Archives for December 2008

Picture MeMe

Tamara from Diva Cowgirl tagged me to do this photo Me Me. The dealio is this:

1. Open the 4th picture folder on your computer.

2. Open the 4th picture and post it on your blog.

3. Explain the picture.

4. Tag 4 people to do the same!

Okay, first of all. I kinda cheated – what happens in my pictures folders is that when I upload pictures, it automatically goes into a new folder based on the date. Some of those folders only have one or two pictures (especially the ones from my phone – I don’t take a ton of pictures with my phone now that I carry my camera everywhere). So, I went to the FIRST folder after the FOURTH with four pictures in it. This is the fourth picture.

This is an ornament (DUH) that used to be on my mom’s Christmas tree. This was also my Day 90 submission to the 365 project. S, is obviously for “Sarah” (My brother has an ornament for his name – my sister wasn’t born yet so she got cheated out of an alphabet ornament). When I moved out and started doing my own Christmas tree, I got a few of my old ornaments to take with me. This is one of ’em.

I’m gonna tag: Robin, Kat from Sassy Irish Lassie, FarmWife, and Inkling.

Saturday 9: Holiday Cheer

1. Does the holiday season stress you out? If yes, how do you cope?
I can be pretty high strung at times, but I don’t really see that as related to the holidays. I start shopping early which eliminates most of that panic closer to Christmas.

2. Are you ever so busy in December that you have to force yourself to chill?
There are moments, but I think I’m like that year-round.

3. Do you sleep well at this time of year?
I sleep about the same as I do any other time of year.

4. Have you ever taken a sleigh ride? If yes, tell us about it.
No, I haven’t. Oooh, that may be something for my 101/1001 list!

5. Do you live close to the parts of your family you spend the holidays with?
Actually, all of my mom’s family is nearby, and so we all get together Christmas day. It’s a HUGE gathering at my mom’s house. It’s pretty insane – over 30 people.

6. What will you have for Christmas dinner?
I hate Christmas dinner. In our family, Christmas dinner is ham (which I don’t love) and kielbasa (my grandfather is Polish – no Polish jokes please!). Generally, I find a dinner of mashed potatoes is more than enough to make me happy, but usually, I’ll make some chicken or something.

7. Do you diet after the holidays?
No more than any other time of year. Generally, my eating habits are pretty decent. Once I am not on my holiday baking binge, it sort of evens itself out. Somewhat.

8. What’s the best part of the season for you?
I love how excited my kids are right now. It’s really awesome how thrilled they are about the holidays.

9. How many generations of your family get together during the holidays?
Four. Aren’t we lucky?

Interview, Janelle Style

Janelle, one of the writers on Blissful Buzz 3. What was your favorite Christmas present that you received and what was your favorite Christmas present you gave?
I loved getting my iPhone last year because now I can waste time EVERYWHERE. Favorite gift I’ve given? Man, there have been many. Usually it’s stuff for my kids, knowing they are going to be so jazzed about getting something that they’ve really wanted.

4. If your life was to ever be made into a movie, who would want to play you and your family?
Dang. I don’t know. The thing is, I really don’t resemble anyone I can think of off hand. I’ve been told Terri Hatcher, but seeing as how she’s about 15 years older than me, I’m going to choose to ignore that. So, I’ll say… Anne Hathaway because she’s dark haired. For The Princess, hmmm. I have no idea who would play my kids, actually – just go pick the cutest little light haired kids on the street and have them be my kids. Hubby, hm. We’ll say Matt Damon, that way the soundtrack of my life movie can include the “I’m F*cking Matt Damon” song, because I like it.

5. You seem to have a VERY witty personality, has having that gift ever gotten you into trouble?
First of all, thank you! Has it ever gotten me in trouble? Um, probably. I can be very sarcastic and very blunt – and I’ve noticed people either “get me” or they don’t. Those who don’t get me can be pretty turned off because they don’t realize I’m just being silly. But no big trouble. Yet.

Hey folks: Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


I saw a tweet on Twitter last night asking if anyone was going to do this 101 Things Project. I wrote back asking what it was and was referred to Day Zero. So, me, being the raging dork that I am decided that I am going to give it a try – starting 1/1/09 I want to make a list of 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days.

There are many reasons, the biggest of which is that I have found it too easy to nestle into my comfort zones and not challenge myself. There is so much more that I could be doing, but I don’t and there’s no good reason why. That’s crazy, right?

