Friday, November 28, 2008

Comment Etiquette...

Or, "How to Leave a Comment"

Dear People who read my blog:

I am writing this quick note to let you know how to properly leave a comment on this blog. I see that you're visiting. I think some of you are even my family since I know where you live and I see your locations. (Is that you Delphine and Bev? Joan? Daddy?) I can only guess that you don't realize how to leave a comment. In fact, some of you have told me in so many words that you don't know how to leave a comment.

Here's all you do...see below this post where it says " # nice people said..." You click on that and a box will come up allowing you to type in a comment. You don't even have to join anything since I allow "anonymous" comments. It is nice to put your name after an anonymous comment but you don't technically have to even do that.

Now, you probably ask, "What do I say in my comment?" Well, you don't have to say much of anything, a simple, "Cute idea!", "How true!" or "I just stopped by, your blog is adorable." will suffice. If you're feeling more verbose on a particular day, can type a lot more. I do read my comments faithfully and often respond to them in the same comment section...that is of course, when readers are leaving them.

And lastly, just so you know, I am not begging for comments, that would be juvenile. I write this blog because I like it, comments or no comments. I just thought those of you who aren't commenting might actually want to, so therefore, I've given you the means to do it. It's just good manners to say hello when you stop by and I know none of you would want to be rude now, would you?

So people, have a great day. I hope your Thanksgiving was good. I'm off to read AND COMMENT ON some of my favorite blogs now. See that list over there on the side? Those are my faves, if you stop by those, make sure you leave a comment for them too. I'm just saying...

Love ya!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Cupcakes...

Well, actually, chocolate cupcakes that are decorated like turkeys. The other would be gross now wouldn't it?

The MIL is visiting and we are volunteering in The Son's class today to help with their Thanksgiving Feast. I made cupcakes yesterday afternoon to take in since I signed up to bring the dessert. They came out super cute. I looked on line for various "turkey cupcake" ideas and devised this one after looking through several others. Many of them used Nutter Butter cookies for the turkey head but I found that odd since most schools (The Son's included) don't allow nut products in the classroom. I decided to use "Circus Peanut" candies for the turkey heads which ironically enough, contain NO actual peanuts. In the long run I think they looked cuter too.

I used chocolate and multi-colored Twizzlers for the feathers... just cut them into fourths and stuck them in the cupcake, six per turkey, although five might have worked a little better. I used white frosting to "glue" on the mini chocolate chip eyes, the candy corn beak and the red fruit roll "gobbler" thingy. Stuck the head in the cake and voila' we have a turkey. I hope the kids like them. I think they will, I know I sure do.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Snow in the country...

We had some snow a couple days ago. It didn't amount to much but it sure did look pretty for a couple of hours. The Son was very disappointed when it melted but I told him that we don't often get snow at this time of year in Pennsylvania and this was just a little preview for later in the winter. He seemed to think that was OK.

Here's your preview it was a very gray day so the pictures aren't exactly colorful but I think the subtlety looks cool, almost like I did something fancy with Photoshop but of course, I didn't, it was just Mother Nature being fancy.

It looks pretty, don't 'cha think? I'm not much of a Winter Gal but I am looking forward to looking out my back window this winter and seeing beautiful vast amounts of snow. Let's hope they know how to plow out here...

Friday, November 21, 2008

He keeps me laughing...

This conversation took place yesterday on our way home from karate, completely out of the blue.

The Son: Momma, don't cry when I tell you what I have to tell you because I have to tell you something important. Don't cry OK?

Me: Well, what is it?

The Son: Sometimes, I like boys more than I like girls. Don't cry.

Me: (sniffling)

The Son: I think you're just fake crying.

Me: (still sniffling) No, I'm not, this is a real cry.

The Son: Sometimes Momma, just sometimes, I like boys better than I like girls.

Me: ("full" crying now) Don't you like me? I'm a girl.

The Son: Yes, I like you. Momma! Didn't you hear the "sometimes?" It's just that I think girls' toys are just kind of disgusting.

Me: Really? What kind of girls' toys are disgusting?

The Son: Well, like Barbies.

