New Stuff?

  • Yep, if you go to the blog, you'll see that it looks a LOT different. I'm playing around with the template and have branched out - har de har har - into some non-Blogger templates...
  • My daughter has roseola. It's a common virus that cause really high fevers followed by a rash. The fever comes suddenly and then is gone suddenly. It is one of those random viruses that has you freaking out.
  • Still trying to get the ceiling in our master bedroom fixed. Last week, I had the guy over to fix it and found that we couldn't because there was STRUCTURAL damage in the roof causing the leak. Called the insurance and am now getting reports/estimates from roofers.
  • Last week's Stamp-A-Stack was a great success!! If you want to be part of this, go over to my creative blog or email me.

Saturday Funny

amy winehouse
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"You feed me minced?"

This child ticks me off.

I admit it.  I have what I will call traditional views on children and food.  Before Moo and I were married, I would often quietly critique how folks feed their kids.

This critique comes from a couple of different experiences I've had over the years.

Experience #1:  When I was about 6, we went to a family cookout.  The adults had steak.  The kids were fed hotdogs.  I have always had a love/hate relationship with hotdogs.  Cooked in a particular way (in a skillet with a tiny amount of butter) I like them, otherwise, I don't.  Since these hotdogs were cooked on a grill, I wouldn't eat them.  So I went hungry until my parents realized that I was only eating a bun (the baked beans had peppers and were too hot and the potato chips were the cheap extra greasy kind and I wouldn't eat either one).  They gave me part of their steak and then the other kids started asking for steak and our hostess - a cousin of my dad - got mad at my parents for their "bad example".

Experience #2:  Long before I met Moo, I dated this guy who would only eat potatoes and would only drink milk.  Want to go to a restaurant?  "What kind of potatoes do they have? Baked? Fried?"  It was a nightmare and we didn't date long.  When asked why he did this, he said that his parents had always let him eat what he wanted and all he really wanted was potatoes and milk.

"Have you ever had Japanese teppanyaki?"

"No.  Don't want to.  It looks gross."

"But you haven't tried it."

"Don't have to try it to know it's gross."

Since Phoebe started eating table food, I've come a long way in putting together healthy, balanced meals for her.  I still thinks she eats entirely too much chicken, but Moo pointed out that he and I eat a lot of chicken so we need to look at that.  The good thing is that she eats just about anything I offer her.

Since she got her 1 year molars, I've offered everything from the table with almost 100% acceptance including pickles, potato salad, and lettuce.  I tear or cut everything up of course, but the fact remains that this kid will eat almost anything.

Food companies have put out so many processed, packaged foods that I think parents are using as crutches instead of trying to put together healthy balanced meals.  I admit to feeding Phoebe a couple of these but only during travel when I don't know what will be on the menu.

I don't think kids get a good understanding of balance in these meals and I certainly don't think kids are getting any exposure to new foods and tastes.  I think the milk/potato guy is an extreme, but I see him as the prime example of why broadening kid's tastes is important.

When I was a kid, my parents said that I didn't have to eat everything on my plate, but that I needed to try everything.  And just like you do when your baby is trying new foods, I was offered things regularly that I said I didn't like just to see if I'd changed my mind.  To that end, I still do this. 

Just in the past year, I've come to like tomatoes and onions.  Before I tolerated them so long as I couldn't find them.  I'm still not likely to have a tomato sandwich or a slice of raw onion, but I now love grilled onions and I like seeded raw tomatoes.  So I think even adults have something to learn from this.

So when this commercial plays and this kid, in a very obnoxious voice starts berating her mother for feeding her (the child) minced fish sticks, I found myself getting incensed.

If the minced fish sticks are safe to eat and not too laden with fat and carbs, why does it matter whether FISH STICKS are made of minced or whole fish?  And why does this kid get to browbeat her parent into buying what is probably more expensive FISH STICKS?  Afterall, these are FISH STICKS!  Not fine cuisine. 

What foods do you hate and have you tried them lately to see if you still hate them?

Yesterday in Brief

I feel like I'm always telling you how busy I am and I don't have a lot to back it up with.  For that matter, I'm always telling Moo that I haven't gotten anything done and then I look at the list of things I've done in a day and I wonder where my brains are.  So I thought I'd walk you through a day with me...

