Thursday, July 31, 2008

A difinitive answer

I now have the actual answer to my previous question about how nice I really am. Or at least I can tell you how evil I am.

You Are 30% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.

In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Apparently, not very.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WW- Proud Mama

My Favorite Birthday

Happy Birthday Rachael! For your birthday I will grant your request and tell you all about my favorite Birthday Birthdays.

The first story is very short, but it wins this contest by a landslide.

My absolute favorite birthday was my 29th. Why? Because I had confirmed that I was pregnant with Ciara the day before. You can't get much happier than that.

Ok, now on to a better story.

My 15th Birthday was supposed to be the worst birthday in history.
In the weeks leading up to my birthday I became totally convinced that I was living in some horrible real life version of Sixteen Candles.
The problem?
My older brother was scheduled to graduate from High School on MY birthday. This wouldn't be so horrible, except that his birthday is exactly 1 week before mine. As the big day approached, all I heard over and over was people asking Ray what he wanted for his birthday/graduation. I felt exactly like chopped liver.
We all know how dramatic everything seems when you're a 15 year old girl, right? Yeah...that girl writing furiously in her diary as tears stream down her cheeks...that was me. Pretty pathetic, especially considering that in the end it turned out to be one of the best Birthdays that I've ever had.

I had finals that day, which meant that I only had to be in school for a few hours. Knowing this, my Mom planned ahead to take me out for a nice celebratory lunch at our favorite restaurant since the usual evening festivities would not be possible. I was sullen and sulky about it, but pleased that I was at least getting some attention.
So I went out to lunch with my Mom, and my Dad met us there too if I remember correctly. I don't remember too much about the lunch itself, but I do remember my favorite gift. My parents gave me my very own copy of the New Kids "Step By Step" VHS. I was over the moon and couldn't wait to get home to watch it!
When I got home I was pleasantly surprised to find my 2 best friends waiting for me. They knew how upset I had been about my day being "stolen" by my brother, so they made me the most hideous cake ever to help me feel better. It had puke green frosting and it was horribly misshapen. It was the best cake ever.

Later that afternoon my entire family came together to celebrate my brother's big accomplishment. I was extremely surprised to find myself getting all choked up about it all. I was so proud of him and I started thinking about the fact that he was going to be leaving soon, and just like that, I felt like the biggest dope ever. It had been so silly of me to get so caught up in my own selfish need for attention. I'm happy that I came to my senses in the end and was able to truly appreciate just how lucky I really am. I have an amazing family, and great friends who love me. Those are the things that really matter in life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Top 5 Tuesday- Pet Peeves

Pet peeves, huh?
This one is a real thinker. Generally speaking, I am a pretty patient and mellow kind of gal. There are a few things that are guaranteed to annoy the hell out of me though. Let's see if I can think of 5 of them.

  1. This is a no-brainer. My ultimate pet peeve is when people talk to me like I'm stupid. I am far from it. It especially drives me crazy when the person doing it is a complete idiot.
  2. I hate when I'm driving and people cut me off, or pull in front of me in the passing lane and then drive at a snail's pace...especially if there are cars in the other lane preventing me from going around said moron.
  3. I really dislike stupid people who can't think for themselves and ask me a million incredibly dumb questions...especially since I'm too nice and will inevitably sit there and listen to every single mind-numbing one of them, and then provide the answers which will lead to even more ridiculously idiotic questions.
  4. The fact that my husband leaves gigantic puddles on the bathroom floor and is apparently physically incapable of hanging up his towel after taking a shower.
  5. Receiving a million chain-mail emails about religion, politics, the military, and supposedly sick or missing children.
That was more difficult than I expected it to be!
For more Top 5 Tuesday fun, head over to Supernanny Where Are You by clicking on the title of this post.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

One of those moments

Lately, I seem to be having a little bit of trouble remembering all of the reasons that I love being Ciara's Mom.

She truly is a wonderful little girl, and deep down I am extremely proud to be her Mother. It's just that she seems to have perfected her impersonation of Satan's spawn over the last several months, and is so proud of her acting abilities that she wants to show them off to everyone as often as she possibly can.

Surely, this must be the case, right? I mean, there is just no way that the sweet little baby that I brought home nearly 3 1/2 years ago has actually morphed into this little beast who loves to throw tantrums of epic proportions at the drop of a hat. It's just not possible.

All kidding aside, it is quite obvious that my daughter has reached a new and all important stage of development. I remember learning about this lovely stage known as "Autonomy" in my Early Childhood Development classes in college. I'm going to have to say that from what I remember reading- college textbooks don't do it justice.

