Friday, May 27, 2011

Perspective & Opportunity

I am heartbroken for another Oklahoma family. When the tornado went through our metro area this past Tuesday evening, a Piedmont family lost not only their home, but two young sons as well.

This is the story as I know it. I believe it to be accurate, but I’m piecing it together from various sources.

The father of the family was out of town. As the storm approached the mother, who is pregnant, took cover in the family’s bathtub (which is recommended procedure if you can’t get underground) with her three children. When the half-mile wide tornado hit, it tore their home apart and ripped the 3 year old boy from his mother’s arms.  I know the mother is is critical condition & has undergone several surgeries already. They did find the baby’s heartbeat. The 5 year-old daughter is in serious condition, but she is expected to be okay. The 15 month old boy did not make it. About 36 hours after the tornado the body of the 3 year old was finally found.

You guys, I can not fathom what this family is going through. Can. Not. I have cried numerous tears for this family. This family I do not know. I broke down in my kitchen and sobbed uncontrollably yesterday. I feel a kind ship with this mom because our boys where close to the same ages.  My heart is heavy for them.

This family’s story has given me a healthy dose of perspective. I have hugged & kissed on my boys so much they are sick of it. I have a thousand times more patience with them than I was having. It has been a reality check to me about just what precious gifts my boys are. I cherish the time I have with them. Really cherish every minute. That word—PERSPECTIVE—has constantly been in my head.


I want to help. But where do you begin? So, I did the one thing I could & prayed for them. And I will continue to do that.

But yesterday another opportunity presented itself. And the best part is that you can help too. This might be a pipe dream, but it is worth a shot. This community is pushing to get Extreme Makeover Home Edition (EMHE) to build this family a new home.

Here’s where you come in.

Go on over to EMHE’s facebook page. On the left hand side of the page you will see a discussions link. Click on it & find the discussion titled  “Help Rebuild the home of the Hamil Family” & and a reply in support of this family. (There are several discussion threads for this family, PLEASE find the one by this title because I believe that is the only one that counts as far as nominations go.)

That’s it. In as little as 5 minutes you could do a small part in helping this family begin to piece their life back together. The question is,

Will you?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pinching Pennies

Yes, I’m doing that coupon thing that is all the rage right now.  But, no, I am not being crazy coupon lady. Or at least I’m trying not to be. ::side eye:: It’s hard not to hoard when you can get things for free. But you’ll be glad to know that I’m refraining from getting 72 bottles of mustard. (Although I did snag 6 boxes of FREE tea last week & 4 things of FREE pasta.)

I have to credit my friend & her sister for getting me started on this.

I resisted for awhile because who has the time, right?

But then?

I saw how much MONEY THEY WERE SAVING. And you’ll just have to trust me on this.

It. was. astounding.

So, I decided to give this couponing thing a real shot.

I only started a week ago & have already saved over $200!!!! & all on stuff I’d normally buy anyway.

Several of you have asked me on Twitter how this works, so here is what I have learned so far. Remember I have only been at this for a week, so I am by no means an expert.

1. You will have to invest some time into this up front. Figure out some system to organize yourself. My system is this box. I have the following in it:

    • Envelopes for coupons that are tabbed for categories & stores. (When I make my shopping list for a particular store, I put all of the coupons I will need in that store’s envelope so I only have that one envelope to carry in the store with me.)
    • Scissors
    • Coupons that need clipped & filed
    • Notebook to make shopping lists
    • Pen


2. Create an email address for just for couponing. You’ll need it to sign on on various sites to access their coupons.

3. When you go to print your first coupons, your computer might have you install a program before it can print the coupon. This is okay. The program it wants to install will enable your printer to print the bar codes. You need these.

4. You can usually print 2 of the same coupon from each computer. (Read between the lines there. 2 computers means 4 coupons.)

5. Find out which grocery stores in your area double coupons & when they do. For example, some stores will always double them, but other stores only double them the last week of the month or whatever.


6. Find a local blogger who posts coupon match-ups* for the grocery stores in your area. Here are the ones I have been using. The grocery stores are local to my area, but I believe the Walgreens, CVS, & Target match-ups are national. (Don’t quote me on this. Like I said, I’m new to this, but it’d be worth checking out.)

