Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Mutterings

The good news is that I slept until almost 9 am this morning. Practically unheard of around here. The bad news is that it's 11:40 am and I feel more tired now than I would've had I woken up at an earlier time.

Why is that? I'm the same way with naps; I enjoy the actual nap part, but wake up groggier and spacier than before.

Perhaps I just don't need too much extra sleep?

My 8 year old alarm clock, the one that coincidentally NEVER runs out of batteries, wasn't here this morning to perform it's duties.

My alarm clock spent the night across the street at her friend's house. I quite enjoyed giving the alarm clock the morning off; she works so hard, rising with the sun morning after morning. Without my special helper, I still woke up at a decent time, a little before 7, but since my alarm clock didn't find herself inside my bed, cold feet pressed against my leg, listening to The Weather Channel at full blast and complaining about not being able to sleep anymore on account of her grumbling, hungry, STARVING stomach, I turned over and fell back to sleep.

It was nice. I must admit.

But the lethargy that comes after a night of too much sleep isn't exactly welcomed.

I just brewed myself a cup of coffee; hopefully come caffeine will give me a boost. However, I just dumped coffee down the front of my white shirt. I don't suppose that'll do me much good in the boost department.

A boost for what? Who knows? It's not like we have any plans for the day. We initially planned to redeem Caroline's second freebie Krispy Kreme Valentine this morning, but she spent the night with a friend instead. As it turns out, they came here for breakfast, so I suppose we could have gone to Krispy Kreme, but I was still in my jammies when they came home around 9:15.

I made them pancakes, instead.

Pancakes with chocolate chips, strawberries, powdered sugar AND maple syrup. We're I'm a maple syrup purist, but Bailey likes powdered sugar AND syrup so I indulged them this one time.
To me, pancakes, waffles and french toast serve merely as the vehicle for the maple syrup. Fruit flavored syrup is of the devil. As are healthy yogurt/fruit toppings and those ridiculous IHOP rooty-tooty-fruity pancake toppings.

Like I said, I'm a purist.

I like real maple syrup; Caroline does not. She much prefers maple flavored high fructose corn syrup. Someday she'll learn the error of her ways.
Until then, I'll oblige the whims of her immature palate.

Blah, this really is going to be an uneventful day.
Yesterday was uneventful, as well. Except for the gaggle of grumpy girls I had congregating in my house yesterday afternoon. They were all grumpy, which made me grumpy. Before I nearly lost my cool, I suggested they play outside and miracle of miracles, they did. And they actually had fun. The best part is that they didn't bother me for two whole hours. Except for when they wanted me to judge them in their scooter-ice skating (?) routine. I told them I did not want to judge anyone because I'm not objective and they pretty much demanded that I judge objectively and without any concern for feelings. They were on the verge of making score card signs for me to hold up when I finally them no. Situations like that never end well and I certainly didn't want to be in the middle of it.

Instead, I watched them, clapped for their routines and went back inside the warm house.

As you can see, we take the term "Lazy Weekend" quite seriously. If Craig were here, I would have made a trip to the gym for my Saturday morning beating, but he's not. Of all the things I'll miss the most while he's gone (beside Craig himself) is my inability to make it to an early Saturday morning exercise class. Caroline wakes early enough, but she's not a fan of the kid's zone at my gym. She'll see it enough during the summer, when I do not intend to compromise any of my gym time. I can't seem to shake the feeling of guilt that surrounds her future torture in the kid's zone this summer, so for now I'm sacrificing one of my favorite things.

But, the worst part is that her memory is short and my measely sacrifice won't mean a single thing to her when I drag her to the gym in the summer. She'll still fuss.
When do kids outgrow their overwhelming self centeredness?

I wish I knew the answer, but I'm 33 and I've yet to outgrow it myself.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Basket B-I-N-G-O

There was a girl in Northern Virginia; Alison was her name-o.

She got roped into going somewhere very, very lame-o.

(Basket) B-I-N-G-O, (Basket) B-I-N-G-O, (Basket) B-I-N-G-O

Basket Bingo is really lame-o.

