Thursday, July 31, 2008

My girls have boy's names...

which was not a planned thing...

This blog was inspired by a great contest being put on by Erica at The Life & Times of an Ordinary Me... She's giving away a very cute name sign for kid's rooms that she's made herself. Stop over, look at the goods and enter along with me. In order to get 2 addition entries into the contest, I am blogging about my kids names...

For all three of my kids, we didn't find out the sex of the babies during the pregnancy so we had to be prepared with 2 names.

During my first pregnancy, we decided right away that our names were going to by Kyle Elijah or Peyton Elizabeth...then I guess I had some kind of hormone surge during my seventh month because I changed my mind completely and we had to start from square one. The aforementioned hormone surge also caused me to be VERY indecisive and picky so my husband had his work cut out for him. Finally we purchased a 5000+ baby name book; my husband, the king of the list makers, came up with a ranking system. We ranked the names on sound, meaning, look, feeling, etc. and the list got wheedled down that way (I AM SERIOUS...I still have the lists to prove it). We decided on Cameron Julia or Keegan Elijah. Hands down, our families hated the boy's name and wished, hoped, and prayed for a girl. Prayers, wishes, hopes were granted and Cameron Julia entered the world. One of the reasons we liked Cameron's name was we thought her name could break down into cool nicknames which we assumed would be used (Camy/CJ/etc.); funny thing is Cameron is Cameron; no nicknames...

3 years later I am pregnant with our second child...I wasn't as indecisive as with my first pregnancy, but the hubby and I could not agree on any names. So we made the deal, I would pick the girl's name and he would pick the boy's name. I fell in love with the name Emerson Elizabeth (I first heard the name, Emerson, after 9/11; one of the dads that died on Flight 96 had a newborn daughter just clicked for me). My husband chose Clayton Charles for the boy's name (I never really like this name so I wished/prayed/hoped for another girl). At the end of April, my wishes came to fruition...another little girl. Emerson was Emerson for about 1 year and then she became Emmy (Now, I had thought we would always call Emmy, Emerson, but the opposite happened...she's Emmy. Although, she recently told me that I could start calling her by her other name again, she wouldn't mind). I remember being so proud of my name cleverness...this came to a screeching halt one day when I was working out at the YMCA. Emmy was about 3 months old and she became an old lady baby magnet; all of a sudden, I had a gaggle of old gals admiring my offspring...they asked her name and I proudly told them. All of them got a horrified look on their face and one of them actually asked me, "why would you do that to your child" - nice huh? Recently, however, I've been getting nicer comments about the uniqueness of her name. I still love it...

Then came the boy...3 years later I'm pregnant again. Remember my husband and the very specific naming formula? Well he decided that since we had a Cameron & an Emerson that we had to name our 3rd child with a name ending with an on. I disagreed (personally I thought it was a bit hokey), but he felt strongly about it so I gave in. We decided on Jackson Charles for a boy. For a girl...well, that was more difficult...we just couldn't come to an agreement...finally I agreed to Tennyson (I was just so worn down at that point); I never really liked it that much so I kept my fingers crossed for a boy...Yeah! again the name karma was in my favor and Jackson entered the world. He is another nickname ask him his name and he pats his chest and says, "Yack-Yack" (Jack-Jack) also known as Jack, Bubba, the Dude.

So that's my kid's name stories...this was great blog fodder...again thanks to Erica for the idea and the contest! Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weigh-in Wednesday

Another week has gone by and it's time once again for Weigh-in Wednesday (BTW, Tressa, I painted the toenails in the picture just for you...not the prettiest feet, but at least now you can tell it's a girl)

So I had a chance today to completely blow off my WW meeting and I was sorely tempted. The drive to UCF takes at least 1/2 hour, the meeting is 45 minutes and then the 1/2 hour drive back - 2+ hours out of my work day. But I stuck to my commitment and went. I've lost another pound...the scale is going in the right direction-Yeah!. Quite honestly, I was a real slacker most of the week when it came to tracking, but I think that even though I wasn't always tracking like I should have been, I still made okay choices.

