Weekly Wrap-Up: The Deadly Artificial Color Version

wrap catHere ’tis another week in September.  Here is a brief summary what I did:

Monday  The Truth About Kindergarten:  Mommy Won’t Be Driving the School Bus  She started kindergarten and she didn’t cry, but she did wonder why I wasn’t going to be there.

Tuesday Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: B-E-A-Youtiful  The theme?  Beautiful.  So I picked some beauties to listen to.

Friday The Preoccupied Professor and the Lunchbox Mystification  Do your kids lose things?  I may lose my mind before long-after this happened he left his glasses “somewhere”.  Where?  Also a mystery.

My favorite things this week

Wacky Wednesday Writers:  Guest Post By Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine

15 Things I’ve Learned in My First Year of Blogging-Funny is Family

Best and Most Disturbing Search Terms

nether pee panties Along with hither pee panties?

i wish i was ideas for costumes Yeah I wish I was too…

where can i buy an arc reactor  I’m not sure.  Ask my husband.

preschool teacher liquor store  I’m sure it would be a big one!

a chocolate stool softener that looks like icing  Ummmmm…

will artificial colors kill me?  No, but if you eat enough it might turn your poop colors.

bizarre and unmotivated  Sometimes I am, yes.

The For Sure and Definite of Next week

I’ve got lots of stuff cooking, just not a lot of time to finish them, so we’ll see what I end up posting this week.  The following is what is for sure.  Anything else will just have to be a surprise!

Tuesday-It’s a Twisted Mixtape Tuesday Free for All!  It’s basically sharing whatever music I want.  *rubs hands together*  Whatever shall I share?  Hmmmmmm….

Friday-It’s Fly on the Wall!  We’ll see what I can actually come up with this month.  It’s been kind of slim for good quotes.

My apologies if this is brief.  We have our annual college rivalry game today and will be out of town from early until late tomorrow, so I’ve had a short time to whip this up.  Now I need to “wrap up my wrap-up” and go cheer on Iowa State!  Have a great weekend!

The kids are ready to cheer on the Iowa State Cyclones!

The kids are ready to cheer on the Iowa State Cyclones!


The Preoccupied Professor and the Lunchbox Mystification

He's in third grade now!

He’s in third grade now!  Yes those are Christmas lights.  Don’t judge.

Just when you almost forgot that I DO have another child…

While The Princess is thoroughly enjoying her rule over the kindergarten world The Professor is busy being a great big third grader.

And with being a big third grader comes big responsibility.

It IS a big adjustment.  Third grade is when kids start going to different classrooms for different subjects.  They also have to keep an agenda-which is a book that they write down work assignments and check them off when completed. A parental unit has to sign it.  This all fine and dandy, but that means that mom has to remember it.  This isn’t a big deal except on days that end in ‘y’.  Since Mom is busy being distracted by all things library related and son has his mind on other things like books and superheroes, things tend to be misplaced, forgotten, spaced off, etc…

We’ve already had several misunderstandings.  One had to do with his school pictures.  Every year I take the kids to get their pictures taken at SuperTarget.  After a lot of wrangling with my conscience decided that it was just too much to pay for botht he school pictures and the Target portraits.  I leveled with both of them, because I didn’t want them to feel left out when the other kids got their pictures back.  I told them that we would be going to get our pictures taken later on.  Later like in November.

The Professor took this to mean that he needed to go in early to get his pictures taken on picture day, because he thought that I would be picking him up later that day to get his pictures taken at Target.  He took it upon himself to go down to the gym and get his picture taken with the kindergarteners…

Yes you can’t make this stuff up, people!

catholicThis morning I started packing lunches when it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen his lunchbox since last week.  This really wasn’t a big deal, because he ate hot lunch Friday and Monday.  But it IS a big deal as far as his lunchbox has been missing that long, because his mother has not had enough brains to notice.  Ew.

I checked the kitchen table, under the kitchen table, next to the kitchen table, the cabinet that the kids are supposed to put their lunchboxes in after unpacking them, the trash, his hamper and his backpack.

