Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A free handbag?

What? Seriously? That's what I was asking myself.

Want a chance to be a lucky winner? Click here.

To celebrate the launch of it's website, Handbag Planet is having this amazing giveaway. You don't want to miss it! One free handbag every hour for 24 hours. Even better. The big day is October 15th.

Thanks to Mommy Instincts for the heads up.

Tuesday's Tips - Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene.

That sounds so embarrassing. But I couldn't think of a better subject so that's what you get.

Take it or leave it.

I am tackling this subject and just touching the surface - quite literally. Here are some tips on outward appearance.

1) If you wear eyeglasses or even sunglasses, smudges can be a hard thing to completely remove. There are specific cleaning clothes made for eye wear and they do a fabulous job. They are made of sueded washable microfiber and leave a streak free finish. These can be found at any optical shop or drugstore. Another suggestion is to wash your glasses in warm water with some dish soap, such as Dawn. Just be careful not to use anything that might scratch the surface of the lens. That would not be good.

2) Before I put on my eyeshadow I apply a light base of foundation to my eyelids. It really helps the eyeshadow stay on longer. (Thanks to my S.I.L. for that tip - she has the most amazing eyes and the way she puts on her eye makeup - I want to take lessons from her.)

3) Another makeup tip involves mascara. I believe a primer is a must. And Maybelline makes a good product at a low price. I use the Maybelline Intense XXL. One end is primer and the other end is mascara. It adds body and volume to your lashes.

4) Have you ever run out of shaving cream during a shower and ended up trying to shave using soap? Put the soap down. Ouch! I have found that hair conditioner does a great job. In particular I use Paul Mitchell, but any brand could work.

5) Here's another shaving tip - the dreaded bikini area. The best product that works for me is Nair, but I find that I can only use that every week or two at most. When I need a good in between method, I rely on baby oil and a razor. And try not to pick the razor up after each stroke. Keep it against the skin while shaving. I've noticed less razor bumps and burn for sure.

6) Now that the weather is changing and the air is beginning to get dry, my lips always suffer. I really have issues with chapped lips during late fall and winter. It seems that I have tried every possible chap stick/gloss/ointment that is available. What has worked for me is applying a small amount of hydrocortisone cream or ointment followed by a layer of Aquaphor which is similar to Vaseline.

7) My hands are another part of my body that seems to have all moisture sucked out of them. Mary Kay makes an incredible product called Extra Emollient Night Cream. I put this on my hands quite generously before bed and put on a pair of cotton gloves which assist in the absorption of the cream. In the morning my hands feel so soft and renewed.

8) And the last of dry problems is static electricity in my hair. This only seems to be a problem in the winter. I have found that running a dryer sheet through my hair after it is styled helps ease the electric current. Also I have used a little spray of Static Guard. It does have a strong smell to it, and I am not sure if it's good for hair or not. But it works!

What personal hygiene or outward appearance tips do you have to share?

Happy Anniversary!

Today I want to wish the two most amazing people in my life a Happy Anniversary.

My parents.

Today they celebrate 41 years of marriage. Their commitment and love for each other is so evident in how they live their life together. The example they have shown has left an imprint within me and I will be forever grateful for that.

Today I wish them all the loving thoughts I can muster.

Hugs Mom and Dad.

I love you!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Coffee and the paper

I was reading today's paper while enjoying a cup of coffee. This story caught my attention and it brought me to tears - of laughter. I had to share. Enjoy.

Bat brew jolts Eastern Iowan

An Eastern Iowa woman had more of a jolt than usual from her morning coffee.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that the woman had seen a bat in her house, but wasn't particularly concerned about it.

She turned on her automatic coffee maker, went to bed and drank her coffee as usual the next morning.

When she removed the coffee filter that night, however, she discovered a dead bat in the filter that had gone through that morning's brew cycle.

Ann Garvey, public health veterinarian, said the woman underwent rabies treatment for the exposure, which occurred last month.

The bat was sent to University Hygienic Laboratory in Oakdale for rabies testing, but the brain had been too cooked by the heat of the brewing water for a determination, according to the health department.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Today's phone call

Jason got back from New York safely this afternoon and we were able to sit and have lunch at home together. The phone rings as we're eating and I look at him. Normally the only person who calls the house during the day is him. The caller id says Infinity something and I had no clue who it could be.

I pick up the phone and the person on the other line says he is calling from Q104 - the radio station out of Cleveland.

I instantly knew what that meant. They picked me and my submission of songs off my ipod to play during the lunch hour. I thought getting a Chipotle gift card was an awesome prize, but actually having some of my favorite artists played on the radio because of my submission was even cooler. Plus during the phone conversation I didn't really realize they were recording it and they used portions of it in between playing the songs. Of course I had to grab my camera and capture how dorky I sounded on the radio, but it was a cool experience. Listed below it's in 4 short segments. It took 50 bazillion times longer to upload these videos than I was actually on the air. Also, you'll hear Luke jabbering in the background and playing his keyboard. He could care less that his mom is getting air time.

And I was also informed that my name is going to be put in the grand prize drawing being held Monday morning. What's that you ask? What's the grand prize? I am a bit embarrassed to say. But I will tell you cause I love you and you're reading my blog and how can I not be grateful for that?! The grand prize is backstage passes to see NKOTB. Blah! Didn't like them back then and still don't care for them today. Now if it were the Backstreet Boys or NSync or even Hanson that would be cooler. This is a drawing that I actually hope I don't win, as strange as that may sound.

Is sleep really overrated?

My head is pounding.

I think my 3am threats to Carson that I was going to call Super Nanny is what brought it on. And also the fact that I have been home with him for the past 3 days with Jason out of town. It's been non-stop togetherness. The boy has been sick and has stayed home from school due to pink eye.