I understand how important it is for Ciara to test her limits. She needs to learn for herself what the rules are...which ones she can get away with breaking, and which ones will result in severe punishment if not followed to the letter. I really do get it. I just wish that it weren't so gosh darned difficult to get along with her while she's doing it!

But, then there are these moments. These little glimpses of the amazingly beautiful and kind little girl that I know and love. The
fun part is that you never know when you will catch one of these little glimpses of perfection. Some days are just full of them, but then sometimes you can go several days without a single one.

I got one last night.

Ciara and I were home alone last night. It was getting late and it was time for her to go to bed. She has been resisting bedtime a lot lately, and last night was no exception. I told her that it was time for bed, and turned off the tv...and she started sobbing uncontrollably. I picked her up and carried her to her bed, talking to her as I walked.

"Ciara, what's wrong? Why are you crying so hard?"

No response except for a flood of tears rolling down her cheeks, and a pitiful wail of despair.

This went on for a minute or two. I have to admit, that I started to get a bit impatient with her. There was really no reason that I could discern for her to be crying that way. Finally, I said...
"You don't even know why you're crying do you?"
So I just stayed there next to her and rubbed her head. What else could I do, really?

Eventually she calmed down a bit and then she looked at me with her big doe eyes full of crocodile tears and said
"Mama, will you snuggle with me?"

And right then, I remembered a blog that I had read earlier in the evening about a family who just lost their 3 year old little girl.

As Ciara manipulated my body until she was satisfied with the position I was in, and then put her head down on my shoulder and curled into me, I was flooded with memories of snuggling with her in just such a manner nearly every night for the first 2 years of her life.

We whispered sweet nothings to each other as we spooned and snuggled...and I was reminded once again just why I am so lucky to have such an amazing little girl in my life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Secret is out

Ok, well my blog was never really a secret exactly, but it sort of felt like one.

I started my blog on a whim back in January. I've mentioned before that it began as an idea I had about shaming myself into taking better care of my health. It was a bit of an experiment, and I felt a little strange about it. I wasn't really sure if I actually wanted people that know me to be reading it. I mentioned it to a few of my coworkers pretty quickly, but I didn't actually tell them how to find it or anything. I also quietly put the link up on my Facebook and MySpace pages, but that was just about the extent of it. I certainly didn't go shouting about it from the rooftops.

Whenever I was writing a post and Kevin would come in the room and ask what I was doing, I would just say that I was checking email. That's what I always say when I'm at my computer. That's just my term for all things that involve communicating with other people via cyberspace. I wasn't trying to hide it from him, but I wasn't sure that I wanted him reading it either.

When I started out, I had never actually read any blogs (except for one or two on myspace, but those don't really count in my mind). I really had no understanding of the blogging community at all. I thought that people who know me would find it odd that I had started a blog. I mean, my life is not exactly exciting material on most days. Why would anyone want to read what is essentially my diary?

Then one day I discovered that several of the women that I had become cyber-friends with when we were all pregnant had also been drawn in by the pull of the blogosphere. I started checking out what they had to say, and through them discovered more blogs, which lead to more blogs, and so on. It felt like there was suddenly this new world opening up to me, begging to be explored. Each new discovery left me giddy and wanting more. A spark was kindled within me, and each blog that I visited fanned the flame just a little bit more.

I don't really know exactly when it happened, but sometime between graduating from High School and the birth of my daughter I stopped dreaming for myself. The only thing that I knew for certain was that I wanted to be a mother, and thoughts of creating new life consumed me to the point that nothing else seemed to matter very much. I was content to sit back and let Kevin earn the majority of the money needed to support us, while I simply existed. I knew that I needed to have a job for us to survive, but to me it was always just that...a source of income. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore working with children and helping to mold their young's just that I was always waiting for the day that I could just stay home with my own children. I can look back now and see how foolish and selfish I was. If I could go back and do things differently I like to think that I would, but sadly things don't work that way.

Not long after I moved out here to be with Kevin circumstances caused me to abandon my education for a time. For one reason or another I have never been able to find the motivation to go back and finish what I started. It seems that I'm always waiting for the world to present me with what I want. It's kind of odd really. I actually have a terrific work ethic and I fully believe that things are sweeter when you've had to work for them. Yet I somehow have felt no desire to go out and work for a better life for me and my family.

