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Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Special Thanks

I would like to take the time to extend a special thanks to those who visit frequently and my Entrecard Top Droppers, as well as my followers. This event was coordinated by Entrecard as a way to thank the top droppers on our blog. I'm never good with following the rules, though, so I've made a few key adjustments. I'm going to be including those people who have been here with me all along, those few loyal readers that somehow found me nearly a year ago, long before I even knew Entrecard existed. Those people certainly deserve my recognition beyond any others. (The following "thanks" are in no particular order of importance.)


My Crazy Life With a Toddler
- Michelle, I would like to thank you for stopping by and taking time out of your crazy life just for me. I know how crazy life with a toddler can be. I always enjoy reading your Thursday Thirteen posts. I especially love the picture of your little one snuggled up in her toy box with her critters.

Parental Instincts
- Ari, thank you for visiting me so often. I enjoy reading your articles. I especially enjoyed the article about curfews because dealing with teenagers can be quite tricky. I also enjoyed reading "What your kid really wants to know." My son was 6 when he asked where babies came from. Perhaps someday I will write about what I told him.

Mumsy - Dani, I never know what I'll find when I stop by your place to visit. I also have to tell you that today is the first time I looked for your name. Now, I have several different "Dani" songs playing in my head. I'll probably have to deal with that for the rest of the day. It's a good thing, too, because I have lots to do today. Songs make work faster. While I'm cleaning, rest assured that I'll be singing and thinking about you all day long.

More Than Sew So
- I looked and looked, but failed to find your actual name anywhere. Without a name, I don't know if I can properly thank you. Ah, who am I kidding... I really appreciate your visits. I have to tell you, I thought my favorite post was the 1955 post until today. Today, I see those deer wandering neck deep in the snow. Just wow! Today I am very thankful that I am not THERE!

Your Parenting Info - Again, not finding your name. I love reading your articles, though. I like the solution you've come up with for your bedtime issues. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much responsibility your teen displays.

If The Walls Could Talk - David, you probably already know that I love your site. I especially love the post about your worst nightmare. I think it is so beautiful because it is so real. I am so glad you visit often. I would talk about many of the other words you've written, but I'm disinclined to expose myself that much, if you know what I mean.

Patromax - Your site provides so much useful information for blogging. Thank you for all that you do.

Celebrity Body Gossip - You know, I don't usually spend time seeking out information about celebrities. It doesn't typically interest me to know what goes on in their lives. However, I just can't seem to avoid the interesting bits of information that you provide. I really love the article about Cindy Crawford and how she eats in front of her kids. It's good to know that some of those celebrities still have a keen grasp of reality.

Mutual Love - I suppose you already know how much I love your site because I have shared some of your posts here on my own site. I love the inspiration that your posts provide. It's always nice to read your lovely posts.

Start Your Own Blog
- I love all your ideas for customizing my site. I haven't actually had a chance to incorporate any of them due to my own life issues, but I read them and plan to use some of them as time goes by. Thank you so much for taking time to visit me. I really do appreciate your loyalty.


A Memory Forever - Liss, your pictures brighten my day. I know I haven't commented as much as usual, but I do visit at least once a week to see what new pictures you've posted. I love hearing from you and knowing that you visit. Kira's Nurse Angel helped us both through some really tough times. You may never fully understand just how much your love and support has carried me. Thank you so much for being in my life and sharing yours with me.

The Crazy Green Cheapskate
- April, did you know that you inspired me to attempt composting? My first attempt was likely failed because I had no time available to tend to the pile properly. We have since moved, leaving my pile behind. I hope to revisit composting this year with a new and improved method. I also plan to start my own vegetable garden this year, something else that you have inspired me to do. My sister thinks I've lost my mind now that I'm trying to be a bit more "green". It's really funny. Thank you for being part of my life. I appreciate your continued loyalty.

Gohn Crazy
- Kelli, I still remember how I found you by chance when I was researching toy storage solutions. From that day on, you've been an integral part of my journey in the blogosphere. Your comments, as well as your posts, brighten my day. You may not realize it, but you inspired me to start line drying some (not all) of my clothes. I had never before hung my clothes to dry until I started reading about your adventures in line drying. Now, I enjoy hanging the clothes out. It's very therapeutic for me. Go figure! I look forward to spending many more years with you here in the blogosphere.

My Creative Corner - Wanda, I'm sure you are already aware of how much you motivate me. I never tried making cards before I found your site. I may not comment often, but I do visit at least once a week to see what new ideas you have for me. I feel like you post those just for me, even though I know you don't. Thank you for being a part of my world.

Lisa Petrarca's Blog - A woman after my own heart, you aren't the least bit concerned that somebody might use your name for evil. Anonymity probably never even occurred to you. I love how you keep it real and tell it like it is. I enjoy reading about your trials as a mother because I know how difficult many of those trials can be. You are so special, and I am glad I found you.

