Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm a winner!

Can you believe it?  I entered a contest over at Debbie Does Dinner ... Healthy & Low Calorie  (which is a great site and I LOVE her recipes!!!) for the Once A Month Mom holiday ebook and I WON  my very own copy of the Ebook.  I cannot wait til it arrives!!  So excited.  If you're looking to get your own copy of the OAMM Holiday ebook, click on the pretty picture right up there and it will take you to the order form! The price of this eCookbook is $9.99. (Through November 1st it is on sale for $5.99 (40% off) when you use coupon code OAMM40!) It has recipe cards for the these great recipes: ◦Veggie Pizza, ◦Pumpkin Cheeseball, ◦Scalloped Corn, ◦Freezer Mashed Potatoes, ◦Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes, ◦Slow Cooker Stuffing, ◦Make Ahead Butterhorn Rolls, ◦Turkey Baste, ◦Cranberry Mustard Ham Glaze, ◦Pumpkin Pie, and, last but not least, ◦Caramel Apple Pie Trifle.  Four of these recipes cannot be found elsewhere on the OAMM site.  YUM!  I am so excited!! (Did I already say that??) Thanks girls!!!  You definitely have a winner who is appreciating this more than you know (or can you tell?)

Do you want to hear the rest of my boring story for the day yesterday?  Winning the Ebook really puts things in a different perspective for me today because yesterday ... well, it sucked.  I had a crappy afternoon at work because I didn't triple check my work and double cross my T's ... then when I got home, we realized that Twink's cool witch costume became an enchanted costume and magically disappeared.  SweeTart had a 5:45 doctor's appointment for a flu shot, Twink had to be dropped at gymnastics by 6:30 and I had 2 hours before she needed to be picked up to find the stupid costume.  At 7:30, I decided that I needed to get her a new costume.  I didn't have enough time to get all the way to JoAnn's to get the costume that she already had so Hubs suggested I go to ... Walmart.  Ewwww.  I have to confess that I hate Walmart.  I hate the store, I hate the confusion and most of all I hate the crazies that are in Walmart and last night, I found myself in the midst of one of the places I despise most. 

It took me forever to even find the Halloween section of the store.  Instead of being right where I would put it if I were a Walmart manager (as soon as you walk in the front door,) it was all the way to the far left (but still in front) of the store, over by the gardening section .. which would be great if I needed POTTING SOIL.   The way I figure it, Halloween is for kidlets although the parents do the purchasing.  If the Halloween stuff isn't directly in front of my face when I walk in the door, I expect it to be in or near the kidlet section.  So, long story short, I traversed the entire store looking for the crazy Halloween section.  I then proceeded to pick through the costumes which where strewn every which way looking for a "green witch" costume.  Purple witches, rainbow witches, light up witches - yep, I found them.  I wound up getting her a "sparkle" witch, fishnet stockings and a 30 inch black wig with green at the very front of the wig...all this was done in 21 minutes....then to wait in the LINE.  Express checkout at Walmart is so not express at all.  The bottom line is:  Twink is okay with her costume,  I got to the gym on time to pick her up and, if the missing green witch costume shows up within the next 360 days, we definitely know what she'll be for Halloween 2011.

Bring on the weekend!  Hope you have a wonderful one!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

I need to know:  How do stay at home mom's do it?  I was home yesterday with SweeTart.  I know I should have showered at my normal time but didn't - before I knew it, SweeTart was awake, it was time to get the school bound kidlets out of bed and ready for their day.  Then ... SweeTart and I took a ride to JoAnn's to get stuff that we need for the guests we're expecting to come Trick or Treat with us on Sunday.  Then ...  a quick trip to Costco to use the gift membership we redeemed over a month ago.  Then ... home to try to get the girlie girl to take a nap.  Saw Hubs for a few minutes while he stopped home to grab lunch, spoke to him about Twink's need for glasses and going to order them when she got home from school ... sat with SweeTart for a few minutes trying to get her to settle down and relax for a nap ... took a ride to a separate store to get salad stuffs because we don't need as much as Costco was offering (plus there was someone in my way @ the store and I couldn't get down a few aisles) ... chatted with a friend for a few minutes in the store while SweeTart was running around like a crazy woman ... finally convinced her to get into the back of the cart and only got her to sit by telling her if the monsters couldn't see her above the cart, they couldn't "get" her ... went home ... got the kids off the bus ... assessed the homework situation ... packed everyone up to go to pick out frames for Twink's glasses (WAIT ...guess who is now asleep on the couch??) ...carried sleeping SweeTart to the car only to find that Twink is no where to be found because she is upstairs crying because I reprimanded her for having an "oops notice" (forgot her homework) ... in our house, we have been stressing over the kidlets being responsible for their schoolwork ... ok, get her in the car, pick out the glasses (calling the girls out of gymnastics on our way,) text SIL to see if she can cut the kidlets hair at her house which is right around the block from the eye doctor's office ... get DinoBoy and Twink a hair cut ... catch up on some of the family gossip that I generally don't hear because it breaks my heart that they just can't freaking get along! ... went home, pulled homework back out, tried to get something on TV to appease SweeTart, started dinner ... I am exhausted thinking about it. 

