Don't let the door hit ya' in the ass on the way out.

I feel like I should have some well thought out profound post for today. But, um yeah, I don't. What you aren't surprised? Me either really, because these are the oh so random things running through my brain today.

How the hell am I possibly going to get up early tomorrow for a long day of work after attending a very fun New Year's Eve party tonight?

This is the first time since the year we got engaged we are going to a New Year's Eve party. Really we moved on New Year's Eve one year. As hubby says, why go out on the night all the amateurs are out drinking and driving? The party tonight is in the neighborhood, no driving required.

Back to the subject of work, besides the normal everyday stuff I have to process all the Christmas returns. Like ASAP. More hours does equal more money. But did I mention the more hours part? Remember I wasn't even really looking for a job when this one dropped in my lap.

On the flip side: I have a job in this crappy economy. And those extra hours are pretty much when I schedule them.

Guess what I got my oldest daughter hooked on over the break? MADE on MTV. Dude, now I want to be MADE!

It occurred to me Monday while simultaneously watching One Tree Hill on the CW and searching MTV online for program listings for when the newest Real World is starting that perhaps this is not normal tv viewing for a thirty *ahem* something mom. Look at me, single handedly throwing off the viewing demographics!

Moving on, let's end our year at the shallow end of the pool. Shall we? Yes, yes, we shall. Cause it's my blog and I can drool if I want too.

Our checker at the grocery store today? Looked just like Zach Gilford aka Matt Saracen from Friday Night Lights. Seriously they could be brothers. I think I'll be shopping at noonish on Wednesday more often.

Seeing him reminds me that I read my favorite Friday Night Lights hottie Taylor Kitsch is rumored to have bought a condo in South Austin. I have a niece looking at places to live in Austin. I told her... um begged her to check out the south side of town.

What?! A woman can dream can't she? I mean seriously who wouldn't enjoy seeing this at the complex pool?
I'll leave you with that little fantasy for the new year. You are welcome!

OR The Resolution to the Santa Dilemma.

Let's back up a few days to Christmas Eve. We were waffling back and forth, tell her, not tell her. Then before church she sat down to write a thank you note to Santa. Look at that determination. How could we ruin her Christmas and disappoint that face? So we did what all good parents do, we cooked up a good lie. We left the box in the garage and daddy filled it with scrap wood to make it heavy. Then we talked about how Hanukkah lasted until the 29th. The plan was if she asked about the box in the garage it would still be out in the garage, if disappeared Christmas morning that would be a dead giveaway we had moved it. It was ready for daddy to deliver to one of the Jewish men he works with for his daughter, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

But I'll be damned this child looked like that at 5:00am aka the butt crack of dawn's butt crack. Because SANTA WAS HERE!

So this.... this was the time on the clock when child #2 was woken up by her big sister. Yes, we sent Breanna in to get Brooke. She just kept kept repeating Santa, dollhouse, blah, blah, blah. Can't see my toys, yada, yada, yada. With not even a peep about that box in the garage. This parental torture lasted for roughly half an hour until we exhaustedly (is so a word spell check!) gave in.

Then before the sun even thought of rising Breanna and I were dressed and out side to ride the very dangerous against my better judgement Ripstick she got from the big man himself. And no that's not snow, it's just a drizzling rain. But it looks cool, doesn't it? Note the neighbor's lights are still obviously illuminated in the wee morning hours.

And never again has anyone spoken of the friggin big ass dollhouse box in the garage. It has been completely and forever forgotten. And mommy didn't ruin Christmas. But there's always next year!

2008 was a bit of a roller coaster for the _____ family.

Every time I start to write this year's Christmas letter I think of the movie Parenthood. You know when the grandma talks about her first ride on a roller coaster? "I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it."

There were highs.
Brian and I celebrated a few milestones this year, including my 20th High School Reunion, Brian's 40th Birthday and our 14th Anniversary.

And lows.
Brian was without a job for part of the summer. And we had to say goodbye to our sweet old black lab KBHR in August.

With lots of twists in between.
We bought a new car and took a big road trip to Texas to visit friends and family for Spring Break. And then a vacation on Anna Maria Island for the 4th of July.
On the job front, Brian got a good new job with a subsidiary of Clear Channel and I went back to work part time after 9 years at home with the girls.
Brooke turned 5, and started kindergarten. She spent enough time in the pool this summer to turn into a mermaid. She has also covered our doors and her walls with art she has created. Breanna turned 9 and is in the 4th grade. She read all 7 Harry Potter books in 6 months and was Hermione for Halloween. It feels like it's all Harry all the time.

It was really quite a ride, good thing we _____s enjoy roller coasters. Now we are wondering what the new year has in store for us. And we hope 2009 is just the ride our friends and family are waiting for!

*I wanted to take picture of the card to show the foil accents on the front. Not sure how well that worked, but you can take my word for it, they look awesome in person.

We are stuck between a large dollhouse and a heartbreaking place here at Casa de Pete. See my oldest daughter spotted the huge box in our garage that was meant to be her sister's Santa gift. It's totally my fault, but damn who would've guessed for the first time ever she would take the trash all the way out to the cans? Normally she tosses it out the door and the trash fairies move it to the appropriate place later.

