Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Skinny on the Apple iPad

Hey everyone!  I asked my husband to guest post today because he is an Apple expert and has been reading everything he can get  his hands on about the iPad.  I told him to explain it like he was taling to me,  a domestic goddess and savvy  blogger....just like many of you are.  So...I bring you ...Calvin! 


My wife asked me to digest much of what I have seen, read and heard about the iPad. There is a lot of material out there and varying opinions. I must admit that at first glance, I just had to have one right now. However, after Steve Jobs' aura of appeal wore off, I had to consider just how I would use this product. I intend to answer that question, but first I must address the name iPad.

Some critics of the iPad claim that the name suggests it should be found in the feminine products isle at your local supermarket. I must admit that I giggled quietly to myself when Steve confirmed the name. Yet what is in a name? How many recall that when Apple first announced the iPod, that it was difficult to understand how the name had anything to do with music. Unless you have to be living in a cave for the past five years, you know iPod and music player are synonymous. I suspect in five more years the word iPad will replace Laptop, and Netbook will be as ubiquitous as Eight Track Tapes.

One interesting thing to consider is that iPod and iPad are close siblings. The editors of Macworld magazine remarked that the similarity is one letter away from a typographical error. There may be a deep-seeded reason as to why they are so close. Imagine one of those cave dwellers stepping into an Apple Store for the first time wanting to buy an iPod and walking out with an iPad simply due to a thick Southern accent. Only time will tell if there is some grand marketing strategy at play.

So what is the iPad? Simple, it is a larger cousin to the iPhone. It runs the iPhone OS instead of a Macintosh OS. The difference is that you cannot run the same kind of software that you may have on your MacBook, iMac or MacBook Pro. Therefore, it will not likely be a good candidate for replacing your current computer, if you want features like video editing, video conferencing, and the ability to run multiple applications at one time.

However, if you are happy with the applications that are available on the App Store for the iPhone, this product may be for you. If on the other hand, you don't like iPhone applications because they are too small to get real work done, this device still may be for you. Apple showed some very cool demonstrations of their iWork applications, i.e. Pages, Numbers and Keynote. I was blown away by the functionality and ease of use. Even the basic applications like e-mail, contacts and Safari were vast improvements over the iPhone. The new Calendar application was better than what is on the Mac. But the reason I said it still might be the device for you stems from what developers will do with all that additional screen space and multi-finger controls. I suspect they will be amazing.

So to answer the question I opened with, I think the line of iPods, iPhones, iPads and MacBooks will be akin to skateboards, bicycles, sports cars, and sports utility vehicles. What I mean is that many of us have multiple modes of transportation, some for fun, daily use and heavy lifting. iPods my be great for that daily run, iPhones for most needs on the go, but not for catching up on your reading or seriously surfing the web. The iPad could be a daily device that will get you where you need to go, but like a sports car it is not convenient to carry your whole family and all your luggage and pulling a boat. The SUV is much better for that. If you are a current Apple fan, I suspect that once you actually hold one of these in your hand, and you realize that the device is under $500, it may just be too difficult to not want one.

With all the iPad does, this device could replace the need for a laptop altogether. But for others, I suspect it will be a handy device for travel, leisure, and quick reference. The iPad can be a dynamic picture frame on your coffee table. Grab it to look up what is on TV and control your AppleTV. No need for a Kindle to read a book in bed or a separate device to watch a double feature on a cross country flight. Access recipes while in the kitchen, take it to the John to read Glamor or Sports Illustrated. No need for a GameBoy to play games. This device does it all.

If you are like my wife and me, I think we access IMDB on a daily basis when some actor shows up on a show who looks familiar, but we cannot remember from where. The iPad would be far more convenient than going to a desktop Mac or even the iPhone. The iPad may also be quite handy when shopping or updating your BLOG while on vacation or that very important blogging conference. And you can plug in accessories via a cable or Bluetooth. How about a full keyboard for some serious data entry or driving a big screen projector for an important business presentation.

The only features the iPad lacks for me, that would replace my MacBook Pro is the ability to play World of Warcraft and video conferencing with the grand parents. I imagine that some day the iPad will do these things better than a laptop, but for now I can't replace my main computer. I suspect that Apple has many great plans for this slick device and that someday the laptop will be replaced by the iPad form factor. One thing I can say for sure is that my children still cannot use a computer, they lack the hand eye coordination to operate the mouse and keyboard, but I bet they could use an iPad right out of the box to play games and even learn letters and numbers after Daddy loads some quick apps from the App Store. After all, they can use my iPhone with ease.

I think the future is bright for the iPad, and I think it will sell with its low price. As word gets out that NetBooks are inexpensive, they are really cheap underpowered laptop imitators that lack the speed and sex appeal that come with an iPad. And other Windows tablets are simply Windows PCs with a touch screen and not a new way of thinking about computing or distributing software, books, music, and more. I disagree with the naysayers that think that this product will not appeal to a wider audience. When you compare how many devices this single device replaces and add up those costs, the iPad will be the big price winner. So yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and I am sure that we will be adding an iPad to our Macintosh family in the near future.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them...leave a comment with your question and I'll answer it in the comments.

