Monday, June 4, 2012

This Weekend Only!

It's that time of year again....the beginning of summer vacation and my favorite of people watching events.....garage sale season!

I'm sure many of you have seen the signs popping up all over town....neighbors awakening from their winter cocoons and suddenly cleaning out garages, or large piles of broken chairs, disheveled looking Christmas decorations, and TVs circa 1980 mysteriously being stacked up by the curb on bulk pick-up day.

If you live in the suburbs, like me, I'm sure many of you have the same love-hate relationships with garage sale season.  For those supporters who argue "you can find great deals," I hear you, but for me, I find the overall event a baffling concept for many reasons.

And before I proceed, let me first say that I have held two garage sales in my life.  Although I found it to be lucrative, it was a beyond exhausting and experience like no other I've had.  Seriously, people argued with me over 25 cents.....twenty-five cents! Having gone through this, I now feel that conducting a garage sale should be an event all engaged couples should be required to participate in prior to marriage as part of a premarital counseling class.  OMG is all I'm going to say!

Now where was I?  Oh in "The Bubble", as I so affectionately refer to it, we are never at a shortage for these events.  And in "The Bubble", we do it big!  Forget just the simple garage sale, oh we have those.....but we also have Neighborhood Sales.  Look out!  The concept here is that if one person clogging the streets with carload upon carload of people wanting to dig through all their crap lining their drive-way is enticing, then an entire neighborhood simultaneously lining the streets with all their crap is Nirvana!

You'll always know one is coming, by the way, because each neighborhood, when built, apparently came with it's on "NEIGHBORHOOD GARAGE SALE THIS WEEKEND ONLY" banner.....I said yes banner. These banners serve as a beacons to all Saturday morning garage sale enthusiasts.

The reason I find this so peculiar is that it isn't an annual event that happens "this weekend only". I could understand that, but after three years of "Bubble dwelling", I'm noticing the same neighborhoods have four or five of these events a year. You have to kind of wonder about these neighborhoods, don't you?  I mean, what kind of folks do we have living here that could possible have enough junk to create a lucrative garage sale four or five times a year?  Seriously, I think if I were a casting agent for the show "Hoarders" I'd be staking out these neighborhoods because clearly, there is gold in this here Bubble!

So as this season begins let me dust off my lawn chair and get a good seat out front to watch and raise my cup to offer a toast of congratulations to my neighboring subdivisions.  Congratulations on providing me with hours of people watching astonishment and entertainment.  And congratulations for having the ability to absolutely block major streets with your semi-monthly parade of drive-way lining crap that manages to turn my beloved Bubble of sugar-coated happiness and solitude into a Walmart for "this weekend only!"

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Shorts and Swimsuits.....GASP!

As May officially begins, so does the annual "preparation for swimsuit season."  I've noticed that weight loss does have seasons - there is the preparation for the holidays season, the post holiday season, the back-to-school season (which still cracks me up that at 41 that they are still marketing to me with this one...ha) and my personal nemesis, swimsuit season.

So to pay homage to the annual approach of shorts, swimsuits, tank-tops and all things flattering to mommies everywhere, I thought I'd take a look at a few sites full of goodness and support for all of us during this, our seasonal time of need.

Fact Finding

First things first, what are the facts about what you should eat, how often should you eat and where do you find ideas for new recipes (seriously, and I say this as a non-meat eater, a girl can only eat so much salad, right)?  Here are a few sites that I love for help with all of the above:

Get By With a Little Help

Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big group exercise kind of girl, but I have been giving the boot camp workout idea a consideration lately (jury is still out).  BUT I do believe there is something to giving and receiving support, so here are some great site for just that offering:

And of course, there is always my weekly inspiration which I find in The Biggest Loser.  Yes, that's right, it's one of my guilty pleasures.....I love it!  And for any of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you all know I also got to Biggest Loser idol, Dolvett about eight weeks ago (a moment I actually apologized to Dolvett for on his Twitter because I was totally uncool and jumped out of  my car to hug him)! "Hard work....dedication people!" (seriously, the quote is on my mirror)

When All Else Fails

Sometimes trying to do it all own your own is just too much.  So when that moment hits you, I say hit Jenny Craig of Weight Watchers.  I've used them both in previous years and can't say enough about them.  However, if you're on a budget, might I recommend the Smart Ones and Vita Tops found in your frozen food section.  Match these with your own salad and presto, you have a JC and WW comparable meal at half the price. (I'm nothing if not practical after all.)