Luckily, my Prince Charming came to my rescue and came home from work.  After biting his tounge about me forgetting to take the guacamole out of the freezer, he helped and he cleaned up 100% while I helped Twink with her language arts homework.   I am not quite sure where I lost control, I think it was somewhere between SweeTart trying to color on the computer screen or Twink whining over something that I cannot even recall but I totally lost my cool at 8:10 p.m.  That would be when I sent Twink to her room to do her 20 minutes of reading, until her bedtime at 8:30. She had definitely done something to piss me off then told me "no" when I told her to go to her room to read - she kept coming back at me with she would go up at 8:30 when it was time for her to go to bed.  Really?  She is 8.  I thought I told my kids when to go to bed?  No worries, Prince Charming took care of that too.  Somehow, we managed to get SweeTart upstairs (amid her telling everyone they're meanies and they're going to get a time out) and into bed.  Our bed.  Again.  Not just because she has stuff all over her new toddler bed from me cleaning out the closet but because she HATES her toddler bed and refuses to sleep in it. 

Super Nanny was back in action this morning at our house - we missed her yesterday and hope that loverboy gets out of the hosptial soon!!  We need her tons more than she needs us!!

Anyway, my back hurts, my Hubs is tired of sleeping with the 2 y.o. as much as I am so any advice, Dear Diary, is most appreciated. 


Friday, October 22, 2010

Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage

My Review of The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage by Michael and Amy Smalley

Well, this is my first ever, "eh, it was okay" book review.  Don't get me wrong:  this book has tons of fabulous advice and tips on how you, individually, can work to make your marriage stronger.  While relevant in marriage, a lot of these tips can be used in everyday life as well - i.e. dealing with children.  It just isn't a book that I will be running to recommend to all of my friends if their marriage is not in crisis.  If it is, I will surely recommend if they ask my opinion at all. 

This book wants you to work on the items you know you are lacking:  confidence, patience, and motivation, to touch on a few pointed out.   Basically, the book is telling you to make yourself better by working on items (the ones mentioned are the ones I know I am falling short in) and by feeling better about yourself, you will present yourself differently into the marriage and it will improve (or stay good.) 

Also, I am a Christian, but maybe not as devout as the authors are.  Much of the Scripture quoted makes perfect and relevant sense within their text but I am unable to "leave my problems with God" and not dwell on them.  It is one of the ways I am not, nor is anyone else (as also pointed out in the book,) perfect. 

There was a quirky way in which this book was written where they pointed out who was speaking in parenthesis.  I think that maybe they should have prefaced each area of thought i.e. "Amy's thoughts are ..." etc.  This could have led to further confusion but each time I hit a parenthesis, I would have to stop, reread the line and try to apply it to that author. 

All in all, it was a good book filled with great advice, including the Golden Rule "Do onto others as you'd have done to you."   If you are suffering any type of marital woes, this book will coach you through looking within yourself for the answers instead of blaming your spouse. 

*A free copy of this book was provided to me by Tyndale Publishers who asked only for my honest opinion and did not require me to produce a positive review.*

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to really scare your coworkers in two easy steps.

1) Give blood in the school blood drive.
2) Begin to pass out at your desk over an hour after you've donated and already had lunch ...

My luck, I work in an office within a high school.  Really, this is lucky!  I share an office with 5 other great women.  We were celebrating boss' day with our boss - kind of - we had lunch that we all at at our desks (boss in his office at his desk) because of conference room has been taken over by our auditors.  They were supposed to be here for 2 weeks and we're entering our third week. 

