< Things I Can't Say: March 2011

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

What I Know For Sure

I've been known to argue practically to the death over a point that I think I'm completely right about...only to find that I'm dead wrong about it. Is it because my children have killed off some of my brain cells? Or because I'm a bottle blond? Or just too stubborn?

In any case, these days, there isn't too much that I know for sure.

Other than that I know for sure that I will never be on the People of Walmart the Gym.

Something else that I know for sure is that I can't sing.  At all. Even my two year old covers his ears in pain when I try.  But, while I might not end up as the butt of someone's blog post punchline due to what I wear to the gym, I very well might end up there because I often forget that just because I have my headphones in while I'm listening to music on the elliptical, people can still hear me if I sing outloud.

I can't help it.

Not Ready to Make Nice by the Dixie Chicks: I'm not ready to make nice, I'm not ready to bow down, I'm still mad as hell and I don't have time to go round and round and round....

All I Wanna Do by the Sugarland: All I want to do wo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo wo wooo is love you...

Stand by Rascal Flatts: You get mad, you get strong, wipe your hands, shake it off, then you stand, then you stand....

Back Where I Come From by Kenny Chesney: Back where I come from, it's where I'll be when it's said and done....

What I know for sure is that my singing voice should be outlawed in the gym. But, only after they ban guys wearing bootyshorts.

Linking up with MamaKat's World-Famous Writer's Workshop.

If you did not get a chance to read this week's Pour Your Heart Out about body image or check out any of the linkers, please check them out HERE.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: This Mom's Body Image

If you have never visited Pour Your Heart Out before, see THIS post for more information- but it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)

Also, the linky is what you make of it- if you link up a Pour Your Heart Out post, please make an effort to visit some of the other linkers. And even if you don't link up, visit a link or two to find some new blogs to read!


As you can probably tell from my posts so far this week, I've been on a work-out kick lately.

A big reason is because exercise does make me feel better. It's a huge stress relief and a confidence boost once I feel like I won't be out of breath walking to the mailbox am strong and in shape.

But, another reason, and the biggest one, is because I want to LOOK better.  Thinner. Toned.  Not just "good for having three kids" but plain old GOOD.

I embrace being a mom, but my body doesn't need to advertise that I had three kids in less than 3.5 years.  The three boys practically attached to me at all times are enough of an advertisement.

But, when I look at my body, I know I don't really see what others see.  Because when I look at myself, I'm much more critical than I am of others.  I could see my thighs jiggling in the mirror at the gym, so now I wear yoga pants to work out.  I know that underneath my size small or sometimes even extra-small top, I still have that mommy pouch that I can't seem to get rid of.

I can look at another woman and think wow, look how thin she is! Or she looks amazing!

But, if you were to put me and that woman whose shape I'm so admiring side by side, I might even be smaller.  But, in my head, this is not how I see it. I see her as in shape, while I see every bit of cellulite or wobble on myself. 

I'm aware that this is not healthy.  This is a big reason why I rarely step on a scale.  Because those numbers can affect me.  Too high and I will want to beat myself up.  So, I try to go by the fit of my clothing.

On Monday, I decided to step on the scale at the gym. It's been months since I have done this: last summer, maybe.

And then I promptly tweeted this: "Dear scale in the gym: I know you must be broken, but I'm going to pretend you are right. And make out with you."

I gleefully reported the number to my husband while laughing that the scale was broken.  He looked at me up and down and said "Are you sure the scale is broken?"

Oh yes, I insisted.  It's probably off by at least 10 pounds.

But, all I got in return was a look of skepticism.  And it made me wonder: is my perception of myself that far off?

Am I still so busy comparing my body to what it was like pre-baby that I don't realize what I really look like now? 

I'm not sure, but I'm working on it.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The People Of Walmart...I mean, the Gym

Hubs has claimed that our gym is like "The People of Walmart." Okay, okay- it suits our purposes, but it's never going to be featured as one of the most fabulous gyms around.

I really thought about taking pics for this post but I couldn't figure out how to be discreet about it didn't want to gross you out thought that would be rude.

Still, he's so right- here are some things that I've witnessed that are big Gym Don'ts:

*Don't workout in your jeans.  Jeans don't breathe.  I try to be sensitive about things that cost money, but you can go to Walmart and buy yourself a pair of $5 sweatpants or shorts.

*Don't wear bootyshorts. This is particuarly true if you are a man. A man who likes to lean over the elliptical, pushing your booty even further up in the air. None of us wants to see that. And even if you are a woman who is in fabulous shape, well, bootyshorts might be okay, even if it will make other women hate you. Just make sure that no one can see anything that they shouldn't.

*Don't use the treadmill in your flip flops or dress shoes.

