Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Really Bad Day

Partly because I don’t want to relive it and partly because I don’t want to bore you guys to death, I will not go into details about the really bad day I had this week.  Suffice it to say it was rechid.  And I am not at all being a drama queen here {although I am known to have that super-awesome quality down to an art form}.

So what else took place this week?

Well because of all the unexpected “fun”, we didn’t get very much school done at all.  And yes, that makes me feel like a really craptastic homeschool mom.

Despite this, we did accomplish something.

We cooked!  We took the dog to a dog park!  We had a Girl Scout meeting!  We started puppy classes with Winston!  We got the tires rotated on the Terrain!  We made appointments to have the plumbing leak fixed in my master bath {brand new house, sheesh} and to have my cracked windshield fixed {brand new car, sheesh}!

There.  See.  We did accomplish something.

Babydoll can pick up all sorts of useful life skills from this week:

How to make big, giant, freaking delicious meatballs 
How to operate a dog park double fence thingy 
How to make thank you notes to thank people for buying cookies 
How to sit in a vet lobby with five other dogs and learn how to use cheese to make a dog your puppet 
How to make nice with the people in the dealership service lobby 
How to promptly avoid eye contact with the people in the dealership service lobby 
How to dial a phone and talk to people and offer them money so they’ll come and fix something for you 
How to go into your bedroom, put the blanket over your head, and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist 
How to properly take a dog out to potty 
How to run with a dog

And that’s just the beginning.  I’m sure I’m forgetting a thing or three…


The Magic Connector

This is probably one of the stupidest things any person has ever thought of to teach something, but hey, it came to me in the moment and it livened up an otherwise tense grammar session.

We’ve been discussing connecting sentences (same subject, same predicate, etc.). Babydoll did great with everything, but couldn’t quite grasp the connecting two full sentences with a comma and the word “and”. I just couldn’t figure out a way to explain it so she would understand it.

The way I was explaining it made sense to me. But all I got was a blank stare.

Panic set in.

Oh crap.

What the heck am I supposed to do now?

There’s no other information in the curriculum as to how to explain this further.


She passed the test, but I just didn’t feel she got it.

So later we sat down and I said, “‘And’ is a magic connector. It allows you to connect two complete sentences together. You need to keep the first sentence from jamming right into the magic connector and the other sentence though, so you need the comma, which is your speed bump.”

And she got it.

To me, that just seems like so much to explain something that could be explained in a much simpler manner {you know, the one I was already trying to teach her}. But it worked. And she looked so excited. And she laughed.

I was feeling really darn good about myself.


Really Random Ramblings

You ever have those moments where stuff {craziness} is racing through your mind, and you just want to tell someone? Well, my husband is at work and Babydoll is at a friend’s house, so I thought I’d just write about it. So, we’ll see where this goes; you’ve been warned…

I love everything Oprah.  No, not in a creepy stalker kind of way, but in a I-like-watching-her-show-and-her-new-network kind of way.  I’m loving the new OWN network, particularly the Master Class series.  Last weekend the show featured Jay-Z, and let me tell you, while I didn’t agree with every little thing he said, it was such an insightful show that I DVRed it for Babydoll to watch the next day.  Tonight’s show will feature Maya Angelou, and yes, the DVR will be rolling.

I always wanted to attend a taping of the Oprah show.  When I found out this would be her last season, I thought there would be no way I’d ever get to attend one.  Then, about halfway through the season, I heard on her XM channel that you could try to get last-minute tickets and look for reservation windows to open up.  I randomly checked the site the other day and there was a link for last-minute reservations.

I was uber-excited.

I had to compose myself so I could type my little thing about why I wanted to attend.

I proofread.

I hit submit.

I got the crushing message that they were no longer accepting emails.

I was crushed.  I felt like such a weirdo; I cried.  I actually cried because I had lost out on an opportunity to possibly maybe be selected to go to a taping of the Oprah show.

I don’t give up though, and I have this bad habit of wanting to get what I want, so I’ll be trying till I can’t try anymore.

Last night I sat down and fleshed out lesson plans for the rest of the year.  That gave me a bit of a headache.  It was just a ton of information to sort through.  I have a good skeleton guide in place, though, and I’m very excited about it.  It’s such a great feeling to know you have direction again.

I’m pretty sure I’ve decided on next year’s curriculum {I buy in the spring, so I need to figure it out soon}.  It’ll be a bit of the old and bit of the new.  Look for a post soon about what we’ll be using.

We’re in the midst of selling Girl Scout cookies.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I’m not a huge fan of being cookie mom on top of being troop leader.  I’m not a huge fan of being around and talking to a bunch of people I don’t know.  I’m not a fan of trucking Babydoll hither and yon to sell enough to reach her 400 box goal.  However, the fact that she is such a go-getter and really coming out of her comfort zone to go and talk to stranger after stranger makes it all worth it.  She is so excited, she is doing so well, she is turning “Sorry, I’m on a diet” responses into “Sure, I’ll donate some boxes to your Gift of Caring campaign”.  I am in awe.  That makes it enjoyable, seeing her work so hard.  Hopefully someday she’ll look back and think, “Wow, my mom really tried to give me every opportunity she could to reach my goals.”

The new puppy is so enjoyable.  I love him!  I’ll be glad when the whole potty training thing is over and I’ll be glad when he and the cat can be next to each other without all manner of craziness ensuing.  But, he’s fun.  Check out Winston Fitzpatrick over there to the left.

I graduate in 97 days. In 97 days, I will have a piece of paper that basically means I paid a lot of money to finally finish my associate’s degree. But, at the same time, it represents the fact that I finally finished something I started almost twelve years ago. I am so excited to walk across the stage in the historic Alabama Theater.

OK, I think I’m done for now.  I have quite a bit of homework to do, and quite a busy week to prepare for.  And, maybe, I should enjoy this tiny bit of time I have to myself.


And She Suddenly Appears…

Boy, have I missed you guys!  I can’t believe that November 21st was the last time I posted a blog entry.  That is just shameful.  Really.  It is.  And so, I apologize to you, my super-awesome readers, for up and abandoning you.

Although, I didn’t really abandon you per se, I just took a little hiatus.  Yes, we’ll call it that, a hiatus.  That sounds so much more glamorous than abandoning, dontcha think?

Really, what we call it is neither here nor there at this point.  I bet you’re sitting there with baited breath waiting to hear what sort of glorious and wonderful things I was up to.  Right?


We were sick.  ForEVER.  Seriously.  It just would not end.  And when it did let up for a bit, I was so busy with other things that I either didn’t have time to write or I just didn’t want to write.  I know that sounds horrible and believe me, I felt bad that I just up and left, but I really could not find it within myself to post anything.  I don’t know what the deal was, but I’d come here a couple of times and think, Man, it sure would be a lot of work to format a blog post right now; I don’t feel like it.

And so, like a petulant child, I dug my heels in and refused to write.

Oh, I did other things during that time:  we got a new dog, went to see a ballet, baked up a storm, started planning Girl Scout cookie sales, and traveled back home for a very short visit.  But, add that to being sick, and there was very little time for much of anything else.

Toward the end of November, I became sick with the flu and Babydoll became sick with a cold.  Mine lasted about two full weeks and ended with me losing my voice for about a week and not getting any better.  Vince finally made me go see a doctor who put me on four different medicines.  Yay, things are finally clearing up!

Not so fast…

We had a bit of a respite and enjoyed the beginning of our month off from school, but then it hit again.  Babydoll had croup (yes, at eight years old) and it was bad.  It started the day we got our puppy and I thought it was just a cold or the flu.  But she got really bad, really fast.  She could barely breathe, had no voice, and had a 102+ degree fever for about three days.  She didn’t eat, barely drank, and stayed in bed for days. 

I barely got any sleep for days, and don’t think I could have gotten through it without my wonderful husband.  Despite working nights during that period, he came home each day and helped out around the house and kept things in order so I could get some much needed rest in preparation for the next night of steamy bathrooms, drives with the windows down in the cold night air, and calming down a freaked out child.

In a nutshell, that’s where I’ve been.  Today was the first day we were able to get back to a somewhat normal routine as far as school goes.  Last week was supposed to be our week back, but we ended up going out of town at the last minute to see my brother who was on leave from the Army.  I hadn’t seen him in over a year.

Hopefully we’ve been dealt our fair share of this, at least for a while.  It was great to have a break, but I can’t help but feel frazzled and not “together” right now.  It’s killing me, but I’m trying to just accept it as part of life and tell myself that it will get better.

Sweet Critique: Factory Direct Crafts

Factory Direct Craft

Factory Direct Craft


One thing you won’t find very much here on Sweet Phenomena is original crafts.  But, you will find me copying others’ crafty goodness.  Or, you’ll find guest posts by folks that are craft geniuses.

I do love creating things, though, and that means we have a fairly regular need for craft supplies.  Our area is not known for its variety as far as shopping and items goes, so I often find myself having to order things online.  Until now, I’ve never really had a central source from which I got these things.

Enter Factory Direct Craft


How did I not know about this place before?  They have everything.  Like, seriously.  Everything.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many craft supplies in one place.

The site is organized well, and has a logical structure.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited a site looking for fabric, glue, specialty craft items, etc., and their headings/categories make no sense.  Factory Direct Craft knows how to group like items together {you know, like we teach our kids when they’re little?}, and then sub-head things under that.  Take a look at this:

Factory Direct Craft


To the point.  That’s what I like.  If I’m looking for general craft supplies {the stuff you just “have on hand”}, I see where to go.  Painting supplies to go along with that awesome new art curriculum?  Know where to go.  Totally love it.

And while this might not be a huge thing, I love their pictures.  They’re basic, but eye-catching.  I was instantly drawn to that painting supplies picture.  As we all know, pictures can make or break a site…

But How Are Their Prices?


Their prices are awesome!  I’m not even kidding you.  9″x12″ felt for $.43?  Everything I checked out was an awesome price.  I tried to find things I’ve purchased in town recently, so I remember how much I paid.  After you add in the gas and the hassle, this stuff beats it by so much, it’s crazy!

The prices, coupled with the selection and the convenience of shopping from home?  I’m too stinking excited about this place!!!

Final Thoughts


Run to them.  Make a list of the craft supplies you need and visit Factory Direct Craft.  Any place that has specific categories for googly eyes and glitter is OK in my book!

True Confessions:  I partnered with Factory Direct Craft to bring you this post.  All opinions are mine.