"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Its the end of an era...and other random shit...

and this picture tells the whole story...
Yes, we have finally reached that day...Marty is taller than me. He's only 1/4 of an inch taller but my 12 yr old is taller than me...eeek. I knew the day would come I just didn't think it would happen before he was a teenager.


Gabe is driving me crazy with potty training. He will only deign to try yo use the potty at his convenience and rarely does anything in it. It is progress but its not nearly as much progress as I'd hoped for.


And, on the topic of diapers, a few days ago, Gabe came to me with Joey's walking, talking ninja and told me the ninja was stinky and that he had to change the ninja's diaper. He was oh so serious and it was so hard not to laugh in his face.


Gabe was showing his fearless side when we were at my parents' house this weekend. They have an extremely high front porch (about 8 or 9 steps going up to it) and he was playing kamikaze boy off of the porch...again and again and again. He was taking flying leaps off the porch and over the bushes around it over and over again. I think God really knew what he was doing when he had Gabe be the third child. If he had been my first, there might not have been anymore because he would have scared me off from more kids...ROFL.


How do I convince Joey he is perfect just the way he is? Evidently, a few kids commented about his weight and he is holding onto the hurt. Joey has a tendency to put on a bit of weight and then grow tall and he was doing that at the end of the school year. It kind of scares me when I hear him worrying about why people think he is fat and saying things like, "Maybe it's because of my thighs." I reassured him that he was by no means fat and kids said thing like that because kids can be mean. I also pointed out that he is very active and can exercise for long periods of time. I also pointed out that he is built just like Vic was at that age and, by high school, Vic was tall and slim. Joey is never going to be a small boy because he is built with very broad shoulders and a broad torso but, DAMN IT, I don't want my 8 yr old to have a complex about his weight.


Thanks to the damn bunny and his friends, all of my green beans that were starting (except for two) got eaten. Grrrr! I t looks like I will get corn and squash but I think the damned bunnies are going to eat everything else. I guess this means I need a fence next year.


My driving schedule for the week...Sunday about 300 miles...Wednesday 60 miles...Thursday 300 miles...Friday 100 miles...and, of course, there will be all the normal around town driving.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Barren Bitches Book Brigade: Navigating The Land Of IF by Melissa Ford

Welcome to the ninteenth tour of the Barren Bitches Book Brigade--a book club from the comfort of your own living room. Today we are discussing Navigating the Land of IF by our very own Melissa Ford, stirrup queen extraordinaire. Grab a cup of coffee and, when you are done reading my review, you can hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens. You can also sign up for the next book in this online book club: Moose by Stephanie Klein.

I can not begin to say just how wonderful this book is. It covers everything and gives you a jumping off point from which the exploration and understanding of your own particular brand of infertility can begin. I truly think the most fabulous part of this book is the fact that the amazing Melissa incorporates tons of facts and documentation and still manages to inject humor into the situation. Even when you are immersed in your battle against infertility, reading medical facts can get boring and Melissa's book never crosses that line. Thank you thank you thank you for writing a book that should be a part of every infertile's library. In fact, if you have lost more than 2 pregnancies in a row or have made an appointment with an RE or even just signed off on getting infertility testing, GO BUY THIS BOOK (See, the directions are a handy little link. Now, go buy it. I'll wait until you get back.)

Now, on to the questions...

Did you read the book from front to back, or did you turn immediately to a certain chapter? If so, which chapter? Are there any chapters that you purposely avoided? I read the book from front to back. Since I have already received my diagnosis, I was reading the book to experience it. I wanted to see how Melissa presented the information in it and how it compared to other books about infertility. And, Navigating The Land Of IF far surpassed other infertility books both in the quantity and quality of the information passed on.

Mel weaves the navigating theme throughout the book. How have you navigated your own infertility journey? Discuss some of the highs and lows of your personal journey and ways you saw your story as you were reading the book.
I didn't always have the smoothest journey through my battle with secondary infertility. I remember that after my 3rd miscarriage (but 2nd miscarriage in a row) that a friend on a bulletin board told me that I should get my progesterone checked because my losses seemed to be classic cases of progesterone issues (or Luteal Phase Defect) . I was still in major denial and didn't want to hear it. If I had listened to her then, I might have avoided one or two of the losses I suffered through. And, the sheer number of losses I went through contributed greatly to the depression I spiraled into. Luckily, I only needed a few months of antidepressants to deal with it.

If you are a reader of Melissa's blog, did you find the book to be a same or different style and why? I do read Melissa's blog, Stirrup Queens, and the book definitely has the same voice as the blog. She is frank, funny, and honest about all the ramifications of infertility. She truly conveys how horrible infertility can be but at the same time she puts a friendly face on it. Its a face you can look at and say, "Infertility sucks but that person would be a pretty damned good companion on the journey."

