My Back-to-School Supplies have arrived!

The following post is part of the DailyBuzz Moms Tastemaker program in partnership with Clorox.

Every year when August rolls around, I feel the excitement that most people feel at the end of December. To me, a new school year means a New Beginning. As I pack the kids’ backpacks with their school supplies, I start making mental lists of all of the things I’m going to do differently this year.

The list always includes the following items:
1. Eat healthier
2. Clean the house
3. Figure out my hair

The list also tends to include things like:
1. Figure out quinoa once and for all!!!
2. Start taking vitamins. (Bottle already in cabinet. Check expiration date.)
3. Calcium supplements?!

This year I’m pleased to report that with the help of DailyBuzz Moms and Clorox®, I was able to hit the ground running with my goals of eating healthy and cleaning the house! A few days back, I received the following items in the mail:


What you see here probably looks familiar. We have Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, Glad® To Go Lunch containers, and a Brita® Bottle Water Filtration System.

The Clorox® wipes have become a staple in our house, as well as in the girls’ school. (Every year without fail, Clorox® wipes are included on the classroom supply list.) I use them to wipe off the counter tops, the inside of the sink, and the top of the toilet. (I would wash my face with them if I could. As you know, they smell great.)

We’ve been using (and reusing) Glad® containers forever, but I had no idea that the To Go Lunch containers existed! They’re smart, because they have a 1.5 oz. cup that snaps into the lid.

Cup in the lid

That cup can hold salad dressing, hummus, olive oil, or even chocolate syrup! The possibilities are endless, really. (I like to stuff my cup with mixed nuts, as I tend to crave protein after I eat a big bowl of fruit!)

Glad Closed

The final item in the package is my new favorite thing. If you know me at all, you know that I’m constantly carrying around a container of water. I’m not a big fan of plastic water bottles, but I *am* a big fan of Good Water. Because our tap water is drinkable, I tend to fill one of our many dishwasher-safe reusable cups every time I leave the house, and I’ll spend most of the day drinking from it. Admittedly, the water tends to taste a bit stale by the end of the day, which is a bummer, but worse things could happen, right? Anyway, when I opened up the Brita® Bottle Water Filtration System, I immediately knew I was going to put it to the test to see if it keeps the End of the Day Stale Water Thing (EotDSWT) under control.

Brita filter

This morning I cleaned out the bottle, filled it up with water from our tap, and when I took a drink I noticed that the water was tasting better than our tap water. The Brita® filter? It works. Best of all, a few hours later I took a drink and there was zero hint of Stale. Success. I love this water bottle. (The only thing I don’t love is that it has a spout on the top. I need to learn how to drink from a spout without spilling all over myself. I’ve heard that practice makes perfect.)

I’m beyond thrilled with the items from DailyBuzz Moms and The Clorox Company. (I still need help with the hair/quinoa/vitamin thing, but those things can wait as I pack my healthy snack on my clean counter tops!) By the way, because I know you guys are brilliant, I would love to hear what kind of things you would put in the 1.5 oz. cup that comes with the Glad® To Go Lunch containers! Let’s brainstorm! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Blame it on the rays? Yeah. Yeah!

For some unknown reason, I spent the entire weekend dressed up as Petulant Pudding. I’m choosing to blame my foulness on the stingrays we visited at the St. Louis Zoo Saturday morning. I have to blame my ire on something, you see, and because the stingrays are now loaded up and on their way to Phoenix, I think it’s safe to blame quite a few things on them. I sat on the couch growling yesterday instead of attending the church picnic because of the stingrays. I was quite unsocial at Meredith’s soccer game yesterday afternoon because of the stingrays. I almost threw up my breakfast yesterday morning because of the stingrays. (The fact that my milk had curdled had nothing to do with it, I’m sure. Stinking stingrays.)

