Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Query

I'm finding myself in unchartered territory. I rarely get stressed out (unless it's life or death), so I'm really floundering here. This definitely is not life or death.

Alas, I need your help. Here's my query: When you are feeling temporarily overwhelmed and stressed out, what do you do to de-stress?

I think I just might just curl up in the fetal position with a good book.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

PSF-End of Summer Project


Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

We're saying goodbye to summer and kicking off Autumn with a new color scheme for our exterior.

I can't wait to see the finished product. I know it's going to look fabulous. It looks fabulous already. Until then it's completely done though, this is one ornery mama.

Have I ever told you about my love/hate relationship with home renovations? It's simple.

The love part comes in when the project is completed. The hate part is every second until it's done.





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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wordful Wednesday-Official Launch

If you'd like to link back here on your Wordful Wednesday, you can grab the HTML code from my side bar and enter it into your post so that the image above appears with the built in link back here.

John (above), Jacob (below)

My heart is swelling. I think that I have a few book worms on my hands.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Interested in some incredible recipes?


Ahem........and helping me to win a $100.00 gift card to Williams Sonoma AND a digital camera? This is your chance to discover 11 seriously delicious recipes and make my dreams come true. (Just kidding about that part.) Out of thousands-all right, I don't know how many submissions there really were, but, out of LOTS of recipe submissions, I'M A SEMI-FINALIST. The recipes were chosen by a Professional Chef and the Saucy Eats Founders, so having my recipe selected is a HUGE deal.

I'd like to encourage you (OK, beg you) to go vote. There* is * something in it for you.....for one, my undying devotion, and for another, well, 11 FABULOUS recipes. Saucy Eats is only a click away! Hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I know I'm going to. I'm the SECOND ANGIE, my recipe is the SALAD, not the mushrooms!

My recipe is found here, on my cooking blog, Cooking For A Circus Has To Be Simple.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Giveaways and Celebrations

Tiffany, one of the founders of SITS is having a 100th post celebration on her personal blog.....and it's one generous celebration, in true Tiffany style. I'm hoping to be the lucky winner of the $100 American Express card, but if I don't win, I'd love it if you did. If you're interested, head on over to R Family Diaries and tell Tiffany how fabulous she is. Because she really is.

If you are into jewelry, here are two great giveaways:

Mannequin of Fractured Toy is hosting a Twisted Silver giveaway this week. The winner will receive a really unique "Bubbles Bracelet". I'm thinking it's something I can't live without. Head on over for more details. While you are there, check out this post for a whole slew of giveaway opportunities.

Kiki and Lele of Kiki and Lele Handcrafted Jewelry are having a giveaway this week via The Secret is in the Sauce. For all the Saucy details, visit SITS and link over to their blog and Etsy shop.

Lastly, interested in trying those Pop'rs I told you about a few weeks ago? This week you have a chance to win yourself a set, too. Pop over to Eat Your Veggies for more details.



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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Comments

I'm super-bloggedy-blessed to have such a great circle of blogging friends. I can always count on YOU to brighten my day with a comment and feed my ego right when I need it, which is just about all the time. Thank you!


Casey and I had so much fun with our switch-a-roo on Monday. I was so impressed by so many of you who took the time to comment for her . Don't go dropping me for her now, though, you hear?

I've got meme's coming out of my ears coming up and a few more bloggy awards, too.

My little give-away got delayed, but that's in the works as well.......

So stay tuned.

And don't forget to join me on Wednesday for my Wordful Wednesday. I'm looking forward to it.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Photo Story Friday-Summer


Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
Oregon has the most beautifully moderate summers of any place I've ever lived. I just wish it lasted longer. Summer never officially *starts* until July and then it seems to end the first part of September. Certainly not long enough for my liking. We've had 3 HOT, and by that I mean with a high above 100 degrees, days this whole summer. 3.


This was one of them.















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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fall Already?

Somehow, my tulip tree missed the memo that said it's still SUMMER. I'm SO not ready for Fall. Yet.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Jacob

Do you think there is any irony in the fact that I do a Wordless Wednesday each week, yet they are always wordful? So, starting next week, and every week afterwards, I'm going to host a Wordful Wednesday. I'm counting on you to join me. Please?

I can't get enough of this kid. Just when I think he can't get any more adorable, his mirror image walks into the room and I have to pinch myself. It's adorable times two. I'm pretty positive I'm darn lucky.




