Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And the Winner IS


Bonnie, over on myspace won the Halloween Tote Bag! Yay! I'm so excited to be mailing out my first ever blog giveaway. Stay tuned for future ones!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Halloween Tote Bag Blog Giveaway!

Hello! And welcom to my "Not a Fall Scarf but a Halloween Tote Bag Give away!" I'm sure you're wondering why the "Not a fall scarf" part. Well... allow me to explain. Originally this was going to be a "Fall Scarf Give away," but unfortunately for all of you, I suck at finishing up anything I crochet. It's true. I have bundles and bundles of yarn that have been turned into scraps of blankets and skinny rope-like scarves that B now uses for her toys. Sad... I know....

BUT! I'm wonderful at finishing up sewing projects! So you can now enter to win the Halloween Themed Tote Bag pictured above! This was my first attempt at sewing a bag and I'm really proud of it, so I'm giving it away. Use it as a cute seasonal bag, or give it to your kid to use as a one of a kind trick or treat bag! Meanwhile, I'm shamelessly using it to get a few more blog hits!

Here's How to Enter:

1. You get One entry if you are subscribed to my blog

2. You get ONE entry for reposting this blog on your blog.

3. One entry for commenting on this blog with your favorite Halloween Candy

If you would like to enter and can get all three entries this is how you would do so:

Leave a comment on this blog stating: "1. I'm subscribed to your Blog, 2. I reposted it on my blog. 3. My favorite Halloween Candy is _____"

This give away will be open for one week. At the end of the week I will put all of the entries into a random name generator. So if you qualify for all three entries, your name will go into the generator 3 times, if only 2, then your name gets entered twice, etc. The name that the generator spits out is the winner and gets the bag above for free!

Hope that You will Play Along!

RIP Review 2: The Thirteenth Tale

"...Was my mind playing tricks on me? It seemed that I could hear a tune. Well, hardly a tune. Just five lost notes...

...But now I really heard it. A single note first, it's companions drowned in the rain that rapped at the window. It was nothing, I told myself, and prepared to go back to sleep. But then, in a lull in the rain-storm, three notes raised themselves above the water...

La la la la la."

I cannot get enough of this book. I cannot say enough about it to express how beautifully the story is told. I love it. I have read and lost myself in this story about 5 times in the last year. I keep waiting for Ms. Diane Setterfield to write another novel so I can devour it.

In The Thirteenth Tale are the haunting stories of twins, misfit ghosts, and gentle giants. All told in expert tones and beautifully woven together.

You'll never see the ending coming. I can promise you that much. Even when reading it over, I still get a thrill out of the ending.

Probably my favorite part of this book is that it's a book lover's book. Nothing is better than a great book that lends praise to other books as though they are sacred items in those book lover's temples like Libraries and bookshops.

USA Today says The Thirteenth Tale is "Eerie and Fascinating." But it is so much more! It's bitter sweet, haunting, sad, creepy, and will keep you up long into the early hours of the morning longing for more.

Monday, September 21, 2009

RIP Review 1: The Phantom of the Opera

..."How awful!" she said. "How awful!"

"What? What?"

"Joseph Buquet--"

"What about him?"

"Joseph Buquet is dead!"

The room filled with exclamations, with astonished out-cries, with scared requests for explanations.

"Yes, he was found hanging in the third-floor cellar!"

"It's the Phantom!" little Giry blurted, as though in spite of herself; but she at once corrected herself, with her hands pessed to her mouth: "No, no!--I, didn't say it!-- I didn't say it!"....

I am pretty sure that when writing The Phantom, Mr. Gaston Leroux did not mean for it to be humorous, but for some reason, I found it so. Perhaps it's because I grew up being a huge fan and lover of the musical production, and am equally in love with the newer movie version of the story as well.

I am a big believer in the "book is always better" philosophy usually, but I'll have to say in this case it's about even. One thing that made it humorous to me is that while in the movies Raoul may be a little naive, he is still presented as debonaire and charming. In the book, he is simply naive and makes a HUGE fool of himself... continously. Trust me, if you find yourself cheering for the Phantom in the musicals, you'll be his biggest fan while reading the book too. I mean, come on, let's be honest: who WOULDN'T want to live in a mysterious house on a lake, miles below the ground, with a psychotic genious in a dashing mask?

I won't post any spoilers in case someone comes along who would like to read it for themselves, but the book gives a more haunting and interesting background story for Erik, the Phantom, as well as giving more insight into how he pulls off his tricks.

