Monday, March 29, 2010

What's better than a cheap date?

A free one.

One might think that because The Husband and I live within 10 minutes of his parents and mine, that we would have access to free babysitting all the time.  However, if one thought that, one would be wrong.  You see, as much as the grandparents adore seeing their beloved granddaughters, they have lives of their own.  I know!  You're like, "Shut UP!  They don't drop everything to provide free babysitting service?!"  But it's true.

However, because we are so blessed to have them so nearby, going out is a lot less stressful for us.  And not as costly.

Especially since our date nights usually begin with this conversation:

HIM: So where do you want to go?
ME:  I don't know.  Somewhere with food.
HIM: What do we have coupons for?

I don't remember the last time we went out that didn't include gift cards or coupons.  That's just how we roll.

Sunday night was date night.  I told The Husband we had a coupon for Red Lobster, and then I remembered that Chili's -- in response to my e-mail about the waitress that assumed I was leaving my change as her tip -- had sent me $10.  The Husband said Chili's sounded great, plus we have a coupon card thing from a school fundraiser that gets us free chips and salsa.  Free appetizer and $10 off the bill -- score.  So with those things in hand, plus the two free movie passes I won at the ladies' night last month, we were off.

We were seated right away at Chili's, and then the strangest thing happened.

We turned invisible.

That's the only way I can explain how every single server that walked in the area we were seated in managed to avoid us entirely.  They didn't even make eye contact.

After at least 10 minutes of just sitting there looking pretty, we decided we'd go somewhere else.  Even if it meant paying full price.  On our way out, we stopped to hand our still-wrapped utensils to the person at the front.  (That was my idea.  I'm dramatic like that.)  We explained what had happened and he awkwardly said, "Oh. Uh. Sorry."  The Husband and I walked through the front doors and looked at each other.  I know we had the exact same thought at the exact same time.  "We should tell someone else."

We walked back in and the host that sat us was there.  When he heard the situation, he apologized profusely and asked to seat us in another area.  The Husband started to say we were just going to go elsewhere, but the host asked if he could get his manager.  As soon as he relayed everything to his manager, his manager said, "Please stay and have a meal on me."

Of course we stayed. 

The host took our drink order and then brought chips and salsa with them.  The server took our food order, and while we were waiting she brought us some queso.  Our drinks barely got halfway down before there were full glasses placed on the table.  We were offered dessert.  When our server brought out boxes for our leftovers, she also brought a bag of chips and a container of salsa.  And while I was powdering my nose and The Husband was waiting (after he left a nice tip), the server brought out 2 gigantic To Go cups.

Not only did they bend over backwards to make sure they had won us over, they did it with kindness.  They weren't doing it through gritted teeth and they weren't phony about it.  They handled it with class, and we were impressed.

After dinner, we headed to the movies and I looked at the movie passes.  Unfortunately I'd missed the restrictions, including the one about not being valid for movies that have been out less than 14 days.  I had wanted to see The Bounty Hunter.  It was released March 19th.  I'm not that great at math, but I could subtract 19 from 28 and figure out the answer was not 14.

When we got up to the register, I held up the passes and said, "We can't use these for..." and the young man said, "You can use those for any movie."  My eyes lit up.  "Even The Bounty Hunter?"  He nodded.  I handed him the passes before he could change his mind or a manager could appear and correct him and said, "Two for The Bounty Hunter, please!"  Then The Husband got a snack and I may or may not have pouted about not getting suggested a drink, so he ordered me a small beverage (because at the movies, small = bladder buster), and the cashier said something about me being a humble date because I accepted a small, but for some reason I got giddy because he referred to me as The Husband's date.

Because, to me, that meant The Husband and I were not acting like an 'old married couple'.  And, to me, somehow that means he thought we were younger than we are, too.  Or at least I was.  And I don't really care if that doesn't quite make sense, it works in my brain so I'm running with it.

And the movie was a lot of fun!

When we got home, Grandma had the girls in bed and they were actually asleepAnd they'd had baths.

And that cheap date night just might be one for the record books.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Note to Self: Rock Star Edition

  • You were going to take another day "off".
  • Then you saw that you got an award.
  • An award that called you a Blog ROCK STAR.
  • How could you not thank Handbags & Handguns for that?
  • Especially since because of her, you no longer have to peruse People at warp speed standing in line at the grocery store.
  • She catches you up with The Talk of Tinseltown.
  • And she mentioned you and ROCK STAR in the same post.
  • You feel kind of like a rock star.
  • A rock star who has developed some kind of super sore throat because they've sung their heart out in a stadium to thousands of adoring fans.
  • Only it's not because you've been singing your heart out in a stadium to thousands of adoring fans.
  • It's probably just allergies.
  • You hope.
  • But if you were going to sing your heart out in a stadium to thousands of adoring fans, right now it would be to this song: 

  • It doesn't have a funky beat.
  • You can't bug out to it.
  • But you were mesmerized by this song every time your girls watched the movie.
  • Which was approximately 1,327,759 times.
  • And then you had to find out who sang it, because of the mesmerization.
  • You found out it was Donny Osmond.
  • And you found out your embarrassing crush lives on.
  • *facepalm*
 
get your freak on friday

Have a great wekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pouring My Heart Out

I'm going to say thanks to Shell for giving me a reason to... Well, pour my heart out.  Because, thanks to her, everybody's doing it.