(Don’t laugh at me about the hamper.  We’ve found some really interesting missing items in his hamper.)

The lunchbox was nowhere to be found.  I had to interrupt his breakfast so that he could perhaps shed some light on this situation.  He proceeded to check the kitchen table, the back porch, his backpack, and the back seat of my car.

“Oh well.  I must have left it at school, he said nonchalantly and returned to eating his Cheerios.  I’m sooooooo happy that he is so concerned about this.

I reminded him as he left that he would have to remember to look for it at school.  I was hoping that the fact that he was carrying the lunchbox he had in kindergarten would be a gentle reminder.  Just to be sure that he didn’t forget I emailed his teachers, asking them to please remind him to look for it.

After school I asked him about it as we were walking up to the library.  “Did you remember to look for your lunchbox?”

“Yes.  I checked the lost and found. Both of them.  I didn’t find it so I must have left it at the library.”  (Highly unlikely, but I was glad he at least looked at school).

Of course it was NOT at the library.  On the way home after library club, we discussed the seriousness of the lunchbox situation.  “I can’t afford to run out and buy you a new lunchbox right now.  I don’t really understand how a batman lunchbox with your name written on it in five places can simply vanish into thin air anyway.  You’ll have to take your Cars lunchbox for now.”

He was really upset about that.  “Ok.”

We pulled into the driveway, and The Princess hopped out of the car, lugging her flowered backpack behind her.  The Professor got out lugging nothing behind him.

“WHERE IS YOUR BACKPACK????”  I hollered.

“Uh-oh, I must have left it at the library.  Drat.”  Because his mother is a moron who doesn’t notice things, I didn’t see the fact that he wasn’t wearing anything on his back when we departed the library.

And don’t you love the fact that he says DRAT??? That’s my boy!

I drove back to the library, muttering under my breath the whole time.  The Professor ran in, grabbed his backpack and we returned home, with the backpack but still sans lunchbox.

I took one last chance-I looked in the cupboard and pulled out both baskets of lunch containers, perused the dirty as well as the clean laundry stacked on the back porch.  I even checked the other cupboards just in case.  No lunchbox.  At that point I simply gave up.  It wasn’t ever going to turn up.

But then my mind worked its crazy magic.  As I was cooking supper, a thought occurred to me.  I knew exactly where his lunchbox was, and told him to go look for it.

Sure enough he found it, under the couch…

This post has been brought to you by an absent-minded mother, an even more absent-minded child and a really stinky container of ranch dressing left in a lunchbox under a couch for five days…

Yes THIS couch, the dog eating one...

Yes THIS couch, the dog eating one…

Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: B-E-A-Youtiful

Jen Kehl

Tuesday is the music day here at my blog! For the newbies, Twisted Mixtape Tuesday is a feature of different songs with a common theme.

This week’s theme was “beautiful”. At first I was going to be a stinker and just find songs with the word beautiful in the title.  Then I realized that was boring.  So instead I  fished through my music collection for some of my favorite “beautiful” songs, sung by people with beautiful voices.  Some of the songs I love got disqualified, either because I have already used them or because while the song itself may be pretty the person singing it didn’t have a very pretty voice.  So therefore I couldn’t use Time in a Bottle, All I Ask of You, and a zillion Simon and Garfunkel songs.  Naturally, this is the short list, and I tried to use a variety of genres to keep it interesting.  I stopped myself at eleven.

...and if you were a gas you'd be inert...

…and if you were a gas you’d be inert…

For Emily Wherever I May Find Her-Simon and Garfunkel

Of course I had to start this off with a song by Paul and Art.  This song has some of the most beautiful lyrics ever written.

My Guardian Angel-The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

I don’t know what it is about this song.  It’s that beautiful that it almost makes me cry.  I heard it at a dance recital when my daughter was a baby, and had to find it right away when I got home.  It was one of the first songs that I downloaded *ahem* legally.

