Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Taking your advice...

So my bloggy friend, Jo-Jo suggested I try a meme to get me out of my writing funk...luckily as I perused among my daily reads, I found an interesting one that Cassie at Southern Domestic Goddess posted today. So I stole it (actually I took it without any laws being broken as Cassie gave an open invitation to use it)

Me and My First Baby
1. Were you married at the time? Yes--we had been married for 3 years
2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant? Excitement, nervousness, disbelief (it only took 6 weeks of trying - good ol' peasant genes at work)
3. How old were you? 27
4. How did you find out you were pregnant? Via pregnancy test
5. Who did you tell first? Bill - I walked out of the bathroom into our bedroom and asked him to come look. I think he was shocked!!
6. Did you want to find out the sex? Nope
7. Due due: September 9, 1998
8. Did you deliver early or late? Early
9. Did you have morning sickness? Nope, the only time I got ill was when the fires of 98 were burning all around us.
10. What did you crave? Cheeseburgers with everything (I was a ketchup, lettuce, and tomato kind of girl), chocolate milkshakes...I would pick up one each morning from McDonald's
11. Who irritated you the most? My doctor; I actually switched OBs at 6 months. He obsessed about each pound I gained. As if I needed someone riding me about my weight!!
12. What was your first child’s sex? Female
13. How many pounds did you gain throughout the pregnancy? 70 lbs!! I lost 36 pounds the first week post partum...see below for reason....
14. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy? Yes, Pre-eclampsia. I had pitting edema (could press in 2 inches on my legs and it would stay). I kept telling the doctors that there was something wrong, but I was told, "It's summer in Florida. This is normal" As soon as I went into the hospital, I was asked to give a urine sample where they found lots of protein...I was immediately started on medication to prevent seizures ---WTF!! Luckily everything went smoothly from there...
15. Where did you give birth? In a hospital.
16. How many hours were you in labor? 21 hours
17. Who drove you to the hospital? Bill
18. Who watched? Bill...I was so insistent that it was just us in the room. For babies 2 & 3 anyone who wanted to come was invited.
19. Was it vaginal or c-section? vaginal
20. Did you take medicine to ease the pain? Damn straight!!!
21. How much did your child weigh? 7lbs. 4oz.
22. What did you name him/her? Cameron Julia
23. How old is your first born today? 108 months (9 years old) 120 months (10 years old)
Post Script: I am totally laughing at myself...thank you all for helping me remember my child's age!!! I.AM.A.DORK!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Got Nothin'

My posts have been pretty sparce recently...I've just not had a lot of things to write about that wouldn't BORE you to tears!!! Also I was in kind of a funk last week and I feel that I use this blog to rant and whine...that gets so OLD!! So, as a result, I've got nothin'....

Enjoy the white noise..............................................

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Foto Fiesta Finish

Happy Friday everyone!! Once again I am participating in Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Fiesta. Once you're done here, make sure you visit over there to see who's playing along....

As some of you may know, we had a special little guy's birthday yesterday...This is a flashback to his first birthday...

Give a baby his own cake...You got to get him bathed ASAP! Closest place? The kitchen sink!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jackson is 2!!

Posted by Picasa
Jackson is 2 today...it's hard to believe that my little guy is 2 already...where did the time go?!
Special thanks to Jen for the Picasa tutorial!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weigh-in Wednesday

I've made some more changes this week...After much debating with myself, I decided to withdraw from the WW study at UCF. After 3 months, I am still at my beginning weight...yup, I gained the 9 lbs back when I lost my Mojo 6 weeks ago...

I don't know how much I previously described the study set up, so I'll give a little background info. There are 2 study groups; group 1 was assigned to a modified points system and group 2 was assigned to try the new program. I was assigned to group 1 and can only report on that group 'cause the differences between the two groups were never discussed with the study participants. However, the group 2 people kept talking about foods from the green and blue groups, etc (my guess is WW is improving their CORE program...). Anyway, the modified points program allowed almost double the points per day; however, the foods "cost" more points (although, not double what they are with the "mainstream" WW program). So initially, I thought it's all a game in perception...46 points a day seems a lot better than 27 points a day!! As time went on, I observed that the people participating in group 2 seemed to be losing weight a lot faster and with greater numbers than those of us in group 1. So my working hypothesis (this is what I call it, you may call it paranoia, denial, etc.) is that group 1 is the control group (i.e. the plan really wasn't going to be effective in losing a lot of weight, but maintaining your current weight) and group 2 is the true test group...

So I quit...I figured 3 months was enough, I wasn't going to give another 3 months to stay where I am...so I re-joined "main stream" WW. I went to my first meeting Monday night and am starting from square one (READ: I have to lose 45 lbs!!!). I have gotten very used to having those 46 points a day though. I was down to 4 points remaining for the day by the time lunch was over :( !!

Jack and I have been continuing to take 2 mile walks 3 times a week and I've been a "theme-park weekend warrior" for the last 2 weekends...I figured I walked miles on those days!!

So I am officially "Back in the saddle again"...I'm going to be attending Monday meetings, but still be reporting in on Wednesdays to participate with the ladies over at OSB...Be sure to check it out if you haven't gotten the chance!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Save Lori's House

I stumbled upon this story perusing through my daily blog reading. It's a heart wrenching story; if you all could post this on your side bar, blog about it to spread the word, pray, or donate, it would be fabulous.

