Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pumpkin Eaters

Me: "I'm not a big fan of anything pumpkin. . . "

Sister in law: "Me either. I don't like much of anything with pumpkin. . . "

Me: ". . . but I have this awesome pumpkin roll."

Sister in law: ". . . but I'm making this pumpkin trifle that looks great."

A few hours later. . .

Mother in law: "I hope everyone likes pumpkin. I made two pumpkin pies."

And for a family that doesn't particularly care for pumpkin desserts, we did some serious damage. Well, my sister in law and I did- our husbands wouldn't touch the stuff.

Delicious- for pumpkins. . .

Oh, and I burned the rolls. But the cookies were great.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanksgiving Pictures, Images and Photos
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a lady in a store. She made the comment that no one is truly happy.

I thought for about 2 seconds, and said "I am."

It caught her off guard. "What?"

"I'm happy."

"You are delusional. That's what you are" was her response.

"I have a healthy family that I love and I'm assured every day that they love me. We are healthy. I have friends that I lean on as much as they lean on me. I go to a church where I feel welcome and wanted. I love my life. What is there to not be happy about?

I went on to explain that I do have my bad days, and there are moments that I'm not particularly happy about a situation. But overall, I'm happy because the good is always better than the bad.

So today, I'm really thankful that I am happy.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Was Looking Forward To Waffle House

For the past few years we've gone to the mountains for Thanksgiving with Justin's family. This year, it just wasn't possible job-wise, money-wise, time-wise, etc. for any of us.

It was pretty much up in the air about what we were going to do because of job scheduling. They might come visit us. They might stay home. We might go to his mom's house. We might go to Waffle House. I'm 100% serious about going to Waffle House. Ham and cheese sandwich with hashbrowns, scattered, smothered and covered.

I got the email on Monday morning that they were going to be able to come on Wednesday night. I gave my mother in law a call, to figure out the menu.

Guess what- I'm assigned the cookies. Again. But this year, she added the bread to my list of responsibilities.

Like I said last year, I'm so much more than just cookies. And it's at my house, so I'll make what I wanna.

Monday I fixed squash casserole and froze it. Tuesday I made potato soup for dinner on Wednesday and started the makings of spinach dip and a broccoli salad. Wednesday night, after working both jobs, I'm planning on making the stupid cookies. Thursday I'm making the mac n cheese, apple something, rolls, mashed potatoes, and corn. Oh, and I'm defrosting a pumpkin roll that I conned a friend into making for me to have at my open house. I saved one or three and froze them. I'm hoping to pass them off as my own. insert evil laugh

I've got the food planned. I've got the sheets washed. I've got the floors polished to a shine. I've got the games (Apples to Apples, anyone?) ready.

I've got to get off of this computer and get some sleep before this crazy weekend starts.

I sincerely hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

O Blingity Bling

Four months ago:

Maddie: What are you doing with our Christmas tree?

Me: We are getting rid of it. I don't want a rinky-dink Christmas tree in our new house. We'll get a new one when the time comes.

Maddie: But I love this tree. I wanna keep it forever and ever.

Me: Look, I'll buy you a brand new Christmas tree of your very own if you let me keep packing and getting rid of junk. Go do something.

Two weeks ago:

Me: Are you sure this is the one?

Maddie: Oh yes, it's perfect.

I now give you the most bling blingingest tree in all creation.

P.S. The ahem real Christmas tree is in the office.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Inherited

My child has to be the pickiest eater in the entire world. No question about it.

She comes by it honestly, though.

When my husband was young, he hated all vegetables (and still does, to this day). His parents had the rule of finishing everything on your plate. He didn't want to.

When his parents left the table, he began stuffing his veggies in the door jam. Every day for two weeks.

And then, the smell came. The ants arrived shortly thereafter. His parents were not happy understatement of the year. But- they didn't try to force him to eat veggies anymore.

Maddie will eat mashed potatoes. But not the good kind. They have to be her daddy's instant potatoes. When offered homemade mashed potatoes, she said "I only eat Daddy's, NOT old lady kind." She will eat a few kernels of corn. That's it for vegetables.

Fruits are great. She loves fruit. Bananas, grapes, apples, and mandarin oranges. Wait- that's not that many. She will not eat peaches, pears, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.

The only type of meat that Maddie will eat is a random hot dog or chicken nuggets- but only from Wendy's. She won't even try it.