The killer won’t be actually getting this stuff done – I’m fiercely competitive and really love feeling like I’ve accomplished something. But coming up with a list of 101 things? That’s HARD. I’ve got 24 so far.

The idea is that these things have to be measurable – I can’t just say I want to be a nicer person (that’s just crazy talk because I’m already pretty nice).

Some things I’ve already got on my list are:

1. Fundraise and participate in Relay for Life
2. Spend a day at the beach
3. Quit using regular batteries – buy rechargeables!
4. Start a new family tradition

Please, help me make my list by adding stuff in the comments below. Once the new year starts, I’ll probably have a place to track my progress on this project. Think big and get me “outside of the box”.

Thursday Ten: One Week Til Christmas (OMG) Edition

1. Pumpkin has been hit hard this week with the crud – a fever, a nasty cough and a very drippy runny nose which has resulted in: very little sleep, a listless kiddo, and a funky rash on her face from wiping her nose with her arm (I know, I know. It’s gross). Last night, I gave her her prescription cough med with codeine – thinking, “Cool, she’ll feel better so she can sleep, and then I’ll be able to sleep.” Nope. She was up around 1:30 with a temp around 102, the heat just radiating from her little body – even her wet diaper that I peeled off her was hot, like she was peeing boiled water (again, I know: It’s gross).

2. Sick kiddo meant NO daycare today, which meant that I took her with me to my guitar lesson. It actually went better than I thought it might, and thought it was a little LESS laid back, it was still good to get out and do it – especially because the upcoming holidays means I won’t have a lesson until the second Thursday in January. That’s a long time.

3. I won a $20 gift card to today – which was awesome. I totally plan on using it to buy something FOR MYSELF, and I know that it’s not the season to be a greedy self-gift-giver… I’m gonna anyway.

4. We’re supposed to get hit hard with snow sometime before noon tomorrow. Like, up to a foot of snow, they’re predicting. No fun. No fun at all… If there is a snow day before the kids have two weeks off from school… well… guess that’s winter in Michigan, isn’t it?

5. I really hate wrapping presents. I have a ton of stuff I still need to wrap and I’m putting off. This is a marathon, not a sprint, right? I better get started.

6. As I type, Pumpkin must be feeling better. She is making a tower with a wrapped Christmas present (Hubby musta wrapped that one – it’s for me – I know what it is), a box of paper clips, my digital camera, a purse pack of Kleenex and my bra. I’m not sure if she’s going to be a sculpture artist when she grows up or an engineer.

7. Snow day or not, I have to spend tomorrow baking a whole big ton of cookies. Saturday is our annual cookie decorating party. Since a few of her friends couldn’t come, The Princess asked if she could invite some of her friends from school. I said yeah. She then said she was inviting 11 more girls and two boys, and I told her, “Back that truck up, Missy. No.” So, guess on Saturday we’ll see if what I said sunk in or if I’ll be hosting the entire first grade.

8. You know what sounds really good right now? Mexican food. Spicy, spicy Mexican food. That I don’t have to cook.

9. New music this week: “You Found Me” The Fray; “Be Like That” Three Doors Down (after which I realized that DUH, I am pretty sure we have this cd, and I could have just ripped the cd to iTunes – I am a GENIUS), and uhhh Britney’s “If You Seek Amy” which really has nothing to do with anyone named Amy – say it kinda fast, and it sounds like you’re spelling a little somethin’ somethin’.

10. What gift are y’all looking forward to giving most of all next week? Anything special you can’t wait for someone to open?

When I Grow Up

Somedays, I wonder what I am going to do when my kids get older – sure I am working now, and ideally, I’d love to just take my job back to a full time level once Pumpkin is in school. The concern is, at this point, will my job be available? In this day – with layoffs galore – who really knows?

I have found over the past several years that I really enjoy working from home. I enjoy the solitude, the alone time – I enjoy being on my own schedule, I enjoy my own version of business casual, I enjoy that no one is around to look down their nose at me if I have been wearing a ponytail for three days straight.

But, to be honest – I’m not an entrepreneurial person. I don’t come up with million dollar ideas (unless you count my idea for doctor’s offices to combine the yearly female physical with a bikini wax – because, I mean, you’re just hanging out there anyway. Might as well get it all done, right? DON’T STEAL MY IDEA). I wish I had that kind of way of thinking, but I don’t. Side note: I wonder if you can train your brain to think that way.


