Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Well, that was brilliant

I would love to share a witty, clever post about our Halloween - complete with pictures of the kids all dressed up before they were ear deep in candy and over the whole trick or treat thing.

And by over the whole trick or treat thing I really mean having to wait their turn, say please and thank you, and only take one piece of candy from the bowls people in the neighborhood trustingly left out. Parents ruin everything. Sigh.

And by ear deep in candy, I really mean sticking their head into their buckets of candy and and eating their way through as much as possible as fast as possible.

And by pictures I really mean that I don't have any because while I did take my camera and I did take pictures, guess what I didn't take? The SD card. That little thing comes in handy if you aren't just practicing pushing the buttons on your it turns out.

And by witty, clever post, I'm sad to say that this is as good as it gets tonight, but there's always next year, right?

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The truth hurts, but it can make you laugh until you cry

So, this weekend was planned like this: Saturday Robert and Tucker were off to go camping with the Boy Scouts. Sara and I were going to hang at home in opulence and total comfort and do girl stuff. I had thrown out an invitation for people to come over and watch Rocky Horror on Saturday night. Sunday was going to be a much needed, well deserved down day.

Early Saturday morning (and for the record - early Saturday morning involves anything before 9 am) Sara was up, Robert and Tucker took off, and that meant that I, too, was reluctantly up as well. Emphasis on reluctantly.

I was downstairs unloading the dishwasher and I had one of those annoying moments of clarity  My house is messy and cluttered. I dislike clutter immensely. So it's either poetic justice or karma that I'm constantly surrounded by it.

Inspired by who-knows-what or perhaps horrified that people would be coming over to SEE my messy house, I made a deal with Sara. Let me clean and I would invite a friend over for her to play with AND I would take her that afternoon to get her fingernails and toenails painted. She eagerly agreed (probably because nothing was mentioned about her helping me), so I invited her friend over and got to it.

One little problem. Tucker, in his attempt to protect us from a spider last weekend, tried to smush it with the broom. The broom broke. I forgot to pick up a new one each time I went to the store. I'm too embarrassed to say how many times that is. And like a Groundhog Day short, I'd go to grab the broom and say, "OH! That's right. I need to buy a broom!" And just like magic, the thought would disappear until I went to grab the broom again. Thank goodness for my Dustbuster or things would have been...well, they would not have been pretty.

So it's Saturday morning. I haven't showered and I know I'm going to get all kinds of  nasty from cleaning or at least feel like I'm all kinds of nasty. I am SO not going out in public without showering but I really need a broom.

What to do...what to do...

I got down on my hands and knees with clorox wipes and cleaned the floor that way.

Can I just say...Gross!

But that little bit of detail cleaning inspired me to REALLY clean. And it took forever. But I also got a lot of de-cluttering done and I was so proud. I also had put baked apple pie into my Sentsy warmer so the house smelled really good. That could also be because I actually scrubbed out the garbage disposal which was 200 kinds of nasty and detailed the bathroom. ::shudder::

Sara and her friend played upstairs and stayed out of my way. I think they tried on every piece of clothing Sara owned, but they were so cute when they came down to model that I didn't mind having to refold and re-hang everything. Plus, I made her help. HAHA!

We went and got Sara's nails painted around 3:30 or 4. She chose a black glittery polish and the nail salon tech drew spider webs on her big toenails and her middle fingernails (obvious comment being avoided about that). Cute, cute, cute! And in my cleaning frenzy, I found a bag of boots that my mom had brought to Sara at some point in the last year. I had completely forgotten about them. Sara tried them on and they all fit. And when she wears them, she looks so grown up. She's not a baby anymore. And that girl has style. I envy her that!

Anyway, it turns out that this weekend was probably not the best weekend to have planned a Rocky Horror viewing on such short notice and it ended up not happening. Megan and her daughter decided to come over anyway (probably because I begged) and we hung out. Sara was delighted to have a playmate (and someone to show her nail art).

We ended up going out for dinner and ended up having Mexican. Yum. Only, on the way home, something I ate didn't agree with me and I had to go to the bathroom pretty badly by the time we got back.

After making a beeline for the bathroom and being as discreet as I could be about it (fan running and hoping for minimal sound effects), I washed my hands and rejoined everyone in the living room. I had made a low fat dessert (brownies made with pumpkin - YUM!), and we had leftover birthday cake so I offered everyone dessert.

