Saturday, February 28, 2009

And the winners are...


After a top-secret, highly reliable selection process (i.e. writing all your names on slips of paper and then randomly choosing one), here are the chosen winners...

The winner of the books is Mrs. Stilettos!

The winner of the Robeez is Jenny!

The winner of the Softie is the Buki Family!

The winner of the Onesie is Lea Liz!

The winner of the Combo is Kelly Taylor!


YAY! Congrats, winners! I am so excited for you and thank you for your readership.


Please contact me at babblingabby(at)gmail(dot)com including your first and last name, your home address, and what you won (be specific if you want a certain softie or what you want on your onesie).

Thanks a million times over for visiting Babbling Abby and for playing along. I had so much fun!


Friday, February 27, 2009

Can't. Take. It. Anymore!

I just have to post. A real, normal, non-giveaway post.

And I should be lesson planning for the Dr. Seuss Unit I am teaching next week to finish up my teaching internship, BUT I CAN'T! My fingers and mind want to let loose all the posting ideas I've had in the past week and kick the giveaways to the curb!

Don't get me wrong, giveaways are fun, fun, fun! but I miss telling you about all the random things going on in our lives. Like that Baby B has spoken his first word. And it is Bob. BOB YOU ALL! HE SAID BOB! He repeats Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob. In his carseat, when he wakes up in the morning, when I'm feeding him sweet potatoes. HE LOVES BOB! Maybe Bob from Bob and Larry on Veggie Tales, or maybe he's named his Bunny Blankie that. I don't know. But it's pretty stinkin' cute.

And I also want to tell you that the Service Engine light is on in my car. $1000 later and the ENGINE LIGHT IS ON. And I am not happy. Have you ever just felt like kicking something? Well, I want to kick my car. Right in the nose. I want to tell it to shape up and quit this nonsense. My budget just can't take it anymore.

Furthermore, I want to tell you how obsessed I am with The City. Forget The Hills. The City is much more my style. And since we don't have cable, I watch it as soon as it hits the internet on Tuesday while Baby B is napping. If you watch it, do you not think that Jay and Adam are slimeballs?! UGH! Whitney, YOU ARE TOO GOOD FOR HIM. And for goodness sake, Allie, quit being so naive. Seriously. You are a goregeous model (though far too thin) and Adam is totally playing you. And, oh Olivia and Nevan. I don't even know where to start with the both of you. I think that 30 minutes is not near long enough for each episode. I could watch it all day. I love it. I think it's my newest vice. For those of you not familiar, it is pretty much a reality soap opera and I majorly heart it.

And here is proof that I actually slaved away on a real, live sewing machine to make y'all beautiful Softies. Do you see the determination in my lips?

And here is proof that my kid is PRECIOUS. I think I kissed those cheeks 1087x today.

Whew. I feel so much better. Come back tomorrow when I announce the giveaway winners. And then I'm not going to talk about giveaways for a long, long time!

PS. I've met lots of new BFFs (Blog Friends Forever), some of which I will introduce to you next week. Stay tuned :)

Doodlebug Designs

Hey y'all. It's the last day of the Babbling Abby Giveaway Week!

And I hate to dissapoint you, but today is a repeater. Kind of.

Today's giveaway will be a combo Softie + Babbling Baby Onesie!

I'm sorry I'm not changing it up today, but - believe it or not - Giveaways can be a little pricey on one's budget! So you're not going to hate me for giving away something I've already given away this week, but instead double your chances of winding up with not one, but both items!


To win, you must go visit my cousin Heather's blog AND leave a comment ON HER BLOG and then come back here and LEAVE ME A COMMENT so I can keep track of you.


She's just started designing SUPER CUTE kiddo clothes at Doodlebug Designs. Visit her site by clicking on the pic below and don't forget to leave us both a comment!
I will be extending the time on all Giveaways until 1pm on Saturday, February 28th since I posted so late today. One winner will be randomly selected for this Giveaway.
Please make sure you check back tomorrow afternoon to see if you were the winner of any giveaway posted this week! Instructions on contacting me to follow!
TGIF!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

For Your Sweet-tee Pie

Another fun bloggy giveaway today at Babbling Abby!
Today I want to introduce to you my latest venture...
Babbling Baby Designs!

