potatoes. She told me that she just wanted salmon patties. Since she has eaten these, several times, and enjoyed them, I assumed she would actually eat them.

Dinner was ready. We were sitting at the table, I mean in front of the TV (Titan's game), and Maddie claimed that her's was too hot to eat. No problem, I got a container of yogurt for her to eat, while her dinner cooled off.

"Um, Mommy, these are yucky."

"You haven't even tasted them, yet."

"I know, but I'm sure, they really are yucky."

"You told me that you love salmon patties and that you didn't want anything else. Eat your food. Now."

"I. Don't. Want. Them."

"You. Will. Not. Eat. Anything. Else. Until. You. Do"


And, with that, I did something I always swore I would never do. She went to bed without dinner. A carton of yogurt was all she ate last night. And she didn't even care. Or complain that she was hungry. Which, I thought was really strange.

But for some reason, I was really, really hungry. I ate and ate, all night long. I started thinking about it, because I never eat late at night. Was God punishing me, because I made Maddie go to bed without dinner? Had He decided to not make her hungry, and was trying to teach me a lesson, by making me crave all of her favorite foods?

It's true. I craved cheese and crackers, popcorn, fruity cheerios, yogurt, and pecan twirls.

And as I was eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream, I decided that, sometimes, God's lessons taste really good.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Snow White's Tea Party

Still reeling from last week's embarrassing episode, Snow White hosts this week's princess tea party.

Snow White: Cinderella- I told you the dwarfs would be working today.

Cinderella: Oh puh-leeze, you need to get off your high horse, Snow, my girl. The invite said "wear your crown." It said nothing about a gown.

Jasmine: Has anyone heard from Belle? I thought she was coming today.

Snow: She called and can't make it. But she wanted to know if she could borrow your outfit, Jasmine. She needs to, um, "awaken" the beast.

Jasmine: Again? Why can't you girls buy your own costumes?

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

What Kind Of Coffee Are You??

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Take the test, then come back and let me know what kind of coffee you are. It's pretty creepy. I was drinking black coffee when I took the test, and that's what I am. Interesting.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Where Is Kramer When You Need Him?

Anybody a fan of Seinfeld? Remember this episode? It's the one where Kramer's phone is the same as the movie hotline. The same thing has happened to us.

Last year, Justin and I decided to buy a carpet cleaning franchise. We bought the rights to one specific area, while one other man owned the rest of the county. Well, to make a long story short, the other man- who is also a preacher and a real estate agent tried to sell his area. He wasn't able to and told Justin that he felt led to just give it to us. How cool is that?

Since they had different phone numbers, for the different areas, we had all of the other man's phone calls forwarded to Justin's phone. No big deal, right? It really shouldn't be.

Enter the movie theater. There is one number that is different in our number and the theater's number. Guess which number is listed on the internet as the movie hotline? THE WRONG ONE.

So, every single day, we get calls for the movie theater. At first, it was funny.

"Hola, this is Rosa."
"Movie phone, Kramer speaking"
"Nope, Back to the Future is not showing at this theater"

But, then it got old. Really old.

"No, it's 451, not 452. I know it's not listed correctly."
"They are right across from Kroger."
"Do you want your carpets cleaned or not?"

And the crazy thing is this- the correct number is in every phone book. If you are smart enough to look up the phone number on the internet, why not go ahead and see what time the movie starts.

The little button that says "Movie Times" should help you out. After all, I'm no Kramer.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mommy's Little Shopper

It started out a great day. I told Maddie that we were going to the gym, and she told me that she would rather go to the mall. Music to my ears, I tell you. This was the day I had been dreaming about. She decided that since she was a big girl, she needed to carry her purse. With 2 tubes of princess lip gloss and a hand mirror.

We went to my favorite clothing store and I told her that she could walk around, just to make sure that I could see her at all times. First, she went to the coats.

"Oooh Mommy, I love this. Don't you?"
"Yes, it sure is pretty."
"These gloves are beautiful. Do you want them?"
"No, I don't need them."
"Well, I LOVE them."

And this went on and on. Headbands, scarves, earrings. She loved them all. And since she wasn't running around in circles and in and out of the racks of clothes, I was enjoying myself. We had sales people following us, laughing, and commenting on how she was my helper. A lady stopped me to tell me how well- behaved she was.

It was an awesome sale. Maddie was behaving herself. I was on top of the world. Until I looked down.

My little helper was helping herself. To gloves and headbands. She had filled her purse.

She told me that she was just holding onto them for me, in case I changed my mind.

I told her that I didn't want to go to jail.

Her purse will remain in the car, from now on. No matter how much she might need her princess lip gloss.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Frenemy #1 Jose Cuervo

Today's big question was "So, what did you do last night?" My answer was typically boring. I worked until 10, then went home and watched Gray's Anatomy Season 3. And, I'm so okay with that. You see, I've had my share of wild and crazy New Year's Eves.

It was 1999. Y2K. I was 21 and ready to par-tay. This was pre- Justin and definitely pre-Maddie. This was also pre- common sense.

Mom, you may not want to read the rest of this. But, if you do, please stop reading, please stop reading you've been warned.

I lived in a small college town, about 45 minutes away from Nashville. My roommate and I decided to go into Nashville, to party at a club. The biggest benefit was that my other good friend worked there, and everything was free. Drinks included.

Soon after arriving at the club, I met my friend for the night. Jose Cuervo. That's right. Tequila. Lots of tequila. Shots.

The rest of the night is somewhat of a blur. I remember dancing, drinking, dancing, nothing happened Y2K wise on the East Coast- everything's gonna be all right, more drinking. And then we went and stayed at another friend's house.

The next morning/afternoon, when we woke up, I had some fuzzy flashbacks. Surely that didn't happen. I couldn't have been that bad off. My friend assured me it did, and I was.

Apparently, I had been so bad off, I couldn't walk to the parking garage. So, my best friend (pretty sober) and the friend (really sober) we were staying with that night, went to get the truck. They left me in front of the bar, with a cell phone, and told me to wait for them to pick me up. Well, what do you think happens when you tell a drunk girl to wait for you? That's right, she starts walking.

I walked/stumbled about 5 blocks. Didn't have a clue as to where I was. So, I did what any crazy, stupid- drunk girl would do. I told random strangers that I was homeless. I don't know why I did it. Or why anyone would believe me, but I made 8 dollars.

Obviously, my friends couldn't find me when they made it back to the bar. So they called the cell phone that I had in my purse. I was trying to convince a woman that I was homeless (you know, because all homeless women reek of tequila, wear heels, and carry cell phones), when the phone rang. She answered it for me and told them where to find me. I guess she never really believed that I was homeless.

This is a story has been told and retold many times. It's always funny to hear it from my friend's perspective, but, quite frankly, it scares me to death, to think of how stupid I was. I was extremely lucky that night. And for the rest of the year, actually. That's the year I met Justin.

And decided that I never wanted another shot of Jose Cuervo.

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