Friday, October 31, 2008

Because Christmas is all about judging and condemning dontcha know...

It's my turn to rant.

I've had it.

Absolutely had it with certain members of our (mine and my husband's) family. These members shall remain nameless for the sake of feelings but I've SO HAD IT!!!!

Just before Christmas last year I sent out an email to family members. You can read about this email in THIS post. I blogged about this idea to maybe inspire others to do the same. I urge you to go read it or this post will make no sense.

Go on.....I'll wait.......


So, we thought this idea was a fantastic way of restoring the Christmas spirit in our hearts, teaching our children a lesson in the giving spirit of Christmas, helping a family in need, and giving some children a wonderful Christmas that they otherwise would not have. It's a win/win situation.

So, in response to that email that was sent out.....One family member agreed. Another family member agreed but sent a 2,000 word email back to me with stipulations, requests, and requirements if they were to participate. And the last family member flat out refused to participate and had a full blown temper tantrum and refused to open a gift we purchased for said family member and asked if we'd like the gift to be returned to the company it came from because "you made it perfectly clear in the first paragraph of your email that it's too much trouble to purchase a gift for me." Yeah, this is an adult. An adult who's stomping their feet and "hmph"ing with their arms crossed because we suggested that a family in NEED get the gift that they were suppose to get.

Grow the fuck up!

Kinda left a sour taste in my mouth. But whatever.

So I've been exchanging phone calls with Volunteers of America these last couple weeks in the hopes of finding a family to sponsor for Christmas. Ideally, I would have liked to find a family that was in need for reasons that were out of their control. The economy sucks. People are losing jobs right and left here in Michigan. Ideally, I wanted to find a hard working family that was in need but not just looking for a handout. But after turning down the first 3 families that were presented to me it became very clear that these were not the types of families that were seeking out sponsorship.

So, after much thought, I decided on the 4th family that was presented to me.

Here's their profile: Single mother. 5 kids. 2 different dads are involved. Both dads are in jail and provide zero support. Mom doesn't work. Mom has severe asthma (is frequently hospitalized). Is on welfare. She's a size 22 as stated in her clothing wish list (this has absolutely nothing to do with anything but my reasons for bringing this up will become clear further down this post).

My initial reaction was to turn this family down. This would have been the 4th family I turned down.

Why did I want to turn this family down? I was thinking why isn't she working? Why is she on welfare? Why are the dads in jail? She's probably lazy. She's probably been looking for a handout her entire life. I was thinking that this is a family who is probably in the situation they're in for reasons that WERE in their control.

But, after some sole searching, I came to the following conclusion....Bottom line is I don't know this family. I don't know this mom. I don't know her situation. And all of these things that I don't know are irrelevant anyway. Because the one thing I DO know is that those kids had nothing to do with their situation. THEY (the kids) are in a needy situation for reasons that are out of their control. Because those kids are innocent bystanders in all of this. Those kids deserve a break....they deserve a good Christmas. Bottom line.

And you know what mom put in the kids' wish lists? Basic needs. Winter coats. Boots. Warm clothes. These kids deserve (at the very least) to be WARM this holiday season. So I sent out an email to the 2 remaining family members who wanted to participate. I received a phone call from one of them the next day. The following paragraph are just SOME of the things that came out of this person's mouth....

"We want to participate and sponsor a family with you but not THIS family. There are things that we don't like about this family. Mom's on welfare. She's not working. There's no reason she can't work with asthma. And the dads are both in jail? And she's a size 22 so obviously they're not going hungry."
I was speechless.
Absolutely speechless.
So, the spirit in which this was intended has been completely ruined. And we have decided to just scrap the whole idea and just tell everyone to use the money they would have spent on us to sponsor a family of their own choice....or just pocket the damn money and don't give it to anyone because I'm sure that's what everyone wants to do anyway. Cuz I give up. I had hoped to turn this into a nice family holiday tradition but it's become painfully obvious that that's not going to happen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dear Santa,

I've been a very good girl this year.

Many people bombard you year after year with ridiculous requests for Christmas.

I'm so sorry for their greed.

My list is short. I'm sure you'll agree.