The lesson/talk this week was about making mental preparations...i.e. if you are going to a home party (Kat) and know that there will be lots of yummy food stuffs, plan on how you will handle any obstacles in your way. I've already started to do this when it come to eating out (especially when it comes to my downfall, Mexican food). So my biggest obstacle/goal this week is plotting out when I can squeeze in exercise. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to how my day pans out...I wake up about 7 am, get the kids ready for their day, drop off the kids at camp/school/daycare; work at 9 am to 6 pm; home for dinner; spend time with the kids; bedtime at 8:30 pm; then I am so tired that I veg out reading, watching tv until way too late (read: 1 am). So I know the obvious choice is to do my exercise after the kids go to bed, but quite honestly, I am wiped out without any residual energy by then. So I know I have to go to bed at a more reasonable time and get up at 6 am for exercise. I think that if I start off with baby steps (may be the goal for the first week will be 3 workouts), I may be able to reach the goal.

Some shout outs: Blarney: great job on lowering your cholesterol! Angie: way to go starting your intense work out program! and thank you to Shannon, Mary, Kat, Jennifer, Jill, and Tressa for your encouragement.

So now your turn...what triumphs did you have/achieve this past week? Remember celebrate the baby steps!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm no hero...

The L.A. earthquake today had me having flashbacks reminiscing of my first earthquake experience.

Let me back up a little...see, I'm one of those rare people who is an actual Delaware native (history/geography lesson...Yes, Delaware is a state, it was actually the first state to sign the constitution and it's the home of tax-free shopping - yeah!! Anyway, it borders Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland). Delaware is not very exciting...but one thing about earthquakes (at least not any that you notice...When I was a kid, I was told there was an earthquake during the night...slept right through it!)

Fast forward to the mid-nineties, my husband and I are newlyweds, pre-children living in Tacoma, Washington. We decided on the spur of the moment to go see "Pulp Fiction". In the middle of the movie, the ceiling panels began to shudder and then the room started to roll. Have you ever felt the earth roll?! (well, yes, I know a lot of you have, but remember me, from Delaware (land of no natural disasters?!) Needless to say I FLIPPED OUT...after I realized what was happening I jumped up and RAN...I PUSHED, JOSTLED, and perhaps KNOCKED down a few old ladies on my way out. There was that cartoon smoke trailing after me...My flight or fight mechanics were definitely on FLIGHT!! I ran out of theater and right outside in the lobby there was a police officer...I promptly assaulted the poor man, grabbed him and starting shaking him shouting, "WHAT'S GOING ON?! WHAT'S GOING ON?!" I think I put him in as much shock as I was because strangely he didn't respond. He just looked at me dumbfounded (along with the other patrons that I had caused to panic and run out behind me). It was then I realized that the earth had stopped moving and the theater was not falling down around me. I also realized that I had LEFT my husband...totally FORGOT about him in my flight! So I headed back into the theater with my tail between my legs, humiliated. I think that was the night my husband realized he had married a crazy person. How do you handle a crazy person? You speak with them very slowly, don't make any sudden moves and do whatever they that point all I wanted was to go OUTSIDE away from any buildings. It was probably a few more hours before he could get me back to our apartment (which was his fault; he's the one who brought up the possibility and reality of aftershocks!!).

To this day I have never seen the end of "Pulp Fiction".

