Monday, March 31, 2008

But They're the Best, Jerry! The BEST!

I went out shopping this evening because I decided I didn't have anything to wear on my trip to New Jersey (except for my new maternity shirt, of course.) I went by myself because if you need to try on clothes, you just don't want to bring kids with you. Anyway, I found a pair of pants that fit! That in itself is a miracle since I'm pear shaped and they just don't make pear shaped clothes. I'm also short, so unless I wear my tall shoes (and I do whenever I'm with Austin and Savannah because they're as tall as I am now!) my pants will drag on the ground. The pants I just bought have legs that roll up and button on the sides. For most people this would mean instant capris. For me it means that they fit like normal pants.

After my huge score in the pants department, I decided I was starved as I've just had 3 pieces of toast in the last 48 hours. It's not that I'm still so sick, but after throwing up (which is the worst thing on earth!) I'm just scared to death to eat. I figure the less I put in, the less that will come out should I suddenly feel the need to hurl again. So, anyway, I was really hungry while shopping so I stopped at the food court, walked up to Frulatti, and ordered a chicken salad sandwich with a side of fresh fruit. Instead of sitting there in the food court looking like a pathetic dork eating by myself, I decided to take my dinner to the nail salon and get a pedicure.

OK, I sit down, dip my feet in the water, sit back and relax in the comfy massage chair. If you've never gotten a pedicure, I highly recommend it. I usually go with my friend, Jen maybe 3-4 times a year. It's wonderfully relaxing and pampering. So, anyway, I'm sitting there soaking my tootsies as I open up the container with my sandwich. The Frulatti girl apparently didn't understand the whole concept of a "side" of fruit as she plopped my sandwich right on TOP of the fruit. Ewww! The only thing more disgusting than a soggy sandwich is throwing up. And my honey-wheat bread soaked in watermelon juice looked just like that! So because I didn't want to look like a dork eating by myself in the food court, there I sat getting my feet done while trying to hang onto a soggy chicken salad sandwich that was falling apart and plopping into the container. I am SO classy.

I gave up on the sandwich and leaned back, enjoying my back massage. I have GOT to get me one of those chairs. The woman giving me the pedicure looked over at her friend and said something in Vietnamese. I'm pretty sure she said, "Check out this woman's feet! Ewww! Have you ever seen drier heels? Disgusting. And her nails are awful!"
Then her friend answered, "Oh I know! Very gross! But did you see the way she was eating that sandwich. I got nauseous watching her."

I had visions of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is convinced the nail technicians are talking about her.

I finished my enthralling evening with a trip to the grocery store because we were down to onions, chicken broth, and waffles at home, and I couldn't leave my family with nothing to eat while I'm gone. God only knows what Joe would cook for dinner with that list of ingredients!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

No post last night. I was sick. I haven't been this sick since I got food poisoning 14 years ago. Oh.My.Gosh. Do you have any idea how awful it is to have your body explode from both ends at the same time? On the bright side, I lost 5 pounds last night. Ugh. Joe is my hero.

OK, here's an updated map...

View Larger Map
Thank you again to all of you for taking the time to send us information about your city!!! We really appreciate it! Remember, this map is TWO pages. If you don't see yourself on the first map, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "page 2". It will bring up a second map and list of names.

Now, on to your questions. I got a zillion questions this week, so here are some of them. I'll get to the others next week. (and the next week, and the next week...)

Maybe you've already answered this- but why did you name all of your kids after U.S. cities?

Because it's hard to pronounce foreign cities.

I was reading in our local paper today that Chicago colors their river green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. How do they do that?

Lemon-lime KoolAid

images river

What kind of things did YOU do as a kid? When I read about the crazy things yours come up with, I have to wonder where they got it from.

I was perfect. They get it from their father.

Are you making any more appearances (like Fremd) that people in the area can come see you? (fingers crossed)

I don't have any planned right now.

Have you found cold breakfast cereal you can eat on the diet?

Yep! Joe's Os, Crispex, a lot of Envirokids ones, some Kashi ones... There are several others too.

So at what point did you start drinking and I don't mean coffee LOL![about the first day of spring break]

It's ok to put Bailey's in your coffee, right?

Why are people smelling their best friend's feet?

Because it would be just gross to smell your best friend's butt.

You do seem to have a lot of butt stuff going on for some reason?

Ummm yeah. Weird. What's that all about?

Did you know you have the #1 ebay auction on the best of ebay? pretty cool!

I didn't know that. Totally cool!

Do you think that your children might be encouraged to "misbehave" when you're taking a photographic record of their misadventures for your posting on the blog each time they create a disaster?

I hope so. Otherwise I'd run out of things to blog about.

You mentioned the other day that you boil enough eggs for each kiddo to dye a ton! What do you do with all those hardboiled eggs?

OK, I know this is going to sound crazy, but we EAT THEM.

Ok, someone has probably already asked, but how did Brooklyn get locked into the cabinet, if you have to have a special tool to get it open in the first place?

Yes, we have magnetic locks, but it's not like we actually use them.

I hope you had a joyous Easter! I know you're half Greek, but you're obviously not Greek Orthodox if you celebrated Easter yesterday. Were you Orthodox at one point, or did your religion come from the non-Greek parent?

The religion came from my mom who is not Greek.

What are the red Greek egg thingies????

This explains it. By the way, I was last person with an uncracked egg this year. :)

Would you consider starting links for those of us who would like to support your site ( and household) by buying quality handmade pet clothing and accessories?

Ummm no.

How did you handle the hey-mil-you-brought-food-my-kids-can't-eat situation?

Eh, whatever. It was no big deal. Even Joe has a hard time remembering what they can and can't have. I just made some that they could have.

Clay was like Jesus - left behind in the temple. Where was he, teaching the Senior Citizens a thing or two about God?

Um close. Actually he was running around Fellowship Hall chasing other kids.

Do your older kids know about the Easter bunny, and how did you break it to them?

