Thursday, July 31, 2008

Final prize pic and THE WINNERS!!!

I'm still WAY WAY behind on everything. You'd think a week to catch up on what needs done after a week away would be reasonable, but it is NOT. I have not caught up much AT ALL. I didn't want to leave my contest entrants hanging, though, AND I received my fourth (AWESOME) prize and wanted to show you all, so I am taking a break from playing catch-up to post this. [Next week (hopefully): vacation pictures! Edge of your seat stuff, no?]

First of all, my totally awesome and amazing prize from Whimsy:

There was a drawstring bag full of BEAUTIFUL cards (is there NO END to the talent of bloggers?), pretty pens, stickers and ribbons and fancy brads, a flowery pencil case that I KNOW one of my daughters will want, candy and animal cookies, a magnetic pad AND a gorgeous journal. FABULOUS prize, isn't it? I LOVE it! As you can see from the picture, one of the varieties of candy included was Jujy Fruits. As you can ALSO see (if you look closely), the box of Jujy Fruits is opened. That is because, upon opening the package, I immediately opened the Jujy Fruits and ate a handful. Then I spent the next six hours extracting them from my teeth. Then I went back for more. What is it about Jujy Fruits that makes them worth all that teeth cleaning work and then a day or two of sore jaw muscles? I do not know. But there is something about them. The Mike & Ike's are next! And pink lemonade lollipops! I've never seen that flavor before, but it sounds wonderful! Am I supposed to be sharing with my kids? Oops. THANK YOU, WHIMSY!!!

And NOW, what you've all been waiting for... *drumroll*: THE WINNERS of my mega-PiF contest!!!! The winner of the first prize is... Danielle-lee from A Little Left of Lost!!! Prize number two goes to... the cubicle's backporch from her blog of the same name!!! The third prize is awarded to... Katie, my most loyal lurker!!! The fourth and final (but not really) prize will soon be on its way to... Adriane of Flea D'Lure!!! Ladies, I will be emailing you and/or commenting on your most recent post SOON, or feel free to email me at the address in the sidebar if you read this before I make contact. Also, don't forget that there is a book of your choice from my Bookmooch inventory included in the prize. Please go take a look and let me know what you want. Katie, I'll need you to email me - I actually think I have an email from you from a couple months ago, but I would have to go through about 2000 emails to find it, so have pity on me. If I don't hear from you in a few days, I'll take on that herculean task, but please don't make me. :)

There was also a bonus prize of children's books. That prize goes to... moo of Moo's Moo!!! Moo, all that contacting stuff I mentioned above, etc., etc., you know the drill.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lurky week

I'm back from vacation and ALMOST done with all the dirty vacation laundry, so I am starting to tackle the over 200 posts in my reader. I started reading and left a couple comments, then realized that due to the sheer number of posts, I will probably have to mostly lurk this week while I catch up, so forgive me the lack of commenting on your hilarious and/or touching posts this week. I will be announcing the winners of my mega-contest soon, so stay tuned. Also, in response to a question from susiewearsthepants: Thanks for asking; feel free to link. That goes for anyone who is wondering. Thanks!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prizes, prizes and more prizes AND a multi-winner PiF

Not too long ago, back when I announced the winner of my contest in the Group Effort PiF contests, I whined about my always a loser, never a winner status. Over the next couple of days, I discovered that I would have to eat my words, as my status changed in a MAJOR way. I won not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR, yes FOUR contests. UNBELIEVABLE!! I won Pantsfreesia's contest, Whimsey's contest, Parkingathome's contest AND Amelia Sprout's contest. I can now be considered certifiably LUCKY!

So far I have received three of my four prizes, and as I am going to be incommunicado for about a week beginning tomorrow evening, I've decided to go ahead with my Four-in-One Pay it Forward contest. In addition, I have several children's chapter books of which we have duplicates. So there will be a BONUS drawing for those who would also like to enter to win those. So really there are FIVE prizes here, and thus your odds of winning SOMETHING are pretty darn good. THIS TIME, I have assembled the prizes PRIOR TO the contest. This is mainly due to the bargain shelf FEEDING FRENZY I had last night at the bookstore.