I am a very intelligent person. I don't say this to be pompous or obnoxious. I say it simply because it is the truth. I enjoy learning new things. I like knowing the answers to questions. I have recently discovered that I enjoy having other people look to me to be a leader. I still struggle with actually being a leader, but I'm getting better about that. Yet something still holds me back from pursuing bigger and better things for myself.

Let's go back to that spark that I mentioned before. Exploring the world of blogs seems to have woken up a part of me that fell asleep somewhere along the way. I suddenly have a desire to go out and learn new things. To explore areas that I never would have thought that I would find interesting before. Kevin has been trying to get me to learn more about computers for years, but I could never get through any of the books he gave me. Heck, I couldn't get through one paragraph without feeling like I was trying to read Japanese and simply giving up. Now I am practically bursting with the amount of things I want to figure out how to do.

I have also become reacquainted with my creative and artistic side since discovering Bloggywood. It has always been a part of me, but I have never been able to find the right outlet to express myself. Writing seems to be a good match, and I think that photography just might be the key that unlocks another door to that part of me. (Now if I could just find the $$ for a better camera and some photography books)

Every time I read another blog I find something new that I want to learn about. Recently, I decided that it was time to go to my dear husband, who just happens to work in the field of IT and ask him for help. This was a big step for me. I don't know why, but I felt really shy and nervous about telling him about my blog, and about asking for his help. It seems like he thinks that my blog is just this silly little "addiction" and I think that I am scared that he won't take me seriously when I tell him that I want to learn. I can't say that I blame him, I don't exactly have a stellar history when it comes to following through with things.

Then last week was my Grandmother's birthday and I decided that I wanted to write a tribute for her. At first I was just doing it for the sake of doing it, but then I realized that it didn't really mean very much if she never got to see it. So, I decided to bite the bullet and send her the link, knowing full well that my entire family was soon going to have access to my "secret" world.

I think that keeping my blog to myself made me feel safe. There is a difference between writing for the faceless masses (should anyone ever care to read what I have to say), and writing knowing that the people that mean something to me might actually read it.

The secret is offically out. The people I care about, and who hopefully care about me in return now have full access to my "diary". It's a little scary, but I am determined to stay true to myself and continue writing as if no one is paying attention.

I have no idea where this road leads, and there is no road map to tell me how to get where I'm going. For the first time in a very long time, I am excited to just go out there and explore and see where it takes me. I'm pretty sure that there will be some detours to navigate, but I'm equally sure that I will discover some pretty amazing things along the way.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandmom!

My Grandmom is an extraordinary woman.

There is absolutely no way that I could ever do justice to her in a post, but I will try my best anyway because that is the very least that she deserves.

I was very fortunate to have had the experience of living in the same house with my grandparents growing up. We moved into their house when I was 2 years old. For a time we all lived together in one space, but eventually an addition was built onto the house and my Grandmom and Papa moved into the back apartment and we stayed in the main part of the house.

That is the type of people my Grandparents have always been; always willing to do anything and everything to help someone in need...especially when that someone happens to be family.

Not only did they give up their home to us, but later on my Grandmom watched all of us so that my Mom could have a job. She also watched all of my cousins (even the cousins from my Mom's side of the family) and just about every other kid in the neighborhood at one time or another. I honestly can not remember a time when my Grandmom's house has not been full of children. Even to this day, she is still babysitting on a regular basis. Not too shabby for an 82 year old woman.

I have spent a lot of time with my Grandmom over the years. Time that has given me millions of memories to cherish. I can sit for hours and hours and listen to my Grandmom tell stories. She has plenty to tell.

She and my Grandfather had the kind of romance that you only see in old movies.
I wish that I had copies of her photos on my computer to share with you. They are just unbelievably perfect. The one picture that stands out in my memory is this photo of the two of them when they were very young...I'm pretty sure that it was taken in the 1940's while my Grandfather was still at the Naval Academy, but I might be wrong. Anyway, it is a picture of the two of them on a sailboat looking exactly like a pair of movie stars. You would seriously think that it was a still picture from a film.

What else can I tell you about my Grandmom? It is so hard to sum up an entire lifetime of memories in one little post. I suppose the best thing to do is to just list a few of the many things that I love about her.