Now do yourself a favor and GO BUY MELISSA'S BOOK before you hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Announcing the formation of Mom's Taxi Company

This week is going to be a busy week. Marty starts his Lutheran Church Beach camp tomorrow and he will be there until Thursday afternoon. And, Joey has camp at the Lutheran residential camp from Wednesday afternoon through Friday afternoon. "But, Kristin," you say, "you are getting rid of two of the kids for a good portion of the week. How could that possibly make it a busy week?" It makes it a busy week because I'll be schlepping children from on side of the state to the other. Right now, we are at my parents' house and tomorrow, while my mom and dad keep the younger 2 occupied, I have to make a 2 hour drive to the beach. After Marty is dropped off, I'm going to drive 2 hours back to my parents' house, have dinner, and then drive the hour and ten minutes home. Monday and Tuesday will be my down days. On Wednesday, I am going to drive to 45 minutes to drop Joey off at his camp and the 45 minutes to get home. On Thursday, I have to pick Marty up from the beach which is over 3 hours from myhouse. I will either spend Wednesday night at my parents or Thursday night at their house so I don't have to do that entire 6 1/2 hour round trip in one day. And, finally, on Friday, Joey has to be picked up from his camp.

I am no longer Kristin - wife, mom, blogger, and crafty person. I am Kristin the taxi cab driver.

*In answer to Nina's question, there isn't anyone to carpool with. The camps they are going to aren't sponsored by our church but by the Lutheran Church in NC. The two camps, Agape and Kure Beach, are ministries associated with NC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I have no brain power. I am still too worried about my friend and her mom. So, instead I'm resorting to posting this gorgeous piece of eye candy. I know Adam Lambert is gay. I know I'm way too old for him even if he weren't gay but I can't help myself. He is positively yummy.
If you want to check out more yumminess, go check out the stuff about this week's Rolling Stone cover.

And, last but certainly not least, I want to send a huge shout out to Loribeth @ The Road Less Travelled for bringing this eye cany to my attention.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I feel bad...

I don't think I'm going to make Iron Commenter this month. I was up until 3:40 this am. I was on the phone with one of my best girlfriends. Her mom is in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Duke Hospital and is not expected to live. Somehow, after hearing that news, I can't motivate myself to comment. To those of you whose blog I didn't visit, the slight is not intentional. I just can't deal with it right now. I promise I'll be back in full commenting mode next month.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: I love PURPLE plus an introduction

Last Saturday, 6/20, Joey tested for his purple belt (2nd kub) in Tae Kwon Do. He was so nervous. He wasn't worried about the physical aspect of the test. He was worried about the memorization portion of the test. Joey kicked butt! He was the only one in his belt level group that was able to answer all the questions almost verbatim. He is so excited because he only has 2 more tests over the next *8 to 10 months until he earns his deputy black belt.



I also wanted to introduce y'all to my hubby Vic...or more specifically Vic's blog. Yup, I finally got him in on the fun of blogging. His blog is called The Warped Musings Of My Inner Self and it will focus on just that...his warped humor. I can't promise political correctness but I can promise a lot of laughs. Can y'all pop over and say hi?


To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.


And, one little fun extra. I have a really cool project going on for a fellow blogger. It is going to be an incredible surprise and if you want in on it, EMAIL ME!

it could be a bit longer...you don't test until you are 100% ready.

Boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs...

Where else can you go from gratuitously cute kid and animal pictures to talking about boobs in the space of one post? Well, maybe there are a few other places but today it is here. I know I've talked about boobs in the past. I talked about bras and how to make sure they fit and I celebrated National Cleavage Day. But, when 3 out of the top 10 keyword searches for my blog are variations on "boobs r us", its time to talk about boobs again. Fun facts, important facts, or just plain weird facts...they are all welcome!

1. Did you know fake boobs don't float but real boobs do? No, I'm not making this up. The density is different.
2. Boobs can get stretch marks too. Some women develop stretch marks on their breasts because they grew rapidly or got really large during puberty. These same women will be prone to stretch marks during pregnancy or significant weight gains. The tendency to get stretch marks is genetic. THERE IS NO WAY TO PREVENT STRETCH MARKS.
3. The week immediately after your period is the best time to do your monthly breast exam. Breasts are less tender and the tissue tends to be less affected by hormones making it easier to find problem areas. Do you know how to do a breast exam? If you don't, click here and there are videos that teach you how.
4. Even though women rarely grow taller past the age of 16 or 17, breasts often increase in size until we are in our early to mid 20s.
5. You can have a third nipple...*"It's not all that freaky for a woman (or a man) to have an extra headlight. This nonfunctional nipple is usually smaller and located lower on the body than the main pair, and it rarely develops or produces milk (it generally looks more like a freckle than a nipple, which is why many people who have one don't even know it). So how did it sprout? Early in fetal development, many "breast buds" form a U-shaped arc along the chest. Over time, these buds disappear, except for the two that turn into your main pair, says Dr. Casas. Star Mark Wahlberg is rumored to have a third nipple -- which was airbrushed out of his early '90s Calvin Klein underwear ads."
6. **When your boobage grows larger than (about) a DD, the fun ceases. Your shoulders are perpetually tight. Your neck and shoulders hurt because of the weight. And, they screw up the way clothes fit. If you buy a dress, you frequently have to buy a size larger than you normally wear because of the amount of fabric it takes to cover your boobs. And, if you happen to sew, you will have to modify patterns so they will accomodate your ginormous rack. IT SUCKS.
7. Nipples can change color (get darker) during pregnancy and while nursing. This is normal.
8. If you notice any significant change to your nipple at any other time during your life...abnormal discharge, shape change, or darkening not associated with pregnancy or mega doses of hormones, GET YOUR DOCTOR TO CHECK THEM.