*Don't wear spandex. Just don't. And neon spandex is a double no.

*Don't forget that the girls need support.  Even if your girls aren't very big, they are still going to be bouncing around. And can be seen through your tank top. And if they are big? Well, they shouldn't be peaking out the bottom of your shirt. Say it with me: sports bra.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Gym Tips for Those Who Hate to Workout

I hate the gym. I hate working out.

Especially in the beginning. If I can get myself into a routine, I actually enjoy get used to going and want to be there.  But, until I get myself to that point, I moan and complain about going and find a million excuses not to go.

But, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to get to the gym on a regular basis. And the weather is warming up, so I feel a need to be bikini-ready sundress-ready. 

I'm now on week four of going to the gym on a regular basis(3-4x/week).

So, if you are like me and have a hard time getting into a gym-going groove, I'll share my tips with you.

*Pick a time of day to go to the gym and stick to it. For me, this works best if I'm already out of the house. I usually go right after I drop off my oldest two boys at their schools. Youngest and I go directly to the gym after this. If I head back home to try to get "a few things done" before going to the gym, time will fly by and I'll never get there.

*If you can find a workout partner, that helps A LOT. Even if you end up doing different things, knowing that you are supposed to meet someone at a certain time will help you get there.

*Start SLOW.  Do not try out the hardest class that the gym offers on your first visit in a while.  You will feel like you are dying both during the class and maybe for the next few days and have no desire to go back. If all you can do at first is 30 minutes on the treadmill, then just do that- it's still much better than not having exercised at all.

*Drink LOTS of water. It's important to drink lots before you start working out, too. Starting when you are already dehydrated is not going to help.  If you drink all the water in your water bottle, do something to lay claim to whatever machine you are on by leaving something on it or yes, walk out of class, and go get more water. My first week, I felt the need to fill up my 16oz water bottle 4 times in an hour. I needed it.

*Gradually add time on to your workout or try something new.  I'm a fan of the elliptical, but was shooting hateful glances at admiring this woman's legs and realized all she did was the stairmaster, so I decided to try that. For 10 minutes, which made me feel like collapsing.

*When you do try a class, don't feel bad if you need to take a break.  Even if no one else is.  Most people are too wrapped up in themselves and how they are doing to care what you are doing. Go drink some water.

You notice I'm just talking about working out at the gym and not at home- I really admire those of you who can do this.  It doesn't work for me because I can ALWAYS find a distraction at home.  I need to actually be somewhere where all there is to do is workout. Even though I'm sometimes tempted to use the gym as a place to shower without children walking in on me.

This is what works for me. Do you have any tips to add?

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nutella for Breakfast? Sure, Thanks to MommyParties

I'd heard a lot of talk about Nutella on twitter- mostly from people who seem to love it. But, I had never tried it until recently.

MommyParties sent me a party pack with Nutella samples and coupons, tumbler mugs, nutella spreaders, breakfast tips and other info cards for guests, as well as a jar of Nutella to use in recipes.

The idea behind this MommyParty was that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that a little Nutella could encourage your kids to eat breakfast. A little, like 1-2 tablespoons.  I wouldn't just hand my kids the jar of Nutella and let them have at it.

A little Nutella on a whole-grain waffle or English muffin might make them more likely to eat their breakfast: you can then top the Nutella with fresh fruit. 

Another idea, one that I made and shared, is to spread a whole wheat tortilla with Nutella and then put fruit on it and roll it up. Dried fruit like cherries and apricots were suggested, but I tried it with fresh strawberries and it was a hit!

I've also made Nutella cookies- not that this has anything to do with breakfast, but they are SO GOOD.  Another way to enjoy Nutella is with pita chips. Someone on twitter suggested cinnamon sugar pita chips, but I used salted one and love the combination of the salty and the sweet.

Just a few facts about Nutella:
  • There are more than 50 hazelnuts in one jar of Nutella spread
  • Nutella does not contain peanuts or peanut ingredients, nor does it come in contact with peanuts during manufacturing.
  • Nutella dos not contain any ingredients derived from gluten containing cereal

Have you tried Nutella? What do you think of it? How do you use Nutella?

You can click here to get a $1.00 off coupon for Nutella.

Thank you to MommyParties for sending me a Nutella party kit. All opinions are my own and I was under no obligation to blog about this.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: Two Very Different Fridays

This week, I'm sharing a blogger with you that I have met IRL. And she's a total sweetheart. I got to listen to her tell the story about her twitter and blog name and how people think that she spelled it wrong- but it's really just a play on words, tongue-in-cheek kind of name. Tracy blogs at Sellabit Mum. She used to sell things, not because well... well, she has three girls, so obviously...ahem.

