Monday, July 27, 2009

As appealing as peace and harmony may be, don't try this at home

The week before Mini Me's surgery, there was constant fighting at home. You know the kind that occurs between big brothers and little sisters. One night, I tried to explain to my boys that what their sister was about to go through was very serious and if they could muster up a little kindness for her, it would be really great.
Isn't there a saying that goes something like, "If mom yells, `Please stop torturing each other,' in the woods, does anyone hear?"
The day of Mini Me's surgery her big brother's fasted and prayed for her. It was their first experience fasting. To their 10-year-old credit, they did it willingly and without complaint.
After Mini Me came out of recovery and was moved up to her hospital room, they each gave her a kiss on the forehead and then went to grandma and grandpa's to spend the night.
Later that night, when Mini Me was feeling her worst, she wanted to call her "boys." I told her that it was 10:30 at night and that they were already in bed, but she insisted that she had to talk to them. So we called.
When she had them on the phone, she tearfully told them that she missed them and asked if they could play Super Smash Brothers when she got home.
I think that is when the magic happened. In that moment my boys understood how much they meant to her and how much she meant to them.
Since Mini Me has been home from the hospital her brothers have been so good to her. They play with her and fetch things for her. They make her lunch and let her pick what they will watch on TV.
Most touching of all, I think, is that Mini Me is wearing a bandana to cover the horsehoe-shaped incision and 16 staples on the back of her head. Her brothers, in an effort to show solidarity, have decided that they want to wear bandanas, too.
I wish that this isn't what had to happen for my kids to get along better, but seeing their little sister at her most vulnerable has changed things at my house... least for a little while.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This lucky, lucky lady shares her woes on her blog

I've thought a lot about what my blog means to me.

When I started my blog, I used it to entertain myself with the hope of entertaining others, as well.

Eventually, someone decided I knew something and my blog also became a way to proliferate information, as well. Which made me a little uncomfortable, because then I felt the need to write something worth proliferating.

Rolling toward four years of blogging, I'm wondering if I am missing out on some kind of opportunity by not marketing myself. I have never earned one red cent from my blog, but, apparently, there are people out there that think I should and I could. But, my fear is the minute I benefit monetarily from my blog, it will become my business and therefore my job and ultimately I would hate it.

My blog has also never been a place for me to share my woes. I figure everyone has woes of their own and if they are coming to "Anniethology" it's because they want know who the Idols daddies are or they want a peek into the life of nearing middle-age suburban housewife who can't understand why all of her friends are famous and she is not.

No, my friends, complaints about my life will be few and far between, because, honestly, I don't have very many complaints. I am a lucky, lucky lady.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, which I think the faithful are dwindling rapidly because am breaking one of the cardinal rules of blogging: "You read my blog, I'll read yours." Not that I don't think you are interesting, I do. I just haven't read your blog lately. Sorry.

Where was I? Right. If you are a regular reader of my blog you may notice that I don't blog a lot about my children or post a lot of pictures of them. If we are Facebook friends, you know I am a proud mama. But, "Anniethology" is and has been my own. It's not about my kids. I share my whole life with my kids. "Anniethology" is about me, hence the name, which I am starting to hate, but that's another post for another day, perhaps when the kids return to school.

So, after all that rambling on, I am going to change the purpose of my blog. I'm not out to entertain you today. It's the American Idol off-season. I don't have any unpaid product endorsements for you, either.

I am here to talk about my woes, post a picture of my kid, and ask for money.

I've put my life on hold the past few weeks to help my daughter through a medical issue. I know I'm being ambiguous. I'll talk about my woes, I just won't wallow in the details. I've been accused of being an optimist to a fault, but I think that's what has gotten me through these past few days. Look at that kid. She takes after her mother. Look at her smiling just minutes after surgery. Don't pity us. She is doing great. We are 99.9% sure the scary part is over.

If you are so compelled to make a donation to my Paypal account, don't bother. I was only kidding about the asking for money. Secret Agent Man has provided us with excellent insurance. Remember, I said I was a "lucky, lucky lady?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You multi-task, so should your rooms

Double duty rooms

The largest house in America is in Asheville, North Carolina. It boasts 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. It was constructed over six years and was completed in 1895. It served as the family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt. He had created a country retreat where he could pursue his passion for art, literature, and horticulture. The home is still owned by family members, but it is open to the public as a luxury inn known as The Biltmore.
The average home size has nowhere near four acres of floor space. According to the National Home Builders Association, it is more like 2300 square feet. Most American homes don’t have an indoor pool, bowling alley, gym, or home theater, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have those in your average-sized house. It just takes a little more creativity and perhaps paring down… a touch. Just like we have to multi-task in our lives, our rooms have to do double, sometimes triple duty, too. The difficult part is to insure that the marriage of functional areas can coexist without having to separate under irreconcilable differences.
Here are a couple examples of how the rooms in my home have done “double duty:”
The Laundry Gallery

