Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Resolutions

Ahh, yes, it's that time of year again; time to make New Year's Resolutions that, in all honesty, will probably last until the end of January. I'm great at making lists, and crossing things off my lists, but as far as big life changes- those I tend to just jump head first into without much planning. Yeah, I've drowned a few times, but it's always just made me a stronger swimmer.

The funny (possibly even ironic) thing is, I have the knowledge and tools to achieve the resolutions I make for myself (we all do, but I cheated a while ago, researched all the different philosophies on it, and came up with my own, simple way). I used to do a workshop when I owned my store, on turning your dreams into reality and the 5 steps needed to reach any goal (for those wondering, it was all completely original, meaning, I didn't read someone else's book and just hold a workshop in it's honor; the workshop and ideas in it were all mine). I had amazing feedback from people who attended the workshop, even some positive follow ups a few months later on how they were achieving their goals, still. Hmm. Maybe it's time to dust off the old workshop folders and give it a look through (possible blog post for the new year???).

Any goal, not just a resolution, is successfully reached when there's a plan of action involved. Simply making the resolution isn't enough. 'I want to lose weight in 2011.' Okay, how? What are you going to do to obtain that goal, to make that resolution concrete? Just stating the resolution doesn't give it enough substance, enough motivation needed to achieve it most times. So, rephrase; 'I'm going to lose weight in 2011 by cooking healthy meals, running 3 times a week and joining a gym.' Now that goal is tangible- you've stated what it is (in the present active form, nonetheless) and how you are going to achieve it. Makes it easier to understand and obtain.

Ahh, yes, the workshop is coming back to me now....

So, here's Tatted Mom's 2011 New Year's Resolutions, as well as my plans for accomplishing them, in no particular order:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Santa Made a Mistake!!

Yes, these were actually words shouted in my home at 4:30 Christmas morning, by my 8 year old. The story is just too funny not to share.

This year, Santa got the kids a Nintendo Wii and 2 games each. When he came down the chimney Christmas Eve, he just filled the stockings right there at the fireplace, left the wrapped games in front of the kids' stockings, and decided to have a little fun.

Christmas morning my daughter wakes up at 4 am, which, coincidentally enough was the time that hubby, Z and I had pre-selected to be the Go Time; if the kids woke up before the Go Time, they had to go back to sleep, but after the Go Time, Z was to come wake up hubby and I and we would get up. Why not just have the kids come wake us up? Our master bedroom is on the other side of the house from the kids rooms, meaning they would have had to go through the living room to get to us, thus seeing Santa's surprises before Mommy and Daddy are even up- I'm not much on that. So, we agreed that the kids would wake Z up, and she would come get us up, which she did, at 4 freaking a.m.

Coffee was already made the night before (I actually thought ahead on this one), so I turned the coffee pot on and zombie walked my way into the other part of the house to see the kids. I grabbed my camera, and waited for hubby to tell them it was time to come see what Santa left. They came running in, seemed a little disappointed that there were only stockings and 4 little DVD case size presents wrapped and left out, but they tore into their stockings excitedly. Then came time for the games to be unwrapped. My daughter started, and as she's unwrapping, she yells out, 'Mom, these are Wii games. We don't have a Wii....' My son tore open his Santa presents, to find more Wii games, and said the same thing. Then it comes....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Women's Talk Wednesday- Being 'That Woman'

I've been MIA for a week now, with Christmas going on. Had another bout of blogger's block as well. But, I can't go missing completely when it's Women's Talk Wednesday. I think this has become my favorite day to post!

I've tossed around ideas for today's post that include everything from men to the big 'O', but I think today we are going to tackle a favorite subject of mine when it comes up in chatting with my girlfriends- being 'That Woman'. What does that even mean, you ask? Grab your cup of coffee or your vodka on the rocks, ladies, because today we're talking about being a Bitch!!

So much negativity is associated with a woman being called a Bitch, and I say it's time to stop that negative association. I myself have even been called not just a Bitch, but a Crazy Bitch numerous times in my life, and I embrace it. For one, Crazy Bitches always keep you guessing- sometimes in a good manner, sometimes a bad. But there's never a dull moment with a Crazy Bitch around. Two, it's a great excuse or scapegoat. 'Why the hell did she do/say that? Oh, yeah, 'cause she's a Crazy Bitch.' You can practically get away with murder sometimes. And, ladies, here's a third reason you may not know about. No matter if they want to admit it or not, men love Crazy Bitches. There's just something about a Crazy Bitch that will stick in a guy's head, even long after she's gone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Women's Talk Wednesday- Makeup

Ahh, yes, one of the perks of being a woman- makeup. Nothing says 'I'm feminine' more than locking yourself in the bathroom, making sure the lighting is just right so you don't come out looking like a hooker, and covering up every line or imperfection with gloppy gooey stuff that will probably melt off within a few hours.Whether you are a makeup wearer, or prefer to go all natural, it's still a topic of conversation amongst women.

