Friday, October 24, 2008

Bloggy Holiday

Dear friends,
I have gotten some very bad news lately and I need to take some time off from blogging to take care of some personal issues. Please remember me in your thoughts and prayers. I need them.

Warmest regards,
The Momster

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursdays Thoughts & Happenings...

It's been another crazy week here at the house. I'm beginning to think this is a new theme around here. Sort of like Murphy's Law applied to a family of three. I am still spending all of my time driving to campus or doing homework or playing chauffeur, cook, laundry assistant and general listener of all problems...big and small.

The Doodlebug got her report card - apparently earlier this week - and only remembered when I asked about it when I picked her up from school. Not that she had anything to hide. She made all As - which is great...and what I generally expect from her. Not that I'd freak out over anything else...at least I don't think that I would freak out. She's still enjoying the social aspects of middle school. Stalker Boy seems to have moved on...which is a good thing. He has another class for his connection in the afternoon so she doesn't have to see him. All in all, things are going well.

The UIC is busy winding down the fall ball season around here. I will be glad when it's over and done. Two nights this week The Doodlebug and I have loaded dinner into the Momstermobile and met him at the ball park so that we get some family time together. It's been nice - and definately a change of pace for all of us. Tonight we met him with chili from Wendy's - because it is cold and windy here. We sat in my car and ate and talked. All in all, a nice time.

I actually worked today at The Doodlebug's old school. Again, it was nice...but strange. At least I've met my 2 days a semester minimum so that I will remain on the active list. Tomorrow is yet ANOTHER quiz in Astronomy followed by The Doodlebug having a doctor's appointment for a round of shots. FUN! This weekend I have to get serious about finishing up her halloween costume. I'm not sure how it's all going to turn out, so I think we need this time in case we have to turn to plan C. In other words, there are not going to be any vampires or genies at our house this halloween. If it all turns out, I'll post a picture soon...

We are getting more excited about Twilight being released next month... The Doodlebug has acquired a poster for her bedroom that she wants to put up this weekend. And a calendar. And a "Team Edward" pin. Crazy. But fun. I'm just so so so happy to see her enjoying reading after all the drama involved with reading in the past years.

So, what are your plans for the weekend? Doing anything exciting???? Do share....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The American Dream....?

I have a question. I hope that you will all share with me your honest opinions. It's not politically driven. I'm not relating this to anything having to do with the upcoming presidential elections. I just want to pick your brain....

In this world that we live in today, do you believe that it is possible to still hold on to the idea of the "American Dream"? Or do you think that the downturn of the economy (for the past few years actually) is causing more and more people to reevaluate what they actually think the American Dream really is?

Has your idea of the American Dream become something unobtainable? What are your 'goals' involved in obtaining the American Dream? Check my comments - I'll share my opinions there.

Hope you're having a great and relaxing Sunday in your corner of our universe. Be blessed...and be a blessing!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fitness Fridays - October 17, 2008

Oh bloggy buddies, I have missed you this past week. Things here at Momsterville have been I N S A N E. Seriously. So much has been going on, that I don't think I could even begin to tell you about it in a post...so.... instead let's share something for Fitness Fridays.

Just a few things that I learned at my Dr's visit a few weeks ago where I asked him to address the fact that I am having a hard time losing weight.
  1. Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Don't skip on this. It'll help you feel full and also flush your system. Water gives you healthier looking skin. Believe me.... water is a good thing! And if you're like me and you have any of those plastic tumblers around that Walmart sells in the summer months, one of those equals 3 servings of water...I measured it. So gulp, gulp, gulp away.
  2. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise each morning. Whether you walk, jog, ride a bike...but 30 minutes! Every day... no holidays or weekend breaks allowed. This helps you to do two things: You'll get your exercise out of the way for the day AND you're metabolism will get a kick start that will help you throughout your day.
  3. Try to evenly spread out your meals. Right now I'm living by the 7/12/6 idea. That means, I have breakfast at 7, lunch around 12 and then at 6, we have dinner. Of course, I have to adjust this schedule on school days and nights, but so far, it seems to be working for me.