Now that I've probably mortified Tracy by talking about her love life, I know that you all will make up for it by showing her lots of love today. And I do know that you will love her. She puts a lot of thought and heart into her writing. She is positive, but someone who admits that somedays are harder than others. Meet Tracy:

A Friday, March 2001

5:00 am wake up
Pee by myself
45 minute jog
Quiet breakfast feeding only myself
Matt Lauer had hair. Oh wow, sexy hair.
Shower by myself, no one pulling on the shower curtain(well, maybe my boyfriend)
Long, hot, shower
I iron my clothes
8:00 am
I leave for work on-time in clean clothing
I leave for work and leave a clean home behind me
My car is clean.
I did not sit on goldfish crackers.

A Friday, March 2011

4:45 holy hell the baby is awake already
Pee holding baby and wipe and wash as best I can.
Jog? Jog?
No jog, okay tweet. "I NEED COFFEE HOLY HELL IT'S EARLY"
Nurse baby while tweeting. "Oh I love early mornings. Shooting rainbows out of my butt here."
Coffee. When is Matt Lauer on.
Sesame Street. tweet "Elmo is whacked. WHACKED!"
Check email while pretend to build block tower with baby.
Read blogs out-loud in sing-songy voice to baby.
Aw, Matt Lauer. Still hot without hair. Now I love older men. They grey-haired ones dig me.
Breakfast of licking peanut butter out of the jar while I give the baby bananas.
Wake-up big kids. They tell me it's early. "I'll show you early, girlfriends. You want to see early tomorrow?"
Zombie children stare at TV while I make frozen waffles. Baby is pulling on my legs. Bananas coat my yoga pants.
Oh Matt Lauer, you are fine.
Throw food down kids throats, pack lunches. Same lunches I packed yesterday, the day before yesterday and last year.
Throw clothing on kids. Wrinkled.
Baby gets out every toy in house.
Tweet "I love my life. My kids are so beautiful and perfect."
Check for blog comments.
Walk kids to bus-stop. Realize I am in my robe and slippers. Baby is screaming.
Put baby down to nap.
8:00 am
Sit on floor. House is a disaster.
Drink coffee and stare at Matt Lauer.

So how have your mornings changed since you've become a mother? Just less hair? Or more coffee?

Please leave Tracy some comment love here and then go follow Sellabit Mum if you don't already!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Being a Work-at-Home Mom

If you have never visited Pour Your Heart Out before, see THIS post for more information- but it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


Before I start, I just want to say that I am very thankful for the opportunity to work from home. I'm not complaining about having a job nor am I saying that I have it harder than someone who has to work outside the home. If you have a need to tell me to stop my whining and realize that you have it harder than me, I ask that you please read this post first to better understand where I am coming from.

I've been a work-at-home mom now since December.  My job is pretty fabulous- I get to blog about celebrity/entertainment news, which is fun and always provides me with small talk. Like Why the Hunger Games Will Be Better Than Twilight or The Real Reason Russell Hantz Cried When Voted Off Survivor.  Fun, right?  Clarification, since some people seem confused: if you click on any of these celeb links- they are NOT on Things I Can't Say- they are on Babble.com- which is my job.

It's made my husband see this whole blogging thing as something worthwhile, where he use to just see it as a giant timesuck.  Paycheck=credibility in his eyes.

And my job is flexible.  I have a certain amount of work that I need to do each day, but that's really the only requirement. So, if I have appointments or want to go to the gym or need to do things offline, I can figure out a way to make it work.




This is still a job.  It is still work. It is still an additional demand on my time.

What I wasn't really prepared for when I became a WAHM:

*Because I work from home, it is assumed that I should still be able to keep up with the house. After all, I'm at home all day. So, why are there dirty dishes in the sink? Why is there a mountain of dirty laundry?  Why isn't dinner ready yet?

*When you work from home, you are always at work.  There is no leaving things at the office.  I love how flexible my job is.  Because yes, I could be getting work done at 1am if I need to. Drawback? I'm often up then, working.  Hubs comes home from work tired and relaxes.  My job really doesn't have a clear ending point to the day because I can always do more.

*One of my favorite parts of having a job is that for the first time in almost 6 years, I'm bringing in a paycheck!  But, it's funny how quickly this wahm paycheck goes from something extra to help out to being a total necessity. Especially when your special needs child needs to attend private school next fall.  So, it's added stress to keep bringing in that paycheck.

*My job is often not taken seriously. One, because I work from home and two, because of what I do. I get a lot of eye rolls. I assure you, this is still a job.  With work required. Yes, even though it's fun to write about why the Grey's Anatomy musical episode might not be a trainwreck afterall or the Army Wives spoilers for Sunday night, it still takes time.

