Nutter Butter is the Blizzard of the Month. I’ve already had four of them.

Because I’m not a fan of crowds, last year I often found myself stressing out before PTO meetings even though my only obligation for those meetings was to walk into the school library, find an empty seat, sit down in that seat, and then find my way out to the car when the meeting was over. I believe I attended a total of three meetings last year, which is admittedly fairly horrible, but it was three meetings more than I had attended in any of the previous years.

I’m now the treasurer of our school’s PTO. This means I will be attending ALL of the meetings, probably saying actual words during those meetings, doing things with money and bank accounts and budgets, and smiling a lot. I just need to constantly remind myself that sending a loved one off to WAR is terrifying. PTO is not terrifying. It’s not terrifying. Not terrifying. Terrifying.

Last night I attended my first event of the fiscal year. (Look at me talking in fiscals. I feel smarter already, Olivia Newton-John!) I saw a few things that broke my heart and a few things that found me fighting the urge to roll my eyes into the back of my head. At the end of the night, I returned home, counted some money, and entered a bunch of numbers into the system. No need for Xanax. All is well.

This evening (in about an hour, actually), we’ll be returning to school to meet the teachers. I’m terribly happy with the teachers the girls will have this year. My only complaint (and it’s a tiny one) is that one of the girls will be in a classroom with someone that I was hoping would NOT be in her classroom. BUT, I’m trying my hardest to turn my attitude around and even bring God into it along with words like Forgiveness and Peace and Love. (Wurocher once said, “If a child acts like a hateful animal, treat her as one. Feed her ground corn and chicken by-product and make her pee outside. Just kidding.”)

We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, if you have a Dairy Queen in your area, get over there and buy a Nutter Butter Blizzard. Tell them I sent you. (Don’t really tell them that I sent you. They don’t know me. (Unless you’re going to the Dairy Queen by my house. They know me. Oh, yes they do.)) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I’ve got friends in low places.

I know I’ve gone on about this before.

But seriously. I had to share this with you.


I wasn’t sure how to respond this morning when my feminine protection suggested I go play.

“I’ve got your back,” said the tampon, “Really. Go play.”

“Well, okay then!” I replied as I pumped my fist into the air, which I often do during That Time of The Month. (I normally follow that exuberant fist pump with a melodramatic cry on the bathroom floor, a maniacal laugh as I shove too many Doritos into my mouth, and a silent scream as my migraine hits. I enjoy being a girl!)

So, yeah. I did what the tampon told me! After taking the kids to catch their ride to College for Kids, I played fourteen rounds of tennis (rounds? sets? I really have no idea!), I mastered The Cartwheel in my front yard, I marched around a football field with a tuba, and I cross-country skied across some country!

Tampon totally had my back. I returned to the house to find that all of my laundry was finished and put away, the floors were sparkling, the dog had been trained, and my shower problem had been solved! The only thing Tampon didn’t do was pick my kids up and bring them back home to me, and that’s the only reason why I decided to remove and dispose of it.

And thank God I did!

Well, okay then!

It might sound silly, but if you substitute “Grandma” for “tampon” the way I just did, it becomes a bit easier to heed the advice! So, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind. I’m grabbing my keys and hitting the road. You see, somewhere out there is a carnival with my name written all over it, and I’m going to have fun. I *do* trust you, Tampon! I do! (Why am I suddenly crying? Do you have any Funyons I can borrow?!)

‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Tonight I gave a cake ball to someone who has never had one. (I’d like to buy the world a Coke.)

My mom and I had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings this afternoon, and I ordered what I always order: Grilled Chicken Buffalitos without the chicken. (I hit the nine month mark of being meat-free last week! The Buffalitos don’t need the chicken if they have the sauce!) Anyway, when our order arrived, my Buffalitos had chicken. I sent them back. About ten minutes later, my lunch arrived again. With chicken. By that time, my mom had already eaten over half of her meal, so I told the server to simply forget it. All of this to say: My MOM had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings this afternoon. I ended up going through the Taco Bell drive thru for a bean burrito. I had a beef with the chicken, but no chicken OR beef with the burrito. All is well.

This evening I went to a meeting, and when I returned to my car, I found that at least three geese (or one especially productive goose) had emptied their bowels onto my car. (I know!) I had planned to wash my car this afternoon, but never got around to it. I’ll do it tomorrow. Again, all is well.

