Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spin Cycle: Counting the Change

This week, courtesy of Sprite's Keeper, we spinners are talking Change. Because...Yes We Can! ahahahahha. I've been waiting to type that all week, and yes I amuse myself quite a lot, thank you. I will be eagerly reading other spins over the weekend looking for others who also couldn't resist.

Although I could swear that I have addressed the fact that I'm not a fan of change more than once, I can't find the applicable posts. So since that's not what I'm going to talk about I will only mention in brief that I:

a) have a very routine filled life, mostly due to working 40 hours a week and having toddlers during them rest of it, toddlers who are fans of routines.
b) am happy with that life.
c) get really cranky when someone messes with my routine or changes plans on me.
d) despite the above, am really cluttered and not the most organized person when it comes to life, even though I would prefer it to be otherwise. Would much prefer it.

So, my spin on change this week is more about what I used to do with it.

Thing you should know in advance:

1) I was an only child, so there weren't any siblings lurking around in hopes of messing with me or distracting me.
2) We were poorer than dirt so spare change was really more like gold at my house
3) My parents fought a lot, usually over number 2
4) I seem to have had too much time on my hands.
5) I realize that this might make me seem like a candidate for the OCD wing of the crazy house, but in most areas of my life I am really quite sane. Really.

Periodically throughout my childhood, and even substantially into my teens, if life got a little too out of control for my tastes, and I didn't feel like journaling about it, I would head to my room and break open my piggy bank. Whereupon I would begin an elaborate and lengthy process of sorting the coins. By denomination, year, mint (alphabetically) and cleanliness. I would lay them all out in rows (obviously the oldest dirtiest Denver penny was first), and then count them. By the time I tidied everything away, at least an hour had passed and I was soothed and peaceful and able to deal with things.

So really, I kind of used change to cope with change. Which, while weird, is more healthy than some things I could have been doing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ah yes, this was why I had children...

Because they're funny. Without trying.

Tonight was, of course, Library Night, and therefore Fast Food Night. But this time we overrode the calls for cheese roll ups per usual, and took an exotic trip to Arby's.

The kid's meal chicken poppers come in a cardboard container similar to a fry container. For some reason Lilli was trying to to "drink" out of it. Only there was a lone chicken popper in the carton. So every time she tilted her head back to "drink", that lonely chicken popper would fall onto her face, startling her. And, even though she kept doing it, every time it fell on her face she would jump, just as startled as the first time. David and I were cracking up. Like, I seriously hurt my lungs.

As with most funny things, you really had to be there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ack! The self induced pressure!

Soooooo, whoa!

Now that I'm pretty sure I've decided to fully embrace Random Tuesday Thoughts as brought to us all by the UnMom, I was a little startled to realize the week has come around to Tuesday again. Caught me a little short it did. And I thought by now I would have researched how to grab a dang button. But my "Edit Html" page appears to hate me. And it is not happening.

Anyway, let the randomness begin:

1. It irritates me quite a bit that after having learned a hula dance tonight, long story, won't go into it, I can't find the version of Kanaka Wai Wai on iTunes that I want. It appears that I'm going to have to go with either the super culturally accurate version, which is beautiful, but not what I'm looking for, or the Don Ho version, and that is SO not what I'm looking for. He's great when it comes to The Hukilau Song, but this song is on an entirely different plane. *grumble*

2. More than once in the last week I have wanted to kick a UPS driver or perhaps key one of their vans. No offense to you if you or a loved one works for Brown, this is entirely work related hatred and will pass.

3. So, most people, who don't have cable or some sort of dish service, would choose to deal with the networks switching to digital by buying a converter box. We chose to deal with it by buying a new TV. Perhaps last night we were confused and thought the economy was good? It is true that in actuality the misery that is the recession has not really affected us directly. But the fact that it could is hanging over our heads since neither of our industries is doing very well. So this may not have been the best decision. We did get a good deal though, and it's pretty. And while to most people this new TV is small to moderate in size and not worth getting excited over, it is an upgrade for us, and by our standards is practically movie theatre large. I will no longer have to squint at my Wii self. Which is pretty thrilling.

