Friday, July 30, 2010

Independence gone amuck

My kids are independent... and I love it. They get themselves dressed (although I sometimes have to face the consequences of that), they bathe themselves and my older two can even make breakfast. Of course, all of them are capable of pouring a bowl of cereal but my older two can also make pancakes, scrambled eggs and oatmeal. Even can though a part of me loves it when they "need" me, it's also pretty sweet when they can help out. Sometimes, of course, independence can get out of control.

Like today, for instance. I took my kids to the gas station (it's the local hangout in our small town - at least for our family) to get some slushies. Sure enough, The Queen (six-years-old) marched right in, grabbed a cup and started filling it before I could even catch up to her. When I did, I came upon a huge yellow mess and a slurpee machine spitting out all of its contents everywhere! Unfortunately the lever had come completely off, leaving the slushy contents to come spurting out both the top and bottom.

Photo courtsey of Apotheosis at
Note to self: Slurpee machines are not so kid-friendly. Note to gas station employees: Sorry for the embarrassing mess, thanks for cleaning it up, and I'll be sure to continue my loyal patronage to make it up.

I'm Michelle and my kids LIKE doing my work for me... most of the time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It takes a community ... to build a blog

I'm still relatively new to the blog-o-sphere and I'm learning that I still have lots to learn. Even though I need to figure out how to best  fit it into my schedule, I think I'll keep going. It's been fun so far, plus it's a great outlet for me and it lets me connect to others, including friends and family, in a way that I haven't been able to in the past. The good news is there's lots of support out there to help me get going. Bloggers, I'm learning, are community-oriented and they like to connect with other. Many are willing to help newbies like me figure it out. Here's a list of fantastic resources I've found that are a great starting place for me and anyone else who wants to take a dive into blogging. I suggest you give it a try... it can be very rewarding!

1. SITS girls

SITS stands for the Secret Is in The Sauce, but their motto is "the secret to success is support". And that's just what they do. Not only are there lots of good ideas floating around in their forum, but all of the members help to support each other in their blogging efforts. Right now the SITS girls are sponsoring a 31 Day Blog Challenge - and I'm participating in it. Although I am dreadfully behind, I'm still learning tons - and you can too. Sign up to be a member of their Blog Frog community where you can easily get lost in the wealth of free information.


2. ProBlogger

The challenge I'm participating in (see note above) comes from a book written by Darren Rowse, the ProBlogger. This guy is in the big leagues and he really knows his stuff. Best of all, his blog is full of great tips and information. He's totally down to earth and his material is super easy to read.


I met Vanessa Brown at a blogging conference I went to a couple of months ago. She taught a class about monetizing your blog. I was brand new to blogging (I think I had just one post), but her class was very inspiring. I decided to sign up for her 7 month course that really takes you from the very basics and helps you to build a successful blog. Bonus: She is a totally "real" person and a busy mom, at that.

Plus, there are many, many more blogs devoted to blogging. I think the above sources are enough to keep me busy, though, for the next while.

What sources and/or tips have you found to be most useful for your blog?
I'm Michelle- and it's official, I'm a blogger!

I'm Moving ..... to Wordpress

Rumor has it that Wordpress is the place to be if you're serious about blogging. So, I'm taking the leap and jumping ship while my blog is still new. I'll have to let you know what I think when I know enough to think anything.

You can now follow along with me at

All of my blogspot posts have been transferred over, but I'm still working on the design. The content will remain the same bits and pieces of from my miscellaneous life.

Come visit me soon!

Monday, July 19, 2010

And the LAME Mom award goes to ... ME

I should have stood up for my daughter yesterday. I should have had her back and I didn't. And I'm feeling pretty lousy about it. The reasons that I stood there and did nothing like an idiot are long and wide, but they're all pretty LAME excuses.

Without going into too much detail, she was yelled at by a complete Adult stranger for something that really amounts to nothing. (She rode her scooter on his driveway.) He was just being an old grump and she did nothing wrong. Besides, what happened to "if you have a problem with my child, come and talk to me about it." Especially when she's 6! You don't go around yelling at little kids you've never even met.

But, it turns out that I'm the big jerk because I sat there and did nothing because of my own stupid issues. Sure I held my daughter and consoled her, but I should have put Mr. Grumps in his place. How dare you yell at my daughter, scare her and make her cry.. right in front of me?

I do have rock-the-boat issues and I really don't like it when people have an in-your-face type of attitude about everything. While Momma Bear definitely needs to come out from time to time, we can't protect our kids from everything. I get it that sometimes other kids won't want to play with mine and sometimes they may not be nice to each other. I get it that there are consequences for our actions and that my kids need to learn them too. But we're talking about a full-grown adult and a father, at that. I promise myself, my husband and my children that I won't just sit there any more. Next time I'll speak up: "Dude, that's not cool. She's 6. She doesn't know that your driveway is some sort of sacred ground. Lay off."


Thursday, July 15, 2010

FYI: We Don't Want Your Yucky Clothes

I’ve had a couple of experiences in the last month working with donated goods… you know old, outdated flowery decorations, funky furniture and used clothes. It’s been quite fun to see the things that people actually wear. I’ve considered starting a blog called Yes, Someone Actually Wore This. It’s fun to imagine what it might actually have been used for or who wore it. I only hope that the original owner is never standing near enough to hear me when I get started. Oops. I apologize if I offended anyone, but consider yourself schooled. LOL … just kiddin’, kind of.
Anyway, I’m wishing that I would have taken at least some pictures because they would make a great addition to this blog post. Instead, you’ll have to be satisfied with these pictures I found online (courtesy of

Ok, so last weekend my neighbors put together a huge yard sale to benefit a neighbor who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I got assigned the lovely job of sorting through a MASSIVE pile of used clothes. Some of the things we found were nothing short of HILARIOUS. We found an old, bright pink baton-twirler outfit with huge shoulders. My Bishop (my religious leader) told me that if I wore it to church, he would let me sing a solo too. Seriously??? I don’t know what would scare people more, my cellulite or my singing. I’m thinking the singing.
Anyway, I digress. We also found some bright pink pants (to go with the baton-twirling outfit, of course) with blood stains on the legs, BONUS. If that’s not enough we also found a chewed off belt (for those skinny kids – like mine- that can’t fit regular-sized belts), silky pants with rhinestones and yes, dirty socks. EEEWWWW! I don’t even like to touch my own kids' dirty socks, people. But this was for charity, so what am I going to do? All I’m saying is, some things belong in the trash can… or your washing machine.
Well, let’s look on the bright side – I can now sympathize with the patient folks who work at DI (Utah’s version of Goodwill). And I promise not to be one of those offenders. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever donated… or found at a yard sale?
I'm Michelle and I follow Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, which inspired this post. Check it out and link up.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I don't feel like working today...

How many of you ever feel like that? That's how I'm feeling today and I must admit that I've been feeling this way for a couple of days now. While I've managed to get a little work in, it hasn't been near what it should be. I recognize that many don't have a choice... they have to go to work whether they want to or not. The truth is, so do I. I just don't have to clock in at any particular time.And I don't get paid if I don't do the work. (Whoever invented that rule??)

Since I have to work (especially if I want to go on that trip I've been planning), here's what I'm going to do:
  1. I'm going to take my kids to the gas station to get a treat (hey, that's all we have around here and it's the happening place)- This will get me out of the house for a few minutes, bribe my kids and give me a caffeine boost to ward off the headache that's coming. Talk about killing 3 birds with one stone.
  2.  Then I'll come home and turn on my favorite upbeat music and rock out like noone's watching (and let's hope that they're not). That should get the blood flowing to my brain so that I can concentrate, plus maybe it will burn off at least a portion of that Coke I just drank. (Crossing my fingers.)
  3. Next, I'll take my laptop to The Dungeoun (my office), so that I can work for at least a couple of hours with less interruptions.
  4. Lastly, since I got a late start, I'll have to accept that I may not get as much done today as I'd like to. Instead of beating myself up, I'll forgive myself for being a lazy bum and commit to doing better tomorrow.