So next week, I'll include a Mr. Linky like the one shown below. You just enter your URL address and voila, we're all set. Now, remember, Wordful Wednesday doesn't have to be particularly wordy. A sentence will suffice. It's for those of us that can't just throw a picture out there and not say something about it. If you'd like to jump in and play today, feel free, but the offical launch is next Wednesday.




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Monday, August 18, 2008

Surprise.......it's a guest blogger

I'm thrilled to mix things up a bit today and trade posts with Casey, the mastermind (and mom) behind Quilao Triplets. She's one of my oldest blogging buddies and has the funniest triplet stories I've ever heard. If you haven't already paid Casey a visit, now is the time. After you check out my guest post (it's the phone etiquette post I promised), browse around. And around. You won't be sorry. Promise.

So without further ado, here's a little "birdy" talk:

One of my BIG jobs over the summer was to get the girls potty trained. Really it was more like I HAD to get them potty-trained because preschool was starting soon and they couldn't go in diapers.

So this new milestone in our lives has made our outings more interesting. Lots of trips to the potty between three toddlers.

Lucky for me, my husband has been willing to pitch in and take them along with him if needed.




After one trip recently, I noticed my husband had this weird look on his face as they were walking out. In my mommy brain, I start running through all the scenarios in my head. Did my daughter put her hands all over the toilet or floor and then stick her hand in her mouth? Did she pee on herself? Did she clog up the toilet with a roll of toilet paper? What was the deal?

When my husband sat down next to me, he leaned over and said, “I tried to keep her back, but she kept looking.”

As calmly as possible I ask, “Looking?Looking at what?

My husband says, “She thinks I have a birdy in my pants.”

I almost choked on my Jamba Juice before I started laughing hysterically.

And now she wants to know where mama’s birdy is.

But like all good mothers, I just laugh and then pretend I don’t hear her when she asks the question. Because seriously, who can talk their way out of a birdy in daddy and mommy’s pants?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shhh.........

I wasn't supposed to tell, but I have a hard time with secrets.......good ones, that is. A fun little surprise will appear on my blog tomorrow. At least I think so. Something I've never done before. Be sure to leave loads of comments.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vengeance, thy name is Tiki



In case you didn't get the hint, Juannie, Jacob only takes so much bullying before he seeks revenge.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Photo Story Friday-Flaunting the Rules


Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


I shamelessly admit it. My kids are clever. Very, very clever. If a situation presents itself that will allow a little circumventing of the rules, they are ON it. They start young, my situation manipulators. Here's an example:


"Mom says I'm too little to use a knife? Alrighty then. A saw it is".


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©2008 Seven Clown Circus. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Funk

I was stupid. I acted without thinking. And I've been upset about the potential consequences ever since.

I was trying to be helpful, but that blew up in my face. I'm pretty sure I've learned a valuable lesson here, and perhaps you can too, so I'm sharing the story, even though it clearly illustrates my impetuous and silly stupid actions.

My older readers know that I moderate on a support site for parents of monoamniotic multiples. It has a relatively small membership base in comparison to other large twin support sites, because monoamniotic twins are so very rare. It's not a support site you'd just "happen upon" unless you are specifically searching for it.

When I was pregnant with my monoamniotic twins I didn't know anyone that had been through a pregnancy like mine. I was devastated that I might lose my babies, and I was dying inside knowing I would have to leave my family for an extended hospital stay should my babies survive to viability. I found this support site for parents like me and the information and support the members on the site provided were invaluable to me, especially while I was pregnant. I've always wanted to "give back" for that support, and thus, my role on the site now is different and more substantial than it was then.

Recently, a new member joined and just happened to be in the Portland area. She asked about doctors and hospitals and said she would appreciate it if I would call her as she was just. so. worried. I jumped at the chance to help someone locally and dialed her right up (she emailed me her number), even though as a rule, I do.not.use. the phone if I can help it. But that's a whole different post entirely.

I spoke with her, gave her my two cents and went on my way feeling a little uncomfortable like things just didn't add up with her. But that didn't stop me from passing her phone number along to another local monoamniotic mom who could help the woman more than I could. I left for vacation and kept thinking about the phone call. It was weird. Too many variables with red flags. When I returned things got weirder and I started to freak out a little. The woman had called my house repeatedly. Repeatedly. Like 4 times a day. She linked to my blog, she was too present in my business for my comfort. And, I had involved someone else.

