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 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: "'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?'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 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

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 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!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin