"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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Things I Learned In 2011

2011 was a wild, stressful, fabulous, and wonderful year and I'm still trying to figure out how it's over.
  • I learned that a crocheted penis is one of the greatest ice breakers you can have with you at a conference for women. I heard "Oh My God, is that what I think it is? Can I take a picture?" more times than you can even imagine this past summer. I wonder if a crocheted boob would have the same impact...somehow I doubt it.
  • I learned I can indulge my crafting habit, make some money and embarrass my oldest son all at the same time. Yes, I've made more Beanises since then and people are actually paying me for them.
  • I've learned that someone very close to me is suffering from infertility and it makes me angry that I can't just snap my fingers or wiggle my nose and make it all better for her.
  • I learned that I have both more patience than I ever imagined and, at the same time, far less patience than I imagined. My dear friend Rys and her family shared our house for about 3 1/2 months after their house was totaled by the Hurricane Irene floods. I love them dearly. I would open my house again to them in a heartbeat if they needed it...but, man oh man am I glad to have my space back. Honestly, I don't know how the Sister Wives make it work so seamlessly over such a long time because it is tough having that many people from two families under the same roof.
  • I had it confirmed that my husband is a truly wonderful man. He didn't even blink when I talked to him about Rys and her family coming here and was truly amazing about having them here. I don't know many men who would willingly open their house for that extended period.
  • I realized again that my kids rock. Bedroom switches were put on hold, space was given up, and, for the most part, toys and possessions were shared and they welcomed Rys and her family into our house.
  • I've found out I absolutely adore my Nook. Yup, the Nook hits the top of my list for coolest pesents this year.
  • I've learned that while the process of filing your eBooks onto shelves or organizing them by genre, author, etc isn't that complicated, it becomes infinitely more complex when you load 330+ files/books at once and have to categorize all of them at once. It took me 3 days, use of my Nook and my computer, and I still have 9 books somewhere on my Nook that have avoided being put on a shelf.
  • I've learned that many editors do a half-assed no-assed job when it comes to editing books that are put out digitally. When an otherwise good book is interrupted by paragraphs that go from normal width and appearance to a tiny column that is so narrow that only THE or A is short enough to not be hyphenated, someone has NOT done there job.
  • I also learned that Calibre is a life saver for anyone who owns an eReader. When you've bought a bunch of books for your Kindle app and then you've received a Nook for Christmas, it allows you to change formats so YOUR books can continue to be used on your new eReader.
  • I've also found that Calibre saves you from the previously mentioned half-assed editing. It's a problem when you have a book named The Story of XYZ and some lazy assed so and so has embeded the file with the name Microsoft word File - T. That really becomes a problem when you have multiple files with that fucked up naming issue because that fucked up Microsoft Word name is what shows up when you unknowingly load the poorly named files onto your ereader. Then you have 10+ books that you can't tell the difference between until you run them through reformatting in Calibre.
  • I've really learned to love my hair this year and want to know if I should keep it purple when I dye it again or if I should pick another Manic Panic shade.
  • I've found out my middle son is turning into a huge football fan and a Steelers  fan at that. He wants a Polmalu jersey...which is kind of appropriate with the hair Joey has.
  • I've learned that I still know more about computers than my children and that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.
  • I've learned that my baby sister is a bit of a hard head and have to thank her for the Christmas miracle her hard-headedness brought about.
  • I've learned that I'm not quite as resigned to never having a fourth child as I thought I was. I was hit with a serious case of baby lust and caught up in a bad case of regrets and what ifs when I found out a friend who was pregnant with her youngest daughter when I was briefly pregnant with Eva just gave birth to her third child, a beautiful little boy. Feeling I thought were long behind me reared their ugly head.
  • I've learned that once again my husband has fallen on the crappy end of the medical odds and he is already dealing with diabetic neuropathy in his feet. Diabetes fucking SUCKS.
  • I've learned (or re-learned) that I am truly blessed to be surrounded by a fabulous family and wonderful friends. We have a roof over our heads, food in our fridge, clothes on our backs, and my husband has a steady job with great benefits. I am blessed.
I hope each and every one of  you who take the time to stop by and read my blog realize just how important you are to me. While I do write for myself, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't pretty damned great to know there are people out there reading my words and caring about me. Y'all are fabulous. And, to my dear friends, the savvy women I treasure, my blogging and crafting sisters, I truly love each and every one of you. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas (or whichever holiday you recognize) and I hope 2012 brings you happiness and your heart's desire.

    Friday, December 30, 2011

    Late to the Game

    I've been out of touch the last (almost) two weeks and I have no excuse other than the fact that I got totally overwhelmed by holiday preparations, family stuff, and life in general. I promise that I thought a lot about blogging but that old, trite observation that the more you do something, the easier it gets is so true. After missing a few days of blogging, it seemed harder and harder to pick the pen back up.

    While I was in my 2 week blogging funk, I missed an amazing post by my personal Queen of the blogosphere, Mel. In her Occupy Blog Street post, she talks about how 99% of the bloggers out there never get recognized for their work, their writing in any significant way. She implores us, the 99%, to
    Occupy Blog Street. Sit down on your blog and write something today. Hit publish. Read everyone equally — mixing the 1% and 99% together to create a single entity. Ignore “best of” lists. Declare 2012 as the year of telling YOUR story and then tell it. (Though you may only get to December 21st because that’s when the world will officially end. We’ll all understand if you miss blogging those last few days of the year since none of us will be around to read those posts.)
    Since I missed Mel's original post, I want to say here and now that I am that 99% and I have been guilty of worrying too much about the responses a post got or didn't get. I have worried too much about what kind of stats my blog had and why certain writers had more followers than me. 2012 will be my year. It will be a year of writing for myself, writing from my heart. I will do my level best to write every day and, if I miss a day or two, I will forgive myself and jump right on back into writing.

    In an effort to expand my horizons and to truly mix the 1% and the 99%, I need help from each and every one of you. I need recommendations. I need names and links to posts of yours I might have missed out on and I need blog recommendations from you. Now, your personal posts don't have to be something overwhelmingly jaw dropping or inspirational. I just want it to be a post that means something to you (hint...any post on your blog). And, the blog recommendations...please point me to a favorite of yours. It could be a blog with 2 followers or more than 100. I promise I will check out each and every post and each and every blog you recommend.

    Bring on the linkage!

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    20(ish) Questions - Christmas Style

    I am stealing this from Stacie, who stole it from Danifred, who in turn stole it from Rebecca. I think I'll also steal Stacie's idea and think of this as sharing instead of stealing!

    1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I really prefer wrapping paper. I truly love carefully wrapping a present and doing fancy wraps with the ribbons.

    2. Real tree or Artificial? REAL...I honestly tried to talk myself into a pre-lit artificial tree a few years back and I just couldn't do it. I love the smell and feel of a real tree. I don't even mind cleaning up the needles after the holiday. I have too many memories tied to a real tree.

    3. When do you put up the tree?
    We usually put up the tree between the 10th and 15th...not any earlier because it's a real tree.

    4. When do you take the tree down? We take the tree down around January 7th. Epiphany (or the end of the 12 days of Christmas aka when the three wise men visited the baby Jesus) is always on January 6th and we leave our tree up until then.

    5. Do you like eggnog?
    Yes, I love eggnog. I love it by itself. I love it in coffee. I also love it spiked...yum yum.

    6. Favorite gift received as a child?My parents were always great at picking out gifts. I remember loving my Barbie Townhouse and the full set of the Black Stallion books I got.