Me: I like Barbies...I played with them a lot as a kid.

The Son: Well, and Bratz Girls, they're disgusting too.

Me: Yeah, I agree with you on that one, Bratz Girls are pretty disgusting.

So, then he stopped talking about girls, boys and disgusting toys. I found the whole thing highly amusing. I don't think it will happen, but I might cry for real if he tells me the same thing ten years from now! Seriously though, we'll love him even if he does like boys better than girls just as long as he's happy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writer's Workshop...

It's time for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop again! I'm finding that I am really starting to enjoy it. Her prompts this week were a little tricky for me, no lists and no short simple poems but I'm going to give it a try since I probably would have posted about this incident anyway.

The Last Time I Laughed Really Hard...

I am a swim instructor at our local YMCA and my almost five-year-old son is a pretty good little swimmer. If you read my blog, you know that he recently got moved up a level in his swim lessons and we were all very proud.

I teach lessons every Wednesday evening and The Son swims in the shallow end (roped off from the deep end) while I teach. When I'm finished, we swim together, playing, working on skills, just goofing around together.

The Son is an excellent back floater. That kid can maneuver his way around the pool by simply laying on his back, kicking his feet and "finning" his little hands back and forth, it's pretty spectacular since many kids are terrified of floating and even if they're not scared, they still aren't good at it. My guy is not only good at it, he's great. Last night when he was swimming and getting a little tired, I was trying to get him to realize that being able to float on your back was an important thing, that if you're ever swimming and you get very tired, you can help to save yourself by rolling on your back and floating. I was holding him and saying...

"You know, you're very good at an important skill that could help you when you get tired while swimming."

"Huh?, " he replied.

I said, "What are you really good at when we get in the pool?"

He looks at me with all seriousness and replies, "Drowning?"

And that is the last time I laughed really hard...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We're on a break...

Dear Chardonnay:

I'm really sorry that I have to tell you this in a letter but I'm afraid we're going to have to spend some time apart. Yes, I really enjoy having dinner with you and watching a little TV with you but I have to face're making it difficult for me to lose weight.

I've tried working out and eating healthy, all of that is great but I still don't lose very much weight. The one thing I haven't tried is saying goodbye to you and your relatives. Please tell Gewurtztraminer, (my favorite one to pronounce) Reisling, and Pinot Grigio that I'm sorry. You girls are such good friends and we do have a healthy relationship, it's not like we see too much of each other or see each other TOO often but the fact remains that seeing you at all is really inhibiting my ability to lose weight. Please know that it's not you, it's me.

See, you contain extra calories that I can't use for energy, and your empty calories are easily stored as body fat, which then causes weight gain and we both know I don't need anymore body fat or weight gain. It's true that you're better than your cousin White Zinfandel (she thinks she's so sweet) besides, I never really got along with her anyway and I won't be seeing her either.

I might be able to hang out with you a little bit on the weekends if we can stay away from each other during the week, however, I think it's probably better for me to hang out with your cousins, Zinfandel, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet since they're full of antioxidants. Also, The Husband enjoys hanging out with them a little bit more than he enjoys spending time with you, maybe it's a "guy thing".

So my darling Chardonnay, it's not really a break-up that I'm asking for but simply a break. If we just spend a little time apart maybe it will help me in my quest to be healthier. There's plenty of people out there who want to spend time with you, I promise you won't miss me.

Yours truly,

P.S.: Just so you know, I will NOT be spending any time with your very naughty cousin Vodka either. I love him so much but we're just not right together, please relay that message to him if you see him around the shelves of the liquor do speak Russian right?

P.P.S.: See you Saturday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Movin' on up in YMCA swim lessons!

We got some cool news today. The Son has moved up a level in swim lessons. He's now an "eel". He was a "Pike Plus." I know those levels will mean nothing to those of you not familiar with the YMCA's swim program but let's just say, he's very happy to be an eel!

He can float perfectly on his back, do his back finning which is really just being able to move through the water on your back with kicks and hand motions (no actual strokes yet) and he can swim the width of the pool. I'm so proud of him! It's amazing to think that at this time last year, he was screaming his head off like he was scared to death.

