Bees and the Bedecking of my Blowhole

I absolutely love that most of you remember the spelling word that took you down in elementary school.

The word that Meredith will remember for the rest of her life? Defiantly.


The great news? Meredith finished in third place. (Of course, because she’s just like me, she HATES that she came in third. She’s PISSED that she came in third. This anger will drive her to work extra hard next year.) ((She knew Defiantly. She got nervous and tripped. Many of the other participants did the same thing. In fact, the very first speller missed his very first (and only) word. My heart broke for him.)) (((Confession: I cried before, during, and after the bee. Before? Just seeing Meredith sitting up there with the seven other students did me in. She looked so small. During? When Meredith missed her word and the round ended and everyone cheered for her? It destroyed me. After? When a fifth grade girl correctly spelled her final word and was declared the winner, she immediately began to do the ugly cry. So did I. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I need a prescription.)))

I’m abruptly changing the subject now, because it’s Saturday night and I’m seriously considering having a tiny silver ball pierced into the side of my nose. It just might be the crab rangoon talking (Happy Chinese New Year!), so I wanted to put it out there and see what you think. I just searched out some photos on Flickr, and I’m liking the tininess of this woman’s diamond, but I don’t want a diamond. (I know. I know! Actually, this photo made me take a step back, but now I’ve moved forward again. Because look! And look!)

Meredith has a friend over. The girls are dancing in the front room. Jeff is playing guitar in the dining room. The dogs are running around in the back yard. I’m just sitting around drawing dots on my nose with eyeliner…

It's eyeliner! For now! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Appius and Virginia and The Stealing of Thunder

Today was a bit tiresome for a number of reasons. BUT, beneath the dreck was a delicious lunch with friends. AND, this evening I’m taking time to figure out how to draw an amiable stack of pancakes and some jaunty jelly.

A few days back, my friend Summer asked the following:

“If you could pick any word or phrase to describe ‘life, as you know it currently’ and/or what you want or need in the coming year, what would the word or phrase be?”

I didn’t answer the question at the time, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I believe I want 2012 to be cool, tall, vulnerable, and luscious. How about you? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

The Things for Which I Hanker

Today I purchased a pair of these in tortoise. I drove to four (FOUR!) large chain eyeglass shops and wrote down exactly what I liked, and was then able to doink around online and find the frames for about three gajillion dollars less than what I would have paid in the store. I win.

Check out these button rings. They’re made by my dear friend’s niece, and I love them.

Speaking of love, I love everything in Isabella’s store. (As you know, I’m especially fond of the flatpacks. I ordered two of them as teacher gifts, and I’m REALLY itching to keep them for myself.)

Beautiful roving. Oh, how I need to devote more time to spinning.

I know I don’t need one of these, but I need one of these.

Speaking of which, this seems like a good idea, too.

Vic Firth salt and pepper grinder. Who knew?

I think my kids need a moon in their room.

I’ve tried several, and I loved them all. Especially these.

This is one of my very favorite movies.

I can see myself in this. With leggings.

I’m just so happy that this exists.

Are there things for which you hanker? Share them with me! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Urine for a Surprise!

So, remember yesterday when I mentioned that something in the house smelled like urine? I noticed that the odor was stronger when I was sitting at the computer, which made me think it was something in the kitchen. Later in the afternoon, I noticed that it was pretty terrible when I was driving the car, meaning the smell was also in the car! This morning when I threw on yesterday’s jeans so I could watch the kids waiting for the bus, I noticed that the smell was pretty terrible when I was sitting on my bed putting on my shoes.

When I stepped out of my room, BOTH kids immediately put their hands over their noses.

Meredith: WHAT IS THAT SMELL?!?!


Me: No. No! NOooooooo!

I quickly ran back into the bedroom and asked Jeff to smell my jeans.

Jeff: Holy! Um, yeah. Your jeans stink.

Yesterday I stood in the elementary school office and talked to THREE different people while exuding a bouquet of urine. I am mortified.

A few minutes ago, I went down to get clothes out of the dryer, and found that the clean (and dry) clothes ALL smell like urine!

Do you remember three years ago when my towels were stinky?! Apparently, the madness never ends.

(Please know this: There is no urine on the clothes. Neither dog has had an accident in the house in quite some time, and the cats no longer go into our bedroom, where the dirty clothes are kept. I haven’t peed in my pants since I attempted to use a Neti pot while pregnant with Meredith. Enigmatic Urine will be my next CB handle.)

((What bothers me the most is the fact that I couldn’t put two and two together to realize that I was a walking sample of pee perfume all day yesterday. I definitely detected the smell more when I was sitting down. In other words: When my NOSE was closer to my PANTS.))

One more thing: I hate when adults walk up to a pregnant woman and call her “Mommy” as in, “When is the blessing due, Mommy?” I will never NOT be creeped out by that. Similarly (not really, but I have nowhere else to put this), yesterday I was at the bank (smelling like pee) when the bank teller had to repeat herself to a customer several times. Finally, the customer said, “I think my ears are full of wax!” She was not joking. Dear Lord, Lady. I don’t know ANYONE with whom I would feel comfortable enough to blurt out ear wax confessions. (I’m still not quite over the fact that Jeff smelled my pee pants.)

And another thing: I felt fine all day yesterday. For dinner, I had a tiny bit of salmon. Within minutes, I was sneezing and all congested and I felt like I was getting a migraine. HOWEVER, within two hours I was back to normal. Jeff thinks it was environmental allergies. I think it’s time to admit that fish DO have souls and perhaps I shouldn’t be eating them. Ever. (I rarely eat them. You can’t really be a full-on vegetarian if you’re eating a fish, right?)

The new Jeffrey Eugenides book came out on Tuesday. (It was delivered to my Nook at 3:06 in the morning. I’ve been dealing with goofy insomnia lately, so I was actually awake and ON the Nook when it arrived. I dove in immediately. Serendipity.) ((Oh! Our closest independent bookstore now sells eBooks. This makes me so happy.)) What are you reading these days?

UPDATED TO ADD: I actually found the story about my Neti Pot! Here it is. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Just in case you’ve been looking…

I don’t like to ask for money. When I sold socks to fund my trip to BlogHer in 2008, I sort of promised myself that I would never again be that bold. AND, other than a few charity mentions here and there, I’ve stuck to my promise.

It was brought to my attention this past weekend that a girl from my high school has a son named Aaron. Aaron has Beal’s Syndrome, which is a rare disorder that affects the connective tissue. It’s characterized by permanent fixation of certain joints in a flexed position, and those who suffer from it have a hard time moving. Aaron has had five surgeries in the past ten years (including a spinal fusion), and is expected to undergo hip surgery in the future.

Aaron will be eleven years old on Friday, and he wants a bike for his birthday.

Because of his special circumstances, his family can’t simply drive to a store and grab a bike. Aaron needs a special bike. It’s a bike that his family has researched, it can be customized to fit him, and it costs $3,800. That’s a lot of money.

A Facebook page has been created to raise money for Aaron’s bike, and the goal has been set for 380 people to donate $10. So far, $390 has been collected. In other words, we’re a little over a tenth of the way there.

If you’ve been thinking about budgets and yearly donations and you would consider donating to a cause that would make a very special boy VERY happy on his birthday, please consider Aaron and his bike. If you have PayPal, the address for donations is

In my world, every kid should have a bike, and I was more than happy to help Aaron out.

Please feel free to join me.

(I’m turning comments off for this post, but if you have any questions, please shoot an e-mail my way: angela at fluid pudding dot com.)

ETA: In PayPal, if you hit the Personal box and choose Gift, no credit card/bank fees will be deducted from your donation. It’s not a HUGE deal, but every twenty cents (or so) in fees start adding up eventually, and Aaron will get his bike much faster without the deductions! Thank you so much! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I wanna meet her so that I can say, “Hey! Kate!”

I’ve often joked around about how you really need to know yourself before you can choose a ring tone or commit to wearing a pair of jeans with the word “skinny” on the tag. (I still don’t know myself well enough to go outside of the AT&T suggested ring tone box. This sad phone of mine will never sing a song or cluck like a chicken. It simply says, “Ding” when someone is trying to reach me. With that said: My Butt is not a subset of Skinny, HOWEVER, I now own two pairs of skinny jeans. I am a jelly-bottomed enigma!)

I received a Nook Color for my birthday. (If you click on that link and watch the video, please know that I wanna be Kate, and that I’ll use just about any opportunity I can create to give a shout out to Ben Folds.) Anyway, after having the Nook for nearly two weeks, I’m finding that I’m getting to know yet another snobby side of myself. (This one is located in my frontal lobe!) My swollen-headed side will NOT allow any mundane books to be placed on the Nook. Goofy romance novels have no place on my Nook. If I can get a book at my library and continue to check it  out over and over again? I’m not going to spend nine bucks to put it on the Nook. My Nook has enough room to hold something like 6,000 eBooks, yet absolutely zero space for authors like Sean Hannity or Sarah Palin. (I know! I’m horribly mean! And such a LIBERAL!)