But let's get to the PICTURES, shall we? I must first say that there are some mighty talented bloggers out there, as evidenced by some of the handmade items I received. First off, my prize from Pantsfreesia was a FABULOUS handmade tote bag with matching book covers, one sized for a hardback book and one sized for a paperback:

AWESOME, don't you agree? Next up, I received this BEAUTIFUL and amazingly timely prize from Parkingathome:

I LOVE Willow Tree stuff AND my tenth wedding anniversary is in a couple weeks. My plan is to hand this to my husband and say, "Look what I won for you to give me." The third prize that arrived was from Amelia Sprout, who makes some really cool stuff. I received an ADORABLE hot pink sock monkey, complete with a stuffed banana on the side (that sounds dirty, yeah I'm 12), a knit ball and a jar of delicious honey:

Such great prizes! And I still have one coming! Thank you all! This was so much fun! To repay the kindness (these were pay it forward contests after all), I will now move into the contest portion of this post. Unfortunately, I am woefully lacking in the area of talent of any sort, but particularly the crafty sort, so there will not be any handmade items coming from yours truly. However, I offer the following four prizes:

Prize 1:

Prize 2:

Prize 3:

Prize 4:

Each of these prizes will also come with a book that the winner will select from my Bookmooch inventory. In addition to the four winners that will be chosen, a winner will be chosen for a BONUS prize:

These books are those which, for some reason, we have duplicates. Some of them are brand spanking new, others are used. I realize that some of you do not have kids and may not be interested in the bonus prize, so I'll work the entries like this:

1) To enter the contest to win one of the main four prizes, simply leave a comment on this post. If you don't know what to say, tell me a neat thing you did on vacation this summer (or last summer if you haven't gone anywhere this year). Specifically, I am curious about fun and not too expensive things to do with kids, but I'm interested in fun things you did even if you have no kids.

2) If you also want to enter to win the children's books, just mention that in your comment and you will be entered in the contest for the main prizes AND the contest for the bonus prize.

Now technically, if I were to do these contests separately, it is conceivable that one of you could win multiples of the main four prizes. However, since the prizes are so similar, there will be four different winners chosen. In other words, if your name is chosen the to win the first prize, it will not go back into the hat for the subsequent drawings. (Metaphorically speaking, since I will use a random number generator.) EXCEPT in the case of the bonus prize. All commentors who express an interest in the bonus prize will be entered to win the bonus prize EVEN IF they won one of the main four prizes. Got it? Okay then, comment away...

[EDITED TO ADD: Oops! Forgot to say that entries (comments) will be accepted until noon on July 28th.]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

PiF prize reveal

Ecchs got in touch and I have assembled her prize to be mailed tomorrow (I hope - I'll certainly do my best). Here it is:

It consists of a notepad, a journal (I LOVE these little journals. I don't actually KEEP a journal, yet I LOVE them.), a mechanical pencil covered in girly accessories like shoes and handbags, a set of 10 assorted notecards that I received from the artist that I can't bring myself to write on because I think they should be framed, and a book that Ecchs selected from my Bookmooch inventory, "Couplehood" by Paul Reiser.

I am planning (once again, I HOPE - I'll certainly do my best) to post my next PiF contest tomorrow (with pictures of the prizes I've received so far). If it doesn't happen then, it definitely will on Thursday. This contest will have FOUR winners, so be sure to enter! Once it's up, it will be open for entries until noon on July 28th, and I will announce winners the following week.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Playing with perspective

[I am reposting this from my old blog. It was originally posted in May. While I retained the original posting date for most of my transferred posts, I decided to let this one be current. I really like it and wanted to share with the many new readers I have since my move. Oh, and no photoshopping was involved, other than cropping.]

