Monday, September 28, 2009

Why me?

Sometimes things just suck. For instance, this has been my life for the past few days.
Synopsis of past 76 hrs. :
1. Told by son that there is a termite swarm on the back porch steps.
2. Go outside with termite murder on the mind and get creepy crawlies just at the sight of the millions of bugs. Spray the heck out of them.
3. Get approximately 25 bug bites from some never before seen tiny little black bug. Bites itch like crazy.
4. Watch an episode of Verminators with Myles which featured a woman's house infested with bedbugs. Get creepy crawly feeling again.
5. Take kids to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and consume a 25 pound keg of popcorn along with some reeses pieces.
6. Go to dinner at parent's house and wash down the 25 pounds of popcorn with a fried pork chop, creamy green bean dish, and buttery biscuits.
7. Go home to wear sweatpants and watch waistband expand. Roll myself to bed.
8. Wake numerous times during the night itching and dreaming of bed bugs. May have to buy new mattress, just in case. Vow to never watch Verminators again. EVER.
9. Get sliver while preparing breakfast of Puffy Oven Pancake for kids. Sliver won't come out, so I cover it with a band aid soaked in tears.
10. Realize that I forgot to purchase capri suns during the feeding frenzy at Target and have no beverage to put into Savannah's lunch box. Must rush children around so that we are able to leave early to drive down to Casey's, purchase a single Gatorade that costs the equivalent of an entire box of capri suns.
11. During rush out the door, Boris barfed all over porch. I chose to step over it and pretend I didn't notice.
12. Spent day at work itching stupid bug bites.
13. Returned home with kids to discover that B had decided to also step over dog barf and pretend not to notice it. Damn.
14. Went for long walk in attempt to cleanse self of this black cloud of doom.

It must have worked, because so far things are going better. I stumbled across this blog: which had me rolling with laughter. Annie Choi, you are hilarious. And much to my surprise, after having an instant compulsion to purchase her book, I found it already on my bookshelf waiting to be read. YIPEE! It is happily tucked under my arm at this very minute. It also has this adorable moving bookmark stuck inside it that I purchased over the weekend, which might be my favorite thing right now. Mine has puppies on scooters. Things are looking up.
And they had better stay up.

Tic Tac?

This past weekend I was introduced to Stacy's Pita Chips . These things are delicious. And they are even more delicious when being offered as a free sample to a Mom and her 2 kids who haven't eaten anything in over 3 hours. Just keep your fingers back, Sample Ladies!
The kids and I were picking up a couple of necessities in Target, when we were completely sidetracked by a kid's jeans sale. Jeans for the kids for only $7! "GRAB ANYTHING YOU SEE IN YOUR SIZE AND RUN TO THE DRESSING ROOMS!" I ordered. So, after our giant clothing jackpot, we headed up to pay for our booty. Only after paying did I remember that we didn't come to Target for clothes. We came here for garbage bags, which I have a Target exclusive coupon for. So, we went back in the store. And, it was a good thing we did. On the grocery side of the store, there were dozens of samples to be had. Once again, we gave up on our garbage bag mission and made our way from one sample table to the next, shoving aside anyone that got in our way. Then, I remembered that I, as a mother, should be setting an example for my children. So, I slowed my pace and yanked at the back of my kid's collars to slow them down, too. They were already pulling out the bottoms of their shirts to make a sort of shirt-basket into which they were planning to scoop the entire contents of each sample table. "Be polite. We are not animals!" I reminded them as I pushed ahead of them. Of course, the Mom duties quickly kicked in as I became the trash recepticle for every napkin and small plastic cup that seconds earlier contained a tasty morsel of food. We sampled Stacy's Pita Chips, some new fruit bites that contain an entire day's worth of vitamin c, some granola bites, nut clusters, some cheesy pasta thing, mango green tea, and to finish our circle of goodies we sampled pumpkin spice hershey kisses (Myles and I agreed that they tasted like candle wax) as well as the traditional chocolate kisses. Yum Yum. By this time, I was very precariously balancing a rather large collection of napkins and cups and candy wrappers. So, I asked the kids to find me a shopping basket and while they weren't looking I found a trash can to unload my burden. "Where did you put all that trash?" they asked. "I dumped it in some lady's cart when she wasn't looking," I told them. Their eyes got big. "So, hurry up, we've got to get out of here before she realizes it was me," I told them. Ha ha. There was some very speedy shopping done after that, with several glances over their shoulders. Of course, our basket was loaded up with our needed garbage bags as well as a bag of Stacy's Pita chips, some of those fruit bites, the granola bars, and I may go back for that pasta stuff. The sample ladies were very successful.