All in all, I found this to be a very good, captivating read that has the perfect undertones for the RIP challenge.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Trip to the Store with B

I had to run to the store today to grab a few things and decided that I would bring B along for the ride, leaving Tim home with the baby. That way we both ended up with a bit of a break. As I'm strapping B into the booster seat we have the whole Police officer conversation (again). Somehow, B has come to the conclusion that if we get pulled over and she's not in her seat belt that the police officer is going to take her away, and now every time we get in the car I have to explain that we just get a ticket and get in trouble. I am unsure whether to blame Tim or my mother for this confusion.

We get to the store, and despite my best efforts, I ended up with the crippled cart (AGAIN). I would swear that despite the hundreds of carts available, I get the same cart every time I go to the store. You know the one I mean. It's the one with the bad front left wheel that rather than turning just spins around in a circle causing the whole cart to rattle and bump.

So as we are clunking and rattling through the busiest part of the store, B decides to ask one of her big conversation questions. I don't know *why* I ended up with a four year old that enjoys asking big conversation questions in the store, when I can't hear her or think about them, instead of just the usual four year old "in-store" questions. Such as: Can I have this? and Why can't I have this? Instead B decides to ask me this question: "Why are ghosts only at Halloween?" Since the store was busy and we had the loud cripple-cart I had to ask her to repeat herself, so she then *yells* the question. At least that part of her four-year-old life is normal: two settings= mumbling and obnoxiously LOUD. I just stopped long enough to look at her and then explained that we would talk about that later when I could think about it.

After collecting most of the grocery items I needed for this weekend and the laundry detergent I need for today, I hit the wine aisle to pick up a couple of bottles for Hob's birthday party on sunday. At this point I have one of the more embarassing in-store experiences... ever. As I'm placing two large bottles of Arbor Mist Sangria and Black Berry Merlot into the cart, B *yells* out, "GOSH MOM! You're getting MORE WINE?" (yes, on the LOUD setting) I look around hoping that no one was in the area, but of course there are several old couples behind me so now I look like WINE-O!. I try to laugh it off and explain to her that the wine is for Hob's birthday, but I can tell from their expressions (and hers) that they're not buying it. B then responds, "Well... I hope he LIKES it!" in a very skeptical voice. Great.

We finally get out to the car, and as I'm loading in the groceries I discover the meaning of the word Irony.

Irony- when the cashier places the trick-or-treat sized bag of Reese's cups in the bag with your Prevention Fitness Magazine.. and that's it. Nothing else in the bag... as though I would eat through the bag of Reese's cups while reading my fitness magazine, sobbing about how I'll never fit into my highschool jeans again! ........*whispers*- It's like he KNOWS.

The trip home was rather un-eventful.. unless you take into account that my husband has convinced B that shouting "RAMPOO!" at every intersection causes the traffic lights to turn green. "It's my favorite magic word!," B exclaims in a breathless joyful voice as the light miraculously changes and we continue on our way home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Life in Black and White

Tim, B, and Mister


Me and Mister

Tim and Mister

B, My sister Allie, Mom

My sister Noelle and my niece

Monday, September 14, 2009

La la la la

I seem to be getting back in the swing of my daily routines if today is anything to judge by. I was up before 8 am. this morning, and for the first time since bringing the baby home, wasn't completely dead tired upon doing so. I actually felt fairly energized. In between Mister's feedings I managed to get the kitchen, both bathrooms, and my bedroom cleaned; to get a shower, get dressed, and actually put on a little makeup; and to make an Autumn wreath for the front door; all before 11 am.

I spent the entire afternoon visiting with Jess. I love you Jess! (hoo-rey for blog shout-outs). After Jess left around 4, I settled the baby back down for a nap and B put herself down for one (still not feeling 100%, the poor thing). I took the opportunity to pull out some of the gizmo's for mine and Tim's halloween costumes and start spray painting them. I'm *so* excited!

These have the makings of at least two pairs of aviator goggles, some gun toggles, and two avaitor pins. Just you wait and see.

I also pulled out my box of patterns and went ahead and cut all the pieces for B's costume as well. She wishes to be a "Fairy Princess" this year, and so she shall! I'm even thinking I will probably make her wings myself rather than purchasing any premade cookie-cutter ones. I'm still unsure of what I'm going to dress the baby as, but I'm thinking he's going to be a gnome. There is a tutorial for this hat and beard that i could do EASY... and how cute!

I'm trying to get my costume stuff started ubber early this year to make room for last minute requests... which will most certainly come from my brother. He *ALWAYS* calls me the night before to ask for my help and expects me to pull off the impossible. In his highschool carreer alone I have pulled off numerous projects in the middle of the night including fully printed t-shirts for foot ball games, a fully tattooed and sharpied torso for a dance, and several last minute costume add ons and alterations. I decided that I really want to at least get mine and Tim's costumes done before my birthday so that I don't have to put them off to help anyone else and informed my brother if he wants me to do his costume he needs to figure it out before the end of next week. LOL This year, I have put aside several make-up tutorials so that I can add a little something extra if need be.

So yeah, all in all, today was productive, and that makes me feel really good. For those of you who are locals and might be interested, Tim and I are planning on hosting a costume party again this year for halloween. This year, since Tim is off of work that whole weekend, we are planning for a bit more festiveness too, so if you'd be interested in coming out for it, send me a message so we can start planning and stocking.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blog Backgrounds

I found these super kewl backgrounds at Make My Blog Sparkle. I'm using the orange and stars one for the time being... but there are so many cute ones to choose from. It really is very nice of her to share with those of us who are less computer literate in the art of background making! Give her blog a visit!

P.S.- The pic above is of my Nadi-B from last year's trip to the pumpkin patch. Hope to get a new one this year if they host another one!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Healthcare "Meme"

I got this one from Daphne, and thought I would join in!

The "Meme":
"This is so important to pass on that I'm tagging everyone who reads my blog to please post it on yours and encourage your readers to do the same (especially those of you who have a huge readership, which I don't), and if you can relate a personal anecdote that highlights how horrible the current system is (one that touched/is touching you or someone you love), all the better."

My Anecdote/Story:
Thankfully, so far in life, my family has yet to come up against a real health related tragedy. We get sick from time to time, sure; but I grew up with parents that allowed our immune systems to fully develop by not taking us to the doctor for every little cough or sneeze. Growing up, our "treatment" often consisted of: "Drink plenty of fluids and take a day or so off of school to rest up." Tylenol was given in the event of a fever, but was rare. I don't resent my parents methods at all. My body learned how to fight disease all by itself. These days, I see parents traipsing into the doctor's office (or the ER) every time their child sneezes or has a slightly elevated temperature and pumping the kids full of antibiotics at every turn. It's no wonder the kids have virtually non-existent immune systems.

However, laying all that aside, I *still* do not agree with our current health care system, which seems to be designed to benefit only the medical community and pharmaceutical companies. Recently, my 4 year old, started having trouble sleeping at night due a persistent dry cough. The cough only occurred at night around the same time, and kept her (and us) awake for hours until she could settle back down to sleep. Since Tim had asthma as a child, we decided to bring her in to see her pediatrician to make sure that Nadi-B wasn't asthmatic as well. The idea being that I would like to know BEFORE she had a full out asthma attack.

I made the appointment and paid the $40.00 co-pay for her to see the pediatrician. $40.00 AFTER insurance(I can only imagine how much it would have been without the craptacular insurance plan we have from Tim's work) for her to see the doctor for 5 minutes. I.E.- just long enough for her to say "It might be asthma, or it might be allergies," the two options I already KNEW were possible. She was supposed to give me an answer... after all that's what I paid for. What she did give me was a prescription for children's singulair which treated allergies and prevented asthma related attacks. We were to put her on the medicine for 2 weeks, with the idea that if the coughing stopped, it was more likely allergies.

I bring the prescription to be filled; We wait the 45 minutes it takes for them to put 30 pills into one bottle; We return to pick up the prescription. $158 and change the lady tells me. I look at her. She looks back. I say, "did you take off already for the insurance coverage?" She looks at the bag. "Yes, that's after the insurance "coverage." What gets me, was her face. NO SYMPATHY. NONE. She is looking at me like I'm standing in the way of her beautiful perfect fantasy life: where everyone is happy to fork over hundreds of dollars for not a lot of medicine that may or may not work. She is looking at me like I'm wasting her precious time. She is exasperated WITH ME for standing there, completely unable to come up with $158 dollars and change out of thin air. "You can keep them," I say, "I just don't have that kind of money."

I called the hubs in tears (yes, tears, I was preggers and emotional) and explain to him that our pediatrician seems to think we shit gold bricks or something because there is NO WAY we could ever afford that prescription. But how do I justify letting my daughter go without it when she really could possibly maybe have asthma and a serious attack is maybe just possibly waiting in the wings to take her away from me. And if she DOES have asthma and has to be on this medicine for the rest of her life, how do we pay $158 and change EVERY MONTH? How??