So, do you have anything to add? Jokes, weirdness, or facts are welcome.

* I have read this in a more scientific location but this quote is from a Cosmo article. I don't read Cosmo but it was the first place I found the info online.
** This info comes to you via the school of Kristin

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Silly boys and Spoiled Animals

There is truly never a dull moment in my household. If the kids aren't being kids with all the associated silliness, then the animals are being ridiculous. Here are some gratuitously cute pics for your perusal...

Don't worry about the dog. He wasn't growling
or snarling. He was just joining in the nonsense.


Jolie thinks the pillow
and blanket are for her.

Jack being Jack.

Yet another Totally Useless update...plus a stitchy picture...

I'm participating in the the world's easiest stitchalong, the Totally Useless Stitchathon. The whole purpose of this is to collect all the orts (small pieces of floss, thread, yarn, or other fibers) that you trim off your stitching projects over the year. You can collect them in the see through container of your choice and, by the end of the year, you have a colorful and possibly artistic representation of your year's activity. I still think that when we get closer to the end of the year, I will buy some clear glass ornaments to put the orts in.

I finally found a decent container to keep my orts in. Its amazing how far they expand when freed from the little containers they were crammed into.

Aren't those colors gorgeous?


And, this is the start of a present for someone very special...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Poison Ivy or could it be oak?..updated

Or, who the hell cares what it is, ITS ON MY 3 1/2 YR OLDS LEGS!!!! Any advice on how to keep him from scratching or convince him to stay inside as it heals? I'm thinking pants covering legs slathered in benadryl cream but I'm open to suggestions.

This really sucks because somehow I have to treat him and avoid getting it myself.

*Benadryl cream helped a bunch but we ran out. When I went to the store, I found something called Ivarest (second product on page) which has both calamine and topical benadryl in it. I coated his legs, put on socks and pants so it wouldn't rub off and it seems to be working.

You should read this post...

Do yourself a favor and go read this incredible tribute by Lady Nunn to her father. It is truly amazing and he sounds like an incredible man. More people need to read it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day honey!

I don't have any big sappy story to share here. I just wanted to say I can't imagine doing this with anyone else.

The ABCs of Me...Part 2

Welcome to the June edition of ICLW. What? You don't know what ICLW is? Check out that nifty orange rectangular button with the cute dog on it. It will take you to all the explanation you need. Go on. I'll wait right here for you.

Yes, I did this last month as my intro and I thought I'd see if I could do it again and make it all new. Here goes nothing.

A - Anne McCaffrey - I love all her books but my favorite are the Dragonriders of Pern
B - BlogHer - where I am very, very sad to NOT be going this year
C - Cuppa Joe Designs - my fledgling design company
D - dragons - I wish they were real...I want a dragon (see A)
E - eBay and Etsy - two of my online addictions
F - flowers - I am trying to fix my house's flower beds this year. I hope to have oodles of gorgeous flowers and colors exploding from them next year. Right now the only flowers I have are daffodils (already bloomed and gone for the year) and some lovely orange lilies
G - giveaways - I've turned into a contest/giveaway whore. I've entered a ton and have won a fair number of them
H - halfway there - I am almost halfway to my reading goal for the year...check out my Book Challenge and join in if you want. All you need to do is post in the comment section of the original book challenge post.
I - insane - what I am going trying to come up with new entries for each letter
J - Just Cross Stitch magazine - I am hoping I can get a design in their annual Christmas ornament issue...if not this year, then next
K - kick ass - I have the most kick ass friends around
L - Libertarian - - what my political leanings are - but I'm a registered independent so I can vote in the primaries
M - mammogram - something I have to get later this year
N - North Carolinian - I may not be a Southerner by birth but I definitely am a North Carolinian by the grace of God. Just please, please don't ever make me live in the eastern third of the state *shudder*
O - one - I want one more baby
P - purple - my other favorite color along with last months G answer
Q - quilt - the next big project I need to start working on. I have the design all figured out. Now I just need to execute it.
R - rabbit - what I am cursing for eating my garden
S - Star Trek - I am a total geek when it comes to all things Star Trek. I have watched almost every episode of every one of the Star Trek series. And, I adore the latest movie!
S - S.A.B.L.E. - Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy - I have achieved this status in cross stitch supplies, yarn , and probably fabric
T - Thug - what my dear friend Kym calls me...ask her if you want to know why
U - uterus - what I plan on having removed along with the baby when they do the c-section if I ever get pregnant again
V - the Vatican - I would love to visit the Vatican and get to see all the fabulous art work they have there
W - Wicked - a book I just finished reading and LOVED
X - Xanth - the magical world of Piers Anthony - I think it would be a hell of a lot of fun to live in a world with creatures like Night Mares (black horses that actually bring bad dreams) And places names Isle of View (think I love you).
Y - yarn - something that makes me very, very happy - I think I could be a yarn whore
Z - zipper - what I suggested the OB install after my last c-section...go see the picture

Yes, I know I have two S entries but I couldn't eliminate either one so I included both. So, do you have any questions?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Stitching Post Saturday 6/20

I am almost 100% done with the modified Dragon of Air for Dee's All About Me Round Robin. Not only did I change teh colors, but I changed some of the Xs to specialty stitches. I think it kind of looks like scales on the dragon's chest and I love the satin stitching on the wing. I ran out of one of the colors and got a replacement skein last night so it will be 100% done tonight. Wooohooooo!
And, I got back my All About Me RR. I absolutely LOVE everything that has been done so far but there is still a lot of area to fill in. Any volunteers?
Check out what everyone else has been up to... Stitching Post Saturday on MiPa's blog.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Can I admit something shameful?

I think I'm a wee bit jealous of my kids. They are getting to go to all these cool summer camps and I want to escape too. Each of my older kids are getting to go to 3 really excellent summer camps. Joey just finished BMX Bike Camp and has soccer and Agape camp coming up. Marty is wrapping up Cary Space Camp and had his Civil War Experience and a camp at Kure Beach coming up.

I have decided the two sleep away camps I want to go to are BlogHer and the Heartland Needleworks Retreat. I'm even willing to be reasonable and wait for Heartland's Fall Retreat and BlogHer 2010 since BlogHer '09 is sold out. Even fantasizing about going to these "camps" is pretty damned wonderful. Between these two getaways, I would get to indulge two of my passions...blogging and stitching. It would be sheer bliss to be able to indulge in meeting friends and letting my creativity run rampant witout worrying about when I need to stop and fix dinner. Don't get me wrong, I love my family dearly. I wouldn't *trade any of them or any of the time we have with each other. But, everyone needs to recharge.

Sadly, those events are simply outside of our budget for the time being. So, all I need is a fairy godmother to make it all happen. Oh yeah, Ms. Fairy Godmother, if you are feeling particularly generous, I wouldn't mind the quilting retreats in Florida and Costa Rica too.

*although there are days I understand my parents threat to trade us for 2 goldfish and a canary

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dear Mr. Bunny

Dear Mr. Bunny,

I know its hard to resist temptation. And, I did plant all those lovely plants out there in what you consider Bunnyland. I am so glad you approve of the types of vegetables I planted in my garden. I think they look pretty yummy too. But, damn it, those vegetables are for ME! Get out of my garden.

Sincerely, Kristin

PS...Mr. Bunny, since you seem to be a gardening expert, can you tell me how to tell if my green beans are ready to pick? The plants are still small but I have beans on them already.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


My dad is a pretty cool guy...but then he would have to be to be married to my mom for 40+ years. My dad has always been willing to stick his neck out to protect the family and he always, always made sure that my sisters and I knew that we could do anything we put our minds to...that there are no barriers just because we are women. He adores his grandchildren and loves to do things with them. The crazy man even took my kids camping and shuns air mattresses as being something for wusses (ROFL). Like any parent, he has his flaws but I am so proud of everything he has done.

And, you know whats awesome? The local newspaper where he lives has recognized what a special individual he is. Please take a moment to click on the pictures below. They will open up so the text of the article is legible.


a letter of recognition from the company
my dad does tutoring with


To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.


And, one little fun extra. I have a really cool project going on for a fellow blogger. It is going to be an incredible surprise and if you want in on it, EMAIL ME!


I still haven't heard from a few of the winners of the Great Animal Exodus Giveaway. The winners are Jen who chose the dino group, Infertility Rocks, Ms. GeekByMarriage who had 2 entries win and picked the fish with one of them, Arian, Beautiful Mess, WiseGuy who selected Garfield, battynurse who gets Pooh Bear and friends, and Emmy.

Ladies, email me with your mailing addresses and slowly but surely I'll start mailing out the packages.

Wordless Wednesday: 8 years ago

Marty, 4 yrs old, and Joey, 5 1/2 months old

Marty, 12, Gabe 3 1/2, Joey 8 1/2

Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts HERE and HERE.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Help me feed my crafty habit...

I know, the giveaways and the craft supplies are an addiction. But, at least they are an addiction that creates rather than destroys. So, humor me while I tell you about the fantabulous giveaway over at Musings of a Fat Chick. She has arranged to give two of her readers a $50 gift certificate to Auntie's Beads. I could spend hours browsing the loverliness on that site but so far I have decided I must have some ceramic beads and some Murano glass beads and some lampwork glass beads etc, etc, etc.

So, go enter the giveaway...actually, go look at the giveaway, drool over the lovely beads, but then click away before you enter because I WANT TO WIN!!!

A Weekend With The Cruz Family

As always, life was crazy this weekend. On Friday, Joey's friend Lily was over (she lives behind us) and Joey, Lily, and Gabe were playing "fight" on the trampoline. Needless to say, Gabe was being Gabe and was wide open. He ended up going forehead first into one of the poles that support the safety net. The safety net left a grid of scratches on his goose egg.

Luckily, instead of the goose egg growing bigger and developing a nasty bruise, it was mostly gone by the next day. However, the lovely little grid of scratches is still there.

And, Marty has decided he wants to learn to bake this summer. On Friday, he requested his first baking lesson. I gave him my cookbook and he decided we needed to make lemon bars. He did a great job and the lemon bars didn't last that long at all.

On Saturday, my parents came up and my dad worked on the platform "tree fort" he is building for the boys in our back yard. Instead of a ladder, it has a staircase so Gabe can easily go up and down. And, my dad added a cross brace between 2 of the legs and attached a slide their for Gabe.

