Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Here are a few pics from Halloween.  I am the one dressed as Wonder Woman :)  Hubby was Green Lantern, G was a witch and J is a frog!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dear DJ In My Head...

Dear DJ In My Head,

I don't want to seem ungrateful.  I'm happy to have you in my head when I'm waiting at the DMV or at a doctor's office.  But we need to have a serious talk about the music you play when I am trying to fall asleep at night.

I wouldn't mind so much if you played a song that I love and want to listen to over and over again.  But when you choose an obsure song that will not stop playing no matter what I do, it gets to be annoying.

Let's take last night for example.  I was exhausted.  The kids were sound asleep.  Hubby was sound asleep.  I finally get into bed, find a comfy position and close my eyes.  But instead of sweet slumber, what do I hear?   The song "Break Out" by Swing Out Sister circa 1987, playing over and over again in my head!  I haven't heard this song in years!  A decade even!  I tried everything I could to get it to stop, but I failed.  After at least 20 long minutes of it playing non-stop, I finally fell asleep, only to wake up with it playing right where it left off.   I still can't get it out of my head.

So DJ, take some pity on me.  Tonight, can you play me something soothing that will slip me into a peaceful sleep?  Mozart?  Bach?   I would greatly appreciate it.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Cost of Education

I got into a little bit of an argument today (shocking, I know) with one of the parents from my daughter's class.  Here's what happened...

In "G's" classroom, there is a prize box that the kids get to "shop" in when they've done something especially well.  It's a huge deal for the kids when they get to choose something out of the box. Yesterday, the teacher sent home a note regarding the prize box.  She explained that the items in the box are something that she supplies out of her own pocket as an incentive for the kids to participate in class.  She buys the toys inside from dollar stores, the dollar bins at Target, etc., and she asked if there were any parents who would be willing to pick up a few toys to restock the box.

As I was waiting for class to come out, one of the other mother's sat down next to me and asked if I had read the note.  I told her that I had, and she asked what I thought about the teacher's request.  I shrugged and said that I really didn't think anything of it and that I planned to pick up a few things for the prize box on my next trip to the store.  She gasped (I am not exaggerating) and said she couldn't believe that I would agree to such thing.  Confused, I asked her what she was talking about.  She started ranting and raving about how school is supposed to be free, and she can't believe that the school is asking her to pay for something!  I tried to explain to her that the school wasn't asking us to pay for anything...the teacher was.  I also explained to her that if she didn't want to contribute to the box, she simply didn't have to.  She then stood up and told me that "I was simply a pawn in the school district's game to get parents to pay for things that are our God-given right to be free", and then she walked away.  (I'm not sure exactly where in the bible God talks about school being free, but then again I'm not exactly a religious scholar either.)

This got me to thinking...why are some people so opposed to helping out our schools?  We all know that teachers are paid way too little for what they do.  Why is it such a crime for the teacher to ask for a little bit of help?  We all have the right to choose not to contribute.  I know that money is tight all over, but I also know that if you can afford the Starbucks latte in your hand, you can afford to throw a couple of bucks at the school.

Let's all turn to the chalkboard.  I went to WalMart last night and bought 3 packs of cheap toys. Each pack cost $2 and had 10 toys inside.  3 packs x $2 = $6.00 .  3 packs x 10 toys each = 30 toys.  So that's 30 toys for $6.  That's the cost of a venti Starbucks caramel macchiato, which I love...but I'm much happier having spent the money to help the kids.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Finding a New Normal

How do you move on after something terrible happens?  It's a question I've been asking a lot lately.   Many people have told me to have faith...but in what? God?  The justice system?  George Michael?  I wish people would be more specific.  The truth is that I never lost my faith.  I'm just a little disappointed in it.  
As I've had time to reflect, I've come to the realization that the only way to move on is to take one day at a time, making baby steps in the right direction.  Will this help things return to normal?  No.  The old normal is gone and now we need to find the new normal.  I'm realizing that the new normal doesn't have to be that different from the old normal.  

One of the baby steps that I've decided to make is to focus on the all the positives in life instead of the negatives. Positive things can be easy to acknowledge if you open your eyes and see what's around you.  I'll start with what I'm thankful for... no particular order....

  • My kids.  I love them unconditionally and they make me smile thousands of times a day!  Sure there are some things I've had to give being able to use the bathroom without an audience...or a straight 8 hours of sleep...but I wouldn't trade them for the world!
  • My husband.  I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I'm so glad I did!  He's very handsome, very funny, works his fingers to the bone, and loves us unconditionally...and he cooks and cleans too!  I'm 95% convinced that he's not an alien or some sort of time traveling robot, since I long believed that men who held the above mentioned attributes didn't exist.  
  • My other family members...parents, brother, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, and in-laws.  They are an interesting group of people...and I love them all.  The past few weeks would have been terrible without you.
  • My friends.  My friends get bonus points because they choose to love me, instead of my family who pretty much have to love me.  And why wouldn't they?  I am awesome after all!
  • Caffeine. come in so many different varieties. And they are all delicious!
  • Chocolate.  This applies to all forms of chocolate....well, except dark chocolate.  I will never like dark chocolate.  Nothing good starts with the word "dark" anyway...for example, the dark ages...Darth Vader (ok, I'm taking some poetic license here).  Wait!  Dark brown sugar!  Ok, there's one thing good that starts with the word "dark".
  • Baking.  I love to bake!  Especially since it usually involves chocolate (see above).  The thing about baking is that usually whatever it is that you're baking will make someone happy.  No one ever frowns at cheesecake or cupcakes or muffins or pastries. 
  • Tummythighsuckerinnerwithers.  Also known as Spanx or girdles.  Perfect for those who just had a baby 7 months ago (or 6 1/2 years ago....) and need just a little bit more time to get rid of those few extra pounds of baby weight.
I will add more as I think of them.  I just took some banana bars out of the oven and their heavenly smell is distracting me....yum!

I'm an Allrecipes Allstar!

For the past few months, I've had the privilege of being a Allstar*, and I'm having a blast!  I've met a lot of lovely people (both fellow Allstars and staff) and have had the opportunity to try some great recipes.  (Find out more about the Allstar program here Allstars.)  I can't wait to get started on the activities for October!

Here are some of the delicious things I've tried so far! 

Sweet Potato Casserole
Savannah's Perfectly Ravishing Red Velvet Cake
Lemon Cheese Ball
Mom's Favorite Baked Mac and Cheese
Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Here are a few of the photos I took....I know, I photography skills are in need of some serious work!

***** I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and am not compensated for my work with  Any and all products or samples received from advertisers are only used for the purpose of writing experienced-based reviews. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely my own. *****