Coupon Closet

Deal Detecting Diva

Simple Saving Savvy

Consumer Queen

*The match-ups are important because this will save you time. These bloggers have already put the puzzle together for you. (i.e. matched the sales up with the coupons out there.) Some coupons will be from Sunday’s paper; some will be printables. Here are the match-ups I used for the haul pictured below. It’ll give you the idea of how this coupon thing works.

On my first coupon trip to the grocery store this was my bounty. I spent $18.73. I saved $64.88 between sales & coupons. This store doubles coupons. I got several items FREE even.


That whole chicken was around $3. I think I spent $.50 on the A1 steak sauce. The ball Park hot dogs where $ .50. 4 things of pasta, 2 boxes of tea, a tube of toothpaste, Chinet napkins, homestyle Kraft mac & cheese, 2 packages of warm & serve Rhodes dinner rolls, & 3 boxes of Wheat Thins Stix all FREE. 

Now my trip to the grocery store this week didn’t seem like quite as good of a deal to me (I think because I only came away with a few freebies), but I still got this:

Homeland Haul 2

Spent $24.25. Saved $69.68

Here is my first Walgreens haul. Walgreens & CVS (which I haven’t even attempted yet) are a little more complicated than the grocery store because they have RRs & ERBs. Check out those about links to blogs that can explain those way better than I can.

WG 1

I basically got the 3 boxes of Splenda free after the RRs. Turned around & used the RRs on a second transaction for the rest. Got the 4 cleaners for $.50 each. The razor was $1.99 as were the blade refills. The wipes where on sale for 2 for $5. Had two $2 off coupons so I used one on each, which means the wipes where $1 for both boxes.

Oh, one more thing.  This couponing has a language all it’s own. Here is a run down of the lingo.

Phew! I know that’s a lot to digest all at once. Get organized & spend some time checking out those links. I promise it really is pretty easy &, once you figure it out, it isn’t all that time consuming. The hard part is done for you if you find the right sites.


It will be so very worth it when you start saving money!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Painkillers? Yes, Please!

In 12 years of teaching, I never had a truly embarrassing moment in front of my students. Never left my pants unzipped.  Never fell flat on my face. Never walked around with lipstick on my teeth all day. Never accidently tucked my dress into my panties & walked around. Never went into labor in class.

But yesterday?

It happened.

I passed out in front of a class of 8th graders.

I was subbing in the same school I taught at for the past 6 years—thankfully in a place where I knew everyone & they knew me. I was sitting at the desk & bent down to get something out of my purse & TOTALLY threw my back out.

But, of course, that wasn’t enough.

Apparently the pain was too much for my body to bare at that moment. The room started spinning. The noise became muffled. I was having an out-of-body experience. I knew this feeling. I knew I was about to pass out.

I sent a student over to get the teacher across the hall. I know she probably thought I had to go to the bathroom or something. She walked in, and I motioned for her to come over to the desk. I had just enough time to tell her what was up, & I was gone. Out like a light. And apparently I stayed that way for about a minute.

When I came to, I was so disoriented. My friend was standing there & now an assistant principal was too. The kids were all trying to figure out what happened. I had no idea where I was or what had happened.  I was covered in sweat.

I finally started to get my bearings; I realized what had happened. And I was completely mortified. But, hey, what could I do? The assistant principal found a teacher to cover the last hour of the day for me, & I gathered myself & my wits & went home.

And now? Percocet will be my best friend for the next couple of days.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tea Time

I have a running joke with a couple of ladies I used to teach with. You see during the time we taught together, we had many a TGIFs & during one of these, we were introduced to one of my favorite margarita recipes. When we wanted to have a TGIF (which were not necessarily on just Fridays. Go teach. You’ll understand.), we’d email each other to see if we’d like to go have tea.

Tea being code for margarita. Just in case you missed it.

All I remember is this recipe came from a book on of the ladies happen to be reading. Sorry I don’t remember more or I would credit the book; it’s been 7 years & several of these margaritas later.


You need FOUR—yes that is all—ingredients. (You can of course add salt & lime to the list but those are just bonus. These are the cast of stars.)

  1. Frozen limeaid (12 fl. oz.)
  2. 7 Up (Never, Ever, Ever, Sprite. And I have no idea why. I just put that here because I remember the book saying it. .)
  3. Corona (Regular or Light)
  4. Tequila (But of course)

Dump the frozen limeaid into a pitcher. Using the now empty can of limeaid, fill it with 7 Up. Add it to the pitcher. Use the limeaid can again, fill it with Corona. Add it to the pitcher. (You will have a little beer left in the can or bottle. Just go ahead and drink that yourself.  You have my permission.)

