Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Incredimail Giveaway

gift-wrapped-ipadGuess what?  Incredimail by Perion is giving away two (2) iPad2 Tablets this week to two lucky winners!  Want to get your name entered for a chance to win?  Click Here to go to the official entry form and you will automatically receive a package of five backgrounds in the spirit of the New Year for you to use free of charge.  Just enter your name and address and phone number on the official entry form and you'll be entered into the sweepstakes!

The sweepstakes runs from December 15, 2011 to December 31, 2011 at midnight.  The winners will be chosen on January 3, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. and will be notified via e-mail and/or telephone if they are chosen as one of the winners.

So what have you got to lose?  Go and enter!  You might get lucky!

An Informational Post

If you are reading Life in a House of Testosterone via our RSS Feed – I thank you!  I would also ask; however, that you take a moment to stop by our web site and check us out "in person" if you will.  I love the convenience of subscribing to RSS Feeds (I myself am subscribed to hundreds – literally!) and being able to just quickly skim through the posts to find the things that interest me...but I also like to take a visit to the web site as well now and again to see what is new and what has changed.

I have a few new items on the web site that I would like to take a moment to tell you about.  As those of you who followed me as The MAD White Woman know, I am passionate about my causes and do whatever I can via my blog to assist those causes that are near and dear to my heart.

Causes that I am Passionate About

Causes is a wonderful site that is dedicated to spreading the word about social issues that are near and dear to your heart. Boasting 170 million members, those members have raised $40 million dollars for 27,000 nonprofits to date and have had 400,000 birthday wishes dedicated to Causes.  I am a proud member of those 170 million members.

I am currently a member of and support 12 different causes that I would like to share with you and ask for your support in.

My featured cause is Stop Bullying.  I was bullied as a child in school.  I remember the tears, the pain, the shame that came with the name-calling and the belittling.  Being called Kibble 'n Bits (yes, after the dog food – meaning that I was the dog) in high school no less is just beyond cruel.  I still to this day remember the girl who started calling me that and the mortification I felt when she yelled it down the hallway in high school and everyone laughed at me.  I just wanted to crawl inside of myself and die.  With all of the problems that I was having at home, school was my only refuge, my only place to come to for any sense of normalcy and stability, and with just those three little words she ripped all of that away from me in an instant.

I was able to survive it and suffer through it.  Some children are not so lucky.  Depending on other issues going on in their lives that these bullies have no knowledge of, sometimes the bullying is the last straw.  There are too many of our young children who are taking their own lives because of the senseless bullying in school and in their neighborhoods, not to mention the growing epidemic of cyber-bullying.  It needs to stop, and it needs to stop NOW.

In honor of my children, for my birthday this year (February 11th) I am asking that friends and family members donate to the Stop Bullying cause on my Birthday Wish page at Causes.  I would like to raise $1,000 for this worthy cause by my birthday – and donations are accepted starting as low as $10.00.  On my web site you will see a section entitled Causes where you can click on the links to go to my profile, join Causes yourself, or make a donation to my Birthday Wish

Blog Buddy Love

Now on to some fun, uplifting goodies!  If you will notice on the web site, there are two sections at the bottom with blog listings.  The one on the left (Blogging Friends) is a listing of bloggers whose blogs I subscribe to that offer all manner of enjoyment, funnies, tips, and giveaways.  The one on the right (Creative Divas) is a listing of all the wonderful people who help fuel my creative addiction by offering great word art, templates, tutorials, freebies, and more.  Please take a moment to stop by their sites and leave them some love (you know us bloggers love to get love via our comments!) and tell them that Kimmi sent you!

Vote for Me Daily!

Life in a House of Testosterone is now listed at and would really appreciate a vote from our readers!  You can just click on the "We're on the Fence!" logo to vote each day or you can click HERE to vote for us right now!

Party Over Here

I love listening to music when I'm trolling around the internet – but find it rather annoying when a site loads on your screen and immediately starts blaring music out at you and you cannot find the music player to turn it off!  Well Life in a House of Testosterone is pleased to have a musical selection (currently entitled New Year's Eve Party) for your listening pleasure courtesy of the fine folks at  The nice thing about our player is that YOU turn it on, YOU select the songs you want to listen to, and there is a button at the bottom of the player that you can click (Pop-Out Player) which will pop the player out into another window and allow you to still listen to the selection available while browsing other sites!  How cool is that?  I am a huge music lover and will be sharing new playlists for you to listen to on a weekly (okay, try to make it weekly!) basis so check back often and see what's new for you to listen to!

Let's Celebrate!

I am one of those silly individuals who tries to find something positive in everything that happens, to always find the silver-lining in the clouds that darken the sky at times.  I found this totally cool widget from the fine folks at punchbowl that lets you know what the Celebration of the Day is each and every day!!!  For instance, today is National Chocolate Candy Day – did you know that?  I sure didn't!  You can also click the "yesterday" and "tomorrow" buttons to find out what you missed or what you're going to celebrate tomorrow!  How cool is that?

...and Finally...

It goes without saying that I would love it if you'd stop by the web site and visit some of our Affiliates (which you will find in the left sidebar at the top).  They offer great products and have regular specials – so there's always a bargain to be had somewhere!

In addition – don't forget to follow us at Giveaway Blogs, Mom Bloggers Club, BlogFrog, Networked Blogs, Twitter, and follow our Facebook Fan Page as well!


Christmas 2011 and Ending the Year...

Christmas Day was not the nightmare that I envisioned it to be.  Both J. and T. were thrilled with the presents that they received (even if there were a few missing that were on the wish list) and even The Man Thing gave a rare compliment – "You done good Santa.  You done good."

Santa always brings a few sweets and leaves them in their stockings – and scored double points with a huge bag of Smarties and a box of Sour Patch Kids included with some other treats and their traditional holiday socks.

J. has been asking us for the past four years for an XBox 360.  We thought of getting the PlayStation 3 instead – but since T. seemed to be content with the Wii and Wii games, we decided this was the year – finally.  This look on his face will be permanently ingrained in my memory.  He had no idea that this was even a possibility this year (he had become so accustomed to NOT receiving it that he just stopped looking forward to it) and the look of surprise and then delight on his face was just priceless.  It made the wait worthwhile.

T. has an obsession with all things Angry Birds.  Santa hunted high and low for the plush toys or keychain or a T-shirt or something that had anything to do with Angry Birds to no avail.  Being that they were such a hot commodity this year, those of us who did their shopping 48 hours before Christmas morning were pretty much just shit out of luck.  My friend found these Angry Birds stickers while we were walking around at Wal-Mart and I snatched them up.  Who knew that some wall decal stickers would put such excitement on T.'s little face Christmas morning?  His room is now devoid of all his WWE posters and there are Angry Birds plastered EVERYWHERE in his room LOL!

After all the gifts were opened, my children disappeared.  J. to his room to play Modern Warfare 3 on his new game system, under his comfy new comforter for his bed that Santa brought as well – and T. disappeared to his room to decorate it with Angry Birds and then to play with his new games on the Wii.

I made a lovely vegetable dip and served that with some Wheat Thins while my family and guests were waiting for dinner to finish, along with some Hickory Farms summer sausage and cheeses.  Dinner consisted of a baked honey-glazed ham, homemade macaroni and cheese (which was absolutely delicious considering it was the first time I had ever made it – with a little help from my Facebook friends lol), scalloped potatoes, stuffing, collard greens, corn, crescent rolls, and gravy.

By the time everyone had finished dinner and the dishwasher was loaded with round one of the dirty dishes, I was exhausted.  I sat down on the couch to talk with my guests and spend some time with the family...and promptly fell asleep!  Talk about embarrassing!  They understood though and just let me catch a quick nap for about an hour!!!

So, as I said, Christmas Day did not turn out to be the nightmare I had built it up in my head to be; however, I swear upon all that is holy and just that I will not be caught at the last minute again in 2012 rushing around trying to find things that they have asked for for Christmas.  It's layaway or bust this year baby!

Naturally, with Christmas 2011 finished, it is now time to turn our attention to the New Year and all that 2012 will hold for each of us.

It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly the years go by any more. When I was a young girl, I couldn't wait for the years to go by so that I could finally be old enough to be out on my own, to start really living my life. If I only knew then what I know now, I would have cherished those carefree, responsibility-free years and enjoyed them as much as possible. I try to tell my children this constantly – to just enjoy being a child and stop trying to grow up so fast – but just as I did with my own parents – they roll their eyes at me and think to themselves, "Yeah right! What do YOU know?"

So, from me to all of you, I wish you a very happy, blessed, peaceful, prosperous, healthy 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

Do you have it?  Do you know what it is?  I think that it is lost on quite a few people in this day and age.  I know I lost it these past two weeks.  I've been dreading tomorrow like the plague.  I forgot the Reason for the Season, and fell into the commercialization trap.

Buy this, buy that, get them this, get them that.  WTF does any of that have to do with the real reason of Christmas?  Not a damn thing – that's what. 

