Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Dog Who Had Worms: A Year in Review

Well, he's all grown up.

Our little chihuahua, Zimmel, is now a year old. We haven't had him for a full year just yet, but, all the same we are celebrating the first year of his life and reflecting on how he has changed and enriched our family. We talk about it all the time. It goes like this:

Me: "Where's the dog?"

Jake: "I don't know? Z? Z?"

Me: "You're supposed to be watching him! Audge where is he?"

Audge: "I'm reading a book!"


Jake: "Oh, there he is! He has broccoli! Is that poisonous to him?"

Audge: "He snuck in the trash again!"

Jake: "Here Zim! Here boy!" *chasing dog around while he litters tiny pieces of broccoli all over the place*

Me: "Blargh."

Zimmel is basically attached to me, and of course this is because I am the one who feeds him, plays with him, gazes out the window with him and snuggles him at bed time. He follows me around like my shadow is made of bacon bits, but only listens when he wants to, which is never. The Dog Whisperer helped us a bit, but, our whispers are more like, really loud pleading and promises with hidden agendas. He is not swayed by our techniques, unless there is a Buddy Biscuit involved...

My living room floor is littered with bones and mangled dog toys and probably millions of tiny dog hairs the size of eyelashes. Sometimes locating a bone is more stressful than trying to find a 10-month-old's binky, and nothing is worse than getting to him too late as he swallows a "mystery" object. He is still full of energy, and in the mornings he greets me with a serious charging-bull stance, thrusting his back legs backwards and growling, right before he grabs anything nearby to force me to play with him. I fill a Kong full of organic healthy dog treats (can we say he is UBER spoiled??) which he is able to dislodge in seconds. Then, his almond-sized brain snaps, and he runs in circles for minutes on-end (remember, he is tiny) before collapsing into a fit of reverse sneezes (have you ever witnessed a reverse sneeze? Check it out) at which time I must comfort him and assure him that he is not going to die or cough up his trachea.

The kids love him, but he easily tires of their high-pitched sweet nothings and constant man-handling, so he nips and growls until I show up and everyone involved is threatened encouraged to play in a structured way.

He is starting to calm down a bit though, he now loves to look out the window, and, he is realizing that sitting in our laps quietly has its rewards. Now, let me share a few special tidbits about our Zimmy:

1. He doesn't bark. The dog has probably barked about 20 times in his whole life, and even in those times he only seemed half-committed to the act. In some ways this is the most awesome thing ever. He's like a loud cat. But cooler.

2. He killed Pink Poodle. Pink Poodle was one of Audge's favorite stuffed animals, and she selflessly gave it to Zimmel when he was a wee-little weakling, as seen here:

And today, thanks to his power and might, she is missing an ear, her tail, most of the stuffing in her head, and her leg is being held together by a sock and rubber band:

Audge simply cannot let go of Pink Poodle, so she puts the mangled mess in places Zimmel cannot usually reach. Since the mangling we have purchased several stuffed toys for him, which he demolishes in 2.7 days. We either have a really strong chi or these toys are plain crap. Speaking of crap...

3. Worms no longer come out of his butt, but that doesn't mean I am not still constantly grossed out. Zimmel picks up a lot of hair it seems. Audge's hair, and his intestines have some serious crafting skills, because he is constantly making poop garland that has to be manually removed from his butt, so he doesn't dart around the house trying to escape from the dingleberries attacking him. There is nothing like pulling hair out of a very tight sphincter. Moving on.

4. He LOVES coffee, pencils and paper. Now, if only he would use these three items to sit down and write inspired blog posts for me I would be a frickin' millionaire. Instead he just finds ways to steal these items and eat them before we can stop him. He drinks coffee like it's the last pool of liquid left on earth and he renders pencils useless in about 0.3 seconds. Paper, he rips into tiny shreds and litters them all over the house while we chase him.

5. He has his own Facebook page.


Did you just spit your drink all over your keyboard? Yes. He plays Cityville and tells people he loves them all the time. He brings joy to many a friend's life. You should see how many birthday wishes he received! And he has another friend on there, who is also a chihuahua. I have no idea who the owners are but, it seems that Zimmel and Jackson Chewstick Metcalfe are pretty dang close. He gets really angry when I forget his password.

6. He is HUGE! Somehow our family fosters the growth of ginormous chihuahuas. His dad was a mere 3 pounds, and Zimmel must be 20 pounds. Or six. I'll know for sure when we take him in for his check-up. But I tell you, maybe it's the food, or our constant love and affection, or the food, but, he is a monster. I can barely pick him up.

7. He has the cleanest paws and backside you have ever witnessed on a dog. As most of you may know, he does his business in what is called a Potty Park. This is so I don't have to stand outside, at 2 am, fighting off diseased cave crickets and potential rabid bats that want to take Zimmel away for a midnight snack.

See? You want to hang around with these creatures? I think not!

And I clean this potty park with bleach and soap and whatever else I have every couple of days. We even catch his poo on a piece of toilet paper so it doesn't taint the plastic grass. Even so, each time the dog potties he gets a cleaning, with a baby wipe and copious amounts of hand sanitizer. Each paw, and his butt, (see number 3 again if you think I am whack) is wiped clean after each potty moment. Remember I am just lazy enough that I don't bleach my chicken before I cook it. Being my friend can be a challenge.

8. He will love you forever. Z is not a regular chi. He is friendly and loves kids and all adults. He will put his ears back and wag his crooked tail and he won't shake all over the place. Ever since he was a mere 1.9 pounds, he has been held by all different kinds of people and children. We took him to soccer games, Best Buy and a local bookstore regularly. At the vet's office they drew little pink hearts all over his chart. I am sure though somewhere in there it says, "beware of owner, we think she might bite." That said, even people who don't like chihuahuas, like him.

And there you have it. When we first got him I was convinced it wasn't going to work. He was so sick. But, perseverance and a lot of love made him into one of the sweetest little pups a person could hope for. We love you Zimmel! Here's to 20 more years of happiness with you (just stop drinking my coffee).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Days 13-15: What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas...But I Wasn't In Vegas, And Billy Blanks Nearly Made Me Throw Up

Confession time y'all...

Saturday was not a good day. I stood for...4 hours.


Don't hate me! It wasn't my fault!!!

I blame the bride and the groom. I would blame the pastor but, I don't want to get into any unnecessary trouble...

Yeah so, we went to a wedding. And you know, you must sit down at weddings.