Love of My Life-Queen

The first time I ever heard this song was on a documentary about Queen.  I searched and searched high and low to find the song.  As it turned out it was on a CD I owned all along.  RIP Freddie Mercury-few people have voices anywhere near as fantastic as yours was.

I Won’t Let Go-Rascal Flatts

This song has helped me through a lot of tough times.  Every time I’ve wanted to give up, I pull this out.  I’m not a huge Rascal Flatts fan, but I never get tired of this song.

Fields of Gold-Sting

Most people think of Every Breath You Take and tantric sex, I think of this song when I think of Sting.

A Thousand Years-Cristina Perri

No, I still don’t like the Twilight movies.

You Raise Me Up-Josh Groban

This man’s voice makes me swoon!

Let Me Touch You For Awhile-Alison Krauss & Union Station

I had to put some Alison Krauss in here.  Her voice is amazing!

My Immortal-Evanescence

Amy Lee.  She’s another lady with a beautiful voice.  I’m also pretty sure she’s batpoop crazy.  But that doesn’t prevent me from being a HUGE Evanescence fan.  This is not my very favorite song from this particular group, but it certainly does qualify for the theme of this post!

I Dreamed A Dream-Susan Boyle

I had to put SOMETHING from a musical in here.  And this is one of my favorite performances.  No one expected that voice to come out of that woman!

Landslide-The Dixie Chicks

If I didn’t have a hate-hate relationship with Stevie Nicks and her nanny goat voice, I’d put the Fleetwood Mac version on here.  I do love this song, and this version is great.

Wanna join in the fun?  Write a post, add a little music, and then visit Jen Kehl and Kristi Campbell’s awesome music-thon by clicking on the button at the top to link up!



The Truth About Kindergarten: Mommy Won’t Be Driving The School Bus

At her kindergarten visit.

At her kindergarten visit.

Since she read the story “Kittengarten” in her High Five magazine last year, The Princess has been interested in kindergarten.  But she chose her words carefully. “That would be fun, but I’d miss you.”

How sweet.

But as the start of the school year drew closer it was increasingly obvious that she REALLY needed to go to school.  There was no question that this kid needed to have some time apart from her mommy, whether she thought she needed it or not.

Let’s be frank, mommy sure needed it.

Oddly enough, the “first” day of kindergarten here is a half hour long.  There are two shifts that parents can come in with their child and help them tour the school.  There were activities and stickers and muffins and orange juice.

I hated to break it to her that there would not ALWAYS be muffins.

Part of the visit included the kindergarteners getting to go all over the school to find where all of the different rooms would be located:  Music, PE, Art, etcetera.  The very last stop on the tour was a school bus out front of the school.  She was a bit put out with me that I would not drive her home in the bus.

This short little visit to school did nothing to convince her that I was not going to be at her school all day every day.  We even talked about it that night,  I’m pretty sure that she thought that I would be right across the hall or hiding in the closet.

(As a rule I don’t like to hang out in closets because I’m claustrophobic, but whatever…)

Her first “real” day of kindergarten she picked out her fancy purple sparkle dress  to wear and chose leftover veggie pasta to put in her pink thermos for lunch.  Such a contrast to her brother, who wanted to wear a superhero shirt and begged for hot lunch because he really wanted corn dogs.

The Princess was excited, but once it sunk in that mommy would not be getting on that bus with her (or driving the bus to school), she panicked. Luckily The Professor was quick on his feet-he was able to distract her, first with the “secret” passage by the school and then with stories of how much fun it was to ride the bus.  It worked I was really, really proud of that boy that morning!

Getting ready to get on the bus.

Getting ready to get on the bus.

Then the bus arrived and off they went.  I didn’t get any actual pictures of them getting on the bus like the 43 others moms with fancy cameras that didn’t have dead batteries.  And surprisingly I didn’t cry-probably because I got it all out of my system with my last post about kindergarten. 

It was a bit surreal spending the day by myself.  I can’t say that I did much.  I didn’t lay around in a bubble bath eating bon bons.  Instead I spent it fighting off a wannabe migraine and running errands.