I can't promise this entire thing will be without humor or sarcasm or even snark, though, because it's just not in my genes to take anything completely seriously.  But I might surprise you.  And myself, for that matter.

Anyway.

I'm fairly certain that there are  people that believe I walk around with a ray of sunshine floating over my head.  Those people might be right.  I lead a blessed (or charmed, if you prefer) life.  I have a truly amazing husband, two beautiful and bright little girls, my family beyond my home is largely functional, and I have incredible friends.

As the saying goes, I'm just too blessed to be depressed.

Except sometimes I get depressed.

I feel like a complete and total loser when minor disappointments get me down in a major way.  Last week I had to cancel an appointment at the last minute because the timing just wasn't going to work out, and I broke down sobbing in my car.  Not sniffling, not a few delicate tears trickling down my cheek.  Sobbing.  Over a missed appointment. 

Appointments can be rescheduled.

There are times I feel like I handle the big things with ease.  It's the little things that trip me up.  With the big things, it's easy for me to remember that God has my back.  For some reason that I can't quite understand, I find it necessary to keep the little things to myself.  The daily frustrations that can add up and up and up until you're about to explode (which I've been known to do)...

God cares about those little things.

1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Do you know what the key word in there is for me?

ALL.

He cares when I'm upset because I missed an appointment.  He cares when I made an effort in the kitchen and the girls won't touch what's on their plates.  He cares when I feel like I'm the sorriest excuse of a wife and mommy and daughter and sister and friend and Christian.

He cares about all of those things and He cares about all of me.

Every nook and cranny, every part of me that I keep tucked away, He knows.  He cares.  And He loves.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "pray continually" -- and I always thought that sounded like a challenge.  Now when I read it, I see it more as an invitation.

He wants me to sit and talk with Him, He wants to hear about every little thing that's going on, and He wants me to listen to Him and He wants to help me.  Just bringing those little things to Him, it keeps the lines of communication open.

And I think that's what He wants. 

I know it's what I want.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Happiness Project: Inspiration

Before I show my happiness project pic, I wanted to share something because I'm so stinking excited about it!  I was interviewed over at Say Anything!  She is doing interviews with bloggers to get to know more about them!  And what's even better, I was suggested to Say Anything by The Girl Next Door Grows Up -- and she's kind of famousy.  (And yes, I even told her that when she commented on one of my posts once.  Yes, I am a dork.)

And now, happiness!!!


Inspiration.

This is the apron that Winn gave me.  She hoped to provide me with some inspiration when it comes to writing as the Undomestic Mom at Mom With A Pen.  Also, I think she thinks that I could cook if I really wanted to.  I'm thinking that maybe The Husband put her up to it...  But it's pretty, and it makes me happy to see it.  I should probably try to wear it...

What makes you happy?  Tell, then link up with Leigh vs. Laundry!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

JOEY DOESN'T SHARE FOOD!


And neither does Vanessa.

This is especially true with French fries.  If you try to snag a fry from my plate, I may try to snag a finger from your hand.

This is also true with chocolate chip cookies.  I will stop at nothing to protect any chocolate chip cookies that are within my grasp. 

Even if that means denying my adorable daughters cookies.

That's right. 

There's a routine after we pick Big Sister up from school.  We get home, they have a snack, then Li'l Bit goes down for a nap, and Big Sister either plays with me or on her own or, if she's particularly cranky after school, she has a short nap too.  I was kind of happy when she gave me a little attitude today, because it meant naptime for her.  And that meant there were two chocolate chip cookies in our little Tupperware container that I was going to be able to eat peacefully while they slumbered.

We got home and I handed out popsicles, and I got some laundry out of the dryer and did other busy-work, all the while dreaming of dunking those crumbly cookies into my favorite mug filled with some ice cold skim milk.

Then I was asked a nightmare of a question.

"Mommy, may I please have a cookie?"

Crap.

She even asked correctly. 

As if that wasn't bad enough, she continued.

"Mommy, there are two left!  (L'il Bit) can have one too!"

Sigh.

I did what any mother most mothers some mothers a few mothers only I would do in this situation.

I said no.

Before you prepare the pitchforks and gather the mob, let me plead my case.  I spent the majority of the past week feeling like garbage, and I was even diagnosed with the flu on Wednesday.  I'm a horrible patient, which makes it a little difficult for The Husband to be Mr. Personality when he's caring for me, so that left me to spend most of the time sulking and wishing my mom could come take care of me.  (I bet you didn't know I could be so immature.  I bet you also didn't know I was going to toss in a shameless plug for where I wrote more about that here.) 

Anyway.  It was a bad week.

So I wanted those cookies.

And I was going to have. those. cookies.

And I told my disappointed daughters that they'd already had a snack and that they needed to have their naps and they also needed to stop looking up at me with those precious, sad brown eyes.

Then they went to bed.

Then I went to the Tupperware and got out the cookies, poured some ice cold skim milk into my favorite mug, and I had. those. cookies.

And I have no regrets.

And when Big Sister wakes up and she goes into the kitchen, she will notice the absence of those cookies.  And she will ask where they went.  And I will look directly into her precious brown eyes and I will tell her that mommy doesn't share food mommy tried one of the cookies just to see if they were okay, and they were really dry and yucky, so she just got rid of them and she'll make more soon, PROMISE!

No regrets.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Note to Self: Speaking From The Crib Edition

  • You are in two places at once today, sort of.
  • You are also sort of at Speaking From The Crib.
  • Because you are her Top Blog of the Week.
  • For real.
  • Some people might be here from there.
  • You should wave or something.
  • ... Stop doing the beauty queen wave.
  • Just politely smile and wave like a normal person so maybe these people will come back and read more.


*smile*
*wave*
*wishing a Happy Friday*

And if you started here, please head over there and say hi too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Top 3 Thursday: Quirky

 
From Confessions From a Working Mom and The (Un)Experienced Mom, today's question is:
 
What are your Top 3 quirks?
 
I am suffering from the flu -- the easiest flu ever, but the flu nonetheless -- so I Googled quirk to make sure I knew what I was talking about.  A peculiar trait.  But what if I don't know my trait is peculiar?  I asked The Husband what  my quirks were and he replied, "You're crazy."  That's like just one big quirk, though.  Le sigh.  Let's see...
 
3.  When I go out to dinner, I straighten up the table throughout the meal.  If I'm with a group and there is straw paper laying around, I tidy it up and put it in a pile.  If there's an open sugar packet, I will put the straw papers IN the open sugar packet.  (And I apologize if you weren't done with that sugar packet.)  If there are discarded napkins or sugar packets or ketchup packets or whatever, I will put them together.  At the end of the meal at a restaurant with real plates, I will stack them and put the silverware on top, and then all the trash on top of that.  At a fast food meal, I will try to put as much of the trash as I can into a fry box or an empty cup.  I wipe up the table, too. 
 
2.  If you eat Skittles after me, you will notice that all you have left are the orange, yellow and green ones.  That's because I will have eaten all of the red and purple ones.  I will have eaten them two at a time, putting a red Skittle on one side of my mouth and the purple one on the other side of my mouth, then I will have bitten down carefully so as not to move either of them from between my teeth, because they have to be crushed simultaneously for the correct flavor.
 
1.   Okay.  Y'all help me out on this one.  This is from The Husband, and he thinks this is peculiar, but I think I can't be the only one who does this.  I bring reading material when I go to the potty.  There's more than one reason for this... Well, sometimes you might be in there for a little while longer than you expect.  Also, if you're lucky and your kids leave you alone, even if you aren't necessarily actively using the potty for its designed purpose, you're getting some alone time sitting there.
 
Am I the only one?
 
*crickets chirping*
 
Crap.  <-------- Guess I need a book.  (Did I use the arrow right, MiMi?)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I feel it is my duty to educate you.

G'day mate!

Wait, no.  That's wrong.

Howdy y'all!

Dangit!

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

There we go!

Okay.  So yesterday, for my Happiness Project, I showed a picture of Celtic Thunder.  And many people had not heard of them.  Many.

That made me sad.

So, seeing that today is St. Patrick's Day, and seeing that I am such a nice person, I thought I would enlighten you. 


They can sing.  They can walk swanky.  They can pull off the kilts... Wait, that sounds wrong.  They make kilts look good.  And they can sing.  The music is... well, it's really music.  Lots of instruments, giving familiar songs a whole new sound, and combined with their vocals... Wow.

I remember the day I discovered Celtic Thunder.  It's easy, because I wrote about it here.  Thanks to a bad back and PBS, my musical horizon was broadened.  (Thank you, PBS.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  You're more than Sesame Street to me now.)

I also remember the day I went to their concert.  I had introduced a friend of mine to Celtic Thunder, and she was going to a concert with friends.  Someone backed out, so she had an extra ticket.  SHE GAVE IT TO ME.  The concert was... Amazing doesn't begin to cover it, but it's a good start.  My funds were low, but I wanted to repay my friend somehow.  What better way than to stalk the guys wait patiently near the tour buses to see if they'd come by?

