Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ice Ice Baby, Too Old, Too Old

Something that you may not know about me is that I am not a very "domestic" person.  Yes, I am married.  Yes, I have three children.  Yes, I live in the suburbs.  And yes, I drive a minivan.

But.  I do not get excited about domestic things.  Like Dyson vacuum cleaners.  Or Pottery Barn linens.  Or new siding.  I like take-out, I always forget to spray stain-remover on the kids' clothes before tossing them in the washer, and I hardly ever make the bed. 

However, there is one item in the domestic category of material things that I have always wanted.  One, beautiful item.

A refrigerator with an ice and water dispenser in the door.  Aren't they just luxurious?


So when Scott called me a couple of weeks ago from Lowe's and told me he found a stainless steel refrigerator that was 50% off because it was a floor model, the only thing I asked was, "Does it have a water dispenser?  OH!  Does it make CRUSHED ICE???"  And yes, Virginia, it did.

So now we have a new refrigerator.  And it is gorgeous.

The delivery men told us we'd have to wait awhile before using the ice and water dispenser since we had to cycle through a bucket of ice and a gallon of water so as not to poison ourselves with new refrigerator chemicals.  Or something like that - I stopped listening when Scott explained it.

But then....it was ready.  Scott was the first to use it.  He went over to the fridge with his tall glass, filled it with ice (cubed...so unrefined), and then to the brim with clear, filtered, icy cold water.

Except, while he was doing so, he said to me, "Huh.  It kinda sounds like an old man peeing."

And just like that, it was over.  I can never look at it the same way again.  My silver ice and water dispensing dream machine will forever be linked in my mind to an old man with incontinence problems.

Dribble dribble dribble dribble.  Dribble.

Crushed ice?  Try crushed dreams.  Oh, refrigerator - at least you can still keep my Diet Coke cold.  I'll just have to try to hold on to that.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ashley vs. Kindergarten

Guess who had Kindergarten Round-Up this week?  Yup, that's right....Miss Ashley Belle!

Kindergarten!  I mean, come on...really?!?  Didn't I just give birth to her like 20 minutes ago????   

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She doesn't actually start until next August. Which she was quite disappointed about, because kindergarten looks awesome.  I thought it looked pretty awesome too.  In fact, I wanna go to school there.  They have a computer lab!  And hot lunch!  And smart boards, whatever those are!

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Ashley got to go to a little "practice class" with the other kids, while the parents all stayed back in the gym. 

When they called Ashley's group to go, I was all ready to walk her to her teacher to hand her off, but before I could even stand up, Ashley was gone. I waved and called out an "Oh - okay - see ya!" at her backside before she completely disappeared.

She is ready for kindergarten.  But is kindergarten ready for her?

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Only 6.5 more months til we find out.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Checking for Cystic Fibrosis

As many long-time readers of my blog may know, I have a darling niece named Ellie.  Ellie is the daughter of my older brother Matt and his wife Jennifer, and is just a few months younger than Ashley.

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Ellie also has cystic fibrosis. 

Cystic fibrosis is a devastating genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.  Ellie has to take enzymes prior to eating and has daily breathing and percussion treatments to help keep her digestive system and lungs healthy.  There is no cure.  You guys, back in 1955, children with cystic fibrosis were not expected to live long enough to attend grade school.  Grade school!  Can you even imagine?  Today, the average life expectancy is up to 37 years old.  That's incredible progress.  

But it's not enough.  Because as you can see, Ashley and Ellie are best buds.

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In fact, they're both starting kindergarten next year. And first grade after that. And then junior high, and high school, and college. And then they're both going to graduate, and get awesome jobs, and find the love of their lives, get married, have kids, the whole shebang. And by the time they reach my age, I'm sure they're going to feel like I do - that the best is yet to come.

They're BOTH going to be able to do anything that they dream they can do. They're BOTH going to live long, healthy, wonderful lives. Because we WILL find a cure. Nothing is going to take Ellie away from my Ashley. Not if I can help it.

And not if my family can help it either.  One of my younger brothers - Andy - has organized an amazing fundraiser - the Checking for Cystic Fibrosis Tournament.  Andy's a paramedic and has basically gathered up all his paramedic and other public safety agency buddies for a huge hocky tournament to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  It will be held on Sunday, February 27th at the National Sports Center - Schwanns Super Rink near St. Paul, MN.

