Archive for February, 2010

True Love

February 16, 2010
From My Two Lips To Yours…

From my husband.
Does he KNOW me or what?
VivaciousTulips… And a Mountain Dew….
True Love. Right there.

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Hello world!

February 15, 2010

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

It’s Time For a WordPress Change

February 15, 2010
A Preview
SHHHH….

I AM SO EXCITED!

WordPress is on the way.
I love blogger don’t get me wrong and I’ll still be thrilled to help anyone out with their blogspot issues.

But.
I’m dying to try out something new… see if I’m missing anything on the wordpress side of the fence. SEO plugins, A NORMAL comment section, A WHOLE new blog look….

Reminds me of my camera. I pushed my little point and shoot TO THE LIMIT. I was SO ready for a Digital SLR.

It’s time for a NIKON kind of blog I tell ya.
And since this month is my 2 year Bloggavurshury….. !

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MY blogspot-switch-to-wordpress is brought to you with the help of some friends of mine..

@dotatdabbled
{All the artwork and the coding and adjustments of my free theme: Vigilance}

@telling_dad
{Helped me upload the database and the WordPress.org files}

@scrappinmichele
{Helped me upload the theme initially}

@theworkingmom
{Jen does amazing work, and has answered a lot of questions and says she will help me on my WordPress journey… I intend to keep picking the WordPress knowledge out of her brain in fact…}

Are you looking to make the WordPress switch…?

It’s not impossible. But sheesh, it’s taken me a long time WITH all this help.

Really quick… What you are going to need to do get your own WordPress Switch.

  • Step 1: Purchase your own URL. (I used GoDaddy.com about $10/year)
  • Step 2: Find hosting. Cost is usually from $5-10/month (Note: make sure it comes with database support. You will need MYSQL to upload the WordPress files.)
  • Step 3: Upload the WordPress Database to your server. (Here’s where I needed help… huh??) But when I asked around several ppl were willing to jump in on this process.
  • Step 4: Find a Theme you like… Free or otherwise… What’s a WordPress Theme you ask? Just Google it and go find one you like. I wanted a really clean layout. And a lot of people go with Thesis, but you pay for it. I found Vigilance, and part of what I liked besides it was clean, was that it’s free initially and then when you need to you can upgrade for a whopping $40.(So Far Vigilance is working great, and the upgrade is more about getting support in the forums.)
  • Step 5: Upload Your Theme into the WordPress files. (Again, I have no idea.. that part magically happened when Michele Stepped in…)
  • Step 6: If you need new artwork now is the time to get it, please people DO NOT keep going to iStock and purchase the same dang cartoon mom face EVERY other mom blogger already has.

    Here are 2 artists THRILLED to take your money and make a better (even semi-custom) header for you… @dotatdabbled @napwarden, or ask around, believe me there are graphic artists out there!!

  • Step 7: Figure out how to FTP files. Filezilla.com for a free software program. (You could do this step at the beginning if you think you’ll be uploading any of the files initially.)
  • Step 8: Here’s where I broke down and paid someone to tweak the theme I liked into the website I was going to LOVE. I found prices from $300 to $1200. So prepare yourself a budget. You can only ask your friends to do so much for you for free right?
  • Step 9: DO a ton of research on wordpress plugins, once your wordpress site is up teach yourself how to use the backend: posts, categories, media content control etc. Get help again to migrate your old posts and content over to the new site, new server. If you have paid someone to help with the coding, they likely will help with the migration.
  • Step 10: Attempt not to loose all of your feedreaders and followers. Ask them to please follow your current feed in case they were following your Blogger feed. Leave the old blog up with links where they can find your current schtuff. And redirect your feedburner account to your new URL.

I kept thinking all of this could be done for under $200. And no matter what I did or who I asked. It just wasn’t possible.

I’m dreaming that the handful of coders I know will get together with the fun graphic artists I know and make mommy blogger wordpress babies… ones that are birthed with-IN a mom blogger’s budget.

Either that or maybe we need bloggy insurance for upgrades?