Jerry Springer Wrap-up Moment

Now I'm sure those of you who have known me for years are now wondering if I've "fallen back into a bad mindset" since I'm actually writing a blog post about weight loss.  Fear not my compadres, it's actually quite the opposite!  Over the years, one of the things I've learned is to be comfortable in my own skin....and that includes with how my body has changed after 13 fun-filled surgeries and two super-weight gaining pregnancies (I totally embraced the belly pants when I had the opportunity).

Though it is because of this fact that I am often reminded around this time of year, not to panic when the swim suit season ads kick into high gear.  I calm myself, take a look in the mirror and remind myself that I'm still a pretty hot ticket.  Sure, we could all use a little extra help here and there, and THAT is the reason for today's post - super simple, easy, no panic ideas for dealing with the onslaught of the skinny season attack ads.

So remember:
  • Marilyn Monroe was a size 14 (or so they tell us)
  • Curves are natural  - don't believe me, check out some rocking 14th Century art some time
  • And, as long as your healthy....just be happy with who you are
......and be good to yourself, and each other. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Disney Vault...Just Say No!

So for weeks we've been looking for a copy of Monsters, Inc., one of the greatest Pixar/Disney creations ever, in my humble opinion.  We had a copy, but it's been MIA for weeks and you can't get it on the Netflix Instate Queue....not an acceptable status when you have a three year-old in the house who loves her some Sulley!

Yesterday we went to Barnes & Noble, or as I like to call it "My Meca", in search of a new copy of the aforementioned  fabulous movie.  Not on the worries, ask a super awesome B&N Staffer to check the all-knowing computer for its location.  GASP.....what?????  The vault what?????  It's true, the Barnes & Noble Oracle returned a message stating they had no copies as it was being returned to the Disney Vault!

So of course, as any good consumer, mother of a toddler and all around Disney lover would do, I started racking my brain to come up with a list of all of the movies I MUST OWN (basically to build my own vault in order to prevent any future such mix-ups from occurring).  So today, for your reading pleasure, I give you my list.

The Scott Top 10 Disney/Pixar Vault

So before you read this list.....spoiler won't find Bambi or Dumbo in the list as I have a personal rule about watching movies that leave me in tears within the first 15 minutes (true story....watched both movies ONCE as a child and swore never to watch them again).  And before you ask, Old Yeller is in this category just because,'s Old Yeller.

  1. Monsters Inc. - I think we've already established why here, right?
  2. Chicken Little - OMG, if you haven't seen!  I laughed so hard when I saw this and still dance and sing with my girls whenever we watch it!
  3. The Little Mermaid - Fabulous sing-a-long fun!
  4. The Nightmare Before Christmas - A holiday favorite my girls and I watch each year after decorating for Halloween.  Love me some Jack!
  5. Toy Story - You'll'll'll see it again and again! I mean come on...Tom Hanks people!
  6. Robin Hood - To me, this is the best telling of the legendary tale hands down!  Plus, almost 40 years later, I still sing the songs and genuinely love watching this one.
  7. Finding Nemo - My love for Ellen DeGeneres aside, I feel happy and completely filled up again every time I watch this one.
  8. Sleeping Beauty - My absolute favorite of all the Disney Princess.  I often say my three girls are Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
  9. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - My first true love, Winnie!
  10. Lady and the Tramp - Or as my daughter calls it, the "puppy spaghetti movie".  Calling it a classic is an understatement o me.

Those are just some of mine that I recommend, should you have a darling toddler of your own (or heck, just because they rock).  There are so many to choose from though.  Let me hear about your favorites!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Trust Me....Really

So here is something that strikes me as  I've heard many times throughout my life "I don't trust easily" or "It takes me a while for someone to earn my trust."  I'm sure for some people this is true when it comes to relationships, but have you ever thought about how many strangers you trust on an every day basis?

Okay, so hear me out on this one.  I was driving in the car to my in-laws last week and another of my unusual random thoughts hit me as some jackwagon whizzed by us at the speed of "seriously too bloody fast".  Yes, that guy is unsafe, and a jackwagon as I clearly stated previously, but what about that car behind me....or that one over there....or that one?  All of those folks are driving along like normal every day people.  And her I am in my car with my entire family, driving along in the mix of all of them. I trust them?

