Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do I really need another hobby?

Well, duh. Of course I do. Except this one isn't quite the same. I'm working on digital scrapbooking. I think it's something that I will genuinely love once I get the hang of it. I love paper scrapbooking, except for the mess of it and having to get out all my supplies and...okay, fine. I just love paper. And photography. So it seemed like the thing to do. But I can do it all on the computer, which is another of my loves (especially now that I installed new RAM and can actually run the program I wanted to use to digital scrapbook all along.)

So I might be getting rid of most of my paper supplies. And it doesn't freak me out like it used to. I haven't actually scrapped with paper in over a year. Seriously. The idea of giving up some of my favorite papers (that I loved too much to actually cut up anyway) makes me sad, but I'm thinking of framing them and hanging them as artwork. That way I get to love them AND not cut them up.

In other hobbies, sewing's in, knitting's out. I mean, not permanently. Just for Christmas. I'm still working on the rag quilts. Almost done. Except for the endless snipping to make the rag part. That's sort of tedious. I miss knitting, though, so I think it will be back in after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I think I'm on the bandwagon...

Several bandwagons, actually. I just read Twilight this week. I'd resisted for a long time, but all of my friends with whom I have a lot in common have loved it, so I thought maybe I should give it a shot. And I did. And it was...pretty good, actually, although I already have my fantasy vampire (Angel fan here), so I don't think I can muster up quite the fangirl lust that some others might have.

And I'm making rag quilt after rag quilt. I decided that every kid on my Christmas list is getting a little lap-sized one for tv watching or car rides. I cleaned up at Joann's Black Friday sale (my first and probably last time shopping on the day after Thanksgiving). I'm done four - only six to go. They're super quick and if my own four kids (poor crafters' kids - do they ever get any crafts?) have to wait, no big deal. So that's only two in the next 15 days. Holy crap. Christmas is FIFTEEN days away.

I refuse to panic. So I don't have many gifts yet. I get it done every year somehow, right? Inhale. Exhale.

I'm off to become the cookie mom tonight. Yay! Actually I"m really excited about it, but who knows if I actually should be. It might be something I come to regret. I hope not.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A crazy beautiful mess...

I started to allude to this in my accepting me post. But I'm a mess. I mean a real mess. My house is cluttered, my hair's a frizzy curly riot, I strew projects from one end of the house to the other, my clothes are simple casual and usually covered in baby spit (hopefully she'll get past that soon enough). And it's good. It's me. I'm a disorganized mess. But my house is clean, my children are fed and polite and loved, my husband and I love each other and love to laugh together.

So I'm a mess, but a crazy beautiful mess. (not saying I think I'm beautiful - just that my mess is good - because it's me and it's my life and I'm happy with it all right now).

I often worry that my kids suffer from my mess. They've been known to go to school in wrinkled clothes and I don't always remember to brush their hair (but Miss G's hair is such that you couldn't tell I'd brushed five minutes later anyway - she's a mess too, I think). I've turned in papers late (I'm trying to be better about this - or at least with the most important ones). I don't know if it's affecting them in a bad way or not. I would love for them to be organized little neat freaks (Mr. T is OCD about his animals and stuff, but this doesn't reach into cleaning anywhere else), but they're not going to learn it from me.

But then, I didn't learn it from my mom. And she didn't learn it from her mom. Even my aunts are a little messy. I come from a messy people. My kids don't stand a chance.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rethinking myself...

I have this image of myself as sort of Plain Jane, very buttoned up, sort of serious. I've had this picture of me like this since I was a teenager at least. This came to my mind recently when I saw a fabric I liked. I thought that is so me. It was a nice evenly spaced plaid in two colors. Then I saw a bright multi-colored floral and mess pattern - now that is the true me.

The older I get, I feel like I really know myself. And I may be quiet when I'm around new people and kind of shy about doing new things, when I'm the slightest bit comfortable, I'm kind of a crazy, colorful, opinionated mess. I have a pair of sunglasses that I have often thought were a symbol of my personality. Basic black on the outside, but the insides were wildly colored stripes.

It's kind of liberating and refreshing to update one's self-image.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Things really do come in threes...

The three in my life lately is daisies. Actually, I just learned there is a fourth, so this might not count. Or maybe it just amplifies the whole thing.

Daisy #1. We got a puppy. Two actually, one is Uncle E's, though. The female of the pair is ours and I named her Daisy.

Daisy #2. Scouts. Miss G wanted to do like her big brother who joined Cub Scouts. So we found a Daisy troop for her (that may or may not work out - it's been an unsuccessful venture so far).

Daisy #3. Frick. I can't remember.

Daisy #4. The last name of Uncle E's insurance agent.

Actually there's sort of a fifth, if you count Daisy Duck via our upcoming trip to Disney.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm almost small town now...

Not really. I think a part of me will always be a suburban girl, but I'm adjusting to small town, rural living. Mainly thanks to technology. I have high-speed internet access, Direct TV and a cell phone. I'm good. Really, as a stay-at-home mom, not much has changed for me except the place I do things. We still drive around doing errands, although it's farther to get to those places. I still have to do laundry, cook, clean, potty train and all that.

So my fall TV impressions. Pushing Daisies! Yay! I'm so glad my favorite show is back. And How I Met Your Mother! Yay! I'm so glad my favorite not-new-but-new-to-me show is back. Actually, I haven't watched the new season yet since I'm waiting for season three to come out on DVD first, but I'm sure it's awesome.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another big day...

The most wonderful day of the year (did I say that already?). It's the first game of the college football season. Holy heckfire! I'm so excited I can't even deal with myself. I'm so excited that I forgot a day this week in my pseudo-menu plan (only a suggestion, not really a menu). Actually that might be because I"m still really sick and have been for almost a week now. A lesser (read smarter) person would probably have been to the doctor by now, but since I'm pretty sure it's just a cold and there's nothing a doctor can do for a cold, I'm riding it out.

Less than 12 hours from now, my ass will be firmly planted in front of ESPN enjoying I don't even care who playing football. Yay! Actually, I do have a connection to this teams playinig this evening. NC State is ACC, which according to my grandmother makes them the team I need to cheer on. She's a major sports fan - I mean, seriously. But most especially Maryland basketball. Which transfers easily to Maryland football. So her rule is Maryland, then anyone in the ACC (if it's two ACC teams, whoever's playing Duke - which in football isn't even fair).

BUT the other team is South Carolina, where my BIL (who lives with us now) got his master's and PH. D. from. So I should cheer them on, since the connection's a little closer (as in sitting on the other end of the sofa). But I don't even care. It's football! Football's back!

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's that day...

The most wonderful day of the year. Well, not really for me. I'm not one of those people who's anxious to send her kids off to school. I'm jealous that their teachers get to spend so much time with them. I miss them already and they've been gone for an hour. Miss G started kindergarten today. I can't wait to hear how her day goes. She's a school-type, if you know what I mean. She just loves everything about it. Mr. T struggles a bit more - he's very smart, but sort of socially behind a bit. He gets better all the time, though.

So a new school for them and Tom, who's teaching general music this year (he hates that). I hope we all find a way to make it in our new life here. The change from suburban to rural small town is probably hardest on me, since I'm a suburb girl born and bred. The kids have known the farm since they were born, at least on visits. Tom grew up here, so it sort of works for him, even if in part he's grown a little too sophisticated in some ways. He still retains the small town farm boy inside, though, just with an orchestral exterior.

This day is probably hardest on one little person in particular - Miss S, who is losing her playmates. I'm planning to put her in a gymnastics class or something so she meets some friends and gets out a bit, but the fall parks and rec book isn't out yet, so that will have to wait a while still.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream Recipe

Homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream Recipe

Testing this recipe this afternoon. So far this summer, I've made Lemon Gelato and Key Lime Ice Cream. I wasn't a fan of either one. My brother-in-law loved them both. They each required a cooked custard base and lots of lemon and lime juice. I squeezed them all fresh.

I've been thinking how good Peanut butter ice cream would be, but the primary purpose of peanut butter in my house is sandwich fodder. But today I bought the big tub of it and I'm making ice cream. And probably brownies later to eat with the ice cream. Got to end summer right.

UPDATE: The ice cream was seriously good. Like peanut butter fudge and ice cream met and fell in love and got married and had a tasty little baby.

The joys of moving...

Yeah, not so joyful. It's kind of a long story, but we're moving to DH's family's farm, into a farmhouse that his grandparents (now deceased) used to own that was inherited by my FIL. But it's full - I mean, full - of antique furniture that my grandmother-in-law had collected over the years. Most of that has been moved into a storage unit, but we're really only just starting to feel like we live here.

The kids start at their new school next week and I'm at once nervous and excited. In some ways, I'm just happy to be getting on with things. That's how I've felt for months now. We're unable to do everything we want to do when we want to do it, so it's just been a lot of frustration. I'm sure it's silly of me, but I just want school to start so we can settle into a routine. Silly because so often we pin high hopes on an event that just doesn't ever live up to our expectations.

In less than one week, I'll have just two kids home with me, only one of whom can do anything, so it will be like having one kid for the most part. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to entertain her all day long, but we'll make it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

on getting older

Further on the topic of coming of age, I've been realizing something lately. And it's not just that I probably need to pick a hair dye and just dye the grays already. I received season ten (the last season) of Friends on DVD for Mothers' Day. This is the first tv series I own on DVD. I never thought I'd get into it, but turns out I kind of like having my favorite episodes at my disposal. I watched the first four while I was in labor with Baby V.

For my birthday last week, I got season one of Friends, so I was able to compare how freaking YOUNG they all looked at the beginning compared to season ten. Wow. Okay, so they aged and it shows. That's normal, healthy, even, since the alternative (at least in Hollywood) is creepy. The thing that's been making me introspective (like it takes much) is that I prefer them all in the later seasons. Especially the only guy I'm attracted to on the show - Chandler. Tom and I watched a movie with a young Hugh Laurie in it and there is a scene with an almost butt shot. I "ewwwed" and Tom laughed and said that since I have a crush on him, I should like that. I replied that he looked too young in the movie - I prefer him now. Tom laughed that I prefer middle age paunch, scruffy beard and wrinkles. I guess I do.