Joey also had me pull his tooth on Saturday. We have had to pull almost every single loose tooth that Joey has had. His teeth are extremely stubborn about coming out and sometimes, even though they are very loose, they won't fall out. They get to a point where the irritation of having the tooth loose in his mouth outweighs the temporary pain of having the tooth pulled. Every other time we have done this, I've been able to tie a string around it and yank the tooth. But, this time, I couldn't get the string into a secure location. It kept slipping off. So, I told Joey that if he wanted it out I would have to use something like pliers that would give me a secure hold. My brave, brave boy told me to go ahead.

He felt so much better once the tooth was out.

Sunday was fairly quite...church and family time. Then the boys had friends over in the afternoon. How was your weekend?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Six Silly Things That Make Me Smile

The lovely Bean tagged me for this and I really like the idea of this meme so I'm participating. Hell, it also keeps me from overtaxing my poor brain to come up with a blog topic. The original title of this meme had unimportant in place of silly. I LOVE that Bean changed it because anything that makes us happy is not nor ever will be unimportant.

Here's how it works:
* Mention and link to the person who tagged you
* List Six Silly Things That Make You Happy
* Tag six of your favorite bloggers to play along

Here are my 6 Silly Things In No Particular Order
  1. Stacks and piles of fabric of every color and design. I look at that fabric rainbow and am inspired to create all kinds of lovely, beautiful things. I imagine patchwork quilts, lovely clothing, totes bags, and toys. Of course, in the fantasies inspired by the fabric, I have unlimited time to create this loveliness.
  2. Puns, jokes, plays on words...that's why I love Piers Anthony' s books and Robert Aspirin's Myth and Phule's Company books so much. Pure, unadulterated silliness and fun.
  3. Raspberries and chocolate...is it silly that a food combination makes me smile, maybe! But, that combination is to die for especially when they are wrapped together in a croissant from the 9th Street Bakery.
  4. Dragons...figurines, stuffed animals, cross stitch designs, books about them...I love them. I love the flights of fancy they induce. They make me happy.
  5. My craft stash...I love going through it and imagining the perfect floss to use for a project or how wonderful a certain fiber will look on a certain fabric. I love the way to light glints off the beads or all the possibilities an empty jar holds when I am creating something.
  6. My jewelry...I have pretty things (my engagement ring, my amethyst ring, and some necklaces) but I also love my kitschy holiday jewelry. They are fun, cute, and some of them belonged to my Grandma.
Gaynor, YoYo, FatChick, Geek By Marriage, Batty Nurse, and Margaret...TAG, you're it! If there is anyone else who wants to join it, consider yourself tagged by me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Evil Mom Teaches Responsibility...

My older two kids are fully convinced that my eeeeevil side has fully taken over. After all , who except a thoroughly evil parent would make them do CHORES on the first Saturday of summer vacation...the horrors. See, recently, I decided I was completely sick and tired of doing all the pet care around our house. Yeah, the boys refill pet food bowls and give them water but ONLY when we make them. And, they never, ever do the nasty chores like cleaning the litter box and pooper scooping the yard. Well, evil mom decided it was time for that to change. I bet you can imagine how well that went over...like a lead ballon...

scene fades to black and, as the light comes back up, we see Evil Mom (EM), the Much Beleagured Middle Schooler (MBMS), and Sir Whines Alot (SWA)...

EM: Hey guys...come here please.
MBMS: Yeah mom, what do you want.
EM: You guys are going to have some new chores around here.
MBMS & SWA together: Why? What did we do?
EM: You didn't do anything wrong. You are just old enough to start taking responsibility for some things. You are going to rotate these jobs. One of you will pooper scoop the yard and one will clean the litter box.
MBMS & SWA: Eeeeeeewwww...gross! Why do we have to? I don't want to.
EM: I didn't ask whether you wanted to. I told you these were your new jobs.
MBMS: But mom, I didn't have to do this when I was Joey's age.
EM: Marty, where did we live when you were Joey's age?
MBMS: The old house.
EM: And, did we have a much bigger yard?
MBMS: Well, yeah....but,
EM: And, did the dogs mostly go out and poop in the yard?
MBMS: But...
EM: No buts, that's why you didn't have to do these chores then and why you have to do them now.
MBMS: Well, can I at least get paid for this.
EM: No, this is your way of helping maintain the family. You will not get paid for this.

grumble, grumble, grumble...notice that SWA actually wasn't complaining a lot this time...he saved it for later

Yes, the kids have taken over these jobs. Yes, they whine and bitch and moan and complain EVERYTIME. They resort to all kids of tactics to avoid the "horrrrrrrible smells" like VIck's vaporub or tying shirts around their faces. You know, this is becoming EXCELLENT entertainment. I may have to start taking picstures of the faces they make each time.

Evil Mom shoots and SCORES!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cake Wrecks and Kids...

My kids absolutely LOVE the Cake Wrecks site. They have all spend hours looking at it with me. And, the other day, Gabe discovered his favorites on the site. Gabe loves the toilet cakes. What? You say you missed the toilet cakes. For shame. Run right over there and check them out. Hurry back, I'm waiting for you.

