Today I’ll be taking a break from endless rounds of puzzles and Mr. Potato Head and Veggie Tales videos to enjoy some adult conversation and put my brain to work again. I’m attending a regional philanthropy conference in hopes to learn more about communication for charitable organizations and to meet people who might need a freelance writer and editor.

[In other words, I’m going to network my tail off. And wear grown-up clothes.]

While I’m gone, here’s what’s been on my mind lately.


According to the news [of the Ryan Seacrest variety], Billy Ray Cyrus and his wife are getting divorced. Reportedly – and bizarrely, if you ask me – Bret Michaels has something to do with it.

I realize that this has nothing to do with me whatsoever, but it still makes me so very sad. Can NO couple survive the madness of celebrity? And does any hope remain for Miley Cyrus? Or is she now doomed to follow the path of Lindsey Lohan?

It’s just sad.

Do you follow celebrity gossip? Does it ever make you sad [even though it has nothing to do with your life whatsoever]?


On a lighter – though more personal – note, I’m in search of a good hand lotion. I’ve got super duper dry skin right now, and I’m almost out of my last tube of Avon lotion that my mom gave Mark back when he was working on the dock. (That’s a dock for trucks, not fishing boats. In case you were wondering.)

The lotion feels gross going on; it’s the thickest, goopiest stuff ever. But I’m telling you, it works! And now that I’m almost out, my hands are feeling a bit desperate.

What kind of hand lotion do you use? Or does anyone happen to sell Avon?


A few months ago, I decided that I really need to get rid of one of my cats. No – not that kind of “get rid of”!! I just mean that I wanted to give her away. You know, find her a new family.

What kind of pet owner do you think I am? Oh, right. The kind who decides to get rid of her cat, just because said cat is annoying.

Here’s the thing. I have two cats, Peanut and Maggie. They are both cute, and I love them. But while Maggie is alternately mean and scared of pretty much every person in the world, except for me, her mom, Peanut is the friendliest cat I’ve ever met. She is affectionate and sweet and loves attention. And drives me nuts.

So, when thinking about staying home with Annalyn and being cooped up in the house with a toddler and two cats, I decided one of us had to go – and clearly, it would be Peanut. Because Maggie would never survive with another family. And, okay, she’s my baby.

But I’ve realized in the past week that I missed my window. See, back when I had this idea, I could have shipped Peanut off to her new, loving family and Annalyn wouldn’t have even noticed.

Now, though, Annalyn plays with (or antagonizes) Peanut all day long and apparently sees her as a little sister. (“Peanut! C’mere!” “Peanut’s touching me!” “Peanut won’t play with me!” “Peanut, sit by me. Now! I want to PET YOU!”)

So it looks like I’m stuck with two cats. All because I couldn’t bring myself to “get rid of” her a couple months ago. And now my daughter is just as attached…as I am.

Do you have pets? Do they ever get on your last nerve?


Mark’s work schedule has been brutal over the past few weeks. We’ve been lucky to see him for an hour or two each day, and he’s exhausted. It’s kind of killing us all. His company is in the process of merging with another, and we’re hoping things will calm down in January. After the merger. Three months away.


What are you looking forward to these days?


Funny story. Last weekend, I was supposed to scrapbook with my cousins. Thanks – again – to Mark’s schedule, my whole weekend of scrapping turned into a few hours late Saturday night. But I’ll take what I can get.

I’d talked to my cousin Sarah on Friday afternoon and let her know that it would be the next evening before I could get down there. She said no problem and to let them know when I was on my way.

As soon as I knew what time I’d be heading out, I sent Sarah and her sister Sondra a text message that said, “I’ll be there between 7 and 8. See you soon!”

Sarah replied and said, “Great!”
Sondra replied and said, “Whos dis?”


I stared at that text for several minutes, trying to figure out if Sondra was being funny or serious. I reasoned that she might not have my number saved in her phone, so she might not know who it was coming from – but that didn’t explain the particular dialect used in her message. Then again, I thought, they may be enjoying some wine with their scrapbooking, so who knows?

I replied, “It’s Mary! :)”
Sondra replied, “I dont mean to be messed up, but do I know you?”

Believe it or not, I actually stared at that message for a while, too, trying to decide if my cousin was still joking around. That didn’t seem like her, and finally I realized that I must have the wrong number.

I replied, “I must have the wrong number. So sorry!”
Not-Sondra replied, “koo.”

Apparently, Sondra got a new cell phone number over the summer. I didn’t get the memo, but it’s no big deal. It’s koo.

Have you ever sent a text message to a wrong number? Or received one?


Last, but not least, random thoughts:

Have you entered to win Once a Month Mom’s Holiday eCookbook yet? I’m taking entries until Wednesday.

Did you see that I’m starting a series of posts about children with special needs? I shared my story of Annalyn’s physical therapy, and some great women will be sharing their stories throughout the month.

In case you missed it, I’ve written a couple guest posts lately. I remembered one of my earliest perfectionist moments at Mommy’s Piggy Tales, and I worked through some of my [many] issues as I wrote about Annalyn’s birth at Amy’s Finer Things.

What’s on your mind today? How was your weekend? And, be honest, who recognized today’s title as a snippet of lyrics from the Bangles’ Manic Monday?

What should you watch next?


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