Today, however, I am discovering that the pita chips we bought were the Garlic Parmesan flavor, and the garlic will likely keep any lurking vampires at bay. Also, all of my co-workers will be keeping a safe distance today as well. Garlic may be oozing out of my pores right now. Whatever, they are still delicious. Savannah also has a baggie of them in her lunch box today. Hopefully, someone will still play with her at recess today. Tomorrow, I'll enclose a couple of tic-tacs, too.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Tale of Two Dogs

Well, at our house live 2 dogs. Boris is our Great Dane and Fillmore is our Rat Terrier/Pomeranian mix. Yes, they are complete opposites in every sense. Boris, the gentle giant is bullied on a daily basis by Fillmore, the alpha male. He has learned that taking a toy from Fillmore will earn you a nasty nip on the jowls. Ouch! Also, Boris has learned that Fillmore is FAST and it is very hard to keep track of where he is. Fillmore has mastered the art of darting in and out of the giant dogs legs in order to keep him guessing (and high stepping in a very amusing manner). Surprisingly, though, they are the best of friends and don't like to be without the other one for any reason.
Well, Savannah has a toy dog that operates on batteries and looks like a real dog sleeping and it's chest moves up and down to look like the dog is breathing. It came with a little doggie bed. She had the doggie bed down in the living room one day and Fillmore curled up on it to take a nap. Savannah thought this was adorable and has allowed Fillmore to sleep on it for the past couple of days. Boris must have felt left out because when I walked into the living room yesterday, this is what I found:

I believe he had one elbow, part of a shoulder, and some of his chin crammed onto this tiny little bed. "That little dog doesn't get to have all of the comfy sleeping spots to himself," Boris thought. "I'm trying this thing out."

Fillmore came along to inspect the situation and allowed Boris his few minutes of comfort.

Here, you can see how much of Boris actually fit onto the bed.

It didn't take long for Fillmore to reclaim his sleeping spot, though.

And poor, sad Boris was forced back to his usual spot on the carpet.

Mope. Mope. "It sure was comfy over there. This bony leg I'm resting my head on just isn't the same."

He does have an actual comfy sleeping spot, too. However, his size does not allow for us to drag his pile of comforters all over the house and he prefers to lay in whichever room I am in. He does lay a mean guilt trip, though. Poor pitiful pooch.

Monday, September 21, 2009

All Right Everyone, Laugh It Up!

I guess it must be time for a little humiliation for me. So I'm posting the most attractive pictures of me and my family ever taken. EVER. First is a collection of our face morphs from the Christmas Carol Train Tour. We were able to morph our faces into Scrooge, Tiny Tim, one of the Christmas ghosts, and another female character, but I'm not sure who. Anyway, these are our lovely face morph results:
Here I am as Ebeneezer Scrooge

And me as Tiny Tim

And me as one of the Christmas ghosts.
Myles as Tiny Tim

Myles as the pretty girl

Myles as Ebeneezer Scrooge

And Savannah as the pretty girl

Savannah as Tiny Tim

And Savannah as Ebeneezer Scrooge

What an attractive bunch we are. I especially like the way Myles looked as the pretty girl with some strange bangs part way down her forehead.

