Nothing Like a Baby Shower...

Saturday was my SIL's, Monster Mama (MM), baby shower. Three of her best buds showed up, as well as her boyfriend and my MIL (TCWA). It was small and it was nice.

But it made me think. It made me feel nostalgic. But it made me feel a little sad, too.

Remember, with the exception of the moms there (the BBF's, MIL and myself) and my kids, everyone there was in their teens. All are still in school (except for MM) and I believe they all have jobs and cars (again, except for MM).

Now, when I was 17, I didn't have my license or a car - but I did the next year. And I remember the total awesomeness (yes, it's a word) of going to school, working, driving my car to go see the Man Beast (of course, at the time, he was MBIT - Man Beast in Training) - in a word: just being a kid. I loved it. (And I really loved that the only 'bill' I had was my car insurance. My whole paycheck - which wasn't much), was mine.

It is the one time in one's life when they really have no responsibilities and they can just exist and have fun. That's what I did when I was 17.

And this is what these kids are doing, no doubt. No worries. Live for the day. Let tomorrow worry about itself.

But in a month, that carefree and easy life is going to cease to exist. Sure, a baby is a great thing. But I feel like Monster Mama's carefree life is being cut a bit short because of her little monster. Please, don't get me wrong - babies are great thing. I know she's going to be a fabulous mommy (and I am going to be a fabulous aunt, thankyouverymuch) - but I know what she's going to be missing - and it makes me sad.

Of course, all of this will be much easier to take if her BFF and other friends stick with her. I was talking to a friend earlier today - my BFF - and she said that she lost a lot of friends when she had her boy. (I was lucky, she stayed with me even after I had The Boy and she was still single, footloose and fancy free. In fact, if memory serves, I ended up making her an 'aunt' and she loved every minute of it - spoiling The Boy before he could even walk.)

Single friends - especially those without children (or other responsibilities) - don't always understand why you can't do something. No, I can't go out to eat, Jr. needs diapers. No, I can't go to the movies, I stayed up all night with Jr.

I could be totally off base with MM and her friends - and I pray that I am. But after revisiting my early years in the way of a teen baby shower, I've decided that I really want The Kiddos to experience that time of wild abandon (well, almost wild) of the teen years.

'Cuz there's really nothing like them, ya know?

Until next time...

Boy, Were They Ticked

Thousands (millions?) of gaming fans received phone calls Friday night informing them that they could pick up Little Big Planet today after twelve noon. The Man Beast was one of them.

Several of those thousand (millions?) of gamers went to pick up their games today only be told that they hadn't come in yet. They were slated to come out Tuesday October 28th.

Thousands (millions?) of gamers were very, very ticked off.

The Man Beast was one of them.

'Nuff said.

Until next time...

Rock Band 2

Remember that Guilty Pleasure post I posted not too long ago? Well, seems like the Man Beast has done it again. We are now the proud owners of Rock Band 2. Cool songs - that goes without saying.

Some improvements:

  • Quieter Drums
Anyone who has the original RB, knows that loud drums were a huge turn off of the original peripherals. Rest assured, the new drums are much quieter. Another bonus: metal reinforced foot pedal!
  • No-Fail Option
Okay, this is just the coolest feature evah! Imagine, playing RB2 as a family and even your littlest one (who happens to fail out - frequently) is able to play a whole set -- all because of a neat-o feature you can enable that makes failing impossible (I do believe I created a post eons ago about fulfilling your wildest dreams if failure (or failing, rather) were not an option.)
  • Carry Over Songs
So, you worked your tail off unlocking all of the songs off RB, and even spent some hard earned money buying some songs (downloadable content - DC). You hesitate to buy RB2 because you just don't want to lose all that hard work. Check it out - everything will transfer! (DC is free, the RB songs transfer with a $5 patch - worth it, especially if you really like the RB sound track).

Expensive? Yes. Totally useless? Yes. Fun? Absolutely!

Until next time...

Blast from the Past

You'll never guess what The Man Beast was watching Sunday morning - a Power Rangers movie!

Do y'all remember Power Rangers? I don't because I never watched them. But I find it very funny that my husband, a grown man, watched a show from my high school days (1995), and the kiddos weren't even in the room!