They came by.

We won't talk about the fact that I stupidly took pictures during the concert and my batteries died.  Or the fact that I had extra batteries but left them in the car.  No.  We won't dwell on that.  Let's remember the good times.

We hugged Ryan Kelly.  My friend also got his autograph in her program.  I didn't buy a program.  I really wanted his autograph, too, though.  So I did what any good fangirl would do.  I snagged someone's Sharpie and held out my arm.  (I look double-jointed, don't I?  I wonder if I held my arm out like that to him.  I wonder if it freaked him out.  He could have nightmares about the weird double-jointed girl in Florida!)
We also hugged Paul Byrom and Keith Harkin.  My friend got their autographs in her program.  I thought The Husband might understand one Sharpie autograph, but not three.  So I settled for the hugs.  (And, for the record, Big Sister has her eyes set on the blonde surfer boy, Keith.  She sighs when he sings -- she sighs!!  She also says, "I want to hug him!"  That makes me sigh.  And cry a little.  But at least I like their music.  And dang, my girl has good taste.)
We didn't get to hug Damian McGinty or George Donaldson.  They didn't stop on their way to the bus.  We were okay with that, mostly because we were still on contact highs from hugging freshly showered Irish men, but also because Damian was not a legal adult at the time (I'm not even sure his voice had broken), and George is married.  I would've shaken their hands though.  That's the polite thing to do.  Even with freaky double-jointed-looking arms.

I couldn't convince The Husband to take me to their concert over our anniversary weekend this past November.  I tried really hard, too.  Alas, he wanted the weekend to be us all spending time together and paying attention to each other.  Psh.  (Okay, no psh.  We had an awesome weekend and I barely thought about the fact that Celtic Thunder was in the same city we were on the same weekend we were.  Barely.)

Anyway.  Celtic Thunder is going to be on QVC various times throughout the day today.  They've been airing their latest show on PBS recently too.  Take a look, take a listen.  Tell me if you think that they're fantabulous and you'll see me at the next concert. 

Or, laugh at me and remind me that they wear skirts and knee socks.  (Ahem.  You know who you are.)

Either way, Happy St. Patrick's Day!



If you want more, go here.  Don't worry.  I won't tell!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Happiness Project: Celtic Thunder

Celtic Thunder: The Show
UCF Arena
November 2008

Celtic Thunder.  Their music makes me happy.  The fact that I was at that concert makes me happy.  The fact that I hugged three out of five of them makes me happy.  The fact that my 6-year-old daughter swoons when we watch their concert on PBS makes me... nervous.

What makes you happy?  Show and tell, and link up at Leigh vs. Laundry!

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P.S.  It also makes me happy that Kearsie trusted me to babysit her blog again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Keep the change, ya filthy animal.

I am not what you would call... cultured.  My idea of fine dining is... Well, one time I went to a McDonald's on Wall Street and they had guys in tuxedos bringing the trays to the table for you and there was someone playing a piano somewhere.  I was 18-years-old and pretty impressed by that.  I'm actually still pretty impressed by that...
 
The last time I went to see a musical production, it was The Backyardigans Live.
 
So when a young friend of mine was raising funds for her dance team to go to national competition, and the fundraiser was a wine tasting, I figured HEY, I can support the arts and do something kind of classy at the same time.  If that doesn't score me some culture points, I just don't know what will.
 
I found a couple of friends to join me, and we prettied ourselves up for our little girls' night out.  I even wore some heels and my dark jeans that the tag promised would ultimately lift my backside, however I think you have to have something to lift in order for them to work... Anyway...
 
We walked in and at first felt like... Well, Baptists at a wine tasting.  The Husband had told me beforeheand that at a real wine tasting, you don't actually swallow the wine and you're supposed to have water after each sample in order to cleanse your palate.  That just shows you how much more cultured he is than me, especially since The Husband has never had an alcoholic beverage in his life.
 
There was no spitting of the wine at this tasting, though.  There were people with the biggest glasses I've ever seen that they had obviously brought themselves, and they were swirling the wine and sniffing it, and I tried really hard to stop giggling everytime I saw them imitate them.
 
My friends and I dutifully listened as the wine experts detailed how the wines were made, what region the grapes were grown in, and demonstrated the correct wine tasting techniques.
 
Then my friends and I would take sips and thoughtfully express our opinions to one another.  ("This smells like an outhouse."  "This tastes like booty.")  We also established our own wine tasting techniques.  ("Eat a chocolate truffle right after, it'll taste better."  "Try this piece of bread right before, it'll taste better."  "Just hold your breath while you sip."  "Ohmygosh just dump it in the sink!!!")
 
Really and truly, there were a few wines that were quite delicious (two unanimous favorites: Brimstone Red Blend and Peter Brum Eiswein), and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. 
 
But the wine tasting ended at 8 o'clock, and it was Friday night, and we weren't quite ready to head home, and we wanted a snack, so we decided to head to Chili's and, much to our server's dismay, have some chips and queso and sodas -- and that's all.  Feeling all generous having just supported the arts and everything, we decided in advance that we would tip her well.
 
So we ate and talked and laughed, and then we got our checks.  My total: $2.43.  I put a $5 bill on my check, and I figured I would just leave the change for our server.  After all, she didn't wrinkle her nose too much when I asked that a little Dr. Pepper be added to my Diet Coke, and she did check on us even though we just had our chips and sodas, so I figured that would be a classy thing to do.
 
One of my friends paid with a credit card, the other had the same total as I did and paid with a $20 bill.
 
When our server returned with the card and the change, 57 cents was missing from my friend's change, and I was missing $2.57.  That's right.  Our server kept my change.
 
I thought really hard and tried to remember if I'd actually said the words, Keep the change, but nope, I hadn't.  My friends and I were a little stunned, and we sat for a little while waiting to see if our server was going to walk by again.  We thought it was pretty likely since we were sitting so close to the kitchen. 
 
But, like my change, our server had disappeared.
 
Since I was going to give her that anyway, we just decided to leave, and then we were further distracted by the fact that I couldn't find my car key.  We moved the table, checked under it, went out to the car and looked around it, emptied my purse, retraced my steps to and from the door to the restaurant, had to drive home to get The Husband's key to see if I had locked mine in the car, searched the car, emptied my purse, and scoured the parking lot. 
 
Then we gave up.
 
As I drove one of my friends back to my house so she could get her car, she said the night would've ended a lot funnier if I had found that key.  I agreed.  We pulled into the garage and headed to the door so she could go in and get her things, and I thought I felt my phone vibrate in my purse.  I reached into the front pocket to get my phone and...
 
found my key.
 
Unfortunately, I did not also find $2.57, but it still helped end the night on a high note.
 
How was your weekend?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Note to Self: Supa Freak Edition

  • It's time to get your freak on.
  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
  • You don't even know what that means.
  • Hopefully it's not dirty.
  • Tristan at The Transient Pod does this every week.
  • She wants to know about a song that makes you want to get down and get funky.
  • You've said it before, you'll say it again: you are oh so white and oh so Baptist.
  • You don't get funky.
  • You have no freak.
  • Well, except when you're cleaning.
  • Then you're a regular Edyta Sliwinska.
  • Only without an accent or spray tan.
  • And wearing more clothes.
  • But, still dancing.
  • Especially to 90s On Demand from Music Choice.
  • Especially to music that makes you wanna put your hands in the air.
  • And wave 'em like you just don't care.
  • Because you're ready to rock with the New Kids on the Block.
  • Oh yeah.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Top 3 Thursday: The Pros of Parenting!

 
From Confessions From A Working Mom and The (Un)Experienced Mom...
 
What are your top 3 favorite things about being a parent?
 
1.  Hugs.  When those little arms wrap around your neck and squeeze, when their soft cheeks are pressed up against yours.  When they find that little spot to rest their head between your neck and shoulder.  It's like a zillion times better when all that is accompanied by a little, "I love you, Mommy."
 
2.  The hilarious things kids say.  Having a front row seat to the greatest improv comedy show ever, right in our living room any day of the week.  (And thanks to The Winey Mommy, I checked out this site, Heard on the Playground, filled with lots of little gems.  But of course my girls are the most hilarious of them all.)
 
3.  Understanding unconditional love.  I am so, so far from being a perfect mommy -- but my girls love me anyway.  Even when I am at my worst.  Even when I am positive I could win for Worst Mommy of The Year Decade Century.  They love me, and that makes me want to be a better mommy.  A better person.
 
Photo by Brian Newby

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The PG-13 Warning is in Full Effect!

WARNING: This post is about s-e-x.

So I was reading one of my very favoritest blogs, Confessions From a Working Mom, and she blogged about shhhhh! yesterday.  Really, it was sex, but she didn't want to say "the s-word."  I'll say it though.  SEX.  See?  It's okay! 

Her post got me to thinking about how a sex life can be so dramatically altered by having a baby.  And then I got to thinking how there can be a million zillion different things that can impact a couple's life together and ultimately alter their sex life.  And if that's the case, then we're always, always going to have excuses as to why we aren't up to it.

So I kept thinking.  We can come up with so many reasons to not have sex with our husbands.  And many of them are understandable and totally valid.  Others, not so much.  But no matter what the reason, maybe -- maybe -- we should stop thinking about why we don't want to have sex.  Because really, from what I can tell, there are more reasons to just do it.

At least that's how I feel.  Especially after reading this in Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman:
If you wanted your husband to converse more and he simply said, “Sorry, talk just doesn’t interest me as much as it interests you,” you’d be hurt, wouldn’t you? In fact, some of you probably have husbands who have said something very similar. Or if your husband was habitually lazy, refusing to help, saying that working around the house held little interest for him, you’d soon grow weary of his disinterest and want him to change, wouldn’t you?


When you tell your husband you just don’t have any interest in sex, you’re doing the same thing. In fact, what you’re doing is worse. You can always call up a girlfriend to talk or hire a handyman to work around the house, but your husband has no place else to go to express sexual intimacy.

Sex is the one thing I can give The Husband that no one else can.  With great power comes great responsibility.  Using that knowledge as a weapon is totally using that power for evil rather than good.  It shouldn't be something I use as a reward, or take away as punishment.  It's meant to be part of the marriage, not just a bonus.

And as I commented to Elizabeth, I know I get super grumpy if we go more than a couple of days without it.  I'm moody moodier, I snap at the girls easier, and I'm even short with my friends.

If that's not enough, an article at webmd.com gives 10 health benefits.  Sex...
  1. relieves stress
  2. boosts immunity.
  3. burns calories
  4. improves cardiovascular health. 
  5. boosts self-esteem
  6. improves intimacy. 
  7. reduces pain
  8. reduces prostate cancer risk.
  9. strengthens pelvic floor muscles
  10. helps you sleep better. 
Some days I daydream about what's going to happen after the girls are in bed asleep and The Husband and I have time to ourselves.  Other days I quietly hope that he just wants to watch some TV and go to bed.  But on those days when my hopes are dashed and I see that look in his eye, more often than not we end up burning some calories.

And you know what?

I can't think of one time when I've thought afterwards, "Man, I wish I could've just gone to bed."

So.  The bottom line is that I know that not having sex rarely, if ever, makes things better.  The benefits to having sex with The Husband are plentiful.

Sex wins.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Happiness Project: Daddy's Girls


My girls are their daddy's girls.

Thanks to Leigh vs. Laundry for giving me a reason to spend some time thinking about things that make me happy.  Join her!

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Monday, March 8, 2010

I ran. I ran so far away.

I did it!

No.  That doesn't quite capture how I felt Saturday morning as I ran under the FINISH banner.

I DID IT!!!!!

So did Carrie, Carrie, Jenni, Jenni's Super Fast Sister-In-Law, Karen, Katye, Leslie and Winn.  In tutus (made by Winn) and boas (provided by Jenni).  Weren't we adorable?


We weren't really wearing tiaras, I added those in using Picnik.  And our names don't float around us wherever we walk.  But we were fierce, as you can clearly see.  And that was taken AFTER we ran!

Let me just say that I figured, being this was a Disney thing and it was all about princesses, there would be plenty of people dressed up.  Not as many as I thought.  So we kind of stood out.  Enough that a few people came up and asked if they could get our picture, and one of the professional picture-takers did too.

This whole thing was Winn's idea.  She got people to join her by promising she would make tutus.  So 8 adult women decided to come to Orlando and get up at the buttcrack of dawn 5 in the morning to run 3.1 miles in the abnormally chilly cold Florida weather... For tutus.

It was worth every side stitch.

So basically, I ran through 11 countries in under 37 minutes.  Plus the parking lot of Epcot, and behind Epcot, where trams go to die.  Winn, Carrie and I started off together.  Picture if you will 3 women in tutus and boas, power-walking with arms linked up to the starting line.  That was us.  We had really wanted to start closer to the front but the crowd was dense, man.  So we snaked through the throngs, our tutus rustling as we slid past other runners or walkers or Joey Fatone.  Then we broke apart and started running.

I knew I would be behind them, because they are just faster than me, but it was okay.  As long as I had the trail of feathers from their boas in my path, everything was going to be fine.  So I just kept running.  And before I knew it, I saw the one mile mark -- and I was still running, and that is the farthest I had ever run before starting to walk.

That made me feel supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  (I didn't Google that, how close was I?)

So I kept running, thinking if I could make it a mile, how much more could I go?  I did have to slow down and power walk for a bit, but I lost my trail of pink feathers and started to get nervous, so I started running again.  I ran past Snow White and a dwarf, Belle and the Beast, Jasmin and Aladdin.  I gave Pluto a high five. 

I think the second mile was the absolute longest mile of my entire life.

Then the people on the path cheering us on were yelling, "You're almost there!" and I foolishly believed them, so I willed myself to keep running.  LIARS!  I kept hearing something about going around an 'S' to the finish line, and then I realized I hadn't even seen the 3 mile marker yet, and there was still POINT ONE mile after that!  POINT ONE!  You don't think POINT ONE  mile sounds like much until it's all you have left!

So I kept on running, and those fibbers on the side kept telling me I was almost done.

And then I saw it.  THE FINISH LINE.

I kept my eye on the prize and I ran.  I heard "Go Tutu!" and I raised up my arms to wave, as I was the only tutu around.

And I crossed the finish line.

I felt exhilarated and exhausted, and then I saw a blur of pink feathers in front of me, and it was Winn, and she told me I hadn't come in that far behind her!  For real?!  I was so excited I almost didn't notice when I nearly ran into a row of porta-potties!

I'm not sure that the running bug bit me, but I had a super good time.  It did make me less afraid of trying to run around my block a couple of times.  Except for the black vans that are parked on my street, those still scare me.  Maybe I'll just wear the tutu when I run, then no one will mess with me.

Oh.  And I did run like Phoebe, but it was as we were walking up -- someone in the group wanted a demonstration.  I did The Running Man while we were waiting too.  There are no pictures or video of that. 

I hope...

This was a great weekend and, for me, quite an accomplishment.  Have you ever done something like that?  Maybe it's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but inside it made you feel pretty darn good?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Note to Self: Run Like the Winn Edition


  • You are running your first 5k tomorrow.
  • You will be wearing a tutu.
  • Also a boa.
  • Possibly a tiara.
  • It won't matter if you run like Phoebe.
  • Really, you just want to cross the finish line.
  • Really, you just don't want Winn to do the equivalent of lapping you like she did at practice.
  • You were using your iPod, though, and when you started walking, you would walk in time to the music.
  • You walk the fastest to DC Talk and Joan Jett.
  • You have an odd collection of music.
  • You will not have your iPod during the 5K.
  • You will only have the music that is within you.
  • Which will probably be a song that starts with, "Ohmygosh, why did I sign up for this," and ends with, "Lord, take me now."
  • Breathe in.
  • Breathe out.
  • Relax.
  • You'll have fun.
  • You are running in a tutu, after all.
  • With friends.
  • At the happiest place on earth.
  • Actually, a pretty nice little Saturday...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Top 3 Thursday: Thinking Springy Thoughts

 
from Confessions from a Working Mom & The (Un)Experienced Mom...
What are your top 3 favorite things about spring?
 

Many people will suggest that because I live in Florida, I might not be qualified to answer this, seeing as how we don't actually appear to have different seasons.  But this year, all those naysayers can just shutty uppy because it's been super cold here, and if you don't believe me, just ask my toes.  They haven't seen the light of day in WEEKS because I've not been able to wear flip flops.  I know, life is so hard.  Anyway, I am looking forward to spring just as much as anyone, because spring means...

 
1.  I can sit on the back porch and read.  I have a hammock chair.  Soon it will be hanging on our back porch and when spring is really here, I will be able to sit myself in it and read several books.  COMFORTABLY.  It is the most comfortable thing EVER.  But even if I didn't have that, I just love sitting on the back porch.  Love, love, love.  When I lived with my Granny, I would sometimes sit in one of her surprisingly comfy wicker chairs and actually fall asleep.  And even though the view from my back porch is the house behind us, it's still all good.
2.  I can wear flip flops again!  I think this is definitely one of the perks of living in Florida -- being able to wear flip flops and sandals practically year-round.  Flip flops are just so easy and comfy.  And even though I don't like getting pedicures from strangers, I like keeping my toenails pretty, and when I wear flip flops, the look lasts longer.  So it's about making the most of the money I spent on my nail polish, really.  I think The Husband would appreciate that.  Besides, I think my feet are claustrophobic.  When I wear sneakers or other close-toed shoes, they get antsy. 


3.  Spring Break!  I kind of like having the girls home for a few consecutive days and coming up with ways to entertain them.  (Notice I said a few consecutive days.  A few.  Summer time makes me nervous.)  Last year I instituted Pajama Day, and my girls and I met up with some friends at the mall -- all in our jammies!  And actually, last year it was chilly.  I remember because my pajamas were flannel.  I'm hoping this year to be able to wear something lighter.  And maybe see just how many places we can go in one day while wearing our pajamas...

What about you? 

What are your favorite things about spring?  I'm sure some of you northerners have some more insight into this than I do!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy

I'm trying to do this crazy thing called going to bed on time.  So I'm doing this easy peasy lemon squeezy post that Princess Christy tagged me in.  I like it though, because it's all about things that bring about happiness.  And if you like all things happy, also go to Leigh vs. Laundry and check out her happiness project that she is going to be doing on Tuesdays.  I might be getting in on that action.  (I'm going to add me saying anything about "getting in on that action" to my list of things I shouldn't say, or type.  Like "my peeps" and "don't even front".  Except that saying those things sometimes make me happy, so...)