Dinner Table Ramblings

My husband and I both work full-time so we stress the importance of "family dinners" together. My husband is a great conversationalist (when I just want to shove food in...the nerve!) and has developed some conversation starter games for family dinnertime. Some of our favorite games we play are: "Who had the best day?" (everyone takes turns telling why their day was the best day and then we's usually a tie with everyone getting a vote), or "What would you pick" (person is given 3 choices: ie. what princess would you be: Jasmine, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty or where would you rather live: Washington, New York, or Mississippi) get the picture. Tonight we played a new game, guess what Jackson will be when he grows up: we took turns guessing what job he would have when he grew up (fireman, pizza delivery man), where he would live (Jacksonville, in a jungle, Mexico), what his wife's name would be (Katie, Cameron - we had to take a break and remind Emmy once again that Jackson will not be able to marry his sisters)
The conversation then segued into what Emmy's husband name will be ("Quinton", the boy's name is really Trenton, but Emmy calls him Quinton and that's that!) This is the boy that the older kids dared her to kiss in school last year (Mommy & Daddy were not happy about this). Emmy has been in love ever since and plans on marrying Quinton/Trenton. Emmy then asked who was Daddy's girlfriend when he was six and Daddy promptly recited her first and last name. It was then my turn and I primly (because that's what I am) responded that I didn't even like boys until I was 12...but I did share with them that I was married in a fort behind my neighbor's house when I was 6 to my next door neighbor who was my super powered partner in crime. I then made the mistake of admitting my superhero name ("Pretty Kelly") which had them rolling on the floor. The clincher was Emmy saying, "What was his superhero name, Charming Charlie?" or something along those lines...Why do I share again?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

So I added the crack-icing on the cake...

I don't know why I went and did saw the previous post with pictures of the hotel pool, you know the place where I was going to planted all weekend? But NO, I gave in and became a tourist for a day at Sea World. My mom gave the kids the option today, "where do you want to go, the pool or Sea World?" If you were a kid, what would you pick? Sea World of course; so off we went.

Did I ever mention how intolerant I have become of heat? I think I am more intolerant of heat than the people who come here in the middle of the summer for vacation. Probably because most of us that live in Florida stay inside most of the summer. As soon as we were dropped off from the hotel shuttle, I began to know that constant sweat that just drips down your back all day? After a couple hours in these conditions, tempers start to fray (tempers meaning mine). I don't think I was the most pleasant mommy (or daughter) today (sorry guys!). I was so hot at one point that I let the kids do this:

Jack the redneck baby in just a swim diaper and Emmy fully clothed

so I could live vicariously...(added bonus: you get a little cooler when they come over and give you hugs!)

After the park we went straight back to the hotel pool for a quick dip and cooling off before a torential thundershower hit.

All in all it was a good weekend with Mom (Gigi) and 2 out of 3 kids fell asleep on the way home.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weekend getaway...

One of the nice things about living near Orlando is there are a lot of opportunity for mooching when out-of-town guest arrive. Not from me of course, but we get to go to their hotels and play; best thing is I don't have to clean up after the family (well I do a little, I am not that bad a guest!). What's so great about going to a hotel you ask?! Well one of the nice side effects of living near a resort mecca is the hotels in town are constantly adding features to out-do their competition. So staying at the hotel is often a kid wonderland without even having to go to any of the parks (that's just crack-icing on the cake for the kids). mom is in town and she is staying here and this is where the kids and I will be until Sunday night.

I just wish I had the balls to crash these places on my own...they never check out if you're a guest or not....I could totally get a way with it!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta

It's once again time for Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta! I think I like participating in this because it's like show-and-tell adult style!

The picture I've chosen this week is of my middle child, Emmy. It's not the clearest picture, but I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. It never fails to bring a smile to my face and make me chuckle. It was taken at a family (kid-sized) theme park in Lancaster, PA called Dutch Wonderland. Growing up, my Nana and Pop pop would take us every year; my sister and I are attempting to share this tradition with my kids.

Emmy is definitely my little risk taker; she rode on rides before her older sister (without the fit throwing hysterics). This was taken as soon as Emmy was whipped around the corner...priceless!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I had hoped to post earlier....

however, best laid plans...

I've just been on a 80 minute teleconference (and I hung up early). For some reason the brilliant person scheduling the conference thought the conference times would be best at either 8 am or 6 pm (I am not usually at work either time). Being SO NOT a morning person, the 8 am was out of the here I am now at 7:15 finishing my work day...Urghh! Just chalk it up to one of those days.