Yes they know, and I didn't have to break it to them. There comes a time when you just realize that bunnies don't hop into your house to hide eggs. If they don't catch on, you've got to kind of wonder about them.

Wow when you get this many comments do you read them all?


Why can't your kids have splenda or colored sprinkles?

Because my kids are on a diet with no artificial additives and preservatives.

How about a "BECAUSE I SAID SO" mommy blogger cruise?

Oooo, a mommy blogger cruise would be fun!!! I'm not going on a cruise, but I am going to New Jersey with other mommy bloggers! You can check out the details here.

Can you just give me step by step instructions on how you do that [moving your blog to your own domain]? My husband gave me my own domain name for Christmas but I haven't a clue how to move off Blogger!!!

Yes I can!

1. Pick up the phone.

2. Dial your web designer's number.

3. Say, "Can you move my blog for me?"

Ta Da!

What is the link to your other site where you review products?

Mamaslike is the site where Angie, Melissa and I review products and services from other WAHMs. I've been getting a lot of requests to check out products from various companies, so I just started another blog to talk about products and services from other companies. You can see it here.

What do you do when your not yet potty trained child takes off their messy diaper and paints on the walls with their poop?

Clean it.

Why do people post songs they can't get out of their head to their blog?
I listened to the song the first day. Could not get it out of my head. Then, the next day, I couldn't remember it. So, I came back and listened to it again. That worked, for one day.
I had to come back again for a third dose.
Now I really cannot get it out of my head.
I would really like to get rid of this song can you please post a different one?
Happy to oblige! Here ya go...

Exactly how much is a "trabillion?"

More than a quarillion. Hey, I never claimed to be mathy.

At what point did you realize that your post on e-bay had "taken off" generating so much attention?

I think it was when I got a wake-up call from Good Morning America.

How do you keep your older ones still interested in church?

I don't. They don't especially like going, but I make them go anyway because I'm just mean that way. I remember wanting to sleep in instead of going to church when I was a kid too. It's ok. It'll all sink in at some point and they'll change their minds. At least that's my theory.

I was wondering if coming up with a topic for a blog entry is becoming a "chore" or if you still are having "fun?"
It's still fun. Writing my book was even more fun! I can't wait to really get going on my second book, in fact.

Are you going to have a say on what goes on the cover of your book? Will there be funny pictures in it?

Well, the folks at Guideposts came up with the cover design. I can give them my opinion of it, but in all honesty, unless it's totally hideous, I don't really care too much what it looks like. I really like the cover they've come up with right now. I'll show it to you guys as soon as I get the okay.

If you were a tree what kind would you be?

A tree? Hmmm, definitely a palm tree. Then I'd be living in a tropical climate. (They're calling for snow later this week! Whatever happened to "in like a lion, out like a lamb"? Will winter never end???)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Random Stuff

I know I said that my blog was going to be moving to my own domain. Umm just kidding? Actually, Kelli, the tireless servant who will be creating my website, emailed me at 3:oo in the morning to let me know that the transfer was complete. Unfortunately, Blogger wasn't redirecting people to my domain, so Kelli transferred it back. I will have a website of my own soon (and it will be way cooler than I am!), but for now, it's the same ole blog. A reader of mine, Dana, needs some help with her research. If you fit her criteria and wouldn't mind participating by answering 15 questions, I'd be much obliged. 

OK, now I need to ask for some prayers/good thoughts/well wishes. First, Kelli, my web designer and friend is working around the clock (thus the 3:00AM email) and has had "everything that could go wrong" go wrong. She's lost several employees and is struggling to take care of everyone. If you know Kelli, you know how dedicated she is to her clients. And Kelli, if you read this, switch from tea to coffee. It has more caffeine! ;) Secondly, some of you may read Kendra's blog Barely Controlled Chaos. This woman was touched by Mimi's and Julian's story. She felt that Mimi, Michelle and I should meet in person and she made that a reality. She was able to get all three of us tickets to Oprah's show! Mimi, Michelle, and I have been busy making our plans to meet up in Chicago for the show. And then today I got an email from Kendra's daughter. It said that she was in the hospital and had just had emergency brain surgery to remove a tumor earlier this week. She was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. :*( This was a huge shock to her. Anyway, please keep Kendra in your thoughts/prayers. 

Thursday, March 27, 2008


What? Isn't this how you vacuum? I know I always vacuum in my underwear and Elmer Fudd hat.

I'm Moving!

I'd really love to move to my dream house which is located someplace that doesn't get snow. I want to be able to walk out my back door and feel the sand squish between my toes. I want the sun to warm my face, and I want to feel a nice, cool, salt-laced breeze through my hair. I want to smell hibiscus in the air and I want to sleep at night with my windows open, the sound of the surf lulling me to sleep. 

Unfortunately, that's not the move I'm talking about.  My blog is moving to my domain.  My new address will be  and you can bookmark the new site when the transfer is complete (in the next couple days).  Now don't stress out about it.  Everything else will stay the same.


So I spoke at a church in the Chicago suburbs this evening.  I got to meet a blog reader, Ellen, there too!  I have an actual fan!  Hee hee.  That was pretty cool.


I'm too tired to write tonight, so I'll leave you with a reprint of a post I did on 8/27/07

Clay came in from playing and announced, "Look at my friend! Can he come inside?" I looked around wondering which neighbor kid was over this time and upon seeing nobody, wondered if he'd taken up imaginary friends like Lexi. Before I could question him about his friend, he thrust this in my face.

"Ummm, let's just keep this "friend" outside, buddy."
I suppose it could have been worse. It could've been this friend again...

Or this friend....

