Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happiness Is . . .

I know I can be annoyingly upbeat. But that's just who I am.

There are a lot of things that make me happy - they would make most people happy.


  • Finding money

  • Getting a call from a friend you haven't talked to in awhile

  • Sunshine

  • A neighbor offering to help with some kind of repair or project

  • Hearing that something you did out of pure friendship made another person cry with happiness.

  • Hanging out with good friends

Then, there are the oddball things that probably only make me happy.

Such as:
  • Having an entire shelf in one kitchen cabinet dedicated solely for the storage of rolls of paper towels.

    Yes, I can buy the eight pack of Bounty and not have to stash one or two here, there and everywhere. I have one shelf and that's where all the rolls go. I love it!

  • Mechanical pencils.

    First of all, they never need to be sharpened. It's just a bummer when the last of the lead falls out and you shake the pencil and hear nothing. I've always got spare lead with me, though.

    Second of all, they keep you flexible and neat. No scribble, scrabble here.

    Need to change an appointment? No problem, just erase and write it on another date. Honestly, I'm happier changing an appointment if I've written it in pencil because my planner stays neat. I get irritated if I have to make a messy scribble - it looks so unprofessional.

  • The days in spring when the temperature is consistently above 65 degrees.

    This isn't because I can shed my sweaters and coats. It's not because the trees will bud and flowers will bloom.

    No, this is because I can haul out the sandals and ditch the socks until October. Not only do I dislike wearing socks, but it's one less person I have to find socks for in the morning. Yay!

  • My bird "cat-calling" me.

    It was one of the first "songs" George learned. It's so nice to walk into the room and hear him "Wert Whihrl" at me.

    I guess I'm sexy because I talk to him and buy him food. Whatever. I'll take it.

  • Shiny pennies.

    A shiny penny is like a touch of sunshine in your hand - even on the cloudiest days.

  • Watching my children sleep.

    Don't get me wrong, I like them when they're awake too (for the most part).

    However, they are so angelic with their eyes closed and their lips slightly parted. I love the softness of their breathing and the sense of calm that surrounds them.

I know this is only somewhat random. It's not like it all just spilled out of my head in a rush this morning. But there's really only a very thin thread concerning my weird feeling of happiness so I'm calling it acceptable for Random Tuesday Thoughts.

Many others have random-er, fun thoughts so you should pop in at Keely's place by clicking this magical purple button.


Silver Lining:

  1. It's the little things in life that make real and lasting happiness. It's good to remember what they are and thank God for our blessings.

  2. I played Bunco last night and didn't write anything on the back of my scorecard. All the girls knew they were "safe" from becoming a blog subject. However, I really feel the need to mention them here (as part of that whole hanging out with friends and happiness thing) and give any of my new readers links to the fun Bunco posts of the past. Click here and enjoy!

PS - Here's another super funny post. It wasn't about Bunco, but it was written based on my "scorecard" notes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From Bed Head to Beautiful in 30 Minutes

Every morning I wake up with a plan.

  • Shower - 5 minutes.

  • Dry off and moisturize all over - 3 minutes.

  • Apply make up - 7 minutes.

  • Brush teeth - 2 minutes

  • Get dressed - 5 minutes

  • Dry & style hair - 7 minutes

  • Put on jewelry & shoes - 1 minute

Ta da! I'm gorgeous in 30 minutes!

Does this plan ever actually pan out?


Why not?

Let's break it down.

The shower. As long as I don't shave my legs, I could, maybe, if I moved with super speed, get in and out in five minutes. Shaving is what gets me. Sure, I wear pants to work, but let's hope I don't need to change into Capri's or shorts, or (gasp!) a bathing suit later.

And that super speed ain't happening without a cup of coffee. I haven't built any time into the plan for stumbling down to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, let alone the time it takes to actually make a pot.

Drying off & moisturizing all over? I can save time here because my lotion never seems to be in my bathroom so I just skip it.

Apply makeup. I'm not sure if this takes seven minutes or not.

I've never timed it really. Nor have I ever started my make up and finished it without interruption.

This is about the time my kids start waking up and Hubby realizes he's getting out of the shower, but doesn't have any underwear. I have to go down to the laundry room and find a clean pair for him and then figure out what the girls are going to wear.

For whatever reason, it is just impossible to find matching socks for Stinkles. I just had to buy her the socks with pink or blue or purple or green toes and a matching band at the ankle. Cupie has all the same socks - purple toes with no color band at the ankle. Easy peasy - find two socks and they go together.

Not Stinkles' socks.


You gotta dig for a match.

So I sit down on the laundry room floor and look for matching Stinkles socks. Hubby's calling for his underwear so I bring that to him and then back to the laundry room for the Great Sock Hunt.

Da, da-da-dahhhhhhhhhhh!


While the kids are busy getting dressed, I finish my make up.

But before I can brush my teeth, Hubby now needs socks as well. He can find his own pants & shirt from the railing outside the laundry room. Oh, lucky me.

Of course, every pair of Hubby's socks are different patterns. To make things even harder is he has several pair that are similar in style but different in color. So there is the constant, "Is this navy blue or black?" comparison going on.

Brushing my teeth. I know there is argument by some that it doesn't really take two minutes to brush your teeth, but it does for me. My mouth just can't be clean until my tooth brush starts the staccato at the two minute mark. It's one area of my life where I can be quite anal - my teeth. That last sentence has a bit of irony to it, doesn't it?

Getting dressed. It doesn't take all that long, but the application of wrinkle releaser takes a bit. You have to spray, then stretch, then smooth and repeat until the clothes don't look like they just came out of a laundry basket. Heaven forbid, I climb over the piles of laundry to get out the ironing board and iron.

Drying and styling my hair. This usually takes more than seven minutes due to a couple of factors.

First, whether or not the kids have finished lolly-gagging and gotten dressed. If they are done getting dressed, they need help with their hair and teeth. Cupie is six and I know she can at least brush her hair and teeth (not with the same brush), but I don't trust her to do it with out a reminder. Stinkles is only four, and well, that's just not old enough to do it well enough so we have to help her.

Secondly, it depends on how long it's been since I had a hair cut. If it was somewhat recently and the stars align on the kids getting dressed factor, seven minutes is about right. If it's been more than a month, it takes five minutes just to dry my hair. It's not all that long, just super thick. If I wait too long to get it cut, I start getting triangle head like that chick in the Dilbert cartoons. That's some thick hair.

Jewelry. By the time all that is finished, I have to figure out what jewelry I'm wearing. I've become a total jewelry whore so this is a big decision daily.

I like the big rings and I'm really bummed out if I can't make one go with an outfit.
Oh my gosh, you mean the only ring I have to wear with this is the red cocktail ring?
Never mind that six months ago, that ring (with a 1/2 inch center stone) seemed huge. Now, if the ring doesn't partially cover the fingers on either side of the one actually wearing the ring, it's not big enough.

Seriously, the one I'm wearing right now is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Whew! That's what it takes to get as gorgeous as me every day.

Silver Lining:
  1. As I was writing this I came up with a plan to sort the "missing a match" socks. I'm going to install a clothes line and pin up all the socks that are missing their matches. Then, I can scan the line each time instead of sifting through a pile. I feel very brilliant right now.

  2. I've been inspired to do some laundry and actually put it away. But it's a good three hours before I get home to do that and I'm thinking that I won't be inspired anymore when that happens. C'est la Vie.

PS - I'm not really that conceited - I don't consider myself gorgeous by any stretch of the word. But dang, after all that work every morning, you'd think I'd be approaching it . . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

To Be Cool, Skip The Flip-Flops

We went to a visitation for one of Hubby's co-worker's father. I have a rule. You wear a tie to funerals & weddings. Beyond that, I can be somewhat lenient.

Hubby has one white shirt, which is reserved solely for funerals & job interviews. Some may say that's one in the same, but anywho. . .

A white shirt always looks better when an undershirt is worn. Since there weren't any short sleeved undershirts clean, a "wife beater" was worn.

Now, I need to paint you a picture. I have to paint it because it's too late, he already changed.

Imagine in front of you, a brown-eyed, blond looking really sharp in his crisp white shirt, tie, pleated charcoal slacks, black socks, & shiny black shoes. When he smiles, there's even a little twinkle.

As soon as we got home, he went upstairs to change into something cooler. Cooler as in temperature, not as in well-dressed.

Now, I need to paint you a new picture. I need to paint this one because Hubby wouldn't let me take one with a camera.

He came downstairs in the wife-beater, jean shorts (with the fly unzipped), his black socks and flip flops.

I looked at him with complete & utter disbelief. Cupie was looking at him funny too.

"You know Dad, those flip-flops just don't go."

Great job pointing that out Sweety. You're right, the flip-flops are the only thing not making that outfit.

Silver Lining:

  1. We were indoors and the blinds were closed.

  2. He's cooking dinner right now. As long as I don't have to cook, I guess he can wear whatever he wants.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Setting The Bar

I'm not Super-Mom.

I'm not even Above-Average-Mom.

I'm a pretty much just Mom.

You could look at as though I'm "keeping it real" for my kids. They need to know that having a family, a home, and a job also means that they have to forgo home-cooked, four-course meals and a spot-free household existence.

It became abundantly clear how far from "spot-free" my home had become based on Stinkle's reaction to cleaning her room yesterday.

