Friday, April 30, 2010

The Dingo Ate My Baby! (And Blogger Ate My Comments)

5:00 AM. My bedroom. Me. Sound asleep. (A rare and precious thing)

Buddy Boy tiptoes in, climbs onto the bed and lets loose the song in his heart.

“D-I-N-G-O! D-I-N-G-O! D-I-N-G-O! And Dingo was his name-o!!”

Oh yeah! More obnoxious than any alarm clock I’ve ever heard. But something about the substitution of the D for the B made it all a little hysterical – even at that hour. And in that early morning fog, my response was, “But the dingo ate my baby!!” The reference was completely lost on Buddy Boy, but since I screamed it at the top of my lungs in my best Aussie accent, he busted up laughing. Not a bad way to wake up after all.

I got the kiddos ready and out the door early, I was pretty sure it was going to be a nice productive day…until I got home, checked the blog and realized that Blogger had eaten over a dozen of the comments on my giveaway post. And, since I’d already deleted the comment emails from my inbox, well, I was a little unhappy. How was I going to do my giveaway when the comments were…gone!?!? So, I wasted a few hours trying to figure that out and got nowhere. Fortunately, the comments reappeared yesterday. Now, if only I could get my kids to stop screaching, “The dingo ate my baby!!!”

Oh, and if you're wondering wtf I'm talking about, here you go (minute mark 3:39).

And if you haven't entered my giveaway - today's the last day.  So go here and tell me what's bugging you.

This post is brought to you by Follow Friday.

Friday Follow

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Happiness Project :: My Wingman

Buddy Boy got in trouble yesterday for running around on the playground screaming that everyone was wearing dirty underpants. Whatever. At least he wasn’t swearing or sneaking cigarettes behind the dumpsters like I was at his age. Of course, I was mortified when his teacher told me this. And after I spent an acceptable amount of time lecturing my 5yo on the perils of potty talk, I spent a little more time searching for an appropriate baby picture for his Pre K graduation ceremony slide show. I think this one will do just fine. Ahhhh…my little ‘wingman’. He makes me incredibly happy – potty talk and all.

So?  What's putting a smile on your face today?  Join the happiness at Leigh vs. Laundry.


(Oh yeah, and just in case you’re wondering – which you shouldn’t be, because I’m a good mother…really…I am – that bottle was rinsed clean when Baby Buddy Boy got a hold of it. Drunk babies are not cool…and neither are drunk dogs nor drunk rabbits, but those are different stories.)

Hey!  Have you entered my giveaway yet?  There's still time.  Hop on over here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Another Happy Cuppa

Well it seems that tea makes a lot of people happy…at least judging by last week’s comments. So here’s another happy cuppa for ya. And this is one I can really get behind. Not that I couldn’t get behind the Kindness cup, I’m all for kindness…really. But this one? This one’s for me. Because I love to sing. And let me tell ya, I can sing! And when I sing, I sing at the top of my lungs from my heart. Which means I get a lot of funny looks when I’m crusin’ around town topless with my convertible hair flying all over the place. But they’re always kind smiles…because as y’all know…this is Texas, and you never know what caliber of kindness I might be keeping in my glove box.  (Just kidding...again...or not.)

So Happy Tuesday! Keep the happy going, wont you?  Join Leigh vs. Laundry and The Happiness Project.  You'll be happy you did.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Gifts (And a Paper Flower Tutorial)

I’m reliable. You can count on me. Really. You can count on me not to listen to my voicemail. You can count on me to show up 15 minutes late. And you can count on me to be poorly prepared for just about everything. But in the end, I will get the job done. I will make a huge mess in the process, but I’ll get it done and I’ll have fun doing it.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week in our town. And surprise! I’m unprepared. Teacher Appreciation week is a big deal in these parts. I mean seriously, how else can all the stay-at-home moms around here one-up each other?!  We love our teachers.  Buddy Boy goes to preschool 3 days a week. This week’s activities include:
  • Monday:  Teacher breakfast and flower presentation.  Moms make Teachers breakfast, kiddos give flowers to Teachers. (I will be up at some un-godly hour tomorrow morning making my secret weapon cinnamon chip scones. I will not be making a mad dash to the florist section of my local grocery store because the roses in my yard are amazing right now.)
  • Wednesday:  Teacher lunch. Moms will be preparing salads, casseroles & desserts. (I’m off the hook for this one.) 
  • Friday:  Teacher lunch and Teacher dinners. More moms preparing more salads, casseroles and desserts for that day's lunch. AND still more moms preparing meals to stock the teachers’ freezers. (Because…well…I guess preschool teachers can’t cook…or maybe preschool teachers are so incapacitated by the end of the year that they can no longer take care of themselves.) 
  • Monday thru Friday:  Early release for Teachers. Moms come into the classroom and substitute-teach for a couple of hours each day so the real teachers can go home early. (Because that's what I pay all this money for -- so moms, not teachers, can teach my kid.)
I don’t know…I’m all for teachers, but it seems like overkill to me. What happened to the days where the kids saved their milk money, pooled it all together and then went out and bought Teacher a month’s supply of BubbleYum?