It's A Woman's World - Pet, where to begin? You and I really should schedule ourselves a date. You are close enough that I wouldn't mind one bit driving to meet you. Besides, I want to write a book someday, and I think you might be able to help me with that. The thing is - I feel like I already know you. You seem to be an open book when I read about your daily adventures. They are adventures, too, and you know that which is what makes it so special. You take each moment with each child and you treasure it without regard to the hardships it may cause you. I love having you on my team. It means so much to me that you take time to visit and comment. You are so special to me.

From The Mind of a Mom - Toni, I don't even know where to begin. I saved you for the last because telling you how I feel may well be the most difficult. Your phone calls and kind words have been such a blessing to me. You may never fully understand how much you have touched my life. We are worlds away from each other, but you are certainly a kindred spirit to me. Perhaps we were sisters in another life. Who knows! I am so grateful to have your friendship. Thank you for spending this past year with me and allowing me to get to know you better. Perhaps one day I will be able to make the trip to Canada to meet you in person. If you ever have cause to travel to Atlanta, be sure to let me know. I'll show you the town and all that jazz. (hehe)

FOLLOWERS (not already mentioned above)

Gallagher Jam - Thank you for joining me here. I hope you find useful information and enjoy my quirky sense of humor. I also want to tell you that the picture of the pink and white rose is absolutely gorgeous. I stole it for my desktop background. I'll be thinking of you for a while every time I turn my computer on.

Yet Another Mommy Blog
- Vicky, I am so glad you've come to hang out with me. I hope to get to know you better over time. Perhaps we could even hit the yard sales together some day. I love finding good bargains on hidden treasures.

Educational Toys and Games - Milly, it's so good to have you here. I love your site and your tips for using toys to teach children. I'm a homeschooler with a very eclectic style, so I use all sorts of toys and games to help my kids learn. I look forward to visiting with you and reading more on you site.

Switching on the Sun - My husband often reminds me that my audience is not solely created of women. I try hard to include fathers and consider their special place in the life of a child when I write. I hope I have succeeded and you feel that I am speaking to you when I write, and not just to the mothers out there. Thank you so much for becoming a follower and reminding me that men read about parenting, too.

Strawberry Anarchy - Miquette, I just don't know what to say. I came to visit today and found - Cookie Monster. I may have nightmares about that one. Seriously though, thank you for following me and visiting so often. If you happen to have kids, hide that cookie monster picture from them. Thank you for the giggles, by the way.

Boogers, Screams, Headaches, and Dreams
- Sherrie, once upon a time you requested an honest opinion. Somehow in the midst of my brutal honesty, you still found it in your heart to give me a chance. I'm looking forward to spending more time with you. I seriously think you will continue to brighten my day. Besides, who knows what I might find when I click on your link. Today it's puzzle pieces - I seriously love to put hard puzzles together - but tomorrow it could be anything. (ANYTHING)

Mommy Deals and Reviews - Cece, there is just one thing that I have been dying to tell you. Your background is just so pretty and feminine. I absolutely love visiting your site because I feel so calm when I look at your page. The colors are so good together. Thank you for being one of my followers. I hope you enjoy visiting. We could probably talk coupons one day when we both have lots of free time. (Sure, it'll happen - in about 20 years or so.)

My Life in a Nutshell - Thank you for visiting me here. I love to stop by your site. I hope you post again real soon.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Day


Grandson - Visiting! (27 days old - 6 lbs. 5 ozs. - loves to eat, especially a bit of rice cereal off Grandma's finger)

Sleep - Not really!


Daughter (Angel) - Sleeping all night.

Nighttime Feedings - ME!

(This is why I'm such a great mom! I'm letting her sleep while I get up and feed the new grand baby during the night. I remember how exhausting those first few weeks of motherhood can be and what a shock it is to the first-time mother. She was first stunned, and then thrilled, to learn that she had slept a full eight hours last night while I tended to the needs of the little one. Yep, I'm Amazing!)

Dirty Diapers - DAD!

(Son-in-law! My niceness only goes so far, ya know!)

Doctor - Kira! Released to normal activity. Hooray!

Dentist - Kira! She missed the scheduled appointment back in September because of her surgeries. We finally managed to work that into the schedule and get her back on track for her dental health. Luckily, there were no cavities and no real issues with the delayed visit.

**Notice how I've got all these links in the post. Makes you want to go read more, doesn't it! Each link leads to a specific article within my site. It isn't advertising or external redirects. Just more information about the people I'm discussing here in this post.**

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pesky Toys

You would think that the toys in my house have a mind of their own. They invade every last inch of floor space and leave little room for walking. The toys, of course, always find their own way out into the realms of our house. I know this because my children would never spread their toys across our home in such a chaotic mess. MY children would only keep their toys nice and neat in their bedroom and always return them when they are finished playing.

In an effort to convince the toys that they must - absolutely MUST - return themselves to their rightful place in the room of the children, I have instituted a trashcan policy. If the toys fail to find their way back to their room where they belong, the Evil Mommy Monster will sweep through the house like a natural disaster and scoop all wayward toys into the waiting black bag of garbage.