I donated blood on Monday morning in the school at a drive sponsored by one of the student council groups.  (I am not 100% sure which one!) I breezed through (STOP RIGHT HERE: this is where we should have known something was bound to happen since the last few times I've tried to give blood, they've either deferred me for iron or gone right through one of my veins.)  All was fine - I was finished in record time for me - by 11:40 which meant that I could still have lunch and all that other fun stuff.  Fast forward to a little after 1:00, I could feel myself getting faint and knew that I was pale but didn't want to scare anyone so I just grabbed onto my desk and tried to gain control.  Unfortunately, this was at the same time someone was trying to share a brownie with me. She noticed something was terribly wrong.  I could hear her telling me that I was as white as a ghost and telling me to take my sweater off (it is cold in our office - all the time!) then I heard her telling someone to go get help - (thank goodness they didn't call 911, I am embarrassed enough as it is!)  Seconds later, I was being whisked down to the nurses office in a wheelchair (by this time I felt better.)   The friend pushing me was the EMT and she was yelling "outta the way - broken leg - coming through"  -- thanks for making me laugh Donna!

After getting OJ in the nurse's office, and a bottle of water I was feeling much, much, much better.  Then the nurse had me put my feet on the incline so that blood would leave my legs and get into the parts where it was needed.  Sorry to say this was the key to unlocking my sinuses which I try very hard to keep in check.  By the time I was finished at the nurse's office, my nose was running like a spigot.  (TMI, I know.)  It proceeded to do so for the next .... heck, it still is and I'm getting ready to go to work (the next day.) 

I still don't know what caused this weird reaction!  I have given at least 15 pints of blood since I was 18.  Not a lot considering I can donate whole blood once every 56 days.  I've even done pheresis on a few different occasions as well. 

But - I am thankful to have great coworkers who took excellent care of me.  When I got back to my desk after this fun incident, the girls told me that I looked much better and had color in my face.  Don't tell them, but I think my face might stay this pink for a while because I'm so embarrassed!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationships

After doing a very stupid thing yesterday, I thought that I would outline my most frequented love/hate relationships before telling about how I screwed up majorly ....
  • Exercise:  This kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it?
  • Inlaws: (I love to call them outlaws)  There are many that we love ... many that we ... okay - hate is a strong word .... disagree with often. 
  • Drama: that the outlaws thrive on.
  • Calliou:  love that SweeTart LOVES him - hate his voice!!!
  • Fantasy Sports: Love that my hubs loves to play each and every fantasy sport he can; hate when he makes bad calls and loses!
  • Kids who don't listen: okay, this is mostly a hate relationship but I do love my kids!
  • Clutter:  Love to feel surrounded by my stuff; hate that I am overrun by it!! 
  • my IPHONE:  This is where we come into the bit about my stupidity.
When I got my new Iphone I was thinking of myself as being very cutting-edge and since I don't have my "own" Ipod, I was killing two birds with one stone.  I needed a new phone but wanted an ipod.  I debated and went back and forth - I had pro lists and I had con lists.  When my other phone took a crap and started acting funny, I went ahead and ordered my Iphone. 

I had done my homework.   I priced, repriced, researched and gathered knowledge.  I found out that I could use Hubs' ipod and have a "home" account for us.  I could have all that was on his ipod plus so much more! 

I have had the phone for about 2 months.  Yesterday, because we had some time to kill after breakfast but before the birthday party we were going to, I decided it was finally time to get Tunes on my Iphone.  I hooked it up, I tried to sync but I needed to make a choice, set up new or restore from Hubs' iphone.  Sounded like a silly question.  I don't want a new account - I want what he has:  RESTORE.  A warning came up - are you sure?  Yes, silly, I am sure.  CLICK.  In one swift click of my finger, all of my apps, videos and photos went into CYBERSPACE and are subsequently ... GONE.  The cute pictures I took of the kids outside last week?  Gone.  The wonderful video I took of SweeTart singing "itsy bitsy spider" and yelling at her grandmom to "go home" in the middle of it?  Gone.  All fo the great pictures I took when Hubs and I were in Disney a few weeks ago?  Hasta Lavista - GONE. 

