31 July 2009

7 Quick Takes: Yeah.

--1--

I went FIVE WHOLE DAYS without blogging. I'd like to say that I did this as some sort of penance or for Lent, but sadly, no. I just ended up being spontaneous and going on aforementioned trip to the beach and SURPRISE - No Internet connection.




--2--

GO figure, as I am there without Teh Internets, I come up with two blogs.

Normally, my best ideas come when I'm A) in the shower or B) drifting off to sleep. Both are problematic. I've dealt with 'A' by having bathtub crayons on hand OR doing the "repeat sentence, repeat sentence, repeat sentence" followed by a naked mad-dash to the nearest writing utensil and something I can write on.

I deal with 'B' by either A) huffing at myself and climbing out of mid-sleep position, firing up the laptop and spitting out a blog, B) putting cliff's notes on my iphone, or C) dragging myself to the kitchen island and writing some of it down.

Unless I opt for 'A' and get out my laptop, the post is NEVER as good as it was in my head.

However, I did a LOT of driving on this trip and had two pretty darn good blog post ideas come up while in the middle of nowhere.

Yes, I know what you are thinking - "Amanda, why didn't you just rattle it off to your Little Person Stenographer". Well, space was tight, dears, and I couldn't bring him along. So, I had to hold the steering wheel, not touch my phone (because that's DANGEROUS people), and just keep repeating the TOPIC. All those lost sentences... *sigh*.

When/Where do YOUR best ideas come?




--3--

My 'b' key is still missing.
Conner finally fessed up.
It took almost a month.
Completely random, he walks up to me and says "I am really sowwy about breaking da 'B' on your 'puter"

Yeah. Thanks.




--4--

ALSO, my battery isn't holding a charge. I have to contort my hand to manipulate the cord for my laptop to charge. It blows. So, since the computer is only 6 months old, and I've had this issue for several months now, I've finally decided to contact HP.

Sadly, I think I decided "too late" because now, every 10 minutes or so I have to stop what I am doing and "hold it's hand".

I did this WHILE typing my customer service complaint. There's irony for you. Wait...is that ironic and just crappy?

Also, I have implemented one-handed typing.
Without the letter 'b' key.
It's as awesome as it sounds.




--5--

I am having a FABULOUS, like FOR REALS FABULOUS giveaway courtesy of Bed, Bath & Beyond starting Monday. Please come back for details because you really, really (REALLY) don't want to miss out.
Swomise.




--6--

I am brown, yet I feel sun burnt. How odd is that?
Oh, but my face is coming off.
I'm either a snake or I'm peeling.
Could be both, so.... STAY TUNED. Should be fascinating stuff.




--7--

After having my Charlie and my pug for 3.5 years (well, Charlie longer), I have made a ground breaking discovery.

My long-haired dog that I keep obsessively bathing, brushing and shaving? Yeah... he's not the one leaving all the hair on my floors.

It's that little evil pug! Ugh. HOW? He looks practically hairless!
Wait, maybe he's hairless because he keeps his doggy coat ON MY FREAKING FLOORS.

Pug. Free to a "good" home. (That's a joke. unfortunately, Charlie wouldn't know how to live without him..)



For more awesomesauce Quick Takes, Visit Here.

29 July 2009

Checks In the Mail

It was like "Where's Waldo" around Teh Internets for 3 days. You guys went nuts. Ge'ez. I am so GIDDY you guys went SO NUTS. You must heart me.

Obviously, you all noticed I went radio silence from Sunday through today. Yeah...uh... sorry about that.

Out of nowhere, my favorite family (other than mine) invited me on their family trip to Ft. Walton/Eglin AFB/Staci Wishes It Were Destin, FL. I am NOT an impromptu kinda gal, but as it turned out, Michael was going to be gone for business/family obligations and I accepted the offer and packed the 3 of us and cleaned the house in about 6 hours.

I would lurve lurve to tell you all about everything we did, but I'm super busy, super tired and just plain WORKING ON IT.

I learned a few very important lesson's in the process, and also managed to remind myself of a few important one's I'd forgotten... Here goes!

  • As much as I complain about living in the middle of nowhere, I do NOT live in the middle of nowhere. These people live in the middle of nowhere:

  • Trying to run a blog without wifi is like trying to run a restaurant without a kitchen.
  • No Internet access for more than a day is EXACTLY LIKE HELL. Except in Hell, the lack of Internet will also be accompanied by the smell of sulfur and 24-hour/7-days a week Michael Jackson news coverage. Oh, and MJ himself.

  • Being a single parent must so suck (to a degree) (not that I didn't have ARM FULLS OF HELP while at the beach - I just single parented in the car and while packing and a few additional times).
  • I missed Michael. I hate him travelling. Going to the beach without him made me cry. Thankfully, my friends were very supportive (and I heart their faces).
  • I have a new respect for parents of children with ADHD. THIS IS ME LOOKING AT YOU CONNER!

  • I will never have 5 kids.
  • Pictures of 5 kids in birth order couldn't get cuter than this if you tried. So don't.



  • No matter how hard you try, sand will get into your PB&J.
  • Children do not nap on beaches.



  • SPF is important.
  • Noxzema makes your hands burn.
  • Sunburn on your bestie makes for a bed full of heat.

  • The Slap Chop guy ("you'll love my nuts") and the Sham Wow douche ("follow me camera guy") (oh, and both the same guy...) have nothing on Nick selling the HerStyler Flat Iron in a Eglin AFB Mall.


  • Staci has the corner on haggling salesmen using biblical references.
  • I have her wing man position with well-placed sarcasm.


  • The death of a friend will never be fully understood. The pain becomes less obvious, but never lessens in its intensity. Watching someone you love learn about that loss is also equally as painful. (Post to come)
  • How God works in certain peoples' lives is simply astonishing. (Post to come)
  • I never knew how much freedom in "daily life" our military and their families give up to fight for and maintain OUR freedom. Really. It's mind blowing and POST TO COME. Good stuff.

24 July 2009

7 Quick Takes: Some of This Is So Last Week...

--1--
Conner decided to show off his Badge of DisHonor at Summer School/VBS today - it apparently didn't go well. This is what he told me when we got home:

Conner: "I told them at school that I got shot and they said 'No, you just got a boo boo' and I say 'No! I got SHOT!' and I showed them and they said 'No, it's a boo boo' "

Sorry kid, your thug ways just don't compute with your peers. (Mommy picked the right preschool...)




--2--
While getting Dairy Queen because the toaster oven broke and lunch just DUH! can't be made without a toaster oven driving home after picking up Conner from VBS, I took this picture of his newly acquired and most prized possession:




Walking to the car only moments earlier, He tells me "I finally finally finally got a necklace like you and dadda!"

Yes, we deprive him of jewelry. How dare we? (I also lost Mom Points for not thinking of having an arts and crafts project to make him a cross necklace... I knew he wanted one and we are always telling him that either a) he gets dadda's when he gets a little older [mike loves sitting him in his lap and telling him about the cross and why he wears it, adorable!] or b) he gets his own just like dadda's when he gets a little older.)




--3--
We enjoyed McWayne Center last week with my mom in Birmingham. Here's a few favs.


That's one big dino turtle...



Conner "digging" for "dino bones". I just LOVED this stuff he is digging in - it was post-consumer recycled rubber pieces. It would be 3 trillion times easier to clean up than sand (especially once that sand manages to hop, skip and leap out of the sandbox and into my house, grrrr). Anyone know what this stuff is called or where I can find it?



Chase barely had time for pictures...



More proof that Conner needs/wants/I want for him a play kitchen... le sigh.




--4--
You guys remember that post I did a few weeks back called College Dorm Shopping Heaven?

Well, if you aren't feeling "clicky" today or don't remember which post I'm talking about (shame), it's all about all the things I wish I would have had for college when I was a Freshman and dorm-bound.

The wonderful people with Bed, Bath and Beyond are hooking one lucky reader up with some MAJOR swag - a full 11-piece bedding set for a college-bound ...umm... college-r (oh, I'm talented).

Should be this next week! Going to be SOO worth it if you, your bestie, sister or someone you know and want to totally spoil is hitting the dorms this year!



--5--
Chase is On. The. Move. these days - so, it's very very (very) hard to get a picture of him without it looking like an empty room full of wind. Here are just a few examples I tried to capture just so you know he still exists:


Zoolander?


Muscle Man.


Um. Chase in true form.


Yeah... that's not what I meant by "smile"...






--6--
I caved to my neighbor agreed to take a Gravity class at the Y with my neighbor. I will not lie, it totally kicked my butt. And my arms. And my abs. And... EVERYTHING. It's this crazy machine that looks so incredibly intimidating, but the instructor was super Zen (no, really... I'm pretty sure her middle name is Sunflower or Zodiac or something...) and calmly talked me through it.

I think she might have also managed to hypnotize me with her Zen ways into wanting to plant a chemical-free herb garden, save the rain forest and adopt a puppy (wait, I wouldn't mind doing any of those things.... digression).... She's that good...

If you want to know more about resistance training, or Gravity training (using your own body weight on a machine), visit this helpful site.

It explains the how resistance training works and explains why my entire body got a workout without really feeling strained (while DOING it, that is...).




--7--

Seriously people, 3 ingredients, 2 very happy children, 1 pan. NO ONE CAN COMPLAIN! PS - You could totally sneak in a veggie, say some minced onion or bell peppers.... chop finely for those picky eaters (I'm looking at you, Conner).

(Also, it says you can either use cream of chicken or cream of mushroom - I used cream of mushroom and then sprinkled a little cheddar cheese on top - total yummers)




More Quick Takes? Go HERE!

23 July 2009

And The Point In This Post Is?

Today just flew by, which, I am so totally not complaining about.

We woke at our usual Summer Awakening Time of 8 AM.
Oh yes, I said EIGHT.
It's fabulous.
I have never been, and never will be, a morning person. In college, I finally lucked up enough to get my bestie, Mary, to be my roomie at BAMA and she is also not a morning person. So, we'd wake, stumble into each other in the hall, grunt or "meow" at each other (it's our inside joke. Ok, it's not a joke, just something weird we do. I'm weird... in case you managed NOT to notice...).

Obviously, I was a little ticked off about leaving my bestie to move in with my hubby when I discovered he was so a morning person (yup, they exist), in that, he wakes up and wants to immediately begin full-on WITH COMPLETE SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS AND ACTUAL CONTENT conversations. Whoa kid. My brain doesn't compute ANYTHING other than one-word phrases before 8:30 - so back. up. off.

Anyweiners.

Today, we had Conner and Chase's 4-year and 18-month check-ups, respectively. I, being the absolute genius of everything that I am (stop the laughing), scheduled them for the Best Time Ever that I am, again, not sharing. Sorry.

We didn't wait long, and I even managed to remember to bring Conner and Chase (if I'd of stopped the sentence there, you'd laugh - go ahead... re-read it) a snack and a semi-MEAL in case they went That Direction (you just never know when kids will do that).

And... since no one likes a "my kids are this tall and this big and this awesome" post, I'll just blurt out the facts:

Conner is small - estimated height: 5 FREAKING 7. Yup, Magic Foundation... do you do freebies?

Chase is NOT small - with ALL the problems Chase has managed to conjure up medically, he still manages to blow my little mind with the fact that, as of now, he is 50-50-50 (height, weight AND HEAD CIRCUMFERENCE). I know. Really. No lie. His head is NORMAL. Sheesh kid.

The children then received shots. Conner went first. I told him he was getting it because he wouldn't sit still or use his inside voice during the duration of his and Chase's check-ups. It's ok. I'm his mother. I have the right to scar him for life.

Chase also received shots, but he's not a cry-er. Well, then again... the only reason Conner cried is because I told him he was getting them as punishment... and he normally doesn't cry... so... you know... MOVING ON.

Then by the time we did some other stuff, it was nap time - Praise Jesus. So, I came home, scrubbed the boys to Bio-Hazard Level 4 (no swine flu here - GOT THAT?) and put Chase in his Happy Place/Crib.

Conner did his new routine of "I'm so totally not napping because you gave me magic medicine that made my 3.5 hour nap disappear and yes, I'm eating better and breathing better and not getting sick like I was, but now my mom has a child that doesn't nap and no time to herself so, she's kinda considering letting me just deal with the Asthma without the meds because no-nap is JUST NOT FAIR, according to her...".... Wait... That's a lie. Well, the part about taking away his meds is a lie - but the rest? NOT FAIR.

Yeah. So.

Um.

Then, post-nap... we had cereal for dinner. I'm an awesome mom.

And Mike did work stuff... you know... so we can buy more cereal...

And I went to pick up Chase's Rx for another rash.

And then Conner fell asleep in the car because HE NO LONGER NAPS. (I'm sorry, but my brains really might explode over that one...)

Oh, and then Mike came home and is now outside with both offspring searching for crickets. (May they rest in peace or pieces)

This concludes Amanda's Blah Blah Blah. Feel free to stop skimming for important stuff.... now.


21 July 2009

Dear...

Dear El Nino,

I know you get a bad rap (wrap vs. rap) on the West Coast, but that's their problem. I'd like to personally thank you for bringing Canadian air deep in the heart of the South, where my happy little butt can now make it to the mailbox without crack sweat. I mean, seriously, thanks.

