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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just Follow the Tweets

Well, was that a hiatus? I swear I didn't really go anywhere.

No, I didn't "unplug" and spend the week pretending that the internet doesn't exist.
I was still online all day, as my Twitter friends can attest. In fact, you can get a decent picture of my state of mind this week by rereading my Tweets*:

Made yummy dinner. 4yo son took one bite and said, "Mommy, I sorry but your dinner made me frow up".Just left friends' all-day BBQ at 8:30p. As we got into car, I sighed, "Such a nice night for August". Duh, it's still April. But 80's!

April 26 and the Ice Cream Truck just stopped in our neighborhood. I have 3 very happy and sticky children right now.

Is Daisy of Love too ridiculous to watch? I'll soon find out.

OH, so Daisy is doing this to launch a music career. Yippee, we get to listen to her "music".Dear Daisy: I'm pretty sure this show is "I Love Liquor" and "I Want to be on TV" and "I Love my gell'd, mohawked hair". #daisyoflove@chickybaby I found a baby deer tick in my son's "diaper area" last year---it was the size of a fleck of pepper. Ridiculously small.OH MY GOD, a man in a thong?!?! WTF! Next! #daisyofloveIf I were Daisy, I'd have a hard time keeping 5 of them in the house, nevermind only kicking out 5. #daisyofloveIf my mom ends up on Twitter, then it really has jumped the shark.Daisy of Love is actually pretty boring and predictable.Totally psyched to see #toughlove Good god my life is pathetic.Arian and her mom are great examples of my moms shouldn't try to be their daughter's peer. #toughloveArian's mother has her head up her ass! #toughloveOh, Taylor, I'm sorry I laughed when the bidet squirted you in the face in show #1. Now you are my favorite. #toughloveThanks guys for watching the Red Sox for me so I don't have to; at least I'll know if they won. #hatewatchingbaseballWhy oh why did I agree to let the girls take a Disney princesses CD out of the library? I may have to bitch slap myself for stupidity.Here's a tip: when you are depressed and PMS-y, watching Intervention and raiding the Easter chocolate will NOT make you happier.If one more child comes down the stairs to tattle on the other (after I've put them to bed), I'm putting tacks on the steps.I wish I could turn Depeche Mode's Wrong up loud enough to make my ears bleed but I think the kids might protest.I'm not sure I can handle the nuts on #RHONY tonight. Let's give it a go.Hmmmm. . .wonder why Kelly is not married. She sounds about as high maintenance as could be. #RHONYWatching Alex's house renovation is giving me the hives. #RHONYNot sure how I feel about a hot guy drinking a "skinny girl margarita" #RHONYBut I suppose it's better than him ordering a "Slow comfortable screw" #RHONYNO! Do not suck out of the skinny straw. Sigh. #RHONYHoly crap, how did they pull that house together in time? #RHONYOh, I see they decorated in the "sex" theme. #RHONYPreparing to dislike Kelley more in 10-9-8-7-6-5. . . #RHONYOMG, please someone else tell me you think she's truly nuts! I'm about to yell at the TV. #RHONY

* if you need a key: Daisy of Love is a VH1 reality show; Tough Love is a VH1 reality show, Intervention is an A&E reality show & RHONY is Real Housewives of NY, a Bravo reality show. Yes, that is the only kind of tv I watch.

So, yeah, if you want to know about ticks, how to keep your kids in bed, and bad reality shows, you know where to find me! (I'm nowhere near as entertaining on Facebook; too many people know me there)


Friday, April 24, 2009

After this week, I could use a laugh

1. My 4-year-old son took a look at this dearly departed person's gravestone today and said, "Mommy! Guitar Hero!":


(no sorry, honey, your father would be draped over the grave weeping if that were the case).

2. This was an actual entry in the latest Police Log in our newspaper:

3:06 p.m. - Caller reported an injured wild turkey at the Highland Plaza, Robert Drive. Animal Control Officer responded, reported turkey was now sun-bathing in a bush does not look injured.

Hope that turkey got a nice tan (and a side of gravy).

Have a lovely weekend all. We'll be hitting 80! See you on the flip side.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WWNDD? (What Would Nancy Drew Do?)

I have a mystery.

Here's the scoop: a few months ago, I noticed, while folding my newly washed and dried clothes that I had what looked like little grease spots on the clothes.


And, then, this started to happen (see the little mark on the butterfly wing?):


Teeny tiny holes in (I think only) cotton items. But it gets worse:


Yes, those are rips.

Even rips in brand-new, washed once clothing.