Now if that damned dollhouse shows up under our tree Thursday morning, the gig she is up. Why don't we just make the dollhouse her present from us you ask? Well we could, but then what would Santa bring? See Brooke's original gift from mom and dad is already wrapped under the tree and she has shaken those little dolls within an inch of their lives. So if that box is missing, someone is going to be hell-a-pissed Christmas morning. We have contemplated the old switcheroo, but those damned divas had to be packed in a very distinctive box. Thus we'd have to take them out, paint the box and then stuff another smaller gift in the box and re-wrap it.

The whole thing seems like a pain in the ass. And to me the logical answer is to fess up to the deception. Breanna's a good big sister and will totally play along for her sister's sake. But hubby seems to be dead set against the idea of "ruining" Christmas for her. Dude she's almost 10 years old, and has already told us most of the kids in her class don't believe anymore. Seems to me we are totally on borrowed time anyway. And really we don't want her to be that weird kid who gets laughed at because all the other kids know the truth do we?

So what does a blogging mom do? She asks her readers for help. How old is too old to believe in Santa? How did your kids find out? Should we preserve what is most likely our last magical Christmas at all costs? Help a sista out! Hurry, we are running out of time!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

This morning while I was out looking for something to wear to hubby's, fancier than I originally realized, Christmas party I realized that the last time I really shopped for a fancy outfit was about 10 years ago. Co-ink-i-dinkly that event was held at the same restaurant as the party is Friday night. So I thought I'd confess to my slight, okay massive, overindulgence the last time I was at the Mason Jar... um Maison Jardin. But really, it wasn't pretty, so we're just going to stuff that back into the section of my brain reserved for repressed memories and move on now.

Instead I give you the re-gifting story I promised. Although after making that promise I realized I would need to hide the true identities of those involved to protect the not so innocent... um me.*

Once upon a time hubby and I were young and in love and decided to have and hold each other forEVAH. So we had a small wedding, and let's be honest, the only reason we didn't elope was the hope of getting some good gifts. So when we returned to our love nest... um duplex in the ghetto, after our honeymoon, we wasted no time opening the loot. I don't actually remember opening the box with the huge ass ugly gold leaf frame. But to this day I wonder who it was actually meant for. Surely not for us. We had a circus billboard with a picture of a tiger covering our entire living room wall, shelves made from pallets, the world's ugliest yet most comfortable couch and a country blue (hey it was 1994!) kitchen table. Somehow none of that screams we need a mirror the size of our kitchen table in a gold frame to hang in our non-existant entry way. So we did what any nice young couple would do, hinted around to the gift giver to find out where it was purchased, hoping to return it. We were too polite to ask outright, thus we found a nice spot at the end of the hall to lean it on the wall. Our puppy KBHR loved to play with that cute little ball of fuzz in the mirror, so there it remained for him to slobber on until we built our first house.

Shortly thereafter, we dutifully moved the two ton mirror to our new house and shoved it in a closet. Along with the unattractive bookends given to us from the elderly lady at our church whom we credit for helping us find each other when we lost touch in college. Those bookends? In our closet to this day. I can not get rid of them, I am convinced it would doom our marraige.

Anyway, back to the story at hand. Fast forward 5 years. The couple who had given us the mirror got divorced. And lets just say we sat on the groom's side at that wedding, so the person responsible for gifting us that ugly mirror, (because seriously what man would give a mirror as a gift?) would no longer be around.

Three years later said man remarries. And it takes me both hands to add up how many weddings the bride and groom have racked up between them. So what does one buy for the happy couple? I'm fairly certain they have 2 sets of dishes, towels, sheets, crystal, pots and pans and silverware between them.

Yes huh! I did so! I wrapped up that ugly ass mirror that the groom and his ex-wife gave us 8 years earlier and re-gifted it right back to him and his bride. Hey, I wiped the dust and dried dog slobber off it first.

Got something weighing you down? Have a good re-gifting story? Anything, anything at all to confess? Share it with us. Don't leave me hanging here people!

*If you read my blog and know the true identity of the people involved, please do not say so in the comments. Email me if you HAVE to know if your guess of the secret identities is correct.

Okay, I have one more card from Christmases past to share with you. I think I may have mentioned my hubby is a graphic artist by trade, it's what he does to bring home the bacon. Yes, he fries it up in a pan too, but that's a whole 'nother post.

Anyway, Christmas 2002 we were living in an apartment while waiting for this house to be built. With no yard to mow and being 15 minutes closer to the expressway, thus shaving an hour off his commute, hubby had some extra time on his hands. He was a man with a vision and he was determined.

First he took the background from this beach photo. Because Pete knows I was very tired and fat at 6 months pregnant and was not actually going to the beach for a photo shoot, vision be damned.

Then he played a little game of tug with KBHR to get a good profile shot of him.

Next he had me take this photo at the apartment pool. Yes, it was December. But we live in Florida. She got to go swimming as a reward for cooperating in this picture.