Now, to further your amusement. Here is a collection of photos taken at my parent's house on Sunday. My dad has a new camera with a feature on it to add a smile to a face. We were all in hysterics over the outcome of these pictures. And I think my most flattering picture EVER was taken this night.

Laugh it up!

Myles before:

Myles after:

Myles -- evil? Maybe.

Myles the devil child? Definitely!

Now here is my favorite picture of all time.

And here is it's improvement. Be forewarned, laughing family members, this next image will be printed up on t-shirts for you all and given as gifts for Christmas.

And, yet another lovely shot of me.

And with an added smile...

Yes, I know. I'm very hot. I'm thinking of getting these printed up and sending them out to some of the local modeling agencies. I'm thinking it might be time for a career change.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rrrrrrrrrrrummage Sale!!!

Today was the big rummage sale at the fairgrounds. I headed out there with my sister bright and early (that's around 9:15am for me). This rummage sale is one of the largest rummage sales in the entire state and fills up all of the buildings on the Washington County fairgrounds. I have gone to it for the past 3 years, but this year and last year I went on a mission. This was no casual shopping venture. This was the place to go to find great bargains. Last year I found several Christmas decorations and an adorable ceramic cookie jar. And all of these things are about $1 a piece. I had also found the kids a lot of cute clothes in the past that had cost next to nothing.

So, this year I had convinced my sister to go with me and prepare to go crazy. There were some great bargains to be found, and we were on a mission to find them. We quickly made a beeline for the kids clothing barn and immediately dug in. Right off the bat, I had found a couple of adorable pajama sets for Savannah and quickly crammed them into my shopping bag. Stacey did the same. I caught sight of the girls jeans table, and the sight of jeans piled up 4 feet high was simply too overwhelming for me to tackle. So, we moved on to the racks of hanging clothes. These clothes were crammed in so tight, that my arms were seriously aching after a few minutes of searching through them. ACHING! Apparently, I need to do some arm workouts prior to coming to the rummage sale. But, I will not be swayed from my mission. After about an hour of searching through every rack in the place, I had a bag that was bulging at the seams and quite a pile of overflow. Stacey was hauling around an equally enormous pile. My arms were aching, my legs were aching, and I was sweating but the day was a success. I found Savannah quite a few pieces. She got an adorable pink cardigan sweater from the Gap the looks like it was never worn. She also got a very cute Hershey's chocolate tshirt, an Old Navy fleece vest that looks new, and much much more. Myles scored a Rockies baseball jersey, several pairs of pants in a size 14 (the kid is growing like a weed), and a Omaha Royals Alex Gordon shirt. He's pretty excited about them. I found a pink tshirt that says "Popular" and is from Wicked! Woo-hoo.

The sale was a huge success (for me). The kids wanted to go out to it after they got out of school and Savannah was able to rummage through the book barn and found herself 10 books. Unfortunately, we didn't find a bookshelf to store all of these books on. And after purchasing nearly 40 pieces of clothing, 12 books, and 4 holiday decorations, I only spent about $35! Now, I think that counts as a great day! Tomorrow, I'll be whining about my aching arms and I may have to bust out my hand weights to prepare for next year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Halloween Decorations!

Ok, I have decided that the time has come to bust out the Halloween decorations. Actually, I busted them out at my house a couple of weeks ago. I'm usually ready to start pulling all of my fun pumpkin decorations out right after the 4th of July, but try to hold back. Once September hits, though, it's Halloween time Baby!
So, my house has been looking cute and Halloween festive for a little bit and I have a smallish stash of cute Halloween decorations that I like to take to work and decorate my desk with. I spend enough time there that I figure it should be as festive as my home. But, I am also a person who doesn't take criticism well. So, I headed to work today loaded up with Halloween decorations as well as snappy retorts for anyone who felt the need to tell me that it's not October yet. I made it 3 steps into the building before I heard it. But, I don't care. I now have the cutest desk in the entire building. And Christmas? It's going out on November 1st. Prepare yourselves.

If I had a cute little cabinet like this next to my desk, this is exactly how it would look today. I may have to put in a supply request and see if I can get one. You can't overdo Halloween decorations, can you?
At our house, we have a scary life-size skeleton butler guy that we will be putting out on our front porch and a light up gateway. Both of those items I chose to keep in until it is officially October. But on October 1st, I can guarantee they will be out. And our house will have the coolest Halloween decor. And our Giant Pumpkins will be out too. I'm excited just thinking about it. I'll post pictures on the 2nd.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Shannon and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Today was supposed to be a good day. Things started off well. My sister had invited me to go along with her to the Omaha Public Library's book sale. We've been before and found lots of great books for next to nothing. And it benefits the library. I love when something benefits me and a place I love. Win win. So, we meet up at the book sale. And what did I find? Just three books. I think everyone must have beat us to all of the good books. And what did my sister find? A Stacey Ballis book. For $1.50. I have been wanting a Stacey Ballis book and never am able to find one. I seriously considered wrestling Stacey for the book, but decided to maintain my composure. I may have shed a tear in frustration, though. We followed up this trip to the book sale with a trip to a local cookie shop for a treat. Stacey took the girls with her to the cookie shop and I had an errand to do next door.

I had the brilliant idea last week to take some of my old clothes that no longer fit me :( to a store called Plato's Closet. I had heard on a radio show that they buy used clothes and sell them at a greatly reduced price. Perfect, I thought. Because when I can no longer shove my chub into cute clothing, I feel that I should be financially compensated.

So, once I got to the store I quickly felt completely out of place. The store was packed with 14 and 15 year olds and a couple of mothers. I was closer in age to the mothers, sadly. But I took my bags and waited in the line at the buy counter. I had never been in this store before and stood in line for what felt like 20 minutes waiting for someone to look at my things. I waited while one woman was offered $62 dollars for her bags of clothing, and another was offered $16 for hers, but was given some bags of clothing back. I guess some things are refused, as I would expect. Thankfully, I was in possession of 2 fantastic bags of clothing. And they are all in a size 2, which should fit a lot of tiny little teenagers. So, I got up to the counter filled with confidence and even thought I might look around for a couple of sweaters. You know, to throw the store a bone, since I would totally be leaving this store much richer than when I entered. I was told to come back in 15 minutes. So, I looked around for a couple of minutes until I was intimidated by the groups of 15 year olds and left to find my family at the cookie shop.

After scarfing down a delicious oatmeal scotchie, I had regained my confidence and my posse, so we reentered the store. Stacey and I turned the kids loose and began browsing the racks. I had found a couple of sweaters and Stacey had found some things as well. The girls found every glittery halter top in the store which they would rip from the rack, run across the store, and yell "Don't you love this shirt?" I told them that every one of those shirts would all look lovely on Stacey. hee hee.

After my 15 minutes had passed, I handed Stacey my sweaters to hold just in case the offer on my clothes wasn't as fantastic as I was expecting. So, I walked up and told the boy behind the counter that I wanted to know if my offer was ready. He grabbed a bin from behind the counter, which had all of my clothes still in their bags in it. Hmm. This didn't look good. He then proceeded to tell me that their buyer couldn't buy any of my clothing from me. How could this be, I wondered. My clothes are all awesome. I just can't squeeze my chub into them anymore. Well, he went on to say that they really only buy clothing that is for teenagers and my clothes weren't really for them. (These clothes came from Gap, Abercrombie, Old Navy, Express, and American Eagle. Are those stores not teenager stores?) But, to soften the blow (or twist the knife, more like), he told me that there is a store across the street called Chloe's Closet which carries more "womanly" clothing and they would probably be more interested in my clothes. WTF? Did that kid just call me OLD?

I walked back over to Stacey and the kids with my two sacks of "womanly" clothing, and instructed her to put my sweaters back on the rack. So, we left. I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry. At this point, I chose laughter. Although, on the ride across the street, the barrage of questions Savannah was hurling at me from the backseat did not make me feel any better. "Why did that guy think you were old?" "How old are you supposed to be to go in that store?" "Are we going to an old person shop next?"

Chloe's Closet turned out to be a Granny's fancy dress shop. I strode in there with my sacks of rejected clothes and walked right up to the counter. (No waiting in line at the granny shop) The woman working there informed me that they only consign clothing and are only interested in "fancy, high end clothing" nothing casual. Then she eyes me up and down. (Did this bitch just imply that I am low-end?) She told me to take their flier listing their clothing requirements and give them a call at another time. "You really should try Plato's Closet across the street," she said. Apparently, I belong nowhere. But I am certain that I am not a fat old granny nor am I a low-end wanna be teenager. So, I'll be keeping my clothes that don't fit me anymore. They will be returning to my closet where they can mock me for not being able to squeeze into them anymore, and I'll never be returning to Plato's Closet again. This has been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Some days are like that even in Omaha. That's why I live in Arlington.

I may have to contact Stacey Ballis and request an autographed book. It may be the only way to make me feel better. Well, that and another oatmeal scotchie.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Green Feet and Green Roofs

This past week I purchased a pair of kelly green flats. I think they are cute, but I'm not totally sure about the color. My feet will definitely stand out. Do I want all attention drawn to my feet? I guess there could be worse places to have attention drawn to. We'll have to see how the public reacts to my shoes. I'll keep everyone updated. Have any of you been to the People of Walmart website? If my green shoes land a picture of me on this site, then I will know that I made a bad choice.
And the People of Walmart site has been entertaining me all week. I fully intend to stake out my nearby Walmart and submit some photos. I have commented many times on the state some people are willing to leave the house in. And the really do all seem to be headed to Walmart. I'll post any pictures that I am able to snap.

Today, I was in my kitchen making some chicken noodle soup (from scratch! I kick ass at cooking. I even made two loaves of bread from scratch in the afternoon. Martha Stewart better look out!) for Savannah because she has been fighting a cold. While I was chopping carrots and celery, I glanced out my window at the house next door. This house has been a bit neglected as long as we have lived next door. They have been sprouting a rather large forest of maple trees in their gutters for years. I think it's fun to watch. Maybe they are trying to grow a green roof, but are unaware of how it's really done. (Ok, it's complete laziness, but I have to try to put a positive spin on it since I am a fellow lazy person) But, today, this is what I noticed had sprouted in the gutter.
It made me smile. A happy little flower sprouted in the gutter forest. :)

Now, I'll share with you a little story from this past week at work. I went into the break room to purchase a coke from the coke machine. In order for me to get this much thirsted for pop, I had to scrounge for the 75 cents I needed. So, after putting my 15 nickles into the machine and selecting my pop (feeling my face turn red knowing several of my coworkers were watching me push coins into that machine for 20 minutes) out comes a can that is making a strange noise. I reach down and pick it up and a fountain erupts from this can. Pop was exploding EVERYWHERE. I sprayed pop from one side of the break room to the other. And, there were several witnesses. (All snickering at my misfortune) It was not good. The trash can is clear on the far side of the room, and even moving as quickly as I could and still avoid having pop spray all over my outfit, I still managed to leave a river of coke across the room. I was then able to entertain all of the lunch eaters by attempting to mop up the floor with a couple of napkins. The floor is still as sticky as a movie theater. And my position as company laughing stock has been locked firmly in place. In the end, I was reimbursed for my pop, purchased another one (in front of the same audience) and was still able to get my coke. Ha ha Universe. I still got my Coke.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