Megan and I sat at the big table and Zoey and Sara sat at the little table. After they finished eating, I asked them both to wash their hands. They both headed for the bathroom versus the kitchen sink. Uh oh.

I looked at Megan and said, "It may still be pretty stinky in there..." right about the time Zoey walks up to bathroom door - mind you, not INTO the bathroom - and says loudly, "EWWWWWWWWWW! It's STIIIIIINNNKKKKKYYYYYYYYYY!" and turns on her heel and walks away. Sara, without comment, goes in and shuts the door - minus gas mask or air freshener.

Now I know that really, you had to be here to appreciate all of this, and that probably only Megan and I will read this and still laugh until we cry, but -

we both burst out laughing and laughed until we cried. Megan commented somewhere along the way that she was sorry about Zoey being so outspoken, and I commented that she spoke the truth and sometimes the truth hurts and that Sara just went in and closed the door without even blinking. Which made it all the funnier to both of us. So I guess that it's true that Megan's s**t really DOESN'T stink and it's also true that Mexcian food is not my friend because that's not the first time eating at that restaurant has upset my stomach. But I think Zoey, bless her heart, was my first casualty. Sorry Zoey!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just call me Ron Burgandy

Earlier this month,  I tried to wish my SIL Happy Birthday on Facebook only to find out that I was blocked from seeing anything on her page, including the Happy Birthday post I just entered.

If I've upset you (or whatever) and you think that's the necessary course of action versus just talking to me about why you're upset, do whatcha gotta do. I'm okay with that.

But when I come across a situation like this, I'm all for calling a spade a spade. If you've blocked me, then why are we even still friends on Facebook?

It's a mystery to me.

And in that situation, I'll unfriend you. Because...duh.

Am I missing some crucial part of Facebook etiquette?

As it turns out, today the unfriending was noticed because my SIL tried to wish Tucker a happy birthday on my page. So, she texted me and I texted back a sincere thank you. Because that was thoughtful of her to take the time and wish him happy birthday and I appreciated that.

I was volunteering at school all day today and when I got home, there was a post on my wall from my brother - wishing Tucker a happy birthday and then a calling me out for the unfriending and ending up the comment with '...classy.'

I know this situation isn't really funny, per se, but anytime anyone uses 'classy' I automatically think of Ron Burgandy. And then I giggle.

So there you have it. I don't understand friend etiquette on Facebook whatsoever and am puzzled at how I'm the one who's in the wrong. I'd love some feedback on this. Do I owe my SIL an apology and a friend request? How does this work?

Stay classy, San Diego.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm like....

I have started a dozen posts since my last post on October 7th. Where are they? Still in the drafts folder for one reason or another. And no, not just because they are all unfinished. Although, yes, they all do have that in common.

If I don't finish a post and then publish it within 12 hours of starting it, it's very likely that that post will never get published. I don't know why I'm like that, but I am. ::shrugs::

You know what else I'm like?

I'm, like, tired. I did something funky to my back on Saturday and I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping. Well, actually, that's not true. I can go to sleep just fine. I just can't move when I wake up, no matter if I sleep on my tummy, back, or side.

You want to know the worst part about that? No working out right now. Oh my gosh - did I just say the worst part of back pain is that I can't work out? Yes, yes I did. My, my how things have changed. Thank you Tony Horton. Thank you Zumba. Thank you Shawn T. Thank you Romi Hancock.

I'm, like, sad. A good friend moved away this week. Far, far, far away and I hate good-byes. Since we are military, I'm hating good-byes quite often. Unfortunately, the frequency of good-byes fails miserably to make any of them the least bit easier.

I'm, like, puzzled. I'm developing issues with Facebook etiquette. Hopefully someone out there can explain to me what the point is in keeping someone on your friend list yet restricting them from everything on your page.  Wouldn't it be kinder and more honest to just unfriend them? Has society come to that point where we hide behind social media pretending instead of having a conversation that's the least bit unpleasant? Wait....maybe I don't want that question answered.

I'm, like, happy. I finally got the laundry caught up, except for one really large comforter that needs to be taken to the laundry mat and washed in an industrial machine. Last time I tried to wash it in our washer, unpleasant noises came out of the laundry room and I'm not referring to my constant complaining about the abnormal amount of laundry around here.

I'm, like, excited. Robert is taking Tucker camping with the Boy Scouts this weekend which means 1) I don't have to go and 2) Sara and I get some girl time. The jury is still out on whether or not she will complain less once she has my full attention, although I do have my suspicions.