    7. Do you have a nativity scene?
    I do. It's not my ideal set but I like it.

    8. Hardest person to buy for? I honestly don't have anyone that is hard to buy for. Guess I'm lucky that way.

    9. Easiest person to buy for? My sons are all easy to buy for.

    10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
    Snail mail cards

    11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Dunno, I'm such a sappy sentimentalist that Something about every gift has made me smile.

    12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I really love White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street

    13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
    I always mean to start early but I usually don't.

    14. Ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope

    15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? cookies and fudge and stuffing...just not together

    16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored everywhere and I really want some of the new LED lights.

    17. Favorite Christmas song? I have a soft spot for all Christmas music...just not until Thanksgiving. One of my favorites is "Mary, did you know?"

    18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? depends on the year.

    19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Sure can - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen...Rudolph cam later

    20. Angel on the tree top or a star? an angel - beautiful, lacy, and lit

    21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
    Christmas morning

    22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? I get annoyed when the music and the decorations start in the beginning of November.

    23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? I have no theme. My tree is decorated with everything from imported Italian ornaments to paper ones made by the kids.

    24. What do you want for Christmas this year? if my Christmas fantasies came true, I would be the proud owner of a Kindle and either a smoking fast laptop or a tablet computer.

    So, can I talk any of y'all into joining me in my Christmas thievery sharing? Pretty please.

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Friday Night Leftovers: the oh crap there are only 8 shopping days left edition

    It's time for Friday Night Leftovers hosted by the fabulous Danifred of Sippy Cups Are Not For Starbucks...
    • I am so proud of Marty. He just got his second promotion in ROTC. He is seriously kicking ass.
    • We just got Marty's ROTC pictures back. He looks so grown up.
    • The creeping crud has invaded our house and it won't go away. There has been at least one sick kid at home every day for the past week and a half. Please dear God let us be better for Christmas.
    • My tree is up and it's gorgeous. I got an almost 10 foot tree for only $50 because I offered to talk about them on my blog. Post coming soon.
    • Gabe and T were in the Christmas concert at school the other night, Gabe was just thrilled beyond belief to get to perform in front of everyone.
    • Gabe is once again ahead of his brothers in one department. Because Gabe decided it was appropriate to go into the bathroom at school with his eyes closed, he managed to slam the door in on of his friend's faces. The poor kid got hit in the nose and Gabe had to go talk to the vice-principal. That makes 2 visits in less than half a school year.
    • I got to do lots of Christmas shopping today, including my shopping for the angel tree. I had so much fun and it truly put me in the Christmas spirit.
    Head on over to Danifred's and check out the rest of the leftovers. Y'all have anything you want to share with us

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    My Turn To Give Back

    Y'all, I have been given the most fabulous opportunity to really spread the Christmas cheer. EdenFantasys is hosting a program called Eden Gives Back for a second year. The Eden Gives Back program asks the EdenFantasys community to raise money by either donating your gift cards or donating points (and EdenFantasys donated double the value of the point the community donated). They also asked a few lucky Eden community members to volunteer to go out and shop for charity with the money raised. EdenFantasys and the community they've built really are about more than sex toys.

    Tomorrow, I get to go out and shop for two beautiful little babies who were listed on the local Salvation Army Angel Tree...Areceli who is only 1 yr old and Gabrielle who is also only 1. I am so excited because the incredible generosity of this community means that I get to fill those little girl's dressers with all kinds of pretty things and maybe make their parents' holidays a little easier. I will also be able to buy some toys which will fill the need for fun stuff to round out the donations of clothes. Ya know, honestly, I'm not sure what the best part of this experience will be for me...maybe it will be shopping for little girl's stuff after years of buying for my boys, spending someone else's money, or really getting to dive into the spirit of the season.

    Seriously, y'all, if you haven't checked out EdenFantasys, give it a chance. Not only do they have all kinds of fab products, but the people that hang out there are pretty damned cool too.

    If you are in a position to give back this season, what are you doing this year? Do you have a special tradition, a unique way to give back to the community you live in?
    Sexy Christmas gifts from EdenFantasys - the sex toys shop you can trust!

    While I will receive a gift card from EdenFantasys, all opinions in this post are entirely my own.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    The Secret Sperminator

    How would you feel if a newspaper came to you and told you your husband or partner had donated sperm to at least 9 couples and at least 3 of them were pregnant? Additionally, he had done this completely without your knowledge and didn't plan on telling you until after the children were born.

    That is the situation facing Kathy Johnson, *"former Mrs. Alabama, a former director of the Alabama Broadband Initiative, a former director of Children First Foundation and director of the Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy." Mrs. Johnson's husband, Bill, a former top state official and Republican gubernatorial candidate in Alabama, has been working in New Zealand with the recovery effort from the deadly earthquake. While in New Zealand, Bill decided to pursue a desire to be a biological father, a desire he should have given up when he married a woman who had had a hysterectomy. Not only did Bill pursue this without his wife's knowledge but he pursued it without going through the rigorous screening processes in place in New Zealand's fertility clinics. He chose to go through online donor registries to meet women who wanted to get pregnant. Additionally, Bill compromise the very values he claimed to believe in during his campaign (values I don't share). Instead of holding tight to his anti-gay marriage stance, he donated to at least one lesbian couple.

    Furthermore, Bill Johnson is now upset about the newspaper story dealing with his activities. He *"said publication of the story would make it difficult for him to stay in New Zealand. 'I've been trying to get my wife over here, my family over here ... so I can be around for these children,' Johnson said, according to the Herald." As if what he did wasn't bad enough, he had been trying to uproot his wife and family and move them to the other side of the world when he didn't even plan on telling them about the babies until after they were born. This secret sperminator is truly a scum sucking bottom feeder.

    How would you react to something like this? Kathy Johnson has (so far) reacted with class and dignity. I think I might have gone for the cut his balls off response. Weigh in with your opinion.

    Quote marked with a * are taken from a story on al.com
    More information can be found in a Montgomery Advertiser article

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    For Shame: a major corporate fail

    Every once in a while, I read or hear a story that really disappoints me, that is really disheartening. Today was one of those days.

    TLC has a new reality show called All-American Muslim. It follows the daily life of 5 Muslim American families and lets us get a peak inside their world. The families being followed offer a cross section of society...everyone from a couple of newly weds to a local football coach are featured on this show...and each family involved has said they are part of this show because they want the rest of America to know they are just like them. Basically, the show seeks to show the human face behind the religion and to remind the rest of America that Muslim and terrorist are not synonymous.

    Sadly, a corporate powerhouse, Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, has chosen to listen to an extreme conservative group called Florida Family Association who says that All-American Muslim is *"propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values." Instead of standing by their professed all American values, Lowe's has pulled all their advertising from this show. They are trying to appease people by saying *"Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views," the statement said. "As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance." If this was a program about being Jewish in America, no company would dare pull their advertising for fear of being labeled anti-semetic. How dare a corporation like Lowe's treat Muslims differently and hope to get away with it?

    Grassroots movements are already starting against Lowe's. California state senator Ted Lieu has publicly stated he might call for a boycott or even pursue legislative action if Lowe's doesn't change there position. While I think legislative action isn't necessary, I do support a grassroots boycott. I for one will be driving across town to Home Depot until something changes.

    Meanwhile, if you want to get a true picture of what it means to be a Muslim in America, check out the TLC show, watch this video

    or check out any of these following websites...
    Muslims in America: A Statistical Portrait
    5 Myths about Muslims in America
    The National Muslim-Christian Initiative
    A Common Word Between Us and You

    Weigh in with your opinion and tell me how you think people should handle this?

    All quotes marked with a * were taken from an AP news article about this situation

    Friday, December 09, 2011

    Kristin vs. the tree

    This weekend, we'll be going out to get our Christmas tree. We always wait until at least the second week in December because I have to have a real tree. We tend to make a bit of a production of getting our tree. It's part of the whole Christmas celebration for us. A few years ago, we added a new element to our whole Christmas tree production. We started tying our tree to the wall. Yes, really...we tie the tree to the wall.

    A number of years ago, before Gabe was born, we were setting up our Christmas tree. We had this phenomenal tree, about 9 ft tall and super full, and we had a nice, new big tree stand to put it up in. Vic and I had managed to get that big mother up in the stand and we were letting it stand so the branches could settle open. We had filled the stand with water and I finally had a chance to sit down at the computer.

    Well, I didn't get to sit down very long. In less than 15 minutes, I heard a shriek from the living room. As I rounded the corner I saw Marty clinging desperately to a branch of the tree. He's leaning back and the tree is leaning way over. I don't know how the hell he kept that tree from hitting the ground, but he did. However, whatever he did to tip the tree emptied at least a gallon of water from the stand onto the ground. It was such a mess. With help from Vic, we got the tree re-situated in the stand. It was once again secure...or so I thought.

    Later in the day, it was time to decorate our behemoth. We had almost all of our ornaments on...the Sesame Street ornaments, my imported Italian glass ornaments, the ornaments we got on our honeymoon. The tree was looking truly gorgeous. All that was left was for Marty to hang the Grinch ornament. Now, Marty has a unique tradition with that Grinch ornament. In his mind, it's an ornament so it HAD to go on the tree but it was that mean old Grinch so it needed to be hidden. The problem that year was the way Marty decided to get the Grinch into the inside of the tree. Marty decided to go under the tree and come up on the inside of the tree in order to hang the Grinch in his hiding place. Wanna know how that worked out? *Not too good. Marty went up, the tree went over, and then, the tree hit the ground. All the ornaments save the Grinch were already on the tree and the tree was on the fucking ground. I had horrific visions of broken ornaments and having to undecorate the tree to be able to resecure it in the stand. I think there were only two things that saved Marty's life at that moment...1) only two ornaments broke and neither broken one was special in any way and 2) despite the screws from the tree stand biting deep into the tree when it fell, all it took to get it standing straight and tall again was to rotate the tree a little and tighten the screws again.

    At that point, I decided enough was enough. I was going to fix it so that damned tree couldn't ever go over again. I marched out to the van and got the twine that had secured the tree to the top of the van. Then, I went up the hill to our shed and found my drill and to eye bolts. I hauled my trusty two step metal step stool out of it's corner and put those damned eye bolts into the wall studs.  I was standing on the top step of my step stool with the twine tied to one eye bolt. I leaned forward a little bit to wrap the twine around the truck and, that's when it happened. As I was leaning out (just a little mind you), I felt my foot slip. I think my foot must have been a little damp from my trip outdoors to get the tools because I sure as hell wasn't leaning far enough to account for the fall. The foot slipped, the knee loudly popped, and I hit the floor in the one small area I could hit without banging my head. My knee popped so loudly that I thought I had broken it again.

    So, there I was, lying on the floor in an immense amount of pain and the damned tree wasn't even tied to the wall yet. A trip to the **ER in an ambulance assured me that my knee wasn't broken. A smart husband made sure the tree was secured to the eye bolts in the wall before I got home. And, the tree stayed upright for the rest of the Christmas season. I think that while the tree may have won the battle, I definitely won the war. To this day, our trees get tied to the wall before even one ornament goes on it. I even learned two very important lessons that day...1) step stools are evil bastards that ambush you when your feet are wet, and 2) the tree never wins.

    So y'all, your assignment is to share one ridiculous holiday story with me. Maybe something that makes me feel not so alone in my klutziness. Spill it!

    Wednesday, December 07, 2011

    A Day Which Will Live In Infamy

    Despite the fact that I have some awesome What The Fuck Wednesday material, I won't be running it today. It just seemed wrong to be laughing at idiocy on a day when some of the last heroes of the Greatest Generation are gathering for the last time.

    Today was the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many of our brave men lost their lives that day and the lucky ones who survived have had the National Pearl Harbor Survivors Association to be a part of. Not only does this December mark the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, it also marks the end of the National Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Since the 7,000 to 8,000 Pearl Harbor survivors are old enough that travel is a big issue, the National organization is disbanding. I just want to take a moment to offer a final salute to the men, the warriors, the generation that did so much for us.
    Marco Garcia/AP Photo

    Tuesday, December 06, 2011

    Tasty Tuesday: Happy Happy Birthday!

    To celebrate my birthday, I decided that I'd share the birthday cakes I made for T and Gabe's party this past weekend. Gabe specifically requested a Draclea (Dracula in Gabe speak) cake and T asked fora Princess's castle cake.
    Both these cakes were made with the chocolate cake recipe from last Tuesday. They were absolutely delicious. If you try out the recipe, let me know what you think?

    Monday, December 05, 2011

    In Which I Made An Ass of Myself

    I didn't have a very good afternoon. You know those cheesy motivational posters that tell you to be the best you that you can be. Well, I definitely wasn't the best Kristin I could be this afternoon. We've had a few things go wrong lately (my van isn't behaving and Vic's also needs a repair & a few other stressful things) and I let it all get to me. Marty and I ended up arguing over me helping him with math (which hasn't happened in ages) and then my mom called. She was returning Gabe's phone call and, when they were done chatting, she got me on the phone. She offered to go to Marty's appointment with me later this week and, instead of being grateful that she wanted to help out, I got snarly and snippy because I assumed she was offering to come because she didn't think I could advocate for my son.

    Once we got through dinner and the kids were settled in watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, I called my mom back to apologize. That's when I really started to feel like shit. I could hear the tears in my mom's voice and it made me want to cry myself. My mom truly only wanted to help because she was worried about the car situation and worried because I was so tired. My mom was also hurting because of the physical therapy she went through earlier today and that brought emotions to the forefront. I apologized and apologized again.We had a great conversation and I had her laughing by the end...but, I still feel like shit for reacting the way I did. So I decided I had to apologize publicly.

    I love you mom and I'm sorry. I know you only were trying to help. I never want to make you cry.

    Saturday, December 03, 2011

    The Crash After The Sugar High

    Oh my God am I ever tired. Today was the dual birthday party for T and Gabe. So, in the past few days we have busted ass cleaning the house and getting ready for the party. I also baked and decorated two kick ass cakes...a princess palace cake and a Draclea (Gabe speak for Dracula) cake.

    We had a houseful today. Counting our children, there were 18 children here for the party. There were also 7 adults from the family and 5 (I think) guest parents. It was loud, crazy, wild, and wonderful. They bounced on the trampoline, had sword battles, beat the crap out of a pinata, and ate tons of cake. The look on T's face when all the kids were singing happy birthday to her and Gabe was just priceless. She looked thrilled beyond belief. And Gabe had a blast. Some of his favorite people from school and some of the favorite adults in his life were able to be here.

    I took a bunch of pictures but haven't had a chance to edit any of them. I'll try to have them to show y'all in the next day or two. Right now, I'm going to crawl off to bed and get some much needed rest. I am tired.

    Friday, December 02, 2011

    Happy Birthday my Gabriel

    My dearest darling Gabriel,
    I can't begin to express how much joy I experience being your mommy. The simple fact that you exist, that we actually got to bring you home, is a miracle that stuns me to my very core.

    You are such a sweet, funny kid with an incredibly infectious laugh. Sometimes, I see people smile just because they hear you laughing. You truly have a wicked sense of humor which, like most boys, has a tendency to veer towards gross, body humor. I think you must have learned that from your brothers.

    I am also incredibly impressed by the intelligence I see you demonstrate. You may only be in kindergarten but you can already count to 100 and more. You also know that 5+5 = 10 and 6+4 = 10. I got the biggest kick tonight listening to you explain to the older kids that there is a difference between wants and needs and that electronics are a want (although I think I'm awfully dependent on the internet).

    I LOVE that you seem to be developing a geeky streak and you made me so very proud when you walked into the room a month or so ago, glanced at the TV, and said "Are you watching Dr. Who?" How cool is it that you recognize one of my favorite shows already?

    I am so lucky that I get to volunteer in your kindergarten class this year. It has been beyond awesome watching you learn and grow and develop socially. And, I truly love getting to eat lunch with you once a week. I know someday it won't be cool to have mom around but, right now, you seem to love it and I'm loving the time we have together.

    Happy 6th Birthday my beautiful, wonderful, miracle boy! You are the love of my life.

    Love, Mom

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    What The Fuck Wednesday: Brothels

    Welcome back to What The Fuck Wednesday, the prime location to read about products, items, and events that make your head snap around and your mouth utter the phrase "What the fuck is that?"

    My husband was flipping through the TV schedule last night and I looked up and saw this...
    If you can't read it due to the crappy picture quality, it says Brothels: The Ins and Outs. I mean it's not as far out as some of the other things I've feature but this program title evoked the proper level of What the Fucknuttery.

    If you've found a what the fuck Wednesday worthy moment, throw up a post and add your link through the Linky widget. If you don't want to post, share your What The Fuck moment here.

    Get started on Christmas...

    Hey y'all, in addition to my Mr.Popper's Penguins giveaway, there is another fabulous giveaway you MUST NOT enter. Check ‘n Go and Creating Motherhood have teamed up and have a $500 gift card up for grabs. This giveaway will make one of Dresden's readers (me,me,me,me,me,me,me) a very happy person. So, go enter the $500 gift card giveaway (just don't win because I need to win).

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Tasty Tuesday: World's Best Chocolate Cake

    Hey y'all...I have to share this recipe with you. I found a recipe a while back and tweaked it here and there to come up with this...

    World's Best Chocolate Cake
    3 cups packed brown sugar
    1 cup butter or margarine, softened
    4 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 cup baking cocoa
    1 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tbsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
    1 1/3 cups boiling super hot water

    Honestly, the original recipe looked like it would be super finicky. It had you mixing things one at a time and using different bowls. It was a pain in the ass. Just for giggles,  I decided to try the dump it all in a bowl and mix it method. Guess what? It worked. The cake was so moist and delicious. It turned out perfectly. Bake in two greased and floured 9 in pans at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

    Sorry I don't have any pictures. I'll be using this recipe for Gabe and T's cakes for this weekend and I'll be sure to get pictures then.

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Perfect Moment Monday: Happy Anniversary

    Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart. Lori says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

    A week ago Saturday, Vic and I went out on a date. We actually got to go out and celebrate our anniversary. Now, for many people, this might not seem remarkable but with Vic's work schedule and the kid's schedules, it's a rare occasion that the money to go out and the time to go out actually coincide. We both got cleaned up...
    excuse the goofy smile and closed eyes...my
    camera sucked and this was the best picture I got

    Then, we headed out for the night. We headed to The Hibernian and had a nice relaxing dinner. It was such a pleasant change of pace to not have to worry about feeding the kids or telling them to stop bugging each other. We both had a delicious dinner and I even had a drink.
    An Orange Creamsicle with Peach Schnapps,
    Whipped Cream Vodka, OJ, and Milk
    Since Rys and her husband were watching the kids, we didn't have to worry about hurrying home. We were able to just hang out together after dinner. We went and wandered through a few stores, checked out a few places we'd been meaning to see, and truly got to enjoy each other's company. It was a rare pleasure and a truly perfect moment.

    Go check out the other perfect moments at this month's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Today, I am Thankful

    Last night, I found myself getting short tempered and frustrated. It wasn't anything anyone had done. It just seemed like every time I settled down, I would get called by Marty to help him to the bathroom or help him get something or just something. We are almost a month into this medical issue with Marty and, while he is slowly getting better, he still can't fully move around by himself. To put it bluntly, I am frustrated and tired and a little bitty part of me is scared. I am ready for life to go back to normal. I am ready to have three healthy, active boys. I am ready for all three boys to go running through the house. And, a little part of me is scared that things won't ever get back to normal. I am ready for this to be done.

    I can't put the blame for my frustration on Marty. He has dealt with this better than almost any 14 year old I know. Hell, I don't think I could have dealt as well as he has with this when I was 14. Marty has been mostly cheerful. He is doing everything he can to fulfill his responsibilities. He is even wearing his uniform on the designated day for ROTC. I guess my frustration is really a manifestation of my worry for Marty.

    And, then today, I got smacked in the face by reality and I truly felt like shit for giving in to my frustration for even a minute. See, today, we went to church. We attended the contemporary service like we almost always do. And, a few rows ahead of us, a lovely family was sitting. I've talked to them a time or two and know they are good people and they have charming children. This family has a beautiful little girl who will never walk on her own. I don't know the specifics of the little girl's disability. but I know she will never walk without her walker and I get the impression that she has other problems that will prevent her from ever living independently. Seeing this lovely little girl reminded me that some children will never have a chance of recovering from a disability. Now, this doesn't mean they can't live a happy and fulfilled life. It just means they don't even have a chance to live without a disability. Marty is likely to recover completely. The odds are better than good that he will be 100% fine. So, I need to get off the pity train, suck it up, and do whatever I can to help Marty and help him recover. At least, he has that chance. Today, I am thankful for that chance.

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Mr. Popper's Penguins DVD Giveaway

    I know there are a lot of you out there who are disturbingly organized and plan way, way ahead and that means you're already ready for Christmas. For the rest of us normal people, I have a great giveaway for you. Y'all, it's time to enter to win a copy of the fabulously funny movie, Mr. Popper's Penguins,
    and a super cool Popper's Penguins ice cube tray.
    These would be really great family gifts or even stocking stuffers depending on your family's preferences. I already told y'all how much my entire family loved the movie but I have to admit I am really excited about the ice cube tray. I'm not planning on making ice cubes though. I found out that you can use the ice cube trays and similar candy molds to make your own shaped crayons. The only rub is that you can't use the ice cube trays for ice or the candy molds for candy after making crayons in them. If you gather up all the broken pieces parts of crayons and put them in the molds, you can then microwave them and melt the crayons into the shapes (click here to find complete instructions). You can either make solid colored crayons or multi-hued crayons. I can't wait to make some penguin crayons. They're going to be so cute.

    Mr. Popper's Penguins becomes available on DVD on Dec. 6th, my birthday, and I thought I'd celebrate by ending my giveaway on that day. All you have to do is click the read more like and enter through the Rafflecopter form. And, just because I love crafty ideas and using things in unintended ways (like the ice trays and candy molds), I'll give you 4 entries if you comment and tell me your favorite crafty repurposing of a household object.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    Friday Night Leftovers: a post Thanksgiving edition

    It's time for Friday Night Leftovers hosted by the fabulous Danifred of Sippy Cups Are Not For Starbucks...
    • I discovered Pinterest on a holiday is a very, very dangerous place to be. I've gained 7 boards and almost 300 pins since we last talked.
    • Thanks to Pinterest I now know exactly why I love Betty White. It's this quote..."Why do people say grow some balls?  Balls are weak and sensitive. If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding."
    • The other thing I found that I loved was a picture of the Kardashian girls on Kim's wedding day with the caption...Kim Kardashian made $17 million off her wedding, divorced 72 days later, and they're worried about gays ruining the sanctity of marriage?
    • When Vic and I went out for our anniversary last weekend, we went to a great little Irish restaurant called The Hibernian. Can anyone explain to me why an Irish restaurant has a Toucan as their symbol? Seriously, click on the link and see.
    • One week and counting until the double birthday party. That's right, Gabe and T are having their parties together. Please pray for good weather and no more than half the kids showing up.
    • Shit...only one week. I have to get my ass in gear and get the presents done.
    • The Mr. Popper's Penguins giveaway will go up tomorrow (Saturday). Make sure you stop by to enter.
    • Saturday is the last day to enter my EdenFantasys giveaway. Don't miss out. There are 2 gift cards up for grabs.
    • A good friend has a second interview on Monday for what seems to be a great job. Keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer for him.
    Head on over to Danifred's and check out the rest of the leftovers. Y'all have anything you want to share with us?

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    T.O.O. T.I.R.E.D. T.O. T.H.I.N.K.

    Honestly y'all, I had a wonderful day and I had planned a wonderful post but I'm too tired to think. I'll be back tomorrow with a coherent thought or two.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Thanksgiving Eve

    Sorry, there's no What The Fuck Wednesday today. I was too busy and simply forgot it was Wednesday. I mean some part of me knew it was Wednesday because it's the day before Thanksgiving but I forgot I was suppose to be posting What The Fuck Wednesday.
    I'm tired, my feet hurt, and, every time I bend over, my lower back calls me names. But, these are all good things because it means I am almost 100% prepared for Thanksgiving. The smells of sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, and caramel apple crunch pie are wafting through the house. The turkey is going in the oven before I go to bed tonight and we'll wake up to the smells of turkey and stuffing filling the house. Tomorrow, we will finish up the few things that need finishing and we'll watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

    There are so many things I have to be thankful for this year.
    • I have a fabulous husband who loves me beyond reason. How many men do you know who would welcome another family into his house without knowing how long it would need to be for? 
    • I have 3 amazing boys (check out my proud mommy moment over at The Kir Corner) and they are all doing well in school. 
    •  Marty is getting better slowly but surely.
    • I've gotten to spend tons of time with one of my best friends, a sister by choice.
    • We have 10 people living in our house and, for the most part, everyone is getting along. Sure, there are moments we all drive each other crazy but, for the most part, we are living together as one large family.
    • I got to go to BlogHer with 2 of my other sisters by choice.
    • My mom is recovering incredibly well from her shoulder replacement. She's already far out stripping the predictions for her recovery.
    • I have the most amazing group of bloggy friends in the universe...women who love and laugh and live together despite being separated by hundreds if not thousands of miles.
    • I have my thugette.
    I truly could go on and on but all I really want to say is thank you. Thank you for coming back here time and time again. Thank you for making me believe I can really write. Thank you for your love and support.


    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    My Secret Girl Crush

    When you blog about your family, there seem to be certain days you are almost obliged to blog about...birthdays, anniversaries, blogoversaries, and more. Monday was one of those days for me, my 17th wedding anniversary. I had really intended to write about my husband today but then I read something about Michelle Obama (thanks Reader's Digest) and decided I had to write about that instead. After all, my husband knows how madly in love with him I am...one blog post wouldn't make a difference. Sometimes, you just have to break protocol and write to the mood of the moment.

    I know many of you have been reading this blog for a while and you know that I was solidly in Obama's camp during the last election. I have been sorely disappointed by many things that have happened during this administration but one thing I haven't been disappointed or disillusioned about is the character of the Obamas. I may disagree with many of their political actions but I truly admire them as people...and I kind of have a girl crush on Michelle Obama. She's smart, savvy, has a truly amazing sense of style, and supports causes that are near and dear to my heart. I love that she is such a strong supporter of military families. I absolutely LOVE that she shows girls and women that it's ok to be strong, opinionated, and independent and still be deeply in love with your partner.

    I think my all time favorite quote from Michelle Obama has nothing to do with politics. Back in 2009, she was interviewed for Glamour magazine and she was talking about picking a partner. Mrs. Obama said
    "Cute's good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it's, Who are you as a person? That's the advice I would give to women: Don't look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn't know. And more important, how does he treat you? You should never feel less than."
    That really and truly says it all.I got lucky and found that all in one package...the heart, the soul, the charmer, and the looks (I love you Vic).

    Who do you admire? Tell us a little about why they earned your admiration.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Popping In For The Holidays

    Thanks to the folks at 20th Century Fox and ThinkJam, there was a Mr.Popper's Penguins viewing party at my house this weekend. The movie follows Jim Carrey's Mr. Popper as he inherits 6 penguins. As Mr. Popper gets to know the penguins, chaos that ensues, his life seems to fall apart, and Mr. Popper ultimately learns some important life lessons.. Oh hell, I don't know why I'm summarizing it, I'm sure y'all have seen the trailers for this movie and have a clue as to the basic story.

    If you haven't seen the movie, what y'all may not know is that Jim Carrey is pure comedic gold in this movie and that the adults will enjoy the movie as much as the kids do.  Sure, the kiddos will laugh at a whole different series of jokes than the adults do but there are jokes for EVERYONE. Thanks to Jim Carrey's comedic abilities, the story and it's lessons never get too heavy handed.  Mr. Popper's Penguins is definitely worth the watch.

    BTW, 20th Century Fox has also put out some penguin themed activity sheets that your kids might like. Hell, who am I kidding? I had fun with the activity sheets. Yeah, I have to confess. I drew a penguin and conquered the maze. My kids have been swamped with school work and, while Joey did have me print out copies of the activity sheets for him, I don't think they'll get a chance to do them until Thanksgiving break. If you need a break from the holiday hubbub, click on each of the activity sheets below and it will take you to a large, printable copy.

    PS...once you click on the pic of the activity sheet and your computer opens the larger pic in a new window, click on the pic in the new window to enlarge it to it's maximum sise.

    PPS...tune in later this week for a Mr. Popper giveaway.

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    My Latest, Greatest Obsession

    When I fall for something, I tend to fall completely head over heels. My latest, greatest obsession is Pinterest. I posted once before about Pinterest and what a delightful time suck it is and my time lost there has just gotten worse. I've gone from 23 boards and 100+ pins to 34 boards and over 800 pins...but, man oh man have I found some cool shit.

    I found this gorgeous necklace...
    laughed my ass off at the pure silliness of this...
    decided I really need to make my own flavored marshmallows...
    developed a strange obsession with making my own fake geodes...
    decided I really, really need to get this bookshelf closet door for my bedroom closet...
    and discovered the fabulous geekiness of Goodnight iPad...
    What cool or interesting or fabulously geeky things have you run across recently?

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree (GIVEAWAY)

    "Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me
    I've been an awful good girl
    Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight"

    While a sable under the tree isn't likely, I've come up with a list of equally fun and pretty romantic things that Santa could slip under my tree. Tonight,Vic and I went out to dinner to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. Sure, it was a few days early but you have to seize the moment to escape the kids when it presents itself. And, since it was a romantic outing, I started thinking...wouldn't it be nice if I got something from Santa that would give a little boost to our love life? I think someone must have been listening because I came home to find an EdenFantasys email in my inbox.
    Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

    While EdenFantasys does sell sex toys, it was like someone was catering to me with all the products mentioned in the latest email. EdenFantasys is now carrying a line of beauty and body products, makeup, sexy holiday outfits, and even club wear. I was especially enticed by some of the massage kits. The first item that caught my eye was the Sweet Heart chocolate box sensual kit...
    Doesn't that look divine? That box looks like a high end box of delicious chocolate and the creme brulee massage cream sounds amazing.

    For you heathens that don't like chocolate (yeah, I can't believe it either, but they do exist), EdenFantasys has the Sweet Heart strawberry box sensual kit...
    The strawberry box is just as beautiful as the chocolate box and I think they would be fabulous in tandem.

    I also wouldn't mind seeing the Earthly delights gift set. It offers you massage oils and honey dust in a variety of flavors - almond, honey, and mint.
    This fabulous kit comes in a really cool decorative tin. It might just work well to story some of your sex toys when you are done using the kit.

    Now y'all, it wouldn't be very nice of me to talk about all these goodies I want to see under my tree without sharing the wealth with you. In celebration of the holiday spirit, I'm giving away not just one but two EdenFantasys gift cards...one for $55 and one for $25.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Friday Night Leftovers:Too Much Stuff Going On

    It's time for Friday Night Leftovers hosted by the fabulous Danifred of Sippy Cups Are Not For Starbucks...
    • Rys and I were creating our Thanksgiving menu. We'll be having Turkey, Smoked Ham, Apple/Sausage/Walnut stuffing, Mashed potatoes, a savory sweet potato dish, green bean casserole, glazed carrots, homemade cranberry sauce, croissants, pumpkin pie, caramel apple crunch pie, and Swedish coffee cake
    • We are also planning a dual birthday party for Gabe and Rys's youngest daughter on the first weekend in December.
    • Luckily, neither Gabe or T want to invite their whole class.
    • However, between the two of them we have an invitation list of about 24 kids.
    • Please, please pray that the weather is good and only half the kids show up.
    • Joey is getting ready to take a trip with his cub scout pack. They are going to spend the night on the USS Yorktown down in South Carolina. My dad is taking Joey on his trip because it is scheduled for the same weekend as Gabe's party.
    • I think I might have got myself put in charge of compiling the school's student directory. God bless google docs and how easy it makes it.
    • Bionic Grandma is already far outstripping the recovery her docs expected. Her damaged muscle is regrowing and she's regained a great range of motion.
    • My parents found out the Hurricane Irene did some serious damage to their roof...mostly water damage. Luckily, their insurance company is covering the complete repair. Unfortunately, they will be getting an entire new roof and new ceiling in 4 out of the 5 major rooms in the house.
    • I have two exceptionally cool giveaways in the works. Make sure you check back for news on them.
    • PLEASE do me a favor and stop by my Thursday post and wish my son, Joey, a Happy Belated Birthday. It would mean a lot if you took the time.

    Head on over to Danifred's and check out the rest of the leftovers. Y'all have anything you want to share with us?

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Happy 11th Birthday Joey (belated due to posting errors)

    I feel bad because this post was suppose to go live on Tuesday but I screwed up and saved as a draft vs. saving and posting. Can y'all help me out by wishing Joey a belated happy birthday?

    Dear Joey,

    I can't begin to tell you how lucky I am to be your mom and how proud I am of the young man you are growing into. You are such a funny, imaginative kid and I love that you are developing a real interest in sci-fi (beyond  your understandable passion for Star Wars). It is so very cool that I can share things like Dr. Who and Star Trek with you. It thrills me to my geeky core that I can sit and discuss the theories behind these shows with you and it's a real give and take discussion, not just you humoring mom and her nonsense.

    I truly love that I am seeing your passion for learning grow and expand this year. I'm thrilled that you are getting such good grades in school but, more than that, I am thrilled to see how hard you are working at it. Anyone blessed with the right genetics can be smart but it takes someone special to really work at it. I hope to see that drive and determination continue to flourish in the years to come.

    And, Joey, the thing I think I love the most about you is that underneath that goofy, funny exterior there is a truly kind and gentle soul. You treat others with kindness and respect and you are so loving and protective with your little brother. While I don't have a crystal ball that lets me see who and what you become in the future, I can tell you that I have no doubt I will be proud of the man you become.

    Happy Birthday my sweet boy.

    Love, Mom

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    What The Fuck Wednesday: PETA vs. Mario

    Welcome back to What The Fuck Wednesday, the prime location to read about products, items, and events that make your head snap around and your mouth utter the phrase "What the fuck is that?"

    See that cute little picture of Mario over to the left? According to PETA, that cute little Mario is the current root of all eeeeeeevil in PETA's campaign against wearing fur. PETA has launched an anti-Mario campaign to correspond with the release of Super MarioLand 3D because, according to PETA, Mario wearing a Tanooki suit to gain powers promotes the wearing of fur and the killing and skinning of Tanukis for their fur. I guess when you have an agenda like PETA, it doesn't matter that Mario has been wearing the Tanooki suit since the late 80s/early 90s. It also really doesn't matter that one of the programmers of the original Mario game with this suit (Super Mario Brothers 3) was quoted in a widely publicized interview that the reason they featured the Tanooki suit as a way for Mario to get his powers because they wanted to bring attention to the plight of the Tanuki. I guess it also doesn't matter that Mario has been stomping on the poor beleaguered turtles for longer than he's been wearing a Tanooki suit (thanks for the point Jeff Bakalar).  All that matters is that PETA needs something to demonize to promote their agenda.

    PETA has even gone as far as producing a flash game on a page called Mario Kills Tanooki and this game lets you play as a skinned Tanuki trying to reclaim it's pelt. I'm not giving you the link because I truly don't want to boost the sites traffic in any way but here's a screen shot of it.
    Seriously, what the fuck is this world coming to when this much time and energy is wasted on what a cute little cartoon character wears?

    If you've found a what the fuck Wednesday worthy moment, throw up a post and add your link through the Linky widget. If you don't want to post, share your What The Fuck moment here.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    The Birds and The Bees

    You haven't quite lived as a mom until you get to go to your yearly GYN visit and have your exam with a screaming baby/toddler sprawled across your chest and you haven't quite lived as a parent until your child comes home from middle school and asks you what teabagging is. Before you ask, yes, I have experienced both.

    Thanks to life conspiring against me and (I sometimes think) careful planning by my husband, I've gotten stuck with giving the talk to both our oldest sons. In both cases, little things the kids had said lead me to believe it was necessary to give them the facts pronto. In one case, we were on the puberty roller coaster and it was hell. In the other case, my son made a comment about a girl bumping into him being like her trying to have sex with him. Kid A needed to know why his mood was all over the place and why he was being such a royal pain in the ass and Kid B needed to know what sex was and why we don't compare bumping to sex.

    It's kind of funny. Even though we knew there was a *deadline for giving our kids the talk, both our older boys got the talk at a different time. M has always seemed so much older, sort of an old soul and he had such a rough go of it with puberty that he got the talk in 4th grade when he was almost 10. J has always seemed more or a free spirit, not immature but younger than M seemed at the same age, which is why he didn't get the talk until recently...just shy of his 11th birthday. With each kid, the talk was personalized. I gave them both the basic details of puberty and how it happens. I also gave them the bare bones detail of how sex happens and babies are made. M got more details because he always wants and needs more details no matter what we are talking about. I think I was talking to M for over an hour. J got the bare bones details and the whole conversation in about 10 minutes. The one thing I made absolutely sure to tell each of them is that if they ever had any questions, no matter what they wanted to know about, they could ask me. I told them I would answer anything and, if I didn't know the answer, we would find it together. I also told them if they asked something I didn't think they really wanted to know that I would ask them if they were sure they wanted that answer...but, that if they pushed the issue, I would tell them.

    So far, this approach seems to have worked pretty well. I've answered all kinds of questions and they both seem to be comfortable asking me things. I just never quite anticipated my open, any question will be answered approach would lead to me looking up tea-bagging on urbandictionary.com. Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that life will conspire against me and I'll have to give Gabe the talk too? And, why am I more scared about what Gabe will ask me than anything either of the other two have ever come up with?

    *Sex ed is taught in the second half of 5th grade and we never want our children to first hear the details about puberty and sex in school. We both feel that's something they need to learn at home.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    WDD: Help Beat The Bitch

    6 years ago today, I was hugely pregnant with my miracle baby, a baby it had taken us many years and many losses to get to. A little less than 5 1/2 years ago today, our lives had changed in more than one way. That precious, amazing miracle was almost 4 months old and my husband was a newly diagnosed diabetic. To be honest, I'm not sure which event has changed our life more.

    Prior to his diagnosis, Vic was in better health than he had been in a long while. He had lost almost 80 pounds. His blood pressure was fabulous. His cholesterol was at a level most athletes would be envious of. And, then came that *little phone call. "Mrs. Cruz, your husband's blood work came back and we need him to give us a call. His blood sugar is over 350." I don't have to tell you that is a phone call no one, let alone a hormonal, nursing mother, wants to get.

    We both have a medical background. We've both been trained in advanced life support. We both know that while diabetes is a manageable disease, it can also wreak havoc with a person's life and health. From day one, Vic's diabetes was never easy to manage. Dietary changes helped some but not much. Each new combo of meds worked for a while but not for very long. Like most medical issues in our life, Vic's diabetes was outside the normal progression of the disease.

    See, Vic was diagnosed with what is typically called Type II or (use to be called) Adult Onset Diabetes. If you talk to any expert in the disease, they will tell you that if a Type II diabetic lives long enough, they will eventually convert to an insulin dependent diabetic. The human body, when constantly exposed to medicines, can build up a tolerance to them. Depending on your unique biochemistry, it may take months or it may take years. Some people with Type II diabetes will hit on a medication combination and it will work for years and years. Others, like my husband, seem to be lucky enough to go through this at an accelerated pace. In the space of 3 years, Vic went from being newly diagnosed to his body saying "Fuck it all. You don't use the insulin I produce...well, I just won't produce it at all."

    Because of the level of insulin resistance Vic started with, the insulin doses he takes are big enough to drop an elephant in it's tracks. And, those levels of insulin have a sneaky, nasty side effect. High insulin doses can and often do cause weight gain and that weight gain can cause the diabetes to be harder to control...rinse, lather, and repeat. Diabetes is a true and royal bitch...and, it's a bitch I want to see put down.
    Today is World Diabetes Day. It's a day to educate, raise awareness, and hopefully help fight for a cure. While most of us don't have the necessary degrees to do the research to find a cure, each and every one of us can help raise money to fight this bitch of a disease. If you have a moment, click on over to my friend Jen's blog. Jen's the mom to an amazing little girl named Lizzie and Lizzie is trying to raise $1000 to help fight juvenile diabetes. Lizzie is only $74 from her goal and nothing would make me happier than to see her make it. Not only would it bring a smile to the face of a friend, but it would be a step towards ending this bitch of a disease.

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    A Few Nuggets Short of a Happy Meal

    There are days I seriously wonder about the intelligence and general mental competence of our dog Jack. Well, it's not really his intelligence I wonder about but he definitely makes me shake my head at him on a frequent basis. Imagine a dog stuck permanently in his teenage years and you have Jack.
    As sweet and kind and patient as he is, he is also scattered and spazzy and sometimes doesn't seem to have a clue. Tonight, he had one of those moment. We had let the dogs out and, as seems to be their MO, they started barking a short while later...let me in,let me in. Well, wouldn't you know it but about 10 minutes after that, Jack came over to me, dancing around like a visit outdoors was necessary, and demanded to go back out. So, after some bitching about his indecisiveness, I got up to let him out. Normally, all it takes when he's like that is for me to ask him "Do you want to go out?" and he is off like a shot to the back door. Not this time. He took off but then he stopped about halfway there. I kept walking and tried to get him to go out but he just kept giving me the "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about" look. As soon as I gave up and came back in to the living room to sit down, Jack started the dance and whine, I must go out routine. This time he really did go out but I came back in muttering about the damn dog being a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal or a few bricks shy of a load. Marty heard me and was vastly amused and that got me thinking.
    What is your favorite funny way of saying someone is clueless?

    So far I've come up with...
    •  a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal
    • a few cokes short of a six pack
    • a few brick shy of a load
    • a few ways short of a bulb

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Another Saturday Night

    Hey y'all, I am beat but for a good reason this time. We had Joey's birthday party today and it went off without a hitch but I'm exhausted. Since I am once again without the mental power to write, I'll leave you with a song.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Friday Night Leftovers: the crazy, busy edition

    Today was a much better than yesterday evening was. Nothing's really different except maybe I have had a teensy bit more sleep. However, while today was better, it was also kick ass busy. We spent the better part of the afternoon cracking our proverbial whips and getting our slaves errrrr, children to clean the messes they made in the den and backyard. Then, I spent the rest of the evening taking Joey to Tae Kwon Do and baking his cake. So, there hasn't been a lot of time for writing. But, I can always make time for some Friday Night Leftovers hosted by the fabulous Danifred of Sippy Cups Are Not For Starbucks...
    • 16 years ago, we were nearing our 1st wedding anniversary. We had been married in a civil ceremony.  16 years ago today, we got married again in a church ceremony. 
    • Happy Church Anniversary honey. I'd marry you again today and every day for the next 100 years. You are my heart and soul and I don't know what i would do without you.
    • Marty's legs still aren't working right but there has been a very slow but steady improvement.
    • Bionic Grandma is also doing extremely well. She has already exceeded the range of motion the doctor thought she would regain after her shoulder replacement.
    • My van, despite having all three engine seals replaced, is still puffing smoke. My guess is a smaller leak that was covered up by the deluge of the seal going. So, she has been renamed. My van is no longer the Manatee. She is henceforth known as Puff the Magic dragon.
    • All three of my boys got great report cards the first quarter. I am so proud of them.
    • Eek, I was finally forced to give Joey "the talk". Something he said led me to believe he didn't know exactly what he was talking about and I cornered him on the way home from TKD. There's nothing quite like giving "the talk" when you are driving down the road at 45 mph.
    Head on over to Danifred's and check out the rest of the leftovers. Y'all have anything you want to share with us?

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    The Well Is Empty

    I'm kind of at a loss for words and topics to write about today. That's why this post is so late. I think I've finally reached my saturation level and I'm feeling kind of down. It's stupid to feel like this now. Marty is actually showing some improvement. We're staring a three day weekend in the face. We're having Joey's birthday party this weekend. Everything is actually going pretty well. But, I am just wrung out. I'm exhausted, physically wrung out, emotionally spent. Between worrying about Marty and everything that's entailed, my functional brain power is zilch. Anyone have any suggestions for topics they'd like me to cover?

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011

    What The Fuck Wednesday: The Waffle House Index

    Welcome back to What The Fuck Wednesday, the prime location to read about products, items, and events that make your head snap around and your mouth utter the phrase "What the fuck is that?"

    Last week, we talked about the Waffle House Terror Plot and I thought nothing but nothing involving the Waffle House could ever top that. I was wrong. Rys's husband told me about the FEMA Waffle House Index. I seriously thought he was bullshitting me when he told me that FEMA judges the severity of a disaster by the condition of the local Waffle Houses so I googled it. I found a Wall Street Journal article detailing it. I found a Huffington Post article detailing it. But, best of all, I found a Colbert Report video talking about it.
    This is seriously about the most fucked up thing I've heard in a long time...basing the severity of a disaster even partially on the condition of the Waffle Houses.