It's amazing what happens when this garbage grabbing threat ensues into the world around us. A flurry of activity follows this threat every single time. Toys magically disappear into their proper place without even a hint of assistance from me. It seems that the little toys simply do not relish the thought of being trapped in black plastic for any length of time. Seems those pesky toys have learned that Evil Mommy Monster has, in the past, followed through with her threat to dispose of wayward toys. (Messy Lego incident some ten years or so back...It only took once and the problem was then resolved.)

SIGH - It's so nice to look at an uncluttered floor!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I have a long term and close friend who has no children of her own. She never fails to send the kids gifts at Christmas or birthdays and often fly’s in to visit us. I have noticed her tolerance for
my children seems to get shorter and shorter. For approximately the last 12 months our conversations end in her giving me parenting advise.

My kids are not naughty they are just your average children. Yes they can be loud, and
they do demand attention especially, it seems, when you pick up the telephone to talk. Her comments are never constructive. They are just plain criticisms of my parenting style. She tells me I shouldn’t give them the attention I do. I find her comments hard to swallow because she is not a mother and doesn’t live everyday with the trials and tribulation that motherhood brings. For the last year I have bitten my tongue and suffered in silence from her criticisms. Every conversation I have with her ends in me questioning if I am a bad parent, and if I have bad children.

Even though I have said nothing to her about this situation, there is definite tension in our friendship on both sides. She now makes excuses to see me without the kids. I don’t know if I should approach the subject with her, or how to approach it, as I am sure she will be offend. I don’t want to lose a friendship of 20 years. I also don’t want to be questioning my
parenting abilities or have an attack of paranoia every time I see her or talk to her on the phone.

Ah! The age old issue of receiving unsolicited advice from somebody who has no clue what they are talking about.

You may feel like the only reason you have this issue is because your friend has no children of her own. This isn't the case, of course. Every friendship goes through a time where there are issues of this nature. This is especially true when two friends with children have radically different views on parenting. Some friendships survive this test and others don't.

Unfortunately, I can not tell you exactly what your friend is thinking. I can only guess at her ordeal. I imagine she is feeling a bit threatened by the attention you give to your children. They are demanding and certainly take priority over her. It can be difficult to understand for somebody who has no children and has never been in such a position of responsibility.

You both know that there is a problem in the relationship. Ignoring the issue will not make it better. You will resent her for forcing you to be separated from your children. She will resent you for choosing them over her. The only way to save the relationship is to discuss the big white elephant that's sitting in the middle of the room. Otherwise, you're friendship is certainly doomed. I can't guarantee that talking about it will make it better, but there really is no other option. Plus, talking about it will alleviate your mind and free you to move on with or without her in your life.

You should approach the topic when you can give her your full attention, so you need to talk to her when your children are otherwise occupied. Perhaps you could arrange a meeting while the kids are at school. I also recommend that this take place face-to-face because conversations over the phone can be easily misunderstood.

When you talk to your friend, you should be very careful about your choice of words. Whatever you do, do not say anything about the fact that she has no children of her own. That will certainly end the conversation. You should start by telling her that you know your children can be demanding of your time and energy. Let her know that you are concerned for your friendship. Then ask her if she wants to talk about whatever it is that's bugging her. Don't interrupt her as she speaks. Truly listen to what she has to say.

You should, near the end of the conversation, express that you understand that she means well by offering advice regarding your children. However, she also needs to understand that you know what is best for your children. Politely ask her to refrain from remarking on your parenting techniques in the future. Give her the freedom to her opinions while asking her to keep those opinions to herself. It never hurts to explain how her comments make you feel.

On a final note, if she wants to see you without your kids then what harm is there in accommodating her desire to spend time with you alone. Kids can be quite distracting. When you have your kids around, you really aren't paying much attention to your friend because the demands of parenting requires us to focus on what our children need. Besides, it's important for us as parents to have a life away from our children, and spending time with your friend sans kids will allow you the opportunity to reconnect with her on a more personal level.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Special Snacks

I just want to share a few ideas for snacks that your kids will really enjoy. It isn't anything special or extravagant, but it is guaranteed to keep them quiet for a few minutes.

1) Apples - Most kids love apples. For a twist to the typical apple snack add a spoonful of peanut butter to the plate for dipping. There are multiple advantages to peanut butter. First, it's a great source of protein. Second, it's sticky. Your little one will have too much sticky goo in her mouth to be chattering at you or begging for your attention - at least for a few minutes.

2) Mini Muffins - Muffins aren't exactly a nutritious snack, but they are a favorite around here. The good thing about muffins is that they are basically bread. Bread is very filling. Little ones who eat a bag of the mini muffins are generally not hungry again for at least ten minutes or so after they finish.

