Tuesday, July 31, 2012

13 Years and We Haven't Killed Each Other

13 years ago today, Hubby and I said 'I do'.

Wait, 13 years ago? I know what y'all are thinking. If you do the math, that would have made me like 12 years old when I got married. Thank you, y'all flatter me. I was *slightly* older than 12... it's a shock, I know (and by *slightly* I mean of legal age).

Holy crap, it's been 13 years. Doesn't feel like it. Maybe because we were separated for almost 4 years of that, or because we are just so well fit for each other that it feels natural and time passes without us even batting an eyelash...

Or maybe both of us are just too lazy to go about staging a murder to look like an accident or figuring out how to clean up a crime scene and bury a body without the cops figuring it out. Hell, we were too lazy to get an actual divorce, which worked out in the end, so I'm pretty sure we're too lazy to kill one another.

I've shared some of the banter between Hubby and I with you all before, because I do get asked a lot, especially now that we're back together, how things are with us. So, with today's post, I wanted to share with you all some randomness of Hubby and I. Some facts, some banter, all crazy, that has helped us survive 13 years and a separation.

~We were originally supposed to get married in October, but we decided to move the date to July so I could start college in the fall. When the fall came, we got offered a house on base, so we ended up moving instead of me starting college anyway. Oops.

~I'm the type of wife that would drive Hubby and his friends to a strip club, hand him dollar bills, hang out and not drink, and then drive their drunk asses back home at the end of the night.

~I'll set the stage for a recent conversation between us: Hubby was on the couch, away from the front window. I was at the window, which overlooks the pool outside.

Me: Good gracious, those are definitely fake.
Hubby: Black and yellow plaid bikini in the pool?
Me: (Paused for a second and looked around to see if he could see what I was talking about. He couldn't.) How in the hell do you know what I'm talking about?
Hubby: I saw her a few minutes ago when I was watering the plants outside.
Me: Wow, you failed that test miserably.
Hubby: I may have looked at her boobs, but yours are the only ones I want to get all up in between.
Me: You may have just saved yourself.

~We still wished each other a Happy Anniversary the 4 years we were separated.

~Hubby embraces my short attention span and how quickly I get addicted to different interests, and I

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Future Full of Drones... No Thank You!

School doesn't even start until Thursday, and already I'm disappointed in my kids' school this year.

Today was the meet and greet, where we got to tour the kids' school and meet their teachers. The Ginger is going into 2nd grade, The Girl into 5th (though we got asked today if The Girl was attending the local middle school... She needs to stop growing... Seriously). The school we chose is on the military base, since we've applied for base housing and are on the waiting list. Makes my life a heck of a lot harder for the next 2 months driving the kids back and forth to the base, which is about 20 minutes away, but will make things a heck of a lot easier in the long run once we get base housing.

The kids' teachers seem great, especially The Girl's teacher. The kids' new school seems to have it together; they teach life skills as well as basic education, and I really liked this. Life skills- you know, respect for others, responsibility, motivation... things kids need.

Things were going really well until I asked The Girl's teacher if she'd be teaching all of the subjects, or if The Girl would be switching teachers for math or science (common practice in the Virginia school system we just came from). No, all subjects were taught by one teacher, except for a supplemental math program done in the mornings once a week, and PE. Then she throws in that they were lucky to have been able to keep the PE teacher on this year, with all of the budget cuts.

My brain started working overtime, processing through the information that the teacher wasn't saying out loud. Me, being the outspoken person I am, just called out the elephant in the room.

"But the kids will be going out of class for resources like art and music each day, right?"

The Girl's teacher looked at the floor and hesitated before saying, "Unfortunately, no. We had an art teacher last year, but she was cut due to funding. So, the kids don't go to resource this year, but I do art projects in the classroom, because I feel art is still important to the children. They just won't be going to an actual art class this year, as far as I know."

No art, no music, and the school is lucky to have a PE teacher. Seriously? My heart hit the floor with her words.

We all know I'm the artsy fartsy type. Part of that is due to my mom being an artist so I was raised around

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Times Moving and Statewide Relocation Review

Alright, Inklingers, I told you all I would be posting a review post about my moving experience, and here it is, in all it's glory!