I will tell you a few movies I do like - the cheesier the better:

  • Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt were fabulously fun in this movie. (And the boys at Maxim have it wrong - SJP does not look like a horse. I happen to believe she's beautiful because she is unique.)
  • Goonies
Sean Astin in braces. Can it get any cuter? Yes. Corey Feldman before his Surreal Life episode. Anyone in the mood for a Baby Ruth?
  • License to Drive
Do I secretly have a crush on the Cories? I don' think so...but this one sure was fun! (And I remember the dad being the same guy from Disney's Mr. Boogety. Do you remember that movie? It was waaay before Halloweentown or Twitches).
  • Breakfast Club
No 80s movie list is complete without the Brat Pack. So classic. (And I do have a thing for Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall - so you might as well include ALL of Molly's movies in my list).
  • Adventures in Babysitting
Elisabeth Shue was the greatest, wasn't she? I love it. And I love the opening sequence: He walked up to me and asked me if I wanted to dance. He looked mighty fine and so I thought I might take the chance... *sigh* What preteen didn't think that her dress was the coolest. Her hair was the coolest. Okay, maybe it was just me. I'm a slight dork. Now you finally know - I can come out of the closet.

Those are handful of my favorites. What were some of yours? (Careful now, you might just date yourself.Challenge Me!)


Until next time...

Simple Pleasures

Kay, over at Prairie Quilts & Kolaches (what's a kolach? I must ask Kay), posted about simple pleasures. Then, she invited her readers to share theirs. So, here are mine (one for every day of the week):

  1. Opening up the blinds in the morning and have the morning sun shine into my kitchen.
  2. The quiet of the house right before The Man Beast and Kiddos wake up.
  3. Kitty, curling up next to me on the recliner, purring.
  4. Crawling into bed (with clean sheets) after a long day.
  5. A hot bubble bath.
  6. Curling up with a good book.
  7. A hug.
What are your simple pleasures?

Until next time...

Have You Checked Out My Other Blogs?

If you look over to the right, you'll see Life According to Iva, my work-related blog, but did you know I have a healthy lifestyle blog, too? Actually, unlike Horizontal Yo-Yo and Life According to Iva, FAC is actually the love child of three women - my two best buds and myself.

The blog has lied stagnant since around May, but I have a feeling, it might just pick up again.

It goes without saying that the three of us are incredibly busy. We are all moms (one of us is doing it solo) and we all work outside of the home. But after losing over 80 lbs together, we've decided that we can't let all that hard work go to waste. We're getting back on the band wagon.

I am the first to make it a public profession. I'm sure my girls will follow suit - especially since of them commented that she was just thinking about the same thing not too long ago. (Remember, we're super busy, so in many instances, we haven't 'spoken' to each other for weeks. I know, very sad for best buds to lose touch like that. But the great thing about best buds (as opposed to just buds) is that even if we lose touch for a period of time, after an hour or so of gabbing, we're all caught up and it's like no time at all has been lost.

So, if you're in need of a few healthy lifestyle changes yourself, feel free to bounce on over to FAC and see what the blog has to offer.

In the meantime, I'll be posting regular updates.

Until next time...
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Y'all Are Not Going to Believe This!

Okay, so on yesterday's post, I mentioned that I wasn't gonna take this whole economy thing laying down. (And I'm not - my family still has to eat - ya hear what I'm sayin'?) I had mentioned that I'd do what I have to in order to feed my family foods other than junk (although, I gotta say - the tomatoes...really bad. Maybe I should consider this?)

Hi-D was put at ease when I confessed that I'm not a Hot Couponing Mama. I use them - but I don't get a lot of free stuff. The best I have done is saving 50% off my total purchase. But this was a combination of sales and coupons - not just coupons. I promised Hi-D to share a couponing story.

Well, let me tell you! I was at Food Lion the other day, getting a few odds and ends that I had forgotten when I went weekly grocery shopping. (In my defense, they didn't even make it on the list. I usually always shop The List).

In front of me was a man who got around $20 worth of items. When the cashier gave the man his change and receipt, he asked him if he wanted his catalinas (catalinas are the coupons that print out based on the products you buy). He said he didn't want them. He was passing up free coupons! I spoke up (which in real life, is something I rarely do until after the fact) and said, "I'll take them!" One of the coupons was a free milk coupon. Food Lion is doing a promotion. When you buy a gallon of milk, you get a catalina towards a free gallon of milk. When you collect six of these coupons, you get a free gallon of milk. Why would you throw this away?

I'll be the first to admit, that for me, couponing takes some time. I've already said that I'm not a coupon pro. I use them to the best of my ability - and get some exciting deals. I buy the Sunday newspaper every week (except for holidays when there aren't any coupons) and I clip almost every coupon - not because I use them, but I like to pass them on to those who can use them. And yes, I even have a binder full of coupons. All in all, I'm a feather weight at best.

Even still, I do not pass up free coupons! Especially milk coupons. Especially when I already have five in my binder - free milk, here I come (every little bit helps, don'tcha know).