After Tim gets me calmed down, he calls the pediatrician and inquires if maybe there isn't a less pricey medication that we can try instead. She, obviously forgetting that not everyone is a doctor and can afford $158 and change every month, insists that singulair is the only option. "Well we just can't afford it," Tim tells her. She tells him to go to the office and she'll leave us a box of samples at the desk for us to try. Now, why? WHY? did she not just give us samples to begin with? Wasn't this supposed to be some whacked out science experiment anyway? Weren't we just going to TRY this drug to SEE if she had allergies or asthma and then go from there? If it wasn't certain that we were going to need the medicine for ever and ever, why couldn't she have just given us the two weeks worth of samples and called it a day. The answer: Because the system makes more money if we pay for the science experiment. They come out better if WE pay for the answers they can't give us, but are charging us for twice over anyway. (the co-pay + the medicine= $200 answer she couldn't give me)

Now, I am not Obama's biggest fan. I would hesitate to call myself a fan at all. I don't know if he'll be able to pull off something better than what we've got going on in the health care world right now.... or not. But I know he's at least interested in trying and, I have to give credit where it's due for that. I know that we can't go on like this. Right now, it's very possible that Nadi-B has the flu and I'm already trying to figure out where I'm going to get the $40 to find out if she does or not. But we have to, right, because now there is the new baby to think of as well and if he gets it from B, who knows? It's scary when you have to think of how you can possibly afford to keep your family safe and healthy. Shouldn't everyone have THAT peace of mind available for cheaps? YES. The answer is YES THEY SHOULD. No one should have to lose sleep over that. No one should have to worry over how to take care of their babies or their loved ones. Even if you HATE Obama... even if you think he's a right bloody prick or the devil incarnate, you can't deny that the current health care system sucks monkey balls. It's worthless and a complete sham.

So, yeah, if you feel the need, repost this meme in your own blog. If you feel the need to give me a good talking to about how we're better off leaving the health care system alone as is, you can take yourself off or mail me the $40 to take B to the doctor and pay me to hear your piece. *Laughs*

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Yesterday was Mister's first doctor's check-up, and it was, of course, early in the morning. It would also logically follow that since I had to get up early to get him ready for the appointment, and Tim had to work nightshift yesterday, that Mister would NOT SLEEP the night before. Not a wink.

So yesterday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and grabbed the first thing I could find to put on. No time for coffee or to make myself look like a half-way-decent human being. However, Mister came out looking completely adorable as usual. What can I say? It comes natural to him.

I was hoping we wouldn't have a very long wait (I could hear my coffee calling to me), but of course, the office was PACKED with BABIES. I was very thankful that I had the foresight to do the baby sling. It is so much easier to pop him in there rather than the other option of lugging around the pop-out car seat (the option everyone else was using).

The sling allows Mister to feel all safe, snuggly, and secure while also allowing me to have TWO FREE HANDS, which are needed for filling out those stupid forms. I finally managed to score us a chair right next to the window so that at least we had something interesting to look at while waiting. And can I just say that Mister was the best behaved baby in the whole room? Not one peep the whole time. I could see the other mom's eyeing my sling. Yeah... they were jealous. *laughs* (not really)

Actually the real reason they were probably looking at me is because Mister had really bad gas (seriously) and through the entire duration of our time in the waiting room he passed it (loudly). I'm sure everyone thought it was me, but I refrained from protesting, "No really... it's the baby!" everytime someone glanced our way. But he seriously passed gas for the entire 30 minutes.

But in other news, he is doing very well. He's gained 1lb. and 3oz since his circumcision, and everything else checked out great. He was really good about waiting too. He slept most of the time until they pricked his little heal to check for whatever that checks for. As soon as the nurse relinquished his foot he settled right back down, after giving me an accusatory look through his one opened eye.

After I got him home from the Doctor's, I passed him off to Tim so I could take a small, but much needed nap. Then I went to the store because tuesdays are generally my day to stock up on all the things we are short on. Wal-mart had some of their fall decor out, so I had to sneak a peak over in that direction.

I bought two little sparkly pumpkins to send out with my "pumpkin recipes" for a swap, some stickers, some ribbon, a coffee mug, and individual packs of apple cider(also all for swaps). They also had out the halloween candy and did you know they now make "gourmet" candy corn? Well they DO! In all different flavors like chocolate pecan, apple cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. I bought a box of the pumpkin spice kind, and can I just say, DELICIOUS? It's like a tiny bite of pumpkin pie. I had some for breakfast with my coffee... yeah... I know... great way to blow my diet... but seriously it was all over on Labor Day anyway: The roasted pork, the beans, the twice baked potatoes, the pasta salad, the rolls!!!! I effin love carbs. I can't help meself.

Anyway, that was my day yesterday, and it's looking to be a fairly nice one today so far as well.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Today I was Brave

Today, I took a risk that normally... I would never have been able to bring myself to take.

Today, I let go .... and I mean.. really let go of some hurt feelings that I had and put myself back out there.

