Friday, July 30, 2010

C is for Jake Gyllenhaal and That's Good Enough for Me

Last night, I escaped my children yet again and headed out with my girlfriends for a night of Thursday Therapy (f/k/a "Book Club").

We gathered at our old standby, Old Chicago, primarily so we could again partake in the "Big Cookie."

"We'll take two of the pizza-sized cookies, please."

While munching away on said Big Cookie, we got into a heated discussion about the sexual orientation of Jake Gyllenhaal.

The five of us were split down the middle.  Two of us on the gay side, two of us on the straight side, and one of us undecided (or you could say, bi-opinionated).

"He is gay, I am telling you," I confidently stated.  "I read it on e! online."

Indignant responses followed.  

"He is not gay.  He dated Reese Witherspoon!"


My other friend chimed in, "Yes, but Reese was just his beard."

Then there was a bit of confusion as some of our group thought Jake was gay because he had grown a beard.

Gay lingo was explained and then we got back to business.

Declarations of Jake's femininity vs. manliness were made.  Fists were pounded on the table.  Internet searches via smart phone were conducted.

And then we came to a conclusion we could all agree on.


Who cares.  He's even yummier than the Big Cookie.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Upcoming Review and More Bloggy Business

This post is all bloggy business, so put on some sensible closed-toe shoes and nod along like you're really listening.

1.  I'll soon be reviewing another product for CSN Stores right here on my blog.  I'm super excited to be working with them again, because they sell awesome stuff such as dining room sets and cookware and toys and bedding and pretty much any other product you could think of.  So stay tuned for that!

2.  I'm bringing stupid back, baby!  Yes, that's right, another edition of "Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited" is just around the corner!

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited

I think I'm going to make it a monthly feature and add a link-up thingy to it.  That is, if I can figure out how to do that.  Anyways, I'm planning on putting it up on the 1st of each month, so if you're interested start thinking about things that make *you* stupid excited for the August edition.

3.  As if this post wasn't exciting enough with all the bloggy blabbing, I'm *also* going to start another little regular feature here on my blog.  I'm calling it the "Date Night Challenge," and it came about because Scott and I are constantly trying to come up with interesting ways to entertain ourselves whilst chained to our house due to the fact that we have three children and zero babysitters.  Each week I will provide you with a recap of whatever date night we came up with for that week.  So without further ado, this week's Date Night Challenge theme is........



(imagine a drum roll here)



A Night at the Bowling Alley



A festive recap with all the details will be forthcoming.  Once we actually have the date.  Which will hopefully be tomorrow.  Or maybe Friday.

My hope is that this feature will inspire some of you to plan your own spectacular home date nights.  Or in the alternative, that it will make one of my local friends have pity on us and offer to babysit so we can actually go on a real date.  I'm good either way.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Today, the neighbors who live in the house immediately to our right are moving away.  Seeing them move has reminded me of a tale that I've wanted to tell you all.  A tale that could have happened to anyone.

Oh, who am I kidding.  This would only happen to me.

Last year, the neighbor who lived in the house immediately to our left moved away.  I didn't really know him very well.  We'd exchange a few courtesy waves as I'd pull in and out of the driveway, but that was pretty much it.  I must admit, I am not a very neighborly person.  I know, I know.  It's awful.  But since I work a lot, I like to spend my time at home with my family.  And if I'm not spending time with my family, I like to be alone.  It's very Greta Garbo-esque of me, I know, but it's true.  So I'm not big on neighborhood get-togethers, or talking over the backyard fence, or socializing in the front driveway or whatever neighborly people are supposed to do with each other.     

Anyway, this neighbor to our left moved away very suddenly.  Scott, who is much more neighborly than me, told me he was transferred for work, and that he'd had to uproot immediately and just go.  Being unneighborly, I just shrugged and went about my business.

Since he had already moved, the man hired a realtor to show the house for him.  For the next few months, I would often see potential home buyers at the empty house when I'd arrive home from work.  And something started to inspire me.  I wonder if they will be my new neighbors, I would think while throwing out a courtesy wave to the realtor.  They look like a nice family.  And then I would go on thinking, You know, neighbors are a good thing.  Why am I so unneighborly?  And then I would become convicted. Well, it stops right here.  I am going to get to know the next neighbors we have.  We are going to be friends.  We will have barbecues and play yahtzee and get each others mail when we go on vacation.  By God, I will not be anti-social any longer!  I will be neighborly if it kills me!

Pretty soon, a sold sign appeared in the front lawn of the house.  And not long after that, right as I was about to leave for work one morning, a moving truck pulled up.  As I backed my minivan out of the driveway, I thought to myself, Now remember.  I am going to get to know these new neighbors.  I will bring a casserole over tonight!  Well, maybe not a casserole, that's hard.  I will bring brownies over tonight!

And then, as if I'd wished it on myself, I saw a man running across the yard towards my idling minivan. Here we go, I thought.  It's game time.

I rolled down my window and said "Hello!" And he was as friendly as could be.  "Hey there!" he said.  And then, "I was wondering if I could put my garbage can in your driveway today, since the moving truck will be blocking mine all day."

And I said "Oh, sure!"  Because as I just told you, I was now a neighborly person.  And then I said, with a big smile on my face, "And welcome to the neighborhood!"

And he said, "Oh.  Um.  I'm actually your old neighbor.  I'm just moving the rest of my stuff out today."

Whoops.  So much for me being neighborly. 

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Monday, July 19, 2010

"The Magic Warble" Review and Giveaway!


When Victoria Simcox asked me to review her book “The Magic Warble,” I thought, Wow!  Somebody wants me to review a book!!!

And then I remembered that I don’t read books much these days, let alone know how to write a proper review of one.  Luckily Victoria didn’t know that, otherwise she might not have contacted me and I wouldn’t have got the chance to read her lovely story about fairies and gnomes and dwarfs and talking animals and a kick-ass middleschooler named Kristina.

Sidenote:  Is it okay to use profanity in a review about a children’s book?  I guess it's too late now. 

Anyways, back on topic.  I really enjoyed The Magic Warble.  It tells the tale of Kristina, a 12 year old girl with no friends to call her own besides her pet rat, Raymond.  One day, she is mysteriously transported to a mythical land called Bernovem where she finds out that she is the “chosen one” - the only one who can deliver the magic warble (which I pictured looking like a really cool rainbow-glowy marble) to its final resting place, thus releasing Bernovem from the rule of the really nasty Queen Sentiz.  Along the way, Kristina meets many different residents of Bernovem who help her throughout her journey - some nicer than others. 

Oooooooh....aren’t I foreboding?  But in a children’s book kind of way.  See, I’m learning.

I can honestly say I would have loved this book back in my middle-school days, so I’m tucking it away for Miss Ashley to read when she gets a little older.  But *you* can have a copy now all for yourself!

**WIN IT !**

Mandatory First Entry:  
To enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post!  Need a topic?  Tell me your favorite children's book.  Pretty easy right?

Bonus Entries:
For bonus entries, leave a separate comment for each entry you do below:

[1 entry] Follow my blog by clicking the button in the upper right hand corner of my sidebar, or tell me that you already follow me!

[1 entry per day]  Vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs by clicking on the button in my sidebar!  You can vote for me once per day - leave me a comment each time you vote!

[1 entry]  Become a follower of Victoria's blog!

[1 entry]  Like "The Magic Warble" on facebook!

[1 entry]  Follow Victoria on twitter!

[3 entries]  Blog about this giveaway!  (Make sure to leave me a link to the post in your comment!)

**RULES**

This giveaway will end on August 2nd at NOON CDT. You must have your email address available on your profile or leave it in your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.  The winner will be drawn via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond - otherwise, a new winner will be picked.  The item will be sent to the winner directly by the sponsor of this giveaway.  I am not responsible for damaged, lost or missing items.  

Let the giving-away commence!

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of The Magic Warble to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received.
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hollywood Storm

On Wednesday evening, my mother called and informed us that a thunderstorm was on its way.  And this was no ordinary storm - straight winds of 70 mph were being predicted.  We looked out the back windows and watched the surge of midnight blue clouds rolling their way toward us.

And then it was upon us.  Scott and I stood by the back doors and watched the pergola strain from the force of the winds.  Red petals from the hanging geraniums flew like confetti.  The ceiling fan tilted and spun crazily until its blades were sheared off one by one.  

I wondered if I would have been blown across the yard had I been outside.

The rain pelted the house so hard that I worried about the windows holding.  Trees bent so far over that I feared they would snap in half.  Thunder rolled and lightning flashed, and the children buried themselves in pillows on the couch. 

And then as soon as it began, it was over.

Scott went outside to assess the damage.  But other than the dismembering of the ceiling fan, the storm had not left much evidence of its violence behind.  Instead, it left us this.

Rainbow in Omaha

And I thought, damn...

That's a pretty cheesy ending for such a bad ass storm.  If it was me I would've given us the finger.

But to each their own.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Home is Where Your Husband Is

I'm guest posting over at Our Mommyhood today!!!  Go check out my post if you have a minute - it's about my thoughts on being married to a stay-at-home-dad.

Boy, I feel so fancy guest posting somewhere.  I even wore high heels and a skirt today so I could look the part. 

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Photoshop Time Machine

First off, thank you for the lovely comments on my last post.  It is reassuring to hear that I've still got it, even if I have to photoshop the hell out of myself first.