(copied from savelorishouse.com)

Lori is a single mom battling ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and chronic Lyme disease. She faces the loss of her home to foreclosure within days because she's too sick to work. She has medical bills totaling more than $50,000, which may ultimately reach $120,000. Ironically, earlier this summer an essay Lori wrote about her young son Jack coming to terms with the idea of death was finally published in the Washington Post. Though the essay was written well before Lori was diagnosed, or even knew that she was ill, there's a bittersweet sense of urgency in her writing that adds a poignant postscript to the piece. In her essay, Lori struggled to reassure her son that she'll always be there to protect him. "I tell him I'll always be here for him, one way or another. Always always always. Just like my mother is here for me. Just like I was there when he was 3. It is an impossible promise, a gamble with his trust. I secretly pray I don't let him down, not on this."

As a freelance writer Lori has published more than 3,000 articles for local, regional and national publications. She copy-edited Michigan's most controversial son Michael Moore’s book
Dude, Where’s My Country? and helped launch his Traverse City Film Festival.
In September 2007 Lori mysteriously lost the ability to move her feet. The paralysis later spread to her legs and arms. Lori is now confined to a hospital bed and is dependent upon a Bi-Pap breathing machine. Lori is only 44, and she is determined to fight this disease and we're determined to help her do it in any way possible.
Help Lori keep her promise to her son. Help Lori keep her home and ensure that Jack has the security of a roof over his head, even when his mother is too sick to sleep there with him.

I've worked in Neurology for over 12 years and have seen first-hand the devastating effects of ALS. One of the doctors that used to be at our practice would come out after a possible ALS consult and state, "Well, he/she fits the criteria....he's/she's a nice person". This disease affects young people and the fight can be over in 3-7 years. Please do what you can....

Go here to copy the html code for the picture ( I can't figure out how to copy it without it turning into the picture...):

Save Lori's House

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Time for a humor break...

The first time I saw this SNL commercial I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes...maybe I was PMS-ing at the time and I found it appropriate...Hope you think it's funny also:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Something's up with the boys in my house...

My guys have not been doing well for the last couple days...

Jackson was perfectly fine yesterday when I dropped him off at daycare, but then I got a call from the sitter at 11 am reporting that he had thrown up and was feverish. My MIL was able to go get him and he slept most of the day away. He had a magical recovery after Motrin (what a drug!!), but woke up again this morning feeling under the weather. Whatever it is...it seems like it's a mild virus...hopefully it goes away soon!
I do have a bone to pick with my pediatrician's office. They are wonderful in getting back to me when I have questions, etc. I called them because I was concerned about the rapid onset of this illness; Jack and I have been out walking at dusk and it's been kinda buggy. We have areas of wetness that haven't fully been absorbed into the ground after the recent tropical systems. It's not unheard of in these parts to have outbreaks of encephalitis with conditions such as these. When I left the message, I reported this and ADMITTEDLY said, I know I'm over-reacting, but the rapid onset was very worrisome to me. I described the symptoms and included the term "lethargic". When the nurse returned my call she asked, "He's difficult to arouse?" and I replied, "no". She then went on to state that I was using the term incorrectly that lethargy implies inability to arouse...I replied, "Well, then he's low energy"...I've since checked on the definition and I did use the term correctly...I hate how these triage nurses talk down to moms...

As for my hubby, I have no clue what's wrong with him. He's been withdrawn this week like he's mad at me about something. I've asked him again and again what's going on to which he replies nothing. He did imply a couple weeks ago that he wished we could go to bed at the same time...but I didn't because I was visiting my bloggy friends. In all honesty, it's a routine we've gotten into...Back story time:
He was unable to fall asleep when we went to bed at the same time due to my snoring...This got worse during my last pregnancy and continued after I had Jack. I've had a sleep study and was diagnosed with "obesity" (aww! how sweet of them to recognize my athletic status!) and hypopnea (defined as "under breathing" - basically the oxygen I was taking in was not sufficient for going into the different phases of sleep). So I am now "Darth Vader" at night with my CPAP machine...attractive!!
So we got into the habit of different bedtimes which really didn't bother me because I'm a night owl anyway. But, thinking this might be the issue, I've turned off the computer early this week; however, his mood hasn't improved. After repeated questioning, he says it's just that he doesn't feel well...still not believing it...

So this weekend, I'm staying out of hubby's way and catering to a pitiful, almost 2 year old. Of course I'll also be online visiting...so all won't be lost :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Foto Fiesta Finish

It's Friday, It's Friday, Thank Goodness it's Friday!!!

I'm playing Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Fiesta Finish again this week (I LOVE this weekly activity!!). So after you're done here, go over there and check out who's playing this week!!!

When Finger Painting goes Wrong....

Emmy's babysitter at the time took this after Emmy's first failed attempt at finger painting. Poor baby!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Let's go make some friends!!!

My bloggy friend, Shannon at Welcome to the Nut House posted this great idea yesterday on her blog...She originally heard of the idea from a friend in Australia...They call it "Kick Your Blogroll Up the Arse"

Here's the Rules (courtesy of Shannon's blog):

The Rules of "Kick Your Blogroll Up the Arse"

What you do is go to four of your favorite blogs and pick a blog from their blogroll that you've never visited or commented on. You then add that blog to your blogroll or feed, read them for at least a month (by which time there should be no turning back!) and give them a chance to invade your life.
Then duplicate the main part of this post with a note on whose blog you got it from. Name the four new blogs you are going to read, tell briefly why you chose them and whose blogroll they came from. And if you want, coerce others mercilessly into joining in!