5:30AM - Get up, get dressed.
5:50AM - Get Phoebe up and dressed and bottle
6:15AM - Take Moo to train.  We've only got one car and if I need to run errands, like yesterday, I have to take him in.
7:20AM - Back at the house
7:30AM - Feed Phoebe breakfast
7:55AM - Use flashlight to evaluate pesky rash.  Phoebe had a rash for a couple of days and was paranoid after call to pediatrician revealed that rash could be strep.  However, rash is almost completely gone.  Still mildly paranoid but will maintain vigilance.
8:00AM - Phoebe's nap time
8:05AM - My breakfast
8:20AM - Complete Insurance paperwork for Moo's Mac that got zapped during the storm.  Also includes printing out the receipt and finding and printing out the replacement value Mac information.
9:00AM - Work on Blog post for biz blog.
9:15AM - curse at Blogger because photos won't upload
9:20AM - decide to take break on Facebook AKA Time Sucker
10:00AM - Back to blog post.  F&$%#!!  Photos still won't upload.
10:30AM - Phoebe wakes up.  Time for a diaper change and bottle.  Phoebe doesn't want bottle.  Sigh...She's nearly done with these things.
11:00AM - Time for errands.
11:20AM - Take paperwork to Insurance company.  Explain why I'm bringing it instead of mailing ("uh because I was told to?")
11:50AM - Grocery store for a few odds and ends.
12:20PM - Idiot light (low fuel light) comes on.  Fill up tank
12:25PM - Go ahead and get ice at gas station since I forgot at grocery store
12:30PM - Get back home
12:40PM - Chase down toddler and feed her lunch (turkey, green beans and POTATO SALAD!! - the kid will eat almost anything!  Thank you Toddler Food Goddess!)
1:00 PM  - Play time with Phoebe
2:00 PM - Phoebe's nap time
2:10 PM - Lunch for mama - leftover bbq pork, salad, remainder of potato salad.  Then a break.
3:00 PM - more cursing at Blogger.
3:35 PM - text Moo about Blogger weirdness.
3:40 PM - Moo texts that yes, there's a problem.  Decide to work on biz newsletter instead.
4:30 PM - get text from Moo that Blogger seems to be working.  Attempt work there again.  Still acting weird, but much improved.
4:50 PM - Realize that I need to leave in 10 minutes to pick up Moo.  Rush around finding shoes and keys.  Then make quick bottle and wake up Phoebe.
5:05 PM - Run out to car.  Put Phoebe in car seat, give bottle.  Head off to MARTA.
5:20 PM - DRAT!  Trip to MARTA only takes 15 minutes.  If I leave 5 later, it takes 45 minutes.
5:25 PM - Phoebe wants more bottle.  Thank goodness I have spare in bag.
5:55 PM - Moo gets in car.
6:30 PM - home.  Moo starts dinner while I figure out something weird that came in the mail
7:00 PM - Dinner
7:30 PM - Playtime and after dinner cleanup
8:00 PM - Phoebe's bedtime.
8:30 PM - Play Dungeon's and Dragons online (yes, I am a geek) with Moo. Get killed.  Twice.
9:30 PM - Time to get ready for late night business related conference call.  Popcorn popped, drinks made.
10:00 PM - Conference call about blogging, Search Engine Optimization and RSS
11:05 PM - end of conference call.  Discuss what I learned with Moo.
11:45 PM - Moo wants to show me something in game that he found while I was on conference call
12:05 AM - decide to pickup living room before bed.
12:30 AM - determine task list of things for biz web redesign
12:45 AM - BED

So that's it.  That's what my errand days look like.  Non-errand days are a lot like that too but without all the driving.

One observation: Why does my daughter almost always get sick right before a Mom's club meeting?  Yesterday, I was afraid she might still have something communicable and kept her home.  Today, the rash is completely gone.

It's Monday again... so it must be raining

  • Why is it that it rains almost every time I need to drag the garbage can to the curb?
  • Baby girl has some sort of rash.  She's had it a couple days now.  She appears to feel well otherwise.  No diarrhea, fever, or rash anywhere else.  I've got a call in to the pediatrician so we'll see...
  • Biz stuff: I am having a Stamp-A-Stack next week.  A Stamp-A-Stack is an event where I provide all the tools, materials and instructions to create several projects and you bring yourself and put them together!  This time we're creating 12 Christmas cards with 6 different designs.  If you'll be in the Tifton, GA area and you're interested, let me know and I'll get you an invite.  I'll be hosting these here in Douglasville during the rest of the month.  Again, if you're interested, shoot me an email at and we'll chat.  If you want to see a sample, check out the last post about it on my creative blog here.
  • Related biz stuff:  I am working on getting ready for the above event.  Funny thing about working on the biz is that everytime I sit down, I think about all the domestic stuff I need to do and begin to feel as if I should work on domestics instead.

Random Cute

"So right after you sign that line, you'll be the proud owner of a new stroller."

Saturday Fun

First week of Christmas

My goal for the next 12 weeks is to provide you with great ideas for both your creativity and your domesticity this holiday season. Each week, we'll address a certain area of concern here in Nervous Breakdowns and I'll show you a great card, gift or gift wrap idea on my creative blog.

This week, we are going to look at organizing the Christmas season as a whole. I KNOW it's September and December 25th seems a long way away, but making a few decisions and setting up a few tools now will make your holiday much more relaxing.