EDITED:  Some of you have commented on Apple having a monthly fee to use 3G. There are three things I will mention.

First, if you are using iPad primarily at home and you have WiFi, you may not need 3G.

Second, there are two 3G plans, one allows 250 Megabits of data at $15 per month. The other is unlimited use for $30 a month. For light use outside a home, the $15 plan my be sufficient. Contrast that price for 3G with a MacBook or PC Laptop. Most plans start at $60 per month. Thus, AT&Ts plan is actually pretty good.

Lastly, the 3G requires no contract. If you really don't need it full time, you can activate it only when you do need it. For example, you could activate the 3G plan before going on vacation and cancelling when you get back. The activation is actually done on the iPad itself (according to reviewers at MacWorld magazine.)

The flexibility of 3G access gives owners new options that iPhone owners don't have. I am sure that more details will be revealed closer to launch, but I think AT&T's offering is strong.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Making a Chore Chart

I have a bunch of little tins left over from Christmas when I was making advent calendars.  I'd been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to do with them and all I could come up with was painting and decorating them.  Boring!

So...I asked the craftiest, most creative person that I know to help me out. Do you know Jen from Tatertots and Jello?  If you don' need to!  She passed along a great idea for a Chore Chart and I immediately two weeks later got started on it.

Everything is attached using velcro buttons, including the chores so that they can be switched out with new chores every couple weeks.  The tins on the left will include rewards for doing their chores (3 of of 5 times to start) all week.  One tin for each week that will be removed so that we know which week we're on. Friday nights at dinner we will open the tin and see what the reward is.

List of Chores
Pick up toys
Make Bed
Brush Teeth
Dishes in Sink
Clothes in hamper
Help in Kitchen
Clear/Set Table
Feed Pets

List of Rewards
Lunch at McDonalds Play Area
Going to a Movie
Out for Ice Cream
Children's Museum
Dinner at The Pie (our favorite Pizza joint)
A trip to Lowe's (they love that place)
Day Trip to Salt Lake City
Ride the Train
One toy from the toy store

Thanks for the great idea Jen!  UPDATE:  I made another one and you can buy it in my store.

I took a picture of my desk yesterday so you could see how I work....can you say multi-tasker?

I posted my before and after pictures on my fitness blog today!  

Coming Saturday....a guest post from my husband Calvin.  He will tell you everything you need to know about the iPad from Apple

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Boyfriend: Part 1

It was September 2002 and I was just coming off my Summer of Love Tour.* I was tired of dating and started looking on again for someone more serious since the guys I was dating were only looking for a good time.  My username of Crazy Connie wasn't attracting the right kind of guy.  Then...all of a sudden, I got two good bites and both of them were engineers. They lived in opposite ends of Denver and the one north of me decided that I lived too far away.  So I ended up with The Greek.

His name was Stavros** Kournhouliotis and he was tall, thin but not terribly handsome.  We met at Starbucks the first time we met in person and I was so impressed with him.  He was 40, a professor at one of the local colleges and had a doctorate in Electrical Engineering.   I'd never dated a doctor before and he was soooo smart.  Being around him made me feel smarter.

Soon we were seeing each other a couple nights a week, he emailed me all the time and called me every night.  Finally, I'd found a guy that was really into me.  On our third date, he told me that he loved me and that he was afraid of losing me.  I thought it was so sweet but I didn't tell him I loved him...because had been 11 days or something.

He pursued me like no man has ever before.  I was fascinated by his stories about Greece and his life there.  He told me about how his parents had owned a very popular department store in Greece and that when he graduated they sold everything to move to the USA to give him the best education.  He went to CU and his family opened a dry cleaner which his parents had sold recently and were now retired.

I knew he lived in Lonetree*** but he hadn't taken me to his house yet, which I found odd.  That was until about 4 weeks into our relationship when he finally took me to his big, beautiful house. I was impressed by the size of it and couldn't figure out why a 40 year old bachelor needed such a large house.

HOLY COW...I found an identical house on his street for sale.  Even these people's furnishings are similar.  It gave me chills looking at the pictures. 

I walked in the door and I was greeted by Nikki and Angelo****.  His parents.  They immediately made me a Gyro and Baklava for dessert.  And then the question and answer portion of the evening began.  I was interrogated for three hours.   I could tell that they were less than thrilled that I'd been married before and that my parents were just working people (as were they) and that GASP...I had also never been to college.

And that was how I found out that my boyfriend was 40 and lived with his parents.  Of course, he spun it that they lived with him but was a bit of a shock.

To be continued...PART TWO

*Summer of Love 2002 ~ I dated THREE different guys and almost had a one night stand.
**Stavros~ in greek means umbilical cord still attached.
***Lonetree~ Southern Suburb of Denver and NOT where he really lived....but close.
****Nikki and Angel~ Not their real names....but close.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Bachelor: Road Trip

So...I watched The Bachelor live last night...instead of this morning because all of my other shows were repeats.  I tried to stay off twitter because I didn't want any spoilers but I caught a couple tweets from folks a time zone ahead of me and they confirmed what I was feeling.

Even The Pioneer Woman couldn't take it anymore.  I think last night's episode was the most boring ever.  I was yawning and couldn't wait for it to be over...I even folded 2 loads of laundry during the show...that's just how bored I was.