I have more of an abundance of love, patience, and compassion for him during the day, but when I am asleep and get awakened, I turn into devil mom. It reminds me of the Spongebob episode where Sandy the squirrel is hibernating during winter and Spongebob and Patrick come in and wake her up. The scene is not pretty. Sandy turns into an evil possessed squirrel and starts throwing stuff around. That was me last night, except the things being thrown around were obscenities. Yeah, I'm not proud to admit it, but in that moment of just wanting us both to get a good night's sleep I let my emotions get the best of me.

It's now a quarter to ten and Carson is still sleeping - thank goodness. I wish I could say the same. I was awakened to the sound of Luke feeding cereal to the dog at 6:45 am.

Time to start another pot of coffee.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday's Tips - Getting Organized

Whew - it's Tuesday again and here I am after dinner just getting to my tips of the week.

Ironically they cover the topic of organization. Hmmm.

Really, I do my best to be organized and tidy. When things are in order it makes life a bit easier.

Today I spent a good part of the day putting away my "everyday" decorations and replacing them with fall and Halloween decorations. Carson stayed home from school today due to waking up with his eyes swollen shut and full of eye boogers. Poor guy looks part Chinese. He was my helper and had as much fun as a sick kid can have while staying home from school.

So, today I thought I'd bring you a few tips to help you get organized.

1) If you have kids in elementary school and even preschool I bet you clip box tops and save Campbell soup labels. A great way to collect and store them is to tape either an envelope or a sandwich baggy to the inside of one of your cabinets. Once you clip the box top just put it in the envelope and you don't have to go digging through drawers to find that envelope.

2) What to do with all the papers and projects your kids bring home from school? I have found that it's good to limit yourself to saving a select amount. And to help you accomplish that goal, I suggest purchasing an expandable legal size folder (I've found them at Wal-Mart) and only keep what will fit inside. Within this folder I keep a separate folder for specific notes from the teacher or things I may need to refer back to during the school year. It really works out great. You can add the child's name, teacher and school year to the outside for a nice keepsake which is easy to store.

3) I have begun taking a lot more pictures since I've had a digital camera. I no longer print my pictures, but have a slide show set up on my computer as my screen saver. My kids have spent countless hours sitting in front of the computer looking at the pictures as they pop up. Such great entertainment. And it's great for when company comes over as well.

4) Another suggestion for pictures is storage. It would be such a horrible loss if your computer crashed and you lost all your valuable family pictures. That is why I religiously save them every month to a CD. After I have burned that months pictures to a CD, I also upload them to an online picture store, such as Snapfish or Photobucket. You can opt to share your pictures with anyone from your address book via this option. And from these picture sharing websites your guests can choose to print or just view your photos. It's such a win-win situation.

5) Do you ever forget a family member or friends birthday? Shame on you! Well now you don't have to worry. Birthday Alarm is an awesome online birthday reminder website that emails you your important family and friends upcoming birthdays. It is an easy to use site - really give it a try. Your family and friends will be so happy that you remembered their special day.

6) Are you a coupon clipper? Have you ever been out at a store or restaurant and wished you had that certain coupon that you clipped? I have found that keeping a separate zipper pouch in my purse with my coupons has really worked well. This way the coupons aren't loose in my wallet and they are easily accessible when I need them.

7) What to do with all the cards and notes that are meaningful to you? Here's another time where it's good to limit yourself. I have found that a plastic shoebox is just the right size to keep your special notes and cards in. You can label the outside when it's full with the years that the contents include.

8) Each year after our family has received numerous Christmas cards I am always torn as to what I should do with the cards. I hate to throw them out, but keeping them doesn't seem practical. The solution? Turn them into next year's gift tags. I cut the front with a fancy pair of scissors which leave a pretty edge and then I attach them to gifts which saves the cost of purchasing gift tags. They are more personal and just add a nice touch to a Christmas gift. (Can you believe I am even talking about Christmas already? It's not even Halloween!)

9) But now that I've mentioned Christmas..........Are you getting your lists ready? Another fantastic website to help you manage all those lists is The Things I Want. It's a free site that helps you list items for upcoming occasions whether it be a birthday, wedding, or Christmas list. And it's so easy to use. Try it out - you won't be disappointed.

10) I am a huge garage sale junkie. Whether it's shopping at them or having my own. I love me a garage sale. Holla! So, how do I prepare for my sales? Easy I tell you. No really. I have heard how people fret over having a sale, but I find it to be so much fun and rewarding. The best way is having a working bin or tote in a designated area, such as a closet. Label the outside of the bin "garage sale items" and place items in it as decide you no longer want them. Even better yet, place pre-printed price tags on top and before you place the item in the tote give it a price label and your that much more organized for the big sale day.

Once again I hope you have gained at least one good tip to get you on your way to a more organized lifestyle. What is a great organizing tip that you can't live without? I'd love to hear from you. You can never be too organized!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I sure know how to entertain

This past Friday Jason comes home from work and tells me he invited over a co-worker and his wife to dinner at our house Saturday night.


No, really. I love having people over. I just don't care for the cooking part. That stresses me out. First of all, I don't have much experience with cooking, and secondly, I don't enjoy it. I wish I did, but nope, sorry - my family is lucky we actually eat. I get by, mind you, but it's nothing fancy. The only time the word Gourmet is used in this house is if we're talking about how Al Gore-may be nuts. (Okay - that was a very corny joke. Sorry.)

The first panic came with trying to figure out what in the world I would make, what do these people like and dislike, do I need to be concerned with making it healthy (cause most of the stuff I make is not a low-fat version), etc. The questions came pouring out. Hubby wasn't the best of help, but we finally decided that it would be salmon.