The eel level is a challenging one, he'll begin to work on his actual strokes like freestyle with rotary breathing, backstroke and elementary backstroke (chicken...airplane...soldier anyone?) He's worked really hard and I've noticed big changes in his swimming, really over the past month or so. It's nice to see that his hard work has paid off and I know that he's very proud of himself. It's quite an accomplishment at his young age and he should be proud. (There are plenty of kids his age and younger in eel but there are also plenty who are older who are not.)

Keep up the good work Son! We're proud of you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Writer's Workshop...

It's Thursday! I'm participating in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop again this week. I love it when she has prompts that result in a list or something short and sweet. Today I've chosen the haiku prompt although I'm cheating a bit. She asks us to write about something we see out the window but I'm writing about two things I see as I sit at my computer desk. I hope I don't get a bad grade for slightly deviating from the assignment. I know when I was a teacher, I gave bonus points for creative thinking. (Hear that Mama Kat?)

The Puppy
Big head, silky ears.
Man's best friend is woman's too.
Love in a fur coat.

The Son
Funny boy, our joy.
He's sweetness personified.
Gives his love freely.

Wrestling, playing.
A boy and his dog are friends.
Barking, laughing smiles.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

America's Next Top (Preschool) Model

I got The Son's preschool portraits the other day and I have to say I am thrilled with them. Sure, they have that certain "school photo/generic portrait studio" cheesiness that most school photos or generic portrait studio photos have but I still like them a lot. The Son is a very photogenic boy and LOVES to get his picture taken. It's funny because evidently when I was a child, I was the same way. My parents have albums and albums of photos of me, my younger sister, not so much. She hated getting her photo taken plus by the time she was born, I think the novelty had worn off for my parents. (Sorry Sis! ha ha!)

So here they are...

Cute huh? I ended up buying the whole package and ordering more photos for gifts. Now that I'm blogging about it, the grandparents will know one of the things they're getting for the holidays but they pretty much know that kind of stuff anyway right?

Lastly, I had to title this post after America's Next Top Model because The Son loves that show. I record it on the DVR every Wednesday night and we watch it together on Thursday mornings. Don't worry, I preview it first to make sure there's not too much scandal. I think tonight's episode might need to be edited for my little man considering what I saw on the previews last week. We'll see... So far, The Son's favorite girl is McKey...both my girls were voted off recently. Bummer.

Someday I'll have to show you the photos I took when The Son was pretending he was on America's Next Top Model. The "fierce" look is hilarious. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Have you jumped on the bandwagon?

The "Twilight Series" bandwagon that is! I have. I'm about 100 pages in to the second book. It only took me a couple of days to finish the first book...pretty easy reading.

If you are reading them, I won't put any spoilers in this post so you can feel free to keep reading...

I like them so far and don't kill me if you're a "Twilight Fanatic" but I don't LOVE them. I think it bothers me that Bella and Edward are high school students, well, technically just Bella and no, that's not a spoiler, because if you didn't realize Edward is a vampire, (and that means he's REALLY old) you probably need to be a little more observant. I'd probably be able to buy into the whole concept just a little bit more if Bella was a touch older. That being said, I am enjoying the books. I had to read them, I couldn't be left out since just about everyone and her sister is reading this series right now. I'll probably see the movie when it comes out on DVD, I don't know if there's anyone who will want to go see it with me.

So anyway, if you're not reading them, what are you waiting for? It's an easy, fun read and you might be like me and not get obsessed...well, not TOO obsessed. I think I'll go read for a little while now. ;)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dear President-Elect Obama:

Where have you been? I miss hearing from you. For months now I've been receiving text messages from you and messages on facebook and phone calls from you and your supporters. Your wife even called me once which I thought was odd considering our "special" relationship but I thought perhaps she was just an exceptionally open wife.