This is actually the second year Andy has organized this fundraiser.  Last year it raised over $10,000.  $10,000, people!!!!  I still can't believe that my little bro went out there and did something *that* amazing for Ellie.  I don't have the words to describe how awesome he is.

So this year, I'm trying to pitch in and do something too.  So I ask you, if I've ever made you laugh here on my blog, or smile, or if I've ever brightened your day just a little bit, please consider donating to support Andy's fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Please help us find a cure.  Do it for me.  Do it for Ashley.  Do it for Ellie.

You can donate by clicking here.  And if you can't donate, please send a prayer and/or good thoughts for Ellie's continued health.  We've been so lucky so far with her...and we want to keep it that way. 

Thank you everybody! 
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This is Why I'm Not in Charge of the Garage Doors

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That is a picture of the front of my house.  Well, it's a picture of the front of my house from last summer before we painted it a different color.  But nonetheless, that is generally how my house looks in all its glory.

The double-garage on the left is Scott's.  It is filled with many tools, and on occasion, his truck.  My garage is on the right.  Isn't it cute?  My minivan barely squeezes in there.

A few weeks ago, I attempted to leave for work on an icy cold morning only to find my garage door frozen shut to the ground.  I pressed the button and it would s-t-r-a-i-n to open, then give up.  So I would press the button again.  And again and again and again.  And again. Then I called for Scott.

"Hey honey, something's wrong with my garage door.  It won't open."

He assessed the situation, and confirmed that yes, it was frozen shut.  Then he did something manly and stomped away the ice and forced the door up and open with his bare hands.  It was impressive.

He asked me to press the button to test it, but lo and behold, it still wouldn't work.  Then he asked me how many times I had pressed the button trying to open it while it was still frozen.  Busted.

Apparently, all the straining from my excessive button-pushing had pushed something out of alignment, and as manly as Scott is, he doesn't do realignment of garage doors when it is only 10 degrees outside.  So he called in an expert.  The expert realigned it, put some clamps on it, and let Scott know that my garage door opener was on its last legs of life.  He recommended that when it went kaput, to switch over the garage door opener from Scott's garage to my garage and then get a new one for Scott's side since it needed more horsepower, or something.

Scott called me at work and gave me the news.

I took it all in.  But I was mighily confused about how we were going to do the switch.

Me:  He said to switch your garage door opener with my garage door opener?

Scott:  Yup.

Me:  Well that doesn't make any sense.

Scott:  Yes, it does.

Me:  How would that even work?  You have a double garage.

Scott:  That doesn't matter.

Me:  But how is your garage door going to fit on my garage?? 

Scott:  What?

Me:  How is your garage door going to fit on my garage???  You have a double garage.

Scott:  Seriously?

Me:  Yes.  I don't like this plan one bit.

Then Scott kindly explained to me that a garage door opener is something separate from the actual garage door.  And here I thought we were going to have to cut his in half.

I'm just thankful I wasn't the one who talked to the expert.  That would have been an interesting conversation for sure.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Big Girls Don't Cry...Usually

I cried at work on Friday.  Big, fat tears filled with frustration and embarrassment and fragility.  Luckily I held it together long enough for me to close my office door to sob in peace.

It's a complicated story, but suffice it to say that I "took one for the team"  and received a mighty dress-down for something that wasn't my responsibility.  Funny how when you take one for the team, you feel very much alone.

I was eating dinner with the children last night when they asked me if I had to go to work today.  I said yes.  And Ashley said "Awwww, I don't want you to go to work!"

And I said, "Well, neither do I actually."

So she asked, "Why not?"

I replied, "Well, I had a hard day on Friday.  A mean man made me cry."

Ashley looked aghast.  "What?!  He made you cry???"

"Yes," I said.

"What did he say to you?"

I wasn't sure what to say.  "Oh, just mean stuff."

Ashley nodded knowingly.  "Did he tell you that you weren't being a very good girl?"

I smiled and said, "Yup, that's about right."

She put her hand on my hand and said, "Mommy.  Next time someone does that to you, you should say 'Hey.  That's not a very nice thing to say.'" 

I said, "Okay, I will.  That's very good advice, honey."