I started wearing makeup as a freshman in high school, and went very minimalist with it. Face powder, thin eyeliner, mascara. That was it. Even if I ventured into eyeshadow, it was in the neutral range- brown in the crease, beige on the lid and the brow bone. Somewhere along the line, though, something changed. I'm not exactly sure when my obsession with makeup began, my need to acquire as many different crazy colors of eyeshadow and eyeliner possible, but soon, the makeup monster took over.

Monday, December 20, 2010

You Asked, I Tell....

"The Tattoo is the Mark of the Soul. 
It can act as a window 
Through which we can see inside, 
Or it can be a shield to protect us from those 
Who cannot see past the surface..."  ~Anonymous

With a pen name of Tatted Mom, I get asked about my tattoos a lot. How many do I have, which mean the most to me, what was my first, what is my next, why did I decide to start getting tattoos? So I figured, you all ask, I'll tell.

I was 18 when I got my first tattoo, and wanted one because, well, I was 18 and could get one, and I loved art. I told my mom and dad I was going shopping and drove 45 minutes to a trusted tattoo shop, and got a very small (I only had $50 on me) moon on my lower back. I can remember taking my future brother in law with me (soon to be hubby was in basic training at the time), and I sat there, nervous as hell, squeezing my brother in law's hands, waiting for the first touch of the needle. As soon as the tattoo artist started, I looked behind me, said, 'Is that it?' loosened up my grip, and relaxed.

An addiction was born.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Confession

Most people have holiday rituals that they do every year (omg, is she blogging about sacrificing goats again?). For some, it's Black Friday, for others it's a certain movie that they watch every year, complete with a cup of hot chocolate and some Christmas cookies. I, too, have a ritual that I do every holiday season, several times during this time of year, that I never thought was bizarre... until this year. Now that my kids are older, and with the introduction of Z this year, I seem to get tons of eye rolling and weird stares as I perform my holiday ritual, and I constantly hear, 'Is mom doing it again?'. What's so wrong with it? It's not that bad, is it? Or, am I just in denial, and through the loving eyes of my family I can see my obsession and now do something about it?

Inklingers, I'm a compulsive gifts-under-the-tree organizer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a Southern Thing

I'm proud to say I'm from the south. Born and raised in Virginia (it's below the Mason-Dixon line, so we qualify as southern, thank you), I've lived in the backwoods of my wonderful home state, in North Carolina and in South Carolina. I lived in England for 3 years in between North Carolina and South Carolina, and currently live in Arizona. Talk about culture shock for me, moreso with Arizona than even England. This western thing takes some getting used to, and yes, I understand I'm still in the southwest, but there are big difference between the south and the southwest. If you've never lived in the south, it's definitely something worth trying- at least visit. Most people never forget their trips to the south.

Common stereotypes of the south include everyone being country bumpkins and uneducated, all food is smothered in gravy, racism is everywhere, the women are sickly sweet to your face and a bitch behind your back, everyone carries guns, everyone goes hunting, religious fanaticism, and they're all Republicans. Of those statements, I can say that those stereotypes are false, true, semi-true, definitely true, semi-true, semi-true, semi-true, semi-true and false. Ha! You thought I was going to say they were all false, huh? No, I'm being honest here. The only two of those that are definitely false are the uneducated one and the Republican one, though I'm still arguing with myself on the Republican one.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Women's Talk Wednesday- Hair Removal

So, unless you are of French descent or lived through the 60s and are trying to bring them back, hair removal is a part of being a woman. There are so many products out there for 'safer' or 'less painful' hair removal now, tempting us ladies with every commercial that we see. Then, of course, there are the tried and true methods of shaving, waxing, and depilatories, and the more expensive, yet permanent one- electrolysis. Within all of these reliable categories lies a plethora of products to choose from- shaving creams, razors- manual and electric, home waxing kits, salon waxing packages, after shave lotions, bikini and sensitive area creams.... I think my head is going to explode.