My choices are coming from what draws me be it the blog name or the title of the last post...call it a gut feeling~

1. Of course the first person I chose was Shannon's blog (got to start at the source!!!): I chose Sue at Happy Meals and Happy Hours. I was definitely drawn to the title...I think I might find something in common with her. Plus paring child rearing with alcohol?! What's not to like?! ;)

2. Another must is Tressa, my BFF from highschool and the reason I'm blogging. This was a hard choice from me because I stole most of her blogroll when I started my blog - betcha didn't put that together did ya?! I chose Mads & Kelli...What drew me in was that she writes her blog in both Danish and English ...did I do that right?! I love hearing about Ex-pats lives overseas!!

3. Jen at Buried with Children is a daily read (I'm expecting her to put out a restraining order any day now...). On her blog I chose Givinya at Killing a Fly with a Ukulele is Probably the Wrong Thing to Do...do I need to explain the reason why I chose this one?!

4. Whenever Jill from The Perlman Update post a new entry on her blog, I'm on it like white on rice! I find her life fascinating! Extra bonus: after getting to know her via blogging, she's a super sweet person!!! On her blog I chose Xbox4NappyRash...I poked on the blog and immediately a picture of a louse (or some other equally icky bug) popped up! What am I getting myself into?!

So there's my choices...now you go out and find some new friends too!!

Post Script: Blogger is totally messing with me!!! I had to re-write half this post!!! Urghh!!! Sorry to my earlier readers...I hope you revisit and check out this new guys!!

Weigh In Wednesday

Or not....

I promise, I'm not going to be Downer Mcdownerstein today!

I think I'm slowly getting back on track...Jack and I have gone out twice this week for a 2 mile walk (I'm thinking pushing the stroller is good for my arms - right?!). This is the first time I've exercised in probably 4 weeks so I'm really pleased that I got out there. As my profile states, I am a professional dieter. Part of this profession means a past with multiple exercise tapes, gym memberships, and equipment. I recently dug up a great piece of equipment: my heart rate monitor. Believe me, I am not so obsessed that I need to know if I am in the fat burning zone or not. The best feature by far (in my humble opinion) is that you log in your information and the monitor figures out how many calories you've burned. It makes me feel good that I burned over 400 calories each time I went out! Worst feature of the heart rate monitor is that by logging in your information it enables the monitor to calculate your BMI. In my case, the word "Obese" streams across the face of the watch...but I chose to ignore that. I pretend it is a French word pronounced "O-bess-ay" meaning kick ass athlete!

I am still not tracking my food like I should. I'm trying to be good still even without logging. The call of sweet tea has been nagging at me lately and I've fallen off the wagon twice. Nothing like sweet tea in the South!! But I am trying to do better.

Lastly, I have no idea how much I've lost (ZERO) or gained since falling off the wagon. The reason being is that there is no way I can give up the 2 hours during work with all that has been going on there in the last couple weeks. I'm due for my 12 week follow up for the study so I have to make an appt which will make me go in next week.

Things are looking up...to check in with everyone else head over here:

Good Things...

Yesterday at work went a little smoother...possibly because my interaction with she-bitch was very limited?! Okay, I'm trying to cut down my stress time over the situation...honestly!

Anyway, my day was turned around when I was bestowed with this lovely award by Lori and Jo-Jo:

It says, "This blog invests and believes in the proximity!" i.e., the closeness that we have in the bloggy world. Thank you, Lori & Jo-Jo! I'm passing this award on to:

Tressa at American in Norway

Jen at Buried with Children

Jess at The Wilson's House

Carabee at Land of Bean

Shanna at Smiles Miles, and Trials

Debbie the creator of Blog around the World and her personal blog, This is the Life

Shannie the co-creator of OSB and her personal blog, Where is my Mind

Shannon the other co-creator of OSB and her personal blog, More Wine Please

The rules say you're supposed to pass it on to eight other bloggers. I love to check in with these ladies and find out what's going on in their worlds!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Day in Paradise

Off to work...
I've been helping out around the office after the devil incarnate was asked to leave. They decided to keep that wonderful person around as a " consultant". Well after one week, I feel that we know all we need to know from her. And she realizes it so the vindictive side is beginning to come out. Yesterday she started saying things like, "when I was here last week Petty Cash was balanced. Now we're missing money" and "I was given $50.00 and left it here. When I called to track it down it was gone"

She is such a troublemaker!!! I just hope the bosses see this and tell her that her services are no longer needed....one can dream!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Afternoon with Emmy