I'm about to do an Andy Rooney here, but...Did you ever notice that there is always one (or if you're really lucky more than one- sarcasm intended) person in a meeting, on a teleconference, in a class, etc. that always seems to have something to add or share that is not really relevant or important to bring up at that particular time and place?! Well, I am not that person; I am the antithesis of that person. I am the one in the back corner of the room plotting my escape or surfing the web/writing emails/playing games/etc... Those people seem to be at every meeting I attend and it's like nails on a chalk board to me. I start out thinking positive, "hmmm, may be he/she/it has something to add that would be informative", but as time and questions and/or comments go on and on, I get a little more testy and violent in my thinking, "Oh WTF, I wish this guy/girl/thing would shut his/her/it's stupid mouth...*&^%%^&*UYT$R$##$%^&!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

So now, I am perturbed at the end of my day, my husband is semi-upset with me that I am not home yet and he is by himself with the kidlets after his long day at work, by the time I get home, the kids will be going to bed...Can you read between the lines?! I HATE meetings!!!!

I need a beer.................and may be stare at this guy for awhile............I'm starting to relax now....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weigh-in Wednesday

Today was another weigh-in day for me. Guess what?! I lost 2.8 lbs - joy, oh joy. Let me tell you, after last week I was about to throw in the towel! Quite honestly, I didn't track as well as I should have this past week and when I did, I used all my daily points and even dipped into my extras. I can't remember if I shared this before or not, but the points on the study are structured differently - you are allowed a greater point allowance per day, but foods have higher point values. My daily points are 46!!! which I was finding VERY hard to reach. I did actually share with the group at the meeting and the leader said that is really the key to WW; use all your daily points and dip into your extras. She said as soon as you start to feel like you are denying yourself; you are doing it wrong; you just have to Modify...

So now I am re-motivated...I may even begin to exercise this week!

I've shared before that WW was the most successful for me in the past, however, the first time going through, I never got anything from the meetings. Quite honestly, there was no structure...the leader was in her 70's, had lost her weight 25 years ago, and OBSESSED about food. Her key to preventing overeating...doing something you enjoy instead...her idea of fun, playing her ORGAN and singing along (I kid you not). I could not over the years, I've poo-poo'd the whole meeting thing. This time around it's a very different experience...The leader is a SAHM in her 30's, working off her baby weight from her 3rd baby. There are actually topics to discuss (not all about food). Hands down, my favorite part is sharing the triumphs - big or small - and having a group of people that can relate...

So if you like, share your triumphs this week (e.g. finally losing something, getting up to exercise, clothes feeling better, getting re-motivated). I would truly love to develop a blog support system no matter what you are doing to get/stay healthy. Even if you don't want to do that, just knowing you're reading will keep me thanks in advance!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brenda!!

It's my friend, Brenda's birthday today and I totally forgot about it until this afternoon...this was after she ate lunch with me in my office...What a slacker friend!! I did leave a voicemail for her later on apologizing; she'll forgive me, she's nice like that...

I had remembered her birthday last week because every year I make Brenda's favorite cake, angel food, from scratch (this is the 11th year). She feeds my ego and says it's better than Publix...and Publix makes some good cakes. So as I am sitting here waiting for the angel food cake to finish baking, I am reminiscing about the 40th birthday party we threw for Brenda a few years ago and I thought I'd share. (Note to self: multi-tasking by reading my daily fill of blogs and mixing make the time go seems like it takes forever for those little peaks to rise!)

