Sunday, February 28, 2010

Trivial Guinea Pig Trivia

We are the proud owners of two new guinea pigs (females, of course, because that's all that seem to live here with the exception of The Husband, whose testosterone is slowly being sucked out of his body being surrounded on a daily basis by all these female animals and people).

Here's a summary of the last twenty-four hours at the oH mY wORD house:

1. Our theme for this pet project is "Cheap" so the FREE guinea pigs that came with FREE food and FREE bedding are staying in an existing dog crate. Not the best for holding all the bedding inside nice and neatly. I look at the bedding (wood shavings) laying all over the living room and have grabbed my Swiffer no less than 17 times. I have asked The Husband to work on that.

2. They poop constantly. Their poop is not so bad. Think mini coffee beans or the pellets that you actually feed them. We caught on last night that it is best to put a towel on your lap and then hold them. I now have an entire load of laundry as a result of this set up. I'm going to invent some sort of eco-friendly, guinea pig disposable poop cloth. Remember, you read it here first!!

3. They don't smell!! I refuse to let them smell!! The friends we got them from had two adult guinea pigs and the three babies and you would never know they had any animals there. Don't believe the rumors you hear....due to my occasional OCDness these little piggies will grow up unscented.

4. Teenagers take a little longer to be excited about owning rodents than elementary aged children.

5. Guinea pigs are sweet, cute and if you could somehow get them to stop pooping every 6.23 minutes, they would be perfect pets. The girls are so thrilled with them, #3 carries "Hershey" around with her constantly and I have no doubt these piggies will live a long life filled with lots of love!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Think All This Cold Weather Has Frozen What is Left of My Brain

I've been thinking odd thoughts lately and then I went ahead last night and took the first step in making one of those odd ideas a reality.

If you've been stopping by my blog over the last few years then you are aware that our dog is not a "kid-friendly" dog. When she isn't ignoring us or growling at us, she plays so hard that somebody usually gets knocked down. The girls and I have pretty much given her entirely over to The Husband and now we treat her like we do the lawn mower. Like, it's fun to ride on once in awhile, but that belongs to Daddy or it's okay to look at her, but don't touch her.

The guilt of having a cat they are allergic to and a giant dog they can't play with has made me consider getting a smaller dog just for the girls to call their own. But, with that comes more time and money that I have to spend taking care of it and I have reached my maximum responsibility level for keeping all things under my roof alive and well. So, another idea hit me!

Hamsters! It would give the girls a pet they could love and take care of all by themselves! The Husband would be a tough sell, but I could probably talk him into two little hamsters for the girls as an Easter present (because we all see the obvious connection with furry rodents and Christ's love for us, right? Ok, maybe not, but I'm sure I can come up with some way to make it a valuable object lesson....I mean they are almost like bunnies or sheep, just smaller).

Then, yesterday we got an email from a friend that the family guinea pig had babies and they are giving them away.

So, guess who emailed her that they are interested in adopting a few of the babies. ME! Shhhh....don't tell the kids! Do you see what all this snow does to me?? I have completely lost my mind!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

AI Recap and My Predictions

As if I'm the expert now!

However, I was so compelled by the underachievement on this week's American Idol I felt the need to blog about it.

Throughout Hollywood Week the judges kept telling everyone that this was the most competitive season ever, the female talent especially. Did anyone see evidence of that this week, because I missed it. The guys were especially disappointing and I think I cringed for most, if not all, of them last night.

Now, don't get me wouldn't see me out on that stage in front of millions of people. They have guts! It just wasn't what we were expecting and now the more I'm watching the more things are starting to get annoying. Like Kara's crush on Casey James. Hello? She is married! Even he looks like he feels the pressure and my guess is that Kara will start to tone it down a bit with him from here on out. The other person beginning to annoy me is "Big Mike", he has a great voice and a great story (his wife had a baby during his first week in Hollywood), but that "story" is only going to carry him so far and he came off as too cocky and somewhat menacing last night.

The biggest disappointment of the night was waiting until the end of the show to watch Andrew Garcia underwhelm us. He and Crystal Bowersox have been my favorites since the first week of auditions. I think she did amazing this week, but Andrew didn't bring it. While he slipped a notch in my book, Lee DeWyze is starting to move up a notch. He reminds me of Jeremy Camp or Daruis Rucker from Hootie and the Blowfish!

Based on technical ability I think it is time to send Haeley Vaughn and Lacey Brown home on the girl side. The guys were so off last night it is hard to figure out who may go home. Todrick Hall? Tim Urban (who I had to agree with Simon that they had originally made the right decision to send him home the first time, until the producer called him to come back)? John Park? If Jermaine isn't sent home this week, he will be cut soon. It's too tough to tell right now because of the teeny bopper factor. Teenage girls have texting power beyond our wildest imaginations, which is why it is safe to say that Aaron and Tyler are safe this week (and, they weren't too bad).

Any predictions on your end? Who do you think is going home? Who is your favorite?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Maybe some of us are starting to outgrow Chuck E. Cheese?

I haven't posted a "Wordless Wednesday" in awhile and I thought this silly picture accurately depicts the stage of life we are in right now...the challenge of keeping little kids and big kids entertained! For more Wordless Wednesdays go visit Five Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

For the Ladies....

...this post contains large quantities of estrogen and emotion. Guys should head over to today so nobody gets hurt! haha!

I'm posting deep, woman thoughts. The things that go through our minds, even when we don't even realize it. The way it makes me feel all adventurous listening to Taylor Swift sing about dancing in the rain in a parking lot (even though in reality when it's raining and I'm in a parking lot with my kids I'm just running and shrieking frantically to watch for cars and hurry up). Girly pretty dresses, chocolate, fuzzy socks, and wondering who would play the part of us in a movie of our lives.

Do you ever really think about being a woman? Isn't there still some degree of little girl inside of us or is it just me? I hear a song and it inspires me. Or, I can be reduced to tears in moments from a touching story or an episode of American Idol. It's this uncanny ability women have to connect. The sad thing about most of us is that we dream big, then sell ourselves short. We walk a line of wanting to be needed without being taken advantage of...or, find ourselves taking advantage of others. We still feel insecure, jealous and petty, but hopefully, through the years we recognize the pain that results when you feed those feelings. And, is it so wrong to want to be the heroine and to be beautiful while you save the world? I am a blessed woman who adores my husband and kids, but sometimes wonders if I did enough to show my love to them at the end of the day. Did they "get it" when I made a favorite meal or texted them a random smiley face or did I stress them out rushing from one activity to the next like a drill sergeant on a mission?

I'm not professing to have the answers to any of those questions. I'm just thinking and being random. I'm also grateful that God knows the real me. No mask. No pretense. One day He had an idea. That idea was me. And, you. He knew exactly what He was doing when He created us. The pain, the dreams, the victories, the circumstances, the relationships, the disappointments, the girl drama, the emotional highs and lows....He already knew. He gives us a story to tell, unapologetically.

What's your story going to be?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baking the Night Away

I love my husband. I really do. You know I love him despite the latest object he has brought into our bedroom.

I've nicknamed it the "convection oven". It is really a little heater I had gotten to take into work to put under my desk since I am always freezing prior to noon. That idea sounded good in theory, but when I leave for work in the morning, with not two, but four girls to drop off, my lunch and my gym bag I reached the conclusion it is easier to just bring a sweater. #1 had wanted the little heater in her room, but one night The Husband announced that #1 has the warmest room in the house, so he confiscated it.

We already have a QUIET ceramic heater in our room (emphasis on the word QUIET) that keeps the chill out. The first few nights I thought it was cute that The Husband put the "convection oven" on his nightstand and blew it on high all night long. He really, really liked it. The problem is that I would eventually start waking up through the night without a drop of saliva in my mouth and my skin was wrinkling at the rate of about 1.3 years per night. It was dryyyyy. When I mentioned (complained) to The Husband he came up with a perfectly reasonable solution the following night. A humidifier. With all the air blowing around our room now, it sounds like an airport. He was quite impressed that he had gotten the humidity up to 48% last night. I, of course, can't fall asleep with all this racket, so the bags under my eyes now slightly distract from all the dry skin peeling off of my face. And, 48% humidity or not I still wake up with a throat as dry as the desert!

Now, I have even more of a reason to despise these winter months! Spring come quickly before I look like I'm eighty when I celebrate my fortieth!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Don't Mean to Sound Cheesy....

...but it is like Valentine's Day at our house every day (well, most days). Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the cards, the chocolates, the flowers, the Pandora charms (hint, hint, Honey), but I like leaving love notes in lunch boxes and texting cute messages to each other more than just once a year! It takes work to make a marriage good. Not grueling, back breaking labor kind of work. I'm talking about taking the time and making the effort to "out give" one another. I seriously think the best way I can love my hubby is to let him know each day how important he is to me. Really, the same philosophy applies to the kiddos, too.

I didn't always think this way. I was selfish and insecure and needy. I think being a parent is good training to rid most people of at least two of those three attributes! Early on, we struggled and I needed to know how much I was loved unconditionally, so I could begin to love that way, too. The kind of love that persists through disappointments, misunderstandings and pain. The love that Jesus shows us with every waking moment, every breath we take (every move we make, for all you Police fans out there) and every time we come to Him for forgiveness when we blow it. When we grasp an understanding of such selfless love, it becomes more natural for us to give away what we receive. While I still have my occasional pity parties and hurt feelings, They do not last for very long!

I guess at some point along the way, The Husband caught on to this, too, because he loves me extravagantly, whether I deserve it that day or not. Valentine's day is nice, but I'm glad the other 364 days of the year are just as special!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Poop On You, CVS!

I'm a bit irritated. And, my title is completely relevant to my story.

I took all three girls to the doctor today and they all have various ear, nose and throat infections requiring antibiotics. Normally, I have our prescriptions filled at Costco, but I had a "free $25 gift card with a new prescription" coupon from CVS. Now, don't get me wrong. I like CVS for my "buy one get one free" hair color and $.99 toothpaste after Bonus Bucks; however, I have never, nor will I ever be, a fan of the CVS pharmacy closest to my house.

First of all, they are not always very friendly. They always look frazzled and they never, I repeat never, have my prescription ready whether it is twenty minutes or five hours after the doctor emails it over. Today was no exception. In fact, today they tried to tell me it wasn't even there and then, as I was calling the doctor's office on my cell phone, they "found it" (in their inbox of their email, imagine that!).

The other reason is the lonnnnngggg line down Aisle Ten that is required when picking up a prescription. Aisle Ten is home to the enemas. Why wouldn't they put make-up or greeting cards there? It isn't like I'm going to grab a few enemas as an impulse purchase! And, it requires everyone in line to look straight ahead, no glancing around. Unless, of course, you are with my children who say things like "Mommy, what is the guy on that box doing?" then "What's an enema?" and "EWWWWWW". I finally got to the register and was told after they finally found the email that it would be at least twenty minutes. I asked if they would call my name when it was ready to which the not-so-nice lady replied yes, but it will be probably more than twenty minutes. I said that was fine and asked if I had to get back in line (IN THE ENEMA-INFESTED AISLE, I wanted to shout), to which she rather smugly replied yes.

"No thanks" I told her, "we'll be back!".

Maybe. Or, maybe I'll call the doctor's office and ask them to send the prescription over to Costco. I'm not sure if the $25 gift card is worth me throwing boxes of enemas at the pharmacy workers. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Post-Workout Epiphany

Epiphany......a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

It hit me as I was driving from the gym to pick up #1 from play practice. This thought that snapped me right out of the melancholy that has been knocking at my door the last week or two.

I have the rest of my life to fulfill the dreams God placed in my heart. Why in the world do I feel like I've failed for not making them happen NOW? Lately, I've been dealt a few disappointing circumstances and have been so touchy about turning forty. Like I haven't found the cure for cancer or written a book or opened another restaurant or hosted my own talk show or anything "cool" like that. Sometimes I wonder what the heck I was thinking four years ago when we gave up and closed the cafe and turned our backs on the idea of ever doing that again (oh yeah, I remember...the money ran out!). Since then I'm ready to give it another try, however, I know that I am called to be faithful in the places that He has me in right now. Dreaming is good, but I've learned that when we force it to happen in our time those dreams can end up a disaster.

So, I'm not going to look at what most of the world considers success and I will try to remember it can be the little stuff that really matters. Working a flexible, part-time job that I enjoy so I can be with the kids is much higher on my priority list than pursuing my career through long hours and climbing the corporate ladder. Not that it isn't tempting, but, that is a choice for another season in my life, not now. Do I hear the time ticking away and wonder what I'll have to offer when my kids are grown up? Yes, I think about it every day and then I thank God for the privilege of trusting me with those 3 precious treasures....because nothing I "do" could ever be more important than pouring love, time and attention into my family.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How Much More iCarly Can I Watch Before I Lose My Mind?

