Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What the Boys Think about a Sister:: a Movie Montage

People ask me every day, "What do the boys think about having a sister?"
And I have been curious about that myself! But it's hard to get into 2 and 4 year old minds; all that's allowed in there are cartoon lyrics, their favorite book and the word "NO".

Really, I don't know how much of this they grasp at their ages, but we're trying to explain it.
Again and again.

I've been asking them on camera for the past week exactly what they thought.
And here is my first iMovie Production!

Thoughts about a Sister from The Other Mama on Vimeo.

{FYI: I left "Would you sit up?", "That's 'Yes, ma'am'" and "Oh, that's interesting" in there on purpose. Because that's what I say ALL the time. And Spielberg told me that I needed to make it "real"- or maybe that was the cast of the Real World years ago.}

My sweet boys and their crazy-haired video is linked to Things I Love Thursday at the lovely Jill's Diaper Diaries. She is the best; go check out everyone else's Things they Love!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Survey Says...

Good Answer!
Good Answer!!

Please tell me you were thinking that, too, right? I love some Family Feud. The family clap is actually my favorite part of the whole show; the best is the awkward nod when someone comes up with the worst answer and the whole family has to pretend like someone else might- just maybe- could have said that for a point or 2.

Oh, I could ramble about game shows all day long {don't get me started on Press Your Luck; I think that was my favorite show of all childhood}.

But I promised a review of the Blog Survey I asked you to take the other day and I want to deliver. Because I'm like FedEx, without ringing the door bell during nap time.

First of all, THANK YOU so much for taking it! Over half of the visitors that day filled it out and I had such an overwhelming response that I had to pay to join Survey Monkey in order to read the rest of the results.

Yes, Jason thanks you, too.
He LOVES a good $20 charge. :)
But I didn't mind at all!

On to the feedback:
1) How often do you read this blog:

53% said every day if I would get off my bum {emphasis mine- not yours} and post every day.
33% said every 2 or 3 days.
Thanks! That's so nice!

Things I'm going to work on:
I'll do better about posting every day. I have a plan and keep a journal for post ideas each day, but it's like exercise; I prefer to sleep somedays.

2) Do you subscribe to The Other Mama:
51% Yes
47% No
And lots of questions!

Here is the low down on subscribing:
There are several websites that allow you to pick your favorites blogs and have their "feeds" {updates/ new posts} filtered to one page for you. Google Reader, Bloglines and several others are out there. You would go to one site and read everything you want to read.
You can click "Follow" over there on the right and have this page automatically linked to Google Reader.
Or, you can subscribe through each of the pages that offer the service.

You can go to one place and read everything.
Most people who read more than 10 blogs use this.

I only know of one application through Firefox {a web browser} that allows you to comment in the reader page. Without using this, you have to click to the site, then comment.

You should know:
I'm a dork, read dozens {and dozens} of blogs, and still prefer to click to the site.
And that's why my Google Reader page has over 1000 posts yet to be read {they stop counting at 1000}.

Google Reader shot
But, one day I will have time to do it that way. Yes. I'm sure the time fairy will show up and sprinkle 4 extra hours into each day to allow me to read and comment on all the blogs I love.

And it's not that I haven't read these, I just haven't read them in the reader. I have actually read ALL of your posts and I do not sleep.

Things I'm going to work on:
Reading YOUR blogs and getting a very easy way set up for you to subscribe by email.

3) How did you learn about The Other Mama:
40% know me in real life
39% saw me on someone else's blogroll

And the comments on this were priceless. I had no idea Jason's whole office read.
Hello there, office!
And y'all found me from Compassion blogging, InCourage, The Bump Award and I Swear I'm Not a Stalker, but I know ___ who knows you from ____.

If you happen to write a blog {one of the questions I wanted to ask, but ran out of space}, you know that we don't mind where you are from or how you know us- I'm just beside myself that people read it! Are you kidding me?
That's one of the greatest blessings.

And NO, you aren't a stalker. This deserves a post in it's own right, but I've invited you into our lives.
I won't share anything that I wouldn't share if you were a guest in our home, so you are welcome to stop by anytime. I'm truly honored that you're here.