After the meeting, I went to Walgreens to stock up on snacks, and when I stepped out of my car, I stepped into a puddle of vomit. Luckily, there was a wet rug outside of Walgreens (I have no idea why), and I was able to thoroughly clean my shoe before stepping back into my car. All? Well!

Harper has an exciting day planned for tomorrow. I have plans for lunch with a friend and a haircut. Meredith has an exciting day planned for Thursday. I have plans to attend her play as well as her field trip. Also, this evening I was elected PTO Treasurer for the 2011-2012 school year, and I have enough cocoa dusted almonds to stuff a swollen starling! (Thanks to all who checked in with me yesterday. I do appreciate it!)

Oh! Wait! EDITED TO ADD the fact that I also got a new pair of shoes on the cheap! (No WONDER the gray skies are starting to clear up!)
I want a Fluid Pudding Regular to win this one!
The Puddings are eating vegetables and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Ghandi does not rhyme with Tuesday.

I just spent nearly 30 seconds trying to think of a word that rhymes with Tuesday. When I didn’t feel like wasting any more of my time (It’s worth over twenty bucks an hour at times! Other times? It’s worth absolutely nothing! You’ll never hear me complain!), I typed a search into the Internet. I was told that Ghandi rhymes with Tuesday. I’m no poet/songwriter/seamstress/cook/etc., but I DO know that pairing up Tuesday and Ghandi is a stretch. Blues day. Goons day. You stay. Anyway.

This Easter was the worst Easter I’ve ever had. Seriously. Ever. It had nothing to do with lack of eggs or candy or fellowship or amazing food, because we had all of that. It had everything to do with this little puppy and how we got her on Friday but had to take her back on Monday, and who knew my heart could bust up SO MUCH after spending less than 72 hours with a muffin-footed hound?

Beezus in the morning!

I won’t talk about the reasons why we had to take her back, because it tears me up and I don’t need additional help in the tearing up department. I’ll just say this: She’s an awesome dog, and is at the Maryland Heights Humane Society in St. Louis. (They call her Candy. We called her Beezus.) Go adopt her. She’s a super-quick learner and sleeps through the night without whining! She’s great with cats AND with kids. She’ll even take a nap on you if she feels the urge.

Beezus 'n' Me

Let’s change the subject. In about an hour I have a doctor appointment during which we’ll be talking about cutting something weird off of my hip. (I’m purposefully going to leave you hanging, because the only thing I can think of that rhymes with Cellulitis is Norman Fell? You bite us!) I’m hoping we can get through the appointment without me having to remove my pants. In other words, Typical Tuesday for Angela Pudding. (Yes. Typical Ghandi.)

For the first time in a long time, I’m going to not allow comments on a post. This post. First off? Because of Beezus and how her leaving has made me more than sort of sad. Secondly? Because I don’t want to hear what else might rhyme with Tuesday. Or Cellulitis. Enjoy your Ghandi. (Until you fight us.)
I want a Fluid Pudding Regular to win this one!
The Puddings are eating vegetables and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Unlike her mother, Meredith can cut a rug! Figuratively!

When I was in the seventh grade, I went to a dance. Less than thirty minutes after arriving (and feeling like someone from another land as I watched over 100 people smiling and air-knocking simultaneously to Who Can It Be Now), I knew that dances were not my thing. After a bit of semi-frantic wandering behind the scenes, I quickly learned that the student council members were running the snack booth in shifts, so I wandered over and struck a deal.

Me: I know I’m not part of the student council, but my change-making skills are impeccable.

Popular girl: You have to be on the student council to work here. We each have to work a thirty minute shift.

Me: I understand that, but I also understand that it’s only a matter of time before Centerfold starts playing, and you would probably rather be dancing to THAT than hanging out back here. Me? I would rather be selling Coke and Laffy Taffy than just about anything else right now. I CURRENTLY HAVE AN “A” IN MATH.

Popular girl: Well, if you promise not to steal any of the money…


For the rest of the night, whenever a student council member would show up for a shift, I would kindly relieve him or her so I could continue to hide behind the metal box of quarters. I Never Went To Another Dance. Ever. No. Not Even Prom.