4. I have a strong hankering for sour cream and onion "Tater Skins". Do they still make those? Last I saw of them was in a Meijer in Ohio. And that was not exactly recently. And does anybody remember those chips that were kind of Dorito-like in shape and texture but came in different pizza flavors? Like Pepperoni and Supreme? I have to say that Pizza flavored Pringles are no substitutes and Heaven knows that I have tried to make them work for me. Although Pizza flavored Combos, while not at all similar, are dang delicious. Hmmm. I would also happily go for some shrimp cocktail right now. Or hummus and pretzel chips. I seem to be in a savory mood and hungry in general. This is what comes from deciding to give portion control a shot and following it up with some Tahitian style booty shaking.

It seems I'm going to have to stop the randomness and go have a snack now.

I happen to have some hummus.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It amazes me the things you can rent these days...

...and for super cheap too, or so I was told.

This is seriously the biggest bounce house we have seen outside of a play gym.

And we are big fans of bounce houses.

We spent the afternoon at a friend's house for her son's 4th birthday party. We had lot of fun, but I can never capture that fact on film. Why is that?

The sun in the eyes maybe?

The distraction of the birthday boy's new toys?

Unwillingness to pose due to hunger induced by being downwind of the barbecue?
Exceptionally delicious barbecue I might add.

Perhaps the distraction of a comfortable chair?

I just don't know.
I do know that when the girls are older I'm going to have to convince them that we did fun things when they were little and that they had a good time. Because they're never going to figure that out from the photo albums.
We even went to the park and flew (well, tried to fly, stupid lack of a steady wind) a kite today. But of course I didn't even remember to bring the camera for that one.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Silly Cycle: Funny Ha Ha, Not Funny Strange...Really

Something that never fails to make me giggle when I remember it is the first time David and I saw Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

The whole movie was funny, and to this day that is the only one of the Austin Powers movies that I own. Or even like. And I find it just as amusing every time I watch it. More entertainingly, so does David, which helps me flashback to our movie theatre experience.

This was, of course, back in our college days when we actually saw movies frequently. Not once every three months or so like we do now.

So, there's a part in the movie where Seth Green, playing Scott, Dr. Evil's son, appears on the Jerry Springer show. You would think after as many times as I've seen it I would remember what the "show" was about, but I'm always distracted by David's reaction and I can't remember exactly. But it's something like "My Dad is Evil and Wants to Take Over the World", with a kid and his KKK dad and another kid and his seeming South American Dictator Dad, and, of course, Scott and Dr. Evil. It proceeds as a typical Jerry Springer show, ending up in a big on-air brawl.

I'm not sure what does it, if it's Dr. Evil trying to get at the other dads and the audience members, or all the bleeping, or something else entirely, but by the end of the scene the first time we saw this (and to this day to a slightly lesser degree), David was in hysterics. He was laughing so hard he was literally unable to talk and could only helplessly pump his arm in the air over and over as he shrieked with laughter. Shrieked, people. We got LOOKS. Possibly also due to the wild way he was flailing that arm. But of course I'm awfully fond of him, so I was laughing almost as hard as he was, both because it really is a funny scene, but more because of the state he was in.

It still brings a smile to my face, if not an audible giggle, just to think of it.

This memory brought to you courtesy of Sprite's Keeper.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I've either had a stroke or some Novocaine...

Ok, it would be more fun to make you guess, but it was the Novocaine.

Had my first fillings ever for two small cavities this afternoon. It was a lot better than I had imagined, but its still a long time to keep your mouth open. Having stuff on some of my teeth is going to take getting used to, but I really was punished very lightly considering I haven't been to the dentist in...a while. I have to go back in a couple of weeks for two more tiny cavities and the spot where I wore the enamel off part of a tooth chomping on ice on the other side of my mouth. I'm less freaked out about that, but still pretty worn out from working myself up about today.

And since the Novocaine is wearing off enough that I'm now aware that my mouth feels pretty worked over I'm going to bed now. So please have a lovely night, and remember to floss!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Extra Random Ramblings

In some circles, Tuesday is not just one day closer to Friday, it's "Random Thoughts Tuesday" or something like that. There is one of those cute little blog buttons in existence to show it, but naturally I don't know how to put it up on here. I just mastered linking things for heavens sake! And in this paragraph I'm too lazy to even do that.