Currently, my Nook is holding the following: The McSweeney’s Joke Book of Book Jokes, The Namesake, 25 novels that I was able to purchase for ninety nine cents, and a sample from Appetite for Reduction. Here is where you come in. What else do I need? What have you been reading lately? (I know at least three of you will mention The Help. I own that in both hardcover and audio. I loved it, too!) Also, I just finished Bossypants and adored it. I collect books of letters, and am looking into the Thurber letters. What else? What books do you love? Do you want to be my Nook friend? (I’m not even sure what that means, although I know it’s a possibility!) Get all up in my Nook, people!
Time is running out! Come on over and comment. You could win a $100 Visa gift card! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Anything that you might need, I’ve got inside for you!

A few months ago, I found myself standing in line with a woman whose daughter is currently a first year kindergarten teacher in Texas. About a week into the school year, the daughter called home to talk about a boy in her class who always claimed to have forgotten his backpack. Every afternoon, the teacher would ask the kids to put their papers into their backpacks, and every afternoon the boy would say, “I forgot my backpack!” When the teacher finally asked how she could help him to remember his backpack, the boy looked at his feet and admitted that he didn’t have a backpack at all, because his mom didn’t have the money.

The teacher went out that night and bought the boy a backpack. (The woman standing behind me in line said that the teacher should NOT have done this, which I thought was interesting. I would have bought the backpack.)

Anyway. It recently came to my attention that there are some kids in the girls’ school who are without backpacks for the same reason. AND, a few of us want to fix that.

I’ve been searching the internet for inexpensive backpacks (not the drawstring kind) that can be purchased in bulk, and although there are quite a few sites that offer such a thing, I hesitate before ordering because of bad site reviews posted elsewhere on the internet. My sister told me to go to a place like WalMart, tell them the situation and how I want to keep the purchase local, and see what they could offer.

Before I do that, I want to throw it out to you, because you tend to have the exact information that I need. Do you know where I could get something like twenty backpacks for a decent price? Any advice would be appreciated.

AND, now I’m going to take your hand and drag you to the other side of the room to show you the bracelet I received in the mail today. When I turned 30, Jeff sent flowers to me at work. Inside the card, he had written, “I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a girl.” (It’s the opening line from my very favorite Elliott Smith tune.) Now that we have two daughters, that line carries even more meaning than it did when Jeff and I were dating. Anyway, I found an Etsy store that sells customized bracelets. A little more than a week later, here I sit with the greatest bracelet I’ve ever owned—a bracelet so great that it prompted me to make an eighteen second video to celebrate its existence.

From here to there to here: We’re currently two birthday parties down, with only one to go. May Day.

Any advice on the backpack thing? I thank you in advance!
I want a Fluid Pudding Regular to win this one!
The Puddings are eating vegetables and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Holes In My Head

At age 32, when I became pregnant with Meredith, I removed my Billy Pancake ring (long story) along with the four “extra” earrings in my ears. For whatever reason, I viewed Pregnancy as a time to say goodbye to superfluosity, which is not a recognized word in the English language. (Apparently, I’m making up a lot of non-words these days. Unimaginability!)

When I was at Camp KIP (I know! Here I go again with the mentioning of knitting camp! NOW I’m actually calling it by name! Next up? I’ll probably rename my goofy website “Fluid Pudding Goes to Knitting Camp!”), I noticed a LOT of people with “extra” earrings, and some of the pierced folks were moms and some were not and I couldn’t stop wishing that I hadn’t removed my tiny hoops over eight years ago. Because, really. Being a mom doesn’t necessarily mean you’re allowed only two earrings, three pairs of khaki capri pants, and four t-shirts with subdued floral prints. There really is no Mom Costume, right? Am I right?

Last night we met some friends from New York for dinner, and the last time we saw these particular friends was nearly ten years ago—before any of us had kids. Last night there were four kids at our table, and for whatever reason, it really hit me that not much has changed in the past ten years, yet we’re now a party of eight instead of a party of four—BUT we can still talk about good music and books that poke our brains. (Can you tell that I’m typing this out really quickly? It’s very difficult (yet such a rattlesnaking cliché) to describe how some things change yet others stay the same, and perhaps I should have relegated this particular Ironing Out to my handwritten journal, but sadly, my handwritten journal doesn’t even exist at this time. I keep meaning to get back into pulling out my notebook every morning, but then I don’t. I could learn so much from this guy. (I actually cried when I watched that video. (Happy HandToFace Crying.) His website is here, and is one of my new favorites.) Where was I? Have I closed all of my parenthetical asides?!)

After we ate at Fitz’s last night, we walked to FroYo, whose website blasts annoying loud music, and I feel the need to warn you before I actually link to it. To get to FroYo, you have to pass by Phoenix Rising. (Fact: Nearly fifteen years ago, I purchased tiny hoop earrings at Phoenix Rising, and I’m now unable to find those hoops.) As we sat around eating our frozen yogurt, the pull became too much for me. I excused myself, walked next door, asked if they had tiny hoops (they did—at five dollars per pair!), quickly checked out, and was back in my yogurt seat in less than five minutes.

I am pleased to report that I have replaced three of my hoops, and only one of my three chosen holes needed to be partially redrilled. (In case you’re wondering about the fourth hole, I’m not quite sure I can get away with having a hoop on the top of my ear. For now, that story will remain untold. Also, I will not redo Billy Pancake.)

Holes In My Head

Suddenly, my ears look eight years younger.

Speaking of which, you know that I stuffed my mouth with marshmallows for you, I eyelinered my face for you, and I Sharpied my hands for you. My birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and I’m out of ideas. Feel free to challenge me.
I want a Fluid Pudding Regular to win this one!
The Puddings are eating vegetables and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I’ll spin you a yarn!

Hey, you guys. Look what I’m making.

I'm making yarn!

It’s yarn. AND, because I tend to let my new obsessions go all crazy, I just spent a little too much time looking at spinning wheels. Conclusion: They’re expensive.

If you have a strong opinion/recommendation, tell me what sort of wheel I need. (Need. Yep. I know. Need is a strong word. I’m sort of lucky to not Need much of anything. How about telling me what sort of wheel I might want?)

(I know that portability is currently at the top of my list of features, only because I saw about four or five people toting their wheels around this weekend, and the women whose wheels were in cases seemed very smiley to me.)

((I’m currently looking at the Kromski Sonata or a Schacht Ladybug, mainly because I know of a local dealer, and buying locally is always a good idea. Any opinions?))

(((Please know that it is going to take at least a year for me to save up for such a purchase, so a hasty decision isn’t an option. Research is key.)))

((((If you are a manufacturer of spinning wheels and you want to send a wheel to me because you have wheels that you like to give away to enthusiastic beginners? I’ll send a huge batch of cake balls to you, and I’ll make sure to mention your wheel by name every single time I throw up a spinning post. Because I love you.))))

Edited to add: If you want to see a brief recap of camp from The Knitmore Girls and Miss Kalendar from Brass Needles, you can follow this link!
Less than 24 hours to go on this giveaway!
I am drinking Tropicana Pure Premium and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win!

This one ends on Wednesday!
I went shopping at Walgreens, and now I’m giving away a $100 Walgreens gift card! Come on over! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Nobody likes The Pudding Probe.

For the past three years or so, I’ve been doing the review writing gig for BlogHer, and even though I sometimes twirl counter-clockwise in my cocksure skirt and my confidence starts getting all monkeyed, deep down I know that I really do love writing the reviews, and I know a few of you enjoy reading them.

Why do I enjoy writing the reviews? Obviously, it’s fun to try out new products. (When you review new makeup, you score the opportunity to stand in a bathroom and act like Pat Benatar! When you review kid clothes, you get to dress your kids up and let them act like superstars! Sometimes, when the urge strikes and there aren’t many rules to follow, you can throw on the Paganini and let people watch you eat. It never gets boring!)  To me, the best part always comes at the tail end when I get to send out the little “HEY! You just won!” e-mail if the review is attached to a giveaway. I love that. 100%.

I’m typing this out really quickly just because I have a question for you. I’m thinking of taking the reviews to a website that I’ll dedicate solely to my reviews. The main reason I’m considering this sounds strange, and I’m still sort of working it all out in my head. When I look at my stats (which I rarely do, because I don’t really know how to get to them without a lot of dizzying clicks and errors) it seems that most of you don’t really care about the reviews. With that said, I know that there is a large group of people out there who really dig the review/giveaway sort of thing, and some of them dig it because they’re sort of needing it. As much as I want Fluid Pudding readers to win Every Single Thing I Ever Give Away, I also know at least three of you who roll your eyes every time I put the little dotted line with the giveaway links at the bottom of my posts.

Anyway. Typetypetypetypetype. Can you tell I have to leave here in ten minutes to pick up the kids?! I’m thinking about a website dedicated to the reviews, and I’m wondering what the name should be, and when I said The Pudding Probe over on Facebook, I had a few people gently shake their heads and remind me that medically speaking, a probe is not such a great thing. I also threw out Pudding Perlustration, but come on. Now I’m just showing off the fact that I have a big thesaurus. At the time of this post, the most recent suggestion (by Neil) was The Scrutinizing Pudding. I’m liking that, too. Any ideas? If I choose your name, I might give you something. Like I said, I’m still working it all out, and I need to leave the house in three minutes.

While you’re here, don’t forget that I’m giving away a copy of Let’s Panic as well as some energy-conserving light bulbs from GE! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>