Friday, January 30, 2009

Home Again

First, I'm so sorry I haven't updated my blog for a few days. That's really not like me. I have to turn in my manuscript tomorrow and if you know me at all, you know that I give procrastination a new name. I'm working at finishing it up right now.

I'm back from my trip to Campbell's World Headquarters in Camden, NJ. Whenever I come home from a trip, the little kids all jump on me and smile and tell me they love me and they stay attached to my side for hours. I don't know how people work full time away from their kids. I'm not saying it's wrong or anything. We all have to do what we have to do, but I feel so guilty when I get home. I mean, I really, really enjoy my time away. I like connecting to other women bloggers and I love when companies fly us out to learn from us and share information about their brand with us. I find it really interesting and I like passing the information on to you. And, of course, I just like getting a break from the routine of caring for 6 children day in and day out. But, ugh, the guilt I feel at leaving them!

Of course, the guilt usually disappears within a couple hours when the fighting starts.
"He hit me."
"Did not!"
"Did too! You're a goat!"


Or the "Can Danny sleep over?"
"No, we have too much stuff going on all day tomorrow starting at 8:00AM"
"You NEVER let me have anyone sleep over!"
"Uh huh. Never."
"Why can't I? whine whine whine"

Or Joe ranting and having a fit.

This is the time I feel like hopping right back on that plane and taking off again. Sigh.

I'll be talking all about my trip over HERE ON MY REVIEW BLOG. I can't write about paid trips on this blog because of my BlogHerAd contract, so click the link and hop on over to read about the fun times in Philadelphia! :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Night at the Library (otherwise entitled - I'm a Big Fat Dork)

I went to the library this evening to get some writing done. I am SO close to finishing my second manuscript! Sooo close, but not quite done. This second book is about pregnancy and childbirth and I'm stuck on the part about delivery. I just keep thinking about things Joe did (or didn't do) that made me want to throw a bedpan at him while I was in labor. I don't think that'll make for a great chapter.

So, anyway, I was sitting at the library because I can usually write in peace there. Suddenly this guy walked over and sat down right next to me. What the heck? There were like 40 empty chairs and he sat down right there! So, he looks at me, smiles, and starts reading his book. He read like maybe 5 sentences, then jumped up and walked over to the paperback racks. He put his book back and grabbed a different one, then came back and sat down again. He kept staring at me as he managed to read another 5 sentences or so. Then he did it again! He got up, put that book back and grabbed yet another one!

He did this 4 times! And in between book-switching times, ADD boy just stared at me. It was SO weird. So, I wrote about this on my Facebook page and someone wrote back, "Maybe he reads your blog."

OK, that's great! He reads my blog, he's going to see where I Twittered about the "weirdo who sat down next to me at the library", he's going to stalk me and kill me. At least that line of thinking spurred me on to write another 1000 words so I could at least finish my book before meeting my demise.

I went to the front of the library to get a cup of coffee because I was sitting next to the window and I was freezing my butt off. Of course when I stood up, I accidentally ripped my ear buds out of my computer and Major Tom by Peter Schilling blasted throughout the silence of the library. "4, 3, 2, 1..." Yep, I'm just classy that way.

When I came back, the guy had left. OK, that was odd, I thought. But I quickly got back to writing.

A little while later, I looked out the window to the apartment complex a few yards away from the library and oh my gosh, who do I see through the window! It was that guy! Now I'm officially freaked out. Is he watching me? Maybe he's looking the other way. Maybe he's just watching TV. I was too scared to look back out the window and check because I thought I'd see him looking back.

Again, I updated my Facebook page with what was going on. I believe after writing this tidbit on Facebook, my friends told me to step away from the coffee machine and to stop hallucinating.

After a couple minutes, I pretended to look through my purse for my flash drive and as I scrounged around for it, I nonchalantly glanced back through the window toward the apartments. Know what I saw? I saw that "the guy who was stalking me" was actually just a reflection of the librarian!

Yes, I am just THAT MUCH OF A DORK.

After I got back home, I emailed the whole saga to my friends. My friend Denise wrote back... "And maybe you're the ADD one who can't concentrate on her book and is easily distracted by clicking and some poor guy trying to find an interesting book to read who's wondering why you keep staring at him."

Yes, folks. I'm pretty sure this poor guy is on the phone with his friends right now telling them about the creepy girl at the library who couldn't stop staring at him.

Trust Me Winners

Here are the winners of the TNT tote bag & shirt!

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2009-01-27 06:12:59 UTC

The winning comments came from...

Kristien said...
I actually have "Trust Me" already programmed into my TIVO. My husband and I watch "Leverage" (love it!) on TNT as well and we saw the previews for this show. It looks like it's going to be great!!

Jenny said...
I'm always looking for grown-up shows to watch, so I'll have to check this one out...esp since it has Tom Cavanaugh in it! My husband and I both really enjoy his work. Thanks for telling about it! :)

momof3crazykids said...
That looks like you had a great time! I love Monica Potter.

Congratulations! Email me at mom2my6pack(at)aol(dot)com with your shipping address and I'll get these out to you right away!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Take Some Notes (Heck, take ALL of them!)

This is a little notebook I carry in my purse. If I get a story idea, I jot it down because I can't remember anything these days. I make notes about chapters and such when I'm working on a book. I keep track of how many words I've written and how many more I need to write. I actually have several notebooks like this scattered around the house.

Anyway, tonight I pulled this particular little notebook out of my purse and I flipped through the first few pages...

Some notes and word counts...

more notes and numbers... looking for a blank page...

more scribbles and chapter notes...

Ahhhh, here we go. Apparently Clay got ahold of my notebook...

and Brooklyn did too...

"and this is you, Mama. And this is Daddy and he's getting stung by a jellyfish..."

still looking for a blank page to take notes...

...still searching. Looks like more jellyfish perhaps?

Oh look! Potato people! Still searching for blank page...

"Mom, this is you!" Brooklyn squealed. Beautiful. Are there ANY blank pages left?

"This is you too!" Yep, short and fat. That looks about right.

Oh yeah, still searching...

Nice. Think I can use any of these scribbles to help me write my next book?


almost looks like a tracing of her hand...


Seriously guys! Didn't you leave me ONE page???


That's great. Looks like I could use a new notebook.

...the last page. Looks like my calendar's full this year. Thank you Clayton and Brooklyn!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fireproof Winners

If you entered the drawing for a copy of Fireproof on DVD, please check back to see if your name was drawn. I'm still missing addresses for 12 winners!

Check HERE to see!

Sunday Sound Out

Another week gone by. It's time to answer viewer mail!

Hey there, I'm flipping through my Good Housekeeping that came a week or so ago, and you know that part where they feature a mom blog (towards the BACK of the mag), well imagine my suprise to find my favorite mom blogger there! I read you faithfully, you didn't mention you'd be featured in GH did you?
My bad. I think I only mentioned it on Facebook. Oops! Yep, a story from my blog is featured in February's Good Housekeeping! Page 199! Wheee!!!

My son says to tell you that he plays expert on drums and guitar. Show-off. He wants you to say "Oh he's so handsome and good at rock band!"
Oh, he is SO handsome and good at Rock Band!!! LOL! Actually, I am impressed. I only play it on the easy setting. I tried medium and got all confused and started flailing around like a total spaz.

Can you video yourself playing?!
Actually, Jackson did videotape me and Savannah playing, but I couldn't bring myself to post it. I look way just a bit too dorkish.

Did I read that right? Your washing machine is broken???? EEK... run away, run away... the laundry monster is going to gobble you up! How--in--the--world-- are-- you--surviving? I know... just make your kids wear their clothes inside out on every other day? oh yeah, right. They already do that. (joking....) When are you going to get a new one? Now, I'm really worried about you!
Joe fixed it! That's why I keep him around. He fixes stuff and cleans up puke. ;)

It's Jackson with Vitiligo, right? My Caleb's is spreading and I was wondering, are you doing any kind of treatment for it? If so, what? My son's is moving to his face and neck now.
Yep, it's Jackson. (for those who don't know - Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease where the person loses the pigment in their skin resulting in white-white patches.) When he was first diagnosed, we tried doing a combination of creams and sunlight exposure (it was summer at the time). It didn't work at all though. The dermatologist tried to talk us into doing these UV treatments along with another expensive cream. The thing is - at the time, Joe was never around and the doctor's office was far from my house. I didn't want to have to schlepp all the kids to the office several times a week after school. And none of this was covered by my insurance either. And, so far, it hasn't affected his face or very visible parts of his body.

I know a lot of people seek treatment and there's nothing wrong with that. If it's affecting a person's self esteem, treatment should be considered. I think this is probably especially true with people who have darker complexions where the loss of pigment is more obvious. But it doesn't really bother Jackson at this point. In fact, he thinks it pretty cool that he "glows in the dark"! (The white patches fluoresce under black light.) Right now, the only thing I'm doing is talking to him about the fact that it doesn't matter what a person looks like on the outside. I tell him he's a funny, quick-witted, compassionate, smart kid and that's what counts.

If it starts to bother him in the future, we'll look into treatments.

Wow, I can't believe you haven't commented on the fact that our country has a new president. Are you ignoring this little tidbit?
Yup. There are thousands of political blogs out there. Mine's not one of them.

since im not a math person i have to ask how old where you when Austin was born?

Oh boy, totally scaring me now. Is it true though -- did they really say the transition from 8th to 9th grade is the third most traumatic experience for them?
They actually said that. I think it's ridiculous. High school (and everything else) is what you make of it. I'm just encouraging him to do his best and have fun.

And more importantly, how many drinks and what kind did you have at Cheesecake factory?
Who me? I don't drink, Steph. ;)

What's that really cool new ad on the right side of your blog. It's so EYE-CATCHING! WOW! Kind of makes me want to roll up my sleeve and let someone jab my arm with a needle all for the sake of saving someone's life!
Very subtle, Manic. OK, everyone click on that ad over there ----> It'll take you to Manic's blog where she has a contest going. Donate blood, save a life, and be entered for a trip to Florida!

Get ready though - with high school came my son's first girlfriend.
EEEEEEEEEK!!! I had my first boyfriend the summer between 8th and 9th grades! Oh no! I hadn't really thought about that. Nooooo, make it stop!!!

So many comments!! Do you have time to read them all?
Yep. I read every single one. I've really sucked at answering comments and email this past month though. I just can't keep up. I wish I had time to answer every one. Please know that I read them all and appreciate your comments and emails more than you can possibly know!

Oooo, and Beth at I Should be Folding Laundry took some great pictures from the TNT luncheon on Friday. Here are a couple of them...

me and Monica Potter

all us blogger girls with Monica

Monica Potter from Trust Me

And here are a couple pics from the Clay's and Brooklyn's birthday party...

me & my nephew Dominick

me & my Yia Yia

me & the birthday kiddos. Nice fake smiles! It looks like they're terrified!

me & my baby

Miss Lex with her new glasses

my monkey with his monkey cake


It's supposed to be Curious George. It doesn't really look like him though. I guess it's not too bad considering I used a bear-shaped pan.

Brooklyn's Sleeping Beauty cake

All, but her head was edible

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Trust Me

I got to have lunch today with Monica Potter, star of TNT's new show, Trust Me which premieres Monday, January 26. Before having lunch today, I was able to check out the first 2 episodes of the show. Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that I don't watch much television. When asked what my favorite show is, I say Seinfeld. That's usually met with, "You do realize that's been off the air for 10 yeas, right?" But I watched Trust Me and I liked it! I don't know if I liked it because I'm so used to watching Nickelodeon all day that I was just desperate to see some adult TV or what. I did like the first episode enough that I immediately watched the second episode. After that one, I was hooked.

The show's set in Chicago which is cool, of course. Although there's a part in the second episode where they go to Woodfield Mall, but the mall that's shown on Trust Me is definitely not Woodfield. That bugged me. I don't know why. It's kinda ridiculous, isn't it. Like I've said before - I need therapy. Anyway, it stars Eric McCormack, Tom Cavanagh, and Monica Potter who work at an ad agency in Chicago.

You have to watch the show so you know what I'm talking about when I say, "Do Thumbthing" (which I intend to say a lot from now on.) LOL! Do Thumbthing. Hee hee. Yeah, it doesn't take much to amuse me.