My very favorite response was:
"You are my first born daughter."

Thanks, Mom. Glad you read.

Things I'm going to work on:
Writing a post about why you are NOT a stalker.

AND, this seems like a perfect place to say THANK YOU to the people whose blog has sent the most traffic my way this month:

Amy from Amy's Working Wonders Blog
Heather from Especially Heather
Aunt Sister {AKA Mary} from Social Graces
Sara from The Vegas Allreds
Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy
Edie from Life in Grace
Jessie from Vanderbilt Wife

Thank you all so much for having me on your blog roll or giving me a shout out!
You are the best and so are your readers!

4) Are you a Facebook Fan of The Other Mama:
46% Yes
44% No

This was very surprising to me {not the fact that those don't add to 100; the fact that 44% were not in the fan group}.

If you'd like to join, I'd love to have you. I won't send you spam messages or anything. But I post status updates that will show up in your News Feed when I write a new post. It's not nearly as harassing as your college roommate telling you what they ate for lunch.

Things I'm going to work on:
I might- just MIGHT- do a giveaway soon just for Facebook Fans.

Driving the airplane
This picture makes no sense here whatsoever, but this post is long, so I need some pictures.

5) What kind of posts do you most enjoy reading on The Other Mama:
{This was pick as many as apply, so there is not a nice 100% total}
90% Rambling accounts of my everyday life
80% Parenting stories and issues
71% Memories and stories from the past
60% Faith
60% Domestic Topics (remodeling, decorating, etc)

So, tomorrow's post will be titled: How to Pray for your Children While you Reminisce about Painting Your Bathroom.

It will be a doozy- especially if you like rambling.

Things I'm going to work on:
I guess ramble more? I don't know! I love writing about all these things, so I'm happy you like reading them. I guess that's why you're here!

6) What kind of posts do you LEAST enjoy reading on The Other Mama:
{Before you shoot me, I MADE you answer this. And got lots of comments apologizing, hating the survey, etc. You people are too nice. I just wanted to know what you would click if you HAD to.}
27% Music and opinions about pop culture (movies, TV, music)
25% Food (recipes, cooking stories, etc)
18% Domestic topics (remodeling, decorating, etc)

Things I'm going to work on:
Not making you click anything! Wow- you were so mad at the survey! Thanks for that!
It's like the survey cheated on me in High School and you all had my back!

Seriously, I might curve the TV talk... every now and again.
No Whammies, No Whammies! STOP!
{Whew~ Had to get that out.}

7) How do you feel about giveaways:
41% Love them! Bring on more!
41% Like a giveaway every now and then
8% Don't understand/ like the format for registering

Who you love that I've featured before?
Of course, my pal Lisa Leonard! I'll stalk her until she does another giveaway for y'all.

That and she said she'd do one anyway. So, I'm excited about that!
Blissdom 5

Things I'm going to work on:
Finding more products you would love!

Speaking of that...

8) I'm considering accepting advertisers on The Other Mama. What are your thoughts on that:
35% I'd be fine with it as long as there weren't flashy ads everywhere
34% I don't mind either way
29% I would love you to highlight some moms/ companies that you trust

Thank you for all your input, too! I have a great base of folks to start!

Things to work on:
I'm excited about this new possibility and will definitley keep you updated as things change.
I really would love to tell you about other women/ moms who have amazing products that I love.
If I can do that and use the money to pay for this hair cut, well that might be a good combo.
getting hair cut
Still no point, but see how I worked it in?

9) How do you prefer I respond to comments in each post:
63% I don't necessarily expect a response
26% With a personal email

If you have your Blogger account set up to show your e-mail address, I will most likely email you a response, if I can. Come on. You can do it!

I also asked "if you don't leave comments, why don't you?"
And most responders said they were clearly in stealth mode {and my favorite: "I can't even believe I'm taking this survey"}, so that's perfectly fine. Several people also said they prefered to comment on Facebook.
Whatever floats your boat, my friends. Just as long as you let me know you're out there every now and then.