I grew up knowing that Christmas was the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  I went to midnight service on Christmas Eve with my family every year till I moved out.  I sang Christmas carols as well as Christmas hymns all month long.  I went out of my way to be kind and courteous and giving to those less fortunate than me, and I always challenged myself to think of something new to do each year to give something back to those less fortunate – be it donating my gently used clothing or toys to a shelter, helping someone who needed an extra set of hands – I knew the season was about giving – of yourself, of your heart, of your love.

I failed my children in this respect.  We do not go to Christmas Eve services.  I do not read the Christmas story from the bible to them.  I do not ask them each year what they would like to do to help someone less fortunate than them during the holiday season.  They have never sung a Christmas hymn, or held a candle during Christmas Eve service.  They know the story of the birth of Jesus – but I don't think that comes to their mind first and foremost when you mention Christmas.  Their first thought is "what are we going to get?"

I stressed myself out so much yesterday, that I seriously thought I would have a nervous breakdown.  I couldn't find a store that had the presents they'd requested in stock.  None of them locally had the Paper Jamz guitars that T. and J. wanted, or the Cabella's Big Game Hunter 2012 w/gun for the Wii, the Sports Resort w/Motion Sensor for the Wii, or WWE 2012 for the Wii that J. asked for, nor could I find the acoustic guitar in stock that J. wanted, or the special pencils I wanted to get J. to go with his sketch pad.  I could have gone to other stores and possibly found them – but since I don't drive and need to rely on a dear friend or TMT to take me where I need to go – my travels were limited to a few select stores.  So I shopped with my dear friend and she helped me pick out items that she knew T. and J. would like as well...and consistently told me to stop stressing.  It finally started to sink in, and I could feel the muscles in my neck starting to relax – and hurt.

I went to bed last night exhausted with a horrid tension headache, and woke up this morning feeling as though I'd been beaten with a baseball bat.  T. got a video message from Santa this afternoon (ahem) that told him Santa wasn't sure if he would make it on the nice list this year because he couldn't keep his room neat and tidy like mom and dad have asked him to all year long.  While Santa did say that he still had time to change things around and get on the nice list....T. didn't hear any of that.  He was busy collapsing in a pile of tears.  While it had the desired effect (his room is so clean you could eat off the floor now), I traumatized my son by having him think Santa might not bring him anything.  Talk about feeling like a total bitch.

This is not what Christmas is about.

I made myself a promise that I would write about all of this so that next year I would be reminded of the hell that I put myself through, and that I would do whatever was necessary to ensure that my children (and I) remembered the true meaning of Christmas, and not fall prey to the commercialization of the season and the gimme-gimme-gimme mentality.  So if any of you see me slipping next year and forgetting – smack me upside the head and remind me, okay?

I'm off to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" with my children and try to salvage (and enjoy) what is left of the holiday season with them.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Am Stressing

I need to breathe.  Breathe deep.  I only slept about 4 or 5 hours last night, after staying up till almost 3:00 a.m. trying to get things done.  This is not what the Christmas season is all about, is it?  I shouldn't be so stressed that I am almost in tears and practically shaking from the thought of all that I need to do – want to do – have to do. 

I doubt if there is going to be enough money to go around to get everything that the children would like for Christmas.  So I think it's going to come down to just a few little things and that's all we'll be able to do.  There are doctor appointments next week, bills to be paid, and I am in my dark place where I just want to crawl in that little hole and pull the covers over my head and hide until its all over and done with.

I have Christmas cards still sitting here that have been addressed and sealed, but have not been sent, because I didn't have the funds for the postage.  I tried to upload the Christmas CD that is included in all of the cards last night so that I could at least share that with all of my online friends that I had promised cards to – and I couldn't even manage to do that without making a gawd awful mess.

My house is a mess.  I don't know how it got that way – but it looks as though a hurricane came through in the middle of the night and just demolished everything – or perhaps its just my wigged out brain's way of processing the clutter left behind by the children.  I won't even mention what their rooms look like.  I am too tired to fight with them about their rooms.  I have talked and talked till I am blue in the face this week about getting their rooms clean – keeping their rooms clean – and it goes in one ear and out the other. 

So I feel as though I've let my children down, my friends down, myself down.  I had such plans for being organized and on top of my game this year – and here I am once again, with less than 48 hours to go – and haven't accomplished an effing thing yet.

Next year will be different.  Come hell or high water – one way or another – I am not going to put myself through all of this again next year.  I'm not.  Christmas will be taken care of by the beginning of December so that I can sit back (like a normal human being) and enjoy the holiday season with my family the way that it should be.

