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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Coming full circle

When I was a kid, I used to babysit for a family who lived down the street. This family's house was always a mess. Dirty dishes, laundry piled up. Once I found cut up hot dog on the floor by the fireplace.

I remember being disgusted and thinking "I can't believe they live like this! How gross!"

This morning, as I was looking for a single black sandal, I looked behind the couch in the family room. No cut up hot dogs, but a bunch of ants were feasting on a breakfast of graham crackers, empty juice boxes and an old Gogurt wrapper.

Looking around at the dishes waiting to be done in the kitchen, the mountains of laundry in varying stages of cleanliness and the dirty ring in the bathroom sink, I thought to myself, "Oh my gosh! We are THAT family!" And I tried to figure out how that happened.

Working full-time doesn't leave me with lots of time to clean. Though, my house was never spotless when I was a stay-at-home mom either.

It pretty much comes down to laziness. I get home from work and I'm tired and just want to park it on the couch. I don't want to do laundry, dishes, clean the bathroom. That laziness then transfers to the kids who don't see Mom (I won't speak for Dad, but...) doing much of anything besides sitting behind the laptop and in front of the TV.

We got a postcard in the mail last week from a realtor who has a buyer looking for a 4-bedroom house with a basement on a cul de sac in our neighborhood. I'm so intrigued by the opportunity, but the condition of my house leaves me paralyzed. I think if we were ever to try to sell this house, we would need to move out and sell it empty.

My inability to permanently declutter my house falls right in line with my inability to make other lasting changes, like weight loss. How do you summon the drive to make changes in your life? I'm beginning to think my transformation will have to come about as an unplugged effort -- a week or so of no TV, video games or computer.

That thought scares the hot dogs out of me.

It works if you work it.

Remember Jill from my office? The one who is both clueless and brilliant at the same time?

Well, yesterday morning, Jill was looking for me. I was at an offsite meeting from 8am to noon. I had the meeting scheduled on my electronic calendar, which is accessible by everyone in the office. Because of the nature of the meeting (we were running a focus group), I had my cell phone (the dumb one) turned off.

When I got back in the car, I had four messages.

The first was from Jill:

"Amy, did you have a chance to review that CFL report? I need your feedback." That was about 9am.

The next message, recorded at 9:30am was from Annie:

"Mom, a lady from your office called looking for you. I told her you were at work, but she said you aren't there. She said she would try to track you down. Can you call her?"

Then at 10:15am, another message from Annie:

"Mom, where are you? Why aren't you at work? Can you call me? I'm getting worried."

Then at 11am, a tearfully panicked message from Annie:
"Mommy! Where arrrrrre you?! I'm scared you got in an accident or got kidnapped. Why aren't you at work? Why aren't you answering me? Pllleeeeeeaaaaaasssssse call me, Mommy! (sob...sob...sob...)"

So of course, I called Annie right away and assured her that I was indeed alive and well. Then I called Jill and explained to her if she had only clicked the little "calendar" tab in the e-mail system, she would have know right away where I was and wouldn't have traumatized my 12 year old daughter.

Technology: It works if you work it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Play ball!

Last night we went to an Indianapolis Indians baseball game. This was a special treat because I had been randomly chosen as the "Toyota Fan of the Game," just by signing up for a drawing at the game we went to on Charlie's birthday in June.

So when we arrived at Victory Field, we went to the will call box and checked in for what turned out to be the royal treatment! Laura from the Indians front office met us and took us underground to the corridor where the team locker rooms and groundskeeping staff are. She led us out to the field where we posed for a field-level family picture:


Then we went back inside to pose for a picture with Rowdie and the pile into a Toyota Tundra truck for a ride around the field to our front row seats!



In addition to the free, front-row seats, we were given $20 in gift certificates to spend on concessions -- and it was $1 menu night. $20 buys a whole lot of $1 hot dogs, popcorn and cracker jacks!

In addition to the excitement of the game, we were pulling for the Indians to hit a homerun. Not just any homerun. We wanted one that would hit the red truck behind the outfield fence:


If they did, we would win a new Toyota truck! So nearly every Indians at-bat, my kids were chanting "Hit the truck! Hit the truck!" (I'll admit to tweeting it once...) Annie even turned her baseball hat inside out, rally-cap style, for good luck.


Alas, no truck-smacking homeruns, but there were quite a few foul balls that went into the stands. One was headed straight for us. Mike and Charlie scrambled to catch it, while I covered my head and screamed like a little girl. Guess the volume of my screams changed the ball's trajectory because this little guy ended up with the ball:


We didn't win a truck or snag a foul ball, but we had a terrific -- and basically free -- night. Thanks Indianapolis Indians!

Who raised me?!

I owe you all an apology. When I posted my "happy blogiversary to me post," I asked you to leave me a comment telling me what you like about the 4th Frog Blog.

Who raised me anyway? Looking back, that was a pretty arrogant thing to do. "You know you love me. Let you count the ways!"

(And in defense of my parents, they didn't raise me like that. I must have gotten warped somewhere along the way.)

So thanks to those of you who indulged my ego and left me a comment. From here on out, I'll try to keep the size of my head in proportion to my body (which, unfortunately, leaves plenty of room for a big head anyway!).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 26, 2008

Where were you this time last year?

I was here.


Since then, I've...

...posted 327 entries

...gathered 61 followers

...signed on 40-some e-mail subscribers (don't know exactly how many because I've forgotten my Feedburner sign in information)

...blogged through 2 Biggest Loser seaons

...only deleted 1 entry because it made a family member mad (I'll never tell which one)

...made countless bloggy friends who are honest and talented bloggers themselves

...added two other blogs to my list of blogs I write for

Thank you all for being a part of this fun part of my life! Thanks especially to those of you who've invited your friends to read the 4th Frog, too.

Want to give me a gift for this fabulous occasion? Leave me a comment about why you visit the 4th Frog Blog. Feel free to tell me what you wish I would do differently, too.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Fricken' fruit flies...

I think I've killed about 100 of them in the past few days and, quite frankly, I'm a little worried about the joy I feel with each little smashed fruit fly.

They started in the kitchen and have made their way to the bathrooms upstairs. Can you say dee-skuss-ting?!

I've fumigated all the trash cans. I've taken all the fruits and veggies I normally keep in a bowl on the counter and put them in the fridge. I've attacked the little buggers with rolled up newspapers, Windex and wet towels. These things make me mad and creep me out. I was going to put a picture with this post, but just looking at pics of the nasty things makes my skin crawl.

So, I'm off to Google other ways to get rid of the fruit flies. But if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Friday, July 24, 2009

*Poof!* It's gone!

Today was payday. I always feel so rich on payday. We go out to eat without thinking too much about it because we have money! I think of doing things like getting a pedicure (desperately needed!) and buying new shoes with which to show off my post-pedicure pretty toes.

But, because I only get paid once a month, today's is the last paycheck I'll get before the kids go back to school. So in addition to paying the routine monthly bills, we have to buy all the stuff that comes with back to school:
  • New tennies for all three kids
  • New backpack for Robbie (I want him to feel like he's getting a fresh start for his kindergarten repeat.)
  • Navy blue polo shirts for Annie
  • Buckets of bleach to try to salvage the boys' white shirts from last year (Can bleach really get rid of the marker, chocolate milk, dirt, snot, and blood stains?)
  • The traditional school supplies -- markers, crayons, protractors, rulers, folders, etc.
  • Blue icee packs for lunch boxes b/c the ones I bought last year are long gone
What's left of my paycheck will go to soccer fees, gymnastics lessons, OT for Robbie, etc. Before you know it, what seemed like a good chunk of money on my direct deposit slip will be gone.

Not everything will be paid in full. Out of necessity, I've become comfortable with paying for things over time. Kind of like life on lay-away. Thank goodness for Mike's Target checks (he gets paid twice a month) which we'll use for gas and groceries.

Hmmm...maybe I should start playing the lottery.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dumb phone

Yesterday, I was one of three speakers on a blogger's panel at a social media meeting. Before it was time for the panel to begin, I was sitting in the audience listening to a Twitter presentation by @jamesburnes (if you tweet, you should follow him).