So do I prefer older looking guys now because I'm older too? Or would I have preferred them all along? The guys on my list (you know, my list of five freebies?) have changed as I've gotten older. Maybe there's something to this thing about getting older. I don't really mind. So I prefer guys who seem comfortable in their own skin, so what? That's the one thing I'm most proud of about myself. I'm happy being me, something I could NOT say even ten years ago.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Going green and coming of age...

My cousin and I were talking (at the impromptu yard sale, which was a relative success - it bought Tom his birthday dinner and the week's gas, if nothing else) about the various changes we've made in our lives recently, especially in regards to the environment. Now, I'm not a liberal, tree-hugging type. I'm basically a Libertarian, very quiet about my political beliefs, but mainly they consist of the government staying out of my (and everyone else's) life. But lately, I've been getting greener and greener. And allow me to be my most controversial ever and say that I don't believe in global warming - well, more that I don't believe man is responsible for it. I believe that it's just a natural part of the Earth's cycles. But recycling, being conscious of my energy use and basically living a green lifestyle isn't about global warming - at least not to me, and not to the real vocal "green" types if they were smart too. Regardless of what's going on with the Earth's temperature, using our resources wisely just makes sense.

My cousin's mother (FTR, my mom's sister) told her that she went through the same "green" (although probably not by that name back then) thing when she was in her early 30s. So now I'm wondering if this is a coming of age that is related to my early 30s or the social environment in which she spent her early 30s (that would have been the mid-80s) and the one in which I'm spending mine. I think it might be more that society in general was more environmentally aware in both of these times, but who knows?

All of this leads to me considering cloth diapering my little V. I wanted to have it all in place before she was born, but as it turned out, everyone gave us diapers (what else do you give a fourth baby and third girl - and not even one born in a different season?). So once she either uses or outgrows the gift diapers, I'm going green. So I've been researching like crazy and asking anyone who might know anything about it. Now I'm getting ready to take the plunge. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Just having a rockin' Friday night...

Gone are my wild days of...oh, yeah, I never partied or went to bars. So why do I feel weird about sitting home on a Friday night watching Monk and Psych (thank you, USA Network, for fresh summer programming in the form of these two shows)? I'm going through some old stuff for our big yard sale tomorrow (me and two of my cousins - it's a bit last minute, but I've been clearing out stuff to donate all week, so I'm just moving my "donate" pile to the "sell" pile).

This big clearing out is part of our move. All that's left is the basement. Duh-duh-duh. The basement is where we hide all of our extra junk. During the winter when it's too cold to spend time down there, all the crap just piles up. Since this involves Christmas, all of that stuff is just tossed down there. It's been cleaned up some, but still needs a massive cleaning out.

I've learned that I'm a bit more of a packrat than I thought. I think of myself as having a reasonable amount of emotion attached to possessions. But then Tom (who is a total thrower-outer) went through the kids' toys. And got rid of lots of stuff - like the stuffed animal we bought last summer at the beach or books we've bought from Scholastic (okay, not the finest quality). All right in the trash. First of all, this could have been donated or sold (see first paragraph). Second of all, some of that is nice stuff that our younger kids might like to use. And then I decided to just step back and let him do it and I probably wouldn't miss any of it.

At least between the two of us, we have a reasonable attachment to stuff. Mine is "keep what truly means something - that you can tell a story about or explain the meaning of." His is "get rid of anything you don't use daily." I think between the two of us, we have it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The things that make me happy...

I was just walking around the farm (um, yeah, we're moving to DH's family's farm, did I mention that? The move is in progress) the other day thinking, gosh, it's been a while since I've had a good computer virus to chase down. Not that I want anyone to purposely get a virus on their computer, but you know, if one should appear and I could eliminate it, that would really be nice.

And then Tom comes up to me and says oh by the way, the computer's really messed up. Stuff's popping up all over the place. I was way too excited about it. But really, it's true. It really makes me happy to fix a virus (a term I'm using to represent any badness that affects one's computer). So I got to spend an hour or so last night taking care of the latest. I'm pretty sure this need to fix the computer myself says something about me. I get obsessed with finding whatever's wrong and really don't rest until I get it just right.

Yes, as my brother-in-law would tell me, I could just switch to Mac and then I wouldn't have this problem. But I like PC's. I really do. I have switched to Firefox, though, and I love it. No pop-ups and the whole tabbed browsing thing - which really works for me.

Monday, June 30, 2008

coming out of a fog...

The past few days have illustrated something to me - I was completely without inspiration pretty much the entire time I was pregnant. I just didn't enjoy my normal creative outlets - knitting, sewing, writing, photography, etc. I think I read maybe five books the whole time I was pregnant. I read an entire pretty thick novel over the past two days. Rhett Butler's People - very good, especially if you've read Gone With The Wind, not just seen the movie.

My point, I guess, is that it's back! My inspiration, my urge to be creative is back. I thought it was just gone forever. I sewed a baby sling. I took pictures this weekend - tons of them. And I really love some of them. I think I might knit something now. Maybe a cute hat for V.V. that I can take a picture of her in. I'm just way too excited about this.

Friday, June 27, 2008

MamaChris's Great Adventure...

I took all four kids to the library. By myself. Wow. It was...a little harder than I expected, but partly that's due to how awkward getting the big double stroller in and out of DH's SUV is. I've ordered something smaller and hopefully lighter, so I'm hoping that will make a difference once it comes in. It also took longer than a normal trip to the library, but I'm still moving kind of slow and I didn't have enough hands to carry all the bags of books.

My cute little froggy baby. She's still pretty scrunchy, apparently made worse by the low amniotic fluid there at the end. That black corner is majorly distracting. I'll take care of that before I print this. But look at all her hair! She has more hair that Miss G had on her second birthday. Honest.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where have I been?

Adding a kid to my collection, of course. Our little girl V.V. was born June 16 after a frenzied couple of days making sure she was okay because I had low amniotic fluid. Tom kept cracking jokes about me being a car because they kept checking my fluid levels. At least he knows I don't like him to talk to me when I'm in labor. Baby Girl probably could have been born about half an hour earlier, but I wanted to finish the episode of Friends I was in the middle of.

Friday, June 13, 2008

At least I won't have another late baby...

Of course, it appears that I"m going to have a troublemaker. I had to have an ultrasound yesterday because it didn't appear that the baby was growing for the past four weeks. Turns it's growing fine, but I have low amniotic fluid. So I spent yesterday in the hospital undergoing stress tests, including one where they actually start labor to see how baby tolerates it. It did well, so they stopped the meds and sent me home. I still don't get it. Why not just let me finish, since I had the IV and all?

I'm going back tomorrow for another stress test and ultrasound for the fluid levels. If all goes well, I'm being induced on Monday since baby didn't seem to mind contractions the second time around. I'm more nervous than I've ever been. Yes, I've had three relatively easy births, but I'm just one of those people who is always aware that things can go wrong. I try to keep that stuff out of my mind most of the time, but sometimes it creeps in.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Remind me again...

That I don't mind being pregnant. And that having the baby on the inside for now is just one less kid for me to keep track of. And I really don't have time to go to the hospital until after Mr. T gets out of school.

Yeah, still pregnant. Actually only just 38 weeks, so it would be almost impossible for me to have had this kid yet. None of my babies have been born before 40 weeks. But I'm starting to get achy and hot and a little swollen (which has never happened in the 160 weeks I've been pregnant in my life).

Add to that mental nesting (as in, I want to do all this stuff, but I ache too bad to actually do it), moving sometime in August (and the related issue of 'will our house ever sell') and all the stuff I really need to get done before the baby arrives (like order a carseat) and I'm a bit stressed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today I had a fantasy...

The crazy fantasy of everyone woman is over 36 weeks pregnant. That I will walk into my completely normal check-up and learn that, unbeknownst to me (despite having birthed three children previously), I'm in labor and must immediately go deliver my baby.

Yeah, it didn't happen. In fact, nothing's happening. My body likes being pregnant. Likes it so much, in fact, that it tries to keep my babies in permanently. Looks like I'm looking at another 41 weeker (and only that by induction). I'm kind of okay with that. I've had a sudden burst of what can only be called nesting in someone as pregnant as I am. I'm throwing out all sorts of stuff, cleaning the basement, finding baby clothes and other gear that's been stored away for three or more years.

If we knew what we were having, there'd be even more crap on its way out. If it's a boy, I've got a ton of baby girl clothes that someone will love. And if it's a girl, I'll get to use all of them (yay!) and my nephews will be well-dressed. I seem to have no newborn baby boy clothes, which I finally figured out is because Mr. T didn't care to reveal his gender either (that's what this current in utero child did).

I'm sort of hoping (yes, I admit I have a slight preference, but as long as it's healthy, will be thrilled either way) that it's a girl. I love our girl's name SOOOOOO much that I will be a little sad not to use it. I like our boy's name too, of course, or else I'd still be looking for The Name. Maybe because I spent so long searching for a girl's name that it just seems like a bigger reward.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Freaking weather...

It doesn't rain the whole freaking month of April, but we've exceeded the monthly average for May already. On the 15th. And it's supposed to rain again tomorrow. The best part? Both my kids in school have field trips tomorrow. The preschool trip is a reschedule from last Friday, when it also rained its ass off.

And I still have a cold. This is three solid weeks of a cold. WTF? I actually did break down and go to the doctor - a sure sign I'm not feeling good at all. It pretty much takes months of severe pain or a limb hanging off my body at an odd angle to make me concede that I might need medical attention. But something about being pregnant, and especially this far along, makes me a little more cautious. The last freaking thing I want is to be pushing out a kid with this much sinus pressure. Maybe I should have planned my kids to NOT be born in the middle of allergy season. Oh, wait, I have year-round allergies? I remember that now.

Right now it's absolutely gorgeous outside. So lovely, in fact, that I think the weathermen are completely lying to us all. No way is it going to rain in a few hours. We took advantage of this to walk Mr T. to school. We're close enough to the school that we don't get a bus, but far enough away to make it a pain to walk all the time, especially if there's any sort of weather out there (rain, sleet, snow - wait, they cancel school for snow forecast, not snow, cold, hot, etc.). We pretty much walk only in the afternoons and only if the temperature is in the 70s and only then if it's also sunny. Since the weathermen seem to think it's going to rain this afternoon and I was up early this morning, we took a rare morning walk.

Why rare? Because I. AM. NOT. A. MORNING. PERSON. At all. Just the three minute drive to Miss G's school leads to enough cursing that I find myself saying "Don't repeat what Mommy just said" an awful lot. And as much as I'd like to blame pregnancy hormones (they do make it a smidge worse, but not THAT much), I'm just a bitch in the mornings. I totally bit Mr. T's head off on Monday morning. Although I still get mad at what he was so concerned about. He actually wanted to know why I let Miss G in the car first. Wha? Because she sits farther from the door. No, he meant last year when we drove to South Carolina. Oh, nuh-UH.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

AI - Down to three

Final three, huh? Not the final three I would have guessed. If you'd asked me in week 1, I would have told you no way would a girl be there. I'd have gotten the other two, but I think I"d have had Michael Johns in there.

David A.

First song
"And So It Goes" This is among my favorite Billy Joel songs. What is it with this kid picking my favorite songs? Oh, yeah. I can blame Paula for this one. She should have picked "Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)" or something to actually shake him up. But I bet he could manage to smarm that up. This isn't horrible, but I don't think he knows what he's singing about it. Maybe that's why I don't like him. He sings well, he acts intense, but the emotional connection just isn't there.

"With You" I don't know this song, but the lyrics sound like it's a test for the teeny-bopper market to see if he can pull this heartthrob thing off. How gross. I might be getting old. It sounds like EVERYTHING ELSE HE'S EVER SUNG. How is that?

Oh, this song. Sure, I know this. This is the music of my childhood. My parents were latter day hippies, at least my dad was. Sounds like another test of his "heartthrob" appeal. Surprisingly, I think this might be his best tonight. Maybe even...the best of the night.

"If I Ain't Got You"
Yeah, this is why I don't like her. I hate this type of music. It's just boring. I recognize that she's singing well, but I'd turn the station if this came on the radio.

I like this song and I think she can really do a good job with it. Maybe a little predictable, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. She's definitely an actress. I like the retro feel better than the contemporary R&B thing.

Nice job, producers. Pick a song about penguins. That's not really showcasing her voice. I wonder what the motivation behind choosing this was.

David Cook
"First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
Simon's pick. See, this is how I would have picked for each of them. Something out there and out of the comfort zone. Plus, I don't think we've heard much ballad-y from him. Just sort of straight singing it so far. I'm a little surprised, but I think he has a good instinct for when to screw with arrangements and when not to.

"Dare You to Move"
I didn't think I knew that song, but it turns out I recognized it. It started out pretty rough, but I think he got there by the end - although Paula's remarks were shockingly spot on. I felt like it was just starting when he ended.

"I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"
One of my very favorite Aerosmith songs. It starts slow, but he really makes it into something, despite the short time. What is with Paula? See you in the finals to DC just after telling Syesha she wasn't getting in? Was this a ploy? If so - to keep DC out of the final? In which case, that will suck ass.

I'm thinking a David-David finale. Syesha was just too forgettable. I could be wrong though, especially if the Paula predictions have any bearing on the outcome.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I'm having a really crappy week...

On Monday I realized that we might not get a direct deposit stimulus check like I'd planned our budget around (just extras, like T's birthday, 10th anniversary gift for Tom, etc.). Not a huge deal because we're not counting on it and except for T's birthday, everything can wait.

On Tuesday, it got cold enough to kick the heat on. Except our heat wouldn't come on. It just made loud noises and started up and then stopped again. So we might be replacing a heat pump right before we sell our house (if that all goes down - which is up in the air right now).

On Wednesday, they finally hauled away my dead minivan. I was sad to see it go, but the oil it spit out as they loaded it onto the towtruck reminded me taht it's just a very, very, very big paperweight at this point.

And on top of all this, I've caught a lovely cold from my oldest child. Thanks, Mr. T. Love elementary school germs. Right now I'm miserable, which is probably why I'm whining about this stuff in the first place. I don't usually harp on the bad things, just deal with what I can, plan for what I can't immediately deal with and put it out of my mind. But I'm sick, I can't breathe, my head feels full of cotton, my ears are ringing and I just want everything else to be fine without my having to deal with it. You know?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol meets Neil Diamond?

For real, dudes? Whatever. Okay, so I love a few Neil Diamond songs in a kitschy sort of way, you know? The way I love harvest gold appliances - as in I have this sort of distant admiration for them, but don't put them in my house.

(watching this a day late because I have a bad cold - freaking weather that won't stay put - and fell asleep last night)

Jason Castro - "Forever in Blue Jeans" Okay, one of my favoriter kitschy songs. And you know, I like this. It's nothing spectacular, but it captures that laidback 60s/70s thing that makes the song work in the first place.

David Cook - "I'm Alive" I really don't know my Neil Diamond songbook because I don't recognize this song. Oh, wait, maybe I have heard it. I fear my blatant prejudice is coming through here - not a bad take on a Neil Diamond song that I can only guess didn't rock that hard.
I thought I'd totally missed the judges comments on Jason Castro, but I guess I didn't. Only giving critiques after the second song? This is feeling kind of rushed. Maybe a little less background on Neil Diamond there and we could have had actual feedback (not that what the judges say really matters)

Brooke White - "I'm a Believer" Sort of an odd country take on this. Is it just me or is her voice straining to go lower? At least she's not trying to dance - not too much, anyway. The bopping around is okay, if a little frantic. I think she's done, as much as I've loved her in the past.

David A. "Sweet Caroline" You little... This is probably my favorite Neil Diamond song in all its kitschy glory. This bites. I hate this arrangement and I hate that my least favorite contestant is singing it. Just like he picked my favorite Beatles song to demolish.

Syesha "Hello" Yeah, don't know this one either. Those hands waving in front of her don't even seem to be listening to the same song. She's good at what she is, if that makes sense. I just don't like this type of singer, but she is really just getting better and better.

So the judges are doing a quick run through and wow Paula! Holy crap! For real? Did she just comment on a song that hadn't been sung yet? So this is what all the conspiracy crap is about. Damn.

Second songs:

Jason "September Morn" Well, Paula was right. This isn't anything that shows he wants to be in the finals. Are her drugs now making her psychic. But you know? I don't think he has to do anything different. He is who he is, you know? I like that about him - it's what would make me buy his record rather than download one or two songs. Have I ever heard him speak? I usually fastforward through the intro pieces, so his voice just surprised me. Don't go making excuses. That's just one of the reasons no one like Carly.

David Cook "All I Really Need Is You" I love this. As okay as his first song was, this is so much better. I love the guitar, the intensity, just the whole thing. He wins again.

Brooke "I am, I said" Much better song for her. Although subbing in Arizona was a bit awkward. But so, so much better than her first song. Dude, weird pants. I guess her guitar hid them the first time.

David A. "America" Well, of course. It's the most "Up with People" song Neil Diamond has isn't it? This is such a stage show performance (did his voice just crack) - can't you just see the multicultural parade marching behind him at some amusement park? No, wait, don't tell me, Randy, it was the bomb. Paula loves it. Simon thought it was brilliant. I'm not far off, am I? I feel like I'm watching a different performance than the judges sometimes. Although, after Paula's comments, maybe I am.

Syesha "Thank the Lord for the Night Time" Um, what? Another Neil Diamond song I've never heard of. I only know the biggest, kitschiest ones, huh? I had no idea ND had songs like this. I actually like this, not just in a detached appreciation for her voice, either. It's kind of motown, which I like.

Bottom two: Jason and Brooke. Seriously, though, David A. belongs there too, but I doubt the teenies will allow that. And actually I'm concerned that Jason might have a similar fan base that's going to really burn up the phone lines after Paula's weird comments. So it's probably Brooke going home.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 claims people are looking for me...

Do you think I should let them know that very few people would be looking for me under my married name and it's probably some other chick whose maiden name happens to be the same as my married name? Yeah, probably not. But I still have to mutter that every time I get a junk email from them that says that.

So no Idol this week - I wasn't in the mood at all this week. Actually I've been in a bit of a bad mood in general lately. Probably due at least in part to lack of sleep. My allergies have been bugging the crap out of me - I feel like plucking my eyes out they itch so bad. So I asked my OB what I could take. She okayed Claritin, which I thought I'd never taken before. But when Tom brought it home for me, I realized I had and it had made me feel like I had lead weights pushing me down. So I decided to take it at night and hopefully sleep through the lead weight thing. Except I don't know if it was the dosage I took or the pregnancy or what, but I didn't sleep at all that night. So I'm paying for it now. I'm still feeling the effects 36 hours later. I still can't sleep. And now I'm beyond exhausted.

In some football fun, the only fun a college football fan like me gets until September, the NFL draft is this weekend. The Ravens (my local team so I hear a lot about them from the news and my family) should be interesting to see - will they go with best available player, as has been their stated policy in the past, or fill their need for a quarterback? Probably they can do both if the picks fall right.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Idol, please dont'...

Where do I start? I hate Mariah Carey. I hate that everyone has to sing a freaking Mariah Carey song. I have a bad feeling about tonight.

David A. "Believe" what is that crap? The song I mean, not his voice. But his voice is just too breathy or something.

Carly "Without You" Huh, this isn't all that bad, actually. It isn't a verbatim Mariah Carey cover, so it works a bit better for me. She loves very nice tonight - oh, the tattoo is covered. I think it makes a difference.

Syesha "Vanishing(?)" What the hell is this crap? Frickin' Mariah Carey night. That was just wrong. And the fact that she's still here and Michael Johns isn't? Well, maybe it's better for him that he doesn't have to sing this crap. She's a good singer and all, but I hate this type of music.

Brooke "Hero" I guess this is probably the best choice for her to make "her own." But what a smarmy song. I'm surprised little David didn't choose it.

Kristy "Forever" I don't know this song, but damn, I think she might be the best so far tonight.

David Cook "Always Be My Baby" I'm hanging my hopes on him tonight that Mariah Carey won't be a total crapfest. Dude, how do you take Mariah Carey's most annoying, vapid song and make it AWESOME.

Jason "I Don't Wanna Cry" Oh, this song. It's almost got a reggae thing. I like it. It must suck to have to follow David Cook this week, but Jason is who he is and doesn't try to do anything crazy. It's not really anything different, but why should he be?

Bottom: I bet it's Brooke, Carly and Syesha. I won't be shocked to see Brooke leave.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just when I was starting to sleep...

I had finally gotten a few things taken care of that were keeping me awake at night for a month straight. I could fall asleep easily, but I'd wake up around 1 a.m. and not be able to fall back to sleep. It got to be a pattern after a week or so. Then I just got used to it and felt like crap when I woke up if I actually did manage to stay asleep. But I got over it and was sleeping every night, the whole night through, for at least a week.