All that thinky-think led me to a free career test on (and I’m not recommending you do it because I fully expect to get hit with a boatload of spam emails and junk any second now). And the results were as follows:

People with Blue interests like activities that allow them to be
creative. This can be through more traditional visual arts, writing or musical pursuits although not limited to these. The creativity is often expressed in thinking of new ideas or strategies that can have a broad range of applications. Blue interests often like thinking about the future and planning for long term benefits. Hobbies include: performing or listening to music, attending theater, story telling, journaling, decorative arts, painting. Career choice often are: Editor, Journalist, Teacher, Strategic Planner, Consultant, Performing Arts, Marketing, Communications, Research and Development.

Yeah, see me in there at all? And below… My style, according to them.

People with Blue strengths are good at building long term relationships with others that are based on trust and respect. They are sensitive to the individual needs and concerns of others and respond with great understanding and intuition to emotionally difficult situations. They are good at making complex decisions because they will take the time to carefully evaluate their options so they make the best decision the first time. An additional strength they often have is to think about the future and put plans and strategies in place that are focused on long term goals.

Okay, great. So why did I bother? I’m really no better off than I was ten minutes and 40 spam messages ago.

So – you tell me: What should I be when I grow up?

It’s All About Tradeoffs

Yesterday, we had another snow day and so in addition to my two peeps, one of my daughter’s friend’s was hanging with us all day. That in itself wasn’t so bad. I dragged all three girls to the post office to send out Christmas presents, gingerbread cookies, and random stuff, and that was an adventure I hope to not repeat. The wind was gusty and the roads were sort of icy and the girls were bored and loud. From the post office back home we went.

I’m a pretty crappy cruise director and I know that for a mom who is at home, I should be better at this stuff. But – that’s not the kind of mom I am. I have strengths and there are things about me that make me a fantabulous mom but a love for making macaroni art or finger painting? Uh, not so much.

To make matters worse, Pumpkin seems to be coming down with something. Between the cold yucky weather, the abundance of kids and her mopey-ness, I decided we’d kick back and take it easy. There were MULTIPLE showings of “Horton Hears a Who” (because to be perfectly honest, I really love that movie), and basically a day of downtime.

And for those who know me, you wouldn’t be surprised that I was relieved to see that there were no school closures today, especially knowing that it was Pumpkin’s day for daycare/preschool. Yeah – this mom needs her downtime.

I got The Princess on her bus, got Pumpkin in the car and not two seconds after I buckled her in she had a meltdown because she was missing one of her gloves. Yes, a full on meltdown about a pair of gloves that I picked up at Target for $.99 (FOR TWO PAIR!). Unfortunately, The Princess had snagged the second pair for some unknown reason (they are toddler sized gloves – but The Princess wears them anyway despite having three pair of her own sized gloves). I drove to her school, went to get her out of her seat.


She cried all the way into school. She cried all the way up to the big room where her friends were already in Circle Time. She cried when her teacher tried to talk to her. She cried when I said I was leaving. “No! I want to be with you!” she wailed and wrapped her arms around my neck.

And I felt like the meanest mom ever.

When I finally left, Pumpkin was sitting on the floor with eyes filled with tears and a sad look on her face and I was trying to not lose it as I walked back out to the car. I probably should have kept her home, I know she’s not feeling 100% (she wasn’t puking, no fever – just the stupid cough – and all her friends seem to have that stupid cough because three year olds are germ weasels). And I’m sure that’s all her deal was – just not feeling good and wanting to be with mom. I hope that she perked up once I was out of sight. I hope that when I go pick her up, she’s in the classroom painting or playing with dinosaurs or something equally fantastic (for her).

I need the time to myself. I need it or I can’t be a good enough mom. I need it because as much as I love my kids and am so grateful for them in my life and their sloppy kissed and tight hugs and silliness and love, I also crave solitude sometimes to recharge myself, to remember who I am, and to get things accomplished so that when they’re with me again, we’re all at our best.

There are direct benefits to them for being away from me as well.

But sometimes it still doesn’t feel very good.

Starbucks + My BFF = Good

Last night was poker night in my house again (and yes, I’ve noticed that we host poker night more than anyone else in our neighborhood and hey, what’s up with that?). I pretty much barricaded myself upstairs while the testosterone was hanging around my dining table drinking beers and probably not using coasters. Well, the coaster thing isn’t their fault. I don’t have coasters. Yet. On my list: BUY COASTERS.

Basically, I hung out, did some writing, wasted some time, took a nice hot bath, and finally climbed under the covers to watch E! – Chelsea Lately and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” until I basically couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore and passed out from the obnoxiousness of it all.