I have a really tasty teriyaki glazed salmon recipe which is very quick and easy to make in a skillet. (Funny side note: I had no clue how to spell teriyaki and when spell check gave me what it thought I was trying to spell it came up with the word bacteria and hysterical. Yikes! That would be hysterical if I served bacteria salmon. Not.) Back to the story: A side salad, some fancy rice and a side of bread and it looks like a nice, simple, and healthy dinner. I even had time to make a quick dessert - Grands Little Pies.

With dinner plans made and ingredients purchased, I went to the task of cleaning the house. Deep cleaning the house. When you have first time guests you not only want to make a good first impression, but they're most likely going to want a tour of your house. So that means every single room had to be in order, dusted, vacuumed, smudges wiped off, etc. I even made it a point to wash the floors.

The main preparations were done, table set, house was tidy and next thing you know the guests arrive. Right on time. Which was fine because for once I was ready on time - that doesn't usually happen.

Things were going smooth. I poured myself a glass of wine. While Jason was finishing up the tour I went to the kitchen to finish the glaze for the salmon. As I was taking the salmon out of the oven where it was keeping warm, the S.O.B. dish came sliding out of my oven-mitt and flipped over landing up side down on my kitchen floor.

I stood there - frozen for a moment - not really believing this just happened to me. What the heck was I going to do. I thought to myself I could easily pick it up before anyone saw what had happened and try to play it off, but nope - here comes Mrs. Guest. "Uh-oh, what was that?" I hear her say as she comes up the stairs from the basement. Crap - I just got caught - plan B - I ask her, "So, what's your favorite restaurant, looks like we're going out to eat tonight."

Mrs. Guest goes on to say it's not a big deal, just throw it on the grill and it will be just fine.

Seriously, you want me to serve you (people that I just met) food off my kitchen floor and be okay with that? Really? That thought just wasn't sitting well with me. Even if I did clean my floors that day (with chemicals). I was so mad at myself and I can only imagine how dense my husband and his co-worker thought I was.

But would you believe it - they INSISTED on eating my floor glazed salmon. Even though it was broken in pieces. I rinsed it off a bit and we put it on the grill, still mortified.

We sit down to eat with the adults in the dining room and the boys at the kitchen table. The salmon gets passed around and I take my share of flakes while shaking my head in shame. But they really ate it and they really liked it - or at least that's what they made it seem like - for all I know they could be really good fakers.

In the middle of dinner Luke walks in wearing a shirt and underwear and cheerfully announces that he just pooped his pants.

COME ON! Can't a poor Mom get a break from this humiliation?

I drag him upstairs to rinse him off and come back down to attempt to finish my now cold salmon crumbles - good thing I only took a little - everyone else was already finished.

To boost my spirits I pour myself a 3rd glass of wine (I think, but whose counting anyway?) We are sitting around the table enjoying each others company, as far as I can tell. The topic shifted to the geographic sides of Cleveland and which side was the best to live on. They continue to say the east side is the best - it is the "right" side. Me, trying to be the drunk humorist that I am go on to say, "Yeah, more like the "right" side with a "wr"." It made no sense and all I got were blank stares. It was the wine talking.

Three strikes - I'm out. I don't believe we'll be having this couple over for dinner again. They must wonder what my husband saw in me. Cooking abilities? Nope. We saw the gracefulness of that. Ability to train the kids to have good manners? Half naked kid smelling up the dining room during dinner? Nope. Witty? Nope - more like ditsy.

Ugh! I tried, but I surrender. White flag is up and waving.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Childhood Games

When I was a kid I had very fond memories of the games my friends and neighbors would play - particularly outside.

Since moving to Ohio, Taylor has acquired a new group of friends. The other day they were playing a game that I forgot all about until then. It's called SPUD.

It got me thinking of all the other games we would play as kids and thought it would be fun to list the ones we had the most fun playing.

Each player is assigned a number (one through how ever many players you have). Form a circle around a soft medium sized ball. To start the game, one player throws the ball straight up in the air as high as they can and calls a number when the ball is up in the air. At the same time the ball is thrown, everyone runs as far away as they can. The person whose number was called must retrieve the ball and yell SPUD in which all the players freeze. The "it" person with the ball can take 3 giant steps and tries to throw the ball to the nearest "other" person who can move all parts of his body except his feet. If the "it" player hits the "other" player with the ball they obtain the letter "S" , but if the "it" player misses the "other" player then the "it" player obtains the letter "S". All players return to the circle and repeat this process with the person who got the letter as the thrower and number caller. Play continues until the first person gets all the letters S-P-U-D. Then they are out and must go through the paddle process where all players line up and the out person crawls on their hands and knees through the legs of the other players who get to smack the out players behind. (We were pretty cruel as kids, huh?)

2) Ghost in the Graveyard
This is best played in a decent sized yard when it's dark outside. One player is chosen to be the ghost and a base is established (can be a front porch or a tree, etc.). The players stay on base while the ghost goes and hides. The players count together, "one o'clock , two o'clock, three o'clock a-rock, four o'clock, five o'clock, six o'clock a-rock, seven o'clock, eight o'clock, nine o'clock a-rock, ten o'clock, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock, midnight. Ghost in the Graveyard!" The players run and try to find the ghost and when one does they yell "Ghost In the Graveyard" and everyone has to try and run back to base without getting tagged by the ghost. Once tagged you become a ghost too. Those that make it back to base without getting tagged are safe. All the ghosts start the process again and hide together while the remaining players begin the clock counting. Play continues until everyone is caught and the last player to be caught is the ghost for the next round.