Also, I'm a big fan of the rain we don't normally see in July.

My only complaint isn't really a complaint at all: I'm just a weather dork (yes, I'm about 15 flavors of dork), and a birdie/meteorologist told me that your wind shear will break up hurricane activity in the Gulf. Hrmph. I'll still enjoy tracking them here. (Yup, BIG RED, FLASHING DORK SIGN)

Muchos Thank-os (yup, that's Spanish)
(Wait, Gracias is "thanks"... so..)

Gracias,
The Mom Job


-----


Dear Conner,

Pants kid, PANTS. Lord love a duck, I'm REALLY TIRED OF SEEING YOUR JUNK. Put on the PANTS.

With Pants,
Mommy


-----


Dear Margarita Glass,

I'm sorry I haven't used you in so long. I really do have a good excuse. It's not you, it's me. Swomise.

Although the medicine helps with the esophageal spasms, it can't handle Mr. Cuervo and his little buddies yet. And vodka-only margaritas are just so Freshman Year at a crappy bar "of legal drinking age" years at crappy bars.

However, knocking me over my head while I fetched a cup for Conner's orange juice this morning was a bit extreme. I mean, yes, it has been that long, but you didn't have to go to such extremes. Are you like that girl who stalks a guy after he makes out with you ONCE and then doesn't remember your name? Because no one likes that girl. Trust me.

I'll get around to using you later. Well, not you now... you are broken and in the trash. But, I'll use your friends.

And then, I might not call them the next day. Wait...

There's a life's lesson in there for some of you who choose to read between the lines.

My Deepest Sympathy's To Your Mexican Familia,
Very Sober Amanda


-----


Dear Body,

Your little game last week? Not cool dude. Well, girl. But for reals - NOT COOL. You do that again and you go on eBay. Trust me, I know all about putting uteruses (uteri??, eh?) and ovaries and thyroids on Teh Internets. Don't try me.

Just NOT. COOL.
Me (us?)


-----
Dear Congress and Senate,

That's just one GIGANTIC mistake. Don't go there.

Regards,
The Tax Payer ('s wife)

20 July 2009

Circle, Circle - Dot, Dot....

Just in the last 3 days, I've experienced a new level of boyhood. I'd like to report that I do not accept this particular stage and would much prefer to skip it.

In this stage, dialogue goes a lot like this:

Conner in a sing-songy voice: "My pennnnniiissss is a weaaapoooonn......" In this never-to-be-released Broadway-esque performance, my just-plain-nasty (at the moment...) 4-year-old sings those lovely lyrics with appropriately placed pelvic thrusts.

Next...

Conner comes to me with two large cups, one over each hand. He takes his official Power Rangers stance (legs spread, knees slightly bent, one arm out, one arm guarding his chest...), and shouts out "THESE ARE MY BOOBIE GUNS!"
My response (after laughter): "And what do they do?" (Stupid me for asking....)
Conner: "THEY SHOOT MILK!!!" "ARGGGG"

That's the only known side-effect of breastfeeding I've come up with to date.

Oh, and then there's this:

Last night, Conner gets out of the bathtub and runs full-force at the bed. After shedding his towel/cape, he jumps on the bed, throws his butt in the air, aims it towards Michael and proclaims "BEWARE! THIS IS MY BUTT CANNON! I WILL GET YOU WITH MY STINKY POOTS!"


People, this is just gross.

17 July 2009

The Cement Roof

The sound of rotor blades humming in a thunderous roar…

A standard length stretcher is carefully, yet swiftly, pulled from the helicopter with flight nurses ducking their heads and holding the hair out of their faces from the fierce winds forced downward and swirling around.

Ten stories high on the rooftop - the cement landing pad is blood red.

On top of that stretcher, guarded by Him, kept safe by people I'll never thank or get the honor to meet, is a small plastic box.

In that clear container, lay my day old son - hooked to an incubator, fighting for his life.

I am still 2 hours away and fighting to get to him.

On that building, ten stories high, on that red cement, with chopper blades slicing the frigid December winds sat my son....

Until last night, I'd never been able to picture this part of Chase's story, but while getting driving directions using a satellite map for a trip to Birmingham, a bright red square with a bold white cross caught my eye.



Overwhelmed with emotion, that now small tear in my heart burned for a minute and I cried. The cross sparked a memory of the same cross I wear around my neck. I clasp my hands tightly, pulled them close to my wet, salty face and prayed. I thanked Him for the boys - for Chase's treatments, doctors, nurses and loving support and for the reminder of how much I have to be thankful for.

I remembered that cold December morning on the roof top, 10 stories high, that I never got to see.

15 July 2009

For The Record...

My mom told me not to post this:


(crappy quality, but HILARIOUSITY at its finest)











Yes, for those who stumble upon this, Chase is a BOY (penis and all). My husband never cracked a smile. However, Conner was laughing his arse off saying things like "Momma! Chase is not a GIRLLL!"




Sorry Chase.

(PS - I cleaned my counter tops this morning....)

14 July 2009

Marbles? MARBLES?! Where are youuuuu?

I feel like prefacing this entire entry with one very, very important note: No matter how “complain-y” I might sound, no matter how much it sounds like I’m being unappreciative or ungrateful, I am not. I am very, very thankful for what appears to be mass-chaos in my life right now. This is not a complaint, just a vent in a space that couldn’t be more right for the job.

It seems that two things are happening in my life right now:

1) Everything that I’ve worked so very hard for over the last year, and over the 5 years it took to get my degree in a related field, are finally working out. I set out with a few small goals and one large, collective goal - and it just so happens, darnit, that things are going how I’d want them to.

2) With every silver lining in a cloud, there’s also some rain. The pressure I am feeling to do all the things I need to do and to tackle the challenges set before me are heavy.

I make no attempt to hide the obvious on this blog. I am several-fold in my reasons for running The Mom Job. Some of those reasons and motivations are very similar to a large sect of the “mommy blogger” community (one which I denounce in no way, and find solace in personally) - I blog to connect with others in the same situation, to provide an outlet for myself and others about what it takes to parent children and to just… well, breath.

When I set out to purchase my own domain almost 9 months ago, fittingly, I conceived an entirely separate, yet equally as important, objective. I wanted to provide a space to feature my writing, entertain others, acquire sponsors, review products and endorse things I believed in. Collectively, I wanted to finally make me and my site a “product” or “business” in itself.

Over the past 3-4 months, a small snowball of offers came shuffling into my mailbox. I would weed out the SPAM from the legit offers, and I began replying to those. Simultaneously, I began promoting myself like a 2-cent whore on every blog listing site I deemed suitable for my site and the goals I wanted to achieve. So, ok… maybe a $5 whore… see? I have standards…

Then, over the last month, offer after offer - almost ALL legit, peeked my interest left and right.