For those who find this review through a search engine, here's a quick snapshot of my moving experience with New Times Moving and Statewide Relocation: On a scale of 1 to 10 of my happiness with the move (1 being not happy at all, 10 being ecstatic), I'd give them a -523. Yeah, that's a negative 523. From start to finish, it was a horrible experience, and I wouldn't recommend this company to my worst enemy. For more details, continue to read below, and trust me, it's worth it.

Hubby called New Times Moving Company to get a price quote for moving us from Virginia to Arizona. This company, unlike other moving companies, estimates your move by cubic feet of household goods instead of weight. Hubby gave them a pretty detailed list of what we were bringing, and the representative at New Times Moving said he was putting it into his little moving calculator, and it spit out 400 cubic feet at $4 a cubic foot, for a total move of $1600.

We'll pause right there. Go and google '2 bedroom apartment cubic feet' and see what you get. Hell, I'll make it easy on you. The estimate of how much space the contents of a 2 bedroom apartment take up is 875 cubic feet. 400 cubic feet is a small 1 bedroom apartment with hardly any furniture. So right there, the company underestimated our move by half; keep that in mind, it will come up later. Yes, we should have done our research beforehand a little more into this, but the representative made it sound like we really had 400 cubic feet of household goods.

Hubby and I talked about it, decided this company must be awesome, googled some reviews and made our decision. We put down our deposit, scheduled a date for pickup, and started the saving money and waiting game.

After receiving our confirmation email, we get a call from Statewide Relocation saying that New Times Moving had contacted them about our move and they would be handling it from here on out. Hmph, a red flag was raised, but whatever, this must be how things are done. Spoiler alert: New Times Moving IS Statewide Relocation. Google Statewide Relocation's reviews and you'll start to put the puzzle together. Same company, same address (I kid you not- look at the 'Contact Us' sections of the websites- they moved a '1' over to make it look like it's not the same address) 2 different websites, 2 different phone numbers, 2 different sets of reviews so you are thankful, when you do your research like we did, that you are getting a company with amazing reviews. After you pay your money, you find out that Statewide Relocation, who has horrible reviews, is the actual company moving your goods. Yeah, no lube, no loving, you just got screwed big time.

What can I say about Statewide Relocation? They hardly ever answer their phone. When you actually do get

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Laundry Day Schizophrenia

Today is one of my most hated days ever... Laundry Day.

I'm pretty sure no mom out there likes Laundry Day. I used to make things easy on myself by doing one load of laundry a day to keep up with it, so I never really had a Laundry Day, but alas, that's fallen to the wayside. I need to get back to that, because knowing days like today are coming up makes me want to crawl back into bed and hide under my covers.

What is it about Laundry Day that sucks so badly? It's a major thorn in my side currently because we don't have a washer and dryer. Yeah, you read that right. Hubby's apartment doesn't have a washer and dryer hookup, so I have to haul laundry down 3 flights of stairs and across a courtyard to one of the community laundry rooms, then pay $1.50 in quarters to have 1 load of clothes washed and dried. Then I have to make the decision of whether to stand in the community laundry room and fold my underwear or just shove it back into the basket and haul it to the apartment to fold it. Anyone who has ever actually known me and visited me, knows that laundry doesn't get folded in my house. It stays in the basket, or better yet, a designated Laundry Chair in the living room (my friends who read my blog are laughing their asses off right now, because I know they can picture that damn chair, full of clothes. I can hear them now, 'Hey, MoMo, why don't you just fold these clothes?'), and you can just pick out your clean clothes from there to wear. I've been better about folding clothes since we moved here, because we need to sit in what would be the designated Laundry Chair (how dare we, right?), and because the cats would just lay on top of the pile of laundry and get it covered in cat fur. No thank you.

Community laundry room aside, I've always hated doing laundry. Loads of towels I don't mind. Those are washed, dried, folded and put away almost immediately. But any other load of laundry sucks. I think it's about time to break this down so maybe I can figure out a way to not think suicidal thoughts on Laundry Day.