My first suggestion is putting together a Holiday notebook. I use the Holiday control journal from Flylady and add a calendar that I've printed out of Word.

Take a look at the calendar. Think about all of the things that are going to happen between now and New Year's. If your family is like mine, you've got family activities, Christmas recitals, parties and travel to juggle with shopping for gifts, wrapping those gifts and cooking up tons of special goodies.

Start plotting those things out. And start thinking about tasks related to the outings and parties. You don't have to think of all of them now, but a few minutes of brainstorming now will save your brain a lot of worry later.

Next Friday, we'll talk about budgets.

The 2009 Georgia Flood

We are in the part of Georgia that experienced the recent heavy rains and flooding.

A few days ago, Moo's mom was put into the hospital for some pretty serious stomach problems. We rallied the troups and took the 3 hour trip south to their home to check on her, check on Moo's dad and check on Moo's sister who was also visiting. Everyone needed a good bit of checking :)

We had been experiencing a good bit of rain at this point. Nearly everyday there was at least a small thundershower so we didn't think too much when we left Friday afternoon to head south. Moo's mom was doing much better and we came home Sunday morning (Mom got out of the hospital Monday and is doing great!)

When we got home, things looked weird. I mean you could tell there had been a lot of rain. Our garage floor was a little wet and there was the remnants of heavy rain in the yard.

We got in and immediately found that our phone was out which meant that we also lost internet and cable. I'm ok losing the cable although I missed the season opening of House (dag nambit), but the internet was a problem. I work from home and it's my primary source of information, so I was bothered when the folks said it would be 5 days before the phone was repaired and because of how our phone/internet/cable was set-up, we needed to get the phone fixed in order to get the internet/cable back online.

This experience has me seriously thinking of the wisdom of combining utilities in one company... but I digress.

Anyway, we get home, it's been raining, we've got no outside communications and then.. well then comes the deluge. I have never seen/heard rain like that in my whole life.

About 10 pm, Moo says, "you need to come into our bedroom right now". There, I found a crack in our ceiling RIGHT OVER MY SIDE OF THE BED dripping water on my pillow. We got our giant bed out of the way and then placed a 5 gallon bucket under the drip to catch the rain. Meanwhile, the rain continued.

There wasn't a lot of sleeping that night. I don't know what bothered me more: the constant drip-drop drip-drop drip-drop all night or the fact that the rain seemed to get louder. Also we kept shining a flashlight at the bucket to see how full it was and had to get up to empty it about 4:30 AM.

It was still raining cats and dogs when we finally dragged out of bed. I decided I'd drive Moo into work since it was raining so heavily. I got Phoebe up and got her ready and then we left. The rain was bad. Not the worst rain I'd ever seen, but it just didn't relent the whole time I drove Moo in.

After Phoebe and I got back home, the rain got harder. Meanwhile, I am starting to panic. I don't have Action News to tell me that we're having a monsoon and I don't have to check so I'm starting to wonder what the hell is happening. Also, the power is blinking on and off and when it couldn't get any worse, the water goes out. I am in complete panic mode now.

I'm texting Moo every 10 minutes to let him know what's going on, getting on Facebook with my cellphone to post my paranoia, generally getting myself worked up.

In a bit of a panic, I decide to evaluate our sources. We've got a couple gallons of water stored away and our water pitchers are nearly full. I stuck a couple of buckets outside to catch rainwater for the potty.

Why is it that when you lose a utility, you instantly need to use that utility desperately? In this case, I was dying of thirst and needed the bathroom in the worst way.

As the day wore on, I realized that I had a radio! GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH!! I can find out what's going on. Agh! There's flooding in some of the northern counties. The river is filling up and rain is still in the forecast.

Next day, there was flooding all around us. The interstate was closed down in several places and roads were blocked all over. Moo stayed home from work because he had to - all of our routes were closed. Wednesday was the same way. Major interstate still closed; alternate routes too but began opening as the day wore on.

Moo and I had plenty of time to evaluate our ceiling which thankfully didn't drip anymore but the damage was done. A giant ugly crack in the ceiling. I called our home owner's insurance company.

Thursday brought the telephone repair man. As soon as he looked at the box, he knew that we'd had a lightning strike and we found that our internet router and the outside box had taken a beating. Also, Moo's computer was dead. He hadn't tried to turn it on since we didn't have internet.

So Friday we got internet and cable back. The insurance adjuster came out that afternoon to inspect the damage. And this past Tuesday, we got a check for the repairs to the ceiling.

So what have I learned?

Always know where a radio is. Keep your cell phone charged. Have a small emergency plan. These kinds of things will keep you sane.

But also, I am aware AGAIN of how lucky and blessed I truly am. People lost their lives and their homes as a result of this. I am lucky and blessed.