Anyone have any idea where this is headed? Can you put the pieces together like a puzzle?

This is the finished product, it was a Coopertone Christmas.

Pine and Contribute

I pined for hubby's iPhone for months. I contributed to his purchase of the new 3g version and I put a pretty pink cover on the old one and claimed it as my own.

I trust everyone understands why this post is short and sweet. Later Homebloys!

Okay, it has been well established all over the blogosphere, facebook and anywhere else parents are posting pictures that kids and Christmas cards don't mix. And the more kids, pets and family members you want to cram into your photo, the more horrible the whole experience will be. So I'm here to help. My advice? Give the hell up! Seriously they will NEVER EVAH all be looking at the camera and smiling with their eyes open at the same time! But you wanted a cute card? Well then, lets learn to work with what we've got. That is after all every mom's secret.

Here in example one we have one child obsessed with something that is nowhere near the camera. Just make sure the object of affection is in the photo and take the picture anyway. This works best if you have a very young child that you can position to irritate the hell out of an older sibling, cause then it's cuter. Oh and cutesy matching outfits never hurt either.(2003, girls are 7 months and 4 1/2 years old)

Option 2? Good old fashioned bribery! Just give the small whiny kid some candy already. Yes, the sibling will pout for candy too, just color coordinate and go with it. If possible have older children look more angelic by having them "hide" their loot up their sleeve, or behind their back. If all else fails add more pictures to the card (preferably ones taken at some other time during the year when your children actually liked each other) to take some of the attention away from the cheesy smiles and squinty eyes in the official Christmas photo. Again, I'd like to suggest putting them in seasonal matching outfits for an additional distraction. (2004, girls are 18months and 5 1/2 years old)

Then of course there is the "if ya can't beat them, join them" philosophy. Just encourage the shenanigans and build your card around your misbehavin' kiddos. I can not emphasize enough the impact that matching clothing adds to the cute factor. (2005, girls are 2 1/2 and 6 1/2 years old)

Then there are some years (you'll know which ones) it's not even worth the effort of making the tots brush their hair. Don't even attempt it. If you must use photos of them, take pictures of some that you already have framed. Then pile Christmas decorations around them, make up a funny little game or list and call it a card. Done, and DONE! (2006, girls are 3 1/2 and 7 1/2 years old)

Another idea is to use the collage cards that so many companies offer these days. Our Top 11 list was a take off on that idea. Thus using a few good photos (again I advise finding pictures from the entire year, ensuring you'll find at least a few where your kids are not trying to kill each other) and not stressing out over getting one all important picture.

Lastly if you are computer savvy you can photoshop your pictures together like G-man suggested in the previous post. I have no examples of such a thing. Not because I can't do it, although I can't. But hubby can. However, we have so far refrained from such activity because no one likes a show off with kids who appear perfect, even at Christmas. (HA!)

It comes in all forms. Thought I'd share some of our cards of Christmases past with you this week while I am waiting impatiently for the UPS man to deliver me this year's cards.

Last year I built our entire card around my favorite picture of the girls. Ironically it did not end up on the front of the card. It was a photo of the girls at the beach making a drip sand castle, soaking wet with hair in their faces. The same day we watched the space shuttle launch from right there on the beach, making the pictures much more unique than the average family on the sand picture. Thus, a card was born.

FrontAnd the inside Top 11 Reasons 2007 was Out of this World.

This one was a favorite of many, and has prompted many questions regarding this year's card. Hopefully they will be here early next week.

Photo Fluke

Every year about this time I start planning... um freaking out over the family Christmas card. Let's just say my hubby is a graphic art guru. So the bar, she is set high. Each and every year, as I swear I'm not going to send cards, an idea hits me. Or I "borrow" it from the internet. Poe-tae-toe, poe-ta-toe. I prefer to refer to it as my divine inspiration.

Anyway last year I decided to try and get a cute picture of the girls in front of the tree to add to our "Top 11 List of 2007". And I took a total of 7 photos. NONE of them horrible. And this one, down right adorable.

So today I finally settled on a theme for our card. And I decided a picture of the girls by the tree would be the perfect addition to those I had already chosen. Ya'll know where this is going already don'tcha?

For the love, is it too much to ask that both my children smile and look cute at the exact same moment, while standing in close proximity to each other? Apparently so. I think there's a mathematical probability thesis paper here somewhere.

Anyway, I've had immense fun laughing at other blogger's photo attempts, go check out The Meanest Mom and Miss Britt for some great laughs. Goodness knows I can't beat them, so I'm joining them.

Yep that's 35 amusing, yet unusable photos. Thank Pete for digital cameras!

I've been re-hooked on Gilmore Girls on ABC Family as they recently started airing the series from the beginning. And I would like to know where exactly Stars Hollow is and if I can move there to raise my children? Also, I hate cold weather, so why am I wanting to move to an imaginary town in Connecticut?