Doing Laundry Sucks Because...
  • It Takes Forever. Load the washer, wait 30 minutes. Remove clothes from washer, which has to be done in a timely fashion or else the clothes will begin to mildew, throw them into the dryer. Get comfortable on couch, start to watch a movie, and an hour later, when you really don't feel like moving and have lost all motivation, you have to unload the dryer and fold the clothes before they wrinkle. If you have to do multiple loads in a day, the washer time and dryer time never match up so you can just keep a steady rhythm; washers usually take around 30 minutes, dryers around an hour. So you are always waiting on the dryer. Before you know it, one load of laundry has taken almost 2 hours to do. Yes, you can multitask and do other things in that 2 hours, but the dishwasher takes under an hour to load and run. Mopping the floor takes a few minutes. Vacuuming takes a few minutes. Scrubbing the bathroom takes a few minutes. Laundry takes 2 freaking hours per load. Blah.
  • Kids' Clothes are So Tiny. How many pairs of kids' shorts fit into a regular sized load of laundry? About 153. Doing kids' clothes never ends. Adult shorts? 7 pairs... that's it. That's all you'll have to

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Can You Suck Out This Vaccination? We Didn't Want It...

There are a few things in life that truly piss me off. I'm not talking my little anger induced rants that I'm known for going on here at Inklings, I'm talking about straight to my core upset me and make my blood boil. My kids are one of them...

Let me rephrase. Anyone messing with my kids, talking about my kids or harming my kids is one of the things that gets my attention pretty quickly, and not the attention that's full of my charming personality, either. Claws come out, the Bitch face goes on, and if there's a sharp object near me, there's a chance I'll grab it.

My protective Mama Bear side was triggered yesterday, and I'm not even sure if there's a damn thing I can do about it, which frustrates me even more.

We enrolled the kids in school yesterday. I filled out their paperwork the night before, and in this thick packet of papers was a letter stating that all children who attend this area's schools are required to have the chicken pox vaccine. If there were personal or religious beliefs for the child not having the chicken pox vaccine, that needed to be submitted in writing with the registration paperwork.

Y'all have to keep in mind that I'm a tree hugging hippie at heart. I allowed my kids to get their initial vaccines when they were born, but have fought tooth and nail against them since then. I won, until they both started school. Then I had to bow down and let them get the basic vaccines, the ones required for school, but declined all of the optional ones.

I don't like vaccines, sorry. I've done my research about them, and am not a big fan of my kids getting injected with diseases to stop diseases that aren't even around anymore. There's no telling what the long term affects of these vaccines are, either, especially these new ones that keep coming up. What if I'm allowing someone to inject something into my kid that 30 years down the road makes them sterile and I don't get grandbabies? Yeah, I'm the mom that worries about that crap.

Out of all of the shots that have been offered to my kids over the years (keep in mind we are military, so we get offered them right and left, sometimes before the general public), I have been adamant about declining 2 of them: the chicken pox vaccine, and the flu shot. Why? Because kids get chicken pox, it's what they do. I had chicken pox when I was 4 or 5, and then had a second outbreak at 13. I didn't die, I didn't suffer

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tatted Mom's Guide to Living on a Budget

I've never lived a lavish life. Even when I was at the height of tattooing, I could pull down maybe $1000 in one weekend, I'd always turn around and either stock the house with food, or buy the kids much needed clothes, or pay the bills for the entire month. I wouldn't say I'm bad with money, but I'd be lying if I said I had a savings account with even a dime in it.

So budgeting has always been a part of my life. Sometimes the budget has allowed for 'fun money', sometimes the kids and I have been forced to use our imaginations when it comes to fun activities, because that's all we could afford until the next payday.

Right now we're in the 'can only afford imaginations' section of life, because of the move here. The moving company we chose were scheisters (I will be doing a review post on them here soon to warn other people), and we ended up having to pay twice what they quoted us to get my stuff back. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for us financially and then we're back to saving money and living life a little more. I can't wait.

In the meantime, though, I wanted to pass on some budgeting tips, Tatted Mom Style, of course. (For newbies to the site, whenever you see a 'Tatted Mom Style' or 'Tatted Mom's Guide' post, you're in for an upside down view of how I see things. Yes, the tips are helpful, but there are some crazy ones thrown in, because I don't see the world the way others do.) These tips are great if you have an unexpected expense that throws your finances in a whirlwind for a short period of time, or if you need to re-train yourself with money and need a longer term solution.

Tatted Mom's Guide to Living on a Budget

  1. If you've never had to budget before, use The Envelope System to start. It's the best way to get a visual representation of money. Get a box of envelopes, and mark each envelope with a separate bill name: 'Rent', 'Electricity', 'Cable', 'Food', 'Gas', etc. When you get paid, remove most of your money from your account (keep in any money that used to automatically pay bills or bills that you pay online) in cash, and divide it into the various envelopes. When the money in the envelopes is gone, that's it. It keeps you majorly in check with paying for food, or entertainment, and is a great training tool. Personally, I don't use The Envelope System anymore, but I've had to do it numerous times over the years to get my brain back into budgeting mode.
  2. Just say no. I understand 'no' is negative and causes crappy feelings, but when you are budgeting, 'no' is your best friend. Tell yourself no, tell the kids no, tell Hubby no, when it comes to buying things. If you get into the mindset that you are broke, and can't buy anything, then it makes budgeting a hell of a lot easier. The funny thing is, if your financial situation is only temporary, it's hard to re-train your brain to say 'yes' again when it comes to buying things. That's not a bad thing, necessarily. It keeps you from buying things you really don't need, even if you have the money to do so. Your mindset is probably the most important tool you have when it comes to budgeting.
  3. Over-estimate expenses and under-estimate income. When you find a budget worksheet to

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Vow to Lose Pieces to the Negativity Puzzle

I think I'm about ready to scream.

With this latest Chick-Fil-A social media storm, my head is about to explode. For those that need catching up, Chick-fil-A's President made an anti-gay marriage statement a few days ago. This really shouldn't come as a shock to anyone because Chick-fil-A is a company that still closes on Sundays because it's God's holy day. Put two and two together people.

I'm not here to argue gay marriage vs. straight marriage, or to even comment on the news story at all. That story was yet another piece of a puzzle that I've been slowly putting together lately. My mom's facebook status from last night about the current smear campaign commercials that each presidential candidate has funded right now is another puzzle piece, too. And an old episode of 'Trading Spouses' that I watched last night where a family sat around the dining room table for dinner and just bickered with each other, provided yet another puzzle piece.

What's this puzzle I'm putting together? Why is my head about to explode?

The Negativity Puzzle.

I'm sick of what the world has become. It's full of hatred, bashing other people, and asserting opinions that just breed negativity, hate and contempt.

To run the risk of sounding like a tree hugging hippie... wait, I am a tree hugging hippie... What happened to love? What happened to 'why can't we all just get along'?

And, as a small jab at the Chick-fil-A president and all of those who side with him, what happened to 'love thy neighbor'? It's in the book you all hold so dear.

If the US has come to a state where presidential candidates can't tell America why we should vote for them, but why we shouldn't vote for the competition, why vote period?

Why would a president of a fast food company come forward and give his opinion about gay marriage? What business is gay marriage of his? Was he proposed to by another man? What was the purpose in further

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Vacations and Mom Guilt

Y'all will probably never hear a stay at home mom say this again, so mark your calendars now...

I wish school was not starting soon. I'm not ready for summer vacation to be over.

I can't believe I'm saying it myself. I'm pretty sure this is the last sign of my sanity being gone.

This year is different. My kids have been shorted over a month of summer vacation, and the Mom Guilt has majorly set in with me. We all know Mom Guilt, right? It's that guilt that we mothers have over the stupidest things that we either can't control or wouldn't have done differently if we had the chance anyway. I'm jumping ahead of myself, though. Let me back this up a second to answer a question I know some of you have: How did my kids get shorted over a month of summer vacation? Let's try a flow(ish) chart to explain:

Kids started school year in South Carolina: School year is August 15th-May 15th
Mid-year we moved to Virginia: School year is after Labor Day-June 15th

My kids' 2011-2012 school year: August 15th-June 15th
(One extra month of school already.)

Here's the kicker:

Moved to Arizona 1st week of my kids' summer vacation: School year starts August 2nd...

Yeah, you read that right... August 2nd... as in, 2 weeks from now... when my kids have only been on summer vacation for a little over a month now.

They've already been to school a month longer than most kids, and now their summer vacation has been cut in half.

The Mom Guilt is running wild. Some of my Mom Guilt is warranted, and some of it is that useless crap we moms carry around for no reason- the stuff we can't control, can't change, can't do a damn thing about... except worry about it, of course, and give ourselves another reason to feel guilty about something.

Like my Mom Guilt #1 about this situation: My kids' summer vacation has been cut in half, when

Monday, July 16, 2012

Farmer's Market Fail

Hubby and I decided to venture to a local farmer's market this past weekend, to get the kids out of the house, and pick up some inexpensive produce and other homemade goodies like pies, bread maybe, and whatever we could get our hands on as a good deal.

We were severely disappointed.

I haven't been to a farmer's market in years. I (incorrectly) posted on facebook that it had been since I lived in England, but while we were out and about, Hubby reminded me I used to go to the ones in Charleston. So, while I thought it had been like 7 or 8 years, it had really only been like 4 or 5 years since I'd been to one. Anyway, there were 2 for us to choose from; one was about 10 miles but a 30 minute drive to downtown Tucson... in the 'hood. The other was about 10 miles but a 20 minute drive up toward the mountains. We decided to take our chances with the mountain farmer's market.

We started the 20 minute drive, and I quickly started to question our decision because it appeared this farmer's market was in the middle of nowhere- some The Hills Have Eyes shit. Desert, tumbleweeds, torture and plenty of places to bury our dead bodies. We finally found it, and we saw a decent amount of cars, so we decided not to have wasted the 20 minute drive and park.

Now, you have to understand that we decided to go to a farmer's market because my past experience with farmer's markets has been nothing but positive. Produce was almost half the price of going to a grocery store because you were cutting out the middle man of the grocery store and going directly to the farmer. Handmade goodies like pies and bread are next to nothing because the people want to make sure they sell it instead of load 27 loaves of bread back into their car at the end of the day. And handmade art? They were setting up at a farmer's market, not having their own show at a gallery, so paintings were in the $20 range and handmade jewelry was next to nothing because there's 53 other handmade jewelry vendors.

We parked and started walking toward the vendors. There were a few outside booths set up before the (high class, I'm assuming) covered booths. The first thing I saw was some handmade mosaic tiles. Someone had painted and glued together fake gems and tiles to make a gecko. How cute... and $250 each. WTF? I can make those for about $10, and that's if I were to buy tile to smash instead of just find crap to smash. On to the next booth...

Handmade jewelry for $25 a bracelet; wood sculptures for $100 each; matted photographs for $50 each... where's the cheap crap? These people are set up in the middle of nowhere in the desert and are charging prices as if they are on the Vegas strip selling their stuff. Not what I had in mind. We saw the produce and

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How Does That Funny Phone Work?

We had one of our first family outings yesterday since the kids and I moved here. We decided to go to a farmer's market (complete bust, by the way), an antique mall, and then go walking around the mall and an organic grocery store. 6 hours spent out, as a family, enjoying the city and each other.

At the antique mall, we came across a booth with old phones in it. The Ginger started playing with a push button one, when I spotted the rotary. I asked him to figure out how to make a phone call with it, and when I saw that he struggled, I pulled out my phone (through the massive giggles) and recorded his efforts.

I had to video tape him, don't judge me. This video is hilarious to me. My grandmother had a rotary phone, and I remember having to use it to call my parents. Standing there yesterday, watching a boy who can beat 57 levels of the latest video game not be able to dial a number on a rotary phone... priceless to me.

So, here it is, the video of The Ginger struggling with a rotary phone. The video is about half the time he actually struggled with it, as I didn't bring out the video camera until he had been trying to figure it out for a few minutes.

Watching him try and decipher how this phone worked made me feel old as hell, though. Maybe next week I'll show him a cassette tape with a walkman and really make myself feel like a spring chicken again. Sheesh.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Love Means Knowing Scars

I stared at Hubby while he was doing his fantasy football stuff yesterday, and my eyes got dragged to the scar above his eyebrow...