Waffles, cheese, crackers, yogurt, cheese pizza, and biscuits round out the remainder of what she will eat. It's frustrating to say the least. On the positive side, she only drinks milk and water. She hates soda and tea. And her apple juice has to be watered down or she won't drink it.

A few days ago, she asked me if we were having turkey for Thanksgiving. I told her yes and asked if she would try a bite.

"No. I was just wondering if we were going to have it."

"But everyone eats turkey on Thanksgiving. Don't you just want to try a bite?"

"No. 'Cause God made the turkeys, and I'm not hurting anything that God made."

Apparently, I have a four year old vegetarian that doesn't like vegetables. I'm thinking it might be a Waffle House Thanksgiving.

And I'm okay with that.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Duck On Broadway

I love reading to Maddie. If it's the right book. And the right book makes all the difference.

Fortunately, Tennessee has a wonderful program that gives one book a month from birth until the child turns 5. Most of them are great books, but there are some that I dread reading. Inevitably, those are the ones that Maddie wants read over and over.

We have found a happy medium. Team Mom sent us three books from The Secret Mountain collection and I'm oh, so happy with them. Each book came with a cd that goes along with the book. I'm in love.

My favorite book/cd was A Duck in New York City by Connie Kaldor. There is this little duck that has big dreams of doing a ducky dance on Broadway. Despite all the nay-sayers telling him he couldn't do it, he believed he could and with the help of a truck driver named Big Betty made it all the way to New York.

The cd is hysterical. It is comprised of all the songs the duck sang on Broadway, including Slug Opera and If You Love A Hippopotamus. And the best part about it is they are easy enough for your child to learn and the lyrics are included in the book.

Another great Christmas present idea from me. You're welcome.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Secret Keeper Girls

I was an awkward preteen. No doubt about it. I had big glasses. Uncontrollable frizzy, curly hair. And a serious self-esteem issue.

I knew who I wanted to be friends with. But I was never quite cool enough to be part of their group.

There were times I was the mean girl. There were times I was on the receiving end of it.

I would not want to have to go through that age again. Ever.

It scares me to think of what the pre-teens are going through today. It has to be much harder than it was 'back in the day'.

Dannah Gresh author of Secret Keeper Girl is trying to make it a little easier- for everyone.

The first time I read this book, I read it through the eyes of a mom. And loved it. It is chock full of values that are so important in this world.

The second time I read it, I tried to go back and read it through the eyes of a 10 year old. II found it to be easy reading, funny, and totally relatable to today's youth.

I only read the first of the four books. Each book follows the lives of the four main characters in the books. The basic premise is four girls met in detention, become friends, and form a club. They each face problems and work through them.

Girls can go online to interact more deeply with the characters in the books. There are also mother/daughter assignments in the appendix, engineered to encourage talking to one another about something you both enjoy.

I highly recommend this series- particularly if you have a daughter between the ages of 8-12. And for the low price of $7.99, it would make a great Christmas present.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Pray Big

Our fellow blogger, Adrienne, needs some prayers. In a big way.

Go read her story. From start to finish. It will touch your heart. In a big way.

And then pray. In a big way.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not Too Soon, I Hope

During a game of Go Fish

Maddie: "How old are you, Daddy?"

Justin: "32, I'll be 33 in March."

Maddie: "Mommy, how old are you?"

Me: "30, I'll be 31 in January."

Justin: "We are getting old."

Maddie: "Yeah- you are old. That means you are gonna die soon."

Thanks for the confidence, kid.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's My Turn- Finally

When Maddie was a newborn, she would wait until we were out and then have a huge blow-out diaper, usually all over me, and I would have to wear whatever I had on until I could get to a change of clothes. I would smile and continue on.

When Maddie was 1, she yelled "Oh crap" when the library clown dropped one of the balls he was juggling. I smiled and silently blamed her daddy and went on.

When Maddie was 2, she kept saying that she needed to go potty while we were in the bookstore. I knew she didn't because she had just tried. When I told her no, and continued looking at my book, she stripped off her clothes and took off running. Through the middle of the store. I couldn't catch her. And when I did, I gritted my teeth and went on. Right out the door.

When Maddie was 3, we were at the pool when a rather large man walked by. She yelled, "Now, that's a big belly!" I smiled and tried my best to pretend wasn't mine and carried on.