And The Princess did just fine without me.  She came off the bus and ran to me with a great big smile, so excited about everything she’d done that day.  “Mommy, I learned that there is an invisible bucket and we all have one.  When people say mean things your bucket gets empty.  When people say nice things your bucket gets full.  And sometimes, when your bucket gets too full it EXPLODES!”

When asked hat she did in kindergarten she announced:
“We had nap time for just FIVE MINUTES!”
Me:  “Five minutes?  Why?”
“Because that’s how Mrs J wants it!”

Of course the first week of school one of her classmates had a birthday.  The Princess was so excited, because they got cupcakes!  She’s since been totally obsessed with the snack calendar.  Sometimes she comes downstairs from her room more than once to make sure that she knows who is bringing the next snack, and to make sure there are no changes.  I had to inform her, however, that the reason her friend brought so many cool things was because it was her birthday, and that we would not be supplying cupcakes until her birthday at the end of the school year.  Sorry Charlie, it’s fruit snacks or crackers for snack when we have to bring it.

She’s had a lot of fun planning for school.  She lays out her outfits and coordinating jewelry the night before.  The only issue she has really had was with the black mary janes I bought for her.  She doesn’t want to take them off, and they are supposed to wear tennis shoes for PE days.  She sadly informed me that bringing the athletic shoes to change into at PE time simply wasn’t an option because “Mrs J doesn’t want fancy shoes on PE day.”

Fortunately my daughter hasn’t forgotten me yet.  She’s still very much wanting me around.  As a matter of fact she begged me to join her for lunch every day.  I finally gave in and came for pizza the second week of school.  They have the very same pizza and chocolate milk that I enjoyed at school as a kid, except that they get to have chocolate milk every day.  We could only have chocolate milk on Fridays.  Kids these days have it so easy!

So kindergarten?  So far, so good.  And Mommy has had very little time to miss her little one-good timing with the new job!

Both kids on the first "real" day of school.

Both kids on the first “real” day of school.


Weekly Wrap-Up: The Flushed Muse Edition

Got that?

Got that?

I finally concluded that at some point I must have dropped my muse in the toilet and unknowingly flushed it down.  Friends are churning out great stuff like butter and I can’t put together more than three sentences about much of anything.  And it didn’t get any better as the week went on.  If you read my Secret Subject Swap post on Friday, part of it was missing and the title was screwed up when it published.  Somehow one of my final edits got lost and is floating around in blog cyberspace. How nice.  Just what I needed when I’m already frustrated.  I fixed the spacing in the title and said screw it.

What I Did This Week

Monday The Annual Fried Stuff Experience (Otherwise Known as The Iowa State Fair)  Not laboring away on Labor Day, I guested for my wonderful friend Jenn over at Something Clever 2.0.  I just know she’s going to buy me a pony for helping her out so much, right?

Tuesday Part I: Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: To All The Geeks I’ve Loved Before  The topic was “Best of”.  Best of?  What could I possibly post??? 😉

Tuesday Part II:  She Who Microwaves  I also honed my microwaving abilities at Baking in a Tornado in a rare guest post (for her, not for me, because I seem to be able to write stuff for EVERYONE else).

Wednesday and Thursday  This is when I tried to write stuff and my brain exploded.

Friday September 2013 Secret Subject Swap: Sense-less  The prompt was what sense I would choose to lose… see the picture below for my answer…

smelly catsMy Favorite Things This Week

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been a horrible blogging friend and have read very little.  I’m working on it.  Consequently when you don’t read much you don’t have much that was your favorite(s)…  I hope to get better by next weekend!

The Crappy Family Goes To A County Fair  I’ve soooo been missing this blog.  This is just what I needed this weekend!

Best and Most Disturbing Search Terms

Is the ding dong back?  I didn’t know I went away.

Chandler Bing Chocolates  Do they look like Matthew Perry? 

How to tell if you have superpowers  This made me laugh.  How DO you figure that out?