Today, I learned a very valuable lesson from my dear friend, Hobbs.

Today, I was brave and I'm really glad that I was because...

Today, I gained more than I lost.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


So, I heard about this by readingDaphne's Blog and thought it sounded right up my alley.

Wewt! So this year will be my first year participating in the RIP challenge:

Here is my speculative list of books to read for the challenge. Suggestions would be most certainly appreciated!

My "Speculative" List for the Challenge:

The Phantom of the Opera by: Gaston Leroux

The Thirteenth Tale by: Dianne Setterfield

The Meaning of Night: A Confession by: Michael Cox

Silent in the Grave by: Deanna Raybourn

The first two I already own. The Thirteenth Tale will be a re-read for me. But it's creepy and just perfect for this challenge. I was originally going to read the Necronomicon as one of my books but changed my mind. I tried to read the Necronomicon once before, Tim and I having picked it up in the bookstore on a whim... but let's face it.. anyone who knows me knows how I am about horror. (i.e.- a big fat whimp) I quit reading it after the first two chapters. I decided I didn't really want to read it for RIP either because it's a bit more "gross" than "horror." Instead, I've picked Phantom of the Opera to replace it. I would classify Phantom as a "gothic romance/thriller." The last two I will have to purchase from Amazon or get from the library. So I will need to do that ASAP because the challenge ends on October 31st!

Hope some of you will join in RIP! It's a lot of spooky autumn fun!

Life According to Literature

Found this clever little survey/list at Irregular Tammie who in turn got it from Daphne

The game is:Using only titles of books you've read this year, cleverly answer the following questions:

(I will admit to cheating a little because I hadn't read enough books this year to complete the survey, so I used a few with books I have read BEFORE. LOL

Describe Yourself: Goddess Alive! (by: Michelle Skye)

How do you feel: (like) A Feast for Crows (by: George R. R. Martin)

Describe where you currently live: The Last Continent (by: Terry Pratchett)

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Mists of Avalon (by: Marrion Zimmer Bradley)

Your favorite form of transportation: Dragonflight (by: Anne McCaffrey)

Your best friend is: Going Postal (by: Terry Pratchett) *laughs*

You and your friends are: Lords and Ladies (by: Terry Pratchett)

What’s the weather like: The Goblet of Fire (by: J.K. Rowling)

Favorite time of day: Autumn Twilight (by: Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman)

If your life was a(n): City of Glass (by: Cassandra Clare)

What is life to you: Poison Study (by:Maria V. Snyder)

Your fear: Exile (by: R. A. Salvatore)

What is the best advice you have to give: The Truth (by: Terry Pratchett)

Thought for the Day: Cards on the Table (by: Agatha Christie)

How I would like to die: Silent in the Sanctuary (by: Deanna Raybourn)

My soul’s present condition: Quantum Healing (by: Deepak Chopra)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quiet Morning

It's 8 am and Tim is still sleeping having spent most of the night up and down with Mister so I could play catch up on my rest. Nadia is sitting on the floor eating cocoa puffs and looking so.... BIG.... that it just hurts my heart to see it. I can't believe how quickly she has grown up, and looking at her I find myself wondering when she stopped looking like a baby and started looking like a kid.

Her hair is all ruffed up in the back from sleeping and her head is tilted back a bit and to the right. Her legs are like mine used to be when I was small: long and skinny with the knees poking out ever so slightly. She lets out a little laugh at the cartoon playing on the TV and once again I am struck by how much she has grown. It astounds me that she gets the humor, that she understands the joke and why it's funny.

Mister brings my attention back with a little baby grunt. He is propped up in the crook of my arm for the first of his many meals today. The difference between him and Nadia is drastic. I snuggle up to the top of Mister's soft babies' head and shower his downy fluff hair with kisses and wonder how long it will be before he's sitting in front of me on the floor with his hair sleep tousled and watching morning cartoons, laughing at the jokes.

I sit there, and stare at his face and his precious baby features: The little fat rolls around his eyes, his squished up baby nose, his tiny perfect puckered baby mouth... his chubby cheeks with the dimple he gets on one side when he eats.... How long until his baby face vanishes into the air like smoke, leaving behind his kid face? The time seems to be slipping away already.

I give him a little squeeze and say a silent prayer that the world slows down just a little bit. I pray that the quiet of this morning will last... just a little bit longer, but it never does. Already the to-do list of the day is ticking off items in my head. Errands to be run, groceries to be bought, chores to be done.... but at least for now, I can nuzzle that downy fluff for just a minute and oggle at Nadia watching cartoons and growing up right before my eyes.