And, finally, using the empty limeaid can one more time, add the tequila. You can add anywhere from a half a can to a full can depending on what you like. (aka how strong you want them.) I generally add about 3/4 of a can. Mix it up. Serve on the rocks in salt rimmed glasses with a slice of  lime. This recipe usually makes about 4 margaritas.

Cheers! Now go invite some friends over for tea.

*I do not condone excessive drinking of alcohol. This is simply for fun and for my blog.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Loosening Apron Strings

They took off.

The kids—Sweetie Pie & his twin 10 year old cousins—took off in a sprint down the uncrowded path of the River Walk. Blurs of brightly colored shirts & their blonde hair streaked in my line of view. And just as that momma freak-out, panic feeling started creeping in & I was about to yell screech for them to come back, they all stopped, as if on cue, & looked back to let us all catch up. 

They were never in any danger. They weren’t running over other people on the path.  They didn’t get very far ahead of us…maybe 40 feet ahead. They were just being kids letting some energy out.

And my inner helicopter mom was beginning to surface. I was hovering—or about to hover.

It was then I realized that my 4-year-old is growing up. Sweetie Pie is capable of much more than I give him credit for. Than I’m ready to give him credit for. These years are going by in the blink of an eye.

He can run with his cousins. No problem. He isn’t going to fall into the river. He can hang upside down on the railing of the stairs without falling. He can slide down those same rails. He can play rough & be fine.

As much as I want to stop the clock, as much as I want him to be little forever, it’s not going to happen.

It’s ALREADY time for me to BEGIN to ever-so-slightly loosen the apron strings. Which isn’t going to be easy.  Because , you know, we all have the helicopter mom in us. I now have to control her.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Magic Spacing Number

And last, but certainly not least in this guest post series is Chantelle. She is a mom, wife, & florist. She has a new feature on her blog called Conversations With My Kids that I am loving. Venture on over and check it out.

I’m so excited to be guest posting here at Boy Crazed Mama. I hope Jami is enjoying her vacation. I’m Chantelle from Mom Went Crazy. As the name implies my kids drive me absolutely nuts. They’re clearing a space for me at the loony bin as we speak. I mean they’re cute and everything, but...well, you know.

I have two daughters. Emma is three and Sophie is six months. They are two years and eight months apart in age.

I think this is the absolute pinnacle of child spacing. I don’t think I could have them any closer in age without involving some serious drinking binges, medication or some sort of therapy.

My husband, Mike, wanted our kids spaced further apart. I said no and went off birth control. He vowed not to sleep with me until six months later when he thought we should start trying. I was pregnant seven weeks after that conversation.

For anyone else considering the 30 to 38 month window of child spacing, here is some food for thought.

I love a good list, don’t you?


· Emma is old enough to understand the word ‘no.’ Not that it matters.

· She knows that the knife drawer is not for playing in.

· She knows you don’t drink the ‘blue juice’ under the sink.

· When the baby needs to be put down for a nap, or eat, or mom needs to make herself a mid-morning martini, I can put on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and know that she’s not going to kill herself in my absence. FYI – that martini makes the ‘hot dog dance’ so much more fun.

· Emma is old enough to know how to be gentle without maiming Sophie. This means mom can pee without having to bring the baby in for safekeeping. Although an audience usually ensues regardless.

· Emma will be out of the house when Sophie starts driving so I won’t have two kids fighting over who gets to take the car.

· They are close enough in age that they can play together. Alone. More martini time for mom.

· Emma can talk really well so I’m not left guessing what a toddler wants while holding a screaming baby.

· Emma is totally potty trained. This knowledge makes me feel good on days when Sophie craps up her back. (You know what I’m talking about.)


· Emma can open a door. Not cool when you’re nursing a baby and your three year old runs out the front door. Forget babyproofing, I need to preschooler proof that shiznit.

· Just when I got finished with diapers, I had to start all over again.

· Emma doesn’t nap anymore. There is No. Alone. Time. Ever. From six in the morning until eight at night those bitches own me.

· Emma can reach things and can find ways to get at what she can’t reach. Have you ever walked in on your three year old putting lipstick on your baby?

· She can talk which may prompt her to say things to strangers like “Mommy has milk in her boobies.”

· They’re close enough in age to gang up on us.