Monday, we took Maddie to see Madagascar 2 (which I really liked, by the way). We decided to do a little shopping while we were out.

As we were walking through the parking lot, I started singing "I like to move it, move" because I promise after you see that movie, it will be stuck in your head for another 6 months. I added a little booty shake to my song, because I just couldn't help myself.

"Mommy- stop."

"What? Dance with me. Move it, move it."

"Stop. People might see you."

"Okay- maybe they will dance with me."

"Mommy. You. Are. Embarrassing. Me"

Um, excuse me? I am embarrassing you?!? It's about time. I'm looking forward to the teenage years.

I just smiled and carried on.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's A Shame

I'm a failure. A quitter. When the going gets tough, well- I'm gone.

Okay- enough self deprecation.

But it's pretty much the truth in this circumstance.

I took my real estate license out of commission. I never used it anyway, so what was the point? And I owed the real estate commission over $750 by December 1 if I wanted to keep it. I'd rather give my child a Christmas.

I had moderate aspirations of becoming a real estate mogul in this itsy-bitsy town I live in. I planned on decorating my house room by room using only my commission. I wanted to succeed.

I didn't get a single listing. I didn't get a single client. And to be completely honest, I didn't really try to make it work.

I should be on some realtor's Wall of Shame board.

When I signed on with the construction company I work for, it was understood that I would be getting the listings for the houses they built. But then this whole economy thing happened and they stopped getting loans to build houses. I can't list a house that isn't there, now can I?


So now, I'm feeling like I don't really have any options- career wise. Except to continue waiting tables for the rest of my life.

And that's really NOT an option.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

True Love Part II

Remember Zach, the love of Maddie's life? He's the boy that Maddie talks about every day. The boy that Maddie sits beside at lunch, plays "mommy and daddy" with, and hugs and kisses every chance she gets.

He's the boy that broke her little 4 year old heart on Friday.

He told her that he wanted to marry Alisa instead of her.

I knew the day was coming. The day that I would have to comfort her because some boy hurt her feelings. I had no idea it would arrive a mere 4 years after she was born.

Justin and I talked to her and told her that there would be lots more boys and friends in her life before she gets married and that maybe Zach wasn't the one.

That night, her prayers went something like this: Dear God, Thank you for today and for my friends. Please let me have blonde hair like Alisa, so Zach will love me again. Amen.

It broke my heart.

I want to tell his mommy what her precious little Zach did. But I won't.

Unless it happens again. And then- it's on.

Like Donkey-Kong.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I was driving in to work last week, thinking about what most of us are thinking about these days. Money. Or lack thereof.

And how cool it would be if we had some.

I walked into my office, and as I was unlocking the door, I glanced down and saw a lottery ticket. I walked inside, thinking that whoever dropped it would be back for it.

But then, I thought that maybe it was a gift from God that He really wanted me to get it. And win.

And who am I to argue with God?

The rules were to scratch off every square and if you get three matching numbers, you win that amount. Easy enough.

I got a 5. I got a 100. I got a 10. I got a 10,000. Then another 10,000. And then I got another 10,000!!!

I was conflicted. What if this really was someone else's that I just stole? Should I take it to the next office and casually ask if someone lost a lottery ticket? But this was God giving this to me, right? I could seriously use $10,000.

I had it spent in my head within 2 minutes.

I flipped the ticket over, to find out how to redeem my money. The instructions read:

Send winning tickets to to the Money Fairy, 123 NoWhere Dr in Makebelieve Land
Valid only in your dreams.
Odds of winning: 0 in 10,000

Seriously, God- not funny.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Not You, It's Me

I see him coming towards me with determination in his eyes. I try to walk away and avoid him at all costs, but it is no use. He follows me.

I know what is coming. I dread what is coming. But there is no stopping a determined hugger.

I hug my family. I hug my close friends. I hug people I haven't seen in a long time or if something bad has happened.

I'm not a fan of hugging people that I work with. In fact, I'm just not a touch-feely type of person. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

I was talking to my friend about it, and she pointed out that Maddie is the exact same way. If Maddie doesn't want to hug someone, there is no way you can make her. I remember one of the first times we met a neighbor and her daughter. Her daughter tried to give Maddie a hug and Maddie actually looked like she was in pain. That's how badly she didn't want to give a hug.