I wish I had an entertaining story for you, but, well, it appears that my cat has herpes. Apparently, herpes in a cat is not a serious thing. In fact, it’s quite common. According to the veterinarian, when a herpefied cat (my term, not his) is put in a stressful situation, the herpes will flare up and will often manifest itself in the form of sneezing fits and drainage. Apparently, the overnight stay at the vet office last week stressed Ramona out a bit. As a result, she sneezed something like 3,284 times last night. And because she sleeps at the foot of our bed and her sneezes come out as cute little high-pitched screams, we didn’t get much sleep last night. (It’s hard to blame our exhaustion on the stingrays, but Ramona insists we do so.)

A few weeks ago, my kids ate spinach, beans, and bread. And we shot a video. And now I’m giving away $100 plus a year’s supply of Wonder® bread! Follow me over here if you’re interested. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Despite rumors to the contrary, I am not an attack site.

Oh, Internet.

Do you remember last week when I updated my software and I was So Proud and maybe a bit cocky about the whole thing?

Yesterday, as I was writing a review for BlogHer, my screen went squirrely, and I received a message accusing me of being an attack site. The message came from Google, but when I log into Google, my dashboard is all, “Hey, Fluid Pudding! Everything’s gravy! Wheee!”

As I type this message to you, I’m hoping that Liquid Web is looking into my issue. The last I heard was “I’m putting this over to our Security team. You should be hearing from them shortly.” That was about sixteen hours ago. I’m perplexed, Internet.

BUT, my house smells good. And if you want to read about it, you can follow me over here, once again, I doubt you’re attacked. Trust me. Argh! (Updated to add: One person was apparently sent to a site filled with pop-ups. No one else has mentioned any problems.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Welcome to Summer Break!


First up? Making paper clip chains.
Next? God only knows.

Actually, one of my plans is to embark on a thirty day fitness adventure.
If you’re interested in more details, follow me over here. (Full disclosure: It’s a review thing! And it will eventually contain video footage of me working out!)

((We can’t go on together with suspicious minds.))

Most importantly, thanks for all of your kind words regarding the photograph of Harper in the fountain. I’m still learning the ins and outs of the camera. So far so good.

Thirty Days to a Firmer Pudding! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Miss Crazy in Prison with the Makeup

I stopped by the Crazy Lady Starbucks last night on my way to work. While there, I asked if they experienced any sort of customer disturbance on Saturday morning at 9:45ish. And they had! Apparently, the woman who yelled at me in the parking lot entered Starbucks and started acting all crazy and screaming out her drink order. The manager wanted to avoid a scene, so she escorted Miss Crazy (I know, that’s mean. But I refuse to keep calling her “the woman”. Wait. Let’s call her Beyoncé just to add some sparkle to the story.), I mean, the manager escorted Beyoncé to the head of the line where Beyoncé continued to yell out inappropriate things to the employees and the other customers.

After getting her coffee, Beyoncé sat in a corner and talked to herself for nearly an hour. And here’s the part of the story that haunts me: She didn’t bring her child into Starbucks with her. In other words, I really should have hung out a bit longer, because Beyoncé left her child in a car seat in a van in a parking lot (in St. Charles, in Missouri, in the United States, in North America, continue to pan out, etc.) for an hour while she sat inside muttering battys and whatnots. Hhhhhhhh.

Funniest Thing The Starbucks Guy Said to Me: Yeah, thanks for waiting four days to check in on us. If she had been swinging a knife, we would still be bleeding while you were “out there” doing your ugly hair thing!

Insert seamless segue right here, would you?

So, I’ve got this fresh thing under my arm (you WANT me to spare the details.), but I can’t go see my dermatologist BECAUSE HE IS IN PRISON. (So, I’m going to see my gynecologist instead. Monday morning. 8:15. Don’t worry.) By the way, did I mention that my dermatologist is in PRISON? I do hope they crown him Dermatologist Amongst the Prisoners, because he did cure the ugly batch of eczema on my hand (Remember when I had to wear the gloves? Yeesh.), and I’m a firm believer in requiring dermatologist prisoners to palliate the perplexing pustules of their prisoner peers. (I know. I’m making light. And the reason he is in prison is so completely horrible. Unforgivable, really.)

Another segue here! You’re getting good at this!