Until that instant, I really had never thought about it, but to a certain degree, we must all trust each other in order to get into our cars and drive around.  That's a lot of trust to project on a bunch of perfect strangers!  And that, of course, got me thinking, what other kinds of random acts of trust do I just toss out there on an every day basis.

Well, there are the teachers at my kiddo's school. Sure, as we've clearly established I'm an active PTA mom and I live in a bubble, but still...I don't know ALL of the teachers, but to an extent, I trust them because I send my baby there every day.  I trust they've all been trained and in case of an emergency, will protect my child as if she was their own.

The local paper must trust all of us because they still put 50 papers into that machine and believe everyone will put in money and take only one.  The kids in my neighborhood trust each other because they leave their bikes all over the place and no one every touches them.  The library trusts me to check out a book and bring it back in the same condition as when I found it (sure, they can charge a fine, but really if you won't bring back a book, what are the odds you'd pay your find).  I even trust the person taking my food order and bringing me food.

Now sure, if you're looking for a new doctor or hair stylist, odds are you'll ask around.  But think about how many of us read reviews online left by people we've never laid eyes on.  We trust that their opinions are valid and the online ratings system is now a staple in all areas of our life.

I dunno, maybe it's not as mind boggling to everyone else, but I just find it interesting to see how much trust we as a society still place on each other, considering all you hear about on the news is the bad stuff.  Maybe it's because I'm a trusting person by nature or an eternal optimist, but I'd like to trust that we're not all that bad after all.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spinning Out of Control

As a marketer I get the need to stand different.....get your product noticed.  But let's be honest here, do the little dudes spinning signs on the side of the road really count as providing a "good marketing experience?"  Hear me out here.......

So when this trend first started it was people standing on the side of the roads holding signs.  They were fairly unobtrusive.  What would catch my eye back then was the fact that it was something out of the ordinary.  You didn't expect that little man with his sign to be there on the corner.  He was just hanging out, holding a sign advertising a sale of some kind and typically, it even had a directional arrow on it so you knew where the store was located.

From there we went to people wearing costumes and waving at passing cars while holding signs.  Okay, a little odd, but still, not utterly obnoxious.  They aren't too distracting and I can see what they are advertising (although I tend to wonder about who possibly convinced them to where the odd chicken outfit or convinced them that wearing the Statue of Liberty outfit in the dead of Summer was a good idea).

It was at that point that the Marketing Powers that Be went too far!  The next wave brought in the future - strange little skateboarding, gum chewing, iPod listening, dancing, sign-spinning dweebs!  That's right, I said dweebs!

First and foremost, I can't read the bloody sign because Prince Spins-a-lot is flipping the dang thing every which way from Sunday and I can't make out anything other than the fact that I believe there is blue and white used some place on the sign.  Add to that his super fresh dancing moves and I'd be hard pressed to find anyone who can now read the damn thing as he twirls around in a constant state of motion!

It's typically at this point that I loose all interest in whatever they sign is promoting and begin focusing on said dweeb.  Where did his parents go wrong?  At what point did they decide that encouraging the life skill of dancing with a sign was all they had to push the lad to aspiring to?  And at what point did this life-skill become cool among Generation Y?  (and clearly, if this is where the bar is set, I now understand their generation's label)

As a parent I tend to second guess myself on my wonderment and outward judgement of the little sign dweebs. I mean, aren't I always saying I just want my kids to be happy?  And if we're being honest here, the Dweeb Brigade does look happy, flipping and dancing around with their little signs.  So as I can't come up with a real answer here that I'm comfortable with, so I'll just continue to sit perplexed in my hypocritical judgement of the Spinners and will try and rationalize it as a Marketer.

But as a Marketer.....nope, nope I just can't see the point from this side either.  I mean, if I want my client's message to be seen and heard, I don't think giving a sign with lots of writing on it to a dim-witted sign flipper is really the best avenue.  If you can't read the sign, how are you, Joe Consumer, going to get the message and suddenly decide to yourself "heck yeah, I was just thinking that I needed to buy a new table and those are 75% off!"

If I'm not allowed to sit in judgement and want more for GenY, then can't I at least sit in judgement of my peers and long for the days of slick, subliminal messaging, catchy jingles and cartoon spokesmen?  You can't tell me it didn't work.  Oreos.....Oscar Mayer Bologna.....Slinky?  Go ahead, have a Coke, teach the world to sing and tell me those jingles didn't just get stuck in your head?

Coming Up Roses

What is it about this time of year that seems to bring such a feeling of hope and renewal?  I have this feeling of great expectations that seems to hit out of no where about this time every year.