Anyway, one day a couple years ago in early July I was daydreaming on my ride home from work. I thought to myself, "self, Brenda's birthday is in a couple weeks and I think this year is her 40th". I know that we hadn't gotten any invitations, hadn't heard anything from our girlfriends, etc. I left a message for Brenda's husband, Peter, to call me back regarding the status of any celebration he was planning. Well it turns out my calculations were right, Brenda was turning 40, but Peter hadn't thought of any plans yet. We made a deal, the girls and I would plan a party and he would pay for it. I think his guilt about not having anything planned yet for the birthday was catching up with him 'cause he didn't even implement a budget. Silly, Silly Man! So I contacted the "group" and explained the situation...all hands on board we started to plan. The thing I like about my position in our group is that I get the credit for being the creative one...little do they know I steal ideas from all over (seriously, I do give credit where credit is due).
We decided to throw an "All about Brenda surprise party". We planned to have her favorite foods, drinks (Cosmos), etc. As a diversion tactic, on the day of her actual birthday, we ordered her to be "flocked" by a local company called the Merry Minstrels so she woke up with 40 pink flamingos all over her yard with a sign that said, "You've been flocked! Happy 40th Birthday, Brenda!". She asked all around for who had "flocked" her, but no one admitted to doing the deed.
In preparation for her party, we enlisted the help of her sister to get those "awkward years" photos from her Mom for decorations. We proceeded to pick the most unflattering pics we could find and blow them up as wall portraits and masks. The 6 of us who planned the party wore t-shirts with a very unflattering picture of Brenda in rollers on it with saying like: Brendalicious, My hero, Glamour girl, Aren't I sexy, etc. Here's an example of one:

The night of her party, we had Peter tell her that she needed to get dressed up because he was going to be taking her out. Meanwhile my friend Sheila and her husband Alan had agreed to go "kidnapping". The put nylons over their faces, broke into Brenda's house, blindfolded her and tied her up. They took her out to their car and turned up the music so she couldn't hear anything and headed out to the party.
When she arrived, we were all prepared to meet her at the door.

This is Alan & Sheila escorting her to the door:

This is a picture of Brenda's chest; I was laughing so hard, I couldn't hold the camera straight:
That was Peter's gift from me...

Anyway, we all had a great time, but most importantly the birthday girl had a great party all about the way, we finally admitted to the bird thing on her lawn by telling her "Flock You!"

Whatcha Watching?

My husband tells me that I should get an award for watching horrendous t.v. (I don't see how he has room to talk as he makes it his mission to see bad movies - "Gigli", "Snakes on a Plane" - anyone?)

So I thought I would do a quick post on what is in my DVR...please feel free to play along and tell me what is in your dvr, tivo, or what you can't miss on t.v.

After perusing through my dvr list (I have to do a title search because my list is filled with "Hannah Montana", "Camp Rock", "Jonas Brother", "America's Funniest Videos", and "Full House"...How come 9 year olds are so good with dvrs?!)

So my top 5 list is:

1) Project Runway - I am so happy this is back on!! I am constantly amazed that these people can make outfits in 8 hours out of anything (at least some of them). Of course being the bandwagoner I am, my all time favorite person is Season 4 winner, Christian - "Hot Tranny Mess!"

2) Split Ends - I don't know what I like about this show...I kinda like seeing the snooty Beverly Hills lady with a pooch as an accessory having to OMG, work without assistants or seeing little country girls excelling in the big city, or may be it just gives me stuff to talk to my hairdresser about...

3) Mobile Home Disasters - I had so much hope for this show when I first saw the previews...I thought I'd get to see where the Jerry Springer people live and what kind of "Hot Tranny Messes" they made of their homes. It turns out it's more like "Home Makeover" for those who really, really, really need it warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes; plus as a bonus, there is usually a crazy neighbor who pops in.

4) Degrassi, The Next Generation - I know, I know...I'm almost embarrassed to write about it, but it's an addiction. I've been watching for so long; I feel I've watched these kids grow up (I think it's left over from when I was a teenager and "Degrassi, Junior High" was on. I'm also embarrassed to admit, but I will, that I tend to think all Canadians are like these families - I am retarded...I've never claimed otherwise

5)Legally Blond, The Search For the Next Elle Woods - Blond girls, drama, theater, etc...I've never seen the Broadway production, but I am hooked. It's amazing that there are people out there that can learn whole dance, acting, and singing routines in a day. Next time I am in NYC, I am definitely buying a ticket.