I know it - I am an even bigger nerd than you thought! So, here I go again. Trying to be all creative and whatnot.

Actually, the truth is that I had an extra package of size 3-6 month unopened onesies in the closet, plus a 40% coupon to Michaels. Combine the both of these and now I'm designing baby onesies! Ay, ay, ay. They are so super easy to do and totally fill my need to become a graphic designer. Unfortunately, my husband flat out refuses to pay for a third degree. (Why? I beg. I don't think owing the government $30,000 in student loan debt is near enough!) Thus, I copied and pasted my way to these creations, loving the different fonts and breaking out my sharpies to mimic a few of them every now and then (I am obsesessed wtih handwriting. It's sickening.)
Here is Baby B modeling his fab new mom-designed tee:

We only hang him upside down when he's been really, really bad.

And, for your viewing pleasure here's my most recent designs.



Here's what they say if you can't read them: pacifist (with a paci pic), night owl (with an owl pic), fat and sassy, cupcake, and the Babbling Baby logo.

So, today's giveaway is a Babbling Baby Onesie! You can either choose one of the designs above, or I can design you one - it can be a monogram, a pic, your child's name, etc! I'll do anything!

To win, leave me a comment telling me what you would like your onesie to say. That's it. Simple as pie! If you win, you'll be notified with all the other giveaway winners on Saturday, February 28th.

Thanks to all those who have participated so far. I have enjoyed checking out your blogs :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nothing's sweeter than FREE....

Well, I have to admit, today's giveaway might be my favorite favorite thing. And I feel really fortunate that I get to share this favorite with one lucky reader! Now, don't go and get all bent out of shape because it is a gender-specific giveaway. However, I'm sure those of you without Baby Girls at home have nieces or friends with Baby Girls or know someone who might love, love, love this Giveaway that you could give it to. It would also make a GREAT baby shower gift (we won't tell anyone you won it!).

Let me preface this by saying we own THREE pairs of this item. THREE! One for every stage of Baby B's life until he is 18 months old. And, then, by golly - they even make them for when they're bigger than that! Ah, yes, I'm sure some of you are catching on now. Because what is sweeter on precious baby feet than.....




Yes, today I am giving away the most darling pair of Baby Girl Sunflower Robeez. They're brand new, in their cute little Robeez bag, and just waiting for some sweet baby feet to love on them. The size is 6-12 months.





Baby B wore Elephant ones when he was wee, and then he moved on to big, manly soccer ball ones. He also has a pair of Bears that he will wear when he outgrows the ones he currently has.

Note the Elephant Robeez...

Why are they a favorite? Well, a) because they are CUTE b) because they keep socks on and this is a feat in itself, no pun intended and c) because babies aren't supposed to wear "real" shoes until they're walking according to my pediatrician. So the soft-soled option is perfect.

And I guess d) could be that they also work as a teething toy in a bind - much like board books.


To win this Giveaway, you have to become a follower of Babbling Abby! You can join by clicking the "follow this blog" link above the Followers Widget located on the top, left side of the blog. You also must leave me a comment letting me know that you're a follower. I realize that some of you are already followers. In that case, just leave me a comment letting me know.

For those of you new to Babbling Abby, be sure to scroll down and check out our previous Giveaways on Monday and Tuesday of the week! Comments are open all week, so it's not too late to participate.

A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Saturday, February 28th.

PS. It's sunny and warm here today, so we played outside! Baby B really enjoyed exploring the dry, bristly grass and watching the cars go by. Love him.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We Love Us Some Softies!


If you've been a reader for awhile, then you know that Baby B looooooves him some softies. Not familiar with a softie, well, then read about it here, here, here, and here.

If you don't want to read, then shame on you. Just kidding. A softie is a burpcloth. That's it. A fancy name for a spit-up catcher. A snuggly little soft thing that Baby B adoooooores. The term softie was coined by my little sister, Aubrea, who is now 20-years-old and still has a soft spot for her very own softie.

So, today's Giveaway, going along with the theme of our favorite things is:

...da da da...

SOFTIES!
Sunday Afternoon Softie

Say That You Love Me Softie

Pixi Stix Softie
And you get to choose your favorite. And to make it even better: I MADE THEM! *gasp* I know, it's not like I'm busy being a mom and a kindergarten teacher or anything. OF COURSE I HAVE TIME TO SEW! It's the perfect excuse for putting off lesson planning.

Here's the thing, though. I am a novice sewer at best. I really did try my hardest on these. But seams are a little, ahem, crooked and uneven. And there may be an unfinished edge here or there. But that doesn't make them any less love-worthy. So, for something that's going to be used to wipe up bodily fluids from your darling dearest, I really don't think it matters that much. If it matters to you that I can't guarantee the quality or construction, then don't participate, right? I, personally, think that that patterns are great! I had so much fun choosing them. This probably makes me a big nerd, but whatever.

Iyou do want a softie for your very own, then leave me a comment telling me which softie you want AND if you had a blankie/lovie/stuffed animal when you were little. I named them, so you can tell me which one you want.

Don't be shy! Please participate! I love meeting new bloggy friends :)

As with the previous Giveaway (which you can still participate in if you want), winners will be randomly chosen on Saturday, February 28th and announced then.

Monday, February 23, 2009

~ Our Fav Things Giveaway Week ~


Hello and Happy Monday!

Guess what? This week at Babbling Abby, we are GIVING AWAY free stuff! And it's pretty good stuff, if you ask me. I've never really done a Giveaway before - unless you count formula coupons, which doesn't really count 'cause those totally weren't exciting.

Since pledging ADPi back in '01, I'm a fairly big fan of themes (and mixing peppermint ice cream with oreos, but that's a different story), so my Giveaway is going to have a theme. I'm going to be giving away some of our favorite things around the Babbling Household.

Today's giveaway is a collection of three of our favorite, drool-worthy board books! Now, our copies are slobber-soaked with peeling edges 'cause we love them that much. You will get brand new copies. They come in handy for snuggly bedtime stories or as teethers when you can't find the frozen water ring in your freezer full of frozen veggies.



See how much Baby B loves them????


This is going to be an easy Giveaway - to win, all you have to do is leave a comment! That's it! Super easy. We will be doing other Giveaways throughout the week (and they get better!), so be sure to check back to see what else you could win. A winner will be randomly chosen on Saturday, February 28th, so you have all week to leave a comment for this Giveaway. Feel free to link this Giveaway on your own blog also - just let me know!
Happy, happy Monday :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Straight from the babe's mouth


Hello, Internet.
It's me, Baby B. I will be 8 months old on Friday, so I thought it was time I updated you on my life as of late.

First of all, I am so big. I wear 12 months clothes like they're going out of style. And they pretty much are since I'll probably be into 18 months clothes in a week. My growth is out of control. Mommy is always shocked when she asks the age of similarly sized babies only to find that they are 2 or 3 months older than me. She feeds me well, what can I say?

You also must know that I have a new love in my life. It's a bunny. And I love him with all of the love that one can love an animal that is a blanket. This is me and Bunny. You can't tell by this picture, but I usually rub one his paws or ears when I am falling asleep. Sometimes, I'll wrap Bunny's blanket body around my head. Aren't I too cute?

Now, I've never really watched TV before, but I do love me some Veggie Tales. In fact, I love Bob and Larry so much that I can fall asleep listening to their silly songs DVD. They're that good. Mommy and Daddy walk around singing Veggie Tales songs and cracking up about how silly they are (i.e. Barbara Manitee, you are the one for me...'Cause you're my cheeseburger!...I aint got no belly button). I think they think they're a lot funnier than I do.





I also have THREE teeth on the bottom, and I should have my top choppers in the next couple of weeks. There is a LOT of drooling going on at our house.

Lastly, I am learning to crawl. Yes, Internet, I am semi-mobile and Mom and Dad pretty much think I am a genius. Ah, the joy of being the first child...

video

*Mom told me to tell you that you should just ignore her annoying encouragement. She gets excited about everything.

Come back later to check out Our Favorites Give-Aways! They'll be around all week!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grown-up Woes

You are never going to believe it.

I went to the gym for the first time post-baby. Aren't you so proud? It was actually a class called Zumba, which is totally salsa/Latin dancing. Very entertaining. Very fun. I would go back. I went with a fellow teacher from school, and it's always much easier to work out when you have a friend to look goofy with. And I'm sure I looked goofy, all 5'10" of me pretending that I could dance. He he he.

Speaking of exercise, B and I are finally coming to the realization that we are probably not going to put to use that elliptical trainer B got for Christmas last year or the adjustable weights that he bought either. Ick. Don't you hate buyer's remorse? I don't even want to think about the amount of money spent to purchase either of these items. So, we're going to craigslist them. Have you used craigslist before? I've used it once, to list a garage sale we were having, but never to sell anything.

Hopefully our items will sell because we need to recomp the loss that the moneypit (i.e. CAR) drained us of this past week. To make matters worse, I was leaving Walmart with Baby B and the car wouldn't start - and I'd just picked it up the day before! So, another $80 later it's working again. This just goes to show...

IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING.

My mom says this a lot. Being a grown-up kind of sucks sometimes. I remember when I used to have car drama and my parents would pay the lump sum and then I'd pay them back in monthly payments. Or when they used to give me their gas card occasionally to fill up on them. Oh, those were the days.

In other news, Baby B has a new nickname: Scooch. This is because he's starting to scooch across the floor! Yay! I have a feeling that a month from now he will be all over the house. He already hates to sit still. He's also very in to blowing raspberries, jumping, and baby food. And blowing raspberries with baby food in his mouth. My clothes look like a paint splatter art project after he's finished eating. Except the medium is sweet potatoes or strained peas. Mmmmmm.

Happy Saturday!

PS. Make sure you read next week...we're having some good giveaways at Babbling Abby!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Arrrrgggghhhh....

I've had a rotten, no good, very bad day.
My car cost us $811.40 to fix, which pretty much explains it all.

That makes me wish we lived somewhere that was perpetually warm, and I could ride a bike everywhere and Baby B could ride in a sidecar. Like Snoopy and Woodstock.

My prayer was that the cost be less than $1000 - which it was - but only by a hair because when you add on the towing fee ($60) and the new battery that B installed ($80), we're just shy of that $1000 cap. Ugh. B's car is paid off in December, praise God, which is why I wanted to make it through this year before we go thinking about buying new wheels.

My car is 11 years old AND has 122,000 miles on it, so I give her credit for making it this far. In all honesty, I will probably drive her til she dies. I'm not big on getting something new just for the sake of having a cool car and all, though I do love the new car smell just as much as the next person. I guess it's the Dave Ramsey in me...

Anyway, I needed to complain. Thanks for listening.

Oh, and here's a cute pic of my boy child. He's eating an alligator. Love him.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pic Post + Baby B Video

This pic was taken at like 11:30pm last night, so we are super tired and not too chipper. What you can't see are my darling shoes and painted toes (the first time they've looked pretty in probably a year!).



I went to Kroger at 8am this morning to get my Sunday paper(s) and the clearanced V-day goodies for Baby B. The piggy balloon was $.99! And here he is with his crazy toy. He was soooo excited. Oh, and there are NO coupons in the paper today, so heads up you fellow clippers. Major bummer :(






video

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Hallmark Holiday

Can you guess who Baby B is talking to here? He could not pay attention to me during this photo shoot because there was something far more entertaining sitting to his left. Something that moves and makes noise.


Ah, the vacuum cleaner. What a fine friend you are. Baby B loves to vacuum with me, perched on my hip, leaning waaaay over to watch it work its magic. (Amy, I thought you would appreciate this!)
Forget the cool new stuffed animals that the Nanas gave him for Valentine's Day. A vacuum cleaner is much more entertaining. And are you not totally in love with his stripey, orange socks?

Because I'm cheap, er, frugal, Baby B will celebrate V-Day again tomorrow when I buy him a really corny stuffed animal that sings Eye of the Tiger when it goes on clearance at Kroger tomorrow. [$9.99 - really?] Baby B thinks it is totally hilarious and dances and laughs at it when we're grocery shopping, attracting all sorts of attention from other customers. Thank goodness no one asked to sniff his hair again. Creeeepy.

B and I are going to a friend's wedding tonight and I'm really kind of excited about it. I bought a new outfit from WHBM that is to die for. I also got a cut and color last night which always makes the world seem like a better place. There is a noticeable bounce in my step after getting my hair done, you know? Seriously, banishing my mousy colored roots to a couple months of hair color does wonders for my self-esteem.
In other news, Kathy the Pathy (Pathfinder) died at school on Thursday. My manly husband and my brother-in-law replaced the battery last night to no avail. Doesn't that just figure? So now she has to be towed to some shop that will inevitably charge us an arm and a leg to diagnose what is wrong with her. Ugh. I usually let them know that if they screw us God's wrath will rain (reign?) down on them and karma will come and bite them in their behinds.
I hear Baby B upstairs singing ( is he not THE CUTEST? ), so I'm off. Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

...74 Days of School Left...


It has been a mentally taxing week, so I apologize for the lag in posts. We celebrated the 100th day of school this week, and today was the Valentine Day Party - both which have extracted all of my creative energies leaving not an ounce left to inject into my writing. I. Am. Spent.

This is mostly what I feel like typing:
sadljf sa;ldfjshdfhsddvha dsdfdfjjjdflkajsdfseivnsewhsa vsdjk

My brain is just a mish mash of the whirlwind week I've had. It'd be nice if I could tip my head to the side and shake it all out.

The kids were just exhausting, bursting with excitement and anticipation of TWO PARTIES IN ONE WEEK and I think I completely lost them after Monday. This is what I get for trying to be the most awesome kindergarten teacher ever, though I think my cousin is holding her own in TN, and I frequently call on her or my Aunt Deb for inspiration.

Fortunately, it is a three day weekend (should have been four, but those doggone snow days are catching up with us). B and I celebrating V-day by going to a friend's wedding.

I think I'm going to take a nap. Bya.

PS. My kids designed the above banner - they are creative geniuses. And see those balloons? THEY COST ME $9.90 - FOR SIX OF THEM.
That is another reason why I need to quit overachieving.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I present to you...


...the ugliest kitchen on the face of the Earth. And you will not judge me because of it, right?

Ay, ay, ay. What to even say about this space in my home?

Let's start with the Grandmother, er, I mean the range. Just take a moment to take her all in. All six cubic feet of her Harvest Gold goodness. She has been through it all with this kitchen - the loss of the first dishwasher, the laying of heinous laminate flooring in 1968, and the installation of the modern day refrigerator. She wanted to call him the icebox for the longest while. She has cooked many a meal for us in the past 1.75 years, and endured many a baking mishap as the result of my lack in domestic skills. She doesn't complain when I splash cookie dough batter on her stove and then forget to clean it off immediately leaving crusty splotches that are impossible to remove. She is old, but she's still a very integral part of this room, and for that we love her.

Then there are the cabinets. OH THE CABINETS. I don't even know where to begin. I can PEEL the fake wood fronts off of them. Obviously, I have not, but I could if I wanted to. What are they made of? I haven't the slightest idea. Maybe Formica? Whatever. They are ugly and I cannot wait to replace them. Don't even get me started on the gothic hardware. I swear I have seen Gargoyles outside the window trying to sneak a peak at their medieval splendor.

Now take note of the counterspace. All two feet of it. That's it. What you see is what I have to work with. Most meals are prepared on the space between the Grandmother and the sink. The fridge is to the right of the brief counterspace that you see right of the sink, so nope, there is none hiding over there.

And then there is the lack of coordination between the range, the dishwasher, and the fridge. This drives me infinitely crazy. Along with the laminate floor. You can get a peak of it in the bottom corner of the photo, but it. is. BAD. Ugly bad. In the baddest of all bad ways. I think the pattern/color is some shade of vomit. No, seriously.

But, alas, it is only a kitchen. It serves its purpose. Which is to inspire us to remodel it in the near future, of course. Visions of stainless steel appliances, Corian, and paint swatches are constantly dancing through our heads.

And it will get done, by golly. This year. It's number 3 on the list of things we want to accomplish in 2009, in no particular order.

Besides taking pictures of my ugly kitchen, I also took some of my Sweet Precious who continues to provide more inspiration in my life than any stinky old kitchen ever could.



Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hi Jolly, Hey Jolly...