I have been shopping for the big man in the red suit this week. Where the hell does one go to buy doll clothes? I know one would think it was an easy task, think again suckers! Seriously, I found one hanger of baby doll clothes at Target and one at Walmart. Likewise one set of Barbie doll sized clothes in each store. Both stores have aisles full of dolls of all sizes. Dolls that eat, pee, sing and/or swim. But no freakin clothing for them. Damn, no wonder they all end up naked in the toy box.

Speaking of nudity in the toy bins. I swear the Happy Meal toys are having happy sex. Seriously where the hell do they all come from?

My MIL gives me lots of hand-me-down books. Which is awesome because I always have something to read. But occasionally I find myself knowing the major plot points before they happen. This week I started a book, for the life of me the jacket blurb did not sound familiar, yet every time there is a twist in the plot I already know it. Who reads a book and then doesn't remember it, even when they are rereading it? It's a weird book deja vu.

My sister and my parents are coming to visit this weekend. I don't know if it's the abundance of Christmas decor yelling "look at me, not the dust" or what, but except for the floors and animal cages the whole house is presentable... um, not a complete mess. Even the girl's rooms have stayed fairly tidy since "we" cleaned them 3 weeks ago. I KNOW! So I have not cleaned AT ALL for their impending visit. I wonder when the motivation... um, panic will set in?

Well there you have it, the inner workings of my brain. Frightening, no?

Okay, so Tuesday is almost over. Whatever! I finally got some inspiration for this week's words. Or maybe I'm confusing that with procrastinating making dinner. Oh well, poe-tae-toe, poe-ta-toe.

Regardless the words brought to us by the newlywed Tink are Abundance & Thanks.

Remember in my last post? I mentioned something about more than one Christmas tree. Our house has been transformed into a winter wonderland over the weekend. Now we have an abundance of Christmas trees.

What's a Christmas tree forest without an abundance of forest creatures lurking about? Mooses, meeses... moose, they are everywhere! (These are in addition to those I posted previously.)

And Thanks. So many things in this one photo I give thanks for. The rotten little urchins, who are happy, healthy and able to run wild. That more than anything they would rather be out in this gorgeous weather playing than inside watching tv. Thankful that they have fun playing together. I give thanks that we live in a safe neighborhood that they are able to play outside without fear. And thankful that I am able to be home when they are so that they have plenty of time to just be kids.
The fun is over, now it's off to make dinner. Hopefully we'll all be back next week for mature & immature. Of course one of those may be hard to find around here. Three guesses, which one.

I got this in an email from a friend and decided it was too good not to share.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Well if the presents are for adults it depends on how long I put off getting the gift, but my kids always get wrapping paper.
2. Real tree or Artificial?
I'd prefer real but we do artificial, we can't afford 2 or 3 trees a year. Yes I put up many trees. Doesn't everyone?
3. When do you put up the tree?
Thanksgiving weekend. However the outside decorations are hubby's job and they usually don't make it up until mid-December.
4. When do you take the tree down?
ASAP... um, the weekend immediately following Christmas.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Yes, preferably with lots of nog (aka Captain Morgan's spiced rum!).
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Cabbage Patch dolls the first year they were out. It was a huge surprise and I was really a bit old for them. I also remember that I didn't admit that's what I got until other friends told me they got dolls too.
7. Hardest person to buy for?
FIL who's response to most gifts is "what's this for?" Or my sister as she is the woman with everything.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
Brooke because she wants everything. If I could get a list of advertisers on Nickelodeon that would be her Santa list.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. And the girls each have one of their own to play with as well. Ever since the year one of my wisemen lost a head.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
MAIL! Creative Christmas cards our friends and family will be talking about until the next year is our mission.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Can't think of one, I'm easy. To BUY for.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Story. Isn't that everyone's?
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Usually around Turkey Day. One year we went to visit my family in Texas for Thanksgiving and I had all the presents bought to take with us. Yep, never happened again.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I'm sure I have, yet I can't think of anything specifically. Remind me to tell you the ultimate re-gifting of the ugly ass mirror wedding present sometime.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Chocolate peppermint cookies I learned to make myself because they cost roughly a dollar a cookie plus shipping from Land's End.
16. Lights on the tree?
Two words for you: Pre-Lit Trees.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Traditional: Angels We Have Heard on High, it's just fun to sing. Modern: The Christmas Shoes, it makes me cry. EVERY.TIME.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Since we've had kids we try to bring everyone to us, we need to be home for Santa to find us ya know!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
Of course. And any self respecting parent of Santa loving kids knows every word to Rudolph too!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Bow on one, Angel on another, the third is up to the girls.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning, cause Santa only comes after the children are all nestled in bed.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
The extra pounds on my ass when it's over.
23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?
For color it has to be real red and green, none of that burgundy or hunter green crap, I don't care if it matches your decor. And I love Mooses... um, Meeses... um, Moose? And I have lots of them.
It all started with this fun little family.
And then last year hubby made me this handsome fellow.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Last year we had pork roast with rice and black beans. Delicioso! We do traditional for Turkey day.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
For my kids to appreciate all they have.

Now don't be a Scrooge, go post your own answers so we can all learn about your Christmases.

"The funny thing about Thanksgiving, or any huge meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it and then chopping and cooking and braising and blanching. Then it takes 20 minutes to eat it and everybody sort of sits around in a food coma, and then it takes four hours to clean it up." ~Ted Allen

But I have to next to nothing to get ready for Turkey Day. For the second year in a row only my SIL and her hubby are joining us. It's like one big kids table, no grown ups. Okay, so technically we are grown-ups but things are so much more laid back when it's just us "kids".

Oh, but still there is all that cleaning for company you say. Um, sorry, nope. My SIL is not one I have to keep up any facade of being a decent housekeeper for. I'll vacuum and mop tomorrow night, that is all. Okay, but what about all that food prep you ask. Hubby is the cook around here. He fries our turkey the day of and makes nearly everything the night before. And you know what? He ENJOYS cooking. Now the mess he makes is not fun to clean up, but hey, it's a small price for me to pay and I have the help of SIL.

So you know what I am doing today? Finding old friends on facebook. And cursing some of them for not being on their computers 24/7 like me and not responding immediately. Oh, all of them except my first huge crush. According to my mother I was always boy crazy. But Scott is the first boy I remember stalking. He was a year older and played guitar. At some point he actually talked to me. I suppose thats what makes the memory of him so much clearer than any others. He became that friend that I always secretly hoped would be more. Anyway, he im'd me this morning to say hi after 20 some years. How fun is that? Facebook rocks!

Of course I had to go find pictures of us from way back when. Look at the size of my smile, can you tell I was kinda excited to just be near him?

He referred to the time when we were friends as the Air Supply time of our lives. What a perfect description. Because I am fairly certain if I had a soundtrack for the picture of us slow dancing at my 14th birthday party this is what was playing.

Good luck getting that song out of your head. Remember the title, don't hate!

Once upon a time in this very blog, I had a post with many comments. More than any that came before or after it. This post was a Movie Quote Meme. It was very fun, and all the bloggers were doing it. So much fun that I decided to do it again, because well hell, I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night. Sad, but true.

Behold, the rules which I have altered slightly for the new and improved Holiday version :

  • Pick A Baker's Dozen of holiday movies, because it's all about the food this time of year.
  • Go to IMDB and find a quote from each movie.
  • Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
  • Fill in the film title once it's guessed.
This part is for the reader:

  • No Googling or using IMDB search functions.
  • Leave your answer(s) in the comments.

I will give a few hints right off. All the flicks are box office, not tv specials. Some are not traditionally considered holiday flicks, but the majority (really all but one) are main stream movies. *I have added new quotes to number 11 and 12 to help*
*Okay, I'm just giving you the last two before I forget this post didn't get finished*
  1. That's ridiculous. Jealous. Jealous of WHAT? That is... The ugliest lamp I have ever seen in my entire LIFE!--A Christmas Story--Lynette
  2. You have a freak flag. You just don't fly it.--The Family Stone--Lynette
  3. Those aren't pillows!--Planes, Trains & Automobiles--Domestic Spaz
  4. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.--Elf--Lynette
  5. It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!--How the Grinch Stole Christmas--Raven
  6. They're watching Snow White. And they love it.--Gremlins--Domestic Spaz
  7. Is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?--Home Alone--Raven
  8. Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.--Die Hard--Raven
  9. The thing about trains... it doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get on.--Polar Express--Domestic Spaz
  10. It means: If you put on the suit, you're the big guy.--The Santa Clause--Lynette
  11. Are you Wayne...? Wayne with the new stove...? This way, instead of April showing up with some new piercing or some ugly new tattoo and, God forbid, staying overnight, this way, we get to show up, experience the disaster that is her life, smile through it, and before you know it, we're on our way back home. Pieces of April- it's a little indy film with Katie Holmes, before she married the Crazy.
  12. Our lips are moving and words are coming out. They're savings bonds. In seven years you will get enough money from them to buy something nice. Alvin and the Chipmunks
  13. I know it is a little early for Christmas, Edward, but; I have a present for you.--Edward Scissorhands--Domestic Spaz
Ready. Set. Start your guessing!

"I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the "history" I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America's traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it's a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all." ~Ellen Orleans

Okay, so I admit, I am curious. I want to know all about this Twilight everyone is raving about. Ever since I read the Interview with a Vampire series I've loved me a good vampire story. And I keep telling myself that eventually I will find a very worn copy of the book at our local library. Or I'll be the only one awake at 2:17am when someone lists their copy at BookMooch and grab it. Hell, I'll probably give in and buy a copy for myself soon, but until then I do not want to see the movie. I am a stickler for reading the book before seeing the movie. Yet, I can not escape all the hype surrounding the big movie premiere. So I am going to just put this out there even though I am sure to get reamed by rabid fans.
This guy:IS NOT, I REPEAT NOT THIS GUY:Nor is he This Guy:Or even this guy:
Hell, he isn't even this guy:
Sorry but I just don't see it. Now before ya'll head to the comments all "Edward is so sexy how dare you dis him you crazy ho". Remember that I am going only by photos here, not the character he plays. But honey anyone who thinks he can come anywhere close to Spike in SEXY has a bad case of the crazies.

Ya'll know I am now working as a retail merchandiser, right? I am purposely not saying for what retail chain because I don't want my blog searchable by that. Paranoid, who? But I think I did tell you I work in my neighborhood grocery store. When I was hired I was told that eventually I would have another store but for the foreseeable future I would just be working at the one. Which was fine with me, I figured it would make the adjustment of going back to work easier.

By now I know the job, even though I'm still kinda slow. Hey I've only been working for 6 weeks during the BUSIEST time of year. But I feel like I've got my schedule worked out and things are falling into a routine. So, guess what? Tomorrow I am headed out with my boss to meet the managers at my new store. My confession? I am just getting used to going to work a couple hours a day two days a week. I am not sure I'm ready for this, although my boss assures me I am.

Anything you are feeling insecure about lately you'd like to share. Please don't let me be the only nervous Nelly around!

Dear gracious this question is a favorite around here lately. And if you answered by telling me the actual time... FAIL! I didn't ask WHAT time it is, just if you knew what time it was yourself. Um, yes, it is indeed just that annoying in person. According to my hubby I often give much more information than he asked for in his question. Newsflash, it's called CONVERSATION! I realize you are male, but you've been known to actually talk at length about various topics on occasion, so I know you are familiar with the concept. Yes, hubby knows it pisses me off when he responds with the aforementioned question, he does it because he likes to push my buttons.

Know what I like? When I can use someone else's smartassedness (hey, it's my blog, my words, eat that spell check!) against them. Sadly I can't even remember the original question but I used the old "Do you know what time it is" on hubby last night and it was fun.

Wanna know what's even more fun? Using it on my daughter. Seriously, the kid doesn't just have buttons to push, she has one big fat EASY button. I know, wonderful parenting skills at use there. But sometimes she just needs a bit of what she dishes out daily thrown right back at her.

Yeah, that's all I've got, not even a good wrap up. Sadly, this is how most of my ideas for blog posts are lately. Not really enough for a full post, but more than 140 characters for twitter and facebook updates.

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope."--Maya Angelou

Normal household chores that are left undone for an exorbitant (which apparently I've been spelling and pronouncing wrong (exorbinant) my entire life, thank you google and amount of time become huge projects. Seriously my house was beginning to look like a candidate for "Clean House" and I'm not just looking at the girls' rooms or closets here.

It literally took me all day Sunday to help the girls clean their rooms. And by help I mean I cleaned and they occasionally put things I handed to them away. And by clean I mean finally find the floors.

Then Tuesday (okay not all day) I cleaned the bathrooms. And by cleaned I mean launched chemical warfare. Neither of our bathrooms have a window, and all those cleaners in such a small contained space can not be good. I usually try to do this chore when someone else is home in case I pass out. I'm only half kidding. Wednesday I spent most of my day cleaning the rest of the house. Well, I never made it to our bedroom, but I rarely do. And now finally my house is back in order.

After letting everything go to hell in a hand basket what was it that prompted me to get off my ass and clean? Besides basic sanitation? A friend of my little one was coming for a play date. A play date she called me about then somehow planned to have at my house. How the hell that happened I'm not sure. Yes, she was that good. Then the day of she canceled. Yes she did. Okay everyone has car trouble once in awhile, not a biggie. So she asked if we could postpone the play date until the following day. Okay, the house was already clean, not a problem. But then, get this. She asked if her little girl could ride home with me, then she'd come pick her up later. Dude I have met this woman for about 2 minutes at a school skating party and she is sending her 5 year old daughter home with me? She doesn't even know our address! The irony icing on the cake is the night I met her at the skating party I had a friend of my oldest daughter with us and I had never met her mom either. Who sends their daughter off with complete strangers?!

So lets count them up. My lazy ass let my house practically become a candidate for a reality tv show. I can not spell. And sometimes I judge other parents. Yep that's a pretty much sums up my confession this week. What ya got? Come on share with us!

We are quickly entering a gray area here at Casa Wente. See our oldest is 9 1/2. We said she's too young for PG -13, although many of her friends are allowed to watch them. I was even the mean mom who said no when a friend brought a movie to our house to watch for a sleepover. Then my kid, she read every single Harry Potter book in 6 months. Well hell, if she can read and understand (she made 100% on every AR test) then why for the love can't she watch the later movies? So we decided she could. But of course there is no 700 page Simpsons book. How do we decide she's ready for that cultural phenomenon? Huh? Someone? Anyone?

Then my fellow bloggers and parents of similarly aged children Steph and Stu at Badmom said they let their offspring watch The Simpsons Movie. Woot! This meant someone knew the answer to my question which I promptly asked in their comments section "I'd just like to know the official age for watching the Simpsons. Please and thank you." Which resulted in the following email exchange.

In our house it's 10; Mason very nearly planned an entire Simpsons party for his birthday this year. He did, however, have a marathon Simpsons-watching day to himself after turning 10 (we have all the seasons on DVD).

I feel a little ridiculous that is has become such a big deal. The Ingalls family would be appalled that this is our growing-up milestone...

Thanks. I do wonder if we are too worried about this, my parents didn't edit what I watched as a kid, I don't think it hurt me. I think I'll be blogging about this issue soon.
Hey if we were the Ingalls family we'd be getting our teens ready to marry and build a house of their own. Of course then we wouldn't have to live with the whining and complaining. Maybe they were onto something there!

Good point about pioneer families...Hmmm.

I also watched TV 24/7 and turned out a reasonable person (so I say), though I do wish I'd done more reading & writing as a kid. We just felt like there is so much grown-up dialogue in The Simpsons that everyone's life would be easier if watchers were nearer to jr. high age so they'd get most of the jokes & innuendo.

Good luck :D
10 for the Simpsons huh? Well, I know that as far back as I can remember I was watching The Young and the Restless, As the World Turns and Guiding Light all summer long. I think I was 10 for the summer of Kelly and Morgan, ah young love. That began my life long dedication to The Guiding Light and John Wesley Shipp (who played Kelly) ya'll may know him as The Flash or most likely Dawson's daddy. Oh yeah the point here, I can't imagine letting my daughter watch a daytime soap. And apparently the TV Ratings agree as daytime soaps are TV-14. Oh and those cartoon people? The Simpsons is TV-PG which is not recommended for the under 10 set.

Black and white, right? I wish! Fairly recently we started letting both girls watch PG movies from when we were younger. Except guess what. We are OLD and those movies were before they added that pesky little 13. Gremlins and Beetlejuice, whoops those would so be PG- 13 now. In fact in 1984, explicit violence in the PG-rated films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins were "the straws that broke the parents' backs". Their complaints led to the MPAA introducing the PG-13 rating. Wow, way to undo all that careful parental control we'd been working on for 9 years. Just a side warning for anyone who hasn't recently watched Gremlins, there is a scene where the girl talks about her father dying stuck in the chimney as he was playing Santa for her and "that's when she found out there was no Santa Claus." Um yeah, I SO didn't remember that either until I was watching WITH my kids. Luckily I was trying to divert their attention with bright shiny objects as she was telling the gruesome tale and they missed that last part. Now they are only allowed to watch with us so we can say, oh that's a sad story she's telling, lets skip to the naughty gremlins, click.

Not only did I watch soaps but I have a laundry list of movies that my parents let me watch that I can't believe. They took me to see both Ordinary People 1981 and Reds 1981 when I was 11. My hubby counters this with inappropriate but BORING. Which, well he has a point because I don't really remember either movie, but I do know I was NOT allowed to see Endless Love 1981 or Blue Lagoon 1980. But I distinctly remember going to see Saturday Night Fever 1977 and Grease 1978 as a double feature at the drive-in. My dad slept in the backseat while my mom and I watched the movies. I was 8 years old people, I am thinking most of the sex stuff went over my head, I was just there for John Travolta. Another lifelong boyfriend. NO he does not believe in Aliens, sticks fingers in ears, la-la-la-la I can't hear you! Where was I? Oh yeah, so if the movie is over their heads or BORING that doesn't make it automatically okay, does it?

Also in the gray area, Outsiders 1983 now listed as PG-13 originally PG. Is my Harry Potter reader ready for this one? I believe I may have to review it first for myself. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for my daughter, I mean do you remember the cast of this flick?

So Internets... how closely do you monitor what your kids watch? Are we just too concerned? We all turned out fine, right?

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.

-- Maya Angelou

Those of us who feel like all people should have the same rights. Those who are upset by the passing of Prop 8 in California. And others like it, hello Amendment 2 in my own BLUE state of Florida, I'm looking at you here. We'd like to let you know how we feel. The idea started here, where Allen says:

I decided to snap a photo of my wedding band placed on a slightly different finger than normal to express exactly how I feel toward every single person who voted Yes on Prop 8. It’s my personal version of ‘let freedom ring’. The battle for equality changes course but it’s very far from over.

I welcome supporters of gay rights to snap your own photo showing your wedding ring on your middle finger. Spread the word that this fight isn’t over. Whether you’re gay, straight, bi, white, blue or tan — show your support by letting freedom ring on your blog! Please forward this page to any friends and family who may find it of interest.

Great idea Allen. Here ya go!

If you decide to join the movement a list of all the bloggers giving Prop 8 the finger is over here.

I can not express how wonderful I think it is that this is going to be our new first family!
There is just something so magical about a dad and his little girls. I was one of two girls, and hubby and I have two little girls. I know of what I write.These are certainly "staged" photo ops, but the love and pride in that family's eyes is undeniable.
Look at them, they are so ... normal! I just want to set up a play date with the girls and have a glass of wine with Michelle. And I'm certain she would want me to call her Michelle.