Cinder Garden Cop  Cops that hang out in the garden by the cinder blocks?

Ambien Polygraph  I cannot tell a lie, I took that Ambien!  Then I fell asleep and did nothing interesting.

Uneaten Laundry  That’s the best kind, right, the kind that hasn’t been eaten?

My wife makes me sit down to pee  Why is your wife telling you how to pee and how did it lead to my blog????


I don’t tell him to sit down to pee… Something that could be said to both me and my husband. Get it? Very punny.

Next Week

Beyond my likely futile attempt to utilize such useful things as Hootsuite and Triberr to help me keep up with the blogging world, I pledge the fifth for this next week.  Have a great rest of your weekend!


September 2013 Secret Subject Swap: Senseless


Welcome to the latest edition of The Secret Subject Swap!  Presented to you by the lovely Karen of Baking in a Tornado, this fun begins with participating bloggers sending in top secret prompts ahead of time.  Each blogger is then assigned one of these prompts and the resulting posts are all shared at the same time!

My prompt was:  If you had to lose any of your senses, which one would you choose and why?  It was submitted by http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com

Oh boy, I really need those senses! As a mom it is VERY important that I have my eyes and ears handy-you never know what those kids are up to… Though I will say that there are many things I’ve seen over the years that I think that I wouldn’t mind giving up my sight because of.  Sometimes you just want to unsee things.

unseeSense of touch?  Very necessary for hugs from my kids and the occasional touch of the spouse!  My sense of taste?  Sorry I’m not giving that up-because I need to be able to taste my chocolate and my wine!

So if I had to choose one to lose, it would definitely be my sense of smell…

Think about it.  I like smelling things that smell good, don’t get me wrong!  This is kind of one of THOSE questions, like would you rather have poison ivy or poison sumac.  Every choice is going to have it’s negative side, but I’d much rather not be able to smell than to not be able to taste or see or hear or touch.

In all honesty, I really think the nose was kind of an afterthought when god was putting the humans together anyway.

“Hmmmm… something is missing.  This really seems off.  We need to have something right there in the middle.  You know, right above the mouth and below the eyes.  Oh it should probably DO something too.”

And it’s probably a good thing he did that, because otherwise we’d all look like Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter!

VoldemortWandAnd then just to show he had a sense of humor, that’s why he created farts.  Think about what the first fart had to have been like.

Adam:  “Hey Eve, pull my finger!”

I know there have been many times in my life when I wished my nose would go take a long hike off a short pier.  Especially at bedtime after consumption of both chili and beer and beer of said spouse.  Or having to endure the stench of manure spread out on our local farm fields.  Or hitting a skunk with the car.

So yes as a former childcare provider, a wife, a mom of two, and a dog owner,  I am pretty sure that I have smelled all that there is to smell and then some.  A lot of it hasn’t been pleasant!  Having held the title of poop detective for many years, I think I’d be okay with giving up that gig.

sbd dog fartAnd not to mention, not being able to smell would not take away my enjoyment of online stuff one little bit.  Even if they did invent Smellbook, I think I’d be good.

So yeah, I might not be able to write the next “Smelly Cat”, but I think I’d be okay…

If the same situation were to arise for for you, what would YOU be willing to give up?

WAIT!  Don’t go away!  Take a little time and check out some of the other posts by my fellow swappers down below.  Interested in participating in a future swap?  Contact Karen at Baking in a Tornado for details of what to do!

http://BakingInATornado.com                              Baking In A Tornado

http://themomisodes.com/                                   The Momisodes

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                              Just A Little Nutty

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                        Follow me home . . .

http://mooreorganizedmayhem.blogspot.com/         Moore Organized Mayhem

http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com/             Stacy Sews and Schools

http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                              The Sadder But Wiser Girl

http://dinoheromommy.com/                                   Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com                      Searching For Sanity

http://crazyasnormal.com                                         Crazy As Normal

http://menopausalmother.blogspot.com                       Menopausal Mother

Http://momsdontsaythat.com                                     Moms Don’t Say That


Microwaving in a Tornado

baking in a tornado These are exciting times for me.  Lately I’ve had my dreams come true with offers from bloggers I admire to guest post for them.  REALLY!  I only had to beg a little.

