March 30, 2007

In It To Win It

The chickadees over at 5 Minutes for Mom are having yet another fantabulous contest. This time they're giving away the spanking new Dyson Slim vacuum! Ain't she a beauty? So head on over and enter to win. You know you want to.

Are You a Ghost Artist?

Whenever my five year old is sent home with an art project, I used to let him do it and provide assistance only when he asked for it. Well, it seems some moms (or dads maybe) do the project for their kids and turn it in. So of course, their project would blow my son's project away. Not that he really felt jealous or even inferior, but he would admire their projects. Heck, I would admire their projects. Why didn't I think of that? But then I remind myself, it wasn't my homework, or project, it's my child's piece of work and for a five year old, he did an excellent job. So I am always proud of him. It is hard to resist the urge to maybe fix that, or add that, or even tell him how to do it. Especially after I would notice the work of the other "children." But after I saw the product of the last assignment, I was annoyed.

In the spirit of the theme of the month, "Nn" and neighborhoods, the last assignment was to decorate an old cereal box and make it into a house. Hubby and Oldest had fun doing it. It was nothing fancy, but Oldest was really proud of what they did. I had a lot of suggestions but Hubby kept reminding me that it was Oldest's project and his ideas so step back and let them work. Still, I wanted it to be spectacular and my creative juices were flowing. I'm ashamed to admit that after they completed it, I did a few minor changes. BUT STILL, I did not change any part of the fundamental integrity of Oldest's design.

Well let me tell you. When I saw the other houses, they were architectural pieces of work. Magnificent homes, with wings. I swear these parents went to Home Depot to decorate these cereal boxes. Ours and maybe 2 others, really looked shabby next to what the other children brought it. So I'm looking at the homes and Oldest pointed his out to me and he was just so proud. And I was proud. He did a great job.

But my point is, why do these other parents do the work for their children? Even if the child was sitting there "participating," and I find it hard to believe that a 5 year old thought of the design and constructed this home, I think that it's important to have the children do the work. Not the parents.

So if you are one those parents that does the project, share with us why. I'm interested in seeing your perspective on this.

The Power of ONEsie

Whether you're a WOHM or whether your hubby is the one that works, you know that the paid family leave benefits that are available to working parents are few and far between. Here's a fun and easy way that you can help make a change:

Contribute a onesie to MomsRising's campaign supporting PAID family leave. You can either decorate your own onesie and send it in or just pay MomsRising to do it. You can even make a party out of it! (any excuse...) Your onesie will join a chain of thousands in a giant Mother's Day display--and possibly more in the future. Learn more at

Do your kids have the book "Urban Babies Wear Black"? It pokes fun at the uber-chic city parenting stereotypes. A friend gave it to my daughters and it's so cute.

March 29, 2007

Green Thumb, Anyone?

One of my projects this spring is to grow an herb garden. I've always wanted to do it. I think it would just be so cool to be able to throw your homegrown basil on top of a pizza. I know you're thinking: "So..what's the big deal? Just get the seeds, plant the darn herbs and water them." Uh, uh, uh. Not so fast my friends. You are talking to the Destroyer of All Things Green. I have successfully killed every plant that I've tried to grow.

First there was the beautiful yellow rosebush that my dad sent me when I brought Oldest home from the hospital. Now everybody (save my dad, bless his heart) knows that rosebushes are not for amateurs. And boy did I prove that theory right. Still have the pot though. It's quite lovely, although turned upside down on our front steps.

Then came the pansy that Oldest brought home for me from daycare 2 Mother's Days ago. It met its untimely demise on the front stoop during two (or twelve) thunderstorms. Again, the little red pot is postively charming. And in the laundry room.

And then there was the lovely hanging plant that I thought would bring cheer to our kitchen. And it did! For about 22 days. [Remembering to water the thing was so tedious.]

And finally there are the three topiary trees that grace our deck. They have been dead since last summer and yet still they remain, dry as all get out, in their quaint ceramic pots topped with cute stone pebbles. The idea looked great in BH&G.

And so you see my reluctance to subject any little ol' herbs to the inevitable fate that awaits them at my hand. Unless of course y'all help me! Got any advice on starting (and keeping alive) an herb garden?


Tanyetta's hubby is finally coming home from Iraq today!!! I've been watching her countdown for months and can't believe it's down to 13 hours. I'm so excited for them. Head over to Days Like These to wish them a happy homecoming!

March 28, 2007

Waste Not

My Unkymood Punkymood (Unkymoods)

Did you know that you don't have to eat 3 slices of pizza just because there's some leftover? Hmph. Never occurred to me.

