I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye, 2009!

Okay, so I have yet to figure out what my New Year's Resolutions will be. I know one thing I'd like to do in general is find a purpose. I'm starting to feel like I'm at that point where it's getting monotonous and I don't want to think this is all I'm going to do with my life.

In 2010, I hope to graduate with my masters so I can get the hell outta that soul-sucking school and move onto an actual career- or semblance of a career... who knows, I might only have an adjunct position here and there, but I can always substitute teach and steal people's organs to sell on the black market for additional income.

I also hope that 2010 is the year I get to sleep. I have been hoping that since 2006, but fingers crossed this will be the one! I'd also love to move in 2010, but I know that won't happen either. But anyway, I'm gonna try to keep my head up and forge ahead cause I like even number and this is an even numbered year! Woo hoo!

What are your resolutions or aspirations for this coming year?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Blog!

Okay, so like a man, I forgot to say anything on the actual date, but remembering it at all should count for something, haha. (jk, men!)

I started my blog and joined twitter on November 28, 2008, so last month was my one year anniversary of having this blog and tweeting. It feels like longer than that, but it's not. I don't have any huge plans for this blog other than to try to keep up with it. Next semester should be far less chaotic schedule-wise, so it shouldn't be as difficult.

One thing I hope to implement when I am not exhausted from being awakened at 4:45am by a kid who is crying because he can't find his pacifier is to make a separate page of a reading list of books I've read. I have always LOVED to read, but over the years have run out of motivation. Since Thankgiving break, I've read 11 books and it feels good! I really want to get back into it, so I'm going to share whether or not I like the books with my readers to encourage them to get out there and read, too.

Okay, anyway, happy anniversary blog and I'm going to attempt to go back to sleep now.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Music Monday: Aerosmith "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"

I picked this song because it is actually my husband and my song. I know, you're laughing. The reason being is because it was the first slow song we ever danced to. (It was the homecoming dance my senior year of high school... yep, we're rednecks.)

General Mills Announces Less Sugar in Their Cereal!!

If you're like me, you feed your kids a lot of cereal. It's convenient, quasi-healthy and they like it. It makes for a hassle-free breakfast. Of course, one of my worries is always will it make my kids' teeth rot out of their heads? Well, apparently that was a concern of General Mills as well because they recently made a big announcement:

This week General Mills announced a commitment to further reduce sugar in cereals advertised to kids under 12 to single digit grams of sugar per serving. The company has already been reducing sugar in cereals while increasing key nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, and providing whole grain.

Did you know that ready-to-eat cereal eaters consume less fat, less cholesterol and more fiber than non-cereal eaters? Cereals also deliver important vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, making cereal a top source of key nutrients in children´s diets.

Other cereal benefits:
Ready-to-eat cereals, including presweetened cereals, account for only 5% of sugar in children´s diets.

Ready-to-eat cereal is the No. 1 source of whole grains in a child´s diet today.

More frequent cereal eaters tend to have healthier body weights and lower Body Mass Index measures. Studies also demonstrate the benefits of eating breakfast. A 1998 study showed that children who eat breakfast tend to perform better at school. Compared to children who skip breakfast, children who eat breakfast score higher on tests, are less likely to miss class or be tardy, have fewer reported discipline problems, and make fewer trips to the office.

For more information about kids and cereals, please visit Cereal Health and Wellness.

And right now, you can visit here to print $1 off coupons!




This post was sponsored by General Mills and MyBlogSpark.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hamsterkitten To Do List

Okay, so now the holidays are over (I don't count New Year's Eve, cause I don't do anything special) and I can't believe I still have almost four weeks until school starts again! That is awesome. So, I now have time to do some of the things that need to get done before now and then. They include:

1) Updating my Miss Advice blog. If you haven't checked it out, please do! It's my creative outlet that I don't get from this blog or school. (Creative writing is not really encouraged there.)

2) Getting rid of some of my junk on ebay. I've had piles of stuff waiting to be sold on ebay for months, and I'm tired of looking at them. I hate clutter, but seem to be surrounded by it 24/7. Our daycare told us we couldn't take a month off, so the kids will still go two days a week while I'm on break (otherwise we'd still have to pay for them to not be there) and I will probably use these days to get a lot of stuff done.

3) Lose 1,000 pounds. I don't believe in making New Year's Resolutions that I know I probably won't keep, so I never resolve to lose weight. But, I wanted a treadmill for Christmas and hooray for the convenience of my parents having one they no longer wanted. A free treadmill is a good thing to have. I originally wanted to take up outdoor walking because it seems like everyone I ask about they weight-loss success have done it just from walking. One of my new friends lost 100 lbs by walking and eating a little better! Of course she said she walked like 12 miles a day, so enter the treadmill idea. Ideally I'd like to walk outdoors, but realistically, it's winter and I can't load both the kids up and walk 12 miles and expect them to be cooperative. So, I'm hoping that if I park the treadmill in front of the tv, it won't be so monotonous. I think I could probably read and walk, too... but I better now chew gum and walk.

4) Tweet more. Over the summer, I was a tweeting machine. Of course I had nothing to do, so that's why, but I used to have a lot of people that I talked to daily on Twitter- who knows where they went? Now I get occasional folks, but hardly anyone talks to me much and therefore no one comments on my blog anymore... I miss it. It feels weird to make blog posts and not have anyone comment on them... makes me think no one reads them!

Okay, that's enough for now... I like to set my goals low so I can achieve them. Do you guys have any to-do lists that really need to get done?

Amazon SwagBucks

I can't believe this is the first time I'm hearing about this program, but I love Amazon! I bought 90% of my Christmas gifts off Amazon this year. We are privy to only a Super WalMart in our town and I am so tired of driving since I had to drive four days a week to another town for school this past semester. Anyway, add to that that I usually buy my school books, movies, and music off of amazon and you have a loyal fan in me!

Well, SwagBucks is a COMPLETELY free program that involves downloading a toolbar and searching with it in order to earn bucks. With your bucks you can redeem prizes, win prizes, etc. The thing I'm most interested in is earning points to buy gift cards. If you get 45 points you can get a $5 amazon gift card. There's other gift card options (including TARGET! (woohoo) gift cards). And there's no catch whatsoever. Plus, it's a referral program, so if you refer people, you get points for that as well.

My cousin-in-law told me about it Christmas Eve and I was totally on board. I usually hit the google homepage button 80,000 times a day, but I'm going to try hard to use this SwagBucks toolbar.

If you're interested, I've put the ad in the top right corner of my blog, or you can click here to sign up or get more details. And since it's free, I haven't figured out the "if it sounds too good to be true..." clause.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Legend of Ozzy


As you may or may not know, I used to breed pekingese. I had originally bought them as pets, but it's the best breed ever, so I decided to breed them. (Yes, I already get hate mail from people who are mad about this, so don't waste your breath.)

Anyway, our first pekingese was Pookie. Pookie had a litter of puppies, two boys and a girl. Being our first litter, we sold one to a couple in Minnesota and I couldn't resist keeping the two boys and named them Ozzy and Gremlin. Their personalities were like night and day, but Ozzy was the coolest dog in the world! He was so ornery, he was spunky, he was loving, it was amazing!

Well, when Ozzy was around 3, I was having problems with him because two of my females would fight a lot when there were puppies and then Ozzy would decide to jump in and he would cause the most damage. I decided that maybe Ozzy and Gremlin needed a new home, but I refused to separate them.