I signed on to promote an up-and-coming website that provides a go-to source for all things from pregnancy to parenthood, to what’s for dinner and gardening.

I have more than 4 products in process of either being shipped, being "tried out", or typing up the review. All of those include giveaways, which means verifying entries, assigning numbers, having a random integer picked winner, and announcing it.

And as of last week, I signed a very lengthy contract to begin advertising with a very popular ad-provider company.

On top of all this, the government has required that bloggers, like myself, start using disclosures stating whether or not I have been paid or reimbursed for any endorsement, product review or giveaway. Additionally, the contract I signed with the Very Prestigious Ad Company will require me to stick to a strict regime of guidelines about the reviews and giveaways that, prior to signing the contract, I had already agreed to do and begun working on.

Which means this: I will now have to make a different section of this blog only for reviews and start placing all of my endorsements and product reviews there, unless they fall under those certain guidelines and can be displayed on my main page.

Did I lose you? Don’t worry… remember - this is me venting.

I don’t have an office. I don’t have hours of operation or even a planner for banana’s sakes.

I still have these children, and this life, and this house where aforementioned children destroy a room I spent an hour yesterday cleaning. For a mere 20 minutes, I was fighting with my internet connection so I could actually accomplish some of the things that are now deemed necessary to run this blog as a business, only to find this:


Again, I’m not complaining (ok, I am complaining about having to re-clean and organize that room....).

I asked for this. I wanted this and I still want this. I took countless writing class, advertising classes and public relation’s campaign courses with the full intent on using them one day (novel, isn't it?). This IS what I want to do, yet I still want to maintain the balance of having this website as an outlet for me and my readers to laugh our faces off when Conner answer the door completely naked or Chase pours $20 worth of bubbles all over my bathroom.

I still want to tell you all about my ability to ignore the laundry and manage to eat an entire extra-long chili-cheese coney and extra-large chili-cheese tots as a “lite lunch”. I still want to blog about kicking those girls’ butts at the gym.

I still need to do the dishes, laundry and make dinner. My husband wants to see me and not Me+Laptop occasionally (at least I think so….). My children still want mommy to build them leggo houses or race cars or color for hours.

I’ll still need to brush my teeth.

Or pee… yes… I still need to have time to do that.

I'm still a stay-at-home mom. My children are (obviously from the picture above) still here ALL day and yet, I'm taking on hours similar to those with a part-time or maybe even a full-time job. LE SIGH.

Balance is what I need. And an assitant... sign me up for one of those. (Oh, and a therapist... I soooo need a therapist...)

13 July 2009

I am SO Not Cranky: Not Me! Monday

This week for Not Me! Monday: Amanda is NOT a total Grumpy McGrumpster.



It was not me who spent the weekend wondering "when the BANANAS am I going to get a WEEKEND!" - I did NOT get up at the same, crappy time and make two breakfasts for two kids, and then get their hair combed and teeth brushed and medicine administered - All while my husband DID NOT watch tv while lounging on the bed.

It was also SO NOT ME that practically steamed from my little brains when aforementioned wedded partner spent at least 6-10 cumulative hours playing some VERY INAPPROPRIATE game in the main living space ALL WEEKEND.

I did not take a nap after turning down a solicited offer for a "marital conversation" only to awake to the husband ORDERING OLIVE GARDEN - Praise Jesus - but that WASN'T ME!

It wasn't Amanda who killed a wasp on the ceiling directly above table full of freshly washed laundry using a long, soaking stream of (surely) very potent poisons - only to then scrape the dead wasp off the kitchen floor, gather the top layer of clothes and throw them in the wash. Oops! Not me!

It's also not me that has spent the last week getting myself and the children dressed off of that table as opposed to actually PUTTING AWAY THE LAUNDRY. Ha! NOT ME!

I am not using this Not Me! Monday to vent about my weekend - and it's sooooo not helping :)

.....


I was not an hour late in posting the winner of my giveaway on Friday due to an odd combination of working out too late, dealing with a 4-year-old that is now available on eBay and a 19-month-old who seems to have that rash, AGAIN!

I didn't enjoy it IN THE LEAST picking a winner that I found through Not Me! Monday!

.....

Who has 2 product reviews to write up, 1 endorsement and 1 set of interview questions from a bloggy network to finish all while attempting to maintain The Funny? Oh, well... NOT ME!

Who is not spending another part of her Not Me! Monday complaining? NOT I!!

....

It's not me that was awoken to earthy-shattering thunder at 5 AM after planning to take the boys swimming today... sigh

It wasn't me that took Conner to Burger King just to get a ridiculously overpriced and equally as anti-climatic Transformer toy on Sunday. It was not Conner who asked me after we received our order "will you peez check da bag, momma?" I didn't almost die of laughter.

I am so not going to go sulk in a freshly brewed cauldron of Monday Blues b/c the kids are SO NOT CRANKY and I'm SO NOT AS CRANKY.

Enjoy your Monday! (or don't ... ;-) )


11 July 2009

College Dorm Shopping Heaven **Updated**


I started college at the only public, state-funded fine arts university in Alabama in the Fall of 2002 as a journalism major.

Although my roommates/dorm change situation would rival ANYONE (don't EVEN try), one of the best parts about sharing a 14x20 space with another person was shopping for all the things I'd needed to finally take the Big Step from living at home to living "alone". (I've mentioned before about my un-dieing love for all that is school-supply related)

Naturally, I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and spent a nice chunk of the money I'd been saving throughout High School by working a slew of low-paying (yet, entertaining) jobs. My mom helped me with the necessities... and the things I "had to have" were on me.

At the time, I just wanted what was cheapest and was functional. I bought a baby blue reversible bedspread and my first "throw". It's amazing how excited you get over buying a blanket that's just yours. When I bought it, I remember thinking "I'm probably going to have this for a long time..." And that turned out to be completely true - Conner slept with it just last night.

The University of Montevallo's Housing Department sent out a list of suggested items: bath caddy, shower shoes, bed risers, under bed storage, shoe rack, extra-long sheets, a mini-fridge, etc.

Back then, it was difficult to even find extra-long sheets, and Sara and I (my eventual roommate after a merry-go-round-a-la-HELL of room switches) made the best of what we could find. She had curtains, and an amazingly soft pink duvet. We painted a desk that was surely circa 1950.

With no help, we managed to shimmy and sweat a love-seat from the depths of the attic in our Dorm Hall (the building is a historical landmark, it's over 100 years old...). The couch was NASTY, to say the very, very least. We covered it with my blue throw, then with a pink sheet and some pink fabric (in case you aren't following, Sara really liked pink :) ).

There was no space unused.

