Come play in my world for awhile!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The circle of life

Field trips are usually fun. You get to take the kids out of their regular environment and experience new things with them. The kids are generally happy and they're always excited... Sort of like zoo animals that have been released unexpectedly from a lifetime of confinement... And then there are the other times... Normally I enjoy these things, but lately I've had a lot going on personally and all the volunteering has just added to the pressure. I was kind of looking forward to a day off, but it wasn't to be. Shoot, I can't say no to a reasonable request. I guess I've sealed my own fate in a sense.

And so it is that I present to you the circle of (my) life ...

-Receive permission slip for field trip from school and complete paperwork while stealing Cheez-its out of your daughter's bowl, assisting with word problems, and explaining why I won't sign off on a reading log before the actual reading has been completed.

-Put field trip completely out of your mind until your daughter comes home the day prior to the trip with your field trip "assignment."

-Scratch your head in confusion because you're 99% certain you didn't sign up to chaperon in the first place.

-Begin throwing profane expressions around in your mind as a little black rain cloud forms over your head.

-Look at daughter's eager face and decide you really want to go on this trip. Sigh.

-Apply false smile and adopt enthusiastic demeanor.

-Arrive at nature park for the field trip only to discover that LFS (your Least Favorite Student) is assigned to your group.

-Notice the unseasonably warm ridiculously freakin' hot weather.

-Realize that the heat is causing the decaying matter along the lake that the kids are digging through with giant nets looking for the viral source of the swine flu newly hatched dragonflies is causing a very. bad. smell.

-Notice a strange substance under your fingernails once the digging has concluded, and make a firm and conscious decision not to speculate about what exactly you've gotten under there.

-Begin nature hunt with your small group and notice that LFS continues to walk waaaay to close to the river bank in spite of your firm requests to step back.

-Roll eyes when LFS falls in.

-Begin use of mental profanity when you have to fish her out.
-Listen to LFS complain belligerently because her shoes are wet, and fight the urge to say, "I told you so."

-Notice LFS dancing along the river bank. Again.

-Pull her aside and tell her that if she can't listen to your instructions you're going to shove her into the river yourself she has to listen more carefully because you don't want her to get hurt.

-Finish your activities and return to the bus where you'll casually mention to the teacher that it's rather ironic how LFS always ends up in your group.

-Smile insincerely when the teacher happily remarks that it's because you handle her so well. Feel free to sling around a few more mental profanities.

-Feel your cold heart melt into a puddle of joy as your daughters race over and nearly knock you to the ground as they enthusiastically shriek about the fun they've had with you.

-Agree absent-mindedly when the teacher asks you if you can work a couple extra hours in the classroom next week.

-Realize that you've come full circle and have committed to even more volunteer work that you didn't really want to do, and yet know in your heart that their youth is slipping by... that these moments are fleeting...

and that you wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home Alone?!

In our neck of the woods, kids are on what's affectionately know as a year 'round school calendar. This means that we are in session for 9 weeks and then off for 3 weeks, and in the summer we get 6 weeks off. It's a bit confusing at first, but ultimately I have to admit to loving it.

Last week was our first week back to school after a 3 week break. Of course, all conversations revolved around what one did or didn't do over break.

We, personally, had a busy break. We tagged along with hubs on business trips to Miami, then home, and then to Washington, D.C. And we did it all in the car. We literally drove close to 3000 miles with all 6 of us crammed like sardines into the tin can we affectionately call my minivan. We had fun, but we spent A LOT of time together, and by the end I was definitely scraping at the bottom of my bag 'o sanity.

Today we were talking to one of Rachel's teachers about plans for the end of the year. Being a polite individual the teacher inquired about our track-out activities. Rachel proceeded to give a concise run-down of our shenanigans, to which the teacher commented:

Teacher: Wow, Rachel! You must be tired of all that driving around and being in the car, but I bet your great adventures were worth it.

Rachel: Yeah, we were in the car a lot.

Teacher: I'm sure all the driving got old after a while!

Rachel: Actually, being in the car wasn't so bad. Being trapped with my sisters in the car? I was sick of that before we got back from the first trip.

Teacher: (polite smile) Hmmmm....

Rachel: And mom tries really hard to keep it fun in the car. She thinks she's really funny... but after a couple hours in the car... well...