I'm, like, grateful. It has come to my attention recently in bright, glaring, neon color that I have some ah-mazing people in my life. Not too terribly long ago, I was wondering where all the decent people in the world had gone and then I started to realize how many I knew. It was a pretty big number, and I was humbled by it. So I shifted my focus to start looking at all the positive and good in my life instead of all the negative. What a difference a few years can make.

I'm, like, honored. My cupcake post from yesterday got re-posted by the cupcake shop on their Facebook page. Pretty awesome stuff, if you ask me. I can't stop grinning! (Now go visit Sweet Katie Bee's and eat some delicious cupcakes too!)

I'm, like, curious. What are you like?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

All Good Things to Those Who Cupcake

Today was a cupcake day. Don't judge.

There has been SO much going on lately - lots of stress (the good and bad kind), too much to do and not enough time to do it it in, a friend moved away, lots of changes, basically. It just feels like it's all on fast forward while I'm still on pause.  

When I got invited last week to join some friends for cupcakes today, I dove at the chance. And in all honesty, it was as much for the company as it was the sweet treats. 

I had never heard of this cupcake place called Sweet Katie Bee's Cupcake and Coffee Bar. Which really doesn't mean anything because I'm not from around here (said in my best southern drawl.) Sweet Katie Bee's is located in O'Fallon, Illinois in the middle of a small town downtown. Charming. Picturesque. Awesome. Freakin' delicious. 

When I walked in, I was cautious about the flavors listed - today was vanilla bean cloud, Katie's chocolate cake, Tiramisu, Mojito, Fudge Cake, and PB&J. Here's the super cool thing - they serve regular sized cupcakes and mini cupcakes. That way you could try a couple small ones if you weren't sure what you would like. 
photo courtesy of Sweet Katie Bee's Cupcake and Coffee Bar Facebook page.

Since I'm so daring and adventurous, I tried a mini Katie's chocolate cake and a mini vanilla bean cloud. 


I LOVE vanilla anything. The cake was kind of like a pound cake texture but tasted so much lighter. And the vanilla icing? Buttery, sugary, heaven. Obviously, an excellent choice. 

And then I tried the chocolate. There are no words, people. It tasted like a chocolate buttermilk cake (which is my favorite kind of chocolate cake) and was rich without being too rich and very moist. The best part? There was a dab of cream in the middle, kind of like a Hostess cupcake, only 2 million times better. And no, I'm not kidding. Or exaggerating. Or simply on a sugar high.  SO good. 

My friends tried the mojito, vanilla bean cloud, and the tiramisu. All with rave reviews. We talked about it so much, that we went back and got more mini cupcakes so we could split them between us and try them all. They were all really good and we were all really full. The surprise like of the day for me was the PB &J. But I cannot tell a lie, I liked them all. But if I had to pick my top three, it would be the Mojito, Katie's Chocolate Cake, and the vanilla bean cloud - in no particular order. 

If you are in or near O'Fallon, Illinois, stop by Sweet Katie Bee's Cupcake and Coffee Bar. And make sure you try the David Rio Chai, which was the liquid highlight of my week!

This is what is looked like when we were done:
Photo: Wonderful cupcakes with awesome ladies.
photo by Meredith McGill

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Slight Clarification

In my last blog post, I talked about going out with Megan after Zumba and then being invited to join some other Zumba ladies. 

I want to clarify something really quickly. I didn't feel like there was a clique thing going on. I think the person  who seemed uncomfortable with the our presence wanted to talk about something personal. With the addition of two people that she didn't know, it just sort of interfered with what she had needed - which was to talk about something that was bothering her. 

It wasn't anyone's fault, and my intended point was that I, like Megan, could have taken the initiative to ease the tension by either saying something really nice or by making an excuse for us to leave the table. But I did neither of those things, and I'm a little embarrassed by my behavior. 

Okay, maybe a lot embarrassed. 

I have never felt more accepted and welcomed in my life than I have with the people I've met through Zumba here. I love these women like family and I would do anything for any of them. 

Just wanted to put that out there. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Three Women I Admire and Some Soul Searching...

Two stories today and three women I admire immensely:

Number one:

I read a blog post today by one of my favorite bloggers - Tatted Mom. Click here to read it. I hope her post goes as viral as the picture of Maria Kang.

Look. I would never make light of anyone trying to live a healthy life. I think it's great that someone who had 3 kids in 3 years can look like Maria Kang. Good for her for being dedicated to keeping her body in shape!