3) Red Rover
Players form two teams and hook arms to form lines across from each other. The first team yells out, "Red Rover, Red Rover, send "(pick a name of someone from the other team)" right over." The chosen person must try to run and break through the human chain of arms. If they break through they get to choose a person to go back and join their team, but if they don't break through they end up joining the other team. The team who gained a new player starts the play back up. It continues until the last person is unable to break through the other side. (Many bruises were formed playing this game but we were never deterred. Us kids were tough!)

4) Tag - freeze, TV, flashlight, etc.
If you don't know what tag is you must be from another planet.

5) Kick the Can

6) Capture the Flag

7) Chinese jump rope
This was big during recess when I was in elementary school. It works best with a large elastic rope. Two player face each other with the rope taunt around their ankles. The 3rd player has to go through an assortment of jumps which include: jump in between with both feet, jump to the outside straddling the rope, jump from side to side straddling each side, jump on the rope, jump out again, make a criss cross so your legs are inside the x then jump out and land on the ropes. If the jumper doesn't perform the proper jump they are out. Continue the pattern raising it higher up the legs with each successful pattern completed. This can also be played with one player by using chairs to hold the rope.

8) Mother May I?
One player is the "Mother" while the other players line up about 20 feet away. The mother picks a player and gives them an order which can include: take 5 giant steps, or take 3 tiny steps, or take 2 hops, or take 2 jumping jack hops, etc. The more creative the commands the funner it will be. Here's the catch. The player who is given the command must first respond with the phrase, "Mother, May I?" and the mother must respond, "Yes, you may" before the player can perform the task. If they do not ask permission they must return all the way back to the line where they started.

9) Red Light, Green Light
One person is picked to be the "light" and stands with their back to the other players who are lined up about 20 feet away. The "light" yells "green light" and the other players try to run and reach the "light". The "light" then yells "red light" while turning around to face the players who must stop as fast as they can. If the "light" catches them still running they have to return to the starting line. Play continues until the first person makes it to the "light" in which they are now the next "light."

10) Simon Says
One person is chosen to be "Simon" and the other players line up. Simon calls out commands such as; touch your toes, rub your belly, jump up and down, spin in circles, etc. The players can only follow the commands if they start with the phrase, "Simon Says..." If a player follows a command without being told "Simon Says" then they are out. Play continues until there is one player left. They become the next "Simon".

And on rainy days some fun indoor games I enjoyed and still do:

1) Bunco - dice game (Anyone want to start up a group in NE Ohio?!?! Seriously.)

2) Double Solitaire, Hand Solitaire, Around the Clock Solitaire - card games

3) Hearts - card game

4) 10,000 - dice game

5) Boggle - game in a box

6) Uno - card game

What were some of your favorite games you remember playing as a kid?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lucky or normal?

One of Taylor's friends came over to play and noticed that Taylor was sitting on the couch eating a corn dog. This boy tells Taylor that he is so lucky.

Me, being nosy curious ask him why he feels that way. He goes on to say that his mom never buys corn dogs and he would never be allowed to eat on the couch.

Uh, okay.

Either that boys leads a really sheltered life, or I let my kids get away with too much.

You tell me?

If I had new furniture then I would attempt to enforce the no-eating-on-the-couch rule, but we don't and crumbs are easy to clean up.

I am pretty laid back and I pick and choose my battles. I prefer them to eat at the table, but what fun is that all the time? Live a little I tell ya! (We even put our feet on the coffee table - GASP!)

And not buying corn dogs? Come on. That's a staple in this house! (Along with buying ketchup by the gallon.) I realize they aren't the healthiest of options, but they make a yummy quick snack every once in awhile.

So is Taylor really lucky or is he just a normal kid eating what normal kids eat while relaxing on the couch? I know what my answer would be.

Questions and comments by the little ones.

The boys are at it again. Some of the things they say just crack me up. Here are a few of the latest:

Carson and I were talking about Thanksgiving and Carson asked if Maga (grandma) was going to make pies. I told him that Maga doesn't make the pies, but Papa does. Then he asked if Papa makes good pumpkin pie to which I responded that he makes the best pumpkin pies. Carson replies, "Yeah, Papa should be in a pie factory."

In a recent car ride Carson had his usual thousand questions. He started out by saying, "Mom, I really wish I had some cotton candy." And then went on to ask, "Do they make it out of clouds?"

The other day Carson tried on my eye glasses and started laughing. He looked at me (as best he could) and asked, "Wow - are these for when you're blind?"

Carson had an irritated 'bum' and I told him it was just a little rash and it would go away soon. He asked if it would be gone by Christmas. It's only September.

Carson's word for handcuffs is 'handcups'.

Luke's word for marshmallows is 'smushmellows'.

Luke refers to the tags in clothes as 'tickets'.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The personality test

This was an interesting test with pretty accurate results.

Personality / Temperament for Lynette

Personality: Sanguine Choleric

Sanguine Strength:11 Weakness:6
Choleric Strength:7 Weakness:7

The Choleric's Emotions
  • Born leader
  • Dynamic and active
  • Compulsive need for change
  • Must correct wrongs
  • Strong-willed and decisive
  • Unemotional
  • Not easily discouraged
  • Independent and self sufficient
  • Exudes confidence
  • Can run anything
The Choleric As A Parent
  • Exerts sound leadership
  • Establishes Goals
  • Motivates family to action
  • Knows the right answer
  • Organizes household
The Choleric At Work
  • Goal oriented
  • Sees the whole picture
  • Organizes well
  • Seeks practical solutions
  • Moves quickly to action
  • Delegates work
  • Insists on production
  • Makes the goal
  • Stimulates activity
  • Thrives on opposition
The Choleric As a Friend
  • Has little need for friends
  • Will work for group activity
  • Will lead and organize
  • Is usually right
  • Excels in emergencies

