Kids’ Picks: Grumpy Frumpy! Happy Snappy!

My son hasn’t gotten into too many new books since last month’s kids picks a great book carnival @ 5 Minutes For Books EXCEPT this little gem that I picked up at Target in the $1 bin…

He immediately seemed to know that these little guys were “monsters” in a big scary silly voice, though I’m not sure where he learned about monsters in the first place, it’s hilarious to hear him read this. I guess that means it’s hilarious to hear ME read this, since I read it to him first and he now imitates me, but the cool thing is he seems to remember each page, each voice and I think he really gets the idea of the opposites on these pages. Here’s an example from MM The Future Hand Model…

He loves to turn the book upside down on THIS page to show me how it works – how did he figure this out because I’m pretty sure I didn’t teach him that, much like I didn’t teach him his ABCs. This genius little two year old seriously taught himself. I honed it all in, but really, he was the mastermind there. And here. I’m so proud… sniff…

This book is awesome and a short quick read and so fun to make silly voices with. Did I mention it was a DOLLAR?

I’m trying really hard not to show you every page because there must be some copyright thing against that but all the pages are so adorable and my son just LOOOOOVES this book. Here’s him showing you what a grumpy frumpy looks like…

Sort of… He kind of smirked right when I took the picture but trust me, he was Grumpy Frumpy at it’s finest.

What books is your kid reading this month? If you blog about it, make sure to link up here, and also let me know in the comments section!

Do You NaNoWriMo?

So is anyone else planning to write a novel next month? Have you ever tried? I’ve “tried” but have yet to finish. But I’ve always been in college during previous attempts and did you know there are a lot of big exams in November? In hindsight it wasn’t my best idea. Or I’m the hugest procrastinator and excuse maker ever. One of those.

But so I’ve had this story idea flitting through my head since like um a year ago. It’s changed about eighty gazillion times since then so that if I told you about the first version and the current version you probably wouldn’t believe me when I told you they were related. Maybe I’m only pretending they’re related. But if I don’t start writing soon I don’t think I ever will and what’s left of this story might disappear altogether.

The nice thing about letting it flit through for the past year is that I think I have the core of this story down. I’m not going to “forget” it just yet because I’ve been thinking about it on and off for a year now. Maybe that means this is the “one” – that soon I’ll be the next Stephenie Meyer or Libba Bray or Janet Evanovich or whatever? People will KNOW my NAME and I’ll probably need to start a new blog or start mentioning who I am on this blog. Because I’ll be famous. All thanks to NaNoWriMo.

Or at least, I’ll have fun this month pulling my hair out and trying to do something productive for myself for a month and pretend that my English Degree really does mean something now because, “Look, I’m writing a novel!”

I’ll post the details of my story at some point maybe. I have this weird fear that someone will steal my idea like it’s really that brilliant. So maybe I’ll just include a word count or something or a sentence snippet until it’s done and copyrighted?

Anyone else doing the NaNoWriMo? What are you writing about? Wanna be my writing buddy?

In Other News…

  • I really want to bake peanut butter cookies but I’m worried that would be the epitome of further sabotaging my diet. But I saw this great recipe in Parents Magazine which only needs peanut butter, sugar & an egg – I have all those things! And don’t you think my adorable two year old would enjoy making cookies with his momma… I know I could give some cookies away, but that involves going out, which I’m hoping not to do until the weekend. By then they’ll be long gone.
  • I just ordered our Christmas cards from Walmart’s photo website. I am not always the biggest Walmart fan but I do love their photo products and their prices seriously cannot be beat. I made our 2008 calendar there and it came out great! I’m using my iMac to make next year’s calendar, because it means I can use iPhoto which is just easier and only a few dollars more expensive. Holiday cards really aren’t cost effective via iPhoto though so thank god for Walmart! I say the same thing, btw, when I need new clothes. Apparently only Walmart understands my body type. I’m not sure what that says about me… Do you guys like Walmart or are you strictly Target Types? Or other?
  • I’ve had four glasses of water today (the big TALL glasses) and had trail mix for a snack with MM – so even though I haven’t exercised today I’m still feeling pretty proud of myself and super healthy – I lost 3 pounds last week doing nothing so maybe doing a teeny tiny something this week will help the trend to continue?
  • I also organized MM’s toys while he was napping, trying to instead of stashing things in two huge crates and rotating, keep all the crates out at once and organize the toys so that stuffed animals are here, cars and trucks and planes are here, etc. So far I think it’s working well but we’ll see. I really don’t want to have to get rid of toys but Christmas is fast approaching. Still I think we’ll see what kind of loot we get before we go hastily getting rid of (although to be fair, none of his old toys are gone, they are just in boxes in our bedroom, which would prefer we not bring more boxes into).
  • The Halloween costume is ALMOST time. I bought dh a new sewing machine this weekend (apparently our old one only did ONE stitch, how lame is that? The new one only does 16, but he says that’s a world of difference and that it does all these other cool things, too. Please don’t tell him I’m betraying his manliness again by telling you all of this, but I love it. If he gets really good at this sewing thing he can teach me how to do some of it. But you know he’ll just do a better job. Meanwhile … I blog like nobody’s business? I’m sure I’m good at something. So he does the sewing, makes homemade breads, pizzas and anything else he puts his mind to and he’s a genius. I’m… good at spell checking. Usually.
  • This may or may not be the only random bullet points post I ever make. Usually I try to reign it in and make one topic per post, but I wanted to just talk for awhile, like in a diary or something and just get it out a bit. Without continuing to cry about my dead hamster and lack of pregnancy. You understand right?

Looking Fine 2009: Week 8

Sorry I bailed on you guys last week and totally neglected posting. If you must know I lost .5 pounds last week – which is absurd because like 4 or 5 of those days prior involved me walking, for various reasons, for so long and so far that I should have lost 50 pounds just as a thank you to my legs.

LAST week I decided diets were for losers and that exercise was for skinny people. Last week I broke every rule in the book. I baked and ate like a ton of cookies. I had dh buy my favorite potato chips. There was ice cream and soda and FUN times basically. I don’t know how much water I drank because I didn’t care. And I didn’t exercise once. It was awesome.

Now, to be fair, last week I got my period. Which means last week I found out I still wasn’t pregnant. And last week my hamster died. Last week I had to babysit SB 4 days in a row, 3 of those days from noonish until 9ish. And I couldn’t exercise any of those days because naptime (when I normally work out now to avoid being laughed at by a two year old – it’s not really an incentive so much as a way of making you want to hide under the covers that aren’t there because it’s not bedtime) now involved a three year old kid “sleeping” in the living room who I could wake up with my antics of jiggling. Not that they napped, because apparently they’ve both decided naptime is for lame-os. I know, it’s a cop out – but, did I mention my hamster dying or the period?

Are you ready for the best part? I lost three pounds. Not dieting rocks. The potato chips were delicious. The cookies? I might make some more. Now before you go yelling at me, I’m back to my water rations and the potato chips are gone (and I won’t be buying more) and as soon as Netflix recieves the movies I returned they should be sending out a Pilates DVD and any day I don’t have a second kid around I’ll be working out. Just as soon as my period is gone. Because I’m pretty sure lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place. Or something.

Anybody else lose any weight for no apparent reason? Or did way better than lame-o me? Or worse? Can we play the game of whose life sucks more, cause that’s always fun! I’m all ears…..

Children’s Classics: Newbery Medal Favorites

The big topic at 5 Minutes for Books this week is Newbery Medal winners. Have you read many of the books that have won a Newbery Medal? Do awards influence which books you will or won’t read? I think for the more official awards like the Newbery or Caldecott – or even the NYT bestsellers, having that recognition would definitely influence me to read a book if I’d maybe been the fence about whether or not to read it, whereas I’ve on occasion opted not to read a book if say, Oprah has it on her book list. Some hype is worthy, some not so much.

I’ve read a good handful of the Newbery award winners, some of which are high up there on my favorite books from when I was a kid. Here are some of my favorite Newbery Award winners:

If I were to make a list of my favorite books from that time period of my life, this would likely be it, so I’d definitely recommend any of them to a young reader or an older reader. I’d be extremely excited if my children chose to read these books someday and may read them again just to brush up on the classics.

Are any of your favorite children’s books a Newbery Medal winner?

Workout DVDs = The Devil In Blue Stretchy Pants

Has anybody else noticed that all workout dvds are secretly just aerobics, in some weird form or another.

Today I tried the 10 Minutes Solutions: Kickboxing Bootcamp: aka Step Aerobics Plus Punching. I never even got to the kicking part, if it was there. I jumped around for two and a half minutes punching the air, trying not to look like a complete tool, and also trying not to trip myself. I failed. A few times. And why call it kick boxing if I don’t get to kick anything – they should have called it hopping and punching boxing. I mean maybe there was kicking later, after the 2.5 minutes that I watched, but honestly, does that matter at this point?

Before that I tried Just My Size Yoga (hey the JMS jeans I bought are awesome, I figured it couldn’t hurt) and that DVD wasn’t aerobics, but it also wasn’t exercise. At least not calorie burning exercise. Any calories I burned while being a majestic tree, I gained back quickly with the water I drank afterwards (or the cookies, chips or ice cream, one of those). I actually kind of liked Yoga For Fat Chicks, but that’s probably because it was mostly easy and I didn’t break a sweat or find myself sort of stepping frantically in any direction possible, hoping I was still following along somehow. And probably if it’s easy it’s not worth it? I don’t know. Did I mention the ridiculous one piece body suit she’s wearing in this thing?

Before that was the 10 Minute Solutions: Fat Blasting Dance Mix, which was basically aerobics with silly music. My son thought it was really funny to see mommy dance, but probably because I was doing such a terrible job. I’m not coordinated – I can shake and jiggle, but not to a specific set of movements in a specific amount of time. And you see that happy peppy girl on the cover? Yeah, I kind of hate her for being happy and peppy while dancing, although in this picture she probably isn’t dancing, but posing to look like she’s dancing. Or she’s a robot. Definitely one of those.

All these workout DVDs kind of remind me of the Very Silly Songs! Veggie Tales video where Larry thinks he’s doing the first ever workout video…so he begins the workout by hopping to the left, right, front, and back in time to stereotypical workout music. Then he jumps on a trampoline and tells the viewers that if they don’t have a trampoline, they can just use an old rug and a pair of slinkies … Then after jumping higher and higher, he hits his head on the cupboards… over and over and over….

Yeah that’s what workout DVDs are like for me…

I think it’s pretty obvious to me that these 10 Minute Solutions DVDs are not for the unfit sloths like myself. They mean to fit a 60 minute workout into 10 minutes, as opposed to creating a 10 minute workout that you can do in 10 minutes before going off to buy twinkies…

Booking Through Thursday: How I Read

I don’t think I’ve done a BTT in a while, but I saw that my very bestie Ange @ Red Knows How did it this week and I was all, “Someone beat me to a meme!!!” and “Holy crikey, it’s a good one!!!!” so you know I had to stop throwing out random exclamation points and just join in already.

What was the last book you bought?

I really should remember that, right? I am going to guess that it was Breaking Dawn but I could be wrong. But I’m probably right because what else would be worthy of my hardly earned thus hardly there cash than this:

Name a book you have read MORE than once

That’s a pretty tough one to answer – there are a lot of books that I love and think about constantly but not many that I actually read more than once. But here are a two:

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Nothing comes to mind sorry. I think every book you read changes you a little bit, but I can’t think of one book that just completely changed me. At least not yet. The closest would be French Women Don’t Get Fat – while it certainly hasn’t made me French or skinny, there were a couple lines that made me re-think my eating habits at least a little bit. The biggest being that if you are going to put it in your body it should be amazing and really worth it. I don’t always remember it, but sometimes I do and I’m glad. If you are going to indulge, REALLY indulge, you know?

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

Lots of ways! I get the Borders newsletters via email, I keep a list on and see what some of my friends are reading, I read a few book blogs – one of my favorites is 5 Minutes for Books, I browse the aisles of bookstores or I ask my bestie what she’s reading, cause it’s usually good!

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I prefer fiction but I try to read both

What’s more important in a novel – beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

I guess the plot, but good writing (not necessarily beautiful, but GOOD) is also very important. At a certain point you have to get picky – I read a lot but I don’t have time to read everything – it has to be good in both regards.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

I’m gonna go with Stephanie Plum but there are a lot of good characters I’ve read it’s hard to choose!

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

Right now I’m reading Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde, then I plan to read In The Hand of The Goddess by Tamora Pierce

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

Breaking Dawn was the last book I finished, and according to my list I finished it September 25.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Yes, it definitely happens – the last book I abandoned was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. For details on why, check out my review here.

“The Dog Ate My Copy Of Jane Eyre,” And Other Lies

I know I was supposed to read Jane Eyre for this…

But I confess, bloggy friends, I didn’t finish it. Why?

Let’s play that game where I give three lies and one truth and you guess which one is the real reason I didn’t finish reading okay?