The dumbass fell down a rock at our hole-in-the-wall town's 'water park' (aka a waterfall down a very dangerous rock) when we were dating 15 years ago. I missed the actual event as I was working that day, but when I got off work I tried to convince him to head to the hospital since I could see his skull. 'Naw, doesn't need stitches,' he and his friends said. Fine.

15 years later, it's a pretty decent scar. I ran my finger over it, and Hubby stopped his fantasy football stuff for a second. 'I definitely should have gotten stitches, huh?' I laughed and rolled my eyes.

My eyes were carried down to the big scar under his chin. For this one, the dumbass got into a car with a drunk guy to make a beer run (a car, I must add in here, that for some reason I had a random fit of psychic-ness and told him not to get into before I went home that night, even though that guy hadn't been around in weeks; did he listen to my random psychic episode? No...), which ended in said drunk guy passing out behind the wheel and taking out a light pole with the car. This scar was about 14 years old, and because the accident happened at like 5 in the morning, I'll never forget my phone (and by 'my phone' I mean the landline at my parents' house because I was still in high school) ringing at 6 in the morning, my mom barging into my room with "Telephone for you... at 6 in the morning. This is ridiculous, don't you think?" and me hearing, 'Hey, girl, how are you?' on the other end... one of my best friends at the time. 'Sleeping, that's how I am... It's 6 in the morning, you know that, right?' 'Yeah, I know. Look, something's happened. He's okay, but there's been an accident. You should probably get to the hospital.'

For that scar, I sat in the ER with him and picked glass out of his forehead (his chin had hit the dashboard, so no glass there). Nothing says true love like picking glass out of your loved one's head... seriously.

I got up off of the bed, and my eyes saw the big scar that runs down the top of Hubby's head. For this scar,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Reading Resources for the Home

I may have started a little late, but with the move and settling in, I'm better late than never. I wanted a fun way to encourage my kids to read this summer, so I spent a few hours scouring the internet for summer reading resources.

There were a lot, let me tell y'all. 

I wanted to include my two favorite ones here, the two I printed out for my kids to use this summer. I'm including links to them so you can head to the actual site and download them yourselves if you like them.

The first one is from the YMCA in Seattle. They have an amazing section dedicated to Making Summer Reading Fun with tips, a downloadable challenge chart (picture seen below), and reading lists for kids. I printed this one out for my kids as a way to chart daily reading. We've set our 500 point goal as one family fun activity like miniature golf or laser tag, and the 1000 point goal as an entire day of family fun activities at the local fun park. The kids are pretty excited.

Courtesy of YSummer.org

The second one is courtesy of Papercourt Ponderings' Summer Reading Motivation post. My kids LOVE Bingo, so when they saw this spitting out of our printer, they actually got excited. Papercourt Ponderings has

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Good News and Bad News from Doogie Howser

Have you ever had a doctor tell you that you are healthy and you became instantly depressed? No? Only me? Great...

I've been battling with a few things for, well looking back, a few years now. It came to a head about 8 months ago when I gained an ass load of weight in a short amount of time, and when I got up every morning to exercise, counted calories and watched what I ate, I just gained more weight (and no, did not convert fat to muscle, I just got fatter). That's when I began doing some research, and there was one thing that tied my older symptoms with my newer symptom... Hypothyroidism. Coincidentally enough, I have a family history of hypothyroidism as well. Sweet, now just to get to a doctor and get it diagnosed, get put on some meds for it, and get back to living life.

For a quick health lesson, the thyroid is the gland in the throat that regulates your metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not working as it should, and is under-producing the thyroid hormones, pretty much halting your metabolism all together.

Of the symptoms (early, late, and uncommon) of hypothyroidism (I'm not going to go into extremely personal details here, read the wikipedia article above to get a gist, please), I show about 15-20 of them. Now, some of them go back years, and were diagnosed as something else when they came up, but here's one diagnosis that covers them all... sounds too good to be true, right?

Apparently, it is.