As luck would have it, the couple that bought Ozzy and Gremlin's sister had been thinking about getting another peke from me and decided they wanted Gremlin. Their daughter lived in the same town and said she would take Ozzy. It relieved me so much because I was so worried about letting them go. I cried when Ozzy left and a little piece of me knew that no other dog would be able to replace him.

About a month later, I got an email from the woman who took Ozzy saying that she had to find him a new home. She said he'd keep running out the front door and she was afraid he'd get hit by a car. So, she turned to PNC Midwest, a pekingese rescue organization that I was familiar with and had donated money to (not much, but I tried.) This probably two years ago.

On a whim last night, I looked at the organization's website, and searched for Ozzy. I saw a dog that looked identical, age matched and everything. I emailed the organization and guess what: it IS Ozzy! He's currently being fostered by someone in Wisconsin. We no longer have puppies, so no dogs fight and I feel like it was meant for him to come back to me! I have emailed the woman who runs the organization and asked what it would take to get him back, but I don't know what will happen. I'M the one who got him neutered in the first place, so I think that should count for something, but they have a large adoption fee ($250) and you have to go through a lot of obstacles to get a dog. Plus, he's in Wisconsin right now, so I'm not sure how they would get him to me or how I would get him.

Anyway, I thought I would share this story and I'm hoping for a Christmas miracle with a happy ending! The picture is of him from their website. I have a million adorable ones of him as a baby...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Thoughts On: Lady GaGa

I've been meaning to post this for quite awhile, but yeah, I'm pretty behind... but I am a big Lady GaGa fan- I love her imagination, her voice and the fact that she's not afraid to be different. There's been these stupid rumors about her being a man... which don't even deserved to be addressed.

Anyway, she was interviewed as one of Barbara Walter's 10 most fascinating people of 2009 and it was a good interview. She was playing in clubs at 18 and had long brown hair and looked like a totally normal person... and apparently her dad is not thrilled with her lack of clothing and naughtiness in her videos- understandably. Anyway, she actually seems pretty down to earth and I thought I'd share her VMA performance because I thought it was GREAT! Very artsy and memorable. I think she was trying to show that people in show biz sometimes have to give their lives in order to get away from the media that hounds them... but anyway, enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's Up With That, World?

I just wanted to ponder something for a moment.

Why does everyone automatically assume all young people are single parents? It's quite odd. Okay, so maybe I kind of understand it in regards to my town as there are a TON of single parents, but is it now the norm to assume people are single parents and treat them as such?

Don't get me wrong, I don't find it offensive, I just marvel at the idea of it. Here are my two recent examples:

My husband got a part time job and one of the girls he worked with was trying to get to know him during some slow time. He mentioned that he had two kids and her response to this was, "oh, do you get to see them much?" lol...

Then Monday, I was subbing at one of the elementary schools and there was this older lady subbing as well and she knew my mom, so she was asking me questions. I mentioned having kids and she hesitated and said, "... and... are you... married? I hate to ask, but you never know these days." And when I said yes, she replied, "oh, that's so wonderful to hear!" And the interesting thing is we both have tattooed wedding rings, so it's not like people can't look at our ring fingers.

Anyway, that was my little thought for the day: feel free to comment or go about your life as usual.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The CP Chronicles: Chapter Four (Marie)


This chapter will venture to the first client that I've talked about on the mentally retarded side of CP. This was definitely not my favorite unit to work on as I found myself annoyed quite often. I don't mind working with mentally retarded folks when I know they need help and sympathy, but the ones who are only mildly retarded and just become whiny and complain all the time- those people drive me cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Marie was my favorite hands down on the mentally retarded side. I'd say she easily weighed 300 pounds and was about five feet tall, maybe five-two. The first day I worked on this side... the FIRST... I was instructed to take toothpaste down to Marie's room so she could brush her teeth. Marie was not allowed to have shampoo in the shower because she'd dump it down the drain, so when I arrived, you had to go in and give her shampoo, which sometimes she yanked out of your hands, so I came up with the idea of putting shampoo in a little disposable cup and giving it to her, so no issues would arise.

This was the same with the toothpaste. Apparently if you gave Marie the toothpaste, she would eat the whole tube. So, here I was, half her size, taking her some toothpaste, which I assumed was no biggie. Well, as soon as I walk into Marie's room and she sees the toothpaste, she yanks it out of my hand and pins me against the wall with her massive frame. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I thought my best move was to do nothing... while she devoured the toothpaste. It was kinda like the idea of pretending to be a tree if a scary dog comes to get you. Well, it worked. She ate her toothpaste, let me go and I scurried back to the office, freaked out beyond belief!

After that incident, I came to find that Marie was just a giant teddy bear who was all bark and no bite. She had been given to the state as a toddler once her parents realized she was retarded. It was pretty sad, I thought, but she was pushing sixty and maybe that wasn't such a big deal when she was little. Her IQ was extremely low and all she cared about in life was food and "black pop." I think the thing she said most to me was, "Harold, will you buy me a big bottle of black pop?" (She thought my name was Harold because apparently in her mind Cara sounds like Harold.) She ended up using a walker to get around and you could hear her walking up and down the halls banging her walker. Then, when she was mad, she'd scream bloody murder and bang her walker on the floor. To this I would always say, "Marie, do you want me to throw your walker out the window?" And she would say "No, Harold." (Of course I wouldn't have thrown her walker out the window, but it got her to stop banging it.)

Just like all my other favorite residents, Marie was sent to another facility because she was not capable of living in a higher functioning setting. I often wonder about how she is doing, but I'm sure wherever she is, she's keeping people on their toes!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Rant

You know what has been really bugging me lately? Selfish people. I know they say that people are inherently selfish, but I just can't believe how little thought some people give to others. Now, I'm not some holier than thou completely unselfish person, but I would say I do a pretty good job of trying to think of other people before I make a decision or say something. There are several things that have happened recently that just leave me baffled. It can't be a generational thing, as I had originally thought because it seems to span every age group. For instance, apparently high school girls these days feel it is common practice to stand their friends up, to make plans and then leave someone hanging all night. That does not just happen with high school girls, believe me.

And then what about professionally? Why is everyone so obsessed with criticizing and passing judgment? And it seems like the people who are in positions of authority NEVER think of anyone else's feelings. Hey, here's a thought, before you spew your negative attitude, why not ask the person for an explanation instead of immediately condemning them?

I'm purposely trying to be vague here because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I felt as though it might be cathartic to vent about how much it pisses me off lately that there are so many people around me that are completely selfish. As I've said before, I've been dealing with assholes my whole life and I will continue to, but come on, people! It's okay to think about someone besides yourself for a change.

Along these lines, I'm thinking one of my New Year Resolutions will be to stand up for myself once in awhile.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear Santa

You know how every year at Christmas you waste your time delivering gifts to the sniveling children across the world? You know, toys that they probably don't appreciate or break or get bored with after a day? And you know those kids were naughty a great majority of the year!

Well...

I never ask for anything for Christmas, and I feel like you could just do me this one time delivery. I've been super duper good this year aside from the gossiping, but I try really hard to not make it malicious. Okay, so I could probably try harder not to gossip at all, but I'm a girl and I can't help it! Otherwise, I can't think of any atrocities that would put me on the naughty list. I donate a buck everytime there's someone standing outside WalMart with a boot or a bucket or a jar. I take things to the Salvation Army about every other day. Then there's the times I slow down and roll my window down to shout to the deer that they need to be careful cause they're close to the road... I think I've been pretty darn good, Santa!