After I wrote my post for BATW, I started feeling guilty that I had spent all this money on season passes to theme parks and haven't been using them like I should...You know, use them to at least get my money's worth!!
So I asked the girls to vote on where they would like to go: Sea World or Disney...they voted for Disney. Cameron decided she didn't want to go to Magic Kingdom...she would rather stay home (I think she didn't want to spend the afternoon with Emmy). Jackson went down for a nap and Emmy and I headed to Disney.
Now humor my little back story...I love rides! My eldest, Cameron, hates them. Emmy seems to have more of an adventurous streak so I was keeping my fingers crossed. There's no hope for Jackson either, he screams on the tram ride!
So I'm a little excited (okay, very excited) I'm with Emmy....I'll get to ride some fun rides...not just the carousel or Dumbo. We head right to Tomorrow Land and go into the Buzz Lightyear Ride. And Emmy changes her mind...she doesn't want to ride; she thinks she'll get scared. Okay, a little set back. We then take the little train tour of Tomorrow Land and I use this down time to play up Space Mountain. We get off the ride and start heading that direction; only when she realized where we're heading, she refuses to go further. So I make a deal with her, we'll go on the Grand Prix and then go on Space Mountain. I then proceed to take a ride with the mad driver, Emmy (got some great pictures). We get off the ride and I bring up Space Mountain again...it's definitely a no go. "Okay, so how about Pirates of the Caribbean?" I ask her. "No" "Haunted Mansion?" "No" "Splash Mountain?" "No" ...I get it, I get it...I'm going to have to wait until my sister and brother come into town to ride rides with me! We ended up going on a Small World and the Train ride through the park. I think she had a good afternoon. And even though 12 year old Mommy didn't get her way, I had a good time too.

Please enjoy the slide show...they're from Emmy's Camera. She took almost all of the pictures. I love the pictures she takes; it's like a view into Emmy's mind!! Please note all the pictures of strangers...she reminds me of Lilo with her picture taking.

Memes and some other stuff...

Jen, at Buried with Children tagged me with this question and answer meme. I'm also in a meme mood so I'm playing along...

1. Where were you 10 years ago? I was a brand-new Mommy adjusting to life with a newborn and falling more and more in love by the second!!
2. Whats on your to-do list today? Shopping at Costco and Target. Going to meet Brenda at work at 1 pm
3. What if you were a Billionaire? Not stress about money...that would be so nice wouldn't it?! Bill and I have also agreed that if we win the lottery, 1/2 would automatically go to charity (Cancer research, MS research, etc.) We would establish trust funds for the kids. Give some to family members. Pay off debts. Travel. Become BullGators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4. Name 5 places that you have lived? Wilmington, Delaware; Lynchburg Virginia; Mannheim Germany (for 2 mos); Tacoma, Washington; Longwood Florida
5. What are 3 bad habits that you have? Eat too much, stay up too late, stress about the small stuff
6. What kind of snack do I like? Pretzels, Popcorn
7. Who will you tag next? I would like to tag Tressa, Angie, Lori, Missy, and Therese

I was also recently tagged by Andrea at Blogging Mama for 6 random facts about me...

1. I usually eat/drink the same things every day (at least for breakfast and lunch). I work with a bunch of fabulous people who allow me to go through my cravings which can last weeks. Right now I'm at Qdoba Mexican grill at least 3 times a week.

2. I got my ears pierced at age 8 as a reward for stopping sucking my thumb (yes, that's correct, 8!!)

3. I HATE to clean. I will do it, but I'm very grumpy when I'm doing it.

4. I've always wanted to be a doctor...and am contemplating medical school. But I am my own worst enemy...I usually down-talk myself.

5. I love to listen to Howard Stern in the morning. It's the 12 year old in me, but I think he is entertaining.

6. I hardly ever wear make up. I just don't take the time. I might put it on once a month at the most.

Whew, wasn't that exciting?! So here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Okay, so I'm going to change the rules a little...I'm going to keep this an open invite tag. This was a challenging one for me; so if you're up for the challenge, GO FOR IT!!


I just signed up for Twitter...I don't really know what I am doing or how to really use it. So if someone could fill me in, I'd appreciate it.

Thoughts and prayers going out to the Texans who were affected by Ike. I hope that the clean up is fast and that the power is restored quickly. Nothing worse than no air in September (in the South). Just a vent...If evacuation is mandatory, that means you HAVE to leave. It burns me up that people who CHOSE to be stupid and stayed called 911 during the storm! They put rescue workers at risk to go get them. Pisses me off!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Feelin' the Love...

I have had one great week! Filled with good times, good food, and most of all good friends. That include my friends I've met in the blogosphere...Thank You for all the bloggy comments and love you bestowed on my this week {{hugs}}

Last week, my friend Sheila invited me out to dinner which was planned for last night. Of course I immediately jumped on the offer because it had been a long time since I had a girlfriend night out. I don't think I informed Bill of my plans until the night before when he told me he had to work late...I responded, "Well I have plans and you need to be back so I can be there at 7pm" No compromise on my part was offered. Luckily he was nice enough to agree...I guess my birthday mojo is continuing for just a bit longer.

I arrived at our planned meeting place, Tijuana Flats, at about 7:15 (meeting time was 7:00 pm...I'm time challenged, have I ever shared that?!). Well I walked in and not only was Sheila there to meet me, but my friends, Brenda, Jenny, and Jan. What a cool surprise. It has even been longer since we've been able to get together for our GNO gang (sans two missing members, Linda & Terri). We ate, drank, and just talked the night away. I remember in the beginning of the night being so excited to be with my great friends and looking forward to what we were going to do next and being slightly disappointed that we were just going to stay there. But then, later being so thankful, that we just hung out and caught up with each other. I miss these guys so much!...we all used to work together and saw each other everyday, but for one reason or another (mostly the wenchbag I wrote about here) moved on to other opportunities. I was so luckily to work with such great people and friends; the convenience of work made our friendships effortless and strong. Now with the convenience gone, we have to schedule our time, but our friendships remain just as strong. I know that whenever I need them, they would all be there for me.