Then Tom calls me and tells me the job at his old middle school is open next year and how did I feel about making the move that we'd talked about a few months ago, though not seriously. Turns out I was much more into than I thought I'd be. It would mean moving two hours from where we currently live. From my spoiled suburban existence to a rural small town. I foresee some culture shock. If I don't see what I want in stock at Target, well, I can just drive five miles to the next one. Neither one is more than 3 miles from my house.

But the big thing is leaving my family. I have a huge, very, very, VERY close-knit family. And we'll be moving two hours away from them. I just don't know if I can handle that part. But we will have the support network of my husband's family, at least in theory.

There are very few bads and so many goods to this situation that I'm pretty sure it's going to happen. And it freaks me out. I hate the idea of moving, especially with the kids in school. But all signs seem to be pointing us in that direction.

Please tell me small towns aren't as nosy as television makes them seem. I'm an anonymous surbanite and I like it that way.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Trying to get over my mood...

I've been in a sucky mood all week. It started on Sunday when I took my wedding rings off because my fingers were swollen. I have three kids - two girls with a magnet for jewelry. Yep, my ring was missing all week - not my engagement ring (which is the more expensive, so I guess that's something at least) which doesn't fit at the moment, but my wedding band. It's unique - it has seven rubies and diamonds in the band part. So does Tom's. Our birthdays are four days apart in July, so we both loved the idea.

We eliminated suspects until we were down to just one. Our 5-year-old Miss G. Who doesn't remember where she last had it. She admits to picking it up (not the diamond, the colorful one) and taking it...somewhere. Her room, Miss S's room, the bathroom, um, the hallway, no, back to your room (as in mine and Tom's). I found it in the dirty laundry on Thursday.

And freaking American Idol eliminated the only eye candy....I mean, rocker dude they had. I still like David Cook the best, despite his off week, but I really wanted, well, everyone else to leave before Michael Johns.

Actually that doesn't really play into my sucky mood. That's probably more related to my insomnia (it's baa-aack). I almost took out a second-grader yesterday because he was making fun of Mr T. That's when I realized I had a problem and actually allowed myself to take a nap today. I know I'm pregnant and anemic and not sleeping at night, but I still feel like a loser if I take a mid-day nap. Today I did, though. We'll see how I sleep tonight.

That second-grader might have deserved to be taken out, though. Mr. T was trying to talk to him about some Lego thing they've talked about before and when he gets excited, he can't seem to get his words out (anyone watch Wonderfalls?). So the kid was repeating everything Mr. T said with an exaggerated stutter. I stopped in my tracks and stared the kid down, but I don't think he realized how much he'd pissed me off. I was >< this close to calling out an 8 year old.

I think I need help. And unfortunately, those sleep remedies (Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Simply Sleep, Nyquil, etc.) don't work for me - they actually give me the jitters, which is sort of abnormal. Morphine didn't do anything for me either (sucks when one's leg is broken to bits). And any other time, I'd just have a couple of glasses of Riesling (if you live in Maryland, allow me to recommend the Boordy vineyards one - it's simply fabulous. Unfortunately, among my many complaints about my state is that their alcohol laws are weird - local wineries can only ship to a few states or sell in-state, so I always try to buy Maryland wine), but since I'm pregnant, that's not really an option.

I don't know if all this is pregnancy-related or just stress from our major decision about moving (which isn't really stressing me out, except that it can't happen yet and Tom hasn't heard anything about the job at all, so lots of unanswered questions). I'm thinking both and hoping this isn't a sign of a non-sleeper. My other three kids were/are very good sleepers, so I don't know how I'd deal with that. I mean, I will, because that's what mothers do. We deal. But if this baby likes to go to bed at 10 and get up at 8, that would be lovely.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I have nothing kid-friendly to say.

Every time I try to talk to Tom or anyone about our day yesterday, I curse. And not just little "damn" type curse words. I'm talking the big-bads. Really, I sum up the day with one particular phrase. The m f one. Yeah. It was that kind of flipping day.

It was Wednesday, which means we have to be out of the house a little earlier than Tuesdays or Thursdays, about 20 minutes earlier. So we were running just about on time, maybe a minute or two late. I start my van, which is fresh from the shop with new brakes and fresh oil. And it sounds awful. But I have to drive Miss G to preschool so I didn't really get worked up about it (maybe I should have, although we know now that it didn't matter). I reversed out of my spot, shifted to drive and the low oil pressure light came on and flashed right back off. At that point, I was in the middle of the road and had to get somewhere out of the way, if nothing else. Also, my van likes to light things up that it doesn't always mean. There's some sort of electrical short. So I drove around the corner. It dinged at me and flashed the low pressure warning in red. I was smart enough to stop then (in all, from my parking spot to where I pulled over was about 150 feet, so really not something I should feel bad about, although I feel like I should have done something sooner).

We got out, walked Mr T to school and I called Tom first (but he was busy in testing week at school), then my mom, then my dad. I later called my sister-in-law who spoke with my mechanic brother (who I would have called myself, but I feel weird about calling him at work). He said he'd come by after work and that it sounded like my oil filter jsut wasn't tightened. My dad met him with fresh oil. They fixed it up and had me drive it home. And all the oil dropped out of it again. So that's not good, right?

We end my day with a haiku:

So we say goodbye.
Four years with Chevy Venture
end in oily mess.

We had it four years, but it was four years old when we got it, so really its demise isn't that tragic. But it is a huge pain in the rear.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not even a raised eyebrow?

So I got myself all worked up to go pick Mr. T up from school yesterday. It was the first warm/humid day of the year and I wore a tight t-shirt that really revealed my belly. And I'm sort of proud of it, now that I have one. It's taken long enough - I thought for sure with my fourth I'd look six months pregnant on day one, but now I'm six months pregnant and only barely look pregnant at all.

I thought I was outing myself. And it seemed like no one even noticed. A couple of moms know, so I wasn't expecting anything from them. But some who I talk to a lot didn't say anything. Maybe I still look fat and they didn't want to offend. So much for my big news.

I haven't told a lot of people that I'm pregnant. I mean obviously our families know and a couple of friends outside the family. But to casual acquaintances (like most of the other moms I stand around with up at school), I haven't said anything. And since it's been winter my big coat has covered what little belly I do have.

So maybe the big outing will be another day. Or maybe it's not as big a deal as I think.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

American Idol does Dolly...

Really, y'all? Dolly? And only Dolly songs? At least with just the country theme they can pick all kinds of things, but just Dolly? Yikes.

Brooke "Jolene" It's sweet and her voice sounds similar to Dolly's, but it's not too interesting. Is "busking" Simon's new insult this season? I guess he couldn't accuse of her sounding like a lounge singer.

David C. "Little Sparrow" Not a Dolly song I'm familiar with. Probably the way to go, since I can only hear Dolly singing Jolene. They've totally redone his hair. I think it really showed off his voice, but wasn't my favorite of his performances. I won't be downloading it off iTunes tomorrow (I totally downloaded Eleanor Rigby and Billie Jean)- that's not a criticism of his performance but of the song.

Ramiele "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" Um, well, it was better than she's been in the past couple of weeks, but still just there. Oh, good to see Simon's breaking out the good ole "cruise ship" line.

Jason "Traveling Through" Probably a good song choice for him. It's a bit more upbeat and forces him to do something other than just sing random words, which it kind of seems like he's done (see Michele for reference). It reminded me of someone - Jack Johnson? Someone like that. That's a good thing for me.

Carly "Here You Come Again" This just sounds like something from the easy-listening station back in the late 70s early 80s. Is that when Dolly did it? Maybe that makes sense. I just don't get her. She looks prettier than usual tonight. But still stiff.

David A. "Smoky Mountain Memories" Shut up, kid. Okay, he's singing it fine. But the overacting as he sings "hey folks, I really feel this" just seems so fake. Or I just don't like him and am being a judgemental bitch.

Kristy "Coat of Many Colors" I love this song. And country works for Kristy. So let's see what happens. Still with the weird facial expressions. Is she barefoot? I'm not sure a story-song works on American Idol. The chorus is very nice, though.

Syesha "I Will Always Love You" Okay, Dolly's version of this is one of the most heartbreaking and heartfelt songs ever sung. And Whitney's version is powerful and just huge. I'm worried about this song choice. She's going somewhere in between and kind of ends up weaker than both. That last note seemed like the vocal equivalent of a figure skater who missed all her jumps adding one off routine jump to impress.

Michael Johns "It's all wrong but it's all right" This reminds me of something. And I don't think it's just the ascot. It's that guitar, but I can't think of what it's reminding me of. Very bluesy and cool.

My bottom three: Kristy, David A., Ramiele
My predicted actual bottom three: Ramiele, Syesha, Brooke with Ramiele leaving us on Idol tomorrow

Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm still feeling crazy...

I'm a bit of an odd cross between spontaneous, whatever's the opposite of spontaneous. I mean, I love to research something to death in advance, but then when it's time to make a decision I do it in five seconds. Probably, my brain's been working on the decision all that time, so it's not as snap a decision as it seems, but at first glance, it looks like I just suddenly decided on something.

Friday night, we went out shopping for a new office/desk chair. Our old one had broken and was listing dangerously to one side. We didn't find anything. So when we got home, I checked craigslist, just in case there was a cool office chair for a decent price on there. No office chairs, but I did find a microsuede sofa in very good condition in our town for a price we were comfortable with. I showed it to Tom as sort of a joke. Except he didn't know I was joking and said yes, let's buy it. So we did.

This is more of a statement about how much he hated our old sofa, which he is thrilled to be taking to the dump tomorrow. I think he'll do a dance of joy after he drops it in the big bin. It really was shot and, if I'm perfectly honest, was never comfortable to start with. The back pillows were too big and pushed the bottom cushions off. In our (okay, my) defense, it really was the most suitable piece of furniture we found at the time we were looking to buy a new sofa. Our retro/modern/clean simple lines style wasn't yet in style and most sofas were overstuffed frilly country numbers in chenille fabric. *shudder* So we took the best we could find and made it work.

I'm still shaking my head at our new sofa, both in wonder at our sponteneity and the deal we got (it's barely used at all for less than 1/3 of the retail). I think if I thought too much I could get grossed out at the idea of a used sofa, but if I didn't tell you it was used and you saw it for the first time, you'd never know. I'm not sure it was actually USED as much as place in the people's home for decoration.