Teacher: (Clearly smirking at me). I'm just glad you're all back safely and ready for school!

KathyB!: (Hmmm is right. I know someone who might "accidentally" get left home on the next family vacation... Smarty pants.)

I think our next trip might look less like National Lampoon's Vacation

And more like Home Alone

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Look very closely at the picture. Try to take it all in. There are three important components here: the dead plant, the full-length mirror, and the bar stool. It's been like this for so long that it has (in my mind, anyway) integrated itself into the decor.

Today as hubby and I were leaving the bedroom he says to me:

Hubby: Can we please just throw that dead plant out already?!

KathyB!: No way! If we pull the plant out of the pot then there will be nothing holding that mirror up.

Hubby: Well, can't we just hang it back on the door where it's supposed to be?

KathyB!: What? Then it's up too high... I can only see myself from the waist up. What good is that?! (All my trouble happens from the waist down, thank you very much)

Hubby: (Silently eye-balling the dead plant as he rounds the corner. I can tell by the set of his jaw that this discussion will be re-played in the not so distant future, and that if I want that mirror to stay I better be prepared...)

So in honor of Earth Day I hereby declare that this "thing" that I have concocted in the corner of the bedroom is an homage to mother Earth:

The plant - lived happily in the family room for several months until we ascertained that gnats were breeding in the dirt. Lots of 'em. We were literally overrun. It was deprived of water and banished to the bedroom until the spring. Now it serves as a functional mirror-holder. This falls under the category of recycling.

The mirror - hubby wants to ditch this mirror in favor of one that is meant to free-stand on the floor. I don't know what we'd do with this mirror if we got a new one... so by keeping it we are reducing contributions to the landfill.

The bar stool - We have no use for this bar stool. It fit the counter height of our California house. It doesn't fit anything here. The fact that it has a dubious role as a mirror holder is relevant because we're reusing it.

There's really no logic here but, then, sometimes shock and awe gets better results.

I'm betting the mirror will stay.

Am I the only one with weird stuff lurking in the corners of their homes?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The fantasy's final death

This is a continuation of yesterday's post about life's reality intruding upon your fantasies... I wish I could change the title but it's forever preserved in all of the readers out there... I guess if you didn't know where I was coming from this all might sound a bit, er, off!

Yesterday I left off in the National Gallery of Art... We were doing the museum equivalent of the walk of shame through the gallery after laughing like drunken hyenas at a bunch of naked babies. I really wanted to see the Rodin sculptures so we were making a beeline to that corner of the gallery.

When we finally found Rodin everyone was still a little silly, but reasonably under control. Fortunately, most everyone in this area, including the artwork, had their clothes on. We finally got to "The Thinker" and we paused to admire the work. "The Thinker" was naked but had the decency to keep his pickle hidden from view. I explained to the kids that "The Thinker" is an icon that represents intellect and philosophy, and that Rodin had sculpted him nude because he wanted to represent the poetry of the human form as well as intellect. I kept beating the point about the poetry of the human form hoping that maybe someday it would emerge from their subconscious.

The kids had settled down enough to accept my explanation, but the minute we were through I began herding them toward the museum exit. I wasn't taking any more chances. We were just leaving the building when Hannah looked at me very seriously and said, "Hey Mom? If being naked is so great and is supposed to make The Thinker so intellectual and poetic then why didn't they make Lincoln naked in his big monument? That's kind of like a sculpture, right?"

I had nothing for her.

But thanks to Hannah, for a brief moments I wondered:
If the cherub's penis looked like a pickle,
then to what should we compare Abe's "apparatus"
if the Lincoln Memorial were nude...

That's me trying to emulate The Thinker... clearly none of the intellectualism rubbed off on us.
Maybe next time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When reality intrudes upon your fantasy

You know how you plan something with your kids and you have the best intentions at heart? You envision it, and in your mind's eye it's lovely. Everyone is happy and having fun; no one is bickering; birds are chirping and flowers are blooming. In that dark and scary place in the back of your mind (ahem, where your logic lives) you know this ridiculous perfection isn't how it works, and yet you always go there.

And I know better. I've fallen victim to this optimistic lunacy two or three hundred times once or twice and yet when I traveled to Washington D.C. with the family last week I had only visions of enlightened conversation and moments of shared knowledge dancing in my head.