Creamy Peppers And Onions With Kielbasa

February 12, 2010
NOTE: GoodNCrazy is moving to the world of self hosted WordPress! If you haven’t please subscribe to the GoodnCrazy.com RSS feed you’ll still be able to find me! Cheers!
Super easy, Super simple, Alfredo sauce

Serve over any pasta.
We most often use a whole grain penne.
And sometimes we serve it over rice.

And just because.
Asparagus was on sale today.
And that meant.. it was for DINNER!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
  • Meat Options: Turkey Kielbasa sliced in rounds, cooked chicken-bite sized, or ham chunks
    {Or skip the meat and call this a vegetarian dish!}
  • 1 Green Pepper: sliced in thin strips
  • 1 Red Pepper: sliced in thin strips
  • 1 Red Onion: halved and sliced in thin strips
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves: crushed
  • pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Basil Leaves: crushed in your hand
  • 1 Can Chicken Broth or Veggie Broth
  • 1 Cup Cream or Half & Half
  • Parmesan Cheese
and
Pasta or Rice of choice
DIRECTIONS
Cook your meat option in a large skillet til mostly done. Drain on paper towel lined plate. Set aside. (For Kielbasa I do not use any oil in pan, and just cook til all sides are browned a bit.)
In same skillet on medium heat saute peppers and onions til they just lose their crispness, 3-4 minutes. Use additional canola oil if needed.
Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and basil and cook one minute longer.
Add chicken broth and cream and let simmer on medium low for 8-10 minutes. When the sauce begins to thicken, add meat option to the skillet and warm through. Then add cooked pasta to the skillet.
Serve with Parmesan.

YUMMY.

Ode To The Random

February 9, 2010

A Tweet:

Sheesh. Why did I stay up so late last night? (Watching Jack’s ambivalence about saving the world again. That’ s why.) Now heading to the gym doesn’t sound as good as it did last night…

Sunday naps are the BEST. Until you realize you can’t go to sleep at any sort of normal time and the kids STILL need lunches made Monday morning. (And then Sunday naps SUCK.)

I’m stinkin’ excited! I have begun a small project for MemoryMixer.com. You can now find me on Twitter as @MemoryMixer for a few weeks.. how fun is that!?

My pal Julie of LeeLouBlogs is having a Birthday.

IT’s TODAY!!

And what does she do? She gives away free Valentine Card Templates! If you have MemoryMixer.com software or Photoshop you can add your own photos to these cards and send some virtual love to loved ones… or maybe that should be Real love… virtually?? Or something. (Oh go tell her happy birthday already!)

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Have a GoodNCrazy Valentine’s!

(Created from one of the free templates Julie gave out!)

Black Diamond WOW Review

February 8, 2010

“Black Diamond WOW”
Mop and Cleaners

PhotobucketMama Appah Reviews:

My IRL friend agreed to test out the Black Diamond Wow products. She has the cutest house, with a ton of wood flooring and plenty of tile to clean… Alas… I only have linoleum in the house we are renting (sigh). A big thanks to Mama Appah (and her daughter).

In her words….

I used the “Black Diamond Wow package this weekend. The package came with an easy put together aluminum pivot head flat mop that also boasts a machine washable pad. A total cinch to get going. After putting the included sprayer head in the wood and laminate floor cleaner, and I was in business and spraying away. I found It was best to work in sections, doing rows the width of the room, about 3 feet deep. I was done with the wood floors in my kitchen and living room in about 10 minutes, and that is 10 minutes with my nine year old helping!

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With Four kids and a dog, you better believe these floors were pretty dirty! I must admit that I don’t have any experience with floor cleaners of this type. For the past 8 years I’ve only steam cleaned my floors, with the occasional oil soap treatment; I was pretty impressed with the “Black Diamond WOW” cleaner. It didn’t leave a film on the wood floors, (I had been worried about that). The floors stayed clean for several days, and touch ups with this product were quick and so super easy.

I like that it comes with a washable pad, (hence the reason I never got into the disposable type mops). I also really enjoy the ease and functionality of quick clean ups! When my kids came in from playing in the snow and left trails of snow/mud/water I grabbed the mop and the tracks throughout the whole main floor were gone in under 30 seconds.

PhotobucketThanks for sharing the “Black Diamond WOW” cleaning kit with me! It’s something I Totally use on a daily basis!

Should I Be Concerned?

February 5, 2010

Today in my regular mail:


3 ENVELOPES

First: The National Bone Marrow Donor Program found me again. I have no idea how. Not that I’ve been hiding. But they are amazing. I registered to become a bone marrow back when I was 19. And I never think to tell them but every time I move… they find me.

Second: A mailer from my local hospital with this on the back:

DO YOU CLEARLY UNDERSTAND THE RISKS OF OBESITY?

Well gee I thought I did, but when it’s in all caps like that; I feel like checking my scales just to be sure I REALLY understand.

Third: A medical bill from a recent Dr. Visit.
That’s it.
Anyone else think it’s kind of ominous?
Some kind of bad Karma?
The menacing medical mail is out to mangle me?
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Photo from Stsock.xchng (doctored up a bit by me)

Outside With Lil Boo

February 4, 2010
Let’s go outside to see the view!

A children’s book from A to Z with an inquisitive little boy and his delightful elephant buddy.

Outside with lil Boo
Book Review
Author: Cameron Davison (AKA Daddy Bookins)
Illustrator: Dania Piotti
Cost: $14.95 plus shipping

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The whole book is written in a playful prose and I’m truly smitten with the cheery illustrations! Lil Boo heads outside to see the view… and finds an alphabet of discoveries waiting for him.
From: ‘Ants to birds—have you heard?’
‘Let’s be quiet… they need their rest.’
And: ‘Eggplant to floating—these ducks are gloating!’

The best part is that the whole alphabet thing is subtle. Kids don’t realize they are working their way from O to P to Q, instead enjoying the illustrations and the Oranges, Potatoes and Quail!

Cameron Davison is also the creator of PeasAndBananas.com and tweets as @peasandbananas. He shares his little boy’s ‘Boo’isms‘ weekly and cracks me up daily!

PhotobucketDaddy Bookins is the pen name of Cameron Davison, the daddy blogger of Peas and Bananas. Teamed up with the Mrs. and an IV of espresso, together the duo have been learning and living life through the trials and tribulations of raising a toddler – better known as Lil Boo.

Mini Mom Vacation

February 3, 2010
What did you do last weekend?

adoption chinese baby girl mom

I flew across the country to meet this little girl.

One of my closest friends… really, more like my soul sister, recently adopted a young girl in China. She and her husband returned with this little fireball 6 weeks ago. She’s adorable and happy go lucky and it’s hard to believe she hasn’t always been part of this family including 4 older rambunctious boys.

Why did they adopt? Besides obviously wanting a little girl? {My friend jokes her husband can’t make girl spermies}. She will tell you straight out: God told me we needed to adopt.

Well amen.

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I only asked her a million questions about their trip to China. And she had a bunch of photos and lots of fun stories. They were mainly in Nanning and Guangzhu. She said at one point they spent hours in a grocery store. Fascinated with the foods and brands and labels and the set up of the store!?
She also said people don’t use seat belts. Skipping the part where they install them in the automobiles in the first place! Her little girl hates the car seat… yeah no surprise! The children run around a car just like I did as a kid. They ride around with kids on handlebars of scooters and all manner of crazy situations.
One of her images:
She was also pretty shocked at the sheer number of people using bottled water. Wealthy people, poor people, in restaurants, in their homes… it really got me thinking about how stressed I get about recycling EVERY single plastic bottle I ever use. And trying hard to reuse them or NOT use them or take a reusable non-plastic water bottle every where I go. Hello. Millions… no, Billions of people in China using water bottles every day as a main means of drinking water. Boggles the mind.

I can only do so much, (and then pass my psychosis on to my kids right)?
Join me? Let’s send a Wake-UP Call…

Entitlement VS Gratitude

February 2, 2010
Tween ‘Tude
An extra dose of Gratitude, thanks.

