Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I ♥ TV

I've been wanting to do a post about TV for a while....and I mean, why not? Between the money it cost to buy the four TVs in the house, the electricity to run them, and the cost of the cable that brings my favorite shows, we certainly spend enough money on it. It's a huge part of our lives. Frankly, I'm surprised it's taken me this long to write about our electronic family member. What I want to address specifically is the boundaries we all put on TV viewing.

I know there are a lot of TV Free Households out there, and I think that is awesome and I can completely understand the desire to not have a television. It will never be my choice though. I love my TV oh so much. I love 30 Rock. I love The Weather Channel. I love Spongebob Squarepants. I love it when I'm sick in bed and there is "nothing good on TV" and I find myself watching something trashy and genital warty like Rock of Love or something smart that I've seen a thousand times like The Hunt for Red October. In case you're not following me, I love my TV.

When it comes to what my kids watch I would probably be considered liberal, perhaps even too lenient, by most. My son is allowed to watch just about anything he wants, including raunchier shows like The Cleveland Show or Family Guy. We allow this because my son is a good kid, he can be trusted to not repeat things he hears on TV, and also because we usually watch these shows with him and have no problem discussing some (ahem) unsavory things that may arise. Say what you want about junk TV, but it definitely opens the door for communicating about topics that may not otherwise come up in everyday conversation. Well, at least not everyday conversation with an almost 12 year old.

Of course my way with the boy doesn't work as well with the girl. I made the mistake of letting her watch South Park because I thought for sure she wouldn't understand it, get bored after five minutes, and then fall asleep. Well, my plan backfired and now I have a preschooler running around the house singing "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo." Yeah, not my best work as a mother. There are going to have to be a different set of rules for the girl.

This isn't to say that our household is completely lawless when it comes to television. Even I have my limits:

*I hate the Disney Channel. HATE IT. I hate the phony and unrealistic children, teenagers, and families that abound on that channel. I hate the nauseatingly fake chasteness of Hannah Montana. And don't even get me started on The Jonas Brothers and their purity rings. Barf. I mean it. BARF. It's not that I've ever banned the channel, I've just always passed right on by it when looking for something to watch, and for the most part the kids do the same.

*I hate how Nickelodeon airs shows over and over and over again. For instance, there is a show on Nickelodeon called iCarly. It first aired on September 8, 2007. I don't doubt that I've seen certain episodes 20+ times. Sometimes I'll see the kids watching the same episode for the second or third time in a week. This is about the time I turn off the TV and tell the kids to go find something to do.

*Aside from checking out the weather, I don't watch TV during the day. It's just far too much of a time waste for me. All it takes is one episode of Law and Order to suck me in and the next thing I know I've sat on the couch for five straight hours, having left only once to open a can of garbanzo beans for lunch.

*We cancelled our digital cable. This decision came after I realised the only thing we were watching were Nickelodeon cartoons, albeit on a different channel, that we had already seen dozens of times. Yeah, well worth the extra $20 a month.

*Personally, I try not to just flick through the channels watching crap. If there is nothing on that I really want to watch, I turn the TV off and read a book.

I have to admit that what originally prompted me to write about television was that I keep seeing the commercial for the FLO TV Personal Television. In case you haven't seen it, it shows a boy about preschool age locking himself in the bathroom at home with his personal television. As much as I love my television, I think it's deplorable that a personal TV is being marketed to small children. Why does a child, who is at home, need to barricade himself in the bathroom to watch TV? ( I won't even begin to rant about the fact that the kid is watching The Fairly Oddparents, a Nickelodeon cartoon that's on at least twice a day!)

Which brings me to my final rule:

*No portable TVs and, aside from the occasional video clip, no watching "television" on the computer.

So, now I want to ask you, do you have a TV (or TVs)? If so, are there rules in your house as to what can be watched and when? If you don't have kids, do you have personal rules about your own TV viewing? Of course, no judgements here, I'm just curious.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Random Thoughts

*In case you were wondering (and I know you all were), Jay and I had a great time at the movies on Christmas day. Jay had bought our movie tickets for the morning show in advance and when we got to the theatre we found out that those tickets had been sold to us by mistake and they technically weren't supposed to show any movies until noon. They let us in anyway and except for two other couples, we had the theatre to ourselves. (As a side note, you can't even mention going to the movies on Christmas Day in this house without someone busting out singing Christmas Time for the Jews.)

