When the student is ready, the virtual teacher will appear.


Matt holding a sleeping Clara
25 May 2008

I’ve been using the FlyLady’s system for cleaning my house.  I’m still on the Beginner BabySteps and have some kinks to work out (both personally and with the system), but it is by far the best system I have run across for keeping the house clean.

I was a little sad last night because I wished I had found this system 10 years ago.  But, like any cleaning, it does require effort on my part, and 10 years ago I didn’t clean… no matter what the system or incentive was.  So it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference had I stumbled upon this system 10 years ago.

I’m glad that I found it now though… very glad.  Our house is actually becoming *gasp* clean.

Wow.  What a boring blog entry.  I thought of a clever title, so I thought I would run with it, but the actual entry just didn’t fly.  Still, there’s a really cute picture to make it brighter.

I have to say this blog entry is a very accurate reflection of my day-to-day life though:  uninteresting thoughts about cleaning with brief moments of clever insight, all surrounded by cute children. 🙂

May 29th, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Decadence in small packages


Rick and Carla over Memorial Day weekend.
25 May 2008

After reading my blog entry that described what I liked so much about Donna’s house, Matt stopped by Bath and Body Works while we were out running errands and told me to pick up some of the hand soap that I like so much.  They smell amazing!  I cleaned my bathroom just so it would be worthy of such lovely scents.

Lily loved them too.  She helped pick them out at the store.  And, when I put them out the next day, she washed her hands all day long… really, every 30 minutes to an hour, she would go wash her hands again.  At one point during the day she got out of her seat and said, “My hands don’t smell nice.  I need to wash them.”  And off she trotted to the bathroom to wash her hands again.

After a single day, this is what the bottles looked like:

They do smell wonderful.  I can see why she wants to wash her hands every hour.

May 28th, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

No joy, man. No joy. Fail.


This would be Lani cooling off in the mud.
25 May 2008

I love to write.  I love to surprise people with a clever twist of words or an insightful, wry truth.  I love to strip a situation or a personality down to its basic elements through poetic or dry narrative.

It makes me happy.  It makes me feel connected.  It makes me feel unique and gives me a sense of purpose on this planet of six billion people.

But it’s terrifying.

When I put my stories out onto the internet for anyone to see, I feel naked and vulnerable.  I freeze — literally freeze — like a deer caught in the headlights.  There were no posts to the blog for two weeks because I couldn’t write.  I put up RomancePodcast.com, my personal showcase for my stories, and I completely froze up.  I couldn’t even write a blog entry.  All the joy disappeared into the blinding fear of vulnerability.

I love to write, but writing — or any creative endeavor that comes from the soul — requires you to let others see into your soul.  I’ve spent my whole life guarding myself, protecting myself from harm, as we all do.  But if I want to write something that is true and meaningful, I have to let others see the naked me… and to not only see the naked me, but to scoff at the naked me.

And that’s terrifying.  To willingly step out naked in public — that’s no easy accomplishment and one that I have not yet managed.

May 26th, 2008 | Podcast | 1 Comment -

The Intrinsic Power of Words

Daddy and the kids made ginger oatmeal cookies yesterday.

My stepmom, Donna, and I have very different design aesthetics when it comes to colors.  She prefers the deep, rich Mexican palette and I prefer the bright, soft pastel palette.  So, even though her house is painted very different colors than I would choose to paint my house, her home is still my primary source of inspiration when creating my own home.

And this is for several reasons:

  • Her home is always clean and tidy.
  • Even though they have three dogs that live in the house, her home always smells fresh which immediately relaxes the visitor when they come in from a long drive.
  • Her home is not cluttered.  She follows a clean, open design and puts out only a few knick knacks that she cherishes.
  • She keeps what I call “happy books” in the bathroom.  These would be books that you would find in the self-help section of the bookstore.  They are full of self-affirmations and self-introspection essays.  Whenever you come out of the bathroom, you feel just a little happier than when you went in because of reading the happy essays.
  • Her home, decorated with all its Mexican colors, is very pretty and enjoyable to be in.
  • She uses subtle, bright, lifting smells everywhere — the hand soaps, the body soaps, shampoos, the air fresheners throughout the house. It seems like such a small thing to have a lovely-scented handsoap, but it makes such a difference.
  • And finally, the topic of this blog, she has “happy signs” everywhere in her house.  Signs like “Live well. Laugh often. Love much.”

I was reading the Lifetime Fitness magazine today, and everytime I read it, I feel motivated and empowered — ready to make positive, healthy change in my life.  And then I go do the dishes and the laundry and tend to the needs of small children, and that feeling slowly ebbs away into the hard and repetitive work of the day.  And that is why I like that particularly design feature of Donna’s home so much.  Her plaques on the wall remind you of what is important while you are feeding children and vacuuming and folding the laundry.

Words are thoughts, and thoughts are actions.  I like the idea of self-programming my thoughts with beautiful wall decor.

May 24th, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

What’s a small coke addiction if it means that your house will be clean?

Logan came by after school yesterday, and he and Lily pulled out the little pool.

There was too much action in the little pool for Damian. He found a quieter place to play with water.

I have vicodin that I take for my headaches; I call it my Miracle Drug.  When I feel a headache coming on, I drink a cup of tea and take a vicodin and *poof!* the headache disappears.

However, vicodin, for me, also acts as a mood elevator and an energy pill.  I was telling Carla that I am a cleaning machine after the vicodin and the cup of tea.  Carla said that she noticed how clean my house was when she dropped Clara off Tuesday.  And then her house looked even worse by comparison when she walked into her own home.  “I should try vicodin and cup of tea to clean my house,” she said.

I said, “That’s playing with fire though.  Vicodin has a synthetic narcotic in it.  It’s like saying ‘I’ll just use coke to get the energy I need to clean my house.'”

And she said, “Yeah but… my house would be clean.”

I started laughing… because it’s true!  Cleaning the house is a monumental task and it’s a miserable job.  When weighing the two, a coke addiction doesn’t seem so bad. 😉

May 22nd, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Moby is a housewife’s fantasy

Lily, Damian and I watched Clara yesterday. Lily fed her and rocked her to sleep for me.

Lily and Clara
20 May 2008


Lily and Clara
20 May 2008

The kids love to dance to Moby’s Extreme Ways (Bourne’s Ultimatum).  When I put it on, Damian will drop whatever he is doing and run into the living room to dance around with his sister.  I use this to my advantage.  With proper planning, I can now use the bathroom for 4 minutes and 22 seconds all by myself.  As any mother of preschool children will tell you, this is a luxury.

We all know that I have a thing for bald men, but it’s Moby’s ability to entertain my children that gets me excited. 😉

May 21st, 2008 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

RomancePodcast.com is up, baby!

Daddy with the kids at Surfside Beach, Texas

19 April 2008


20 April 2008

I’ve been absent for several reasons: my mom came to visit, and then Justin came to visit, and I have been working on RomancePodcast.com… finally.  Go check it out: RomancePodcast.com.

My hunk of burnin’ love helped me with the CSS.  I have been resisting CSS for years and finally caved because of need, and it turns out that CSS is very cool.  I like it a lot.  I can’t believe I resisted it for so long.

Anyways, Carla and I have launched our third business venture together. 🙂  I like being a small business owner.  It’s fun!  I guess it’s easy to say that because Matt is the bread-winner and my small business is my hobby.

May 6th, 2008 | Podcast | No Comments -