Let's start with the new fad 'less painful' ones. The hair removal spray- looks amazing on TV. Just spray it on, wait a few minutes, and then wipe the hair away. Seriously? It's that easy? No offense, but I throw up major flags with this one. Hair removal is never that easy. Isn't it a right of passage to contract a minor staph infection from a shaving wound, usually around the ankle or back of the knee area? So, girls nowadays can just wipe their leg hair away, painlessly, with minimal effort? Something's wrong with this one. If this spray is strong enough to just melt hair away, couldn't it just melt your skin away after prolonged usage? Show me studies, please, hair removal spray company. If you can prove to me without a doubt that my skin won't ooze off of my bones after using your product for a year, I'm game.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tatted Mom's Guide to Catching a Child Liar

"Mom! Um, my brother just said a bad word. He was trying to tell me a joke, then he said the 'F' word," is what my daughter came hauling into the living room to tell us yesterday. Hubby immediately called my son into the room, and his interrogation began. My son, of course, said that his sister was lying, and that she just wanted him to get into trouble. Thus the problem any parent eventually faces- catching the real liar.

My husband's method is simple. Stand his ground, ask the same question over and over again, and eventually pull out the 'If you tell the truth, I promise, you won't get in trouble.' Wait, deja-vu...

I was 16. I had my own car, and a job at the local grocery store to pay for said car. And, I was a smoker. (Gasp, I know.) I used to hide my cigarettes from my parents in between the seats in my car, but for some reason one day, after picking up a friend of mine for school, and driving around having our final nicotine fit before the grueling 7 hours of school, I decided to put the pack in the glove compartment. Apparently, that same day, my new insurance card came in the mail, and my dad, being a good samaritan, decided to drive up to the school, and just put the new insurance card in my glove compartment for me while I was in class, because I had to leave school that day and head straight to work. Yeah, you know where this is going....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ok, So Don't Hate Me....

... But I'm stumped. Writer's block like a mo fo. I prepared for the day this would happen- sat around one night and made a list of 'Blogging Ideas'. Yeah, helpful that was. I am currently staring at my list of about 10 topics or so, rolling my eyes. Who really wants to hear about my Least Favorite Chores, or a Pregnancy Experience right now? I sure don't feel like writing about them. One day, but that day is not today.

So I sit here, picking my nose (well, not my nose, actually- I fidget with my nose ring a lot, and it looks like I'm digging for gold. The little bugger is always stabbing me.), staring at the Christmas tree, then the ceiling, over to Zombie Kitty who is sleeping peacefully on the couch (makes me want to go wake her up- it's a horrible compulsion I have), back to the ceiling, finally to my laptop screen, wondering if anyone else goes through this. I love blogging; it's the part of my morning routine I look forward to. Cup of coffee, the buzz of the laptop fan making sure my laptop doesn't overheat and shut off on me, the thrill of having the ideas in my head come out so beautifully, with humor and shocking moments sprinkled in. Ahh, it's a rush.

And then there are days like today. I don't think all the coffee in the world could get my thought train on it's tracks....

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Too Young for This.......

I'm going to set the scene for you. It's bedtime, last night. After having watched an amazing movie and one of my favorite TV shows, I'm extremely exhausted from not having gotten much sleep the night before. So, I zombie-like drudge off to the bathroom to splash water on my face, brush my teeth, and head to bed. I'm slightly bent over the sink, running water on my toothbrush, when I glance up for a second... a second that changed my life forever. Staring back at me in the reflection of the mirror was not one, not two, not any less than a dozen.....

Gray hairs! 

In a panic, I called out to C to come here right now, as I pretty much smashed my face to the mirror, picking through the atrocities. 'What's wrong?' I hear from the bed. What's wrong? WHAT'S WRONG?????  I go running into the bedroom, grab the bedside lamp, shove it to my head, and say, 'THIS is what's wrong.'

'I don't see anything.'


He gets a little closer. 'What are everywhere?'


'No way. You don't have gray hairs. Let's go into the bathroom with better lighting, because I don't believe you.' (You mean, the bathroom I tried to get you to come into when I was first panicking? THAT bathroom? Urgh.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Position Now Available!

Now hiring for the holiday season, with possible permanent job placement after the holidays: Someone dedicated, hardworking, and honest, to be my Holiday Bitch Filter.

Job Description: This person will be responsible for following me around and making sure I don't do or say anything too bitchy this holiday season. We can discuss, in the interview process, what your methods of being my Bitch Filter would be, but I am not opposed to such techniques as:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Women's Talk Wednesday- Birth Control

Let's admit something right now, ladies. Birth control should be up to us, shouldn't it? We're the ones that will have to carry a child for the next 9 months if the method fails to do it's job. So, I think that means we should be able to choose which one suits us the most, right? Right!

Now, most of my readers are married, like me, so the topic of birth control coming from an old married lady might be weird. Not really, when you think that even married couples want some sort of control over their family structure. I have come across a few families in my time that 'leave it to God', and end up with a bunch of kids (anyone seen 18 Kids and Counting on TV? She might be up to 19 by now, I don't know....), which is fine for them. Me, personally? No thanks. I have a boy and a girl; that's good for me.