I knew after I heard this story told that this is a family my family could identify with.
When Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Denver after their mom Michelle's speech, they had no idea their dad was going to be beamed in live via satellite. When Mrs. Obama told the girls she had a surprise for them, the potential first lady was pretty surprised at the response, according to CNN. "Is it the Jonas Brothers?" Malia asked.
Now that is a normal little girl! They are just two little girls who have been waiting for this election to be over, because daddy promised them a puppy. I have a picture in my mind of those them tired late last night waiting for daddy to make his speech and the clapping and squeeing when they heard daddy say,"I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House,"during his victory speech.

Malia and Sasha welcome to the White House! I hope you get to play with that puppy on the south lawn and that you get to create a pink room, because the white house seems to be lacking one.


For your Halloween viewing pleasure, my favoritest horror movie of all time. Okay, it's really a spoofy campy horror movie, which is what makes it so great. I know you are saying, " I don't have time for an entire movie today, I gotta go buy candy for the neighborhood rugrats." Oh wait that's just me? My bad. So here it is condensed into a 66.6 second clip, enhancing it's cheesey goodness into one big bite. Grab a ritz and enjoy!

Really? I want to know how both Mr. Lady and Mommy's Martini scored their new Crocs. Because have you seen the boots? They are HAWT. And they are Crocs so they must be comfy. But alas they are way out of my price range these days. So again I ask, Dude, what do I have to do for a pair? Because I'm thinking I'd do a lot more than I would for a Klondike bar. How's about you?

It's that time again. Are you ready for the challenge? The words are brought to you courtesy of the bride to be Tink. And lucky for me this week they were easy for a mom sitting at home with a sick kiddo*.

I present you with a little slideshow of Halloween THEN and NOW.

*My little munchkin is still coughing. But she did sleep through the night. And her fever has finally gone down. Hopefully this means the worst is over. In which case I'm hoping for one more day at home. I want to make sure she's completely rested for her class field trip and Halloween Friday.

Okay, today's a quickee. Last week I thought I was getting my shit together. I posted Monday and even got a Weekly Words Challenge up on Tuesday. That's about where I lost it. Everyday last week and this week has one activity or more on our calendar. Then this weekend my little one developed a lovely croupy cough. Now she's running a fever and has a nice viral rash on her little body. She got a good 6ish hours of sleep last night. Damned 12 hour cough medicine only lasts 6 hours. So since about 3am hubby and I have traded off hanging on the couch with her through the morning. She's had sherbert for breakfast, juice, hot tea, then finally popcicles, but the coughing has been relentless. It's finally lessening after a shower with a Shower Soother and her finally giving in and sucking on a cherry cough drop. Now if her fever would just break...

I'm back... I just haven't been getting to the word challenges lately. Starting my new job and Brian changing his flex day has just had me all out of sorts this month. I hate new schedules, apparently I have a hard time with change. I don't so much enjoy surprises either.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, the words. This week the words are plain and adorned. I was sure I'd come up with some deep thoughtful image. Not so much. But they are fun. And lighthearted fun is good, right? Whatever. I'm back and that's the important thing.

Without further ado I give you PLAIN and ADORNED.
I bought this cute little plain plaid purse at the Animal Kingdom this weekend.
What makes it so adorable though is that it's adorned with this little Mickey patch.As is the fun little wallet I bought to go with it. It also happens to be the exact right size for all my essentials and it totally passes the shoulder to elbow test. And it works with my purses that match nothing, go with everything theory. I love it, it makes me happy. Moving on. When purchasing the above items we were offered this plain looking throw for a mere $15. How could we resist? We couldn't when we saw it too was adorned with Mickey.

Now I know you are asking, "Karen how can I play too?" Well head on over to Pickled Beef and visit Tink, she's got all the info you'll need to get started.

Seems I've been tagged twice, because I'm slow. So here goes it Next Door to My Ex and Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe. Thanks for including me in your games of tag.

1. When I was little we would play tag in my front yard. And I would tackle the boys and kiss them. Hey, I didn't run for just anything, I needed a reason.

2. I can not go outside during the day without my sunglasses on. Okay I could, but I don't. EVER. I even grab them to walk down the driveway to the mailbox.

3. I like to sew, but only for crafty purposes. I can make purses, curtains and kick ass Halloween costumes. And I cannot follow a sewing pattern to save my life, but I can take apart something (like a purse or a slip cover) and make my own pattern from it.

4. I love this show: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Making the Team. Although unless you are new here I suppose that's not so random or weird for me, is it?

5. My children have recently started playing with the neighbor children, whom I do not enjoy. So I don't let them play anywhere but in our front yard together, not in our house or out back on our trampoline. I know I'm a bitch. But I don't know their parents, what if they got hurt and sued us? Plus? They are little animals.

6. Head bands and barrettes in my hair give me headaches. I wear both often, because I just can't get my shit together everyday to flat iron it. But they don't last past 4 o'clock.

7. I copy and paste my facebook status updates into twitter. Lazy, who?

Okay, now I'm supposed to tag 7 people. Problem is I am so slow getting to this game, that I think many bloggers have already done it. So if you are needing something to fill your space today, or you just love memes, or you feel left out, here's your chance to join in the fun.

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