You won the election and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am but then, after one brief text and one brief message on facebook to say thank you, you stopped contacting me. Were you using me? Have you been resting? Are you busy with the girls searching for a new puppy? (Please allow me to recommend a German Shorthaired Pointer as a great family dog.) I'm feeling a little lonely now Barack (can I call you Barack?) I thought we had something lasting and meaningful and now I find you only wanted my vote. You know, you did win Pennsylvania and I really do believe I had a lot to do with that. Those republicans tried to get my vote but they never had the special relationship that we had and really, I don't go "that way" so my vote was always yours.

Well, I guess I should face facts that this is the end, you're going to be far too busy with "imporant country stuff" to continue your stolen moments with me. I'm hoping you do a good job, we're all counting on you. I voted for you because I have faith in your abilities but I will admit I'm a little disappointed that we couldn't continue our relationship. I don't live that far from DC you know, we could have worked it out somehow.

Good luck in all your future endeavors. I'm afraid you're going to need it. We'll still be here supporting you and if you ever want to pick up where we left off, you just text me, you know my number.

Very truly yours,

P.S.: I'm not jealous or anything but could you please tell Michelle that her dress on the night you won the election was just not flattering. I'm guessing it's because she didn't have $150,000 to spend on clothes so it can be excused but it just wasn't cute, not cute at all.

P.P.S: The Husband is really strong if you should need some help moving into the White House on January 20th, you just let us know.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Writer's Workshop...

I'm participating in MamaKat's Writer's Workshop today. It seems I only participate when she has a prompt that is a list but nonetheless, I'm participating. Today's choice for me is:

10 of my Absolute Worst Pet Peeves...
(in no particular order)

1. I hate bad grammar and misspellings, especially on blogs. You know the ones, the people who cannot spell correctly. Ever. Or those who use words incorrectly. All. the. time. Too, to, two, they're, there, their, alot, your, you're, etc. I could go on and on but I think you understand what I mean.

2. I can't stand music on blogs. Chances are, if I visit your blog and you have music, I will stop reading and never come back. I just like peace and quiet when I'm on the computer and the music really irritates me.

3. I hate when people touch my computer screen with their finger. The smudge that it leaves makes me crazy!

4. I hate it when The Husband has control of the remote control when we are watching TV together at night. I need to be able to control the volume AND he is unable to work the DVR in the most efficient and proper way which of course would be MY way, the right way.

5. It makes me crazy to be near someone who smells like cigarette smoke but even worse is when a child smells like cigarette smoke. There's a little girl who I watch in the morning and she REEKS, it's so disturbing and upsetting to think that a poor little first grade girl may as well be smoking a few cigs herself before she gets to school in the morning. Horrible.

6. Speaking of children...I hate it when kids have dirty faces and/or snotty noses. I know kids can't be perfectly clean all the time but it's not that difficult to keep a face clean or a nose wiped. It's especially infuriating when you see these kids with a mom or other caretaker who looks perfectly dressed and the kid is running around like a hot mess. Not cute, not cute at all.

7. I hate when people cannot be patient, especially when in a store or restaurant and they usually end up being mean or rude to the employee who was probably already flustered in the first place and therefore ends up taking even longer with what he/she was trying to do. The huffing and puffing and indignant noises is infuriating. It's even worse when they turn around to the people behind them and try to get them to be impatient too. I usually just smile and say, "it's OK, I'm a very patient person."

8. On the other hand...I hate it when employees aren't friendly or at least pleasant and when they act as if me shopping in "their" store or eating in "their" restaurant is a major inconvenience. If you act like you're having a shitty day people, you probably will!

9. I hate parents who think their child can do no wrong and blame everything on the teacher. You know this is usually when the kid is the biggest PITA in the entire class.

10. I hate yelling from room to room, The Son is notorious for this. He yells for me in various rooms and expects me to carry on a full-on conversation. Our house is big and half the time I can't even hear the child!

So there you go, I know I could think of lots more but it just feels good to write all these down. I look forward to reading more homework assignments today and hope mine won't be marked down because it's turned in really late.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It has a nice ring...

President Barack Obama! YES!

We are so happy in this household!

Do you watch the Duggars?