The list titled Things I Hope My Daughters Don’t Inherit From Me is longer than you think, and one of the items on that list is “483. My complete inability to let go and dance.”

On Saturday night, Jeff took Meredith to a dance celebrating the 99th anniversary of Girl Scouts. I am pleased (elated, even) to report that Meredith never felt the urge to sit in a tiny room and sell candy bars. (I put together the following video (with a bit of my own editorial commentary, because my opinions are Important when it comes to Ke$ha) as a bit of a souvenir for Meredith. Feel free to watch it if you want.) ((Also, please know that had I been at the dance, I probably would not have allowed Meredith to keep jumping off of those bleachers. Buzzkill, thy name is Pudding.))

Only One More Day for This One!!! I’m giving away some more energy-conserving light bulbs, and I would love for you to win. People have been leaving some great tips on how they conserve energy around the house! Come on over for your chance to win!

I am drinking Tropicana Pure Premium and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win!

I went shopping at Walgreens, and now I’m giving away a $100 Walgreens gift card! Come on over! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Well, hello there! I believe I’m 80% Tiger Mother!

A few months back I noticed that Amy Chua was making the talk show rounds discussing her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. After watching a few of the interviews, I sort of knew that I would probably never read the book, and I sort of knew that I would never want to be friends with Ms. Chua. Her kid made a birthday card for her and she gave it back and demanded something better?! What sort of parenting is that?!

My church book club selected Battle Hymn for our summer book, and I quickly signed up for it at the library because I knew that I didn’t want Ms. Chua to receive any royalty cash from me. When I made my library request, I was something like request number 394,492 with four copies in circulation. It was doubtful I would ever see the book. No big deal.

Apparently, some sort of hiccup took place in the system, and I got the call from the library a few days back. Please know that I’m sort of glancing around the room before I type this next sentence for fear that Katie Couric will walk out of my bathroom and roll her eyes at me, but: After reading the first 68 pages, I’m finding that I’m actually agreeing with MANY of the points that Chua makes in her book. MANY of the points! (I don’t really care if Katie Couric rolls her eyes at me. I think we could make up over burritos, and everything would be Just Fine.) ((Do you know that I make my kids correct their homework, because I find it unacceptable for them to make mistakes when they have the convenience of time to complete things accurately? I’ve also been known to make them correct things that they bring home from school. I know we’ll eventually reach a time when I can no longer enforce Correction, and I’m hoping the habit sticks so they eventually do it by choice, or just get things right the first time. We’ll see.)) (((How about that burrito, Katie Couric?!)))

It is now becoming clear to me that most of the people who interviewed Ms. Chua never read the book. Like me, they received the bulleted points that most of the articles puke out—the points that make Chua look absolutely callous and semi-abusive. And, sure. On the surface, it might seem a bit weird that Chua loaded the car with her daughter’s dollhouse and threatened to donate it to the Salvation Army piece by piece if the child didn’t perfect a particular piano composition by the next day. (Do you remember when I, smelling like a freshly showered Cinnamon Bun, went on a rampage and threw all of my kids’ toys away? We all have our moments, no?)

Anyway, peppered throughout the book (at least the first third that I’ve read so far) are things that really hit home (and sometimes sting a bit). For example:

Western parents worry a lot about their children’s self-esteem. But as a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child’s self-esteem is to let them give up. On the flip side, there’s nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn’t.

As Chua has said time and time again, this is NOT a parenting manual. This is a memoir. AND, if you treat it as a memoir and NOT a handbook, it’s not difficult to find the humor in it. (By the way, it’s very refreshing to be reading it simultaneously with Let’s Panic!) I’m actually considering purchasing the book when my library time is up, just so Penguin can shoot a fraction of a cent toward Ms. Chua for me. It bothers me that Joy Behar gave her such a hard time. It bothers me that I did That Thing where I judged another parent before knowing the whole story. (And I don’t even know the whole story! I know only 68 pages worth of the story!) Once again, we’re all doing our best, and my best is different from your best, and our best is different from Joy Behar’s best, but the fact remains: Everyone (probably) Loves Cake Balls. And later this week, I’ll show you exactly how to make them.
Only Three More Days for This One!!! I’m giving away some more energy-conserving light bulbs, and I would love for you to win. People have been leaving some great tips on how they conserve energy around the house! Come on over for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Kidneys, Veterans, My Head, and Balls of Cake

The kidney people used to call a few times each month to ask if I would put some sort of donation out on my front porch. Inevitably, I would forget to put the donation out until midnight the night before they were to come by, and then I would get all cranky and run around my house yelling and and throwing things into bags and boxes and cursing about kidneys all the while. More often than not, the kidney people would then NOT come by, and my bags and boxes would sit there until I packed them into the back of my car and drove them to the little yellow house charity thing at my kids’ school. After three instances of no-show kidney people, I asked them to take us off of their call list.