Here's the scoop:
{Again, if you write a blog, you know this} Blog writers love comments.
They are better than frozen Thin Mints- oh yes- I did just say that.
It just makes a writer feel loved. And if we can then respond back to you, that makes you feel loved and we might actually become friends. And I like that.

I will be completely shocked, though, if anyone actually finishes reading this post AND comments. You deserve some sort of medal if you make it.

10) What is your favorite part of The Other Mama? What would you like to see more of or introduced to this site? {this was a write in only answer}
Y'all were all so nice. I really expected some nasty people, but there was not even ONE troll out there.
All I can muster is thank you from the bottom of my heart. You completely and totally make my day- every day.
I will do my best to keep making you laugh through transparent stories and real life stuff. It seems that we all need to be reassured that we aren't the only ones who remember Sam and Libby shoes and somehow we are going to make it through the day without killing our children.


Thank you so much for taking that survey and indulging me to share the results with you!

May you only have Good Answers and No Whammies in your day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Girl- It's a Four Letter Word

Here's the honest truth: I'm terrified of having a girl.

There. I said it.

As much and I am thankful for your warm wishes and kind words, all mentions of glitter, sparkle and tu-tus scare me silly.

This might sound like Captain Obvious, but I KNOW I am a girl. The issue is that I was never really "girly". I mean, my 6 year old birthday party was a makeup party like everyone else's, but I've never been one for princesses and unicorns.
Well, not unless Lisa Frank's designs had that on her Trapper Keeper and then I was all over it.

In no particular order, here are the
Top Ten Reasons I'm Concerned Scared out of my Mind about Raising a Girl:

1. Drama
I'm pretty sure girls come with their fair share of drama. I have never liked it- not even when it was cool in high school. It made me nervous and sweaty.
There is nothing worse than, "Oh my gosh. Do you think she said that about me? I'm totally going to ask Tiffany if she heard from her cousin in the locker room that she said that. I am going to be Soooooo upset. I think I'll have to move to a different state if that happened."
Et cetera.
Ugh. I think I'm sweating a little bit now just thinking about it.

2. Bowl Cuts
I believe it has been well-documented here that I sported a lovely bowl cut from ages 2-11 {some might say 12, but them's fightin' words}.
But I will give my mom some slack. This bowl below around age 2 was even before Mary Lou Retton made it famous; she was ahead of the times. {She has no excuse for this one, though.}
Hillary baby pic
What I won't stop cracking up about is that, I look terrified to be in this picture myself!
And, for some reason, the picture came with a whole set of 18 different sizes still together on the original sheet. I can't believe she didn't hand these gems out!
Who doesn't love a red- faced, crying, bowl cut baby with orange eyes? It's all so natural. Especially with the forest out the window there.

I hearby promise, pledge and swear to do my very best to keep my sweet girl away from all haircuts resembling cutlery, serving dishes or any piece of a place setting.

3. Perms with Bowl Cuts
This only adds insult to injury.
I think this version of the bowl is clearly outlined in this previous birthday post.

4. Boys
Oh my word. At least she'll have 2 older brothers to give us the scoop on boys.
Hopefully by 2025, we can require fingerprints and background checks on all potential dates.
I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?

She will also not be allowed to fly away in a car with ANYONE. Period. Only Danny and Sandy and Marty McFly should be able to do that.

5. Peer Pressure
Am I biased, or do you think this is worse for girls? We work with the youth at our church and I'm just praying that our kids have a tight-knit group like them at church when they are in high school. Even if they do, though, that stupid peer pressure will still be out there to do crazy things like get their ears pierced, dance with boys and cut the bottoms of their jeans.

And there might even be worse things, too.

6. Clothes
I bought one outfit today for our little girl and was completely overwhelmed at the selection!
This is what you people were talking about! There are endless flowers, ladybugs, polka dots, sunshines, hearts, pinkPinkPINK everywhere.
Boys just have shirts and shorts.

Oh no. Not girls.

I think I'm going to need a chart to figure this out. Any tips/ favorite brands/ websites/ best practices would be completely appreciated!