I penned this little ditty prior to our excursion to the PTA Basket Bingo Night at Caroline's school.

If you couldn't tell, I wasn't exactly super enthused about going. When I think about Bingo, I think about the 60 and over crowd, filling the plethora of Bingo halls that are scattered around my former youthful stomping grounds in the state of Florida. If you've ever been to Citrus County, Florida, you know what I'm talking about. I've only played Bingo once. It was March 1995; my friend had just turned 18 and she was eager to join her mother and grandma in her inaugural game of Bingo. She was excited to be of official gambling age; to sit among the blue haired chain smokers and dab her bingo cards until her heart was filled with joy, her purse filled with cash earnings and her lungs filled with second hand smoke.

I almost won $250 that night.

Evidently, you have to wait for the number ball to appear on the television screen before you yell BINGO! I listened to the rules beforehand; I knew that. I had Bingo, but my friend hurried me into calling it, even though the ball wasn't on the screen yet. I always do as I'm told, so I called it. And I didn't win. Because I didn't follow the rules.

I left that Bingo hall, dejected, smelling like I chain smoked for 72 hours straight and NOT $250 richer.

As it turns out, Basket Bingo wasn't lame at all.
And why wasn't it lame, you might be wondering?

Well, it wasn't lame because I won a door prize!

Oh, and, to make things even more exciting, there was a Vera Bradley explosion in that cafagymnatorium last night. In case you were wondering, I love Vera Bradley.

I didn't win any of the Bingo game prizes, which were various sized Vera Bradley bags or Longaberger baskets stuffed with goodies: arts and crafts, scrapbooking supplies, spa stuff, gardening stuff, family fun goodies.

I would have loved to have won a Vera Bradley tote bag, but, on the bright side, I won a door prize. Aside from the bottle of wine I won when I was 12, I NEVER win anything.

Needless to say, when my name was called during the door prize raffle, I was pleasantly surprised. The best part was that I could choose what I wanted; I wasn't just offered some generic gift. No baskets of offensively scented lotion and bubble bath, no beer can cozies, no dollar store candles.

Instead, I chose this:

Caroline came up to the table with me to "help" me pick out my prize. As I spotted the stoneware baker, she said, "but I want the hat." To which I replied, "Too bad, I want this." Such a loving, generous mother.

Hey, I paid the $25, let her do all the Bingo-ing with the special little Bingo dabber AND went out at dark time AND stayed out until almost 10 pm.

I deserve the prize, right?

And, to top it all off, I received a few recipe requests for the goodies I provided for the bake sale.

I think it's safe to say that Basket Bingo wasn't lame at all.

It doesn't entirely make up for the fact that I didn't win $250 15 years ago, but I'll take what I can get.

Friday, February 26, 2010


What do you think?

Butter. Check.

Brown Sugar. Check.

Cinnamon Sugar. Check.


Oh, yes ma'am.

Blissful. Indeed.

I implore you to try these Blissful Snickerdoodle Blondies.
You won't regret it. Trust me.

Have I ever steered you wrong?

Do you know what else is blissful?
Goodies packaged up with leftover Valentine ribbon, ready for a school bake sale.

Do you know what ISN'T blissful?

Really windy days. Windy days that render blow drying and hair spray application absolutely futile.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

The blog idea well is slowing to trickle again. Instead of writing a big fat nothing, I took my camera around the house and snapped some pictures of my favorite things.

As if you really care. ;)

And just so you know, these "Love Bug" conversation hearts are nasty. They are nothing like the original; I think they must have tried to make them more kid friendly or something.
They're not good.

Hooray, I have a bake sale to bake for! This, by far, is my most favorite thing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Phone Calls + Car Batteries

We got to talk to Craig this morning; he's alive and well, which is always good to know. And, he was already done with his workday while we were just waking up! Crazy time zones.