Are you back? Good. Now, on with the story. Last night Gabe came up to me while I was on the computer and asked to see the "toilet birthday cake". Well, I was tired and it didn't dawn on me to use that built in *"search blog" feature so I couldn't find the post. The more I tried to tell him I couldn't find it, the more **insistent he got that he HAD to see it. So, off I went to find toilet cakes. Thanks to the wondermous world of Google, I found many examples. It was kind of scary. I don't want to torture y'all so I'm only going to share one ***wrecktastic toilet cake.

Yes, it is really a cake. Yes, it is edible. This wrecktastic wonder was made by Margie F and can be seen at Cake Decorating Corner. Before any of you ask, this pic and the other wrecks I found were submitted to Cake Wrecks. Who knows what will come of it.

Doesn't it amaze you what we will look for and endure for our kids? Whats the absolutely most ridiculous thing you remember searching the internet to find?

*look up and look left...its in the blue blogger tool bar
**insistent = loud and whiny and demnding which I could not deal with at te end of the day
***thanks go to Jen of Cake Wreck fame for such a fabulos word. Did you know she has a book coming out?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

School's Out For The Summer

Hey y'all. We've hit that day that teachers eagerly look forward to and parents face with a bit of trepidation...the first day of summer vacation. My boys officially finished up the '08-'09 school year yesterday but I'll be damned if they didn't try to finish it early. Marty petitioned to be allowed to play hooky and Joey wanted to be picked up early. Do you think either thing happened? Bwahahaha, NO! Evil Mom rules.

What are your plans for the summer? Initially, I was planning on a totally laid back summer with few scheduled activities but that changed when I was able to get summer camp scholarships for Marty and Joey. We will still be going to the pool and hanging out quite a bit but they also get to escape for a while which will be good for them and good for my sanity ;) Next Monday, Marty starts Cary Space Academy (which is based on the NASA camp) and Joey starts BMX Skateboard Camp. Unfortunately, since Gabe stubbornly refuses to potty train (he is driving me crazy), he isn't eligible for any of the summer art programs he could have enrolled in. Oh well, hopefully that issue will be cured by summer's end.

I have a lot of projects I want to get done this summer. In addition to all my craft projects, I want to get Gabe's room painted. If I can get the paint, that will be a summer project. Gabe has decided its fun to sleepover in his brothers' room so it wouldn't even have to be a rushed project. I also want to redo my flower beds. For years, this house was a rental house and the flower beds were not taken care of. I have a flower bed between the driveway and the house (why would you put one there...the flowers are blocked by cars) that will serve as a home to anything I want to keep. Once I have cleared all the keepable (ya I know, not a word) things out of the beds along the front of the house, I'm going to attack them with a scorched earth policy...everything will go. Hopefully, by fall, I can have them in really good shape and I can plant!

Also, if I'm really lucky, my friend Rys and her family will get to come visit.

What are y'all planning to do this summer?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: The Art Around Us

One of the things that has always caught my eye is artwork in unexpected places....the statue where you wouldn't expect it or the mural gracing the side of a building. Here in the Triangle area of NC, there are a plethora of gorgeous wall murals. I'd like to share a few of them with you. Click on each picture to get a bigger view (especially the first one).

This one is right around the corner from my house
here in Cary...painted by Val Fox

picture posted to Flickr by marttj

On the wall of Gypsy's Diner in Cary
posted to Flickr by godonlyknows

in downtown Chapel Hill...I've always loved this one
posted to Flickr by WiBadger

Isn't it cool the way the sky mirrors the mural in this picture?
posted to Flickr by inkified

This one is so unique...titled World Within One Place
posted to Flickr by ctrl-alt-grant

Do you have any fun, unique, or different artwork anywhere near you?


To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.


And, one little fun extra. I have a really cool project going on for a fellow blogger. It is going to be an incredible surprise and if you want in on it, EMAIL ME!


Finally, I'd like to announce the winner of the Great Animal Exodus Giveaway. The winners are Jen who chose the dino group, Infertility Rocks, Ms. GeekByMarriage who had 2 entries win and picked the fish with one of them, Arian, Beautiful Mess who picked the Halloween group, WiseGuy who selected Garfield, battynurse who selected the Pooh collection, and Emmy.

Ladies, email me with your mailing addresses and slowly but surely I'll start mailing out the packages.

Have I mentioned lately...

how very much I love giveaways and how much fun I'm having entering them? Thanks to Cara, I found out about a super cool new giveaway over at Fantabulously Frugal. There are so many goodies in this giveaway. If you enter and win, you get...
  • Decorative envelopes from etsy seller Adnagam
  • Frango Dark Chocolate Mints
  • Sunshine Yellow Hair Pins from etsy seller creamrose
  • Purple Rain Amethyst Earrings from etsy seller Sew*Cool Design
  • Paperchase 8 Folded Cards with Envelopes
  • Small change purse from etsy seller Made by Hank
  • Cucumber Melon Salty Soap Scrub from etsy seller Sissy Soap
  • Soap Nuts from Laundry Tree
  • Spring Flower Garden Cupcake Liners from etsy seller Layer Cake Shop
  • 2 Vera Bradley cloth napkins
  • Musings Recycled Notebook in Blue from etsy seller subu
  • Fleur de Lis Necklace from etsy seller Bumble Beadz
  • Marc Jacobs key fob
  • Stationery and small letter-pressed notebook from etsy seller Sarah Drake
  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex
  • Coriander Ivory Small Cosmetic Bag from etsy seller The Sweet Sugar Beet
  • Smashbox Lip Gloss
  • Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bags from etsy seller Green Street
  • Reversible Coffee Sleeve from etsy seller LilE
  • Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
  • OPI Nail Polish
  • Stick With Me, Kid Shopping Tote from etsy seller Earth Cadets
  • As well as MANY MORE surprises!
Head on over and ENTER and, if you do, please, please mention my name on the entry form!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Boys vs. Girls

I continually joke about being outnumbered by the boys and our house having way too much testosterone but its true. Out of 2 adults, 3 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 3 fish, my dog Jolie and I are the sole females in a house full of males. Let me tell you, this makes for a wild and crazy household at times.