My phone began to vibrate (I'd turned the sound off for the presentation). I reached into my bag and pulled out my very not-smart Motorola Razor phone.

It was Mike calling. I couldn't really talk, so I let the call go to voice mail and then texted him that I was in a meeting. He immediately texted back a question I needed to answer. As I was multi-tapping my way through my response (you know, tap three times for the letter "c," twice for "e," etc.) I looked around at the other folks at the table who were using their "smart" phones to tweet some of what James was saying, to check e-mail and to answer text messages.

Like a kid wearing knock-off tennis shoes in a room full of kids wearing Nike and Adidas, I was embarrassed and tried to hide the phone a bit under the tablecloth as I carried on my text chat with Mike. I mean, here I was, supposedly an "expert" on this panel, clunking my way through a social media meeting with a dumb phone.

Typically, I'm not one of those people who has to have the latest and the greatest. I think I've had my red Razor phone for 3 or 4 years. And while I still love the red, I think it's time for a smart phone. Not only for texting and tweeting, but for things that will help me be more efficient -- like being able to keep our family calendar handy at all times. And, ok, for the occasional Scrabble game while I'm waiting in a doctor's office somewhere.

The contract isn't up on my phone until December. But I'm kind of thinking that maybe for my birthday next month, I can get an iPhone. Maybe a Blackberry. (I hope Mike is reading this!)

Do you use a smart phone? Which one? What do you love about? What don't you love?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hey Hoosier peeps!

Just wanted to wave a quick "hi!" to all the folks who were at the Indiana Department of Tourism social media seminar today. It was fun to be on the blogger's panel. Hope it was useful to you in the audience.

For all you people who weren't there today, wander on over to The Indiana Insider blog for some ideas about fun things to do in the Hoosier State.

(What's a Hoosier? Depends on who you ask. Just don't ask someone from St. Louis.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not too far from the lily pad...


It's been almost a year since I started blogging as the 4th Frog. Well, the tadpole doesn't leap too far from the lily pad. Yesterday, with our permission, Annie started her own blog.

We've set it up as a private blog so that only people we invite can read the blog. But she's got several readers already. It's been fun seeing how excited she is about this endeavor. She writes the way she talks and already has logged four entries. I got a kick out of her profile description:

I'm in 7th grade, a true chocoholic, and a devoted lover of "Twilight". I have glasses and brown hair and I enjoy shopping with my friends and making people laugh. I am also DEATHLY afraid of spiders. Have fun reading my blog! <3

Her opening entry made me chuckle, too:

New to the game
OK. So I'm starting this blog, right? And here I am trying to think of a way to start it. See my mom is the woman who started the "amazing" 4th Frog Blog. I'm the "tadpole". So how am I supposed to live up to that? And now I'm asking my "amazing" mother what to write next, and all she has to say is, "Robbie! If you spill water you are responsible to clean it up!" Anyway, wish me luck on my new blogging experience.

Blog on, daughter o'mine, blog on...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Do you tattoo?

This has been a week for tattoo talk. We've discussed them at work over lunch, with the Hamilton County tourism folks over breakfast (more on that later), and on a local Moms social networking site. When it comes to tattoos, it seems everyone has an opinion.

I really wanted to get a tattoo for my 30th birthday. Mike, however, was totally against it. Now, usually I don't ask for his permission. If I want to do something, especially if it doesn't really have ramifications for anyone else, I do it. But he had such a strong negative reaction to the mere thought of me getting a tattoo, that I respected his wishes and remained ink free.

I've kind of come up with some tattoo rules based on my own opinions of body art:

1. Size matters: Tattoos smaller than a dollar bill are pretty ok with me. But in general I think showing more ink than skin is a turn off.

2. Location, location, location: This kind of goes along with #1. I never, never, never think tattoos on the face are attractive. As a general rule of thumb -- and if I ever get a tattoo -- putting them where they can easily covered up seems like the best idea. My cousin Maggie has a really beautiful floral tattoo on her arm, but it goes all the way down her arm and I can't help but thinking, "What's that gonna look like with a wedding dress some day?"

This is a pretty cool spot (though the thought of having a spider crawling around my body gives me the heebie jeebies. Also, this falls under rule # 4.)