Anyway, here's a little video from my lunch with Monica Potter today. She's very pretty and thin and I just love how real she was at lunch. She's a working mom just trying to keep it all together like most of us. (I don't know what happened to the video. It looked great when I edited it, but once I loaded it to YouTube, it started looking all funky and dark. I'm sorry about the poor quality.)

Me & Stephanie from Adventures in Babywearing. Stephanie is a total sweetheart and (small world) her cousin goes to my church!

Me & Beth Feldman from Role Mommy. Beth is the author of Peeing in Peace (is that a great title or what?!) and she's one of the amazing women I got to hang out with in L. A. this past October. Thanks for inviting me, Beth! It was so great to see you again!

MJ Tam and Jen Khatchatrian from Chicagonista, a website devoted to bringing you Chicago's hidden treasures from eats, plays, shopping, and events to family friendly activities both in the city and suburbs.

Me & Monica Potter. Yes, I know it's blurry. My flash didn't go off, but she was trying to get out the door, so I didn't want to hold her up by asking her to take another picture. Just squint your eyes and/or have a drink and it'll look clear.

And, just because I'm a dork who finds things like "contact lens solution in the bathroom" kinda funny, here's another picture. If you're ever at the Capital Grille in Chicago and you just need to clean your contact lenses immediately, never fear, the bathroom there is stocked with cleaning solution. In fact, while you're at it, grab a Q-Tip and clean out your ears, brush the lint off your shirt, and apply a fresh layer of hairspray. Oh, and just in case, there's a container of tampons too.

Now, what other blogger would be doofy enough to take a picture of this? That's me - always finding stupid things that amuse me and then sharing them with you. Aren't you glad you read this blog? :D

Oh, and I've got 3 TNT goody bags to give away too! Included is a TNT Trust Me tote bag (this is a nice sturdy one with a zipper!), a Trust Me T-shirt, a Trust Me notepad and a cast picture autographed by Monica Potter! Score! Leave me a comment here and I'll pick 3 winners on Monday night.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Welcome to High School!

I took Austin to an informational meeting at the high school. The HIGH SCHOOL! As in NINTH GRADE! My baby is going to be going to high school! commence hyperventilating

So, I'm sitting there listening to the teachers talk about course selection and test scores and blah blah blah and the whole time I was trying to do math in my head. I KNOW! What was I thinking??? But I was trying to figure out just how old I'll be when Brooklyn starts high school. It's never a good idea to do math. Especially when the answer you come up with is "50 years old"! It could make you gasp out loud in the middle of the presentation when you realize just how old you are. It could make other people turn and stare at you. It could make you laugh nervously because of the awkwardness of everyone staring at you. This is entirely hypothetical, of course.

So I sat there nicely, listening intently to the fine educators speak. "...from here on out, everything counts. Everything you do in high school will go on your permanent record."

I think I let out a very small, almost dainty snort at this point. Did she really just say "permanent record"?

A group of annoyed parents turned around and gave me the evil eye.

"Sorry. Stuffy nose," I said in explanation of my tiny little snort.

They went on to talk about what a great opportunity summer school is. "...studies have indicated that the transition between 8th and 9th grade is the 3rd most traumatic thing you'll go through behind losing your parents or losing a spouse. If you want your child to be prepared for 9th grade, you really need to consider sending them to summer school..."

"Give me a break!" I said in my head. At least I'm pretty sure I just said it in my head. Although, come to think of it, some people may have turned around and scowled at me again...

Yeah, that's what you want to do - use lots of words like "traumatic" when talking to the kids about starting high school. And summer school? Now, I have nothing against summer school and for students who are lagging behind, I think summer school could help them get caught up. However, it's summer! Who wants to go to school in the summer? You know, a lot of real life skills can be learned during the summer while on vacation, camping with family, helping around your home, caring for siblings, etc.

Anyway, I got the results of the 4 hour placement test he took in November. According to his scores, it looks like he'll be in ALL honors/AP classes. I'm really proud of him. Actually, proud isn't quite the right word. I'm happy and thankful that he's gifted academically. I'll be proud if he does his work next year, gets decent grades, and doesn't blow off his homework and do projects the night before they're due. I think he's going to be in for a shock with the volume of homework that will come with several honors classes.