My bed backed up to the entry wall. At the end of the foot rail was our mini-fridge (I purchased!) on cinder blocks. With no space in between, next sat a tall, plastic stack of shelves (we used it for everything between a pantry, storage and books...), a garbage can was smashed between that bookcase and our in-room sink (ooh lala).

Sara's bed ran the length of the window facing the sink and met the back corner. Between the end of her bed and the sink was probably the only "free" space (necessary to brush your teeth) we had other than the middle of the room. Next to her bed, (with no room) was our dresser and on the other side of that was our love seat (facing the tv that was on top of the fridge). Right next to that was a sideways facing desk that we could never actually sit at, because the love seat blocked the drawers.

That took up every inch of wall space in our dorm. It worked for us, but I still believe that if we were to have taken that furniture out and tried to put it back in, it wouldn't have all fit....

Here's a visual for those of you who I lost 3 paragraphs ago:




So today, I received the College Sale Catalog from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Just as I slobber all over school supplies every July/August, I drooled on this thing. The market for college-bound kids these days is EXPLOSIVE and they offer all the things I never knew I could have but totally needed!

The space savers! The nick-knacks! The all-in-one 11-piece extra-long coordinating bedding!


Like these things: (all courtesy of Bed, Bath and Beyond)



Fits under your mattress for easy access. How many times did I almost break my neck digging my cell phone out from between my 600 pound bed and the wall?




I LURVE that these have hoodies and aren't long - because I'm short, my robe always drug the ground - GROSS!




I had a long, plastic tub for under bed storage and anytime I needed something out, it was nothing short of an Olympic trial to maneuver. This thing has POCKETS! And a HANDLE! And is MESH so it doesn't weigh 4,000 tons when trying to bring it up or down THREE FULL FLIGHTS OF STAIRS! Swoon.




This thing is the Holy Grail of College Must-Haves that I didn't have... SIGH. It goes behind your bed to provide shelving above your head! It has a cup holder, a clip for your phone charger cord and a dock for it, adjustable shelving and hooks for your knick-knacks. I MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY STUDIED (mom, you didn't read that - it was a complete illusion...) had this been available...


WHY OH WHY DID THEY NOT HAVE THESE THINGS WHEN I WAS LOCKED IN DORM HELL??

I want a do-over!

Update:
The Fabulous People at Bed, Bath & Beyond have amazing resources (that I must admit, I'm completely jealous of) available for the college-bound student. My absolute fav is this checklist:


Additionally, I'd recommend signing up for their mailing list, go here to do just that!

And coming soon (whenever I can manage to actually host a giveaway...) is this amazing 11-piece dorm essentials set:


(more on THAT later!!)
All courtesy of:








10 July 2009

Drum Roll.....

We have a winner people! Yes, 44 minutes late... but, you know... WHATEVER

The custom piece provided by Donya from The Pitter Pat House goes to:


So, Erica... you have till Sunday night-ish to let Donya know exactly what you want and what size and whether she should make it while standing on her head... you know... WHAT EVER YOU WANT! (I'd like to personally request that you ask her to do this while also straining herself in some manner... but that's just how we roll...)

Anyhooters....

Erica, just head on over to The Pitter Pat House's BRAND NEW SITE and grab Donya's email. That way, Donya can get started on your amazing win. Oh, and we totally want pics once you get it!

Make that baby POSE!

To all those who didn't win, Donya and I have been scheming planning a future giveaway, so come keep visiting her site and this blog for details.

7 Quick Takes: I'm Midwest Bound!

--1--

I received one of those Nielson TV Diary things in the mail last week, and I almost threw away 5 perfectly crisp $1 bills (well, I almost recycled 5 perfectly crisp $1 bills)

I recall "doing" one of these things back in middle or high school, but I don't recall actually finishing it.

But, when I saw that they had included 5 bucks in with this "diary", my conscious wouldn't let me at least try.

Hooooooooowever, they sent only one diary and expect me to "log all additional tv's, the person watching, that person's sex/age, the time they started watching, the time they stopped, what program they were watching, what channel they were watching it on, or whether the tv was on but no one was watching" on a seperate piece of paper. I am also supposed to tell them the cable provider, list ALL THE CHANNELS WE RECEIVE ON WHICH TVS and which tv's have extra channels (and list those) as well as which have a DVR set up to it.

I mean, SHEESH.

We don't watch a TON of tv, but it is definitely on a lot on the weekends. If I had to go through each tv and list the channel name and the channel number, well.... on one tv that's like 400 things to write down! And we have TWO tv's like that!

They'd want something like this:
WZZA - Channel 13 - CBS (none of that is correct).
AND THEY WANT THIS times 300+ AND times 2 tv's??

On top of that, for 5 measily dollars, I have to record what we are watching and if two tvs are on who's watching what where, and blah blah blah. FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK.

Which inspires this:

Dear Nielson,

Make an internet version of this and you'll get better responses. Better yet, pay those people the 5 dollars, because that's how long it'll take on the internet. In WRITTEN WORD, this thing will eat 10 hours of my week (easily) and for that amount of time, I'm going to have to ask for at least minimum wage.

Sincerely,
A TV watcher that will most likely NOT keep up with this diary correctly.




--2--

I am bothered and bewildered as to which somebody broke my 'b' key. It's really making this whole "typing" thing difficult.

or

I am othered and ewildered as to which someody roke my ' ' key.

le sigh.




--3--

I took advantage of Southwest Airline's 48 Hour We Are Practically GIVING Away Flights Deal this week and booked a flight to visit my soon-to-depart the U.S. friend, Staci, and her awesomesauce of a family.

I get to go to KANSAS CITY... woot.

I've been to St. Louis, so is that considered the Midwest? Because if not, this will be my first mid-western experience.

AND, I get to stay on base where they might or might not keep B2 Bombers. HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT?

(I have no idea why the government allows so much info to be available via wikipedia... maybe it's because this place is in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.)

I am totally stoked.



--4--

Obligatory 4th of July pictures.... now:




Cajun Shrimp Boil! Delicious.




--5--

RIGHT as I am walking out the door on Tuesday to pick up Conner from VBS/Summer School, the sky opened up. It was only a 15 minute drive to church, but by that time, this much water was already in the road...





We were SOAKED!




--6--
DaMomma and Ellie both wrote very thought-provoking posts on a certain celebrity that recently died that I am personally so freaking tired of hearing about.

However, these post share my exact same sentiments about a man that was clearly an addict and we, as a culture obsessed with celebrities, were his enablers.

If you were as disturbed by the media coverage and glorification of this certain someone as I was, please read those two posts (Ellie's even has pictures!)