Not only is my list short but it's also very practical. It's a practical list with items that are necessary for any mom to be a GOOD mom.

So, without further ado, here is my *short* list.....

1) These boots are certainly *necessary*. I live in MI. MI is cold. My feet need to stay warm to maintain my health. I need my health to be a good mom. UGGs are necessary.

2) I've had my eyes on these for awhile now.....please remember that the cost only reflects their superior comfort....Cole Haan is a master in the art of foot comfort and deserves to be rewarded.....comfort is a *necessity* for any successful know....with all the running around I do for them.....

They also come in black. I'm not choosy....surprise me....

3) I've been pining for this item below since last May. Remember this post? I'm still trying to come up with a believable "it's a necessity" argument. I'll have to get back to you on this one....but trust's *necessary*.....

3) And a watch (such as one of the two below) is necessary for a busy mom like myself to keep track of time. I'm sure you'll agree that this is more a *necessity* than a *want*. And please pay no attention to the price tag as the cost only reflects it's high quality craftsmanship and reliability. Which, again, is *necessary*.

4) Now this....this fine item below with all its sparkley bedazzlement is a *want*....definitately a want..... but, in keeping with the *necessary* theory..... it's *necessary* for a mom to get an occassional *want* so that said mom can be a happy smiley

5) Gift certificates are good too. I'm not one to scoff at a gift certificate as a cop out gift. I know you're a busy man. Any gift certificate will do.....but a gift certificate to......

So that I may pay this man a visit.....

So that he may transform my body from this.....

To this.....

Would leave me forever grateful.....ummmm.....and healthier.....yes, definitely healthier. Because we all know that less body fat = more energy = healthy =!

6) Or how about a family trip to Italy. It's so very important and *necessary* to teach our children the art and culture of our heritage.

7) Looking for a stocking stuffer idea? How about this?.....

With a little of this......

Please keep in mind, Santa, that cost is relative. My list is really quite practical. While others are asking for world peace and an end to world hunger....yeah right, like you could ever afford THAT tall order.....I'm merely asking for several *small* items. Items that you'll no doubt agree are *necessary* for me to be a good mother.

Um, yeah, about that Kindle....also very *necessary*...reading is educational....moms need to be educated....therefore....Kindle = *necessary*!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Today's Random Act of Kindness.

I've made a goal for myself. To partake in at least one random act of kindness each day.

Today, I dedicate my RAOK to dear bloggy friends.

Today is about making you feel better about yourself!

If you don't already know I started a fitness program at my gym a couple weeks ago. Along with the fitness program comes a nutrition consult. They give us individual nutrition plans that follow the diabetic exchange chart program. Any time I try to follow a program that limits starch/carb intake I struggle with coming up with satisfying snacks. I have a major sweet tooth.

A LONG time ago...I found the perfect carb friendly snack. This carb friendly snack provides sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth without the carb calories.

Sugar free jello topped with a dollop of sugar free cool whip. I love cool whip and the sugar free tastes JUST like the real stuff. So I ALWAYS have sugar free cool whip on hand in my frig.


Yesterday, I went into my frig to satisfy my sweet tooth.

I pulled this out....

And found this......

Not only have I succeeded in making you feel better about yourself.... I do believe I have also succeeded in helping you all along in your own quest for weight loss as I'm sure I have now destroyed your appetite. So, technically, I think this one RAOK satisfies tomorrows RAOK quota as well. Two birds with one stone. I'm all about efficiency.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Greed at it's finest

This just makes me want to vomit. And we wonder why our country is falling apart at the seams? Here's one of the reasons......

If the video doesn't work....try this.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

As good luck would have it....

I returned home yesterday from my "Team Fitness" class at the gym. I was tense and tired from my strenuous workout. I had been looking forward to coming home and taking a little cat nap. I drove up my driveway and saw a box on my front porch. I thought the box contained the wrist guards I ordered for my boys. Dreamy's wrist has been bothering him in practice and coach told me wrist guards would help.

But the box did NOT contain the wrist guards.

The box was for ME. That never happens. The only things I get in the mail are bills and junk.