And now we have a new, kid-friendly (since we only had a six-month-old when we bought the first one, we did not understand the necessity of this) sofa. And I need to paint this old color off our walls. It's that faux terracotta color that was so in when we bought the place (and half the reason we chose it over another beige house - I love color in my home). Now it just looks old and dated. But the walls continue all the way down our basement wall and upstairs to our entire upstairs hallway and very high staircase. So painting is going to be a monumental task. And I'm afraid of heights.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Might be I'm a little nervous...

about this whole four kids thing. I had my second nightmare/bad dream in a row last night. The first one was a real nightmare. I woke up at 4 (after finally breaking my pattern of waking up from 1 to 5 every morning) and never went back to sleep it freaked me out so bad. Basically I was dying on the operating table after an emergency c-section (I've never had one) and DH was going to be alone with four kids. (That baby was a boy)

Last night, I dreamt that all went well and we came home, but because my other kids were so busy, I just forgot about the new baby and left it in bed for two straight days. (That baby was a girl).

So I conclude two things from my dreams. I'm freaked about having another baby. AND I'm having twins. Except one of them hides really well from ultrasound techs. Yeah, probably not twins. But definitely freaked out.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tonight's Idol Theme: Make MamaChris feel old.

Were these people really born in these years? Why is that I keep getting older and they keep getting younger?

Ramiele "Alone" Bold choice. Hasn't worked for very many people in the past. She almost does it. But not quite.

Jason "Fragile" Nothing amazing, nothing new that I'd been hoping to see from him, but again not bad. Maybe a bit too safe.

Syesha "If I Were Your Woman" Her voice was absolutely beautiful. But what a freaking boring song.

Chikezie "If Only For One Night" The magic he found in the first week just isn't happening again. I loved that, but this R&B thing is not my style at all and I just don't like it. I love the country/rock thing from the two Beatles nights.

Brooke "Every Breath You Take" Interesting take on this song. It's like Carly Simon meets Sting. I've never liked the lyrics to this song, though, and I think when you slow it down and sing it so emotionally the lyrics are even worse. But I liked the performance in general.

Michael Johns "We Are the Champions" Queen again. Well, it worked before. It's not bringing anything new to the song, but really how can you mess with this song? Just sing it. And he does and it works. It's solid and confident.

Carly "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Kind of like a rocked out version of that song, which is a great song to start with. I liked what she did with it. That last note didn't fly. She just doesn't seem excited, but I think that's partly the nature of this song.

David A. "You're the Voice" Do I know this song? I don't recognize it yet. Man, he annoys me. Another song with a deep, smarmy message that just makes me want to kick him. It's just so very "Up with People." Okay, fine, he didn't sound bad.

Kristy Lee Cook "God Bless the U.S.A." Huh. I think this might be the best she's sounded recently. I'm sure Simon will have something snarky to say about the song choice - since it's country and has actual emotion attached to it. I'm shocked - I was totally wrong. He liked it. Maybe he's got my good mood tonight.

David C. "Billie Jean" I've been curious to see how this would work since I heard he was singing it earlier today. First I must qualify. I love him. He's my absolute, total favorite. I think Ryan said this is someone else's version of it, but it's freaking amazing. He sounds great and I love the arrangement. Yeah. He wins.

Bottom three tonight: I'm going with Chikezie, Ramiele, maybe, just maybe Jason Castro. No he's got a lot of girly fans. Maybe Syesha. We're getting to the point where everyone is good, so it's hard to say. No one really screwed up or anything tonight. I pick Chikezie to go home, though.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring has...sprung?

Yeah, except not really at all. I think it's in the mid-40s with high winds today. I thought March was supposed to go out like lamb? Maybe it's not ready for that yesterday.

I had the crappiest afternoon yesterday. It was my dad's birthday and I was baking his birthday cake - a special recipe that his mom (who died over 20 years ago) used to make all the time. I might be the only one of my siblings with strong memories of her and her cakes. Last time I made this cake I totally screwed it up - the recipe says use 10 tablespoons of milk. I used 10 ounces. That's about twice as much. It never solidified.

Yesterday, I was pouring in the vanilla from my huge Sam's Club vanilla bottle. I never measure vanilla (I rarely measure most things, nor do I time anything. It's done when it's done. Drives Tom and my sister, who want to recreate my recipes, absolutely crazy. They both need to see exact measurements - no pinches, dashes, little bit of, to taste for them. Cook it until it's done is insane. But our oven cooks faster than most recipes say, so it really is true.

Okay, back to the vanilla. I needed two teaspoons, which I'm perfectly capable of eyeballing. Except that damned Sam's Club vanilla tipped on me and poured in about half a cup instead. And my cake leaked through the tube pan and into the bottom of my oven and never set up. I was so irritated, mostly with myself. I started completely over. And then it looked like the second cake wasn't going to rise and I was really upset. I was about to cry. My sister said she'd stop at the grocery store and buy one, but I was still upset.

But I let it bake and it finally did rise and the frosting worked out and tasted just like my grandmother's. I even put the extra on a Melmac saucer like she did. I still miss her. I was nine when she died. She was the kind of grandma who heard you say you liked something in February and remembered for your birthday in July.

And my dad had a happy birthday with all of his kids and grandkids (he's up to five, soon to be six).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not that I don't love the Beatles...

But two weeks in a row? Seriously? Oh, wait sorry, last week was Lennon-McCartney, this week it's the Beatles. That's totally different. I guess it's better than some bizarre and awkward theme night (like we're sure to get into next week). Um, thanks, American Idol. I know who the Beatles are. I'm frightened, though, that their target demographic probably doesn't.

Amanda - Back in the USSR - A good rocker Beatles song, not a bad choice, but it's got those parts where she can't scream and it all gets lost. The parts where she can do that scream-sing thing she does (which I kind of like) were good and energetic. Isn't that weird? She's so into onstage and so quiet talking to her.

Kristy Lee Cook - You Got to Hide Your Love Away - She's really boring on the stage. I know it's a slower song, but she seems to only know how to do a fast dance (not that it's that great, but still). I could like this version of this song, but I don't know. I just don't.

David Archuleta - The Long and Winding Road - This is my absolute, number one, all time favorite Beatles song - possibly my all time favorite song ever - in general. And I'm not really a David A. fan. I'm trying really hard not to let my love for the song and lack of love for him color my opinion, but it's hard. That's such a fabulous song, how can anyone live up to it? No, Randy don't F up my favorite song with runs and crap. Just sing it if you must. But doesn't David A always sing songs like this?

Michael Johns - A Day in the Life - DH and I recently saw Rain: the Beatles Experience. This song stuck with me the most. They really did a great job. He did not. He really screwed up that one part. I like the song choice, though, it's a little off the beaten path.

Brooke White - Here Comes the Sun - I'm not sure I approve of the obvious sunshine yellow dress for this song. I love her voice and the simple acoustic arrangement of this song. Obviously having a favorite makes me look at her differently.

David Cook - Daytripper - Okay, I will admit up front that he is my favorite. I'm not into pop or R & B. I like rock, punk, alternative. Very cool, although a little something different would help.

Carly Smithson - Blackbird - I don't know why, but I find her boring to watch. Not just in slow songs like this. This is the best I've ever heard her voice sound, though.

Jason Castro - Michelle - I speak French and could be picky, but I like him so I'll cut him some slack. This is perfectly sweet, but nothing special. And he's one of my favorites, so my not loving it says something.

Syesha - Yesterday - She looked like she was going to cry the entire time. It was pretty and heartfelt but what Paula said about connecting with the eyes.

Chikezie - Falling - Trying to exactly recapture the magic he found last week. Actually, he doesn't do too bad a job with it. I wasn't sold at first, but once he whipped out that harmonica (at which point I was still skeptical), I got into it with him.

Ramiele Malubay - I Should Have Known Better - I didn't recognize the title of this, but of course I knew it as soon as she started singing it. It may be peppier than last week, but it's not any more interesting.

Bottom three - Ramiele, Kristy, Amanda

Top three - David Cook, Carly (high praise from me), um, actually I can't pick a third this week. Pretty much else everyone else fell into mediocrity tonight.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Let's see if I can pull off sneaky...

My dad's birthday is Thursday and after wandering through Target for an hour and ending up with only a birthday card (for him, at least, I still managed to spend $100), I was feeling a little desperate. I could get him a new polo shirt for his golf tournament next week, I suppose, or a new package of golf balls, but, well, everyone did that for him for Christmas and it hasn't been nice enough to golf enough to lose 3 boxes of golf balls (at least, I hope that's true for his sake - I think he's only been once or twice since Christmas).

So I went snooping on his profile. I found his wish list and cross-referenced Barnes & Noble's website. One of the books was in stock (and the best part is the sequel is being released just before Father's Day - built in secondary gift) and I could get in under three days with expedited shipping. So I ordered it. Now I have to cross my fingers that his name doesn't come up on the wish list in the next three days. And that my order actually arrives before his birthday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Is there a help group for amoxicillian addicts?

My almost 5 year old daughter is scamming me to try to get amoxicillin. I think I should worry about her. Although, I told Tom that if they didn't make medicine taste so good, she wouldn't fake an ear infection to try to get more. And I'm pretty sure she's faking. Not that I have any way to tell for sure, but when I told she couldn't go to preschool, suddenly her ear felt better. It really only seems to hurt when I want her to clean up or do something she doesn't want to do. I've lost sympathy for her.

This has been a rough year for me. I'm not one to run to the doctor unless there's a really clear emergency. When I broke my ankle and it was hanging at a 45 degree angle to my leg (to the left), I didn't fight medical attention. I ignored my gallbladder symptoms until I was almost in tears every day and could barely move if I so much as sipped a little water. But then I had the same pain with no logical explanation (turns out it is scar tissue and I just have to deal) and a suspicious mole and have been in and out of doctor's office since this time last year. And then I got pregnant, so even more doctor's visits.

Since I'm this way for myself, I have a difficult time deciding when to take my kids to the doctor. Mr. T doesn't complain. Ever. So if he says something hurts, off we go. He's been to the doctor for sick visits a total of three times in his life. Miss G, well, she's a bit of a whiner. It's hard to tell if she's just tired and feels a little tiny bit bad or if it's the end of the world. Usually I make her take a nap and that cures her. But she did have her first ear infection, and her first sick visit in 4 years and 9 months, just this past January. She's also fortunate to not get anything as bad as everyone else gets it. Miss S has only had a sick visit when she fell and hurt her foot. I actually had my first visit to emergent care (see January 1 or so's post). She seems to get sick more like her big sis.