Clay jumped up from the table where we were having lunch and ran outside to get his cup that he had left on the swingset. I continued to eat, while conversing with Lexi when she suddenly says, "Clay has a squirrel!"
"No, he doesn't. He just went outside to get his cup."
"Yes he does. He's carrying a squirrel."
"Don't be silly. Eat your sandwich."
"Mom, really, he's got a squirrel by the tail."
I get up and look outside and lo and behold, my 3 year old is indeed carrying a squirrel by his tail. As I open the door to scream, I mean, calmly, tell him to put the squirrel down, the neighbor's dogs run outside and begin barking so loudly it sounds like a kennel. The squirrel freaks out and tries to jump out of my son's hands which makes my son, in turn, freak out and nearly throw the squirrel. I witness, in slow motion, the squirrel kind of fly through the air and land safely on the fence. I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it.
"Yeah, sure honey, you can keep a rabid, baby rodent as a pet. Let's name him Skippy and keep him forever. Don't worry about the fact that he chewed through our garbage cans. It'll be fun."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


An article on my AOL welcome screen caught my eye the other day so I checked it out.  It was about cruises and I just loves me a good cruise.  That is my ideal vacation (without kids of course).  Lying around, drinking rum, reading, soaking up sun, taking excursions to explore new ports, going snorkeling, checking out local cuisine.  Heaven.  Anyway, the article caught my attention and I checked it out.  It stated that the latest, hottest thing was specialty cruises and it went on to list a few of them.  For example, there were:


Weight Loss Cruises:  I don't know about you, but when I go on a cruise, I'm there to make sure I get every penny's worth of delicious food prepared by someone other than me!  Somehow, getting a 5:00 wake-up call from a Richard Simmons wannabe and exercising just doesn't sound like a vacation to me.  And what does the midnight buffet look like?  Carrots and celery along with bottles of water?  Mmmm.    


Nude Cruises:  Yep, that's right.  You can cruise to Greece naked.  On the bright side, you wouldn't have to worry about what to wear to the captain's dinner.  And think how light your suitcase would be when the only thing in it is sunscreen!  Let's just hope that your fellow passengers have taken the weight loss cruise before taking this one. 


Magazine Sponsored Cruises:  You can take a cruise with a bunch of people who have the same interests as you.  The visuals I have of these different cruises are hilarious.  Imagine the passengers on the Mad Magazine Cruise running around the ship.  I can just see the passengers on the Scientific American Cruise lined up on the lounge chairs, their pasty white skin glowing in the dark.  Or the folks on the Field and Stream Cruise walking through the corridors with their rifles, searching for something to hunt.  I can just picture the Forbes crowd, the Parenting passengers, and the Modern Bride guests, all in wedding dresses, cruising around the Caribbean.


Music Cruises:  You can take a specialty cruise featuring performances by your favorite artists.  This wouldn't be a bad deal unless you didn't realize it was a specialty cruise.  Can you imagine poor old grandma and grandpa on a Heavy Metal Head Bangers Cruise?  And how long do you think it would take you to get those songs out of your head after listening to them every minute for a week?


Investment Cruises:  You can go to seminars on saving and investing money while on board a luxury cruise ship.  Experts give you tips for creating wealth.  The first seminar goes something like this, "The first way to start saving money to invest is to stop spending it on luxuries like cruises."


I think I'll stick to the ordinary, lie on your butt, drink and eat too much, get sunburned, read a good book, do a little shopping cruise.


Here are a couple links I've gotten from people in the past week or so.  I wanted to pass them on here...

Here's a link for my friend, Mimi's Relay for Life site...

Here's a link to a little girl named Lindsey, who is battling cancer. Her brother is shaving his head to raise money.

And Mimi has talked about her friend Peggy, who has cute twin boys.  One of the twins, Coleman, is battling cancer.  I've resisted checking out his carepage because it just breaks my heart reading stuff like this after "watching" Julian go through treatment and then die.  I just didn't want to get involved in any other people's carepages.  Well, I checked it out one day last week anyway and now I'm drawn in and can't stop reading and thinking about this little boy.  Here's a link to care pages.  Type in ColemanScott with no spaces to get his page.  

I want to thank any students from Fremd who read my blog.  I spoke at Fremd High School last month, and yesterday I got HUGE packet in the mail with more than 130 letters from students thanking me for participating in Writer's Week at Fremd.  I had just turned in my completed manuscript and was thinking that I wanted to burn my book and start all over.  I'm sick of seeing it; I think the whole thing sucks; I can't wait to get on to writing my next book.  And then I got that mail.  What awesome timing!

And lastly, I'm speaking at a church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago tomorrow night at 7:00 pm.  If you're in the area and are interested, come on by.

Our Saviour's United Methodist Church

701 E. Schaumburg Rd.

Schaumburg, IL  60194

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Fun

We had a nice Easter yesterday. Actually, let me back up a minute. I volunteered to bring a cheesecake and a coconut cake to my parents' house yesterday for Easter, so I spent a lot of time baking on Saturday. My mil came over Saturday morning to drop off some cinnamon rolls. It's a tradition. She brings us rolls every Easter and Christmas. Anyway, I rolled my lazy butt out of bed at 11:00 (thank you for letting me sleep in, Joe!), walked out of my room and saw my mil. Now, in all fairness, I'd been up until after 3:00 am, so the whole 'sleeping until 11:00' really wasn't all that bad. 

Hello there, dear mil.  Good morning.  Yes, I know it's 11:00.  What can I say, your son married a total derelict.

Anyway, my kids couldn't eat the rolls that she brought because they had Splenda and colored sprinkles on them.  Clay was so upset that he couldn't have any and it broke my heart, so stupidhead that I am, I told him I'd make some cinnamon rolls that he could eat.  So, I'm just getting up at 11:00, I have to run to the store and get about a thousand eggs, come home, boil them, and make assorted baked goods.  Good plan, Dawn.