The box contained THIS:

Before I continue any further I just have to tell you all that I'm like the luckiest person you know. Seriously. I win EVERYthing. Always. I have won almost every single center piece to every single shower that I've ever been to. And when I enter a raffle....I almost always win. It's freaky. I won the grand prize at my high school senior all night party. A refrigerator for my college dorm room. Hubby and I won a 52 inch TV grand prize at his work Christmas party back in 1996 the day before my 1st child was born. We also won a 36 inch flat screen TV at another work party. Put it this way....we have 5 TVs in this house and we JUST bought our 1st TV last month. Every other TV has been won through a raffle. I won my KitchenAid mixer. We've won gas cards...we've won gift certificates. My house is littered with shower center pieces and door prizes. I've also won many scrapbooking items at various scrapbooking events I've gone to.

Is it bad luck to say I have good luck? I may be jinxing myself.

The following pictures are just some of things we've won over the years.....

Last week Marni had a giveaway on her blog. I took one look at a picture of this contraption on Marni's blog and (knowing what she does for a living....for those not in know....she sells "adult toys") laughed and said what the hell do you do with that thing. My imagination was running amok. But I read on to discover that it is a Head Massager.....I could insert a ridiculously childish and trite comment about it being for the head aBOVE your waste....and of course tell you to get your mind out of the gutter.....but I'll spare you.



So I sat on my great room floor and tested it out. And I couldn't stop laughing long enough to get a decent meditative photograph. I felt like a fool with an unidentifiable object on my head in my living room trying to take photos of my self. I kept thinking please Dear Lord don't let a neighbor walk up to my front door and witness this.

My kids woke up for school this morning and found this on our coffee table. They thought it was a hoot. It entertained us all. They were in stitches when they found out what it was and couldn't stop giggling with it on their head. We are easily amused and entertained. It tickles. It vibrates. It feels bizarre. "Mom, even my teeth are vibrating," "DUDE, it tickles all the way down my back," "Mommy, I think even my butt is vibrating."

Marni you rock! Thank you again! You made my day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

But what if the old dog WANTS to learn new tricks?

My brain runith over. As in….it’s full. As in….if I attempt to insert any more information I risk my brain spontaneously combusting….or… the very least I risk losing VITAL information. Like my childrens’ birthdays……or…….my yahoo password.

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t believe I’m this enormous fountain of knowledge who’s brain is threatening to overflow because it’s so full of intelligence. I just believe that there was very little room to begin with. Kinda like an old computer. Our computer is approximately 5 years old. When we first got this computer we thought we were purchasing top of the line memory capacity. RAM, gigabytes….whatever. But the memory is reaching capacity and is now getting painfully slow. I can erase useless information to make room for new information on my computer. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do the same for our brain. Click a delete button.

I can remember useless information like the address and phone number to my childhood home (from which I moved when I was ten years old) but I can’t remember to send in requested permission slips and field trip payments. I can remember the steps to a tap dance I learned when I was 8 years old but I can’t remember a breakfast date with a neighbor and friend. I can remember the 13 digit Australian phone number of the guy I met on my trip to Italy when I was 16 yrs/old but I can't remember my God Son's birthdate (which is coming up btw). I can remember every geometry theorem from 10th grade (information that I have little to no use for) but canNOT ….for the life of me….memorize Italian vocabulary.

Have I mentioned that I’m taking an Italian class. I can’t even remember if I’ve mentioned that. And I’m too darn lazy to backtrack and check. But yeah. I’m taking an Italian language class with 4 of my immediate family members.

The Italian language is something I’ve wanted to learn since I was a little girl and now with my new found freedom (ALL 3 kids in school ALL day) I decided why wait? So here I am. 36 years old. And delusional enough to believe that I can somehow delete old useless information from my storage bin to make room for an entire second language. I’m having doubts.

I loved college. I loved learning about things that interested me. I was GOOD at learning things that interested me. The Italian language interests me. So logic should follow that I would be GOOD at learning it. Yes?

NO! I suck!

I sat in my Italian class last night for 2.5 hours and retained approximately 10 minutes worth of the information.

I think I’ve forgotten how to learn.

After my first class (7 weeks ago) I decided to start a stack of flashcards. By the 3rd week I realized that my stack was growing too large to manage. My stack was over 3 inches tall after just 3 weeks. I gave up on the flashcards.