So, when you are like me, something needs to be done to help control the procreation aspect of sex, so it can be more enjoyable without worrying if there will be another mouth to feed down the line. There are many forms of birth control, with pros and cons to both. Here's my take on the many different forms:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dreams 101

I woke up this morning having had a nightmare right before I woke up. Not the zombies chasing me, end of the world apocalypse type of nightmare, but the type where you wake up thinking, 'Great, like I needed *that* on my mind.'

I used to do a lot of research on dreams; hell, I even used to do a workshop on dream interpretation when I owned my store. Dreams occur for a few reasons:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Daily Family Planner

I tend to have a one-track mind. Once I start something, that's it; everything else kinda gets put on the back burner until that thing is done. I've always known this about myself, but every now and then the reality of my blinders hits me. The most recent focus of my time and energy has been my blog. I get up in the morning looking forward to getting the kids off to school, grabbing my cup of coffee, and blogging. It's like crack; I post, people comment, I check a few times a day to see that I have a new follower or two- more people to make laugh and share my craziness with- wooo hooo!! Now I need to have an epic post, draw more people into my chaotic world, get their feedback, so I research for future blog posts. What can I say tomorrow that will knock their socks off? Maybe make coffee shoot out of their nose in laughter. (I'm not aiming for that to happen to any of my Inklingers, but if it does one day, please share. I might pee my pants in excitement that I made coffee shoot out of someone's nose, and I'll be sure to let you know I peed my pants to share in the embarrassment.)

Something had to be done. My addiction was taking over. I was still getting the housework done, the laundry, remembering to pick the kids up from school, but I was doing things like checking books out from the library, keeping them for 3 weeks with only having read 16 pages and renewing them for another 3 weeks, because my free time was spent on blogger. I fell behind on some of my TV shows, too, in keeping the laptop up and running after the kids went to bed. It's great to have a hobby and all, but having other outlets is good, too.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mommy TLC Featured Mom Interview at 4pm EST~ Tune In!!!

Just a reminder that my interview as Featured Mom Blogger for December with Paola at Mommy TLC is today at 4pm EST. I'm so excited, nervous, and happy! I hope everyone can tune in!!! The link to the interview is below!

BlogTalkRadio with Mommy TLC

Decorating the Tree with Zombie Kitty

I think this one should go....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tatted Mom's List of 10 Best Gifts for a Stay at Home Mom

I've read so many 'Top Gifts for Moms' articles it's not funny. Yahoo has them featured, Google, Amazon has their version, and that doesn't even begin to cover the blog articles out there covering what people should get their moms for Christmas. While I agreed with parts of many of the articles, there wasn't one I found that not only covered SAHMs exclusively, but hit the nail on the head for moms in general. So, 'Challenge Accepted' (in the words of Barney- who's a 'How I Met Your Mother' fan??) of writing a SAHM Christmas gift list, and I threw the whole 'Tatted Mom's List' thing into it, so you know it's not one of those same old, same old lists!

*Disclosure* No one has paid me a damn thing to write this article. So no actual items featured in this article were sent to me, or the company didn't pay me to say their product is amazing. I am using Amazon to help feature some of them, but it's more for easy linkage and pictures- s me time. =)

10 Best Gifts for a Stay at Home Mom (Tatted Mom Style)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Hit List

I woke up this morning in a very interesting mood. Wouldn't quite say bad, but wouldn't say good; very much in need of coffee and for the kids to *not* have problems with shoe tying or hair or whatever outfit they chose to wear today- Strike 1, Strike 2, Strike 3. Damnit, I just need to go back to bed.

The kids made it to school, I'm 1/2 way into my cup of coffee, and for some reason, all that's running through my head this morning is my Hit List- not my favorite songs or shows or movies, not the blogs I have to go read each day, but a bonafide Hit List- who or what I would take out if I had the money and the means (and no paper trail, of course).

Yeah, like I said, one of those mornings. So, I will not try to tame the beast that is screaming in my head this morning. I will succumb to it's will, and share with you all my current Hit List (please don't use this against me as evidence in a court of law....)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm the December Featured Mom Blogger on Mommy TLC!!!

When I got the email a few weeks ago from Paola, creator and editor of  Mommy TLC, about being the Featured Mom Blogger for the month of December, I cried- literally- I'm an emotional bag when it comes to things like that. While crying, I ran through the house screaming, 'Someone wants ME to be their featured blogger of the month', waking hubby and Z both up (kids were in school). I was ecstatic, to say the least.

I've been a member of Mommy TLC pretty much from the day I started blogging. It's an amazing place to meet other moms, find more blogs to add to my daily reading list, post discussion topics I would like advice on, and post my blog articles to reach out to more readers. From the day I joined, Paola has been so supportive of me and my blog, it's been wonderful. She and Mommy TLC have become part of my virtual family.