Jenny after eating a jalepeno...I don't think she meant to...there were tears in her eyes

Sheila and Jan...Sheila has discovered how to always look great in your pics,

stick your neck out...it works doesn't it?!

Me, Jenny, & Brenda

I'm not so so good at the technique yet, I stick out my lower jaw.

Oh, and there are the infamous boobies

Designer cupcakes are becoming so popular aren't they?
This one is a hot chocolate cupcake...don't worry my fellow OSB-ers,
we split it 5 ways :)
This one is for Sheila...She insisted I take a picture of Tijuana Flats Manifesto

I feel so loved and blessed...again, Thank you!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Foto Fiesta Finish

It's been an exciting week around here...Crab feast Sunday, My birthday on Monday, recovering from my Hubby's post, and then having extra visitors from BATW. Now it's time for Friday Foto Fiesta Finish which is a weekly event sponsored by Candid Carrie. It's a lot of fun to show off favorite pictures and visit others and see what's going on in their neck of the woods. So after your done here, go there and check out who's playing this week.

I'm cheating this week (a little)...I've promised crab feast pictures all week and finally got them all (ahem...thanks Laura...finally! ;) so I created a little montage...I hope you enjoy...I know I did!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blog Around The World...Welcome to Central Florida!!

Welcome BATW travellers!!!

I'm so excited to have extra visitors today!! You've picked a wonderful time of year to come visit. The weather is cooling off (a little) and there are no hurricanes this week (BONUS!) I live in Central Florida...which encompasses a large area:

Since I have limited knowledge of ALL of Central Florida and there are many more Florida bloggers to come, I am going to concentrate on the Orlando area. And no, my post will not be all about this guy:

or this place:
or this place:

I'm not a Florida native (native?! what's a Florida native?!...they seem to be far and few between), I'm originally from Delaware. I moved here via Washington state via Delaware via Virginia via Delaware...it seems a little unsettled, but I've been here since 1996. I was quickly informed by authentic southerns (i.e. those not from Florida) that Florida is not really the south (primarily because most of the people residing in Florida are from up north). In my mind, however, I am living in the south and there are many things I enjoy about the south...warm weather in the fall and winter, sweet tea, manners (though with all the northerners here, that is sometimes lacking) and friendliness. Things I miss from where I'm originally from...leaves changing in the fall, snow (okay, so I can see pictures to handle that craving), being so close to other states (it took 15 minutes from my home in Delaware to be in PA, MD, or NJ!). I'm not looking to leave anytime soon, I've acclimated quite nicely to life in central Florida flaws and all...(read: hurricanes, 2000 election). One of the nice things of living in Florida is that people love to visit...see the 3 pictures above for the reasons...

On the attractions: Before I moved here, I thought I would be at the theme parks every weekend and would have season passes to all of them. The truth is, I might go down to the attractions 4 times a year - tops. I rarely venture past downtown Orlando...there's just no need (plus who needs that tourist traffic - no offense visitors, but it's hard to keep your eyes on the road when there's so many attractions to see!!). I did splurge this year and got season passes for Disney and Sea World (I still don't use them like I should!). Florida residents do get a slight discount at Disney (not much!), a better one at Universal (notice I wasn't the bargain hunter in this scenario), Sea World is the most expensive daily ticket price, but they do have a deal that you pay for one day and come back for the rest of the year free (they also allow you to breakdown the cost into monthly payments). Hint to visitors...best time of year to visit: September and October...weather is good and little to no lines. Worst time of the year to visit, Christmas followed by Easter and Thanksgiving.

On the hurricanes: Hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th; though it doesn't seem to affect us until around August. In BC times (before Charley), I paid no heed to the hurricane warnings or preparation guidelines. Then the 2004 hurricane season hit:

Now, I'm not necessary a Nervous Nelly, but I am much more aware of what's going on in the Atlantic!! I know what the reliable weather websites are and when to get out of Dodge!!

More on the Weather: Summers can be quite intense...the hot weather starts in April and goes until the end of September. There is high humidity and thunder storms most afternoons...you get used to it and you spend most of the time in air conditioning or in a pool!! The rest of the year is GORGEOUS!!! It's warm with low humidity...we do have about 7-10 days a year when it gets a bit chilly 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit on average. There are always a couple nights with freeze warnings, but that's about it for our winter.

On the creatures: Lizards, lizards everywhere...you step outside and they scatter. Most of the time I forget they're around until an out-of-towner freaks out, makes a comment about them, or my middle child Emmy begs for the umpteenth time to have one as a pet. Our lovely insect population is THRIVING; everyone in Florida has a bug guy 'cause if you don't, you'll soon have new, 6-legged roommates...can everyone say "Cockroaches" ?! Florida insects love to come in and visit especially after a lot of rain (see above for weather...rains.everyday.in.the.summer!!!). Again, you get desensitized, you put the poor creature out of it's misery and put a call into the bug guy. Oh, and we got some leg-challenged creatures...SNAKES! Click here to read about the many varieties. We usually just see these guys, Black Racers...harmless, abundant and loooonnnng!!

and our most famous creature...the ALLIGATOR. They say that there are alligators in every body of water in Florida...is this true? I don't know and I don't want to find out! One little piece of trivia I picked up from a recent trip to the Everglades is Gators like marshmallows...honest!