3. Color me beautiful: Part of what makes Maggie's tattoo so pretty is that is gorgeously colored. Monochrome tattoos are just ugly.

Check out the colors in this one:


4. Avoid ugly art: Call me square, but I hate ugly art. Skulls, daggers, barbed wire, drips of blood. Ugly art.

5. Think about your future: Sure that tattoo looks cool now, but when she's 65 and a bit wrinkled, how will she feel about her butterfly wings then?


Similarly, that Winnie the Pooh tattoo might seem sweet when your kids are still babies, but how about when they are 35?

winnie the pooh tattoo Pictures, Images and Photos

6. Try a sweatshirt or a hat: I love the Indianapolis Colts as much as the next gal. But I don't feel the need to permanently display that on my skin.

Colts Tattoo Horseshoe Pictures, Images and Photos

Having said all that, I still think I might like to get a tattoo. Maybe for my 40th birthday? Maybe my little jumping frog guy? Smaller than a dollar, of course, in full color, and somewhere I can keep it covered unless I choose to show it. Now I just have to convince Mike.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hey doc!


I know doctors and nurses and other medical type folks have heard it all. This afternoon, Robbie was having a meltdown because the "carnival" (a bounce house, an inflatable slide and hot dog lunch) in our neighborhood closed before we got there. Never mind the fact that he got to go swimming for an hour.

So, he came home and turned on the whines and the waterworks. When I told him that I could do nothing about the fact that the carnival was over he didn't stop crying, but did switch his complaints, looking for sympathy wherever he could get it.

Among his complaints:
  • My leg is skinny!
  • My tonsils are hurting! (He had them removed two years ago, which I reminded him of.)
  • My tonsils are coming in!
  • My hair is hurting!
  • My ears are cold!
Fortunately, none of the above are life-threatening. Unless you're six years old and your life is all about going to the neighborhood carnival that closed before you got there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What is this country coming to?

Sears Tower

I very rarely watch the television news and tonight I was reminded why. It's mostly bad, or at the least, disheartening news. Tonight I was shocked at the news that tomorrow the Sears Tower in Chicago will be renamed the "what-you-talkin'-about" Willis Tower.

What's next?

The Taco Bell?

Taco Bell

Mount Prudential?

Mount Prudential
(You know, a piece of the rock?)

Where is our sense of history? Our sense of nostalgia and tradition? Is a big fat paycheck really worth tossing aside a well-recognized and treasured moniker?


Wonder how much I could get for re-naming this one "Oscar Mayer?"

Oscar Meyer

Monday, July 13, 2009

Annie style makes me smile

I left home at 7:45am this morning, worked late, went to a meeting, then the grocery store before finally arriving home around 10:30pm.

What a nice feeling it was to walk into a clean house -- Mike and the kids were VERY busy today. But the icing on the cake was what Annie had left on the kitchen counter for me to see:

Annie style

Annie style makes me smile!

Hi Willie!

When I first started my job, my "office" was a small desk wedged between a bookcase and the mailboxes in a hallway that connected the reception area to the common space of our suite of offices. I worked in that space for about a year, which wasn't too bad considering that I only worked two and a half days a week.

After I'd been in this position for about a year, a real office opened up and I was able to move to a larger space. This office is great. It faces downtown and has a wonderful 9-pane window. It's through this window that I can see, on an almost daily basis, Willie Nelson walking into and out of his apartment building.

Now, I know what you are thinking. You think that there is no way that Willie Nelson is living somewhere in Indiana across the street from my office. But of course that's where he lives, hiding out from the feds who continuously pursue him for tax and marijuana issues, and from his throngs of fans who mistakenly believe he resides in Austin, Texas.

If you want to catch a glimpse of him, I'd recommend that you come by around 9ish in the morning, when he comes home carrying a white plastic sack from the local grocery, or around 5pm when he sometimes entertains friends (with conversation -- no singing, that would blow his cover) on the lawn.

Seriously? You still don't believe me? Well, I'm probably breaking some significant privacy laws by doing this, but I snapped a pic of him today because I knew you wouldn't take my word for it.


It's not very clear -- I had to take it from my desk. I didn't want to be all obvious standing at the window snapping a picture of a famous country music star who is trying to protect his anonymity. Plus, I didn't want him to send his cowboy henchmen to break my camera either. I do think I did a nice job framing him inside the now-obvious-to-me fingerprints that Robbie left the last time he was here.

So there you have it. My celebrity sighting for the day. Tune in next time when I tell you about what Elvis bought from my garage sale.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday morning reality check

Ok, first reality check -- it's not Saturday morning. It's Saturday afternoon and I'm still in my jammies with no real intention of changing out of them for at least another hour or so.

Second, you know all that waxing nostalgic about Little House in the Suburbs and roughing it by doing dishes by hand, leaving the windows open and cooking from scratch? Well, the windows are closed, the air is on, we bought pizza from Papa Murphy's last night (it was at least cooked in our oven), and I'm calling the repair guy on Monday to come fix my dishwasher. One of the reason I'm still not dressed is because I was doing dishes this morning, stopped to make Belgian waffles, then had the original dishes plus the waffle mess to wash up.

Now that the kitchen is (mostly) back in order, I have to wrangle the laundry. I've said it before, but this time I might mean it. I'm limiting my family to 3 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants, 5 pairs of underwear, 4 t-shirts, 2 nice shirts and 2 pairs of pj's each. If I stacked up all the dirty laundry into one big pile, I bet I could set a world record. I wonder if there is a world record?

Actually, I don't mind doing the laundry. Washing, drying, even folding. (Don't tell my family, but I kind of enjoy it.) It's the putting away that I absolutely despise. Maybe if we had fewer clothes to put away, it would be less of a vile job?

The real task of the weekend is to clean my bedroom. This is closely tied to the laundry b/c there are clothes everywhere. I would take a picture to show you, but even I'm not that bold. Suffice it to say, the bedroom floor is like the moon -- uneven surfaces, mounds of physical matter and occasional craters. It's hard to yell at your kids about their bedrooms when your own could be declared a federal disaster area.

I'm hoping to make some good headway in the bedroom before Robbie and I leave for our "date" tonight. (He does not have an aversion to the word like Charlie does). Thanks to an anonymous benefactor -- and I do mean THANK YOU -- Robbie and I are going to see "Walking with Dinosaurs" tonight. I think it's gonna be awesome!

What's on tap for your weekend? Hope it's a good one.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If I won the lottery

I was with some women from church tonight and somehow the conversation led me to speculate what I would do with the money if I ever won the lottery. So I thought about it more and decided to share it here.

10 Things I Would Do if I Won the Lottery
  1. Pay off those pesky (and plentiful) bills.
  2. Set aside college money for each of my kids.
  3. Buy my parents a new car.
  4. Repaint & re-carpet every room of our house.
  5. Donate money to St. John's Episcopal Church for new couches, paint and carpet for the rooms where the postpartum depression support group meets. Seriously, those rooms are enough to make you depressed (but it's totally cool they allow the group to meet there!).
  6. Take my kids to Disney World.
  7. Go to Italy and Greece with Mike.
  8. Take Annie to New York City to see "Wicked."
  9. Anonymously donate money to the school for a scholarship fund for kids with special needs.
  10. Put some away for a comfortable retirement.
How about you? What would you do if you won the lottery?

While you think about it, enjoy The Barenaked Ladies' song "If I Had a Million Dollars."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Little House in the Suburbs


When I was a little girl, I LOVED the Little House on the Prairie book series. I read every one of those books several times over.

In the past few days, I feel like we've been living in Little House in the Suburbs. As with many families in the U.S. these days, money is not exactly plentiful (anyone need a good graphic/web designer or some freelance writing done?), so we're trying to be a bit more frugal and are roughing it in ways that have me recalling Laura, Mary, Carrie, Ma, Pa and their good old bulldog, Jack.

Instead of calling someone to fix the broken dishwasher, we've been washing and drying dishes by hand. Not exactly fun, but not horrific either. It reminds me of when we used to have to wash dishes by hand at home. We'd argue over who had to wash and who had to dry. Washing was the best job, so the dryer -- out of spite -- would constantly hand back dishes and say "this is still dirty."

When you're trying not to spend a lot of money, you do more home cooking, at least we do. No, I haven't slaughtered a pig to make salt pork, but I have been pretty creative in the kitchen. I tossed together some ground beef, onion, mushroom soup, cream cheese and egg noodles for a do-it-myself stroganoff. It was pretty tasty, even if Charlie looked at it and asked "is this puke?"

I also made homemade chicken burritos in the crockpot. Unfortunately, I forgot to add any liquid, so they chicken breasts were more than dry. Not wanting to waste the meat, I shredded it, added it to a saucepan with diced tomato and some chicken broth and simmered it until it had regained some moisture. I served it with cheese and tortillas. Amazingly, it was quite tasty. Wonder if Ma could have come up with that on the fly?

And last in the Little House entry, we've thrown open the windows and turned off the air conditioning, even though the high temps have climbed back into the 80s. If you know us, you know this is a HUGE sacrifice.

I'm getting so good at this pioneering thing, I think tomorrow I might try to make Robbie some cornhusk Bionicles.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hi-tech hide 'n seek

We have a neighbor named Mary who lives on our street. Mary has two boys about 9 months older than Charlie. Mike and I have often referred to Mary as the "den mother" of the street. Well, today Mary took our troops out geocaching and boy did we have fun!

I had heard of geocaching, but never quite understood it. So when Mary was telling me at the block party a few weeks ago that she and her boys like to go geocaching, I pretty much invited myself along.

Over cul de sac fireworks last night, we made plans to go geocaching today. I showed up at Mary's house with 4 kids in tow (my three + Annie's friend Alayna). We went to and put in our zip code. Up popped a list of "cache's" in our area. We clicked the Google maps option so we could more accurately see where the caches were.

A cache can be a box with tchotkes in it or just a small tube with a piece of paper for finders to sign. Mary chose three caches we would look for. We input the coordinates of the cache into Mary's GPS and loaded everyone up into the van.

Our first cache was hidden somewhere in a cemetery. Charlie asked if he could hold the GPS first.


We watched as the handheld GPS unit led us in an electronic game of "hot and cold." At first, we got a little turned around and headed in the wrong direction. But soon enough, we were back on track and Mitchell, one of Mary's twins, located the cache hidden in some brush against a tree trunk.



Inside the cache was a small notebook for us to log our presence and several small trinkets. Each of the kids took a trinket and we left our own trinkets in their place. Then it was off to the next cache.

We had some trouble with the second cache. The GPS compass kept jumping around and led us pretty far off the mark. No worries though because it gave the kids a chance to play at a playgroud new to them:



Eventually, we found it -- a small M&Ms tube hidden inside some boxwood bushes. No tchotkes in this one, just a log to sign. So we signed and put the cache back in its place for the next seekers to find.

The third cache took us the longest to find. What was crazy was that we had all combed a 3-foot x 3-foot area over and over and didn't find it. Just when I was ready to give up, Ryan, Mary's other son, reached his hand into a bush and pulled out the cache.


Much to Robbie's delight, the cache had more trinkets and trash, plus the tiniest log roll for signing.


We added our own trinkets and a trackable "bug." Someday, someone will take the bug out of the cache and take it to a new cache somewhere else. Mary can log the bug on and wait for others to report finding it and moving it. So they can "watch" the bug move around from cache to cache.

Once the third cache was safely back in its hiding place, we headed to a nearby playground.

Our first foray into geocaching was a success. The kids loved the hunt. We got plenty of fresh air. And it was all FREE! Annie has already asked if we can go geocaching again.

Do you geocache? How did you get started? What's been your best find? If you don't cache yet, do you think you might like to give it a try?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The good, the bad, the ugly & the unthinkable

The past few days have been a mixed bag of events.

The good:
  1. I got a cute new haircut. Well, right now it doesn't look so cute, so I'm not going to put up a pic right now. But I do like it. It's not super short, but short enough.
  2. Today Mike and I told Robbie that he will be repeating kindergarten. It went surprisingly well. I'm not sure he understood 100%, but we'll reinforce the idea over the next 6 weeks.
The bad:
  1. We rented "He's Not that into You" tonight and the darn thing stopped about 45 minutes before the end. Frustrating.
  2. I still haven't gotten my bedroom cleaned, though it's been on my "to do" list all week.
The ugly:
  1. The dishwasher is broken -- and no longer under warranty.
  2. The freezer is leaking water (a fair amount of it) into the refrigerator.
  3. The bank socked me with $105 in overdraft fees, even though I made a deposit on the same day they had me overdrafted. "Debits come out first, ma'am." Freakin' bankers. If I ran the bank, what would matter would be the balance at the close of business.
  4. #3 makes repairing #s 1 &2 a bit difficult.
The unthinkable:
A woman that I didn't know, but who was also a member on a local moms' online community, passed away on Thursday. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer less than a month ago. You can see her story here. Please keep Michelle Graddy, her husband and their four children (ages 10-2) in your prayers. Her story makes my "good" seem even better and my "bad" and "ugly" mildly inconvenient in comparison.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pigs in the sky


There must be pigs flying somewhere because, for the third day this week, I just finished exercising. If you follow me on Twitter or are my Facebook friend, this won't be news to you, but I thought I'd let my 4th Frog friends in on my secret.

Now, I realize there are millions of people who get up and exercise every day without feeling the need to announce it to the world. But people, I'm after some positive reinforcement here. Exercise does not thrill me, what with all the heavy breathing and sweating and sore muscles. However, I've started a personal campaign to not die before I turn 40, so I figure exercise has to be part of the package.

And let me 'fess up about the term "exercise." I am not hitting the gym. I am not doing Jazzercise. I am not lifting weights. I am lacing up my tennies and going for a walk around the neighborhood. That's as far as I can go right now. By the way, if you live in my neighborhood and are leaving home early in the morning, please watch out for me. I tend to walk the first 5 or 10 minutes with my eyes mostly closed until I can wake up a bit.

Truth be told, I'm kind of enjoying this exercise thing. Well, not so much the aforementioned heavy breathing and sweating part, but the quiet and solitude part. I always thought I should find a neighbor to go walking with me in the morning, but I like having that time to let my brain hang out.

I've been walking sans iPod since I leave mine at work. Plus, then I'd have to hold it as I'm walking and my carpal tunnel would act up and it would become more of a distraction. Unless I pulled a "mom" and tucked it into a fanny pack, which would totally embarrass my kids -- even if they aren't with me while I'm walking. So, instead I sing (mostly to myself), I pray, I run through things I need to do (though I'm trying to keep that to a minimum).

Interestingly, walking with me, myself and I has been somewhat of a mental exercise as well. I find that the quicker my pace, the more frenzied my thoughts become. So I try to keep a good pace while keeping my mind slowed and thoughtful. It's not as easy as it sounds.

Now I realize that I'm going on as though I've got some experience or expertise to share about exercise. And I realize that it's only been three days, days on which the weather has been wonderfully cool. (Can I keep this up mid-August when it's 80 degrees at 7am?). I don't mean to come off smugly or all "Woohoo! Look at me, I'm all that and a bag of fat-free, salt-free pretzels."

I just figured you might like an explanation for the pigs flying by your window.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A teensy weensy (shameless) favor


There is a great conference happening in Indianapolis is August. I attended the first Blog Indiana last year and learned so much and met some great people, even if I was a little overwhelmed.

Well, this year at Blog Indiana they'll be giving out the Blindy Awards (think that's bl-IN-dee as opposed to bl-eye-ndee) for the best blogs and social media sites in Indiana.

So, if you think the 4th Frog might be worthy, would you please click this link and nominate me for Best Hoosier Blogger. Or nominate me for a new category: Best Hoosier Family Life Blog.

Of course, I don't actually expect to win. There are lots of awesome Hoosier blogs -- Gabi's World, Bargain Briana, Lynn's Addiction, Eternal Lizdom to name a few (check out their links to the right). Not to mention the heavy hitters like Moosh in Indy and Pasta Queen. Still, I'd love to see if the 4th Frog can hang with those peeps a bit.

And if you are a Hoosier blogger, check out Blog Indiana. Maybe I'll see you there!