Women's Talk Wednesday

I was sitting around thinking about future blog posts last night, and realized that yes, I'm a Mommy blog, yes, I'm a family blog, yes, I'm a tips on home/parenting/cooking/life blog, but, I'm also a Women's blog. When do I get to talk about the *fun* stuff? Just throw it in between posts about amazing pot roast and the hilarious thing my 6 year old said today? No, no. We moms are women first and foremost, and every now and then we need to be reminded of that, not just of being little Johnny's mom, not just Billy Bob's wife, not the crazy lady who comes outside in her robe and throws the newspapers back at the delivery boy in the morning because he can't quite seem to get them out of the bushes and onto the porch; We are Women, and we need that Women's Talk every now and then. So, grab your cup of coffee (or vodka, depending on the time of day), and sit back, because today is the first Women's Talk Wednesday, and we're talking about.....


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Rights as a Mom

Rights are found everywhere; human rights, civil rights, animal rights, child rights, patient rights, criminal rights... but what about Mommy Rights? I actually googled 'Mom rights' before starting this article (see, I do research for my blog), and the only thing that really came up were rights that single moms had. There are 'parental rights' out there, but they are more for making sure the kids are taken care of and what happens if they aren't. When I think Mommy Rights, I'm not thinking legal mumbo jumbo, what my core job as a parent is to my kids, and the consequences that occur if I don't fulfill that job. I'm talking about the added perks that we get for carrying a child for 9 months, gaining weight, getting stretch marks, living on virtually no sleep for years, never having personal time- not even in the bathroom, living on coffee, and constantly having to wipe butts and noses, tie shoes, turn shirts around the proper way, break up sibling fights, cook, clean and worry, a.k.a. the Joys of Motherhood.

As a Mommy, I have the Right to:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kids and Cussing 101

I'm a cusser. Not the best thing for a mom to be, but hey, we all have our vices. I worked as pretty much the only female in a male dominated shop, company, and industry for 3 years; I've heard it all, participated in just about every dirty, nasty conversation there is, and, quite honestly, had to hold my own as the only female. So, I learned how to have a quick tongue (figuratively speaking), blast back insults at the men, and developed a thick skin when it came to raunchy conversation. And let me tell you, now that I've left that life behind, I've had a few people tell me they miss my ability to stand up and put people in their place.

Now that I'm back to being a stay at home mom, the cussing is a flaw more than an asset, as it was in my old life. My 8 year old knows what cuss words are, and knows not to repeat them. My 6 year old, however, will repeat just about anything for a reaction- at home, at school, on the phone with family... yeah, that was a fun one to explain. And, while it's sometimes hilarious when a kids cusses (you can't tell me it isn't, depending on how they use a word, the context, and if it was even used correctly), the hardest thing to do as a parent is to not burst out laughing when you are trying to get the 6 year old into the bath, saying 'How about you just go get into the bath?' and out of nowhere he says, 'Yeah, how about I just go brush my balls?' True story. I couldn't make that up if I wanted to. (That little saying apparently came from daycare, by the way, not me. His sister ratted him out on that one.)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Wish List for my Blog

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving; I took a few days off from blogging to spend time with the family and just relax. I think I opened my laptop twice in the last 4 days, and it was amazing, though I will admit I've missed my virtual family.

So now, with Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us, it's time to look ahead to Christmas. I've already done most, if not all, of my kids' shopping. Hubby and Z are in the works, as well as extended family. But, it's made me think about myself, though not in the greedy way, necessarily.  

I have a Christmas Wish List for my blog. Is that crazy? That's crazy. It's cool; won't be the first time I've had a crazy idea....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Opposite of Wordless Wednesday

Have you ever felt the need to just ramble? Somehow make concrete all of the thoughts and ideas swirling through your head? Maybe the thoughts are all related, but you don't know how until you get it all out. That's what I feel like doing today, so, where most Mommy bloggers are posting pictures that say it all, I'm going to be saying it all in an attempt to quiet my mind.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lego Cake Adventure and Recipe- Tatted Mom Style

Today is my son's 6th birthday. As seen in previous posts, he is obsessed with Legos (found in every corner of my house, under every piece of furniture, in the laundry, everywhere). So, at 8 last night when the kiddos went to bed, Z and I began our Lego Cake Adventure, which we documented (well, after having been baking for about an hour- I kinda forgot until then), to share with you all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sacrificing to the Gods of the Holiday Season

*I swear the title of this post is not sacrilegious; it's meant as humorous and, in a funny way, accurately depicts my feelings right now. Read on to see what I mean.....