  1. I couldn’t finish my copy of Jane Eyre because after reading the first few chapters I got so enraged by her poor story of life as an orphan, that I convinced my husband to adopt a daughter with me. We got on the phone with an orphanage in England and adopted a ten year old girl who happened to be named Jane. We’ve been so busy getting used to life with a depressed ten year old girl that I simply haven’t had time to read. Yesterday some guy named Rochester showed up and keeps calling Jane his little pet. Should I ask him to leave?
  2. I didn’t finish reading the book because I was busy living inside of it. Apparently because of reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, I now have the ability to jump inside of books simply by reading them. So after re-reading the chapter in the red room several times, trying to understand it, I found myself THERE trapped in the Red Room with Jane. I had a long talk with her aunt, explaining that the poor girl thought she’d seen her dead uncle and what kind of stupid aunt was she, and so I wasn’t able to finish your copy of Jane Eyre because in my copy the aunt comes to her senses, spanks her son, apologizes to Jane and well as you can imagine, they all lived happily ever after instead. Sorry.
  3. I didn’t finish reading the book because after about 150 tedious, overly descriptive only Nathaniel Hawthorne could appreciate this book pages, I decided that life was too short to be spent reading bad literature. Sorry Charlotte, but I’d rather go visit the Well of Lost Plots instead.
  4. I couldn’t finish reading my copy of Jane Eyre because my dog ate it. I was kind of sad, because where I was reading, Jane finally found a friend – you know Helen Burns, the dying chick who thinks dying is awesome? Yeah that was sad…

Can you guess which one is true?

So did you finish reading Jane Eyre? Make sure you write a post about it and link up here!

And remember, next month we’re reading A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. I’ll be sure to tell my dog to get a copy of his own this time.

Taking Back The Night: A Mattress Story

Sunday afternoon we decided to stop by Sleepys to look at mattresses. We’ve been loathing our current mattress situation for two years now, my husband for six, as it was his mattress as a teenager and before we married. It was one of those BJs specials, where you get the entire bed, frame, mattress, box spring for like $100 or something. And it was crap for the two of us. I wasn’t sleeping. My back hurts like all the time. But we have expensive taste and we’d currently only looked at like the Temperpedic. We wanted to know what else was out there and how much we’d need to save to get a bed we could both like.

The guy at Sleepys was amazing – I know he was a salesman, but let’s just call him John The Best Salesman Ever. He first had us get a sleep profile with their Body Diagnostics System. It told us essentially what we already knew – that I’m the pickier of the two sleeprs, but that our body’s needs are a bit conflicting, go figure, me being 5’2″ with pain in the neck, middle back and lower back and him being 6’2″ with pain in the middle back only. But his middle back is like the size of my lower back, middle back and neck combined! So then the computer shot out three beds in a range or price and compatibility that should suit our needs. The first was  the Kingston Amazing $3,000 something or other. The last was a $600 decent mattress that put our current one to shame. John was totally hearing us when we said, “We want a new bed, but we’re poor.”

And we almost got that one, until he mentioned that a $1,600 mattress was currently on sale for $899. And did he mention the no interest 24 month payments we could make? No, he didn’t. For $48 a month we could own the mattress tomorrow. I’m sorry, $48? I was just telling my husband we should start putting aside $200 a week because we can. What’s 48 divided by 4? That’s right. We can afford that shit. We can start sleeping like champs tomorrow. Or make that yesterday, because we bought it and it was delivered at 7:15pm last night.

The delivery guys were really nice and efficient and did it way quicker than I could. They were one step ahead of me the whole time, which is probably normal since they do this for a living and it’s the first mattress I’ve ever bought (but not the first one I’ve ever moved. Ask me about moving mattresses. Go ahead, I dare you). They were in and out in ten minutes and we were able to make the bed, ohhh and ahhh and take picutres before Sarah Connor was even close to starting. If memory serves, we were done by 7:30 and watching the Simpsons, actually.

The bed? It’s amazing. It’s called the Miralux Splendor Plush aka Best Bed Ever. We also got these amazing pillows thrown in which cost us an extra dollar a month. Whatever. I’m sleeping like a champ. I know these no interest scams can be a bad deal, but that’s for the people who don’t pay their bills. We have no debt and will have no problem paying $48 – we’re planning to pay at least $100 every month and pay if off sooner. Christmas bonuses? That goes towards the mattress. We’re not fools. We weren’t sleeping. Now we are.

I think it was a wise investment. So let’s compare the before and after shall we?


I know it looks harmless, but let's remember- this mattress is the devil


there is a god, and he invented miraluxe splendor
there is a god, and he invented the miralux splendor

Last night I slept like a baby in a bed of clouds. Okay, I’m exaggerating. I didn’t sleep much better than normal, but I was comfortable while I was not sleeping and my back already feels better. I wasn’t sleeping because I’m getting a cold. The mattress can’t help that. And look how pretty it is. I wouldn’t have put sheets on it at all, except I’m afraid of staining it since we still don’t technically own it persay.

So… I’m a little nervous because I’m not normally one to do things like this, but I know we can pay $50 a month. And since we’re planning to pay $100 or more as often as possible, I don’t see us getting into much shennanigans with this. And we have the advantage of no prior debt at all. That’s gotta count for something. And in the meantime, my bed is a little slice of heaven.

The End.