A girl can dream anyway – right?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Followers Giveaway - Celebrate 2012!

How would you like to help me gain additional followers and, in the process, get yourself a cool $20.12 to welcome in the New Year?  Well now you can!  Since closing The Mad White Woman, I am working on getting the word out about my new blog here, Life in a House of Testosterone and need your help to gain additional followers and subscribers!

My goal is to gain a minimum of 200 followers for the new blog by January 31, 2012.  Complete the requirements below in the Rafflecopter widget to be eligible to win – and we will choose one random winner from all the followers (even those of you who are already following can enter!) at 12:01 a.m. on January 31, 2012.  In the event that we have not reached our goal of 200 followers by then, the contest will be extended until 12:01 a.m. on February 14, 2012.

The winner will receive a deposit of $20.12 into their PayPal account or, in the event the winner does not have a PayPal account, they will receive a gift certificate or e-card from their favorite store in the amount of $20.12 via email that they can spend online on anything they would like.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sloppy Joe Supreme

I love to cook – when I'm not being *pressured* into cooking.  You know what I mean, kids nagging in your ear that they are starving, husbands complaining that you never cook anything that they like (even when they are the one that requested a particular dish for dinner) – I know you know what I'm talking about.

I also hate it when I draw a complete blank looking into my fridge and cabinets and can think of absolutely nothing to fix for dinner that will feed the testosterone in this house to the point where they are actually full and not coming back in an hour looking for another full-course meal to eat!

This is a sure fire hit in my household – it not only fills them up – its quick and inexpensive to prepare!  Since its baked in the oven – there is no need for buns – and you can pair it with a delicious, healthy salad or your favorite steamed veggies for a well-rounded nutritious meal!

Sloppy Joe Supreme

15 minutes (Prep Time)

40 minutes (Total Time)

Servings:  (3) servings (you can double the recipe to make more)



1/2 cup of Bisquick Mix

3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons of egg product (or 1 egg white)

1/2 pound ground beef (extra lean works best)

1/2 cup canned tomato sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 teaspoon salt



(1)  Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  In small bowl, stir together Bisquick mix, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the water and egg product (or egg white); set aside.

(2)  In oven-proof 8-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain.  Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup and salt.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot.

(3)  Pour Bisquick mixture over the top.  Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.  Serve warm.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Today was not a good day.  I went to bed Sunday evening having a semi-panic attack because I found out (via Facebook no less) that my dad and my sister and the kids had moved out of the hotel that they were "supposed" to be in through the end of the year.  Why would something like that cause a panic attack?  Simply because the wonderful ladies at Take It From Me selected my submission for their Secret Santa Event to provide packages to families who had suffered some type of traumatic loss this year. 

I submitted a letter to them regarding my ancestral family home that burned to the ground on October 10, 2011 – in which we lost everything that my parents had worked so hard for, losing all of the remaining mementos we had of our beloved mother who passed away years ago – and to say that my family and I were devastated is a gross understatement.  Losing the home that my brother and parents and I built hurts nearly as much as losing my mother did.  So I was so thankful when they selected my father, sister, two nieces and nephew as one of the 14 families that they were awarding packages to this year!

When they informed me that my family had been chosen as one of the winning families, I contacted my dad and sister to make sure that they would be at the hotel they were staying at through the end of the year so that they would receive the packages that would be coming for them.  My dad assured me that they would be there through the end of the year as the contractors would not be able to have our home rebuilt before the new year.  So I provided the address to the hotel and their room numbers to the fine ladies at Take It From Me and they took care of the rest.

You can imagine the panic that went through me when I found out that they had rented a house for the next two months and had left the hotel on Sunday!  ( Update – thankfully the hotel staff has been extremely helpful and have started receiving the packages for my family and are holding them until my sister can get out there to pick them up )

So you know that when I awoke Monday morning (still not knowing if my sister would be receiving the packages I had won for her and my family) I was already on edge.  Naturally, the day could not just go smoothly – it was, after all, a Monday.  As I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and looked down for my little Mollyanna, I instead saw a bulldog face staring back at me!  My first thought was that she had eaten something the night before that had irritated her gums because her poor little cheeks were swollen and puffed out making her look like a miniature bulldog!  I took her outside to use the facilities and we came back in – she wasn't acting abnormal or as though anything was hurting her – she gleefully munched her breakfast with no problems – yet those puffy cheeks worried me.  Her poppa and I both attempted to pry her little mouth open to be able to check her gums – but neither of us could see where there was any cuts or red spots where she may have bruised her gums or teeth.  So I kept her close to me and kept an eye on her.  Within about an hour or so, her left eyebrow started to swell at an alarming rate and push her left eye closed slightly.  I called her poppa in a panic and got on the phone with her vet to see if we could get her in to be seen or perhaps have them tell us what could be wrong.