So my first random thought is this. I have a whole blog dedicated to randomness. At least all my rambles are random, right? Hmmm. My random rambles are really rockin'? Whoa that alliteration is heady stuff! So anyway, if I decide to regularly participate in Random Thoughts Tuesday, because I want to be like the cool kids, do I have to be unrandom the rest of the week? I'm not much of one for outlines and orderliness, although I am unreasonably fond of lists.

This: is my new obsession. I really hope that link works. A guy I went to high school with, who recently became my Facebook buddy, apparently has a New York based company called The Striking Viking Story Pirates. They're an improv group that turns stories that kids have written into skits that they perform at schools, birthday parties, wherever really, complete with SONGS. Surely you can see why that appeals to me. Oh yes, you can. He was really talented 10 years ago and that doesn't appear to have changed. Excuse me while I go watch that again.


Back. So here's something I've been wondering. What's the expiration of appropriateness for eating seasonal candy? Some people think it is very cool to make Trick-or-Treat loot last until Christmas or later, others envision chocolate covered mold (or, of course, mold covered chocolate) as part of this scenario. How many days after Christmas is it appropriate to eat a candy cane? And conversation hearts from Valentine's Day are now 75% off. They haven't magically gone bad or anything, but how many weird looks will I get if I buy some and eat them at my office? The white Necco ones are the BEST. At 75% off, I could get quite a few boxes and toss them all except the white ones. Boy that's tempting. But appropriate?

How come my dad always let the girls play in the sandbox without long pants on, and then is surprised when sand gets all up in their business? I thought one plus one usually equaled two...

I don't like mangoes. I'm really quite sad about that, because heaven knows, I have tried to like them. I can be a little judgemental as a relationship heats up, but usually I warm up just fine and end up liking the thing I've tried to be friendly with quite a lot. Not so with mangoes. I've tried them as is, in smoothies, in sherbet, in salsa, disgustingly cooked up and served with fish. They are like slimy, extra tangy, sour cantaloupe and I really think that something is wrong with them. It's like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes and everyone is in on the joke except me. Of course I really love Lychees both fresh and canned, and David, the mango lover I married, thinks they taste like rotten grapes. Whatever that's about...

So, yesterday there was a familiar sounding commotion near my front door. I looked over, and sure enough, my cat Bailey was about to toss his kitty kibble. And then he did. I went to clean it up and there amid the debris was a completely intact, very dead lizard. I've discovered entire little frogs in situ like this, but usually I find the lizards in pieces. This was not a small lizard either, which is why Bailey had to work so hard to get it back up. Extremely disgusting and a situation where I was really glad my dad watches the girls at my house because I am Not Good with corpses. Especially only slightly digested whole lizard ones. And he Dealt with it for me. Ug.

So, I hope that was random enough for you. If not, well, try me again another day. I reeeeeally failed at keeping my New Year's Resolution last night. We won't put a number on it, but let's just say I stayed up later than I intended...

Monday, February 16, 2009

In which I claim superior parenting skills...or not...

A couple of weeks ago Jen over at Sprite's Keeper did a post about babies and children and their TV watching. She outlined the AAP guidelines and then gave us a rundown of her little Sprite's exposure to the supposedly evil machine. She then invited us to unburden our souls of our honest opinions of this surprisingly controversial topic and to disclose just how much TV our kids watch in her comments sections. And lots of people did just that. I tried to do it myself, but Typepad decided to hate me and wouldn't take what amounted to a mini-post. Even once I edited it down to about 6 words. So here is a somewhat expanded version of the comment I tried to post:

1. I did not have a TV until I was 10. When I was a baby my parents decided that they didn't want me to watch it so they got rid of theirs and waited a decade until my mom brought one home that she'd found on the curb (another topic entirely). So for my young formative years, the only TV shows I watched were things on PBS at my grandparents house, and random things like "Mannequin" and "Ghostbusters" at friend's houses and sleepovers. How this maybe helped me: I taught myself to read at 4, I love it, and I'm fast at it. I kicked the booty of the vocabulary portions of both the SAT and ACT. Having little else to do as a TV-less only child, besides read, I used to have one heck of an imagination. I never really developed a love for TV after we got one so I never watched it much, and didn't really catch onto advertising and, as a result, being ridiculously poor in high school didn't bother me much. How this did not help me: I pretty much missed the entire 80's. I FAILED at playing TV freeze tag in elementary school. I never got the desensitization that most kids get which I think strongly contributes to the fact that I can't stand suspense of any kind. It didn't help me at all with math, that is just not one of my skills. Hmmm. I'd better insert a disclaimer here since I am an auditor, that I do not stink at ALL math, just things like calculus. And trig. And geometry. Ok, anything beyond algebra really. Fortunately auditing is more about attention to detail than about math. Anyway.

2. I let my girls watch PBS and DVDs, and they mostly watch DVDs, either selections from our frighteningly extensive collection or the 10-14 I weekly check out of the library. Elizabeth has her own library card, and I use it in addition to mine and sometimes David's. They can both work the DVD player unassisted. Including turning it on, inserting a DVD, turning on the television, getting it on the right channel, starting whatever show they are watching, skipping ahead to the next chapter if they want to, and adjusting the volume. Since one is 3 and one is 19 months, you can imagine how much TV they must watch to accomplish this. Am I shamed by or proud of this? Well, I'm pleased with their mechanical skill and that's about it. I'm in the club that thinks that parenting or the lack thereof has more of an effect on children than a TV does.

3. I have a Toyota Corolla and no good way to have a DVD player in it, or they would probably watch a show while I drove. I can think of more than one situation where we would have been driving in a much safer fashion if they were happily distracted by Linny, Tuck and Ming-Ming too instead of freaking out because they DWOPPED THE BINOCUWARS and I could not reach them.

4. The reason they only watch PBS on the actual TV has everything to do with the fact that we don't have cable or satellite and nothing to do with me being picky. That being said, I do vet the shows they watch but not because I'm particularly worried about the evils of too much screen time. Both girls have demonstrated that they take after their parents unreasonable dislike of uncomfortable moments and suspense. We do not watch Disney movies (except for the DVDs of sing-along songs) because there is a little more drama then they are able to handle. A lot of children are able to better separate reality from fantasy. Mine were upset when they saw a portion of The Little Mermaid at a local pizza joint because "Awiel was CWYING!" So we mostly watch very mild shows. The Wiggles, Backyardigans, Wonder Pets, Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, Blues Clues, Miffy and Friends, Barney, that sort of thing. Elizabeth still needs her hand held if things get a little tense though. Say if the Moose of the Mist or a Giant Clam is on the loose. Or if Nemo the hamster is WOST.

5. If television is supposed to completely destroy the vocabulary of a child, heaven help us if mine didn't watch. Elizabeth only started watching regularly when she was 18 months or so, but due to having a big sister Lilli has been watching with interest since birth. Since Elizabeth never stops talking, and Lilli has been speaking in sentences for a couple of months now, I think we're doing okay. I guess if I didn't let them watch they would already be winning prizes in elocution? If that's the case, it's only fair that we save those awards for the older children.

6. Elizabeth would not believe me about the whole shapes and colors thing. But she believed Barney. I always used to say that I would never have Barney in my house, but I am happily eating my words. I have never known another child who, when younger than two didn't just know the colors, but also knew which primary colors make the other colors. Barney has also taught my children to cover their mouths when they sneeze, that brushing your teeth is awesome, how to share, about imagination, that we love our friends no matter how different from us they are, about more things than I can really count.

7. My child care provider is my 72 year old father. He does very well with the girls, plays imagination games with them, reads to them a ton, tells them stories, takes them outside to play. But he's also getting older and when he needs a break, and it isn't nap time, the TV is there for him. Even if I wasn't a fan of the television I would never begrudge him that. If the TV is on the girls may not be right in front of it, but they will be where they can hear it and that helps him keep track of them.

8. So how much do my girls really watch? I don't actually know. I can vouch for a definite hour and a half on Sunday mornings, I assume they watch that much on Saturday mornings too, but since that's my morning to sleep in I'm out of the loop. We are usually out and about or playing together on the weekends, so they might get some more viewing time in on weekend evenings, all depending, or maybe not. I have no idea how much TV they watch during the day Monday through Friday. Sometimes I come home and the TV is on, sometimes its off. We usually put on a DVD during dinner, which we eat as a family at the table. Because we have learned that they eat more. God bless mindless TV watching based eating. It's bad for adults, but great for my toddlers. Sometimes they watch something before bed, sometimes they don't. Because sometimes we're playing or out and sometimes we're not. All I'm saying is that I don't regulate the amount. And they don't appear to be suffering. Ironically I still don't watch much TV other than what I watch with the girls, and that seems to be the only lingering effect of not having a television as a child.

So that's what I wanted to say in response to Jen's post. If your kids watch more TV than mine, I support you! And if they don't, or don't watch any, or are watching the evil SpongeBob (just my opinion, he's awfully mean to Patrick) or Mexican Wrestling (the violence! the suspense!), well, I also support you. Because we parents have to stick together and cut out this constant thing where we all try to one up each other while claiming superior parenting skills and the most awesome kids. We aren't capable of being objective about our perfect children, but there is more than one way to raise one.

Besides, I'm sure some of the ways we will accidentally embarrass our children when they are teenagers will do a lot more permanent damage than the amount of television they watched or didn't watch as toddlers and little kids. Right?

You know I'm right...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spin Cycle: Love, Sweet Love

I don't have anything witty or clever today...

I just love them more than I can say.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sneaky Mama...

When Elizabeth was smaller she loved yogurt. LOVED it. Loved it to obsession in fact. I can only assume that Papa got excited by this and fed her too much at breakfast and lunch for too many days in a row, and now she hates it.

Lilli has never liked it. When she was first tasting foods and figuring out the solids thing, yogurt always came out as fast as it went in.

I want them to eat yogurt.

It's got a good dose of protein, and I'm a fan of dairy. Which granted they get plenty of, but since they (mostly Lilli) are iffy on their meat consumption, I want them to have protein. We are not bean people. So, dairy. So, still the cheese (seriously, what's with toddlers and string cheese?) and the cottage cheese and the milk, and the pudding, and did I mention the cheese? And I want them to have yogurt too.

Next point: I'm against being sneaky. Seinfeld's real life wife wrote a book (of course I'm blanking on the title and don't feel like making Google my friend right now) about all the underhanded ways you can sneak good for you stuff into not so good for you food. Like cauliflower puree into mac and cheese. Shredded carrots into meat loaf. That sort of thing. I think she even does evil things to brownies. I am not against fruit and vegetables. We eat a lot of them and I have strange toddlers who think green beans are candy and broccoli is the Best Thing Ever. So maybe if I had a problem getting the good for you stuff into my bitty ones I would be supportive of the hidden vitamins philosophy. Right now not so much.


During our grocery shopping over the weekend I decided we would try yogurt on them again. So I thought I'd try the runnier yogurt that they call a smoothie, since we hadn't tried that for a while. Naturally it was rejected.

The whole point of this long winded ramble is that tonight I made smoothies for everybody like they love for me to do, and instead of using orange or apple juice in it like usual, I poured in one of the yogurt smoothies and thinned things out with milk. And they LOVED it. Even Elizabeth.

And I don't feel guilty for being a sneaky mama at all. I feel deliciously underhanded and will be doing it again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

This means nothing to you...unless it does...

And if this screenshot does mean something to you, you also know why I almost passed out from joy over some stupid pixels tonight. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

If you don't know why this is a Big Deal to me, then here's why.

Yes, this officially qualifies as a Good Day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Manatee Park Revisited...

As I mentioned before, when friends visited us last October we went to a local park that is built around a tributary of the Orange River. Power plant effusions warm up the water so Manatees come to hang out and you can see them from the banks.

When we were there last time, the park looked like this:

It was still summery around here and things were nice and lush and definitely semi-tropical, so there wasn't really any need for Manatees to be visiting.
And even if it hadn't been too warm, there was this:

...scaring away any potential Manatee visitors.