And there you have it - Slacker Tips for Dieting. LOL That sounds funny to me. But apparently this is working...my favorite (means most comfortable) blue jeans are getting baggy. I can feel the changes in my body... but I'm not weighing myself until the end of the month. I don't want to jinx it and become a weighing-obsessed momster.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Tell someone how much you love them...it's something we all love to hear.

Toodles,

The Momster

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

W4MW - Tips For Saving On Your Power Bill

Today's Works For Me Wednesday is following along with the current state of economy. I figure we could all stand to save a little however we can...so I wanted to share the following information with you. If you've got a good tip for saving on your power bill, please leave it in the comments - every little bit helps.

Did you know that 52% of your power bill is for heating and cooling your home? With everything going up thanks to the soaring gas prices at the pump, I wanted to share with you the following energy efficiency tips.


  1. Set your thermostats to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 in the winter. Each degree higher than 70° F can increase heating costs by 1-3%, and each degree below 78° F can increase cooling costs by 3-5% or more. We have a programable thermostat and love it. I can adjust the temperature in the house for the hours that we are not at home so that we can save more money and also have it programmed to be cooler when it's time for us to return. If you have a heat pump though it is best to check the manufacturer's recommendations before installing a programmable thermostat.



  2. Properly insulate your attic, walls and floors. Did you realize that the purpose of insulation is to resist heat either trying to come into your home in the summer or trying to get out in the winter? Generally power companies recommend R-30 for the attic, R-19 for the floors, and R-13 for your walls. But make sure you check your local building codes - just use whichever one is higher.



  3. Make use of those storm windows or double-paned replacement windows. In researching ways to save money, did you realize that if you have the single-pane windows, in addition to not providing great insulation value and resistance to heat flow that a lot of these windows also have metal frames, which conduct heat - that's right. They bring heat into the home in the summer and force it out of the home in the winter.



  4. It's important to make sure there are no gaps around your home's ductwork. This can cause your heating and cooling bills to increase by as much as 30%! It also allows air contaminants to enter your home. The best way to fix this problem is by sealing them with duct mastic.



  5. Have your heating and cooling systems professionally serviced once a year to keep them in tip-top shape. If you have an old system, consider having it replaced with a more efficient system.



  6. Check your refrigerator and freezer for any significant energy loss. Make sure they are as full as possible and that the seals are in good condition. Don't put refrigerators or freezers in unconditioned garages if possible.



  7. Switch to high effieciency Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than the traditional light bulb and they operate at cooler temperatures. We have even replaced all of the bulbs in our hallway lights with these - they are great.



  8. Change your filters once a month during the heating and cooling seasons. If you use pleated filters, change them at least every three months.



  9. Wrap electric water heaters in an insulated blanket. Make sure that you read all of the directions from the manufacturer.



  10. Check the caulk and weatherstripping around your doors and windows. If the caulk is cracked or the stripping is flat or peeling, replace it.

Now why not head over the Rocks In My Dryer and see what other tips bloggers are sharing today?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh NO! Meme Taggage Ahead...

Well friends, Sheila over at Ma Vie Folle has tagged me .... so here goes:
So here are the instructions:
Go to your sixth picture folder.
Pick your sixth picture.
Try to remember the details.
Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Ah, the face on an angel. This is The Doodlebug in her younger, wilder years...letting us know what she thinks. She the intent expression on her face? It's probably because Daddy was getting ready to make her put on some shoes.
Shoes? We don't need shoes! And socks? What are these, some new torture device? Are you people crazy?
Yes, that's exactly how I remember it.
So let the fun begin. I'm going to take The Source, Scrappy Girl and Jo. Can't wait to see your six-in-six.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What Do You Think?

Well I would put this up as a poll, but the 'makeup debate' is still going on... So I'm just going to put this out there. I met a friend early this morning for coffee...we never seem to have any time to catch up, so we made a date bright and early for some Starbucks :) Yummy.

Anyway, she was filling me in on what's been going on and I was doing the same. She was telling me about a friend of hers who is having some marital problems (remember, I am like Lucy from the Peanuts...the doctor is in) and she asked me if I thought an emotional affair is worse than a physical one? That's an interesting question....and I do have an opinion on this one.

See, I think if a man is involved in an emotional affair it is far worse than a physical one. I can remember being young and being talked to in the youth group at church (well high school to college age) and the speaker said that boys will use 'love' for nooky (gotta watch the potty mouth) and a girl will use nooky for 'love'. I think that men can easily detach that emotional aspect from a relationship if they are only after the physical side. But I believe if they are attached emotionally, then it is far worse. So, in short...yes, I believe an emotional relationship is much worse.

But this got me thinking on my drive back the house...and mind you, I'm all jacked up on Caramel coffee goodness....but what do you think? Care to leave a comment...curious minds want to know.

C.O.W. October 12, 2008

First off, I have to give out a big YIPPEE! Midterms are behind me and I am hoping to enjoy the few days that I have off from my classes this week. If feels like I've won the lottery just by not having to leave and go sit in lectures. My Biology mid-term - yikes! I did not perform up to my personal standards, but I didn't expect to do well...and actually got a better grade than I thought I would. Astronomy - took that one of Friday so I guess I won't know my grade until I go back to school. I need to sit down and calculate everything up.

So on to the COW... First, I need to get serious about The Doodlebug's Halloween costume. I've told her if I don't have a majority of it done by Tuesday morning, we may have to go costume shopping. I'd really like to have this one done and put away so that I can focus on some other stuff around the house. Second, I need to allow myself to refocus on my school work. I feel like all I do is eat, breathe, and sleep biology and astronomy. I've got to find some sort of balance. I'm thinking that I need to find a way to really make what my professors are saying sink in so I have the feeling I'm going to change the way that I study. Experiment a little bit - maybe even practice some self-teaching - because they are both very 'scientific-technical' when it comes to our lectures and that's part of where I've gotten lost recently.

What about you? Have any special projects coming up this week?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Twilight...Oh My

Twilight HD Exclusive Trailer


The Doodlebug was all excited about this...so we had a viewing event last night.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

Today is not turning out to be such a great day... I think I need a vacation.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this with you all...
Be good....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

W4MW - Organizing Mail

Here's how it generally works around here. Someone goes and checks the mail...and then leaves the stack some place inconvenient...like right on the table right before dinner time. So then it all gets stacked into a bigger pile because I hate going through the mail. I mean, bills and advertisements? No thank you....


But I've found a way to tame the mail monster. I am the person who usually checks the mail these days, but if someone else in the house checks it, they know to let me know where it's at. Usually while I'm trying to debunk that myth about watching a boiling pot, I stand over the trash can and sort through the mail. I trash anything that's not necessary. I open all of the utility bills and things of that nature and put them together with their corresponding envelope. And the guess what? I use my napkin holder to sort the mail! That way, when it's time to sit down and work on the budget, I have everything I need in one convenient spot.


It works for me. To read other ideas go over to Rocks in My Dryer.

Why Did I sign up for Astronomy?

Today in Astronomy class, we had quite a few 'talkers' who really upset our professor. We are talking about the same guy that I have mentioned on here before...but today he had some friends join in his merry making. Dr. Astronomy was growing more agitated with each comment or noise. At one point, he stopped discussing the information that we would need for Friday's midterm. I mean, who wants to be disrespected to that level?He made reference to the fact that we could learn it on our own. What? So guess what The Momster did?

No, I didn't duck tape their mouths, even though if I had a roll of it in my bag, that's what I would have done. Instead I leaned past my friend and said the ringleader's name. We'll call him Big Mouth. We had a brief conversation about his behavior, the fact that he was getting on my nerves, not to mention Dr. Astronomy's and that enough was enough. I think he was shocked. But you know, he didn't talk anymore during class. Dr. Astronomy then proceeded to share with us the rest of the information that we needed.