What did YOU do this weekend?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Haircuts and toddler weirdness

I took Jo and Beth to get haircuts this morning. They both wanted to go shorter than what they had been wearing for the past year or so. This was a HUGE relief to me with Jo, as brushing her long curly hair was becoming increasingly irritating, what with all the screaming because of the tangles. HOWEVER, cutting curly hair is DANGEROUS, as it springs up much shorter than you would expect. So after emphasizing repeatedly that we wanted shoulder-length WHEN IT WAS DRY, I let the stylist have at it. I did talk Jo out of going back to bangs. She wanted to because Meg had gone back to bangs about a month ago and had a really cute haircut. I couldn't help but think that it would be a mistake and then we'd have to go through the HELL of growing them out again. Anyway, she ended up with a really cute haircut:

It actually doesn't look very curly in the picture; you'll just have to trust me on that.

Beth has the exact OPPOSITE of curly hair. She decided to get a little bob, but has also decided that it is TIME FOR ME TO EXPERIENCE BANG-GROWING HELL YET AGAIN, so though her hair was cut, her bangs were not, leaving her looking a bit... unfinished, but still cute:

Amy decided that she MUST WEAR SWIMMING GOGGLES today. Everywhere. So she wore them to get the other girls' haircuts, where I must've said, "Yeah, she won't take them off," a million times in response to "cute goggles" comments. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture, as she DID finally take them off when we got home, but here is a picture of what she insisted on wearing all day a couple of days ago:

Letters and numbers

We have a big bucket full of those plastic magnetic letters and numbers. There are both upper-case and lower-case letters and the numbers from zero to nine. Amy, my 20-month-old, loves to play with them. She dumps them on the floor and then picks them up one at a time and drops them back in the bucket. So, about three weeks ago, give or take a couple days, I walked into my kitchen and found her doing something that left me a little stunned. She was sitting in front of a big pile of the plastic letters and numbers, picking them up one by one, NAMING EACH ONE CORRECTLY, and dropping it into the bucket. This is the same child who didn't even speak two words as of her 18-month check-up. She talks a blue-streak now, but two months ago there was nothing. Anyway, I was stunned. I sat down on the floor with her and slowly determined that she knew ALL of the upper-case letters and some (not many) of the lower-case. She also knew ALL the numbers from one through nine (calls zero "Oh"). So I'm asking you: who says TV is bad for kids?

I tried for the last few weeks to get it on video, but whenever she sees me pull the camera out, she runs over to see the little screen, so I've been unsuccessful.

And totally apropos of nothing, here's a picture of our cat. His name is Milo.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Swamp thing invades ER

Jess posted today about her ER experience yesterday with her fiance, and asked about ours. My comment was getting way too long, so I made it a post:

I've been to the ER more times than I can count, for myself and/or my kids. The best story, I guess, was when I had to go in the middle of the night one night for chicken pox.

As a kid and teen, I was immune to chicken pox. This was chalked up to the fact that my mother had contracted chicken pox when I was 6 weeks old, and though I never broke out, they figured I had had it as well. But (and this is the reason why the vaccine now has a booster for an older child), a mild case that doesn't cause actual pox does not provide sufficient immunity to last throughout adulthood. So when my oldest got the chicken pox around age 3, so did I.

Since I was sick, Meg's dad (we were divorced) kept her. I got sicker and sicker (chicken pox is NOT something you want to have as an adult). My face looked like something out of some kind of swamp monster movie, red and puffy and oozing green pus. It was truly nasty. But what finally drove me to the ER was the fact that I could not swallow ANYTHING, not even water, without debilitating pain, and I knew I was getting severely dehydrated.

I couldn't talk, so I wrote a note to show to the guy at the ER entrance (they don't normally let you park right there; it's for drop-off only. I was going to grad school at the university affiliated with the hospital, so I was very familiar with it). When I pulled up and the guy walked over to my car window, he literally RECOILED at the sight of me. As in jumped back and obviously considered running away. When he crept back over close enough to read my note, he let me park right there and go right in.