So, all I want this Christmas is something that would make my life easy peasy lemon squeezy. I'd be able to get a good night's sleep, my chore list would be cut and half, my toes wouldn't be freezing, my in-laws would have less to criticize and there wouldn't be ladybugs in every light fixture.

That's right Santa, I'd like a new house; just this one little thing! And you can just drop it off in front of the old one, there's plenty of room.

Thanks, Santa! You're a doll!

Love,
hammy

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Decking the Halls!

I can't believe I didn't post anything all week... oh, wait, I can believe it. I ended up having to be at school ALL DAY... until I got home until like 10pm... Monday through Thursday... it was exhausting. Then, yesterday the kids had daycare and I had to run a lot of birthday related errands and then had to finish up my final draft for a 15 page paper that I want to hand in Monday. This coming Wednesday is my last day for the semester and I am SO FREAKIN' EXCITED. I'd be more excited if my last two papers were finished, but that will come.

So, today is my daughter's 4th birthday party. I have a feeling it's gonna be very underattended, but that's okay. It's the first time we've had a separate one for friends. Her real birthday is Monday and that is just for family. Four years ago today, I was in the hospital being induced. Yep, I was induced at around 9am on Dec. 5 and didn't pop that sucker out until 12:08am Dec. 7. It was quite ridiculous! I can't believe that 4 years ago today I did not have any kids and life was pretty dull. I believe at that time I was taking classes online for a criminal justice degree while I bided my time trying to decide what I wanted to do. At that time, I think I wanted to be a stay at home mom... boy how things have changed!! Now, that's the LAST thing I want! (Not knocking people that do it, just not my cup of tea.)

Well, I'm off to keep getting things ready, but just thought I'd touch base with what's going on here... I'm also really excited for Christmas! Have a nice day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

5 Favorite Holiday Activities


Here's a bit of serendipitous fun that greeted me this morning in my inbox. So, A usually only watches Nickjr (formerly Noggin) because it doesn't have commercials. (I can't deal with hearing, "mommy will you buy that for me on your computer" every 15 minutes.) But, they do promote upcoming specials on Nickelodeon and recently A has been obsessed with the upcoming Dora Christmas Carol special.

So, I awake EARLY this morning because an excruciating migraine forced me to bed early last night and surprise! TwitterMoms was hosting a blogging contest alongside Nickelodeon for a Dora Christmas Carol DVD... cha ching! If you're not a part of TwitterMoms, you should consider signing up and check out their current discussions. So, as part of the Dora Christmas Carol Blogging Contest, I am posting my five favorite holiday activities with my kids. And since my kids are so young, none of these are long running traditions.

1) Presents!: This is my daughters favorite part about Christmas. I love buying her presents, she loves opening them and she and my son both love playing with them. Seeing how excited my kids get on Christmas morning makes the holidays magical again.

2) Eating Free, Good Food: I'm cheap. I can cook, I think I'm a good cook, but food just tastes so much better when it's made by someone else and it's free. And this is an activity I enjoy partaking in with my kids cause it opens their pallets up to something I normally don't fix.

3) Reading Christmas stories: I love to read and hope my kids follow in my footsteps, so any chance I get to read to them is fun. But it's especially fun to read them Christmas stories because they think the stories are magical as well. And they learn about other holiday traditions.

4) Sea World: Each year at Christmastime, my extended family goes to Florida. And my favorite Florida activity is Sea World! This will be the first time A gets to go and I can't wait to see how excited she gets to pet a dolphin and experience it with me.

5) More presents: Everywhere we go, A and L get presents! I like seeing what they get almost as much as they do... plus, there's that added satisfaction you get knowing that the presents I got them were the coolest... unless it was something that I told someone to get them... hehehe

There you have it! My five favorite holiday activities with my kids. I'm sure as they get older, there will be new ones, but right now we're a bit limited. Be sure to check out TwitterMoms and also, if your kids don't watch Nickjr as much as mine, remember to watch Dora’s Christmas Carol premiere on Nickelodeon on 12/6 @ 8PM EST!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh, the Humanity!

Bear with me on this mini rant:

Many things in life drive me nuts, but the most recent one is the annoyance that I feel when people feel the need to push their thoughts and beliefs on another person. For instance, if you did not attend college, what gives you the right to tell your children where they should go? (This is not referring to me.) And if I hear the words, "I assume you are feeling..." one more time, I'm gonna explode.

And parents that severely punish/yell/talk down to their children for their grades makes me batty, too. My brother graduated with a 4.0 from high school and I can guarantee he did not get yelled at once for his grades. I graduated with something more like a 3.5, I'm thinking, but I was over putting much effort into grades- still am.

And speaking of yelling? GAW! I hate when people yell... hate hate hate. I can't imagine what makes people think that in a civilized society, it is okay to yell at another human being...

Why can't we all just realize that life would be much easier if we didn't shove our opinions down each other's throats, belittle one another or treat people with disrespect? Life's too short for misery.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mashed Potatoes Make Life Worth Living

This will be a somewhat hodgepodgery of a post again. Yesterday began my Thanksgiving break from school, woo hoo! Coincidentally, yesterday I turned the big 2-8. Birthdays are always depressing and miserable, so I have nothing to say about that. But, I don't have to go back to school or that job until November 30. But, because I'm all over making money, I already agreed to sub at a local elementary school Monday and Tuesday. Today my kids are at daycare, so this is the first day I've had to myself since... probably August. I don't even know what to do with myself! Initially I said I was going to lie on the couch and watch chick flicks all day, but I have yet to do that. I was taking the kids to daycare and discovered I had a flat tire, so aired it up and had the hubby follow me to WalMart- had to get a new tire (there went my birthday money) and run errands, so I got home, started a load of laundry and went about getting some reviews done.

My only goals over break are to read a book for fun and shampoo the carpet in the laundry room. (To which A said, "mommy, the carpet doesn't have hair, how will you shampoo it?") I'd also like to get my rough drafts turned into final drafts so I can hand them in early, but we'll see what kind of motivation I have. Then, after break I only have TWO WEEKS left of this semester, thank you, Jesus!

And December brings in the birthdays, more holidays and the trip to Florida, which I hope is a heck of a lot more fun than it was last year. This will be A's first time going to Sea World, so I'm excited about that... I frickin' LOVE Sea World! And then I think we will go to Universal Studios.

I will try to keep some good blog posts rolling out as the holidays come and go to keep you posted on what's going on with me. I'd also love to hear back from all of you to hear about what you're doing over the holidays! And of course, you can always chat with me on Twitter.

Take care!

hammy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Down with North Face!

I've started talking on Twitter lately about my dislike for North Face. I actually am not a fan of most brand whoring in general, but right now I'm going to take out my annoyance on North Face. Why take a $30 jacket, stick a logo on it and mark it up $70 bucks or so... or 20, or 30, etc. And especially when kids expect their parents to pay for this... *shudders* Ack, ack, hard earned money down the drain! I'll take Old Navy performance fleece anyday.

So, feel free to join my cause if you get bored on Twitter. I'm adding #northfaceisout to some of my posts cause I think it should no longer be "cool." I will point out that they are made in America, which is nice, but adding to American consumerism that promotes spending big bucks on a name brand when we're in a recession kinda makes me wanna stab things.

@a99kitten on Twitter directed me to this funny website called "Stuff White People Like" that included a section on North Face. It's hilarious... because it's true... and I don't know why. Although I only really like about 10 of the things on there... so hopefully that makes me not white.

Enjoy your Wednesday! Tomorrow's my birthday, woo hoo!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Yesterday was Tubular

Some of you follow me on Twitter, so might have caught me tweeting about this, but yesterday A had to get tubes in her ears and have her adnoids removed. I was not really worried because L had this done last winter, so I knew the drill. Plus A had no clue what was going on, I just told her the doctor was going to "fix her ears." So, she gladly went with the nurse, completely unaware. I waited and read some articles for school. They brought her back, said she was an A+ patient and I sat in the rocker recliner with her while she came out of it more. She was none too happy, mainly because of the IV in her hand (I felt her pain!) About 20 minutes into waiting, she threw up all over me and herself, so that was a treat.

The doctor came to check on her and informed me that she would probably be cranky for a few hours and then be back to her normal self by the evening. Either he sniffs glue or he way overgeneralizes, but he was so wrong. She was a zombie all day up until about 7pm. She snoozed and cried off and on, but then the weird thing was she didn't perk up until she had Tylenol with Codeine... isn't that supposed to knock people out?

So, we went to bed around 10pm and this morning she is right as rain- or so she says. Hopefully she will be able to sleep better now, hear better and quit digging in her ears. Unfortunately L started running a temp yesterday afternoon and is not much better this morning. And I have to present at a conference tomorrow morning, so I won't be home from 10:30 am today until noon tomorrow. It will be the first night I've ever spent away from the kids! And they're both under the weather- go figure... now I will be riddled with guilt the whole time...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hodge Podge... Dodge Ball?

So I'm reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallly lagging here lately on churning out the bloggy goodness, so you'll have to forgive me! We're in the last 4 weeks of the semester, so all these huge papers are due for me. Any free time I get I'm working on school work, working, or trying to spend some time with the family. Last week I had the kids go an extra day to daycare, but I got called in to work at a different job, so I figured money was more important than that extra time to do school work. This weekend I had SEVEN school papers I wanted to get done and so far I've finished 2. I'm quite behind! Then tomorrow I have to work again... then begins the busy week of class and work. Add to that that A has to get tubes on Thursday and Friday/Saturday there is a conference hosted by the English Grad Organization that I have to attend and present at, so I am going to have to spend the night at a friend's apartment. Plus, Nick just got a new part time job, so he'll be going through orientation this week. Ay carumba!

My last day (hallelujah) of this semester is Dec. 9, so I will be a free woman after that... well, until spring semester starts. I promise as things wind down and all my papers are handed in I'll put my blogging hat back on... until then... feel free to go through the archives, lol.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

'Tis the Season!

It's my favorite time of year again! I looooooooooove the holiday season. Of course, I went through that phase between high school until having kids that the holidays didn't mean much. After you're no longer a kid, holidays just seem boring and chalked full of awkward conversations and monotony. But, having kids has injected some fun back into the holidays! It's so cute to see how excited they get about everything "magical" about the holidays.

Here's all the things I'm looking forward to:

November:

My birthday (not sure why, two years ago I spent the whole day crying about getting old)
Thanksgiving (free food is always the best kind!)
Thanksgiving vacation from school (hallelujah!)

December:

A's birthday (she'll be a whopping FOUR!)
End of the semester (I might die of joy overload that day)
Christmas
Going to Florida with the family (I love Sea World!)
New Year's Eve

January:

L's birthday (he'll be TWO!)
School starts again mid-January (maybe I'll be over taking a break by then)

What are you looking forward to most about this holiday season?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009!!

This year was A's second trick-or-treat experience and L's first. We wouldn't have taken him at his age if his sister weren't going because I'm one of those (scroogey?) people who thinks if the kid can't walk to the door, hold their bucket, knock on the door and say "trick-or-treat" by themselves, they're too young for it. Who is the candy really for? Well, A remembered what to do from last year, and L was not horrible about it. We carried him most of the time and he would occasionally say "twick twee" and "thank you." Otherwise he would just give dirty looks and it was pretty cold and windy, so he thought we were torturing him. He can eat candy, but he's not really a big fan, so whereas his sister asked every few minutes if she could have a piece, he didn't care. (Although he did eat the banana his grandma gave him.) So, we walked around for about an hour and a half, Nick's brother Daniel came along, and then let Aurora pick a place to eat afterwards- good ole' Chinese.

What is your policy on candy eating? I'm a bit of a tyrant about it. They only get two pieces a day and it is after meals, so they have to eat real food first. After about 5 days, A tends to forget and the candy sits there until Easter, when we through it out to make room for the Easter candy. Well, here's some pictures! (It was cold, so A had to wear a turtleneck, uncool, I know!)





Friday, October 30, 2009

"Shoptimism" by Lee Eisenberg Book Review


It's a rare treat when I get a book to review and I was pretty excited about this one because - as you know- I love pop culture and social media, etc. Oh, and of course shopping! Being unfamiliar with Lee Eisenberg, I did not know what to expect. I believe I read that he worked for Esquire magazine for quite awhile and he also discusses working for Land's End as well.

So, the book begins with why he decided to write the book and his quest to figure out everything there is to know about the American consumer, the stuff they buy, the stores that sell them, etc. He goes into detail about a shopping excursion where he follows his wife on her quest to buy a little black dress...

and he lost me there.

Okay, perhaps I might be in the minority, but I can not relate to be excited to find a dress on sale for $250! And especially to spend that on a dress I'm going to wear to my kid's school fundraiser... he talks about the high end shopping in Chicago and New York, which left me completely uninterested. I am not a brand person. I don't spend mass quantities on something just because of the label.

I felt like Eisenberg came across as a bit uppity, a bit condescending and perhaps a bit out of the game. Do the snobs of the world read books? Being in grad school right now has made me really question audience, theory, all things boring and analytical that make it hard to read a book for pure enjoyment. But really, who is his audience supposed to be? Not the laypersons of the world, I assume!

But, on a positive note for this book, I did find myself chuckle several times. So, it was not a total failure... and I did learn some pop culture between pity anecdotes.

And I always like to hear other people's interpretations, so feel free to check this book out and let me know if you agree or disagree!

MOTR Grade: C

Shoptimism hits the shelves November 3!!!

Take the "What Kind of Shopper Are You?" Quiz!

Wiggles Winners

The winners of the Wiggles DVD were:

@b*********5

and

r*********r

Congrats to these winners and thanks to everyone who participated!

Also thanks to everyone who offered ideas on what to do about announcing winners!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Music Monday: Muse "Uprising"



Each week (if I remember) I will post a different music video in honor of "Music Monday."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stumpy Legs Don't Make for Good Dancers

I don't know why, but I've always been very interested in dancing. I took jazz dancing when I was younger, but quit around 4th or 5th grade because I hated being stuck in these groups where everyone was lumped together by age and not talent because I felt like we spent forever working with the not so good dancers and it was painful. (Yes, I am a conceited jerk, lol.) So, I never pursued it. And I'd like to say my legs are too short to be a good dancer. I'm 5'8", and that's my story, so don't question me! lol

Anyway, I've always been fascinated with dancing. I love movies like Center Stage, Dirty Dancing, etc. that have a story built around dancers and you get to enjoy these incredible routines throughout. Well, I also enjoy Dancing With the Stars. I enjoy also that I have DVR so I can skip the people I don't give two hoots about. This season, it's slim pickings on who I watch.