Now, of course, I didn't notice this right away which makes it all the worse ... a better building block for proving my stupidity yesterday.  When I logged into FB on my phone I was scrolling through statuses and I even asked Hubs, why am I seeing so and so's status, I am not friends with them?  (He is.)  Oh, look, I am logged into your account.  (This came when I "restored" from the Ipod since his Ipod is linked to his FB account.)  I logged out and logged back in.  Ahh, better.  My friends.  Welcome back. 

Hours later, same scenario, different account.  This time it was Yahoo that I was concerned about.  Where is the last email from my sister that I was looking for?  Not here - wait - none of my emails were around.  Again, log out from Hubs account, log into my own.  Another sigh of relief.  Next, reload Scrabble and Lexolous so that I can continue my games. 

Wait, I got a missed call from one of my best friends while we were out.  Why didn't her name come up?  Oh jinkes, my contact list is GONE.  Absolutely LOVELY. 

After going to two different parties and deciding we were too tired to cook, we ordered take out and I went to get it while Hubs was sitting with SweeTart watching the boob tube.  Wait, first let me grab my phone so that I can transfer all of these cool tunes from the Ipod into the hard drive on the van.  I grabbed the necessary USB cable,  my purse and the phone and headed outside.  Only to discover that there are NO TUNES on my phone.  I still have no idea how this happened. 

I won't have time tonight to figure out what happened. Not tomorrow night either.  Maybe Wednesday?  Do any of you know how this happened???  Maybe I should have done a little more research or goodness forbid, read an instruction manual!  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

SweeTart & Guinness:  zzzzzzzzzzzz

Visit the Wordless Wednesday linky  and this one too for more particpants. :-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Last Play @ Shea

Info on the Last Play @ Shea Stadium is too good to pass up.  Click here to get info for when you can see in a theatre near you. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Escape to Old Key West (9/29/10 - 10/2/10)

- Our Cast of Characters: Me and Hubs, most recent trip in 2009 with 2 out of 3 kidlets, newbie DVC members - this was a quick get away to burn "bonus" points about to expire plus experience the magic on our own!

- Our Journey: AirTran flights (upgraded to first class for $69 each/flight!! wahoo!) PHL to MCO - both flights 7:30 a.m. flights putting at our destination, including Magical Express, by noon.

- Our Lodging: One Bedroom Villa in Turtle Creek section of OKW. It was HUGE. We certainly can get away with a one bedroom for our family of 5 - the girls can sleep on the pull out couch and our son on the pull out chair! Way too much room for the two of us!!

- Our Special Plans: trip to celebrate our 11th Anniversary which was in May - wanted to rent a car to visit an old friend living nearby and also visit Epcot to do Soarin' (because we weren't able to ride on previous trip) and the 15th Food and Wine Festival!

We thought that with all of the activity in the Gulf and the Caribbean our first day, Wednesday, Sept. 29th would be rainy and a great day to do nothing ... We weren't able to check in when we arrived around noon as our room wasn't ready yet but we dropped our bags with bell services and took the boat over to Downtown Disney to grab lunch and kill some time til our room was ready. (can you believe they send you a text message when it's ready? now that is coolness!) We lunched at TRex Cafe - we were able to walk in because it was just 11:30 and they were just opening. We had a great lunch and had way too much food for the two of us! Hubs had the appetizer sampler, with a side of ribs and I had the chicken pita with fries. I helped him eat his and I couldn't finish mine. We didn't get "doggie bags" because we didn't know when our room would be ready. If you're not on Disney Dining and are DVC, don't forget to ask for your discount! After lunch we shopped and waited ... and shopped ... and waited. LOL. Our room wasn't ready til almost 4 o'clock which is okay because that is the check in time at OKW.

After we were in our room, it was a little challenging to get all of our stuff up to us. The Bell People who were working at 4:00 weren't the same ones who where there at 11:30 and didn't know that we had * carry on bags, *grocery delivery, *one checked bag from DME, and *one purple locker that all needed to get to us. We had bell services to us three different times just to get all of our stuff. Again, not a big deal but .... tipping was getting a little out of control. LOL.