Sometimes I think I don't take them in often enough, but since I know that there's nothing the pediatrician can do for a cold, I don't bother unless the cold's gone on for a long time and isn't getting better. And stomach bugs - no sense spreading those nasty germs around if we can avoid it.

...very, very thankful for good health...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daylight Saving Time has messed us up...

Mainly me, I'm sad to say. The kids are doing okay, especially Mr. T who doesn't seem to sleep anymore (and trust me, that it is NOT a good thing). I've had to wake the girls up every morning this week. But I'm normally up and alert (though I stay in bed) around 7. This week I haven't even opened my eyes before 7:45. Probably the pregnancy insomnia isn't helping. I fall asleep easily at night, but wake up around 1 a.m. (usually to pee) and can't get back to sleep until 6 a.m. or so. And then I get a nice, sound hour of sleep. And as bad as that sounds, the nights when I don't wake up are actually worse. For some reason I wake up feeling even more tired than the nights when I toss and turn.

I'm really hoping this isn't a sign of what this baby will be like on the outside. My other three were mainly good sleepers, so I really don't think I can handle one of those non-sleeping babies.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Idols Top Twelve take on the Beatles...

This is very risky for me. Where Randy, Paula and Simon think no one can compare to Celine and Whitney (both of whom I can't stand), I fear that I'm going to think no one can compare to the Beatles. Just for the record, my top five Beatles songs: "The Long and Winding Road", "Eleanor Rigby", "Here Comes the Sun", "In My Life", "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da". I don't know if any of those are outside of Lennon-McCartney (Tom could tell you - he knows that sort of thing, but he's got play rehearsal tonight, thankfully).

Syesha "Got to Get You Into My Life" I've liked her so much better in other weeks. I appreciate the bluesy thing she did with the song, but I'm guessing this is going to end up near the low-middle of the night's performances for me.

Chikezie "She's A Woman" I like this - completely taking it out the context of the Beatles. Also a good song choice becuase I don't know this Beatles song like I know so many others. I am not a Chikezie fan, but I might be after this. Wow.

Ramiele "In My Life" Uh, oh. One of my top five that I listed above. I thought I'd hate it, but except for the breathiness, it's fine. Maybe because I also think of the Bette Midler version from "For the Boys" (is that the right movie?). I'm still not a fan, but she's a solid 2/3 singers for me so far. So the judges have realized what I said from week one of the top 24 - Sing well, suck, doesn't matter. DON'T BE BORING!

Jason Castro "If I Fell" This was a pretty subdued performance from him, but I liked it. I like the little thing in his voice. I really would love to see him kick it up a little. I think he can do it and still stick to the acoustic style thing he's got going on.

Carly "Come Together" First of all, who put this girl in a dress that would make the tabloids wonder how far along she is? I'm thinking the judges are going to eat this up, but I'm not really loving it. I get that she's trying to "make it her own" but it's such a recognizable song that it's really hard to do that. She just seemed like she didn't remember the words.

David Cook "Eleanor Rigby" Another of my favorites. Again, I have to say that this? This is totally what I would listen to. I would download this version and play it over and over. I might just do that tomorrow. Wouldn't that be a cool way to decide the next American Idol?

Brooke "Let It Be" She's playing piano. Yay! I love that they're letting them use instruments this season, even if some people use them more as a prop than anything. Random fact: Tom and his mom had their dance at our wedding to this song. Brooke sings this beautifully. Love the big finish.

David Hernandez "I Saw Her Standing There" Oh, yeah, I totally forgot about him. Dude is totally going home. Is this country? Motown? What? But you know what? I'm totally going to have this song stuck in my freaking head all week. Like I've had "it's all coming back to me" in my head since he sang it last week. For that, I cannot forgive.

Amanda Overmeyer "You Can't Do That" A good idea to choose a lesser known Beatles song. I was having trouble thinking of her singing anything of theirs. Those pants. Oh, my eyes. Add the stripey hair and not a good combo there. She doesn't sound as gasping as she usually does and she sounds great - not at all Beatles, though. I still think she's in danger this week. Unless David takes the bullet for her.

Michael Johns "Across the Universe" Just keep him talking. He doesn't even have to sing. I'd vote for him. I didn't recognize the title, but now I know it. I like it, but honestly, it's a bit boring. It's the best his voice has sounded this entire time, though. That's good, because up to this point, I wasn't sure if he could sing or just ooze charisma.

Kristy Lee Cook "Eight Days A Week" Oh, yeah, I forgot about her too. She's not kidding about a risk. I like country, so my objection isn't to that part. It's to her lack of conviction and weak singing and weird body movements and jeans that need to made into rags and those stupid little eye things she does. On the other hand, I totally respect that she went to where she wanted to be.

David Archuleta "We Can Work It Out" What a suck-tastic arrangement of that. Seriously, not my taste at all. I haven't liked him before, but this is just annoying.

Top three: Chikezie, David Cook, Brooke
Bottom three: David Hernandez, Amanda, Syesha. If David doesn't go home, a travesty has occurred.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Idol Ladies do the 80s...

So the guys were kind of hit or miss for me as far as song choice goes. I'm hoping for some good 80s pop tonight.

Asiah Epperson "I Wann Dance with Somebody" Okay, two things. Honey, that is not a good look for you. And Whitney? Really? And besides that isn't this song done at least once per season at some point? She's not bad like most people are when they do Whitney, but I was hoping for better song choices.

Kady Malloy "Who Wants to Live Forever" Okay, how many weeks in a row have they told you to do something fun that shows off that side of Kady? This is NOT it. Really odd song choice. But she sang it really well, better than I expected.

Amanda Overmeyer "I Hate Myself for Loving You" Not a shocking song choice from her. I think I like it best of what I've seen from her so far. She didn't sound so strained. So she doesn't smile when they praise her - how do I not interpret that as her not being happy to still be there? Anyone else just want to see what she does with Big Band night?

Carly Smithson "I Drove All Night" Who is dressing these girls in these skinny pants with super high waists? Not good. I think this might be HER best performance that I've seen. She seems more into it than other weeks and it's a really good choice for her voice - she's also not straining or sounding like she's reaching too high or too low the whole time.

Kristy Lee Cook "Faithfully" Stop with the weird eye/head movements. Haven't I told her this every week? Yikes. If even I can tell you she's missing notes, it's bad. And isn't this Journey - as in the group Randy was with? Maybe not a good choice, although I like the country-esque arrangement of it.

Ramiele Malubay "Against All Odds" Why are we singing Phil Collins songs? And if we must, could we not at least change them around enough that they don't annoy me? Actually, she's pretty awesome on this, despite it's Phil Collins-ness.

Brooke White "Love is a Battlefield" I loved this song back in the 80s, even though I had no clue what it was about. I have to say I LOVE this acoustic arrangement of it. I loved it. I didn't like how unsure she seemed though after it was over.

Syesha Mercado "Saving All My Love for You" NOOOOOOO! Any song but that! Oh, Syesha.

Okay, so I'm definitely picking Kristy to leave. And after that stupid song choice by Syesha, I'm picking her too, even thought I want to like her.

Overall I have to say that the girls really stepped it up tonight. I'm pretty impressed. I think my favorite girl is Brooke.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yay, 80s night!

Didn't I say last week that I hoped next in the theme weeks would be 80s? I'm so glad the powers that be at American Idol decided to help me out.

Luke "Jitterbug" Did you really just admit that your sister dressed you as a ballerina? Okay, I can tell right now he's going home. How do you take a theoretically fun song (theoretically because I don't really like it) and make it boring?

David Archuleta "Another Day in Paradise" Was this kid even alive in the 80s? What a stupid Phil Collins song to choose. Although I have to say that I like this about 3 million times more than Phil Collins, who I just can't stand. And I'm back to agreeing with Simon - I'd like to see a fun song from him.

Danny Noriega "Tainted Love" I bet he wasn't born in the 80s either. Is it just me or are these kids getting younger and younger? This was probably his best performance to date. Not saying much, there, though. DH is convinced he's really a girl.

David Hernandez "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" Is that what this song is called? It's the Celine Dion one that always seems like Meatloaf (did he write it?). Trying to get the idea of him being a stripper out of my head. It's not bad - saying a lot since I hate Celine Dion, but I've never liked him. Not just saying that because of the stripper thing.

Michael Johns "Don't You Forget About Me" Finally, someone who might actually have a memory from the 80s. And what a freaking awesome song choice. 80s movies fans like me will probably vote for him based on song choice alone. DH thinks this is sacrilege to redo this song. I think he rocked.

David Cook "Hello" Okay, I like the idea of this, but does he seem bored? I loved the arrangement - do you know how long it took me to figure out what song it was? I mean seriously - totally my style and interesting and fresh. But watching him? I don't know. He just didn't seem into it. Maybe because of the more mature nature of the song.

Jason Castro "Halleluia" Hey, it's the Shrek song. Okay, good. Very good performance, but I'd like to see him take it upbeat. DH thinks this guy looks like a reject from Star Trek. Oh, and that his hair looks like something our cat puked up. I'm not watching this with him next week.

Chikezie "All the Woman I Need" Really? God, I hate this song. He might one of the more interesting of my non-favorites this week, but what an annoying song.

David Cook, Jason Castro and Michael Johns get my vote this week. I pick Luke as the obvious choice to leave. Danny Noriega might be the other one.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I might be crazy, but I'm so excited!

We're planning a big family trip to Disney next year around this time (exact date still to be determined). I love, love, love car trips (that's the one of the crazy parts), so we're driving, probably halfway one day and the rest of the way the next. With a six-month-old (that'd be the craziest part), 3 year old, five year old and seven year old. But we're going with my whole family - sister, brother, their families and our parents. Some families might kill each other, but ours actually can get along for a whole week - especially someplace like Disney or other resort where you don't have to be in each other's space the whole time because there's so many other things to do.