Emmy Awards, Here She Comes

So, I've been keeping up with Risa's struggles as she has been trying to get her book, Notes From the Underbelly, made into a tv show. It's something that's been in the works for a while now but you know how those pesky Hollywood folks can be. [Ok, neither do I but I imagine they're impossible!] Over the weekend I was watching tv, and wouldn't you know it? I saw a preview for her show! The pilot is finally going to air on April 11th on ABC. Yay Risa!! [When the preview came on I shouted to my husband: "Hey! I 'know' her! I read her blog!" He was unmoved.] Anyway, make sure to congratulate her about the show on her blog and don't forget to watch - it's a show us moms can enjoy.

The series will chronicle the life of Andrew and Lauren, a couple who are expecting their first child and the unlikely help and advice of their family and friends who also want to share in the couples' joy and other hilarious pains on the road to parenthood.

Works for Me Wednesday

Here's one to keep for a rainy day, or spring break, or both...

If we're cooped up in the house and the kids (namely Oldest) are bouncing off of the walls, I rely on my trusty "toy stash" to save the day. My kids receive entirely too many toys and gadgets as gifts and party favors, etc., and so I usually make an effort to ration them. [Sounds mean, doesn't it?] I put "extra" toys on the top shelf of our linen closet and pull one out every now and then. It's a great distraction when cabin fever sets in and a much smarter use of the tons of toys they get (as opposed to them all ending up on the floor in pieces after 48 hours). Sometimes even I'm pleasantly surprised at what's stashed up there. Just yesterday I remembered that one of the things I have hidden is a box set of board books with an accompanying CD. Cool. And the toys don't even have to be extravagant - a Dora lip gloss or a 99 cent paddleball toy has brought just as much happiness to my household as much an pop-up dollhouse or fingerpaint set. The key is not to let the young'uns know where the stash is :-)

Bonus: Having this hidden loot also makes mom a superhero when boredom sets in. Good for the ego.

Works for me!

Visit Rocks In My Dryer for more spring tips.

March 24, 2007

When It Rains, It Pours

Ain't that the truth? And I'm not even talking about the actual weather here in (now) sunny South Florida, I'm talking about opportunities...There's something to be said for not "blocking your blessings." Being a tad cryptic am I? Too complicated to explain but let me just remind you to be careful what you pray for! I promise to give y'all an update (about what? you ask) soon.

In the meantime, the rugrats are enjoying their trip. Nothin' says lovin' like Grandma C's biscuits in the oven. Or Grandma D in fishnet stockings and fake eyelashes. Oh yes, I will explain.

But not right now, I have some relaxin' to do.

March 23, 2007

Because Nothing Says "Vacation" Like Thunderstorms and Traffic Jams

But at least it's warm.

* Updated* America, You Decide - Will Smith or Not?

On Tuesday I entered Hubby in the celebrity look alike contest on Live with Regis & Kelly. Everyone always stops to tell him he looks "just like Will Smith." Of course I always say he looks better than Will Smith :) Anyhoo, when I heard we could win $10,000, I decided to give it a go, why not? Let's see how much he really does look like Will Smith. So I enter Hubby on their website and the very next morning I get a call by David from ABC....! He wanted another pic of Hubby, had a few questions and then said that Jada was scheduled to appear on the show the following day and that they were going to show Jada Hubby's pic to see what she thought.

Well, they really did show Jada Hubby's picture. She didn't seem very enthusiastic about the whole thing but Kelly thought he was cute. (Hubby was the cute one, not the other guy with his shirt off.) But let me tell you how smitten Hubby was that Jada looked at his picture and actually compared Hubby to Will. And then one of Hubby's friends called to say how lucky he was that Jada saw his picture.

I didn't expect Jada to totally agree but I still think there is some resemblence . I'll upload the picture so that America can decide.

March 22, 2007

Pop Quiz

If you were paying close attention today, you may have seen a pic of Justice Jones' hubby on "Live! with Regis and Kelly"!!!!

Hint: Kelly Ripa thought he was a hunk...

March 20, 2007

Just In Case You Need Something To Hold You Over...

We're leavin' in the mornin'!!

Don't hate me 'cuz you ain't me.

Before we leave though I have to respond to Beth's tag for a meme, so here goes!

Random Meme

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:19am (too. early.)

2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? "Daddy's Little Girls"

4. What is your favorite TV show? Really, truly, I can't pick just one: Grey's Anatomy, The Unit, Rome, Entourage, The Wire, America's Next Top Model (what.), Top Chef, Project Runway, Real Housewives of the OC.

5. What did you have for breakfast? 2 Pillsbury frozen waffles. Well, they weren't frozen when I ate them.

6. What is your middle name? Pauline

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Italian. Because pizza is Italian. And
Montreal cuisine is a close second.