After running errands and getting all the groceries I needed (well, all the groceries I needed minus all the ones I forgot and had to send Joe for...) I came home and boiled the eggs.  I only boiled 48 this year; enough for each kid to dye 8.  (impressive math skills, no?)  I mixed up the cheesecake and popped it in the oven.  Now, if you've never made a cheesecake, it's important to let it cool gradually to help prevent big cracks in the surface of the cake.  When the cheesecake was almost done baking, I asked Austin to turn the oven off for me.  I generally let the cake sit in the oven that's beginning to cool down for about 10 minutes.  Then I open the oven a crack and let it sit there for another 10 minutes before removing it so there isn't a drastic change in temperature.  Anyway, I asked Austin to turn the oven off for me and he obliged.  A few minutes later, I got up to crack the door open and realized that Austin hadn't turned the oven off, but instead had turned the dial the wrong way, so I quickly turned the dial to "off".  About 10 minutes later, Joe walked by the oven, peeked in, and told me that my cake was burnt.

"Whaaat?"  It can't be burnt!  I turned the oven off 10 minutes ago!"

I jumped up to look and sure enough, it was getting burnt.  Austin had turned the oven off just fine and apparently, culinary artist and brilliant scholar that I am, I had turned it on to broil.  So much for that.  I quickly washed the pan and mixed up a second cheesecake.  As that was baking, I made some cinnamon roll dough and set it aside to rise.  A couple hours later, I was mixing up my coconut cake.  Now, I've never made a coconut cake before.  In fact, I'd just pulled the recipe off my computer and had never made a cake quite like this before.  Naturally, I felt the need to try it out, not for just my family, but for everyone on Easter Sunday.  What better time to experiment with a new recipe?

This recipe was so complicated, it was ridiculous.  I mean, I had to grate fresh coconuts for this recipe!  Actually, I gave Savannah the job of grating the coconut.  Unfortunately, she also grated 4 fingers and 2 nails into the mix.  It doesn't matter though because no one ended up eating that cake.  It turned out flat, dense, dry, and well, about as appetizing as a rock.  It tasted like air and had the consistency of 4 month old corn bread.  I tossed the cakes and decided I'd have to make new ones after church on Sunday because I still had cinnamon rolls to make, eggs to dye with the kids, eggs to hide and I wanted to get to bed at least 15 minutes before the kids got up to see if the Easter bunny had come.

At least my caramel pecan cinnamon rolls turned out good...


This is about the time that Brooklyn threw up all over herself and the couch.  Yeah, I know you only wish you lived such an exciting life.  Try not to be too jealous.  I cleaned up that mess.  Just kidding.  I just threw that in there to make sure you were paying attention.  Joe, my hero, cleaned up the mess, of course.  Actually, for the first time ever, Joe helped the Easter bunny hide eggs too.  I think he had more fun doing it than I ever have.

Easter morning, the kids found their eggs and to answer your questions, no, I most definitely don't hide real eggs.  I hide 15 plastic eggs for each kid: blue ones for Austin, purple for Savannah, green for Jax, etc.  They each have their own color to look for so everyone gets to find the same number of eggs with the same goodies inside.  Joe stayed home with Brooklyn, who was running a little fever, and I took the other kids to church.  If anyone tells you that I forgot about Clay until I got out to the parking lot and had to go back for him, they're lying. 

After church, I made a new coconut cake, using a different recipe and then we all (including a fever-free Brooklyn) went out to my parents' house for dinner where I ate entirely too much.  Although, other than yesterday, I've been doing really well sticking to weight watchers and doing an exercise tape every night.  In fact, thanks to this exercise tape, I have pain in muscles I never knew I had.  My eyelashes hurt these days.  Ugh.  Whose idea was this 3 week challenge anyway?!


Sunday, March 23, 2008




“At that time,” declares the LORD, “I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people.”
     This is what the LORD says:
“The people who survive the sword
     will find favor in the desert;
     I will come to give rest to Israel.”
     The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
     I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
I will build you up again
     and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.
Again you will take up your tambourines
     and go out to dance with the joyful.
Again you will plant vineyards
     on the hills of Samaria;
the farmers will plant them
     and enjoy their fruit.
There will be a day when watchmen cry out
     on the hills of Ephraim,
‘Come, let us go up to Zion,
     to the LORD our God.’”
—Jeremiah 31:1-6, NIV

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Welcome to Spring Break!

"Mom!  Mom, Brooklyn's locked in the thing!  Wake up!  Brooklyn's locked in it!"

"Huh?  Whaaa?  Who's where?"  I tried to shake the fog from my sleepy brain. Brooklyn's locked up somewhere?  It hit me and I fully awoke with a jolt, sitting upright in bed.  I ran out to the kitchen to see Jackson standing by the kitchen sink, pointing to the cabinets underneath.  I heard a slightly muffled, "I stuck here, Mommy!" coming from the cabinets.

After searching for a minute (I think it was only a minute, but at the time it seemed like 10!) for the magnet to unlock the latches, I freed poor Brooklyn from the kitchen cabinets.


That's how my day started.  I wouldn't expect anything less.  I mentally blocked the details of the rest of the day from my brain. There are benefits to being delusional. If I remembered every little thing that happened on a daily basis, I’d surely end up like this…


I do know that they found plenty of constructive things to do while I was working though. For example, Brooklyn did a little art work…


Clayton played the maracas with a couple coffee cups until one of them broke.


Later in the day, Jackson stepped on the piece of the mug that chipped off and cut his foot, leaving a trail of blood across the floor.

Lexi tried pulling a tooth out. Too bad the tooth wasn’t ready to come out. Instead, Lexi freaked out to the ninth degree and bled all over the place.

We got a stupid snow storm yesterday too. Thursday the kids were outside playing baseball in t-shirts because it was 50 degrees here. Yesterday this…


So I kicked the kids out of the house and locked the door behind them the kids went out and played in the snow until Joe came home and saw that Austin had his good drop cloths out in the snow for some reason. Knowing Austin, he was making a kind of sled, or fort, or perhaps an engine made of canvas that runs on snow.

At one point, during the day, I went to the pantry to get cocoa powder so I could make Clay the hot chocolate he’d been whining about for the last 5 ½ hours. I opened the pantry door and screamed because for some reason Lexi was hiding in there while munching on a half empty container of potato chips.