She went back to her plate of pasta.  But then she thought of something else.

"Oh, and Mommy.  Maybe next time you shouldn't sit right next to him.  Have your friend sit in the spot next to him.  Or, you could sit in the spot behind him," she said with a firm nod of her head.

I nodded again.  "Thanks honey.  I'm sure that will help."

Wouldn't life be great if problems could be solved just like they are in preschool?  Add a nap, a cup of apple juice and a cookie and I'd be sailing smooth until retirement.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Rockin' the Review and the Vote

You know, I love having a blog.  Because I get to do fun things, like review products from CSN stores from time to time.  Never heard of CSN Stores?  Well, they sell everything from modern office furniture to bakeware to toys to bedding to pretty much any other product you could think of.  They're a one-stop shop when you're shopping online.

I also love having a blog because apparently I can put little polls up in my sidebar.  I just discovered that little feature today.  Be prepared for me to start having random polls such as:

SHOULD I ORDER THE HUNTER'S CLUB OR BEACH CLUB FROM JIMMY JOHN'S TODAY?

a.  Hunter's Club

b.  Beach Club

c.  Seriously, Megan?

But for right now, I have a poll up there about Date Night Challenge.  Which one has been your favorite so far?  I want to know!  So exercise your civic duty to vote!  That is, if you're bored and don't have anything better to do.  :-)

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A's to Your Q's: Part 3

A few of you snuck in some additional questions for me on my last Q and A post, so I thought I'd just hammer them all out in a new post.  Also, I found out what a "motherstyle" is!  You're all gonna want to get one...it involves a fun quiz.

First off is Kim from Better Than We Could Pray For, who asked me "Do you think you'll ever add another munchkin to the bunch?"

Ha!  Ha ha ha ha ha.  NO.  For awhile I wanted *just* one more, but now I realize that was just plain crazy talk.  (Now watch me go get knocked up next month, oy.)

Next up is Ruth Anne from The Skinny Turtle, who asks "How did you lose your baby weight and get so svelte after the twins? You're just a wee thing. If it's not too personal; did you have a tummy tuck? Do you want one?"

You know, I'm not sure how I lost the weight...it just kinda came off.  I've always had a good metabolism and been pretty lucky in the weight department.  I know - I'm very annoying.  And nope, no tummy tuck for me so far.  I've got a nice little pooch of twinskin to prove it, although I won't be showing *that* on the blog anytime soon.  ;-)  However, I fully admit that I would looooooooove a tummy tuck to just snip that pooch right off.  But, I figure I should try some ab crunches or something first.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or next week.  Or the week after that.  Any day now.

Kristin from Kristin's Four Kids had another question for me - "Do you LOVE being a lawyer?"

Well, love is a strong word, especially in caps lock.  I would say I like being a lawyer.  Not like like, just like.  On the one hand, I would love to do something different - something that would allow me to spend more time with my family, and have more time to live life and do the things I really love to do.  But on the other hand, the area of law I practice in is really quite complicated, and it keeps my brain working hard.   Which I think is a really good thing for me.  Not enough of a good thing that I LOVE it, but enough for me to like it and want to hang out with it from time to time.  :-)

Also, I found out from Marcia from 1,2,3 Blog what a motherstyle is!  You can go here to take a quiz to find out what yours is.  I am an INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving) - The "Tuned In" Mother.  Basically, I'm awesome.  ;-)

Aware, astute, and understanding, the INFP mother is sensitive to her child's needs, feelings, and perceptions. By observing and listening to the cues of the whole child, she is "tuned in" and naturally develops an intuitive feel for what he or she needs. Responsive and helpful as well, she tends patiently to those needs as they arise.

Well, yes, I will take that motherstyle, if you please.

And last, but certainly not least, I promised I'd post about How Scott and I first met, whether it was love at first sight, and how long we dated before getting engaged and married.

Scott and I met at a Barnes & Noble.  My mom was a manager there, and I popped into the store one night to visit her when I was home from college on vacation.  I was 21 years old.