--7--

On a more uplifting note, I'd like to mention (for the LAST time, swomise), that THE GIVEAWAY ends today... and if you happen to be a BAMA fan, Donya has a limited supply of houndstooth fabric for the winner's choice of outfit. (and for that OTHER team with no National Championship Titles in football, maybe she can conjure up some (puke) orange and (double puke) blue)

Remember - this giveaway ends tonight!




For more deliciously awesome Quick Takes, visit the Conversion Diary.

07 July 2009

I Brought It

In college at UA, we had an awesome Rec Center. I have never been the "workout" type of gal, but after my first year (as a Sophomore) came around, and my then boyfriend was in Birmingham, I had to find something to do.

So, off I went. Frankly mah dears, I was looking forward to the steam room more than anything... it's awsomesauce for allergies and your pores... but my conscious kept telling me I needed to actually WORK OUT at the gym... Stupid conscious....

I hit the treadmill... I am of the "hate to run outside because there are bugs and hills and rocks and the potential to fall over cracks" variety, so the treadmill made sense.

I remember being very standoff-ish at first. There before me sat row after row of roaring running machines... FULL of Sorority Girls.

I should mention at this point that I wanted, more than anything at that time, to be one of those girls. Michael got me an "in" (and I made a friend or 3 in the process), but I couldn't pay for it. It wasn't until we were married that Michael told me he thought our relationship would have suffered, but he helped me get my recs and invites because he saw how badly I wanted it. Isn't that adorables??

Anyhooters.

I had a hard time making friends at BAMA that first year because so many of the girls my age were tied to their sorority. I knew virtually no one.

And there I was.... with 50 of them sweating their arse's off with their fancy music playing thingies (that I didn't have), Greek letters (that I didn't have) on their shirts about this party or that social and name brand water (that I didn't have).

I jumped on a machine in between two girls already running close to a box fan - I knew I was going to need some help.

I started walking, slowly, then speeding up. As soon as I got to a good jog, I realized I was going to be ok at this. I started getting lost in my thoughts, only periodically being reminded by my shorts to pull them out of my crack...

And it was sometime mid-hard run that I realized something: these girls that were there already running when I got there? They were STILL there. I started paying more attention to their speeds and how hard they were pushing themselves.

I upped my speed to a solid run to maintain my heart rate - the girls on both sides "beeped".

Had they just upped their speeds because I did???

Surely not.

Then, the girl on my left upped hers again, and I heard a barrage of beeping across the row and from behind me.

That's it... this is a competition.

I could resist - "beep, beep, beeeeeeeeeeeep"

I was running with The Best of Them... heart pounding, slamming water back from my re-used bottle with no label.

"Beep" from one girl...

then 15 beeps from the rest.

This was getting insane.

And FINALLY, after what seemed like an eternity of heart-pounding, aneurysm-ensuing, non-stop marathoning - one stopped... and 3 girls followed her.

I slowed down my pace to a jog to cool off, and I heard the "beep" again... about 3 more girls were slowing down as well.

Over the next 10 minutes of cooling off and praying I wouldn't just pass out, the treadmills practically cleared out. I looked down at my meter and was shocked - 3 and 1/2 miles.

I kept up the routine of running on the treadmill with the competition for 2 semesters, and honestly I always thought it was something very Bama.

Until, yesterday.

Michael and I joined the local Y, and we have been using a "satellite" branch close to our neighborhood. Ever since those college days of treadmill running, I've longed to get back on just to see if 4 years off the horse, making and birthing and raising babies had done anything to my ability to run a mile or two.

I ran on Saturday with Mike, as I mentioned...

But this time, Mike ran with me for 10 minutes. Soon, I was joined by 2 girls in Auburn shirts and soffies. Most likely, they were my age and even more likely to be minus aforementioned babies.

It was SO on.

I was already at a jog when they got on, so I decided to test my theory after they warmed up.

I "beeped" 3 times. Guess what? So did they.

I ran like that for a few minutes and upped my speed again - SO DID THEY.

There we were - pounding the treadmill practically in sync.

They would beep, and I would beep. No one was giving up.

Finally, the girl on the far end slowed down to a hard jog, and because I'd been running longer, I did as well. Her friend took all of 3 seconds to follow - I'm guessing she thought she'd won.

I looked down - 2.37 miles under 20 minutes "Not bad...." I thought.

Mike helped me do my shoulders in the Place Girls Rarely Go, better known as the Weight Area.

I also worked that awesome machine that does your inner thighs, you know? I'd marry that thing if polygamy were legal. Oh, and if marrying a machine were legal. Oh, and if it'd do the dishes. Yes, I'd certainly wed it then...

The girls did some of the same things... staying together and talking when they weren't listening to their MP3 players (Me and my iPhone... teeheeheeeeeeeeeeeeee)

Then, we go to leave and I walk to the Child Care room and pick up my 18-month-old and my 4 year old. As a family, we made small talk and I passed the girls on the way out the door.

I glanced their way and we caught eyes - they were a little shocked, to say the least.

I had totally won.

06 July 2009

Not Me! Monday - Not My First


I've been wanting to do a Not Me! Monday hosted by the fabulous MckMama for awhile now, but I just... well... haven't.

(It's where you DON'T post a blog about the things you DIDN'T do or DIDN'T let your children do... because we are obviously all PERFECT people... get it? Right.)

So... here goes!

This weekend...

I most certainly did NOT want to murder my husband for watching endless amounts of crappy movies on SciFi and FX. Man, were there TONS.

When we did fireworks, we DID NOT load up our children in the car, drive to the back of our neighborhood to shoot fireworks out of the driveways of houses that are under construction. We did, however, clean up our mess.

During the fireworks, I most certainly did NOT light things and throw them.... (don't worry... I threw them away from the non-murdered husband and darling children)

I did NOT consume another 10 Kit Kat bars this weekend... NOT ME!

It's Summer, but that doesn't mean I let my 4-year-old LIVE off strawberries and chocolate milk ...

After joining the Y on Thursday (eek!), I most certainly DID NOT laugh at my husband when he tried to get off the treadmill and fell on his arse (well, face... really) - twice. (Actually, I really didn't laugh the first time, but when he tried to get up and did it AGAIN, I definitely DID NOT laugh then!)

I also DID NOT tell my husband I wouldn't blog about this... oops! Good thing I'm not!

It wasn't me that gorged herself on cajun boiled red potatoes for 2.5 days straight...

Today.... It's not me letting my children watch HOURS of tv today because I'm just plain SORE from running 2 miles on the treadmill (without FALLING like someone I know, NOT that I mentioned that)...

And lastly... That girl that just ran her plants outside to get some rain for the day in nothing but a long-ish t-shirt was most certainly NOT ME! (*blush*)

(It also is SO NOT ME that is hosting a giveaway for an adorable, customizable outfit for your wee ones! So DON'T enter by clicking the button in the top of the left sidebar...)