The Sanguine's Emotions
  • Appealing personality
  • Talkative, Storyteller
  • Life of the Party
  • Good sense of humor
  • Memory for color
  • Physically holds on to listener
  • Emotional and demonstrative
  • Enthusiastic and expressive
  • Cheerful and bubbling over
  • Curious
  • Good on stage
  • Wide-eyed and innocent
  • Lives in the present
  • Changeable disposition
  • Sincere at heart
  • Always a child
The Sanguine As A Parent
  • Makes Home Fun
  • Is liked by children's friends
  • Turns disaster into humor
  • Is the circus master
The Sanguine At Work
  • Volunteers for Jobs
  • thinks up new activities
  • Looks great on the Surface
  • Creative and colorful
  • Has energy and enthusiasm
  • Starts in a flashy way
  • Inspires others to join
  • charms others to work
The Sanguine As a Friend
  • Makes friends easily
  • Loves People
  • Thrives on compliments
  • Seems exciting
  • envied by others
  • Doesn't hold grudges
  • apologizes quickly
  • Prevents dull moments
  • Likes spontaneous activities

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Look what the boy dragged in.

Does this come with ear plugs because I have a feeling I am going to need them.

I am all for being a part of a school music program. Last year was choir, this year band. The trumpet was his pick and I am not too sure why, but I think it's going to be a good fit for him. He's got a lot of hot air - in a good way.

In middle school and my freshman year of high school I played the french horn - not very well, but I attempted to make it work out. It was a time full of great memories and friendships along with the two trips to band camp. Yes, seriously I went to band camp. Don't judge.

My desire is that he embraces this new chapter in his life and enjoys his new hobby and talent. He may not be the next Louis Armstrong, but I hope he is inspired and obtains a good musical background.

Now I must go shut all the windows before the neighbors call the police.

Wordless Wednesday

Taylor's new buddy - Lil' Sniffer. I think they like each other.

The other friend, Turbo, is still camera shy and likes to nibble fingers. So, there's a bit of favoritism going on as you can see.

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dogs will be dogs.

There's nothing that quite sets the mood for the day when you wake up to a pile of dog puke the size of a dinner plate.

I woke up at 3 am to the sounds of the dog heaving. I knew I better get her outside before she deposits her dinner all over our carpet. So here I am at 3 am standing outside in the backyard with the dog on the lease waiting for her to upchuck so I can get back to sleep. She just stands there and looks at me wondering what the hell we're doing. As if I am the insane one.

She got to sleep in the laundry room the rest of the night and that's where I found her lovely gift this morning.

Tonight I took her for a walk like I do every night, except this time I had to bring along the boys. Jason started his first night of school, otherwise I would have taken her by myself for some nice quiet Mommy time. But, that's okay - I was fine with it. The kids were on their bikes and enjoyed the exercise and fresh air.

As we came back around the block Taylor saw a very small chipmunk that ran and hid in the flowers by our neighbors mailbox. We all went over to investigate and the dog's sniffer started going crazy. She knew a critter was hiding and she was determined to get to it. I pulled the flowers aside and out jumps this little creature. It basically jumped right into Sasha's mouth. Here I am screaming and jumping to make her drop it - which she does, but then instinctively picks it back up to squeeze it a little more.


The boys got to see the whole show first hand. The dog finally dropped it for good after a few smacks from Taylor. The chipmunk was gone - it did a few last twitches and the kids thought it was going to be okay. I found a stick and rolled it over - it was lifeless. Taylor was the one most upset. He blames me for the dog killing it. Luke kept asking if he was going to wake up and be okay. Carson asked if we would bury it. The poor little rodent.

It was such an eventful day with the dog. And here I thought I wanted another one. I think I'll hold off for awhile.

Tuesday's Tips (products)

Here is another installment of my Tuesday's Tips. This week I am focusing on products that I can't seem to live without or one's that just make my life a lot easier. (And just a side note - these are my personal opinions, no one is paying me to talk about their products.)

Let' start in the kitchen.
1) Clean up after a meal is not high on my list of fun. I hate trying to get stuck on food off of my dishes. I have tried using the dish brushes, but the bristles get nasty - the alternative - a nylon scraper. In particular I use the ones you get from Pampered Chef for use with the stoneware. It works perfectly, doesn't scratch, and clean up is breeze.

2) When I cook ground beef or sausage I have found another Pampered Chef item that makes the process so much easier (not that it was hard to begin with, but you get my point - I hope.) It's called the mix & chop and has a fan like base with 5 nylon chopping arms (see the picture I stink at descriptions.)

3) I think I am a wipe addict. All day long I seem to be wiping something down whether it be the counter tops, the toilets, the floors, the kids faces and rears. Disinfectant wipes are amazing (NOT for the kids!). I prefer the Clorox brand and they have a new scent - Lavender which smells so good and fresh. Come to think of it, they should come out with lavender scented butt wipes.

4) And for the stubborn stains that the wipes can't deal with, I love the Mr. Clean magic erasers. Of course these should be kept away from the kids as well - the magical ingredients can potentially cause a reaction to the skin. I have used these on floor scuff marks, garbage cans, shower and tubs, walls, doors, etc. They are amazing - good name choice Mr. Clean.

5) Lately one of our favorite before bedtime snacks has been popcorn. We received a stove top popper as a gift and have really enjoyed making our own popcorn on the stove. It's simple, fresh, healthier, and saves money. All you do is add oil and kernels (and some sugar if you like the kettle corn version) crank the handle and let the popping begin.