It's hard to not be at least a little bit familiar with The Duggar family. They're that family who has lots and lots of kids. They're up to 17 now but have another one on the way. They also now have a show on The Learning Channel. We stumbled upon it recently and The Son was fascinated by them so we've been watching it a little bit here and there. What I saw recently, was really surprising. I know there are plenty of people who believe the same things that the Duggars believe regarding evolution and creationism but it was just so shocking to see and to think that Michelle Duggar is homeschooling her children.

I don't really care if their political views are completely opposite mine and that they think having scads of children is "God's Will," that's fine, to each their own in that regard but what freaked me out last night was watching them take their 17.5 children to "The Creation Museum" and teach them that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that humans did not descend from apes and that people lived with dinosaurs and that dinosaurs and birds are not related and, and, and...well, I could go on and on.

Never mind the fact that this museum disagrees with 99.85% of the scientists surveyed who are in relevant fields (I want to know who the other .15 % are) As far as I know, evolution is a proven fact. It's not just a theory. It was kind of disturbing that the Duggars were so excited that "this musuem proves that there is a Creator!" I don't understand why evolution has to preclude a God. believe in a higher power (call it whatever you want) but I also believe in evolution, I thought most educated people did.

It WAS pretty interesting to see the people who were visiting the museum who didn't belive in it. They were all actually finding it pretty comical which I am sure is how The Husband and I would view it. I'd never take The Son there, he's too smart and he'd "learn" way too much and be very confused. Not that I'd give them any of my money anyway... was an eye-opening episode of television for me last night. I'm a little scared for the future of those children, at least the educational future of those children. If you have a chance to catch it or already caught it, let me know what you think. Obviously, I thought it was kind of crazy and bizarre.

Lastly, this doesn't really go with this post (well, it kind of does if you really think about it ;) ) but make sure you go out and vote today...we're going soon! Can't wait! I'm really HOPING that tomorrow will be a wonderful celebratory day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

No race for me.

I sprained my ankle. Really badly. There's a small chance that it might be broken but the doctors at the clinic today wanted the radiologist to review the x-rays, they felt that there was an "anomaly" on the x-ray and weren't sure if it was a previous injury or the current one.

Last night after trick-or-treating, we went to a bonfire in our neighborhood. The Husband and The Son left around 10:15 to come home and I stayed for a little while longer with a friend of ours. We decided to leave a little before 11 and come back to my house for a drink with The Husband. I was walking on the street and I must have hit a large stone with the back of my Dansko clog. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and in lots of pain. My friend came over to me and eventually was able to help me up and home. I quickly realized that this was not like my usual minor twists of an ankle. The ankle was very swollen and very sore. I put some ice on it at The Husband's suggestion, we bagged the idea of a drink, our friend went home and we went to bed.

Now, before you go thinking this was a drunken Halloween night injury, let me just tell you, it wasn't. Yes, I had had two drinks, one small glass of wine and one beer. I was completely sober but I'm just a very clumsy person. This is not the first time I've fallen. It's really the fault of the Dansko clogs. If anyone has those, you know they are deadly if you step on a rock with your heel. I still like them though and they're comfortable for me with my bad feet so I will keep wearing them. I'll just have to walk more carefully and slowly in the dark I suppose.

I am now outfitted with a lovely "boot" that keeps my foot still. I have to wear it for the next two days, take pain meds, keep icing and then evaluate how my ankle is feeling. If it's significantly better, I can go without but I might need it for up to a week. The clinic I went to today told me that if it's not feeling A LOT better in a week then I should see an orthopedist. I won't be teaching swimming for a week either. That kind of sucks since the session just began and I'm just getting to know my students but what can you do? Not much.

It was very interesting to see my x-rays. I mentioned my bad feet, well I have a GIANT heel spur that I knew was there but that doesn't actually hurt me anymore. I guess it's developed scar tissue around that area. It's unreal to think that I have a pointy half inch spur-like thing in my foot and I can't even feel it anymore. Amazing. It used to hurt like crazy but it's fine now, I guess I thought it just went away but today I saw that it's still there. The human body is so weird, isn't it.

So after all that, I am not doing the race, my sister still is and she's disappointed that I'm not in it which of course I am too. I will be going to support the rest of the team so that will be nice. I'll give you an update on all of that at a later date.