This week, the gals all head out in giant Gold RV's.  But not Jake he drives that stupid motorcycle.  I think they were trying to find a way to make him more manly, since he cries more than a contestant on The Biggest Loser.  Anyway, they are going on a road trip up the California Coast.  Luckily...all of the popular girls end up in one RV and Vienna and the rejects are in the other.

One on One Date:

They arrive at a vineyard and Jake arrives in a black flannel shirt.  He hands GIA a date card and tells her not to open it until he's driving away to go *get ready*.  Lucky girl the date card is actually for GIA and she gets stilettos.  The girl is from Manhattan and you just can't take the city out of a girl.

Jake returns in a RED flannel shirt.  And their date consists of running around a vineyard playing hide and seek, him carrying her like toddler and then playing spin the bottle.  What are they freakin 12?  Calvin sat down next to me during this part and he said that was ridiculous. They sit in front of a campfire (Gia's first...he popped her campfire cherry) and  Gia then says that their first kiss was the best of her life.  Seriously?  Must be a bunch of bad kissers in New York.

Gia tells Jake that she wants two kids, a baby from China and a pot bellied pig.  BEEP BEEP! (there isn't a door bell on a bus) Back at the RV camp, the group date card arrives and the two left are Ella and Kathryn who will be going on the two on one date.  Their bummed since ONE of them will be leaving during that date.

Gia gets the rose and Jake is surprised that a complex city girl could have fun in nature.  He calls her refreshing.....

Group Date:

They go to some sand dunes for buggy riding.  BORING! Bla, bla, bla they get dirty and then go to an Inn and get cleaned up for dinner.  They each get one on one time except they still don't show Jessie and Jake together.  Poor Ashleigh and Jake have NOTHING to talk about and he looks really uncomfortable as she wraps herself around him and tries to look sexy.

Ali asks him about the next rose ceremony during her precious one on one time and he looks annoyed and tells her he's not even thinking about it and just wants to be in the moment with her.

BEEP BEEP!  The next date card arrives from Chris says Two Girls, One stays, one goes.  That Chris is so witty!  Tenley gets the rose!  Yay...I like her.

2 on 1 Date:

Ella and Kathryn have dinner in his cabin and Ella manipulates the conversation and Kathryn sits there drinking her wine and looking pissed.  When she finally gets some time with Jake he tells her how beautiful she is and that he gets lost in her eyes...she calls him out on ignoring her.  Ultimately...he thanks them for coming and sends them both home.  And then he burns the rose in the camp fire. How dramatic Jake!

Rose Ceremony:

We finally see Jessie and Jake together and she's telling him that Vienna isn't the right girl for him.  She says that she's self centered and a spoiled daddy's girl.

*Bobbi came home during the rose ceremony...having never watched the show before and didn't think Gia was very pretty.  I said, but she's a model.  Bobbi said, 'is she a FOOT model?' LOL!

Jake sends Jessie and Ashleigh home.  And tells the remaining ladies that they are going to San Francisco!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Things I Wanted To Tweet

Are you on twitter?  I've been addicted in love with twitter for quite a while now and because of that my phone is never far away from me because you never know when you will need to snap a picture and tell the world all your friends about it.

Saturday....Bobbi and I went shopping in Layton.  And I forgot my phone.  We were just a block or so away when I realized it and she offered to go back but I told her I'd be fine without it.  Famous last words.....

First of all, darling hubby tried to call me to tell me that they have built a new Chick-Fil-A in Ogden and he couldn't get ahold of me.  I'm thinking thoughts of me running away from home crossed his mind and then he called Bobbi's phone.

Next, I saw some hideous leggings that I would have liked to tweet about.  Bobbi and I tried on this ridiculous one piece sleeveless jumpsuit with rhinestones on the waist that made us look like Elvis impersonators.  We laughed until we cried!  The sales girl couldn't understand what we were laughing at.

Then...the best part of my day.  I purchased and fit into (tightly) size 12 jeans! I also bought a size 10 and a fabulous red top.  All on sale for low, low prices!  I was so excited and I was irritated that I couldn't tweet!

As I was paying for my purchases, a woman came up to my saleswoman and started telling her what she was looking for.  And then as she was handing me my bag and wishing me a good day...the woman interrupted again.  It was so incredibly rude and I wanted to tell that woman off....but I didn't.  I was in a great mood and I didn't want to have to kick this gals @ss in the middle of Macy's.  I wanted to tweet about her instead.....

At the food court, I managed to eat on plan by ordering a grilled chicken salad without dressing.  I was so proud of myself and wanted to tell my fitness twitter friends....but I couldn't.

Bobbi was entertained by making me try on these ridiculous headbands and taking pictures of me.  Again...something I would have tweeted if I could.

We went to one of my favorite stores and Bobbi climbed inside a bird cage!  I wanted to buy it for my home and call it The Naughty Cage.

Bobbi made me go to a farm and ranch store to look for feed for her horses and I would have LOVED to tweet some of the outfits that I saw....and the rubber chicken that I found.

After four hours, twitter withdrawal was setting in and I made her take me home.