After last night’s class I told my mom that I thought someone should invent a program online for making flashcards. A program that would allow you to make flashcards on the computer and maybe allow you to play memory games with these flashcards online. So, on a whim, I google searched this when I returned home last night. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that such programs exist. MANY such programs.

So I spent the better part of my afternoon today….after a delightful breakfast with a neighbor and friend…a breakfast I did NOT forget about btw…eh-hem…. downloading one such program and all existing precategorized Italian vocabulary flashcard files.

I WILL learn this language.

If for no other reason than to prove to myself that I am NOT too old to learn!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Random Updates

1. Kids all got their flu shots yesterday. I got mine this morning. Bring it on BABY!

2. Anyone care to place wagers on when the next round of colds start....I should probably warn you that Smurfette had a head cold last week and now my sinuses feel funky today. I REALLY wish someone would come up with a cure or vaccine for the common cold.

3. Every year before winter hits I take all five of our comforters to the Laundromat to have them washed. And every year (for the last 4 years) shortly after I get them all washed one or all of my kids end up with the stomach flu and a comforter soaked in vomit. I'm thinking I'll wait to wash all the comforters this year. It only took me 4 years to learn this lesson....cuz I'm so quick.

4. Speaking of dog has puked 4 times since early this morning. (edited to add: Make that 8 times...I forsee a trip to the vet in our near future)

5. Speaking of my dog...she shit in my boys' bedroom yesterday....AGAIN....and my son stepped in it and then proceeded to track said shit across his bedroom carpet all the while yelling "MOOOMMMM, ROSIE POOPED IN MY BEDROOM AGAIN!" I'm seriously considering patenting a doggie ass cork.

6. Speaking of asses...week one of Team Fitness is over. I missed day one due to
marathon soreness. Day two was spent doing fitness testing. Day three was yesterday and was our first day of actually working out. And now I can't sit on the toilet without letting out a little yelp. My. ass. hurts.

7. Dreamy update: I've been attempting since the beginning of the school year to use positive reinforcement to help Dreamy with his
"issues". He has always responded well with this in the past. But this year it just hasn't been working. I really haven't been able to reinforce any positive behavior because every single day something was forgotten, or homework was lost, or a note came home from school about his inability to focus in class. So, on a whim, I changed my tactic to see how he responded. I told him since this wasn't working I was going to start taking privileges away. I took his Wii, PS2, and TV privileges away indefinitely until I see an improvement. I told him not to view this as a punishment but rather a period of time for refocusing. He actually took it rather well. That was 2 weeks ago. Do you know that he has received a "thumbs up" from his teacher (we communicate daily) EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. since then. He was suppose to have an appointment this morning with a clinical psychologist. I cancelled the appointment. I'd like to give it another couple weeks to see how he does before I go that route. His teacher sent me an email last week:

"Hi, When Mr. H (the principle) was in our class today to talk to the kids about the MEAP test, he asked the kids some ways to do their best. (Dreamy) raised his hand and said to "FOCUS on it." Mr. H made a really big deal out of it and (Dreamy) looked over at me and had a smile from ear to ear!!! Thought I would share that with you!!!!! Good luck with the marathon."

Wasn't that sweet of her to share that with me??

And then a couple days later Hefty received a post card in the mail from that same principle. It said: "Mrs. M told me that you are a mature and talented writer. That's great. Would you like to be the December C.C. (newsletter) student author? Keep up the good work."

I'm really feeling grateful that my kids go to a school with such an involved principle. I've been really lucky so far. My kids have always had great teachers. Reason #591 why we shouldn't move.

8. The boys had a sleep over at their friend's house last night. They were up until 3:30 am. And now they are having their friend spend the night tonight. And my niece and nephew are also spending the night. I hate sleep overs. Seriously. So, now, tomorrow I'm going to have a house full of cranky sleep deprived children. Oh boy! (edited to add: we have now picked up aNOTHER stray child at the gym. We now have 7 children sleeping in this house tonight. I ALMOST know how Jon and Kate feel)

9. Family movie night...we're watching Iron Man as I type this... I love Robert Downey Jr. I think if I had to choose my favorite actor I'd choose him. Iron man rocks my world. I'm a sucker for a man in a suit.