Personally, I’m a fan of the handmade Teacher gift. Something that comes from the heart and the hand of the kiddo. There will be a handmade gift from us this year, just like there was last year.  We made these awesome paper flowers last year and I think they turned out great.  Here’s a little tutorial.  It was tons of fun and the kiddos got to participate in just about every step. In other words, it really is a “kid craft” – suitable for a 2yo and a 4yo.  Here’s the list of what we used. We had most of this stuff just hanging around the house:
  • Paper. I used old packing paper, because I’m all about reusing.
  • Squeeze bottles. I used old water bottles.
  • Acrylic paint. The kiddo paint is too chalky for me, so we used the real deal.
  • Kid scissors
  • Hole punches. I used a double hole punch and a 2” punch.
  • Wire cutters/needle nose pliers
  • Thin wire cut into 2” lengths. I used floral wire because I had it lying around, but any thin wire would work.
  • Buttons
  • Thick paper-wrapped wire stems (available in the floral section of your craft store)
  • Glue (any kind – I used Elmer’s school glue)
  • Plastic “pony” beads (I used clear because I didn’t have beads that matched my papers.
  • Floral tape (optional)
  • Scenting oil. You can use essential oils, your own perfume, even a drop of vanilla from your spice cabinet will work.

First we taped down sheets of paper, filled squeeze bottles with a dollop of acrylic paint mixed with about a cup of water. We shook up the paint and squeezed, splatted and splooshed it onto the paper. OK, so some of it got squeezed other places too. Hey, messy = fun, right?

Once the paper dried, the kids cut out circles. What kid doesn't love to play with scissors?! And for this project, the more irregular the cutting and the less exact the size, the better. It's a win/win. While the kids were cutting their circles, I punched 2" circles out of used tissue paper in coordinating colors. I also used the double punch to punch holes 'near' the center of each circle. Again, lack of precision gives a better end result, so kiddos strong enough to operate the punch could participate in this step as well.

Next, I threaded a button and 6 paper circles (alternating painted paper and tissue paper) onto the thin floral wire and twisted the wire on the back side to hold everything together.

This was Buddy Boy’s favorite part. Crumple everything up into little balls creating “buds”.

Then I attached each bud to a paper-wrapped stem with a drop of glue and slid a pony bead onto the stem to secure it all and give it a nice finished look. You could cover all this up with floral tape, but I couldn't find any 'craft' color tape to match my stems, so I just left it as it was. After the glue dried, we carefully unfurled our flowers.

The last step was to apply a drop of scent oil to each flower.

Voila!! A sweet smelling bouquet for teachers. We used them to dress up the outside of plain brown paper handle bags filled with homemade cookies.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Things Bug Me (So I'm giving some things away)

Ugh! Sometimes things just bug me! Like today. It’s what I call in inconvenient day. I know you know what I’m talking about…the kind of day where it’s just one inconvenience after another, after another.

The Man usually takes Buddy Boy to school on Fridays so I can be at the gym by 8:00. There’s an 8:30 yoga class that I love, and I like to get a good beating in on the treadmill before I get my chill on. Well, Mr. Man had an early flight this morning. No biggie. Buddy Boy can be a little late to school – it’s just Pre K. It’s not like the State’s gonna come after me for truancy or anything. So the day could have been fine, but nooo....

What do you mean the Kids’ Klub girl is running late?! This is cutting into my cardio time!

No! No! No! Not the gym-hoochy! Please, take your Juicy sweat suit, Coach tennies and all that perfume your wearing to the other side of the gym. PLEASE! Keep walking…keep walking…stop stopping! NO! Don’t stop. Not here! C’mon! There are 12 open treadmills over there! Arrrrrgh!

Oh tell me no! That’s not the Group Exercise Coordinator walking into the yoga studio, is it? You’re a rockin’ kick-box instructor, honey, but you can’t teach yoga for $#!+. Oh yeah, it’s definitely one of those days. Oh wait! She’s going into the spin studio. Oh, and there’s my little yogi. Whew!

Alright! Sweat’s on. Mat’s down. I’m ready to breath. Thumpa-thumpa-thumpa…! Seriously? Group Exercise Coordinator’s got to have the music that loud? She’s in the spin studio all by herself!

And so it goes. The inconvenient day. It will continue to be inconvenient. There will be traffic jams, and wardrobe malfunctions. The phone will ring while I’m running out the door to the Vet’s this afternoon, which will mean I’ll be running too late to stop for gas, which means I’ll have to fill up on my way to get the kiddos, which means I’ll have to find some way to duck chatty mom or we’ll be late for the Pediatrician, which means…(blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.)

Oh yeah. The whole day’s gonna bug me. No doubt about it. But I’m going to have some fun with it. Let’s play a little game, shall we? Tell me what’s bugging you today. That’s right…whine and complain until your heart’s content. You can tell me in a comment, you can rant about it on your own blog (but you’ve gotta link to this post and leave me a comment about what you’ve done so I know you’ve done it). Comments will close at midnight (CST) on the 29th. On the 30th, I’ll announce the 6 complainers who made the finals. 4 will be chosen in some random fashion, 2 will be my personal favorites. Then we’ll have a vote. Voting will close at midnight on the 13th. I’ll announce the results on the 14th.
The winner will receive this & this:

The 1st runner up will receive this.

The 2nd runner up will receive this.

And everybody else who left a comment will receive a coupon code for 20% these products in my shop. At least that way, the bugs wont be bugging us.

Oh yeah, and it's Follow Friday. Come play along.
Friday Follow

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Kindness and a Cup of Tea

My favorite Yogi Tea is back! Mmmm…the Berry Detox blend. It’s good for your liver and your kidneys. (And sometimes I need to think about my liver and my kidneys, because…well…as you know, I overdo things every now and then.) It wasn’t that big a deal when they dropped my flavor – I’m not a huge tea drinker. There are other varieties that’ll do just fine in a pinch, but I’m happy to see it on the shelf again.

If you’re unfamiliar with Yogi Tea, every packet has a happy little affirmation printed on the hangy-tag. Some of the sayings don’t say that much to me. Some do. Like this one. “Kindness is the only tool you need.” That’s a very nice sentiment, isn’t it? And it might fly in a place like…I dunno, someplace else. But down here in Texas...? Well, any good Texan’ll tell ya the only tool you really need is a reliable gun…and maybe a pitcher of margaritas. Everybody’s pretty kind down here and I’m pretty sure it’s because everybody knows everybody’s packin’. Except, of course, when they’re in the bar drinking margaritas. Because you can’t bring your gun to the bar. You can bring it to church. You can bring it to the grocery store. But you can’t bring it to the bar.

So cheers! And Happy Tuesday! And go join Leigh vs. Laundry’s Happiness Project or I’ll shoot! (just kidding...maybe) Or maybe I’ll pour ya a nice cold margarita on the rocks, because that’s how they’re supposed to be served. (much more likely) And then I’ll brew you some tea to help restore the health of your liver. Because I’m kind like that.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Double Dipping & A Reality Check

I've got another blog.  A teeny, tiny neglected blog.  A happy blog.  An optomistic blog. I started it last summer after a string of bad news.. It was supposed to be a celebration and a reminder of all the great stuff that happens to me on a regular basis.  Yeah, well, great stuff never happens to me. 

OK, that's not true. 

Great stuff happens in such abundance that I don't have time to write aboutit. 

OK, that's not true either.

It's just more fun being snarky.

That's true.

Anyway, if you want to find out what woke me up in a cold sweat this morning, you can go check it out.  And if you don't want to know, well...then you don't get the happy little message at the end.  Oh yeah, and I'll my tricycle riding dragon on you in my next nightmare.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy New Year!!

What? You’re kidding! I missed it? No $h!+, Sherlock. I know I missed it, but hey, it’s never too late to start fresh, right? And ‘Happy New Year’ sounds a lot better (and a lot more optimistic) than Happy Second Quarter!!

I spent the better part of the 1st quarter of 2010 sick – which has put me a tad behind. And I had such good intentions…such high expectations. So, in the spirit of better late then never, I’ve decided to start my year over today.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions…but I do set them occasionally. When I set them, I usually set them on my birthday – you know, the beginning of my own personal new year. As you might guess, I did set one resolution on my birthday this year…or should I say, the day after my birthday celebration – and so far so good for that one, I’m happy to say. (OK, so maybe I haven’t stopped completely, but I’ve cut back significantly.)

So, here they are, in no particular order…the things I’m going to try desperately to remember to do (or not to do) for the remainder of 2010:
  1. I will not rush my children. After 5 ½ years (yeah, I’m a quick study, eh?), I’m finally figuring out that rushing my kids is counter productive. Especially with Ladybug. The more I try to hurry her along, the more she grows roots.
  2. I will prepare for tomorrow today. Hey, teaching this old dog new tricks is…well…tricky. I’m actually pretty good at preparing for myself, but I absolutely suck at preparing for the rest of the family. Lunches packed, clothes laid out, kid activities lined up, dinner planned, shopping lists prepared…that sort of stuff needs to be all worked out before I go to bed. Ugh! This will be hard for me. I’m really too spontaneous for this Mom gig, but I’m going to try to plan better.
  3. I will be a little sweeter to The Man. Not that I’m mean or anything, but I’m not an especially sweet person. I’m more…bitter…in a good way…like a nice hoppy beer. But The Man’s got a sweet tooth, so I’m gonna be a little sweeter.
  4. I will sleep. I will go to bed before it’s ‘officially tomorrow’, and when I wake up at 4:30 am, I will roll over, close my eyes and try to catch a few more Zzzzzs. And if that doesn’t work, I will do a little reading…in a book…not on the computer. Reading books makes me sleepy. Reading blogs wires me.
  5. I will treat my business like a business and stop pussy-footing around with it. Yeah, this means I have to hit the pavement and beg the brick & mortar world of retail to start pushing my products for me. Ugh…again.
  6. I will stop complaining. Yeah, right! Like that’s gonna happen.
There they are. Five things to do with the 3 quarters I’ve got left in 2010. (And yeah, yeah, I know there’re 6 on the list, but I’ve already bailed on the last one. I like building a little failure into my goals.) So, how about y’all? Did you set resolutions this year? Are you meeting them? Anybody want to start over fresh with me?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Going Topless

Oh yeah, this makes me REALLY happy. Happier than that, even. Now c' didn't think I meant shirtless, did you?!  Sorry to disappoint.  That kind of topless ain't my style -- I burn too easily.  But driving around with the top down working up a good case of convertible hair is definitely my style.   It's not going to be a convertible day today. T-storm's a comin' - but tomorrow's another day.

So? How 'bout you? What makes you happy?  Visit Leigh vs. Laundry and join the fun.


Friday, April 2, 2010

For the Love of Ladybug

It’s crazy days around here. We’ve got houseguests – which is always fun, but it’s especially fun for Buddy Boy because one of our houseguests is a 5yo boy. And boy-howdy, those boys are having fun. And Ladybug…is NOT having fun. And when Ladybug isn’t having fun, nobody's having fun…except the two 5yo boys who are oblivious to everything.

It’s Good-for-whom Friday Good Friday, which means the schools are closed. And since it was supposed to be a horrible stormy day, we decided to take in a movie. To cheer Ladybug up, I let her pick out my movie-going ensemble. Hey, 2 hours in the dark – who was going to notice? The Hot Dad who stopped Ladybug on her way out of the theater and whispered, “Your Mommy’s socks don’t match.” That’s who! In a sea of well-coordinated, over accessorized N. Dallasites, I guess I did stick out like a sore thumb. Ah, the the things I do for love. This ought to put me in the running for Mom of the Year, don't you think?  Oh well. At least someone got a laugh at my expense today. And my little girly was pretty tickled too.

So, what'd you do for love today?

Oh, and it's Follow Friday - just click the button to play along.

Friday Follow