"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hamster Dance

The Man lost.

That's right. He lost. And we won. How did that happen? Well, remember how I didn't get the birthday present I really wanted and how we don't have a dog or really any pets to speak of (and NO, fish don't count) because the Man didn't like 'em? That ended yesterday.

For months, Boo has begged and pleaded, plotted and planned, asking for a hamster. We had her learn about hamsters. She took notes. We told her she had to pay for half. She filled her piggy bank. We said there would be rules. She even agreed to the consequences. And while I had been willing to wait for my pets, she wasn't.

So yesterday was Hamster Day.

I picked her up from school and we headed to the pet store. On the way, I explained to her that there were two other pet stores within driving distance, so if they didn't have the hamster she had been dreaming of, it would be easy to go to the next place. (Ironic how I was explaining how she didn't have to settle, given that she had already proved just how much she won't do that.)

The pet store girl took out the different cages of hamsters and let her hold whichever one she wanted. In the last cage, she found him.

He's a Fancy Hamster and at the moment, his name is Peanut, short for Super Chunky Peanut Butter. Also called Guy. (He's not really striped. That's just the sun and my lack of camera skills.)

And about a minute after I took this picture, he bit her. She cried, put him back in his cage, and watched him lovingly through the bars. *sigh* Every little girl needs a hamster.

And I hope she doesn't get mad that I will totally sneak into her room and play with him while she's at school.

And I'm really glad she didn't get the little white one...that thing had beady red eyes and I think it wanted to slit my throat in my sleep.

What pet advice do you have for Boo?
Or if you don't have any, what pet do you want?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Swap Package

I love getting mail. I especially love getting mail where there's a package. Or coupons to the Children's Place. So when I checked the mail and there was the key to the large box, I was pretty excited!

This package was from my Favorite Things Swap partner, B Nabors. Due to sickness and general chaos, she got the package out a little late but it was worth the wait!

Oh, where to start! So many lovely possibilities...

Here's a general run down of the contents: a photo organizer (I think she must have seen the pile stashed in my desk), two shopping bags (the little black bag and the big one, which is spread out under everything else), magnets (already holding up the kids' homework), little yellow book and black rice soap (both made by the people from Go Fish, an incredible organization that helps communities build commerce), card-making kit (Martha Stewart! Score!), lotion, and sidewalk chalk (I love turning the neighborhood kids loose on my driveway with this stuff). But perhaps my favorite item is that little frog...B's daughter had tucked it into the package. It makes me smile.

Thank you so much, B! And thanks to Mamarazzi for all the work she puts into organizing these for us.

And look what I am doing next:


Another swap! Already got the gears grinding on what I want to put inside...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

There's just no pleasing him

This weekend, I made a birthday cake for a kid entering his teens years. He's quite the gamer and the kids are just as obsessed, so I suggested a Wii Remote.

Friday, I decorated the cake while simultaneously watching Ocean's Thirteen with the Man. The next morning, I showed it to the kids.

Me: What do you think?
Boo: Hey, that's pretty cool, Mom!
Boy: There's no A button.
Me: Doh!

Sure enough, the main button you push while playing games on the Boy's most beloved past time was missing. Apparently, I had been distracted by the movie enough to not actually finish the cake. I had plenty of time, so I set to work. A little while later, I called the kids back into the kitchen.

I also added the front black window and the port for the nunchuk in the back. I couldn't add everything, obviously. There's no actual nunchuck to plug in. Since the cake is solid, there's no trigger button on the underside.

Me: What do you think?
Boo: Wow! That's the coolest cake ever!
Boy: ...
Me: Do you like it, Boy?
Boy: There's no B button.
Me: Yeah, sorry.
Boy: Where the nunchuk?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hey, good lookin', watcha got cookin'?

I hate breakfast.

Always have.

Breakfast cereal manufacturers say its the most important meal of the day but I nearly have to choke down that bowl of cereal. Ugh. I don't like my food cold and wet (unless it happens to be ice cream). I don't like food that gets soggy. And it is inevitable that my breakfast will get soggy. I have three small children in varying states of panic in the morning. Cereal is never a good choice for me.

I like my breakfast hot. Preferably melty. That's not always practical on a typical morning in the Cow household. And did I mention I'm not that big a fan of eggs and omelets? Ideally, I'd like to have a sausage and cheese croissandwich from Burger King every morning. But that's not exactly conducive to my weight loss goals.