*There are days when I feel like all I do is tell my boys "Not right now, Mommy is working."  Yes, I get to be home with them, but trying to find that balance is harder than you might think.  And when your kids are as young as mine, when they need your attention, they usually need it right now. Or you know, they go into Daddy's office for five minutes and do this to the walls:

Yes, that's paint. And, it's NOT washable.

But, I guess that I should have realized that this would be hard.  Being a work at home mom. So much of motherhood is hard and takes getting used to- this isn't any different.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can Men and Women Be Friends?

Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally Albright: Why not?
Harry Burns: What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally Albright: That's not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry Burns: No you don't.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: No you don't.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: You only think you do.
Sally Albright: You say I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry Burns: No, what I'm saying is they all WANT to have sex with you.
Sally: They do not!
Harry: Do too.
Sally: They do not.
Harry: Do too.
Sally: How do you know?
Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally: So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry: No. You pretty much want to nail 'em too.
Sally: What if THEY don't want to have sex with YOU?
Harry: Doesn't matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
Sally: Well, I guess we're not going to be friends then.
Harry: I guess not.

If you read my post yesterday, you know that I got all upset about some little punk kid telling my 4 year old that he couldn't be friends with a girl

Because really, he should be able to be friends with whoever he wants to be friends with.

But, does that really apply to adults, too?  I've written before about how I had to switch teams when it came to friendship.  That I was friends with mostly boys/men from about junior high on but how that changed after marriage and kids.

Ladies, let's be honest here. Sometimes, we aren't that nice to each other. Friendships can be complicated and take a long time to develop.

It's easier with men.

But, after marriage, being friends with men was viewed differently.

Why would I spend a lot of time with a man who was not my husband?

And after kids? Why would I spend what little kid-free time I could get with a man who is not my husband?

Funny looks and rumors start.

And that isn't even counting if said man is married, too. His wife wonders why her husband is spending time with another woman.

It starts to get complicated.  I know I should say I don't care what anyone else thinks...but I do care if it reflects badly back on my family.

I can talk to friends of my husband...in fact, if we are out with other couples and the guys and girls separate, I tend to stick with the guys.

But, my husband is there, too.

If my husband were to call me right now and tell me that he wasn't going to be home for dinner because he was going to go out to dinner with some girl...well, my first thought would be WHAT THE HECK? OH NO, YOU AREN'T!

And if I were to tell him that I wanted to go hang out with some guy I just met, I'd expect him to think that was seriously weird, too.

Because I believe that after you are married, the most important member of the opposite sex should then be your spouse. Any "dates" you are going on should be with them.

Can men and women be friends? Yes, I do think they can be. Especially if you have been friends with them for a long time, like my gay best friend who isn't really gay.

But, there needs to be boundaries. Clear boundaries.

But, I really want to hear what you think about this: Do you think men and women can be friends?

Harry: Would you like to have dinner? ...Just friends.
Sally: I thought you didn't believe men and women could be friends.
Harry: When did I say that?
Sally: On the ride to New York.
Harry: No, no, no, I never said that. ...Yes, that's right, they can't be friends. Unless both of them are involved with other people, then they can. ...This is an amendment to the earlier rule. If the two people are in relationships, the pressure of possible involvement is lifted. ...That doesn't work either, because what happens then is, the person you're involved with can't understand why you need to be friends with the person you're just friends with. Like it means something is missing from the relationship and why do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say "No, no, no it's not true, nothing is missing from the relationship," the person you're involved with then accuses you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just friends with, which you probably are. I mean, come on, who the hell are we kidding, let's face it. Which brings us back to the earlier rule before the amendment, which is men and women can't be friends.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Can Boys and Girls Be Friends?

Several weeks ago, my Bear had a huge turning point at preschool.  Instead of hearing about what he had done wrong in preschool that day, I heard that he had good days.

He was excited to go to school.  And the credit goes not to his teacher, but to his friend Emily.(This is not her name, doesn't sound anything like her name, but was what he thought her name was for a few days, before he figured out what her real name is and is what I'll call her in this post b/c she is not my child.)

Emily and Bear adored each other.  She was very patient or maybe a little bossy, but in a good way, and helped him to stay focused at school and do what he was supposed to be doing.

They were just so cute together.  They were the ones who started the flash mob on their preschool field trip.
Again, not my child, so no pics of her on my blog, but I promise you that her smile is just as big as Bear's.

But, last week, he got in the van after school and said through tears, "I can't be Emily's friend any more."

"Why, honey?"

"I can't, I can't, no more friends with girls," said with a very emphatic head shake.


But, I let it go.  Because when he gets his mind set on something or starts getting upset, it's really best not to push him.

