Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sucked in by Twilight...

I too have been sucked in by the series. They're phenomenal!

When I first saw one of the books in my sister's bathroom (I know, she reads on the toilet. Gross.. hahaha don't we all?) I opened it up and I read a few lines and thought to myself "Wow, this is really stupid. Its about teenage vampires" And I closed it without a second thought.

Months went by and somehow they came up in discussion with my sister and sisters-in-law and they told me that I just *had* to read them. Being the bookworm that I am, I took the challenge and before I knew it I was thoroughly engrossed. In fact my nose was stuck inside the books for three days straight (even well into most nights... I read til 3 or 4 a.m. until I could no longer keep my eyes open) and I LOVED them. Well at that point the 4th book, Breaking Dawn, was still along way from release so I went on my merry way and forgot about the books.

Fast forward to this week--my sister and sisters-in-law remind me that the book is coming out THIS weekend. I remembered that I enjoyed the books but not so much the fine details, so I decided that I should reread them before this weekend so I can buy the 4th book and read it immediately.

I should point out at this point that it is *extremely rare* that I would pick up a book and read it a second time unless it is something like, oh a COOKBOOK.

So I start with the first book, Twilight. By the end of that day, I have FINISHED the book! I couldn't believe how quickly I was sucked in on the second go round! So yesterday I picked up the second book and this morning I finished the last 50 pages. This afternoon I picked up the 3rd book and I am now halfway through it. They are SO GOOD!

Now of course like all other Twilight readers I have formulated my own theories of what will happen in Breaking Dawn. But I'll save that for another blog post. Suffice it to say, I'm a die-hard Jacob fan. I'm going to be really mad if he doesn't end up happy!

So Stephenie Meyer, many kudos to you for your excellent writing skills! My hat is off to you... but you better make this last one GOOD for Jacob!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This is how it went down..

A few weeks ago I was in WV visiting Jason. I had been drinking some Diet Dr Pepper on the drive and had bought some more and drank it while visiting him. That evening my chest began to hurt so badly that I could barely stand it. I went and laid down and over the next day or two the pain subsided and eventually disappeared. I didn't think much of it and went on with my life (but didn't drink more Dr Pepper, not because I made any connection but because as a general rule I try to avoid sodas)

Fast forward a week or two later.. I'm back at my moms and I had a headache, so while I was out I bought a 20 oz Diet Dr Pepper. Drank it all and about 6 hours afterwards I started having chest pains. At this point they were mildly uncomfortable and I went to sleep. The next day I awoke with the pains but they were bearable. I was busy outside for the majority of the day. Around 3 p.m. that day the pains got so intense that I had to go sit down and try to breathe. The pain intensified when I inhaled.

Later that evening I got another 20 oz Diet Dr Pepper, and drank the entire bottle. Still not making the correlation.

The next day Jason was here and we took the boys out and went canoeing. That morning I bought another 20 oz Diet Dr Pepper and drank it while we were out. Later that evening the chest pains were so intense I was considering a trip to the ER.

I started considering what was causing these chest pains. What changes had I made in my diet? Then it dawned on me. The common denominator in the two incidents of chest pain was the Diet Dr Pepper. I began to search the internet and found reference after reference of the dangers of aspartame. There are 92 documented known side effects of aspartame! The video I posted yesterday tells some shocking truths of aspartame. Heart arrhythmias, brain tumors, lupus, muscular sclerosis.. all caused by aspartame! SCARY SCARY STUFF!!

This morning I have been ALMOST 48 hours without aspartame. The chest pains have decreased dramatically. They are almost gone. Needless to say, in the future I will avoid aspartame like the plague. I will encourage everyone around me to give it up and I will NEVER allow my children to have it.

It sickens me that the FDA who is supposed to be protecting the public allows this poison to circulate throughout our society. And it saddens me that so many people don't know what they're getting into when they put it in their bodies.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why haven't I been here? Aspartame...

Aspartame is apparently not good for me--I've been down with chest pains as a result of my consumption of aspartame in Diet Dr Pepper. In fact, on further investigation, its apparently not fit for human consumption.

Pop some popcorn, pour yourself a glass of non-diet beverage and take a look:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Middle Child Syndrome..

Well today I had wanted to post a video of the aforementioned chicken running but I wasn't able to get a good clip. I'm going to try again today and maybe tomorrow you'll see a running chicken.