7. Prom Date
I know; it's a little early to worry about it, but I'm very concerned that there will come a time when a prom dress is needed.
And I might let her sucker me into a royal blue sequin prom dress that casts the light of a disco ball all around her the whole night at prom.
Not that I know anything about that.
Hill Jr Prom PIc
As you can see, dates were fuzzed out to protect the innocent.
And this high school boyfriend of mine works on Capitol Hill, so I don't want to ruin any potential political careers with my dress selection. {I'm not even going to touch the shoes that were died to match. And if I recall correctly, no one should have touched them because they turned my skin blue.}

If you know who this is, just snicker happily to yourself with that knowledge and don't write it in the comment section, okay? Google is a mighty, powerful tool and will hunt down the tiniest remarks in the comments.

As a matter of fact, I think Google should be in charge of airline screening. They seem to know more about me than I do about myself.

8, 9, and 10. Hormones, Hormones, Hormones
I was really hoping I would be the only one around here to be tortured get to deal with these, but apparently I will share the wealth at some point in time.
I really don't wish this on anyone, but at least we can go through it together; I'm sure we'll be BEST of friends when she is in middle school.
'Cause that's how it works.

What am I missing here?
Arguments about what clothes to wear? Or blow drying hair?
Finding tights/ bloomers/ brain squishers to match each outfit?
I need the scoop, friends. I need to be as prepared as possible!

Hop on over to my friend Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda to join in the fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Tale of a Turtle and a Hamburger*

Once upon a time, there was a mommy turtle who lived with her turtle husband and turtle family in their nice turtle pond with rocks, mud and slime.
The mommy turtle knew these living conditions well, understood the terrain and felt like she had a good grasp on what all it meant to be a turtle. Things were messy, thrown together and sometimes rough, but she liked a life with turtles. Her baby turtles were a little bumpy on the outside, but they were soft and cuddly on the inside and when they needed to be. Best of all, they loved their mommy turtle.

Then one day, someone told the mommy turtle that there would be a HAMBURGER moving in with their family.

WHAT? A HAMBURGER? "Surely you jest" said the mommy turtle {because she had been to turtle college and enjoyed British terminology to sound smarter than the other turtles}. Hamburgers do NOT live with turtles. Doesn't it know it will get Eaten ALIVE here?

But despite her confusion and inability to understand how in the WORLD a Hamburger could be coming to live with her family, it was true.

In a few months, the turtles will be invaded.
Baby Girl Dunham 001

And surely they will welcome this Hamburger with open arms.

Baby Girl Dunham 001

Because even if she isn't a turtle, she'll fit right in.
The turtle family has always been a fan of beef, carbs and anything smothered in cheese.

To be continued...

# # # # # # # #

Here's more of what we saw:

Baby Girl Dunham 003

And since I can read lips, here's what I'm pretty sure she was saying:

Baby Girl Dunham 003

Jason, the boys and I are happy to announce that we are expecting a GIRL brand of baby.
Holy Hairbows! We don't what we're going to do with one, but we have a few months to figure it out.

Tips? Advice? Warnings?
Money tree for clothes?
I'll take them.

* The "turtle" and the "hamburger" are what the ultrasound technicians look for to determine the gender of your baby. I won't pull out medical terms here because I'd be on all kinds of spam lists, but I'm pretty sure you can figure out which one belongs to which gender.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough ...

And gosh doggit, I like you.

Since you are clearly the most beautiful and brilliant blog readers in the world, I'd like to get your opinion on the State of the Blog. I would love to know more about YOU to help me get a feel for why you're here. And I'd also like to know your bank account number your likes and dislikes. I mentioned the other day that some blog changes are around the corner {NOT the address}, but I'd love your input as I'm going through these.

Would you take a few minutes to complete this survey, pretty please? It's an anonymous survey and only has 10 very short questions. It's WAY better than the PSAT {and you won't sweat profusely while taking it}.

I promise I'll share the results and maybe even a picture from the mid 80s as a reward.
I won't promise a bowl haircut, but you know it's kinda inevitable.
Or maybe a celebrity meet up story that I've never shared here before.

Either way, it will totally be worth your 3 minutes.

Click here to take survey

Thank you so much for your help!
I'll save a Tagalong Girl Scout Cookie for you {updated: this is a flat out lie; cookies are all gone. I'm sorry.}.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sugar High

Since V-day has come and gone, we are all coming down from the sugar high.
I'm a fan of any holiday that advertises a fat baby shooting people and encourages eating sweets.

And sweets we ate.

Ollie and Henry's school parties were at the egg-zact same time last Friday. Of course.
So, I ran back and forth to each trying to enjoy each necklace/candy activity, card opening and love celebration.
Here is Ollie (L) opening cards and Henry (R) asking why the heck I kept disappearing?
V-day party collage
Just like last year, we went back to our heart-shaped doughnuts at Krispy Kreme on Saturday.
This is about the point where Henry looked up and said, "Mommy? Daddy? I'm happy".
That's my boy.
Just glad we're teaching him about the important things in life.
Feb 10 051
And please tell me your 4 year olds do this goofy face, too. I believe they have taken "Say Cheeeeeese" to the level that Velveeta has also taken it- nothing similar to the original product.
Feb 10 059
And a little editing action for you here.
I think the crumbly doughnut face and hand just add character {something not offered with most editing software}.
He's like fat Anne Geddes baby. Without a big sunflower to pop out of.
Feb 10 060

Saturday night, we went to eat dinner with some good friends. It was the first party where we took our Wii remotes on the road and played 4 player Super Mario Brothers. And we laughed, screamed and jumped hysterically- all the adults, that is.
I would highly recommend this- especially if you haven't played in oh- 20 years or so.

The wife of the hosting couple's home is my doctor friend and hookup who has checked for ear infections on Sunday nights, called in prescriptions and given me drug warnings over the phone at 10 pm. Everybody needs a friend like her.

And I knew that she would appreciate my cake that I made for the get together.
Feb 10 066
Oh, the jokes. There are so many.
"Would you get your VD off the table?"
"Where's that VD you brought in?"
"A moment on the lips; a lifetime on the.... er... hips- ish"

I only wish it could have made it to Cakewrecks, but, as you can see, I am not a professional cake decorator.

So that was our V-Day weekend: full of sugar, cheese and laughter.
That sounds just about right to me.

How was yours?

Friday, February 12, 2010

An Open Letter to 8th Grade

Dear Eighth Grade,
What did you do with my $27 {wow at the cost; my parents flipped} Hypercolor shirt I HAD to have in 1991? Where is that thing?

And while I'm thinking about it, where are all those Sam and Libby ballet slipper things with the lovely bow on the top? I'm pretty sure I had those gems in every color- including red and dark green.

You know what else I'm missing? My T-shirt ties and Banana Clips.

And what ever happened to our family bag phone that we had to take into Wal-Mart with us in case of a world wide emergency?

Where in the world is my Coca-Cola red and white rugby shirt?

What have you done to me, 8th grade? You have filled me with so many memories, but you turned out to be a traitor and left me with nothing.

I think I know what our landfills are full of:GMS 1991 Cheerleading Squad04

Pom-poms, megaphones, videos of Saved by the Bell {the important one where Zak and Kelly didn't go to the prom because her dad lost his job and she gave her dress money to her family- let's just say that one was taped}, 1/4 inch barrel curling irons {for bangs, of course} and shoulder pads.

You were good to me at the time, 8th grade, but I would like to see something tangible from all our time together.

Something important, vital, life changing. Maybe a tape of Smells Like Teen Spirit?

We could call it even, then.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bliss-tastic: The Recap

* Warning: This is a long post with lots of pictures. But there are some of Harry, so just suffer through, okay?*

1. The People
One of the wonderful things about Blissdom is that you get to hang out with amazing and cool people who you stalk think you "know", but really you don't "know". You know?

The bloggers, they are everywhere.