News, Disasters, and a Holiday Movie Preview

NEWS: The Duggers are expecting number 19! Ok, I admit that I am currently recovering from an addiction to both the Duggers and John and Kate + 8, but these families are so interesting. I heard about the Duggers on Pat and JT this morning (local morning radio show). Child and grandchild will be born around the same time. Unbelievable. Imaginary scenario: 5th grader and Kindergartner are walking to school together when the 5th grader's friend approaches. Hi, is this your little sister? Nope, this is my Aunt. (I know this exact scenario couldn't happen because the Duggers are all home schooled, but at some point I bet something similar does happen)

DISASTERS: I made my stupid pretzels yesterday and screwed them all up. This batch was from a recipe I found, and not from the premixed box kit I had previously made. I buttered them before I put them in the oven (like my old method, the new method calls for buttering after baking) and the butter melted all over the tray and dripped into the oven. The entire house was filled with smoke, horrible, thick, smelly smoke, by the end of the 10 minute baking process. I had to open the front and back doors and place fans by them trying to blow the smoke out. It took a very long time to air the house out and this morning, it still smells smokey. But, after the pretzels came out of the oven, they didn't look right, since I had prebuttered them. So, to correct the error, I melted another stick of butter and buttered them again. The result was delicious. The kids were reluctant to try the pretzels, since I had been shouting about screwing up the pretzels, but once the first bite hit their tongues, they were happy. Super Yummy Double Butter Pretzels. That may be the name of my pretzel shop.
Unfortunately, the Super Yummy Double Butter Pretzels have so much butter on them that when storing them overnight, the salt sort of dissolves into a strange little salt blob and the overall appearance of the pretzels are slightly less than appetizing, so the Super Yummy Double Butter Pretzels are meant only for immediate consumption. I don't think this is a problem.

Now, for the HOLIDAY MOVIE PREVIEW. This past weekend, the Christmas Carol Train Tour came through Omaha. We had heard that it was very neat and definitely had to go. So, we drove the 45 minutes to the Durham Museum only to hear many people complaining on their way out of the museum that they just waited in line for over 3 and 1/2 hours! Yikes! But we are die-hards, and would not be discouraged. This is the view of the train from the sidewalk as we walked up.

And this is a picture of the kids as we first got into the line. I thought I'd capture one while everyone was still happy. I was anticipating there being another picture to be taken 3 1/2 hours later with much less happiness in it. About 30 minutes into our line wait, my sister and her family showed up. This gave us a greater number of people to moan about the long wait. Ok, in all honesty, I did most of the moaning. But, come on! A 3 1/2 hour wait and no one was circling the line selling refreshments? Somebody missed a golden opportunity there. But, there were many things to keep us entertained. There was playing underneath the trains,

enjoying the carolers,

and playing around the train cars.

Finally, we made it outside the museum and into the home stretch. The kids were losing their excitement for this adventure, and much like me, hunger and thirst were beginning to get the better of us. But, we persevered.
And after our long, long wait, we made it inside of the train. Everyone was excited again. Once inside we got to see some of the costumes and portraits of the characters while being mashed against all of the other people we'd just spent the past 3 hours with. And they were all officially on my nerves.

I was able to capture a few good shots of the kids during our tour. And after a very long wait, we were able to see a lot of the behind the scenes making of Disney's A Christmas Carol. But, the kids were not impressed. "We just waited 3 hours for that?" they asked me. "I do not think it was worth it!" And, honestly I had to agree. It was neat, but I don't think I would have waited 3 hours for it had I known ahead of time what there would be to see. We were hoping for a little more interactive displays. We did get to morph our faces into some of the characters from the movie, but I haven't received our copies yet. I'll post them when I do. So, in the end we were all starving, thirsty, and very tired of standing, but we were able to put on a happy face for one last picture.
However, in a final push for a happy day, we were treated to a 8 minute sneak peek of the movie IN 3D!! That was the best part. The movie looks really good. The kids are counting down the days until the movie comes out. (We will be watching it sitting down, eating food and drinking giant colas because that's how we spend a HAPPY 3 hours!)