On the cost of living: When I moved to Florida in the mid-nineties, we always heard that it was such a bargain to live in Central Florida. You could buy a nice "starter home" or whatever you wish to call them for about $100,000 or under. Which sounds like a great bargain, however, the pay scales are much less down here than up north so it's all relative. What really hurt was the real estate boom a few years ago hit us just like the rest of the country and house prices skyrocketed (unfortunately, salaries did not). We had a bunch of companies buying apartment complexes and upgrading them into Condos...pretty soon there were no rentals for people. It was getting very difficult for families starting off to get into one of the starter homes for less than $275,000. The real estate slump has now hit here also...I now live in a house that is worth $70,000 less than when we bought it in 2006...again, it's all relative because we're not planning on moving anytime soon.

On the Beach: If you head toward the East, you hit the Atlantic in about 45 minutes...New Smyrna Beach, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach...lots of choices! If you head West, you'd hit the gulf coast in about 2 hours. Also, off toward the East, there's Cape Canaveral near Cocoa Beach and you know what that means...no not Jeannie...NASA. It's a neat experience to be able to actually see the space shuttle go up...during the day or at night. On the flip slide, I'm not a big fan of shuttle landings...the Sonic Booms always make me jump and a lot of times there are early morning landings scheduled...Sonic boom+dead sleep = horrific way to wake up!!

There are a lot of smaller cities surrounding Orlando and many different choices of communities in which to raise your family. We really enjoy the community that we have chosen for our family; there are lots of things to do, lots of places to see and visit. When I was trying to figure out how to end this post, I verbalized to my husband and my eldest daughter the block I was having. My daughter said, "Central Florida is great to live in because it's Cool!" When I asked her why it was so cool, she said, "I don't know, it's because it is..." There you have it, my sentiments exactly, I can't pinpoint one specific reason that I enjoy where we are, it's just a compilation of things that makes it right for us.

Well, thanks for traveling down to see us today...come back and visit anytime!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I should have known better than to give him carte blanche editing rights to my Birthday Post...He was is a good man regardless...I hope they never find the body he realizes how special he is to me too....

Picture me at my desk at work sitting down to read this special post all nervous with anticipation...and then I read what my loving husband wrote...after some choice words, I called him to let him know what a butthead he is how much I appreciated his post. He told me I could always delete it to which I replied, "Oh no, I'm keeping it up for the divorce attorney"

He's a funny guy ain't he?!

Thank all of you for the wonderful comments and wishes on my Birthday...it was a fun day!

Post Script: I am getting all the pictures of the crab feast together and hopefully will have them posted by tomorrow.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Be Careful What You Wish For, Dear

Ed. Note: On this, the 37th 30th 29th anniversary of her birth, Song for Whoever’s Kelly has selected as her first guest sucker contributor her first future ex- husband, Bill.

Those of you who have kept abreast of Kelly’s 10-part series dedicated to our eldest daughter’s seemingly endless birthday extravaganza will not be surprised to learn that in this family one can not, within reason, be denied anything on one’s birthday. To her credit, I have never had to apply this informal contract’s “within reason” clause to any of my wife’s celebrations, as Kelly is by far our little clan’s most staunch fiscal conservative, and not once has she requested a pony, Caribbean cruise, or male stripper (oh, sure, she asked for all three at the same time that one time, but that wasn’t her birthday, and…I’ve probably said too much already.) This year, however, my lovely bride asked of me something to which I never would have consented had I actually been paying attention to the question. “I need a small favor,” she may-or-may-not have asked as I was watching a college football game…a college football game, people! For a Southern male asking a question requiring any amount of thought at a time like that is, I imagine, akin to asking one of you ladies to complete your tax return while undergoing an OB-GYN exam. “Could you write a post for my blog on my birthday?” she supposedly asked me during the home team’s attempt to convert a third-and-long. “Sure,” I allegedly replied, probably followed by something like, “huh?” or “what?” or “come again?”

Too late. I committed. And thus, here we are.

Kelly provided me no direction as to what I should write about, but as she selected this, the 37th anniversary of her birth, as the day she wanted this to appear, I suppose she intended for me to pen something sentimental, or at the very least, nice. And so as not to disappoint, I will honor her faith in me by regaling you, the dedicated Song for Whoever reader, with a tale of why I fell in love with Kelly and remain deeply in love with her to this day. Above all her obvious attributes, it was her two most prominent features that initially drew me to her that first day we met. I found myself lost in them instantly, and all these years later, they have not lost their power to mesmerize me. In days of antiquity poets would write sonnets about them, and kings would launch armies to possess them. They are perfection, and empirical proof of the existence of God.

They are, of course, her tits.

Oh, her other physical features have their merits, I suppose. Her smile, for example, is luminous and contagious. Her bright eyes betray her, as they as so expressive she is incapable of lying. She laughs often, loudly and sincerely, and makes other laugh as well. Her eyes, her smiles, her laughter…all of these are endearing, and yet…none can be squeezed, rubbed or nuzzled. Advantage: boobies.

Sure, I suppose I could make mention that the quality of her heart makes her easy to adore. It’s a heart filled with love, compassion, and (I hope even after reading this post) forgiveness. She is warm, kind soul, and people she meets instantly feel like they’re her friends. Yes, my wife has a big heart; luckily for me, covering that heart are even larger hooters.

Could I tell you all about what an incredible friend she’s been to me? Is it possible that I could talk for hours on what an amazing mother she is? Do I find her ability to juggle a family and career inspiring? Yes, yes, and yes. Coincidentally, “incredible” “amazing” and “inspiring” are all apt adjectives for her sweater puppies, her fun bags, her flesh pillows…and that’s just from the comments from strangers on her myspace page.