Me, Stephanie and Holley from (In)Courage and Amanda from OhAmanda at the Thursday night Cocktail Party
{Photo by Mary from Giving Up On Perfect}
Blissdom 6
Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife {I'm assuming you know I'm the gal on the left by now}
{Photo by Mary}
Blissdom 3
Lisa Leonard from Lisa Leonard Designs, of course.
{Photo by Mary}
Blissdom 5
My sweet friend who loves me even though I stalk her. Mary took all these pictures and for this one kept saying, "We've got to take it again, you have CRAZY eyes". I do not know what was going on other than my excitement to hang out with my girl, Lisa.

Mary from Giving Up on Perfect {afore mentioned photographer and one of my roomies}, Robin from Pensive and me
{Photo by Moosh in Indy who is also amazing}Blissdom 12
Robin led a wonderful and spirit-filled Prayer Breakfast on Saturday morning. I was so glad to be there!

Mary and I were patiently waiting to see Harry! {Photo by my pal Dawn from MHSH}
Blissdom 10
With Arianne from To Think is to Create.
{Photo by Mary}
Blissdom 7
There are about 30 of these pictures in the Blissdom Flickr set from many different photographers because we sat here and talked for over an hour.
You have no idea how much I enjoyed our conversation. Love this girl!!

Saturday morning breakfast with the beautiful {inside and out} Sarah Markley, Ashleigh from Heart and Home, Mary, me, Chrissie {Lisa's twin sister and amazing person in her own right} from Handmade Play and Tammy from Greek Grits.
{Have no idea who took this picture, but it was on Mary's camera}Blissdom 9
Speaking of grits, all the food was phenominal- not like regular conference food.

But we did sneak out one night to a local fine dining establishment called the Baja Burrito.
You can tell from the signs on the wall that we only eat the best.

This is Holley and me, Ashleigh, Annie from Annie Blogs, Stephanie and Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy.
{Photo by Mary. Can you tell I swiped all her pics?}
Blissdom 8
We are all wearing Lindsey's amazing poppies {except for her} and they were one of the most fun things about Blissdom because she gave them out with her business card! Even better is that Lindsey is awesome, funny and adorable.

Annie and I kept missing each other in real life and I was so glad to finally hang out. We spilled drinks, knocked over chairs and snorted when we laughed. She's my kind of gal. And she came up with my new tagline when I switch my blog over to WordPress. That's right- the big move's a-comin'. But not to worry- still the same site, but one day you'll pop over and it will be prettier.

Just think of it as having it's eyebrows plucked.

People who I did NOT get pictures with, but got to hang out with and loved {This portion is for 1) name dropping 2) helping myself remember and 3) so you can let me know who you already know and how you love them, too}:

Jessie from Vanderbilt Wife- hello roomie?? Where are our pictures??
Darcy from My 3 Boybarians
Deanna from Design Chicky and Domestic Chicky
Kim and Kris from The DIY Dish
Nester from The Nesting Place
Kimba from A Soft Place to Land
Emily from Chatting at the Sky
Maggie from Gussy Sews
Dedra Herod from Just a Chick
Jessica Turner from The Mom Creative {Who's hubby just wrote an awesome new book!}
Kimberly from Raising Olives
Melissa from A Familiar Path
Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Jenny from 86753oh9
Mandi from It's Come To This
Edie from Life in Grace
Tsh from Simple Mom
Steph from Adventures in Babywearing
Melanie from Blogging Basics 101
Kristi from Pink and Polka Dot
Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer
Melissa from The Inspired Room

I am positive that I'm leaving someone out. Please let me know if we are friends and I am forgetting you. Please forgive my dorkiness.

Edited to add the people I LOVE and canNOT believe I left out:
Jill from Diaper Diaries {hysterical AND she can rock at Karaoke}
Melissa from Multi-Tasking Mama {such a fun breakfast together}
Aubrey from Little Bits of Life {THRILLED that she is really close by}
Malia from Just Malia {super sweet and I love her About Me section- you must go read}
Myra from My Blessed Life {Ah. Dor. A. Bull.}

2. The Perks
Y'all, the Blissdom staff did an unbelievable job of providing us all kinds of swag. I wanted to take a picture of all the goodies I came home with, but thought it would be kinda rude to rub all your proverbial faces in it. But just know it was awesome.
Lisa made every attendee a beautiful necklace that says "Bliss".
I won an autographed cookbook from George Duran {funny and a great cook- who I'm just noticing is extremely tall!}.
{Photo by Dawn of MHSH}
Blissdom 11
And there may or may not have been more things I won like a big jacket from iRobot and a beautiful platter, cross and tea towel from Dayspring. Like I said, I'd hate to rub it in.