Last week the veterans called. Today I gathered two bags full of clothing and shoes and coats and whatever and will put them on the front porch before eight in the morning. I’m counting on you to be more reliable than the kidney people, Veterans. If this is the beginning of a successful charitable/reliable relationship, I may even donate a KIDNEY to one of you for the sake of irony and goodwill. (You might think I’m joking. I’m not joking.) Let’s make this work.

Thanks to all of you for the fun suggestions on the review site. Like I said, I’m still sort of swimming and throwing balls around at this point, but when it’s time to make a decision (possibly during the week of the 21st?), you’ll be the first to know what I come up with.

Speaking of the review thing, do you remember last month when I was lamenting about the headshot thing? I talked to Julie at Sungazing about setting something up and then I started spinning around and crying about haircuts and eyeliner and feeling uncomfortable with the idea of being within 300 feet of a camera, and suddenly we were scheduled to hook up with a few friends for lunch last Friday, and because my hair was cut (and I was okay with NOT using liquid eyeliner) a headshot appointment seemed like just the thing to do! We met up on Delmar and despite the fact that I’m a big apprehensive baby, Julie Worked Magic. Never before have I actually been happy to see a photo of myself. Julie is so talented and fun and she honestly loves what she does, which made the whole experience breezy.

On Friday night, I went to my second ever trivia night, and I’m convinced that I should go to MORE trivia nights because even though I’m not very good at them, they’re really sort of fun, aren’t they? Our table won the Best Decorated Table award, and that may have been because no other tables were decorated, but it also may have been because someone at our table owns a laminating machine! (It’s becoming really clear to me lately that I’m surrounded by amazing people.)

This week will be spent celebrating Jeff’s (40th) birthday, making more cake balls (have I talked to you about my cake ball thing?), and possibly planning a (very) small getaway. Meanwhile, I’m holding out hope for the Vietnam Veterans of America and their ability to pick up my (gently used) stuff.
I’m giving away some more energy-conserving light bulbs, and I would love for you to win. People have been leaving some great tips on how they conserve energy around the house! Come on over for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I swam across, I jumped across for you. Oh, what a thing to do.

Every time the outside temperature goes up (or down) by forty degrees or so, I start feeling the urge to buy new threads. And that’s sort of funny, because Fluid Pudding New Threads can be summed up as follows: Every spring/summer I purchase five short sleeved t-shirts to wear with my skirts, and every fall/winter I purchase five long sleeved t-shirts to wear with my sweaters and jeans and corduroy pants. I replace my staples as necessary. (For example, I’m currently down to one pair of jeans, and they’re all frayed at the bottom. I’ll probably wait on this until the fall, unless I can catch a good Gap sale between now and then. (I have a gift card.))

Last week the outside temperature hit seventy degrees, and because I now have friends who use the metric system, I’m proud to say that: Last week the outside temperature hit twenty one degrees! Anyway, I somehow fell into a website called ModCloth (you probably know them because you’re so good at this sort of thing), and I fell in love with this bright yellow jacket. (OUCH! I paid a LOT more for that jacket than $23.99! What the la la la la laaaaaaah! I’mGoingToPretendIDidn’tSeeThatPrice!!!) Anyway. (I CAN’T pretend I didn’t see that price! The jacket was $55 when I bought it! And that was a HUGE splurge for me! HUGE. My heart is beating in my eyeballs right now. Hhhhhhhh. No one got hurt. No one got hurt. No one got hurt.)

Anyway. The next time you see me strolling around town, I’m going to look a little something like this.


When I started this post, I was all, “Hey! Look! I’ve gone three years without a real jacket, and now I have a real jacket! It’s yellow!” But instead, now I feel sort of, “Hey. Look what I just spent entirely too much money on. And because of it, I’m ending my sentences with prepositions and not even exploring alternatives. Time to eat some Crisco and stop washing my hair. I’ll be crying in the shower if you need me.”

I also grabbed this dress. When it comes back in stock, it will probably sell for five dollars. Don’t look at me.

UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! I felt so gross about this that I actually called ModCloth and said, “I need to ask a really bold question. I ordered a jacket one week ago today, and I just noticed that the jacket is now selling for less than half of what I paid and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…” Anyway. They are giving me a store credit for the price difference. And that’s incredible. Because I now have my eye on this dress. And how cute is this?! And now I’m happy again! (It really doesn’t take much.) SO, next week I’m going to tell you about how I lost my mucous plug when I was pregnant with Meredith, and I’m coupling the story with a book giveaway! Stay tuned!
Did you know that I’m giving away light bulbs? Because I am. And I would love for you to win one. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Oh my Goth!

Is this right?

I throw in my sponge! (My make-up sponge.) My inconsolable soul able to weep these tears no more. No more!

I hereby draw the line. (Around my eye!) ((With a felt-tipped applicator that gives me ultimate control.))

Oh! My mumpish existence. If you blur your perception, a fish appears to be consuming my bulbus oculi. Eye? Ideally, I’ll be able to recreate his brother on my other side.

(I’m now ready for tomorrow’s Parent Teacher Conferences.)

Yes. That's right.

The Puddings are saving energy and giving away two $50 GE energy smart LED light bulbs! Come on over for a chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Can I talk about feminine protection over here?

Let’s just get all of the nasty stuff out of the way, shall we? (Warning: This post contains paragraphs that might make boys uncomfortable. And perhaps some girls. And because I used the word Warning, I cannot guarantee where we’re going to end up when all of this is over, but at least I know I’m covered. Buckle up, Sporty.)

By the way, I’ve been meaning to put something up at Fluid Pudding for the past several days, but it seems that I’m unable to draw a suitable picture of me with chickens flying out of my stomach. Please know that I have a story to tell you, but it will have to wait until I can draw the chickens flying out of my stomach. I’ll accept submissions. (Please know that the face of a girl with chickens flying out of her stomach does not carry a smile. It’s a face that showcases the bowels of despair. And that pun really was sort of intended, but I’m not going to slap something up here that will cause BlogHer to be all, “Hello! No more pictures of bowels on your face. This is your first and final warning.”)

This morning I took a tampon out of the box (Whoa! Hey! I warned you!), and the side of the package said “Practice makes perfect.” You’re right. It does! With that said, I’ve been at this game since the summer after seventh grade. Lots of practice. Out of curiosity, I grabbed another out of the box. “Go for the goal.” (The goal seems obvious. No leakage?) The next one said, “Explore new forms of fearlessness.” (I can assure you that I do NOT want to explore new forms of fearlessness within the realm of tampon insertion. Good night.)

I remember a few months back when everyone was up in arms because Always was printing things like “Have a nice period.” on the inside of their sanitary napkin wrappers. Personally, I prefer that over “Go for the goal.” This particular box of tampons was on sale a few months back, and I purchased them despite the fact that they are marketed for active sporty girls. (I am most definitely NOT an active sporty girl, although I *did* attempt to do yoga a few nights back. When the instructor (on the DVD, because I rarely leave my home) said, “Nice work! Now we’re all warmed up and ready to begin!” I turned off the television and began to weep.) Are there active sporty girls out there who are exiting the bathroom feeling encouraged and all ready to play volleyball after reading the side of their tampon wrapper? I want to meet those active sporty girls! (Sort of.) ((Not really.))

I’ve come up with a few phrases I wouldn’t mind seeing on my future tampons.

“Let’s get this thing over with.”

“Please don’t forget me up there like you almost did that one time.”

“My job is worse than your job. Nothing you can say will make me feel differently.”

“Are you hungry? Because it’s okay if you want to eat an entire pan of brownies.”

I could go on and on, but I’m keeping the best ones to myself just in case the tampon people want to call me. (Call me, tampon people!)

It’s a snow day over here, so I’ll spare you the story of how I’m still (figuratively!) paying for the pedicures that I received over the summer, and how I will NEVER go to that particular nail salon again.

Have I made you wince? I think you’re so pretty. Let’s explore new levels of fearlessness. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>