He now has a couple weeks to decide what electives he'd like to take. And, not too much pressure or anything, but these classes will affect your FOUR YEAR PLAN, your plans for beyond high school, your future career, the car you purchase, the home you buy, spouse, and family. One wrong choice and you'll be destined to spend your life living in a cardboard box, and saying things like, "You want fries with that?"

Welcome to high school!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some People Actually Like Reruns

I was busy working on my book last night so I didn't post. And I just can't find the funny tonight. Bad day. Don't ask.
I didn't want to leave you guys hanging for 2 nights in a row though, so here's a rerun from 7-8-07.

My sil and I took the kiddos to the zoo this week. The battery on my camera died soon after we got there, so I only got a couple pictures, but I'll share them with you. The zoo has a stingray exhibit right now where people can touch live stingrays swimming around. Ummm, isn't that what killed Steve Irwin ? Yes, please let me touch a stingray!

We all went in the Australian exhibit where bats fly around freely. Yes, that's right, BATS FLY AROUND FREELY in this exhibit. OK, I figure the bats can't dive bomb people too often or they'd be behind glass, right? So, I'm ok with walking (very quickly) through the Australia House. I guess the docent sensed my uneasiness and in an effort to put my fears to rest, said, "Oh don't worry, the bats won't poop on your head." POOP ON MY HEAD?!!! Well, I hadn't even considered that possibility until now! Gee, thanks.

Anyway, we had beautiful weather, it wasn't too horribly crowded, we didn't lose anyone, and we only had to pull Clay out of one exhibit (he just had to chase a chipmunk into the Tapir's habitat), so all in all it was a good day.

And I thought I had it bad trying to squish all these guys in my little van! Poor kangaroo has to carry them around in her pouch!

This zebra looks a little like Jackson....

His Vitiligo is spreading. :(
But the good news is - I finally figured out how to put a link in here! Yay me! I'm catching up to my six year old in computer skills.

Preparation H - it isn't just for humans.

The Einstein of the monkey world (or what I look like first thing in the morning when I haven't dyed my hair in a while.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rock On!

"Come on Mom! Come play Rock Band with us! Come on!!! It's fun!"

I tried to come up with a plausible excuse as to why I couldn't play. I couldn't say that I had laundry to do because my washing machine is broken. We just had dinner so I couldn't use the excuse that I had to cook. I could have told them that I had to work on my book. Hmm, honestly, I think I'd rather play Rock Band with the kids than to work on my book right now. I sighed, "OK, I'll play, but you have to promise NOT to make fun of me when I suck."

"We won't Mom! Come on! It's fun! Try the drums."

I sat down at the drum set. "How do I know which one to hit?" I asked as I looked at the four different colored drums.

"You just look at the TV." duh "Oh and if you see a yellow bar, you have to step on the pedal."

"I have to use my feet too? I don't think I'm that coordinated. If I have to use my feet, can I count this as exercise?"

My kids rolled their eyes at me and starting doubting their decision to let me join their band.

They pushed "play" or whatever it is you're supposed to push to make the song start. Colors went flashing across the TV screen at the speed of light.

"Which side am I on? Which one is me?!" I shrieked, afraid that I'd be kicked out of the band if I missed any beats.

"You're on the right, Mom! Follow the ones on the right! You're missing all of them! Hit the green one, blue, yellow, Mom, hit the blue and red now!"

I flung the drumsticks around wildly hitting anything and everything within 10 feet of me. I looked like a total spaz. I think Austin fell off my bed laughing at me. Thankfully, Jackson and Savannah were too busy playing guitar and singing to notice my total idiotness (yes, it's a word).

When we finished the song, my kids were only too happy to "let me go back to what I was doing".

"No way! I know what I'm doing now! Let me do another one! I understand how to do it. I'll do better! I promise!"

The kids relented and didn't kick me out of their rock band. And you know what? I did great! I'm the drumming queen, I tell ya!

