Total Transformation Program (Read At Own Risk)
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If you're having a great Friday.... move along. Enjoy your day, and head directly for a mouse click somewhere else.  This is one of those posts written not really for y'all.... for y'all I try to keep things fairly upbeat.

But there's another group who is very dear to me - and for them I can get pretty dark and scary. This post is for those sweet people. We don't see them much, but they're here. If you type 'total transformation' into the search box to the right you'll see everything they come here and read -- and it's the depressing stuff. Necessary, but depressing.

One time I'd written about James Lehman's Total Transformation Program in a positive light, and then ages later, someone from there said - hey, let's pay you for what you already wrote. And maybe you could write some more. But I almost never do. When they call, I avoid the phone (but I do that with everyone). I sometimes return their emails. And I'm generally pretty flaky with the nice Total Transformation people even though they send me money.

It's mainly that I know what they want - and I do not want to give it to them. They want me to write about their product. They KNOW I believe in it. But the WAY I write about it is kinda painful. So I almost never do, even though it's pretty great and I sincerely think most families would benefit from it.

But I told them I would write. And that it would be this week.

And then I was up all night because a stupid recurring nightmare I've had my whole life woke me up at 2 am and then I couldn't sleep and I shoulda gone to the gym but instead I lay there and compared this stupid nightmare to that particular period in my life that I least want to write about, but committed to.

There's a particular weird, unique heavy sort of dread that accompanies this nightmare. Fortunately, it's so unique that I've never felt it any other time - waking or sleeping - and always know instantly to wake up - it's THAT dream. I started having THAT dream when I was 4 or 5. (happy childhood, no repressed anything - really) I thought I'd outgrow it, but never have.

It's a simple dream. A small flower petal, the size of a fingernail, is upturned and curving toward the sky - laying on the ground. And then the world's largest steamroller slowly smashes it.

I'm the flower petal, and because I am just a ridiculous little flower petal, I have no ability to move, flee, put up a good fight, or survive.  I hate that dream. It sounds so simple, and even silly - now. But at night it isn't, and I have to wake up fully because if I don't, and I slide back into sleep, it'll come back. And that awful feeling that always accompanies that dream will also come back.

So I was jumping up and down, in the dark, on a bathmat at 2 am last night in order to wake up fully so that I could go back to sleep. The problem with that is then you're awake and might not be able to go back to sleep.

So here goes:

If you're a parent and you have a pretty normal kid who is acting out and your parenting skills maybe aren't up to the challenge - yes. You need Total Transformation. Put in the time and effort and go through the material and you will be seriously rewarded with a change in your house.

But that wasn't my scenario. And that's all I got for you "parents with normal kids, acting out" group.  I wish you well.  I've always wished I were you.

But my heart breaks for another group of parents with bigger problems than yours. There aren't as many of them, but they're a special, lonely, and misunderstood group. You guys are the moms and dads, aunts and grandparents, who are raising a kid who wants to physically hurt you - and oftentimes already has.

This group is sometimes - usually - desperate for solutions, exhausted in every possible way, financially drained, depressed, alone, and tired of describing their situation to people/professionals/family who may or may not believe them, may or may not understand, and who probably can't or won't help in a meaningful way.  These people are very brave. They're raising someone who is a very real threat because it is the right thing to do, because it's their responsibility somehow (and thankssomuch God for THAT), and a lot of times the kid they're raising is making sure to trash that individual's character and reputation in a believable way, everywhere...  I've been one of you. But I've also exchanged emails with countless members of this group and these are common themes.

They're just trying to survive, and are not sure they can. Sure, they'd love to have a 'total transformation' and get this child they love back on track - but by the time things are this dire - it's a lot more about surviving until a way out presents itself.  Will the TTP help this group? Oh yes. And if you're like I was, than you will gladly try ANYTHING that ANYONE says will help - life has become exactly that desperate.

My daughter was 10 (..?) when things got kinda rough. There was stealing, and odd food issues, and general, far reaching unpleasantness. Mine by adoption, my husband's child biologically - and she'd been my daughter since she was 2.

Enter: reactive attachment disorder. (that's the BEST site, and very nice people are behind it. hi michelle!)

Enter: hell in West Texas.

She was lovely around most anyone. Charming, model student, smart, pleasant. This had all the teachers and principals and even Mike more than a bit unbelieving of my account of what she was suddenly like at home with just me and her brothers. My mom  and sister believed me and understood - but they lived pretty far away.

All the professionals we saw were pretty hopeless. Some local friends loved and supported us and tried to help - but this was impossible since they never could actually see the real issue. They (and Mike) could only see the little brown eyed angel they'd always known and loved. And I wanted them to see her that way. I wanted it to still BE that way.  Many of them thought that if I would just be more loving , or more this, or more that - then everything would be solved. It would just be so EASY if the blame and solution could be all up to me...  so, why aren't you fixing this already, Kels...? Lonely days.

She decided if she could force a divorce, I'd be gone and life would be great. But that didn't happen. Plan B was to kill me before the special 6th grade mother/daughter tea at the end of the school year. I found the drawings and plans in her room, and she admitted later she was in "research mode." How hard does she sleep? Is she likely to fight back... and how? How often does she forget to lock that door....? I could kill her in the kitchen, in front of the sink...that's where the knives are...

While she was in Research Mode, I was in Survival Mode. I had three little boys to also take care of, but my thoughts were often: don't forget to lock the door, don't relax, don't sleep, listen for everything, don't show pain, don't show weakness of any kind, stand up straighter, look taller, don't be so clumsy, what was that noise... is everyone where they should be... is everyone safe...? quick, go check.and then repeat. around the clock.  More so when Mike was out of town.

She's 16 now, and hasn't lived with us for the last 4 1/2 years. She's been in treatment centers that didn't help, and is now with a family in another state. On her last visit, she was angry and tried to hurt me, but didn't really succeed. Years later, I can tell you we're all safe. It took me ages to learn how to sleep again. To relax. To live. To make a mistake of any kind and just laugh it off instead of instantly wondering how this would be used against me. I did survive... this is written from the other side.

So for the parents who may be living through something similar... I think the world of you for trying so, so hard. You can write me, and I'll believe you. (That would have been so nice! I would have wanted that in return so much! Let me do that for you. I may not be able to help, but I will listen and I will believe and support you through this as long as you want me to.) For this dear group, I have a couple of points:

1. I'm not usually this blunt. BUT. If you don't know God, you need to introduce yourself. Simple as that. Say hello. Then learn the habit of praying without ceasing, and your peace level will increase exponentially. (I'm not talking fancy holy prayers. I mean, "Hey, God, my new buddy, there's a real threat in the next room and did you hear what he/she just yelled....? Huh.") If that doesn't make sense, by all means, email me right now. I lived through two VERY scary awful years because God patiently walked me through each of those days. I do not recommend trying it on your own. I wouldn't have made it. He was ALL I had, and He was enough. When there wasn't anyone else to believe me, be there with me, keep my family safe - He did. It's that simple.

2. Yes - Total Transformation will help. If things are homocidal, you need bigger help than this - BUT - it'll still help some and that's worth a LOT. You're probably pretty dejected and feeling like the worst parent around (and being told so, perhaps, by many different sources) - this will lift you back up and get you back on the right track. Really.

3. There's a 'contact me' link to the right.***  I don't care if this post was written in 2010, and you're reading it in 2020. Click it. You can write to me and I will hear you out/believe you/help you/pray for you/whatever it is you might need. You are not alone.  I lived through this and you will, too.

4. Get WHATEVER tools and talents and programs and friends and character traits you might need. Actively cultivate your path to survival. Pray about what should be on that list, and then get it. If you need to get in better shape physically, do it. If you need to stop talking to a friend who doesn't understand and who undermines you, dump that friend and move on. What do you really, really need to get through this process without losing yourself more than you already have? Write it down.