Honorable Mentions (because they are not currently on): American Idol, Biggest Loser, Top Chef

Please share your top 5, I may just start watching (you know some of these reality shows will be ending soon so I need to fill up my repertoire ;)

And last but not least especially for Tree: "Skal du ha nytt bad? IKKE bestille dette fra ROCKA® dårlig kundebehandling ventet over 5 mnd. for bademøbler"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My adventures with my iphone

I bought my $400 iphone exactly 3 weeks before they announced that the iphone 3G was going to be released (you know the one: faster, upgraded, and $200.00 cheaper?!). I called Apple right away to ask if I get any credit, new phone, etc.; the answer in a nutshell, "I'm sorry you are SOL". So in response to this, my new response to the question, "How do you like your iphone?" is: "I'd like it a lot more if I had spent $200.00 less on it". Oh well, just file it under things you can't control...
I've recently bought into (or hoped with all my heart) that the iphone 2.0 update will make phone just as good as the 3G (minus the $200; see the trend?!). I just couldn't figure out how to get the download to work. We just so happened to be in an apple store last night and I received a quick tutorial on how to get the 2.0 version...before I walked away I heard, "it may take awhile"

I came home excited to upgrade to get all the new features. Little did I know I had about 1 hour of upgrades for my itunes before the iphone 2.0 download. That was okay with me...I was going to be new and improved! Finally I started the iphone download; immediately the message came up that the download would take awhile; 2 hours to be exact. No problem, I set this baby up to download and I took my happy ass off to bed (before 1 am - great news for me!). I woke up this morning looking forward to playing with my new and improved iphone; I checked out the download status and there is a happy little message waiting for me..."connection to network lost during upgrade" Okay...breath in, breath out, get some coffee...restart. This lovely message came up 3 more times; then I decided, I am going to sit here and babysit this thing; you know, making sure that my computer didn't go into sleep mode, etc. So after watching 2 dvr'd episodes of "Split Ends" and a couple episodes of "Blues Clues" my upgrade was complete! my iphone new and improved you ask?! I have no the time everything was was 11 am and my kids were done being ignored! To make up for the download time guilt, I took Emmy and Jack to the playground where Emmy proceeded to stay in the shade, Jack just wanted to play in the street, and Mommy got hot, sweaty, and grumpy. It is summer in Florida so what was I thinking?! We are now at home, lunch has been eaten, Jack is down for a nap, Emmy is in the pool with Daddy and I think now I am going to play with my new and improved iphone; keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I think I need an intervention...

I've always known I have an addictive personality, but I am currently a little out of control. I mean here it is past midnight and I've been reading so many different blogs my eyes are crossing. A normal person would take that as a sign to go to bed, right?! Not me!

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am new to the whole blogging give some advice to a newbie...does the obsession lessen at least a little? I find myself checking in multiple times a day to see if I have new comments or if one of the blogs that I read daily (okay, multiple times daily) has a new post (remember I do work full time and I am supposed to be doing my job!!). And now the newest thing is linking to new blogs from other blogs (and they tell one friend, and they tell one get the picture). I have even taken to bring my work laptop home every night so I can be more comfortable with my new obsession.

An embarrassing admission regarding my addiction: I had to take off that fidget (or whatever it's called) thing that tracks who's on your blog because it had me coming back and forth so many times, I was officially stalking myself. (By the way Tressa, your fidget thingy shows me doing the same thing to you; one reason to be glad you're 3,000 miles away!)

To be clear, this is not a cry for help, because I am actually enjoying myself...I just need to learn moderation...Right?!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Foto Fiesta

I am participating for the first time in Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Fiesta...I feel like such a part of it all now!!!

This is Jack and Pop (his great grandfather) spending some quality reading time together. I just thought it was too adorable (don't forget to look at the title of Pop's book - this wasn't posed I promise!)

...and then my mother-in-law's friend had fun with photo shop:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weigh-in Wednesday

Hello, my name is Kelly and I am a compulsive dieter. My story is not original; I've tried diet after diet; I won't bore you with the details. My newest "lifestyle change" (because it's now taboo to say "diet") is Weight Watchers. It's helped me in the past; so 3 babies and 50 pounds later, I am starting again. I've tried the online version of WW (you know the solo "I can do it myself" method?), but that doesn't last more than a couple weeks; I get impatient waiting for the food choices to load. I found out that the University of Central Florida was doing a research study with Weight Watchers to develop a new points system. I thought this would be may work for me because I would actually be obligated to attend meetings, visits, keep diaries, etc.