*Although I haven't gained weight this holiday season, I haven't lost as much as I would have liked. I haven't weighed myself but judging by how my clothes fit, I think I've probably lost about 3 pounds. Within the coming days I plan on being more mindful about what I shove in my face. More fruits and veggies, less candy and baked goods. I also plan on cutting back on my coffee a bit. Right now I drink close to two pots a day and I can only imagine what it's doing to my insides. Even my afternoon beer has been replaced with a small glass of POM.
*Along that line, Jay and I are giving up cheese for the entire month of January. I'm not thrilled about this but I do feel it needs to be done. He and I have gotten way too used to adding cheese to everything, because really everything is better with cheese.

*I have plenty of reading to do.I'm almost done with The Lovely Bones at which point it will be passed on to Dawn so that she can have it read in time for the Open Discussion in February. I am almost giddy about starting next years reading goal.

*Finally, I want to discuss something of a personal nature with all of you: Have bra designers just completely lost their minds?!? I had to go bra shopping the other day. And yes I do mean HAD TO. I only had a few bras left and they could truly only be considered "bras" in the loosest sense of the word. Literally, my nipple hung out of one. Nice, huh?

Bra shopping has never been my favorite thing because I can't find anything that is understated and pretty, yet supportive. So I hadn't bought a new bra in a long time, maybe two years. When I went into the store on Saturday I was shocked at what I was met with. Everything is either dowdy and ugly, or made with the sole purpose of arousing a lover. And the padding is completely OUT.OF.CONTROL! Without looking at the size, you can't tell a B cup from a D cup because they all look as if they have double D's in them already. Also, I don't need bows all over the place or intricate bead work. I just want a bra that can do its job and still be attractive. It would also be a plus if it didn't cost $50.

In the end, I came home with nothing. I did buy eight bras online from a store I don't normally shop from because I think it's overpriced. I can guarantee at least four will be returned. Does anyone else have bra shopping issues? It can't be just me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Year End Reading Wrap Up and Next Year's Goal

(Hello. I hope everyone had a great holiday. I hadn't planned on being back in this space until next week but the excitement around here has died down, the kids are quietly doing their thing, and I've had seven cups of coffee so I have more than enough energy to write a blog post.)

Most of you remember that I reached my reading goal of thirty five books around the middle of the year. I continued reading though and ended up hitting 51 books, not counting The Lovely Bones, which will probably be finished by years end. Here's a run down of what I read this year:

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
2. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
4. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 1) by Jeff Kinney
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 2) by Jeff Kinney
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (book 3) by Jeff Kinney
8. Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion by Mark Vaz
9. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
10. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
11. Camp Foxtrot by Bill Amend
12. Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson
13. Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
14. I'm Perfect You're Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing by Kyria Abrahams
15. Enormously Foxtrot by Bill Amend
16. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
17. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
18. Kissed by an Angel (trilogy) by Elizabeth Chandler
19. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
20. Sliver by Ira Levin
21. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
22. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
23. Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
24. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
25. Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
26. Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint
27. Whistling in the Dark by Leslie Kagen
28. Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of Food by Leslie Miller
29. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
30. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
31. Wrapped Up Foxtrot by Bill Amend
32. One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry
33. Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs
34. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
35. A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs
36. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
37. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
38. At a Crossroads by Kate T Williamson
39. Mississippi Sissy by Kevin Sessums
40. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
41. When I Was a Loser by John McNally
42. Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
43. Little Things by Jeffrey Brown
44. Revenge of the Paste Eaters: Memoirs of a Misfit by Cheryl Peck
45. Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl
46. My Secret: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren
47. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
48. Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl
49. Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
50. Thank You, Lucky Stars by Beverly Donofrio
51. Joe College by Tom Perrotta

When I look back on this years book choices, I am immediately embarrassed because I feel as if I read a lot of fluff, and I did. But looking more closely at the list, I see that I did read a few *real* books too, so mostly I think the list has a pretty good mix.