I hate that awful dream with the flower petal and the steamroller because the petal has no ability to save herself from a larger than life, impending crushing death.  Don't be that flower petal. Get tough in every way you can get tough. Get strong. Smart. Vigilant. Be loving, forgiving, compassionate, but TOUGH at the same time. Get God. And get going, do not just stand there. You have a kid to raise and you're doing a much better job than anyone - including you - thinks you are.

*Total Transformation totally pays me if you click these links and buy it. If it bugs you, do NOT click these links and buy it. That simple. I won't know who you are and if you do and if you don't buy - doesn't matter to me, anyway. (the TTP people probably SO wish I could just write a normal product review instead of crazy posts like this, but eh. i don't have 'normal product reviews' in me.)

Please know that it doesn't matter to me at all if you're a potential TTP purchaser - my interest in you is not as a sale. Email me if you think  I could be in any way helpful to you.

***guess what? that stupid 'contact me' link doesn't work. Until I get that fixed, just leave a comment telling me to email you back and I certainly will.


blogging more up to date stuff at  - come see what's going on! 

Total Transformation Program + Not So Peppy Pep Talk for Tired Parents
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This blog moved HERE. 

But if you're looking for Total Transformation stuff, you're in the right place. Years ago right before Christmas I wrote about our daughter and our story. I sat in bed with a laptop and cried my eyes out as I typed about what it had really been like in our family. I've written a few more posts, but not a lot.

Generally I like to write stuff that's positive. Or funny. Or at least has a happy ending. And years later, we're not there yet. But I want to write something more current anyway, because I'm having trouble keeping up with all the emails asking about our situation and asking about Total Transformation. You parents who email and we talk and cry and share details? You break my heart regularly, and it's okay. I've been there, and often you can't even believe that you found someone who gets it and who gets YOU. You're not in a horrible situation because you're a bad parent. And yet you're there anyway. You're who I'm writing this for. I feel like I know you, as I've gotten to know SO many of you over the last years through this site.

So. Our story, briefly. (If the following doesn't make sense, you may want the longer version. go here.)

I adopted my husband's biological child, who was two. All was well until preteen years, and then attachment issues and ODD and all sorts of bad behavior ruled our world. Life was hell. For two years. Every last bit of me slowly drained away. Parenting her and surviving her and loving her and trying to last through each day and each week wore me down. At the end of two years, little remained of whoever I'd been before. No personality, sense of humor, patience, creativity. It had all been sucked into the problem, right along with any energy that I may have previously had. It was a DARK time.

I feel for the moms and dads and aunts and grandmothers in this same position who write to me. The frustration and helplessness grated on my nerves, but after awhile there weren't any left anyway. If you're there now, HANG IN THERE. It's okay. You're not nearly as alone as you feel. There is life after this, and if you can just hang in there and take care of yourself, then you will live to see it and it is worth far more than you can imagine. 

The day I realized I was on the other side of this experience - and that I had survived - and that I was never going back...? That was a GREAT day. I started living again that day, and not just like I had lived before. Better. More grateful, more adventurous, more daring, more loving. Life got really good. If you're not there yet - not seeing your way out of it - hang in there. I say that to all of you who email! There's a very good reason! Please, do not give up. I didn't see how our situation was ever changing either. God can be like that. Just. keep. going.

When things got completely dangerous and unacceptable, we tried a residential treatment facility in New Mexico. I do not recommend the one we went with. (The parts of it that were good were due to a particular therapist who is no longer there.) After that, we hired an educational consultant and she suggested a school in Utah. Kim-15yr has been there for a year and a half. She has been away from home (except for one brief visit) for three and a half years.

That's a long time.

She isn't sure she wants to return. I'm still here, and this family as structured before her departure - is the same. We're older, wiser, and far better parents than we were then. But I'm still here, and that was always a problem for her. On some level at least, it still is. We're a GREAT family. Mike is a wonderful dad. Kim-15yr's three little brothers are awesome kids. I'm not the best mother to ever live, but I do love all four of them dearly and try VERY hard to parent each kid in exactly the best way. Being a great family takes a lot of work - and we do that work. What I'm saying is that we are good enough, just as we are. We SHOULD be good enough for KIm-15yr. But that's her call, and so far she hasn't been interested.

What I've learned since I first started writing these posts is to try very hard to totally separate my stuff from her stuff. And that's way harder than it sounds. Before I wouldn't have dreamed of taking her into a store. She would have stolen! Why would I knowingly put us in that situation?! Now... if I could go back... I'd take her into a store. Why? Because normal people go into stores. And I gave that up in order to try to control her behavior and limit her consequences.

If I could go back (and praise God that I cannot!), I would take her to the store as often as I needed or wanted to and just say, "I need (or want) to go in here. If you steal something, that is a reflection on YOU and ONLY you. I will request that the store call the police and I will make sure your actions are known and dealt with in whatever form the store or the police see fit. I have NEVER raised you to steal or to think it's okay, and if you do so today - the blame and the consequences are ALL. ON. YOU."

Also valuable is the message it sends. When I wouldn't take her to a store, I was really saying "you can't be trusted to make the right decision in here so I won't give you the chance." Which was TOTALLY how I felt and accurate! But if instead I'd taken her into a store, the message she would have gotten would be, "you can steal and choose the consequences. Or you can choose not to, and have the opportunity to make the right decision. Either way it's all on you and not me."

When you live that way - making a million sacrifices and compromises in order to try to damage-control your world - it's miserable. And it isn't worth it. If you're doing that - reconsider. It would have been impossible for me to even HEAR those words back then. So don't think I'm oversimplifying or that I don't understand. I DO. I was there. And now I'm not. And I get it.

If you relate to this at all, I strongly recommend Total Transformation Program. I really do. How can I say this...? My kid has been gone for 3 1/2 years...? Right. Because I have 4 kids, and this program will make you a better parent. What happens when you are a better parent? Your kids respond. And that changes EVERYTHING. 

I know! You're like, 'hello? My kid needs to be a better kid! I'm a great parent!' And you know what? I believe you. Total Transformation is not for bad parents. Bad parents wouldn't bother. It's time consuming, not cheap, and it takes effort and practice. But it'll change the way you interact with your kids, the way you view your self and your home, and it will HELP immeasurably. Will it fix a situation as broken as ours with Kim-15yr? No. Not a chance. But will it help you hang in there and remain sane and remain in control of your home while you seek professionals and answers that WILL help a situation that bleak. 

You can do it. My belief is that I am Kim-15yr's mom (whether she likes it or not), because it was a God plan. I will not give up on it or on her. I'm a good mom. And she's a good kid. 

Whoever this kid is, that has you caring so much that you'd read all this...? That kid is worth it, too. 

It's far easier now, but I'm hanging in there. You can, too.

Other, older posts which are relevant to this one: 

Total Transformation, a la James Lehman (March 2006)  

Total Transformation, by Request (December 2006)

*These posts were written long before a day when the Total Transformation people contacted me and said they wanted to offer me payment for endorsing their program. This seemed odd, since those posts were already written and certainly weren't done then (or at any later time) at their request. But I agreed. In the interest of full disclosure, they DO send me money from time to time and I do not generally return it. I might lose it, but that's just because my kitchen is a mess and that's another story altogether. Of all the companies that have requested me to endorse them, buy ad space, or send me a year's supply of their product in return for reviews... this is the only one I ever agreed to. Partly because I don't WANT a year's supply of mayonnaise and all that other stuff, and partly because these are unsolicited, heartfelt posts that mention a program I strongly believe in. If they want to throw money at me for it, I'm okay with that. If you're not, I can respect that, too.

Topic: in Kim
For the BlogLines Crowd
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Hi y'all!  If you came through Bloglines, will you please take a sec and update the feed? 

(you can just put in the search box and click 'search for feeds' and it'll come right up!) 


Come See Me!
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Hey y'all! I moved! Come on!

Sweet Talkin' Caden-3yr
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Caden-3yr, valiantly struggling with a fried mozzarella stick.

Caden-3yr is a blond, blue eyed, sunny sort of kid.  He likes to laugh, and he's good at sharing. 

This week he started swearing like a cranky little sailor lost at sea. 

I was horrified.  Have I told y'all that Seth-2yr is saying everything he hears Caden-3yr say?  I could see where this was headed. 

Wednesday I thought I heard him say something he definitely should not have been saying, but I wasn't sure.  So I looked back over my shoulder at him, and was trying to decide if I should ask, or just let it go. That's the traditional wisdom with these things, yaknow. Ignore it and don't react.  You've heard that, right?  Yuh huh. That's SO hard.  But he cleared it up for me, and said, "MOMMY. I just said '*^%$%$#!!'" 

"Um. Uh huh. I thought you did."  I was going to leave it at that while I figured out what to do next. 

FIve minutes later over lunch, he dropped something, and said it again.  We had a conversation (sooo casual in tone, in contrast to my silent Mommy Freaking Outedness going on inside) about how no one in our family talks like that. It's true. We don't.  To which Caden-3yr helpfully said, "But I am in this family and I talk like that!  I JUST SAID '^$#%^*#!!'" 

As if I had forgotten. 


"And that's the problem, Caden-3yr"  I tried to calmly explain. 

Just then Mike got home and I gave him the update, out of Caden-3yr's hearing.  And MIke said, "Oh yeah. He started that when you were out of town last week. I forgot to tell you."

I stomped back inside.  Caden-3yr and I had a long complicated conversation and finally figured out which of his friends says this at PeeTool. It helped once he told me "IT'S A LITTLE GIRL, MOM."  Right. 

After a few more uses of his new favorite word, my fake calm was gone. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.  I threw the traditional 'ignore it and don't react' wisdom out the window and told him if he continued to use that word, my hand would spank his backside each and every time. 

Three hours later we're at the restaurant in Tucumcari with the big cow on the sign.  It's on our way to Albuquerque, and the onion rings are great there, if you're ever passing through. Not that I had onion rings, or that they would be relevant.  They're not. But Caden-3yr spilled his drink, and that IS relevant, because he just shook his head and uttered "^$#%$#!!"  The waitress looked at me, saw that I had clearly abandoned the Do Not React train of thought somewhere east of Tucumcari, and she got out of my way. 

Caden-3yr is crazy-smart.  They all are, and as I hauled him off to the bathroom, he was stalling. It was a long walk, and he had time to think. He casually asked me "So, what are you doing, Mom?"   

(I've all but flown over the table at him, grabbed him out of his seat and am carrying him like a surfboard through the restaurant, and he is calmly feigning innocence.)

I remind him of our deal where he says the word and I spank the butt.  He reaches back and places one hand behind his little behind.  Then, brilliance strikes and he says, "Well. You COULD spank me, but I really need to twinkle right now, and it might go everywhere..."  He shakes his head as if to say, 'it could get messy...' 

Nice threat.  Really, really nice. I'm impressed, but unmoved.

We got to the bathroom and I told him I was willing to take that chance. I spanked. We talked.  When we got back to the table, Mike was back there - having been changing Seth-2yr in the men's room while all this happened.

I told Mike we needed to have a "What To Say Instead" conversation.  Mike asked, "Well, what did he say before?"

"Before he took up swearing?"


And we remembered that last week Caden-3yr  used to say "Oh, MAN!" like Swiper the Fox on Dora the Explorer.  He also is fond of 'Oh! My! Goodness!'  So we talked about those phrases. 