  • All of the times that we sat together in her rocking chair while she rubbed my back until I fell asleep
  • She taught me to love classical music at a very young age
  • The fact that she absolutely loves it when I play with her hair and scratch her back
  • Memories of going through her jewelry box and listening to the stories that went along with each piece...and the fact that as I got older she would sometimes give some of them to me.
  • She makes the best "Old Settler's Beans" on the face of the planet
  • She lets me be who I am and loves me for it even though we have vastly different views on life
  • She has never had a "job" but has always done volunteer work of some kind
  • She has hand-knitted a Christmas stocking for every single new member of our family starting with my Dad 58 years ago
  • I just love that she used to iron my Papa's underwear for him
  • The memory of coming home from college for the first time and listening to her talk about "Beaver shots"
  • Watching her love my daughter as much as, if not more than she loves me

I could go on and on for days but I'll just leave it at that for the moment.

Happy Birthday Grandmom!

I love you with all my heart and always will.

Update: Thanks to my brother I can now show you just how glamorous my Grandmother is!
(and save you from having to use the link he posted in the comments)
Thanks Ray!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 21, 2008

Top 5 Tuesday- Movies

I'm not sure why, but I have a really tough time coming up with my top 5 favorite movies of all time. There are so many to choose from! I guess I'll go with 5 that I could watch over and over and over again and still enjoy them. There are plenty of movies that I absolutely loved when I saw them, but somehow they lose their magic after seeing them once or twice.

So here we go, my top 5 movies of all time (in no particular order)
  1. Girls Just Want to Have Fun- it's simply cheestastic! Gotta love the old school SJP, Helen Hunt, Shannen Doherty, and Jonathan Silverman!
  2. The Man in the Moon- If you love Reese Witherspoon and/or Jason London you have to see it...but bring a box of tissues!
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean- I didn't expect to like it at all when Kevin suggested that we go see it in the theater, but I flippin' LOVED it! How could you not? It's hysterically funny, and you get to watch Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom for a few hours. Can't go wrong.
  4. Sixteen Candles- What self-respecting girl in her 30's could have a top 5 movie list and not include at least 1 John Hughes film? I still lust after Jake Ryan. That little smirk gets me every single time.
  5. I know that it's cheating, but I think I'm going to have to go with a tie for #5... First there is Amadeus- What can I say? Mozart rocks. Tom Hulce is awesome! And keeping in the same sort of genre, there is Valmont. Ok, so apparently I have a thing for men with accents sporting tights. So what? It's hot.

What are your top 5 movies of all time?
Come join in the fun at Supernanny Where Are You? and see what other people out in bloggywood are watching.

Simply horrific

So Jen at Absolutely Bananas has this cool new thing going on. Every Monday she's giving a writing prompt to blog about. This week the topic is "Travel Horror Stories".

I can't begin to tell you what a perfect topic this is for me. Although quite honestly, this post should be written by my family rather than me. They are the ones who have truly suffered.

Whenever my family gets together it is inevitable that the conversation will eventually turn to my issues with travel. You see, I have this problem...I can't go anywhere without puking.

I've had issues with motion sickness for as long as I can remember. That in itself wouldn't be so horrible, it's just that I never seem to know that it's coming until it's too late.

There are so many fun stories to choose from, I can't pick just one! Instead, since it's late and I should really be going to bed, I'm going to write a list of 5 of the fun places that I have left my mark. I'll save the best for last though and leave you with my favorite little anecdote.

  1. On my sister in the "way back" of my parent's station wagon in the parking lot of the Baltimore Aquarium.
  2. At a rest stop in the Mountains of Maine on our way to Rangeley Lake.
  3. Into a napkin that some kind fellow passenger handed to my Dad on a Metro train in Washington DC.
  4. On the floor in the middle of Metro Central in Washington the middle of rush hour.
  5. On the back of the seat in front of me on a plane as we were making our descent into Chicago. (The 1st leg of my trip from Maine to California...thank goodness my Mom and I bought clothes at the mall right before I got on the plane!

And now, for my very best puke story!

When I was 10 years old my family went to England over Christmas break to visit my Aunt who was living there at the time. We visited several different places in England, and then we hopped a train to spend a few days in Edinburgh, Scotland. Unfortunately, I was assigned to a seat that faced backwards and the train was quite full so I couldn't switch with anyone. I soon became rather green around the gills. However, this was one of the few times that I actually knew what was going on way before it ever happened. I explained the situation to my parents, and they pointed me in the direction of the bathrooms. They were also busy dealing with my 6 year old sister and apparently felt that I was fully capable of dealing with my vomit all on my off I went.
One thing that you need to know is that I have always been a bit shy and timid in unfamiliar situations. This definitely qualified!
When I got to the bathroom I saw that there were several passengers hanging around. Most of them were standing, but there were a few sitting on the floor (I guess the train must have been even more full than I realized). My parents taught me manners, so I very politely said "Excuse me please" to the gentleman who had parked himself and his luggage right in front of the loo. Nothing. The dude didn't even acknowledge me. So I said it again, a little more urgently this time as the train was still moving and the situation was definitely not improving any. Still nada. I tried one more time in a final desperate attempt to gain access to a toilet before tossing my cookies...and he still didn't even blink!