Then the kids decided I should expand my horizons and play the guitar. That wasn't one of their better ideas. How is a person supposed to bend and contort their wrist to play that thing??? It isn't human, I tell ya! I never did well when I took guitar back in junior high for the same reason. Who can make their fingers move on the right buttons when their wrist is all twisted? It's not normal. And while you're bending your wrist in unnatural ways and trying to remember which finger presses which colored button, the colors are flashing by on the TV faster than your brain can send the signals to your mangled hand!

After that little exhibition, the kids put me back on drums where I rocked out.

"WOOOOOOOOOO! That was wicked awesome! Come on kids! Don't you want to drop out of school and take our show on the road? Come on! It'll be awesome!"

I think this is the point, they decided that Rock Band is not for parents.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Sound Out

For those of you who are new to my blog, I always go through the comments for the week and pick out the questions to answer on Sunday. Here are your questions...

I can't wait to hear the responses to your "never" disciplining your kids ;) You realize you'll spend most of the week clearing up that statement, right?
LOL! That's what I thought too, but no one said a thing. I guess everyone knows I'm sometimes a tiny bit sarcastic.

I really appreciate how consistent you are about being non-judgmental; thank you for being sounding board for me on this. Here's the follow-up question to the prayer post: If someone were to spend all that time on the phone, or watching TV, or whatever else their interest may be, would that change your response? Not that I would ever expect you to condemn anyone, that's not like you. Mary Wesley spent 17 hours a day in prayer--different strokes for different folks. But, if a stay-at-home mom said she spent 17 hours a day watching TV leaving the kids with the instructions they weren't to bother her, would your reaction be different?
You mean, you're not supposed to spend 17 hours a day on the computer???

Are any of your kids left handed?
Nope. (Despite Joe's grand plan to teach them to pitch both righty and lefty)

I can really see the weight loss in your face! You look great! What are you doing? (Exercise or starving?)
More starving than exercising, I'm afraid. And why is it that you always lose weight in your face first? Why can't it come off our butts first? So not fair.

For SSO: Ok, Thanks a BUNCH for listing that shirt that Austin got for Christmas("It's all fun & games...")-now MY son wants one so....where'd you get it?
I think they got it for him at Hot Topic.

Also, my 2 y.o. came running in to see what all the laughing was about and now SHE wants a Pokey Pokey skirt. So...where'd Grandma Rose pick up that little number?
I'm not sure where she got them. A quick search showed this place... but I'm not very good at finding reliable places from which to order so check it out yourself.

Or you could just ask all the Australians to chip in and buy you a vacation...[in regards to our -20 temps here]
Oh, now that sounds like a good idea! I'd really love to visit Australia sometime!

Have you ever heard of a song sung by the Beastie boys called, "No sleep til Brooklyn"? (I only know this song through the Guitar Hero which is played daily by my 14 yr old). Everytime I hear the chorus (screaming) "No...sleep...til Brooklyn...(and I always add...gets out of my bed!)", I think of you and your Brooklyn... How in the world do you have your little one sleeping in your bed night after night???? Is Joe really, really cranky that y'all don't have your nights alone without kids? How do you do that???
LOL, yep I know the song. (My kids are impressed with how many songs I know on Guitar Hero!) And it's really not an issue.

Can you believe he'll [Clay] be in kindergarten next year?
That one doesn't floor me as much as the fact that Austin will be in HIGH SCHOOL next year!

I have been a long-time fan of yours and have a question for your Sunday Sound Out. Rumor has it you bought something REALLY, REALLY, REALLY cool this weekend and I wanted to ask you if you would share it with your readers for Sunday Sound Out so you can inform them. I'm sure all your readers would be dying to know what this great new product is, just like I am dying to know what it could possibly be! Thanks, and I love you. I love your blog! I love your kids! I love how you named them all after really cool countries from amazing places all over the world! I love that you're so funny! I love that scarf you wear. Oh wait, that's another blogger. I just love you and can't wait for you to become a New York Times Bestseller. Signed Your #1 Fan!
Gee, I wonder Manic who could have Manic written this Manic anonymous comment. OK, OK, I broke down and got a stupid neti pot. Happy now, Manic? And no I didn't drown despite my fear of purposely pouring salt water up my nose. And yes, I can breathe. I can totally breathe. I have nothing dripping down the back of my throat. My sinuses are so clear. I never even realized I couldn't breathe before. I admit - it's pretty amazing. I'm hooked. OK Stephanie? Now the world knows I pour salt water up my nose in a very disgusting manner. And no, there is no flipping way I'm making a video out of it!