Goodncrazy Tween Talk superhero girl

Weve been noticing a new vein of ‘tude in our Tween.
A whole lot of:

  • Why are we doing that?
  • My after school party starts in an hour, who’s taking me?
  • I have 7 classes every day, my life is SO hard!

Note the lack of please/thank you and general aura of entitlement.

I’m reading a parenting book about the entitlement factor among children (and all Americans really). How they (we?) need a shot in the arm, a vaccination, of good old fashioned humility and appreciation. “I deserve this.” “I should get more.”

The antidote the book suggests?
Gratitude.

Last weekend SuperTween needed a few pairs of casual pants. She’s literally growing before our eyes, several pairs of her jeans are ready for the Ark.

We drove to Kohl’s and chose a pair of khaki pants, but couldn’t find jeans for tall-for-her-age super skinny 12yrold, Size: ZERO. And next…( apparently I failed at communication the next few minutes…) because everyone else understood that our next stop on the Tween shopping express was Target; to buy her one more pair.

I Kid You Not.

Out of her mouth:

“Why? Why are we going to Another store?”

What I heard:

“Do we really HAVE to? All of us? Haven’t we been shopping long enough? Why do we have to go to another store? I’m so bored. Sassy and TK are totally annoying me. Me Me Me Me….”

I basically pulled out the wicked witch of the west mom mask, and well, LOST it. Are you serious? We drove over the mountain to shop specifically for you. And you’ve hit your Saturday patience level after one store?

Needless to say the rest of the day went to crap.

That weekend I talked with my husband about how to cure this entitlement virus and prevent it from infecting her any further. And just how contagious is it? Will it spread to the younger siblings?

I kept reading my parenting book, hoping for some insight. And I swear every talk and lesson in church that Sunday mentioned blessings and the benefits of expressing gratitude.

Monday night instead of Family Home Evening, I asked everyone to play a few rounds of a new game we just received called: Count Your Blessings. It’s a game created out of the inspired brainpower of the @Gratitweets women: Laura Robinson and Elizabeth Bryan along with the Chicken Soup for the Soul book of the same name.

Yes. SuperTween complained and slouch-pouted in the corner chair. However. After less than one round of:

PhotobucketFlick the spinner.
PhotobucketRead a situation card from one of the five decks (they present a dilemma, or predicament).
PhotobucketProblem solve as a family.

She couldn’t help herself. She was drawn in, participating and answering alongside the family immediately.

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Examples and family responses:

Category: Look On The Bright Side
“Share something difficult that’s happened to you that relates to life. And then share how you looked on the bright side.”

Sassy 9yrold: I broke my leg when I was four… people felt bad so they gave me presents.
TK 5yrold: I broke my arm last summer… everyone thought I was so cool on the first day of Kindergarten!
Dad: When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes… I eat better now, watch my sweets and value my life more.
SuperTween: In the spelling bee in 5th grade I won the whole grade, but later after a dad bullied the teacher the kid who got out just before me got a ‘second chance’… he ended up winning the next round and later they called it a ‘Tie’… I learned that sometimes it’s more important to know you worked hard and did well no matter what the public story is.

Category: Count Your Blessings
“Give the group 2 reasons you are grateful for the player with the largest feet.”

TK: I love his hugs and kisses (about Dad of course!)
Sassy: He’s cool. He takes care of me.
SuperTween: Sometimes he drives me to school. He works and pays the bills.
Mom: Because he loves me. And he makes me laugh when he teaches the children the Fishheads song!

Category: Soul Food
“You yelled at a friend or family member because you were frustrated about something else.”

Everyone: Oh my gosh we ALL do that!

And we laughed and talked about how hard it is when you are upset or frustrated at something, but then transfer that frustration to your family.

The conversation that followed after these handful of thought provoking- blessing remembering- questions and prompts was in a word: Priceless.

We talked for half an hour. The parents. The kids. (5yrold migrated off to the Lego pile nearby). We may not have solved world peace but we did manage to get a few antiviral injections aimed at the nasty entitlement virus.

And I’m grateful for that!

I was given a copy of Count Your Blessings and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings.