10/22/2009

Learning Advanced Templates

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Phasellus mollis bibendum sapien, gravida venenatis eros iaculis a. Mauris tempus accumsan dignissim. Ut sit amet metus ac metus dapibus fermentum sit amet a nisi. Integer est purus, mollis ut laoreet non, mattis nec sapien. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Sed nec diam turpis. Nullam convallis dignissim gravida. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Nullam laoreet molestie pulvinar. Sed sed nisi eget enim dignissim malesuada. Sed malesuada gravida luctus. Integer magna eros, semper et tempus eget, tincidunt nec dui. Ut eget vehicula sem. Phasellus sagittis lectus non arcu malesuada semper. Suspendisse mi ligula, vehicula non bibendum non, dignissim at enim. Integer ut velit elit, nec convallis purus. Suspendisse potenti. Sed tempor, justo eu mattis malesuada, odio augue vehicula massa, eu suscipit mauris sapien ac purus. Donec euismod arcu in sem fermentum non bibendum metus cursus.

08/07/2009

Learning Custom CSS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi et lacus sapien. In leo diam, auctor a porta vel, condimentum vel elit. Nulla sed tellus id ipsum suscipit molestie. Integer id diam quam. Mauris a lectus lacus, non dapibus lectus. In vitae mi vitae magna interdum posuere vitae a enim. Morbi aliquet mauris a tellus mollis semper. Donec elementum vestibulum est, adipiscing vestibulum metus placerat at. Nunc lobortis turpis vitae sem luctus quis venenatis quam pellentesque. Quisque eu lacus a enim aliquet condimentum vitae et risus. Phasellus sit amet est vel urna cursus elementum. Mauris ac iaculis mi. Nunc cursus, sem sed fermentum euismod, felis arcu egestas eros, at facilisis mi urna sed lorem.

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02/19/2009

What ' s That Word, Again?

Over the last few years, Chilihead, Jr. has developed a tic. Sometimes she blinks her eyes a lot, sometimes she clears her throat. It's noticeable enough that friends and family have asked us what's wrong with her eyes, but not such a big deal that we've plucked them out. We're conservative like that.

Anyway, before we realized it was a tic we tried all sorts of allergy medicines, eye drops, distraction methods (e.g., take a drink when you think you need to clear your throat), but nothing worked. When we asked the doctor if there was anything else we should try, she said, "Nope. She has a tic. It's no big deal. The more you try to make her stop, the worse it will get. Leave her alone!" So we are.

I told you that to tell you this:

Chilihead, Jr. was with me when the doctor explained that the eyes/throat thing is a tic. No big. Later that day, Chilihead, Jr. was telling me something and blinking at the same time. I didn't say anything, but I must have had a "look" on my face. Chilihead, Jr. said to me, "Mom! It's not my fault! It's my flea!"

Dude. My kids are so funny. I love that about them.

01/28/2009

Disney Mommy Bloggers Cruise: Good Morning, Segway!

The first morning on the Disney Wonder, I awoke to a beautiful, blue, breezy morning. I ate my breakfast at the table on my balcony and eased into my day. In fact, that may have been the most relaxed I was on that particular day. As you'll see, I was introduced to off-road Segway, my friend Amy showed off a little too much, and I tried conch for the first (and last) time.

Good Morning, Nassau!

Segway Adventures

As you watch these videos, you'll notice that any time I became too involved in filming and less involved with paying attention to my Segway and those around me, I had a tendency to shout "Woo!" then hit something.

Don't Mean a Thing If You Ain't Got That Bling

When I get dressed for an off-road Segway adventure, I reach for my denim capris, a t-shirt, and a ball cap. Makeup and jewelry do not enter the equation. Not so if you're Katja or Arianne. It's all about lookin' good in the 'hood. Fashion and bling, baby.

Selfish Mom Bites It

Amy is one of those women who lives life. If there's a new opportunity, she's the first in line. She took off on her Segway like she'd been riding one for years. She slalomed all morning, turned without using her hands, and basically shamed the rest of us into trying things we might not otherwise have done. Then I came along and tried to tape it. Jinx. (Can you see her shoe fly off?)

Conch Fritters (or Bahamian Comfort Food)

This particular video shows my knack for forgetting I have the zoom feature on and taking a picture of my nose hairs. Between that and the description of the conch, you may want to read this after you have your meal.

01/27/2009

Disney Mommy Bloggers Cruise: The Arrival

I could try to tell you all about the Disney Mommy Bloggers Cruise, but I don't know if I can do it justice. Thankfully, I took many videos of my experiences and I will be posting them here for you to laugh at and learn from. You'll be able to see right away that I have trouble gauging where my face is in the viewfinder. There are more than a few Blair Witch Project shots. Just ignore the extreme close-ups and focus on the information I'm sharing, OK?

In this video I take you on a tour of my stateroom. The staterooms, by the way, are a very nice size. They are all the same size, but some have a balcony (like mine), some have a porthole, and some just have a wall with no window. The pricing is scaled according to those ammenities, so you can decide how important a porthole or balcony is for your family.

I want to thank Maria Bailey of MomSelect and Jonathan, Laura, and Leanne from Disney for inviting me to participate in this opportunity. It was truly a magical experience. Thank you to Jonathan for being such a gentleman and putting up with our antics. Thank you to Laura for your energy and for bailing us out of the karaoke pit (video to come). Thank you to Maria for choosing such a perfect group of women that clicked immediately. Leanne, I thank you for helping put this all together. I wish I could have had more time to talk with you! I guess you'll just have to invite me back.

I also want to give a quick shout-out to Posh Mama. They gave me a Flip camera last September so I could interview various bloggers on camera. Without the Flip, I wouldn't have been able to vlog so much of the Disney trip! Thanks Posh Mama!

01/25/2009

Home Again, Home Again

I'm back from the Disney Mommy Bloggers Cruise. I have much video and many stories to share with you. I'll be getting my thoughts straight and writing everything up. It's going to take weeks to share it all with you!

In the mean time, I cannot stress how much I loved my travel companions. I know you will too. Please check out their blogs and follow them on Twitter. You will NOT regret it! They are some smart, savvy ladies.

01/22/2009

At the Beach

Hey! Didn't you get the memo? I'm not here. I'm on my way to the Disney Mommy Blogger Cruise. This trip will be fun, but make no mistake: this is a working trip. I am scheduled for all sorts of behind-the-scenes tours instead of relaxing naps on the deck. I promise to bring you the details just as soon as I get back!

01/21/2009

Three Songs I Just Bought on iTunes

You will not guess or believe the three songs I just downloaded from iTunes, so I'll just tell you. And then you can feel free to admit your own shortcomings or just make fun of me. Whichever makes you feel better. I'm good with it because I love these songs. Look them up and see if you do too.

  1. Habanera from Carmen (yes, the opera): I wish my voice were this beautiful. I also wish I could roll my Rs like that.
  2. O Fortuna from Carmina Burana: I have been trying to figure out the name of this song so I could buy it for at least 10 years. I'm not kidding. I love it. It's very motivating, I think.
  3. Que Sera, Sera by Janet Seidel: I proceeded to sing this to my children in a very melodic (not) and loud voice on the way to after school activities. They loved it (not).

And then I went and bought Gone Daddy Gone and Going On by Gnarls Barkley to get my groove back.

01/20/2009

Life ' s Important Questions

I have just experienced one of the best weekends ever: My dad visited us. I absolutely love it when my dad visits. My kids adore him and my husband loves to spend time with him. I can sit and talk to him for hours. My whole family cannot get enough of my dad. It's always a little sad when he leaves, but his visit was a great pick-me-up (considering the funk).

I love to watch how Grandpa John interacts with my kids. He has to constantly remind me to step back and let them just be. (I always worry they are taking advantage of his generosity.) So I do. I'm amazed at how their relationship grows every time he visits. He gives them the room to make their own decisions and does not question them. 

At one point Grandpa John bought Chilihead, Jr. some school supplies she needed. She picked out pencils, markers, a pencil sharpener, and several other things. Later, at another store, my dad also bought her a stuffed doll she's had her eye on. When we returned home, Chilihead, Jr. said, "I'll go up and get my $10 for Grandpa." I was puzzled. I asked her why she needed the $10. "Because that's how much the stuffed doll was and I need to pay him back."

"No," I said, "He wanted to buy that for you. He doesn't want you to pay him back."

"But Mom, doesn't he know he's already bought me so many things for school? He doesn't have to always buy me presents." And then I loved her a little more, which I thought was impossible.

My dad's relationship with Max is just as wonderful. Grandpa John fully understands the humor of an 11-year-old boy. He can have Max cracking up in seconds just by asking a few of life's most important questions. Do you know the answers?

  1. What time is it?
  2. Have you been to the doctor lately?
  3. Do you have a match?

Oh my word. If you know the answers, you're invited to Thanksgiving dinner next fall. You'll fit right in.

01/15/2009

The Best Movies You May Not Think to Show Your Kids

I am a movie lover and have been known to sit through many a teen-angst B movie on a Saturday afternoon because the movie-ness is so delicious and it's completely mindless entertainment. Sometimes you just need that. I can watch all kinds of movies: action, comedy, thriller, horror, romance, drama, whatever. I like good movies, so-bad-they're-good movies, and even some lame movies. I can just as easily sit through Pride & Prejudice as I can Twilight or 10 Things I Hate About You. You know what kills me though? Kid movies.

To say I'm unimpressed with children's movies is an understatement. I loathe children's movies. Everything is too over-the-top, have-to-outdo-the-competition. They are loud, garish, and unimaginative. It's a sad state of affairs when the last children's movie that I *loved* was The Incredibles. Nothing since then has really floated my boat--or my kids' boat, for that matter. I have been entertained, mind you, but it wasn't sensational. Current movies don't strike me the way movies did when I was a child. I would tend to think it's because I'm watching with different eyes now, but my own children don't seem to be impressed with the movies any more than I am.

You know what has them talking? The movies I watched when I was a little girl. So far I've shown them the following:

They loved every single one of those* and asked to watch them over and over. I could have predicted the cool factor of the light saber, but who knew a flying Winnebago would be so enticing?

(* OK. Chlihead, Jr. did not like Clue or The Private Eyes. She disliked them because she viewed it as confirmation that anyone could be murdered any time for any reason and that scared the dickens out of her. Lesson learned on my part. I honestly thought the humor would outweigh the obviously fake murders. I saw The Private Eyes when I was her age and loved it. It's very un-PC, though. Seriously. So if that offends you, stay away.)

We have a DVD case that holds 200 DVDs. It's not completely full, but it's getting there. Nothing in that case has been watched (except for The Little Rascals) unless there is absolutely no other choice or we're on a road trip. I'm loathe to purchase any more movies. Indeed, I've told the kids they have to pony up their allowance for any new movies. Not that they've asked because guess what? Nothing's good enough to buy. Right now I think we're all content to let Netflix ship us the next blockbuster from the 70s and 80s.

We currently have in our Netflix queue:

  • For the Love of Benji
  • Splash
  • Ghostbusters
  • Teen Wolf
  • Old Yeller
  • Adventures in Babysitting
  • Big
  • What About Bob?
  • The Karate Kid
  • Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
  • Back to the Future 3

It's true: none of those are earth-shattering choices with great lessons to be learned. But you know what? They don't have all the dazzle; they just have jokes. Most of them have an interesting story to boot.

I understand that many of these movies also contain language not fit for little ears. I was never restricted in what I could or couldn't watch while I was growing up and I think I turned out OK. I generally know what my kids can handle and they know what our rules are. Just because some guy in a movie says a certain word, doesn't mean it can come out of your mouth without a consequence. You can absolutely laugh at it, though.

What about you? What movies do you remember from your childhood that you think today's kids would enjoy? Have you shown them to your kids yet? I need some more ideas.

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Books

Leif Enger: So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel
So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel
*****

Madeleine L'engle: A Circle of Quiet
A Circle of Quiet
*****

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice (Arcturus Classics)
Pride and Prejudice (Arcturus Classics)
*****

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
*****

JOHN STEINBECK: East of Eden
East of Eden
*****

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