Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm getting a HazMat suit.

I have had the flu twice in my life that I can remember.

When I was about 10 years old, I had it. I remember it because of how miserable it was. I don't know if 1989 was a particularly bad flu season or not, but I had it that year. I remember lying in bed with my mother sitting with me. She was reading to me and I had to ask her to stop because listening to her was making my head hurt worse. There were lots of saltine crackers involved, as well as Ginger Ale, Thera-Flu, and chicken soup.. all of which were regurgitated.

I never thought that I would die though, so I guess it wasn't that bad, right?

I had it again last year. It sucked. Aman had it too, and that sucked. But we managed to not pass it to the kids, as far as I can remember.. so that's good.

How? Why?

We're smart.

The government isn't kidding when they talk about prevention methods such as 'wash your hands, cough into a tissue and then throw it away, avoid contact with other people, use bleach to clean household surfaces..'.

Anyway.. situations like this certainly make me thankful for things like home schooling and not having a vehicle. We're pretty much isolated as it is and the only opportunities we have for getting sick are through Aman or if we venture out of the house for church or errands.

I'm thinking that will be kept to a minimum if people in Des Moines start falling ill.

Seriously though, I think the government should just start passing out HazMat suits. Sick or not, wear the suit. It would certainly help to halt the spread of the disease right? I should work for the health department. I'm a friggin' genius.

Okay, probably not.

If you want to read some real writing instead of this dumb drivel, go check me out at The Open End, where the first chapter of my next book has been posted. I'd love to hear what you think!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, April 24, 2009

Favorite Music Friday

Anberlin - Feel Good Drag

you know you want one...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We like to go outside.

Last week, Aman stayed home on Tuesday because Aidan had to do testing with our home school teacher and we were doing paperwork for next school year. I will have three, yes three, kids doing school next year.. my baby boy is going to be in Kindergarten. Sigh. Not ready.


Since he was home, we took advantage of the lovely weather and the fact that we had a vehicle that day and drove over to Gray's Lake for a walk.

It had been raining the day before, but luckily the playground was nice and dry and the kids were able to play. The boys brought their scooters, Aman brought his skateboard, and I had the double jogger stroller for the girls. It was cool and breezy, but nice.

Torrin took no time at all to give up on the scooter (he just can't keep up with the big boys quite yet..) and Aman opted to toss his board in the stroller and walk with me too (once he realized that he couldn't watch my butt if he was ahead of me skating).

Naturally, I brought the camera along. So here's some pics..

Are you sure you're ready for this??
If the sun is out, Gray's Lake is crowded.
The boys were surprisingly brave and took off on their scooters way ahead of us. Like so far we sometimes couldn't see them.. Once we caught up to them, we made a game of it and had them start counting light posts and stopping every 5 or so.

Torrin was content walking with Aman and I while we snapped pictures.

Eliana wasn't sleeping.. she was grumpy for some reason. Maybe it was the sun in her eyes. Or maybe she just didn't want her picture taken.. Who knows. She has a bit of a Diva Complex.

Naturally, the highlight of the outing for the kids was playing on the playground.. The last time we were at that particular playground, I was pregnant with Joella. My parents had come up for a birthday picnic for Aidan. We need to get out more often.

We tried offering a couple of our kids to strangers.. you know, just to lighten the load a bit. But they all looked at us like we were smoking crack.

Yep, it was fun.

Until we decided to go home..

Funny thing was (well, not funny at the time.. is it ever?) that Aidan was the one to throw a fit.. go figure.

But it was late. So we just locked him outside forgave him.

The End.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hair - Part Deux

I had a date with my hairdresser.

Aman and I decided my hair was getting boring. So a cut and some color was in order.

Some time ago, I bought a bottle of hot pink hair dye.. with the intent of bleaching some of my hair and dying it pink. I don't remember how long ago, I think about a year.. because I'm pretty sure it was after I dyed my hair black.

I don't have a clue what happened to that dye. Maybe we gave it away. I don't know. Whatever. We bought some new dye.

So we began with some research, picked a style that looked fun and headed upstairs to the salon bathroom to start snipping.

Aman produced an angled bob with a side part and instructed me to (despite all my arguing..) suggested I brush my bangs to the side.

(excuse my messy bathroom... it's the 'main' bathroom in our house - so 7 people share it..)

After the cut, it was time for some bleaching..

After the bleaching, it was time to add color..

And... the finished product!

We also added some color to the kids' hair.. but you'll have to wait for that. I haven't uploaded all their pics yet.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Because life gets overwhelming sometimes..

Okay, friends.. I need your encouragement. I feel like my blog's been lacking a little lately - meaning mostly that it's veered off course from what I intended it to be.. about my writing.