When Craig was in Kuwait, he called once a week and that worked well for us. We used email daily so by the time he called, we'd already discussed all the week's happenings via email and didn't have too much to say! I suppose it's just nice to hear each other's voices. Although, my voice is on the nasally side, so I'm not sure that it's ever "nice" to hear me speak. And with my current sinus issues, the combination of a nasal voice plus the fact that I sound like I smoke two packs a day, aids in an even sweeter sound. However, Craig called mostly so he could to talk to Caroline, since he misses her more than me. ;) However he called during breakfast AND while she had her eyes glued to The Weather Channel, so their conversation was short. Actually, all phone conversations with Caroline are short. She's pithy. When she's done talking, she's done. She says "bye" and is ready to hang up before the person on the other end has a chance to finish their sentence.

It's kind of funny. And a little bit odd.
That's Caroline for you.

Speaking of odd, Caroline is fascinated by the Weather Channel. Fascinated.
Midwest storms, high pressure systems, wind in the plains, rain in the's all so interesting to her. I asked her if she wanted to be a meteorologist when she grows up and she said "no" in the most horrified way. I didn't realize that question was so objectionable.

Anyway, we spoke with Craig. He's doing as well as one would imagine. He doesn't have internet access at work, besides being able to check his email, so he's been missing out on all my intellectually stimulating blog entries. He *should* have internet access soon, so until then, I'd like to take the time to trash talk him while he can't read what I'm typing.

Oh, I kid.

In other news, Craig's car won't start. With my expansive knowledge of cars, I've deduced that it's the battery. Actually, I called my dad and asked, "if the car goes click-click-click-click and sounds like a machine gun, and won't start, does that mean it's the battery?" He said yes.

I helped a neighbor out when their battery died a week or so ago and evidently the jump start took all the juice out of our poor six year old battery. It's terrible when a neighborly good deed comes back to bite you in the butt.

I like having two working cars, but I haven't exactly done anything about the car with the dead battery yet. At first, I was going to call for road side service and have the car towed, but I got to thinking that this plan sounded really inconvenient and not entirely enjoyable. Which led me to this crazy idea: perhaps *I* could change the battery, instead?

It sounds somewhat preposterous, but I'm not a total air head. I fixed our toilet, for crying out loud. I can replace a car battery, too.

I clued Caroline into my big plan and with wide eyes and a look of doubt, she said "I don't think you can do that."
Those are words that shouldn't ever be muttered in my direction. Stubborn girls don't like to be told what they can't do.
The challenge has been administered and I guess I'm going to change the battery.

Game on, Caroline. Game on.

I watched a You Tube video and it looks surprisingly easy.
Now all I have to do is buy the new battery and get started.

Um, yeah, I'll get to that soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Nice To Be Missed

Snow storms, sadists at the school board with the liberal interpretation and use of the school cancellation policy, gnarly roads, pulled muscles and the plague have all played a part in keeping me away from the gym for far too long. After three weeks away, I made it back this morning. It felt so nice to be there, breaking a sweat and seeing familiar faces. I missed sweat dripping from my elbows, my favorite classes and my shower shoes. Wait...scratch that last one. When you shower at the gym, shower shoes are imperative. Not at all lovely, but entirely necessary. For the past 4 1/2 years of my life, I've spent 4-5 (sometimes 6) days a week at the gym; to say it's a mainstay in my life, would be the ultimate understatement. It's my entertainment and my sanity. Given this fact, one would wonder why my caboose is still so ample. Perhaps I take "refueling" a little to seriously, no?

I must admit, I was kind of surprised when so many of the ladies in my class came up to me and said they were worried about my long absence.

It's nice to be missed.

I've always considered myself an "under the radar" kind of person. I'm not particularly loud and I don't have a strong personality in a large group setting, so I was kind of surprised that my absence was noted. One lady even said my arms looked slimmer. That is by far the best thing anyone could possibly say to someone who hasn't exercised in three weeks.
It must have been all the snow shoveling!

I felt nicely recharged after today's gym trip. And dare I say it, in a good mood, to boot.

Although, I seem to have picked up another injury, with an unknown cause, sometime last week. My forearm is sore and it hurts to turn the door knob. My arm had been feeling better, but once we started working our biceps, it was screaming. No bueno!

I thought three weeks off would work wonders for all of my ailments.
Um, I thought wrong.
Or perhaps I'm just getting older and therefore unable to bounce back as quickly. Sigh, I find this so very depressing.