8. What foods do you dislike? Brussel sprouts. Liver. Grits. Tomatoes in my omelet.

9. What are your favorite chips? Doritos. And ketchup chips. Y'all don't know about those.

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Nas. Corrine Bailey Rae.

11. What kind of car do you drive? Infiniti G35.

12. Favorite sandwich? BLT on whole wheat with a touch of mayo.

13. What are characteristics you can't stand? Obnoxiousness (is that a word?)

14. What are your favorite clothes? Skirts and sundresses. All kinds.

15. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go? Bali. Greece. The French Riviera.

Where is sixteen?

17. Where would you want to retire? Somewhere warm and close to my kids.

18. Favorite time of day? Mid-morning. The day's possibilities seem endless at that point.

19. Where were you born? Montreal, Canada.

20. What is your favorite sport to watch? None really. The Olympics.

21. Coke or Pepsi? Coke

22. Beavers or ducks? Beavers! Hey, I'm Canadian at heart. And my first real job was at the BeaverTails at La Ronde.

23. Are you a morning person or a night owl? A day person. I get into my groove around 10am.

24. Pedicure or manicure? Pedicure. My manis never last.

25. What did you want to be when you were little? A journalist.

26. What is your best childhood memory? Playing with my sister and cousins at our country cottage.

27. Ever been to Africa? Nope.

28. Ever been toilet papering? Nope.

29. Been in a car accident? Yep.

30. Favorite day of the week? I love Fridays and Saturdays. (apparently, I have a problem with only giving one answer)

31. Favorite restaurant? Ruth's Chris. Never lets me down.

32. Favorite flower? Orchids.

33. Favorite ice-cream? I. Love. Ice. Cream. All kinds. Except anything with peanut butter. Right now I am loving the Edy's Cherry Vanilla.

34. Favorite fast food restaurant? McDonald's.

35. How many times did you fail your driver's test? None.

36. From whom did you get your last e-mail? Safiya. About our upcoming "Girls Gone Wild" NYC Trip. Woo hoo!!

37. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I can only pick one?? Sigh. Bloomie's. Or maybe I'd get more mileage out of Filene's.

38. Last person you went to dinner with? My hubby.

39. What are you listening to right now? General office noise.

40. What is your favorite color? Hmmm...not sure. I seem to be liking browns these days.

41. How many tattoos do you have? One.

42. How many are you sending this Email to? Just blogging, not sending via e-mail.

43. What time did you finish this e-mail blog entry? 5:28 pm.

44. Favorite magazine: In Style and Bon Appetit.

45. Coffee or tea? Tea.

46. Do you tan easily or burn easily? Tan.

47. Do you color your hair? Nope. Kind of ? I need to. My highlights are way overdue for a touch up.

48. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? My current car.

49. What is your most dreaded household chore? Putting away clean laundry.

50. Who do you tag to complete this meme? J. Jones, J. Ny., Revka.

Looks Like We're Not Doing So Bad After All...

For all of us moms who think that because we work (inside or outside of the home) we are not spending enough time with our kids, check out this article from today's Washington Post. The article is called "Despite Mommy Guilt, Time With Kids Is Increasing," and it examines a University of Maryland study that concluded that today's mothers spend more hours focused on their children than their own mothers did 40 years ago.

So give yourself a break and a pat on the back! You're doing great.

March 19, 2007

Stressed out at work

I am soooooo stressed out at work. And one would think it's because I have a lot of work. But that's not it at all.....I'm so sick of some of the people that I work with. They are great people and fun to be around - but no sense of professionalism AT ALL. I didn't realize that I would be so bothered by co-workers. I can't rely on any of the support staff for support, so I find myself having to stay later than I expect, and it's definitely impacting my ability to get home and play with DD. Anyway....just venting. I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow.

Have a great week folk!

Mama in Training (Potty that is)

Okay, so it's week two of trying to potty train Daughter. This is much harder than I remember. So far, it's not clicking. We read the books, watched the video, have even practiced sitting and wiping for months. We even had a few successes. But now that we have Daugther in big girl panties, we are not having any luck. I have learned the following though:

1. A lot of liquid can come out of a 26 pound little girl. A LOT! Enough to totally cover the inside a travel size luggage perfect for Daughter to use as her "car." I won't tell you what else has been the victim of her accidents.

2. You have to teach Daddies how to put on panties. Yesterday, when I was stripping Daugther for her bath, I found that the crotch of her panty was on her hip. So I ask Daddy how this was possible since he was the last one to put on her 4th pair of fresh panties and he explained that the tag confused him. He even said that he put it on two different times before it "looked right." Somehow, the crotch on the hip looked right.