Her room was a disaster area. Stuffed animals, barrettes, Barbies, Barbie accessories, baby dolls, McDonald's toys, scraps of at least five sheets of green construction paper, magnets, Littlest Pet Shop stuff, and much more littered her bedroom floor.

It's not a big room - only 11X10 and that might be generous. So it doesn't take much of a mess to make it look much, much smaller.

This poor child also has a massive case of second child syndrome:

  • She has the smallest of the bedrooms with the smallest closet.
  • Her bed is the actually the trundle from under Cupie's Captains bed.
  • The floor lamp used to be Cupie's but it didn't fit the new decor when we moved into our current house so Stinkles inherited it.
  • The dresser was originally Cupie's too, but Cupie got a new one when Stinkles was born so it's technically a hand-me-down too.

Cupie has a walk-in closet that we were able to add storage shelves to. She has 25 feet of space to store games, those doll make-up heads, Pixos, books, Barbie stuff, etc. Stinkles has none.

That's one reason her room is a mess. We'd provided her no means of organizing it nor had we shown her how.

So we were at Home Depot this weekend. And you know as soon as we walked in, the kids had to go to the bathroom.

What's with kids and needing to go to the bathroom at every store we visit?

We were there to get a couple of things that sold at the front of the store. Now, I had to traipse all the way to the back of the store to find the bathrooms. Said Traipsing took me through the Closetmaid storage stuff isle.

Whaaaaaaaaaaah. A magical glow floated over the racks of brackets & wire shelving.

I started guesstimating the size of Stinkles closet.

Holy crap!

It was going to cost us at least $250 to do her closet. The angel choir ceased abruptly.

Now, I know you can do a 34"X47" (we measured when we got home) for less than $250, but I wanted the "track" system so we could screw this stuff into the wall once and still have flexibility to change the height of the shelves later. Trying to cover up the bullet sized holes from wall anchors is a pain in the rump.

We ultimately decided to buy the materials for part of her closet. At least she would get some storage.

Stinkles was pretty excited about getting some shelves in her closet and cleaning up her room. Don't you just love this age? She was excited about cleaning!

So I started moving stuff around in her closet. Like, I stacked the tubs of hand-me-down clothes on one side. I moved the boxes of hand-me-down shoes off the shelf already in the closet to the top of the tubs. Thankfully, the wall was there to prevent the fall of the leaning tower of hand-me-downs.

In the process, I found evidence of good intentions. There were three collapsible canvas cubes to match the colors of her room. Stinkles helped decide what went into each one.

I think I saw that on Oprah or read it in one of those perfect parent type of magazines - let the kids help make the decision and maybe they'll stick with it. I thought if she helped decide what went in the cubes, the likelihood of those items making it back into the cubes would increase.

Stay tuned, we'll see if that worked.

Believe it or not, the shelving went up uneventfully.

How does that happen to me?

I suppose I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. I'll just shut-up and put a check in the success column.

Anywho, Hubby took the kids to Wally-world for a new camera (stay tuned for that saga) and I finished up Stinkle's closet & room cleaning.

When she got home, Stinkles ran to her room. By the time I made my way up, she was at the top of the stairs, jumping up and down with her arms up in the air. She looked like she had just won the lottery.

I got a huge hug and kiss.

I asked her, "Do you like what Mommy did in your room?"

She let go, stepped back, and vigorously nodded her head. Then she said, "Now let's go look at the closet!"

She was that excited about her room being clean - she hadn't even looked at the closet yet!

You know you're doing something wrong when your child thinks that a clean room is cause for celebration.

Or maybe I've done it right by setting the bar pretty darn low.

Silver Lining:
  1. There was no stepping on Barbie boots or any other foot puncturing item when sneaking in for one last kiss before I went to be last night.
  2. The tables have been turned on Cupie. Stinkles informed her that her room is a "daster". And it spurred a mini cleaning spree by Cupie. Mini as in, she made her bed - woo, who!
  3. Stinkles got a small taste of victory. We did something just for her - she was the sole focus of this project and she didn't have to share it with her sister. I'm sure she put an imaginary check in the success column too.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ten Things About Me

Kat over at Three Bedroom Bungalow participated in a meme in which she answered 10 questions about herself. I needed an idea for a post, so I'm totally ripping it off.

I'm not really ripping anyone off - she said anyone could participate. I just felt like sounding like a bad-a$$.


Yah, Pollyanna, the bad-a$$.


Anywho, here's the ten questions and my answers:

  1. Are you a meticulous planner?

    A planner, yes. A follow thru-er, no. I make all kinds of plans for things I'd like to do and there are usually lists, but actually getting them done is another thing. I work better (albeit b*tchier) under pressure. Give me a goal and a deadline and I'll make it, just don't expect weekly progress reports.

  2. Do you wear make-up? If so, how much and how often?

    Heck, yah! I don't leave the house without mascara and lip gloss at a bare minimum.