So I'm going to start researching our trip, probably way too soon, but I'm excited now and not stressed about gas prices or all the other stuff that will take over once we get closer to the actual trip.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Idol Ladies night - Week Two

So I loved the 70s theme from last night (dare I hope for the 80s next week?), more than I expected to, since the 70s incorporates disco and that can get rough. I'd like to see one of the girls play an instrument tonight (is Brooke who played the keyboard?). I think some of the guys are going to set themselves apart with that extra feature. Yes, it's a singing competition, Simon, but it makes those people more memorable and in some cases distracts from less than perfect song choice.

My wish list for tonight: more Fleetwood Mac, easy on the disco, maybe some Carole King or Carly Simon or other singer/songwriter - one of the styles of music that MADE the decade, if you ask me.

Carly - missed her, damn it.

Syesha "Me and Mr. Jones" I'm kind of meh on the song choice, but it's nice for her. The judges disagreed, but I liked it. Maybe the offness I felt with them last night is still working here.

Brooke - "You're so vain" Yay, Brooke plays guitar AND Carly Simon. Okay, she wins automatically. She fulfilled my main requests. YAAAAAAAY, Brooke!

Ramiele "Dont' Leave Me This Way" Fun song, but it started slow and kept getting back to that boring slow part. I'm not sure it was the best song choice for that reason.

Kristy Lee Cook "You're No Good" The weird shimmy thing doesn't usually carry one as far as one might think. Stop making cute little faces at me. I can't even concentrate on how she's singing (not bad, but nothing special).

Amanda Overmeyer "Carry on, my wayward son" Probably not the best choice for her. In theory, I love her - love rockers, love Janis Joplin, love someone outside the cookie-cutter blond mold they seem to have created on here. But that? That was rough.

Alaina Whitaker "Hopelessly Devoted to You" So at first, I was all - hey didn't they specifically tell this girl to speed it up? But then I saw her name and realized I'd gotten two of the blondes confused. They really are cookie-cutter. It was okay, but taking on this song for most American females is taking on Aretha or Celine or Whitney.

Alexandrea Lushington "If You Leave Me Now" Ah, takes me back to my Lite 102 days. I got hooked on it at the orthodontist's office. I was a weird kid. But seriously? What a boring song.

Kady Malloy “Magic Man” Okay, she’s the one who’s supposed to kick it up. It was kicked up more than last week, but not really great.

Asiah Epperson “All By Myself” I think this song’s been done enough on Idol. Or maybe I’ve watched Clueless a few too many times. I don’t remember what she sang last week (Piece of my heart?), but I think this is a change. No, Randy. This is not a Celine Dion song. It’s ERIC CARMEN. They made this mistake last year. Why the hell would she sing Celine Dion during 70s week? Idiots.

Wow, not really a great night for the girls here in general, though. I’m not sure I even have a good handle on who’s leaving. One of the blondes, probably. And probably Amanda, even though I theoretically like her and I'm willing to stick with her for another week to see what she does, I'm not sure America is so willing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Idol Guys Week Two...

I have some very clear favorites from last week so I'm hoping they do well enough to stick around into the top 12.

Michael Johns- "Go Your Own Way" Oh. My. God. I'm like, the biggest Fleetwood Mac fan. So major, MAJOR bonus points for song choice. I don't know, though, he sounded strained during the second verse and he's not Lindsey Buckingham. But maybe when someone sings one of your favorite band's songs, you're a little pickier.

Jason Castro "" He's one of my favorites from last week. Oh, that's a BeeGees song? I totally didn't recognize. And that's a good thing. Whatever, judges. I thought he was great.

Luke Menard "Killer Queen" I recognize that most young people might not be familiar with this particular Queen song unless, like me, the 70s is your first choice for music. Even still, taking on Freddie Mercury is a risk. And it doesn't pay off for Luke. He looks like a pale imitation.

Robbie Carrico "Hot Blooded" Really? I mean of all the 70s rock songs, of all the Foreigner songs, of all the freaking songs in the world, you think this is the best choice to display your vocal talents? Sorry, but I think you just bought yourself a ticket home.

David Hernandez "" I just don't like him for some reason. DH thought he was about to sing Shaft. I really did too. I did NOT like this, though the judges and everyone else seemed to.

Jason Yeager "Without Love" I may be misinterpreting the lyrics, but I thought "She left her home and her family and she won't be coming back....without love." was kind of sad and hard. But dude sings it with that big cheesy grin. I want to smack him.

Chikezie "" Yeah, don't know this song, but he's much more interesting than he was last week. I'm curious enough about him to want him back next week just to see what he'll sing.

Danny Noriega "" Crappy song. Annoying dude.

David Cook "All Right Now" Yeah. Now that's 70s rock. And I ADORE that he's a "word nerd." Dude! Me too! He seemed totally at ease working the crowd and just right at home up there. I was totally annoyed by what Simon said. In this rare instance, I have to agree with Paula ("women like smart men").

David Archuleta "Imagine" I liked his version of it. He sang it well and all. But there's a part of me that's disappointed in whoever owns the rights to that song allowing it to be sung on American Idol. I guess it brings the song to a new generation and that's cool and all, but what if he'd butchered it?

I think I got everyone (trying to do this after the show from memory). My picks to leave are Robbie Carrico and Danny Noriega (alternate because I just dont' like Danny and that's the only reason I picked him to leave: Jason Yeager).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sometimes you just have to fake it...

The first trimester of this pregnancy really sapped me of my will just about anything. I haven't really regained it yet. I've picked knitting up again and even got an entire baby sweater knit, but the hobby that I'm really missing but still lacking the motivation for is photography. I'm trying to just get up and do it, since I'm mid-second trimester and still not showing, I can contort on the floor the way I need to and I supposedly have energy (the insomnia's kind of countering that, though).

I was looking at buying a new camera last night, but I just don't feel like I can do that if I'm not using the one I currently have. That's how I mentally "earn" new hobby supplies in general. If I scrapbook, I can buy new scrapbooking items. If I'm actively knitting, I can buy new yarn. But I'm not habitually taking pictures lately - I only have a handful from Christmas. How sad is that? Last Christmas I think I had over 100. This Christmas I had maybe 10 and I didn't even upload them to my computer until the middle of January.

I'm feeling guilty that I'm not more excited about this baby. I guess it's partly because I'm not showing and well, it IS the fourth time I've done this. I'm still just as nervous and panicky about stupid things as I've ever been, but I haven't gotten all the little clothes out or obsessed over the baby name book (I think we have names picked out anyway, but I still looked even after we'd decided on the other kids' names). Of course, maybe if Baby hadn't been so stubborn when we were at the ultrasound and showed off its goods, I'd be getting out the pink or blue from when the others were babies.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beanie Babies v. Webkinz: A Review

My kids are new to the world of Webkinz. They each got their first pet for Christmas, so it's only been about two months. But they love them. Mr. T is newly motivated to stay on "green" (the school's method of tracking behavior follows the stoplight - green is good, yellow a warning and red is bad news) since he can only play with his Webkinz if he stays on green.

Since they love the Webkinz so much and their favorite animals to actually play with are Beanie Babies - Mr. T still has the first one he got when he was two and still picks it as his two choices to go with him on overnight trips, I thought the combination of Beanie Babies and the online play might be something they'd enjoy. So I bought myself one to check out before getting the kids their own.

I think you might be required to listen to the site. I hate all the random internet sounds, so I don't even have speakers. We have headphones that can be plugged in when we need to hear something. But based on no sound, I just don't get it. It starts with a very creepy, Frankenstein-like electrocution of the pet I got. It was assigned a name, a name that seems to be given to all pets of that variety. Then I got some tour from a big bear, but since I didnt' hear him and there were no actual words to help me out, I have no idea what was going on. I played a game and won a flag. What? What do I do with that? I don't know. It seems I have to make 10 friends to advance. Um, no. My kids aren't allowed to use that function of Webkinz and I'm not going to allow them to use it here either. I am very quick with new applications/websites, but I just didn't find this remotely intuitive.

All in all, it was completely confusing and if I couldn't get it, I'm not letting my kids loose on it. Since we weren't around when Webkinz started, I'm willing to give BB2.0 another chance as it continues to grow. For now, I'm putting the guinea pig away and not letting the kids know of its existence. We're going to stick with Webkinz for now.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

You know what drives me CRAZY?

"Our area is going to be SLAMMED by a winter storm...Details on tonight's news."

"More about the upcoming winter storm...after this break."

"And we'll get you the details on how much snow to expect in just a few minutes."

This might draw out the drama on American Idol, but my weather forecast? Not the place for heightening the suspense. Especially since our area rarely actually gets the storms they forecast. Dude, just spit it out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Idol Girls Night...

Okay, I'll try it again. I have high hopes for the girls - after all they should have learned something from the guys last night, right? Of course experience teaches that this is rarely true (and how could it be? It's not like they just picked their songs this morning)

Kristy Lee Cook - "Rescue Me" She seems more into being cute than singing. This is pretty dull. Ah, yes, that is the problem - it's too big a song for her.

Joanne Borgella "I Say A Little Prayer for You" I love this song, but she just doesn't seem to be having as much fun with it as one should. I don't know - maybe it's a little too high for her to do that. Meh.

Alaina Whitaker "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday" I kind of liked this. Interesting and she made it unique without butchering it.

Amanda Overmeyer "Baby, Please Don't Go" Let me start by saying I'm biased toward all the rockers. Always. I love her. And I can't wait to hear what she does in some of the odd themed weeks. I mean, the 60s was easy for the rockers, right? But what does she do with Crooner Week or Sappy Love Song or whatever? I hope she sticks around so we can find out. She's just the most interesting to watch.

Amy Davis "Where the Boys Are" This should go on the list with Moon River. Boring. Old. Don't sing this. And didn't someone unsuccessfully sing this in the past, just like Moon River?

Brooke White "So Happy Together" A completely different version than we heard last night (do they not tell each other what they're singing?), but still kind of interesting and unique. I like her too, so maybe that's why I'm being more generous. I mean, it wasn't captivating, but it wasn't bad at all.

Alexandrea Lushington "Spinning Wheel" Okay, I love this song too. The 60s seem to be my era. Which I already knew. Her whole thing, though, is just not my style. The dancing, the treatment of the song. It's all just not anything I'd ever listen to. That doesn't mean it's bad, just not me.

Kady Malloy "Groovy Kind of Love" I don't know that a ballad is the right choice for your main introduction to the voting public in general - they just tend to be boring (please see Amy Davis above), but I think it works for her. I really hate this song (can't get freakin Phil Collins out of my head and man, I hate his voice), so the fact that I didn't hate this performance is probably a good thing. Paula tells her she looks pretty - ouch.