In summary, while I wear my love for Kelly on my sleeve, she wears the reason I love her on her chest. Yes, I realize that perfect breasts, unlike my love for her, don’t last forever. I am aware that, unlike my devotion to her, her personal flotation devices will one day sag. I am buoyed, however, by the knowledge that no matter how powerful the evil forces of gravity and time are, they are no match for my deep love…or silicone in the hands of a skilled surgeon.

Ed. Note #2: I’m going out on a limb here, but this may be the last time Bill is asked to “guest blog.”

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm so excited!!!

Since I've been out of college, gotten married and had kids, my birthday hasn't been as big a deal as it used to be for me...I used to have a month long birthday celebration...no lie!! I've adjusted well into this new mode, however, we are having a little impromptu celebration today and I am giddy like a kid having a huge b-day blowout!

It all started when my hubby asked what I wanted to have for my birthday dinner. Instead of saying Mexican like I always do, I sighed and said how I wish I could have a crab feast like my sister has each year. Crab feasts are such a mid-Atlantic states thing to do in the summer and one of those things that I really miss. My darling, wonderful, caring husband has gotten his hands on 7 dozed blue crabs, clams, shrimp, and gator tail. Now I'm the biggest seafood fan in my house so I need help with this feast...so after 2 days of planning I have about 20 people coming over tomorrow to help me fulfill my wish...very cool!!!

When my hands are not covered in crab stuff, I'll be taken pictures which I will post later on...

BTW...my birthday is Monday and I will have a guest blogger...a very talented writer and funny too...stay tuned!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Law Of Echos

Also known as "What comes around goes around". The thought is that if you consistently do good things, good things will happen to you. The same applies if you are a person that does bad things; it may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually your negative actions will catch up with you.

I am not gloating in this post, just saying I've been waiting for the law of echos to come to fruition for a certain person for about 5 years. It's not a vindictiveness, but what should have been rectified and dealt with years ago.

I have had to interact with a certain person for about 6 years and 5 years ago that person was able to obtain a position of power which they immediately started to abuse. I make no exaggerations that this person had a list; if an individual crossed this person, the individual would be systematically abused, harassed, and lied about until the attacked person was miserable, sick, defeated and finally left. I have seen this happen to no less than 50 people in the last 5 years (and this is a generous figure as it's probably 3 times this number). The people who have power over this person were made very aware of what this person was doing, but took no actions. I have witnessed good person after good person be personally and professionally destroyed and let go. After that, they are the scapegoat for this person's errors (of which there were many). It happened time and time again. It happened to me personally. I was harassed for about a year and finally I told this person's supervisor that I was not going to be harassed and lied about any longer and I was leaving; accommodations were made for me. To date, I was the only survivor of this wrath which never sat well for this person.

This person finally got so confident in their power that they crossed the wrong person, a supervisor. It has taken 1 year since than for things to happen, but it finally did! I wish it could have been more dramatic, more gut wrenching for this person so that they might have a taste of what they've done to multiple persons over the years; I guess this is my vindictive side.

I need to be happy that what should have been corrected years ago has finally occurred and I AM!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

One More Time...Fx4

It's that time of week again...time for Candid Carrie's Friday Fiesta Foto Finish (Fx4)!!!!

Most of this week has been dedicated to Cameron, my oldest child, who turned 10 this week...I thought it would be appropriate to have her star in this week's submission....

Without further ado, Cameron through the years (just a few examples ;).

Happy Birthday, Bug!!! I love you!!!

Want to see who else is playing?! Of course you do!!! Click here...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weigh-in Wednesday

Okay, it's here again...my most dreaded day of the week, Wednesday.

Did I go to my WW meeting today? NO

Did I weigh in today? NO

Have I done any food tracking since last week? NO

Have I started exercising again? NO

"Mojo, Mojo! Where are you? I need you back desperately!!! Come back, I promise you, this time, I'll hold on to you and build you up each day. Please, Oh Please give me one more chance!!!!"

I'm going to start posting signs tomorrow....

Here's a blogging buddy that has found some hardcore Mojo....Angie!!! Yeah!!! go give her some support after you leave me an insulting comment to re-motivate me!!

If you're interested, go find out what all the fuss is about at OSB!!! JOIN THE FUN!!

Cameron's Birthday (Part Trois)

I promise this is my last post about my 10 year old's birthday...it was a very busy couple days...and hey, it created blog fodder! Best of all the last edition contains...wait for it....wait for it...my friend Sheila!!!! Whoo Hoo!!! (I'll explain in a later post, oh yes, I will Sheila!!)

My daughter is starting her 2nd decade on a good foot (at least with her Mom). We hadn't gotten her Birthday gift yet...remember that whole procrastination thing? My kid is lucky she got her birthday party on her birthday and not 2 weeks from now!!! So I asked her what she wanted to do after her guests left today at 12:00...Her reply, spend her day with me!! How cool/sweet/awesome is that?! Of course I ate it up...wouldn't you?!!

Off we Go!!
First stop: Pedicures...My girls love, love, love getting pedicures (Mom doesn't mind them so much either). I don't know about where you all live but here in Central Florida, there is a Vietnamese nail salon in every strip mall so there is never a shortage of places to get pedis!! We have a regular one we go to...so off we went...

Cameron getting her toes done

The finished product (yup, that would be me representing Gator colors on my toes!!)