I knew I had to tell my husband because at this point I knew without a doubt that she was lying about her monoamniotic pregnancy. She was hanging out at hospitals. She continued to call me and email me and post on the boards of the site I moderate. I felt like my hands were tied because I couldn't prove she was a faker (HIPPA), it was apparent she was contacting other members, and I was worried about the safety of my children, and others on the site. I didn't know if she was just a weirdo trying to get attention, or a potentially dangerous psychopath.

Have I mentioned yet that my husband was FURIOUS? Furious. I had to listen to him tell me all the things I already knew and that were eating me alive. And he was absolutely, positively right. With one thoughtless action I had potentially endangered my family. I did it with the best of intentions, but still I did it. I just wasn't thinking. I didn't know anything about this woman, and I called her without blocking my number.

This started in late June and finally came to a head last week. I had the proof that was needed to expose her lies (which again, is whole different post) and finally bit the bullet and without actually accusing her of fraud, accused her of fraud. I was nervous doing so because I didn't know what the backlash would be, but still I did it. I couldn't take it anymore.

I posted something like this:

"I am very surprised that you had time to edit the photos of your girls while you are still in the hospital recovering from an emergency C-Section.

Just so you know, you should adjust the color in your photos. The hospital where you delivered uses blue disposable surgical scrubs, not green cloth ones."

Within minutes she had deleted her posts AND her blog.

And no one has heard from her since.

I should have felt nothing but relief, but I've felt so much more. Sadness that something was carried so far. Sickness that someone would do something like that. Depression that I was so foolish. In a FUNK because I just don't want to believe people like this exist and I managed to expose myself to one of them.

Moral of the story? Don't do what I did. It was stupid. And naive.

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©2008 Seven Clown Circus. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A splash of color

I like beige. I like taupe. I like brown. I like simple.
And it's one of the things Jeff and I do not agree on.
He likes a little more color.
I don't know why I resisted adding some color for so long. He was right in insisting. Of course. These little additions of color have made the rooms warmer, more interesting. But most of all, they have lifted my spirits.
I LIKE walking into the rooms and seeing the subtle transformation. It makes me smile, and chases the funk away that I've been in.
Don't worry, I fully plan on divulging the reason for my funk.
Tomorrow.




















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©2008 Seven Clown Circus. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

An Email Plea....

Stephanie at Live.Love.Eat sent me an email that reminded me that I have something I've been meaning to talk to you about. Well, some of you. For quite some time.

Have you ever noticed that when your blog comments are emailed to you some people have email addresses attached in which you can respond to their comment, and some don't? Sometimes they ask something specific from which they'd like an answer? So then you have to go to their blog and post a random answer about something totally unrelated to their post? Me too.

Maybe I'm a little unclear. So here's Stephanies question, "why do your comments come across with your email address and some others come across as no reply?"

And here's my answer. I'm super courteous (hahaha) and try to make sure that the person to whom I comment is able to easily and effortlessly contact me in return.

My other answer is that Carissa at Good and Crazy told me how. And so I followed her instructions. And now it's done.

Here's how (for Blogger users):

Pull up your Blogger User Profile, and then click "Edit User Profile".
Third line down: Show Email Address: Make sure there is a check in the box.
Further down, under Identity: Email Address: Type in your email address.

My life has been better since I've followed these simple instructions. Yours can be too. Just do it!

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Friday, August 08, 2008

First Kiss, Precious Gift

Our first kiss was unexpected.
It was surreal.
It was one of the most beautiful feelings I had ever experienced.

You might think that this was my first baby. But it wasn't. My most memorable first kiss belonged to my last born, my 5th child. I remember it most vividly because I didn't take it for granted like I did with my first three.

Emotionally, I was a different person than I had been before, and I'd realized that getting pregnant doesn't guarantee a healthy baby 9 months later. It was different because I didn't actually believe that my babies had been delivered, alive, until that moment.

As I lay on the operating table getting put back together, I heard their cries, but they were in unison so I thought something terrible had happened to my last, my John. I know why I thought John must be the silent one but I was wrong, so wrong.

He was the "healthy" one.....as healthy as a 33 weeker can be, and he was the first to be brought to me. Before the surgery I had resigned myself to not being able to touch or hold my babies, so it was an unexpected gift, a granting of something I can't define when the neonatalogist brought me John. I kissed him and knew that my life had changed forever. He was itty bitty. So tiny, yet seemed so robust. For the first time in months I felt a real glimmer of hope. I felt sure that I would actually bring my boys home, despite the odds.

When Jacob was brought to me the kiss was different. It was a kiss of understanding. A kiss that seemed to know that he was ill and would have a harder road to travel than his brother.