Coming Wednesday....the story about The Greek.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

10 Ways to Beat Boredom

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.  ~Ellen Parr

I think there are very few times that I have ever been bored in my life....well, except for September 2002 to April 2003 when I dated a 40 year old GREEK Electrical Engineer that lived with his parents.  That was an experience I could have done without...his Mom kept feeding me and then telling me I needed to *make diet*.  I barely escaped from that situation....if you want to hear the story about this guy, then take the poll over on the left.

Mama Kat has a great list of prompts this week and since I wrote yesterday about blogging block...I thought this prompt was perfect!

Write a list of 10 things that can be done to stave off boredom.

1.  Look through your husband's old boxes for pictures and letters from old girlfriends.

2.  Eat cookies while watching the channel that has exercising on it.

3.  Read my blog.

4.  Take up a craft.

5.  Research a vacation destination.

6.  Go shopping with Bobbi.

7.  Write in a Journal

8.  Watch You Tube Video's of Panda's sneezing.

9.  Read a Jen Lancaster Book

10.  Exercise

Boredom: The desire for desires. ~ Leo Tolstoy

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blogger's Block and a Family Journal

Do you ever feel like you've run out of things to blog about? I don't know about you but sometimes there is nothing going on in my life besides diapers and making peanut butter sandwiches.  These are the times that  I usually post about memories or stories from the past and it turns into therapy...which I desperately need sometimes.  I have a solution for these times.....

I met a great gal in Las Vegas when I was at SITScation. Her name is Cynthia and she's so creative! She takes beautiful pictures and she loves to dance. Cynthia just came up with this fabulous list of 510 blog prompts that she calls Jump Starts and I'm so excited about it. Not only can these be used to give you blog post ideas but you can also use these for your private journal where you record your thoughts and feelings. I can't wait to get started. A copy of this list costs less than a Starbuck's Latte! Click HERE for more info.

Speaking of journaling.... A few days ago, I decided to start a family journal with a sketch book that I had in my bookshelf.  Each day, I'm writing a few lines about what we did that day. I'm also going to use some of Cynthia's prompts and write about my family.  I think this is going to be a great thing to look back on when the kids are older and it takes just a few minutes to do. In the back couple pages, I've taped some inspirational pictures that I've cut out of magazines for decorating the kids rooms.  And I'm  adding quotes to the bottom of the pages when I come across favorite one this week is this:

Love your children as if you won't have them tomorrow, and train them as if they won't have you. 

I hope you're having a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Bachelor: The One Where Jake Poops Himself

You got me ABC.  I was wrapped up all snug in a blanket watching Brothers and Sisters with my husband on Sunday night...the only thing missing was a glass of wine that I can't have for 3.5 more weeks and a snuggie when a commercial for The Bachelor came on and Tenley said she was pregnant.  An audible gasp escaped my lips and I almost fell off from the couch.

Turns out that ABC was pulling a fast one.  You can see the deleted scene where Tenley tells Jake she's pregnant and then says Just Kidding!  I can't believe I fell for another one of ABC's tricks.  Well, played ABC...well played.

This episode made me laugh, cringe and cry.  I felt like Michele who claims that she not over-emotional or dramatic.  No, she's just effing crazy!  The show opens in the early morning, I'm guessing around 10am with all of the girls gathered in the living room without make up.  SCARY!!  We find out that Vienna is getting the first date and she's whisked away on a motorcycle.  Michele informs us that she feels that she is very attractive (doesn't own a mirror) and she can't believe that Jake would like Vienna and her sunken eye balls.

They arrive at the top of a mountain and a helicopter arrives and takes them to a bridge with a 300 foot drop to the bottom of a little creek.  Jake tells her that they are going to bungee jump....and that he is also afraid of heights.  They get strapped in and then Jake proceeds to have an inappropriate relationship with the bungee instructor.  So glad they got this one on tape....he's holding on to the guy for dear life and I thought he was going to faint in his arms.  If I were Vienna, I would have left immediately and hooked up with a producer because there is nothing romantic about seeing your date SHITE their pants on your date.

DING DONG!  Group date is announced, Love is No Laughing Matter...or Is It? Michele is upset that she wasn't chosen for a One on One date and pouts.  Meanwhile, back at the bridge...Vienna and Jake end up jumping and then share their first kiss.  Later, they drink wine and get into the hot tub and he gives her a rose.  As if he'd make her jump off from a bridge and then send her home.

Vienna comes home and tells everyone about her awesome date but leaves out the part about Jake soiling himself and the girls are all mad...they don't want to hear about it.  After kissing and telling she tells them that she doesn't kiss and tell and goes off to bed....alone, because no one will sleep in the same room with her.

Group date to the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club.  DING DONG!  Ella gets a one on one date...Let's Lift Off To Another World.  The ladies are informed that they will be writing some jokes and then performing them infront of a live audience.  This was the most ridiculous date ever!  Most of them bombed except for Corrie.  She did impressions of some of the girls from the house...mostly Vienna which troubled poor Jake.  Elizabeth further confused Jake by performing a some raunchy jokes about dating boys from UTAH.  Michele made everyone uncomfortable including a fat guy in the audience.