They took me right back because I had a contagious disease, but really I think it was because they didn't want anyone in the waiting room to see me. The only room available had one of those short OB/GYN tables in it, so I crawled up on that and they gave me an IV with fluids and pain medication. The only thing I remember anyone saying is a nurse saying to the doctor, "It's too late for Zovirax, huh?" which pissed me off because I had called the doctor's office at the first sign of the bumps on my torso, told them I had chicken pox and they said I just had to ride it out. I didn't realize there was MEDICATION that would make the case MILDER. I fell asleep and spent the night on the OB/GYN table, with my feet in the stirrups. When I woke up, a nurse came in to tell me they had done a little research on me and found out that my mom worked upstairs in Cardiology, so they had called her and were sending me home with her. Yes, they called my mommy. I was 26 years old! But at this point, I was relieved to have someone else taking care of me. I went home with my mom and spent two days lying in bed and sucking on popsicles. It took much longer than that for me to decide against going to the doctor's office and demanding the rolling of heads.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Reality TV contestant

I was going to save this question for my MEGA MEGA MEGA PiF contest coming up soon, but I want to go ahead and ask. If you could be on a Reality TV show (of the competition variety), which one would it be?

I am DYING to be on The Mole. I want to be the actual mole, not just a contestant on the show. I'd be good at it. I have a trustworthy face. A lawyer once told me that I had the kind of face and personality she liked to put on the stand because people would believe whatever came out of my mouth. People just don't see me as underhanded. So I could totally do it.

Another show I'd like to try is "The Amazing Race." That just looks FUN. I'd need a partner, though. My husband couldn't handle the zip lining across the canyon of death type stuff. He's not a fan of heights and/or roller-coaster type thingies. I, on the other hand LOVE and ADORE roller-coaster type thingies. So who wants to partner up? Under our names, they could put "Blog buddies."

Move outta the way, I'm jumping too!

Okay, so everyone's twittering was confusing the hell out of me because it all seemed like one-sided conversations. Like eavesdropping on a phone call and you can only hear the person in the other room and not the person in the other location, when what you REALLY want to do is pick up the handset and listen to everything. So I PICKED UP THE FRICKIN' HANDSET PEOPLE! Shoot me now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Beth has discovered yet ANOTHER ingenious way to injure herself

This evening during dinner Beth ran upstairs to go to the bathroom. She had only been up there for a second before the following took place between her upstairs and me downstairs:

Beth (screaming): Mooooooooommmmmmm!!!!!!

Me: What?

Beth: Come up here!

Me: Why?

Beth: I hurt myself!

Me: What happened?

Beth: I bumped my nose on the toilet.

Me: [Certain I must've misunderstood.] ... Um... what?

Beth: I bumped my nose on the toilet.

Me: [Not wanting to even ask, I mean, is that even possible? How do you bump your nose on the toilet?] How did you bump your nose on the toilet?

Beth: I was bending over looking at my feet and I bumped my nose...

Transfer complete

Whew! I have done all the transferring I'm going to do this week. This time around I transferred posts having to do with food and a reading challenge I did. I also transferred birth stories [ sorry, shamelessly sassy, don't read them ;) ]. A couple posts that may have been linked to from the ones I transferred got transferred as well, while a couple others just aren't worth the bother. I DID NOT get my perspective photos over, which I still want to do, so look for those next week or later.

Also, I still need Ecchs to contact me. Thanks!


I want to apologize to anyone who has my old blog still in their reader and saw a bunch of posts pop up. I reposted some empty posts today. You can ignore them and delete that blog from your reader. I posted my absolutely final post there today. I am still working on my transfer for this week. Hopefully I'll have them posted today sometime.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Transfer announcement

As many of you know, I recently moved to this blog from one that was no longer anonymous and am in the process of transferring posts from my old blog. This week I am going to be transferring posts with recipes and/or food. Also, I think I'll go ahead and bring over that post with the photos where I was playing with perspective; they were fun. So, once again, this is your heads-up: Don't panic if you suddenly see that I have published a large number of new posts, most will actually be old posts.

Also, I still do not have contact information for Ecchs, who won my Pay it Forward contest. Please, if you are Ecchs or if you know Ecchs, put us in touch with one another. Thank you!

Friday, July 4, 2008

And the winner is...

This whole Group Effort Pay it Forward contest thing was FUN! I entered EVERY SINGLE ONE in the hopes that I break my streak of never winning anything chosen by a random-choosy-type-thingy, be it a hat or a number generator. My streak began the moment of my conception and has continued to the present day. I blame my mother, who only has to CONSIDER entering a contest to win it. The fates are evening things out with me.

ANYWAY, the only contest I DIDN'T enter was mine, because while it wasn't SPECIFICALLY stated that we couldn't enter our own (at least I don't think it was), it seemed somewhat WRONG to do so. Mainly because, IF I WON, my integrity would be called into question. And we wouldn't want that now, would we? It would seriously hamper my ability to lie, cheat and/or steal in the future, and I don't like to limit my future endeavors. Also, I would be tempted to make the prize for winning this contest a COMPLETE KITCHEN REMODEL!!! Which I can't afford. SO, I didn't enter, but HOLY CRAPOLY, FIFTY-TWO people did. Let me just say that 52 different people have NEVER EVER even BEEN here in one week before, let alone COMMENTED on a post. So thank you all for stopping by, I hope you'll be back. I know that I found a lot of new places to visit during those elusive moments of free time (like when I should be doing laundry or dishes or something).

What I'm going to do is head on over to the random number generator now, so sit tight a minute...

OK! I'm back, and the random number is... drumroll please... EIGHT!!! And the person who left the eighth comment is... Ecchs!!! Now all I have is a link to a profile that doesn't give any contact information, so I hope Ecchs comes back to see who the winner is. If you know who Ecchs is, please help us contact one another. And Ecchs, if you see this, EMAIL ME (address in the sidebar) - YOU WON!!! I don't know what yet, but YOU WON!!! YAY!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Inane rambling thoughts...

Religion fascinates me. And the terminology and practices do as well. Historical and theological reasons for those practices, whether something is tradition or dogma, the fact that so many know so little about whatever religion they practice - all of that fascinates me. I try to avoid discussion of religion in this forum (or anywhere for that matter) because it is a topic extremely personal to so many. HOWEVER, I've been thinking...

Isn't it funny that only a Catholic is ever considered "lapsed"? Even the definition of the word lapsed from the online Miriam-Webster dictionary uses "lapsed Catholic" as the example of the use of the word.

But the definition is not exclusive of other uses, so why have I never heard of a lapsed Lutheran? Or a lapsed Methodist? What about a lapsed Hindu? Lapsed Buddist? Muslim? Jew? Certainly I've never heard of a lapsed satanist. If someone doesn't believe in any sort of god whatsoever, and then he changes his mind, could he be called a lapsed atheist? If someone finally made a commitment one way or the other, would he be a lapsed agnostic?

And I've only ever heard of a Christian being "born again." When really that would be more fitting for a Hindu.

These are the things that go on in my head. Triggered by someone's simple use of "lapsed Catholic." Used to be, I would just think this stuff and go on about my day, but NOW I can subject you all to my inane rambling thoughts. And ask: What inane rambling thoughts do you have? And if you were a lapsed something, what would it be? I'm most definitely a lapsed worker-outer. And a lapsed healthy eater. I really need to fix that.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is it an illness?

After spending HOURS entering contests and mentally noting all these great new blogs to go back and peruse when I have a chance, I FINALLY entered them ALL and am now ready to post something new today. Oh, wait, I just refreshed and there are MORE, so gotta go. I'll leave you with this to ponder:

Illness, or reasonable fear of store running out of yummy creamers? In my defense, two of them say "Limited Edition."