I went to the doctor last week to have my thyroid levels checked and to put my mind to rest with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. There was an extremely headache-laden visit to the doctor which yielded no doctor's visit (I was 6 minutes late for my appointment, so they made me reschedule, even though they were running 20-30 minutes late themselves) but they put in the lab work so the results would be in for this week's rescheduled visit. I had my blood drawn, went home, and started the waiting game.

I went to the doctor yesterday to find out my results, which I just knew were positive, get my prescription, and start on my road to regaining my health. Most of all, I would finally have answers to some of my most burning health questions, and all would make sense again in my little world.

Then Doogie Howser walked into my exam room. Seriously, this kid couldn't have been more than 24,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Failing as an Artistic Parent

I have seriously failed as a parent.

Okay, that's a little harsh for this particular topic today. I'll rephrase.

I've seriously failed as an artistic parent.

This weekend was the first full weekend we've had as a family since we first flew in a few weeks ago. Hubby's job has him work a lot of weekends, or at least go in for a few hours one of the days, but this weekend he had no weekend duty. The bad thing is, we're broke. We have a house full of food thanks to my amazing couponing skills, and the bills are paid, but because of needing to save money to pay for the movers to deliver our stuff next week, we're broke right now. So having a full weekend together isn't as glamorous as we hoped it would be.

Oh well, I just looked at it as a way to further exercise my new frugal ways, and figure out something for us to do that's either free or hella cheap, and fun. As I began researching on the internet, I found that our local art museum had free admission for military members. Hells yes, an art museum. I pitched the idea to Hubby, and was met with...

"That's boring."

What? What? An art museum is not boring. I decided to go over his head and take my proposition to the kids. They'd be excited about an art museum.

I pitched the idea to The Girl first, who stared at me like I had grown a second head. "That's boring" she said.

Hubby burst out laughing.

I called The Ginger into the room. I pitched the idea to him (after telling Hubby and The Girl to keep their mouths shut so they didn't persuade him to the dark side), and after thinking about it, he replied, "I think Y-E-S" and smiled this huge smile.

That's when it hit me that I've failed one of my children as an artistic parent. Before The Girl left the room, I asked her why she thought the art museum would be boring.

"It just sounds like it would be, Mom. Just walking around looking at drawings and stuff. Seems lame."

Her words stabbed right through my little artistic heart.

"How on earth could you say that, honey? Art is not boring. It's a form of expression. People put their hearts

Sunday, July 8, 2012

'Are Batman and Spiderman Friends?' and More in the 13%

I'm here to let out a big motherhood secret today. Y'all can hate me for what I'm about to say, but when you really think about it, what I say is the truth.

87% of what comes out of my children's mouths is either irrelevant, pointless or designed to piss me off (even though that may not be their intention). The other 13% is comprised of telling me something legitimate, asking thought-provoking questions, or making me laugh. That's it, just 13%.

I'm so glad I could get that out, and admit what most moms won't admit.

My kids are 10 and 7, and are both at the ages of opening their mouths just to hear themselves speak. They don't go a moment all day long without speaking, singing, or making noises with their mouths. I never realized, until I started being around them 24/7, that they were this... outspoken vocal annoying (I'm not sugar coating shit in this post today, I'm laying it all out). I count down the minutes during the day until they go to sleep at night. Not because I hate my kids or anything, but just to have it silent in this small ass apartment.

Courtesy of zazzle.com
Please don't misunderstand me, I absolutely love my children. They were both blessed with intelligence, are both honor roll students, are talented in various areas, and I do enjoy their company... when they are applying their intelligence before opening their mouths or aren't feeding this need to constantly be making sounds.

I'll let y'all in on another motherhood secret. You know that saying, 'There is no such thing as stupid questions'? Yeah, throw that right out of the window. There are stupid questions. There are very stupid questions. There are questions that, when my kids ask them, I wonder if aliens came down, removed their brains and replaced them with jello mush.

Here's an example for you: The other day it was around 5:30 at night and I had placed sausage, rice and a

Friday, July 6, 2012

Scratching That Itch (Watch Out, it Could Be Contagious)

Inspiration comes from weird sources; any artist, writer, or musician knows that. I have gotten inspiration from some doozies of places before- meditations, dreams, necessity, boredom.