The whole 'What's your excuse?" thing? I'm so over it. Tony Horton posted a picture of a guy who did P90X with absolutely phenomenal results. He only has one leg. The caption on that picture? Yep. 'What's your excuse?' Not knocking him down for it - he looks amazing and I have no doubt he worked his butt off to make the changes.


I think there's a whole lot more to being fit than a number on a scale or what size pants you wear or how toned your abs are. It's entirely possible to be thin but not fit and it's possible to be fit in an unhealthy way. And no picture shows whether or not you have a healthy attitude towards food or a healthy balance in other areas of your life. ALL of those factors are equally as important (if not more so) than how you look in your undies.

As a fat girl, I'm about to share a secret with you. Fat people? We KNOW we are fat. Most of us, no matter how jolly or how overweight/obese are well aware that as fat people, we are considered 'less than'. And I'm willing to be that most of us Fatty McFattersons are way harder on ourselves than the public would think. So how about lifting us up, fellow humans? How about not giving us yet another reason to make the damn excuse you are so willing to berate us for. How about a little love?!?!

::Deep cleansing breath::

Number two:

Last night after Zumba, my friend Megan and I decided to go have a drink. It turns out that some other people from class had the same idea. The first one of those ladies that arrived at the restaurant invited Megan and me to join them. Since I've never experienced anything but kindness from my Zumba peeps, I was thrilled at the invite (the more the merrier) and we accepted.

And then the rest of them arrived. Two of the girls seemed...put our joining their little party. Had either Megan or I thought for one second that we would have been intruding in any way, we would have politely declined and been just fine hanging out by ourselves.

But by the time we all got settled at the table and the body language came across, we had changed tables three times (not my preference, but majority rules) so we stayed put. I was sitting on the same side of the table as the two that were less than thrilled at our presence and directly across from Megan. I was totally fine with just ignoring the situation. The girl beside me had angled herself so that her back was to me anyway. I was totally fine with the live and let live thing.

But after about half an hour, Megan leans over and says something so incredibly nice to the girl beside me that all the tension just melted and at least Megan was forgiven for the intrusion. Possibly me too. And at the time (and I also told Megan this later), all I could think was this - how hard would it have been to do the same thing? What would it have cost me to at least try and break the ice? (The answer to that? Not a thing!) But I was totally fine with sitting there and pretending the girl beside me didn't exist since she was doing the same thing to me. Shame on me!

Number three:

I can't really tell the third story because it isn't mine to tell. What I CAN say is this: the whole mean girl thing doesn't end when you get out of middle school, high school, or even college. That is such a shame. So for third third woman that I admire, I hope you read this and figure out that I'm talking about you. And that some of the decisions you made in the last week have not been easy, but they have been really brave. And I am so honored to know you.

But how do these tie together?  First, they all made me do some serious thinking about the kind of person I want to be and whether or not I'm on the right path.  Second: Words matter. Actions matter. It's not okay to be unkind. Ever.  Third, bravery is speaking up. Whether to agree or disagree, defend yourself or explain yourself, or just to say something kind. But speaking up can be done well and respectfully - just like the three people referenced in my blog post did. Bravery is also doing the right thing.  I need to do better in all three areas. And fourth, how lucky  and blessed am I to know some freakin' awesome people?!?

Who are you thankful to know?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wardrobe Resistance

For those of you who are fans of my Daily Dose of Dahl Facebook page, you guys will likely know what I'm about to blog about.

For those of you that aren't, please become a fan. I'm only 9 away from 100 fans. There's a link on ------> this side of my blog page that makes it easy.

And while I'm asking for favors, how about voting for me on Top Mommy Blogs? There's a button for that over this way ------> too. Please and thank you. :)

Back to our regularly scheduled programming....

Sara has missed the bus three times in the last two weeks. Granted, she slept later than usual, but the real reason she missed the bus is because of severe differences of opinion over her wardrobe.

You are probably thinking she wants to wear outfit A and I don't approve. I wish it were that simple! No, nothing with Sara is ever really simple.

Girlfriend has a severe case of wardrobe resistance. What's wardrobe resistance? Well, in this house it's resistance to putting on any piece of clothing she owns without a fight. And by fight, I mean throwing a fit. Matching doesn't seem to matter (she's only five, after all), it's just that she's a grade A control freak. Not gonna lie, she comes by that personality trait honestly.

I've tried letting her pick out her clothes the night before. I've given her creative leeway in that as long as it's clean and fits properly and there's no chance of ruining someones eyesight, she has pattern and color carte blanche.