I awoke this morning and was still feeling the effects of a Tylenol PM I took (okay, it wasn’t JUST Khloe Kardashian that bored me to sleep – I had help). I vegged on the couch in my pj’s while the girls watched cartoons and ran amok around the house doing god knows what.

Then there was a little bit of a raincloud to my morning. And without going into obnoxious detail, I’ll just say that it was the PERFECT day to have already had plans with my BFF for lunch at the mall.

I was so glad to get out of the house.

I have said before, and will say probably 101 more times at least, how lucky I am to have the friends that I have. I have wasted a lot of time on a lot of people in my day – and getting older, I realize more and more the true value of a really good friend. I have a lot of acquaintances but very few people that I feel invested in and that I feel invest in me. And that’s fine because those few people? They kick serious butt. Amazing. Sometimes I don’t know how I ever deserved to have friends like that – but – I’m glad they’re there.

Okay, schmaltzy interlude over.

So, we met for some lunch, some chatting, some grumbling, some diet Coke consumption, some shopping. And even though she has been so so so sick, she still wandered all over that freakin’ mall with me. I had a fantastic time. And when we were done we stopped at Starbucks for a coffee (moi) and some agua (her), and I truly felt that my day was turned around.
The magic of Starbucks and good friends. I’m a big believer.

For those of you who don’t speak Starbucks – that is a nonfat gingersnap latte, no whipped cream, hold the nasty chewy crystallized ginger, with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top

Also, if you care my finger nails are painted in OPI Mrs O’Leary’s BBQ. It looks like every other nail polish color I own because I buy every version of the same stinkin’ color. Every time. I know what I like.

If You’re A Griswold Wanna Be

I suck at holiday decor. I put a Christmas tree up and that’s about it. I don’t know if I’ve had lights on the outside of my house more than once in the past five years, and sadly… I don’t mind too much. It’s winter – who wants to go climbing around on the roof and put up lights (our health insurance really isn’t that fantastic – Hubby takes a header off that roof and we’re pretty much up a creek!).

BUT: I know some of you are more festive than I am. And the folks at Blissfully Domestic Blissful Home are having a contest. Check the link HERE. If you email pics of your house with your snazzy home decor (and yeah, if you have decorated AT ALL, I already think you totally rock), you can be entered in a contest to win some pretty awesome cookware that I would love (ya know, if I liked cooking).

Good luck all! And if one of you wins, I totally expect you to cook me something in your amazing new pans.

Where I Confess That I Am A Raging Competitive Freak.

Today, my cousin’s adorable wife had her baby shower. Actually, my aunt and her daughters, another aunt and a friend of the family hosted the thing (whew – love not being a part of the whole hostessing experience – I have enough other hooey going on right now).

I have been so excited about this pregnancy for my cousin and his wife because he REALLY wants to be a dad (how awesome is that, right?) and because they’re having a boy (which is cool because I have two girls… so… a little variety, right?).

We ended up getting a very practical gift for them much to my mom’s dismay. She wanted to buy toys and stuff, and I kind of politely, in my own special way, put my foot down saying, “Yeah, toys are cool and all but um, without a carseat base? They can’t go anywhere. Let’s be practical here.”

And, anyone with kids knows: toys find their way into your house one way or another. You don’t have to ask for that crap. It just shows up. And it brings twelve of its friends. And then they multiply.

For my wedding and baby showers (ooh, that sounded kind of icky. NOTE: Those were two separate events that took place in TWO separate years), one of my criteria was no games. I don’t love shower games. I don’t love the game where you have to guess from an unlabeled jar of baby food what is in the jar. Or even more gross, which melted candy bar in the diaper is which (Gross. Whoever thought of that? Probably a man).

However, I kick ass at word games.

No lie. I’m not exaggerating. It’s pretty much a given – when the hostess goes around handing out a paper and a pen, I pretty much know that I am going to own that game. And I will get a prize. Oh yes, victory WILL be mine.


Like it was today. My sister almost won. Someone beat her by one safety pin. But when the game was all over, my mom said, “Sarah, really, it’s not that easy. The pins and rice feel exactly the same and you really can’t tell what’s what. Here, cover your eyes and YOU TRY.”

So I did.
And I got a ton of safety pins in the first ten seconds before my mom stopped me by saying, “Alright alright, whatever, just stop.”
Aw yeah.
Baby shower games. If it was an Olympic sport, I’d be like Michael Phelps. Watch your backs, ladies.