At the after party...Tenley pulls him aside and tells him that she was married, cheated on and divorced. But...funny, doesn't mention being pregnant.  Ashleigh takes her turn with Jake and talks about Vienna and how if he likes her then she probably isn't the girl for him.  Jake is concerned about how negative everyone is about Vienna and admits that he doesn't know how to make all of these women happy.

All of the girls on the group date are cheering to Corrie for performing a public service and outing Vienna behind her back at the comedy club.  Michele refuses to join their Mean Girl Guild and insists that she is only here to get a husband.  She runs off to sit by herself and Jake joins her...reluctantly.  Here is how this went:

Crazy Ass Michele: I'm not over-emotional or dramatic...I just really, really, really want a husband!

Jake: I know!

CAM: I don't know if you feel the same way.

Jake: thinking....nope, I think you're a nutjob and I can't wait to get rid of you.

CAM: Would it be awkward if I asked if I could kiss you?

Jake: thinking...What happens if I don't kiss her?  He decides to kiss her and you can hear his lips pulling
away from the suction she has on him.

CAM: I have to didn't really kiss me.  You just pecked me and your lips where all pursed together.

Jake: Well...You've threatened to leave before....

CAM: I'll stay if you want me to.

Jake: Nope, It's better if you go right now...PRODUCER...get this bitch a cab please.
Michele is freaking out because he called her bluff and now she's being escorted to the curb. I swear I saw Jake flip off the cab as it pulled away!  Jake is shaken....announces that no one is getting the rose and leaves.

Ella's Date: 

They fly in a helicopter to Sea World, he tells her he has a birthday present for her and it's her little boy.  They have a great time and it was very touching to see Jake with her kid.  Jake says that he feels chemistry with her...Ella gets the rose. *note to self: get an orange shirt and a turquoise necklace...looks great together.*

Rose Ceremony Cocktail Party

Jake is very serious and intense tonight...tough decisions to make after a tough week.  He talks with Elizabeth and she asks him a hard question: Is he good at back rubs.  Jake calls her the Queen of Mixed Signals and tells her that she's been playing games with him with this no kissing business.  He thought it was for spiritual reasons but after her raunchy comedy routine and hatred of Utah boys, he thinks she's just a tease.  Vienna interrupts them before they can talk anymore and this infuriates the other girls who haven't had a chance to talk to him.

Elizabeth runs off to the bathroom crying because Jake is pressuring her to kiss him. (Yeah...that Jake is such a hard @ss)  Later, Jake talks to her some more and admits that they have a connection but....

Jake looks like he wishes one of those ABC helicopters would show up and take him far, far away!  He says this is not the fairy tale he was hoping for.

Rose Ceremony

Jake gets rid of Elizabeth, telling her that he had to go with his heart.  And Valisha who I don't recall him spending any time with.  She tells the camera that she's used to things not going her way....someone get this girl a copy of THE SECRET right away!!

So...on ABC's website they have an outtake of the girls talking about what happened with Rozlyn last week and Gia says that she knew what was going on and wishes she would have confronted her.  They also say that now they know why she never slept in her room and always slept on the couch.  Hmmm...that's rather interesting isn't it.

Dear ABC's The Bachelor, 

Are the ratings for this show really that bad that you have to trick people into watching it?  Maybe you should just skip to the end and show the finale next week since you sent home the crazy one and there's only so much drama that Vienna can cause.   Seems like you played all of your best cards already.

Your's Truly, 



Let's play a little game of Fill in the Bleep.  Elizabeth's Joke....Please help me figure out what the bleeps were.

I've traveled all over the country looking for love. I thought I found it in Utah. The guy had a big [bleep]... I mean, it was going well, but I got really exhausted, you know? I mean, I only have two [bleep].

Can't get enough Bachelor talk...Go see Mama Kat and read some more.

Fatboy and Some Some

My kids love a new show called Fanboy and Chum Chum.  I've never purposely put it on for them but one day it happened to come on and Mallory was hooked.  Except that she didn't really know what the name was and she kept insisting that they watch Some Some.  I put every single show on that we have stored in the DVR and finally we figured out what she was talking about.  So...they've seen it a few more times by accident and I'd never watched it so I didn't know which character was who.

Scene: Dinner table

Mallory: Mommy, you are Chum Chum.

Me: Oh really?  Well...that must make Daddy Fatboy.

Calvin: His name is FANBOY.

Me: Really?  Opps, my bad.

Mallory: Daddy is FATBOY.

And that is how the show came to be renamed....FATBOY and SOME SOME.

By the way...Chum Chum is the FAT one.  Thanks Mallory.....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Burning Questions

I like to keep a list of interesting ways that people have landed on The Young and The Relentless.  And if possible I like to answer the burning questions that cause people to google these things.  It's a bit of a public service that I like to provide to the world.

Jen Lancaster on Oprah
 I get at least 2 folks a day coming here to ask this question.  As you know, I love Jen Lancaster and I would love to see her on Oprah but I don't think she's going to be on for a while....but maybe when her new book comes out in May!  Here's an idea...let's all write to Oprah and ask her to have Jen would be super easy for Jen to run over there since she lives in Chicago.  Click HERE and fill out the form.