10. And because I need an even left upper lip has been twitching all damn night.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Internet and phone have been restored. YEAY! 72 hours with no internet and phone has me rethinking this blog thing. Seriously. I spend WAY too much time on the internet. I rely WAY to heavily on the internet. I'm in desperate need of some priority adjustments.

I'm picking the kids up in about 10 minutes from school and heading over to the doctor's office to get all their flu shots. Should be a good time.

In the mean time....I'm stealing this from
LifeAsILiveIt because I just don't feel like posting anything today.

I choose......

Tom Hanks over Tom Cruise
avoidance over confrontation (some may beg to differ)
Chinese food over Mexican food
late nights over early mornings
beer over wine (depends on my mood...I like both)
NBC over CBS
sweet over salty
beach over mountain
Chocolate over vanilla
dogs over cats
mistakes made over missed chances
lipgloss over lipstick
J.K Rowling over J.R.R. Tolkien (can't get into either)
dark chocolate over milk chocolate
football over hockey (don't watch either)
pie over cake
half full over half empty
sense of humor over sense of style
Wheel of Fortune over Jeopardy!
pro-choice over pro-life
soda over iced tea
The Breakfast Club over Dirty Dancing
french toast over french fries
Belle over Cinderella
big city over small town
The Olympics over The Oscars
too hot over too cold
mustard over ketchup
Caesar salad over house salad
books over movies
pedicures over manicures
red wine over white wine
John Cusack over John Malkovich
apples over oranges
fast cars over big trucks
elliptical over treadmill
summer over winter
time with girlfriends over time alone
vacuuming floors over mopping floors

Play along...what do you prefer?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My own personal Highway to Hell

Yeah, I know, stupid title. Forgive me.
But it seems my brain has joined every other muscle and nerve fiber in my body in a fast and furious race to see who can cripple me most efficiently. It seems Sciatica was in the lead with her sharp lightening quick stabs down my left ass cheek ....she can buckle my leg quicker than I can say "mother fucker." But Brainmatter officially closed up the gap quickly in this dead heat race when she began oozing from my left ear and other facial orifices...I'm pretty sure that's illegal and she should probably be disqualified....but I don't make the rules....and I certainly don't argue with someone as they're threatening to bully my eyeballs from out of their sockets from behind. So there you have it. I need my eyesight. Brainmatter wins.
Do you hear that Brainmatter....YOU WIN......please collect your prize and go home. Quietly. And please turn out the lights before you leave.
So so bright.
Due to Brainmatter's temporary leave of absence....I am unable to think of a more clever title to go with the post that follows....
Hubby and I are going to see AC/DC in concert on Nov. 4th. I saw them once before during my first (second?) year of college but I'll also tell you that my memory of that evening is a little fuzzy.....or maybe even slightly nonexistent. I'll keep the reasons for that fuzz to myself thankyouverymuch. I know I enjoyed it though....cuz surely if I HADN'T enjoyed it I'd'a remembered Papa smurf, who is a die hard AC/DC fan, has never seen them in concert. Not too sure why. It just never worked out for him. So needless to say we're extremely excited....and EAGERLY awaiting the release of their latest CD next week. And the best part is we'll be sharing the evening with our good friends K and R. So be warned.... music will be changing on my blog very soon in preparation for said concert....turn your volume down if you don't want to hear it.

PS ~ There is no better music to run to.
I mean.......other than James Brown's I Feel Good.....of course...psh.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicago Marathon

It's over.


You would think I would have learned my lesson the first time around. NOPE. Contrary to what I said in THIS post....I'm really quite slow.

My original goal was to break 5 hours.


My alternate goal was to improve last year's time of 5:19:andsomeoddseconds.


By mile 20 my new goal was to simply finish the damn thing.

And I did.

In 5:25:05.


Very slow.

Am I disappointed? Not in the least.

Chicago was a fantastic marathon. And we had a fantastic time. The number of people in that city just blew my mind away. It really was quite amazing. And very inspiring.

And the best part? They were serving free beer at the finish line. DUDE. How's that for incentive to finish?......

And now T is trying to convince me that a mini Triathlon is the "thing" to do. Where the hell did I get these friends. Seriously. She needs help. I can barely hasn't even been 24 hours since the marathon....the pain is still very fresh in my mind.....and she's trying to talk me into this shit. And let me tell you.....she's relentless. She's like that nagging wife that won't give up an argument until she wins.....

.......shut up Papa Smurf......

I still don't know. But I'm sure she'll continue to hen peck me into submission.

For now, I've decided to give the full marathons a rest for awhile. We're planning on doing the Bay Shore 1/2 marathon in April. Papa Smurf is even considering joining us in training. That will be kinda neat. Training with the hubby. I think the 1/2 is the way to go. Training will be far less grueling. And the actual race will be much more enjoyable and much less painful.

Here's some pictures from the weekend....

Friday: We arrived in Chicago around 4pm and headed over to the Expo to register. Then headed to Dick's Last Resort for dinner. That place is really a good time. If you've never been you should go if you get the chance.

The 5 runners: B, L, T, W, and ME

Saturday we wandered down the Magnificent Mile and did some shopping. I finally made my first American Girl purchase. I've resisted the urge long enough. It was time. Smurfette's birthday is coming up in December and I figured since I was there I may as well save on shipping by purchasing a little early. She is going to be SO excited!

Sunday morning before the race....

At the starting corral....the upside down hamstring stretch view.....

The starting corral was divided into A, B, C, D, and "open." The "open" corral was waaaaaaaayyyyy behind all the cool elite athletes. "Open" translated into "those who are so slow they're really not "running" a marathon but would like to be humored into believing they are." It took us nearly 20 minutes after the official start to get from here....... here......

Just to put that into perspective for the time we actually made it to the Start line the elite runners were probably already 5 miles into the marathon.

T and I lost B early on in the race because by mile 3 she was vomiting on the side of the road. She had taken an antibiotic before the race for a sinus/throat ailment and it wasn't agreeing with her. It took her a while to shake it off.

The next 2 photos were taken around the 10K marker.

Absolutely loved running through this part of Chicago with the old Brownstone style homes. There were people outside their homes with hoses squirting all the runners down.

Had to get a picture of all the trampled water

and Gatorade cups....

The next 2 photos were taken around the 25K marker....we're still not looking too shabby. But you'll notice that I didn't get another photo until the finish line because we were hitting the wall somewhere around the 18 - 20 mile mark. The heat was unbearable and it was 10 degrees cooler than last year's marathon. I couldn't imagine trying to get through it with 90 degree heat.

If you look waaaay off in the distance you can see the finish line. There truly is NOTHING like finally seeing that finish line after running 26.2 miles in the sun and heat. It was a wonderful moment!

T and I after we met up with the rest of the clan after the race.

W in the middle finished with a personal best of 3:57.....WOW!

Me and Papa Smurf

I finished the marathon with my first ever running battle wound. This is my 2nd marathon and I've never gotten a blister from running. Can you believe it?


Because of the heat and sun there were hoses everywhere....home and business owners had hoses held up for the participants to run through to cool off. There were fire hydrants opened up every couple miles or so. We hit EVERY single one of them. It was hot. It felt good. The problem was that by the time we finished we were soaked from head to toe. I was running with squishy and sloshy running shoes. My feet were pruney and rubbing in places they normally wouldn't.

I apologize in advance for the following photo...but I really just can't help myself. Check out my first blister ever (yes, my FIRST) on the inside of my big's about the size of a quarter and wraps around under my toe. I'm really quite proud of it. Please don't pay attention to the nasty old paint job....It's obviously been awhile since I've painted the toes.

I hobbled on over to the podiatry tent shortly after taking this picture and felt like a big baby for complaining about my little old blister when I took a look at the feet on the woman on the cot next to me. Holy Hell! Her feet were encased in 2 gigantic blisters. She was in a lot of pain. It took everything in me not to whip out my camera and grab a shot of those bad boys. She won't be wearing shoes for quite some time.

And that's it.

The end.

It's officially over (read with dramatic sigh of relief).

The 1/2 marathon is in April. I have 6 months. My goal: I'm going to finish the 1/2 in 2 hrs 10 mins.