Dinner Wednesday night was at Raglan Road, DTD. (HEY - it never rained on Wednesday for us! How great was that??) Raglan Road was fantastic! Hubs had the prime rib (bone in) special -- ordered medium. (If you like your steak mooing, this is how you want to order it, otherwise, order it medium well so it isn't talking to you from the plate.) I had the pork loin stuffed with sausage. They were both fabulous meals. The Sangria rocked(!) and he had a beer. The Irish Dancers that were performing that night were great and fun to watch. We watched a little girl sitting behind us doing her Irish dance - I can only imagine our little one would have been doing the same thing. *note to self: make sure we bring the kidlets here in December!! It was a lot of fun!* Hung out at DTD, watching a guy play guitar while we were sipping Margaritas across from the SoundStage ... now that is cool!! We were cracking up at all of the people getting scared off by the "statutes."

Thursday, we got a shuttle from the Hospitality House to the Car Care center where we rented a convertible (please don't rain) for the day to go visit one of Hubs' friends. Renting the car was painless, GPS on our cell phones was priceless, too bad we didn't know about all of the tolls on the Florida roads. Holy cow! We can never complain about Jersey tolls again!! Luckily I had enough loose change in my purse to get us to our destination. Lunched with an old friend at Macaroni Grill, quick stop at Target to get stuff for our Purple Locker, then we were going to try to find Margaritaville Orlando for a visit and shopping.

Our GPS took us to a corner on Universal Boulevard and left us there. "You have reached your destination on your right." WHAT? We actually would have had to park the car in a parking garage, walk across a ... bridge ... I can't think of a better word for it right now ... then into a complex which we couldn't really see from the road to get there. So, we canned it. LOL We wanted to get the car back early and we had reservations that evening at House of Blues, DTD. We got a 10% discount for returning the car early which negated their special 10% tax for land recovery something or other. It was definitely worth it though, renting the car and visiting our friend!

Dinner at House of Blues was great. We got to see the sun go down by the water and enjoyed the music while we ate. I asked the waiter for his drink recommendation, which was a Gator Bite. Sweet, but good. Hubs had the ribs while I had a steak. Delicious. Too full from drinks, salad and dinner to try dessert. Hung out by the SoundStage again after dinner and shopping. HoB - another place to use your DVC discount for food and purchases in the store.

Around lunchtime on Friday, we headed over to Epcot. We got in line for Soarin' first since we weren't able to get on the ride in 2009. It was a 40 minute stand-by time and the wait time was right on. The ride was about 7 minutes long and I definitely want to do it again!!! I have already told the kidlets that is on our "to do" list for December!

After Soarin', we headed over to the Food & Wine Festival. The Mexico pavilion was our first stop. Hubs had a Dos Xs beer and I had a frozen pomegranate margarita. The margarita was delicious! We passed many other places, but stopped in Norway to ride Malestrom. Different. Not what I was expecting but fun! We'll take the kids back here in December too. On to Germany!! At the pavilion, Hubs had the trio of beers. After finishing those, we had an ADR for lunch at Beirgarten. Lunch was awesome. The German girls who worked at the hostess table and the actual hostess who showed us to our table were smiley and spoke heavily accented WAY.TOO.FAST. LOL. Lunch rocked! We saw the tail end of a show then were able to share our Soarin' fast passes with a couple at our table who didn't have fast passes, but their friends did. We weren't going to make it back over there by the time on our fastpasses, so we might as well spread the love, right?? Hubs was surprised when he came back from the men's room and I had ordered him a beer - a Liter of Beer. They even give plastic cups to go if you can't finish it with your lunch. We'd definitely go here again but I don't know that my kids would dig it. They're not very adventurous when it comes to eating different things.

We headed to Morocco where I got a Henna Tattoo. We saw the belly dancers there too (and Jasmine and Alladin). On our way out, we stopped at the New Zeland pavilion for a lamb slider and a glass of chardonnay (SWEET!) then detoured after shopping for gifts for the kids at the Mexico pavilion for another round of margaritas. We went over to Test Track but the standby line was pretty long and fast passes were pretty far in the future too so we headed back to OKW. A quick bite to eat at Olivia's then back to pack.

Our flight out was at 7:30 a.m. so the DME was picking us up at 4:20 am at the Hospitality House. We were able to schedule with Bell Services (early in the day on Friday) a pick up for us and our luggage at 4:00 a.m. so we didn't have to walk so far sleepy and in the dark. Nice!! Return flight was uneventful and if you must know, we forgot where we parked our car at PHL and spent 1/2 hour looking for it. A few people giggled at us as I'm sure I would have if I were them. Definitely putting that info in the cell phone when we head back down in December with the kidlets!