Apparently my little Mo-Mo had herself an allergic reaction to something she ate or to a bug bite of some sort.  The vet instructed us to give her a 25mg Benadryl tablet and if the swelling did not start to recede in a few hours to bring her in and they would give her an examination to determine what the problem was.  So we got her to finally swallow a Benadryl tablet with a little stroking and prodding and then we waited.  And waited some more.  Finally after about two hours the swelling started to go down a bit above her eye.  It took longer for her cheeks to finally go back to normal – but after a harrowing 12 to 14 hours – she was back to normal.

Scared the living daylights out of me.  I was not going to sit here and have to explain to the boys that their little Mo-Mo was in the hospital for Christmas (or God forbid worse).  I couldn't handle that.  Thank the heavens she is doing fine and back to her normal, playful, happy little self again!!!

Well naturally with it being Monday – that just couldn't possibly be enough to deal with.  Oh no.  I'm minding my own business...trolling around the internet and checking out what is going on with some of my favorite bloggers and friends on Facebook – when I see a news feed item about the Cheesecake Factory offering $100 coupons to their fans in which I was tagged – so I go to delete the post and instead of deleting it, it apparently downloads a coupon printer instead and my Facebook feed went NUTS!  All of these messages started posting to my news feed and tagging all of my friends in the posts so that they would click on them or attempt to delete them and have the same thing happen to them!

Talk about PISSED THE HELL OFF.  I pride myself in being computer-savvy and not falling for scams and being able to spot phishing scams and the like – and while I thought it odd that the Cheesecake Factory would be offering $100 gift certificates to all of their fans – there are companies out there who are legitimate and actually do such things during the holidays or during their anniversary celebrations.

So after a rapid shutdown of the Chrome browser, a complete clean-up of all temporary files and cookies and any other tracking information this thing could have put on my system, a complete virus scan and root directory scan, and then rebooting and going to Facebook and deleting all those horrid news feeds from my page – I was finally back in business...four hours later!

By this time, it was near time for TMT (The Man Thing) to be home from work, dinner to be started, children to round up and get in the house – and no time left to create or read email – nothing that I'd actually had planned to do today.

Tomorrow is always another day, right?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Feeling a Little Ms. Scrooge-ish

To many times I find myself feeling this way during the month of December.  I hate the commercialization of the Christmas holiday, I hate that the true meaning of Christmas is just lost on my children – and each year I vow that this is the year that is going to be different.  And every year is the same.  You want to know something?  IT SUCKS.

Here it is, just ten short days before the blessed event – my tree has not been put up, the only decorations that have made it out are the beloved pieces that belonged to my mother and my nana, and not a single Christmas gift has been purchased yet.  So much for my good intentions three months ago to go and put what the children wanted on layaway so that this would not happen you can see...layaway just didn't happen for whatever reason.  I always kept saying, "I can go next week," and next week came and went and before I knew it – here we are.

I have a *general* idea of what I want to get the children for Christmas – but it all depends on what the financial flow looks like...and right at this moment it isn't looking all that sporty.  Not what I would like it to be – let's just leave it at that.  So that is contributing to my Ms. Scrooge mentality at the moment.

Not to mention that I've been dealing with the tongue hurting from being bitten during my seizures on the 4th and 5th, and then Monday (the 12th) my broken tooth in the upper left rear of my mouth started to seriously KILL ME.  By Tuesday afternoon, I couldn't take the pain any longer and was in tears constantly – absolutely nothing was helping me at all.  I hadn't been able to sleep but about 4 hours total between Sunday and Monday night – and I knew that I had to do something before the night was over with. 

I was able to get in touch with the Hanover Interfaith Free Dental Clinic (which is only open Tuesdays from 6pm to 9pm and the first Thursday of each month) but unbeknownst to me, the 13th was their last clinic date until January as they were going to be closed for the holidays.  The intake person I spoke with was not sure if they would be able to squeeze me in, but indicated that IF I had all of my paperwork AND met their income qualifications AND they had a cancellation, that they would fit me in.  I just recently had to pull all my paperwork together to get the children qualified for FAMIS so that was (thankfully) a no-brainer, so off I went.  Got there and completed my paperwork right away before they got too terribly busy, and thankfully there were two cancellations, so the dentist was able to fit me in.  When he took a look at my poor mouth, he had his assistant and the director come lay their hands on me and all three of them prayed for me.  It took quite a few shots of medication to numb the area that needed to be worked on, but we eventually got it to where it wasn't *too* painful and the tugging began.  There wasn't much he could do when he had to pull a certain way to keep it from breaking – the nerve was exposed and the forceps were going to hit it – and we just had to hang tight for a minute until he could loosen it.  That was the worst of it – and within a matter of minutes the tooth was out and even with the huge hole in my jaw – it already felt 90% better.

I have NEVER had a dentist give me numbing medication without it hurting me to the point where I was sitting in the chair, fighting back the screams, with tears streaming down my face.  Out of the seven (yes 7!) shots of numbing medication I had to have – there was only one that seriously caused me some pain – and that was the first one that had to go into the roof of my mouth to numb that area.  The other six literally felt like I was being pinched and were over as quickly as they started.  When I got out of that chair and he showed me the tooth that was causing me such pain – I hugged that man until I think he started to turn blue.  In addition to being so supportive, caring, and understanding – he also gave me six 800mg Motrin tablets to take once I got home since I had explained I would not be able to purchase any pain medication for myself until Wednesday.

Thankfully, I now have an appointment to get the remainder of them removed with the same dentist, and I am on the denture program list.  If nothing else good came from 2011 – this was the best gift I could possibly receive.

However, with every good side of the coin – there is always a flip side, a not-so-good side.  I have noticed that (with matters regarding my health at least) it takes me longer to "bounce back" and be my usual self again.  So I am having to take things easy, go slow, and try to not do more than I am physically capable of. 

In that respect, The Man Thing has been truly wonderful – supportive, caring, chiding me when he feels that I am trying to do too much, too fast.  He's cooked meals, done laundry, and pretty much left me be this week to just take my medications and sleep as I need to and regain my strength and wits about me once again.  I couldn't ask for a sweeter person to call my own.  THAT has been all the Christmas present that I want from him.

Today, however, my living room was rearranged and our little tree is now set up on the table awaiting the children to come home from school to decorate it...and then we will be off to the apartment complex's office for the resident Christmas party so the children can get some treats and I can find out how the Christmas party was last night for the employees!  Unfortunately, by the time my man got home, I was in the midst of getting the children ready for bed...and then he got called out on an emergency call...and by the time he got home from that it was after 1:00 a.m. and I was already sound asleep.

"It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas" is playing on the radio and now that I've written this – I do believe I'm feeling a bit better and not as Ms. Scrooge-ish as I was at the beginning of the post!

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slacking on Christmas

I normally am *not* the proverbial slacker when it comes to Christmas – well, at least not a slacker in the decorations department!  The weekend after Thanksgiving has always been the start of the Christmas season for my family for as long as I can remember.  My mom would begin pulling out all of the Christmas decorations and tree trimming paraphernalia the weekend after Thanksgiving and by December 1st our home was always decked out in its holiday finery and would remain so until after New Year’s Day.  Usually the day that we children returned to school is the day she would take everything back down and pack it away – and we would return home from school to a house that had been returned to normal once again and the holiday season was then “officially” over and done with.

I try to keep that tradition for my own family.  Unfortunately, I actually am being a slacker this year.  Last year when I packed away the little ornaments that I had left (those which were not broken or light strands that actually still worked) I made a mental note that I needed to get some additional decorations for the tree this year and some lights – and I was NOT going to settle for whatever was on sale.  I want my tree decorated in silver and gold.  I have always wanted to have a themed tree – and I was bound and determined that THIS was going to be the year that I got my themed tree.

Guess again.

I should know better than to “plan” for anything – especially something like having a themed tree and specialized ornaments and lights and wanting a beautiful wreath to hang on my front door and lights to put in my windows to guide the wise men on their way – silly me forgot that every time I “plan” for something to happen a certain way it never happens the way that I want it to!  I have to be completely and totally spontaneous in order for anything to happen the way that I want for it to happen.

Having my seizures on the 4th and 5th didn’t help matters either.  While I did get my Christmas knick-knacks set up the weekend after Thanksgiving – the tree is still in the box in the closet (which was another “not going to happen this year” event as well – I wanted a REAL tree this year and not that fake crap!) and I still haven’t had the chance to purchase additional lights and ornaments.  I did promise the boys though that we would put the tree up tonight and what little decorations we have for it – so I’ll be taking stock of what I need, what I want – and then keeping an eye on the after Christmas sales so that I can go and put the items that I want on layaway so when next year rolls around – I will be ready this time!  Considering I only have roughly another 2 weeks of unemployment to claim before that ends – I need to make the most of it while I can!