Who says that an averaged-sized home in Fruita, Colorado can’t have its own art gallery? My children’s happy artwork keeps my new red, front loading washer and dryer, AKA “Thelma and Louise” company and staves of the drudgery of loading, folding, and ironing. I’ve collected inexpensive frames and given a place of honor to my kid’s creative creations. They love seeing their artwork framed on the walls and I don’t have a bunch of papers “cluttering” my refrigerator doors.
Not every art project goes in a frame. When they come to me with a new creation, we look at it with an art critics eye and we decide why it is good, how it is different from the twenty other drawings of Pokemon they have done and if it is worthy of an “art showing.” They learn to hone their art skills and I don’t go broke buying frames.

The Goffice

For a couple of years Secret Agent Man and I co-existed happily in the same office. When his “super secrety “ responsibilities changed from Operations Analyst to Acquisitions, it became clear that he would need a little more space and privacy.
If you are sneaky enough to catch a glimpse of his computer screen, what at first glance may seem like a harmless material requisition, is actually missile launch codes, doomsday scenarios, and other state secrets.
For weeks after being displaced from the office we’ve shared, I worked on my laptop in different corners of the house, but I needed a permanent space of my own to write my articles, blog, update my Facebook status and “tweet” with my “tweeps” on Twitter.
I recently set up my new digs in the guestroom. I bought a new desk and chair and moved it into the room next to my parent’s cerca 1970’s bedroom furniture.
I now call it, the guestroom + office or, "The Goffice."
Deciding on the furniture arrangement was not easy. I knew I wanted my desk next to the window so I could spy on the people in the park enjoy the beautiful view of the Colorado National Monument and the neighborhood park, but in order to do that, perfect placement had to be compromised (Note the bed partially blocking the closet door.) But, all in all, I am really happy with the result.
So, if you come through my neighborhood park, give me a wave and I'll “tweet” about what you are wearing and if you cleaned up after your dog.
Here are some tips on how and when, or when not to merge your rooms:
· Look at the areas of your home which are used the least and think about how they could be more useful. I go against the grain on what most lifestyle experts will tell you. They say that gone are the days of the formal living room and dining room. I disagree. Although, they are sparsely used, I love having two clean and quiet rooms to the left of the front door that are always ready to welcome unexpected guests. But, if this is not your style, perhaps add a desk to your under-used living room to give it more functionality. Perhaps it will attract more use if it had more bookshelves and better lighting to make it a home library. If you are lucky enough to have a formal dining room connected to your kitchen, but “formality” is not your style, I have seen that some families use it as a playroom for their kids. Having the playroom right off the kitchen makes it easy for mom to keep an eye on the kiddos while preparing meals and cleaning up.

· Do not ask your bedroom to be anything else but a bedroom. I visited home recently that had a TV, a computer, a sewing table, and a treadmill all in the same room! How do those people ever relax enough to sleep? You may know I’m a Feng Shui enthusiast and that ancient Chinese philosophy would teach you not to use your bedroom as a workspace or workout room, let it be a calming sanctuary, a respite from the world and nothing else.

· I love the idea of combining kitchen and office. The kitchen is already a hub of activity. It seems like a no-brainer to have your computer nearby. As a laptop user, having my computer in the kitchen with me when I cook is very helpful. I can quickly look up recipes or watch cooking demonstrations. During the school year, I could check the weather, headlines, and school menus while I prepared breakfast and lunches for the kids and never had to leave the kitchen. There’s no need to bring in extra furniture. I used counter space as my desk and a kitchen stool as my seat.

Perhaps I’ll never live like the Vanderbilts. My average-sized home, complete with “goffice” and art gallery are just right size for me, but whenever I dare to dream of living in a place like The Biltmore, an old adage comes to mind, “It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to clean all those bathrooms.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

The secret to thinner-looking legs wearing bigger shoes!
I hope my husband doesn't mind me borrowing his size 12s for awhile. If I could find some swimming flippers, believe me, I'd be wearing those if I thought they'd do the trick.
Sorry, I wish I could've been more helpful. The big shoe thing is all I've got.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'd be lying if I said this wasn't the best MJ tribute, evah!

The screen shot is misleading. Watch the vid to see what Bryan a.k.a. AfricanoBoi thought of the MJ tribute.