(this was fun, thanks Tamara!)


05 July 2009

Church of Amanda Issues Its First Newsletter

It's Sunday again, and I'm not in church.

I've always been a firm believer of the mantra "Going to church makes you as much of a Christian as going to a garage makes you an automobile", but obviously church serves a purpose.

When I was little, my mom hauled my sister and I to church every single Sunday. My dad stayed home and did whatever it was he did when my mom was off toting us from one commitment to another...

It was a smaller church, but not too small. I can vividly picture the sanctuary and it's high wooden beam ceiling, the green carpet and the communion alter. I'd be able to pick out the play kitchen without quibble in a line-up of hundreds. I still remember the smell.

When I was a little older, around 10 probably, I remember it being my turn as an Acolyte and I was over the moon. I got to play a special part. I got to wear a special robe. I got to LIGHT A CANDLE!

A lot of my fonder memories as a young child stem from that church - the gym and dodge ball, my first Pre-K "performance" program (I was Summer (maybe Spring, mom?), we did the seasons - and my mom searched for DAYS for the perfect little outfit. It was a pink and white stripped dress).

I wandered around one day and discovered the church had a library! EEK! Nerd Alert: I scanned those shelves for what seemed to be an eternity.

My point here is, as I've said before, that church was home. People knew me and my family, I was comfortable, I was involved and it was a place to learn about the Lord.

Many of you pointed out in my Church of Amanda post that you feel similar to how I feel about finding and being comfortable in a church. If you aren't comfortable or if you are pressured then picking a church becomes much more difficult... and it feels impossible.

Should I attend some place every Sunday with my kids (and husband) in tow just because it's the right action? I don't believe so.

When Michael and I became engaged, we started going to church again and he left a church on 280 (in Birmingham) that he enjoyed but was more contemporary, and I'm an old-school gal. It wasn't a problem for him because the church we were switching to was the church he grew up in (Mountain Brook Baptist) and the Senior Pastor was such an amazing man.

So, we were baptized to join (my first actual baptismal as I had been Christened as a baby (Methodist). That was the first time I felt at "home" again in a church. The pastor was an amazing man, and still plays a major role in our lives as well as the boys (both boys have been "presented" to the church, and in a private ceremony, this BAPTIST minister CHRISTENED my boys... he's that amazing).

I never thought I could feel the same way I felt about my first church at another place - but this church sure fit the bill. No, it was the denomination of my choosing, but in the right church that doesn't matter. This place put very little (to no...) emphasis on the "baptist" part and more effort into being just a place to openly worship the Lord.

I found it so comforting.

And then, we moved here. As I mentioned in the Church of Amanda post, I have accepted the idea that we won't be going to a building with other people worshipping simultaneously, but rather attempting to raise the boys in a Christian atmosphere in our home.

It's just... so dang hard. I fear that the boys will not know of amazing Sunday School teachers and stories from the Bible (as they tell them). They won't practically pass out when they get a part in the church play or a job passing the offering plate. There's no hallways to explore or libraries to find. Yes, God is here in our home, but it's not the same... in some ways.

The Grandparents, both sets, keep bringing up that the "boys need to be in church". My question though is "why?". Because you want them to be involved? Well, Conner goes to school there and in a year, so will Chase. Because it's the "right thing to do" ? What if we aren't comfortable? THEN is it the right thing to do?

The best reason: Because you want to make sure they have a relationship with God? THAT I get - and agree completely.

In parenting, the fears are innumerable, but the fear of my children growing up without a Church Home definitely carries a lot of weight.

I'm praying that we find some balance.
I'm praying that we can raise the boys to the best of our abilities.
And to be completely honest? I'm praying we get to go back home sometime soon.



(And on a lighter note: Make sure and enter the Pitter Pat House giveaway hosted by The Mom Job... just click the image in the top of the left sidebar - maximum 4 entries per person and it ends this Friday!!)

03 July 2009

Oohh and Aaahh At This One: Pitter Pat House Giveaway!

You lucky people, you.

Something about summer brings out the "free" in people, and in this case, it's free stuff.

And not just ANY free stuff, but amazing, customized free clothing for your little ones (or little people you happen to want to spoil the bananas out of...).

Up for grabs, you lucky fools, is:


(pattern courtesy of Bonnie Blue Designs)



Either the Quintessential Girl's Jumper Dress or the Boy's One Piece Playsuit which are customizable. The winner will be able to choose the size, fabric and one applique or monogram.

I know, right?

This stuff goes for major bucks at those uppity uppity "My Kid Won't Be Allowed to Wear ANYTHING In This Store For Longer Than 15 Minutes Without Getting It Ruined and Me Watching 40 Bucks Go Down The Drain" Stores, and here I am... offering it to you, FOR FREE.

With a little help, of course...

Donya, who has been spending her baby making time building an amazing new online boutique ,the Pitter Pat House, has decided to offer you, the faithful follower of The Mom Job, a chance to win one of her gorgeous, handmade and customized pieces. Her site is set to launch the day this giveaway ends - Friday, the 10th!

Your pictures will shine.

Your mother will drool.

Your mother-in-law will blind your well-dressed child with no less than 1.6 million photographs.

Your child is already the hottest little number at all social events (aside from mine), and this little jewel will be swoon-worthy.

And.... it'll all be free to the winner.

Might I suggest a Game Day applique (ROLL TIDE!) ? Perhaps some initials for your pretty, pretty princess in a beautiful script? Little man of yours love frogs? He'd get a kick out of having them hop all over his Sunday best, don't you think?

So, here's how this giveaway will work:

(1) Entry for posting a comment
(1) Entry for Tweeting this (copy and paste this: RT @TheMomJob Giveaway for a customizable outfit with your wee ones in mind thanks to the PitterPatHouse.com @ http://themomjob.net )
(1) Entry for mentioning this fabulous giveaway on your own personal blog
(1) Entry for becoming a fan of the Pitter Pat House's FB page
(Max 4 entries per person)

Each "entry" should be placed as a comment in the comments section with links so that I can verify (you guys aren't that sneaky, right?). Those who join the Pitter Pat House's Facebook page will be confirmed via Donya when the contest ends and before a winner is chosen.

The winner will be chosen via random integer and I would highly suggest the Cross Your Fingers and Your Toes method for extra luck.

Noteworthy: If your child (or the child you are hoping to give this special gift to) is too old for a jumper, then first, I congratulate you for acknowledging this. And second, Donya is offering a wrap skirt for the lucky girl, up to size 14 youth and for the young lads, a collared shirt up to size youth 7/8 (both obviously, can be customized to your likings).

GET TO ENTERING PEOPLE.