So today I thought I'd discuss my curious middle child. Now, I've never been a middle child OR a boy myself so he and I have very little in common. He is very active and I am not. I'd rather sit on the couch. He lives in a happy little place in his head that I call "Nathan Land" .
This picture is a very accurate portrayal of Nathan visiting "Nathan Land". He's the straggler back there, just humming along at his own pace. He really does hum, whenever he's enjoying himself (be it playing or just in his thoughts) he's humming. He carries an assortment of toys with him everywhere he goes. Lately its been robots. I call them his "accessories". They go everywhere with him, from the toilet, to the dinner table and even to bed. Although he's in Nathan Land most of the time, he'll immediately come back to Earth if you ask him for a hug. He's the sweetest of all three boys. Now I love all my kids the same but if I had to pick a favorite... well.. I'm just saying.

I've read some stuff about middle child syndrome-insecurity and a bunch of other psychological rubbish about having hard time coping. I think he's going to be just fine! Of course I'm biased because I'm his mother. As it stands right now, I think he's perfect!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Here's a chick, there's a chick...

My mom has chickens.. LOTS of chickens. Most of them are running around pooping everywhere but some of them are in chicken tractors. Haha no they're not DRIVING tractors, its a movable cage for chickens with the idea that the chickens are fertilizing and cultivating the soil. Back to the point-- Mom has so many chickens that I've taken to calling her the Crazy Chicken Lady. You know like old ladies with hundreds of cats in their houses... well she can't have cats inside so she has chickens outside. She loves those chickens. They all know her and come running when they see her and if you haven't seen a chicken run you are really missing out. If you can imagine a fat lady holding up her dress and running as fast as she can.. even the mental image is hilarious!

So anyway this year Mom was smart and put her broody hens in chicken tractors so she wouldn't double the pooping population running around the yard. One unruly hen slipped through the cracks and showed up a few days ago with TWELVE chicks that she had been hiding and setting on. Well Mom had already dubbed this hen an unfit mother for one reason or another and she proved once again that in spite of her ability to SET she still couldn't take care of them. Kind of like a teenager who gets pregnant who CAN have a baby but doesn't mean they SHOULD! Ha!

So Mom finds this chicken with her babies in a water bowl, about to drown. One had already drowned. So Mom starts operation chick rescue and takes the babies away. We get here (we had been out of town when this happened) and she tells us that we can have the chicks! My boys are delighted, as you can tell in this picture of Hunter! He really is happy... he just doesn't like strangers like you.So now not only are we a displaced family that is pretty much homeless waiting for our house to sell, but we also are accumulating a menagerie-- a dog, a guinea pig and 10 chickens. What will I think of next?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm in love

and I don't think Jason will ever take me there again. Where you ask? Well to Jason's dads place. A year or so ago he bought 50 acres in some little town in the mountains in Tennessee. We visited him earlier this year (I think) and then just recently over the 4th of July weekend.
Well the last visit did me in. I went running while I was there and met this dog, but that isn't what made me fall in love. The views are SPECTACULAR. He lives in a valley and it is just gorgeous. I threatened to bring our travel trailer down and live in his field. I think he thought I was joking... haha he may get a surprise one day.

So now I'm in love with the place. Not only am I in love with it, but I'm slightly obsessed with having my own little piece of the country. Yeah, I always wanted land before but after falling in love in TN I REALLY want a piece of land. Like it consumes my thoughts all day long. And so of course Jason knows about my obsession, which leads me to wonder if I'll ever get to visit TN again... at least as long as we don't have our own little piece of the country.

Here are the boys with Jason and Don after fishing ON DONS PROPERTY! A river runs through it! See why I'm so jealous?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Evolution of the Mommy Mobile

It all started when someone got this bright idea for a wheel.
Suddenly, women didn't have to carry their kids anymore. They could cart them! But since horses were doing the pulling, moms would let their kids ride and they would walk.

Then this genius came along by the name of Henry Ford, and he designed the horseless carriage! No more walking for mom!
Well it got kind of drafty in the old horseless carriage so eventually automobile makers decided to glass in the whole vehicle. Mom could keep her hairdo AND not have to walk.
Then the 60's came along, and the standard glassed-in horseless carriage was fine for getting around, but if you were a mom who liked to have a good time you needed a mommy mobile that you would double as your home, since you were so busy traveling around and spreading the love.