I mean, if I had stood, people would have been all confused, twisting their heads around continually, to see if the bride was walking down the aisle. The organist would have jumped her cue several times (no one likes a crabby organist), and people might have freaked out, thinking there was a fire, or aliens...or all sorts of terrible and confusing things...

So like a good girl, I sat. I even shed a little tear. Not because I was losing standing time, sheesh...I have a heart!

And then there was the reception. Excellent food...it was a serve yourself, then sit-the-heck-down dinner.

Again, I did not stand because:

- I would have had to have assumed a POTS (position other than standing), which is um, awkward when eating chicken with bones in it. Besides, successfully bringing corn up to your mouth on a fork, while standing in any position, is nearly impossible.

- People might have expected me to make a speech, or sprung to my rescue, thinking I was choking on a chicken bone.

- People might have thought I was the wedding planner, and asked me when more mashed potatoes were going to be put out, or worse, they might have handed me their dirty plate...

The sitting went on and on and on and on! My backside became numb. I shifted and fidgeted. I got up to use the bathroom and walk around outside. I knew however I wasn't getting my standing hours back. They were gone.

We were able to stand for the festivities, like the shoving-cake-in-each others'-noses part, and the bride and groom dance. I wore my fabulously comfy pumps just for the occasion. I should have brought a butt pillow.

There is a little saying I learned from Leslie Samsung...no wait that's the TV company...Leslie Sansone, ya know the walking lady...it goes like this: "the more you sit, the more you wanna sit, the more you move, the more you wanna move!" Revolutionary, yes?

Well her theory is frickin' brilliant and spot-on, because come Sunday, my body was screaming to assume a sitting position ALL FRICKIN' DAY LONG! It's kinda like giving up chocolate for some crazy reason, and then walking up to a post-Valentine's Day sale in Wal-Mart after finding $50 bucks on the ground. Even so, I eeked out 8 hours of standing. A total blow to my whole record for sure.

I might have to buck up and stand 12 hours for a week, just to get in the hours! Sigh.

And with that, it is Monday. I have been standing for 6 hours on this day, Day 15. NONE of my numbers have changed; weight, measurements, all the same. Yee-friggin'-haw...

What does this mean people???

Well, I can only guess that this means standing must only offer benefits that aren't measured by scale and tape. Standing must be a component to an overall lifestyle change. It must be like stretching. Stretching is great, but on its own it won't do much for you; you need to implement exercise. The stretching merely helps you loosen up and avoid injury, it doesn't actually build muscle. You can build muscle without stretching but, stretching adds to your overall success.

Because really, let's do some math to get a clearer picture. I hate math. Here we go...

Let's say, for argument's sake, I always sit 6 hours a day out of a 12 hour day. I would burn 115 calories per hour sitting, and standing I burn 145 calories an hour. That is a gain of 30 extra calories burned per hour, for 4 hours a day that I exchange sitting for standing. That equation compares my new standing routine to my old sitting routine.



Here is what I am saying...

I am only burning an extra 120 calories per day by standing 10 hours a day.

People, you have to burn about 3500 calories to lose a pound.

It's a sad truth. The mere act of standing does not make one lose weight.

Even with fidgeting, stretching and moving around, all my effort can be negated if I eat a candy bar or even a soda.

So...do I give up?


I need to remember that my body is now producing lipase, which it really wasn't before, in high quantities, which I need for fat loss. And, I am improving my overall health by --

  • relieving pressure on my spine
  • encouraging better kidney and bladder function, and
  • digestive and bowel function
  • maintaining and possibly improving bone density
  • encouraging flexibility, and removing the hip pain
  • increasing circulation in my legs, and
  • aiding respiration
Plus my overall endurance for standing is way improved. I can stand for 4 hours straight without needing a sitting break. And of course I get more done around the house.

Here's where Billy Blanks comes in, and why I almost threw up.

Backtrack...when my chihuahua was a small, diseased, worm-infested puppy, I barely sat, barely ate, and was engaged in a lot of physical work, like tons of vacuuming, cleaning, and wailing and gnashing my teeth on the cleaned carpet. So while I don't want to EVER encounter round worms in my dog's poo again, I do want to drop weight like I did at that time, and keep it off in a healthy and maintainable way...

So, starting today, I am implementing exercise. I dug out my Billy Blanks Boot Camp Lower Body Workout DVD.

I did 15 minutes. I must admit that after standing all day exercising did not seem like an insurmountable task, it wasn't like I had to get up from a comfy position...however...

My heart was thumping like a bass drum in my head and I about puked up my lunch.

But I burned about 118 calories...


So it's easy to see, calorie-wise, why a good workout would seem to trump the whole sit-less-than-3-hours-a-day theory, when it comes to burning calories and losing weight.

BUT, we all know now, because I have burned it into your brains, that it's not just about exercising anymore. We need our bodies primed with lipase and all those good enzymes and hormones and thingies triggered only by standing...

And thus, I assume the lipase in my body also got out of its chair today and went on a screaming rampage around every fat cell in my body, beating the yellow-clumpy crap out of it. Literally.

I would love to work up to about 30 minutes a day. So, theoretically speaking, that would be about 230 calories + 120 calories, which is 450 calories a day, extra, burned. With a little more effort I could lose a pound a week just by exercising and standing. However I know I need more.

So this week I will add the work outs and see what that does to my ability to stand for long periods of time. Next Monday I will re-assess and then add a dietary component to it.

And with that long and agonizing post, I leave you with a taste of my exercise program. It tastes like bile, because it makes you throw up. Happy Monday y'all!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 11 & 12...A Compilation Because Blogger Went Down!


Standing + For Several Hours = THE LEADER OF AWESOME!

+ =

OK OK...that's silly I know. Psh.


I am 1/3 of the way to my standing goal! Which is of course, standing 10 hours a day for 30 days. I even made it through the visit from Aunt Flo, and the boredom that is standing! I will celebrate with some wine and a generous foot rub from my husband. Sure, he doesn't know yet but, he'll comply...

I have to admit y'all, yesterday was a hard day, and I am trying to push through today as well. I haven't done anything different really, but, I think my body has realized this is not a joke, I am actually going to keep standing like this and I think my body is all, "ooooooh no you're not! You've got a butt and you need to use it!!!" I went from being all BATTSIE to POSTing and POTSing and SQUATSing and CRASH-ASSing all over the place. It was hard but, I made it! (Again if you don't know all the acronyms go click on the dead guy in my right column and catch up. Seriously. I am not Rachael Ray.)

A pound has come off as well so, I am thinking Aunt Flo and her insistence on me eating apple pie for breakfast, with whipped cream, *might* have been the reason for the weight increase and my subsequent freak out. Her evil ways know no boundaries I tell you!!!! NONE!

Here's something I have learned in these past 10 days...

Standing up in and of itself is not that hard. It is standing in one place that is the hard part!

Actually, this man from India, named Akshinthala Seshu Babu (say that 10 times fast) stood still for 40 hours, earning him the Guinness Book of World Records title for standing in one place for the longest amount of time. Maybe I am on my way to BREAKING his record! Or my hip...

If you are busy with errands or cleaning, or even using your time to go on a walk, you feel MUCH better than just standing around. Like this article says, you can actually inherit OTHER health problems from standing in one place all day, like swollen legs, varicose veins, neck and back issues and foot problems as well. I mean, there is a reason people collapse on their sofas at night after standing all day, it's DANG HARD!

But, standing up has prompted me to go DO more around the house and otherwise. Your feet can only take one position for so long (unless you're like Babu up there...show-off), so cleaning the bathroom is actually more fun than standing in one place. Now, SITTING is waaaaaaaaay more fun than cleaning a toilet BUT, if you have removed sitting from your daily routine, your mindset changes. So standing has already presented another benefit; you get more done around the house!

This same article touches on another thing that people have claimed that I do not agree with. People have stated that they feel more "focused" and "clear minded" while standing. I feel the opposite. I kind of feel like I have adult ADHD. Standing allows me to bolt in any direction immediately for anything and everything, things you usually don't feel getting up is worth for, like going to the bathroom, or collecting bills from the mail box. I have not been able to focus like I normally do when I sit. However, I am not experiencing the mid-afternoon slump like I used to. My energy has been pretty constant through the day, and I tell you what...finally sitting down at night to watch some shows and unwind is a real TREAT! Sitting has become a coveted luxury activity. Seriously. When it comes to luxury, you can't get cheaper than that!

OK peace out y'all...time to go clean a bathroom or two...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So I Can Make Cakes...Now to Perfect My Cha Cha Cha!!


If any of you out there are still checking this here blog, seeing if it has a pulse, or is growing mold, you might remember this post (oh come on, it was only 4-ish months ago) and how I mentioned somewhere in there that I had made my first fondant cake, and that I had high hopes for the birthdays this year. Well...SHABAM! (look down there)

Oh yeah baby! I rocked the cakes for my kids and my hubby! (Who yes, turned 35 this year...I remember turning 35, all those years ago...good times...so nice having a younger man as a hubby...moving on...)

I realized that fondant wasn't nearly as scary and impossible as I had thought, even making marshmallow fondant, but, making a topsy turvy cake? That is dang hard. It's like attempting to stand on your head. But worse.

Now, to fully prepare for the task ahead of me, I consulted with my friend winn, who is a cake extraordinaire:

Me: "I can't do it!"

Winn: "Yes you can!"

Me: "Watch this video!"

Winn: "Oh see? It's easy! You can do it!"

Me: "Yeah you're right! It looks easy!"

I watched this woman on youtube, who not only has awesome background music on her video, but she made it look like it was all easy peasy, and all you had to do was hap-hazardly wave a knife around and throw frosting on cakes you manhandled like a drunken sailor and VOILA! a fantastic topsy turvy cake is made! Ah ha ha ha!!! Here she is, with her awesome music, and her buttercream, and wild, manic ways. I am pretty sure the film is sped up but, you never can tell...

After watching this video no less than 5,426 times, I thought, psh how hard could this possibly be? Well, anyone can take a box mix and pour it into pans and bake it and then throw frosting on it. Heck any one of us could make it "topsy turvy" by accident! But, what I can tell you is, greasing and flowering, like you're greasing up for a bodybuilding competition, and flouring like you're...um...trying to waste flour, is a total must. I also suggest lining your pans with wax paper, and even greasing and flouring that. You want your cakes to just pop right out of the pan...but realize, you can do ALLLLLL of that and yet still flub it up. Case in point:

These are my new fancy 6-inch pans, being greased and floured and layered and greased and floured...

See how pretty they are? I even hugged damp towel strips around the sides to ensure even baking...

Then I put them in the oven, told them I loved them, and would see them in about 30 min, all beautiful and perfect!


What the what happened? Well, I blame my Italian heritage and personal philosophy that "more is better." I just filled the pans too dang full.

But, I managed to take the top mess off, eat it all, get totally sick to my stomach, and bake the rest of the cake through, salvaging all my work and hopes and dreams. Did I mention eating partially cooked cake makes you feel REALLY sick?

And because of this mess, the cakes did not pop out, and instead stuck to the edges like dried snot to a nostril. They came out after I knifed them over and over; I should have drawn chalk lines around them and called in a crime unit. But, I decided to go on, thinking the first layer of frosting and then thick fondant would cover the disaster I had created.

The next part just got confusing, and I finally understood why I struggled to get a C in Geometry. I SUCK! That's why...

So, ya know...it was time to frost the cake, something I have done a bazillion times, even when sick. Like I was here...don't worry, I didn't cough on the cake...this of course is the bottom of the cake. In fact, the very bottom. Don't look at my baggy eyes.

Ya know, after this step, and some finesse, I could have stopped...

But no.

I went for it. I cut. I didn't measure. I didn't consider angles or degrees. I didn't even have a mental picture of the video I watched a thousand times. I just cut and prayed for a miracle. Please don't ask about the blue dot. Just don't.

Right here I am thinking, "WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING?" and seriously wanting to give that easy-peasy woman a piece of my cake...er, mind.

I decided I needed to soldier through, and made a mental note to have as much frosting as easy-peasy woman had for the next cake...like 10 gallons, or pounds, or however you measure frosting. Like I said I suck at math...and I had about 30 minutes to finish the cake and make myself presentable and leave the house with the cake in tow! I must like stress and high blood pressure more than sanity and health.

Jake decided this was a good time to attempt some more artistic shots...

And I decided sticks and stones might break my bones, but sticks would certainly keep the top of cake from sliding off onto the floor.

The frosting went on and on, and I slathered and prayed, and might have actually uttered a swear word or two, and at one point I thought I had ruined the fondant and cake, which made me cry because I had no time to go to the store and get another cake...but, just in case you forgot,


It all worked out! The kids LOVED the cake, the party was a hit, and I succeeded in decorating a super amazing fancy shmancy cake like I have always wanted to do.

Next I need to figure out how to get on Dancing With The Stars in order to complete my next dream...that's for another post however...

And by the way, come back in about 3 days, because I will be holding a giveaway, and I am not even gonna tease you. It's for your skin and it is FABULOUS! Woot!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Diva is in the Details...

So, a while back I was on Facebook (yes, probably engrossed in Cityville, harvesting eggplants or something worthless like that) and FB directed me to the corner of the screen to look at my friend's posted pictures. So I did. Because I do whatever FB tells me to do. Um...

And one picture caught my full attention, because she had her arms raised, exposing her armpits.

At first I was like, man, why would you take a picture with your arms raised in order to show your pits? And then, it hit me; it's because she has really really nice armpits!

I know, right?

I mean, I have to be honest, I felt a little weird admiring, almost envying, her armpits because really, armpits are right up there with feet and ear hair. They just aren't that attractive.

But there I was, thinking dang, she has nice pits.

Later that day I spoke with her on the phone during my grocery shopping chore. While discussing cheesecake and forehead wrinkles, I mentioned the picture, and how impressed I was with her armpits, to which I thought she would respond by calling me a weirdo and hanging up on me. Instead, without missing a beat, she says, "I know! They are one of my greatest assets, so I take care of them and show them off! That picture was just for my armpits!"

I had a revelation right there in the cereal aisle.

I am NOT doing my assets any favors. Noooooo. I am too busy focusing on my flaws and doing nothing to make my favorable attributes shine; I must showcase my assets with confidence and pride!

And I know that mindset works because HELLO, I am sitting here writing about admiring someone's armpits, and I can't remember anything else about that picture!!

I mean really, why do I sit here, and lament the cottage cheese on my thighs, and how bad it looks, all while ignoring my hairy legs, calloused heels, and dry, cracking hands, my eyebrows growing together and ragged, half-painted toe nails and broccoli stuck in my teeth?

I can immediately remedy the issues to those last 6 eyesores...why not go a step further and make them SHINE??

I have got to focus on what I can make fabulous, fabulous!

Now think about it, no one scoffs when you decide the outside of your house looks like the Amityville Horror house, so you redo the steps and re-set the shudders and repaint and replace missing shingles...

But suddenly pay a little more attention to your looks? Scandalous!

Now, most people tell me I look younger than my years, which is nice. But seriously, it's probably because they are getting older too and need glasses, I'm just sayin'. Looking in the mirror I see the lines are forming, the hair is graying...and, if I keep focusing on my thighs, which no one ever sees, I'll be looking like a Golden Girl before I know it! I really don't want to start writing my grocery list on my forehead lines before I hit 40...

And, watching American Idol this season has been inspiring, yet frustrating, because J-Lo, who is 41, has nary a wrinkle on her face, and...her face MOVES! She could possibly have a doc who is wickedly masterful with the botox needle, however. But if that is her secret, then forget it. I am afraid of anything toxic...other than bleach...

So anyway...she birthed twins. She's gotta have some dimples somewhere...but, I wouldn't know it, because everything else looks amazing!

OK OK...now, I feel I need to justify all this, ya know, for you readers who might be screaming at me that "looks don't matter and it's what's on the inside that really counts" Yes. I know that. Really I do. But that's another post for another time.

All of us moms and women who work hard need to be allowed to take care of ourselves and feel our best, making the most of what we have while we still have it. We may never achieve our ideal, but all of us have a lot to work with, and most of us have a knock-out feature, whether it is our eyes, smile, hair or even long slim neck, that we have ignored for one reason or another.

Be real. If your BFF was walking around town all haggard and baggy and disheveled with broccoli hanging from her teeth, you would team up with your other friends and get her a spa package and some mint floss right? Right? Why not give that same attention to yourself?

So my goal is to keep the parts of me that can look amazing, looking amazing at all times! I also want to maintain or even improve the other parts that I normally don't care about, like my ARMPITS. And I also want to slow down the aging process in any practical, economical, non-torturous/non-toxic way I can. I saw Death Becomes Her. I'm no goon...

And, I want to do this all in less than 15 minutes a day, because seriously my whole eggplant crop could wither and die in that amount of time!

But seriously seriously, I am taking the old-school approach of making my teeth a little whiter, not some $50-a-treatment, blinding white cream that makes my teeth look like dry-erase boards, but just some baking soda and peroxide paste a few times a week, to combat the coffee and blueberries I consume nearly everyday. Oh, and I am also flossing everyday (yay me!).

I found an exfoliate cream for my face that I totally love, and I need, because soon there won't be enough room for all the zits and wrinkles competing on my forehead. Keeping my skin clean and getting rid of those dead skin cells should help a lot, and, so far it has. A generous swipe of Witch Hazel doesn't hurt either...

I am also trying to sleep on my back more. All you who battle under-eye bags, I have totally done a layman's experiment: sleeping on my stomach = big baggy under-eye bags. Sleeping on my back = barely any bags at all! I guess there is something to that whole, "fluid accumulates in your eye tissues at night" theory. I just wonder where the fluid is going now? Moving on...

I just started using a new face cream that I plan on telling you more about...later...you'll have to come back...heh heh...

I am using a pumice paddle on my feet. Every time I shower. This has made a HUGE difference and I no longer have dry, cracked heels...just in time for spring! A home-done pedicure is easy peasy. Even if feet make people gag, mine at least won't make them pass out or run screaming in horror.

And in addition to my feet, on my hands and elbows I am using a peppermint butter balm that is keeping them smooth and soft, and my hands anti-witch-looking (I have really long, skinny, witch-like fingers)!

So there ya go. I went from the minimum, of making sure my nose and ears were clear of any debris, to the maximum of making sure the parts that can look fabulous do, and the other parts that don't never see the light of day. Because unless I come to my senses and delete Cityville, the leg dimpling ain't goin' nowhere.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Son Thinks I'm a Thief...But I Just Want Some Coins!

So, I have been grappling with overcoming an addiction recently. One that I am a little embarrassed to admit to. But, since I don't want cauliflower ears, and I hate wearing unitards, I finally stopped grappling and gave in.

Here goes: I play Cityville on FB.

For those of you who don't know what Cityville is, it's a little game where you build a city, for absolutely no reason at all whatsoever, on FB. For those of you who don't know what FB is, it's F-a-c-e B-o-o-k.


Why do I do it??

Well, I like the little people smiling at me, waving, with little thought-bubbles above their little heads, full of smiley faces, uh, smiling, because they like how I have built the city, which I named, "Winn Made Me Do This." (you'll find out why soon)

I like setting up my suburbs, and the commercial zones, and parks and benches, and trees...

I like sowing fruit and vegetable seeds, and harvesting the crops 4-18 hours later.

I like sending the train out to get goods to furnish my stores.

I like collecting rent from my businesses and 'burb homes, clicking all those coins that bounce about, like I just scored 3 lemons on a nickle slot machine in Atlantic City, or something like that...

I like it I like it I LIKE IT!!!!

Is it productive? No. Do I gain mental acuity? No. Does it make my thighs smaller? No.



Now see, in the beginning, I did not want to play this...game? My dear friend, we'll call her winn, because that's her name, coerced me into playing, because she needed ribbons and building permits and city seals and stuff like that. Hence the name, "Winn Made Me Do This"!!

Each day I had to use my precious energy and time to send her items, so I would take an extra minute or two to build a house, or set up a business, each act making me a tad giddy, though I never admitted to it. I would name the shops things like, "winn's shady" and "winn made me make coffee" and "winn wants toys" and stuff like that. But then she stopped playing. Cold turkey. Gone. Who knows why. Moment of clarity? Sanity?

But not me. And, before I knew it, I had a full-blown city, with little people depending on me, and I desperately needed 12 of my Cityville FB friends to staff my middle school.

So, in the mornings, I would get up, take the dog to potty, feed the dog, wake the kids, force them to eat breakfast, make my coffee, and read about 2 news articles before I started pseudo-swearing and threatening the journalists who wrote the dribble with shin damage, due to their incompetence. Then, I would flip over to FB, write some nonsensical status, like, "Wow! Why does my coffee taste like soup?", press "like" on about 30 billion of my friends' updates, and then, happily, check on my city.

It's beyond that now.

Now, I stumble out of bed, roll down the stairs, hoping the dog can wipe his own paws after going #1 and #2 AND that he will find enough crumbs on the carpet to count as a meal. I throw some cereal on the stairs, hoping some lands in the kids' mouths as they roll down the stairs about 2 hours later than they should. I flip open my laptop, and quickly look outside to see if a meteor hit the ground. If it didn't I skip the news (because what's more amazing than a meteor hitting the ground 20 feet in front of my window anyway?) and shove a coffee filter in my mouth full of coffee grounds as I skip the FB status to instead write something like, "I'm lame. Please send me building grants," and then click on Cityville, praying my eggplants haven't rotted.

I even forced my husband to join so I could sneak into his account and set up plots of land for me to build franchises on.

OK well, it's not that bad. Maybe.

Yeah. It's that bad.

Obviously my kids noticed this obsession taking hold, my eyes popping out of my head as I clicked clicked clicked on businesses and houses and fields of watermelon for hours on end as they made themselves mayonnaise and chocolate chip sandwiches, wondering if they would ever do schoolwork or see the actual sun again. So, in order to get my attention, Jake would sit next to me and watch me play. Amazingly, I heard him speaking over my clickety-click clicking...

Jake: "Mom?"

Me: "Who?"

Jake: "You, mom."

Me: "Oh. Hi John. What's up?"

Jake: "Mom...you're stealing!"

Me: (In my head) *Stealing? What? Time? Moments away from my kids' lives? Internet connection? What???*

Me: "Um, what?"

Jake: "Is that your town?"

Me: "Um, what? No...it's...another one. Some other pathetic person's town."

Jake: "Well, you're stealing!"

Me: "No I'm not!"

Jake: "Yes you are! Those are their coins and you're taking them all!"

Me: "No! No! It's not like that! I MUST visit their town! See? When I click I get coins and hearts!"

Jake: "You're stealing their hearts too? That's so wrong mom!"

Me: "What? Noooooo! Hearts increase my reputation points and I get to move up a level and get more goods and the coins, well, they're mine for helping out!"

Jake: "But you have coins in your own city, why are you taking theirs?"

Me: "Because I am SUPPOSED to! You're only 10! You can't yet understand the sophistication of a social-networking game, such as this, on Face Book. Something you can't join yet. Because you're 10."

Jake: "I don't know mom, looks like you're stealing to me."

Me: "Psh."

Jake: "Can we eat dinner now?"

Me: "What? It's dinner time? It was 10:30 just 20 minutes ago..."

So you see, this game has sucked the life out of me. It's not even a game. I don't know what it is. At least I don't spend any real money on it. I mean sheesh, I won't even spend money to buy myself new socks so I most certainly WON'T buy something for a FB game...even if I know my carousel will NEVER be built because I don't have enough marble stone or the play money to buy it. SOB!

So why am I writing all this down for you, dear reader? Not sure. I mean, with all this time I could have knitted my kids a new wardrobe, or stocked my freezer full of pre-cooked meals, or, I could have started on my taxes, or actually worked out...or something like that. I guess there is a delicate balance, somewhere between having a fun little hobby and losing my mind as my eyebrows grow together while I clear forests for roads and set up bakeries and upscale condos, I am trying to reconcile to.

I mean really, I don't have to justify all of this, do I? Am I really feeling guilty? Could my down-time be used more wisely? When are taxes due again?

But wait! There is hope for me to break away from this mindless, mind-melting mayhem!

I wrote this post instead of harvesting peas!

Yes! YES! And what a post this is! Huh? Huh?

And my kids ate a balanced dinner, and flossed and brushed. And they saw the sun today. Like, while they were outside (score!)

I am not sure how to end this post, it's been so long.

I guess I could end by saying, spring is coming, this blanket of cold icky ick is going away, the sun has decided to show itself again, and so maybe, maybe, I am ready to crawl away from my city in the screen and enjoy other more meaningful, tangible endeavors...

If you are my friend on FB, send me some marble mmmkay? Thanks!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Invisible "They" Say One Can be Sure of Two Things, Death and Taxes...*I* Say There Are Two More Things, Dishes and Laundry

I am pretty sure I have complained about this before, but no matter. I'm gonna do it again.

I just feel like I am in a frickin' Twilight Zone Episode, where every time I turn around, there is a mile-high pile of dishes in the sink, or clothes needing to be thrown in the hamper or the machine. It's like this:

*I walk into the kitchen for a cookie*

Me: "AAAAAAAAAACK! There's something in the sink!"

Me again: "What is it?"

Me to Me: "It's some thing..."

Me back to Me: "I don't see anything..."

Me yelling at Me: "Yes! It's a man! No! It's green and slimy and smells like onions!"

Me consoling Me: "You poor, poor woman. Go back to bed with your cookie."

Or, it's like this:

Me: Walking into bedroom to get some clean socks. "OH MY FRICK!"

Me (again): "What? What is it?"

Me to Me, because I talk to Me all the time: "SOCKS!"

2nd Me: "Your clean socks?"

1st and obviously crazy Me: "No! Socks! There! I moved black socks to the hamper just last night, and here they are, again!"

2nd lucid Me: "No, you probably thought you moved them, but got distracted by the dog or something and you actually left them there."


It's just too much for me to take. I feel like Shatner in that one episode...

Dirty Dishes + Dirty Laundry =

I mean, I stumble out of bed on a Saturday morning, all puffy-eyed and staggering, not because I had a wild night of partying, but because I am just old and cantankerous, and my sweet, wide-awake daughter asks so gently, "can we have waffles mom? Please?"

I look over in the kitchen, and, the decision I made the night before, what seemed like a good and reasonable decision, to leave the dinner dishes until morning, slaps me in the face like a wet rubber chicken.


Audge: "Does that mean you're making waffles?"

Me: "Yessssssssssssssss..."

It's not that I don't want to be a good mommy, who makes her kids waffles on the weekends, something they'll brag about to their roommates when they are in college, eating cold shriveled pizza for breakfast from the evening before, it's just that I have to use dishes and waffle irons and bowls and utensils to make them, which means MORE DIRTY DISHES ON TOP OF DIRTY DISHES!


Don't tell me to buy frozen waffles. That's just ridiculous.

Even having family stay with us didn't make it worse, we already use that many dishes! Having two extra mouths in the house didn't cause my plight to increase! It's like adding two more locusts to the plague...do two more really matter? Now...I am not suggesting my family was like locusts or the plague, we miss them quite terribly actually...I am just trying to paint a vivid picture of just how bad it can get.

Even laundry. If only laundry were the new PX90...I would make BAZILLIONS! I am gonna look into that...

But first, I am gonna work on a spray for dirty laundry, like Febreze, but much much better. My spray will not only clean the clothes right there on the floor, but it will make the clothing come alive, fold itself and hop into the drawer, or take flight and hang itself on the hanger. The spray might even cause the clothing to adjust its size depending on the day...for me anyway...don't get any ideas, I have a patent pending...

So, obviously, I just have to accept that dishes and laundry are my leaky boat in life; no matter how much I bail out, it just keeps coming, trying to sink me. And no matter how many times I've seen it, it freaks me out and makes me mental.

Oh well. I can't have my family running around naked, or clothed in stiff, stinky clothes, starving, or scraping bits of crusty or soggy food to eat from the sink. It's a mother's lot in life, and I accept it. The end.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Insanity: A Year in Review


Man, 2010 came and went faster than a plate of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies placed in front of my face! It was a pretty good year, and I have high hopes for 2011, especially if it is baked in peanut butter and littered with chocolate chips...

So, in order to hold 2011 to this past year's standard, I am gonna do my very own "Year in Review", trying to hit all the highlights of my year, for prosperity...or something. And probably most of the highlights are gonna be from the past three months, because seriously I can barely remember what I did yesterday...

And, by the way, these are not chronological, there is no "magic number" I tried to achieve, nor are they listed in any particular order, like best to worst or something. Really, have you seen my sock drawer?


My husband became a chef.

Yes, this year my hubby's brain exploded from too much PhD stuff and suddenly his bread and pizza making evolved into this enviable ability to make amazing meals. I didn't even need to sneak a subliminal message tape under his pillow or start consistently ruining dinners for this to take place. Really, we watched Julie and Julia and BAM (Emeril reference) before I knew it, he bought Julia Child's cookbook and suddenly began cooking amazing meals on Wednesday nights. As if I weren't spoiled enough by being served pizza every Friday night, I was sitting on my rear waiting for my meal TWICE a week! He even cooked for our Christmas get-together with friends AND Christmas Eve AND Day! I know you're all jealous...heh heh. Here are some pix of his cooking awesomeness...I am expecting Food Network to call soon, mainly because he's so cute...

Home-made Mushroom Ravioli + Super Hot Husband + Beef Wellington =

I Came Face to Face with a Black Widow, and Lived!

At a family reunion this summer in Idaho, I allowed my kids to run around in basically rural areas, areas I did not clear for safety, for days on end. That's a pretty big deal for me. They had a blast.

On the last day, while visiting an airplane hangar to view their great grandpa's airplanes, my whole family nearly locked lips with a FRICKIN' HUGE BLACK WIDOW SPIDER! She was right next to the light switch in the hangar and WAS FRICKIN' HUGE! (Actually, I don't know if she had lips.) I didn't have my camera (figures) so all I can offer you is, that lips or no lips, she scared the crazap out of us and SHE WAS FRICKIN' HUGE AND SCARY! After seeing this I realized my kids were probably inches from kissing her sisters all weekend, and just thanked God above that this was the only real encounter anyone had that weekend, because she was SCARIER THAN ALL GET-OUT AND FREAKING HUUUUUGE!

I Lost my Blogging MoJo...

I can't really explain this one. Maybe I started running out of funny things to say, maybe my life had run out of interesting things to share, maybe I was tired of editing glitches in Blogger, maybe it was my obsession with FB games, like Frontierville and Scrabble...whatever the case, I am blogging less, and commenting even lesser. This is kind of a depressing highlight. More like a lowlight, which would be darkness really...sprinkle some pixie dust on me, maybe that will help.

I Almost Ate a Shrimp Head.

I watched a ton of Anthony Bourdain this summer, while sitting blissfully (at nap time for kids) and eating candy and/or drinking wine with the Godmother of my children. Thus, on the night she and I went out for our annual birthday celebration of sushi and awesomeness, I was Bourdain-inspired to eat a fried shrimp head. I mean, Anthony eats MUCH worse! I had already grossed her out with most of the raw items on my plate, and she wasn't too impressed with the cold Sake, so watching me crunch and gnaw on something with eyeballs, and a brain falling out the end, was probably one of her highlights of 2010 as well. Sadly, I was not successful in eating the head. Even though the waitress assured me it was yummy and "croooncheeee!" <---(her emphasis) I could not choke it down. I was so close to its brain I am sure I knew what it was thinking, which was, "don't eat my brain or my eyes!" Therefore, in 2011 you won't see me on any reality shows that would require me to eat anything including brains or eyes. Or heads.

Burn Notice, Psych, Lie to Me, Leverage and The Closer Came into My Life.

I love all these shows, and, if you ask me, I will probably urge you in the strongest manner I know, that won't get me arrested, to add these shows to your TV-watching list, whether it be prime time, Netflix or Hulu. However, what my husband will tell you, is that he nearly had to twist my arm, bribe me, beg on hands and knees, and pay me to even consider watching any of these shows...every attempt something like this:

Hubs: "Wanna try watching (insert any show above here)?"

Me: "No."

Hubs: "Why???

Me: "We already watch fifty hundred shows! It looks boring anyway. And, I hate the theme song (or actor, topic, genre)."

Hubs: "You have to try just one episode, I know you'll like it."

Me: *Scoffs*

Hubs: "Well, I don't want to watch it by myself, and I have to wait for you to fall asleep if you refuse to watch it with me!"

Me: *Sigh*"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK fine! Just one! But I know I won't like it."

We now watch 50 bazillion shows. I love them all.

I Discovered Livestrong.com.

I couldn't understand how I could be eating nothing yet never lose weight and sometimes gain some. Then somehow in my bewilderment I found this website, and for free it allows you to track your calories and exercise, and even sets you up with a few goals, all for free! I managed to lose 5 pounds the old fashioned way, by watching calories and exercising. After about 3 months I fell off the wagon and into a pit of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies my husband made. More on weight loss coming soon...

I Learned How to Make Fondant.

All my life I have wanted to be a professional cake decorator...and a professional ballroom dancer...and Aeon Flux...anyway...I was convinced I needed to try making and using fondant, mainly because I just wanted to eat a huge glob of fondant. So, with that I found a super messy but easy recipe for marshmallow fondant, and I made my first cake! Here is the picture...

Without going into great detail about the picture, which my BEEF, winn, took while we were using Skype, I must say that she made better fondant cakes than this, and, she had to continually tell me to stop eating the fondant, and, she lovingly pointed out my decorating error, 3,1,3,2,1,2,1...Skype is awesome. As is cake decorating. I have high hopes for this year's birthdays...

I Basically Set Up a Summer Science Camp for my Kids.

I nearly approached "supermom" status when I suddenly became inspired and held a series of science experiments for my kids during the month of July. I even set up a Facebook page to share with the world. We made super strong bubble solution, goopey slime that had both the properties of a solid and a liquid, hand made lava lamps, and marshmallow toothpick bridges, among other things. This was a great way to let the kids have fun, learn some new things and get outside! After about two weeks my brain exploded and we just started hanging out at the pool...

We Got a Dog and I Didn't Get Roundworm and Die.

If you remember this post and this post you'll see that getting a dog can sometimes cause a bit of emotionally-paralyzing DRAMA in your life. It sure as heck did in mine! I nearly had a nervous breakdown, for real, thanks to the grossness that is roundworms! I considered declaring that this would be the last animal I EVER owned, because absolutes like that are so realistic, but, you know what they say about chihuahuas, you can never have just one...or maybe that's what they say about potato chips...

I lost 10 Pounds, and then Gained it Back...

This happened only because I had a dog with roundworms. I was SO worried and SO freaked out that I couldn't eat and I cleaned nearly 24/7. I constantly screamed at the kids to wash their hands after even just looking at the dog, and I spent any resting moment on Google trying to figure out the odds of us actually contracting roundworms, and what to do about it if we did. Oh, and not to mention (in case you didn't click those links up there to read the posts) he also had coccida AND giardia...he was a walking petri dish of I CANNOT TAKE THIS ANYMORE! Once he got better, the weight came back on. Eating and sitting and not having constant nervous breakdowns contributed to this, apparently...

I Cut off All My Hair...Again...and I LOVES IT!

So I wrote this post about loving my long locks. I even bought a fancy super-expensive flat iron and vowed to never ever EVER cut my hair off again.

Oops, I did it...again.

But this time, I am older, wiser, and, the cut is SO amazingly cute and easy to style that I may NEVER EVER EVER try to grow it out again!


I am looking to Halle Berry and Jamie Lee Curtis for inspiration to maintain my pixie cut, and I am slowly coming to accept I am no where near my 20's any longer. It's a good thing.

We Made Serving in the Community a Priority.

As my kids get older, I want them to understand what a great life they have, and how important it is to share their joy with others through serving the community. A few years ago a video by Advent Conspiracy really fueled the fire for us to make a difference in any way we could, as a family. The kids held a very successful lemonade stand this summer for the Salvation Army homeless shelter, and they worked hard serving the homeless dinner on Thanksgiving Day. They were thoughtful in buying Christmas toys for children through the Salvation Army program, and they were joyful while helping out at a toy drive for parents who could not afford new gifts for their kids on Christmas. And after all of this I do believe they are really starting to grasp why we were doing these things, and appreciate everything they have. The experiences are truly life-changing.

Raising money for homeless kids in 90+ degree weather. Awesome.

I Discovered Amazing Things on Youtube, like Peanut Butter Jelly Time and Antoine.

Some days, when I get down-time, instead of blacking out, I decide to jump on You Tube and see what is there. You would never believe that from looking up "dogs with rabies" I stumbled upon this fantastic diddy...here is the first video I found, and the original song is on You Tube with a dancing banana. I need this as my ring tone:

And then a friend on FB posted this viral video, and I decided that if Antoine ever gets to my neck of the woods, he is coming over for dinner (probably hubs will cook) and we will play the Wii and talk/sing in autotune all night...(get on You Tube and find the original newscast interview if you haven't heard of this already and, if you haven't WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??)

You Tube is awesome!

I Bought 4 1/2 inch heel boots...

Since 99.8% of the time I am sitting around in pajamas, I decided I needed some ridiculously high-heeled shoes. They are completely practical, and a good use of money, and SO comfortable, so I bit the bullet and finally did it. Actually it went something like this...

Watching shows with the hubs, some character comes on with awesome heels:

Hubs: "You should get a nice pair of high heels."

Me: "Why? What in the heck would I do with them?"

Hubs: "Um, wear them?"

Me: "Um, where???"

Hubs: "I don't know, around the house?"

Me: *Scoffs* "With my sweatpants?"