Back in my sorority days (or glory days, as B kindly refers to them), Work/Recruitment Week was always a trying time. I mean, it was difficult to walk with my hands behind my back for hours on end and smile for two weeks straight (this is not an exaggeration). Not to mention all the talking, singing, clapping, snapping, and dancing we did. I would like to credit those two weeks every August (and 100 hours of Greek Sing practice) to the reason that I am now able to properly educate and entertain a class of 5-year-olds every day without wanting to hurl myself from a tall building afterwards. Granted, there were many times when the roof of the Pi House looked appealing for such purposes [insert inappropriate reindeer joke here].
Not to go all Legally Blonde on you, but it was during those trying times that we would find ourselves enjoying the Spirit Breaks that came our way to break up the monotony of I Wanna Be An ADPi Girl. A Spirit Break (and, I know all of you non-Greeks are probably resisting the urge to gag right now) involved taking a break from the hardship of practicing all those songs and coordinating facial expressions. Some memorable Spirit Breaks involved poems about garden gnomes and Mamalee, old ladies with techno music and glow sticks, and the occasional intervention by a campus police officer.

Almost 5-years since my last Hey Jolly and my personal Spirit Breaks have deviated sharply from listening to one of my girlfriends impersonate Bobby LaBonte or Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald. Instead, I take immense pleasure in clipping the Sunday coupons, watching my boys make each other laugh, or even going to the grocery store alone. Seriously, you should see me try to shop with Baby B in tow. It involves not only carrying him into the store, but also my coupon binder, and the shopping cart cover so that nasty germies don't infect us all. Then, I'm trying to entertain him by singing songs from my made-up repetoire, such as I am so Glad Bread is on Sale, followed by the number Milk Should Be Cheaper. It's more of a production than a shopping trip. It doesn't help that Baby B is a ladies man, attracting every 50+ woman within a 20 foot radius of the cart. Yesterday, someone actually asked me if they could smell his hair. Awkward turtle, right there. I digress.

Anyway, you know I love being a mom, but it is nice to have some me time every now and again. And, I only desire Spirit Breaks lasting an hour or less, since that's about all the time I can manage to be away from my Sweet Precious before withdrawals kick in, and B is calling me 12 times to ensure that I WILL BE HOME SOON.

Have a fantastic Saturday. I'm off to enjoy today's Spirit Break while Baby B is snoozling - taking a SHOWER and SHAVING MY LEGS. It's all about the little things, people.

P.S. OBIC ;) Just had to throw that in there.

P.S.S. Aubbers, I miss you! Let's Skype soon!!!!! Tell Mickey and Minnie we said hi!!!!

P.S.S.S. Here are some pics from the past week...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Valentine Tale to Warm Your Heart <3

This is me circa 1998 before 8th grade formal. We're at o'Charleys. And, yes, I did have my sideburns curled into tight, spiraly ringlets (who didn't) and I did dance with a boy for the first time at that dance. And it was very, very awkward.

After my ridiculously healthy lunch of raisin bran, chex mix, and a bowl of fresh blueberries, I am now contentedly blogging and watching The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants II. Naturally, I have already read all four books. But that is no surprise to you, since you already know about my adoration of YA lit.
Speaking of YA lit, I recently came across Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume. It's a compilation of essays by some amazing women writers describing how the Era of Blume affected them growing up. Now, I certainly didn't rely on Judy for everything (I had a pretty involved mom who kept me in the know), but I loved and still love the controversial Judy Blume. While Summer Sisters is my standard re-readable beach text, I could totally relate to the awkwardness of many of the middle-school-aged-characters, and have had many a cringe-worthy moment paging through my own journal entries from that pubescent period in my own life.

Awkward is describing that time in my life mildly. Just thinking about being 12 and 13 again sends my gag reflexes retching. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I was a total nerd, content reading The Babysitter's Club long after my own age passed that of it's All-American characters. My friends and I would sit, phone in hand, anticipating our first call, after having passed out our own BBC fliers throughout the neighborhood.


Furthermore, I was happy in my naivety that Santa Class actually existed when I was 13, and believed that if I prayed hard enough I might never have to endure my first period or have to ask my mom to buy me a bra. Double cringe. I remember my mom giving me a copy of Are You There God, It's Me Margaret and my cheeks flushing when I read its content. I immediately decided I would NOT read it. My prayer was more like, Are you there God? DON'T EVER LET ME GROW UP! I wanted to stay a little kid forever and I NEVER wanted boys to so much as notice me.

Socially, I was a middle school Quasimodo. I transferred my 7th grade year to a school whose hierarchy of those-who-are-popular and those-who-are-not had been established way before I made my way onto the scene. Moreover, the division of popular girls wore Tommy Girl perfume and sported the latest Nike Air Maxx on their feet, and I wore K-Mart knock-offs and tapered jeans that barely reached my ankles. (Praise be to God the year long, bootcut jeans were invented.) I distinctly remember sitting in class and a boy asking me if I was waiting for a flood. The nerve.

And then there was the Year of the Candygram, which will forever be a pivotal point in my adolescence. You see, every year around Valentine's Day, the student council (which I, of course, was on) would sell Candy Grams for $1. Candy = oversized lip lollipops Gram = personalized message that included a lot of LYLASs, BFFs, and TTYLs. I bought like $20 worth of them - which was actually a lot of my babysitting money that I earned from my rather successful club that included mainly me. My theory was this: if I send Candy Grams to all of the popular kids, I will then earn their friendship and become popular myself. Because, when you're a second class citizen at 14, this is all you desire.

To make a long story short, utter devastation followed when I received a fraction of the Candy Grams that I sent out, mostly from my nerdy comrades. To top things off, the same day we received these special treats was the same day as the Sports Banquet. (I played volleyball. My towering height had to be good for something.). While I sat at a table with my parents and the parents of a fellow player, everyone else sat at a table with their friends. I was the only kid at a table full of adults, further exemplifying just how big of an outcast I was. Or at least that's how it appeared to me when I was 14. And the whole massacre of a day doesn't end there.

I won the award for Most Improved Player. My coach prefaced my introduction by telling the entire audience that I would get so nervous before each game that I would have to go the bathroom multiple times before I would hit the court. Ahhhhhhh! Can you even believe that?! Blood is rushing to my face as I type.

It was from that night on that my sole goal in life was leaving my nerdiness behind to pursue a career worthy of popularity...

I would become a cheerleader.

As pathetic as it sounds, I devoted the rest of 8th grade, and much of 9th grade to trying out, and eventually making, the cheerleading squad at my high school. I left a promising volleyball career with potential scholarships, for a backhandspring I would never perform without a spot and the attention I so desperately craved from the popular girls. This would go on to be a slumber party topic I would broach frequently when I made it into their ranks (along with, WHY DIDN'T YOU SEND ME A CANDYGRAM IN 8th GRADE?!) And, after I conquered my own insecurities along with realizing the shallow lives that many "popular" people lead, I made a sincere effort to be friends with everyone from that point forward - popular or not.

Now you know the rest of the story.

And thank you for listening to the cathartic rehashing of my unabashedy awful middle school years.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

You are never going to believe how today's sermon began...talking about COKE, I kid you not. (It was a metaphor for having "the real thing" in your life.) I was in agony as I sat there completely, 100% uncaffeinated this morning. Absolutely torturous. Needless to say, we made a quick detour to the grocery after service where I stocked up on a 3 for $9 sale. I wasn't even nice enough to make one of the three a regular Coke for B. Nope, all three were Diet. I mean, it might as well be for B's sanity as well as mine that I'm not deprived any longer of my insatiable vice. I mean, come on, I practically had the shakes this morning.

Anyway, I guess it will be back to school for me tomorrow. I shouldn't feel like it's a major hardship or anything, since I have been off for NINE STRAIGHT DAYS, but I just really don't want to go back. I told you that spending all the time with Baby B would spoil me. Luckily, my plans for last week will be put into place this week, so I'm not spending my day today scrambling to put lessons together. Is it June yet?

Baby B and B are napping, and I'm putting together my standard we're-going-somewhere-where-I've-been-asked-to-bring-a-dish dish (vegetable pizza). I think we all have one of those. My mom is usually all gourmet and fancy, trying new recipes and totally outdoing herself, while I'm slapping some cream cheese concoction on flattened crescent roll dough that I got from the refrigerator case using coupons. But, it is pretty tasty, and Aubs requested it since today is her last day up north for like SIX MONTHS. So, I will oblige and off to the K's for a Super Bowl Party we will go, vegetable pizza in hand. I will miss the Aubabiba :(

Whether you're rooting for the Cards or the Steelers, enjoy yourself and have a great Super Bowl Sunday!