3) Trail Mix - Kids don't know that it's good for them. Filled with nuts and fruit (and a bit of chocolate), the kids will eat it without realizing that they are getting a good helping of vitamins and nutrition. Well, OK, let's be real here.... The kids will pick out all the chocolate and leave all the fruit and nuts. You get to eat the dried fruit and nuts without being tempted by all that chocolate because your little angels didn't leave any.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nap Time

It is so sad, but I believe my two year old is outgrowing naps. I try hard to convince her (read - trick her) into taking a nap, but it rarely works. She has this built in energy that prevents her from being still for more than five minutes at a time. About the time she begins to feel like she might drift off to sleep - she starts bouncing again just to be sure she doesn't accidentally doze off.

I'm sure I'm not the only mother in the world who wishes nap time could be easier. Here are a few of the tricks I use to convince my little ones that naps are a good thing.

1) I lay down with them. This usually works really well because snuggling is good for all of us. We all get a bit of extra loves and then drift off into a peaceful nap. I happen to enjoy naps and figure that laundry and dishes will wait until after I get some much needed rest. (This method did not work today.)

2) I put a movie in and tell the girls that it is rest time. I tell them they do not have to go to sleep, but they do have to be still and rest. This usually ends with both of them softly snoring in front of the television while some sort of kid's program is playing. (Yeah - this did not work today, either.)

3) I result to brute force and put them both in bed with the lights off, complete with threats. They are required to stay in the bed in the dark whether they sleep or not. This is a rare occurrence because I don't generally like to resort to such tactics. I use this only when I'm stretched to my very limits.

4) Every now and then (ahem - today), I just give up and figure that I'll try hard to keep them awake until 7:00 or later so that they don't wake up before midnight expecting to stay up and play all night. Sometimes we just have to admit defeat...

Eventually nap time does become a thing of the past. Even after my kids no longer need actual naps, I will require a bit of quiet time for reading or playing quietly because they will always need some down time to unwind and relax. Because they will be home schooled, I will always have the luxury of enforcing a bit of down time during the day.

Now - I have to go see if I can convince the two year old that she really does need to rest for a while before Grandma Shari comes to visit.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fabulous Finds

In the spotlight today is ***insert drum roll here***

Stinky John Jones

Val spends her days "battling the whine," much like me. The post that got my attention was Goldilocks and the 3 snoring bears. I can't help but sympathize with her because I know exactly how she feels. Sometimes we just fall over wherever we can find an empty spot. I find that I can relate so completely to Val. She deserves a day in the spotlight.

You can visit today's spotlight star here.

For more information about Mom's Fabulous Finds, see this post.

Make a Special Gift

I found this craft idea at Your Fun Family. I just have to share it with you because I think it is so cool.

The directions for making these pens can be found at this post on Your Fun Family. It's actually very simple to make. I'll be getting the kids to make a few for their favorite Grandma's. I can't wait.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

We're finally home from the hospital after 8 long and tiring days.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Random Information

April, at The Crazy Green Cheapskate, has tagged me. I've seen this tag going around the blogosphere. As part of this tag, I'm supposed to tell you eight random bits of information about me. This takes a great deal of consideration on my part. I'm not really sure what to say. I know that you enjoy reading about me, and I rarely talk about myself. I'm going to try hard to come up with something really interesting to share.

Now here are the RULES for this tag:

1. Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.
5. For the recipients, leave a comment for the person who tagged you, so they can go and read your answers.


1) I love legal programs. Law and Order, NCIS, CSI, Without a Trace - any of them. I love them all. I decided to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice because I enjoyed those T.V. shows so much. I graduated - FINALLY - in May 2008, with a degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on Forensic and Behavioral Sciences.

2) I've received certification for criminal profiling. Basically, I've taken a selection of seminars and training conferences that expanded on my education. I know how to profile a crime and determine what the investigators missed and what they still need to cover. I've attended seminars with Brent Turvey, one of the well known forensic criminal profilers here in the states. As part of my education, I was required to write an assessment on an existing cold case file in our local area. That class was my most favorite because I really learned so much about the entire investigation process and the mistakes that can cause an entire case to go into a box for the next twenty years.

3) I never wanted to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom. I always thought I would really hate being stuck at home with kids all the time. Imagine my surprise when I learned that I absolutely love being at home with my kids. I'm even pretty good at this whole At-Home-Mom thing.

4) I love pasta. I prefer the cream sauces, but just about any pasta will do. Olive Garden is my favorite restaurant, though I have found quite a few good local restaurants. Antonino's in Cartersvill is one of the greatest locally owned restaurants. The owner - Antonino - is almost always there and mingles with the patrons.

5) Geez this is hard... I don't really like talking about myself. It's not easy. OK! I love camping. Not the kind of camping that happens in an RV, but camping in a tent on the ground in a bit of the wild.

6) I love to write. Oh wait, you knew that already. But did you know that I've always been a writer. I started writing poetry when I was 14. I have a huge notebook filled with handwritten poetry. Some of it is actually decent. Most of it is heartsick teenage crap. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a journalist. I never seemed able to follow that path, though.

7) I'm the handyman of the house. If it's broken, I'm the one who fixes it (unless it's electricity related).

8) I'm a survivor.


I've followed the rules of the tag and hope you have enjoyed this trip into my private world. Feel free to ask for more information. I'll answer whatever questions you may have.

I am breaking one rule of this tag, though. I'm not going to tag anybody else. Yes, I know, I'm no fun. I just don't have the time and energy to decide who to tag and notify them. I'm just too tired right now. So you'll just have to be satisfied with knowing that I took time to share. It doesn't mean I don't love you, you know. It just means that there are limits to our relationship. (It also means that I'm still stuck at the hospital with Randall - where we've been since last Wednesday - and still have no idea when we might actually get to go home. So I'm tired - very, very tired!)

Where Are You From?

You know, I have noticed a sharp increase in visitors and new commenters lately. I've been working hard to increase my reader base by using various means of advertising. I know this has been working based on my Sitemeter numbers.

So, today I want information about you. Tell me what brought you to my world.

How did you find me?

How often do you visit?

Do you have a favorite post?

Is there anything you want to see discussed?

I want to learn more about the people who keep dropping by to visit. Please oblige my curiosity.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Kids and Email

Most kids today grow up being technologically sound. They start playing computer games relatively early. They know how to maneuver through the Internet without much parental assistance. The computer is an integral part of their lives.

At some point, your child is going to ask you if he can have an email address because email is so widely used for communication. (Of course, he'll probably just set one up without bothering to ask....but hey, I'm being optimistic here. )

The thing about email is this: It can be good, but it can also be bad. Email offers a means of communication that opens the door for lots of not so good information to reach your child. Personally, I think young children should be monitored when using the computer and features such as email.

If your child is under the age of 13, I recommend that email only be used when you are nearby to monitor all messages that are sent and received. You may think this borders on invasion of privacy, but protecting your child is far more important than maintaining his privacy.

Now, I'm not saying you need to read every word of every message. I'm just saying you should be aware of who your child is communicating and what type of information is being discussed. To be fair, your child should be fully aware of the fact that you will be monitoring his access to his email account. You might even keep the password private and only allow your child to log into his email when you are nearby to keep an eye on things.

After the age of 13, children can be given more freedom. At this point I recommend - depending on the child, of course - that children be allowed to access their email without such strict supervision. It is still important to know who is sending and receiving messages, but not so necessary to monitor everything that goes on. Again, tell your child that you are reserving the right to read his mail at any given time. If he knows ahead of time what the rules are, then it is still not an invasion of his privacy. He will also be more likely to behave properly when writing emails if he knows that you might possibly read what he has written.

Around the age of 16 or so - again, depending on the child - you can relax your restrictions even more. At this point, the amount of freedom that you offer your child will depend largely on your child's level of responsibility.

It is really important that your child be monitored at least on some level as they are growing up. The Internet is filled with many dangers that we, as parents, are simply unable to see. It requires a little extra vigilance on our part to make sure our children understand how to behave and know what treatment is acceptable and what is not.

On a side note - email is a wonderful way for your children to communicate with family and friends. You can even add your child's email to your own list of contacts and send a few notes every now and then. Your child will definitely enjoy getting messages from Mommy and Daddy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Check it Out

I found another really cool site today. It's called Human Body Art. Before you visit, you should know that there is some female nudity.

The body can be artistic... If you're up for being amazed, go check it out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fabulous Finds

In the spotlight today is ***insert drum roll here***

Easy Greensy

Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!

This site is filled with plenty of ideas to help you and your family go green. The tips here cover a wide range of topics that relate to everybody's daily lives. It isn't just the typical information about lowering the temperatures and using less electricity, either.

So - Go be Green!

You can visit today's spotlight star here.

For more information about Mom's Fabulous Finds, see this post.

Easy Green

Here in Georgia, we've been experience a severe drought. There are watering restrictions throughout the state. Watering the outside plants may not be a high priority right now because of the cold weather. However, trees and bushes still need water during the winter months. There is an easy way to water your plants without violating those watering restrictions. These methods are especially useful in the middle of summer when watering is most important so save the list for future use.

1) All those half empty soda cans that your kids never manage to finish drinking because the drink goes flat --- your plants will LOVE them. The carbonation in those drinks will even provide beneficial nutrients to your plants, especially those acid loving plants.

2) The water that you use to boil pasta and potatoes in can be saved instead of poured down the drain. After the water cools, use it to water your outside plants.

3) Bath water can be used to water indoor and outdoor plants. The soap in the water is not harmful to plants.

4) If showers are your thing, place a bucket in the shower to catch some of that excess water. Use the excess water to water indoor and outdoor plants.

5) If ice cubes jump onto the floor instead of in your glass, there is no need to throw it away. Instead, place the cube on top of your plants. The cube will melt and water your plants.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Presents From Daddy

Well, this week has been beyond horrible. Randall went to the hospital Wednesday and is still there. Poor Kira is having such a hard time with her Daddy being sick. She even asked me today if he would keep being sick and sick and sick and then die. (Yeah - not a fun question to address...)

I've been staying at the hospital with Randall, leaving the girls with their Grandma Janet. She is so wonderful to take on the task while I am busy at the hospital. I do come home once each day while Randall's mother is with him so I can visit with the girls and shower.

Today when I was leaving the hospital to come home I passed the gift shop. It occurred to me that I could do something to make this whole experience easier for Kira. I stopped in and found two adorable stuffed animals. (A pony for Kira and a penguin for Risa) I brought them home and told each girl that their Daddy had sent their new friends to keep them company while he is at the hospital. I also told them that their Daddy had given each friend a bunch of hugs and kisses for each of his baby girls so that whenever they feel like they needed a hug or kiss from their Daddy that all they had to do is ask their new friend for one of Daddy's hugs or kisses.

Of course, Randall had nothing to do with those little critters, but the girls need not ever know. As far as they are concerned their Daddy sent them hugs and kisses along with new friends to snuggle so they won't miss him quite so much. (I advocate lying to your children under certain circumstances where it may be deemed necessary!)

I hope the next couple of days are easier for Kira than the last two. I did, of course, assure her that her Daddy would not die and would get better soon. He had me scared for a while last night, but today he was better so hopefully the worst is over. And if he makes me out to be a liar on this one...well, he best not. He just best not.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Flu

We had to have Randall taken to the hospital yesterday by ambulance because he was unable to walk and the doctor was concerned about complications brought on by the flu.

After a battery of tests and a night in the hospital, we're still not certain what is going on. He's getting better (at least a little), but has to stay in tonight, as well, for continued observations and daily standard panel blood work. Hopefully he'll be able to come home tomorrow.

Maybe I need to rethink that flu shot thing...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Teddy Tags

I was wandering through the blogosphere recently and came across this website - Teddy Tours.

I was so struck by the idea of the site and the healing that a site of this nature might bring to victims of child abuse and perhaps even their families. I felt that I needed to share this site. The site is currently for sale, though I'm unsure as to the reasons. I wish I had the funds to purchase the site and carry on with the task that the current owner has begun.

What an amazing idea to give your story to a Teddy and let that Teddy tour the world for you so that your voice will be heard and others will KNOW what you have suffered.

For anybody who might be interested in learning more, or may be a survivor of abuse and wish to create your very own Teddy Tag, go visit and support this site.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Check It Out

I found this. Well, honestly, my husband found it and sent me to see.

He found it through because he loves to browse that site.

So, if you want something to laugh at - and be sure you really can laugh out loud without causing an issue - then check this out.

Oh yeah - one more thing. Go to the bathroom before you click that link because if you don't, you will probably need to change your clothes afterwards.


We celebrate many aspects of our children's lives. We are quick to celebrate their milestones and their successes. Today I want to remind you to also celebrate their failures.

"Failures? You want me to celebrate my child's failures?" you ask.

You probably think I've lost my mind. Well, I have, but that's not what this is all about.

Failures are an important part of growing and learning. Every failure offers the opportunity to learn valuable lessons. If you take time to celebrate these failures, you teach your child that even in failure we can find value. It also teaches your child that failure is not the end of the world. You can help your child understand how his failures offer him a chance to make adjustments and learn how to turn those failures into successes through persistence and commitment.

If you do not celebrate the failures in your child's life, you risk teaching you child that failures end his opportunities instead of teaching him that those failures are simply presentations of new opportunities.

So go celebrate.

Monday, January 12, 2009

So Unfair!

Sick Husband + Sick Kids = Sick Me (?)

Well, I hope I dodge the bullet this one time. I came home from my vacation to find my husband is really sick. I finally bullied him into going to the doctor. His appointment is in about an hour.

My little ones started sneezing and coughing on Saturday. Now they both have full fledged colds, complete with fevers and yuckies.

Typically, all this sickness is followed by me getting sick because I spend so much time taking care of them that it's impossible to avoid their germs. So - just say a little prayer that maybe I won't get sick this time. I don't want to be sick.

UPDATE --- Randall just left the doctor. He has the flu! ICK!

Brag Post

Today I want YOU to tell me what makes you really amazing. Brag on yourself.

We often take time to brag on our children, our spouse, our friends, etc. Rarely do we take the time to brag on ourselves. Here's your chance. Brag to me all about yourself.

Follow Me

I've added the "Follow Me" option to my page. What does it mean to follow me? Well, if you are one of my followers, you'll get a nifty update on your Blogger dashboard that will let you see what I've been up to.'ll get a pretty cool link under my Followers list.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I'm required to have this disclosure. I'm turning it into a post, though, because having at the bottom of my page is annoying me. It takes up so much room. So - in case you didn't already know, I sometimes have paid advertising posts and here's my disclosure to let you know.


This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

I am occasionally compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to

Entrecard Contest

Entrecard is hosting a really awesome contest with some amazing sponsors and prizes.

The prizes that are being offered range from Entrecard credits to advertising space. I have to say, I'm hoping to win the prize offered by Total Web Review because I think that would be awesome for my own site to receive the free advertising that they are offering.

If you're a member of Entrecard, go visit the contest and sign up. If you're not a member - now is a really good time to get started with Entrecard.

For a preview of what the contest has for you, see the list of sponsors and all the fabulous prizes that you could win.

SPONSORS (In order of mostest credits. Natch!)

Games, Downloads, Walkthroughs - 25,000ec

Google Stalking - 20,001ec

Fragile Heart - 20,000ec

Atlanta Realtors - 10,000ec

The Beauty Denominator - 5,000ec

Norwegian Programmer
- 5,000ec

nuke it dot org - 5000ec

Lofty Matters - 3000ec

Random Detox
- 3000ec

Guilty Pleasures - 3000ec

Freebies - 3000ec

Project Kickass - 3000ec

Total Web Review - 3000ec

Realm of Prosperity
- 2000ec

Fantasy Baseball Rankings - 2000ec

Webbiestuffs - 2000ec

Tazdog - 1500ec

Niacin Flush - 1000ec

Reading Lounge - 1000ec

Fendi Bags For Sale
- 1000ec

Michael Aulia - 1000ec

Fish Oil Benefits - 1000ec

Better Interpersonal Communication
- 1000ec

Singaporean in London - 1000ec

Diva Fabulosa - 1000ec

Expat wife blogging - 1000ec

Baby Frog Gifts For The Princess In Your Life
- 1000ec

Health and Beauty Diva - 1000ec

Certified Pinoy Blogger - 1000ec

Make Money Online With Makoy
- 1000ec

Versace Designer Sunglasses
- 1000ec

Botany Extracts Aromatherapy Massage Oils
- 1000ec

Makoy’s Take On The Arts And The Entertainment - 1000ec

Ken Armstrong Writing Stuff - 1000ec


Total Web Review - 1 month text link ad, 1 month 125×125 ad and a Blog Review (that’s three separate prizes)

Momma Wannabe - 1 month text link ad

Charcotrip travel blog
- 1 Month 125×125 ad.

Celebrity Pics - A mousepad.


I just have to say - Cruises are the best vacation for families.

You go. You unpack once. You travel to various locations. You eat at various restaurants (and as often as you like, I might add). You have a children's program available to entertain your children.

What's missing?

Cooking, Cleaning, Scheduling, Entertaining, Planning, Driving....What did I miss? Oh yeah - you don't even have to make the beds or turn them down at night.

I've been on several cruises and I can honestly say that it is the absolute best vacation and value for the money that you pay. The fees you pay include nearly everything for your entire trip. The only extras are the gratuities paid to the staff, alcoholic beverages, sodas and specialty drinks, souvenirs, and shore tours. Of course, each cruise line has their own system for dealing with these extra charges so if you decide to cruise be sure to read all the information about the cruise line's policies.

I'm going to offer a bit of advice for those of you who may wish to cruise from a port here in the USA. I've traveled on three different cruise lines over the years and each line has their own special feature. In my opinion, your vacationing desires should determine which line you choose to cruise with. Here's my own personal opinion about the cruise companies I've traveled with.

Carnival Cruise Line is all about the party life. Their ships generally have several night clubs with various types of music themes. Whatever your party style may be, you're likely to find it on a Carnival ship.

Norwegian Cruise Lines has a wonderful freedom of choice. They call it Freestyle Cruising. Basically, you are not required to choose a dining time. This is perfect if you are traveling with children who may or may not be hungry at any given moment (or every given moment if they happen to live with me...because mine are ALWAYS hungry). Other lines typically require you to specify a preferred dining time for eating in the finer dining rooms. This dining time also dictates the times that you would be expected to attend certain shows and entertainment events. Most other lines also assign you to a specific table and wait staff for the duration of your cruise. NCL does not have any type of specified seating or timing for the dining rooms. The Freestyle Cruising concept allows you to avoid the horror of being stuck with undesirable dining partners for the duration of your cruise. (It also keeps you from being stuck with a wait staff that you are displeased with...not that it happens often.) NCL doesn't even require you to sit with anybody other than those people traveling with you. The other lines I've been on tend to have larger tables that seat several people. Thus, you end up sitting with people you've never met before the first night of your cruise. You might like them. You might not. Who knows...until that first night. might even end up sitting at a HUGE table all by yourself because nobody else bothers to show up for dinner in the fancy dining room. It is really NOT fun to sit at one of those HUGE tables all by yourself.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has the most amazing food. Now, don't get me wrong, all the cruise lines have great food. But when it comes to the best of the best, Royal Caribbean is IT. Their food is exceptionally good. Even their hot dogs are better. Yeah, don't ask me to explain just is. Royal Caribbean also falls somewhere in the middle with its party scene and family scene. There is a happy medium between the two extremes. The casual dining food is just as good as the fine dining food. (In fact, the ship we cruised on had the exact same menu in one of their casual dining venues as the formal dining room menu. I haven't seen that on any other ship I've been on.)