I wanted to share the Michael Jackson tribute dance because it was super entertaining! I think it was from last week, but I'm so far behind on DVR that I have no idea.

Enjoy and let me know what you think about dancing or Dancing With the Stars!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Is This Rude?

I know that in life there is a great debate about everything between men and women. Something as little as the trash can turn into some huge to-do. And why is the trash such a big deal? My theory is that if you see that it's full, take it out. Yes, I'm sure my husband sees that it's full and doesn't take it out, but instead of worrying about him, it's faster if I just do it myself, cause really, it's not that hard.

But here's the situation that I'm wondering about:

I hate sitting still... I can't do it. I can't just sit and watch tv and I can't just sit and listen to someone talk to me. For some reason, I have this constant need to be doing something. Case in point, I know that it is important to show respect by making eye contact, but I have to be doing something else while someone is talking to me. Whether it's reading the paper, looking at my blackberry or surfing the internet, I find myself doing something else, but I'm listening! I could recite back what was just said. I don't know if this is something a lot of women do versus something men rarely do or if it is a personality type function. Well, anyway, apparently some people think it's rude and can't get over it.

Anyone have any insight into this? Where do you stand on this issue?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

School Update

I can't remember if I've talked about what's going on with school these days, so I'll update you now...

I am soooooooooooooooooooooo over this semester! We're half way, but this last half better fly by! I took three extremely boring subjects and even though I like the professors, I can't avoid the constant suicidal thoughts that run through my head when I'm in class or thinking about class.

And don't get me started on all the freakin' papers! I had one professor "remind" me that this is grad school and a lot is expected of us... well, I kind of got that from each prof expecting us to read a book a week, blog several times, participate in class discussions and do the other tasks required. So, add to that the 5 major papers I have to do and you have a woman on the verge of a temper tantrum! Seriously, people? Five papers? Do you think I don't know how to read and write by now?

But next semester has me stoked! I get to intern, do a creative writing independent study with Jessica (my new BFF) and the creative writing guy (who seems like a barrel of laughs) and then a third class. But, there will be far less paper writing and far more non-sucking of life.

Then, there's this total D-BAG that I work with. At first I thought he was okay because he reminded me of my brother, but he peeved me off royally a week or so ago. First he said that Jessica was an "angry person" and that he was afraid he'd catch a disease being in the same room as her. Then, he proceeded to say mean things to me personally (I can't recall them now) and I just thought, "wow, this guy is a jerk!" So, I avoid him like the plague, which is hard because I work with him and have every class with him. So he uses the class discussions as a forum to insult Jessica and myself. BTW, everyone likes Jessica for the most part, so it's not that I'm the only one. Anyway, when he disses us in class, it makes no sense to the other people and it just makes him look crazy.

Anyway, let me know if you want to write one of my 5 papers for me. Or pray for my sanity!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PinkTogether Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

(I was given this information to pass along- none of it is my own words, but I wanted to share it with my readers!)

"Pink Together(R) breast cancer awareness campaign aims to share hope

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Pink Together campaign dedicated to spreading hope to those touched by breast cancer and to helping raise greater awareness of the disease today launched its third year. One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and in 2009 alone, more than 192,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed(1).

The 2009 Pink Together campaign includes:

* PinkTogether.com, an ever-growing online community of hope powered by MySpace where those touched by breast cancer can connect, share inspiring personal stories and provide support, comfort and encouragement to others;
* A $2 million donation from General Mills to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to advance breast cancer research and support education and community outreach projects;
* Special Pink Together packaging on an assortment of General Mills' most beloved brands during the month of October, including Cheerios® Cereal, Nature Valley® Granola Bars, Green Giant® Frozen Vegetables, Fiber One® Cereal, Progresso® Soup, Hamburger Helper® Dinner Mixes, Pillsbury® Crescent and Refrigerated Cookie Dough, and Betty Crocker® Muffin Mixes and Warm Delights® Desserts.

PinkTogether.com Supports Largest Group of Cancer Survivors in the U.S.

"PinkTogether.com is the heart of our Pink Together campaign," said Steve Greer, Pink Together director. "People who have been touched by breast cancer - including many of us in the General Mills family - are able to share stories of strength, support and survival. We're proud to help connect the 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in America today and the many people supporting them on their journey."

Since the 2007 launch of PinkTogether.com, thousands of breast cancer survivors and supporters have made personal connections on the site by posting stories or comments of encouragement or by sending virtual flower bouquets as a sign of support. New to the site this year is a forum for the newly diagnosed and a spotlight featuring stories from celebrities.

Site visitors can draw strength from the powerful stories, blog posts and video interviews posted by five Pink Together Survivor Ambassadors, women the campaign is recognizing for the inspiration they provide others through personal stories of courage and survival. 2009 Ambassadors include Molly Bobrow, Houston, TX; Irene Hernandez, Oxnard, CA; Crystal King, Grand Prairie, TX; Linsey Maughan, Pinckneyville, IL; and Jackie Uhl, Canandaigua, NY.

"Like thousands of others, our Ambassadors are eager to share their inspiring stories of survival. Posting these stories for the benefit of others is really the essence of Pink Together," said Andrew Lainsbury, Pink Together manager. "One person's story is truly another person's hope."

Pink Together Provides Incentive to Connect Online

To encourage personal connections, General Mills will donate $1 for each inspirational story submitted, comment posted or virtual flower bouquet sent on PinkTogether.com and each shared message of hope posted on the Pink Together Facebook fan page - up to $25,000 - during the month of October. This is in addition to its $2 million donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

"General Mills has been a longtime partner in the fight against breast cancer," said Katrina McGhee, vice president of marketing, Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "Through Pink Together, the company is giving breast cancer survivors a unique opportunity to share hope with anyone who has ever been touched by the disease."

About General Mills

One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in over 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., General Mills had fiscal 2009 global net sales of US$ 15.9 billion, including the company's $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales. Visit www.generalmills.com.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is now the world's largest breast cancer organization and the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer with more than $1.3 billion invested to date. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

Pink Together is a trademark of General Mills

(1) American Cancer Society (both statistics)"

PinkTogether is also on Facebook!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why Am I Awake at 3AM?

On second thought, maybe I should have entitled this, "why can't I go back to sleep and it's 3am?" I know why I'm awake- L has decided he doesn't want me to get a good night's sleep and is waking up constantly for some odd reason. But why I can't GO BACK to sleep is the same reason I couldn't fall asleep by midnight...

My semester paper.

If you knew me, you'd know that I never stress about school work. I enjoy it. I like to work out the ole' noggin from time to time. But this paper is going to be the death of me! And here's the kicker, writing it isn't the hard part! I have racked my brain from here to eternity trying to figure out what I'm supposed to write about! Okay, so the purpose of a "seminar paper" is to promote a scholarly conversation? Yes? No? Does anyone know? I've gone so far as to google "seminar paper" and it's about as helpful to me as hearing other people's topics.

You'd think this was the only paper I have due this semester... but it's not. I've got like four other ones due, but am I stressed about them? No. I feel in this awkward stage of limbo where I think I'm supposed to feel dumb for not getting this, but I don't. Every topic I have chosen is either not "scholarly" or not able to support an argument... or too broad... argh!

If you've been following my blog, you'd know how excited I was at the beginning of the semester. I LOVED school. I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. But here I am eight weeks into the semester contemplating why I bother and why I don't just take my bachelor and flip burgers at McDonalds?

