Wednesday, July 31, 2013


As many of you have gathered from previous posts, I'm not a fan of the wild creatures that inhabit the world outside my front door.

I love my gardens, I enjoy the grass on my toes, camping to a limited degree, and I do enjoy watching the birds come to the bird feeder my grandfather built on my deck.

I actually consider it one of my favorite past times to sit at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee and watch the graceful creatures come and go about their business.

I can't think of anything more calming (Ok. In truth, I can think of a few things...)

But there seems to be one thing; one creature, that enjoys making a mockery of this beloved past time.

A bushy tailed, germ ridden, ugly, black squirrel.

A creature so vile it laughs in my face as it chases my birds away, so persistent that no amount of me running on my deck, waving my arms, and yelling in foul language will keep it from returning, and apparently it has no stomach because he's costing me half a paycheck in bird seed to keep the feeder full!

But that isn't even the worst of it.

Oh no.

What really gets my dander up, is when the vermin disassembles the flower bed at the side of my house in search of his free meal.

My gardens are a sacred space. I wont even allow my children near them.

And yet this...this...this thing proceeds to desecrate it with his little disease ridden paws. Tearing up the mulch, kicking up the flowers, and knocking over my statue of St. Frances of Assisi (whom I've nick-named Frankie).

Now, please note, I am not Catholic. Frankie came with the house when we bought it in February and I kept him because it just seemed sacrilegious to throw away a Saint. I really didn't need that brand of bad karma. (That and I figured if the Catholics see fit to pray to him for the safety and protection of their birds and animals, then that's good enough for me).

But, unfortunately, I don't think that bad karma extends to "innocent" animals. So the blankety-blank squirrel (and probably his entire family) continue to ruin the only place in my home that is all mine.

It's too bad I don't agree with animal violence. Because I think of a few ways to get rid of him...  

But until the development of some animal friendly Squirrel-Be-Gone I have a feeling he will be there. Laughing at me and eating all my bird food.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Man Diet

I'm sure by now just about everyone has heard the term "the man cold". The common cold that turns anyone with a "y" chromosome over the age of 18 into a newborn puppy who needs it's mother.


My husband gets these "man colds".

At least once a year he's couch-bound and whining like he's knocking on death's door (and as pathetic as it is I do tend to find some entertainment in the behavior, not that I'll admit that to him).

Well, I've recently come to realize that this is actually a trend with my husband. He has this ability to throw himself  into something and expect the entire world to follow suit (and be happy about it) and for some reason we do...

For example a few years ago, after much urging, my husband decided to "start eating healthy." I.e. He went on what I like to call the "Man Diet".

Where he counted calories, ate only the portion limits on bags, consumed no red meats and had nothing but water after 3:00pm (which worked for him because at the time he'd be in bed at 7ish to wake up around 3:00am for work).

It was wonderful (Truly).

At the announcement I was thrilled. He had finally taken his health into consideration and I no longer had to worry about him having a heart attack at the age of 30.

What I didn't realize at the time was that it meant he expected the rest of the family to "start eating healthy" as well.

And that drove me bonkers.

He'd tell me what I could and could not put on the weekly menu. Then he'd get on my case if I decide to have a second turkey wrap at dinner time or if I put too many baked lays in my bowl to watch a movie...

I called him the Food Nazi. He was always on pizza patrol.
And, thinking back, I believe the reason it irritated me so much was because when I'd had a baby the year before I was on a diet all that summer to lose the weight, and I'd had no help from him.

He still wanted Chinese food.

He still went to McDonald's for dinner on Friday nights.

He still wanted me to make all his favorite fatty food dishes for him at supper, all the while knowing I was trying to watch what I ate. And that also meant it would drive me crazy when I got to enjoy watching him down a brownie after dinner.

So, like I said now that it was his turn, he felt the entire household needed to jump on board and help him out (just like when he's sick). Heaven forbid he'd've been tempted by the bowl of ice-cream I gave my 4 year old or the bag of peanut M&M's I got myself on the first day of my period.

But don't get me wrong, I had no problem putting healthier ingredients into my meals, I didn't mind buying healthier snacks, nor did I mind learning the healthier ways to cook for my family.

That aspect of it was a great learning experience for me and I'm able to use those skills now to make sure my whole family is eating the right way, but at the time I did mind is being told what to do.

I was very happy he'd made the decision and I supported him 100%, but I did my time. I was ready to get back to enjoying food again.

And purhaps it's not just my husband, purhaps it's a man thing. That "y" chromosome in over drive whenever they get involved with something, no matter what it is; being sick, dieting, working on cars...they do seem to go all out and expect it to become the next great family activity...

But if I do have to say, if he ever decides he wants to diet again and I want to grab myself some cookies after a long day of dealing with kids, I'd much rather have them with milk than a lecture.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Moment He Grew Up

It was bound to happen sooner or later; and, frankly, I would have prefered later.

Since I became a mom everyone I've talked to has brought up the fact that kids grow up quickly. To enjoy the moments.

And, as annoying as that advice can be sometimes, I've tried to listen. To hold my memories close and my kids closer.

But when the moment my baby stopped being my baby and became my little boy happened, I was still taken completely by surprise.

And so was my heart.

Before he was even born we were given a lamp. Hand painted by my mother for his "nursery" (which was actually one side of our room in the one bedroom apartment we could barely afford).

The lamp is in the shape of a Cocker Spaniel and painted to look like Lady from "Lady and the Tramp," one of my mother's favorite Disney movies.

I placed it on his dresser, screwed in a low watt light bulb, and have since used it as a night light for every room he's had. 

It has gotten us through many sleepless (and sometimes scary) nights, illnesses, and monsters in the closet. And since the day he could talk, Tyler has referred to this lamp as the "Dog-dog" lamp.

Which, of course, means so has everyone else who's ever tucked him into bed at night.

That's just what happens over time when you have kids; they refer to a specific object using a certain word (or sound) and forevermore so will you (in my house that sound is now vroom-vroom. I haven't used the words "car", "truck", or "van" in about a year). 

So when my beautiful, mostly independent, brown eyed baby boy looked at me after his bed time story and corrected my name for said lamp, my heart squeezed so tight I didn't think I'd leave that room alive.

I had just finished some story about super heroes. You know, the ones that are for Step 1 readers and make absolutely no sense to the adults who are forced to read them, but always manage to get a giggle when you use character voices? He's really into them right now.

I closed the book, kissed his forehead, and told him to turn on his Dog-dog light (he's scared of the dark and can't sleep without it on), when he turns to me ever so slightly...


...and says, "Mom. It's just a lamp. Call it a lamp."

How can a simple phrase, said so matter-of-factly break your heart so much?

And he said it with such ease too. Like he had no idea it would be so life altering for me (which I know he didn't, but since I'm a card carrying member of the drama queen society I'm taking it personally).
In that moment I instantly flashed to a chubby little 2 year old, barely able to talk yet so excited that I was letting him turn on the dog-dog lamp for bed time.

And that's when I realized my baby was no longer my baby (even though he always will be), he was now my little boy.

My sweet, sensitive, and attitude filled little boy.

So I finished tucking him in.

And cried.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


When you have children, you pretty much understand that your life will forevermore be filled with poop.

You'll be changing poopy diapers, analyzing poop for content, texture, and frequency, and discussing poop with everyone you come in contact with; whether you know them or not.

It's just a fact of life for a parent.

You deal with it and move on (hence the blatant use of the word poop).

But one thing you can look forward to is that the occurrence of all these things will slowly dissipate over time (though it never completely goes away).

Your child will reach a certain age where you no longer have to monitor their bowel movements quite so closely and you don't have surprise messes welcoming you as you enter certain rooms.

With my oldest son that is pretty much how it went

For the first year I was on top of the dirty diaper situation like flies on...yeah, and as he got older I didn't have to worry quite so much about all the drama that seems to come with that particular body function.

He got older, the messes became fewer. Simple math.

With my youngest however, things are...different.

A lot different.