Hubs: "All I am saying is, I think you should get some."

I think hubs knows I have secret obsession with shoes, though I don't have a ton of them or much reason to wear any super awesome shoes. But with his encouragement, I bought these for myself for Christmas.

And I walk pigeon toed and VERY SLOWLY in them. But, they are AWESOME and I can reach the top cabinet shelves in my kitchen with no problem. Another dear friend, who loves shoes and is much more savvy in fashion sense than me, suggested gel insoles with arch support. Because of this, the general public will think I am 5'10', and easily reaching healthy cereal on the top shelves at the super market is gonna be soooooo sweet.

I Succeeded in Snapping the Ultimate Dog Christmas Photo and sending the most awesome e-card.

Christmas was awesome and relaxing and fun this year, and our socks were blessed off and replaced with even awesomer socks (figuratively speaking) by friends and family.

But this year, I didn't try for a papped photo of the fam to run over to Snapfish or Wal Mart to make Christmas cards to send to everyone I know. No, I decided to just condition my 6-month-old chihuahua to sit still while wearing a Santa hat. Every few days I would pet him with the hat, while cooing and praising him. I would then slip it on his head, give him a treat and praise him endlessly, each attempt leaving it on for longer periods of time. In the end this totally paid off:

Remember the dog in Dr. Seuss' Grinch story? It's Zimmel...

If this isn't the funniest thing you've ever seen then, show me what you've seen that is funnier. Really, I dare you.

OK maybe this as just as funny, or to some funnier. Who needs a family photo when you can do this!

And there you have it folks! You just wasted spent an hour of your new year looking back on my 2010. Maybe you're better for it. Maybe not. The pressure is too much for me to handle. Either way, Happy New Year to all my bloggy friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is My Pillow Back

One of my fondest memories, with both my kids, is resting them on my pillow at night, when they were babies, and listening to them breathe softly in my ear as we drifted off to sleep. I am sure no one could argue that in those moments there is nothing more lovely.

But let us compare that to sleeping with a puppy.

Now there are, I am sure, sensible, pragmatic people out there, who dash out to buy the Cesar Milan books (and read them cover to cover, nodding enthusiastically), and then obediently stick their puppies in their "den" or "kennel" or "cage" at night to sleep. But not me. Z is lucky to sleep three hours a night in his den. Otherwise, I am desperately trying to cuddle him like he's a newborn babe.

If any of you are teeny tiny dog owners, you will agree that their lives are spent mostly living in ridiculously close proximity to our faces. For some reason, we all feel compelled to be nose to nose with these petite creatures every moment of every day, even when they have little pointy dagger teeth, sharper than shark teeth, teeth that could literally tear your nostrils to bloody shreds as you coo "you're so CUUUUUUUUUUUUTE!" at them for the bazillionth time while kissing their right eye.

Because of this constant and real threat to my nose, I took to creating a chihuahua goiter at night by letting Z sleep on my neck. Because see, sleeping puppies do not bite. I even let him do this when he was infested with roundworms...and giardia...and coccidia, even though every roundworm Yahoo thread I read screamed at me in BOLD LARGE TYPE TO NEVER EVER EVER LET THEM SLEEP IN YOUR BED BECAUSE THE WORMS WOULD CRAWL OUT AT NIGHT AND INFEST YOU THROUGH YOUR TORN UP BLOODY NOSTRILS! Naturally he was bathed under the faucet three times a day and pumped full of meds until he was completely well, but, we all know that story...

So for the first two months, I bragged on little Z, because he would sleep through the night and kept my neck warm like a little hot water bottle, barely moving, barely waking up. He was 1.5 pounds of utter and complete ooooey goooey cuteness...

Now he's a 4 pound teenager...

Currently nights consist of him deciding it's time to terrorize his favorite toy, Ms. Pink Poodle, while we sit in bed and watch our favorite shows. He is not sure if he wants to have itty bitty pink ChiPoodles with Ms. Pink Poodle, or rip her front left leg off entirely and endure me or my husband constantly reaching in his mouth to retrieve cottony stuffing. The whole process is horrifying, amusing at best, but at least he is exhausted after about 20 min.

From here I often stick him in his den, hoping he will stay asleep for the night. There are nights he sleeps several hours, but, there are nights he wakes up completely ravenous, or in desperate need to use his potty park. After addressing his needs, I try to slip him into bed with us, and, for a while he cooperates and seeks a warm space on the bed under the comforter.

But, he is a teenager, after all. He is embracing his inner Alpha...

He wants my pillow.

So, around 4 in the morning, he starts moving around the bed, trying to lick my husband's face and rattling his ears so forcefully I think there is a bat in the room, which is NEVER a good thing for me. With my adrenaline surging, I try to coax him back into a curled-up position under the covers, to which he balks as he maneuvers himself up to the middle of my pillow, and plops right down.

From here, I try to wear him as a hat, but I think he hates my hairspray scent, so he then proceeds to move around the pillow, staying as close to the middle as possible. There is very little possibility for me to share the pillow without having dog feet, or worse, right in my face.

So I decide to put him in his cage.

That goes over VERY well...


Three minutes later he is back out of the cage and nuzzling my neck. It's like he says, "oh! I get it! I will sleep riiiiiiiiiiight heeeeeeeeeeeere to avoid my cage!" And I say, "oh! He's finally curled up under the covers and there are no more frightening bat sounds to contend with!"

I fall asleep, and 20 minutes later it starts all over again.

Around 7 or 8am, depending on the night, I stagger out to the living room with a pillow to endure the last few hours of my much needed beauty sleep on my 7 ft long, 2 ft wide park-bench-200-year-old "couch" (ya know, the one that was infested with alien spider pods? The kind of alien spider pods that make your ears burn and your heart jump right out of your chest while you try to suck every last one up in your vacuum?). For some reason this is when Z decides NOW is bed time, and he falls asleep IMMEDIATELY, sometimes until almost noon.

Amazingly, I manage to sleep without permanent damage done to my neck and spine or being attacked by remnant alien spiders, though I am painfully aware I should have listened to Cesar (or, ahem, my actual husband) in the first place...

Just as a quick side note to this post, I had to stop writing mid-way because Zimmel started vomiting up frothy bile, and walking around the house much like Gollum walked on all fours in LOTR when devising an evil plan. Thank goodness for the hubs and Google, because I was able to deduct that this frightening display of malaise was simply and over-production of stomach juices and bile because he was very, VERY hungry.

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