I grew up in a house that was almost the exact opposite. I am one of three girls and at least half of my childhood pets were female. My first thought when the doctor said those fateful words was, "What the hell do I do with a boy?" Don't get me wrong, I wasn't at all upset about being pregnant with a healthy boy. I just had NO fucking clue how to deal with boys. There are days I still think this.

The fundamental truth is that boys and girls are different. No matter how much equality we try to foster, no matter how many stereotypes we try to break, they are different! Thanks to Marty, I learned that pink tea carts can serve tea one moment and serve as a battering ram the next. Thanks to my older boys, I have learned that is doesn't matter how clean deer bones appear to be, the stench they produce when you boil them clean is overwhelming. (Definitely not one of my finer moments judgment wise)

I've learned to love hockey and appreciate a good game of baseball (but not on tv please). I can differentiate between a backhoe and a power shovel and know there is a difference between a bulldozer and a front end loader. I've learned about the phenomenal amount of food a hungry, growing boy can consume and that terrifies me when I think about the future. It may give new truth to the trite saying of someone eating you out of house and home.

I've also learned some things that are universal whether you are parenting a boy or a girl. I've learned that my heart will break right alongside my child's heart. And, nothing mends a hurting heart faster than a child wrapping their arms around you and saying, "I love you."

I have learned that no matter how hard you try to raise non-stereotypical males, certain things creep in. My jaw hit the floor the day Joey looked at me and said, "Pink is a girl color." Is it a big deal? No, it isn't. But, it still surprises you the day your child spouts off something you KNOW they didn't learn from you.

Most of all, I have learned that even though I'd like a little more estrogen in my household, I wouldn't trade being them mom to these three wild and crazy boys for ANYTHING.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Stitchy Stuff

Great stitchy giveaways...

Two fabulous surprise giveaways on two fabulous blogs...Kathy's Stitching and Other Comments and Stitcher's Anon. Both Kathy and Gaynor do such beautiful work so, even if you don't win, its worth stopping by and checking it out.

My WIP (work in progress for you non-stitchers)

I have finally made progress on Dragon of Air by Dragon Dreams. I'm stitching this on my friend Dee's All About Me Round Robin. I don't know why I've had such a mental block on this cute little dragon. Its one of my favorite things to stitch and I'm stitching it in my favorite color. I've gone from this...

to this...

One or two more nights and I should have it done. Woohooo!

I'm Not Worthy...

The beautiful, wonderful, absolutely fantabulous Kym gave me the Red Cape Award...

I am so honored and touched that she thinks enough of me to give this to me. It honestly brought tears to my eyes when I read her post today. I'm not sure what I did that was extraordinary enough to warrant this but THANK YOU KYM.

Kym stated there was absolutely *no requirement to pass on this award. However, I have a few people I would like to pass this on to. Becoming Whole is someone who truly is a hero in my book. I don't think she even realizes how awesome she is. She's been to hell and back with her soon to be ex...even suffering through infertility while suffering through him. Instead of slinking away once she escaped and disappearing from our radar, she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and proceeds to tell the story of what she went through and her recovery. Since she has been unflinching in laying it all out there, her blog may serve as a beacon for someone else trapped in a hellish marriage. I hope she realizes how much her story matters and how much she matters. You are one of my heroes my friend.

Another person I would like to pass this award onto is my dear friend Rys. You won't be able to understand why she is such a hero by just reading her blog because lot of her story isn't published there. Rys was never valued by her family as she grew up yet she grew into a generous, loving woman. She is an incredible advocate for her children (who completely ROCK) , a supportive wife to her husband, and she's the kind of friend any of us would be lucky to have. Rys is smart, funny, and generally incredible. Her support has held me up more than once. And, she is this incredible person despite never having a role model who was like that for her when she was little. I am lucky enough to have this hero as my friend and sister by choice.

Lastly, I know Kym originated this award but I wanted to give it back to her. Kym pulled herself out of the trenches of infertility and, instead of saying Thank God I don't have to deal with that again, she said, I succeded, now let me lay my body and peace of mind on the line so someone else can escape the hell of infertility. Kym, not many women would be willing to go down that road for other people. I salute you my friend.


*Kym says you aren't obligated to pass on the award, but if you want to pass on the Red Cape Award to another blogger, here are the steps:

  1. On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: Red Cape Award SuperCrew (http://smartone.typepad.com/smartone/red-cape-award-supercrew.html). This is a running list of awardees. (This post has the code for adding the award and link.)
  2. Check in on the SuperCrew post by leaving a link to your blog and a comment to let Kymberli of I'm a Smart One know that you were passed a Red Cape Award so she can add you to the list.
  3. Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.
  4. Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.
  5. If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.
  6. You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.