The whole world came crashing down a little later. I, because I’m stupid and don’t learn, blew up a globe beach ball for the little kids and handed it to them with the instructions, “Only ROLL this ball. ROLL it across the floor to each other. If I see you throw it, I will take it away.”

“But can we throw it up in the air and catch it again?”

“No! Only ROLLING."

“But can we gently toss it up like this?”

“NO! You can only ROLL it!”

“How about if we do this?” He started bouncing it off his knee.

“YOU CAN ONLY ROLL IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I screamed like a psychopath.

Naturally, I saw it go flying through the air mere seconds later.

It was promptly confiscated which brought screaming and crying that could be heard all the way to Constantinople, er, uh, Istanbul.


They polished off an entire container of peanut butter cups.

Lexi’s glasses were broken.

Yep, that was my fun for yesterday. 

Today, I discovered this on Clay...


It's an Easter basket with a couple eggs.


It says, "Clayton or Spaz"


Blogger is still acting stupid and it won't let me insert pictures or links.  I can't spell check or preview my post either.  But, in my frustration, I did a little research last night and found Windows Live WriterYou can go there and download this (along with some other programs if you like) for free.  For those of you who use Blogger, you know how pictures you insert always show up at the top of your post and you have to move them around?  It's a pain in the butt!  With this program, your pictures show up wherever you insert them.  And you can change your fonts and such too!  Fun!  I'm loving this way of writing in my blog.  Check it out. 


And if you like reading funny quotes, check out this blog which is chock full of funnyisms from the blogosphere.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ask me a Question

Blogger's being stupid today and I can't insert any pictures or links. I can't spell check, and I can't preview how the post looks. So, I guess you'll have to wait to hear about my wonderful, fun-filled, first day of spring break. (And here I was thinking that my kids had been really good lately...)

So instead, I'm putting out a plea to the awesomist (yes, it's a word!) readers in the world: YOU! I'm creating a FAQ page for my book and am in need of some frequently asked questions to answer. Here's your chance to have your question featured in my book. Just leave me a comment with a question. Ask me general questions as opposed to ones pertaining to specific, past posts of mine.

Hoo boy, I'm thinking that I'm going to have to go through a trabillion (yes, that's a word too!) questions this Sunday.

Ok, now I'm off to watch Enchanted with the kiddos.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Google This

It's time, once again, to take a peek at my stat counter to see how you guys found my blog. Here are a few of the actual keywords that landed you here.

i love shoes because
and this led them to MY blog???

a cool mom
Well, naturally my blog came up. ;)

how much to feed kids
Really? Are you asking me this? Today Brooklyn didn't eat anything. She just smeared banana all over her face. I think she was trying to get her nutrition through osmosis.

the song that gets on your nerves
This is the current song that is on my nerves. Savannah came home from school and asked me about Constantinople and now I can't get this song out of my head!

Ummm ok?

my two year old won't go on the toilet anymore
Be happy! My 4 year old only goes ON the toilet. I'm trying to teach him to go IN the toilet.

four4now blogspot
This might have been fitting back in 1998.

funny marriage advice for young couples
Umm, say, "No" when your wife asks you if her outfit makes her look fat.

working mom feed breakfast
I hope my Cheezits post didn't come up for this one!

camper toilet
not a good place to store pet frogs

toddler testosterone surge
When your 3 year old grows a beard

peach syrup vomit
It's the newest flavoring for tea

forced butt smelling stories
I don't know if it's more disturbing that someone Googled this or that my blog came up.

anal seepage blue collar
I don't think a collar (in any color) is going to help you with this one.

fat costa rican butt
Oooo so close. The answer we were looking for is "fat half-Greek butt"

mother/daughter armpit shaving
Creepy bonding experiences for $400, Alex

because i said sew
Right now! Start stitching!

is wearing man english striped socks

it seems like i'm sick every month
Me too. Sick and tired of cleaning up messes!

smelling best friend's feet
Now that's frienship! Or something like that. And really, are there websites dedicated to smelling friend's feet?

looking in bathrooms for dirty diapers
Looking in bathrooms? Amateurs! I look in the refrigerator, the high chair, and behind the TV.
extra gum butt ad
I hope this isn't a new flavor of Extra gum.

will pants stop your penis from growing
Think the guy who Googled this, wears a skirt?

just one year giraffe pajamas
Yes, and after that first year, giraffes sleep in the buff.

Do mice like cheerios
Why yes! Yes they do. Especially when they're shoved down in your registers.

Wears red striped socks?
This guy?

I said what what in the butt
It's official. This is the butt blog.

flushing out swallowed coins
Who said you can't poop your own money?

sexy scarecrow brain costumes
Yep, there's nothing sexier than scarecrow brains.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Only Three Weeks to a Healthier, Happier You (aka - a bunch of lies)

Why is it so hard to change bad habits? I know what I need to do. I know how to make healthy food choices. I know that exercise is important. I know these things. But do I DO them? Nope. Why is that? Why don't I make the changes I know I need to make in order to accomplish my goals? Why is it so darn difficult?

Tonight I had a meeting and I didn't get out of there until 7:30. I was planning on getting a salad for dinner. I was looking forward to eating a big salad. I really craved a salad. But when 7:30 rolled around and I started eyeing the tin of cat food that was sitting on a nearby desk, thinking that I was hungry enough to go for a little Fancy Feast (I mean, it's FANCY and it's a FEAST. How bad could it be?), I started rethinking my salad idea. By the time I got to the drive-thru, I was so hungry that I ordered a lard sandwich with extra butter and a side of gravy, an order of fries, and of course, the requisite Diet Coke. I mean, I was hungry, people! Who wants to take the time to chew on field greens when they're emaciated? I want a cow! (And I don't even like beef!)

