Archives for October 2010

Project Smile – October

My wonderful friend Alicia over at A Beautiful Mess had the most fantastic idea…do something to help us find and appreciate our smiles. What are the things that happen everyday that make you smile? It could be something as simple as watching a hummingbird dance around a flower. Want to know more about her wonderful idea? Read her Launching Project Smile post.

There’s no right or wrong way to do this…simply jot down things that make you happy. I chose to do one a day for the entire month. It was a way to remind me that it’s the little things that are the most important, and to find something to smile about each day (especially on the bad ones!).

Now, start jotting down your smiles and link up the last day of every month!

During the month of October, I smiled everyday. Here are some of the things that made me happy…

September 30 – Watched this You Tube video 16 times (at least!) because Tater LOVES it! And the girls danced the entire time.

Oct 1 – Hit ‘publish’ to put my first attempt at writing fiction on my blog “The Window”

2 – Ms. L signs ‘more’ for the first time!

3 – Beyond excited about finishing Christmas shopping for the kids! Went to Kohl’s with a 30% off coupon to get clothes for the kids for winter. Realized Fisher Price toys were all 50% off, PLUS my 30% off coupon! Also, for every $50 I spent, I got $10 back in Kohl’s cash! So for $180, I finished all Christmas shopping for the kids, for grandparents, aunts, and even got hubby a new t-shirt! AND I got $40 back in Kohl’s cash!

4 – The kids were good. All day. Need I say more?

5 – Drizzly and rainy….good crock pot day

6 – I can’t think of anything. I didn’t write anything down. How about this: I made it through alive

7 – (Free) Wine and a home interiors party at my brother’s girlfriend’s house

8 – Tater went to Disneyland…had the whole night alone with hubby. And what did we do? He watched TV and I read. In complete and total silence. *BLISS*

9 – Everybody in bed early and Tater slept all night…a rare occurrence
10 – Got to sleep in. Enough said

11- Girls down at 7, Tater knocked out at 8, and I got to read uninterrupted – doesn’t happen nearly enough

12 – Our long awaited dahlia FINALLY blooms

13 – Wrote a piece of fiction that had everybody shocked (they didn’t know it was fiction at the time!)

14 – Sat and had an uneventful, quiet dinner as a family…and that never happens!

15 – In bed by 8:30….happy sighs

16 – My mom kept the kids over night. Hubby and I went to dinner and I got my new tattoo!

17 – A perfect rainy Sunday

18 – Spent the day cleaning – I love the way I feel after I clean all day…it’s nice to get so much accomplished

19 – Went bowling – without the kids – and enjoyed good company and beers!

20 – The kids were sick, so we stayed in our pjs all day. It was raining anyways so it was perfect

21 – Teething babies start to show signs that they’re almost done being miserable (finally)

22 – I wrote one of my favorite posts of all time: A Long Awaited Brief Encounter. I wish it could happen

23 – Went over to the neighbors for pizza and the UFC fight. Learned how to play LRC, and won 15 bucks!

24 – Got to spend a few hours reading an actual book! Realized how much I miss reading and know I have to make more of an effort to do it

25 – Watched Oprah, and got an idea for the novel I plan to write for National Novel Writing Month

26 – Made chicken tortilla soup…even Tater liked it (I was shocked!)

27 – Went to the mall with my sisters and all the kids….and it was actually fun! This made me smile because it’s usually “work” and not at all enjoyable

3 tables, 4 highchairs, 5 kids three and under

28 – Project Runway finale on…I think the right person won, even though that person wasn’t my favorite
29 – Ms. L and Ms. M have started to kiss each other – it’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen!

30 – Attended a friend’s murder mystery dinner where I got to play a bitchy supermodel all night

31 – The twins’ first trick-or-treating expedition…Tater was such a good helper and big brother – pictures to follow soon

And so it goes…

Word Up, YO! Week 21

I’m telling a real life ghost story over at Are You Serious? tomorrow just in time to chill your bones Halloween style! So check it out!

This week was frightfully good.

It was creepy and kooky. It was mysterious and spooky. Frankly, it was altogether ooky. The Nerd Mafia Family. (snap, snap)

Ahem. Apologies for that. Sometimes we get a bit too engrossed in the spirit of the holidays.

We had trouble deciding which ghoulishly clever post to make this week. (Are ghouls clever? Let’s just assume so for sake of the theme. And because we’re The Dons.)

Jennifer Juniper wowed us with the best post title we’ve ever seen. And who doesn’t fear a pantsless dementor?

But it was Sonora from Twinfinity who truly made us scream. Her tale of CPB was one so familiar that we couldn’t help but shudder and welcome her into our fold.

Congratulations, Sonora! In the eyes of the Nerd Mafia, you are now a Made Man.