I was especially thrilled because I was planning to take the kids to the National Gallery of Art. Now, I am not knowledgeable about art on any level but I love it, and I thought my enthusiasm and my two semesters of art history in my undergraduate days would carry us through. We entered the gallery and were immediately confronted by a huge fountain with a nude male at the top. Did I mention he was naked? Right about now the imaginary flowers that bloom in my fantasies began to wilt, but I was oblivious. The girls (mostly the 6-year-olds) giggled a little but were somewhat placated by my explanation of the artist's reverence for the nude form.

We quickly struck off into the gallery anxious to distract the still-snickering 6 year-olds. Unfortunately, we maneuvered ourselves smack dab into the middle of a whole hallway full of mostly naked bronze sculpture. Shazam! There were naked men... naked women... but most of all we found the naked babies. I think the angel babies are typically called cherubs, but at this point the educational portion of the tour was over and I was in damage control mode.

I'm telling you, if I could somehow harness the investigative speed and ferocity with which immature children can find the one nude cherub/baby in a painting with at least 1000 images, I could cure cancer... Without fail we'd enter a new room and I'd start counting down from 10... and before I'd hit zero the giggles would start... It was mostly the little ones, but stupidity is contagious.

And I guess the stupidity really was contagious. Those kids had themselves whipped into such a state over these dang-blasted cherubs that they were practically doubled over. And you know what? After a few minutes, I started laughing, too. I tried to navigate the herd away from the cherubs but it didn't work. They were E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E.

Anyway, this was the funniest thing my kids have seen in their entire lives:

As they stood snickering in front of the exhibit one child asked if that was the baby's penis. I grumpily said, "Of course it is. You know it is. Why do you even have to ask?" To which she replied, "because it looks like a little pickle." I, of course, had no reply (other than the silent prayer for strength that I offered up -- because I almost snorted like a pig when she made that comment about the little pickle).

At this point we just needed to leave before we made complete idiots of ourselves. Oh wait... too late for that. The kids were contained, but barely. I know their limits and we were testing them sorely. We made a mad dash to Rodin (the artist I most wanted to see), and I'll tell you what we did there.... tomorrow.

Until then, I've had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with a real sculptor through the blogosphere. She's just completed a showing of her work and is looking to do a series of 12 sculptures inspired by blogging. I am going to be participating (if she still wants me after that dill pickle stupidity). Check out her blog to get all the details, and join me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The World Cup is half-full

Abby and Emily are playing their first season of soccer, and they are adorable to watch. Their youthful excitement and puppy-like enthusiasm for the game is contagious to players and spectators alike.

Unfortunately, the weather has been abysmal this year. We've had rain, cold weather, rain, rain... and did I mention rain? We've also been running around between Miami and D.C. for the last few weeks and missed a few games. As a result the season is well underway, and yet they haven't actually played that many games.

As with most children embarking upon their first season of a sport Abby and Emily's enthusiasm considerably outweighs their skill. On the way to Saturday's game we had the following conversation:

Abby: Our team ROCKS! We have got the best soccer team ever!

Emily: YEAH!!

Abby: We haven't been beaten yet. We're gonna do great today! We are sooo gonna win!

Emily: YEAH! (pumping fist)

Hannah: Whoa... I didn't realize your team was that good. How many games have you guys won now anyway?

Abby: Mom? Is this our first game or our second?

Hannah: (snorts)

Mom: (Sending Hannah my evil mommy eyes via the rear view mirror and defying her to comment on Abby's sweet, yet unfounded, confidence).

Ummm... You'd have to ask daddy, but I know your team is going to do really well today.

Emily: YEAH!!

Hannah: (wisely letting it go with an eye roll)

And for the record? They won...

In spite of the goal they scored on themselves.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rodin? Not today

I had a post about the National Art Gallery and Rodin that I was writing for today. I got stuck mid-way through and started reading blogs instead of writing my own... and that's when I ran across a trivia post at by the fabulous Inktopia. Essentially you throw your name into a trivia generator and it spits out a top 10 list about you. After reading Inktopia's list I immediately abandoned Rodin in favor of this:

Ten Top Trivia Tips about KathyB!!

1) KathyB! is black with white stripes, not white with black stripes. Well, duh! Everyone who's seen my hair before I get the roots touched-up knows this.