I’m giving away a hefty amount of Max Factor stuff over here. And even if you’re not into scoring makeup, you should at least jump over and witness the disaster that is me after applying 39 years worth of makeup in one sitting. (My mom doesn’t have any photographs of me playing with makeup as a child. Now she does. You know, minus that whole Child thing.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I love you and you and you and you (repeat and fade)…

Thanks so much for your kind words and e-mails regarding the Possibly Crazy with a Big C lady and the reflux stuff. Once again. You guys? The greatest. Hands down.

One more thing: If you’re interested in reading about Snapfish products and possibly winning a $50 Snapfish gift card for Father’s Day, step on over to my side room. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Care to follow me down a side road?

So, I posted the following few paragraphs and reviews earlier today, and then it seemed weird to be posting anything in light of the terrible news about Madeline. (You can donate to March of Dimes in her honor by heading over here.) Anyway, I’m always completely speechless in these situations, and then I read what Velma wrote about her own daughter. And she summed up my feelings so perfectly.

My book club is meeting next week, and for the second month in a row, I have not yet read the book. Instead, I’ve been reading The Household Guide to Dying. And I’m loving it, and I talk all about it right over here.

Also, I’ve been eating yogurt. And I made a video of myself eating yogurt (follow this link to see), because sometimes that urge just strikes, don’t you agree? Actually, I believe we should pick a day and all make videos of ourselves eating our favorite food. Would you be up for it? (I choose Delhi’s Chaat (#11 on the menu), and I choose May 12th, for obvious reasons.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

What time is it? It’s cat adding time!

Yesterday afternoon you probably felt a slight shift in the universal barometric pressure. I apologize for that. It’s just that I finally came to grips with the idea that we’re going to adopt another cat soon, and the cat I’m feeling some sisterhood with is Scruffy.

Sadly, I have to work today, and I doubt Scruffy will still be available tomorrow. Nevertheless, it’s kitten time.

On a surprisingly related note, I recently received a Swiffer in the mail. And if you follow this link, you’ll see one of my closet skeletons. (Not really a closet skeleton. More like a dusty nightmare. Tomato, tomahto.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I was not attacked by the statue, but I did get a new comforter.

Last night I found myself sitting on a couch next to The Bloggess. We were guests on Oprah (obviously), and our mind-blowing creations were being celebrated. After a coin toss, Jenny revealed that she had invented a statue of Frida Kahlo that appears to be a normal twenty foot high stationary installment until someone in the room is being dishonest. Upon detecting a lie, the statue lights up from within, humanizes, and storms upon He or She Who Has Delivered an Untruth. Oprah then opened a curtain and revealed the amazing statue, who immediately began glowing and humanizing and chasing down audience members. It was terrifying.

When it was my turn to reveal a creation, I said, “Well, I really didn’t come up with anything, but I can work a Hooey Stick.” With that, Oprah shook her head and muttered, “I like your skirt.”

With that said, if you want to see my bedroom and how I was able to improve it with the help of BlogHer and JCPenney, join me over here. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

He kissed my cheek before bucketing my noggin.

A few nights ago Ben Folds gently placed a bright pink bucket hat on my head and crowned me Queen of the Shirtless Crab Walk.

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

When Jeff and I were shopping for wedding rings, we ended up at a jewelry store in a mall in Nashville, Tennessee. After making our selections (Jeff’s ring is gold with black ridges that remind him of record albums, mine is platinum and has eleven tiny diamonds embedded into the band for no real reason at all), we were asked if we wanted anything engraved onto the rings.

Me: Yes. Put ‘My Only Friend, The End’ inside Jeff’s ring.

Jewelry Store Kid: Seriously?

Me: Yes. If engraving costs less than five dollars.

After our wedding ceremony, it occurred to me that Jeff never answered the question about engraving. I slid the ring off of my finger, expecting (and sort of hoping) to find a fabulous William Gass quote. Instead, I found one word. Ben.


Me: Jeff? Why did you do this?

Jeff: Um, I didn’t do that. Actually, it sort of looks like the engraver screwed up someone else’s ring and then put it back into the case to be sold. Look at the messed up N.

Me (muttering a few expletives, some that begin with an F): I’ll be clearing this up when we get back to Nashville.

Get this. When I returned to the store to clear up the Ben issue, I found that all of the jewelry cases had been removed, and the store had closed down leaving no forwarding address. Interesting. (I immediately took the ring to have it appraised. I have no idea why, other than: What if those aren’t really diamonds?! What if it’s not really platinum?! It seems that everything is fine, except I still have Ben rubbing up against the finger that holds the vein that runs directly to my heart or something.)

Let’s fast forward seven years, shall we? (Seven years that involved purchasing every Ben Folds album and familiarizing the girls with his music to the extent that they can name Gracie in less than three notes.) ((If you follow that link, please know that I have no idea who the people are in that video, and I sort of wish they wouldn’t have interrupted the song with their baby’s first cry. Then again, I tend to be insensitive when the moon is full.))

On Thursday night, Jeff and I took to the streets to see Ben Folds play at The Pageant. And I won’t tell you that I was clearly the oldest person in attendance, because that fact tends to make my eyes well up a bit. So, let’s skip over my realization that several of the kids in line were born when I was already drinking beer. Legally. Wait. Can I just tell you that I heard a girl say “It’s on like Donkey Kong!” as we stood in line to enter the building? She was totally serious about It being On like Donkey Kong! (She had spent nearly two hours in the Big People line, and was slightly distressed about being asked to move to the back of the Under 21 line. When we heard her story and discovered that it was about to be On like Donkey Kong, we quickly surrendered our place in the Under 21 line and went in search of our fellow Big People. I do not regret that move.)

We found our seats, we made out a bit (I might be stretching the truth on that one), and we prepared for the opening act. (Prepared = Continued to sit. We were very lucky to have seats.) Opening act? Missy Higgins. And during her first song I developed one of those I Want to Buy All of Her Albums Right Now crushes. I also want to figure out how to knit the cabled tank she was wearing. But you don’t care about that, do you?

The Ben Folds performance? As expected, it was flawless. Had you been sitting next to me, you would have noticed me giving my cranial approval by cocking my head to the side in that “I’m really feeling this” way, and nodding to the rhythm as if to say “Yes! Uh huh! Uh huh!” over and over again. Let’s see. Do you mind if I simply run down the set list with you? (I know you’re really wanting to get to the part about the shirtless crab walk. I’m getting there. I promise.)

And right now you’re wondering what the Fake Leak thing is, right? I know! Before their latest album was released, Mr. Folds “leaked” songs onto the internet with the same titles as the album tracks. But they weren’t the album songs. SO, the folks who grabbed up the fakes thought they were getting actual album tracks. But they weren’t. And I would say something about getting pleasantly punked, but I’m 38, remember?! (You can find some of the leaks on this site if you fish around a bit.)

By the way, we left after the fake leak version of Frowne Song. If you were at the show, please don’t tell me that we missed a second encore. Please. And please don’t tell me that it contained Philosophy. Seriously. Because I don’t want to know that. (Philosophy was on the CD that Jeff and I gave out to everyone at our wedding reception. And that was Seven Years Ago tomorrow. October 20th. Seven Years. I’ve never held a job for seven years. I’ve never done Anything for seven years. (Except for the Fluid Pudding thing. Fluid Pudding and Jeff. There you go. Cheers.))

When we got home after the show that night, I sat up and watched The Office. And then I fell asleep and had a dream during which I was crab walking around The Pageant without my shirt on. (As I sometimes do. The employees are very patient.) I eventually found myself backstage balancing a bottle of beer in Billy Pancake, and Ben Folds walked up, bent down, kissed my cheek, and placed a bright pink bucket hat on my head. “You are Queen of the Shirtless Crab Walk!” he proclaimed as he tapped my head with his own bottle of beer, which is just as good as slipping an engraved ring containing eleven tiny diamonds onto the finger that holds the vein that runs directly to my heart or something. And it all seemed very Just Another Day in the Life.

If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme. When you wish upon a star as dreamers do. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>