Second off, I asked my husband to look at the post, and the first thing he said was "Shaved a few years off, eh?"  Not so reassuring.  But then he said "I prefer Megan in her thirties to 17 year old Megan."

And my first thought was, He thought I looked 17?!?!?!  Wheeeeee!!!!!!!!

And then my second thought was, Wait, what?  He prefers wrinkles and dark circles? Seriously?

And then my third thought was, Ohhhhhhh.  I think he's being sweet.  He's telling me he loves me for me, wrinkles or no. 

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I love you too, Scotty.

And even though I did enjoy my trip in the photoshop time machine, I think I prefer staying in my thirties too.  It's good to be back. 

(As long as I can still highlight my hair.  I'm not perfect, people.)

***

P.S.  After I posted this, I talked to Scott who thought this post had the same picture as the last one, not the un-photoshopped version.  I love you even more, now, honey!!!  :-)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Deep Thoughts by Megan

Wouldn't it be lovely...

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...to see the world through photoshop-tinted glasses?

(Plus, I could save a lot of money on wrinkle cream)
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paper Brain

My kids have lately become obsessed with the thought of cracking their heads open.

This probably has something to do with me and Scott yelling at them on a semi-daily basis the following:

"Stop jumping on the furniture!  You're gonna crack your head open!"

"Quit chasing each other!  One of you is gonna trip and crack your head open!"

"Watch where you're going!  If you're not careful you're gonna crack your head open!"

Sometimes Scott follows up with a "And I don't want to have to take you to the hospital and fill out paperwork!" I'm not sure why he does this - unless he's trying to impart a fear of administrative work on the kids at an early age or something, I don't know.    

But apparently it has made an impact.  Because tonight, Aidan almost fell off his chair at dinner time.  And Ashley said "Aidan, you're gonna crack your head open!"

Scott and I nodded in agreement.  Encouraged, Ashley continued:

"And you're gonna have to go to the hospital!"

Again, we nodded.

"And....they're gonna fill up your head with paperwork!!!"

Yikes.  Turns out we've been threatening them with a paper lobotomy.  No wonder they're jumping on the furniture less these days.   

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Target.  And while there, I purchased a ridiculously cute sparkly black flower hair pin.  I love it.

Then I came home and wanted to discuss it with my husband.

As I prattled on about how I discovered it in a little bin hanging on the accessory wall in a place where you'd never expect to find hair pins and how it was so super cute and only $5.99 which may have been a little pricey for a hair pin but I never buy hair pins for myself so I just went for it and blah blah blah, my husband's eyes glazed over and I swear I caught him watching baseball over my shoulder.

And I realized what I needed even more than a $5.99 hair pin:  a captive audience.

And thus, I have decided to create a new little feature here on my blog:

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited

Now, let me make clear that I am not hawking or reviewing products here.  Nobody's paying me or providing me with anything.  My google page rank is way too low for that.  I'm just using my blog as an outlet to exclaim over and dissect little materialistic things that make me ridiculously excited.  And maybe along the way, you'll find something that makes you stupid excited too.

It's like Oprah's Favorite things.  If Oprah was really cheap. And loved to shop at Kohl's.

So here we go, the first ever semi-regular edition of "Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited" (and by "semi-regular" I mean "when the mood strikes me").

* One *

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The sparkly barrette that started it all.  This one is such a hidden gem, I couldn't even find a picture of it on Target's website, so I had to take my own pic via cell phone.  The picture does not do it justice, mainly because I hardly even got it in the picture.  But blame Scott for that, since he said I was distracting him while we drove to dinner.  And then he wouldn't even take a picture of me himself because he said he was busy watching the road or some nonsense like that.

Selfish.

* Two *


Chicken Scallopine, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  Holy crap, is this recipe good.  And super easy to make, too!  I made it when Scott's brother and sister-in-law were in town, and everybody scraped their plates.  I only made one slight tweak to the recipe.  I added a little extra heavy cream.

Oh no, she di'int!  

Oh yes.  I did.
* Three *


Something that you may not know about me is that I am a total klutz.  It is ridiculous.  I run into things, I trip over things, I drop things, etc. etc. and so on and so forth.  I also spill everything.  There isn't a container full of liquid anywhere that I haven't spilled.

Cup of water?  Spilled it.

Can of diet coke?  Spilled it.

Glass of white wine?  Spilled it, refilled it and then spilled it some more.

So when I discovered this bad boy at Bed Bath & Beyond, it was love at first sight.  Scott calls it my "adult sippy cup", and I am not ashamed.  Well, maybe a little ashamed, but at least I'm not ashamed while scrubbing white wine out of my carpet.

* Four *


My mom discovered these just last week.  She gave me a bite of hers, and I thought I died and went to heaven.  Then, when she came over to babysit the night Scott and me and my sparkly hair pin went out to dinner, she brought me another one that I could have all to myself.  I took one bite and saved the rest for later.

Except then she fed the rest to Ashley.

While munching away, Ashley said to my mom, "Mommy's gonna be mad."

My daughter knows me well.

* * *

And that's all I've got for today, folks.  Hope you enjoyed this first edition - and if you didn't, well, my husband says there's a really good baseball game on.  Maybe that will be more to your liking.  ;-)

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P.S. I'm also linking up for Follow Me, Chickadee Friday and Friday Follow this week! Also Friendly Friday and Blog Hop Friday.  Good gravy, there's a lot of Friday link-ups out there!  Welcome anyone who stops by!


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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pretzels and Proverbs

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On the evening of the Fourth of July, my family and I went outside when it was still light out.  I lingered on the driveway with my parents while Scott took the kids down to the neighbors.

(The neighbors had two items that my driveway could not compete with - new children to play with and chocolate-covered pretzels).

But they didn't stay away for long.  After only a few minutes, Ashley ran back up the sidewalk and presented me with a gift - a half-eaten chocolate covered pretzel.

"For you, mommy!" she called over her shoulder, as she ran back down the driveway.

Aw, I thought to myself, as I popped the pretzel in my mouth.  And then, ew, because soggy pretzel.

A few minutes later Owen ran up the sidewalk.  I worried he would trip as he ran, since he was looking at me sideways with a huge smile on his face instead of watching where he was going.  But he made it to me in one piece.

"Here, mama!"  he said, as he handed me his own half-eaten chocolate covered pretzel.

"Aw, thanks buddy!" I replied, as he turned and ran back down to the neighbors.  But as soon as his back was turned, I threw the pretzel out into the yard.  Because you know how the saying goes - feed me a soggy pretzel once, shame on you.  But twice?  Shame on me. 

Anyway, I bet you know what happened next.

Aidan came running up the sidewalk.  He turned towards me in the driveway, with a big grin on his face.  I smiled as he ran right up to me, half-eaten chocolate covered pretzel in hand.

"Hi, mama!" he said.

I got my "Aw" out before I realized he hadn't actually handed me anything.  Instead, he just stood right in front of me and ate the pretzel himself.  Chomp chomp chomp.

Harsh.

And I realized I had the saying all wrong.  It's actually "Never look a soggy pretzel in the mouth."  Or wait - is it "Never put a soggy pretzel in your mouth?"

Maybe I should just stay away from pretzels.  And proverbs.
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Taking a Stand on the 4th of July

Our neighbors are the BEST when it comes to the 4th of July.

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They buy oodles and oodles of amazing fireworks.

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So we park it on our front lawn and mooch the view. 

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But this year, while we were sitting outside, a lightning bug almost landed on my head.

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I may or may not have screamed like a little girl. 

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However, I didn't even blink an eye when two wayward fireworks exploded in the yard directly across from us.  In fact, it just solidified my opinion even more. 

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Bugs should be illegal.  
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Friday, July 2, 2010

Kids Make the Darndest Things

Kids


I'm linking up with Jen at Buried with Children today for Kids Make the Darndest Things.  It's a chance to show off your kids' artwork or other creations on Friday of each week.  And boy, have my kids been creative lately!

First up is Aidan.  Aidan drew a picture of the two of us together.  Aw, don't we look happy?  Note that I do not have any arms, but I do have some rosy cheeks.  Maybe I need to tone down the blush.  And work on my hairstyle.  And maybe get some eyeballs.  And a nose.

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Next up is Owen.  Owen drew a picture of me wearing my glasses.  I think it might be the most adorable picture I've ever seen, even with the crabby look on my face.  Although come to think of it, it makes sense.  I usually only wear my glasses first thing in the morning.  Before I've had my coffee. 

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Ashley had much more exciting things to draw than a picture of me.  Namely, a butterfly scene. (Forgive the crumpliness.  Owen got his hands on it before it was safely magnetized to the refrigerator door.  Much drama ensued, but we're all friends again now.)

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When she showed it to me, I said "Ooh, I like the cocoons on the tree!" And she disdainfully informed me that they were actually chrysalises.  Well, whoopdie doo! You know, nowadays I hear that word everywhere - chrysalis.  I see it in the stores, I hear it on the television, I read it on the internet.  Back in my day, we just called them cocoons.  And we liked it!  We loved it!  We even had a movie about it!   But apparently butterflies are offended by its use, so now we have to go with chrysalis.  Which is really annoying, because frankly, cocoon is much easier to spell than chrysalis.  And if you want to make it plural you just add an s on the end instead of having to google it and finding out it's not chrysalises but actually chrysalides, which how snobby can you get?

Sheesh.

Make sure to check out Jen's blog for even more amazing kid creations!  You'll probably only find the chrysalis-hating here, though.