Disillusionment is keeping me awake. I suppose I will go attempt to watch The View while I itch myself to sleep, ready to wake up tomorrow morning completely unrefreshed and devoid of joy for life. *sigh*

P.S. (I hope you realized I had sent you an invitation to my pity party!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama Won the Nobel Peace Prize!

I'm posting this because there might be a small chance that you live under a rock and my blog is the only news source you read, lol.

I found this to be crazy interesting! Apparently the only presidents to have done this are Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Jimmy Carter won, but he wasn't in office at the time. I love being alive for historical events! (Positive ones, that is... I'll pass on being alive for WWIII!) Here's one of the articles I read about it on People.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Scones, Flats and Haunted Castles!

Color this serendipitous.

On my bucket list, I currently have 3 things: get arrested, go on a cruise and go to England (especially visit a haunted castle.)

So, last week I find out that the English department is doing a study abroad class for the first time in close to a decade... and guess where they're going...

ENGLAND! Well, they are going to the Lake District. But I think this is a weird coincidence that the first year I am there to get my master's in English, they are taking a trip to England. It's a 3 credit class that will be going over for spring break. And the Lake District is home to a haunted castle!!! I talked to the adviser going on the trip, and she did not seem too excited about adding a trip to a haunted castle, but since we have free time, I'm going, whether I have to walk there or not!

Now, the only fret I have that I will get some karmic slap in the face and the trip will be canceled for some reason or another. I don't think I'm deserving of such a karmic let down, but you never know.

Cheerio!

PS If anyone wants to email Ghost Hunters International for me and get them to do a hunt at that castle while I'm there, that'd be great!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Can You Believe This?!?

I was watching The View the other day, cause of course that's the only way I ever get news unless it is on my google home page or a trending topic on Twitter.

They were talking about a couple in Arizona whose children were taken away from them temporarily after a WalMart employee turned over photos they had taken of their children partially nude during bathtime.

I could not believe this! I have taken pictures of my kids bathing or even in their undies because they are so frickin' adorable. Of course, I use a digital camera and never get photos printed at WalMart, but that's not the point. The point is that what was an innocent family photo op was turned into allegations of sexual abuse that have traumatized an entire family! On The View it said they lost custody for a month, but other things I've read said days to weeks. Either way, they should not have lost them at all. I know that people were doing their job by investigating, but just looking at the photos should have shown how harmless they were.

The couple is now suing the state of Arizona (they are from Peoria, IL) along with WalMart. What do you think about this?

Oh, and the couple's names are Anthony and Lisa Demaree and I believe their kids were all under 5 at the time the photos were taken. Here's another link if you'd like to read more.

October is Thrilling! TCM


As I think I've pointed out (cause you know more about me than you ever wanted to!) my favorite genre is horror, followed by comedy. But, thrillers are up there because some thrillers have a horroresque in nature, but I love whodunits and mystery! October is full of thrillers at Turner Classic Movies (TCM), a channel that I've long since adored. I'll take a Jean Arthur comedy anyday over something as mindless as Paul Blart Mall Cop. Not to mention some of the class thrillers like The Bad Seed any anything Hitchcock.

To kick off the month of October, TCM is airing A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers, an hour long look into the genre of thriller. Think of it as Film Studies 101 tutorial that gives an in-depth look at the different types of thrillers, tools used in the trade and interviews with well-known directors, authors, hosts and stars.

This begins a new series that will include future installments from other genres followed by a month of movies related to that genre that air on Fridays. The Suspenseful World of Thrillers was written, produced and directed by Laurent Bouzereau and is made in cooperation with DreamWorks Television. Mark your calendars for October 2nd to see the world premiere of this special. Here is the list of movies planned for the month:

Friday, Oct. 2 – Thrillers and Hitchcock


8 p.m. A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – premiere.

9 p.m. Rear Window (1954), starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly.

11 p.m. A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – encore.

Midnight Shadow of a Doubt (1943), starring Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright.



Friday, Oct. 9 – Political Thrillers


8 p.m. The Manchurian Candidate (1962), starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury and Janet Leigh.

10:15 p.m. The Parallax View (1974), starring Warren Beatty and Hume Cronyn.

Midnight The Boys from Brazil (1978), starring Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck.



Friday, Oct. 16 – Crime Thrillers

8 p.m. The Narrow Margin (1952), starring Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor.

9:30 p.m. A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – encore.

10:30 p.m. Lured (1947), starring George Sanders, Lucille Ball and Charles Coburn.

12:30 a.m. The Lodger (1944), starring Merle Oberon and George Sanders.



Friday, Oct. 23 – Gothic Thrillers

8 p.m. The Night of the Hunter (1955), starring Robert Mitchum, Lillian Gish and Shelley Winters.

10 p.m. Dragonwyck (1946), starring Gene Tierney, Walter Huston and Vincent Price.

Midnight Rebecca (1940), starring Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier and Judith Anderson.



Friday, Oct. 30 – Psychological Thrillers

8 p.m. Gaslight (1944), starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten and Angela Lansbury.

10 p.m. Night Must Fall (1937), starring Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell and Dame May Whitty.

Midnight Psycho (1960), starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and Martin Balsam.

Be sure to check them all out or head to TCM for more information!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bill Hader as Keith Morrison Rocks My World!!!

As you all know, I value hilarity as much as I value life... pretty highly. I also find humor to be very endearing! Anyway, Bill Hader (SNL) does this hilarious bit where he portrays Keith Morrison of Dateline. He's done it several times, but I thought I'd share a clip for you that I found on YouTube. Oh, Dateline and SNL are both NBC productions. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Anecdote for the Day

So as you may or may not know, my little sassypants, A, will be four in December. She's one sharp cookie, if I do say so myself.

Anyway,

Yesterday she was talking about how cranky everyone was and I said to her, "your mama's cranky!" (I'm super mature.) To this she responds, "I know! You're my mom and YOU.ARE.CRANKY!"

I love it! (Remind me that I said this when she's 16.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Dairy Queen


For the past 27 years, I have been on a quest for the meaning of life. Never would I have guessed that the road to happiness that leads to the meaning of life is paved with moolattes and quesadillas!

As an avid Arby's lover (connoisseur, if you will)I have long been loving their jamocha shakes. The first time my lips touched the straw to a moolatte, inhaled the coffee aroma and then tasted the delectable nectar of the Gods, I forgot what the jamocha even is! There is nothing on earth that compares to its creamy, coffee goodness...

Then there's the quesadilla. Despite the slogan, "hot eats, cool treats," I'd go as far as to assume that not many people consider Dairy Queen a place to go for anything other than ice cream. However, they owe it to their taste buds to do just that! The black olive is underrated. The mixture that you put into your quesadillas makes me want to die of bliss... it is THAT good... cheese... veggies... chicken.... olives... I see nothing worthy of complaints.

I would go as far as to wonder if on the seventh day when God supposedly rested if he was not perfecting the moolatte recipe, but it isn't in the Bible because he was worried someone would steal it... but you have... and I'm not sure stealing from God is a good thing, but in your case, I'll allow it (just don't tell God.)

In closing, despite the unhealthy amount of calories, and despite my fear of gluttonous retribution, I would go as far as to say that I could eat your quesadillas and drink your moolattes every day until I die.

Sincerely,
hamsterkitten

Monday, September 21, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Plus CNN Story)


As you may or may not know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I thought I'd bring it up early so that you can get a jump start on thinking of ways you might be able to help. Whether it's something as small as putting a pink ribbon on your twitter avatar or something as big as becoming an advocate, it's a worthy cause to get behind. I highly recommend the Susan G. Komen site.

Also, I wanted to provide the link to a story done by Campbell Brown of CNN about a mom who got fired for breastfeeding in the work place. If you're a breastfeeding mom, have ever been, or plan to be, you owe it to yourself to watch this!

http://campbellbrown.blogs.cnn.com/2009/09/17/mom-breastfeeding-cost-me-my-job/#more-1486

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm Honing My Skills

So I had this interesting conversation with a fellow grad student the other day. I'm going to say this is all hypothetical in case any of my professors read this (which I'm sure they won't) so it could all be a lie. (But it's not.)

Since grad school has started and towards the end of undergrad, I had perfected the art of bullshitting. I like to call it "rhetoric." (This is to annoy my classmates who may be reading this.) My memory is about as long as that of a goldfish. I believe I've posted about this before. So, if I sit down to read an assigned text, not only will I not remember what I read five minutes later or which text said what, but I am so bored I want to stab out my left eye with a stick. And there's something about me that abhors boredom. So, I have since adopted the philosophy that my goal will be to get the same grade as my friends who read 24/7, but I will not actually read. So far it has worked perfectly! One of the major differences I've found in grad school is that professors appreciate the value of discussion over most everything else. By discussion, they figure out if you understand what you're learning/reading. And you can bet I'm always one of the first to raise my hand and I'm a huge participant in all discussions... but I don't read the assignments. I like to think I just learn quickly and know a little about a lot.

Now I'm starting to sound cocky, so I'll move on. I've also made several friends. I love it! And we've started a weekly Wednesday night gathering where every Wednesday we go out after class and hang until the wee hours. This works great for me because I get to sleep in on Thursday mornings. Plus, by the time I would have returned home from class, the kids would be asleep anyway.

Last night was the first week of said shindiggery and it was a blast. Fortunately, what happens in Macomb stays in Macomb, but I will say that I had the pleasure of my first field sobriety test and I passed! Hooray! Being arrested is on my bucket list, but I'm saving that until I can pass it off as being a "crazy old lady." Speaking of bucket lists, sometime before I die I want to save a pig that is on the way to be slaughtered.

Okay, time to pay some bills and do some reviews!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MOTR Recipe: Easy Cheesy Tuna Casserole

This is another favorite in my house. And I'm all about easy but tasty food!

Ingredients:

1 can tuna (drained)
1 can cream of mushroom
1 package of mac and cheese (any kind- can even use the kind that has the cheese sauce)

Optional:
onions
tomato
fried onions
shredded cheese
frozen peas or corn

Prepare the mac and cheese according to package instructions. Add cream of mushroom and tuna. Mix together. Throw in onions and any other optional ingredients you want. Keep on low on burner until everything is heated through. If you want you can throw it in the oven for a thicker sauce and to melt shredded cheese if you added it.

That's it! It's super easy and tastes yummy! Everyone in my family likes it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anyone Have the Time?

With so many analogies about time, you'd think I would have experienced such an issue with it before. There is just not enough time in the day! Especially when you're someone like me who enjoys a good night's sleep (not that I've had one in awhile, just saying.)

Let me tell you a little bit about a typical week for me. I'm not whining or complaining or expecting pity, just saying! Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I leave for school at 10:30am. I get home from work/school at around 9pm. The only break I get during this time is about an hour and a half between work and class. Sunday I work and am gone for 5 hours. Throughout the rest of the week, I have stuff I sell on ebay, I have to write reviews of the stuff being sent to me, read for school, do homework, respond to emails and promote my blog/socialize on Twitter to keep the followers coming.

Then, add to this the fact that I have a 19 month old and a three year old. I get up with them every morning and take them to daycare the three days I have class. I also have everything that's associated with children/household management. There's laundry, cooking, cleaning, picking up toys, playing with the kids, doctor appointments, grocery buying, dishes and so on and so on.

I thrive on being busy, but sometimes I feel like I have to pick and choose what I have time to do. Plus, I want to be able to socialize from time to time as well, but it is a rarity. I want to make sure to give plenty of time to my family, but in order to do so, I find myself going to bed later and later every night or waking up at 4am and not being able to go to sleep because I have so much stuff I feel I could be doing instead.

Okay, so maybe this sounds like a complaint, but I guess I'm just venting. I know it was my choice to go back to school and I feel it is an absolute must if I ever want to make decent money. It's just unfortunate that no one cares about how much "stress" I'm under but me... if only I had a maid, babysitter and chef living in my home, it might be a little easier.

Thanks for listening to me rant!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Art of Cleaning

I noticed Hoarders was a trending topic on Twitter last night and it inspired me to blog. Growing up, I was a pretty bad hoarder. My room looked like a rat's nest, full of useless things that I just refused to let go of. I also tended to hoard animals.

As I've gotten older, I've learned that I want to be an anti-hoarder. Now my parents have many great attributes, but organization is not one of them. I'll spare the details of their clutter, but it has scared me out of being a hoarder. I notice on the show that most people who hoard have some psychological reason for it that needs to be resolved in order to let go. For instance, I remember one man who refused to give away anything that reminded him of his dead mother because memories was all he had. I feel him. I used to absolutely refuse to part with anything my mom gave me because I felt guilty if I did.

I'm over it.

I loooooove getting rid of stuff! Be it the Salvation Army, ebay or the trash can, I'm constantly looking for things to get rid of. Unfortunately, there's too much stuff that I can't get rid of because it is not mine or I need it for school, cleaning, etc.

Last week we started going through our hall closets that were packed. Each year I find myself more and more willing to let go and it makes cleaning that much nicer. At some point we hope to tear this house down and put up a new one, so not having all the junk lying around will make moving so much easier.

Do you watch Hoarders, know of any hoarders or are you a hoarder yourself? I'd love to hear some horror stories!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

National Child Protection Week 2009


Today is the beginning of National Child Protection Week. I received a forward that reminded me of it and it held a very powerful poem and photos inside that I wanted to share with my readers. All children deserve to be loved and sometimes it takes outsiders to protect them from those that are supposed to be giving them the world. There are many organizations out there that have more information about helping prevent child abuse, NAPCAN is one. Please, please, please don't let child abuse go unreported!!!



"My name is Sarah
I am but three,
My eyes are swollen
I cannot see.

I must be stupid,
I must be bad,
what else could have made
my daddy so mad?



I wish I were better,
I wish I weren't ugly,
then maybe my Mommy
would still want to hug me.

I can't speak at all,
I can't do a wrong
or else I'm locked up
all the day long.

When I wake I'm all alone
the house is dark
my folks aren't home.

When my Mommy does come
I'll try and be nice,
so maybe I'll get just
one whipping tonight.

Don't make a sound!
I just heard a car
my daddy is back
from Charlie's Bar.

I hear him curse
my name he calls
I press myself
against the wall.



I try and hide
from his evil eyes
I'm so afraid now
I'm starting to cry.

He finds me weeping
he shouts ugly words,
he says its my fault
that he suffers at work.

He slaps me and hits me
and yells at me more,
I finally get free
and I run for the door.

He's already locked it
and I start to bawl,
he takes me and throws me
against the hard wall.

I fall to the floor
with my bones nearly broken,
and my daddy continues
with more bad words spoken.

'I'm sorry!' I scream
but its now much too late
his face has been twisted
into unimaginable hate.