But John's kiss.......that was the kiss that told me everything would be alright, that our lives had been changed forever.

I'm thankful for that first kiss, a precious gift I'll always hold dear.

To read more "first kisses" visit Scribbit's blog on the 19th to see all the entries of the "write away" participants.
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©2008 Seven Clown Circus. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WW: Out to save the day.....


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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Spreading the Bloggy Love

I'm an award hoarder. Sadly, it's true. I've been gratefully accepting awards for some time now and not spreading them to other fantastic bloggers like I should have.

My hoarding problem started a few months ago. I received a bloggy award but just couldn't pick 5 people to pass it along to. And then I received another, and another and yet another. And I started feeling a little guilty. But not that guilty. Recently, I found that I had received an award from someone whose site I wasn't even aware of (see, technorati does come in handy). I of course was super flattered, and vowed to follow proper blog etiquette (even if I just made this rule up) and share the love. So here I am. Trying to think of the the best way to go about "gifting" these awards. I'm in a pickle. A big one. If I don't pass on the linky love to you this time, don't worry. It just means... Oh, I don't know what it means? Just an illustration that this is excruciating and I visit far too many great blogs for my own good. But here goes. For the sake of blogging etiquette, I formally thank the following gracious "givers" and wash my hands of the guilt pass them along to the following:



This is my newest acquisition, and I love the image. She's just so cute. Mozi Esme passed it along to me, and I'm grateful. I'm most flattered that someone with such a good heart, living in Africa doing ministry work takes the time to think of me. This one comes with rules to pass on to only three!

Rachel at Little Bites of Heaven writes straight from the heart. Plus, she has triplets and threw the biggest circus extravaganza for their first birthday this side of the Mississippi. Or maybe it's that side.

Jessica at The Bressington Crew is BFF with one of my oldest and most loyal blogger friends. She has some miracle boys of her own, AND I can always count on her to comment on my blog.

You know how some people just seem like a good person? It's not one thing, but a combination? "Les Mason Curt" is one of them. You can catch her at Phillips101, or at her jewelry site, Kiki and Lele.

This one came from Latree at Dandelion.


Heather, author of Mindless Junque is one of the founders of SITS. As if that's not enough, her personal blog is excellent, AND she has a gay dog. And twins. It's true.

Tiffany with R Family Diaries and I have a ton in common literature wise. She is a fast reader like I am, and LOVES to devour books. She's coined a new phrase called "crackliture" that I'm going to start using. And before I forget, she's the other mastermind behind SITS.

Mannequin of Fractured Toy is a new favorite. She goes out of her way to attract sponsors so that she can pass along amazing give aways to her readers. Plus, she's just plain nice.


Kelly of Don Mills Diva
writes screenplays. She's worked in Journalism her whole life and it shows. This girl can write. And she's honest about her views.

Casey with Quilao Triplets shares the joys of parenting triplets in the most hilarious way. You'd think by her outlook it's always been all fun and games, but her girls are 25 weekers. Survivors in every sense of the word.


I can always count on Melissa at Hope For the Hopeless to show me some love and send accolades my way. She has been a regular reader of my blog since she happened upon it over a year ago. She found it by clicking "next blog" and I feel lucky to have been that "next blog".

Where Are My Angels? has two daughters with Downs Syndrome, and I love how right up front she dispels the myth that all children with DS are perfect little angels.

Sassy Stephanie of Our Piece of Quiet is a potty training general getting thwarted at every turn. But she still has a lot to smile about.

Carissa at Good and Crazy People makes really great totes, plus she does excellent blog tutorials.

Motherhood for Dummies has a Family Moment Monday feature that I absolutely love.

Jaysi of In Bird's Nest is sister in law to "my Shannon". I think that if we lived close to one another we'd be great in person friends.

Crazy Daisy at Forever Daisy gave me this award. She does a weekly post called Menu Plan Monday that I always look forward to. Plus, she loves animals and is finishing up her Master's Degree.


The Secret is in the Sauce, aka SITS deserves this one for sure. Oh how I love thee. What's not to love about a blog that gives amazing gifts away and promotes individual bloggers through daily features?

Mama Kat at Mama's Losin' It has kept me entertained daily since she found my blog a few months ago. For a relatively new blogger, she has an amazing following, and I can understand why. She's funny. Really funny. She says things I wouldn't dream of, except in my head.