If you do pass it on, at the very least, please come back and let Kym know who you've given it to so that she can link back to them on the SuperCrew list of honored recipients.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Scout Night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Last night, Joey and I went to Scout Night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The game was fun.

The snacks were delish but pricey.

The Bulls kicked the Mudhens' asses.

The fireworks were fabulous.

The boys had the chance to buy tickets to sleep in the outfield. The boys played and got autographs from Wool E. Bull, the Durham Bulls Mascot.

Yes, we were part of the contingent who slept over. And, the ground was very, very hard. I ended up pinned in one position by Joey last night and that combined with the hard ground of the infield made me seriously hurt when I woke up this morning. I was pinned in one position because Joey and I were sleeping under the stars and he managed to kick off his sleeping bag. I am definitely not 20 yrs old anymore...ugh. But, you know what, I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I will probably do it again next year.


To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.


And, one little fun extra. I have a really cool project going on that involves this...

It is going to be an incredible surprise and if you want in on it, EMAIL ME!

Snap, crackle, pop, OW!

Last night, Joey and I went to Scout Night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. And, yes, we were part of the contingent who slept over. The game was fun. The Bulls kicked the Mudhens' asses. The snacks were delish but pricey. The fireworks were fabulous. And, the ground was very, very hard. I ended up pinned in one position by Joey last night and that combined with the hard ground of the infield made me seriously hurt when I woke up this morning. I am definitely not 20 yrs old anymore...ugh

Pics to follow for Show & Tell.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A funny thing heard on the way home from school

Gabe and I were on our way home from dropping Joey off at school this morning and he was in the back seat chattering a mile a minute. According to Gabe, the *Wubb Girlz, Sparkle Shimmer and SHIIIIIINE!, were riding with us. I'm only half listening because I'm watching traffic and I think I hear Gabe say, "The Wubb Girlz like my butt." I figure the safest response is neutral (don'twant to encourage this) so all I say is "Um...ok." Then he says, "The Wubb Girlz like my big butt." I start thinking, "Oh good God. I am not ready to try to expalin to a 3 yr old why he shouldn't say that." And, Gabe says, "It's yellow."

And, the lightbulb went on. Gabe said, "The Wubb Girlz like my bus" not "The Wubb Girlz like my butt."


And, just so y'all will have this insidious song stuck in your head. Here's Sparkle, Shimmer, and SHIIIIIINE!

*For those not in the know, those characters are a girl band on Wow Wow Wubbzy and Shine is played by Beyonce and always sings out her name.

Scattered and Random

A quick shout out to my fellow geeks, Ms. GeekByMarriage, my BeautifulMess, and the SmartOne. I had a blast playing Scrabble with y'all the other night. We need to do it again soon. I have a friend who can stand in if one of you is busy.


Have you been following any of the talk about Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to be our next Supreme court justice? I'm just not sure how I feel about her as a justice on the Supreme Court. There are two really good articles, one in the Huffington Post and one in the New Republic, that really give a balanced view of the pros and cons of her appointment.

When I read about her major decisions, I get the sense that she is into the politics of feelings rather than a strict interpretation of the law and constitutionality of the situation. This bothers me greatly. It also bothers me that people talk about her as a liberal voice on the court. I truly believe Supreme Court justices should be constitutionalists and that their personal political beliefs should take a back seat. However, one of the major arguments againstt her has been a quote that said...
"All of the legal defense funds out there, they are looking for people with court of appeals experience because the court of appeals is where policy is made," she said

and the Court of Appeals does NOT make policy. They interpret law. However, her detractors have purposely not included the whole of the quote which said...
"All of the legal defense funds out there, they are looking for people with court of appeals experience because the court of appeals is where policy is made," she said, laughing a bit through the next part: "And I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law. I know. Okay, I know. I'm not promoting it. I'm not advocating it. I know."

The second part of the quote puts it in an entriely different light. It makes you think asbout what else might have been misrepresented about her. Following through with these quotes, I could really get behind her if I truly felt her decisions supported what she said in 1997...
Sotomayor spoke of her judicial philosophy, saying "I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it."

But, I don't feel her published decisions and arguments support this supposed strict constitutionalist view.

And, the whole hullabaloo about her race bothers me. I think its fabulous that we may actually have a Latina on the Supreme Court. But, why is this so much more of an important step than when GW Bush selected Alberto Gonzales as his Attorney General. You didn't hear the media falling all over themselves about what an advancement that was for the Latino people. Was it because Gonzales was elevated to that position by a conservative? I don't know. But, the disparity of the responses bothers me.


Liz posted a kick ass version of the song Careless Whisper (originally done by Wham). I absolutely love the remake by Seether. Take a moment and listen.


I also have to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came by and read my post about Dr. Tiller and abortion over the past few days. I was frankly expecting at least a few trolls to come out of the woodwork and I didn't get a single negative comment. Y'all rock.

I do have to say that I am extremely amused that (at least so far) my post about such a controversial topic skates by and my post about a turkey tetrazzini recipe brought out a snarky troll.


And, I'm afraid I'm going to have to cave and agree to watch Bubba Ho Tep.

Have a great day y'all!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009