I was browsing through the "Employee Recommendation" section at the front of the store, reading the reviews that my mom and other employees had written on index cards hanging below the books sitting on the shelves.   Pretty soon, a review by an employee named "Scott" caught my eye.  Mainly because the review was for a book called "Sex for Dummies" and also because it was HILARIOUS.  I was busy cracking up reading it when I realized a boy behind the cash register area was watching me and laughing right along with me.  I turned around and quickly figured out that the boy (who was the cutest boy EVER, by the way) was "Scott".  We started chatting and I just remember laughing and laughing. We clicked instantly. But I had a boyfriend at the time and went to school in California...so obviously nothing was going to come of it. But still, I thought about him quite a bit over the next year. And by quite a bit, I mean A LOT.  Don't look at me that way!  He was CUTE!

Anyway, fast forward to the year after I graduated from college. I was back home, working a crap job and making zero money. My mom was still working at Barnes & Noble, and got me a part time job there at nights for some extra cash. Scott was long-gone from working there, or so I thought...

Except then he came back. I cannot even tell you how excited I was to see him that day. He was just like I remembered....so nice, and so sweet, and so funny, and soooooo cute.  And I was a nervous idiot around him. The first time he asked me out, we were going to go get a drink after work. Except then he had to help some kid close out his cash register, and they were in the back office counting it out and the door was closed and I got nervous waiting and I thought "well, maybe i misunderstood when he said 'want to get a drink after work' because why would he want to get a drink with me" and then I panicked and just LEFT.  Without even saying anything! Why did I do that?  Because he was so CUTE!

I was so nervous to see him at work the next day, considering that I'd just totally date ditched him the night before.  But you know what he did when he saw me?  He started laughing and looked at me like I was the most adorable thing ever.  And I knew, right then and there - this guy gets me.  There is finally someone out there that gets me.  We've been inseparable ever since.

I found out later that it hadn't been just me thinking about him during that year after we first met.  Apparently he'd been thinking about me that whole time, too.  It's like we both just knew we were supposed to be together right from the very first moment we met.

Nine months after we started dating, I moved to St. Louis to start law school.  We thought that it made the most sense for Scott to join me there after the fall semester if we handled the long-distance thing okay.  That lasted about one month, and then he got in his truck and drove down to live with me.  We got engaged at the beginning of my last year of law school, and got married right after I took the bar exam.

And that's how I met my Scotty.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Date Night Challenge: A Spa Getaway

Guess what time it is!?!?  That's right, it's time for another...

Date Night Challenge!!!

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Seriously, it is!!!!  I know I haven't done one in ages, but Scott and I are now *officially* back on the Date Night Challenge bandwagon.  I don't think we have the stamina to plan them as often as we did before (we are in our mid-thirties, after all), but we definitely missed them so my recaps will be popping up from time to time from here on out.

And if this is your first time reading about "Date Night Challenge", check out my Date Night Challenge page for all the background.  And if you'd like to participate, grab the button and link on up in the comments!

Anyhoo, this week Scott and I finally fulfilled the Date Night Challenge theme I mentioned all the way back in September (man, has it been that long?!?!)...

A Spa Getaway
Ooh, fancy!

Now, I don't know about you guys, but I don't get to go to a spa very often.  In fact, I've never actually been to one.  Sure, I've gotten the occasional pedicure at that place in the mall, and once I got a facial at a fancy salon, but other than that....I'm a spa ignoramus.

So, in the full interest of disclosure, I have no idea what types of activities go on at an "official" spa.  But, let me tell you, if your typical spa is anything like Le Spa de Megan, then it must be fabulous.

So what did we do, you ask?  Well, we made smoothies of course. 

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Because what kind of spa would it be if it didn't have a smoothie bar?!? A crappy spa, that's what!

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OMG, I love a good smoothie. And the recipe we used was super easy.  Let me digress and share:

Very Berry Smoothie

What You Need:
1 cup ice
1 cup skim milk
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen raspberries
3 tbsp. sugar

What You Do:
Blend it.

Yum.

We also had a light meal of take-out sushi. Although I don't think it counts as light if we each ate 12+ pieces. Oy. But it was delicious!

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Next, things started to get romantical.  So, I'm warning you, if you are a blood relative of mine (or otherwise squeamish about romantical things), you might want to click away now.  Farewell, oh relatives of mine!  And if you do keep reading, let us not ever speak of this post as I am sure it would be highly embarrassing for us both.    