Yesterday that same view looked like this:

No giant crane, but see how brown everything is? That's because we had a hard freeze a week or so ago and it killed a lot of the green stuff. On the plus side we are getting to introduce the girls to the concept of "fall" since all the leaves are off our trees, on the down side we are also getting to introduce them to the concept of "death". Yippee!

Anyway, the point is, it's been really cold for Southwest Florida, so the manatees think this little tributary is the Best Place Ever, with the result that the park is packed:

I have several more pictures just like that one. They even had people directing parking for the first time that I have ever experienced. So what was my point again? Oh yeah. We came to see the manatees!


Oh wait, that's right. Lilli was much more interested in these:

That's ok, Lilli, Mama likes flowers too.

I was really there to see these though:

Dang blurry camera. Much better in real life.

These are the best shots I got of something Manatee shaped:

Just ignore the uncooperative children in front.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spin Cycle: Planting a Garden is Not the Only Way to Have Plenty of Lettuce...

See below for my few pitiful tips for economizing in this miserable economy. I'm really looking forward to reading the posts of my fellow Spinners this week since I could use some help with this. I don't spend a lot of money on stuff as a rule, because in my heart of hearts I'm pretty cheap. But I'm a sucker for an inexpensive impulse buy and for sales, because if its cool and it's cheap I waaaaaaaant it. So. Yeah. Perhaps I'm not the best person to post on this topic, but I, like the rest of the planet, definitely need to conserve my resources. This is the way I do it:

I plan what we're going to eat for a whole week at once and base it around what's on sale at Publix. And sometimes even remember to use a coupon.

I buy cereal at Wal-Mart.

I buy bottled water, paper towels, and diapers at BJs. Sometimes other things too, but the savings on those three items alone have more than paid for my membership. Which was also a deal since I got it through work and actually got my parents onto my account for an extra 15 bucks for 18 months, which REALLY made the whole thing dang cheap. Oh yeah, and Elizabeth's favorite Subway is in the store so naturally we are regulars, so we are known, which nets us more than the occasional freebie. Really, going there is a win-win-win, anyway you look at it.

I haunt the clearance racks at Macy's which allows me to dress the girls nicely for cheaper than you might believe.

I am also a mad fiend when it comes to clearance in the Target toy department. I never cheap out on a gift for a friend's kid, it's always full price, but our house if full of cool toys that cost $1.98 or $2.48. My darlings have no clue what the orange stickers mean and probably wouldn't care if they did.

We go to the library every Wednesday night. Nothing is cheaper than free.


If I have spare change I don't want to spend, I leave it on the coffee table, where it is promptly confiscated by Elizabeth for her piggy bank.

That's it though. I don't go around turning off lights or always buy my gas at the cheapest place. I don't buy meat in bulk or split large purchase with friends. But I'm looking for ideas that I will actually do. I really can't wait to read everyone else's spin!

Monday, February 2, 2009

25 Things

I rarely get tagged for memes, no matter how much I love them, but I usually do them even when I haven't been. I was a little slow picking up on the viral Facebook meme that's going around and I have been tagged for it no less than 8 times. Kind of a delightful change.

At any rate, what is the point of putting this up on Facebook when I have a lovely blog and haven't bothered to post for a couple days?

So here it is.

25 Fairly Random Things:

1. I was born in Washington D.C. Which is cool, but makes things difficult when documents ask you what state you were born in.

2. I’m adopted, which puts me in the category of The Few and The Lucky.

3. My two favorite Jelly Belly flavors are Juicy Pear and Buttered Popcorn. Although really they’re all good, except for Tutti-Frutti and Peach and Cappuccino. And Jalapeno. Ok, I guess I take that back. Really, they’re NOT all good.

4. My favorite thing to do is read. I don’t care if it’s something on paper or on the computer, but I love it.

5. I have never been out of the country. Not even to Canada, Mexico or the Bahamas. Tragic, right?

6. The coolest Disney Princess is Belle, although Elizabeth insists that it’s Cinderella and I think Lilli agrees with her. Considering that “Rella!” is always the first princess to be pointed out to me.