The hurt and the pain
again and again
oh please God, have mercy!
oh please let it end!

And he finally stops
and heads for the door,
while I lay there motionless
sprawled on the floor.

My name is Sarah
and I am but three,
tonight my daddy
murdered me."

Gayle Jones Staples, 1975 ?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dear Tide (Guest Post)

I did not write this, but I sure wish I had! Sarah forwarded it to me and I laughed my arse off. Also, if you are a loyal follower, you know that I write humorous letters to businesses entitled "Dear (Business)."

The letter goes as follows:

"Dear Tide:

I am writing to say what an excellent product you have! I've used it all of my married life, as my mom always told me it was the best. Now that I am in my forties I find it even better!

In fact, about a month ago, I spilled some red wine on my new white blouse. My inconsiderate and uncaring husband started to belittle me about how clumsy I was, and generally started becoming a pain in the neck. One thing led to another and somehow I ended up with his blood on my new white blouse! I grabbed my bottle of Tide with bleach alternative, and to my surprise and satisfaction, all of the stains came out! In fact, the stains came out so well the detectives who came by yesterday told me that the DNA tests on my blouse Were inconclusive and then my attorney called and said that I was no longer considered a suspect in the disappearance of my husband.

What a relief! Going through Menopause is bad enough without being a murder suspect! I thank you, once again, for having a great product. Well, gotta go. Have to write to the Hefty bag people."

The original email was sent by:

Diana Petruzzi
Outside Buyer
diana.petruzzi@mannpacking.com

And I don't know if she wrote it or found it and started forwarding... kudos to whomever is the author, though!

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Current Job

I've had several people ask me about the job that I have at WIU, so I thought I'd share a bit about it with everyone. I am a tutor at the University Writing Center. I love it! I get to help people work on everything from resumes to research papers to crossword puzzles, lol. I'm even listed in the directory! (Although they haven't put up my bio yet.)

And apparently once upon a time (or last year) they made a video about it... check it out!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dear State of Illinois

I have two words that are heaven-send. They evoke wonderment, hope and promise for a brighter tomorrow: FOUR LANE!

As a person who commutes from a small town in Iowa to Macomb, Illinois as a student/worker at Western Illinois University, I find myself traveling HWY 136 most days of the week. Road rage is such a small potatoes term to the feelings that I get driving on this meager two lane stretch to Carthage where I (thank you, Jesus) get on a 4 lane expressway that takes me all the way to Macomb.

Upon my travels, I find myself getting stuck on said two lane behind people going about 10 miles under the speed limit. Of course I would love to pass them, but being that it is only a two lane, and oncoming cars and semis are constantly approaching, I find myself gripping the steering wheel and wondering, "why oh why, state of Illinois, do you not make this road a four lane?!"

Not only that, but have you just tucked Western Illinois University off in a corner and forgotten about it? The nearest airport to Macomb is in Peoria, but since it is only two lane most of the way, people generally choose to drive farther to Moline in order to enjoy the four lane. And apparently WIU finds many an invitee lost or uninterested in visiting our lovely university due to the randomness of its location and the dreadful two lanes that surround it.

So, please, get on the ball, Illinois! Don't you realize that a four lane is an investment? Just driving to Monmouth makes me want to stab my own eyeballs out! With more four lanes, perhaps people will want to spend more time at these Universities, shopping places and perhaps even just drive around and enjoy the corn and cows!

Sincerely,
hamsterkitten

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Me + My BB= LOVE


Blackberry
Blackberry
How I love you so.

You came into my world
and made it a better place.

The ability to become aware
Each time I get a new email
No matter where I am
24/7
is like magic with each vibration.

Your intelligence overwhelms me
and frankly
I'm a bit frightened by it.

Our stolen moments
under a desk
Nervously hoping not to get caught...

At work
at the movies
lying in bed at night

You haunt me
with your blinking red light
and your come hither calls...

Blackberry,
You complete me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Anyone with white gloves want to buy a red popsicle?

I love money... but not in the way that most people love money. I don't want to be rich, because I like to think of myself as a minimalist at heart. Sure, I have tv's, dvd players and a blackberry, but I don't buy the really expensive ones. Oh, and I drive a Ford Taurus... what does that tell you, haha?

But what I love about about money is making it... my own way. I think one of the coolest things in life is figuring out innovative ways to earn money. Then I feel like I made the money using my brain, which then inflates my ego, which then makes people hate me... oh, wait, I don't want people to hate me- so I'll leave the ego inflation to a minimum.

Case in point, in fifth grade, I had quite the collection of VHS tapes. In my mind, it made a lot of sense to share the wealth with my fellow classmates. I typed up a list of all my movies and allowed my classmates to rent them for two nights for fifty cents. It was quite a lucrative experience and not one VHS tape went unreturned.

Now, as an adult, I don't find too many people that want to rent VHS tapes from me for fifty cents, lol. Although I have been trying to convince Netflix to compete with Redbox by offering individual rentals with a credit card on their website. Redbox charges $1 for ONE night. And of course, their selection is very limited. So, if Netflix would charge $1 for unlimited nights, I definitely think it would appeal to people because they also have HUGE selection of DVDs and it would come to your door. Anyone else think this is a genius idea? I try to tell them, but they ignore me... meanie heads.

Last thing I want to mention is just that currently my fave ways to make money with my brain are on ebay (finding cheap obscure things to buy and then selling them high on ebay) and finding ways to make money on my blog that aren't things like Google AdSense (does ANYONE make money off that?!) and picking and choosing what I review. I know that's not innovative, but I like giving my opinion and making money off it.

But, I definitely don't want to be some rich person who thinks life is great once you have money. I know that's not the case- how many rich people smile non-stop and never cry? I just want a nice, ranch style house with a basement, one beat up truck and one functioning car for road tripping. Life is far greater when you make your own happiness instead of trying to find it through materialistic endeavors.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tattoed White Trash

As you may or may not know, I am a fan of tattoos.

I like having them, I like seeing people who have them. I think that it is an artistic expression of individuality. Unfortunately, I know that not everyone feels the same way that I do.

Case in point, my dad. When I got my first tattoos, he did not even speak to me about it. He ignored it (my mom said hoping it would wash off) and never once did we speak of it. And it wasn't as if it wasn't somewhere easy to see, it was on my foot and I am a flip flop loving person! He is one of those people that thinks that because you have a tattoo, that means you are not as good as someone who may have no tattoos.

Now, he is not the only one that I know that feels this way. There are some people that stigmatize those with tattoos in the same way that you would discriminate against someone based on their race, hair color, eye color, you name it. Just because I choose to have tattoos, I am not a different person. I'm an educated, friendly, moral being who happens to think that they are fun and a great way to show off your individuality!

So, yesterday we were grilling out with my in-laws and my father-in-law hates hates HATES tattoos- and is quite vocal about it. He about flipped his lid when he saw my husband's first tattoo and everyone he has received thereafter. So we were outside when my sister-in-law was talking about needles and she let it slip that she had seen us get our tattoos. (She went with us for one of our sessions because she said she thought it would be fun to watch.) My father-in-law freaked... and it was one of those, I'm so angry, the best thing to do is just stare type of deals. How dare we take his "innocent" little 17 year old baby girl to a horrid, irreputable, repulsive tattoo parlor!

Basically, my point in this topic was just how it is too bad that people are judged on whether or not they have tattoos, as if that makes them less of a person... have you had similar experiences or know someone who feels as though all bearers or tattoos are heathens?