Today is truly an honor for me.  I remember being in my blogging infancy and hearing about this “tornado” lady that everyone loved.  I had to go check it out for myself.  She and I hit it off.  Then I started hearing about all of the wonderful things that she hosts that help writers connect.  Pretty soon there I was, cooperating and blogging right along with the other bloggers for The Secret Subject Swap and Fly on the Wall.

And today I am guest posting on her blog.  Just like Karen, I tried to include a recipe along with my post.  I hope you enjoy the post!  Click below to link up!

She Who Microwaves


Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: To All The Geeks I’ve Loved Before

Jen Kehl

This week’s Twisted Mixtape Tuesday theme is “Best of…”.  I thought and thought and thought about this theme.  I decided I couldn’t pick just one group, nor could I choose something mainstream. 

I got to thinking about the fact that I am such a geek that I started following Wil Wheaton’s cat on Twitter.  Don’t laugh.  On second thought, go ahead and laugh, I don’t care!  I decided that this post will be dedicated to all my geek and nerd peeps!  Behold-The Best of GEEK Music! 

(Oh come on, did you really think I would choose something normal?)

IMG_0718Let’s start out with something a little more mainstream for you geekphobes…

One Week-Barenaked Ladies

Did you memorize the words to this song?  I didn’t but I know plenty of people who tried to!

Klingon Style (parody of Gangnum Style by Psy)

Move over Psy, these Klingons got the moves.

She Blinded Me With Science-Thomas Dolby

Remember this song from the 80s?

White and Nerdy-Weird Al Yankovic

I still want to know-did Weird Al have to beg Donny Osmond to be in this video?

The Elements-Tom Lehrer

Want to learn the periodic table?  This is one of my son’s very favorite songs, and for good reason!

Particle Man-They Might Be Giants

It was a toss up between this one and Istanbul (Was Constantinople).  I know I’ve shared the latter on here, so here is the other fave in our house from these legendary musicians…

The Pi Song-Hard N’ Firm

The comments on this video are classic… “It helps to write it down…”  And yes, I am well aware of the terrible name of this musical group.

Highly Illogical-Leonard Nimoy

How much geekier can you get than a song by Spock himself?

The Saga Begins-Weird Al Yankovic

And of course I saved the best for last, because I’ll be singing this now until next year. That’s okay though, because I really needed a different song in my head than the Puddle of Mudd song from last week!

Got your geek on yet?

Got your geek on yet?

Now that you’ve heard my Best Of… be sure to click on the button at the top to see what other more normal choices have been made by more normal people that participate in this…

PS-Not a cat person?  You can follow Wil Wheaton’s dog on Twitter too…


Clever? Perhaps…

When I was but a young starry eyed newbie blogger there were two blogs that hosted certain “activities” that I thought were the coolest things on the face of the planet.  I get to guest post at both of those blogs this week, and I am very, very excited about this.

Today I finally repay one of my debts-I have owed Jenn from Something Clever 2.0 a guest post FOREVER.  I’ve had some really great guest posts in my time, and Jen wrote one of my favorites, Google Has The Questions, Jenn Has The Answers.  I hope that my post today is good enough repayment!  I haven’t exactly had the blogging “mojo” that I would like these days!

Jenn is one of the coolest people on the planet. She hosts Theme Thursday of which I am a huge fan of as well as a participant when I have a brain in my head to write with.  She’s done some cool stuff lately, including cohosting getting me off my bum to do a Twitter party and becoming a staff writer for In the Powder Room.!  And in case you couldn’t tell from the picture, she also has really great hair.

So yeah, I am that much cooler getting to be on her blog today.  Click on the link below to read the post-I’ll see you there!

The Annual Fried Stuff Experience (Otherwise Known As The Iowa State Fair)