6) I have a hard time taking a multi-vitamin on a consistent basis. But when I do I feel better - it could be part mental but I know the physical benefits are there too. My friend Beth got me hooked on GNC's Women's Ultra Mega Active multivitamins. They also give you a kick of energy because they contain a performance blend of ingredients which include panax ginseng root extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, green tea leaf extract, and much more. And when I take my daily multivitamins I tend to drink a lot more water. Double bonus!

7) When I want my hair to have a nice smooth look to it I have found an awesome product that delivers amazing results. It's the CHI silk infusion. The only down side is that it has a different smell to it, but it doesn't seem to transfer to your hair once you apply it. Strange. I love how it makes my hair feel; light, smooth, and silky. It is a bit pricey for the small bottle, but it is totally worth it. I apply it to my towel dried hair, blow dry, then use my flat iron to create the smooth polished look.

I hope you've enjoyed today's product tips. What product can't you live without?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Does it sound right to you?

Is anyone else having issues with the new playlist that I created? A friend of mine says that it sounds funny as if all the songs have a little kid singing them. I swear I didn't add any Kidz Bop - geesh! At least her kids were enjoying it and having a dance party to it.

And if you're not digging the tunes, leave there is the option to mute them or pause them. Just scroll down on the right side and I am sure you can figure it out. I don't want to scare anyone away with my fabulous taste in music. I know it can sometimes be difficult to concentrate when there is music blaring in the background, especially when you're reading such in depth, profound entries in my blog. So I hope you don't get too distracted!

Not much new to report. I have to get back to tending to Luke's bloody nose and re-training him to use the toilet on time. Fun stuff!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Whoa! What's that noise?!?!?

If you recently logged on to my blog you may have been welcomed by a song.

Don't be frightened. I am testing out this new "Project Playlist" for my blog.

Recently I submitted a few of my favorite songs to a local radio station and in return I received a gift certificate to one of my new favorite food chains - Chipotle. (I still don't know how to spell the freakin' name and spell check is no help!)

I have always wanted to create a CD of some of my favorite songs. But better yet, why not add it to my blog and share with you all some of the music that gets me movin' and groovin'!

I didn't want to scare you away. I hope you'll stay and listen. You never know - maybe you'll hear something new that you like. And if you don't care to listen you can always pause the music or mute it, but I hope you'll give it a chance.

Let me know what you think. I love feedback (and dark chocolate) ((and wine)) (((and comments)))!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The results are in.....

I know you're all DYING to know how my race went this past weekend.

Maybe I'm being a slight bit sarcastic.

But you may be a little curious - did I beat the pants off my hubby or did he outrun me?

Let's get a little background before we dive into the results.

As you can see my new shoes came in just in time for the 5 mile race. I was able to get a few workouts in to break them in and was very pleased with the fit. Well, the first pair I ordered fit too snug so I ended up returning those and getting a half size bigger (size 10 - yeah, I have elephant feet). Jason was able to break his new shoes in for a few weeks. I'm just sayin'.

We got up around 5:15 am to get ready that day and attempt to eat a light breakfast with a little caffeine to wake us up. Jason pulls out this package of pills - green tea energy pills. I say no thanks druggy, but attempt to drink some of an energy drink hoping to cash in on the artificial energy, but also trying to stay away from the jitters of taking too much.

We head downtown thinking the race began at 7:00 am to stretch and do some warm up runs. 7:00 comes and goes and no one is lining up. We had the time wrong - it was actually 7:30. Oh well, it got us up and moving and allowed us extra port-a-potty visits. Nasty.

The race gets off to a great start with almost 1000 runners. It was a bit tight in the beginning and I took off not sure how far Jason was behind me. Around the first mile mark here comes Jason from behind me. Does he stay by my side? NO - he just kept going with a wave of his hand. So I let him go - thinking at that pace he'll end up having to slow down and I will pass him up in another mile.

That never happened. The next time I saw him was at the finish line.

As disappointing and shameful as it is to announce - my husband beat me! Ugh!

But - ONLY by 57 seconds - not even a full minute. I would say that's a close race for being 5 miles.

His time was 40:07 (269th place overall and 23rd place in his age division) and mine was 41:04 (312th place overall and 14th place in my age division). Only 43 people were between us. I was really hoping to beat last year's time, but I was off by 30 seconds. There is always next year.

And do you want to know something crazy? We had #'s that we had to pin to our shirts. Jason was #269 - and check out what place he finished - 269th! You couldn't even make that happen if you tried. I told him he should get a prize for that. And he did - I let him finish before me because I am such a nice and caring wife.

You know I love you honey and I'm just teasing (so stop your crying already, would ya?!) You did fabulous and I am SO proud of you! I look forward to many more races together - maybe next time you could let me win?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Word(less) Wednesday

The before:

The assembly:

The after:

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.

The meaning of a name

I thought this was a fun blogthing to add thanks to Sharon at The Bird's Nest. Try it out yourself by clicking the link at the bottom.

I think I'll change the "N" from neglected to neighborly. Sounds more like me.

What Lynette Means

L is for Lovable

Y is for Yummy

N is for Neglected

E is for Energetic

T is for Timeless

T is for Temperamental

E is for Enchanting

What Does Your Name Mean?

I like the name my parents gave me. They were going to choose Janelle, but this sounds better. One thing that irks me is when people (particularly ones I've just met) call me Lynn. I don't know why, but I feel bad correcting them and telling them I want to be called Lynette. I guess I don't want to make them feel stupid, but in a way they are. The truth hurts.