I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, what do you do to pull yourself out of the doldrums?

P.S. For any of you that ever feel this way, check out this blog. It's about writing, but I think it applies to almost anything. A "just do it" kind of thing.

P.S.S. Also, check out How to Get Things Done When You're Feeling Overwhelmed, by Darren Rowse, the ProBlogger.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Working from home: Sweet and Sour

It's 6:45 AM and I'm trying to wake up enough to start working. It's true what they say, you know, I do get to work in my pajamas and avoid the rush hour traffic. That's a sweet benefit of working from home, but that's not why I do it. I work from home because I want to be here for my children. I don't want to pay someone else to take my place, to be there when they come home from school and to teach them right from wrong. I want to raise them.

But, this morning, I really just want to be in bed. Asleep. I'm not ready to wake up, hence the reason that I am dragging my feet and blogging instead of doing my REAL work. I know, I know. At least I get to make that decision. You're so right. I really can go back to bed if I want to. My work is super flexible: I can work any time of the day that I want to. But, I find that some hours are littered with more interruptions (and distractions) than others. Trying to work and take care of my kids at the same time is quite the juggling act and, inevitably, one side tends to win. I'm ashamed to say that sometimes my kids (my very reason for doing this) are the ball that gets dropped. 
                                                                                                               (picture courtesy of

So, here I am again at this difficult place that I find myself in often: trying to figure out how to balance life between work, family and church responsibilities. The only answer I can think of is to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. And drop the working in my pajamas thing. Mmmmmmm.... maybe tomorrow.

Okay, okay... I'm going to work now. Thanks for listening to me ramble and you can be sure that I will address this topic again. (I've been working from home for nearly 5 years with a few on-and-off stints before that.) So, Fridays will be Work-From-Home-Friday, where I'll discuss my ramblings, share things I've learned and things I'm still struggling with, offer insider tips and even some suggestions if you want to work from home. For now... do you have any suggestions for me? Like how to get motivated to jump out of bed at 6:00 in the morning?? Anyone?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This one's for Annie

You  know you've made it big when Hollywood spoofs you. Yes, Stephanie Myer has made the big leagues... just in case any of you were wondering. So, if you loved Twilight, stayed up till 3 in the morning to watch New Moon and Eclipse, and especially if you are affiliated with any specific vampire or wolf teams, then you will definitely want to see Vampires Suck. Check out the trailer... looks like it might be a blockbuster.

Disclaimer: I am not normally a fan of slapstick... so I take no responsibility if the movie fails miserably. With all of the Vampire Craze, I thought the preview was at least worthy of a coveted spot on my blog... joking, of course... kind of.

I'm Michelle and I like wolves more than I like vampires, but I like Annie the most of all (and the vampires are growing on me).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Am I really that bad?

So, I've been listening to lots of spiritual music lately because I'm trying to find a special song for a lesson that I'm teaching at church. I was discussing this with Lil' Mama and explaining what a difficult time I'm having. I expressed to her how I wish I could sing because this one song, in particular, is my testimony. She asked, "Well, why don't you just sing it, mom?"

I tried to explain to her that I wanted people to feel the Spirit and to be touched by the song, but if I sing it they'll all be feeling really uncomfortable, squirming in their seats and feeling incredibly embarrassed for me. She said, "Ya, that's kind of how I feel when I see you dancing."

WHAT???!! And, here I thought I was a good dancer. At least now I know how best to embarrass her, because isn't that the FUNNEST part of being a parent?

And she calls me embarrassing? This is her (on the left) today, walking around the neighborhood (in PUBLIC) after getting all dressed up with her friends. LOL

I'm Michelle and I like to embarrass my children. Plus, I can do the Running Man and The Roger Rabbit. That's right... take that Lil' Mama.