Did I feel a little guilty about doing this? (I didn't yell ... I spoke in a low voice, but I'm sure Big Mouth knew exactly what I was talking about...) Yeah, a little bit. I mean, it's not my place to interfere. I don't want to be thought of as the "Mom" in the room. But there's a time and place for everything. When you can see someone is becoming upset with a certain behavior, you nip it in the bud. And I'm not driving down there to be entertained with the current state of gas prices and our economy. He can go and be a clown somewhere else.

See what fun and interesting things I encounter at school? I still feel bad about being lumped into a class where we have more behavior issues than anything else. Dr. Astronomy often times looks exhausted after an hour with us. I am ready for this semester to end. To get out of these classes so that I can start focusing on my intended major coursework and hopefully avoid the goofballs like Big Mouth. This isn't what I had planned on writing about today, but it is really bothering me so I have to get it out of my head.

Ah, but tomorrow is yet another hour spent in Astronomy prison. I feel like I'm doing hard time...

Monday, October 6, 2008

When Are Girls Old Enough For Makeup?

This is a hot topic around here.
When is the right time for someone to start wearing makeup?

I really don't remember how old I was when I started wearing makeup. I do think that I was wearing mascara in the 6th grade. I'm extremely fair - with light hair. My eye lashes seem to be invisible if I don't have some mascara on. I can remember when I was allowed to venture into the world of eye liner. I remember discovering what shades of lipstick worked with my coloring and what was the best blush selection for me. Foundations have always been a funny thing. Even with a tan, I seem to still qualify for one of the light ivory shades.

Since The Doodlebug is full of inquiry into the world of makeup, I thought I'd toss the question out to those of you who visit my blog. When do you think it's a good time to let girls start wearing makeup? Do you remember how old you were when you started wearing it yourself?

I don't know about you ... but there are days when I cringe at the idea of having to put the very minimal on to go somewhere. Maybe now would be a good time to go for a makeover!

Leave us a comment and help us settle this once and for all. Take a minute to vote in the poll in the right hand column as well. And as always, thank you for playing along with The Momster.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

C.O.W.

Good morning.... it's a cool, crisp morning here in Momstertown. The birds are singing outside the window. There was a squirrel on the skylight in the bathroom this morning - which was rather strange yet entertaining. The Doodlebug isn't feeling well....so she is still asleep. The UIC is downstairs, catching up on all the college football scores. I've just finished my workout and am sitting here listening to some music. Very relaxed.

While reading Scrappy Girl's blog yesterday I noticed she had been to a scrapbooking party. It inspired me to dig out a lot of my 'stuff' and sort through it. So I carried a majority of it to the living room and settled in the floor. I watched Rumor Has It and Mr. and Mrs. Smith while I made stacks related to different holidays or events. I have discovered that I have a lot of stuff that is too babyish for the tweener world we have entered. So...

For my Chore Of the Week I am going to tackle my scrapbook stuff. I need to get more organized. I need to weed out the stuff that I'm not going to use and organize what's left over. It's amazing when you sit down to look at all the stuff covering the living room floor and think about how much money you've spent on stuff that you are not using. I am also going to check with The UIC to see if he will go ahead and put shelves in the closet up here (since the shelf broke recently...from my putting too much stuff in there!) so that I can organize everything so that I know where it all is at. And then I can shut the doors and the family room can stay scrapbooking litter free.

What about you? Got a project you need to tackle? Come on and join me... :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Museum Pictures

Last Saturday we enjoyed a day at the museum downtown. We had a great time, although the constant road construction almost had me lost at one point. Since The Doodlebug's favorite thing on display are the sculptures, I thought I'd share a few with you today.
Now I just want to take her to Washington, DC to The Smithsonian.














Friday, October 3, 2008

The Doodlebug

Obviously my scanner is not playing nice lately...But here is The Doodlebug's school picture. You can't tell - she has on a dark burgundy top and a vest. Actually it's the same thing she wore the first day of school. She is growing up so fast...it makes me want to go and compare this to last year's school picture.

Fitness Fridays

Here are a few random facts that are helpful to keep in mind.



  1. The little things are often your undoing. Two cups of coffee, each with two lumps of sugar and two tablespoons of cream, add up to 292 calories. Two cups with no-calorie sweetener and nondairy cream provide only 22 calories - more than a 10-fold difference. Be alert for high-count, sneaky calories you can easily avoid.

  2. With every decade past your 30th birthday, calorie requirements drop by about 10 percent. If at 40 you're still eating exactly as you were at 20, don't be surprised by the bulges. Unless you're exceptionally active, you'll have to cut back as you get older just to stay even.

  3. It's always a battle between the goops and the crisps. All the lovely gooey things - butter, cream, mayonnaise, salad oil, ice cream, gravies, etc.... have calorie multipliers in the hundreds, while the crisps - celery, radishes, cucumbers, lettuce, dill pickles (not the rugrat!), are low in calories; you can eat almost unlimited amounts and never notice. In fact, if you reject the goops in favor of the crisps, you may not have to do any other dieting.

And that is why I am known as Ms. Randomness around here. I like little facts like these :) Enjoy your Fitness Friday!

A Good Book

I know, I know...you'll be shocked... I'm reading aside from something about Twilight. Go ahead...sigh in relief :)

Seriously, I am reading "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks. Let me just say...Oh My Goodness! I found myself in tears today while sitting in the car rider line at the middle school. I'm about half way through the novel. I love Mr. Sparks writing, even though very few of his characters have a happy ending.

Have you read it? Do you like Nicholas Sparks' work? When I finish this, I have Nights in Rodanthe to start next. I think there's another Sparks novel out in the van as well. I'm utilizing the public library :)

What are you reading?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

My bloggy friend Scrappy Girl has tagged me... woo hoo!

So, in order to do play along, I get to share some more stuff about me with you...seven things actually, so here goes....

1. I like a WIDE variety of music. Right now on my Ipod there's Paramore (We are Broken, Crush, Crush, Crush, Misery Business), Paul McCartney (Never Happened Before), Matchbox Romance (Monsters), and there's even some Taylor Swift (Come In With The Rain, Pictures To Burn)and Yiruma. Let's just say I have diversified taste. Probably comes from growing up in a house where my parents' musical tastes were polar opposites.

2. I cannot wait for Twilight to start playing at the theaters. I am so glad that The Doodlebug and I have enjoyed these stories as much as we have.
3. I joined Facebook at the suggestion of a friend of mine from school because apparently it was a big topic at the reunion and a lot of my former classmates are on there. I hardly ever check it out though...and I get razzed about not having loaded any pictures or anything...
4. I am starting back on my health kick seriously today. I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon to get some blood work done and stuff like that. I figure there's no time like the present to really get serious about this. I mean, ya'll, I bought a yoga mat yesterday at the store!

5. There are some serious moments where I consider just going back to work full time rather than continuing with school. But then I look at my daughter and I realize that I am setting an example for her.

6. I'll hijack this one from Scrappy Girl. I do not like sleeveless shirts. I think that unless you have toned arms, you should not put them on display for the world to see. And that's why there are no sleeveless shirts in my wardrobe.
7. I am not afraid to color my hair. Afterall, it always grows back out. But this time, it turned out too brown. I'm glad to report it's faded a little bit... next time I'm going blonde again even though I really want strawberry blonde hair. Maybe I'll do that eventually...

Boy, that's all boring isn't it? It's hard to think of something that I don't normally share on here. Oh yeah, and The Doodlebug designed the header. She wanted to try her hand at it so she made me something quick for Halloween.
But now the fun...I get to tag 7 people....




3. Jo
4. Sheila
5. and of course, I just realized I have to scoot out the door...anybody else who wants to play along, please do so...leave a comment and we'll follow you :)
Have a great day!