Until, he stopped wanting to go to school.  He started getting upset about having to go and saying that he didn't have friends.

*sound of mama's heart breaking*

His teacher asked me if I knew what happened between him and Emily.  So, I decided to push a little further and see if I could get an answer from him.

"Meanboy told me that I'm not allowed to be friends with Emily because I'm not allowed to be friends with girls." *I've been around this boy enough to know that Meanboy is a good name for him.

I admit, I had a strong urge to shake Meanboy.  Really, why does this boy-girl split have to happen so young? Are preschoolers watching when Harry Met Sally? And if so, how do you explain that scene in the cafe? That Sally's food is just really good?

I went into the preschool the next day to tell Bear's teacher that Meanboy had told Bear he wasn't allowed to be friends with Emily any more.

His teacher had a sharp intake of breath and then said, "That's not true."

I paused for a second, in shock.  My Bear is far from perfect.  However, he does not lie; making up things like that is not something that he is able to do. 

But, then I realized she was talking to Bear after she told him that Meanboy shouldn't have said that and that Bear is allowed to be friends with Emily.  And she told me that Meanboy tends to tell people a lot of things that aren't true and tries to boss everyone around.

They had a talk and now Bear and Emily are back to being friends and Bear once again is excited to go to school.

And he's back to asking if he can have a sleepover with Emily. We can't win as parents, can we?

In case you are new around here, my Bear suffers from lead poisoning, which has many effects which cause him to have a difficult time in a school setting.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out Anniversary Prizes: Winners!

Thank you all so much for making the one year anniversary of Pour Your Heart Out so special! We had 98 linkers! I hope that you took some time to check out some of the links. If not, there is still time! This week's Pour Your Heart Out.

Usually, there is no other incentive to link up other than sharing your story and getting to read others', but this week, for the anniversary, we did have prizes! This might be something that I do from time to time, just as a thank you.
Here are the winners!

*Winner of the Thirty One products from Michelle, from Bruner Family Travels, who sells Thirty One products is #89 Roserock, Oklahoma.

*Winner of the decorative handtowel created by Megan @sweetsadiemarie- be sure to check out her shop- is #24 567Kate.

*The winner of the notecards from  Sarah's shop is #36 Mama's Monologues.

*The winner of your choice of coasters from Evonne @_mamajules_ of All You Need is Love and Jules Outloud is #11 Stories from the Shoebox.

*The winner of your choice of one doze custom kandy kones from Posh Party Pretties is #80 Just Another Day.

*The winner of the sunflower serving dish from Tiffany @mrstdraspp  from My Crazy Kind of Wonderful is #20 Samantha's Day.

*The winner of the wineglasses from Beth, from A Work in Progress, @bethzimmerman, is #6 The Daily Dribbles.
*The winner of the bubble bath from Eden Fantasys is #32 Misadventures of Mrs. B. 

*And finally, the winner of the Philosophy bath set is #3 Single Mom in the South.

Thank you to everyone who donated a prize for the one year anniversary of Pour Your Heart Out!

Winners, I will be contacted you shortly for your shipping info.

*I did not receive any items for these giveaways: all are being provided by the above named sponsors.  The last prize is from me, not Philosophy, though if they decide to start sending me things, I definitely wouldn't object.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: A First Pregnancy Scare

There are a few people who have the ability to always make me laugh. This week's Blog Friend Feature is one of them. Her posts, her tweets, even her comments- make me crack up! She's quirky and off-beat and the kind of girl you know you would have a blast hanging out with.

Megan from Best of Fates is not a mom blogger, but she does have this hilarious post about a time she thought she was pregnant.

Pregnancy is frightening.

There's the nausea, the pickle cravings, being accused of eating a baby* - each concern piles upon another. If the pregnancy is unexpected, there's the worry over what others will think. Friends, local celebrities, your parents - all standing by, waiting to judge you or send taunting fliers about the cost of child care.**

I was sitting at a desk, daydreaming, when I first had the thought.

"Am I pregnant?"

My mind started racing, imaging just how could I tell people, what I would do, but most of all, questioning just how did this happen?

I was a good Catholic girl.

I attended weekly mass and confessed my sins and hardly ever sold drugs or illegally downloaded music.

Why would God let this happen?

Was it because I watched Pretty Woman?

(It does perpetuate negative stereotypes of couture saleswomen.)

(They're people too.)

(Fancy, mean-spirited people.)

Was it punishment for not eating my vegetables?

(Has God tasted peas? Because blaming me for his lack of flavor inclusion did not seem all that "just and mighty" to me.)

My fifth grade mind just couldn't figure out what I had done to deserve such a fate.