We are coming into that time of year- holiday wonder and excitement, hot chocolate, presents under an evergreen tree, Santa and his elves, warm snuggly nights by the fire....

...and worry over whether they'll be enough under the Christmas tree, whether you are heading to your family or they are coming to you this year, big meals to plan and execute with precision, finding that perfect gift for the one you love, and so much more. I'm so not trying to sound like a pessimist; those that know me, know that I have always been able to see the silver lining, always look on the bright side. It's just a fact that the holiday season is stressful, and my family and I are not immune to that. This year, moreso than any other really, money is tight, so I worry about the presents for the kids. That's my biggest focus this year- making sure my kids don't feel the pinch that we've gotten ourselves into.

Ghoulia Yelps
So far this season, we've spent $182.00 on the kids for Christmas. For that $182.00, I've gotten my son some Lego figurines he wanted (the ones with the spiky hair from Exoforce, for those that speak Lego), my daughter 10 Goosebumps books, and, as their 'big' present, a Nintendo Wii with four games- Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Sonic Riders Zero Gravity, and Animal Crossing. My secret so far this year is ebay. I started shopping early, watched auction after auction until I pounced on the ones I could tell were good deals, and I NEVER went above my pre-determined budget amount for whatever I was buying. So yes, the Wii and extras are all used, but, come Christmas morning when they head into the living room and see that Santa already set up the Wii for them, they honestly will never know it was used. And the other presents are used, too, but, I ended up spending $10 for the 3 Lego Exoforce figurines (the only thing my son is really worried about), instead of $40 for the entire Exoforce kit that comes with maybe 2 guys. That's why I love ebay. Now, if only I can win an auction for that Monster High doll, Ghoulia Yelps, I want to get for my daughter. It's the 'it' toy this year, sold out at Target (the main retailer), and go for $40+ mostly everywhere right now. My max budget for this item is $25, and gosh darnit, if I have to check ebay each and every day and sacrifice a chicken to the Monster High gods, I'll do it to get this doll for her for $25. (Okay, maybe not the chicken part, but you get my drift.....)

So, with the kids partially taken care of, and me constantly on the hunt for deals for them, that just leaves hubby and Z. I have ideas for both of them (hubby's, I've already tried a 'Best Offer' bid on ebay and was shot down immediately; now I have to wait for the 7 or so auctions I'm watching to play out, some of them not ending for 6 days- I'm impatient as hell- and I'll still probably get what I want for the 'Best Offer' bid I put in today), and Z is pretty simple (plus she's getting a homemade gift that's been designing itself in my head for days now).

Is it wrong to admit that I'm a little worried about myself this season? Yes, it's all about giving and not receiving, and as long as my kids are taken care of, I'll be the happiest mom ever, but hey, we're all human, right? There is an awesome feeling seeing that box with your name under the tree, and the excitement that comes with not knowing what's inside. I've always over-thought Christmas- tried to find that gift for someone that will just surprise the hell outta them; I do strive for the shock factor every year. And with money being tight, I don't exactly know how this season will play out for the adults in the family. I have control over getting hubby and Z something, but is the same amount of thought or effort going into finding me something at a hella discount, or am I going to be forgotten about? I've tried giving hubby some ideas for cheap presents for me, but he says he wants to figure it out himself. I applaud him for wanting to be original, but that doesn't mean the worry doesn't sit with me just a little. I'm an easy person to please; get me a hella good box of red hair dye and a few used books and I'm golden. Maybe a cheap pair of toe socks I can wear around the house. I guess I'll just have to sit back and be patient (not a strong suit of mine)...

... and continue to sacrifice to the gods of the holiday season. Sacrifice four hours of time spent on ebay for getting those Goosebumps books for $9. Offer after offer shot down just to finally wait out that 6 day auction to get it for the price I want. Needle pricks sustained to hand make that gift for the grandmommas. And having some cheap, good ol' fashioned hamburger helper for dinner once in a while so the money can be used for making Christmas just a little bit better this year (nothing wrong with hamburger helper, hubby just isn't a big fan). These are the sacrifices we moms go through for our families, and we have a smile on our face every step of the way....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Virtual OCD

So, today is a lazy day in the Tatted household. Hubby is playing Call of Duty, Z and the kids are Simming it up, and I am running through my daily blogs, venturing out to include more in my reading circle. I feel like I need a new look to my blog. I know, I've only had it for about a month now, but I feel it needs an overhaul. We'll see. I'm thinking maybe I just need to divert my need to design something to my Etsy store, finally get that up and running. Oh, Ebay. Almost forgot my auctions are about up. Definitely need to go check that, and the items I'm bidding on for the kids for Christmas....

Today I want to share with you all a 'need' of mine. It must be confessions week here at The Inklings of Life, considering earlier this week I shared a deep dark secret of mine (which, let me tell you, was put to the TEST this morning while I was reading a very horribly written blog about how to make money using your blog. Hubby and Z had to hold me down from copying the blog, editing it in red in one of my photo programs and emailing it to the person. Thank goodness I don't remember where I found this blog, and can hopefully never go back to it, though someone needs to clear my browsing history, now...).

I need to control things....

Okay, that sounds so wrong, doesn't it? I don't have this need to control my loved one's lives, or the finances, run the household, tell everyone what to do- that kind of stuff. My need to control things goes much deeper than that, to a level past human interaction....

I need to control virtual things. I will break this need down...

  1. My Blog. It seems on Sundays I go through my blog, rearrange things, add things, take things away. I'm striving for a neat, orderly, helpful, yet fun and entertaining look that keeps people coming back and isn't a burden on my readers (or an eyesore- that's the worst thing in my opinion). Today I added to my BlogRoll, added to the sidebar a little, and am contemplating losing some things in my sidebars. Urgh, always striving for perfection...
  2. Strategic Life-Simulation Games, aka 'The Sims'. Back in the day, I used to get off of work, fire up The Sims on the Playstation 2, and, before I knew it, it was 2 in the morning. I had to break that habit quickly, and now, because games like these are a flat-out addiction for me, I try to stay away from them altogether. But, when the need (itch) hits me, I end up staying on the computer for hours, barely having contact with the real world. There's nothing more satisfying than having complete control over 'people' and 'situations'. You want to go to the bathroom? No, clean up the mess you left in the kitchen, first, and then I'll let you go to the bathroom. Yes, I kept you up until 2am reading about Cooking so you don't go and burn down the kitchen again, but now it's 6am and you need to get up and go to work, damnit. And, yes, I have been known to lock all of the Sims into a room, remove the door, and let them panic. The Grim Reaper that visits them when they die of insanity is kinda cute. I know, I'm a horrible, horrible person, killing virtual Sims. Most recently, this need has been fulfilled by Trailer Park Tycoon. Yes, it's like Mall Tycoon, or Zoo Tycoon, or Rollercoaster Tycoon, but in this one, you build Trailer Parks. Hehehehe. The more rednecked-out your trailer park is, the bigger the turnout, the more money you make. So yes, Trailer Park builder, I would love to add a stack of tires in that resident's yard, or a plastic duck pond next to the pink flamingos in that lucky soul's yard. My trashy points are high enough for me to now recruit that Lottery Winner to move into my trailer park? Hells yeah. This calls for celebration- I'm adding a metal nativity scene and a big plastic dinosaur to the community playground, and I'll lower the prices in your swap shop. Ahhh, satisfaction at it's best.
  3. My Facebook. Sunday is usually the day I do my stalking on Facebook. I recently moved 2000 miles away from family and friends, so those that I still keep up with, I share my virtual love. I do control my Facebook heavily, though. I control who sees what, allow certain people to see what I want them to see, block certain people from seeing things, and, to be completely honest, I don't let very many people on my Facebook. I have to have actually met you, gone to school with you, or are related to you for you to be on my Facebook. There are a few exceptions, but it's a very few. I'm just not a big fan of drama, and Facebook seems to cause a lot of that. So, I keep mine locked up tight as a way to help control the outside chaos from coming into my family and my life. Sometimes it works, sometimes things fall through the cracks. 
  4. Ebay. OMG, the rush I get as that timer counts down to the last second and I'm still the high bidder. Thank goodness I won that set of Lego figurines for my son- he'll love them. WHAT??? Outbid IN THE LAST SECOND? CHEATERS!!! Oh, that makes my blood boil. But, it sets me out on a mission to find even a better deal than the one I was outbid on. And selling on Ebay is addictive, too, especially if you don't check it for a while, and load your 'My ebay' screen to see that you have been paid $63.24 in the past few days. Cha-ching! Money for more shopping on ebay. It's a vicious circle, yes....

Sunday does seem to be the day to feed my virtual control need. Hell, it's after 1pm here and I'm still in my jammies, with 4 tabs open in my Google Chrome. There were 7 tabs open before I started blogging, so, at least I've cut back a little. Yes, dinner will be started here soon, the kids' homework finished up, a load or two of laundry done, and a family movie watched (We watched Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore last night- everyone in the house, including me, hubby and Z, were laughing so hard, especially at the pigeon, Seamus. Amazing!!). But for now, I will feed my need a little bit more. Auctions are ending on Ebay, need to double check my blog look, and pull up my Etsy store....

Ahh, lazy Sundays....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vain Little Zombie Kitty

It's Saturday, so you all know what that means...

Zombie Kitty Saturday!!

Hey, wait, that's ME!! How do I pause this thing.....

I have mentioned to you all before that Zombie Kitty is obsessed with my laptop. She sits on the armrest of the sofa and watches my screensaver, which scrolls through pictures. This day, when she saw the picture of herself, she lunged at the computer, complete with her hand on the touch pad- so adorable!!

Just Married with Coupons

Friday, November 19, 2010

Let's Go Hunting Daddy

I realized I've had something stuck in my head for a few days. Today's the day to get it out.

Hi, everyone. My name is Tatted Mom, and I'm a Grammar Nazi. There, I said it.

Admitting it is the first step, right?

Grammar, punctuation, spelling- it all drives me up the wall!

Oh, and that comes with another confession. Uh, this one is hard for me to admit. Let me take a deep breath first, stretch my fingers a bit so I can be ready to type this.....

I'm a Comma Whore.

Oh, it feels so good to get that out there. I love commas. If I am ever in doubt, I stick a comma in for pausing effect. (Grr, 'affect' and 'effect' are my nemesis- more on that later...) I love to have my thoughts clearly portrayed, so, when I read my post before hitting 'publish', if I paused in my head, you get a comma. Are all of my commas necessary? Probably not. Oh, well, I love them!

So, I'm a Grammar Nazi and a Comma Whore. Whew, that sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer, doesn't it?

One of my largest pet peeves in the world is grammar- using the wrong 'its' or 'there', or spelling, or punctuation. For the love of *insert personal deity here* USE PUNCTUATION!! Why, you ask?

Let's go hunting Daddy.

Wait, what? Like, hunting to kill? The kids' Dad? Does he get a head start? This woman is crazy....

Try this: Let's go hunting, Daddy.

Ahh, the kid wants to go hunting with their Dad. Makes SO much more sense now....

Punctuation. Exactly.

Found these online and got happy!
Picture courtesy of The Temple of Commerce

Then there's the whole 'its, it's', 'there, their and they're', 'affect' and 'effect', etc. The first two are easy- taught in 2nd grade English class. It just takes a second when you are writing to get those straight. 'Affect' and 'effect' have always pissed me off. I have looked up the definitions of both, of when to use them correctly, and I still don't get it. I've had people explain it to me in words a preschooler can understand- still don't get it. So, I've finally come to terms with the fact I may never use 'affect' and 'effect' correctly. Thus is life.... (The picture to the right is of actual labels I found for sale online. The smart-ass in me wants to buy some right now! I found them at The Temple of Commerce.)

Through modern day technology, spelling should no longer be an issue. Spell check is found on every publishing or writing program out there. So, if spelling isn't your forte, there's easy help for that. Click the button, check the highlighted words, and go from there. It's not rocket science.

Now, with all of these confessions today, you might think I'm one of those proper texters, too. Nope, not me. For the sake of brevity, I will use 'u' for 'you', 'ur' for 'your', 'brb' for 'be right back', 'omg' for 'oh my god', 'LMAO' for 'laughing my ass off', so on and so forth. I don't use 'sry' for 'sorry', 'ttyl' for 'talk to you later' or any of the other extremely shortened forms for much longer phrases; I want the person on the other end of that text to understand what I'm saying, not to have to go google text abbreviations to know that I need them to bring milk home on their way from work.

No, I have never read the book, 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves', but I have heard amazing things about it. Z has a copy of it. I must go snatch it from her shelf and  read it, if nothing else for the self-satisfaction of 'YES!! Thank you, someone understands my pet peeve!'

Most days, my Grammar Nazi personality lies dormant; I can control it. Then, there are some days I'll read an article online and want to bring out my red marker and completely destroy my laptop screen- comma needed there, no apostrophe there, spell check here, period there and capitalize that to start a new sentence. I have to sit on my hands to keep myself from emailing the author and telling them to quit their day job. OH, and handwritten signs. Those are the worst. 'Orange's For Sale'. Who is Orange, and what exactly of theirs is for sale? Oh, you meant 'Oranges For Sale'. Well, that's completely different. Grrr.

My Grammar Nazi isn't a bitch, though. I won't correct people I don't know, unless they bring me something to proofread. Most of the time, too, I won't correct those I know either, because while it's a pet peeve of mine, it's not enough for me to speak up. Some people take offense to it, so I try to let the Grammar Nazi out as little as possible.

I'm so glad I could get this off my chest today. Being able to share my little demons means so much....

In conclusion, today, I have these for you all....

And this is your business???
So glad my kids won't be going there...

SO many things wrong with this one, I have no idea where to start...

So, wait, is it real or fake? I'm confused....