(The rest of you still here?  Okay, good.)

So, we built a fire (i.e., turned on the gas fireplace), laid out a fur rug (A/K/A my sherpa blanket from Kohl's), and lit numerous candles, each of which was placed in its own unique piece of glassware (i.e., whatever I could find under the bathroom sink).  It was lovely.

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Actually, it really was lovely.  But this was a spa date, not a log cabin date.  (Note to Self:  Log cabin date would be awesome.)  So....we broke out the massage oil and got down to spa business. 

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And just like that, this date night went from just romantical to fantastical.  Because the only thing I love more than sushi and a smoothie is a good massage. 

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It was so relaxing, just laying in front of the fire and candles, getting my back rubbed by my sweetie...  Almost too relaxing, because I wasn't quite ready to reciprocate when it was his turn. Luckily for him, I'm a giver.  ;-)

After we were both turned to goo by the other, we went upstairs for our last spa activity of the night...a soak in the jacuzzi.

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This thing is seriously underused in our house.  Which I do not understand, because it is heavenly.  Must make more time for jacuzzi soaks....how's that for a New Year's resolution.

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Anyway, it was an incredible date night.  For any of you who are needing a little special time with your partner, I highly recommend this date - it was super easy to plan, extremely relaxing and very romantic.  And we didn't even need to leave the house.

And as always, we ended our Date Night Challenge with a kiss goodnight...

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We were both so contented we couldn't even hold the camera up.  But I like this picture.  It seems so intimate, just like the date was, so I actually think it's perfect.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

A's to Your Q's: Part 2

Oof, today was a long day.  But I've got more questions to answer, doldrums be damned.  Luckily some of these questions were for Scott and the kids, so I'm kind of getting an easy pass today.

Belle from Metcalf Mania asked the following questions:

For Scott:  "Do you feel like your life is just one big blog post of Megan's?"

His response was, "You mean the camera that is now the sixth member of our family? No, I’ve never noticed."  Always a comedian.

For Ashley Belle:  "If you could pick anything to have wings (that doesn't already), what would you pick?"

She said,  "A frog.  Because it would be funny and everyone would laugh at it."  Hmm.  Now I'm feeling bad for this imaginary winged frog, poor thing.

For Owen: "What is your favorite color?"

He said, "Blue."  He's very succinct, that Owen.

For Aidan:  "What is your favorite animal?"

His response, verbatim, was, "Um… I know… a seahorse."  That just makes me smile.  :-)

Gringationcancun from Gringation's Blog asked me:  "What is your favorite movie and why?"

Star Wars.  Because it is AWESOME.  Yes, I am a nerd.

She also asked Scott:  "In Scott's opinion, who is the hottest actress?"

He went with Charlize Theron.  Harumph.  She also asked who *I* thought was the hottest male actor.  I'm gonna go with Robert Pattinson.



Yes, please.

Brandy from You Don't Know... also had a question for Scotty:  "What is Scott going back to school for?"

He answered, "Accounting. Because I love numbers so much. For example, why have one baby when you can consolidate pregnancies and have two at the same time?"  Isn't he just so smart?

Next up was Holly Ann, from Twins Plus One, Three Times the Fun, who wanted to know "What 'mommy milestones' are you most proud of?"

Hmmmm, that's a good question.  What am I most proud of.....hmm hmm hmmm.   They're all still alive - that's something to be proud of, right?  ;-)  Seriously though, it doesn't take much for me to be proud of myself when it comes to handling these three kids - if they all get a bath on the same day, I'm pretty much ready to nominate myself for mother of the year.

Emily from My Faith and Joy asked "How are your boys' speech habits going?"

Well, they haven't started speech therapy yet, so there is nothing major to report on that area.  But I do think being in preschool this year has helped them a ton with their pronunciation.  Their teachers are also having a lot easier time understanding them, but who knows if that's because the boys have improved or whether the teachers are just getting used to how they talk.  I'll keep you all posted once they actually start the therapy!

Marcia from 1, 2, 3 Blog wanted to know "How did you and Scott meet? Was it love at first sight? And how long did you date before getting engaged and married?"

I feel like this could be a post in and of itself.  In fact, I just might make it into one! Patience, readers.  All will be answered in due time.  Which probably means next week.

But I will answer Marcia's other question right now - "And of course, what is your motherstyle?"

You know, I don't know if I really have a motherstyle.  In fact, I don't even know what a motherstyle is.  But I think I'm going to get one, because it sounds fun.

And last but not least, Kristin from Kristin's Four Kids asked "If you could take a vacation without your children, where would you go and why?"

That one's easy.  Paris.  I've always dreamed of going with my husband.  Someday, I will.

***

Thanks for all the Q's everybody!  I still owe wonderchris from Love, Life and Ice Cream a QandA with Ashley and Jen from Buried With Children a Date Night Challenge, but I think I got everybody else.  If I missed any questions, or if you've thought of anything else you want to know, just ask and I'll spill!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A's to Your Q's

Well, ask and ye shall receive!  You all gave me lots of fun questions to answer.  So many that I'm gonna have to split them up into a few posts.  But let's get started with the first round, shall we?

The fabulous Belle from Metcalf Mania starts us off by asking:

"Do horse movies get you as much as they get me?  I mean c'mon...Sea Biscuit = tear jerker. Am I right?"

And my response is hmmmmmmmm.  You know, I think one of my X chromosomes must be deficient, because I have never been that much of a horse lover.  In fact, they kind of scare me.  Although what animal doesn't scare me, let's be honest here.  Horses, dogs, dragonflies....you name it, they scare me. 

Speaking of horses, I found this in my bed the other night.  Positioned just so, on my pillow.


Apparently my children are channeling Vito Corleone.  Maybe I shouldn't have refused when they offered to eat my rice krispie treat the other day. 

Belle also has fantastic Q's for Scott and the kids, but those will have to wait because I was too unorganized to ask them before bedtime.

Next!

The lovely Kmama from The Daily Dribbles wants to know: 

"What area of law do you practice?"

Well, thank you for asking, Kmama!  I don't blog much about my work because I like to keep my online presence completely distinct from my professional life, but since you asked - I practice corporate health care law.  It's just as exciting as it sounds.  ;-)

Next up is the marvelous Kristen from Healthy Mama, who asks:

"What is your favorite online store?"

Hmmmmmmmm.  I'm gonna go with Amazon.  I know it's boring.  I know it's practical.  But free shipping once you hit $25??  That's just awesome.  And I can always find something to get me up to $25.  Plus, no sales tax.  Holla!

And last but not least for today is the very funny Funny In My Mind, from In My Mind It's Always Funny.  She wants to know:

"What do you like to watch on tv? Favorite makeup?"

Right now, I am not much of a TV watcher.  Well, not like how I used to be anyway.  But I do love 'So You Think You Can Dance'.  And 'Project Runway.'  And that's it.  Yup, no other shows for me.  Especially not any reality dating shows, no siree.  ........  ...........  ........................  Okay, fine!  Yes, I watch 'The Bachelor'!  I love it, okay!?!?  And Brad is definitely going to find love this time, I just know it!  (pick Emily, pick Emily, pick Emily....) 

Ahem.

As for makeup, I'm all over the map.  But I'm loving this new Neutrogena stuff that I mentioned in the December edition of LTTMMSE.  It's seriously awesome.

***

Well, that was fun!  I'm already feeling less doldrumsy and I still have more questions to answer!  And feel free to keep 'em coming - we've got a long winter ahead of us.  (I'll try to keep the horse heads to a minimum next time, I promise.)

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Got Funk?

This time of year is the hardest for me.  The holidays are over.  And it's cold.  And snowy.  And it's gonna stay that way for the next few months.  January, February, March, and so on and so forth, amen.

I think I have a case of the winter doldrums.

Doesn't that word just sound depressing?  Doldrums.  When I say it out loud, I imagine it sounding like the doorbell to a big old lonesome mansion up on a hill surrounded by scary trees.  

Dol-drums

And then a menacing butler comes to open up the door.  And as the door c-r-e-a-k-s open, he says... 

(I have no idea what he says.  Because I have the doldrums.)

Unfortunately, the doldrums are not conducive to great blogging fodder.  As you can tell from this post.

So I'm turning my blogging reins over to you, my friends.  Help me get out of this funk and funk it back up to funky.  Or something like that, only better. 

Anyone have any questions for me?  Or for Scott?  Anything you're just dying to know?  Anything I've mentioned on the blog that you've wanted to hear more about?  Anything that I haven't mentioned on the blog that you've wanted to hear more about?  Let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to draft up a doldrum-less post in response, I promise.  All comments are welcome, whether you're a regular, a newbie, a lurker, or even just a 'follow me!'-er.

Sound fun?  Yes?  No?  Bueller?

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Friendly Friday



Well, don't I feel all fancy!  Twinsomnia is one of the featured blogs on Friendly Friday this week!

I love Friendly Friday because it's just so darn....well, friendly!  If you haven't participated in this blog hop before, get your blogging buns over to Thanks, Mail CarrierFrugal Novice or Healthy Home Blog and sign up.  It's fun! 

And for any new visitors stopping by, welcome!  And if you're tired of hopping and want to take a pit stop for awhile, may I suggest you check out this post of mine which recaps all my favorite posts from 2010.  It will definitely keep you entertained for....well, hopefully at least 10 minutes or so.  Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back for more!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You Probably Think This Sign Is About You

I drive down to Missouri a lot for my work. On the way, I pass a billboard that's on I-29 somewhere between St. Joseph and Kansas City.

It looks exactly like this.
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That's me in my minivan, by the way. I know. The resemblance is uncanny.

Anyways, everytime I see this sign I always think:

"Hmph. I'm not a narcissist."

And then I think, DAMMIT!

It gets me everytime.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Little Orphan Ashley

Ashley watched Annie for the first time this weekend.  She took it very seriously.  Early the next morning, she came to me carrying two backpacks, her stuffed kitty and a babydoll. 

"Mommy, I have to leave," she said quite melodramatically.

I was trying to sleep in, so I muttered "Okay, see ya later."

So she left.  I watched her walk v-e-r-y slowly out my bedroom door.  But then she came back.

She heaved a big sigh.

"Mommy, I need you to drive me to that one place." 

So I said, "Drive you where?"

"To that one place.  The place where the little girls live."

"You mean the orphanage?  Like in Annie?" 

"Yes, mommy.  I need you to drive me to the orphanage."   

"Why do you want to go to the orphanage?"

"I just...need to go."

I explained to her that orphanages are for little kids who don't have any parents.  So if I drove her there, then they'd know she had a mommy and they wouldn't let her in.

"So, you'll just have to walk," I summed up.

She pondered.  Then she turned and walked s-l-o-w-l-y out the bedroom door.

Then she came back.

"Mommy?  Maybe I'll just go to China instead."

Penchant for drama, laziness, and quick problem-solving abilities - she's definitely my child.
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited: January 2011 Edition

Hey everybody, it's time to get stupid excited again! Sorry it's a couple days late this month. Love me!

For those of you new to my blog, "Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited" is a feature I (usually) post on the first day of each month. It's like Oprah's Favorite things - if Oprah was really cheap. And loved to shop at Kohl's.

Now, let me make clear that I am not hawking or reviewing products here. Nobody's paying me or providing me with anything. LTTMMSE is just a little outlet for me to exclaim over and dissect little materialistic things that make me ridiculously excited. Sidenote: It doesn't take much, people.

Grab the button below and link on up in the comments if you want to make your own list! I'd love to read what makes you STUPID excited too!! And if you'd like to see my past lists, they're all linked up here.

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited


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I've got *TEN* stupid fabulous things for the month of January!  That's right - I'm kicking the new year off right!

*One*


Ooooh, I stupid LOVE these slippers.  My sister-in-law Jennifer bought them for me for my birthday and I wear them all.the.time.  Most importantly, they are warm and comfy.  But the MAIN reason I really love these slippers is because they look adorable with actual clothes - not just pajamas.  So let's say on Christmas Day, your entire extended family (including your grandma) is supposed to come over to your house for dinner.  Which everyone typically gets dressed up for.  Well.  Just throw these babies on with tights and a skirt and nobody will be the wiser that you're prancing around the house in your slippers.  Love it.  

*Two*


If you looked in the dictionary next to the word "Cozy", you would see a picture of this blanket.  It is dang cozy.  I actually got two of these blankets for Christmas  - one fom Scotty and the other from my brother Matt and sister-in-law Jennifer.  (Are you sensing a trend with Jennifer?  She is a good present-giver.  No, you can't have her for your sister-in-law.  She's mine.)  The blanket Scott got me had a rather unfortunate pattern (think 70's cabin decor), so I decided to keep the one from Matt and Jen, which is pictured above.  In fact, I'm snuggled up in it right now and I'm stupid excited about it!!

*Three*

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Homemade Camera Strap Cover from my Friend Megan

Now this is probably unfair of me to put on the list since you can't buy it, but I love love LOVE the camera strap that my friend Megan made me for my birthday.  Isn't it adorable????  And it even has a little pocket for the lens cap!  Methinks Meg may need to open an etsy shop.

*Four*

Okay, it's no secret that I'm a big fan of desserts.  But I especially heart creme brulee.  It is just so light, so airy and so freaking delicious.  Since Scott and I don't get out much to fancy restaurants anymore, we learned how to make our own creme brulee at home.  Did you know how easy it is to make it???  It takes a few steps, but it's pretty much screw-up proof and just as good as what you get in a nice restaurant.  We have a little kit like the above, that includes the baking pan, wire rack, ramekins and the torch.  Because what fun is a dessert if you can't light it on fire, right?  ;-)

Here's the recipe we use:

Easy Creme Brulee

What You Need:

1 2/3 Cup Heavy Cream
5 Egg Yolks
6 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
Sugar for Sprinkling

What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk together the 6 1/2 Tbsp. of sugar with the egg yolks and the vanilla extract untill well blended and paled.  Scald the cream (about 190 degrees, or just slighly simmering) and very slowly pour into the egg yolk mixture while whisking.

Place the ramekins into the wire rack.  Skim off any excess foam from custard mixture and pour into ramekins until about 3/4 full.  Set the ramekin rack inside the baking pan.  Carefully pour water into the baking pan until it reaches about 1/2 the way up the ramekins.  Place into the oven, on the middle or lower rack, for about 20-25 minutes until set (no longer liquidy).  Chill for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the chilled custard with the sugar to coat the top.  Using the torch, carmelize sugar by moving the flame continuously over the surface in a slow, circular motion.

*Five*


Okay, clearly I am extremely late to jump on the Netflix bandwagon.  But when Scott and I realized you can actually download certain movies IMMEDIATELY via the Wii rather than ordering/returning them in the mail, we signed up before you could say 'Blockbuster who?'.  People, this has changed my life.  I have watched so many freaking movies over the past week.  And don't judge me, but so have the kids.  But they were good movies.  On Friday we watched Annie.  Yesterday it was Up.  Today it was Wizard of Oz.  And I've got about a million documentaries in my instant queue that I think will keep me very busy once Scott starts up with school again in a few days.

*Six*

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Necklace from Material Girl

My mom got me the necklace pictured above for Christmas, and I L-O-V-E it!  Isn't it so beautiful?  I don't usually wear pieces like this, but something about this one just spoke to me. 

*Seven*

Scott and I got ourselves a Flip for Christmas and I am STUPID excited about this thing.  It is soooooooooo easy to use!  Like seriously, there are 5 buttons and they are all totally intuitive.  I'm excited to finally get some videos of the kids that are not of the crappy cell phone variety.  Like this one I got today of Aidan performing Tai Chi while dressed as Buzz Lightyear.



*Eight*

Blue Bunny Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

This stuff is divine.  Crunchy, cold, pepperminty goodness.  Yum.  Available at a grocery store near you.  Or at least near me.

*Nine*

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Letter Art

I'm sure you guys have seen those letter art thingies, where you can buy a framed/matted piece that spells out a certain word using photos of everyday objects that look like letters.  Well, I decided to try my hand at making one myself this Christmas as a gift to my brother and sister-in-law.  I spelled out their last name and I think it turned out so awesome.  The picture above isn't what I gave them - it's just a collage of some of the letters I photographed in the wild.  I had so much fun making this I think I might do one for me and Scotty.

*Ten*

Cruzan Vanilla Rum

I have found a new signature drink.  And it is Diet Coke with Cruzan Vanilla Rum.  Holy smokes, that is a nice tasting drink.  And I'm not much of a drinker so that's really saying something.

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And that's all I've got for this month, people!  Hope you enjoyed it!

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