What about you?  Have you gotten all of your decorations up yet, or are you in slacker mode right along with me?  When is your family’s traditional kick off to the holiday season? 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Been Having a Play Today...

Been having a play today with my Incredimail and Outlook programs trying to decide which I want to use on a full-time basis.  I love the fact that with Incredimail I can use a variety of skins for the holidays and have different letters to use, but I've been noticing that I am using less and less letters and just using the signature tags that a bunch of talented individuals create for me – which got me to thinking that instead of dealing with all the headaches Incredimail gives me by crashing every couple of weeks (probably because I have too much stuffed into the style boxes!) that I would just save myself the heartache and use Outlook instead.  But I haven't made up my mind yet because apparently there is an issue with my Outlook program – so I'm in the process of searching for the disc to reinstall it and see if that will fix the issues.  If I find it, and the reinstall fixes it, then I'll be switching to Outlook for the next month of so and seeing how things go from there.  If I cannot find it, and I cannot fix it, I suppose I won't have a choice but to keep on using Incredimail and hope and pray that they come out with a calendar program that works in conjunction with their e-mail program as well – because that is what I really need!

I will hopefully be getting Christmas cards mailed out this week – I know, I'm running behind (what else is new right?) – but they should all be out hopefully by the end of the week.  This is the last week of school for the children until January 2, 2012 – and I am already dreading the thought of being home with the two of them for two weeks.  T. is already starting to act like a royal pain in the toosh all because he cannot have noodles for dinner tonight because I've fixed chicken breast, stuffing and corn on the cob!  If he thinks he can throw a temper tantrum to get what he wants for dinner, he has another thought coming!  He'll end up in bed before that happens!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Concerts and Commencements

Yesterday evening we celebrated J.'s beginning band concert and today we celebrated A.'s graduation from college!  December has definitely been a month of remembered events!

Last night, J. was all excited about being able to perform for us and we were excited to hear him!  We couldn't wait to get to the school and listen to him perform.  He wasn't exactly thrilled about my snapping photos either – but I had to be sure the camera was working properly LOL!

The beginning band class played Good King Wenceslas, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Up on the Housetop, and Jingle Bells for us.  They did an absolutely FANTASTIC job and we couldn't have been prouder of our young man!  I loved playing the piano when I was in high school so having one of my offspring be involved with band at this early stage is a nice feather in my cap LOL!



I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of A. for graduating today from college.  I am literally just bursting with pride.  She has always been an exemplary student, always succeeding in all that she puts her mind to.


There were several times during the commencement address to the class that I was almost in tears, and yes, there were several that fell when she was called to receive her diploma.  I think T. and I yelled louder than anyone else in the auditorium when A. was called to the front!

12.10.2011 - Graduation - April and Tre

In case you cannot tell, that's T.'s "I'm proud of you!" grin!

april and mom

...and this was me trying not to cry!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What An Interesting Weekend...

...I admit to having.  I got to be the center of attention (always a good thing, but not exactly what I was dreaming of I have to admit) and everyone all concerned and worried about me – all they had to do was just let me sleep like I told them to do and I would have been fine.

You see, I had petit mal epilepsy when I was a child.  I had gone an entire year without a seizure from the time I turned 16 to 17 and the follow up EEGs that occurred after the fact showed that I had outgrown the seizures for the most part.  I continued to live my life as any other functioning normal 17 year old, and so life continued.  I didn't have another seizure then until my daughter's 1st birthday party – the last thing I remember of her birthday party was that I was trying to put on one of her tops and my friend (Kim) knew at the time that there was something wrong with me but not sure what.  They called the ambulance to come pick me up and the next thing I remember is laying in a hospital bed with all these strange people around me that I didn't know.

That was the last episode until my eldest son was born.  I had gone to the office to show off my new baby to everyone – and felt 'funny' while I was driving but I was still in control of my motor skills and functions.  By the time I got to my office though – it had already started.  I vaguely remember dropping my son before slipping to the floor unconscious but he fell on the carpeting and we weren't that high in the air so no permanent damage there.

The next time, however, was scarier than all three of these episodes put together. I do not recall which son it was – if it was my eldest son or my youngest son, or both (one of the drawbacks of seizures, they kill brain cells and mine seem to kill my long-term memory cells for whatever reason) – but I was alone in the house with one or the other or both until my daughter came home from school and was able to call My Man Thing and find out what to do. 