7. Speaking of children’s pursuits, I am unreasonably fond of the Backyardigans.

8. David and I are the only 20 somethings (hmm. I guess he’s 30 now. Well, make that “people our age”) I know of that play Cribbage.

9. My favorite book continues to be Robin McKinley’s “Beauty” (see, there’s Belle again, told ya she’s my favorite). Although her new book, “Chalice” was just as fantastic as everything else she has written. And also I am a fan of the Twilight Series. Because I am female and once was A Teenager.

10. I am pretty good at pinball. The real kind, not the electronic kind. Which is a weird thing to be pretty good at in this day and age.

11. I can wiggle my ears. I also have Very Expressive Eyebrows.

12. I did a post about my fear of Fog (thanks to Stephen King’s short story “The Mist”), and then, since I was in a SK state of mind, stupidly went out and got his book “Duma Key” from the library. So now I’m afraid of sand and beach houses, and even more afraid of the Ocean, and I live in Florida. I applaud my brilliance.

13. My favorite thing about my job is that I can listen to my iPod while I do it.

14. I hate the sound a toothbrush makes with a passion. I brush because I find teeth to be useful objects, but if there was any way to avoid it, I would. For some people, it is nails on a chalkboard, for me its tooth brushing. I hate toothpaste commercials more than I can convey. They should be outlawed.

15. My non-so-secret favorite thing about having two little girls? They have cuter clothes and better toys than boys do. In fact some of the more exciting toys in our house are mine. Mostly so that the girls learn to share, since it’s easy to share somebody else’s toy, but also because they’re MINE. Heh heh heh.

16. I chew ice. I love to do it. It is very satisfying. However I was recently told by my dentist that I have to stop as I have apparently finally managed to wear off the enamel on part of the tooth that does the most crunching, and now I have to have that resin stuff put on there. Which is no small thing since I am definitely afraid of the possibility of having to have Novocaine, i.e., A NEEDLE IN MY MOUTH, for the first time. Of course what did I do this weekend? Yep, chomped away on some ice without a care in the world because I do it without thinking about it. *grumble*

17. Strangely, since I have this dislike of needles (see above), I actually enjoy giving blood. Not because I like having my vein jabbed and, most recently, my entire arm turn black and blue due to some Christmas Eve incompetence at the withdrawal center. It’s mostly because I’m O negative, so blood banks love me. Or at least my blood. And I like that. It’s nice to be appreciated.

18. I am extremely sentimental. Even about kids other then mine. So if you want me to sob like a baby for no good reason, send me a photo montage of your child aging, that is set to music. Even if it is “The Wind Beneath My Wings”, you’ll still kill me.

19. Reeeally sentimental. It was not that long ago that I was able to part with the stump of Elizabeth’s umbilical cord. And that’s just gross.

20. Things I still want to be when I grow up that are unlikely to happen: an opera singer, a dancer on Broadway, the mother of 10 children, a baby planner, a midwife, First Lady, owner of a bookstore.

21. I love cotton candy and those maple sugar blend molded candy things from Vermont. Reeeeally love them. I like sugar in general. And especially in its pure, yet flavored, form. I also like sugar cubes. As is.

22. I would like to have a dog. Particularly of the small fluffy purse variety. Specifically a Yorkie with that cute short trim that I see them with. Not the long stringy version. A tiny little dog that I could name Sam or Oscar and dress in little sweaters. However, David? Not such a fan of dogs. Me? Not such a fan of having to walk the thing or clean poo up from my yard. The girls? A little too forceful with the hugs. The cats? Would eat one alive. So, no dog for us. Especially no tiny dog.

23. I do, however, have a rat. She is almost the size of a teacup Yorkie, but would not appreciate being forced to wear a sweater. She does like to be brushed just like a dog though, and is probably smarter than some of them.

24. My favorite store is Target. I could spend hours there. Ok, I DO spend hours there. If I ever tell you that I’m going to just run in there and pick something up? I’m LYING. Not on purpose, but a five minute trip will never, ever happen.

25. My ideal weather is 75 with a slight breeze and partly cloudy. If you know of a place that has weather like that year round, please let me know at once.