The "hugger" at my work actually acts offended when I don't respond with a hug. He condescendingly asked if I ever hug my daughter.

It bothered me a lot that he said that.

Of course I hug Maddie. In fact, at 6 a.m. she crawls in bed with me. We snuggle. If we are watching tv, I'm usually holding her which, to me, is just like a hug. I hug her before I take her to school. I hug her when I pick her up. I hug her when she draws a picture. We love to hug each other.

Add my affectionate husband and hairless dog to the picture and I'm hugging all freakin' day long.

And I think that's why Maddie and I aren't big on hugging people we aren't that close to.

By the end of the day, we are hugged out.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

No Hustlin' or Gangsta Rap

There is a 2 mile stretch of road in the town near where we live that is shady. And by shady, I'm not referring to the amount of trees, I mean it's crime ridden, and somewhat scary.

We were traveling down this road on our way to lunch on Sunday. I looked at the corner market and saw a huge plywood sign that said "NO HUSTLIN" in handwritten letters.

I pointed it out to Justin and of course, Maddie's next sentence was, "What 'hustlin mean?"


"Um, it means to hurry." Please believe me.

"But why would that sign be at the store?" A little help here, Justin, would be great.

"It means to make a deal." Not that kind of help, Justin!!!

"Well, sometimes words have different meanings depending on what they mean." Huh?

"What does the store mean?"

"To take your time, honey, just take your time."


The subject was dropped. Thank God. Believe me, it was not fun trying to explain that one.

We continued on our way and pulled into the gas station in a nicer part of town. We had the windows down and Maddie and I sat in the car while Justin pumped gas.

A car pulled up beside us, gangsta rap blaring. Crazy loud. 30 seconds and 15 f-bombs later and I rolled the windows up.

It was still audible and Justin headed over to the driver.

"Hey, buddy- do you mind cutting that down a little? I've got my kid with me and I don't want her to hear that."


Justin repeated his request. The guy said he would and Justin walked off.

The music was never turned down. I was blaring Pat Benatar by that point, and I don't think Maddie caught any of the "f- that b*" craziness. She does randomly sing "Hit me with your best shot" though.

What bothered me the most about the whole situation was that the driver didn't see anything wrong with letting a 4 year old hear the garbage he was listening to. I'm no prude, by any means.

But still. I had already tried to explain what "hustlin' " meant.

And trying to explain the nuances of gangsta rap to my 4 year old was just too much. I didn't want to have to do it.

And I didn't think I should have to.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Give Me Your Money-A-Thon

The thing I dislike most about Maddie's school is the fund raising. Hardly a day goes by that I don't get an email asking to support the band, the cheerleaders, the 5th grade Save the Turtle club, or the 8th grade High School Musical Fan Club. And by "support", I mean "give money".

Maddie is in the 3 day a week Mother's Day Out program. It's not even real school yet, but please don't tell her that.

I've avoided most of the money pleas. Like the freakin' plague. Mostly because we are not 100% sure that Maddie will be attending this school next year. And I don't want to give away my hard earned money to the building fund for a building that she may never step foot in.

Last week, I got the most dreaded of all fundraising strategies. The blank envelope in which to gather pledges for a walk-a-thon.


I considered calling upon my family and friends. But, really, why? Would I want to pledge money to a random school? Um, no. Did I want to explain that it was for the new building and then explain that we were switching schools? Definitely no.

So, I filled in my name and my name only with a pledge of $2/lap that Maddie walked. I figured that since each lap was 1/10 of a mile and she had 45 minutes to walk, I might be out $10-$12 tops. I could swing that.

When I dropped her off, I gave her the standard pep talk. "You will do great. Take. Your. Time. Don't worry if you are being the slowest. In fact, try to be the slowest. I know you can do it."

When I picked her up later that day, I noticed a number written on the back of her walk-a-thon shirt.

"Um, sweetie? Why do you have the number 19 written on the back of your shirt?"

"That's how many laps I did."


$38 going to a brand new building. Woo-hoo. insert heavy sarcasm.

Next time I'm sending Maddie to collect money. From neighbors. From strangers in the grocery. From the post office workers. From anyone that can not resist serious cuteness.

Seriously- who wouldn't give this princess riding a unicorn money?

It's a brilliant strategy, if I do say so myself. The school gets the money it wants so badly, and I won't have to give it to them.

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