Growing up I always thought it had to do with my birthday; I mean as a kid, who didn't experience a bit of euphoria whenever their birthday rolled around?  But as I've gotten older I've decided that it's something more than just that "all about me" feeling that comes from your birthday (or in my case, the annual week long festival I affectionately refer to as Becky-palooza).

I was in the car yesterday, on my way to lunch with friends, when this annual feeling came up and announced its arrival.  As is standard for me in the Spring, I was cruising along with my windows rolled down, bee-bopping along to my 80's playlist on my iPod (yes really, it's STILL my favorite playlist).  All of the sudden I was overcome with a feeling of pure bliss; a moment of true "the World is my oyster" optimism.

Now as most of you know, I'm a fairly optimistic person by nature, so feeling like I can tackle anything isn't new for me, which is why this annual sense of renewal is so fascinating to me.  I can see why every Fall you feel like you're starting something new; I mean, think about it, we were all trained for how many years to start a new school year in the Fall.  New binders, unused pencils and a fresh box of Crayons always spelled the start of something exciting and big!  But Spring is some how different as it's not tied to some childhood process or calendar marker for most people.

Every year, without really even thinking about it, I get the urge to clean the house from top to bottom and revamp my wardrobe with new, fresh feeling pieces to spice things up.  I typically change up my hair color, moving from a warmer reddish brown to something much lighter and brighter (I am a graduate of Cher school of hair, so I am well versed in the art of mixing it up and using hair as an accessory).  I suddenly drop my "go to boots", a staple of my Fall and Winter wardrobe, and instead opt for flip flops or the feeling of being just plan shoe-less (always hearing my Mother's voice in my head cautioning me about the dangers of going barefoot).

The windows in the house suddenly move to a permanent state of open and I find myself searching for any excuse possible to drive some place just so I can roll the windows down and crank up the iPod a little more.

I'm sure the brightly colored flowers and the return of green in the formerly dormant grass has something to do with it, but there's more to it than that.  I mean if that's all it was, I should be happy as a little clam come Summer as well (although in all fairness, I do live in Texas and am not a desert dwelling animal by nature, so Summer isn't exactly an excuse for me to hang around outside for great lengths of time).

Each year I find the voice of my Grandfather booming through the memories of my mind singing "Beautiful, Beautiful Texas" each time I pass a field of bluebonnets.  Around this time of year I find myself reciting "Spring has sprung, the grass has riz," without prompting from anyone else.  And about this time annually, without warning, I look down and am caught by surprised as my previously painted dark purple toenails have some how changed into shades of bright purple or pink (it's not like little toenail elves come in and do this overnight - I am the one that paints them, so why this comes as a surprise to me at some point always baffles me).

For me, Spring is a time of year like no other.  Everything feels new, fresh and possible.  Optimism abounds from every corner of my life and my inner-being becomes some how, recharged again.  It is a magical time that I am happily surprised by and welcome each year.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Help With the Little Things

As part of launching my own business, I discovered that I needed some help.  Lucky for me there was someone who loves to hang around me, who works for virtually nothing and was available immediately.  Of course I'm referring to my darling and occasionally "very three" year-old daughter, Sarah.

On my first day here she was over joyed to discover that I wouldn't be going into the office and was happy with just swinging by my home office on occasion to make sure I was still here.  There were several of these little toddler drive-bys throughout the day.  She even brought me part of her snack around 2:00 p.m.

By day two her demands became a little greater and she insisted that we eat lunch together.  Being one to not typically stop for lunch, having this break in the middle of the day turned into a double surprise for me.  Not only did I actually get to let go and relax for a bit, but I got to do it with one of my most favorite people on Earth.

By Wednesday, Sarah was in full "Sarah form."  She decided to spend the day with me, spending several hours sitting on the floor beside my desk coloring and singing to me.  She took a break at one point, climbing up on my husbands guitar case, apparently an excellent stage, and put on an entire performance.

By Thursday we began to get into a groove together.  It seems our new pattern is for me to spend the first couple of the hours of the day in my office alone, answering emails and sending out proposals.  By 7:15 the two older girls emerge from their pre-teen cocoons and I drive them to school.  By the time I return, Sarah greets me with a huge smile and we sit down for breakfast together.  After a morning of her hanging out in the playroom we take a break and eat lunch together in the park, our new favorite long as we get there before the Flower Mound mid-day rush.  After lunch she heads upstairs for a nap and I return to my desk for some serious focus time for the remainder of the afternoon.