Did they manage to take any pictures of Brooklyn? She looked SO cute, I'd hate to think that she was left out!
They got a few of Savannah and Joe holding her, I think. I imagine their art department can do amazing things with the pictures and probably make her look like she was right there with the rest of them.

With each of the photo shoots you've had done, I've noticed that it is always just you and the kids. Does Joe ever feel offended that he is not included in any of the photo shoot pictures? I understand that they do that because you write about being a mother, so it makes sense that it is just you and the kids, but I was just wondering if your husband cares?
Joe was there and had his picture taken just like everyone else. I think he was only left out once, but I don't think he really cared.

How did you achieve that transformation in 30 minutes? [cleaning the boys' room]
I'm a trained professional.

Where did you get those nifty shelves with the storage bins in them?
Ikea! They're great!

You have to put a post about your technique!! Tell us, please tell us, how you do it in 1/2 hr!!![cleaning the boys' room]
I start at one end of the room and toss everything that isn't where it's supposed to be into a huge pile on the floor. Then I sort through the stuff, throw out all the crap, and put everything else where it belongs. Ta da.

On another note, please take the 5 minutes to check out that fairy site that someone mentioned. I need to know if it is the major sinus infection that is clouding my judgement - but that site was BEYOND WEIRD and really funny! I thought it was a SNL spoof! No kid I know would listen to that crazy, scary lady for more than 1 minute! She has a secret list she gives Santa? She leaves things in your room? Bizarre!Lucille
OH. MY. GOSH. It's not just the sinus infection! I think that may have just replaced Yo Gabba Gabba as the creepiest thing I've ever seen. (If that's what you use and it works for you, then great. But when I showed my kids the video, they laughed so hard, I thought they might need medical attention!)

Are those plastic test tubes and bible buddies from the PowerLab VBS program?

I sitll have some giveaways on my other blog.

PTA Movie Store $20 gift card

Basket of Johnson's "No More Tear" baby products

20 copies of the movie Fireproof on DVD

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Say Cheese!

We went downtown today to have some pictures taken to accompany an article I wrote for Hallmark Magazine. I believe it will appear in the April/May issue. If you haven't seen the magazine, check it out. It's really good! You can subscribe HERE or you can pick up a copy at your local gold crown store.

So, we pulled up to a building that looked vacant and rang the bell.

Sure enough, it was a nice studio! Ugh, I can't remember the guy's name who owned the place... Craig maybe? Anyway, he was nice. He had a nice, calm, friendly dog who, despite Brooklyn's dire predictions, did not eat her shoe off. There we met up with Eileen who made us beautiful (or well, did the best she could). I wanted to take her home with me so she could do my hair and make-up every morning.

And we met Andy who was the stylist for the shoot and Jake, the photographer. These guys were awesome with the kids. They were really patient and had a lot of terrific ideas. I really can't wait to see what pictures end up in the magazine! They'd brought along a whole collection of props too. I even got to swing a baseball bat (I hope they don't use that one. Then the whole world will know I beat my kids. Kidding! Just kidding. Only mostly kidding.)

At one point, they said, "Your kids are really good. We're having to tell them stuff to do. Usually we have to tell kids to stop doing stuff." Shortly after this, the kids loosened up and starting acting like themselves. Ha! You NEVER say the kids are acting good! That's the same as saying, "OK, now I want you to act like insane monkeys!"

I know this picture is dark. I turned off my flash so I didn't interfere with their picture taking. But if you look closely, Austin's got Jax in a head-lock. LOL!

You might notice someone is missing from the line-up. Brooklyn would have nothing to do with pictures today. I'm not above bribing my kids with candy and that didn't even work today. Niether the tiara nor the tutu worked either. She did briefly smile at the decapitated doll's head, but that was about it. Hmmm, I should probably find that disturbing, huh?

Anyway, we had a ton of fun! Thanks so much guys!!!

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