Isn't that right, Harry?
{Photo by Dawn}
Blissdom 15
We wouldn't want to make people upset or sad.
{Photo by Dawn}
Blissdom 14
Or the least bit jealous.
{Photo by Darcy of My 3 Boybarians}
Blissdom 13
The scoop on Harry: super kind and cordial, charming {of course} and even joked that he thought we would be wearing red plaid shirts and suspenders... since it was a "loggers" convention.
Oh, it was bad, but I forgave him.

We got to meet him backstage after the concert and since he was flying out right after that to play at the Super Bowl {THE SUPER BOWL}, we took pictures in groups to be sure to get everyone in. {Please don't get me started on the fact that I'm so far away. I couldn't tell how we were entering and was last in with my group. Hindsight. Danggit.}

Much like Marcia Brady when she met Davy Jones, I have yet to wash my hand.

3. The Puh, Puh... um... The Lessons
The best part about all the Bliss is taking a step back to look at why we blog.

I love to tell stories- in person and on the world wide interweb. I like to encourage other people and make them laugh. I enjoy relating to women, laughing together and helping each other when needed {which is often for me!}. I think God likes a community that will do that for each other- in real life and online.

For my kids, this is the only cut, stickered and pasted scrapbook they are going to get unless I start putting silly robots, full sized men or balloons in notebooks. And that's about as likely as my blinds being dusted.

The best lesson and a consistent message from all the writing workshops was to be yourself {authenitic, organic, original- it was said a dozen ways}. Seems pretty simple to me, but I think sometimes as blog readers, we {me, too!} look at other people's sites and think, "I wish I could ____ like she does". Whether that blank be cook, dress, write, take good pictures, have cute kids, craft like Martha or find Seven Jeans at Goodwill.

It's a lot of the same thoughts that go through our heads as women in the first place.

But especially on a blog, people want you to be who you really are.

Which person are you at a party?
If you like to give fashion compliments or advice, do that on your blog.
If you like to talk about deep, spiritual matters, do it on your blog.
If you like to tell stories about your kids' poop-looking artwork- well- lets' just say that's taken, but you can join in, too!

The biggest compliment I got all weekend was from a reader who said, "You are really just like I thought you would be!" Wow. Did you catch that I have a reader? What in the world?

I think of this blog as a tiny extension of me. But not like hair extensions because that would be weird.

Puh-lease tell me you're going to be at Blissdom in 2011!
{I will definitely be there- possibly with a tiny baby.}
Or who do you "know" {stalk} that I happened to meet?

And, if you want to get all kinds of deep, why do you blog?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Attack of the Killer Robots: A Love Story

Once upon a time, there was a lull in sales between Christmas and Easter, so florists {some of whom are related to me} and greeting card companies created a holiday to generate some revenue in boring, cold February.

This holiday is meant to center around love, happiness and romance. But to little {and big} boys, this silliness seems ridiculous.

Unless it involves robots.

In our house they are alien robots and they have a story.
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On a planet far, far away, 2 robots landed and were enjoying their sweet life- filled with candy and barcodes.
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Then, as luck would have it, they found many alien robot friends to play and live with them.
They were loving life in a delicious foreign world we will call CandyLandisous.
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Then one day, an astronaut arrived!
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He tried to take over their village and eat their eyes and feet {GROSS}!!!
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Unfortunately, only one robot alien had arms, but he did all he could do and led the others in a revolt.
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They circled the astronaut and told him there was NO way off this planet alive.
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When the standoff was at its worst, a nearby hero came to the rescue.
Thomas the Tank Engine also lived on their planet. He settled the fears of the anxious alien robots and he brought some food to the astronaut so he wouldn't be hungry.
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Thomas married a lovely blue robot and they all lived happily ever after.
The End.