    3. It's much more exciting to pee anywhere but the potty. I am beginning to think she actually thinks the purpose is not to go in the potty.

    4. Daughter loves her Dora panties. They bring joy to her day, especially since she's into picking out her own clothes to wear (believe it or not). So now I get to wait for her to pick which pair to wear next. Lovely!

    5. Now that we have discovered Dora panties, Daughter has no intentions of ever wearing a pullup again. Even though I have been the only person ever doing the pulling up, or down, it's a wrap now that Dora comes all pretty in pink, purple, and green.

    6. This training business is a whole lot of work! Especially with two other kiddies around. This was a breeze when I had one. Actually, everything was a breeze when I had one.

    Menu Plan Monday - Abridged

    This one couldn't be easier! Since we leave for Miami on Wednesday, I only have to make meals for 2 days...




    Now I just need to get our lives in order by Wednesday. Laundry, pack, wrap up projects at work, get my hair done, get a pedicure (if I'm lucky), tidy up the house, etc. Wish me luck. Ha!

    For more "cop-out" menu plans, visit Org Junkie (She only has to cook 2 meals this week too!)

    March 16, 2007

    Welcome Princess Maddy

    [Ok, I lied - it's me again]

    But check this out, a Disney first!

    Freedom Friday!

    [J. Ny, I think you've inadvertently created a new meme :-)]

    TGIF! I am so glad the weekend is here. I usually work a compressed work schedule so that I can have a day off every two weeks, but things have been sooo busy at work that I haven't been able to take a Friday off in over a month. A boy do I need one. The good thing is that I am going to try to put those days towards next week when we go on vacation. Yes! Vacation! We're taking the kiddies to Miami to visit with family. But most importantly, to watch "Grandma" perform in "What We Did for Love" a musical performance for charity. How cool is she? Can't wait.

    This weekend should prove to be busy as usual. A church event, a board meeting, errands, a scrimmage, and the like. But it's still the weekend, and I'll take it any way I can get it!

    Ok, I promise this was my last post for today :-)

    Better Late Than Never...

    Yolanda tagged me for the meme "5 Reasons Why You Blog" (only about 3 weeks ago!) So here goes:

    1. It all started when I came across the blog at Posh Cravings. i emailed Justice Jones and Justice Ny and said "we totally should have done this!" since we were emailing each other back and forth on a regular basis about motherhood, marriage and life in general. Then I started thinking "we still should do this!" I asked my sis (who was the only real live person I knew at the time with a blog) about blogging and she pointed my in the right direction. The rest is history.

    2. I like blogging because it provides you with an outlet. There's something fun about seeing your thoughts in "print." A high-tech diary, if you will.

    3. I also like learning how to use new technologies and with blogging there is always something new and neat to learn. HTML, buttons, memes, carnivals - the list is endless.

    4. I like the interaction that comes with blogging. Building relationships with people you've never met, but that may share like interests or offer a totally different perspective is very cool. Reading comments and participating in blog carnivals are always fun. Each blog is a little window into someone else's life. And let's face it - we're all a bit nosy.

    5. Lastly, I looove the mommy blogging world! I just think it's fabulous. Friendships are formed, tips are shared and new things are learned daily. I also like seeing the force that moms online has become. And the business world has taken notice too (i.e. BlogHer Ads, etc.). Finally, I think blogging is great for those who live in rural communities or places where they feel isolated [even a SAHM in a big city]. Blogging really makes you feel as though you are part of a community.

    Now I tag: Susan, Mrs. Schmitty, and The Daring One.

    Who Knew?

    As fledgling bloggers we were totally unawares that there is an unwritten rule that you post "100 things" about yourself when you reach your 100th post! And lo and behold, we are at post number 169. Any takers? J. Jones? J. Ny?

    Gotta Love Google

    This morning I woke up with a very strong feeling that I should check on an old boyfriend of mine that I haven't seen or spoken to in years and years. Strange, I know. But the feeling didn't go away all morning and so when I got into work I, of course, googled his name.

    Turns out he is a tv show host and is the lead singer in a band that just signed a record deal! The music video for his first single is on YouTube. How funny.

    I still haven't spoken to him, but I hope that everything's ok. I could call his mother, but that would be a bit "stalker-ish."

    Ah, the wonders of the Internet.

    March 14, 2007

    Works for Me Wednesday

    I love me some Internet. I'm a total web-surf-a-holic who appreciates all things "e" or "i." The problem is, there are just too many good things out there in web-land for me to possibly keep up with on my own so I rely on eNewsletters to keep me up to date on what's hot (and what's not). Here are some of my faves -- fyi, I'm not affiliated with any of them -- (and they're all FREE):
    • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Product Recall List
    "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products. You can find information on over 4,000 product recalls and recall alerts using the various searches on this page."