Finally, Mommies realized that all this peace and love was great until you find out that you've contracted some nasty VD. So they decided to settle down and trade in the old love van for a more respectable ride. But they couldn't be confined to the limited square footage of a wagon, so they moved into a 'conversion van'.
The conversion van was great for Mommies of the 80's, but the 90's came along and with it the development of the 'soccer mom'. Make room for the MINIvan. Which is not really very 'mini' at all, but compared to the conversion van I suppose it is a step down.
Well along came the 2000's and with it the bigger houses, bigger value meals, bigger highways, bigger butts, bigger boobs, bigger credit card debt, well... you get the picture. Now the minivan isn't big enough either. For heaven's sake, its called a MINI van! Nothing 'big' about that. So everyone's movin on up to an SUV. And thus, the Mommy Mobile of the 2000's becomes the gigantic, gas guzzling SUV. (Keeping in mind that while these status symbol vehicles seat 8, the average SUV-owning family has 1.8 children.)

BUT as Mommies hurry to buy up the SUV's all over the country, an alarming thing happens. Oil prices start to climb at an alarming rate. And suddenly, people start to care about the impact of their SUV's on the world's non-renewable resources! Hahah gotcha. They only care about their SUV's gas tanks impact on their credit card balance I mean wallet. So here we are in the late-2000's and bring in the HYBRID. The fuel efficient, runs partially on electricity status symbol of the later 1st decade of the 21st century.My prediction is that it won't be long before we're all taking a cue from Asia and traveling around in rickshaws. You oughta buy up some stock in Schwinn because I hear they are working on the American model rickshaw, complete with an MP3 player, global GPS and a cell phone charger. I bet we'll see a lot less Mommy Mobiles at the McDonalds drive through super sizing it when they're pedaling their babes around in one of these!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A terrible sound...

What is the worst sound a mother can hear, traveling along the interstate alone with her three (or more) children ages 5 and under? Well honestly the worst would be a "HUWAAAAAAAAAAH" which would be the sound of a child vomiting all over himself and his brothers. Which is, most fortunately, NOT what happened this time.

So lets say the second worst sound.

#2 screams "I have to poo poo NOW or I'm going to poo poo in my pants!" Of course I start looking for the nearest bush to stop and let him squat behind. Darn the interstate, there ARE no bushes! So I settle for the next gas station. Unload all three kids, run inside and desperately ask the not-so-friendly man-woman cashier where the bathrooms are. He/she points down the hall to her left and grunts. "Thanks" I say and run the kids to the bathroom.

Of course this bathroom is a one toileter. You know, just one big room with a toilet and a sink. No stalls, no additional toilets. Which is fine if you are alone and childless. Not so much when you have two kids who both have to go and who seem to be unable to hold it any longer once there is a target I mean toilet in view. Obviously my boys are better at resolving this problem than I. #1 lifts the toilet seat and side by side they both drop their drawers and pee in unison. Its like synchronized urinating. It was beautiful. If it were an olympic event, they would have won a gold medal.

So after the olympic training, #2 hops up on the pot and takes care of his OWN #2. Thats over, we wash hands, leave the bathroom and then purchase some 'guilt candy' for using the gas station restrooms as a rest stop. (Don't tell me you don't buy guilt candy, are YOU one of those people who just runs out the door really quickly not making eye contact with the attendant? Shame on you!)

Load up the kids in the van and get back on the interstate. So 10 minutes down the highway I hear another voice from the back seat, its #1 this time (remember the synchronized urination, he DID just relieve himself)

"Mama! I have to go potty!"

Those dreaded words.

I'm not saying I MYSELF did this, but meaner moms than I might have just told their son they would have to hold it.

heh heh.

I think I'll hold off potty training #3 until he's leaving for college.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Picky eaters.. made, not born

This has been weighing on my mind a lot ever since I saw a post on a message board about this book called the Sneaky Chef. In this book a mom creates recipes like brownies with spinach, cookies with zucchini, and more and more of the like. Apparently parents in our country are so desperate to get their kids to eat vegetables that they cook them down into a mash, puree them and 'sneak' them into foods that their kids enjoy.

WHAT THE HECK?? That is absolutely absurd. Maybe I've been blessed with non-picky eaters... no wait, thats not true. Because they've all gone through a picky stage. But you know what I DIDN'T do? I didn't cater to them. I didn't let them start a diet of chocolate milk and chicken nuggets. I continued to present them with what the rest of us were eating and let them sit there and huff and puff over how they didn't want it. Sometimes they ate it, and sometimes they didn't. We don't EVER make our kids eat a thing. If they're hungry-- they'll eat. Pure and simple. And they got over it. And you know what? Even the baby will eat brussels sprouts and broccoli now. Without it being pureed into his dessert. I think the picky eater phenomenon in America is being fostered by the parents. Google it, its an AMERICAN thing. Nowhere else in the world do they have this phenomena occurring.