It also didn't fully understand how a girl got pregnant.

But however it had happened, the result was obvious. Pressing my stomach into the desk in front of me I could clearly feel a heartbeat.

What could it be but my unborn child's heartbeat?

(Brace yourself for the twist ending.)

Turns out, it was my heartbeat.

Turns out, I wasn't pregnant at all.

Not that I was informed of my barren womb***** by a medical professional. I was too ashamed to tell anyone of my coming bun, given it's placement in my unmarried and oh-so-young oven.

I kept my frightening knowledge to myself. As days and weeks and months passed I never confided in my mom or dad or best friend or loyal beagle******.

I don't remember the moment I regained confidence in my childless state. Yet gradually my fear faded and one day I looked back and realized there was very little chance I was about to be a mom.

Yesterday I told my best friend the story of my traumatic heartbeat and discovered she also had a childhood pregnancy scare. Attending a dance with her middle school boyfriend, the costumes required them to wear each others' clothes. This included underwear, and following the dance she slowly convinced herself that his underwear had gotten her pregnant.

Hearing this story filled with a sense of vindication and a strong desire to do my laundry.

I'm not suggesting that all people have a childhood pregnancy scare story, but rather that disproving my assumption, I'm not the only one.

This is all the rationalization I need for my happiness. For if an embarrassing incident once also happened to a stout man in Romania, then isn't it just a universal human experience and nothing for which I need to feel shame?********

*I've never actually been pregnant, so might be wrong about some of the issues involved therein.

**Different people show love in different ways. Like how when you're a little girl and that boy in your class pulls your hair and throws rocks at you and you have him arrested for assault and battery and fraud. The lie you told about him stealing your identity to assure the maximum sentence? That's means you like him.***

***You won't realize that's true until a college psychology class taps into your deepest soul and informs you that you were once Cleopatra and then an insignificant butler in Victorian England and your only chance at true love was little Timmy so you should hope that boy's got himself a MySpace page and is currently open to new paramours.****

****I sometimes confuse psychology with pseudoscience because they both have more than three syllables and are in the same encyclopedic volume. (You should enjoy that reference because you're the last generation that will understand it.)

*****Barren might be a strong word. Currently unoccupied? Though given the first *, it is possible my womb is barren. Truly, there is much medical science still doesn't know about my womb. It's like the last space frontier. Or Alaska.

******Named Muffins*******, my beagle was sweet and snuggly and a voracious eater, though she never once attempted to use a typewriter. Though I never provided her with one, nor was I particularly supportive of her possible literary dreams, so maybe that is my fault.

*******Though a singular dog, her name was a plural noun. Because I said so, that's why.


Best of Fates

I know you had to snort with laughter at least once during her post, didn't you? Please leave Megan some comment love and then go follow Best of Fates if you don't already!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: One Year Anniversary!

If you have never visited Pour Your Heart Out before, see THIS post for more information- but it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


Just a quick note for this week's Pour Your Heart Out: because of the One Year Anniversary, there are prizes this week! Please see the Pour Your Heart Out prize post to see the fabulous prizes and thank the sponsors!

I can't believe that it's been one year since the first Pour Your Heart Out link up. When I started this, I knew it was something I could follow through with because I was writing these types of posts about once a week anyway, so I figured, why not add a linky and see if anyone else would like to join in!

And, thankfully- you did. Whether by linking up or by visiting other linkers. I feel like I get to know you so much better through these posts. And I love seeing the community, the support, in the form of comments and tweets on the posts- not just mine, but all who link up.

I could gush forever about how much it means to me to have you all participate. But, instead, I decided to let others speak for me today. I asked on twitter over the past few days for people who participate in Pour Your Heart Out and had them reply in a dm what PYHO means to them.

@mycrazybusylife: PYHO is a great place to tell the story you're afraid to tell & Shell is the perfect host making everyone feel welcome & loved. My Crazy Busy Life

@fromtracie: PYHO is all about realness. Truth and honesty. Sometimes raw...often powerful....always a good read.  PYHO is a safe place to share whatever is laying heavy on you. The support is real and heartwarming. It is a community. From Tracie

@MrsJenBardall: It's a comfort knowing I can pour my heart out once a week & find tremendous support, then be able to lend an ear to others who need it too. The Misadventures of Mrs. B

@brunerpartyof5: It's about being HONEST with your feelings, and ACCEPTING of other people's feelings. Bruner Family Travels

@mommakiss: I love reading PYHO because I can relate to so many of the
issues, and it feels like I'm not alone. Offering support when feels good, too. Momma Kiss

@southofsheridan: PYHO is a weekly safe haven in the online world: unlimited love and support from other women bloggers without judgment. South of Sheridan