    But who has time to do all that? You can make it easy on yourself and have the news about the latest recalls sent directly to you. You can sign up to receive info about recalls here. An easy way to make sure your kiddies are safe.
    • DailyCandy

    I'm a die-hard DailyCandy fan. Here is the description taken from their website:

    "DailyCandy, a free daily e-mail newsletter and website, is the ultimate insider’s guide to what’s hot, new, and undiscovered — from fashion and style to gadgets and travel. As useful as it is entertaining, it’s like getting an e-mail from your clever, unpredictable, and totally in-the-know best friend. The one who knows about secret beauty treatments, must-have jeans, hot new restaurants — and always shares the scoop."

    They have 13 editions from major U.S. cities so you can sign up for the 411 on the hottest stuff in your area. And if you don't live in one of their 13 cities, you can sign up for "Daily Candy Everywhere" and you'll receive updates for the national guide which features online boutiques and the like. And, for the hip mama, they have Daily Candy Kids which is published once a week for parents.

    • Council for Relationships
    "The Council for Relationships is a non-profit counseling, education and research center that was founded in 1932 as the Marriage Council of Philadelphia, and remains the oldest relationship counseling and training center in the country."

    Anyway, they offer a free subscription to their "Tip of the Week" articles. The tips range from advice on parenting to marriage to health to money. I like getting the helpful tips right in my inbox - sometimes they are just what I needed to hear! This week's tip is Raising "Good Children." Give it a look-see.

    • The Food Network Newsletter

    If you love the channel, the newsletter is an added bonus. They have a bunch to choose from. Recipe and food ideas at your fingertips. You can view a sample newsletter here.

    And last but not least,

    • The Fly Lady
    A celebrity of sorts around these parts. The Fly Lady is your "free online coach, cheerleader, and fairy-godmother for decluttering and organizing your home and life!"

    You can sign up to receive her daily reminders to how to get your house in tip-top shape.

    And now for the warning...All of these newsletters are great tools BUT if you're not careful, you'll end up with an overwhelmed inbox. So, unless you're a champ at clearing out your email, you can do what I do and create an email address dedicated specifically to receiving newsletters and other non-critical info. That way you can log in at your leisure to read up on all of these tips. [Well, except for Flylady's which are meant to be read daily.]

    I hope you'll check out some of these -- They work for me!

    For more Works-for-Me-Wednesday tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

    March 13, 2007


    It has hit my household. So far Oldest is the only poor soul suffering. Well, and me and hubby too if having to change her soiled linens and clothing counts.

    I must say that we are having a nice day at home in between the mad dashes to the toilet. [Hidden blessing: Thank goodness she's fully potty-trained!]

    Y'all did
    warn me it was going around...

    This post brought to you by Children's Pepto!
    Ok not really. But it should be.

    March 12, 2007

    Do Not Wake Me if I'm Dreaming!

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! It has taken me this long just to gather my thoughts, finally check email and check the blog! I see I missed the Blog party. Sounds like it was a hit! Who wore what? How was the food? And the drinks? Can't wait to see the pictures! *wink.

    My birthday was awesome. I had such a wonderful time. I am truly blessed with a wonderful husband, great friends and a beautiful family. My husband deserves a gold medal for all that he did. I have already decided I will be turning 30 for about the next 10 or 15 years. If I could just relive the past 9 days over and over again, I would be happy:)

    It all started with a surprise trip, planned by Hubby, to Orlando last Friday to do some shopping just for yours truly. We took a break mid-day, enjoyed a great lunch over a bottle of wine, took our time eating dessert and then hubby was ready for another go around. I couldn't believe it! And, he did not even complain one time the whole day! We ended the day with dinner and then hit the road to go back home.

    When we got a home, my best friend was there visiting from ATL. We caught up, got ready and left the house way too late for an old woman like me (11:00). Then it was a crazy-wild-one-last-time before-your-30 night on the town. I have not had that much girl fun probably since I turned 21. Lets just say the next day I did not wake up until noon and only because hubby had more things planned and I had to hit the hair salon. Otherwise, I would have looked like a crazy woman who just got in from a crazy-wild-you-are-too-old-for-this-type-of-stuff night on the town.