Next stop: Hallmark to see if they had the Manatee or Alligator Webkinz. Unfortunately, the store was closed (the nerve! like it's a national holiday or something!) So Cameron took a raincheck on the Webkinz.

Next stop: The bullseye boutique...Tarjay!! This is my child!!! Cameron's new obsession is earrings...she loves to get new earrings!! So we looked around and she chose a couple pairs...we then went and looked at scarfs, belts, purses, wallets, cd's, school supplies, toys, bedroom decorations, etc., etc. She ended up with 3 pairs of earrings and an i-tunes gift card. We stopped at the gourmet snack bar for a little snack ( and Cameron's first ice cream of the day)

We started a tradition this past year, that the birthday boy or girl gets to choose what they would like for dinner. I asked Cameron what she wanted, but she didn't know. I asked her her favorite food (offering pizza...we still have 4 whole ones at home!!). She said Italian or Mexican...I went through my Italian and Mexican repertoire (which she declined). She then remembered that you can eat free on your Birthday at Kobe's. That's great for the birthday person, but the rest of us would still have to put out $25.00+ per meal. I remembered my friend, Sheila and Jan mentioning this place out near them (about 20 minutes from me) that was the "Redneck Kobe's" Same food at 1/2 the price...my kind of place...I called Sheila for directions...then Cameron asks if Lauren (Sheila's daughter) can come with us. I stalk call Sheila once again and ask them to join us... We arrive at Lam-pu's (actual name) and watch a wonderful Teppanyaki-style show. I really wish I had the balls to take pictures of the clientele...Oooh, Baby!!! Rednecks were out in style!!!

Anyway, at the end of dinner, they brought out a sundae and birthday gong for Cameron and the whole restaurant sang her Happy Birthday. She had a wonderful time and we were so happy that Sheila, Alan, and Lauren were able to join us.

Birthday Sundae

Lit Birthday Sundae

Birthday Gong

Lauren, Sheila, and Alan

The night ended with the traditional birthday spankings...

Whew, I'm all birthday-ed out...at least until next week when it's my Birthday- Yeah!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cameron's Birthday (Part Deux)

So as you saw in my previous post, my oldest, Cameron, turned 10 on 09/01/08. She really, really, really wanted to have a slumber party so we gave in. She was only allowed to have a total of 6 girls including herself...We ended up with 4 total due to a last minute cancellation...this was fine by me...easier number of 10/11 year olds to manage plus I always like having an even number...no one gets left out (or the odds that it will occur are less in my mind).

The girls arrived at 5 pm and went into Cameron's room to look through her stuff and just giggle (at least that's what it sounded like ;) After they finished that activity, they got into the pool and started having a funniest jump contest, relay races, chicken fights, and other water contests. I think they had a good time.

Then it was pizza, cake, and present time...We had no idea how many pizzas to get...we figured, it's a sleep over, they'll eat so we ordered 7 pizzas...Needless to say, I have 4 pizzas left over!! The sugar kicked in and the girls got a little crazy with the cake...the little darlings started smearing each other with icing...this was quickly stopped before things became airborne!!! The girls continued to be goofy with the gift opening...tissue paper and confetti all.over.the.place!!!

It was time for a quite activity...so they began to make party t-shirts. I set them loose with permanent fabric markers and white t-shirts...the creations were cute and the girls calmed down (a little!)

The girls then took FOREVER to decide what movie to watch; it finally took a democratic vote and the winner was: Hair Spray. A couple of the girls had seen the movie before so all of a sudden song and dance would break out in the living room. The girls decided their goal was to stay up until at least 12:13 am as this was the time Cameron was born (in all actuality, they fell asleep at 2:00...but that's another story). At 12:13, the girls proceeded to have a pillow fight and start screeching Happy Birthday. Cute, but way too loud at midnight with a baby and Daddy already sleeping. I called it a night about 12:30; there was about 15 minutes left in the movie and the girls had instructions to turn off the t.v. and get to sleep after it was over.

I was woken up at 1:15 by Cameron telling me one of the girls was upset and crying. I got up and one of the girls just wanted her Mom; she wouldn't tell me what was wrong so I told her she could call her Mom and speak with her. She tried her Mom, but there was no answer. Her Mom calls back about 10 minutes later and the girl got on the phone and left the room. She brought the phone back to me and told me that her Mom wanted to talk to me. The Mom asked me what was going on and I explained to her what I knew. She said, "I thought they wouldn't be up past midnight!" I kinda stuttered and explained how the night ended. In a tight voice, the Mom asked to speak with her daughter again; the little girl decided she did want to go home. So her Mom shows up 10 minutes later and I told her that I had told her daughter that if it was just that she wanted to be with her Mom and be in her own bed, she could come back in the morning to play until the party was over. The Mom curtly answered, "Well I think she'll be sleeping in tomorrow!" Yikes!! Okay, as a Mom, if I send my kid over to a sleep over, it's kinda expected that they will not be falling asleep at a decent hour...This same Mom called and left a curt message on my answering machine that her daughter had left a shirt and towel at our house and she would appreciate it if I could return those items to her daughter tomorrow. I wanted to call her back and say, "oh you mean the shirt that got smeared with icing after your daughter started an icing fight in my house?!" But I just ignored the message and her kid will get her stuff back tomorrow - stupid Wenchbag!

I think Cameron had a good time...at least that's what she and the pictures tell me.