: : : : : : : : :

To make your own alien robots with crazy plot lines, you can go to Family Fun Magazine online and print your templates, add candy and have fun!

The only step that they don't clearly outline in the instructions is this part on connecting the robot bottom together.
Feb 10.1 008

Some other hints are:
* Double sided tape is REALLY helpful.
* You might need a cutting partner {4 year old interest seems to wax and wane depending on where you are in the story}.
* Be sure that you don't need to return your cereal, granola bars or spaghetti before you cut the labels off everything in your pantry.
* Children will flock to this project because of the candy. They will also "accidentally" break pieces to see if those are okay to eat. Don't say I didn't warn you.

We plan to finish the arms and address them {on the back} soon- hopefully before the party on Friday.

We also made this Monster Mailbox for Ollie to take to school to receive other stupid Valentine's cards that hopefully have candy his class cards.

What are your Valentine's Day plans?
Do you do anything special with your significant other or children?
{Jason and I cut and put together robots for V-Day. If that definition of romance is wrong, I don't wanna be right.}

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Saints Go Marching In

I know that I owe you a post on Blissdom. But the truth is that my camera has been dropped one too many times and now won't focus on anything but a postage stamp.
And since I never seem to have any of those, nor a reason to take a picture of one, I'm waiting for Mary and Darcy to get their pictures uploaded to the Blissdom flickr group so I can show you all about my weekend.

For now, here's a sneak peak of my weekend {if you are seeing a rainbow of fruit flavors, I have NO IDEA why, but the video works. Just press the play button below}:

Harry sings to me (and everybody else) from The Other Mama on Vimeo.

Congrats to Harry and his Saints for pulling out the big win at the Super Bowl.
I love an underdog and a good story.
And I love a good Super Bowl commercial just as much.

Doritos won in my book this year hands down. And apparently all these were made by people entering a contest- not professionals {see Dorito dart-throwing outfit if you question that}. Gotta love those underdogs!

What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial?
And if you were brave enough to watch 2 whole videos, don't you just love Harry?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Countdown to Bliss

It's finally here! I'm headed to Nashville this morning for the Blissdom Conference and cannot wait to arrive!

Here's the final countdown:

10- outfits packed for 3 days {Don't judge me.}
9- pairs of shoes {This is a girly affair, folks.}
8- million cords and chargers {This is also a geeky affair- in a cute way.}
7- sorts of hair products {'cause I'm a Southern girl and I need some poof}
6- secret candy bars stashed in my bag
5- bags packed {seriously, but they aren't all big bags}
4- extra camera batteries
3- sweet guys I'm leaving behind
2- hour drive
1- man waiting for me. Hello, Harry. I'll be there soon..

Live reports from Blissdom next!

Do you know any other bloggers going that I can meet?
And any special words you'd like me to tell Harry?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

O.C.D. {Operation Cute & DisOrderly}

We usually get a good report home every day from Henry's pre-school teacher: he shared, was a perfect angel {for her, of course} or he loved his spaghetti so much that he needed a new shirt.

My favorite this week, though, was when his teacher told me that all the children lined up trucks on a car rug and he went behind them and faced all the vehicles in the right direction and lined them up so they were exactly on the carpeted road.

I have no idea what she's talking about.*
No child of mine could possibly be so persnickity.
used car lot
{Oh, shoot. I actually have evidence of him in action.}
cars 1
His latest finished project {heaps of small toys compliments of my in-laws- Merry Christmas!
I should add they really are wonderful and we are super thankful for all our small gifts that may or may not be headed back to their house in an unmarked package }.
cars 2

While he may follow his big brother to the ends of the earth, brothers
this little brother is completely different in personality and quirks.

Any clue as to why my second born could be so orderly?
And how he can get his lines so straight?
Do y'all think he's trying to teach me how to clean?

*All pictures of Henry's work, as I'm sure you guessed. I just happened to catch a few of these, but he does this with chairs, socks, balls and any and all toys.

I'm planning on keeping him away from the medicine cabinet.

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