Well so far, NADA!! I have been logging my food like a mad person; I've eaten so many grilled chicken salads I feel like a rabbit (if rabbits ate grilled chicken with their veggies)! I've gone in for my 2nd weigh in and I am up 0.6 lbs - WTF!!!!! (the week before, I was up 0.2 lbs). I know that I haven't gained a whole pound, but it's supposed to be going the other way!!!!! Urghhh! I almost started crying at the weigh in desk!

My wonderful husband patiently listened to my venting when I got home and he very gently (for his own well being) reminded me that we had just gotten back from vacation and I haven't started exercising yet. Damn, he's right - I hate when that happens!

So here begins a new week, new outlook, etc. Does anyone know how many points popcorn chicken is? (kidding, kidding, not really :( )

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dear Real Simple Magazine...

I have been an avid reader some time now...I love the articles on organization, decorating, product comparisons, and aha! uses just to name a few; imagine my excitement when I discovered you had added a "money matters" article in your June edition!

Interruption for back story: It's a money advice case study if you will...they present Mrs. X, young mother of 1 who decided to become a stay-at home Mom...okay, I can relate somewhat. She reports that she and her husband's combined income of 200K has been cut by 1're starting to lose me here...She's stressed by her monthly expenditures which is about $4500/mo (Ms. thing already has an established budget she follows) is not going to be sustained by a one salary AND her biggest concern is feeling guilty about doing something for herself now and then (REALLY?!)...Oh wait there is more...she and her husband recently moved to a new area for a better paying job; their new mortgage is $1000 less a month than their previous mortgage, they netted $285,000 profit on the sale of their previous house (which is still in savings), $500 of their monthly budget goes into a college fund for their baby (Read: this kid's college will be paid for by kindergarten!), and they are DEBT-FREE. Wow, this lady has HUGE financial problems!!

Get real, Real Simple!! Why don't you choose a person that actually represents the majority of know, those of us that can't seem to figure out where their money hemorrhages out to each month, can't whittle down the $600/month grocery bill, and thinks being debt-free is about as realistic as winning the lottery!

This woman needs some real advice which if I were the financial consultant, I would say, "Look lady, you're doing just worries...I'm sure you're not going to pull a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and all of a sudden start blowing money left and right. In fact, I think you should start consulting the rest of us about how you are doing this! Better yet, let me follow you around 'cause it seems to me that you're one of those people that is always in the right place at the right time and I want to be there too! Stop stressing about nothing and live your life!!!"

So thank you, Real Simple for making me feel like a bigger financial idiot than I already am and needing an increase in my anti-depressant dosage. I look forward to next month's article when we try to help Bill Gates figure out how he is going to live on his retirement income.



Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm still learning (barely)

Wow, I've posted twice in one day - Go Me! No, really this was a see, I have been trying program after program to post my simple video (with music) online and it's a no go... I think trying this for 24 hours is enough. So thanks again, to American in Norway for helping me out with my technical issues/questions today. I finally settled for the slide show from Photobucket sans music (I also did not realize that when I hit "share to Blogger" that it would immediately post to the blog)...SO...enjoy if you like...if you want the full effect with music, just hum some Buffett tunes as you're watching.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

Back to Reality

I have to go back to work tomorrow :(

You see, I've been on vacation for the last week; now it's over and time to face the daily grind once again.