So I hurled all over his luggage.

Oh, sweet revenge!

So then as I was standing there feeling completely justified, albeit a tad humiliated, I hear this voice behind me..."There's another one on this side".

Oh sure, NOW you tell me! Thanks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Big Read

I saw this today at another blog (, and I found it pretty interesting. According to The Big Read (, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on this list.

How many have you read?

Look at the list.

Bold those you have read.

Italicize those you intend to read.

Underline the books you LOVE.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible (at least parts of it)

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. 1984 - George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchel

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy3

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34. Emma - Jane Austen

35. Persuasion - Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52. Dune - Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72. Dracula - Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce

76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

20 out of 100, not too terrible!

I'm sure that I will read many more before I'm done, but I didn't feel like trying to figure out which ones I intend to read.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

You must be joking!

I just lost my flippin' Blogroll again!
WTF?! Can't a girl try to edit a stinking layout without losing everything?
For craps sake. Stupid Blogger, why do you torment me so?

The magic that is YouTube

If you've been keeping up, by now you know all about my New Kids obsession.
This morning I was catching up on shows on my DVR and decided to re-watch the Today Show reunion from back in May. Ciara continues to ask to listen to "Don't go girl" and "Loving you Forever" every single time we are in the car, so I had her come and watch it with me. It was fun.

Anyway, as I was watching for the 4th time (at her request) I started thinking back to the very first time that I saw the boys from Beantown...way back in 1988 (oh my gosh, has it really been 20 years?! That just freaks me out every time I think about it). I've always been sad that I didn't know to record the tv show that I saw them on ahead of time, because even though I recorded just about every other performance that ever existed, I was never able to relive that first one. The one and only "Love at first sight" performance...lost forever. I could weep just thinking about it.

You know how there are snapshot moments in life? The ones where you remember everything like it was yesterday- where you were, what you were doing, etc? I don't have too many of those personally. Let's see, there's 9/11 of course, the Challenger explosion, The day Princess Diana died...and the day that I first saw New Kids on Don't Just Sit There. I remember that I was sitting in our living room with my little sister watching DJST on Nickelodeon as we often did. I remember seeing these boys in their baseball jerseys and making my sister shut up so that I could hear them. I distinctly remember thinking that Joe (I know he goes by Joey, but in my mind, he's always been Joe) was just too cute for words, and also wondering how old he was because I thought that I might be too old for him. I remember trying to find out just who this group was because I wanted MORE! Unfortunately, these were the days before you could find anything you wanted in 2 seconds just by typing a few words into a google search. Nobody in my tiny little town in Maine had ever heard of these guys before, so I was forced to just sit back and hope for another chance encounter. Of course in just a few short months everyone in the world knew who they were and I was overjoyed to have as many encounters with them as I wanted. But still, that very first glimpse was history. Something that would have to live on forever only in my memory (and the archives of Nickelodeon)...until today!

For as I was dancing with my daughter, I suddenly thought of the glorious marvel of technology that is YouTube! "Wait!" I said to myself..."You can find anything on YouTube! I bet I can find it in no time". And guess what? I WAS RIGHT!

Here, for your viewing pleasure...NKOTB on Don't Just Sit There circa 1988 (I think, it may have been '89)

The best part of finding this is laughing about how terrible they were! I still think that Joe looks adorable though.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- Summer fun

This week's Wordless Wednesday With a Twist theme is Summer Days/July.

I've seen a few of these posts on other blogs and I thought that it might be fun to join in! I hope you enjoy my amateur photography!

For more fun, please go visit Rachel @ The Adventures of an American Mum (
(Sorry, but I just can't seem to get the whole enclosure link thing down)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Top 5 Tuesday

Dana at Supernanny Where Are You? wanted to know the top 5 shows I am looking forward to watching this here they are!

1. Heroes
2. Lost (when they FINALLY bring it back)
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Gossip Girl
5. Project Runway

There's about a billion others, but those are the ones that I have to see.

It's a miracle!!!!

It only took 3 years, 5 months, 1 week, and 3 days...
but Ciara has FINALLY discovered the benefits of tilting her head back while getting her hair washed!

I have never been so proud.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mosaic Mania

I thought that it would be fun to do another mosaic.