Back in school I was the only Lynette. I didn't have to worry about getting confused with anyone else. Although whenever there was a Matt in my class it would sometimes sound like my name, but other than that I was good to go. Also when I was younger I always wanted the name Samantha or Paige. There was something magical and beautiful about those names. I still think the names are pretty, but I have met so many Paige's' over the school years that the name has become very common and dull. I rarely meet other Lynette's and if I do they are usually spelled differently with 2 N's (Lynnette).

I have seen quite a few people struggle to spell my name correctly. It's somewhat amusing to see how bad they've butchered the spelling of my name. Commonly, I get 'Lanete', 'Linete', or 'Lenet'. I didn't think it was that difficult, but apparently it is.

At this new gym I go to there is a Monday night class that is full of people. I'd say on average there is a minimum of 20 and the most I've seen is up to 50. At one point during the class the instructor has you join 2 other people on their bench and introduce yourselves. He always says to pick someone you don't know. Well, I have it made because I don't know anyone yet. Around the 3rd time in his class I head over to another person's bench and introduce myself and the other person says her name is Lynette too. And it's even spelled the same way. She also looked a little shocked to be meeting another Lynette.

So tell me a little about your name. Is is unique or common? Have you always wished you had been named something else? I'm all ears.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tuesday's Tips

Today I thought would be a good day to share with you some miscellaneous tips that I find useful in my everyday life. You may think that some are common sense (tip #1) and yes I may have to agree with you on a few. But my hope is that you will gain at least one useful tip out of today's list. Enjoy.

1) Water boils much faster when you cover it with a lid. (Thank you Beth for sharing that with me - every time I boil water I think of you. No joke.)

2) To remove gum from hair use some vegetable oil, olive oil, or cooking spray. The gum will slid right out. (Every time Luke sees the PAM cooking spray he points to it and says - "that's for getting gum out of my hair.")

3) A dryer sheet placed under the seat of your car is a great (and inexpensive) air freshener.

4) For my over-the-counter medicine and cooking spices I put them on a Lazy Susan which makes it easy to spin it and find what I am looking for.

5) To make your bread and fruit last longer, store them in the refrigerator.

6) When cleaning glass surfaces use a newspaper and you'll avoid streaks.

7) To avoid splatters in the microwave cover your food with a paper plate, it stays in place a lot better than a paper towel or waxed paper.

8) A great way to get rid of hiccups is the pour a glass of water and get a straw. While drinking the water through the straw plug your ears. You might look silly, but every time I have tried it I have been successful and it is a lot easier than drinking from a cup upside down.

9) If you ever get a headache (especially sinus ones) I find that a heated damp washcloth works wonders and feels so good. I own a rice bag (there are also buckwheat and flax seed) that you heat in the microwave and it has some nice smelling herbs/oils in it - very therapeutic. It's also great for sore muscles.

10) If you feel gassy and want relief, lay on your left side. My mom taught me this years ago and it really does the trick. But if that doesn't work, try a downward dog (I knew yoga was good for something) or do a handstand against the wall. That'll get the gas moving.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Floppy and the Misfits

My oldest son Taylor has had a pet frog for almost 3 years. It's one of those Grow A Frog's that you get through the mail as a tadpole and watch it metamorphosis (what a strange word) into a frog. The unique things about these types of frogs (African Clawed Frog) are that they have no tongue, they use their front arms to push their food into their mouths, and as pets they are kept in an aquarium. Taylor's particular frog, which he named Floppy, was a boy. And you may be asking how we know this? His frog makes a very loud cricket sounding noise - and usually at night when we're trying to sleep and sometimes during the day. The male frogs use this as their mating call. Another interesting fact about these frogs is that they shed their skin quite frequently and it must taste good because they eat it. Nasty, huh? The frog has been a really cool pet and is fairly easy to take care of.

Last November we had a party at our house. We were in and out of the house and had a campfire going in the backyard. Taylor had some of his friends over. Well, the night was one full of good times, good conversation, and a good share of drinks. In the morning, I got up to check on the boys who were still sleeping and to use the bathroom. The frog is kept in the bathroom overnight due to it's loud I-need-some-frog-lovin' noise it makes. I glanced at the cage and see that the frog is not in there. Immediately (in midstream) I lift my feet off the floor thinking it was going to come out from nowhere and hop on me. I like frogs probably more than the average female, but the thought of one being loose in my house gave me the heebie-jeebies. I woke Taylor up to see if he had put it somewhere else. He had "no idea" where it was or how it might have gotten out of its cage. So here I am tiptoeing around my house looking for a lost frog and in a sense hoping I find it to ease my mind but also freaking out that if I do find it what will it do, will it be alive, could someone have stepped on it last night, is it ground into my carpet? Seriously, all these thoughts were going through my head. I still shiver today thinking about this. At this point I figure I should let the dog out before she finds it and decides to eat it for breakfast or did she have a midnight snack already? As I walk to the back door I look down and see what I thought was a pile of poop. It looks like we neglected to let the dog out last night with all our partying. I get a paper towel to clean up the pile, which wasn't very big for our 50 pound boxer-pit mix. I prepare to scoop up the "poop" and it moves. (Insert very loud high pitch school girl scream here). The freakin' pile of poop turned into a frog. Whew - I knew I had a bit to drink last night, but I never saw anything like that before. I snapped back to reality and knew I had to get that poor frog back in the water before he croaked (sorry couldn't help it! - you knew it was coming!). The last thing I wanted to do was touch a pissed off frog, so I got a small net, somehow got him in it, and rushed him back to his water. We had no idea how he escaped, how long he had been out of the water, or if he would be able to survive. He was full of dirt and dog hair and from where his cage was to where I found him was a good 50 to 75 feet away. This was one super frog. He defied the odds and survived - surprisingly.