Another time I eat garbage is when I'm overwhelmed. I work well under pressure. I like being busy. When my calendar is full of commitments, I buckle down, organize everything and get cracking. No problem, right? But I've found there's a fine line between busy and overwhelmed. When I start to cross that line, I shut down. I no longer prioritize and take care of business. I can no longer break projects into smaller chunks and get it done. I sit there like a deer caught in the headlights, not knowing what to do. So I do nothing at all. I don't know where to start, so I don't start at all. Instead, I reach for the pretzles, or chips, or ice cream, or nachos, or cookies. OK, fine - I reach for all of the above. Hey, I keep busy that way, right? Well, my mouth is busy anyway.

I read somewhere that it takes 3 weeks to break a habit. It does make sense, I suppose. It takes time to retrain our brains. If only we could replace a negative behavior with a more positive one for 3 weeks (only 21 days!), it might just become more natural to us. If we could just replace that half hour of TV in the evening with a brisk walk around the neighborhhood, maybe after 3 weeks, we'd start to look forward to our evening walk instead of Seinfeld reruns. Maybe if we could manage to reach for celery sticks instead of cookies every day for 3 weeks, we'd naturally gravitate toward the vegetables without thinking too much about the cookies. I'm not saying that it would become "easy" to make the healthy choices, but maybe it would become a little easiER. Perhaps?

Who's with me? Who wants to try to ditch a negative behavior and replace it with a healthier one for a mere 3 weeks? I'm going to give it a try. Starting tomorrow, of course. There's a piece of cheesecake calling my name right now.

Or I could just follow Brooklyn's diet...

For breakfast, I could eat a piece of string cheese left in my high chair from yesterday's lunch.

For lunch, I'll throw my chicken fingers on the floor, I'll push my corn off my plate, and I'll use my fry as a spoon to scoop up and eat 2 1/2 cups of ketchup.

Mmmm ketchup.

After I've had my fill of ketchup, I'll eat chocolate sauce until it drips from my face.

For an afternoon snack, I'll eat 2 M&Ms I found on the sidewalk.

Then, for dinner, I'll look at my plate and scream, "I don't wan' it!" repeatedly until someone takes it away from me.

And for dessert, I'll follow Joe around until he breaks down and gives me bites of his ice cream.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

OK another comment.......more like a question, that address, is your PO Box address still OK?? I have stuff here to send you....... - nutralady2001
Sure, you can still use my old address and it will be forwarded to my new one. :)

It is sad that no one from Mississippi has sent you what you need for this map project. Therefore, I’m gonna go for it. What is it that you need? I’m actually from Pearl a suburb of Jackson, MS but I promise to mail whatever is needed from the downtown Jackson post office. I hope that will suffice. - Robin
That would be great! Just a postcard or note telling a little about your town is all we need. You can send it here:
Dawn Meehan
836 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
Suite 230
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

I have never understood why one would take cereal or crackers or whatever out of the original container to put it in Tupperware? - my3boys
Ahhh, that's easy. By putting my food into those Tupperware containers, I save a ton of space. Think of your average box of cereal or crackers or whatever. The top half of the box is just air. By taking the food out of the packaging and putting it into an appropriately sized TW container, I save a few inches of space on every item in my pantry. Also, it keeps food fresher longer. Especially in the summer here(or in warm, humid climates)crackers go stale in a couple hours after opening the package. By keeping them in airtight containers, they stay fresh and crispy for weeks. Also, they keep critters out. Bugs are as attracted to the glue and packaging as they are the food. You won't have to worry about ants, assorted bugs, or heaven forbid you have Suburban Correspondent's on-going mice saga! You really wouldn't want to find mouse droppings in your cocoa krispies.
Wow! Can you tell I used to sell this stuff?

Do you find girls better behaved than boys are? - Carissa
ROFL!!!!!!!!! I find this question hilarious. In fact, I have a section in my book on this very topic!

What a neat birthday. Just curious, is Joe just naturally becoming more thoughtful and creative or do you think the pressure of knowing the world will learn about it on your blog has helped him to delve deeper into his creative and thoughtful self? :) - Sherry
Bingo! ;)

Does the editing irritate you, or do you enjoy making changes to your writing? As a writer, it drives me crazy to have someone tell me to fix something or change my work, so I don't think I could ever do a book. - Raising Country Kids
I don't like being told what to write, so I don't think I could ever write for a newspaper or magazine, but my book is a different matter. I kinda like making changes to my book. Of course, I love my editor and she's really nice about making suggestions so that probably has something to do with it. And I'm not just saying this because I know she reads my blog. Really. :D

Btw, I graduated from Fremd. I am really interested in seeing the video of you from Writer's Week. I had no idea you'd be there otherwise I would have come to see you. I live 5 min away. ;) Anyway, I cant wait to see the video! - Amanda
I still can't figure out how to get it from my sister's video camera to my computer. Sorry. :(

Am I the only one who thought...omg...what if he (or you) had accidentally let go [of the balloons with the earrings]?!? - Anonymous
LOL! Nope, Joe thought the same thing as he was holding them outside!

So ... how did he get the box into the balloon? - Elisabeth
Umm, he put the box in the part of the balloon that opens.

Can you please tell me how to see your older posts??? - JV
Look along the right column and, under the title "Old Stuff", go ahead and click whatever month you'd like to read.

Please tell me you are not that calm during tantrums... - Meredith
I think the word is "numb", not "calm".

Well now I am in official grandma worry mode. My grandson turned 2 right after Brooklyn did and he doesn't talk in sentences like she does. - Megryansmom
Don't worry about it. Brooklyn's a little ahead of most 2 year olds, I think. she says full sentences really clearly, but not all of my kids were early talkers. In fact, Lexi didn't speak English until she was three. She spoke "Lexinese" and had 3 years of speech therapy because of it. They all develop in different areas at their own speed.

If that is the height of her terrible twos, wow you are lucky. Did the other 5 have the "terrible twos"? - Mabunny
I'm pretty sure Savannah, Lexi, and Jackson never threw fits. They were very easy going babies. Clay never went through "terrible twos". If I told him "No, don't smear yogurt on the TV", he didn't throw himself down on the floor and scream and cry. Oh no. He'd simply look at me as if to say, "What-ever", and then he moved on to bigger and better things, like throwing Matchbox cars into the toilet. If I'm remembering correctly, Austin was the biggest tantrum thrower of them all. And Brooklyn is my only whiner.