Please contact one of the Dons for your button code.

Good luck to all! And maybe next week, you’ll be “made”, too!

This week, in honor of our 21st Word Up, Yo!, we’re taking a gamble with two ways to get made.

The first, a recruitment challenge. No Mafia can thrive without fresh blood. So, if you recruit one person to join Word Up, Yo! you get a promotion. If you recruit two or more people to participate, you are instantly Made. (Those who are already Made will get a generous bump to Capo.)

To have a post count in the recruitment challenge it must:

1. Use one of this week’s words.
2. Link up to Word Up, Yo!
3. Mention the name and/or blog of the person who recruited them.

The second way to get made: use any of the Vegas themed words below. As always, the best post gets jumped in to our cozy little Mafia Family.



winner winner, chicken dinner


double down


pit boss

Good luck everyone! Hopeful this week will contain lots of big winners!

Please follow the link for the rules of Word Up, YO!

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You can also play at my partners-in-crimes’ sites, the other two members of the Nerd Mafia:

Liz from a belle, a bean and a chicago dog
Kristin from Taming Insanity

And so it goes…


She is a has been – you know the kind – you can tell that she used to be beautiful, happy, honest, likeable. You can tell that she’s lived a hard life; maybe even gotten the short end of the stick more times than she deserved to. When you meet her, she is the kind of person that you feel bad for because you know that things should have worked out differently just because they usually do for pretty people.

She is skinny as a rail because she rarely eats; she prefers to drink her meals. Her hair is long and blonde, but dry and brittle, and needs a trim. Her mouth and eyes have smoker’s wrinkles surrounding them, and her fingernails are as yellow as her teeth. Her eyes are big, beautiful, blue…but the bags that hold them up tell more of her story than words could ever describe. Her eyes dart from here to there rapidly and without trust. She flinches often and is uncomfortable in her own skin, almost as if she’s waiting to be hit or knocked down.

And it’s true, she has been hurt before. Both physically and mentally. The physical wounds healed on the outside but never fully in her heart. The mental wounds are the ones that still sting and show the bruises. She tried to be a good wife, mother, friend. It was never enough. He always wanted more. He always wanted the opposite of what she thought he wanted. He was spiteful, vengeful. She would spend the day cooking a huge chicken dinner complete with all the trimmings. He complained he wanted pork chops and refused to eat. And then he would leave for a “business meeting” and come home reeking of cheap scotch and cheap women.

She never accused him, never questioned him. She did as she was told and kept her head down. But when he finally started pushing her around, sometimes even punching her, she tried to take a stand. She packed her bags and went to her mother’s house. A week later, he came begging and she told him about the baby. Things would change, he said. He’d be there for her. He’d spend more time with her. He would make sure she understood what he needed and wanted so they’d never have to argue or be angry at each other.

Then the boy came. He was beautiful. Perfect. Tiny. Helpless. Things didn’t change. The “business meetings” became more frequent, and sometimes he ended up spending the night at “the office”. When he was home, he occupied himself by getting drunk and throwing her around. He never touched the boy, but made sure that she understood loud and clear who was running the show.

The straw that broke the camel’s back came in the form of a broken femur, two cracked ribs, a dislocated shoulder and a blackened eye. So blackened and damaged in fact, that the doctors weren’t initially sure they could save it. She explained to the doctors that she tumbled down the stairs, rushing too quickly to get to her crying son. And as she laid there in the hospital, praying to God that he wasn’t home hurting her son, she made a decision. That he had to go. And she would make him go.

How she did it isn’t important just yet; why she did it is already apparent. Debt, bitterness and self loathing are just a few of the gifts that he left her with.

And so it goes…

Do you want to know who “she” is and why I even wrote about her in the first place? Check out my post titled The Window, which I’m using as the basis for the novel I’m going to (attempt) to write during the month of November for National Novel Writing Month! This post was written in about 10 minutes, and is very much an early, incomplete sketch of this character. I just wanted to get some thoughts down on paper while I had them running around in my head.

I wrote this prompt for the Red Writing Hood. The prompt was: write a character sketch of a villain.

Ms. L in the Box

You know you’re a mom when…you let her take all of her toys out of the box just because sitting in it makes her so happy 🙂

And so it goes…

I’ve Been Called Worse

Tater: Mom, who’s that?

Me: Where?

Tater: Right there (pointing at the counter)

Me: The toaster?

Tater: No! The lady next to the toaster

Tealight Candle Holder
Me: That? That’s a witch. See her making a magic potion in her *cauldron*? She’s *spooky* looking, huh?
Tater: That’s not you?
Me: No! That’s a witch!
Tater: Oh, I thought it was you.
Me: (Sigh) Did your dad tell you that?
And so it goes…
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