Lance Robertson Orange Jumpsuit

I didn't understand this one until I figured out that they were talking about DJ LANCE.  I'm not sure why he wears this...a more important question is...what's with the hat???

Relentless Crying 1 Year Old
  All crying is relentless as far as I'm concerned.  My favorite trick is distraction....especially if it's a cookie.  Most kids will stop crying for a cookie.
Did Byrson off Young and Restless play on family matters?
  Yes. And he was also friends with Michael Jackson.

Husband Tracker
  I've used the iPhone app called Loopt to track my husband but he was always at the same place (work) and I got bored and stopped tracking him.  But from previous past life experience...if your man goes to bars, make friends with the bartenders and tip them generously...they will tell you everything you need to know.
Loving an Engineer
  Where do I begin?  They don't get your jokes, they'd rather play World of Warcraft then make whoopee and the simplest things are difficult for them.  Buy lot's of pocket protectors and get yourself a WOW account.  Plus, if you can't sleep at night...ask them how work is going.
Reasons Why I Can't Sleep
  Hubby snoring, hubby wheezing, kids crying, too dark in the kids room, kid is scared, hubby makes too much noise peeing, I drank too much water before bed,  text from some BIL at 1am, dog barking, brain working overtime, Mormon's lighting fireworks.
Yo Gabba Gabba Doll makes my kid cry
  That's too bad.  That scary Mark makes my kid cry and what exactly is DJ Lance hiding behind that giant Boom Box?
Focus on the Family I like Jello
  You must be from Utah and I think you need to take a breath there and focus on one thing at a the family. I like Red Jello.
My second grade girls are being mean to the other girls
Ohhh....mean girls.  I don't like mean girls.  In my experience, mean girls are like this because they are insecure.  Plus, if they are popular...they love that other people will blindly follow them.  Can you find a common ground for all of the girls? I can't tolerate mean girls and I stay as far away from them as I can.  I've even been known to unfollow them on twitter.  If that doesn't work...give them cookies.


 In other news, I reached another milestone on my diet....I'm no longer OBESE!!  YAY!  Also, Bobbi (my sisterwife) started the diet last weekend and then quit this morning because she only lost 2 pounds all week. I'm bummed because it was nice to have someone doing this with me.

Are you planning to participate in Simple Mom's Bookclub? I'm so excited to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families and I'm ordering my book today along with another book I just found out about....but I'll tell you about it after I get it.

What's for dinner this menu is up at my food blog and I'm doing great with my budget challenge!  Join us if your budget needs help.

Did you see the preview for The Bachelor on TV last night?  Tenley told Jake that she's PREGNANT!!  That will be the most dramatic season ever!  There's a pregnant gal on the show!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Praying for Constellation....

Still praying that President Obama keeps America in the latest version of the Space Race!  Here's a cool video of the progress.  It's short.....

And if this program gets cancelled....and all of Calvin's hard work and time away from our family is scrapped....I will be PISSED!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mourning the End of Naptime

As of today....we are doing something new that I wasn't prepared to do.

Alex will no longer be taking a nap.

I've been struggling for weeks to get him to sleep in the afternoon but he keeps going into Mallory's room and screwing around and keeping her from sleeping.  I've used every single Super Nanny trick I know to get him to stop but it just doesn't.

We took all of the toys out of his room, took away the tent over his bed and one by one we removed his stuffed animal family.  It's like he doesn't care if these things are taken away.

Yesterday, he took a bottle of lotion into his sister's room and squirted it all over and then after being put back to bed, took a giant bottle of baby powder to her room and spread it everywhere.

I really, really needed a drink.

We ended up deciding that maybe he doesn't need to rest and the only way to make sure that Mallory gets a good nap is to stop his naps.

This, however, is not making Mama very happy.  I use the naptime (when children are actually sleeping) to get housework done and watch The Young and The Restless.  Now I feel like I don't have MY time anymore and will have to find things to keep him entertained.

I really, really need a drink.....

EDITED: I wrote this last night...after a very long day.  As I was going to bed last night, I peeked in on Alex and watched him sleep and realized that this is an opportunity for me to spend some quality one on one time with my son.  I will find things for us to do and we will have a great time together.  I was looking at this all wrong....

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love

I don't know if it was the cheesy commercials that ABC kept playing leading up to this show or if it's my belief that Jake is too nice of a guy to do this, but I wasn't excited to watch this season.  Now, don't get me wrong....I love Jake.  I think he's a great guy and very genuine....I just didn't think he was a good fit for this show.

I might have been wrong.  I have a brand new respect for him and I hope to God he finds a good woman.

We start off with some of the girls (two of them professional models) going to be in a photoshot for InStyle Magazine.  They're all pretty natural in front of the camera except for Christina.  She's very nervous and awkward.  I was so happy to see that Jake peeled himself away from the group and went to make her feel more comfortable.  And then she did fine.  I really could have done without Rozlyn's snarky comments about everyone.  She's a b*tch.

In the middle of this date....DING DONG, a box arrives at the house and it's a beautiful diamond necklace for the one on one date.  Except Chris Harrison is playing a cruel joke and doesn't include a note saying who the date belongs to.  Crazy Ass Michele grabs the necklace and shocks everyone by putting it on and saying SHE gets the date because SHE'S wearing the necklace. Yeah....right!

