Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Pseudoscorpion Edition

OK, not really wordless. I do have one word for this picture. EEEEWWW.

Snagged from Animaloid.

I found one of these charming little buggers climbing on the wall upstairs when I went to workout tonight. After a quick smush with some toilet paper (I know, I know. I don't like bugs inside. I'm trying to be a better person but --) I took it downstairs to Bob, who I looked to for confirmation that this was not, in fact, a bloodsucking monster waiting to kill us in our sleep. "What is it?" I asked. 
"I don't know," he said, innocently. 
"WHAT IS IT? FIND OUT. GET TO GOOGLING." Sometimes I am bossy. I'm also paranoid, so it's a better idea that someone else do the googling.

By the time the workout video was over, Bob had flexed his bug-identification muscles and declared that it was a "totally harmless" pseudoscorpion. Sounds nice and cuddly, right? He repeated the words "harmless" and "beneficial" about twenty times in the next ten seconds. (Have I mentioned I'm paranoid? And not a fan of BUGS IN THE HOUSE?)

Does the presence of one mean there are probably more in the house? (Yes.) Are they venomous? (Yes, but they are so tiny that they couldn't pierce human skin if they tried.) How big do they get? (Apparently in these parts they stay 3mm or less, which in my frenzied state I demanded that he translate "into American.*" I can't handle the metric system when I'm in panic mode, people!) 

(OK, this picture shows how tiny they actually are. I may be a bit prone to overreacting.) 
Snagged from this site.
Whatever. I am still Not. A. Fan. 

*I'm not really retarded, I promise. I was 97% kidding here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Winner of THE COUNTESS Giveaway...

as selected by random.org is comment number 9, which belongs to Robin from Pink Dryer Lint! Congratulations, Robin! I'll e-mail you later on today to get your mailing address so we can get that right out to you.

 Didn't win? You should still consider checking out the novel. I finally started reading my copy yesterday, which led to a confused exchange between Bob and me:

Bob: Did you get another work manuscript? (Eyeing the manuscript box on the dresser.)
Me: No. . . why?
Bob: On the phone earlier you said you were reading. But this box doesn't look like it's been opened.
Me: Because I wasn't reading for work! I was reading an actual book!
Bob: Oh. Wow. I don't know that I've ever actually seen you do that before...

So, yeah. It was time. And the novel itself? Dark and rich and gory and beautiful. You should take a peek.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Simply Saturday

We're joining up with Jenn over at A Country Girl's Ramblings for today's excuse to post more pictures of K Simply Saturday link-up!

Today we're talking about sleep.

This was how I found K a few days ago when she went up to her room to "watch Shrek." Tough life, eh? 

And now it's noon on Saturday, and I'm the only one in the house who is awake. I've already had breakfast, gone to my yoga boot camp class, come home, showered, made coffee, done two loads of dishes (I'm awful about keeping on top of dishes!), cleaned the kitchen, and I'm now taking a break to play around on the computer. 

Bob is out cold, but I don't give him too much crap about weekend sleeping habits because he gets up at an ungodly hour during the week for work. But K? I don't know. Bossing people around all day is hard work, I guess. 

Want to join in and make your own Simply Saturday post? From Jenn: "Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up." 

Happy Saturday, everyone! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Staying on Track

I've posted before about how K is kind of a brutal personal trainer.

She's getting worse.

This morning I was trying to wrap-up work stuff for the week, and she handed me an Oreo to "open" for her. (She only likes the middles. Um, for breakfast? I don't know. It's Friday.) Instead of twisting it and handing it back to her, I absentmindedly popped it into my mouth.

I wish you could have seen the look of horror on her face as she cried, "No! Mom! Spit it out! Spit it out!" There were tears. So many tears. (I know that they were really tears of "I can't believe that hooker ate my cookie" and not "I'm so disappointed in your dietary choices," but --)

I can take solace in the knowledge that she's tough because she cares. During my afternoon workout, I was making some really pained attractive noises as I was finishing the last few reps with some weights, and K ducked her head into the room.

K:"You okay?"
Me: "I'm okay. It's just hard."
K: (comes in, puts a hand on my face) "You're very brave."

Then she looked at me a little while before adding, "Your hair is really big. You need a haircut."
I don't know what I'd do without her.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We've been celebrating St. Patrick's Day via indulgent food choices for the last week! Last Thursday we kicked things off with some frosted Irish cream brownies, Saturday we tortured ourselves by popping a corned beef brisket in the slow cooker too late to actually get to enjoy for dinner that day, so after several hours of trying to will it to cook faster we gave up and ordered a pizza, then Sunday we had the real deal. We've been working our way through the leftovers ever since.

But let's go back to those brownies, shall we?
K admiring our work, sloppy as the glaze may be. 

Can I gush for a moment about these brownies, guys? They're chocolate. And booze. And sugar. And more chocolate. (And, um, baking provides a nice positive outlet for parent-child bonding? K loves to help me measure ingredients and mix everything together. And the Bailey's in the batter helps ease the transition into sleepytime...) Kidding, kidding, CPS representatives!

I wanted to stick my face finger into that pan, too.

That's my girl.
Seriously, blog readers: I can't think of a better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day ANYTHING than with these brownies. Last week I hit my 100 pound weight-loss milestone (seriously!) and -- no kidding, I'm willing to backslide a pound or two for these suckers. (Also, future wedding invitees? Don't be surprised if you see these at the reception instead of wedding cake, because a) these are delicious, and b) have you priced professionally-made wedding cakes lately? Dear Lord. We could have a cake or pay the mortgage for the next couple months, but probably not both.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day, gang, and don't forget to enter our giveaway if you haven't already! (It closes tomorrow evening!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Giveaways Revisited!

Once upon a time I had interests (mostly books). And things I felt passionately about (mostly books). And I ran with it and turned it into a degree (in books). I spun it into a career (in college I worked as a book critic, and now I work for a book editing company) and earned myself a full scholarship to grad school (studying... books!). I liked books. I loved books. I hauled a U-Haul trailer full (well, half full, anyway) of books across the country when I moved back home-ish to the midwest. I. Like. Books.

That said, I can't remember the last time I read a book outside of work. (I think it was Lorrie Moore's A GATE AT THE STAIRS sometime in 2010, and before that? A collection of Sherman Alexie stories at the hospital while I was in labor. Seriously. Ms. K took 36 hours to, erm, work her way out into the world, & I needed something to occupy my mind.)

But it's a new year (...three months into a new year?) and one of my resolutions was/is to read something that a)is not for work, and b)is not for K. I love GOODNIGHT MOON as much as the next parent, but -- enough is enough.

So, with that in mind, this month I'm publicly declaring my intent to actually read a book that's been on my to-read list since it came out back in October: Rebecca Johns' THE COUNTESS. Rebecca and I worked together for a time (she's since moved on) and she's a fellow mom (of an adorable toddler girl!) When I heard her new novel was coming out I told Bob about it and he ordered me a copy for my birthday, right around the same time that I won one on Rebecca's facebook page! What does this mean for you?

It means I'm giving one away! I'm keeping the autographed, personalized one (sorry, gang) but the copy that I'm giving away is a gorgeous hardcover -- brand new and still in the shrink wrap from Amazon!

Here's the blurb, via Amazon and Publishers Weekly: Johns's creepily enticing second novel (after Icebergs) travels to 1611 Hungary as Countess Erzsébet Báthory--aka the Blood Countess--is being walled into a castle tower as punishment for the murder of dozens of women and girls. She begins writing her life story as an exposé of the many betrayals that have brought about this--as she sees it--outrageous and unjust imprisonment. The steady, calm tone of Erzsébet's narration lulls the reader along so that the first hints of madness in her girlhood engender doubt and discomfort rather than horror, and as her lack of remorse and grandiose sense of entitlement are unveiled, a matter-of-fact self-portrait of a murderer emerges. This is a carefully researched story, gothic in tone and grimly atmospheric, with subtly handled psychology and an initially unassuming tone. Unlike most serial killer stories, this rewards patience and close reading.

Sound like something you're interested in? Leave a comment to enter our giveaway! Here's how to earn a chance to win:

1) Tell me what the last thing you did for you was. Time out for a book? A movie? A meal somewhere other than McDonalds? Leave a comment and spill!

2)"Like" us on Facebook! Click here to go to our page.  Leave a separate comment  to tell us that you've done so!

3)Subscribe or follow us via RSS or Google Friend Connect. Again, let us know via a separate comment here!

4)Tell your friends! Link to this post on your blog, facebook, twitter, etc., and again -- can you guess what's coming here? -- leave a separate comment to let us know you've done so!

We'll choose a winner via random.org on Friday, March 18. Until then? Enter, enter, enter! Reclaim some of your pre-parenthood self along with me!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

We went from this:
Saturday night living room dance party complete with costumes, wigs, hats, and craziness to spare!

to this:

Stomach flu --> vomiting blood --> severe dehydration = THUMBS DOWN.

in about 36 hours. We spent some quality time in the hospital (about 27 hours!) and are finally home, but oof: what a week!

On a much happier and completely unrelated note, if you're not already reading Jennifer at Midwest "Mom"ents, you probably should start! It's a lovely blog and we just won a fun giveaway from her! Also, in that spirit, we're going to be having another giveaway here at Unlikely Origins in the near future (assuming, of course, that we can stay out of the "hostable" for a while!) so stay tuned!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Am A Big Mean (Old?) Ogre.

That's what K told me today. (After getting out of the shower, she modified her assessment and told me that I was a "big wet ogre." We've been watching a lot of Shrek lately.)

The other day my new (temporary!) charges (seven and ten) played a rousing game of "guess how old Karinya is" and finally decided that I was forty. I'm twenty-seven. 

We made it out of February alive, but March hasn't exactly brought the warm, springtime-y reprieve that we were counting on, either. We spent Friday morning glued to the TV watching for a school closing that didn't come, then Saturday's bad roads meant that we were mostly stuck at home and that Bob's journey to a memorial service for a friend took him twice as long to get to (and return from).

Sunday we were just about to load the crew up into the minivan (I'm temporarily driving a minivan, guys. A MINIVAN!) to go to the movies and get the heck out of the house when the seven year old announced "I think I'm going to throwup."

And then did.


It's Monday afternoon now and she's still going strong.

K is on the floor, coloring her fingernails with a black marker (...because she's goth now?) and I don't even care.

I am a big mean ogre. Watch out. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday, Now With. . .

America's Toughest Toddler Trainer!

She looks sweet, right?

That's just because the workout hasn't begun yet. She doesn't want to hear your excuses!

We want reps! Now! Fast! Do you want flabby arms for your wedding, mom? Didn't you just buy a (gorgeous) sleeveless gown? DO IT! Pain is just fear leaving the body!

Also, please try to look as cute and fashionable as I do when exercising. It's really the only way to be.

*I have lost an entire person  a significant amount of weight in the last ten months or so. Usually when people ask my method I'll mumble something about single motherhood/distraction/grilled chicken/running/having my butt handed to me by Jillian Michaels DVDs. But today I'm coming clean. It happened because I have America's Toughest Toddler Trainer on my case 24/7. (Anyone want to sign her for a DVD series/TV show/book deal?) In case you think I'm kidding, she carries around my 15 pound kettlebell. FOR FUN. She only weighs 30 pounds, guys!

Send me strength, blog readers. And lean protein. I'm going to need it.