2) KathyB! is 984 feet tall. This is absolutely true... If you get rid of the 9, and divide 84 by 2, and then add 23 and convert the whole thing to inches this is exactly right!

3) Humans share over 98 percent of their DNA with KathyB!. I am the missing link! I always knew I'd make history.

4) The International Space Station weighs about 500 tons and is the same size as KathyB!. I'm not normally quite this large but Easter combined with lots of good food consumed in Washington, D.C.? Well, let's just say I'm well on my way.

5) The smelly fluid secreted by skunks is colloquially known as KathyB!. Now that's just rude. You can say a lot of things about KathyB!, but I smell gooooood.

6) A kathyB!ometer is used to measure KathyB!. I think it's time to start working out again. It's never a good sign when they name a measuring device in your honor.

7) Never store kathyB! at extreme temperatures! At extreme temperatures KathyB! is definitely unstable and prone to combustion and fiery outbursts. KathyB! prefers a constant temperature of 72 degrees and only indirect sunlight. She also prefers to be hand-fed grapes chocolate by men who resemble Adonis Brad Pitt and to recline on soft lounges while sipping red wine.

8) There are now more than 4000 satellites orbiting KathyB!. My magnetic pull is amazing. The satellites are just the tip of the iceberg. You don't even want to know what else is orbiting around here.

9) When KathyB! is swallowed, she will enter the blood stream within twenty minutes. Yeah, but you don't need to worry about this because when's the last time you saw someone swallow something the size of the International Space Station?! But if against all odds you do swallow KathyB!, do not induce vomiting. Instead remove yourself from the presence of small children, pour yourself a glass of wine, find a good book, and follow with a leisurely nap. If KathyB! is still present in your bloodstream then repeat process until your system is clear.

10) KathyB! will become gaseous if her temperature rises above -42°C. I 'm not going there. Either KathyB! will enter a vapor-state and become one with the environment around her, or there is going to be a really, really bad smell. Let's not find out.

Want to play along?! Go here...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How old do you think I am anyway?!

The six Belinskis are in Washington D.C. for a few days. Our goal over this break is to see how many times we can push daddy's buttons before he stops inviting us on business trips. I think we're close.

Today we arrived in the city and were viewing some of the landmarks from the car before heading out to view them on foot. We passed the White House and the kids were in awe as they glimpsed snippets of the architecture as we passed by from the side:

Abby: Whoa! That's the White House?! That's where president Obama lives?!

Dad: Yes, president Obama lives right there with Mrs. Obama -- and their two daughters, too!

Hannah: That is so entirely cool! Mommy or Daddy? I want one of you two to become president so we can live there. That would be awesome.

Mom: (Loving the fact that she included mom as a potential candidate. Loving the fact that it doesn't even occur to her that a woman can't do this.)

Dad: How about you become president and we'll all come live with you in the White House instead?

Mom: (Loving that response even more! Way to empower those girls, daddy-o!)

Rachel: That's a great idea! They could just turn one of the wings into a nursing home for when Hannah has her four years.

Mom and Dad: WHAT?! (And then utter silence as we wrapped our heads around the zinger she'd just unleashed)

Rachel was smart enough to stop and offer nothing more than a smug grin. When you've nailed the punchline, really knocked it out of the park, sometimes the best thing you can do is let it ride ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What would you do?

Hey guys? I need some advice. This is longer than usual but if you could read to the end and then weigh in I'd appreciate it...

The other day we went to Costco as planned and just as I feared, Michelle Paul (the baby coconut) was buckled in and ready to make the trip.

The outing was uneventful. The coconut got plopped in the shopping cart and, frankly, there was so much food in the cart only a few people noticed her. I got a couple strange looks but nobody said a word. Mostly they just wanted to shove by us and get to the free samples because they were handing out delicious cream puffs--who can blame them?

And then we went to Target.

We only needed three items so the coconut-baby was much more prominently displayed. A few folks stopped us to ask good-naturedly about the kinda strange looking green thing swaddled in a too large shirt what exactly we had in the cart. And of course we ran into a friend who just laughed and remarked that she wasn't the least bit surprised to see one of my kids pushing a cart with a coconut dressed as a child. I'm still pondering that remark...

Anyway, it was all good until we went to check out. The line was fairly slow, and an older lady was behind us. Emily had taken the coconut-baby out of the cart and was cooing, "Mama wuvs you, Michelle... " The lady (we'll call her GOB - short for Grumpy Old Bitch Bag).

GOB: Child, what is that awful thing you have wrapped up in that blanket?

Me: (Interjecting to take the situation out of Emily's hands) That's her souvenir from vacation! She's so proud of it and she's having a ball!

GOB: (voice dripping with disdain and condemnation) Yes. But what is it?

Emily: (looking wounded)

Me: (Frantically using mommy code to try and get this old biddy to change her tone) It's a coconut! Isn't it sweet the way she's decorated it with a face and dressed it in one of her shirts?! I love how she uses her imagination.

GOB: (Silence. Shakes her head. Passes judgement) Maybe you should consider buying her a baby doll so that she doesn't have to drag that rotten thing around.

At this point our items had been bagged and the cashier was awaiting my attention. When I was finished the girls had the cart loaded and were heading deliberately towards the door. I shot my best "you suck" look over my shoulder and followed them out.

I spent the next several hours replaying the scenario as it would have happened in the world according to me -- where I would have had witty, cutting retorts to slap GOB into place and embarrass her for having pitiful behavior. I hate that I stood there and threw subtle hints rather than telling her to lay off my kid. I feel as though I set a horrible example. I didn't exactly stand up for Emily.

I was brought up to be kind and considerate, but what do you do when the other person isn't playing by the same rules? I don't really want to engage the person in some sort of verbal sparring match because I'm not quick with cutting remarks. I'd get torn to shreds and I don't want my kids to see that either. I've been sitting on this post because I'm embarrassed. And I hate the embarrassment with every fiber of my being. I hate that I can't figure out how to shut-down stupid people and show my children by example how to stand up for themselves in a strong, yet civil way. If given a choice I'll let myself be walked over like a doormat rather than make a stink and I want my girls to be stronger than that.


What should I do? And I realize I could leave the coconut at home. This isn't really about the coconut. I understand that we kind of opened ourselves up for this but occasionally you get this sort of thing and you aren't acting like a Looney Tune. How do you guys handle it? Take the high road? Tell 'em where to get off? Ignore it?

Monday, April 13, 2009

8 signs today yesterday was Easter

My blog updates are never current. The action is always a day or two (or a week!) after it's happened. I wish I could stay current, but I can't. So without further ado, I bring you:

8 signs that yesterday was Easter!

1) Yesterday I heard the pitter-patter of footsteps in the middle of the night and didn't immediately wonder if someone had the stomach flu. I knew it was Hannah sneaking stealthily gallumping around like a wounded gorilla, checking on the Easter Bunny's progress. Hannah has many talents but she is physically incapable of tip-toeing... Just like her father.

2) I rolled over yesterday at 6:40 AM to again find myself awakened by the sound of happy footfalls. Instead of cursing the fact that no one under the age of 12 can seem to sleep past 7:00... I grinned in anticipation.

3) The kids offer a candy-filled egg for me to admire. They ask me what's for breakfast... and I tell them they're holding it!

4) I can personally attest to the fact that a perpetual sugar buzz is not an urban legend. I consider myself a trained expert, and I would not recommend that you try this at home.

5) Chocolate actually doesn't sound good. Not even Cadbury Mini-Eggs. And that cracking sound you just heard? I'm pretty sure the top button just flew off my jeans and broke a window after straining unsuccessfully to contain my belly-full-'o-candy..

6 ) I have the dinner menu planned from start to finish for the next week and there are no missing ingredients... Yesterday I baked a ham and Au gratin potatoes that could easily have fed 20 people. There were 6 of us. So... leftover Easter ham, leftover Au gratin potatoes, and random steamed veggies it shall be. The family will be begging for mercy by Wednesday.

7) I sit down for breakfast and can't find room because someone vomited Easter Eggs all over the bench:

I distinctly remember asking someone to clean that up.... If that's the "after" shot I'd hate to see the "before"....

8) Everyone's thumb looks like this:

It happens to me every year. The halves of those little plastic eggs just don't want to go together. You wiggle and align and push and... SNAP! The two egg pieces are as one... with a few bonus layers of my skin caught for good measure.

Happy Easter... A day late

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Do I look like a caterpillar?!

Today I am honored to welcome a talented and creative guest blogger:

Hillbilly Duhn

My guest blogger, Hillbilly Duhn, decided to do something a little different. She's a huge fan of the book 'Alice in Wonderland,' and always loved the story and all the strange people and animals that Alice came across. She decided to make her own hillbilly version of the tale, and continue each chapter of the tale on a different blog. I was flattered when she asked me to be a part of her story... If you haven't read the previous chapters they are here:

And now for the sixth installment! Take it away Hillbilly...

Now I could say wondering through the woods deep in the recesses of a holler hole was a strange thing, saying it isn't as bizarre as actually doing it. Yet, here I am, following a rabbit hither dither for no better reason then, it winked at me.

After slurping down Nugget Margarita's my head still felt a little fuzzy. Not to say it wasn't already fuzzy being in a holler hole.

I fear I must have eaten something bad back in the holler, because I think I am hallucinating something fierce. I mean, think about it, why would a hillbilly follow a rabbit down a hole in the first place?

I've been to some pretty strange places since all this began. I've been here and here. And I already mentioned those mean margarita's.

I even just had the strangest conversation with an orange five of hearts who is somewhere off in this crazy world getting ready to graffiti something.

So here I am, in the middle of the woods, once again, wondering aimlessly in search of a rabbit who is, by the way, late for something.

Walking a bit further down another worn path, I came across a gaggle of mushrooms. Their soft tops called out to me to sit awhile.

Upon sitting on one that was red with white polka dots, I immediately felt plum worn out. Just when my lids thought to close, in front of me a caterpillar inched up. (inched?) It looked at me quite queerly and asked "Who are you?"

"I don't know." I replied in a sleepy drawl. "Who are you?"

"You don't know who you are?" Asked the caterpillar who I noticed resembled KathyB!.

"No, well, yes." I shrugged. "I'm Hillbilly Duhn or at least I was back in the holler, but strange things have been happening to me, and I'm tired and a bit out of sorts."

"What's a holler?" Asked the caterpillar.

"It's a place where things like you don't talk. Instead, you turn into butterflies."

"Oh, sure I'll do that." Said the KathyB! caterpillar. "But they don't talk? Now THAT'S absurd!"

"No more absurd then me talking to you." I blew out a breath. What the folks back in the holler would say if they could see me now.

"Why are you so crabby?" Asked the caterpillar obviously taking note of my tone.

"I'm hungry." I said impatiently.

"Then eat." The caterpillar motioned to the mushroom I was sitting on and inched off...

**Did I take a bite of that mushroom? Follow me to: The Lizzardbits Tale to find out what happens next!! Hope to see you there.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Welcome to Chick Chat!

The Concept

What is it girls talk about? Well, absolutely everything... husbands... kids... friends and family... politics.... and, of course, fashion and celebrities.

This same “anything goes” approach applies to the blog world. Blogging allows women to declare what they are going through and find others in similar situations. But what if we could take the blogger connections even farther? What if we could see and hear the people behind the posts?

Chick Chat is a semimonthly post where the ladies from the Three Bay B Chicks and Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha film themselves chatting on a particular topic. To make things more interesting, we will be linking to three different blogs who have also filmed their own video segment in response to our conversation.

The Giveaway!

The Three Bay B Chicks and Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha are kicking-off Chick Chat today and
Pooba, Optimistic Cynicism, and The World According to Me will be sharing everything on their mind about the blogosphere. So have some fun and get clicking. Each site has a unique video, so you will have to visit all five blogs to hear and see what these ladies have to say.

That's an attractive face I'm making. Just so you know I was sucking on a HUGE lemon before I did the video. For those who aren't regular readers of my blog, I don't normally dress-up tropical fruit and call it my grandchild, but this stupid coconut has become one of the family. This post from Tuesday explains what's going on here... Next time I'm whippin' out my microphone and singing my improved words to "Womanizer!"

Want Your Turn?!

I promise it's fun!

Let us know by sending an e-mail to We are looking for participants and topic suggestions. Our plan is to rotate the participation not only among ourselves, but also among all our friends in the blogosphere. We want to hear what everyone has to say.

