OMG OMG I’m Back Again {The Week in Me: Week 1}

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Hey, so there is no way of avoiding that the last time I posted here was in May. Posting again was always on my list of things to do, but it would get buried until it was so deep down that I figured this blog had suffocated and died. I almost wrote that Schrodinger’s Cat is dead, but that would reveal that I did find the time to watch Big Bang Theory reruns on a nightly loop. And I don’t want to reveal that.

At dinner on New Year’s Eve, I brought the memory jar to the table. You know, the highly pinned idea that throughout the year, your family make note of important or fun events by writing them on a scrap of paper and placing in a jar to be revisited at the end of the year? We started strong! I cut scraps of fancy paper and found the perfect jar. I was doing Pinterest proud! But then we all forgot about it until New Year’s Eve when I dumped out the two sad and lonely notes.

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The upside is that we’d all forgotten about that LEGO The Hobbit game party.

It wasn’t only the jar, it was really our year. When I made our end of year photo books, there was a surprising lack of photos for the first half of the year. It looks like the year starts at Easter, and there must be some truth to that because when everyone was posting those end of year Facebook movies, I looked at mine and sure enough, Facebook started my year in April, with most of the action taking off in August. You can’t argue with an algorithm.

What happened? Work happened. 2014 was the year of serious work. I worked A LOT, which meant every minute was scheduled from 5:45 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. Work came before everything, and even Facebook’s year-end video noticed. This year’s challenge is making sure that doesn’t happen again by wedging more fun into the schedule. Scheduled fun. It’s going to be less lame than it sounds.

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This week is always my favorite of the year, the low-key week between Christmas and the New Year when no one works or if they do work, they don’t expect much to happen. It’s quiet and lazy and perfect for introspection and planning. And for dealing with allergy issues for a super special puppy, whom the vet tech called, “The best type of high maintenence.”

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This is the face of a dog who doesn’t know her immediate future includes an ear wash and a 10 minute bath with medicated shampoo.

Last year’s theme song was Paramore’s Real World. This year we’re going in with Gwen Stefani’s Spark the Fire. Who got the lighter? Let’s spark the fire…so that we can snuggle with Trixie where it’s cozy.

My goal for this year is to post a weekly journal of sorts. I’ve loved following Modchik/Lindsey Garrett’s year and it inspired me to help meet some of my resolutions with a similar post here.

Mother’s Day Dispatches From My Bed

I’ve created quite a nest for myself today, surrounded by magazines, phones, a computer and TV, while I rule the roost from my bed. It’s like bed rest without the power that accompanies a medical order. My goal for Mother’s Day was to read my backlog of magazines, when really I’ve only made it through some blogs on Feedly and a CB2 catalog that has been dogeared up by someone else in this house.

One unadvertised benefit of our awesome bed is that the headrest doubles as a drink holder/shelf. It’s a fantastic feature because it keeps your drink accessible without forcing you to lean over to reach the nightstand, causing your carefully constructed pile of pillows to fall out of position. It was perfect until today when one of the pillows nicked a half full glass of lemonade, dumping the contents everywhere. I jumped up, grabbed a towel, and began wiping when I sat down on the bed to reach the floor board in between the nightstand and bed. First I heard beeps, then a weird muffled sound in the house. Only after I looked accusingly at the TV did I realize that I had sat on the phone and had butt dialed the phone intercom system. My clean up was broadcast house-wide. Still more entertaining than the Kardashians.

This came while watching a Dodgers game where they showed a mom in the crowd who looked topless, super tan, and on display while her son tried to get her attention. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that she was wearing a tube top and wasn’t topless, but I can’t be certain. She did make me think of Tom Papa’s take on hot moms:

The best news of Mother’s Day and the continuation of my love-hate with online quizzes: I am Lorelei Gilmore.

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It’s like Google turned over secret information on me because I LOVE Gilmore Girls. I even watched a few of the early episodes with Clover until someone in this house complained that I was hogging the Netflix spots. Rory’s high school graduation still makes me cry, especially her mention of how she inhabits two worlds – one of books and one of real life – because that is Clover, too.


Clover’s softball team lost in the playoffs yesterday due to a horrible call. I know, one call isn’t an entire game of play, but this one call really did cost them the game and it hurts so much more when your team wasn’t outplayed, but beat by a blind naccoleptic clustercuss umpire. And, it hurts so much more when the game is your child’s and not your own. This loss stung more than any I remember from my childhood. Clover didn’t say much, and as we drove away, she finally said that the worst of it was that she felt “especially bad” for one of her teammates. This girl was involved in the bad call play, and I thought that may be the reason Clover felt bad for her, but I was wrong. “It’s just that she’s always so positive and optimistic, and at the end, she was crying.”

Clover is a better person than I. That made my Mother’s Day.

Thingamajunkers and Other Flotsam

I have a love/mostly hate relationship with all of those Buzzfeed-esque quizzes. Which Frozen Character are You? What Color are You? What Font are You? And my favorite, How Lazy are You? What if you are too lazy to take the quiz? How can I share that super lazy status with my Facebook friends?