    If you've found a what the fuck Wednesday worthy moment, throw up a post and add your link through the Linky widget. If you don't want to post, share your What The Fuck moment here.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2011

    Rode Hard And Put Away Wet

    My tired goes bone deep. I feel like I could go to bed and sleep for a week. *Who knew two days back in high school could be so rough?

    As I mentioned a few posts ago, I spent yesterday and today at school with Marty, pushing him from class to class since his legs aren't working right. While going back to high school wasn't my first choice for a fun way to spend these days, I wouldn't have missed it for anything. It was so cool to get an inside look at Marty's school. I saw girls dressed to the nines in heels I would die for. I saw a young lady wearing a Carolina Hurricanes jersey with her hijab. We shared the elevator with the nicest young man and his service dog. I also saw the loud mouths, the kids with their pants hanging off their asses, and the requisite pregnant teen. We had more doors held for us than not and Marty's friends showed a lot of care and concern over what was going on. And, although I'm sure it exists, I didn't see anyone getting shunned or made fun of. There wasn't a clear cut popular table in the cafeteria. Overall, it struck me as a good school to be at.

    The kids in Marty's classes were generally well mannered and about the worst you could say about them is that some of them talked to much in class. I don't know if that has to do with the fact that he is in honors classes and his electives aren't fluff classes and how much of it's luck of the draw but, whatever the reason, I'm glad to see it. And, it was fun seeing him joking around and talking to his friends at lunch. They seem like a really nice group of kids. Now, that isn't saying the school is perfect. I heard a teacher calling for an administrator to come to her class because a student was out of control. I also heard a student smart off to a teacher in a way that made my jaw hit the floor. I know it happened when I was in school but I never would have thought about talking to a teacher that way.

    Tomorrow, my high school adventure is over. Marty's first period teacher has arranged for kids to get him to and from class and lunch. Although I'm glad I got this peak into Marty's world, I am really glad my days become mine again. Well, all my days except Wednesday become mine again. **On Wednesdays, I get sent back to kindergarten for 4 hours. I guess I need to learn to count correctly.

    *In reality, I think the root cause of my exhaustion is part physical and a big part mental. Helping your son walk anywhere around the house and helping him get up into his loft when his legs don't work right is exhausting. The rest of the exhaustion is firmly rooted in me barely containing my overwhelming need to panic about what's happening to Marty physically.

    **I volunteer in Gabe's class for 4 hours every Wednesday.

    Monday, November 07, 2011

    It's All In The Bag

    Remember when I told y'all about the tote bags I was making fr my mom to sell at her church Christmas Bazaar? Well, I finally got the pictures edited and I can show them to y'all. I stumbled across the idea of these bags made out of jeans a while ago and dressed them up a bit for the holidays. All the bags are fully lined with Christmas fabric and the straps are denim on one side and Christmas fabric on the other. I love the little embroidered details and fancy stitching and I especially love that I didn't have to do any of it. I just bought all the jeans with bling on them from the local Goodwill store.
    Do you love this idea as much as I do?

    *I don't know why the colors are off in the second to last picture. The last picture shows the true color of that bag.

    Sunday, November 06, 2011

    Back to High School

    Ladies and germs, tomorrow I am doing something I never, ever thought I would do. Tomorrow, I am going back to high school. Marty  is still battling the side effects of his drug (allergy medicine) reaction and he can't walk by himself. So, the current plan is for me to borrow the wheel chair the school keeps around and I will be pushing Marty from class to class. Won't that be fun?

    Seriously, as much as that isn't my choice of a fun way to spend the day, I am so thankful I'm in the position to go spend the day so he can get to class and I am so very thankful that I have Rys here to handle drop off for the elementary school crowd. Keep me in your thoughts tomorrow and wish me luck. I have a funny feeling I'm going to need it.

    So y'all, have you found yourself doing anything you never thought you'd do again? If so, spill it so I won't feel so alone.

    Saturday, November 05, 2011

    Was it the mushrooms speaking?

    Earlier this afternoon, Jennifer and I ran to the store to pick up a few things and Gabe decided to tag along. He turned on the cute and talked us into getting him a soda. As we were leaving the store, this conversation took place...

    Gabe: Why do all sodas taste the same?
    Me & Jennifer: They don't all taste the same.
    Gabe: Hmmmm, yeah, this root beer tastes like mushrooms.
    Me: laughing my ass off
    Me: It doesn't taste like mushrooms.
    Gabe: Yeah, it does. They put mushrooms in it.
    Jennifer & Me: still laughing
    Me: You need to tell daddy this when we get home.
    Gabe: Nooooooooooo...
    Me: Ok, I'll tell daddy.
    Gabe:...Noooooooo, it's a secret.
    Me: Why's it a secret?
    Gabe: It just is. But, they put mushrooms in it.

    What makes it all funnier is that Gabe hates mushrooms...and the fact that the whole time he's saying this I keep wondering what kind of psychedelic mushrooms he was drinking.

    What kind of weird shit have your kids or anyone in your life said lately?

    Friday, November 04, 2011

    I'm Going Crazy

    OMG, I just realized that I only have a week until Joey's party. I was going to blog but now I think I need to clean.

    Thursday, November 03, 2011

    Bullets Flying

    or It's been a long, long day
    • Halloween day was wet, cold, and rainy...YUCK.
    • This worked out well for the kids. Because people weren't expecting a lot of kids due to the weather, our children all came home with a truly absurd amount of candy. 
    • I think the conservative assessment was between 10 and 12 gallons of candy.
    • We had sick kids. Well, one bonafide sickie and 3 of the other five were sniffling.
    • My long day actually started Monday night. I'd been up late working on some tote bags I had promised my mom I would make. I was ready to go to bed and Marty woke up hurting.
    • He was having what I thought was deep muscle pain up near his left shoulder. Instead of getting into bed and getting a semi-acceptable night of sleep, I was up for a long time with him.
    • Marty and two of the other snifflers were home from school on Tuesday.
    • Turned out that the doc (saw her on Tuesday) thought it was chostochondritis or inflammation of the cartilage in that area. Said with anti-inflammatories, it should start getting better ASAP but recovery period could be anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks. Oh Joy
    • On Tuesday night, Marty started experiencing muscle weakness in his legs and the arm (on the side with the chostochondritis) was having muscle spasms. He was home again on Wednesday.
    • I was up really late again trying to finish up the tote bags.
    • On an up note, Rys and I were chaperones on the 5th grade field trip to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. We had a blast.
    • I came home from the field trip and went to work finishing the last tote bag.
    • I finished it just as my aunt rang the doorbell (she was stopping by to pick up the bags on the way to visit my mom).
    • Marty's muscle issues still weren't better on Wednesday so I called and got him an appointment today. Our doc checked him out and decided he needed an MRI.
    • Most of me knew that he would be ok but a small part of me spent the afternoon panicking about what the MRI would find.
    • Marty's MRI was 100% normal but his doc (thank God) picked up on the fact that his allergy medicine (chlortrimeton) has one extremely rare side effect that would account for the muscle issues he was experiencing. In a tiny fraction of chronic or long term users of chlortrimeton, dyskinesias can be caused (tremors or difficulty in performing voluntary muscle movements). Hopefully, discontinuing the chlortrimeton will completely clear up these issues.
    • Once again, weird medical shit has happened to my family.
    • A plus that happened this week is that I think I truly have made it in the blogging world. I got some pain in the ass responses in the comments of my last What The Fuck Wednesday post.
    Sorry for the lack of true coherence in this post. I'm just too tired to try and be witty or creative.