Stephanie, the Crock pot Lady makes a crock pot delight every single day at A Year of Crockpotting. I don't comment very often on her blog, but hers is one of the first I check daily for dinner ideas.

I am indebted to Rachel at Made With Love and Glue, Lot's and Lot's of Glue forever for my new blog makeover.

I'm cheating here and giving all of my momo mommy blogger friends this award because they were my first loyal readers. They've stuck with me, and I have a special bond with many of them as they supported me when I was pregnant with the twins. I'm grouping them together, so it's kind of like one, right?



Amy at Five Flower Mom gave me this one, and it comes with it's own set of rules.


Rules:
1) You must choose 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogging community, regardless of language.
2) You must publish the name of each award-winning author as well as a link to his or her blog.
3) Each award-winner must post a picture of the award and link back to the blog that has given the award.
4) Both the giver and the recipient of the award must link to the “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) You must post these rules.




Emily at Little Momma and Company. This is a blog that I fell in love with the very first time I visited. I added her to my blog roll immediately, which is something I rarely do. Her creativity really shines through in each and every post. Her photos are never ordinary and she is a pro at manipulating text.

Rebecca at Meanwhile in Hershey is so clever and intelligent. By integrating images and text she spits out posts that say a lot, with minimal words.


Octamom has a section of her blog dedicated to telling the story of her family's struggle with hearing loss in one of her children. The things they learned are certainly worth telling, AND she has more kids than I do! I'll let you figure out how many she has based on her blog name.


Monoamniotic Stories also gets my vote for a blog that contributes to the community. My friend Laura and I started this blog for the sole purpose of sharing the stories of monoamniotic twins. Since having monoamniotic twins is rare we wanted to reach out to parents like us who had been through such a harrowing pregnancy.


Scribbit has a little bit of everything with a good dose of intelligence.



Becoming Me lives a very Christ centered life, and her blog reflects that. I was honored to receive this award from her.


Latree from Dandelion deserves this one. She lives in Indonesia and takes the time to translate her blog to English so that English speakers can read it too. I love reading International blogs because they have a different perspective than mine.


Which leads me to my next International blogger friends Mozi Esme (which by the way I believe means Esme's mom in whatever language they speak in Mozambique) and Robin at Around the Island. Robin lives in Isreal and is an excellent writer.


Lit and Laundry has a love of reading, and I love that.


I'm excited to finally be able to give Melissa at Hope for the Hopeless an award that I don't think she already has.


Sadly, I don't remember who gave me these ones. If it was you, please let me know so that I can link to you here. But in the spirit of sharing, I bestow them on the following:


All of the women I'm giving this award to are oh so talented and I have to admit, I wish I had even a small portion of their talent with things crafty.


Brittany at Charmed I'm Sure has amazing interior decorating sense.


Philigry is only like the best knitter I've ever "met".


Kimba at A Soft Place to Land refinishes furniture like no other.


My good friend Shannon at Shannon Leigh Designs sells some of the things she crafts like tutus and custom hats for girls. Plus she has really good fashion sense.


Debra, Crazy Coupon Mama is an amazing source for couponing.


Colleen of Non Smoker is a new favorite. She just wrote a post about blog etiquette that I LOVE.

The New Mommy, Just One More Minute writes posts that remind me to take the time to enjoy my children.

Tonya at A Day in My Life is brilliant because she Twitters. I still can't figure that one out.

Bonnie at The Zoo gets this award because she's just like me. She has 5 kids, her last 2 are twins. She stopped then. Just like me.

Bridget of Everyday Chaos has a blog that makes me feel calm when I visit. Guess who did hers?

Carrie at Live in the Bedlands has a whole slew of children, too and introduced me to many great blogs.


Sherri at Kaysville Mamma inspires me with her adoption stories.


Scary Mommy has a child prodigy. I always wanted one too.


Rhonda with Welcome to a Day in Rhonda's Life is my favorite Canadian blogger ever!


Kerith with Momdum Chronicles loves some of my favorite triplets, and for that I love her.


And to all my real life friends and family, I didn't give any awards to you because I want to keep you all to myself. If I link to you here someone might click on over, and well, I don't want to share you. I'm selfish that way.

Thanks go out to all of the great bloggers that I follow. This "gifting" has taken me longer and has had more accompanying heartache and worry than any other post I have EVER done. If I overlooked you, it was due to mental exhaustion.

As soon as I pick my brain up off the floor I'm going to go begging. I need the help of my good friend Jeremiah in placing my awards in my custom trophy display.


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