@mama_rosebud: PYHO has given me the courage to be completely honest and really connect with others by reading their comments and posts in return. Cultivating Rosebuds

@JustHeather: Love it! Reading PYHO helps me peek into other moms' worlds to know I'm not alone here. It's heart wrenching & comforting at the same time. Heather Sokol

@babesrockinmami: I like getting feedback from positive ppl & being able to open up and get it out there. I also love reading everyone else open up.  It let's you see a side of people that they might not normally show but they feel safe because so many other people are sharing too. Babes Rockin Mami

@_mamajules_ It's a way to write heartfelt posts without getting judged and to seek support from others. Not that anyone should judge to begin with. All You Need is Love

@lifewithoutpink: I love reading because most of the stories touch me very deeply and you can get a real sense of who the person is behind the blog. Life Without Pink

@mamamarchand: I read because I love that others think the same way I do AND I participate because it gives me courage to say things I normally wouldn't. Mama Marchand's Musings

@StephanieG143: PYHO: A place to share your voice, your heart, your life. A way to connect, be heard, release, feel. A time to reveal, honor, respect, vent Got One Past the Goalie

@accidentallyhs: I read because: It's nice to read you aren't alone. They write what I don't have the guts to write. It's like blog group therapy. Accidentally Homeschooling

@singdwingangel: knowing that I am not alone.. and sometimes as a SAHM alone is a very common feeling... A Tall Drink of Sweet Tea

@SemiSlackerMom: It gives you support. All the comments lifting you up, meeting people going through the same things as you. Confessions of a Semi-Slacker Mom

@jmberrygirl: Some posts make me smile, while others make me cry. I enjoy reading the serious, heartfelt words. Many link-ups aren't so real. Becoming Briggs

@truthfulmommy: Pour Your Heart Out is where writers have the freedom to express their innermost hopes & fears to an engaged & understanding audience The Truth About Motherhood

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of PYHO! You are truly appreciated! I hope that you will link up this week- or, at least, check out some of the links!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out Anniversary Tomorrow!

It's hard for me to believe, but tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Pour Your Heart Out!

I started this link up because I realized that when I read posts that were really from the heart or posts about something that means so much to someone...THAT is where the connection really came from.

I'm so thrilled that so many of you have joined in- whether by linking up your own post or by reading those who do link up.

For tomorrow's edition of Pour Your Heart Out, if you link up, you will have a chance to win a prize that has been donated by some fabulous people.  To be eligible to win, you must write a PYHO post, include either a link back or the Pour Your Heart Out button, and link up by Thursday at midnight. Winners will be selected by random draw on Friday morning.

Thanks to all who donated: please show these people some love in the form of a follow or a like or by checking out their shops:

*Michelle, from Bruner Family Travels, sells Thirty One products. She is generously donating: Thirty-One Zipper Pouch – Onyx Medallion, 2 Chinese Dress Cell Phone Holders, Chinese Wine Dress, Chinese Chopsticks,Choice of Scarf, and a postcard good for $5 off a Thirty-One purchase.

*My sweet friend Megan @sweetsadiemarie, is one of those crafty people that I am majorly jealous of! She has created a decorative hand towel as a prize. Be sure to check out her shop.

*Sarah, another blogger and etsy gal, is donating these cute notecards. Please check out her shop, follow her blog(she's a teacher and I love hearing her stories), and follow her on twitter.

*Evonne @_mamajules_ is someone I've known for almost my whole blogging life and she another crafty gal. She blogs at All You Need is Love and Jules Outloud. She is offering your choice of these coasters.

*Posh Party Pretties is offering one dozen custom kandy kones. I like these Yo Gabba Gabba ones:

*Tiffany @mrstdraspp  from My Crazy Kind of Wonderful is giving away this cute sunflower serving dish. Perfect for entertaining!

*Beth, from A Work in Progress, @bethzimmerman, is one of the most supportive bloggers I know. If you haven't met her yet, you should! She is going to send someone this set of wine glasses in celebration of pouring it out!
*Eden Fantasys is going to send someone Naughty Bubbles Bubble Bath.

*From me, I headed to check out Sephora, my favorite store, and my favorite line of products, Philosophy: the Thank You set of bath products.

Thank you to everyone who is donating a prize for the one year anniversary of Pour Your Heart Out!

I hope that you will come back and link up tomorrow!

*I did not receive any items for these giveaways: all are being provided by the above named sponsors.  The last prize is from me, not Philosophy, though if they decide to start sending me things, I definitely wouldn't object.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Twitter Don'ts : Are You Annoying People With Your Tweets?