Asiah Epperson "Take A Piece of my Heart" Oh, another favorite. And I love both the Janis Joplin and Faith Hill versions. I like hers too. It's got elements of both versions and still unique.

Ramiele Malubay "You Don't Have to Say I Love You" Okay, when Ryan said Dusty Springfield, I was sold. I love Dusty. I was hoping for Son of a Preacher Man, though. I like this girl's voice, but again the ballad for the first week...I think she's done the best job with a ballad this week, though.

Syesha Mercado "Tobacco Road" I will admit right now that she's been one of my top choices since her first audition. And when I heard rock notes, I was sold. She doesn't dance or do all the strange motions a whole lot, but then she doesn't have to to make it interesting.

Carly Smithson "??" Hmm, a sixties song I don't know. And I know she's one of the chosen ones this season, but that was just dull. I do like her new makeup look, though.

So Amy Davis is my top choice to leave. I'm also picking Kristy Lee Cook.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Not sure I'm feeling it this year. I was thinking about blogging it all like I tried to last year (probably as sporadically as I do anything else). Maybe I'll get into it as the group gets narrowed down to an accessible number of contestants. Apparently I'm in the minority, but I hate Hollywood Week - too much focus on the whining (which is part of the reason I hate reality tv - things like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars don't really have time to let people whine for too long).

And sixties week? I didn't think the top 24 had been themed in years past. I could be wrong, though. My memory's sketchy at its best.

David Hernandez - "Midnight Hour" Okay, he's good, but I was pretty bored. Maybe it's the confidence thing that Simon mentioned, but I just wasn't interested. Hopefully not a sign of things to come. I'm starting to think my interest in Idol may have run its course.

Chikezie - "i love you more today than yesterday" I don't think that was the right song for him. I appreciate the motivation behind choosing Stevie Wonder, but I don't think it suited his voice. I liked him better than the first guy, though.

David Cook - "Happy Together" Much more my style of music. I'm not a pop/r&b type. I'm more pop/punk/alternative/rock. I would totally download this to my iPod.

Jason Yeager "Moon River" Didn't someone else try this and fail miserably? Unless dude shakes this up, I'm putting money on him going home this week.

Robbie Carrico "One" Not a song I would have liked him to pick. But I love the rockers, so I forgive.

David Archuleta "Shop Around" So I guess he's the choice this season? And yes, I do seem to remember that he's 17. No need to not-so-subtly ask again, Randy. I liked it, but it wasn't really my style. But then few of the winners have been.

Danny Noriega "Jailhouse Rock" Wow, that's fast. Kind of a manic version of this. I don't hate it, but it's a little...I don't know not very accessible - boring almost it's so fast.

Luke Menard "Everybody's Talking" Dude, could you have chosen a more boring song? I admit this is a modernized arrangement that's less annoying than the original (which I can only hear in my head in the context of the Forrest Gump soundtrack).

Colton Berry "Suspicious Minds" I love Elvis. Two in one night. And yes, this is much better, if a little nondescript. Nothing really set it apart from the original. The backup singers especially dated it.

Garrett "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" Boring. Are all the guys boring tonight or is it just me? And did dude say he's been watching this since he was NINE? NINE??????? Damn, I'm old. They're music is headed up by Ricky Minor? Isn't that who Wayne Brady tells to play the "Don't Forget the Lyrics" songs?

Jason Castro "What a Day for a Daydream" Love the guitar. Actually, just love this guy. Yay, someone not boring.

Michael Johns "Light my Fire" Yes, breaking out the flame background. Love the song. He gets a pass just on song choice. Tom (the musician) says dude sucks, but I know my Idol and he's got something more important than singing well - he's interesting. That' s the thing on Idol - be good or be bad, just don't be boring.

Side note: I do not watch this show to see Simon and Paula snipe at each other.

I predict Moon River Jason Yeager is leaving. Second to leave - ugh. Don't make me choose who was most boring after that. The Leif Garrett lookalike, maybe, or the first guy (who was so memorable I can't even think of his name without going back) or Luke.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Around October of last year I was feeling completely overwhelmed by all the toys in our living room (our only living space). And aware that Christmas was coming and more toys were headed our way, I started to clean them out, as I did once a month. At first I did my usual sort-through and took out all the crappy McDonald's Happy Meal toys. But then I started really looking at the stuff I was sorting back into bins. Did they really need ALL of these toys? Before I could think twice about it (and before anyone woke up/got home from school), I sorted down to the true loves, classics, and, well, stuff I wanted them to have. We went from three racks of toys to two, one of them only half-full. I'd been hanging onto Mr. T's toys that he hadn't played with in possibly years. I'd kept every little necklace, purse and trinket we'd picked up for Miss G. And although Miss S was over two years old at the time, I still had out infant toys.

All of that is now in my basement, waiting for donation. I tend to hang on to things just in case one of the kids (the slightly anal-retentive Mr. T, if we're naming names) notices it's gone and wants it back. I'm just about up to donating.

But today I noticed (while my crazy sister had Mr. T and Miss G at hell - I mean Chuck E. Cheese's), that Miss S was really able to play with a lot more and keep up with putting it away since it was all in bins with nothing else but its own type of toy. She didn't just drag everything out looking for a few things to play with. THEY were overwhelmed too. I don't know why it took me six months to notice this.

Now I need to do the same thing with my own stuff. Maybe I'm overwhelmed too. I guess I could actually throw out the box of acrylic yarn I keep holding on to but know that I will never use. Or sort through my giant dresser full of other yarns. Or my books. Or papers from college (seriously, I think by now if I ever do make it to grad school, I'll just have to start over). And all the hundreds of other clutter maker I keep around.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Ash Wednesday...

So Lent has officially begun and I'm starting on my destash/no new stuff. So far, so good. Although I did go to Wal-Mart for the first time in months and they have beads! But no, I was good. I even resisted the last minute trip yesterday to get some blue cotton for a baby sweater - you know, in case I'm having a boy. Three ultrasounds say girl, but all were more of the "we don't see anything sticking out so we'll guess girl" variety rather than "hey, that there is a girl!" like we had with Miss G and Miss S. I did get some pretty variegated pink yarn for a little sweater.

Why is that I was all set with a name for our baby, boy or girl, before the ultrasound, but now that I've heard it's a girl, I'm completely changing my mind. I don't even know where to begin. I'm sure we'll come up with something - we have four whole months, but I'm feeling clueless.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Preparing for my Lenten destash...

Last year for Lent (despite being one of the least observant Catholics I know), I gave up buying craft supplies of any sort. It kind of worked for me. I came up with new ideas, saved a lot of money (sort of - the post Easter spree I went on probably made up for the savings).

I'm vowing to do the same thing again this year, but a step up even. I'm going to make an effort to use up my stash. Stashes. One per hobby, since I don't seem to be able to resist creating a stash. Mainly that's because I find nothing more frustrating than getting inspired to create something and having to wait until I can get to a craft store. I have such a large yarn stash that I could probably knit through the end of the year, at least, without running out. I'm a pretty slow knitter, but I have a ton of yarn. Not even including the really horrible acrylics that I've donated to my kids' craft box.

That doesn't even take into account my fabric stash. Or my scrapbooking stash. Or my half-started random project stash. Or my newly growing bead stash.

Since Lent begins in two weeks, I'm writing lists and figuring out if I need to up my stash to make it through my self-imposed hiatus from buying. Because how else is one supposed to go two months without buying new craft supplies?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm feeling guilty...

I totally judged Jeannie without watching the whole season 1 disc 1. She was a little huggy (I'm not a hugger), but Captain Nelson (did you know he was a captain back then? I'm waiting for his promotion) got ditched at the altar by his fiancée for some childhood sweetheart. Jeannie played a role, but Jeannie was right - the fiancée wasn't right for him. It might be been nice to know this before the fifth episode, but I'm watching the rest of this disc with a little less judgement. And I'll happily let my four year old keep watching.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Can we watch Barney?

Pregnancy has made me even moodier and bitchier than usual. Honestly, for the most part, I'm even tempered when not pregnant. But lately I have no patience. So when Miss G asked me if we could watch Barney, I sort of snapped at her. "We're not watching Barney. When have we ever watched Barney? I don't even know if Barney is on here anymore."

Then I felt dumb. "Not that Barney, Mom. Barney the policeman." It all clicked. She meant the Andy Griffith Show. Tom likes to watch old tv shows with them and their latest show (just because it comes on at the right time) is the Andy Griffith Show. So I let her watch it that evening when it came on.

We're watching a lot of old tv shows because, well, they were so much more wholesome and family friendly than just about anything that comes on today. Some of them are on TV Land and some on DVD. We have the Addams Family, a big favorite of everyone's. Tom likes just about every show, so if they're not watching cartoons together, they're watching TV Land. I got I Dream of Jeannie for Christmas and I've started watching Season 1. Miss G LOVES it. But I started to think that Jeannie might not be the best female role model. She's kind of a ho, always throwing herself at Major Nelson and stealing him from his fiancée. I didn't know all this.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A fun start to the new year...

And a motherhood first for me - a trip to urgent care. In 6.5 years, none of my children had needed anything other than well checks and two - yes, two visits among the three kids - sick visits to the doctor. Well, our streak is broken. Today I had to take my 2.5 year old Miss S to have her foot x-rayed. A fun two hour New Year's Day trip to the off-hours medical place only to find out that it's not broken, or at least isn't showing up as a fracture on the x-ray. In the meantime, she still won't walk on it and keeps forgetting that it hurts and stands up to run and then screams "my foot!" I'm told she'll be fine in a few days. Meanwhile, I should keep her off of it. Said by someone who's never tried to keep a two year old still, obviously.

And while this might seem like an inauspicious start to 2008, I'm trying to look at the bright side. I hate streaks. When my team is on a streak or a favorite player is on a streak, I get all tense and nervous every time they make a move on the field. Streaks add an unnatural element to the game, be it football, basketball or motherhood. When March Madness closes in, I always hope my favorite team gets a loss right before it starts. A win streak (which adds a bit more tension than a losing streak, because, well, no one minds if a losing streak ends) puts your mind in a different place. You don't lose yourself to the moment, you start thinking about every little move.

So our streak is broken. May it be a fresh start for the new year.