Today, day five of our new partnership, she added a new twist to the daily routine.  She's now "Mommy's Helper."  She has decided that she needed to reorganize all the books on my shelf, while singing of course, and then moved all the papers around on the floor into a new collage of some kind.  We ended the day with her helping me with my blog.  She crawled up in my lap to "help me type" (by putting her fingers on top of mine while I typed).

There are tons of risks with starting your own business, but after this week I've discovered that the rewards far surpass anything I could have ever imagined.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Something Funny Happened on the Way to Forty

For those of you that don't know me, I'm one of those warped individuals who has always felt that age is just a number.  Truly, I mean, as long as I am still having birthdays I must still be clicking along, right?

I still feel that way, but wow, the reality of being forty hit me out of the blue today.  No it wasn't anything as spectacular as bending over to pick something up and throwing out my back, suddenly realizing that my body is changing.  It was one of those "holy cow, really?" kind of moments that just struck me while sitting in the park with my daughter.

You see, I've always been a super driven person; never happy unless I had about eight things going at once and lived in a state of constant change.  I've never been good at just sitting or doing only one thing.  Heck, I have a tendency to have three or four books going in the "currently reading" hopper.  I drive my family crazy because I can't watch television without reading or surfing the web at the same time.  For crying out loud, I've never lived in the same place for more than 18 months in my entire life (I swear I'm part gypsy).  I'm telling you, I am the poster child for multi-tasking!

So imagine my surprise today when I was sitting at the park watching my daughter play and......well, that's the point, that was it!  I was just sitting there watching her!  I was perfectly happy and content with that moment.  There was no nagging urge to check my phone or start a new project.  I was sitting there with no need to control her every move or constantly worry that she might hurt herself - I just let her play and do her own thing and that was okay.  That realization got me wondering if I should immediately head for the closest emergency room because clearly I had to be having a stroke!  This type of causal behavior is so against my type-A personality.

After recovering from my initial shock, it hit me that I've been behaving in this "in the moment" manner for a while now.  I've actually watched television recently - no really, WATCHED it!  I've been to the park with the girls on multiple occasions.  Heck, I even took a vacation with my older daughter this weekend and didn't work (so unlike me).  In fact, I recently went.....wait for it.....over two weeks without nail polish on my toes AND I wore sandals in public!  (which everyone in the South knows is a totally no-no for any respectable Southern woman)

A few hours later I was walking through the grocery store, post park so I'm sure I smelled of a lovely outdoor aroma, and caught myself doing it again.  There I was, walking down the hair care aisle singing along with, and rather loudly in fact, Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat".  I haven't behaved in that manner in public in so long!  And ever since surgery #12, let me assure you that I can no longer in fact "sing".....I now croak in time with the music.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm still a driven person, but some where along the way, in between 30 and 40, some ability to live in the now and enjoy the little things crept back in.  At some point I decided that loosing a half an inch and gaining 14 pounds since high school was okay (no gasping, I still workout, but suddenly I'm okay with my new body and no longer crave my pencil-thin frame from 20 years ago....curves are cool).

I now find myself talking to and playing with other people's children....and enjoying it!  I'm cool with driving a mommy-mobile and the fact that it's never spotless.  Come to think of it, I can't recall the last time my house was up to my typical OCD standards of cleanliness.  It's been in this state of "three small girls live here" for some time now.....and I'm okay!  No one lost a friends refused to come over and hang meteors hit the Earth due to some unexplained shift in the universe.

What is it about 40 that causes some to have a mid-life crisis and others to finally slow down and start to appreciate life for what it really is about?  And at what point does the super secret switch inside of us get flipped without us knowing?  Is there a main control room somewhere with the cast of Golden Girls sitting watch deciding when it's time for each of us to flip over?

I'm really not sure how or when it happened, but man, if being forty brings this much calm and clarity, I can wait for fifty!

[END NOTE: And for those of you wondering, yes I did in fact pick up the hair color while in the grocery store today.  I said I'm calmer and am enjoying life more.....I didn't say I was cool with the graying roots just yet.]

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Red Light District

As many of you know, I live in what I like to refer to as "The Bubble".  You know what I'm talking about - a small suburb of Dallas where weekends are consumed by parents shuffling children from event to event; where neighborhood block parties are a regular event; and, where a big night for our local police department consists receiving a call about someone locking themselves out of their house.  It's your typical Normal Rockwell meets Gordon Gekko kind of neighborhood.  You know, a "bubble".