    Don't tell me you don't have time to slap on some mascara - it just takes a few flicks of Mary Kay's Ultimate Mascara to open your eyes up. Lip gloss you can apply while walking to the car.

    I actually do the whole gamut daily - foundation, powder, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, blush, lips.

    More important than the make up is the skin care routine. As long as you cleanse, apply a sunscreen, and moisturize, most women don't need a lot of make up. Make up makes you look good in five minutes, a good skin care routine makes you look good five, ten, fifteen years from now.

    Hopefully, you have been guilted into calling your Mary Kay Consultant to replenish your skincare products. If you don't already have one, contact my gal (click here) - she's AWESOME!

  3. What, if anything, do you wear to bed?

    I wear jammies. But they have to match. I'm not a pull-out-whatever-top-and-bottom-you-can-find kind of gal. Oh, and no underwear - they just get all bunched up and uncomfortable at night.

  4. Look over your right shoulder, what do you see?

    A picture of each of my girls and of Hubby and me on our wedding day. Plain black frames hanging from red satin ribbon.

    Hmmmmmm, I love my family.

  5. If you had to take one random item to an interview to help describe yourself, what would it be?

    Easiest question on the list!

    A scrap of silver fabric. No matter how down I may get, I can always pick myself up again.

    I firmly believe my motto: There is always a silver lining.

    I'm not one to give up. I may abandon projects or take a turn in another direction for one reason or another, but I don't simply give up.

  6. What film would you have like a starring role in?

    Say Anything. Lloyd Dobbler, need I say more?

  7. Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant?

    Neither. See #6 above.

    Now, if you had given me the choice of John Cusack and Chris O'Donnell, I would have had major problem. They're both on the laminated list.

  8. Do you swear in front of children?

    Yes. And I always do the "oops" with my fingers over my mouth. I'm such a dork!

  9. Do you sew or knit or do any other "womanly" craft?

    Is complaining about the fact that my house is never clean considered a "womanly" craft? How about nagging my family to do stuff? Hubby says I have these two down to an art form. Art implies craft, does it not?

    Seriously, I can sew straight lines. I made the curtains in my dining room & kitchen & I actually get compliments on them.

    I can also crochet and knit. Again, this is a straight line kind of thing, like scarves and blankets. Don't ask me to make you anything to wear.

    Honestly, don't ask me to make you anything because I'm too busy complaining about my house and nagging my family to get around to doing something for someone else.

  10. Twitter or Facebook?

    Facebook. I've never heard of anyone farming on Twitter so I don't go there.

Silver Lining:
  1. I pounded out a post in 20 minutes.

  2. Anyone else who needs an idea for today, can take this on. Leave me a comment if you do, so I can stop by and check it out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

There Isn't A Band-Aid Big Enough

As a parent, I want to shield my children from the ugly in the world.

Yesterday, I failed.

Last Thursday, Cupie came home all excited. She and some "friends" from daycare were going to perform a concert on Monday. She needed a microphone, a purse, sunglasses, and a scarf. Oh yah, and a PINK outfit.

That's a quick list - she was back from the playroom with everything but the outfit in about five minutes.

She trounced up to her room picked out a pink skirt and a striped shirt and put them in reserve for Monday.

All weekend she talked about this concert on Monday. They had dance moves and everything.

On Monday morning she bounced out of bed and got ready real quick. Quite a feat because she normally has to be reminded several times to get dressed.

To brush her hair.

To brush her teeth.

To find her shoes. Yada, yada, yada.

When I asked how the concert went Monday evening, she said the "ringleader" was sick so they were putting it off until Wednesday. She asked me to wash her outfit so she could wear it again. She had several pink articles of clothing, but this was her "concert" outfit.

Wednesday morning was a repeat of Monday.

Wednesday evening was not.

I asked her about the concert and she just started sobbing.

The "ringleader" decided there were too many girls in the group and one, ONE, had to be voted out. Everyone voted out Cupie.

Cupie was seriously sobbing.

Not tears of disappointment.


Disappointment, hurt, & confusion don't even begin to describe how she felt.

Even writing this, I feel pain for my daughter and it brings tears to my eyes because I remember what it was like. I wasn't the most popular kid growing up. In fact, I could be quite shy. (Shut up all of you who actually know me - I grew up and found my voice.)

Cupie is so outgoing, charismatic, and fun. I didn't think she would endure the growing pains I did. Naive, I know.

Silver Lining:

  1. Kids are resilient. She seems fine today. But I can't help wondering if this is "that one time" that keeps coming back to haunt her as she grows up.

  2. I didn't see the "ringleader" this morning. She's lucky. I might not have been able to hold back from wringing her neck.

  3. Even a "Pollyanna" can have an off day - see, I'm not perfect :)

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