Nothing is sacred---even my son's unmentionables:


I'm beside myself because there are dozens of pieces of clothing that either have grease marks on them or holes in them.

Please don't tell me these are from moths or crickets or cotton-loving alligators, because I will have to move out of the house.

And, no, I don't know if they are from the washer or dryer because I'm a terrible detective and forget to check the clothes as I am hurriedly transferring them from the washer to the dryer.

I have been online and determined that it may/may not be: the detergent, the front-load washer, the dryer, too many clothes in a wash, a zipper, a child with scissor-hands and/or a poltergeist. See, it's way narrowed down to a possible reason.

So, if you see me and I'm wearing shabby clothing, you'll know that I still haven't figured out what is going on in my laundry room. And, lend me a needle and thread.

Update! It was the dryer! And, most importantly, it was an inexpensive DIY fix (well Do-It-Yourself if you are my husband. I would've been on the phone with 1-800-handyman). If anyone is having this same trouble, please email me directly at for our fix. I'll try to get my husband to write out what he did and, if so, will post it at the bottom of this entry.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And the Award goes to. . .

Yesterday was ROUGH. I haven't been that sick in a long time---you know, the kind of "I can't get out of bed without being all hunched over and shuffling like a Granny" sick.

This morning I feel blessedly better---not 100%, but about 85%. But, I didn't get here alone, so I am going to hand out some awards to those who got me through the past 24+ hours:

* a "I'll pay you back later, wink-wink" award to my husband, who was as sick as I, but still let me take TWO naps during the day;

* a "yes, you can have some candy" award to my kids who only whined a little bit when they realized their sick parents had forgotten to feed them lunch;

* a "you can't buy friends like this" award to the friend who picked up soup, saltines and popsicles for us so that we'd have dinner---opening a can was about all I was good for yesterday;

* a "you'll get a good tip" award to the 15-year-old babysitter who decided to come outside and play with my cooped-up kids without being asked. I attribute them all being asleep by 8pm to her;

* a "mother knows best" award to my mom and sister who insisted I eat some toast at 6pm when I complained that I still had the chills. I hadn't eaten anything but saltines all day and, lo and behold, they were right---I just needed a little something in mah belly to feel even better;

* a "thank god for electricity and cable" award to my television---yes, TV Turnoff Week started yesterday but we've decided that there are times that endless hours of television are preferable to three children standing over a sick mother asking, "what should we do now", or, even worse, letting them loose in the house for 10 hours without supervision (shudder).

* a "you'll be with me to the end of time" award to my coffee which I was too sick to drink yesterday, but am enjoying with gusto this morning;

* and, a "nicest blog readers" award to all of you who posted a note or simply sent your good thoughts my way and didn't make me feel guilty about my failed attempt to shut off the tube for the week.

I do feel the need to squelch one tiny little rumor, though: there is no way I am pregnant. No way, no how. Besides, if I had felt this bad when I was pregnant, I am pretty sure I'd just have one kid right now.

I had meant to point you to this post I wrote for the lovely Issa while she was on a "break" (ha! she was still everywhere). But then two beautiful babies lost their lives and my post became insignificant. It still is, but Issa's intro is sweet and, as you read my post, you'll see that we are practically twins.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

TV Turnoff Week: Day 1, 8:00am, and already an Epic FAIL

I've always believed there is a time and a place for television watching. That said, I kind of look forward to TV Turnoff Week because it forces us to change our regular routine.

But, last night when I was heaving my guts all over the place, I remembered that when Mama is sick and home alone with the kids, the television is just about the only thing that is going to save me on a long Monday.

If I can stand upright for more than two minutes without the room swimming around me or hold anything in my stomach by tomorrow, we'll give it a go then.

But, today? I'll be thankful my kids can nurse off the Boob Tube while I nurse myself back to health.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Keeping It Going

I'm a reluctant exerciser.

I understand why I do it: I like how I feel after I finish.

But, man, I hate to think about it, especially on a Friday morning when all I want to do is get about six more hours of sleep.

This is how it's been since I finished the 30-day Shred Challenge with a bunch of my fellow bloggers. It was fun to think that we were all doing this together, and while I know that many have pledge to continue on in either "Team Bob" or "Team Jillian", this maintenance stuff kind of sucks.

You mean I have to exercise forever? And ever?

I hate when I start an On Demand (Comcast cable) video and realize, about 10 minutes into it, that I can't stand the voice (or routine, or pace, or music). I hate finishing 20 minutes of exercising and not feeling as spent as with the Shred. And, yeah, I have gone back to the Shred a few times and then I remember why I was so glad to finish.

So, I've been sort of cobbling things together with a little of Jillian, a little of Bob and a daily dose of Elise. If you don't know who she is, you must try her 10 minute "Straight to the Core" ab workout. Whoa nelly.

It's nice to know that it actually may be worth it too. Two days after Easter, that festival of chocolate bunnies and eggs and jelly beans, I got on the scale and saw that the needle had moved down.

136. Two pounds gone.

Yeah baby. That'll keep me moving.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Can Stop Anytime

Hello, my name is Fairly Odd Mother, and I am an addict.

When I told my oldest, eight-year-old Belly, that Monday starts TV Turnoff Week, she asked me, a bit mischievously, "Does that include the computer too?"

Without a beat, and because I was cranky, I said, "Yes, it means all screen time."

"You too?"

Crap. What about me indeed.

Even though we did this in '07 and '08, I have never really participated in TV Turnoff Week. I just wait until they are sleeping and then I flick on whatever show I want to see and, well, cheat. Heck, isn't this week created to get KIDS off of the screen, not their parents. Right? RIGHT?!

But, honestly turning off the TV? That wouldn't be all that hard---I have a zillion book recommendations from you all (I just finished reading Geek Love. Whoa boy, is that one messed up book!), and while I'd miss my Tough Love for the week, I'd survive.
But the computer? Well, that is where things get sticky.

First, I have a job. And, I have two (soon three) blogs to keep current. I pay bills online, my calendar is on the computer, I order library books through the library website. I am known to search for "quick dinner recipes" at 5pm many nights a week. And email is how most people keep in touch with me (I loath the phone).

But, I also love Twitter. I have 120 blogs in my Reader. I have a Facebook account. I turn to my laptop when I'm bored, when the kids are playing together, when the house is asleep and I'm alone with the TV.

And, yeah, I turn to it too much.

So, for Belly, I will go dark (ish). I will still do my work, and will not hesitate to look something up on the internet for our homeschool or to check the calendar. I'll check email 2-3 times a day (believe me, that is a huge cut back). I may update my blog(s), but at night, after the kids are sleeping.

And, the TV will go dark except for my daily workouts for Team Bob (no one is messing with my quest for a six pack!).

But, no Facebook, no Twitter. Period. No Google Reader (but seriously, if something major happens in the blogosphere, please email me, okay? I don't want to miss a major joy or tragedy because of this test of willpower).

And, no TV.

If the kids can do it, so can I, right? wimper


Tragically, another blogging mama lost a child a few days ago. My heart goes out to Gorillabuns whose son Thalon died unexpectadly. As a fellow mom to two girls and then one precious little boy, I can't even imagine the pain she must be going through with the loss of her little man.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

What This Bunny Made

I'm no Martha, but I do love mah sweets:


Here is my attempt at basket cupcakes. Do you see me shaking my tiny fist at Bakerella for mentioning Sour Straws? I searched three stores yesterday but had to settle for colored Twizzlers. My part of the world was also out of green sanding sugar, so I had to use green sprinkles.


Here are some Cotton Candy cupcakes. Thanks to
CakeSpy, the frosting alone on these has set me back 10 days in the Shred (sorry Team Bob!).


And, last but not least, some chocolate bird nests for my sugary little Peeps. Fortunately, I can only stand to eat one Peep a holiday, so my quota has been met.

Have a great holiday filled with all kinds of sweet.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Going Purple and Tie Dye

Purple has been my favorite color ever since I fell for Donny Osmond and his purple socks.

But, alas, my blog background is now purple for a sadder reason: to remember Maddie. The purple is for the March of Dimes, and if you want to feel some of the the love, take a look at the amount of donations raised so far in Maddie's memory.

And, while you're looking, make a donation yourself.

I've struggled this week to write a post after my last one---it seems heartless to write a post about some mundane little thing.

To get me started, though, I'll leave you with something for Easter: our eggs.


Cool, eh? We made them using this kit, but you can also DIY with these instructions. Just make sure you get the OK on your selections with the tie-wearing member of your household.


And have a safe and happy Easter.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Madeline Spohr

A little girl died yesterday. She was only 17 months old.

I have been thinking about her all day and about the pain her parents must be feeling right now.

I don't feel like I have the right to introduce you to Maddie and her parents since there are so many others who knew her better than I. Instead, I will point you to Blog Nosh Magazine which has dedicated their front page to little Maddie and her parents Heather and Mike.

And, after you have caught your breath, please consider donating to the March of Dimes---Maddie was born prematurely and was going to participate in the March for Babies later this month with her parents.