Hi Dawn, I was wondering how potty training goes at your house? Did the girls catch on better then the boys? - anonymous
Ah, the joys of potty training!

Oh, and a question for you, Dawn. I have to make a decision about whether or not to send my son to kindergarten next year (he misses the cutoff by just a bit but academically is doing what he needs to do in kindergarten). Did you have any kids at/near/past the cutoff date for kindergarten? If so, what were your rationales for sending/not sending and how did they work out? I so don't want to do the wrong thing for my kid (granted, what parent DOES?). - Michelle
First of all, I don't think there is any way to ensure you don't do the wrong thing for your kid. No matter how much we agonize over it, we're bound to make mistakes. That's the bad news. The good news is that it probably won't matter in the long run anyway.
Jackson just made the cut-off for kindergarten here. After talking with many parents and teachers, I opted to hold him back a year. I couldn't find a single person who said, "I wish I had sent him!" I did, however, find numerous people who said, "Holding him back was the best thing I ever did," or "I wish I'd held him back." I personally went with that. Plus, although Jackson was/is a smart kid, I wasn't sure he was ready emotionally/behaviorally for kindergarten.

Also growing up in the South has made me appreciate things that DO NOT drawl. I love your accent! - Cayla
I don't have an accent, silly!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The Inland North
North Central
The Northeast
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Thanks for the quiz, Irishmama!

Hey Dawn! Two do you keep your kids socks separated and sorted properly? - Lauren
They just don't wear socks.

Here's a SSO question: how do you color Easter eggs at your house? With just my 4-yr-old, and 1-yr-old trying to help too much, it was stressful. Do you end up with six dozen colored eggs? - Amy
Yep! I boil 10 or so eggs per kid, so they each have several to decorate. And yes, we usually end up throwing a few out.

Anywho, maybe this'll get me a SSO question (yeah, because you KNOW it's already a contest). If you were to have another kid (and no sarcastic comment from you please :P it's hypothetical), and most likely a boy, can you think of a city you'd like to use as a name? - Sara
I'm confused and don't know how to answer since you told me it can't be sarcastic! Actually, we liked the names Dallas, Houston, and Branson for a boy. And we liked Charlotte and Abilene for a girl.

Dawn, how do you deal with "real" tantrums?Do you leave them to it (providing they are in a safe place)? Or do you try to talk to/rationalise with them? - Kia
LOL! "Rationalizing with a child" is an oxymoron.

Question for you. You have comment moderation enabled... does moderating take a lot of time and do you have to delete very many comments each week? - Sherry
Nah, it doesn't take me long to read the comments and no, for the most part, I only delete duplicates. For some reason, there are always a couple people who leave 2-4 identical comments.

I just noticed something, and a question occurred to me...does Savannah ever feel left out because she is the only one of your children whose name doesn't end in an "N"? (or the "in," "on," or "yn" sound, which are all very similar)? Or does that make her special when you holler all their names out the back door? And before you ask, yes, I do think too much.Laura
Well, she was fine until she read your comment!
Just kidding. Actually, I seriously thought about naming Brooklyn, Abilene (Abby), for that very reason. Savannah just looked at me like I was stupid when I asked her if it bothered her. I guess not.

You'll probably get quite a few comments with the same question, but what candies can you give the kids while the family is on the diet? Angela
I just give them carrot sticks and tell them that it's candy.

Where do you buy candy without additives? - BoufMom9
I can get several things at the grocery store actually. Sunspire makes Sundrops and they're just like M&Ms. Trader Joe's makes yummy peanut butter cups that have no artificial stuff. You can get stuff online at Squirrel's Nest too. They can have many varieties of Ghirdelli chocolate as well.

I'm not sure if you've really posted about it before but if not, can you post a little more about this diet you have your kids on? :) - Domestic Spaz
Surely. I'm doing the Feingold diet with them. I started it primarily for Jackson to help with his ADHD, but it's benefiting Clay (and probably all of us) too. I've found that it works for us if we follow it to a T. It's good because it's nothing too weird or restrictive. It's simply taking out artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and such. However, there are drawbacks too. It's very difficult to eat out. Cooking is more time consuming, it's more expensive to buy whole natural foods, and (in our case anyway) if the kids slip up and have one little thing with artificial junk in it, they totally spaz out. Still, in my opinion, it doesn't hurt to try it out. Eating healthier can only help, right?

Take care and hope you had a great weekend. Hope Joe and the kids come back with all limbs in tact. - Mabunny
Funny you should say this. All their limbs were intact, but Austin and Savannah have the worst sunburn I've ever seen. Their poor faces were so swollen this morning, they could hardly open their eyes. :(

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thank you Easter Bunny (Bawk Bawk)

First things first. BlogHer is running a little survey right now and they'd love to hear your thoughts. Take a minute and fill it out. All completed surveys will be put in a drawing for a FREE PASS to a BlogHer event. Thank you!

Check out the survey HERE!

Also, there's still plenty of time to vote in the Blogger's Choice Awards. I have 4 banners to the right -----> Go ahead and click on them. You can vote for my blog(and your other favorite blogs too) in any/all categories. I figure if only a tenth of my readers take a minute to vote, I'll have 1000 votes!

Like contests and give-aways? Check out Mamaslike for great items primarily from WAHMs, and the latest give-aways and specials! I haven't had much time to do reviews lately, but Angie's still hard at work searching for the latest fun products!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to freak the poor kids out by setting them on the lap of a guy dressed up like a giant rabbit. Time to let the kids run loose in an effort to find a few eggs filled with sugar, artificial flavors, and neon colors. Time to pay the therapy bills for the kids who don't find any eggs and subsequently fall into a deep depression.