What do you think? Don’t agree? Think I’m a genius? Let me know!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kids. They Can Drive You CRAZY…

…especially when the snow keeps you
cooped up in the house for days.

Welcome Sandi. She is a crafty SAHM to a 6 year-old boy who clearly had to spend too much time indoors with him during those 2 weeks of snow we had in our neck of the country.  I was totally there with her. Those days we were snowed in were crazy. My boys needed to go outside BADLY. Almost as badly as this momma needed them to go outside.

Sandi blogs over at CraftingWithRHINOS.

When I volunteered to share a story with Jami's followers while she was on her family vacation, so many crazy adventures came to mind. You see, I grew up in a family that loved travel. My grandparents had an RV and took us on fabulous trips all over the United States. It was miserable being cramped in such a small space for hours at a time, but also very fun.

I started by making lists of some of my favorite excursions, and soon had pages written with all sorts of hilarious stories I could write about. Narrowing it down became frustrating, especially with my 6 year old son high on cabin fever.

Being trapped in our house during all of the winter weather we have been "blessed" with, along with his nasty cold, has had him poking at my nerves with imaginary thumb tacks. Inevitably, I started daydreaming of far off (and somewhat horrific) places that I could ship him off to.

You understand.

I know you have spent moments wishing your kid(s) were anywhere but where you are because they were making you want to shave your head bald.

Ok, so maybe that is just me. The bald part.

So the daydreams started coming more frequently as I found myself trying to hide from him (and sometimes his friends) in my own house. That's when I began writing down some of the more "unfortunate" destinations my mind had been plotting for him.

Here are just a few:

  • Trekking through the Sahara, with a bottle of what appears to be water dangling mere inches from his grasp. Only to find out after reaching and gulping down half, that it was filled with donkey sweat.
  • Being made to pick up glitter (one piece at a time) after a Martha Stewart taping, to be allowed entrance to LegoLand. And then finding LegoLand had been closed down forever.
  • Be given the keys to drive a race car at the Indy 500, but every step he took towards the car, it would get smaller and smaller. And when finally reaching it, it poofs into a pink Barbie corvette toy.
  • Letting him loose in a video game store, with an unlimited shopping spree card. But finding all the game cases to be empty, and all the game stations not working.

You get my drift. I am diabolical. I truly do love my son, and don't actually wish him any harm. Most of the time. But this last week has been the bane of my existence! But I do thank you for letting me stop by, and hope that none of you actually never get the chance to piss me off!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Footprints in the Sand

Meet my friend Zelma. She lives on an island. A tropical one. Puerto Rico to be exact. Yes, I am jealous. Very jealous. How I’d love to dive there! And? Zelma bakes. Sweet, sugary, yummy things. Should I ever make it to Puerto Rico I will meet Zelma, eat her baked goodies, & dive those beautiful waters.

And, Zelma, thank you for your kind words about some of my posts.


I met Jami a few months ago through Twitter, and we have become good “virtual” friends. We have a lot in common, as we both have a 4-year-old son. She was also fortunate to have a second son; after my miscarriage 2 years ago, I’m still working on that. I also love to read her blog. She has an awesome sense of humor and a huge heart. She has made me laugh (read: “Say No to Double Strollers”) and she has made me cry (read: “Wawk”). She is also a very loyal friend who would stick by you and offer her unconditional support when you need it (read: “Moms: Let’s Stop Judging Each Other”). Ohh, and even more that we have in common? We both hate shopping and bad drivers!

I also love the fact that she’s a teacher. True, she may be a SAHM now, but once a teacher, always a teacher. I love love LOVE her Tots & Teens Thursday series, it has given me a lot of tips on how to work with lil man, especially getting him motivated to read. It is usually very hard to get him motivated to do something, especially something new. I think he gets embarrassed that he will fail at whatever he needs to do, and simply refuses to try. He doesn’t have any diagnosed disorder, but he does have a bit of delay in his neurological development, which has affected his thought process, as well as his fine and gross motor skills. He is getting weekly Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy sessions at home, and I have to say, they’re not always good sessions. He started about 8 months ago, and he has made a lot of progress, especially in his motor skills, which has greatly improved his self-esteem.

But lately? Not very cooperative. He used to love both his therapists, and would even go outside to their cars to pick them up every time they came by. Now it’s a crying fit every time they get here. I think it’s because now the exercises are getting harder, and he doesn't want to do them. Right now I can hear him talking to his Occupational Therapist in the other room, and after she managed to calm him down, their conversation was hilarious!

Her: Hey lil man, want to take off your shoes for your massage?

Him: No.

Her: Why not?

Him: Because it’s cold.

Her: OK, let’s turn the fan off. {massaging his feet with a scrub} Does this feel as hard as last week?

Him: No.

Her: Good! Maybe next time you go to the beach, you can walk in the sand without your shoes.

Him: I can’t!

Her: Why not?

Him: Because the sand is hot.

Her: OK, so maybe in the afternoon when it’s not so hot.

Him: No, the sand is hard, and gets in my toes. Then it’s hard to clean it out.

Her: But your mom can help you clean it out. Besides, getting dirty is fun!

Him: Uh-uh! No it’s not! Why are we talking about this? I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

I swear I’m not making this up! I *just* heard this conversation right now! This is the kind of discussions that he has EVERY SINGLE TIME! If I overlook the fact that he’s being incredibly difficult, I would say that they’re totally hilarious! His therapist tells me that he will make an excellent lawyer. I just hope he doesn’t drive me nuts in the process.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Being A Boy Mom

Meet Julie. She is a fellow boy mom. Her Brayden is about the same age as Boogaboo, so we have shared quite a few of the same toddler woes—hello, picky eaters-- together. In this post, Julie asks a good question:

How do we let our boys be boys without letting them be bullies?

Julie blogs over at Back to the Basics.

When Jami needed a guest blogger, I was all over it! I mean, Boy Crazed Momma? It pretty much sums me up at this point. My son Brayden is 19 months old, and I am expecting baby #2 in early October. Obviously, we don't know the baby's gender yet so for now? It's all boy stuff around here. Tonka Trucks, car, planes, trains, blocks, etc. All boy.

And with that comes destruction, throwing, wrecking, destroying, and trying to find my sanity. I mean, I know that boys "generally" play rougher. Brayden knows he needs to be gentle with the cats. But everything else? Fair game. I am all about letting him explore that side of him and since we have been cooped up due to the snow, sometimes knocking down towers gets out some of that built up energy. But a couple of weeks ago, my views were changed slightly.

It was when my mom took Brayden with her to Bible study. She said he could go to the nursery and that it would be really good for him since we are having a hard time with him staying in there during church. There were 2 girls in there playing with a dollhouse and Brayden walked right up to the dollhouse and just smacked his hand, taking out all of the dolls and their little accessories. My son does not know gentle in relation to other kids, and quite frankly, how would he? He is either with me or my mom and dad, playing mostly by himself with no one to share with. This really bothered me- I certainly don't want to be raising a bully. And when things get out of hand at home, I feel like I have been handling it well. This scenario made me think about how I really am handling it at home and if I am doing the "right" thing. It was definitely an eye opener for me, and although at this point I am not sure what to do about it, I know that I need to do something. I need to find the balance between being a boy mom and not raising a bully.

They say that boys will be boys, but will toddler boys ever figure out how to play nice? So far, I am not convinced. I guess we will see what happens!

Monday, March 14, 2011

11 Step Program to Becoming a Parent


The following is an email I have received 3 or 4 times now, and it cracks me up every time. Because it is so true! I wish I knew who to credit for writing this. I really do. He or she needs some kind of an award. Go use the bathroom first. I about wet my pants when I read this.

This is so true…

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.

2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.

3. Go home.

4. Pick up the paper.

5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...

1. Methods of discipline.

2. Lack of patience.

3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.

4. Allowing their children to run wild.

5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)

2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.

3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.

4. Set the alarm for 3AM.

5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.

6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.

7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.

8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.

9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.

2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.

3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.

4. Then rub them on the clean walls.

5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.

6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.

2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.

Leave it there.

2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.

3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.

4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.

2. Make a small hole in the side.

3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.

4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.

5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.

6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!

Are you wiping away the tears of laughter yet? My favorite one is the grocery store one—and the full grown goat. I can really appreciate it now that I have a 4 year-old & 20 month-old. My favorite when I had itty bitty ones was the octopus & mesh bag. Seriously, a big thank you to the author, whoever you are!

Which ones can you relate to best?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lesson Learned

I don’t know why. I have no good reason. But I never believed that kids could pull furniture down. Just seemed impossible to me.

Until my boys did it.