No swearing since.  One spanking and a brainstorming session later, and his vocabularly is back to its normal, less than colorful status. 

Bad habit seemingly kicked, BEFORE it could be passed on to other brothers. That's a victory all on its own.   


Another Winner!
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I am SO impressed with my cousin.  She just ran her first marathon. i know! just the WORD marathon makes me tired!  But she did, and did it well, and finished under her goal time and I'm just so proud. 

Yea HolyCousin!!!!

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Congratulations, Stephanie, our October Club 17 winner! 

Well I Don't THINK I Have a Wedgie...
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Fantastic job on the 17th thing, y'all!  I'm impressed!  (I'll post a winner tomorrow)

I went out of town for a few days, and have just returned to a flurry of sweet little boy kisses.  So perfect.  You know when little boys play really hard and then they smell like sweaty little puppies? (remember, I have a daughter - she never smelled like this. I'm totally qualified to say it's the boys with the doggie smell)  That particular smell always amuses and surprises me, but tonight! Tonight! They smelled like clean little boys. No sweaty puppy smell. Nice surprise.

Mike didn't stink either.

So. I went to the Grand Canyon for a very spontaneous few days away kind of thing. Alone. Nice.  I'd never been there before.  It's supposed to be one of those breathtaking places that just physically demonstrates All Things God, huh? 

I've already talked this over with Him, but really? Not so much for me.  It's  a big canyon. It looks like the pictures. I was bored almost instantly. (I KNOW. This is enough for some of you to start composing hate mail in your heads - stopitrightnow and hear me out. thank you.) 

I'm not a visual person at all. I can't picture anything in my head easily. I need words. I need experiences. Not a great big visual of a canyon.  And guess Who made me that way? Yuh huh. SO SEE IT'S FINE and I am not awful.

So I took a helicopter ride over the canyon. I was easily distracted by the other passengers and the pilot, who sat directly to my left and kept speaking in French to me because he thought i was the French passenger. (My Texas drawl sounds sooo French with all those helicopter noises going on.)  I only understood "Je m'appelle Brian."  But anyway. Back to that canyon. Not as interesting to me as the people, as the experience, as the well intentioned French.

Then!  Ha HA!  I managed to talk my way onto an Advanced Level, 3 HOUR, ATV thing-y.  ADVANCED All Terrain Vehicle Thing-y.   That is code for "Steep, rough, rocky, and wild." I arrived and had to confess immediately that no, I'd never ridden an ATV.  Jim and Craig were not really thrilled with that confession. They warned and maybe tried to scare me out of it just a little.

It'll be rough.


It'll be steep!


You'll be expected to keep up.

YES! OF COURSE!  I made a few references to my penchant for offroading and rough and mud and I don't think they believed a word of it. It didn't help that I struck them as 'small', and apparently that is not the best match for an ATV.

Jim left me with Craig to get a quick course in ATV-ing while he went to pick up the other four people who would be joining us. The other four people who really were ADVANCED and knew what they were doing.      

It was rough. It was steep. I kept up just fine for three hours and did not fall off, and it was SO much fun.  The other people who went were fantastic, particularly a wildly funny woman named Theresa.  I'm so thankful that Jim and Craig let me go with them - they really didn't have to.   

Most surprising about those three hours was the amount of dirt that managed to cling to me.  I couldn't have been filthier no matter what else I did for three hours. I was wearing sunglasses WITH goggles on top of those and I managed to have at least a tablespoon of dirt in and around my eyes.  What Jim and Craig did NOT say, which I kinda wish they had, but I"m giving them a break since they are men and all, but really. Tell the newbie to WIPE OFF THE PRETTY LIP GLOSS next time.  In those three hours that lip gloss acted as Superglue For All Dirt. Remember those few years in the early nineties when everyone was wearing matte brown lipstick? That's what it looked like, but worse. Ick. 