    That evening, I knew something was planned, just didn't know what. After going here and there, getting a drink, ordering some apps, we finally arrived at one of my favorite restaurants in town. There, a surprise dinner was planned, again, by hubby. I was greeted by about 25 of my family and friends. Some of whom even traveled all the way from ATL and Tampa just for one night on the town with me! How great!! I got to see my favorite cousin, some close friends, and of course, my friends and family from in town. I was really surprised. I have not seen my cousin in almost two years! Then, I was showered with even more gifts! Again, I could not believe it. (I think I said, "I can't believe it" about 100 times the whole week). I felt like a little girl turning 10 (prior to this birthday, my 10th was my favorite. I remember I had a beautiful princess cake made by my Godmother and I had on a beautiful dress and fancy shoes- it was the best!). Then about 10 of us went out again for another fun night out. Hubby and I danced like we did at our wedding.

    On my actual birthday I spoke with several friends from undergrand, law school, and also spent the week opening and reading funny cards, surprise gifts, etc. all for little old me. Again, my friends are the greatest! What a blessing.

    THEN (if you can believe it, there's more) we went to Vegas for 3 nights and 4 days of just me and hubby (okay, and a day and a half of a conference for law professors). It was more fun then our honeymoon. Really, it was. We just returned last night so I am still trying to catch my breath and adjust to now a four hour time difference.

    When I got home last night the kids were all in their PJs, smelling good and looking adorable. It was the best feeling. I missed them so much! The baby burnt a path on the rug just to get to me. Daughter did her silly dance. Oldest gave me a great big hug. It was the best!

    What a blessing. All of it. My husband is the greatest (did I say that already?), my friends and family are the greatest, and my kids are just the best! Thirty is the greatest!

    Happy Monday

    Hope everybody had a good weekend!

    I don't know what it is but I just feel so blessed today. Maybe it has something to do with the change in the weather (hooray!). Really, Jen's quote best captures my mood today: "My hands are full, but so is my heart." Ain't that the truth?

    Our weekend was lovely. A quiet Friday evening (during which I fell asleep about 20 minutes into V for Vendetta) - what a sorry date I was. On Saturday hubby and I snuck away for a few hours to attend the "Valentine's in March" couple's dinner hosted by my church. It was so lovely! Great atmosphere, beautiful decorations, delicious food and lively conversation. Then on Sunday I took Oldest to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese after church. Can I just say how much I dislike that place? It's torture. It's loud, messy, disorganized, the kids are afraid of Chuck E., the salad bar always looks picked over. What. Is. The. Point? But I digress...Even though Oldest came down with a fever last night (probably from being in that germ-infested sinkhole) we still had a nice and restful weekend.

    Here's what we're lookin' like for the week:

    Grilled Pork Chops and Spanish Rice. Hubby made the pork chops so knowing that Mommy doesn't have to cook tonight makes them taste that much better!

    Chicken Florentine Casserole with Rice


    Lasagna with Garlic Bread


    See my new "Mommy's-Only-Cooking-Twice-During-The-Week-Plan?" It's been working out great. Definitely relieving some of the after work stress. I highly recommend it :-)

    For more stress-free menus visit Org Junkie!

    March 09, 2007

    I really like this little person

    I was praying this morning and thanking God so much for DD. I am so thankful that he has entrusted DH and myself to take care of this loving, adventurous, inquisitive soul. She is truly a delight. I would never have thought in a million years that I would enjoy a little person so much. Although she isn't talking as yet, she is so communicative - she knows exactly what she wants and she goes for it. She extremely funny too! Anyway, I guess I woke up this morning thinking about her as a person and I realize that I really like her and I am extremely blessed to have her in my life (I'm sure DH echoes my sentiments).

    It's Bloggity Book Club Day!

    Robin and BooMama had the genius idea of starting a Bloggity Book Club. The first selection was "Get Out of That Pit: Straight Talk About God's Deliverance" by Beth Moore.

    This was my first Beth Moore book and I was curious to see what it was like since she has so many fans. And...I liked it. Well, let me first say that I haven't actually finished reading the entire book -- you know how it is -- but I fully plan to. The book is a down-to-earth, easy-to-read, practical guide to identifying whether you're stuck in a pit (and there all kinds) and it gives you the steps to get out. Imagine that! For only $13.85 you can get "un-stuck." Now that's a bargain if I ever saw one :-)

    So, just in case you might not think you're in a pit, according to the book, you know you're in a pit when...
    • You feel stuck
    • You can't stand up (figuratively)
    • You've lost vision

    Before I started reading the book, I already had a sneaking suspicion that I might be in a pit of sorts. But, when I got to Chapter 2: "When You're Thrown Into a Pit," I started to think that this book wasn't for me because I didn't have anything especially horrific or traumatic happen to me to throw me into a pit. And then, I started feeling guilty, like "Fergie, you're not really in a pit. Listen to what some other people are going through. You just need to stop complaining. In fact, you are blessed!" Then, came Chapter 3: "When You Slip Into a Pit," and right then and there, I knew that Beth was talking to me. This chapter shows you how you can just slip into a pit -- this happens when we put ourselves into a pit even though we didn't mean to.