Worst Book of the Year
I read quite a few clunkers this year but the worst book I read was definitely Whistling in the Dark. UGH. When I think about the me of six months ago trying to trudge through the deadly quicksand of this story only to end no where, I get a pain in my stomach. (You can read my review of it here.)

Best Book of the Year
I'm Perfect, You're Doomed: Tales From a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing completely changed my life. I've mentioned it a few times here but I don't think I ever reviewed it. This book really motivated me to talk more about my life growing up as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

My reading goal for the New Year is going to be to try and get through NPR's List of 100 Best Beach Books. I've only read about 20 books on the list so that means my reading goal for the year would be close to 80 books. (My list, from August, can be found here.) I'm going to go easy on myself though. While I do plan on trying to read the entire list, I'm not going to worry about finishing a book if it becomes clear that it just isn't my cup of tea. For instance, I'm thinking Lord of the Rings isn't going to be my kind of a read, but we'll see. Plus, I also may want to read other books that aren't on the list. So, this is a goal that remains open for changes and modifications and may end up taking longer than a year. I'll see where it takes me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

*New* Bathmat

It's been a long time since I sat at my sewing machine and created something. I know this for a fact because before beginning the project I'm about to share with you, I had to literally dust off my machine. I don't know what my problem was, I just haven't been motivated to sew. Even the fact that the blog world is filled with folks creating beautiful handmade holiday gifts didn't inspire me. But, Monday I got the itch and there is nothing like a little bit of patchwork to lift my spirits.

You all know I love patchwork. Not only do I like the look of it, but I love using scraps that otherwise may end up trashed. I always feel so thrifty and inventive when I Frankensew something out of bits and pieces of other things.

Anyway, the bathmat. I've mentioned before how I'm a bit reticent to buy anything new for my house. I don't love it, I don't want to be here, and I don't want to spend the money. So it should come as no surprise when I tell you that my old bathmat was about six years old. I know, gross huh? I had planned on just using it until we moved and then pitching it in some trash can on my way out of Florida but when I noticed it had small holes in it, I decided something had to be done.

I've seen numerous crafty gals around blog land make their own bathmats so I knew it could be done. Most tutorials I've come across involve just a top of your choosing (in my case patchwork in shades of blue, brown, yellow, and orange) sewn onto an old towel.Although I like that idea, I kinda wanted to take it up a notch. Plus, I didn't have an old towel. So, I sewed my top onto my old bathmat. I should mention that the old bathmat didn't have a rubbery back, it was a reversible one similar to these, although mine hadn't looked that nice in a while.

Then I backed it with a larger piece of fabric:And folded over the edges twice to conceal all the seams and to make a border: I didn't come up with that idea on my own. I originally saw it on a floor mat project in Patchwork Style, which is a book I have that provides endless inspiration although I've yet to actually make anything from it. This seems to be a recurring thing in my life when it comes to craft books. I would like to think it's because I'm smart and crafty enough to modify patterns to suit my life, but it's probably just because I'm too lazy to follow instructions.

Ok...the details: *Very easy project. I worked on it on and off for about two days. All things considered, it probably took about 3 hours.

*The hardest part was the border. Getting the measurements right was a pain in the ass for me because I hate numbers. Plus, my poor machine didn't enjoy sewing through that many layers of fabric. It jammed up a few times and a needle was sacrificed for the cause.

*I already had all the supplies on hand so it cost nothing. Yay.

*The colors are a bit girly, so I wasn't sure if Jay would like it. Fortunately, when it comes to decorating he couldn't care less what I do around here so the worst I expected was complete indifference. I think his exact words were: "Hey, it looks way better than the old one." Also, he said it was nice to see me sewing again. Because he's sweet like that.

I probably won't be back here until after the holidays. Although I have things I want to blog about, the interwebs just don't seem to be the place to be right now. So whatever you celebrate, have a fabulous time doing it and I'll be back on Monday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Random Thoughts

*You'd be wise to not believe me when I tell you that I bought this issue of Men's Journal for Jay.The movie comes out on Christmas Day and I can't even express how excited I am to see it. (Jay on the other hand? Not so much. But yet he's going with me. Isn't he awesome?) I don't think I could be more excited if I was in it myself. So many of you have commented that you think of me whenever you see Mr. Baldwin and I think that is so sweet and funny, but I sometimes wonder if it means I've exposed too much of my crazy. Ultimately though, I don't care. I think you all know I'm harmless.