My legs were tight after running, which resulted in the use of this torturous piece of foam.


It looks innocent enough, doesn't it? It's a piece of foam, for crying out loud. How much pain could a cylindrical piece of foam inflict?

Well, let me tell you.... a lot.

I believe the term is "hurts so good."

I stretched and rolled the area from the top of my hip to my knee. Judging by the amount of pain this caused my tight muscles, I'm now aware that I need to perform that stretch more often.

It seems that the best things for you are often the ones that are least enjoyable. I'd give you another example, using the sinus rinse my doctor prescribed last week, but I'll spare you the details. Trust me, you'd much rather hear about sweat and shower shoes than how to rinse your sinuses.

It ain't pretty.

So now that I've sufficiently defiled my blog by talking about shower shoes and sinus rinses AND bored you to tears with my gym babble, I should probably just stop typing. I'd say I should quit while I'm ahead, but we all know I'm somewhere very, VERY far from being ahead.

Monday, February 22, 2010

So, I Went to Target for Two Things and Came Home $50 Poorer

Sound familiar?

You go into a store for TWO things (two of the same thing, not even two different items), and come out with two bags full of stuff.

Somewhere Mr. Target is laughing his rich little head off. I fell into his sneaky retail trap and wholeheartedly admit defeat.

After our trip to Krispy Kreme, we went to Target for Emergen-C, per Craig's request.
Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, my two boxes of Emergen-C turned into this:

And this:

And, last but not least, this:

The clearance rack got me. It gets me every time. EVERY. TIME.
On the bright side, I bought nine shirts for Caroline and me for a total of $22.95. Of course my four shirts cost $20 and Caroline's future Valentine's shirts cost $2.95 for all five.

The sign said 75% off, but they were actually 90% off. SCORE. There weren't many left in or around her size, so I bought the next size up. Those should fit next year and *possibly* the year after. A girl can never have too many Valentine's shirts, you know. And for .59, it would be practically sinful (on a Sunday, no less!) to leave them on the shelf.

I'm about to make a confession.

A Target clearance confession.

Just look at the pile of clothing I have on standby for Caroline.

Do you think I have a problem?
Wait, don't answer that.

Tank tops.

Christmas shirts.

Valentine's shirts.

Long sleeved plain shirts.

Easter/spring shirts and other short sleeved shirts.

Can you blame me?

Oh, how my heart sings when my eyes spot those little red clearance stickers.
When I find clothes with these prices, I HAVE to snatch them up.

It's my duty.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Breakfast and a Show


Shh, don't tell my dad, a loyal Dunkin Donuts customer, that we went to Krispy Kreme this morning. This news is devastating enough that it just might warrant the removal of my name from his will! The trip to Krispy Kreme was a maiden voyage for both Caroline and me; like I said, we're Dunkin enthusiasts. Actually, we're not big doughnut eaters. Caroline, naturally, is a fan, but doughnuts are *generally* a rare occurance in her diet. I've always had an unhealthy relationship with food, particularly where doughnuts and other "bad" foods are concerned, so I don't eat them. Besides, on the rare occasion that I have indulged, I've been the recipient of a raging case of heartburn.

My dad doesn't eat doughnuts either; he just REALLY loves Dunkin Donut's coffee. And really, who could blame him?

At Caroline's class Valentine's party on Friday, she and her fellow classmates were the lucky recipients of a Krispy Kreme valentine.

That Marques is a smart boy. If there is any way to the heart of an 8 year old girl, it's through a free doughnut.

Oh how I wish I would have brought my camera to Krispy Kreme. Caroline got such a kick out of watching the doughnuts being made. She was particularly enamored with the waterfall of glaze the doughnuts swam through after coming out of the fryer. As a matter of fact, I'm a fan of glaze waterfalls, myself.

Like mother, like daughter.

I asked Caroline if the Krispy Kreme was better than a Dunkin Donut, but she couldn't say. They were both good.

She's such a diplomat.