He seems to have a fascination with his fecies. Always playing with it, smearing it, and basically creating a mess that I have to later clean up (and shower from when I'm done).

Which is why I resorted to taping his diaper onto him (which I wrote about in the post Losing My Mind And The Duct Tape) until a few months ago.

Well last week (naturally on a day that was most inconvenient) the little demon he decided once again to entertain his inner barbarian and use his excrement as both a toy and a decorating tool.

I'm sure for him it was entertaining using the warm, squishy stuff as mud for the hotwheels. Why wouldn't it be? He's a 2 year old boy.

And that picture on the wall? I'm sure in his mind it was a complete masterpiece.

To me? Not so much.

We had company coming for the holidays and I had already spent the last 2 days scrubbing the boys' rooms for every last piece of leftover mess they had hidden. The last thing I wanted to do was clean poop-topia.

I mean really, it's been a successful 4 months without the duct tape and I was hoping we had made it through that little phase. This was the last thing I was expecting.

But maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong.

Perhaps instead of thinking of it as a wall covered in human waste, I should be thinking of it as the work of the next Van Gogh.

Or perhaps it's not a group of little metal poop-wagons, instead it's my son honing his skills as the next world famous traveler learning to turn everything he can into a useful tool.

It's never going to happen. I'll never be that calm in a poop-tastrophy like this.

I'll probably still scream out my frustrations (don't judge, you do it too) and bang things around as I prepare to enter the bedroom of doom (tip-toeing as I go).

But in the back of my mind I will always know that maybe one day I will have that simple math equation I've been looking forward to. Where I'll be able to finally remove the duct tape and send him off to college.

Because, lord knows, I wont be taking it off again before then.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independance Day!

Wishing you and yours a blessed 4th of July!

Hope you get to spend it with those who are close to you.

Kendra Larios-Mendez @ Mommy, In Demand

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I've Been Nominated!

This morning I woke up to some very exciting news that I just can't wait to share with all of you!

I have been nominated by the lovely blog Mrs AOK for my first Liebster award!

And, I ACCEPT! (ok. That was more enthusiastic than I meant it to be...but oh well!)

Now, in the amateur blog world, this is a pretty big deal. But for those of you who have no idea what a Liebster award is let me tell you:
The Liebster award is basically a blog community love award for up-and-coming or ambitious bloggers with less than 200 followers who deserve a little recognition for what they've done via their blogs. 

The word "Liebster" in German means: sweetest, kindest, lovely, dearest, and beloved; and so, the Liebster award is given to blogs/bloggers who show these traits!

And it really just means that you are being recognized. 

You do not have to accept the Liebster, unless you want to.  Nominees who except must pass the love on by nominating other blogs they follow. 

This award is a way to get to know fellow bloggers, and ultimately share kindness. 

So, what has to be done when you accept the award? Well folks, that's easy! Once you've accepted the Liebster award there's a list of things you need to complete:

1. Answer the questions that your nominator posted for his/her nominees.
2. Share 10 random facts about yourself.
3. Make up 10 new fun questions for your nominees to share on their blog.
4. Give some love back to your nominator and link back to their blog.
5. Nominate up to 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers. 
6. Once you publish your post, let your nominees know they've been nominated, and they can choose to accept or decline. 

Easy-peasy, right?!

So let's get started!

10 Random Facts About Me: 

1. I hate cotton balls. When they rub together I cringe and die. It's horrible! I can't even stand to touch the stupid things!!!

2. Lilacs are my favorite flower and it really bums me out that they only bloom in the early spring.

3. I was born in Michigan, moved to Florida for a while, and moved back when I was 17. So you'll probably hear me say I was raised in both states. It's true. I've had the best of both worlds!

4. Legally blonde has been, is still, and will always be my favorite movie. 

5. So it goes to reason that pink is my favorite color.

6. I'm obsessed with candles. Love them. Colors, smells, having them lit around me all time. There's just something peaceful about have a burning candle going in your home. 

7. I love mysteries. Anything mysterious fascinates me, even urban legends. Lockness Monster, aliens, big foot, unsolved crimes, the Bermuda triangle, even ancient them all. 

8. I have a Bachelor's Degree. Earned it in 2010 and found out I was pregnant with my youngest a month later, so I chose to stay home and raise him instead of work to pay for day care (since that's basically what I would've been doing).

9. I've lived in the big city and in the country among pig farms and there are different things I love about both. So, again I've had the best of both worlds and feel I'm both a country girl and a prissy city girl rolled into one!

10. I hate cooking. Some people love to cook and bake, I'm not one of them. I will because I have to, but please don't ask me to make you anything because (unless it's fast, simple, and easy) it's probably not going to happen.  

Nominator/Mrs AOK's Questions For Me:

1. Facebook or Twitter? That depends on what I'm doing. If I'm talking to my lovely blog followers then I prefer Twitter. If I'm talking to friends and family, then I prefer Facebook (mainly because none of them have Twitter accounts).
2. What blog are you stalking? Hmmmm...probably a toss up between I Heart Organizing and When The Kids Are Bored.

3. Coffee or Tea? COFFEE!!!!

4. What is your most viewed blog post? How To Clean A Glass Top Stove. Which is great because I almost never posted that one. I had never done a tutorial before and I didn't think it really flowed with the blog. Guess I was wrong!

5. What is your favorite accessory? Oooo...That would be a toss up between my hoop earrings that I've had since high school (LOVE THEM) or my Fairy necklace, which has slowly become a trademark/statement piece for me. Which I'm wearing here:

6. Would you rather listen to your favorite song on repeat or watch reruns of your favorite show? Lol! I can almost hear everyone who knows me well rolling their eyes and yelling reruns of my favorite show. Which I have probably done 100 million times and have them all memorized. (The show is Charmed by the way, with Heart of Dixie a close second place).

7. What is your favorite song? I can't honestly answer that question. I love music. It's a part of who I am and will always flow through me. So there are FAR TOO MANY songs that I love to possibly narrow it down to just one. But one of my favorites to sing is 'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston because I can belt that baby, stay on key and in tune AND sound good doing it!

8. What is your favorite show? Like I said above, it's Charmed. Starring Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannon Doherty. I've loved this show since high school and can pretty much quote every episode verbatim. I even have the sound tracks... But I've recently become addicted to Mistresses and Heart of Dixie.

9. You are given the opportunity to leave a quote set in stone for future generations, what would it be? (Your own or someone else's)?
It would be a quote by Mother Teresa: "There is no key to happiness. The door is always open." 

Because I believe that we make our own happiness. We can't depend on others to do it for us. We are in control of ourselves.

10. What song was #1 on the week you were born? 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me' by Whitney Houston. Lol! Oh, the irony.

And now for the loverly ladies that I will be nominating! I hope you all feel as honored as I do and will accept this nomination.

*Drum roll*

And in no particular order...

Heather @ When The Kids Are Bored I've been blog stalking her for a while now and love everything that she posts! Fabulous-ness!

Marcia @ Finding Felicity This lady always has something posted on facebook that brightens my day. 

Henna @ Henna Blossom I'm a new follower of Henna but let me tell you. Every time I go to her blog I feel like I've just stepped foot into another world! Every. Single. Time.

Sandra @ Rivas & Co. This is another lady that makes me feel completely uncultured every time I read her posts. But I love the way they are written and the way I'm able to identify with them.

Jenna @ Between the Bind If you like books she's the one to see. She always has something going on and has gotten me addicted to too many books to count (thanks dear. My wallet hates you.)

And here are my questions for you...

1. Why did you choose to start blogging?
2. If you could have a date with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
3. What is one project from Pinterest you'd do if you knew it would turn out amazing?
4. What is your least favorite chore?
5. What did you want to be when you grew up?
6. What's your favorite dessert?
7. What is one thing you've seen/used/love that you wish you would've invented?
8. iPhone or Droid? Why?
9. What is the most relaxing thing you like to do for yourself?
10. If you had one super power, what would it be?

I want to formally thank the Mrs AOK blog for nominating me! I really do feel honored that you thought about me when making your nominations! It's really made my day!