Now don't get me wrong - we live here for the same reasons I'm sure everyone else's safe, beautiful, complete with good schools, great shopping and picturesque environment in which to raise our kids.

So, now that you understand how jam-packed our streets our and how insane our traffic must be, imagine my confusion when, while sitting at the park today with my two year-old (yes bubble behavior at it's finest), I happened to notice a new set of traffic signals being installed.  Now keep in mind that this particular set is being plopped two city blocks away from one set and one city block away from another it's not like anyone could even get their imported car up to a dangerous speed to even warrant another abrupt stop.

I found this particularly unnerving on several levels.  First, there hasn't ever been a wreck at this intersection in the three plus years I've lived in said "bubble" (shock that I've lived in one place over a year aside please).  Secondly, why would a neighborhood such as ours suddenly require the traffic control power of three separate sets of traffic lights within about a 3 block radius.

I think it's the "duh" answer to the second one I landed on that really irked me, if we're being honest here.  You see, the town recently tore down EVERY large, blooming tree that lined our beautiful thorough-fair and replaced it with new and improved, scrawny little saplings.  Why?  Well, because they could I guess.  Because, based on the same display on intelligence of three sets of traffic lights within a three block radius on a very suburban bubble street, they have more money than they know what to do with.

No worries, I'm not about to get all Andy Rooney on you, but seriously, this has to raise a few eyebrows in my little league loving town, doesn't it?  I mean, I can't be the only one who finds this behavior a bit odd, can I?

It just makes me wonder if we, our sleepy little "bubble" in West Dallas, have this much money to throw around and time to kill, couldn't we find something better to do with both?  I can think of a few local causes and neighborhoods who could surely benefit from our need to spend money the bubble-fashion way......"we burn it."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Crabitat for Humanity

So who would have thought that I would become a Hermit Crab lover?  Me....I'm sure the world's biggest arachnophobia, is now the proud owner of two Hermit Crabs.  Okay, well it's the kid who owns them officially but let's face it, when a ten year-old owns a pet, the parent "owns" the pet.

How could this happen?  Glad you asked!  You see, I took my daughter to Houston to visit where I grew up.  While on Mommy-Tour 2012, we made a stop at Galveston, my very favorite place to escape from the pressures of teenage life (go ahead, laugh....I'll wait).

On her first venture out into the ocean, I found myself a comfy spot on the beach and marveled at the pure joy my daughter was experiencing leaping over waves and crashing into the water.  She laughed and screamed as she performed this dance for about half an hour.  Suddenly, she jetted from the water and began stalking something on the sand.  You guessed it, her keen little eye had spotted something moving on the beach.

Now before you go on thinking I'm the coolest mom ever and I let her adopt a little dude she found lollygagging on the beach, know that he too must have spotted her and seen her coming because I can now say from experience, Hermit Crabs can move when properly motivated!  He was gone before she cleared the water.

Well being one not to disappoint, I figured why not try and fulfill what was surely her crab-destiny. So, off to the biggest tourist trap on the Galveston Coast.  We looked and studied the crab options carefully, watching for movement, learning about their personalities until settling on just the perfect specimen.  We bought a Sponge Bob painted crab (whom I'm told is a girl.....and no, I haven't checked).  We bought our tiny crabitat and headed to our hotel.  Much to my surprise, during a moment of post-purchase dismay while surfing the internet, Hermit Crab apparently like to travel in packs.  Yes, packs!  They are village people!

In the logic that only a ten year-old can employ, it was decided that we must stop at the nearest pet store immediately and purchase a friend as "If she is used to a pack, there's no way she'll make it all the way back to Dallas alone!"  And thus my traveling crabitat was born!  So my car, loaded to the brim with road trip supplies, a ten year-old, myself and two crabs snugged securely in their traveling cage, which was strategically placed allowing them the best view possible, hit the road for the long journey home.

Once we arrived, we set up a much larger crabitat and placed it on the island in the kitchen where all in the house could partake and marvel in the amazement that is the every day life of a Hermit Crab.  And I have to say, after two days of being with them, I have found myself making detours by the kitchen just to check on our new arrivals, Rusty and Willard (names in homage of Footloose no less). 

After watching them scamp about, climb on the fake plants and do what I can only imagine is something resembling playing, I believe I see now why they travel in packs, as I guess it's true, it does take a village.