Doughnut shop diplomacy is of utmost importance in our family; obviously she wants to remain in grandpa's good graces, as well.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

1 Down, 5 To Go

The other day I suggested that Caroline would likely lose six teeth while Craig is away.
Well, she lost one today.
Five to go.

Although, at the rate she has lost her baby teeth, I'm not sure that she has five left to lose.
I didn't get a picture of the gaping hole in her mouth today, because it's not in a location conducive to picture taking. Besides, you don't really want to see that, anyway. Right?
The tooth is resting on the kitchen counter; I could take a picture of that, instead.

Just kidding!

The first picture is of Caroline's first lost tooth; she was not quite 5 and Craig was in Kuwait at the time. She lost her bottom teeth a little prematurely, thanks to a ball-to-the-mouth incident on the trampoline on Thanksgiving day that year. The teeth remained slightly loose, but not quite ready to be evicted. That is, until we took a trip to Charlotte to visit my sister. Aunt Laura and Caroline were horsing around and an elbow to the mouth helped encourage Caroline's first loose tooth to make it's way out of her mouth. Good times.

I felt obligated to keep some of Caroline's baby teeth. Not because I really wanted to have little teeth tucked away in a drawer somewhere, but mostly because I didn't really know what to do. Would a good mom keep them? If I threw them away, would that mean that I wasn't loving and sentimental? I kept the first couple, which was wise, but I don't keep them any longer. It was actually quite prudent of me to keep the first couple because after she lost her third tooth, we placed it on the counter until bedtime. Well, as I hastily wiped the counters clean after dinner, the tooth disappeared. Dun-dun-dun. Oops.

Thankfully I had the extras tucked away and quickly grabbed a replacement and stuck it on the counter. Caroline was none the wiser.
Right after I did the switcheroo, I found the missing tooth on the floor. But still, I'm glad I did keep the first couple of teeth.

I'm no pack rat, but when it comes to potentially ruining the magic of the tooth fairy for your little one, I can see how it might have some advantages.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I finished up the valentines for Caroline's re-scheduled class party. The kids are excited that they can call this an actual "party." The school system rules stipulate that each class can have no more than two parties a year; all other events are referred to as "celebrations." Doesn't that make you want to roll your eyes?

We tied the valentines to baggies of candy and of course, I forgot to take a picture. I did, however, take a picture of the bag housing the valentines. It's a big brown bag that lends itself to decoration; Caroline took it upon herself to label and decorate her bag.

Is it a rule that all (or most) kids say valentiMes instead of valentiNes? I don't think I did, but I said ordaments instead of ornaments, so I'm hardly a model of success. Heck, I know some adults that say valentiMes. I shant fault Caroline for her error. After she wrote it, I said, "you wrote valentiMes." She said, "I know." To which I replied, "it's valentiNes."
"Oh" she said, "I didn't know."

Even though Caroline's understanding of popular holiday vernacular might be sketchy, she is an excellent student. Yesterday was report card day and she brought home a glowing report.
We've never been one to give gifts for a good report card, but I was feeling particularly generous today. I figured a white terrier Webkinz to add to Caroline's growing collection would be a nice way to say "good job."

Even non girlie girls like Caroline and I can appreciate a cute white dog with a pink bow in her hair.

Also on my shopping excursion, I stopped by Bed, Bath and Beyond and purchased an immersion blender.

I've been wanting an immersion blender for quite some time; they're particularly helpful when it comes to pureeing soup. As you know, I'm a big fan of split pea soup. I'm an even bigger fan of smooth split pea soup. I've been pureeing it in the food processor, which is a messy job. I'm not patient enough to puree in batches, so I dump it all in the food processor bowl and let er rip. Soup flies everywhere. Oh, and food processors are a bear to clean.

The immersion blender is the perfect tool to make creamy soups without the mess. I made a batch of split pea soup this evening and tried out my new purchase.
Success was had, I'm happy to report. Creamy smooth soup and no green liquid on the cabinets and floors.

I just hope Craig isn't mad that I used his Bed Bath and Beyond gift card. It was a joint gift, but he had grand plans for it. However, that thing called deployment got in the way and he never quite got around to using the gift card.