We’d also like to thank the wonderful sites that linked to us today as part of the Chick Chat kick-off and encourage you to take a moment to visit these bloggers. Their tales, tips, humor, and support are something to which we should all aspire …

The Secret is in the Sauce - There are so many secrets here! You must check them out!
A Nut in a Nutshell - One of the nicest and most sincere bloggers to walk the earth.
Scary Mommy - She's not scary at all. I'd actually call her hilarious!
Scribbit - She gets a gold star for mommying in Alaska. Life's hard enough without cold weather.
Suburb Sanity - Debbie is funny! And someday I'll discover where she gets her inspiration.
VodkaMom - When I grow up I'm gonna be her :)

The Giveaway Post -- Comment here!

In celebration of today’s kick-off, the Three Bay B Chicks, Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha, Pooba, Optimistic Cynicism, and The World According to Me, will be hosting a give-away.

To enter, visit the sites participating in today’s discussion - from 12:00 am EST on Thursday morning and ending at 12:00 am EST on Friday morning - and comment on the giveaway post. You can earn an extra entry on each site by simply following the Chick Chat participants... for a grand total of 10 entries!

Three winners will be chosen at random from the five sites participating in Chick Chat. At stake are two $50 gift certificates to Lisa Leonard Designs and a SHHH…MOMMY’S BLOGGING tee-shirt from Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha. Winners will be announced on all five sites on Monday, April 13.

Wanna know more about those prizes…

Lisa Leonard’s designs are simple yet fabulous. I love her necklaces. Check out Lisa’s site to figure out not only how you might spend a gift certificate on your loved ones for Mother’s Day, but also how you can splurge on yourself right away!

Also up for grabs is a newly released SHHH…MOMMY’S BLOGGING tee-shirt from Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha. Had I known this t-shirt was so cute I would have demanded one to wear during my Chick Chat!

Join us today at 1:00 pm CST for a live Twitter party regarding today’s Chick Chat, upcoming video topics, and more on the giveaway. We hope Lisa Leonard herself might join our chat and talk more about her lovely designs.

Giveaway comments are closed as the time period has expired :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What do YOU have to say - UPDATE!

Blogging is a funny thing. You can get to know everything in the world about a person, but never see their face or hear their voice.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow change that? Even for only a little while?

The Three Bay B Chicks and Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha will be launching a video series known as Chick Chat this Thursday, April 9. Twice a month, they will post a clip of themselves chatting on a particular topic, and link to a few bloggers who respond to what they have to say in their own video.

Sounds like a fun idea, right? Well, somebody must have dropped the 3 Bay B Chicks on their heads and Stesha must have spilled an extra-hot, hot chocolate caramel mocha all over herself and been delirious with pain because they asked me to participate in their kick-off.

In the meantime, I'm going to go shower, apply some make-up and put on a nicer shirt. It's one thing to blog in your jammies while sporting a serious case of bedhead, and it's another thing entirely to get caught on tape looking like a human hair ball.

Please pop over tomorrow and take part in the fun. There will be giveaways -- in fact two of them are posted over in the sidebar right now! Plus, I'm totally not in my comfort zone on this one. I like to hide behind the screen. If you guys could just run around a little and and wave your hands and tell me how gorgeous/brilliant/witty I am, my self-esteem would be eternally grateful.
* * UPDATE * *
The Three Bay B Chicks and Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha will host a chat on a particular topic. I will be posting a pre-taped response segment. You can view it at any time as it will NOT be live.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We had a baby!

A person can never quite prepare for the feelings that a new addition to the family inspires, and you came into her life rather suddenly. She didn't plan to have you but when she gazed upon you for the first time she felt a rush of emotion, and knew you would belong to her forever.

In spite of the fact that she was young and unprepared for the enormous responsibility that would come with caring for you, she did not waver in her commitment. She embraced your needs as if they were her own.

She bathed and clothed her.
She literally took it in the shower and
washed it with soap. I snapped a picture
but I didn't want to tempt the

She tucks her in bed with a kiss
Yep, she sleeps with it!

She feeds her.
And yes, she's pulled the baby's
high chair right up to the dinner table

She makes sure the baby has a safe
car seat for the trip home.
Thank God we never had to slam on the brakes.
I had visions of that thing smashing through the windshield.