*I'm enjoying The Lovely Bones and I think we'll definitely have a lot to discuss in February. I'm glad so many of you are up for the discussion. I always feel a little vulnerable when I throw an idea out there like that. I'll be posting reminders in the coming weeks about it.

*After seeing this gorgeous picture of ribbon candy, I announced to Jay that not only had I never had any, but I had never even seen or heard of it. Because he's awesome (have I mentioned that?), he surprised me with a box. Most of it's gone now so you could say I enjoyed it, but I do think it's probably a dentist's nightmare.

*I've really been wanting to share the Day Zero Project with you all. I first heard about it from Ducky and I think it's a really smart alternative to the whole New Year's resolution thing. The general idea is that you make a list of 101 tasks to be completed (or changes to make), and you have 1001 days to make your goals. I love this idea and would sign up myself but my main goal of not spending money/paying down debt/getting the hell out of Florida is somewhat all consuming. If I were to sign up, all of my tasks/goals would have to be of the free variety, which is possible I guess, but a challenge I might not be up for.

*One last link I wanted to mention is Words to Shoot By. Every few weeks a group of photographers are given a word and they have to shoot a triptych of photos showing their interpretation of the word. Very pretty and very inspiring.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Anyone Up For Another Book Discussion?

Ever since the success (or what I consider success) of our Open Discussion on The Poisonwood Bible, I've been itching to do it again and have been keeping my eyes open for books I think would work well. Books that are not only interesting, but have permeated pop culture to the point where enough folks have either read the book, wouldn't mind reading the book, or at the very least know the basic plot of the of the book.

Tomorrow I plan to start reading The Lovely Bones and I think it would be perfect for an internet based discussion. I know many of you have read it already and I'm kinda late to the game on this one, but would you be interested in having a chat about it?

I thought we'd have the Open Discussion sometime in early February. I know February 2010 seems like a long time from now but in actuality it's only about six weeks and I want to make sure that those who want to, have enough time to read the book. Plus, I'm fully aware that most of you have a lot going on right now and probably don't want to start a book within the next week.

So, if this sounds fun to you please leave a comment letting me know you'd be open to participating. If not, it may just be me and Peggy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I've Got Balls

After Sunday's trip to the outlet mall, I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen. (Now that I think about it, I had quite the productive day. This probably explains yesterday's urge to slack and do nothing all day.)

For lunch we had homemade tomato soup and BLT's. The tomato soup is from Amy Karol but the idea to combo it with BLT's was all Dani.I want to stress that before Sunday no one in my family liked tomato soup, but somehow this version won them over. I think the BLT's put them in a good mood.

Later in the afternoon, I read this post from Mari and I had to make rum balls. Had to. The only problem was that I had no rum and I live in a town that thinks it's a sin to buy and sell hard liquor on Sunday. I do have scotch whiskey though. Same difference.Except for the above mentioned substitution, I pretty much stuck to this recipe.

This seems like a good time to roll out the annual showing of Pete Schweddy's Balls:

Man, I never get tired of that clip.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Final Update on 2009 Resolutions

Sunday morning we got up early to make the hour long drive to the outlet mall. If you recall, aside from a few basics, Jay and I haven't bought any new clothes this year. Technically I gave up on my New Year's Resolution when I bought some tee shirts about mid year, but I still really wanted to make it through the year without buying new clothes, and for the most part I feel as if I was a success.

Even when I hit the outlet mall, I didn't go crazy. I went in knowing what I needed-a sweater and a new pair of jeans-and I left with just that. I didn't waste time looking at things I didn't need and, other than a quick once over, I didn't hang out at the sale rack convincing myself to buy something I didn't love just because it was $7.99. So, I do think that my attitude about shopping has changed for the better. I no longer have the "stock up and save" mentality that used to get me into trouble and fill my closet with garbage I wouldn't wear.