I got back to the hotel and took a bath and was HORRIFIED when the water turned opaque brown.  I've had to drain dirty water and start over again when bathing my dirty little sons, but never for me.

Jim and Craig had warned there would be serious soreness. I nodded and agreed and smiled just so they'd let me come, and did not dare complain or let on that maybe any single body part was sore.  But for the next 8 hours I kept thinking that if I happened to HAVE a wedgie, I'd never know it because my whole lower body was completely numb anyway. And isn't that a weird feeling, and hmm, when do you think that will go away...?  (It did. Eventually.)

I was so sore I canceled my mule riding through the canyon ideas. I tried to sit and stare at the canyon. And instead I found myself trying to guess if people were international tourists based solely on their shoes. And then I shook myself out of that, refocused on the canyon, and then realized I was just staring at the clouds above and listening to the conversations of passersby.  Oops. One more try. I don't have some sort of attention disorder. I'm just not visual. I can do this!  And then some sweet girl just like me came and sat down next to me and said, "OHMYGOSH! I JUST LOVE YOUR SHOES!" And I decided she was an angel sent from God with the message of "Give it up. Quit trying so hard to be something you're not and just look at all the shoes if you want. It's OKAY." 

So we did.  She was really good at it. 


In other news, this website (and lots of outdated stuff over to the left) is about to get a makeover, and a sister site - will be added. Leanne of eWebscapes is doing them both, and they look great. 

the whole book thing is moving forward faster than it has been in recent months. I'll keep you posted, but it should be out soon.

(If any of you are here because you saw a magazine article, would you let me know please? Thanks!)

Club 17, October Edition
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Did you know that October is breast cancer awareness month? Really, it seems as if every month is lately. The other night I noticed Ann Taylor has a pink ribbon on their window, and it seems you can 'shop pink' just about everywhere. The last time I was in Target (no not that time), they had pink frying pans for sale.  I think some of the profit went to breast cancer research.  I like pink. Not on a pan. Not that I really like pans of any color, actually.   

A site I found yesterday is Pink For October. Why don't you head on over there when you leave here? (AFTER you get that BSE done!)

Which brings me to why we have this thing each month. You all meet here, do your monthly self breast exam, then leave a self congratulatory comment, and someone gets a prize. If you want a cute blog button to help remind you (and spread the word), then you are so welcome to it, and if you have been super consistent with your Club 17 stuff, you get the cute one (like I have - look to the left) with the crown. 

All of this will make so much more sense if you read here.

I'll be back in a few days to pick a winner - be sure to do that exam and say ya did!

Strange Week
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Wednesday I was leaning over the kitchen counter, reading. My right hand was under my chin, and my left hand was behind my neck.  I felt something between my third and fourth fingers.  And?  It was this:


Apparently if you somehow stash a ladybug between your fingers, you can totally remove one of the cute red and black dotted shell pieces.  That weird piece sticking out was more like black mesh. I have no idea how long it was there. How it got there.  Why.  I was so surprised that I took the picture and then just let it walk off. Yes. In the kitchen.  Somewhere in my kitchen (because I'm typing, and i KNOW it didn't find its way back to the space between my left 3rd and 4th fingers), is a slightly smushed, half naked ladybug.  (yes. ha ha.  better than a slightly smushed, half naked lady in my kitchen, i know.)

Later Wednesday would get even stranger. It became the Sleepless Night of Vomit.  I think I'll spare you most of the details, but I will tell you that I ended up having to scrub multiple WALLS in the house, not just floors.  Ew.

And the dog? The dog has whooping cough.  How sad is a chocolate lab, wrapped in a chocolate blankie? He had a chill, and was grateful to be tucked in.


And you might not ever guess this in a million years, so I think I'll tell you.  Frequently my children do things that are SO disgusting, I can't even clean it up enough to blog it in such a way that wouldn't make you sick and never return. Seriously. I know I gag you out sometimes, but it could actually be so much worse, you have no idea.