Still, the quizzes that suck me in, I feel have scientific accuracy.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 9.23.46 PMI got Mindy Kaling! Suck it, haters!

While I’m cutting and pasting and on the topic of apathy, this was the best gossip headline I’ve seen in a while (it’s the top one next to the teeny thumbnail):

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They’re famous, but not famous enough that we know their names, nor does the headline writer have time to do an image search to find out. I love it.

Instead of saying, “thingamajigger,” today, Rocket said, “thingamajunker,” which is really much better in some situations. I’m using it exclusively, now.

Speaking of Rocket, you know you’ve made a successful dinner when your child has to plug their nose to eat it. Mr. Dramatic was able to choke down the asparagus in a harrowing eight minute ordeal. He lived. Huzzah!

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How to Quickly Erase Dirt From a Free Range Childhood

This post is sponsored by P&G. Save on NEW Gain Flings and Tide Pods at Target. Text CLEAN to Target (827438) for mobile coupons*.

*Message and data rates may apply. 1 message per request. http://m.target.com/spot/sms/coupon-alrts-terms for Terms, Conditions, and Privacy Policy. By texting the key word to us, you agree to receive an autodialed text message from Target at the mobile number from which you sent your request. Consent to receive messages is not a condition of purchase.

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We don’t have one of those printed family manifestos popular on Pinterest, but if we did, here’s a snapshot of what it would say:

  • Screens should be limited
  • Kids should get bored
  • Kids should get themselves out of boredom
  • Kids should have time to explore their own curiosity.

It’s simple enough. Now that they’re older, they get 20 minutes of screen time a day, and very luckily, little to no homework, which means much of their afternoons and evenings are spent outside playing made up games.

Here’s the downsides:

  • Their rooms are often a mess (books, LEGO are everywhere)
  • Their faces and hair are always a mess
  • Their feet are an awful mess
  • Their clothes looked lived in (and I mean that in a bad way).

Despite living on a hillside where the kids climb and run around, the real mess is created at school. It’s not your typical school with a black top and paved walkways. Instead, it has trees, loads of dirt, and old style play structures that make me a little nervous. This is what the hippie school looks like on an average day:

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This is why my second grader still keeps *two* changes of clothes in his cubby. He’s been known to get dirty, change his clothes, then get right back into the same puddle or mess, thrashing a second outfit. It’s such a mess, it’s an all caps, four letter word: MESS. Dirt is surprisingly hard to get out and it makes their clothes smell like they were buried deep underground. Seriously, dirt smells bad. It’s not the fresh dirt smell after a day of gardening. This is the stink of a challenge.

Here is what one day looks like up close:

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The solution to the ugliness is found in this pretty package:

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Throw the earthy smelling clothes into the washer with a Tide Pod or Gain Fling from P&G, and a little bit later, we have this:

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Let them roll in the dirt, trudge through the mud, and slide down the hill on nothing but their rear end because the mess will be erased with ease. A free range childhood doesn’t mean disaster for clothes. Before we were sent samples of the Tide Pods and Gain Flings, I used to spray, scrub, then toss in with hot water and a prayer. No more, thank you very much, which was especially helpful after I hurt my back and would subsequently avoid doing laundry because of all the lifting and pouring. My back is better, but the simple, effective method stays. These laundry gems may be small and pretty, but they pack a powerful punch thanks to their combination of detergent, brightener, and stain remover all in a single pack. With them, I finally beat the dirt!

Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Decor with Felt Hearts

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Having a mantle has been a lot of fun. Prior to the remodel, we didn’t have a mantle on our cumbersome rock wall fireplace, but I mostly only thought about it at Christmas when I had to improvise a place to hang our stockings. Now the mantle is a focal point, mostly because of the TV, but it allows an opportunity to add some color and fun.

A new mantle means a need for new decorations. For Valentine’s, I knew what I wanted and was disappointed when I found Target didn’t sell it. With that, I remembered some simple felt hearts on sticks that I’d seen on Pinterest about two years ago, and I made my own.

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For the mantle, I wanted a garland of felt hearts, then I wanted a few hearts on sticks to use in vases around the house. We had the supplies (felt, fluff, ribbon, embroidery floss, and craft sticks) on hand, except a plastic ribbon needle that cost about a dollar at the craft store. I found the colors I wanted and cut out a paper heart template in two sizes, then cut from various felt colors. I used the bigger hearts for the garland, and the rest for the sticks. While watching football, I did a blanket stitch around each heart, then stuffed them with fluff before finishing the final stitches. For the stick hearts, I put the sticks in place prior to the final stitches, and sewed around the stitch to give it some structure.

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photo (3)Stringing the garland was when I needed the plastic needle. Once the hearts were complete, I threaded the ribbon through the needle and gently mushed the heart to push the needle through, in between stitches.

The entire project was easy and I’m so happy with how it looks. The best part was that Rocket wanted to participate. He wanted me to teach him “stitching” to allow him to make his own hearts. This was my “very, very early” Valentine’s Day gift from him and I love it.

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