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My son is getting his first big boy tooth.

The thing is, no baby teeth have fallen out yet. The adult tooth is actually coming in BEHIND his baby teeth.

I Googled it. It seems to be common. It is known as “shark teeth.”

Shark Boy Taylor Lautner

“Shark Boy” Taylor Lautner

This happens to 1 out of 10 children. Most of the time the big tooth will find a way to push the baby teeth out of the way and make room for itself. If not, it sounds like I still have plenty of time to send him to the dentist for extraction. Which is good, because we seem to not have dental insurance at present, although we are supposed to. *sigh*

My lil shark boy. (All )

My lil shark boy. (All shark teeth in the picture have been circled. )



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Note from the FunnyGurl2: This post begins a week-long series on important medical disorders you should be aware of. They could strike your family at any time. The only way to be prepared is to read all my posts this week and get informed.

My husband actually coined this phrase. ADR stands for Adult Diaper Rash.

It is a highly (un)scientific term for the red, bumpy, painful rash that can develop when skin is exposed to too much moisture and chaffing and not enough fresh air. It is highly prevalent in the hot summer months, although it can strike at any time.

ADR commonly occurs in areas of the body such as the groin area for a man and in the breast/bra area for a women.

Its causes and appearance are very similar to that of diaper rash found in babies. In that instance, it is from too much moisture being trapped between the skin and the diaper. Hence, ADR can be remedied in much the same way. Recommended medications include over the counter diaper creams and medicated cornstarch powder.

Desitin Diaper Rash cream

Desitin Diaper Rash cream

The key to prevention is to keep the area which exhibits a potential for ADR clean and dry. It is best if lots of fresh air can reach the area as often as possible. When this is not possible due to local indecency laws, you can use medicated cornstarch powder to attempt to absorb the excess moisture which occurs.

Gold Bond Medicated Cornstarch Powder

Gold Bond Medicated Powder

I hope you have found this informative and humorous. If not, you need to see your doctor right away about your ADR AND your butt.

It is defective. It has a crack in it.

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Re-Post: Picky Eater

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Reposting as this is such a part of who I am.

You can find the original post and comments here:

I was out to eat with some ex-coworkers recently at a nice restaurant someone had spontaneously suggested. I had no chance to research the menu online ahead of time, as I normally would. It turned out it was a seafood place. The typical conversation ensued as I looked at the menu.

CO-WORKER: You should try the seafood blah-blah. It is really good.
ME: I don’t eat seafood.
CO-WORKER: Aren’t you a vegetarian?
ME: No, I don’t eat vegetables either.
CO-WORKER: Then what do you eat?…You’re a picky eater.

I should have ended this exchange with “Pop Tarts”. But I didn’t. I admit, it is a little paraphrased. But I know how the conversation goes. I have had it a ton of times over the course of my life. And “You’re a picky eater” is always said as an accusation. I wonder if it is the same way people react when they find out someone is gay.


well done steak
pizza (just cheese or with green pepper or onion or ham)
cherry poptarts (strawberry* and brown sugar are
acceptable, but not preferred)
carrots (cooked)
mac & cheese
ice cream
cole slaw
lettuce (but it hurts my stomach)
hot dogs
well done hamburgers
white rice
white or wheat bread
pre-peeled oranges
pre-cut melon
select kinds of cheese (NOT KRAFT)
honey mustard
eggs (but not a big fan)
celery (cooked)
BBQ sauce

cottage cheese
American cheese (unless it is from McDonald’s)
mayonaise (unless in Deviled Eggs)
potato salad
macaroni salad
all fruit and vegetables not listed in the “I EAT” column
brown rice
beans (except jelly beans)
red onion
foreign food of any kind, except tacos and quesidillas

* delicious strawberry flavored death!

Now, I realize my “I EAT” column looks like it belongs to a toddler. But in truth, my toddler eats a more well-balanced diet than I do. But I have stayed alive all these years on this fine American processed food. And I grew another being while eating this food.

You have to realize, being a picky eater isn’t a choice. I was born this way. It is a curse. It is a burden I must bear. Some of the foods I don’t eat I have tried and hate, like pineapple and coconut. Some smell so bad, I would never want to put them in my mouth, like seafood and coffee. Some I have never even tried and have no desire to, such as tea.

Actual conversation outside Teavana at the Franklin Park Mall:
SALESMAN: Would you like to try a sample of blah-blah tea today?
ME: I don’t drink tea.
SALESMAN: Oh, then you should try blah-blah. It has a very un-tea-like taste.
ME (thinking): Um, if I don’t drink tea, then obviously I don’t know what it tastes like then, do I?

Think of all the social situations that food plays a part in. I always had packed lunch at school because I wouldn’t eat the school lunch. The entire four years I commuted to college, I never ate in the dining hall. (I used to get nachos from the snack bar occasionally, that was it.) At work, I rarely bought anything from the cafeteria. Potlucks are their own minefield. It is amazing how many dishes have hidden sausage or mayo or cream of mushroom soup.

Chicken nuggets, anyone? Yummers!

Recently, at a family event, I had the following exchange with an Aunt who is the most prim and proper person. She would believe she has excellent manners.

AUNT: (looking at my plate) Is that ALL you are going to eat?
ME: Yes.
AUNT: Are you a picky eater?
ME: Yes.
AUNT: You don’t want any this or that?
ME: I’m good. I found some things. Thanks.

Isn’t it bad manners to make a guest feel bad about what is on their plate?

Why no green pepper?  I can't ask.  Heart racing, breath quickening. Photo:

Why no green pepper? I can’t ask. Heart racing, breath quickening.

Cici’s Pizza is a nightmare for a picky eater with anxiety issues. Cici’s is a pizza buffet. They put out like 20 kinds of pizza at a time. But, of course, nothing for a picky eater. You can ask for any kind of pizza and they will make it for you and add it to the buffet. Except you have to be able to get past your anxiety and open your mouth and ask for it and not fear the rejection you expect to come.

As a life-long picky eater, I worry the rest of the world wants to reform me. (I know, I worry too much.) That they want me to broaden my horizons. I feel like the world thinks if I am forced to eat something, I will like it and eat it forever and ever. It is another way I feel that I am different. That I am wired wrong. But I should stop thinking that way. Because everyone else has their issues.

Some people overeat. Some people undereat. Some people smoke. Or drink. Or do street drugs. Or prescription drugs. Or run marathons. I don’t judge those people. (Well, I do judge the ones who run marathons. I judge them to be crazy.) Being a picky eater is my thing. Hey, I know. Let’s start calling it “selective eating”. That sounds more politically correct.

Yes, I am not wired THAT much different than everyone else. I am just a selective eater. And addicted to caffeine. And I mis-match my socks. And I have issues with tissues.

If I was a character on a sitcom, I could write great jokes about myself. *sigh*

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Christmas: The I’m Not Stalking You Way! Part 2

For Part 1, please click here:

NOTE: This post has ADULT CONTENT. Not for young eyes.

Adult Content

Adult Content

Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about Santa Claus.

One of my earliest childhood memories (I cannot even tell you how old I would have been) was of waking up in the middle of the night in December and hearing the sound of gift wrapping in my kitchen. I sort of groggily thought, “Oh, I guess there is no Santa Claus. I guess my mom just buys all my gifts and wraps them for me.” Then I went back to sleep.

Futurama rules

Futurama rules

I never felt cheated by that experience. I actually think it saved me from waking up to the harsh reality years later that many kids have to go through, when they find out all their gifts come from family members shopping on Black Friday. I have just always known that there is no Santa Claus. Sure, my mom would always sign a few of the gift tags “From: Santa”. My stockings would magically be filled Christmas morning “by Santa”. We had no chimney. She would try to tell me, when I asked, that she would let Santa in the door.

Peeping Santa

Peeping Santa

I know my mother. There is no way she is opening the door for a strange old man while she is in her nightgown in the middle of the night. She wouldn’t even let people we KNEW in the house while she was in her nightgown.

I never saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

I never saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

Don’t get me wrong, I love THE IDEA of Santa and his sleigh and reindeer and elves. I love the songs. I love the Classic Coca-Cola ads with his image. I just don’t fully buy into it. I blame the realistic Capricorn in me that always seeks the truth.

Just wrong, in so many ways...

Just wrong, in so many ways…

But, the little that I DO believe about the legend of Santa comes from an unlikely source.

PM Magazine.

PM Magazine was a syndicated news show back in the early 1980’s, which featured human interest stories and lots of entertainment content. In my area, it was shown on WTOL Channel 11, just before The Muppet Show. So, I would often see the last five minutes as I was waiting for The Muppets to come on. In my memory, the picture is a little greenish. I think that was because of the color TV we had that was dying and only had one color left–green.

Anyway, I remember a story near Christmas time on PM Magazine about the REAL Santa Claus.* I recall the story being about some old guy who lived in a town near the North Pole. For his town, he would dress up as Santa and deliver toys to all the kids in town.

And that was enough for me.

To know that there was one guy who played the part of Santa in one town in the whole world was enough for me. To know that something like that exists has kept me going with the Christmas spirit all these years. Of course, that was 30 years ago. Dude is probably dead by now. And there was probably one mom like mine in that town who wouldn’t want to let him in the door anyway. But maybe, just maybe, he is still delivering those presents, to this day.

What?! Ugh!

What?! Ugh!

I do not plan to encourage or discourage my son’s belief in Santa Claus. But if he asks me if their is a real Santa, I will recite my fuzzy memories of that green news story to him from three decades ago.

Working at the mall recently, I got to know the Santa there very well. He is a super-nice guy. Even though I found out what his secret identity is the rest of the year, he still seems like Santa to me, because he is the only one I have gotten to know personally.

Santa is my BFF

Santa is my BFF

* I am sure many of my details about the PM Magazine story are inaccurate. I found where it may have aired on 12/24/1984, with the title of Real Life Santa.  I would have been only like 8 years old. But that show aired so long ago, that anyone else’s memory would be tainted with time as well. Unless someone has the actual classic footage for the Santa story, in which case I would LOVE to see it.

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Excerpt: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Chapter 1


The Wind Could Blow a Bug
The Riley Sisters
Book 1
By Jennifer Friess
ISBN: 978-0692339565

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming young adult contemporary romance called The Wind Could Blow a Bug.  Sign up for email updates about publication at:



The Oakley town council meeting had started off typically enough. There was a review of the minutes from the last meeting, and the usual complaints about too much. This time it was too much noise and chickens. But with all the Tucker boys in attendance for the meeting tonight, a rare occurrence, it was only a matter of time before things got rowdy.

The main order of new business on the agenda was to discuss a nationwide pharmacy with plans to build a store at the edge of town. The tiny town, population 3,300, was divided on this particular issue. And so they piled into mayor Skip Wickley’s living room for tonight’s meeting.

Skip was a large black man, in both mass and stature. He was an impressive physical figure to lead the town, but he was often too busy trying to keep everyone happy to make effective decisions.

On a night of a normal meeting, there would have been plenty of room for everyone. Skip had a large old farmhouse. Usually only 30 or so citizens were in attendance. Tonight it looked as though a representative from almost every household in town was here. The living room and dining room were one combined space, as though a wall that had formerly divided them a hundred years ago had since been removed. Every inch of that space was needed tonight.

Jane Riley sat in the corner on the couch, with her spiral-bound notebook on her lap. Although only a high school senior, she was present at all the town council meetings. She took down notes and turned them into the regional newspaper to earn extra money for college. Twenty dollars per meeting. Since the town council was so small, her newspaper recap also served as official meeting minutes. Being quiet with few hobbies, she would take advantage of that on her college application by saying she was the secretary for the town council. As no one officially held that post, no one could really complain if she claimed it.

But tonight she was too distracted to take conscientious notes. Her attention was not on the debate, but instead on the group of four strapping farm boys standing up, trying to holler over one another. The Tucker boys were not the type of guys to give Jane the time of day. They were all older than Jane. Then again, no other boys in town were interested in her either. Jane had earned a reputation for being “shy”, a word she hated. In truth, she just didn’t care to socialize with the jocks and cheerleaders of her school. They had no clue that she could be funny and witty. Jane saw this as their loss, not hers. She was average in just about every way. She was an average height, with a thin frame, and light brown hair of an average length. She was often mistaken for several years younger than her 18 years. If Jane was a boy, she probably wouldn’t be interested in herself either.

The Tucker brothers all had hair damp from the showers they had taken before attending the meeting. It was nice that they had been considerate enough to wash off the day’s worth of dirt and sweat before they came. But they also had drowned themselves in cologne too. Were they all heading to the bar to pick up chicks after the meeting? The mix of four different colognes and testosterone filled the room and made Jane’s head spin, in a good way.

Evan Tucker was the father of all these men. He was nearing 50. While most fathers were old and chubby and balding, Evan was still a good-looking man. He would look right at home in an Eddie Bauer catalog. His full head of black hair was just starting to have some white mix in around the edges.

Randy was the oldest son. He had to be about 27 now, and helped his father run the business. He looked a lot like his father, but Randy was a few inches taller.

Josh was the second oldest. He was known around town as a prankster. This somehow made him easy to dislike. Josh sported a headful of brown hair and wore a goatee of perpetual stubble on his chin. Jane assumed that he did the same work on the farm as his brothers, but somehow he was thicker around the middle than the rest. He was 24 years old.

Wade was just a year younger than Josh. Wade was the Tucker boy most of the girls in town liked best. He had won the genetics lottery. Blond hair, blue eyes, and a face like a model. His smile had been known to stop traffic.

Oakley’s main street only had two lanes and one flashing signal. So really, sometimes a stray cat stopped traffic as well.

Pete was the youngest son. He had been a year ahead of Jane in school, which meant he was now out of school. He looked a lot like his mother. He was wiry, with dirty blond hair.

The discussion was breaking down as everyone talked over each other.

“The SaveRX would bring many jobs to our town.”

“But it would put my drug store out of business.”

“It sounds like a budget strip club.”

“The people from Parker would get all the jobs anyway.” This was unlikely. Parker was the next largest town about 40 miles away.

“Wouldn’t they need to use some of my land to build it at the proposed site? I am not selling. Does that mean you are going to use eminent domain to claim it?” asked Evan Tucker.

Now it was more obvious why the Tuckers were here. Mr. Tucker owned much of the farmland around Oakley, including all of the farmland on the west end of town where the pharmacy was to be built. He may look like a hick, but he was a very smart businessman. Mr. Tucker had kept his farm going and growing in a time when many had failed. He had managed to keep it in the family as well, an even bigger feat.

Tucker Farms had been started by Evan Tucker’s grandfather. Then it was very small and only fed the immediate family. Evan’s father grew it to have many cash crops and added many silos for grain storage to cover himself in times of bad weather until his death.

Evan took over the business in very different times. The old-time farmers were dying out, literally, and their children did not want to continue.   They wanted to get jobs at the automotive factory in Parker that offered a steady income and benefits. Or they just moved away to the cities, where they could get a job in anything. Evan started buying up the land. Often times he could not offer much, but the sellers snapped it up just to be rid of it. Evan began to diversify his products.

As Evan’s business was growing, the local grain elevators, the Oakley Co-Op, just called ‘the Co-Op’ by locals, were suffering. With the drop in the number of farmers using their buy, sell, and store services, they did not have the ability to make upgrades or pay their employees. When the Co-Op went out of business, Evan was put in the position of expanding his own operation to provide the services to other farmers in and around Oakley that they could no longer receive anywhere else. In a day and age when no one put down new railroad tracks, Evan found he had justification to have some laid between his elevators and the nearest rail spur a few miles away.

Evan had helped salvage what little community was left in Oakley. The goods he bought from the feed store and the hardware store kept them in business. The local tractor supply helped to keep his farming machines in running order. And so on. In turn, all those merchants could buy newspapers, groceries, and eat at the two restaurants in town. It was a delicate balance. Evan Tucker knew this, and it no doubt kept him up late nights.

“Ya, we ain’t selling,” Josh said.

“That is prime farmland,” Randy articulated.

“It is also the best make-out spot in town,” Wade said, smiling.

“You should know, Wade!” someone in the back yelled.

With that, the room let out a whoop and the conversation quickly was derailed from the task at hand. Wade seemed to be at the center of the chaos.

A great dig at Wade came to Jane. She crossed the room to get closer to the action, waiting for her turn to contribute. She felt self-conscious standing, so she sat in an available chair, left vacant by all those now standing. Wanting a better vantage point of the room, she sat on the back of the stuffed green plaid chair and put her pink Converse shoes on the seat. She began to remember that she wasn’t the kind of girl to speak up in meetings, especially to flirt with guys. As the conversation moved away from Wade, Jane knew her chance was gone. This made her relax a little. Although her brief moment of bravery, of just moving across the room, had already made her deodorant fail.

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