That little experiment works beautifully until she wakes up the next morning and then suddenly, her choices are no longer acceptable.

I wish that I could translate the sounds she makes during this process phonetically  but there's no way. She sounds like a cross between a rabid dog, a wolf, a very hungry grizzly bear, and a very frustrated teenager. Lots of grunting and growling and exclamations like 'arrrrgggghhhhhhhh. THIS. IS. NOT. WORKING!!!!!!!!!'

And yes, if you were wondering, it can be very difficult not to laugh. But if I do and she sees it or hears it, it spikes her to another entire level of anger and frustration. And that, my friends, is seriously no bueno.

By the end of the....event....there are clothes thrown all over, tears have been shed, and she has mentioned her lack of acceptable clothing choices about 30 times. (She has LOTS of clothes. Cute ones.)

I am, predictably  unmoved by any of this. It never helps the situation. Sara then turns that into self verified proof about how I don't really love her.

Last week she tried to wear hot pink footless tights as pants.

Not even.

So then she put light purple knit pants over said hot pink footless tights and combined it with a greyish purple animal print top. The temperature that day was supposed to be 65.  Her jacket is a beautiful dark purple, so I'm hoping she left it on for most of the day, because girlfriend was a hot mess in that outfit. I should also mention that she pulled her tights up realllllllly high and the waist of her pants was not pulled up reallllllly high, so you could see the hot pink tights when she raised her arms or sat down or you know, stood still.

I do not understand.

This morning, I picked out a pair of knit pants in medium bright pink that we recently bought at Target. Cuuuuuute! They are tapered and rouched a little around the ankle so that if they are a little long, your child doesn't end up walking all over the edges of the pants. On the back are these cute little bows. Sara loved them in the store and begged and begged for them. This morning, predictably, she didn't want to wear them. At first it was because they were too hard to get on and fit too tight around her legs. Spoken by the girl who will wear winter tights in the middle of summer, so please! Then she refused to wear them because the bow was in the back and she decided bow should be on the front. My solution to this was for her to wear the pants backwards then. Problem solved!

And yet, no. That was not acceptable. So I had to try not to laugh as she stomped around her room fussing and grunting and trying to kick the pants off of the one leg they had managed to be put on. No lie, it was hysterical. She finally figured out to sit down and pull the pants off (YAY, my kid is all smart and stuff) and then ended up shoehorning her way into a pair of jeans from last year. I fear her first attempt at going potty at school will end up with me having to run another pair of pants up there because she couldn't get them unbuttoned and unzipped fast enough. I hope that's not the case, but I'm pretty sure it will be. In that event, I've already packed a change of clothes for her and put them in the car.

Guess which pants I chose? 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Feeling like a Rock Star

I admit, back in the day, I could be a little dramatic.

Oh hush! The truth is setting me free. If you are cackling like that, how are you ever going to be able to pay attention to what I'm about to say?

But I have nothing on Sara. Not even on my most dramatic day did I ever come close to her status quo.

Most of the time, Sara's dramatics make me roll my eyes and briefly wish I could Forrest Gump (or should I say Jen-nay) it and be made into a bird so I "could fly; fly far, far away!"

But today, I was putting up a bulletin board in the school cafeteria and our bulletin board assembling ran over into lunch time. Tucker is in the early group and from him I got a wave and a cheerful 'Hi MOM!'.

But oh-ho! When Sara looked up and saw me? Her whole little face lit up and she's all "That's my mom! That's MY mom! Look, look, that's my mom!!" And a friend of hers got just as excited and started shouting, "That's Ms. Brooke! HI MS. BROOKE!!!! I know her! I know her!" Then all sorts of kids started waving and saying hi.

It made me feel like a rock star, which was pretty awesome because I'd been up on an 8 foot ladder stapling things at odd angles. The combination of stark terror (I'm not a heights person), about 200 little eyes watching my every move, the warmer temps at the top of the room, and the fact that I was trying to hurry and finish the bulletin board and get out of the way combined to make me a sweaty mess today. Not. Pretty.

But Sara was glad to see me anyway. You'd think from her reaction that someone famous was in the cafeteria trying not to staple their sweatshirt sleeve to the bulletin board. It gave me the warm fuzzies - which will inevitably come in handy when Sara comes home from school and has a meltdown when I tell her no, she can't have a bunch of junk for a snack.

It was nice while it lasted, though!