And hug your babies a little tighter this week. I know I will.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I Just Want to Pump You Up

A day I have been dreading and anticipating has arrived: I have finished the 30-day Shred.

Anyone who has done Level 3 of The Shred knows why I couldn't wait to finish. In fact, after every completed set of exercises yesterday, I sputtered out, "DONE!" as if I would never have to work as hard again in my life.


So, why the "dreading"? Well, I knew I'd post photos and, frankly, I was worried about these. Did I really look that different? What's with this skin still around my belly button area.

Oh, so you mean to tell me that I've got to keep working at this?

Overall, I'm thrilled to have done this program. I started it on March 2 and finished on April 6---a little more than 30 days but those selective days off were good when my knee or neck was bothering me.

OK, OK, enough writing---here are the photos:

Before from the side:
Shred start

20 days in:
Shred 20 days in

Day 30:

And, from the front, before:

20 days in

Day 30:

finished shred

(yeah, I know my photographs aren't exactly the same crops, zooms and brightness; I'm working on that)

I started at 138 pounds, which isn't bad for a 5'9" red-blooded woman, but considering that I have "small bones" and the bustline of a 12 year old, 138 feels a little too fleshy.

About halfway through the Shred, I was startled to see that I actually GAINED two pounds and was up to 140. I reasoned that perhaps the extra weight was muscle. Or pizza.

But, after that high, I lost a bit. I'm down to 136 right now. I'd like to get down to about 130 but I'm not going to freak out about it. My weight for most of my thirties was 125, but when I look at photos from that time, I look a little too angle-y and all limbs.

Plus, now, I feel different. My arms are muscley---not in a way that anyone would notice, but I feel muscles in my forearms that I never knew I had before. My midriff is tighter and, although I have a bit of a pooch, it isn't as thick as it used to be.

But, perhaps the biggest reason to do this? I raked all of my flower beds on Sunday (after Shredding) and didn't hurt afterward. I can chase the kids and not get winded. I run up and down the stairs a zillion times without feeling like I'm "gargling my heart".

And, you know, I think I've even warmed up to Jillian. After all, anyone who can get me off my butt for 30 days is pretty amazing.


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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Come You-Tubing With Me

If I don't see the sun soon, I may develop a permanent twitch.

If you are in the same boat (ha, no "ark" reference intended), you may want to waste a little time watching some of my favorite You Tube videos of kids' music. With the kids, of course.

OK, I shared mine, will you share yours with me?

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

And I thought the worst thing on Nickelodeon was Jimmy Neutron

Do you remember
Nipplegate '04? That was when Janet Jackson's nipple "accidentally" jumped out of her top during the Superbowl Halftime show, and the entire world went bananas.

Where are those bananas now?

I just read on Gray Matter Matters that none other than The Pussycat Dolls performed at Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards last week.

The Pussycat Dolls? The ones who did this song? (definitely not safe for kids & I'm proud that this is the only song of theirs I know).


Let's see: the target audience for the Kids' Choice Awards is, um, KIDS. And, apparently,
loads of them:

(from Kids Choice Awards Press Kit):

Highlights of Nickelodeon's 2009 Kids' Choice Awards include:

  • This year's show scored its biggest overall audience ever! A record-breaking 7.7 million total viewers (P2+) tuned into the slimiest Kids Choice Awards yet, marking the fourth consecutive year of growth with this demographic.
  • The live telecast earned its biggest kids 2-11 audience ever — an 11.0/3.8 million K2-11 — trumping last year's show, the previous record holder.
  • This year's show was the highest-rated and most-watched with kids 6-11, averaging a 14.2/3.0 million K6-11.
  • The show averaged a record 13.7/2.9 million T9-14 — its highest rating ever with tweens — and posted gains of +10% over last year.
  • A record 4.6 million households (a 4.7 rating) tuned into the show.
That's a whole lotta bugged-out eyeballs watching that show.

Who are the Pussycat Dolls? One would hope their image isn't all R-rated. Well, here is the first image I saw when I Googled their name:


Lovely. You know, if my husband wants to ogle them, more power to him. My eight-year-old daughter though? No thanks.

Need more? The Pussycat Dolls originally started as a burlesque group. "Burlesque" is defined as "A variety show characterized by broad ribald comedy, dancing, and striptease." Somehow I don't see them doing "broad ribald comedy".

The group has also "been criticized for its overtly sexual image and explicit dance routines" in the past.

And this is who Nickelodeon thinks is appropriate for their huge audience of kids ages 2-11?


Nickelodeon, I no longer trust you to provide any entertainment to my children.



Wednesday, April 01, 2009

He's a Super Hero