Here’s how it works . . .
Answer each of the questions below.
Surf over to Flickr (set up an account if you don’t have one–it’s quick and easy) and type your answers (one at a time) into the search bar.
From the choice of pictures shown only on the front page, click on the one that moves you.
Once the page with your picture opens, copy the URL.
Surf over to the Mosaic Maker, set up your mosaic, and paste your URLs.
Click “Create"!

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it...
1. Your Middle Name
2. Your Child's name- or your favorite name for a child
3. Your favorite Movie
4. Your best feature
5. The name of a place you love
6. Your favorite time of day
7. Your mother's name
8. Your father's name
9. Your Home town
10. Your birthday
11. A guilty pleasure
12. Your worst quality

Have fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Real life update

I was very productive today and decided that I could now show you the parts of my home that I steadfastly refused to share previously.
I do realize that the fact that I went and cleaned everything sort of takes away from the whole "real life" aspect...but whatever. It's my blog and I'll do what I want to. It's not like the place is all organized and spotless...just considerably less filthy than it was before.

In the first week of our "Real life" assignments, we were asked to reveal our refrigerators. I allowed you to peruse the exterior, but declined to show the contents for fear that I would cause undo stress to all of the "Type A" people who might stumble upon the photos unawares.

Please allow me to present my now freshly scrubbed, stocked and (mostly) organized fridge!

I don't think we have been asked to show our kitchens as of yet, but I'm terribly proud of myself and so I'm going to share it anyway. Since my recent discovery of Flylady I have managed to keep it looking pretty much like this...

You'll have to trust me when I tell you that this is a vast improvement. I'm not sure that you would have been able to locate the counter or table tops under the mountains of useless junk a couple of weeks ago.

Finally, week 3 was supposed to be a reveal of our bedrooms. Uh, no. That was so not going to happen! However, since I spent the entire day cleaning I am now happy to present it to you, completely unfiltered!

Voila- Chez Shannon!
This is the desk where I spend way too much time avoiding the realities of my life.
Notice that I still have a rather large pile of ironing waiting to be done! You can also sort of see a tiny little bit of the gigantic pile of shoes spilling out of Kevin's side of the closet.

Um, no explanation really needed here, right? The dresser is Kevin's. I didn't attempt to tackle his pile of junk today. I've gotta leave him something to do on his own after all, or what kind of wife would I be? Sorry that you don't get to see my fabulous bedding- it was in the laundry.

This is my dresser. Notice the giant pile of DVD's? Kevin is in the process of converting them all to ipod format. He's such a gadget geek! You might also notice the fact that the second bi-fold door is missing from Kev's closet. Isn't that charming?!

Phew. Now I'm all caught up and ready for our next assignment! Just PLEASE don't ask to see my bathroom! It's next on my list, but I haven't made it quite that far yet.

Please tell me that I'm not the only one

who has a child this goofy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Make up lessons

Not so long ago I won a contest on Supernanny Where Are You? and I recently received my prize in the mail. Dana sent me a sweet little note and several sample cards along with my satin lips. In her note she suggested that Ciara and I could have some girl bonding time using the cards and that I should document our fun here on my blog.

Your wish is my command Dana!

First of all, this morning I got a tad involved with catching up on blogs and momentarily forgot that I have a 3 year old in my house. She had discovered the satin lips stuff sitting on my desk and insisted upon carrying the tubes around the house...with strict instructions that she was not to open them under any circumstances. (Ok, yes I do know that I was unbelievably naive to believe a 3 year old!)
Anyway, as I went to swap laundry I thought about how quiet it had been and remembered what my lovely child had clutched in her fists the last time that I saw her. As I was pulling clothing out of my washer I heard the sound of little feet scurrying around downstairs.
"Ciara! What are you doing?"....complete silence.
A few seconds later I hear some more footsteps, now approaching the stairs very slowly.
"Ciara, were you doing something naughty?"
"What did you do Ciara?"
As she reaches the top of the stairs she hands me the now slimy, hair covered, nearly empty tubes of Satin lips.
"I won't do it again Mommy"

Alright, I so deserved that! I just chuckled and directed my sweet little girl to the bathtub.

This afternoon after her nap Ciara asked me for my "pink lipstick", which is her term for the tube of my lip gloss that I've allowed her to wear recently. I told her that I had something better and we brought out the sample cards. Here's how it went...

Thanks Dana! We had fun. Too bad I still haven't had a chance to check out the satin lips for myself! I promise that I will de-gunk the tubes and experiment soon.