Interested in using or learning how to use coupons? Below are some free resources to help you -

Hot Coupon World (it's all about the deals!)
- HUGE couponing community! Learn how, learn where and learn how much. Want to be inspired? Check out these ladies' stockpiles!
Coupon Mom - TONS of free resources
Grocery Guide - Find coupons and sales, fast!

Are you more of a visual type of person? Go to YouTube and search 'couponing'. The things these women (and men!) accomplish is amazing!

Until next time...

A Blog Worth Mentioning

As I mentioned in my NaNoWriMo post, I'll be attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Because I'll still have to do things like feed my kids, I've decided that I'll be using my crock pot as much as possible.

Since I don't like to keep good things to myself, I wanted to share A Year of CrockPotting with you. Stephanie's challenge is to use her crock pot every day of the year. (Did you know it's day 293? Who knew?) Here, you will find main dishes, soups, desserts, and drinks - all made with your crock pot!

Here are a few more sites worth mentioning:

Crock-Pot Your Way to Happiness!
Crock Pot Moms

Until next time...

Hairspray

Hairspray
Hairspray


Have you seen it? Either the 1988 version of the 2007 version?

If you want to waste some time, giggle, and just have fun - I suggest seeing them. Yes, both of them.

If you aren't familiar with the storyline (where have you been - under a rock?), Hairspray is about Tracy Turnblad - a 'pleasantly plump' teen who loves to dance in the 1960s at a time in which certain dancing wasn't done and segregation was all the rage. She turns a local dance show (The Corny Collins Show) on it's ear when not only does she adopt a different dance, but fully supports segregation.

In the original movie, Tracy is played by Ricki Lake. She was really fun. In the second version, Tracy is played by new-comer Nikki Blonsky (is the fact that both were played by Nicki/Nikki coincidence?

Those who have seen the original will recognize some cameos in the new version - including none other than the original Tracy Turnblad herself!

Really, it's a funny, corny movie. It is rated PG for suggested sexuality, I bet. There are a lot of innuendos, so I wouldn't necessarily sit around the boob tube with the kiddos watching it. Remember Grease? Remember the suggestive themes presented in that movie? It's kind of like that.

Oh! And I almost forgot the greatest part! Edna Turnblad - Tracy's mom - is played by men in both versions. Davine in the 1988s and John Travolta in 2007. Oh it's a hoot! Very funny.

If you're looking for a rental - I recommend this one.

Until next time...

Not Gonna Take It Laying Down

While at WalMart the other day, I decided that the economy can do what it's going to do - I still have to feed my family and I still plan on feeding my family.

I will cut back in other ways on my budget in order to buy fruits and vegetables for my family. While we all love some 'junk food', I refuse to buy just junk food in order to meet my budget.

I shop sales. I use coupons. I have not reached the level of Coupon Mom or Money Saving Mom, nor do I have a year's supply of food as some religions suggest. Even still, I make due as best as I know how.

I pray that everyone reading this does the same for their family - to the best of their ability.

I know it's tough. But I don't think it's going to last forever. Furthermore, I believe that it's only during the times of struggle that we truly learn how to live.

This is what I'm doing. Won't you do the same?

Until next time...

Dibs!

cat
A whole lot of games are played here in the Turtle household. Punch Buggy. Jinx. And of course, Dibs.

For those not familiar with Dibs, the game is really quite simple. It's loosely based on Finders, Keepers except instead of just gaining the right to something simply by finding it, you have to yell 'Dibs!'. This ritual of seeing/finding an object and claiming it by calling dibs can be used on a number of things: the sacred recliner in the living room, the den computer, and yes, even squirrels.

Until next time...

Countdown to NaNoWriMo - 17 Days

It is that time again, boys and girls - NaNoWriMo - the self-imposed punishment instituted to all writers wishing to write a novel in a month. I did it last year (working part-time in the cafeteria in school), I hope to do it this year (working full time in the school).

Actually, it's not a punishment at all. It's a challenge. And this year, it promises to be a real challenge. Last year, it was a challenge. But I did it. My novel had to be at least 50,000 words to 'count'. Mine was 58K and some change.

But don't look for it on book stores anytime soon. It's still in six manila envelopes in my laptop bag-unedited. Well, it's been edited twice...but nothing major. In fact, I let a fellow writer read the first chapter and she suggested that it was in the very elementary stages. I had planned on it being geared towards women, but after thinking about it, I think it might be better geared to the young adult crowd. It needs work to be sure.

But the point is - I wrote it in 30 days. I stuck to something. I set a goal and I reached it. That's a big deal for me.

This year, however, is going to be really interesting. Work. Church. Man Beast. Kiddos. House. Cats.

Excuses.

I'm going to do it...and I'll be sure to check in with y'all regularly to share how I'm doing. To reach my goal, I need to write 6,700 words a day. That sounds like a lot, huh? Well, it is. But how do I explain it? When you get into a groove and lost in a story...it's really quite easy to lose yourself and write 6,700 words. Unfortunately, time is a constraint and while some college students and hard-core writers drop everything for the month of November, I cannot. Nor will I. I'll just do it.

And believe it or not, I'm looking forward to it. NaNoWriMo is an excuse - an excuse to write every day, no matter what. This is what it's all about for me. Writing. No excuses. Doing what I do best decently because I love doing it.

How cool is that?

Until next time...
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All about themes

Several of my favorite blogs have been talking about themes. Oh wait...I've been talking about themes, too! As it happens, I would like to talk about the theme of my blog...and clear up any misunderstandings...and perhaps even give a few apologies.

First, I've noticed that I have quite a few new readers. Hopefully, through reading some past blog entries, you've gotten a 'feel' for me. As I mentioned in my Breast Cancer post, I don't take much of anything seriously, including myself. This blog pokes fun at a lot of things - mainly me. But I understand that some people might take it the wrong way or might even taken offense.

I can't possibly make excuses or apologize for everything that might possibly offend you, Dear Reader, so I'll apologize for the one and only thing I can apologize for - my ramblings. More importantly, all ramblings. As in, the word 'ramblings'.

An on-going theme to my blog is ramblings. If you look to the side of this post, you'll see a list of tags that I use to organize my blog posts. I call them ramblings, mainly because they are. If you look further, you'll see that that my blog is called 'Others' Ramblings'. This is no way cheapens or makes fun of your blogs. I find that more often than not, many of you have some pretty heavy things to say. I love reading them...which is why I've included them on my blog roll. But in keeping with the whole 'rambling theme', they are called ramblings.

But I hope you know that I know that they are anything but.

I just felt the need to clear things up. You know, just in case.

Until next time...

Great Visit

If you remember, today was the day that TCWA, Monster Mama and Jack's Bean Stalk (JBS for short) came for a visit.

They just left not too long ago.

The visit in short - was awesome! Of course, it usually is.

I have permission from Monster Mama to talk about her - and her little Jelly Bean (my self-imposed name for the Little Monster. Because I'm the aunt - that's why). Be prepared to hear a lot about her. I would have taken pictures, but I think hope my camera is at school. TCWA took pictures and since The Man Beast fixed her computer (yes, she brought her CPU), she should be able to email me a few. And you know I'll just have to post. (But first, TCWA has 974 email messages to get through - 900 of which are probably from me. Her computer has been busted for a long time. )

MM looks great. She's got the cute mama belly. She has a couple more weeks to go - her first due date is on Thanksgiving. Won't that make for an interesting post? Her second due date is in December...but I'm about 99.999% sure that this will not be a Christmas baby. The good new is that since we live in a small city, the hospital is literally just 5 minutes up the road. She could walk...but since that makes labor move faster (and walking tends to be painful during labor), you'll be glad to know that we won't be making the mama of my nephew walk to the hospital. We're just cool like that.

We'll I'll be seeing Monster Mama for her Halloween themed baby shower in two weeks. (I'm sure Linda would love to see that!) TCWA will be making treats. We tried Googling Baby Frankenstein cakes. Would you believe there aren't any? No worries - TCWA has more talent in her little finger than I have in my whole body...she'll come up with something...and it will be awesome. Like always. Which is just why I had to give her the nickname The Coolest Woman Alive...because she is. But you can't have her. She's my mother in law. Get your own.

Until next time...

A Few Changes

First off, I'd like to comment that The Man Beast woke me up at 6:30 this morning just so 'I wouldn't sleep the day away'. Yeah, right. Like that would happen! I'll have you know that I was up at 8 am yesterday - hardly sleeping the day away.

You'll notice that I made a few changes. First and foremost - the template. Try as I might, I need the three columns. In a perfect world, I'd have a custom made template and a custom made template maker on hand so that I could adjust my template according to the seasons (see Raisin Toast and Pioneer Woman for examples). Well, I don't live in a perfect world - so I make due. And this is what I've come up with. (If you've been a long time reader, you'll recognize the template as I've used it before).

Simple. 3-column. And pink. I don't have to explain the pink, do I? I personally am not a fan of pink. I try to stay away from pink if at all possible. I love red. But pink? Not so much.

I am willing to step out of my comfort zone and create a pink blog in order to spread awareness. (Talk about stepping out of a comfort zone - let's talk about The Twins in a society who either hides them away from the world or exposes them for all the world to see! And if that weren't enough, I'm going to encourage you to touch them, squeeze them and poke them. And. And. Go to the doctor and let them touch them, squeeze them and poke them. And if you're over 40, get them squished. Does the woman have no shame?!)

The answer would be no. Not when it comes to our health. Not when the key to fighting breast cancer is early detection.

Bottom line - do self-breast exams monthly, see your doctor yearly, and if you're over the age of 40 or have a history of breast cancer in your family, go get a mammogram. Isn't a couple of minutes of discomfort worth your health? Yes.

On to other subjects...

I've re-added my blog roll. In answer to Misplaced Alaskan's comment about having a reader to follow blogs, I do. I provide a blog roll as a bloggy love to those I read regularly. And I've seen it works. Several of my readers have added some of my blog roll blogs to their blog rolls. Just spreadin' the love. (There are some that I've added to my personal favorites that I read on a regular basis. I've just not put them on the site because of subject content. Family friendly blog, remember?)

Oh, speaking of bloggy love, I'd like to give a shout out to Pat over at Graphics by Pat for providing the breast cancer ribbon that I placed by my blog title. I searched all over the net to find just the right one and decided that simple was best. I figured I didn't need anything flashy to get the word across. I'll let the ribbon speak for itself. (That said, for those of you who have MySpace and FaceBook accounts, there are some cute/flashy comment graphics. Just google them. I think two of my favorites are 'Save the Ta-Tas' and 'Don't forget the Squishy Squishy.' Then again, I hardly ever take anything seriously and I think catch phrases that stick in your head are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the serious things in life - like Breast Cancer.)

Until next time...


PS A few cancer sites:

American Cancer Society
OncoLink
BreastCancer.org
The Breast Cancer Site

Miss Me?

I haven't gotten around to updating my blog roll and since I'm on The Man Beast's computer (shhh, don't tell), I probably won't do it right now. But since I have a full week off for Fall Break, I'll get to it definitely, without a doubt. (Okay, can we get real - I might get to it. Those of you who regularly check in on me from time to time, I do appreciate you putting up with me - organized and predictable, I am not - except that there is always a slight chance that I won't always get to what I need to get to.)

I've been waiting all week for this day. I had to stay after school for two hours yesterday so that I could get off two hours earlier today. And it wasn't until after I had left, that I realized I left a few minutes before 1:30 - oops. I'll stay late on Thursday to make up for it.

I have absolutely no plans for this Fall Break except a lovely visit from my MIL - THE Coolest Woman Alive (TCWA for short). While she doesn't live but a short 1 hour drive away, it seems like it's been forever since we've all gotten together for visit. Considering the last time we saw each other was right before school started (first week of August), I guess it has been forever. Still, it's going to be awesome to see her.

I'll also be seeing Monster Mama, my SIL. Her little monster is due at the end of November. The Man Beast and I provided the first batch of grand babies - which is special. But this baby is TCWA's only daughter's first baby. Oh, and did I mention that this baby will make me an aunt? Is that the coolest or what?

Since I'll be home all week, expect to see some updates to the blog. I've got some ideas that I'll want to implement - like making daily blog posts! (But for those who don't know, Blogger - and I'm sure other blogs do as well - provides a scheduled publishing option. This means that when I have time, I can write up blog posts for future days. Crystal, over at Money Saving Mom, does this with both of her blogs because as she puts it, she has a life outside of her blog. So do I. So do you. But I still like to be here. I still like to share.)

Since it's October, be prepared to see some breast-themed posts. I feel very strongly about prevention and taking care of your body. I have not been personally affected by breast cancer, nor have any women who are close to me - but that does not diminish the importance of taking care of what yo' mama gave you.

That's all for now...

Ack!

For the second time this year, my blog roll has disappeared!

I don't have time to 'rescue' it right now as I have to get ready for church, but if you were on my blog roll (or would like to be added to my blog roll) please leave me a comment.

[Goes off in search of that text file that had all of her goodies, mumbling about stupid computers, under her breath.]

Until next time...

What Does It Mean?

Are you confused about the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008? I sure am!

But hey, knowledge is power, right?

Read the bill (which did pass yesterday) here. It'll take awhile - it's 451 pages.

But you can do it!

Until later,

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New Year, New Me!

Yes, yes. This is yet ANOTHER New Year post. So what's one more? It's been while since I've brushed off the old "Cre...