This contest will run all week, ending at 8 PM Central on Friday, July 10th. Remember to visit the Pitter Pat House's website that night, too!

Your choice of style, fabric, sizing and applique/monogram will be needed as soon as the winner is announced on this site, my Twitter, Donya's blog and both our FB pages. If the winner is unable to confirm their winnings within 48 hours, I will draw another winner on Monday morning.

My "legal team" informs me that I must disclose that I am in no way being compensated for this post/giveaway. Donya will not be dressing my adorable children for free (at least, not yet...) and I have yet to have her mention a million dollar check (although, I am waiting, Donya).

Good luck and happy entering!


(No Quick Takes Today, but if you are missing them as much as I am, then you (and I) can head on over to the Conversion Diary)

01 July 2009

The Great Syrup Incident of 2007

We buy the largest bottle of pancake syrup Publix makes, mostly because I like a good deal.

But, I'd like to make clear how large this bottle is and how much 2 quarts is in syrup before taking on this post that has been seething in my brain for almost 2 years.

2 quarts = 8 cups
4 quarts = 1 gallon

So, we are talking about a HALF A GALLON OF SYRUP.

Let's continue, shall we?

There I was, 7 1/2 months pregnant with Chase.

Every morning, back in those days, I would eat breakfast with Conner (which meant feeding Conner bite-by-bite... sigh) and then set him up with the Ultimate Baby Sitter, Noggin or Disney. On this particular day in question, his poison was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, a frequent mind-number back in those days.

I finished breakfast, put away the dishes and made my way to shower after letting the dogs in on my way.

After my shower, I checked on Conner, who was still wrapped up in Mickey and ready for the next episode. I waited out the commercial break for the mind-numbing to restart.

As soon as it did, I started on that day's chore - the master bathroom. All I really wanted to accomplish was wiping down the counter tops and cleaning the bathtub. Back then, I used Scrubbing Bubbles, so I sprayed down the tub and turned on the water in the sink for wiping the counters.

I stepped out for a second to check on Conner. He was still in front of the television, sipping on his juice.

I walked back to the bathroom, shut off the sink (very, very hot water...), and got in the bathtub so I could wipe it down (pregnant, remember?). It took about 2 minutes to wipe it down with a sponge and during that time, Conner wandered in and acknowledged what I was doing and then left, closing the master bedroom door on his way out (the one that leads to the living room with Mickey on the television...) .

I thought nothing of it, because he frequently closed doors behind him, but knew he wasn't yet able to open them quickly, so I got out of the tub (turning on the water before I left, to let it warm) and re-opened the bedroom door.

Before I made my way back to the bathroom, I peeked out and noticed Conner wasn't in the living room but I heard him doing something in the kitchen/foyer/dining room area. It was very common, back then, for him to set his juice cup on the counter after breakfast or daze out the dining room windows in the morning, so I just wrote it off since I knew he sounded safe (and the house was very baby-proofed)

Back in the bathroom, the water was just getting hot. I used a bit to rinse off the Scrubbing Bubbles and rinsed out my sponge. Then, I took the sponge to the counter tops and began wiping them down. This took all of 5 minutes - MAX.

I wiped down once, and tried to dip the sponge in the water that I had reserved in the sink, but it was too hot. So, I set down the sponge and headed out the master bedroom's door to check on Conner again.

Only, I was met with a pool of.... something...

In my head, I thought something to the extent of "what.... is.... that...? Pee?" He was 2, so it was frequent that Conner would disrobe himself and randomly pee on our floors.

"Oh great", I thought and then something in the foyer caught my eye - a large puddle.

What?

I walk towards it, practically jumping over the puddle in front of the door to the bedroom.

It's all over the foyer's hardwood. I look left, towards the dining room.... this SOMETHING has been drizzled all over the gate (a 10 foot long gate that blocks entry to our dining room for Christmas or whenever I buy something breakable) (it was open at this point). There sits a 2-foot puddle.

It's then I start yelling for Conner. I walk across the foyer and into the kitchen. More something and it's then that I am hit with the most potent stench of maple.

Syrup.

Everywhere.

I go into "Extreme Pissed Mode" and follow a thick streak of maple syrup around the island in the kitchen and then out the foyer and down the hall. I follow this thick, dark line across my shag rug.... noting the large puddle on THAT as my brains began to boil.

I also begin logging the damage - the curtains, the entertainment center, the couch....

THE WALLS.

I follow the path down the CARPETED hallway, screaming Conner's name - I look into the bathroom - syrup, I look into Conner's bedroom - circles and circles of syrup... "it's like he chased...something..."....

And then, a growl. A "I am about to eat your face off, kid" growl coming from the closed playroom door. I fling it open in super-human time, and find Conner coating Charlie, my long-haired Jack Russell and RUBBING IT IN.

Squish, The Pug, breaks free of Conner's Syrup Wrath and flees the crime scene within seconds. Charlie darts after him.

In a little more than 5 minutes, Conner managed to drench the house in a ONE TIME USED (that morning, actually), FAMILY SIZED BOTTLE OF PANCAKE SYRUP. All 2 quarts were GONE and there, in his hands was the bottle with maybe a tablespoon left.

I grabbed him up, and threw him in his play crib.

WHERE WOULD I EVER START?

I assessed the damage in the playroom first, with tears streaming down my face. I am pregnant. I am tired. And now? Well, now my house is shellacked in maple syrup.

The playroom got it bad, Conner emptied at least 2 cups over his "ball basket" and toy box. At least 15 stuffed animals lost their lives that day.

The Elmo chair, which I loathed anyways, also met it's demise.

I yelled at Conner longer and louder and harder than I had ever before that morning. How could he DO THIS TO ME? I could barely get on my knees long enough to clean! He was screaming, crying and unable to answer one simple question I couldn't stop repeating "WHY?!?!?"

AND IT WAS SYRUP! Sticky and in my carpet and on my walls and HOW DOES ONE EVEN GET THIS MUCH SYRUP OUT??

I scrubbed on my knees all day and all night. I mopped 7 times that day alone. I steam cleaned my carpets 5 times over the next 2 days.

The dogs were in shock, and it took countless baths to get the matted hair in normal form.

All the rooms were professionally cleaned - twice.

Six months later, I was still finding syrup in my curtains. It was around this time we noticed our house no longer smelt of maple. God, did I hate that smell....

A year later, I finally got the last of the syrup out of my shag living room rug.

And yesterday? Yesterday, I picked the final remnants off the underbelly of the entertainment center.

It took 2 months for me to buy syrup again. It took 21 months to write this post. It might be safe to say I am finally over The Great Syrup Incident of 2007.




(Note: There's going to be an AWESOME giveaway starting on Friday. Lots of chances to win, too! So make sure you come back then!)

I Blog For...

BirminghamMommy