That was the last incident that happened about 7 to 8 years ago.  Until this weekend.  The seizures that I have had since becoming an adult are due to clear, grain alcohols, and also apparently the PM medication in Excedrin (which is used by Benadryl as well) – which I found out the hard way this weekend.  I couldn't sleep Saturday night, so I took two Excedrin and that did absolutely nothing for two hours later, still wide awake and unable to close my eyes – I took another one.  I think it was the extra one that pushed me over the limit.

Suffice it to say I ended up in the emergency room and then later was admitted to an actual room because they did not think they would have time to get the MRI done for me that evening, so I settled in for a night of needless worry by my family – I just overdosed on a medication – I'm not going to die here people – that was too strong for my system that's all.  I know what is wrong with me.  Thankfully they were able to get the MRI done for me Monday evening and, since I refused the anti-seizure medication, they released me – there was no reason to keep me any longer if they could not monitor my medication and how I reacted to it.

I am fine now – still very sore from the calisthenics around the bed Monday morning when I had a grand mal seizure and the gargantuan lead they put in my arm to give me IV fluids – and my brain isn't altogether there either yet, but its getting there.  I sent emails pertaining to my younger son and his class to my elder son's class and teachers and unfortunately made a fool of myself – they had no idea what I was talking about.  So now I'll have to explain myself to all of these people as well and hope that they will understand. 

It's not easing dealing with seizures because you never know when they are going to come on or what is going to trigger them – I learned in the hospital that a simple UID can cause you to have a seizure as well as a plain old sinus condition from a cold as well.  Let's just hope and pray that I don't get that bad off that those simple minor things start causing me to have seizures!  But I just want everyone to understand that it isn't something that we have control over – if I had known about the medication in Benadryl and the PM medications causing seizures I would have found a different means to help me fall asleep.  Sigh.  Live and Learn, right?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Counting Your Blessings

I have been in some excruciating pain the past two days.  Between my back and my tooth, I haven't known which end was up.  It seems this always happens when the weather turns colder around the holidays, so for those of you that I work for I hope you understand.  I'm off to hobble to the store for a cup of hot tea in the hopes that adding some warmth to my aching bones will help.  Do others of you feel the same way when the cold winter winds kick in?  I try to count my blessings when it does and be thankful for the blessings I have – that I am able to get up from my bed each morning even if I am sore and aching. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

J.'s 6th grade class had a field trip scheduled to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia on Tuesday, November 29, 2011.  I was excited about the possibility to chaperone when I learned about the field trip – I have always been a lover of trips such as these where you can see how others lived during a different time period and learn about the conditions they lived under. 

To see how their homes were decorated (or not), learn how they had to do things that we seem to take for granted in this technological day and age that we live in.  That is one of the authentic touches that I love about Colonial Williamsburg – the individuals who work in one of the 88 original buildings not only dress in period clothing (yes ladies, right down to the stays and the hoops and the petticoats!!) but they also work in the same manner that the colonists did – they use the same tools, the same materials, the same lighting (by candle and by fireplace) and they also heat in the same manner – with a fireplace.

We had chartered bus service from Winn Transportation (a special thanks to our wonderful driver, who kept those of us at the front of the bus entertained down to Williamsburg and back home to Mechanicsville!).  Our first stop once we arrived was the Milliner & Tailor Shop. In the 18th century, milliners were almost always ladies and tailors were almost always men.  They designed the clothing and tailored it to give the wearer proper posture at all times. 

We visited a silversmith's shop, a carpenter's shop, a gunsmith's shop, the Governor's Palace and Gardens, and naturally no trip to Colonial Williamsburg is complete without a trip to the Market Square!  The shops were absolutely amazing and I definitely will be going back to visit more often!  This may have been my first trip, but it definitely will not be my last!  Even though it rained on and off during the entire trip, it still didn't diminish our enjoyment of the trip.

Please take a moment to visit our photo album from the trip and view all the beauty that Colonial Williamsburg has to offer!  You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Google Friend Connect

This is seriously tweaking my last nerve – the only way the GFC widget will show up is when using Internet Explorer.  I've tried it with Firefox as well as Chrome and it won't show up at all in either of them, but works fine for IE.  Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to correct this and get it to work properly in ALL of my browser windows?

Scrapbook MAX! Giveaway Winners


I would like to congratulate our two winners of the Scrapbook MAX! giveaways that were held on the TBK Designs blog and The MAD White Woman blog!!!  They are as follows:

The TBK Designs blog winner is:


and The MAD White Woman winner is:

tmww winner

Be on the lookout for an e-mail from me with [Giveaway Winner!] in the subject detailing how to claim your prizes!  Thanks to everyone for entering the contest!!!  Stay tuned for more great giveaways coming up!