Anyway, on to my 10 things, in no particular order...

1. OPI Nail Polish.

2. Hanging with my peeps.

3. Bling.

4. My crib.

5. Bear hugs.

6. Chocolate chip cookies.

7. Gettin' my drink on.

8. The Husband.

9. Naps.

10. Writing.


I wanna know what makes these people happy, in no particular order...


And I wanna know...


What makes you happy?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Do you know what month it is?

Did you know that March is National Colorectal Awareness Month?

Well, you do now!

Thank goodness the ribbon isn't brown.  Ew.

Why do I care that it's National Colorectal Awareness Month?  Is it because I enjoy saying colorectal?  Not quite.  Take a look at this post from July 2008:

NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTTS

I know how I spelled it. It was intentional.
Now, if you are sensitive about TMI, this might not be the blog post for you. I’m warning you now, look away! Click on one of the links to the right! Head to Facebook and add flair! NOW!  (Edited to add: C'mon, flair was still so in when I wrote this!)


Still with me? Very well.


Imagine you are a 25-year-old female. You’re single and you live in the sweetest, tiniest apartment. You have your own new car. Okay, it’s a Hyundai, but it’s all yours. You have a great group of friends to spend time with. Life is pretty good.


Then you go to the bathroom and something isn’t right. It’s not “that time of the month” and you see blood.


Ew.


Okay, it could be a one-time thing, right? Except that it keeps happening. You ask your mom about it, and your Granny since she’s always inquiring about your BMs. (Those are serious business to seniors.) They both tell you to go to the doctor. Well, duh.


However, it isn’t that easy. After all, you’re a 25-year-old female and the last thing you want is to go to your general physician and endure the indignities that accompany this type of ailment, and then relive those same indignities at a specialist’s office.


Alas, go you must. Because there should never be blood when you aren’t expecting it.


So you go to your general physician and explain the situation to the nurse and then to him. You know what’s going to happen next, but you’ve chosen not to think about it. The nurse comes back in the room, the gloves go on, and you are facedown on the sheet of paper protecting you from the germs left on the table by the last poor sap in the room. The exam is over. There is no explanation. Of course, because he’s a general physician he has to send you to a specialist, so you go, you wait 45 minutes, and you repeat the process.


Then you hear a word that you didn’t expect to hear for another 25 years. COLONOSCOPY.


It can’t be all that bad. Katie Couric went on national TV and had one done, right?


You schedule the procedure. Unfortunately, you’re 25 and it’s January 2002 so you’re fasting for 48 hours prior and the prep is still the nastiest conconction ever, plus a couple of enemas for good measure. You are driven to the surgery center, put in one of those fabulous backless gowns (which, for this, is actually quite necessary), and hooked up to an IV. Then they wheel you into the room and the doctor says, “So you’re here for the lobotomy?” You choose to not to reply, “Only if my head is up my…” He explains that you’ll have a metallic taste in your mouth from the anesthesia and asks you to start counting backwards from 100. “100… 99…” Zzzzzzz…


You wake up groggy and giggly. You are told a polyp was removed, and there’s something about follow-up with the general physician.


You’re 25, though, and thought that since the polyp was removed, so was any problem. Out of sight, out of mind. (Although it never really was in sight in the first place, was it?)


Fast forward 6 years. You’re 31-years-old and you’ve had 2 children. There’s a commercial about getting colonoscopies.


You remember that the doctor suggested you get one every 5 years. Eek. It’s about that time. You find the doctor’s name and make an appointment.


When you arrive at the office, the nurse informs you that they’ve been trying to contact you for 2 years. Why? Because they thought it best that you get another colonoscopy in 3 years rather than 5. Why? Because that polyp was actually a tubulovillous adenoma. Precancerous. You blink a few times while absorbing that information (and realizing that the general physician never contacted you himself), and go through the exam (without the embarrassing part because you aren’t currently seeing blood where there shouldn’t be), and schedule your next fun-filled colonoscopy.


This time the prep is easier (pills!), the anesthesia has you up 15 minutes after the procedure ended, and you are told that nothing was found. You are free to wait another 5 years for your next colonoscopy, and then 10 years if that one is clean.


Aren’t you glad, though, that you went ahead and endured the indignities? Imagine the alternative.


Keep that thought in mind whenever something just isn’t right and you think you’re too busy to have it checked out. If you’re young and can’t imagine something being seriously wrong. If you’re a mom and you spend more time on everyone else’s health before your own. Blood in the toilet? Go to the doctor. Lump in your breast? Go to the doctor. Anything unusual that you aren’t sure of? GO TO THE FREAKIN’ DOCTOR.

And that was all she (I) wrote.

Do you need to go to the doctor?  Have you ever been glad you did?