Moving on to my other resolutions:

*No credit card usage. Sigh. This one requires explanation. For the most part, we did make a sizable dent in our debt this year, which was a good thing. But then we had a financially trying summer and the credit cards had to be brought out a couple times. I hated having to do this. But in our defense, they were actual emergencies, not "I need to go to Borders and buy five books" emergencies. So again, even though I cannot claim 100% success, I do feel good about what we were able to accomplish and our general mindset when it comes to credit.

*Saying "Yes" to the kids more. (Not like Yes I'll buy that toy, but Yes I'll play that game.)This one came much easier than I ever imagined. When we had the aforementioned rough summer, our family grew closer and we began spending more time together. The yeses came naturally, with little thought or work. Complete success.

*Making the doll on the cover of Stitched in Time.
Yeah, it didn't happen. I'd like to be able to completely blame this on Dawn since she actually had my book for three-fourths of the year. But really, I just didn't feel like making it. Maybe next year.

In conclusion, even though it seems like we failed, I'm mostly happy about what we were able to do, especially financially. As for next years resolutions, we are sticking with the No Credit Card thing because we really need to eliminate most of our debt to be able to move out of Florida comfortably. Plus, in all honesty, not using credit cards is almost a way of life for us now. Also, I still plan on sticking to the No New Clothes thing, although the rules won't be as strict. There won't be any frivolous clothes shopping but things will be bought on an as-needed basis.

Have you given any thought to your New Years Resolutions?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shadow Play

Thursday night the weather was chilly (well, chillier than the 82 degrees that it was today) so Jay decided to light up the fire pit. At first I thought the kids wouldn't be that into it. Our usual fireside pastime couldn't happen because we had no marshmallows to toast and no meats on a stick to grill. But, as it would turn out, it was our best fire ever.

The flames grew high and it wasn't long before the kids realized that if they stood between the pit and the house, they could create some pretty awesome shadows. Prepubescent boy humor:
The girl's shadow here seems very Jessica Rabbit to me:
We stayed outside for a large chunk of the night. When we finally went inside, the kids were calm and the girl fell asleep immediately. We may have to do this more often.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Talk to the Moose

I've always loved Gap commercials. Remember the Gap Swing ads from a decade ago? Loved 'em! Anyway, Gap always seems to pull out all the stops during the holiday season and this year is no exception. Have you seen the Gap Kids ad with the little girls? If not, here it is:

I love everything about this ad. I love the way the girls are dressed, all bright and colorful and mismatched. They look like, well, little girls. I love the way the choreography isn't 100% spot on, like maybe they worked the whole routine out in the basement. I love it when (around the 0:21 mark) the one girl shrieks at the mere thought of having to wear frilly dresses. Now I know it's just a commercial, but I love the way the girls want to dress like this. Call me a prude, but I don't want to see the mid-drift of an eight year old, and I certainly don't want to see her wearing sweat pants that say Hot Stuff or Sassy across the butt.

I write all of this because, when I was searching for the commercial online, I found this piece over on, where they say the add is "gross" and cite it as one more example of the way our society sexualizes little girls. Personally, I couldn't disagree more. To me they just look like little girls doing the goofy things that little girls do. (Not to mention the fact that they are completely covered from the neck down.)

Will you share your thoughts on the matter? Is the commercial icky? Do I need to relinquish my feminist card because I enjoy this ad so much? Whatever the case, I think Gap picked a winner again because I want to spend my mortgage money on comfy sweaters and cute boots.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A New Beginning

After weighing the pros and cons, Jay and I decided that last Friday was to be the girl's final day of pre school. This decision was made after a lot of soul searching. On the one hand, the girl loved school and was doing great (and I loved my little bit of alone time.) On the other, mornings were needlessly stressful and afternoons were hectic and filled with a lot of yelling.The girl would come home from school wired and what little one-on-one time I had with her was unenjoyable. I felt as if we were both missing some great opportunities to bond.So, we are settling into a new rhythm around here. We've played, done some learning activities, and vegged out in front of the tv. As I type this out, she's in the other room playing independently, which I love. Already it feels as if the days are less stressful. I'm excited about our new routine. Unfortunately, the dog doesn't share my enthusiasm.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The weather was beautiful on Sunday (chilly, no rain but not too sunny) so we decided to take the children and canines to the park. In the above photo, the girl is talking to and "looking" at her imaginary friend Kirby. (This, of course, caused another mother in the swing area to eye us strangely.)

Liz Lemon gets plenty of exercise at home but she needs the occasional romp at the park or she starts to act like a spaz.We don't always take Sadie on these outings because she is somewhat anti-social. She basically spent the entire time walking the perimeter of the fenced area trying to find a way out.The adventure ended when Rufus the un-neutered Bloodhound showed up. This is not the first time he's cut short a trip to the dog park. His owner, who I might add appears to be slightly off his rocker, says that Rufus just "wants to play." I liken this statement to one made by a rapist insisting that his victim "was asking for it." My girls are not interested in the way Rufus "plays."

In other weekend news:

*Thank you for all your well wishes concerning the boy's illness. Thankfully, his bug was of the 24 hour variety.

*I baked a pumpkin pie with a homemade graham cracker crust. It's delicious but not real photogenic. I'm going to have to play around with the recipe a bit to perfect it. This will not be a problem, in fact I look forward to the challenge.

*Jay and I began watching Season 4 of Weeds on dvd. It's a lot different from previous seasons and I'm not sure if I'm loving it. Time will tell.

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sickness and Weight

The boy is sick. Again. We are usually a healthy bunch but we've had flu like symptoms numerous times this year. Jay was sick earlier in the week. The girl complained of a tummy ache too but nothing much came from this. I'm the only one who really hasn't been bitten by the bug. Which leads me to wonder: Does my weight have anything to do with this?

I've mentioned before that I'm trying to drop a few pounds that I've put on this year, but what I didn't mention was that I'm still technically in my ideal weight range---just a bit higher on the scale than I would like to be. A few sources I've seen define "ideal weight" as the weight you should be for optimum health and warding off sickness.

Before my shower last night I was looking in the mirror and there is so much about my ass that is just wrong. When I look at my reflection, I see a lot that I don't like. But if I wanted to put a positive spin on it, I could say that my giant fat ass is helping my body ward off sickness.

In related news:The peppermint bark has been made. The above picture represents all that's left. I'm glad it went over well because now I don't feel obligated to eat it all myself.

I used Paula Deen's recipe. (Since I don't like giant peppermint pieces in my chocolate, I crushed the candy canes a bit more than Paula suggested.) I have to admit that Paula normally scares me and I tend to avoid her recipes but this one was pretty straight forward. (In other words it didn't call for 6 cups of melted butter or half a tub of shortening.) I am interested in trying this layered peppermint bark recipe though, maybe next time. I also want to make another pumpkin pie. Only this time I'm doing it the Dani way, with a thick ol' homemade graham cracker crust.

But first, I have a boy to nurse.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Things have been quiet around here.....well, relatively. I thought I'd share with you a few of the things occupying my time lately.

Coloring:: The advent coloring sheets over on elsie marley. A different coloring sheet everyday. The girl and I have begun to look forward to them.

Reading:: Dead and Gone. The ending had me irritated. Far too many faeries had to die. (Does that sentence makes me sound like a complete lunatic?)

Smelling:: Mrs. Meyer's Peppermint scented hand lotion. It makes me crave peppermint bark. I may have to make some. Soon.

Working on:: Sight words with the girl.I'm tickled that my youngest is excited to learn to read. Not to play favorites, but the boy was a bit of a drag in this area.

These boxes, hand decorated by Dawn.The blue one is for the girl. The houndstooth one is mine.I feel as if the pictures don't do them justice. They're gorgeous in person. The girl refers to her box as her "secret box" and it's filled with special items like her Princess cell phone and my old makeup.

The Big Bang Theory on dvd. The boy is a huge fan of this show and the dvds were a holiday gift that he opened early. I think that this show, like Spongebob and 30 Rock, is going to be one that I will come to have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of.

The rain. It's pouring here. I love the sound, I love the smell. If it keeps up I'll sleep very well tonight.