This was our inaugural family vacation...before you feel sorry for me or you think, "Wait doesn't she have kids 9, 6, & almost 2, surely she's gone on vacation!" Well yes, I have gone on vacation with the kids; the operative word in the first statement was family. My husband and I have different definitions for vacation: Kelly: not working = vacation (this includes maternity leave) Hubby: going away to a place that doesn't include family visits = vacation. My hubby's family all live in Florida now so going off to see out-of-state family is not applicable to him (even when they were out of town; he didn't go - See Kelly and kid(s) go to his Mom's house, see Kelly and kids go to his g.parent's 50 year anniversary party, etc ). My family is spread out over the mid-Atlantic seaboard and I feel it's important for my kids to know their aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and great-grandparents. So each year I trek here and there solo with the kids. Please don't feel sorry for me, in fact, I've grown to prefer this...I get to choose the itinerary, rules, etc. I remember when I was doing the Eurorail thing after college, Tressa and I met this woman who was going on vacation solo without her husband. Per this lady, this is what they did every year and they preferred it this way. I remember being horrified, but now I understand completely...sometimes you need to be the only one in charge of your destiny (and my kids - sorry guys, you're still minors and subject to Mommy's whims).

So back on tangent, this year, my Husband suggests we start doing family vacations (What?! - where is the pod from which this alien husband emerged?). We started looking at places...Kelly: Key West, other beachy towns...Hubby: Mountain cabin 50 miles from anywhere - do you see the personality differences?! As it turns out, my Mom bought into a timeshare this year and had oodles of bonus points. She generously donated these points to our family vacation goal; what I found out quickly with timeshares is you basically have to plan these things a year in advance...The only place left in the state of Florida through Hilton Grand Vacations (I am SERIOUS) was a new hotel on Marco Island - Sunset Cove

Not too shabby, huh?! We definitely lucked out...the kids had fun in the pool, around town, on the beach, and my favorite, on an air boat ride in the Everglades. Hubby did well also...I think he got to relax a little (I'm guessing this 'cause he was throwing around ideas for next year) - Who would have thunk it?!

If you are interested, I made my very first slide show featuring: (you guessed it!!) our are under no obligation!

Thanks for stopping by...


Okay...I'm going to have to add the slide show later as it has taken me HOURS to try to figure how to upload the darn thing...I've tried updloading via blogger, youtube, and saving to cd...You Tube has been working on the upload for at least the last hour and currently has 7% really isn't that big or has a great production value. It's going on 2 am and my OCD is really showing itself...I am going to need a lot of coffee in the morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be sure to check in later for the video (coming out early fall?) and see the alligators ;)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Confessions of a Cyberstalker

Okay, I'll admit it, I've been perusing through the blogosphere for a couple months now living vicariously through others...commenting only on one (my BFF from high school- American in Norway). So if any one has been noticing a person from central Florida peeking in, it's probably been me. Don't be concerned, I am not dangerous; mearly curious and now addicted and enthralled.
I've been encouraged to contribute by my incredibly talented literary husband and also my aforementioned, BFF. But there is a problem...a huge life is nowhere near as interesting nor am I as funny as some of the others out there...(not to mention grammar and writing are not my strong suites!!!). But then I decided what the hell, why would be a great way to post pictures of the kids for out of town family and friends to see...and they can also see how I've slowly started to slip down that slippery slope of insanity that seems to affect the female members of my family...but I'll write about that at a different time...For now, I'll introduce you to the clan...Please see my pic on the's a blurry, far away pic...I don't allow a lot of pictures being taking of me these days due to the baby weight I have yet to take off (but I am currently working on that...more on that obsession later also).

My better half (some days) is a private person...and prefers that I do not post a picture of him so I'll respect his wishes (for now). We've been married for 13 years and we are struggling through parenthood, middle class American lifestyle as a team...he's a great support system and wouldn't trade him for the world.

This is my first born, Cameron...She is 9 going on 15. She is a sweet little girl with a temper to match. She wears her heart on her sleeve (read: can be EMOTIONAL!!), but she is mine all mine!!!
This is Emmy, our little monkey...She is my funny, quirky, middle child. She has such a kind heart and is very friendly. She is also very ACTIVE!! and can be frustrating at times, but again, she is all mine!!!

Finally, we have Jack...The Dude, Bubba, The Boy...What a joy it is to have this little guy around...he also, is a funny kid with loads of facial expressions. He loves to explore his world, run, and figure out how things work.

So, thanks for dropping in...more to come...