This one may top it off, though.

Hubby got me addicted to the show 'Weeds'. For those that aren't familiar, it's about a suburban mom who sells weed to keep up her lap of luxury after her husband suddenly drops dead. That's how it starts, and slowly Nancy finds herself dealing with gangsters and mafia, growing weed, making deals with the DEA, all kinds of crazy stuff.

When I say I'm addicted, Hubby got me to watch an episode this past weekend, and I'm already half way through season 5... that's a lot of 'Weeds' watching.

It's in this show that I've found some inspiration. No, I'm not going to be turning into a suburban mom who makes weed the family business, don't worry. But, it's made me want to do something. What that something is, I haven't quite figured out yet, but the itch has started.

This type of thing happens to me every so often, and while I love it and ride the inspiration wave until it ends, Hubby hates it. No, no, not even hates, I'm sure Hubby loathes it. We've been through this so much in the last 10 years, separated or not, that when I say, 'I have an itch', he knows there's no telling what will come out of my mouth next.

It started about 8 years ago when we lived in England and well, I got bored. I was going to craft fairs

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pageant Moms and Michael Vick

Fans of the Inklings facebook page know that a few weeks ago I discovered Toddlers and Tiaras for the first time.
Courtesy of Georgetown Indy

Someone please tell me why no one has given these mothers Shaken Mother Syndrome yet. What in the hell is wrong with them?

I'm jumping ahead of myself, aren't I? I'll start with a story- a confessional.

I was in a pageant once. Yep, you read that right, Tatted Mom was in a pageant. This is a part of me that not too many people know about (past high school, that is), so I'm just pulling some skeletons out today. I won my local, small town teen pageant in 1994. Yes, I got a tiara and a sash that said, 'Miss 1994 Teen Stick-in-the-Woods-Town' (not the name of my hometown, but y'all get the idea), and trophies. Yes, I still have them. No, I won't put them on and take a current picture, sorry.

Of the different categories I participated in, the one I'm most proud of winning wasn't even the overall pageant. It was the 'Miss Personality' category. I rock in the category of personality, and I have a trophy to prove it, so Ha!

Anyway, me being in a pageant isn't what you think. A friend of mine was big into the pageant scene, and for some reason couldn't compete that year. Her parents wanted to still be a part of the pageant that year, so they sponsored me to go compete in her place. I was a soccer playing tomboy, not a girlie pageant girl. I did it anyway, and just to show you how much of a non-pageant person I was, when it came to the end of the pageant and they announced the winner, they first did it by the number we had pinned to us. I was number 6, and when they announced second runner up and first runner up and neither was me, I thought, 'Hmph, I didn't even place. Oh, well.' Then, they announced the winner of the Miss Teen pageant as contestant number 6, and I just kept clapping  like I had for the second and first runner ups. That's when I noticed everyone in the audience was looking at me and my mom was going crazy. I had to look down and see that I was contestant number 6. Yeah, that really happened.

To further my 'I'm not a pageant girl' evidence, the next year I had to give the crown away to the new winner. I didn't even make the main pageant part because I was at a soccer game. We had to leave the soccer game, haul ass to the school where the pageant was being held, me, covered in sweat, and changing in the back seat of the car while my mom drove, to get there in time to jump on stage (hair just thrown backin a sweaty pony tail) and crown the new winner. She was a pageant girl. She went on to the state competition. I went back to playing soccer.

So, my rant that follows today isn't based on an outside perspective. I've been there, done that. I had a girl in

Monday, July 2, 2012

4th of July Dessert Goodies

With the 4th of July right around the corner, my friends over at SkinnyMom.com sent me some recipes to share with y'all. Made with fresh fruit and lower in sugar and fat than other recipes, they are the perfect addition to any cookout this year! 

Enjoy, y'all!

Skinny American Flag Fruit Pizza

Servings: 20

  • 1 16 ounce roll Pilsbury Sugar Cookie dough 
  • 1 8 ounce block 1/3 less fat cream cheese 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup Splenda granulated sweetener 
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries 
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.