His other brushes with death have included various items being dropped into his cage by curious little brothers. I have scooped out pounds of soggy tissue, loose change, bath toys, a toothbrush (yes, I threw it away), air freshener sprayed on and around his cage, a complete container of frog food (numerous times) where the water was so cloudy you couldn't see if anything was even in the cage and the smell - ugh - horrendous! Needless to say, this frog has been through many ordeals and probably wishes he was shipped to a house without little boys.

The latest episode of who-can-try-and-kill-the-frog was done by my very intrigued Luke. Now he's only 3 and he doesn't realize the consequences of his actions. Apparently, he was upstairs brushing his teeth on his own in the bathroom where Floppy has found his permanent home. (Floppy's smell tends to go well with the bathroom setting.) Luke is a bit messy with his toothpaste and I always end up having to clean the sticky mess off the counter. This time, Luke decided the frog needed to brush it's teeth. So, what does he do? He squirts watermelon flavored fluoride toothpaste directly into the frogs' cage. Just a side note - frogs don't have teeth! I guess I should have explained that one to Luke. Later that day Carson notices the toothpaste in the cage and comes to get me. We rush up to the bathroom and notice that the frog isn't moving very much. Immediately, I fill up the bathtub with some shallow water, add a few purifying water crystals and transfer the frog (okay, Taylor actually did the physical transfer) to the tub in hopes that we can rinse the film of paste off the frogs body. Floppy was traumatized - his body was in shock. It was not looking good for this frog. I emailed the Grow a Frog team and didn't expect anyone to get back to me since this all transpired on Labor Day. Wouldn't you know it, they got back to me immediately and said we did the right thing. If he could pull through within the next few hours he might just be okay. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse and he was not moving. It looks like the toothpaste took its final toll on poor Floppy.

Taylor was devastated. I was a bit sad as well. We held a funeral service in our backyard and buried our froggy friend. That night it was very hard to eat dinner - we had fish. And the consistency of the cheesy broccoli was a bit soggy and hard to swallow.

The next day, Taylor asked if we could visit the pet store. I was wondering if he wanted to get another frog so soon, but he said he didn't want another frog. Floppy would be his only frog friend. At the store we saw and fell in love with the cutest little hamsters called Dwarf Hamsters. Taylor decided that these were the new pets he wanted to have and we adopted two of them. Did you notice my Wordless Wednesday post yesterday? That was above the hamster cage. Maybe it was a sign that I should have taken as a warning. Let it be our luck that these two end up having babies. I have no idea what their sexes are, but I'll keep you posted.

The hamsters are being kept in their cage in Taylor's room with his door locked during the day. This way they will be safe from the inquisitive hands of Luke (and Carson). Luke gets a kick out of watching them and calls them bunnies or pets. Now we just need names for the misfits. Any ideas? I like Max and Ruby which goes along with Luke's idea that they're bunnies. Leave me a comment with your name suggestions.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wordless Wedneday

Looks like no one wants to take the blame.

For more Wordless Wednesday participants click here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Labor Day Weekend

This Labor Day weekend was great. We started if off with some shopping because who can pass up the sales going on?

I am so happy to report that I think I have finally found jeans that will fit me in all areas. In the past I have had the most issues with length, they're never long enough. Also, rise is an issue. I can't stand low rise. I feel like every time I bend down the whole world can see my butt crack. But on the flip side, I don't want "mom jeans". So I have been on a mission to find the perfect pair at the perfect price. I never thought I would actually see the day. I stumbled upon a pair while shopping at Marshall's a few weeks ago. They are DKNY. I tried them on and them instantly felt wonderful and were very cute. For $30 I knew I couldn't go wrong. The only problem was when I washed them - they shrunk and now I can only wear them with a flat pair of shoes or sandals. I did a search on where I could buy more DKNY jeans and saw that Macy's carries that line. I clipped my 15% off coupon and saw they were also on sale, plus I got a $10 card to use for my next purchase. Triple bonus. And to add more icing to the cake, they even had my size in long. Awesome!

Also while shopping I decided to treat myself to a new perfume that I have been wanting. It is called Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana. It is light and fresh and I love it. It felt good to splurge on myself for a change. They also have a great cologne for men that just came out called The One also by Dolce & Gabbana. Put this one on your man's Christmas gift list. You will not be disappointed and neither will he!

We then ventured out to do more furniture shopping. This is not something that is fun to do with children. Every furniture store we've been to is like a maze for the boys. They feel like they are in an adventure and have to bounce on every couch and test out every chair. We were specifically looking for a table and chair set. I personally wanted more of a basic dinette set - nothing fancy, just practical. Jason had this vision of comfort. We were not in agreement. I would point to a nice wooden 5 piece set and he'd shake his head no. He would point at the 1980's Golden Girls set and I would shudder. I had him take note of the people sitting at that particular table who were trying it out. Grandparents. Which is fine and dandy for the older generation, but that style would not fly with our generation. We came up empty handed at the store, but we did find a set online that was a good blend of both of our tastes. We got in on the Labor Day sale and they offer free shipping which made us even happier.

To finish up the day of shopping we made a few stops at some shoe stores. Jason was feeling left out that I got new running shoes, so he found himself a pair as well. And speaking of shoes, the next day we went out together as a family and noticed Carson had put on 2 of the same pair of flip flops, but they were both for the left foot. One was Taylor's and the other was his. The only difference was size - and to me it was obvious, but he apparently didn't notice. Most normal people would have gone home and gotten the correct shoe, but we're not normal and we went shoe shopping to find him a new pair of flip flops, luckily on clearance. Crazy kid.

With all the shopping done we were ready to relax. And that's exactly what we did yesterday. It was awesome sitting out in the back yard watching the boys play in the sprinkler. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day.

I hope everyone had a great "end" to the summer.