While trying to have something in my stomach for breakfast, I've been drinking an Instant Breakfast or a Slim Fast shake (when I remember to buy the mix and we're not out of milk). It is easy enough to drink down, leaving one hand free to brush hair, retrieve shoes, and even manage buttons. But it doesn't keep me full. Within an hour, I'm getting hungry again.

So, what does that leave me that's not cold, potentially soggy, hot, melty, not eggs, keeps me full longer and is reasonably good for me? Diddly squat, that's what.

Or at least that's what I thought...

At a friend's suggestion, I tried steel cut oatmeal. It takes some time and usually ends up overflowing, getting burned or congealed while I give orders gentle instructions to my brood. So I switched to instant. Have you seen those little packets? Kinda small and not very filling, either. I felt like a big ol' glutton dumping in two packets, though. Of course, the flavors I like (peaches and cream, apples and cinnamon) are the high-sugar options. However, I recently found a "weight control" option that provides a slightly large portion while cutting down on sugar and fat. But oatmeal just isn't tasty on it's own and I don't keep fresh berries on hand to spruce it up. So here's where the melt factory comes in: I add a tablespoon of chocolate chips. They're the semi-sweet kind so have less fat and sugar than the milk option and a little bit goes a long way. The chips are nice and melty after sitting on a steaming bowl of oatmeal while I'm kicking escorting children out the door to school, and when mixed together, they are tasty, tasty good!

What do you eat for breakfast?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

When the morning comes

I've had an emotionally draining week. In fact, I just got back from a funeral that was also attended by Smokey the Bear.

Instead of attempting a blog post, I have a rather nifty video for your viewing pleasure. I like the lyrics, too. It reminds me that this, too, shall pass.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I am a Grumpy Bookworm

No, that title is not some sort of odd meme making the rounds on our blogosphere. I'm just kinda grumpy about a book series I've been reading. (And honestly? I'm not that proud of the fact that I've been reading this series, so please don't ask me to name names and such 'cuz I ain't gonna...unless you offer chocolate.)

Believe me; I have my reasons why this book is not even doorstop-worthy. I made it to Book Three of this particular series and decided that was enough torturing my eyeballs (I think the author is up to nine books). The story concept was fascinating and I even liked most of the little twists and turns the plot took. But its the main character that ended it for me. See, she is beautiful. Gorgeous, even. So much so, that every man (and the occasional woman) who meets her, desires her. And even though she's supposedly in a committed relationship (which she just ended in #3, so let the good times roll for the next book!), she gets all swoony over these guys, too. And there's the occasional "innocent and completely without repercussions" make-out/groping session with others characters. If this is how the beautiful people act in real life, then I will thank my average-looking stars!

While I enjoy my various roles as "nose wiper," "airhead in charge," and "meal burner," I'd like to add "published novelist" to the list. So let's consider this research for that future position. What do you hate most in fiction books? What traits/quirks/plot twists get your panties in a bunch? What makes you close a book?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to Kill Harold Crick

When I tell people that I hear voices, their reaction -- after scooting away from me -- is to suggest medication and perhaps time away from the general public. With that kind of treatment, it was refreshing to be in a room full of people that also hear voices. And the room wasn't padded, either.

The voices I hear aren't real people. Well, they're real to me, but I can't introduce you properly. They are the characters in my books. With all that jabbering, they're busy vying for attention, attempting to explain motivation, and just trying to get more page time. Sometimes, they just whine. The happens when I haven't been writing. If that's the case, their thoughts start crowding into my mine, even at the most inconvenient times. Just this morning, Doug, my current main character, wanted to talk about the beginning of his book (he doesn't like it but he's always had self-esteem issues) and The Man wanted to talk about vacations. Kinda hard to give both of them my attention. Lucky for me, Doug is used to being ignored (his mom never was very attentive) so he agreed to wait until after breakfast.

But I was talking about that group of voice-hearing people, wasn't I? (It's no wonder I can't keep thoughts straight...I've got three conversations running through my head right now.) I was feeling the itch for some learnin' when I saw a mention on Facebook about a creative writing class. AND it was taught by Annette Lyon. Sweet! Even though it meant a half hour drive to class on a Saturday morning (I am so not a morning person, especially on the weekends), I was in! And what a glorious six weeks it was! Finally, people who spoke my language. And they were just as obsessive over plot holes! It was bliss.

And then it ended.


Anyone else know of a creative writing class nearby?

Oh, and anyone have suggestions for Spring Break locations? We want to go camping!

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