The novelty is wearing off. Cooking, waiting on sick kids and just watching boatloads of snow continue to come down has me in a semi-coma right now. Is 6:20pm too early to go to bed? Not the kids....I mean me.

The Husband is a trooper. Of course, he spent the better part of the day snow blowing our driveway. He came in after a few hours and looked like the Abominable Snowman. After a yummy dinner of broccoli cheese soup, corn bread, and the grand finale of chocolate cupcakes with homemade pink buttercream frosting, he looked out the window and saw the neighbors across the street trying to dig out their cars. It pained him to watch, so he bundled back up again and headed over to snow blow them out, after he went back up on the sunroom roof to shovel it. This man is worth his weight in gold. In fact, he is worth much more than that....I'd say he's downright priceless!

The kids have been pretty good considering the younger two are sick with fevers and sore throats (not really, they have been bickering and picking at each other a lot, but I eventually tuned them out). #1 did a great job of playing her keyboard and singing to us all day in between spurts of TV and Wii. Oddly enough, we drank a bunch of milk and ate a ton of eggs, so I'm starting to get concerned I might need to run out for more. Or, we could always eat and drink something else. :)

I was kept entertained today by a dispute with PayPal that is way too long and stressful to get into now. To summarize, some lady ripped me off by disputing something I sold her, but instead of PayPal emailing the dispute to my updated email address, where they send all my other notifications, they sent it to an old email on the account. Because I never responded in the set amount of time due to them sending the emails to an old account, the buyer got her money back and PayPal sent me to collections for $32. I tried emailing ebay and the lady to at least return the item, but surprise, she does not respond. Stupid PayPal....I don't even know what the dispute was, the item was brand new and she got a great deal! They refuse to appeal it because it is not in their "set" time frame. I thanked them for allowing someone to steal from me and assured them I'll never utilize their services again. To which, they basically responded, sorry about that, but how would you like to pay your $32 bill or our collection agency will haunt you 37 times a day? Instead of going postal, I almost went PayPal (postal times 10).

Well, it's time to go look out the window and sigh loudly that the snow is still out there. And, then I'll wander back in to watch my 13th episode of iCarly in the last 24 hours. In the future, I'll make sure I make a trip to the library, instead of the grocery store, before our next blizzard!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Got Milk?

The snow is coming! The snow is coming!

Thankfully, I had overstocked after last week's storm, so I did not have to go anywhere near a grocery store in the last 24 hours except to return a Red Box movie. Although, there is something to be said for making that trip to the grocery store before a snow reminds me of the camaraderie of Black Friday or standing in a long line for the ladies room during a concert. It is one of the few occasions that you find yourself bonding with total strangers. At the grocery store we all laugh at the people who are there buying bread and milk until we look in our own shopping carts and realize we are buying them, too.

I type this now to distract myself from the fact that The Husband is on top of our sunroom shoveling snow off of our roof. In the dark. While it's snowing. With a broken leg. Just kidding about the broken leg (hopefully, that wasn't me being prophetic, just joking! Really!). The rest of it is true. We had some leakage in the sunroom on Monday as snow was beginning to melt and being blessed (or, cursed) with an overactive imagination I pictured the sunroom roof caving in around 4am this morning as the next foot of snow arrives. The Husband, who I believe actually enjoys walking on the roof in the snow and freezing temperatures, was quick to offer his assistance. So, after a short time of watching The Dog trying to figure out what the scraping noise on the ceiling is, I figured I'd get online and do some EXCITING LIVE BLOGGING of the actual event as it is happening. Just like those people who do it for American Idol....which I plan to do one day soon since this is my first season I've actually watched it from the beginning and I like it. Let's hear it for all my overrun sentences tonight. Sorry about that. It's just the excitement of the moment, because I just heard a sliding noise on the roof, so I think I better go....

Alright, The Husband is okay, but #1 just awoke wondering what the noise was. Now, I'm starting to grow concerned that rather than snow caving the roof in, maybe The Husband will do that all by himself. Wouldn't that be irony? Or, would that be a paradox? Most importantly, would my homeowners cover that?

Time to go turn up the heat and talk myself out of the seasonal depression that threatens to set in every February, which is somehow magnified this year probably because I'm turning forty and doing nothing with my life, blah, blah, blah.....please someone get me a pair of flip flops and everything will be alright!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Top Ten to Remember My Four-O

The Husband made his official entrance into his forties yesterday. Thus begins the six-week countdown until I join him, during which time I will remind him daily that I am still a young pup in my thirties. I think we are both in shock that he turned forty and I'm trailing slightly did we get to forty? I must admit thirty seems like a lifetime ago, but I remember too clearly my parents turning forty while I was an adult. Yikes. They're all turning early sixty-something now so I imagine once I blink a few times that will be us, too.

Now that we have celebrated our fifteen year anniversary last week and The Husband's birthday this week I can start to think about MY birthday. And, I've come up with some ideas to remember my 40th year ....some are not serious considerations, but I did think about it!

1. I thought it would be fun to rent a roller skating rink and have everyone dress in their best seventies clothes and have a roller derby...complete with slamming each other into walls. Gently. 'Cause we're all old now.

2. Get a tattoo of a butterfly on my ankle. That is just screaming mid-life crisis since I have never desired a tattoo in my entire life.

3. Audition for a game show.

4. Go to a foreign country, which would require me to obtain a passport now that I can't travel with a birth certificate like in the good old days. I would love to go on a missions trip in a few years when the girls are a little older and me leaving for a week wouldn't be so traumatic for #3!

5. Go back to school and finish my four-year degree. I am looking into transferring my AA degree credits....if they take all of them then I am probably going to enroll for this fall's semester. I want to earn a BA in communications.

6. Learn how to play the guitar.

7. Spa time (this one is a definite since I am traveling for a weekend this summer with my high school friends, who are also turning 40).

8. Lose forty pounds in honor of my fortieth. I'm at 11 pounds so far for the year so if I keep up this pace I may make it! I have also dramatically cut back on caffeine (two cups of coffee a day) and I drink gallons of water! Soda is a 1-2 times per week treat. Yes, it's true. You can check I no longer have an addiction to fountain soda and expensive coffee.

9. Run a race, probably a 5K, but a 10K would be cool, too, if I can get my butt in gear. I'd like to do it in honor of my Pop, who my brother and I used to run with when we were all younger and he was still here with us. I miss him like crazy, so I think rather than just be sad I'd like to raise some money and awareness for the disease that took him from us (he had a stroke). I may talk my brother into doing it with me, but we'll have to compare schedules.

10. I am totally going to start writing a book. I am waiting to hear back from a super, talented gal who I have asked to collaborate on a specific project and then I'm ready to grab the bull by the horns and run with it!

So, there you have it! Of course, I won't get to everything on the list. I'm ready to start pursuing some things that I have not given much serious time or thought to, but that I feel are desires that the Lord has put in my heart for a reason. It doesn't just have to be because I'm having a milestone birthday, turning forty just gave me a reason to sit and think about some of this stuff that has been bubbling on the back burner for awhile!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ready for My Wings!

I feel like I'm emerging from my cocoon! Since the beginning of January I have lost almost ten pounds and I feel energized. I get more sleep, I've been exercising, I have more energy and most of all, I feel like I am "resting" in the Lord during so many potential problems that come up each day. I also have committed to reading the entire Bible in a year. Today's section was about Moses. And, it was good!

There is so much to ponder upon Moses and his story. The fact that he killed the Egyptian who was beating the Hebrew slave is such a story of God's redemptive power (something we can all appreciate!). Moses flees for his life, then God eventually meets up with him in the form of a burning bush to tell Moses that he has been chosen to deliver the Israelites from captivity and Moses was probably looking around pointing to himself like " Are you sure?". I think that was a defining moment for Moses...his emerging from a cocoon that probably didn't feel very good at the time. If it wasn't Pharaoh going up against him, it was his own people or his own insecurities. But, the cool thing about the whole story is that God was faithful to do what He said He would do. I imagine that did a little something to Moses's faith, which in turn transformed him from a stuttering, self-conscious guy on the run to the leader who rescued a nation.

Can't we look back on our own lives and see the faithfulness of God? What has kept us in our cocoons? Pain, rejection, fear, confusion, disappointment, unforgiveness, comfort.....I know my story and God has been drawing some of this out of me. I don't want to go to the next assignment carrying baggage with me. It's time to break out and spread my wings....and trust that the God of Moses is as faithful today as He was on the day He parted the Red Sea.