Back at the swimming party...Christina gets drunk and says a bunch of stupid crap and Jake looks like he'd like to call her a cab.  Rozlyn attacks him with her lips and she gets the rose....then acts surprised that she got it.  Good acting job.....

DING DONG!  Finally the note arrives that says that Ali gets the date.  She dresses up in a short, strapless yellow dress and then Jake picks her up in (on?) a motorcycle.  AWKWARD.  They drive to the airport and he helps her into a small skyhawk.   And this is when we discover that Ali is scared of flying and has never been in a small plane before. (he popped her small plane cherry) Jake does an excellent job on his preflight checklist and they take off ON THE WINGS OF LOVE! (seriously, they played that song)

They land, get in an antique roadster and drive to a polo club.  (Jake needs to change clothes YO) They enjoy a very nice meal with very little talking, except that she shares with him that she only dates guys with names that start with J. And then they hear music and CHICAGO plays a private concert for them.  This was a very romantic date and I think they have some chemistry.

DING DONG!  Another date card arrives and some girls don't get to go on a date at all.  This enrages Michele and she goes up to her room and packs her stuff.  She tells the camera that she's not ordinary and that she's the nice girl that everyone hates.  I'll go with that...I don't like her too much.

The next date is at a closed amusement park and Ashley keeps trying to hold hands with Jake on the roller coaster while Jake is screaming like a little girl.  Elizabeth wrote Jake a note and then she reads it to him....she tells him that she doesn't want him to kiss her until she's the last girl standing.  He respects her values and tells her it's sweet.  I think he'll be kissing your sweet @ss goodbye.....

Vienna tries to explain to Jake that she eloped with someone she didn't know when she was 18 and then was divorced 4 months later. She's interrupted by Ashly, mid cry.  Ashly toots her own horn and says she just the nice girl that never gets the guy.  Jake says that's his line and asks her to cease and desist using it.  He gives her a kiss on the cheek which is THE KISS OF DEATH!  Elizabeth gets the rose....and she gets a private fireworks show but no kisses.  The girls in the limo think they are totally making out and now they hate her more.


Chris Harrison appears and asks Rozlyn to come with him.  He explains that she's been engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.  She defends herself by saying that everyone has relationships  with other people back home and he says this is a NEW relationship.  He tells her she has to leave and she's fine with it....doesn't deny that anything has been going on. 

Chris breaks the news to Jake and he's upset.

Chris tells the girls and everyone starts crying and feeling bad for Jake and hoping that he doesn't put up a wall with them.

And he's where I'm confused.  IF she was carrying on a FRIENDSHIP (as she claims on Entertainment Tonight)  with this person.  Then why didn't the other girls know.  Was she sneaking off in the middle of the night?  What strikes me most, is that she didn't deny it when Chris confronted her.

10 roses....Jake says his soul mate is in that room and Michele smiles a big fat smile because she thinks it's her.  Someone please give this poor girl a makeover and some Xanax.

In the end, he sends home Ashly (horn tooter, roller coaster fondler, dress up stewardess), Christina (awkward model, drunkie poo) and of couse Rozlyn (cheater).

Bloggography: Winter Theme

Manic Mother

You may remember that I took an online photography class a while back.  I loved learning about my camera and taking great pictures.  But....I've gotten a little rusty and I need to refresh my memory and learn some new things too.

Just like the angel she is...Beth at Manic Mother (and her friend Lolli at Better in Bulk) decided to teach us what she knows and I couldn't be more excited!

Last week, Beth started the lessons by getting to know your camera and explained the different modes.  I pretty much use all of the non-automatic modes already but I do it poorly.

And of course, it wouldn't be a lesson with out homework and our challenge was to take a Winter Themed photograph in any mode except full auto.  I'm not leaving my house much right now because of the snow and cold so I just stepped outside my front door and took a picture of the mountain behind my house.

Taken in Manual Mode
Aperture f/5.6
Shutter Speed 1/320
ISO 200

This was taken at 4:35pm as the sun was setting.  I love how the sun turned the leftover leaves on the trees orange.  In the summer, the entire mountain turns a beautiful orange hue.

If you need some help learning your way around your camera...join us!

P.S. I'll be watching The Bachelor this morning and posting my thoughts later today.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Mother That I Am

Lorie at The Shewbridges of Celebration, Fl tagged me for a really special Meme.  To complete this tag, I must share 5 experiences that helped shape me into the mom I am today, and tag 5 other moms I admire.

1.  I think the number one experience that's shaped me into the Mom I am today would have to be my childhood.  My parents were very young and I'd like think that they did the best they could, but I want my kids to have a better life than I did.  And I'm not even talking about material things, because I can't remember ever wanting for anything.  I want them to feel special and loved beyond measure.  I want to experience things with them and prepare them for life.

2.  When I was growing up, I played house...a lot.  I created a little house in our backyard and I think the family dog played the roll of my husband.  It was always my dream to get married and have a family.  I even named my future children....Paige and Penelope.   Funny....I never dreamed of having a boy.

3.  My first time that I had friends having babies was a powerful time in my life.  My friend Anne had her first baby and I was able to experience her pregnancy with her.  Watching Bryson grow from a baby to a toddler taught me so much and I love that kid like he's my own.  A few years later, both of my best friends (and my boss) were pregnant at the same time.   Even though I was struggling with infertility...I was so incredibly happy for them and when Anne was in labor with Coby, I watched Bryson and then brought him to the hospital to meet his baby brother for the first time.  This may have been when I decided that my marriage was in serious trouble and I needed to get out.  I wanted the family that Anne and Tim had...

4.  In 2005, I had a miscarriage.  Right before we left for our honeymoon trip to Disney World, we had an ultrasound and they couldn't find a heartbeat.  They told me to come back after our trip because it might be too early but I knew.  It was torture to be at The Happiest Place on Earth and know that my baby was gone.  I couldn't get Calvin to understand that I it Mother's Intuition.  It's a gift we all have and it taught me to listen closely to my gut.

5. April 20, 2006....the day my life changed forever.  The experience of giving birth to my darling baby boy and then holding him for the first time was the most amazing experience of my life.  Bringing our little bundle of joy home, caring for him and creating our family has given me more joy and purpose than I could have ever hoped for.   Watching my kids grow is the most amazing blessing.

And now....Five Amazing Mothers!

Liz at Sugarplum Creations
Monica at  Moon Over Maize
Jen at Harried Mom of Four 
Vivienne at The V-Spot 
Beth at Manic Mother

P.S.  I hit a MAJOR milestone in my weight loss journey today!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Not Just For Teenage Girls.....


This is Brent.

Brent likes Twilight....a lot.

People make fun of Brent for liking Twilight so he got this snazzy sweatshirt.

Brent's Granddaughter doesn't like this sweatshirt because it has a bad word on it.

And she reprimanded him.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Peer Pressure or Why I Watched The Bachelor

I've buckled under the pressure.

PEER PRESSURE....I'm watching The Bachelor.

I tried to watch it on ABC yesterday but they were only showing the first hour and then someone told me it was three hours long and I thought OH NO....what have I done! In the meantime, I discovered the show Better Off Ted and laughed my butt off for a couple hours.  Have you seen this show?  It's awesome!

So...I went to my favorite gadget (Apple TV) and found that I can watch the entire season for the low, low price of $14.99. I wasted NO time charging Calvin's account for the charges.  If I turn up's because of this. Just kidding...he loves me.

I watched the second hour this morning and I think I'm too tired from being up half the night listening to my husband snore because I can't remember anything that happened.

I do have a couple favorites.....Corrie, Elizabeth (football girl), Kathryn (dressed up like a flight attendant), and Tenley (got the first impression rose).

I do not like....Christina (made Jake lay on the floor and play Airplane with her) and Michelle (bat shit crazy).

I was really surprised that Emily (Fit Model in the bright Green Dress) was sent home.

If you're curious about these ladies and want to see their pictures....Mama Kat did a great job of describing them HERE.

Well...that's all I have for today.

Did you watch?  What did you think?

In other news...have you made your family plan for January yet?  There's still time to join us and link up!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Not Me!

I just love when I get a funny word verification.

P.S.  I am not watching The Bachelor this season. I tried....but once they showed Jake on the motorcycle at the end of a runway ala Top Gun...I threw up.  I can't stomach this season.

P.P.S.  I lost 10.2 pounds in my first week on my diet.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Focus on the Family: January 2010 *EDITED*

Happy New Year everyone! I'm excited to get started on my monthly plan for my family. I'm sure that 2010 will be an awesome year because of my attempt at being intentional and present.

Much of my inspiration comes from a website called Simple Mom. If you don't know about this fabulous resource then I recommend you spend some time there this weekend. I'm planning to participate in the Simple Living Book Club that's starting on January 25th. The first book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families and I think that will be really helpful with my plan. Here is the link to the book club. Here are a couple other links to get you started this month. 10 Questions to encourage engaged parenting and 20 questions for New Year's Eve Reflection.

Have a great day! 

Family Time....quality time together.
  • Game Night...Chutes and Ladders January 16th ~ Done!
  • Family Outing....Bowling at Fat Cat's January 2nd~ Done!
  • Play in the snow ~done
Kid and preschool.
  •  Play date with friends
  •  Visit the library ~ Done!
  •  Order and use DVD Letter Factory ~ Done!
Me Time....cuz if Mama ain't happy....
Couple Time....all because two people fell in love.
  • Friday Night Movie/TV night (No World of Warcraft allowed)
  • Date Night....January 29th.

Home's where the heart is.
  • Finish Bedroom Redo
  • Organize and clean Kitchen

EDITED:  I completely forgot the last part of my monthly plan.  GRATITUDE.  This month, I'm so very grateful for my husband's job.  As happens every year, he has already started complaining about the *bills* and money that was spent; even though we cut back.  I am so thankful that we are employed and were able to celebrate Christmas with gifts and good food.  Calvin's work project is still uncertain and I'm still worried about the future but I've decided to just be grateful for what we have now and plan for the future.  One way I'll be doing this is by accepting Erin's Challenge of spending less than $100 on groceries each week.  Run over to The Many Days of the DiCarolis Family and check it out.  OH!  And she's giving away a book!