I have started my next book. It's been over a month since I asked for your help and opinions on which story to write, and while I haven't worked as hard on it as I would like to have, progress has been made. I have written outlines for both stories and have the first 2 chapters or so of the winning option written (#2).

But I seem to be lacking motivation. (sick toddler, struggling with home school, too much time working out?)

And whenever I have a particularly difficult day (which happens often when you have 5 kids under 10 being cared for by two slightly mental parents..), I start feeling like I should give up. This little voice inside my head says 'What do you think you're doing? You don't have time for this.. get your head out of your ass and just focus on your family for now. You can't do it all.' But I can. I just need to manage my time better (don't we all??). No, I don't need to finish the whole book in 30 days, but I know that I'm capable of doing that.. so why shouldn't I be able to get another written over say 60-90 days, right? Besides, most people take years to write their first book.

Anyway.. whatever.

I figured I'd share some of my progress here so you all can tell me if I should a) start over, b) try the other book instead, or c) keep this because it's awesome. Feel free to be mean and insulting.. I like it when people are honest.

Chapter 2

Jenna walked quickly to the bathroom, dropped to her knees and vomited into the toilet.

As she re-entered the bedroom, Shane was zipping his pants and looked at her with little more than an empty stare.

"Did you just throw up?"
"Yes." Jenna replied as she began pulling the sheets off the bed.
"You want some help with that?" Shane asked sheepishly.
"No.. I think you've done enough already, thank you." she replied in a cold quiet voice.

He sat on the bare mattress and gripped the edge as he watched Jenna leave the room and return with a trash bag.

"I'm sorry." he said as she angrily stuffed the sheets into the bag. She paused for a moment and glared at him, tears starting their slow descent over her cheeks.

Shane rose from the bed and walked over to her, wrapping his arms around her as the bag fell to the floor. Jenna stiffened at his touch initially but then slowly relaxed in his arms as he stroked her blond curls. She leaned her forehead against his chest and let out a little sob.

"I'm so sorry, Jenna.." he whispered.

Jenna shoved him away indignantly, her stomach lurching again.

"How dare you touch me, you asshole." she hissed at him through clenched teeth. With that, she turned and walked out of the room, headed for the couch in the living room. She wanted nothing to do with the comfort of her own bed after what she'd just witnessed there.

"Are you leaving?" Shane asked as he followed her down the hall to the living room.
"No. I don't know.. why? Do you want me to?" she wasn't sure exactly what he meant by his question.
"No." he answered as Jenna sat down on the couch.

The room was spinning and she closed her eyes as she sank back into the brown suede cushions.

"I came home because I wasn't feeling well. I just need to lie down for a while."
"Oh." It obviously wasn't the response he was expecting.
"Shane, please, just go away.." Jenna said as she leaned over to lay down without opening her eyes. She curled up on her side as he walked back down the hall to the office. She tried to chase the images of Shane and the other woman going at it in her own bed but it was all she could see in her mind. She opened her eyes again, letting the tears fall freely as her mind filled with questions..


Okay, let me know what you think.. and also, feel free to leave me ideas for another short story here.. a story idea, a prompt, even just an opening line. I love a challenge.

And now, I will go change a diaper full of butt soup..

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Resurrecting Long Lost Boyfiends and Pukey Toddlers..

I was going to write a big companion post to Only Aman's guest post on The Dayton Time.. but my baby was covered in vomit this morning.

So this here is going to kind of make up for my missing Random Tuesday Thoughts this week.. Yeah. Sorry about that.

I know how much you all look forward to hearing my brain muddle.. (come on, just lie and say you do.)

So anyway.. (just had to take a break to change a poopy diaper and refill a sippy with some diluted PowerAde that my dear friend Lisa was kind enough to pick up for us..) Sunday was Easter. We had our own 'resurrection' of sorts around these parts.

My old boyfriend is back.

It's been a long, long time since I've seen this handsome face that I fell in love with 11 years ago.. I love seeing his smile, seeing his face, seeing his expressions when he looks at me.. Oh, how I've missed this man.. He's not so sure how he feels about it.

To be honest, even Jo was a bit upset by it. She wouldn't let him touch her for 2 or 3 days, and still gives him the eye now and then (she gets that from me..). She's adjusted to it though, and all is getting back to normal in Daddy's Girl World. (It will be even better when she stops releasing the contents of her stomach onto the floor..)

Every time Aman comes home.. or even walks into the room.. I can't help but grin from ear to ear. I love his face.

(Jo just puked again.. yay.)

Anyway.. I need to go clean up some more vomit, change the toddler, do some laundry, and all sorts of other fun things.. So go check out Only Aman's post to get the scoop on The Beard and also The Uniform. If you like, I'll share more pics of the shearing on another day.

Oh, and go stop by Steenky Bee's place and offer your support in her attempt to land a blogging gig and then swing by Lisa's to enter her giveaway. I'll be busy cleaning up after my hurly-girl and ogling my gorgeous man..

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, April 13, 2009

Operation: Hot Chick - Week 6

Kung Fu Kick Boxing kicked my ass. Truly.

When I started doing the Bollywood Booty workout (shake, shake, shimmy), I started out doing the entire DVD every time.. and keeping up pretty well, I might add. Thankyouverymuch. (For those of you new to the 'workout DVD' world.. you generally get 3 workouts on any given DVD of increasing intensity, sometimes more if they're short - like '10 minute butt crunchers' or something like that..) So after a couple weeks of doing the Booty Shake once or twice a week (cause I'm awesome like that), I decided to give Kung Fu Kickboxing a go.. Wow.

I managed to get through the 'warm up', the first work out, and a cool down out before dropping dead on the living room floor. I'm glad I got that one.. it makes me work hard.

I also tried the Fat Burning Kickboxing for Dummies out last night. Also a very good workout, but I still managed to get through the whole DVD on the first try. Hopefully it will give me more of an edge on the Kung Fu Kickboxing.. yeah, doubt it.

So on Saturday we went out to run errands.. While we were at it, we stopped by Old Navy so I could get some pants. Now, before you start congratulating me, let me explain..

I got new pants because I'm too fat for the ones I have. Yes. I have gained enough weight since starting to try and lose weight/exercise that I had to go buy fat pants.

Okay, you can laugh now.



I'll wait..

Anyway.. There are many contributing factors to my frustration and lack of success. First, Jo weaned about a month before I started this endeavor (that was part of why I was suddenly gaining weight to begin with). So after over 3 years straight of lactating, my body is.. adjusting. Lucky me. (Nursing fun fact: Did you know that lactating burns 500 calories a day?)

Second, this is just the way my body does things. I start exercising and watching what I eat. I gain weight. I'm never really very out of shape (I can't be.. I have 5 kids), so my body quickly gains muscle mass, but is not so good in the burning fat department. But it's not usually this bad. See above.

Third, I haven't been exercising enough. I've averaged about 2 times a week.. or less. Between the problems with the Wii, finding time, so on and so forth.. Yeah. But last week I managed to work out 4 out of 7 days (including the past 4 days in a row), so I'm improving.

I'd still rather not be buying fat pants right now.


Starting Weight: 160lb
Current Weight: unknown
Weight Loss Goal: 30lb
(I have decided to stop weighing myself until my pants start getting looser instead of tighter. My scale and my butt are conspiring together against me.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Miss me???

Come see me over here.

My dear sister Pamela (not in the biological sense.. but I'll take what I can get since I'm the only girl in my family..) has squeezed out another little human.

So, if you want to hear me blather on about how wonderful she is, go check out her blog.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Joe's Crab Shack Giveaway Part 2 - Pick a Winner!

and now for the cleavage... i mean... and now i will give you my crabs... dang it, that sounded bad too.


(sounds a lot less ambiguous)

The lovely winner of this Joe's Crab Shack prize will receive a $25 gift card and an awesome t-shit! We think it is an excellent time with family or for a date night or just a great time to show your love for crabs in public by yourself.

While you are there, check out their Crazy-Good Crab Dip or perhaps you might like to start your meal off with their Great Balls of Fire, we definitely enjoyed the Crab in a Bucket for 2 and our Pomegranate Pop Rocks Margarita. And, of course, wear your t-shirt!

So enough drooling, here is the winner, announced in video format (again, the audio.. camera's fault, not ours. and excuse my haggard appearance, my make-up people had the night off..): - Joe's Crab Shack give away winner!.

ChurchPunkMom from Embellished Truth and Polite Fiction announces the Joe's Crab Shack give away winner!

As usual. Watch the video - if you can't see it - well maybe you will find out if the person tells you in the comments.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I should be writing..

.. but I'm here, entertaining you instead.


Kind of.

I mean, I know I'm not that entertaining, and this post will probably be pretty boring.. and, honestly, I should actually be doing something responsible right now instead of writing - like teaching my kids something, or cleaning my house, or exercising.. or something.
Whatever. So how are you today? I'm doing okay. I just uploaded more pictures than you can stick a shake at. Now, I'm going to try to organize them into a post for you. You're welcome.

Last weekend, we went to my parents. As I mentioned on Tuesday, they both performed in their local theatre's production of My Fair Lady. They were fabulous, of course. My dad played the Zoltan guy and my mother was a cockney girl. They had a blast and I can't wait to see them in their next show.

It was a short visit, despite my parents living about 3 hours from us. We left on Saturday morning and came home Sunday morning so that we could be back in time for Aman's soccer game Sunday afternoon. The kids spent Saturday night hanging out at my parents' house with my somewhat distant cousin babysitting them.

Aman and I took the kids for a walk Saturday afternoon after lunch to help them burn off some energy (so they wouldn't drive Fallon totally crazy) and let my parents rest up a bit before the show.

(I just had to stop in the middle of typing up this post and go up two flights of stairs to plug in my laptop and finish.. my battery was dying.. and now I am. *huff, huff, pant, pant*)

It's been a while since our family has had a chance to get outside and enjoy the outdoors together.. We had a great time Saturday. See for yourself...

We somehow forgot to throw a stroller in the back of the van we rented (I know, right? we have a baby for crying out loud.. you'd think we have this down by now..), but it was all good. Jo was happy to walk the whole time. I was impressed. (And honestly, had we thought of bringing a stroller, we might have just decided against it.. because at this point in the game? it just feels like extra baggage that's not really necessary..)

Obviously, the girls had a great time running around together and walking down the street holding hands. Aman and I always get a giggle out of seeing how cute and girlie they are together. Even after 3 years of having a daughter, it still feels like uncharted territory for us after the previous 5 years with all boys.

The boys, however, did remember to bring along their scooters and helmets. They had a blast scooting all over my parents' neighborhood. They live right on the edge of the biggest park in Keokuk, the perfect place to live when you have grandchildren.. obviously. It's also a lot of fun at the end of April when they do the Civil War Reenactment in the park - oh yes, you will be bombarded with those pictures in a few weeks, make no mistake.

We went to one of the playgrounds in the park and played for a while with the kids.. it was quite windy, but the sun was shining. On the playground we took more video than pictures, I will save those for another post.

Eventually, we decided to head back to my parents' house to clean up and eat some pizza before the show. But not without snapping some shots near one of the awesome old brick buildings in the park. The kids love posing for pictures.. can you tell?

Of course, all that fun came to an abrupt end when my aunt hit Torrin with her vehicle as she pulled in the drive way.. It was a sad moment for all.

But he's made a full recovery.

I think.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Procrastination Station


All week long, whenever funny little things happen, I think to myself "I should put that in my Random Tuesday post.." But you know what? Come Tuesday, I forget everything. Yeah.

So Aman shaved his head the other day. He likes to keep it shaved.. says something about it making him more aerodynamic.. I think he's just trying to hide the fact that he's going bald from me. I don't really know though, he hasn't let his hair get long enough for me to see.

When he was done, he put a longer attachment on the trimmer and, bringing it to his face, announced "Are you ready? Now is the moment you've been waiting for.."

I held my breath, watching as the buzzer neared the top of one of his sideburns.. and went right past it.

He shaved his eyebrows.

They're much less bushy.

We went to my parents over the weekend. They were in a play at their local theater - My Fair Lady. I'll blog more about that another day.. too many awesome pictures and videos for it to be in this post.

Notice I did not do my Operation: Hot Chick post yesterday? No? Good.

Really though, I still haven't lost weight. I'm obviously looking better and have burned some fat and gained some muscle.. but the scale is broken. It seems to be stuck. Whatever. I'll post that next week.

I've been getting a lot of headaches lately.. I'm starting to wonder if it's a tumor. But it's more likely just due to my lack of water and irregular caffeine consumtion.. and sleep deprivation.

You know those cats we had that were causing all the trouble? The ones that cleverly designed Mont Chat Merde? and were creating inbred kittens?? Yeah.. they're gone. We finally dropped them off at the ARL. Kelly is the queen kitty once again and is living it up.

I wanted to add some pictures to this post, but Eliana was bitching at me the whole time I was transferring them to the main computer. She really wanted to watch Noggin.. so I didn't bother uploading any pictures. Later.

I'm not a procrastinator... really.

Apparently I need to clean out our vents more often. Ellie was messing with the one at the bottom of the stairs yesterday and when I stopped her, I noticed some stuff in it. So I reached in and pulled some out.. and then some more.. and then some more.. I took a picture when I was done.. just for you. You're welcome. (I will add the picture in a bit.. must hi-jack the computer from the Noggin addict again..)

I'm not real sure why.. but Kieran always feels the need to sit around and blabber at me. Right now, I'm in Aman's Lair and KJ has followed me up here, using my cat as a guise for his blabbermania.. he's talking about anything and everything that he can think of - cats, the rental van we had, the weather today.. He should do his own Random Tuesday Thoughts post..

Since I haven't done Favorite Music Friday in a while (my blog says that 'favorite' should be spelled 'favourite'.. seems my own blog has gone all Canadian on me.), here's some Relient K for you. I couldn't post the official video because they have disabled embedding.. but whatever. This acoustic one is cool too.

Go check out my Joe's Crab Shack giveaway!
Then go visit Keely, The Un-Mom. She's awesome.
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