If you are on twitter, and yes, you should be, you might notice people occasionally tweeting out their twitter pet peeves. One of the most common is "Don't auto-dm! It's spam and makes me unfollow you!" *

 Another that was originally on my list but I saw tweeted out this weekend by @adventuroo was "If all you do is tweet out 'inspirational' quotes, I will never ever follow you. #thereisaidit"

But, like everything else, Twitter is a learning process and it's not like you know these things right off the bat, you have to figure it out as you go. 

Here's my list of Twitter Don'ts to help you along:

Don't get mad and unfollow someone if they don't follow you back immediately.  It might take someone a few days to get caught up on twitter notification emails.  Or, sometimes twitter doesn't send them out for every person who follows.  TWEET with the person: talk to them and they'll probably follow you.

Don't just tweet "hey" or "good morning" to someone and be mad that that isn't enough to get them to follow you or even respond.  Spammers do that, too, so it's hard to tell you apart from the spammers.

Don't follow a bunch of people just hoping for return follows and then unfollow them all a day or two later. 

Don't RT all day long.  It's really nice to RT an awesome tweet or link- you definitely should show some RT love. But, if this is all you do, you start looking a little a robot instead of a person.

Don't get spammy with your links: twitter is a great tool to get your blog posts out there. But, if you are tweeting out the same link 4 times in an hour, it's annoying.**

Unless you have something super important that you are tweeting, Don't add "pls rt" to the end of your tweets. People will RT if they like what you tweeted.  And by super important, I mean super important to everyone, not just you.

Don't get upset if no one replies to something you asked on twitter. Tweets go by quickly. You can ask again.  Just not 30 seconds after you first asked.

Don't be a twitter-stalker.  Twitter is one place where it's perfectly acceptable to jump right into someone else's conversation. But, if you jump into the same person's conversation every single time they are tweeting with someone else, it gets a little creepy.

Don't only talk to the same people all day, every day.  Yes, twitter is for interaction. And you'll get to know some people really well and want to talk to them more than others.  But, if someone views your profile page and all they see is you tweeting the same handful of people and no one else, you look clique-ish.  If you want to have a long conversation with someone that you know well, that is what Skype is for. #TGFS**

Don't forget that a tweet is forever.  So, don't start a fight or say something hateful that you are going to regret later. Don't send something out as a tweet that you meant as a dm.  Even though you can delete your tweet, if it was that big of a screw up of a tweet, chances are, it's already been retweeted, repeatedly.  #thinkbeforeyoutweet

Are we following each other on twitter? @shellthings

Do you have any Twitter Don'ts to add to this list?

*I found out on twitter from @OhMariana yesterday that you can OPT OUT OF GETTING AUTO DMs! Or at least, quite a lot of them. Yes, this is news exciting enough to yell at you in caps. How to Opt Out of Auto DMs.

**I tweet celeb gossip links as part of my job about 5-10 times a day total. And hope it doesn't violate this rule.

***Thank God for Skype: credit to  @akludgymom for that hashtag


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just Dance 2 Review and Giveaway

I had never been much of a video game person until we got a Wii and then I became slightly addicted.

My favorite game for a long time was Just Dance.  It was fun and a workout!  I even was the co-host of a weekly blog dance-off.  So much fun!  If you've never played, all you have to do is hold the Wii remote in your hand and mimic the moves on the screen- so people who can't dance(*cough, cough* me *cough, cough*) can look a little like we have a clue!

I was excited when Just Dance 2 came out- new songs and even new modes, like one called Just Sweat, which is more of a workout than just playing the game in regular mode.  But, I didn't pick it up- it was just forever on my list of wants.

So, when Just Dance asked me if I would be interested in reviewing it and possibly holding another Dance-off, of course I jumped at the chance! 

With new songs and new modes, they kept what I loved about Just Dance, but added to it!  The Just Sweat feature is my favorite, since I'm trying to get back into the workout groove.  But, I also like that you can download new songs, so it doesn't get old.

Another fun mode is Duets, where each player follows a different coach, to do a complementary dance.

GIVEAWAY: One of you will win a copy of Just Dance 2!

Giveaway Rules: If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it with your comments. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.  US only, please.  Giveaway will end on 3/21 at 9pm ET.

First easy-peasy entry: Do you have a Wii? If not, who are you trying to win this for?

Additional entries: Please leave a separate comment for each entry!
*Follow @justdance_game on twitter
*Like Just Dance on facebook and leave your username
*Follow Things I Can't Say GFC
*Like Things I Can't Say on facebook(you can do this in my sidebar)
*Follow @shellthings on twitter
*Tweet this giveaway(leave direct link to your tweet): I want to dance! Win Just Dance 2 from @justdance_game and @shellthings #giveaway http://bit.ly/g5FZQz

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is #223 Jill!

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