Austin and Savannah are off skiing with Joe this weekend. You couldn't pay me to do that. Falling down a hill with giant sticks on my feet while I freeze my butt off is not my idea of fun. Anyway, while Joe was having some fun bonding time with the older kids, I took the little kiddos to visit my grandma today. They had an Easter egg hunt, and you could also visit with the Easter bunny. Although we love visiting my grandma, I don't think I'll ever go back for this event again. Ever. The kids were excited to find the eggs, but all the eggs were filled with candy that my kids couldn't have. Jackson was awesome. He understands about the diet and knows that he feels better and is more in control of himself when he sticks to it. Clay, on the other hand, is too young to really understand and he happily scarfed down a couple pieces of candy before I was able to take it away and replace it with candy that doesn't have additives.

Now, Joe and I thought the diet was working with Clay, but after the all-out screaming, insane, meltdown of epic proportions, now I know 100% for sure, that the diet is working. Not too long after eating the candy, he went into orbit and as far as I can tell, is still somewhere near the Andromeda Galaxy. It was a nice little reassurance that the diet is helping, and it was a great reminder of why I'm doing it.

Don't make me sit on this creepy bunny's lap! I'll cry! I mean it - I'll cry! And yell! I'm not kidding around! Get me outta here!

Jackson is saving Brooklyn from the bunny. Clay is telling me that the bunny is going to eat his ear. And Lexi is looking to make a quick getaway.

I think my nephew, Dominick, is saying, "What the...???"

Yes, I think the kids have been sufficiently warped until next Easter.

Oh and remember these beautiful pictures of snow?


Well, this is what is left. Not quite so stunning anymore, huh?

Yep, that's SNOW after it has been sitting around for a month.

I love when the weather starts getting warmer and the air smells fresh and clean. It's wonderful seeing the plants and trees that have been nothing but dry, dead-looking sticks all winter suddenly sprout spots of green. The sun which has been hidden all winter, starts making an appearance, renewing and energizing all it touches. The boredom and depression of winter starts to give way to the promise of spring. And, more importantly, the kids, who insist on spending every spare minute outside, track mud inside over every inch of floor and carpet because it's physically impossible for children to REMOVE THEIR SHOES WHEN THEY WALK IN THE DOOR!

Friday, March 14, 2008

and the Winner is...

And the moment you've all been waiting for.......







Don't feel bad if you got it wrong. Joe got three of them wrong. My sister asked me who the strange kid was in the second picture because she didn't think it was one of mine. I have a hard time telling all of their baby pictures apart unless I look at the background and scrutinize the color of the walls and the clothes the kids are wearing.

A few of you got them all right, but the first one was Denise! Congrats! I'll get the gift card off to you this week! Thank you to everyone for playing!

It was like 60 degrees outside today! Woo Hoo! Yay spring! While Joe was taking a walk with Clay and Brooklyn, Clay picked up some strange looking rocks and said, "Look at these weird rocks, Daddy!" Joe looked at the "rocks" and told Clay, "Umm that's rabbit poop. Let's go wash your hands."
A little later while I was outside with Clay, he looked up in the sky and said, "Look! There's a hammer!"
"A what?"
"A hammer! See it? A hammer!"
"I don't see any hammers, hon. What are you looking at?"
"Right there! See the red hammer. He hammers on trees!"
The light finally dawned as I saw a red bird fly from the tree. "Ohhhh, do you mean a woodpecker?"
"YES! A hammerbird!"
"LOL! That's a cardinal, sweetie and you, my dear, crack me up."
Kids are goofballs, aren't they?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Who's Who in BabyWorld

I'm finishing up my book and am busy doing a little editing this week, so instead of wowing you with my awesome stories (HA!) I decided to do a little contest instead. I'm posting some baby pictures (Awwww, how cute!). They're all pictures of my kids. Guess who is who. (Hint: there aren't necessarily 6 babies pictured here because I'm just tricky like that.) So, go ahead and guess who's who. The first person with the most accurate number of guesses will win a $20 gift card for Babies R Us good at any stores or online. If you don't have little babies, you can use it for your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, co-worker's kids, or buy a bunch of diapers and formula with it and donate them to your local food pantry.

My kids are:
Austin - 13
Savannah - 11
Jackson - 9
Lexington - 6
Clayton - 4
Brooklyn - 2

So here they are...







Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Don't Wanna!

My kids would never dream of misbehaving. They are always polite and respectful. They wouldn't dare throw themselves down on the floor in an all-out tantrum. When I tell them it's time to go to bed, they cheerfully say, "OK Mommy!" Then they brush their teeth without being reminded, they lay out their clothes for the next day, and they say their prayers. They give me a kiss goodnight, thank me for making them eat broccoli at dinner, and tell me I'm the best mother ever. Even Brooklyn, who just turned two, is perfectly behaved and extremely agreeable as proven by this video.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Too Tired to Party

Last night I went to my parents' house for dinner. We all had a great time! My husband did good! Really good! He doesn't usually do much (if anything at all) for my birthday, but this year he got my something. Not only did he get me a present, but he didn't pick it up at the gas station today! He came up with an idea and ordered it ahead of time. I know! I almost fell over in shock too! He gave me 38 balloons and told me that my present was in one of them. (OK, the most horrible sound on earth is a squeaky balloon and just the thought of them gives me goosebumps. I had to pop the balloons until my present fell out of one of them.) He gave me diamond earrings! I can totally overlook the awful balloon noises because I'm just so impressed that he put so much thought into the present. And the way he wrapped it was very creative! I figure he's good for the next ten years. ;)

Tonight I went out with my sister to Stir Crazy. Yum! I had mai tais and stir fry shrimp. Actually, no, I had ONE mai tai and stir fry shrimp. Why only one? Because I would've fallen asleep in my bok choy had I had any more. How sad. My sister and I get a night out and we were both sitting there yawning. We did a little shopping and then decided it was time to go home. Yes, we're quite the life of the party.

Now to start working on the second round of edits on my book...

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