She gave you life and in return you bring her joy.
Please welcome the newest addition to our family.
On Saturday Emily welcomed her bouncing baby coconut,
Michelle Paul!
Mother and cocount are resting and doing fine

I swear I'm not making this up. Should I be worried about the fact that my daughter found a coconut on the beach and has adopted it as if it's a child? This piece of fruit has already traveled home with us and she's taken it everywhere since. I love that she has such a vivid imagination, but is it wrong that I'm dreading going to Costco tomorrow and plopping the baby coconut into the child seat in the cart? And more important, what the heckity-heck am I going to do when it starts to rot? I mean, it's organic so it has to begin decomposing eventually, right?

This is exactly why I call this place the world according to me. Only in my odd little corner of the universe do coconuts wear clothes and join the family for dinner.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Why is it?

I had 12 L-O-N-G hours to ponder life on our trip home yesterday,
and the question I kept coming back to?

Why is it...

...that the cars in my lane are creeping along at a snail's pace while the cars in the lane next to mine are flying by at 90 m.p.h.? And why is it that if I switch lanes the new lane will come to a grinding halt?

...that at the end of a normal day I'll be bursting with fun stories and tidbits to share with my hubby over a glass of wine in the evening. Sometimes before I fall asleep I'll think of just one more thing I wanted to say. I know inside his head there are moments when he's screaming, "for-the-love-of-God, woman! Shut... UP!" So why, after two short hours in the car, am I out of stuff to talk about? I can talk 'til your ears bleed. How could this happen?!

...that kids announce they have to go potty at the exact moment you are whizzing (pun completely intended. And yes, I am that good) past the exit for the Rest Stop that you know has sparkling, clean pottys. And for that matter, why is it there are roughly 347,931 well-maintained and clean restrooms between Wake Forest, NC and Jupiter, FL, and we manage to hit the 5 that are Superfund toxic waste sites?

...that the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion they give you at hotels look exactly the same? And why did I end up with body lotion in my hair and conditioner on my legs? The oddest thing is that my hair looked pretty good that night. My legs were a different story. Kinda gummy.

...that my daughter is asking me if playing hooky is what hookers do? Took me a moment to get my head around that one. And where did she hear about hookers in the first place?

...that synchronizing the bladder function of 6 Belinskis is as complicated as facilitating world peace? Both have been tried ad nauseam, neither has actually been accomplished.

...that there comes an infernal stench from outside the the minivan at the exact moment we pass a billboard imploring us to breathe deeply of the fresh, local air? Um, yeah. Thanks. That's at least a hundred brain cells that I'm not getting back.

...that 12 hours in the car makes me feel really close to my family (and I truly mean that) even though there isn't a lot of deep conversation. In five years will they still want to be trapped in this tin can with me?

...that they have to put billboards like this
all over the interstate. I mean seriously, if you're not gettin' any at home maybe you should step away from the girlie spots, stop tweakin' your twinkie, and get a clue. Enough said.

...that I can't do a back handspring anymore, but I can contort myself into a shape that's a fraction of my regular size, crawl over 2 rows of seats in a car roaring down the freeway at 70+ m.p.h. while clutching my Diet Coke, a notebook, and a Nintendo DS, and make it safely to the rear of the bus without getting tangled in any cords from the DVD players or spilling a single drop of the nectar of the gods my Diet Coke? And for the record, I had to go over those DVD players, folks and there's only about 2 feet of clearance. I deserve a spot in the record books for that little maneuver.

...that I'm so into this blog post I'm unbuckled and turned turned around backwards trying to take a picture of the inside of the van?

...that at least once per day every day of vacation I wished that it would never end, and yet the moment I walk through our front door there's no place in the world I'd rather be?

It's good to be home.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Look for the silver lining

The other day we went to the beach and were crushed when we discovered that it was closed. My initial assumption was jellyfish. I went to check with the lifeguard, and he excitedly directed me to the action.

Image from

This was directly offshore. All of those gray shadows are sharks! Some up to 14 feet in length. Initially they were allowing us in the water up to our ankles to fill buckets for making sandcastles. It was a bummer not to be in the water but watching the sharks cut through the waves and literally throw themselves out of the water in a vicious quest for their prey was fascinating. Actually, fascinating doesn't even begin to describe it. I think this was probably a once in a lifetime experience. At one point there was a shark that was easily 7 feet long swimming no more than 10 feet in front of us. The sharks got so big and so close that the lifeguards cleared the water entirely. Not so much as a toe was allowed in the water. There was literally a feeding frenzy in the works.


I'll be back to silly for my next post, but this was too fabulous not to mention.