Now, all three of these cruise lines have the same basic amenities and services. They all have kid's programs that are wonderful and keep the kids entertained into the late hours of the night. They all have food that is available at any given moment through a multitude of dining options (casual or fine, even room service). They all have the night life party scene. They all have Broadway style shows and other entertainment events. They all have Bingo, gift shops, and an assortment of on-board activities. Even with all these thins in common, they are each different from the other. Each has its own certain specialty. The prices are basically the same throughout the industry. The season and the itinerary largely determine the price of your trip, so choose your line based on what you want to get out of your trip. Shop around for pricing and ship amenities because the ships vary greatly.

If you're planning a family trip this year and you're just not sure where to go, consider cruising. If you add up the entire cost of a one week trip to any other locale - including food, lodging, driving expenses, etc. - and compare that to the cost of a cruise, you'll find that the price of cruising is similar or better than the cost of driving to other popular family vacation spots.

One more thing --- cruising is great for Moms because it lets us get some relaxation, too. Moms are usually in charge of planning, cooking, entertaining, arranging, cleaning, ... ... ... all the necessary day to day tasks of any vacation. On a cruise, moms don't have to do any of that stuff because somebody else does all the work and there are few decisions to be made. Hey, you don't even have to decide which main dish to eat with dinner. If you can't decide between the lobster and the prime rib --- have both. YES, I SAID BOTH!!! The staff is accustomed to having their guests order multiple dishes (and desserts). **This is especially true if you happen to be cruising Norwegian Majesty this week because you can be sure that there was at least one certain guest that ordered multiple main dishes most nights and even multiple desserts on one or two occasions.**

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fabulous Finds

In the spotlight today is ***insert drum roll here***

Ramblings of a Texas Housewife

Well, the name says it all. She's a housewife, and she rambles. This blog is full of just about anything and everything. You'll enjoy that you never quite know what to expect when you open the door.

You can visit today's spotlight star here.

For more information about Mom's Fabulous Finds, see this post.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Equate - The Equation Thinking Game

Do you need a good way to get your kids excited about learning Math concepts. Buy the Equate game.

This is an awesome take on the popular Scrabble game, only with numbers instead of letters. Instead of creating words, you create equations. Kids can't help but reinforce their knowledge of mathematical skills when they play this game.

It's a guarantee that children retain far more information when learning is fun. Incorporate this game into your family game night - you DO have a family game night, don't you - and enjoy the benefits of helping your children learn their Math.

Please note - This is not a paid advertisement. I love, love, love this game. Grandma Janet bought this game for me when I told her about how wonderful it would be for helping the girls learn Math as they get older. My teenager groaned when she saw it, of course, thinking I was planning to force her to play that as part of her homeschooling lessons. I never did, though. Hopefully I will be able to start playing this with Kira very soon.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Angel Food

In today's economy, many families are struggling to make ends meet. One way to maximize your food budget is to use Angel Food Ministries. This is not a handout or welfare system. It is an organization that buys food in bulk and then distributes the food for a cost that reflects their buying power. I've used them and the food is good quality for low prices.

The website lists local distributions sites, as well as menus and prices.

Here's a link to January's menu. This will give you an idea of what you pay and what you get.

Angel Food Ministries does take Food Stamps. Check with your local distributor for other methods of payment as those are determined by each individual location.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Flashlight

Do you need a cool toy idea that will help entertain your child for a short while so you can talk on the phone or type on the computer without being bombarded with demands for attention?

Pull out a flashlight.

Turn it on.

Hand it to your child.

Enjoy your newfound peace.

Be sure to send me a thank you note....

For extra entertainment value, give your child two flashlights that are different sizes. Kids just love the affects of the light on the wall, the carpet, your face, the cat....anything and everything in sight.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fabulous Finds

In the spotlight today is ***insert drum roll here***

Samples N' Such

With links to free samples and other free stuff, how could you possibly go wrong? This blog gives you plenty of options to choose from when you are seeking samples and freebies.

There are also plenty of posts with tips on saving money. I enjoyed the fact that the posts were pretty short and to the point. Each freebie or sample post also includes a convenient link directly to the page where you request your samples. The layout is pleasant to view, also.

You can visit today's spotlight star here.

For more information about Mom's Fabulous Finds, see this post.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Dakota Bryant

I would like to extend a very special welcome today to Dakota Bryant.

My eldest child is having her baby today. He will arrive sometime in the morning via scheduled C-Section. I am writing this post well before his arrival so I don't have any of the vital details just yet. I will try to get on and post a comment providing all the great information that I'm sure you all want to know.

So this is to me - becoming a Grandma - and a big Happy Birthday to Dakota.

Edit to Add:

Dakota Bryant weighed in at 5 lbs, 4.8 oz.

He was about 16 and 3/4 inches long.

He's so tiny and cute. He has a full head of light brown hair. The blankets that he was all wrapped up in weighed more than he did.