    The book is filled with lots of poignant points (and I'm only halfway through) But I'd thought I'd share some of my favorites thus far so that you'd get a feel for Beth's writing style and her words of wisdom:

    • "No matter where we go, a pit can always fit...The scenery around us may have changed, but we're still living in that same old pit. We start scrambling to figure out how we're going to dump an unpleasant person or position when the real solution may be to dump that pit we dragged in."

    • "...when Satan bartends, he prefers to serve mixed drinks. You know what I mean. Cocktails of troubles. Take them one at a time and you can keep walking straight. Mixed all together, they can send you reeling."

    • "Among other things, I had to admit my limitations and give up something I dearly love. I had to relinquish a class I taught for 22 years. I'd still like to be bitter about it, but I'm too scared of God. He's trying to help me out, and if I don't let Him, I'm liable to work myself into an early grave."

    And, most importantly,

    • "You can get out...But here's the catch: you can't get yourself out."

    I'm looking forward to fininshing the book and to trying Beth's "3-Steps Out of Your Pit." I must say that this probably isn't a book that I would have picked up and read on my own, but I'm glad that I did. All in all, an easy read, an entertaining read and an enlightening read.

    To see what others reactions to the book were, visit Robin's Little Bits of Life for more reviews!

    March 08, 2007

    Not Quite The Louvre...

    This week has been "Arts & Crafts Week" in the Fergie Household. Oldest is in love with doing "crafts" and so several times this week we've been "getting our artist on" in the evenings when I get home from work. [Really I just think she can't stand not being able to dig in my scrapbooking box and pull out the goodies] Thought I'd show off our a few of our masterpieces...

    "Sparkly Spectacular"
    (Ignore the red strip -- had to block out her name)

    "Multimedia Mania"
    (Yes, those are pasta shells!)

    "Sweets for Sale"
    (Oldest's Candy Store)

    What kinds of activities do you do to encourage your kids to be quiet creative?

    March 07, 2007

    Works for Me Wednesday: Kitchen Edition

    This week Shannon is hosting the Kitchen Edition of WFMW. Go on over and check out everyone's kitchen tips. There are some excellent ones!

    So I'm probably the only mom whose child(ren) hang onto her legs while she's trying to do anything remotely productive while in the kitchen, right? That's what I thought. Back when Oldest was around 15 months or so I was desperate for something to keep her busy long enough for me to throw a skillet of meat sauce together and get the noodles boiling (which I can now do in less than 4 minutes, thankyouverymuch). She just loved opening cabinets and pulling the entire contents out for Mommy to grumble about and throw back in. Then one day it dawned on me to let her play in the "tupperware" cabinet as long as she liked. Very quickly, this became "Oldest's Cabinet." Playing with the plasticware would keep her busy for at least 15 minutes, if not longer and I would be able to make dinner without having her glued to my shins. Yes, she made a big mess but after she went to sleep, I'd stack all of the containers back in the cabinet (and it really only took maybe 2 minutes) and it would be all ready for the next evening.

    Besides giving me some breathing room to make dinner, letting her play freely in the cabinet also had a couple of other advantages: She became only interested in "her" cabinet and left all of the other ones alone (hooray!). And it was very liberating (heh) to make the decision to only pick up the containers once a day, as opposed to getting in a tizzy, telling her "no" and constantly putting everything back multiple times a day. And, she learned how to stack the various sizes of bowls and things so well that now that she's 2, when I empty the dishwasher, I just hand her the containers and she puts it all "neatly" away by herself. And finally, the "mystery and intrigue" of the kitchen cabinet wore off after a few months and she doesn't even mess with the cabinet anymore. So, if you have little ones, you should try my cabinet approach.

    Bonus Tip: My hubby says I'm a magician when it comes to finding something to eat in the refrigerator when it seems like there's "nothing" there. [I totally get this talent from my mom] So I thought I'd share some quick "We have nothing to eat!" recipes.

    Bagel Pizzas:
    Top half a bagel with tomato sauce (we seem to always have some in a jar), Italian seasoning and shredded cheese (we always seem to have this around too). Broil for 5 minutes. ta da!

    Easy Nachos:
    Top nacho chips with salsa (also a staple) and shredded cheese. Microwave for 1 minute. ta da! You can also throw on any leftover meat that you may have (chicken or ground beef, etc.) for a more filling snack. You can also use quesadillas instead of the chips if you have those on hand.

    Chicken Noodle Soup:
    Boil pasta (pretty much any kind will do). Add pasta to a pot of chicken broth. Add whatever veggies you have lying around (fresh or frozen). If you have leftover chicken, throw that in too. Season to taste. ta da!

    Works for me!

    March 05, 2007

    Fashionably Late

    Because who really wants to arrive at a party as soon as it starts? The cool people always come just a tad late...

    Welcome to our blog party!! Let me take your coat.

    What's that fabulous smell you ask? Oh, those are my special thai peanut and toasted coconut shrimp skewers. Please, help yourself. And make sure to grab a caipirinha and make yourself at home!

    If you're visiting for the first time, MamaLaw is a group blog hosted by three young moms with six kids between us. We're friends, we're wives, we're lawyers and we started this blog because we were already sharing our stories with each other via email and decided that it would be much more fun to share our stories in an arena with the potential for public humiliation. And pretty colors.

    I'll let the other mamas introduce themselves, but my name is Justice Fergie and I am a [almost thirty!] working mother of two darling girls. Oldest is 31 months and Youngest turned 12 months today! My hubby is my college sweetheart and a great dad and software engineer. Aside from my dayjob, I'm busy launching a "mommy-lifestyle" company that offers products designed with moms in mind. Stay tuned for the grand opening. When I stumbled upon the mommy blogosphere about a year ago, it was a match made in heaven. I am addicted to the Internet and love all things "mom" so it all just made sense. I love love love reading your stories and am excited that people actually read what we have to say. If you're a regular, thanks so much for coming to the party, and if it's your first time here, welcome!

    Make sure to leave me a hostess "gift" in the comments section! You do want to be invited to the next party, don't ya?

    If this post totally confused you, visit 5 Minutes for Mom for the scoop.

    *UPDATED* Happy 1st Birthday Baby

    You are my sunshine :-)
    * In case you are wondering what she is wearing in this pic - it's her Christening dress. We had her baby dedication on Sunday (yes, it was a busy weekend!) The dress is really special because this was the dress that my sister and I wore for our Christenings...AND...the dress was made from my mother's wedding dress! Such a great idea and now a precious family heirloom.

    March 02, 2007

    *UPDATED* Go Shorty, It's Ya Birthday...

    Speaking of birthdays.... I can hardly believe it, but Youngest's 1st birthday is on Monday. Where did the time go? Hubby commented that she was definitely growing up this morning when she bent her arm so that she could put it in the sleeve of her shirt this morning while he was getting her dressed. She knows what to do! Oh how I'll miss the days of her lying calm and still as I was getting her dressed! (Remember those?)

    This weekend promises to be bunches of fun. Grandma D and Auntie L are flying in today for Youngest's birthday party and baby dedication. This year, instead of ordering a birthday cake like I normally do, we are taking on the challenge of making our own cake with the professional guidance of M-Diddy. [Who?] Take a close look at the picture of what the cake is supposed to look like...

    I'll put up our creation this weekend and you can tell me how we did. I'm a glutton for punishment.

    Omigoodnes, my baby's all grown up. Well, ok, not really.
    But she's ONE!!


    * Alrighty, here we go....check out the cake that my mom so lovingly made (I helped!) and it tasted delicious too - she even had suggestions that she sell her butter icing. The trickiest part was to try to make all of the "blocks" level - it's harder than you might think! And we used homemade icing instead of fondant so our cake wasn't as neat as Martha's, but all in all we did good!!

    March 01, 2007

    Turning 30!

    Thirteen GREAT Things about Turning Thirty

    Good bye 20s, hello 30s! In honor of my 30th birthday, here are 13 things that make me happy about being thirty.

    1. Saying I'm 30 something sounds sophisticated.
    2. I have an excuse to celebrate it big for the next 12 months. Every big trip, purchase or whatever, will all be in honor of my big birthday. After all, this is a big milestone. :))
    3. Thirties are the new 20s so the next ten years should be lots of fun.
    4. I've accomplished more than I would have imagined and I am only 30, go me!
    5. A lot of my friends turn 30 this year so even more reasons to celebrate.
    6. This weekend should be lots of fun since there are some big surprises planned by hubby.
    7. I am going to Vegas next week to celebrate and that's all because I'm turning 30.
    8. The look of shock on most people will be nice since most people think I'm 21 (if that).
    9. I'm a real grown up now, if I wasn't before.
    10. Hubby turns 30 as well this year and I'm looking forward to doing something nice for him.
    11. This is the year I get into shape and I can't wait to have a fab body at 30.
    12. I already like saying I'm thirty so now when I say it I'll be telling the truth (at least for the next 9 years).
    13. Last but not least, I am older, wiser and I won't make the same mistakes I made in my 20s while I'm 30.
    Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

    1. Jade

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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