I was loading the dishwasher, & I heard one of my boys cry out from the back of the house. The water in the sink was running so I couldn’t tell which boy it was, but I thought they were playing and one had taken a toy or wrestled the other too much & the cry was just a protest cry. The tattle cry. Not at all uncommon around our house.

And I only had a few more dishes to load. So I finished.

As soon as I turned the water off, I heard the cry again. This time I knew it was a distress cry.

And I ran.

To the back of the house.

To Sweetie Pie’s bedroom.

To the cry that was Sweetie Pie.

As I entered his room, where I should have seen the blue wall opposite the door, I saw wood. The pine, stained wood of the chest of drawers. Laying at a diagonal. The top resting on the foot board of the bed.

Everything normally on top of the chest was thrown across the bed. The blocks that spelled Sweetie Pie’s name. The clothes I had folded earlier but hadn’t had a chance to put away yet.  The pictures of my boys.

All I could hear was the cry of my son.

I couldn’t see him.

I had no idea where Boogaboo was.

Panic filled my blood. I felt it in my entire body as my heart rate rose.

I heard movement to my right. A quick glance revealed Boogaboo standing there. Safe.

My mind raced. I could hear Sweetie Pie but could not see him.

After what was hours in my head, but what was only mere seconds in reality, I heard a “I’m alright, mommy.” through his tear-strained voice.

It was then I looked under the chest of drawers and saw him. Crouched down on the floor.


I later found out he had climbed up the drawers to reach something he wanted on top of the chest & pulled it over in the process.  Thankfully, he had the where-with-all to drop to the floor when it started falling.

I sat and held my boys for a long time after that. Ever so thankful the situation was not worse & neither of my boys were harmed. We came away scared but smarter. The only physical damage done to the furniture itself.

Needless to say we will be securing the furniture to the walls.

Learn from my mistake. Because I can’t stop thinking about how much worse it could have been.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Crazy Shoe Day…

…well, okay, morning.

Elena over at Mommy is in time out! had an idea that hit me smack in the face when I read it.


The premise is this:

Make a point to have some crazy mommy fun with the kids.

You see? I find myself forgetting to have fun with my boys sometimes. I get so wrapped up in the day and getting through it that I forget to actually enjoy the day. Laugh with my boys. Be crazy with them. Create memories.  This is something I continuously work on.

This morning opportunity knocked & I went with it. We were headed to the store and Sweetie Pie could only find one tennis shoe. The next thing I knew he had a flip flop on the other socked foot. My first inclination was to make him change shoes—you know to matching ones—but instead I went with it. He went to the store in his crazy shoes. And he loved it!


And then when we got home we all had crazy shoe day. I only wish I would have thought to change Boogaboo’s and my shoes to crazy shoes before going to the store.


What are some crazy mommy things you have done with your kids to have fun?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just a Swingin’

From our trip to Cozumel this past summer. Sweetie Pie’s favorite drink was a “Manana Naiquiri”.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tots & Teens Thursday: Label Your House

In the previous 2 Tots & Teens posts, I discussed reading to your little one & how to get your teenager interested in reading.

What I am going to tell you to do in this week’s post, you will probably think I have completely lost my mind. What can I say? It’s the elementary teacher background in me.

Are you ready?

Here it is.

Label your house.

Not your actual house, but items in your house. When you walk into my kitchen, for example, here is what you’ll see:





There’s more, but you get the idea. Once your child shows interest in what words look like & how things are spelled, they are ready for this.

When Sweetie Pie was about 3, he started being really interested in how words looked. He wanted us to write names on his doodle pro. Then we had sheets of paper with every. single. Thomas. train. friends’ name on it. And believe me, he knows them ALL. We’ve now moved on to him wanting me to type out names—especially when I’m tweeting. So, if you notice weird tweets from me containing random names, you know what is happening at my house.

The labels are just another way to show your child that every word they hear can be written. It serves as another way to immerse them in words.

So, go. Make labels with your child & put them up all over your house. You’ll love the response you get from people when they come over.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hmmm, Something is Wrong with this Picture

This is what happens when you hand a silly 4 year-old clothes & tell him to get dressed. Jeans on head, shirt on legs, & socks on hands. (Sorry the quality of the picture is pitiful. All I had handy was my iPhone. This was too cute not to share.)

clown clothes

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pregnancy Amnesia

Fancy meetin’ you here. I am guest posting today over at Peanut Butter in my Hair. Melissa just had a baby girl last week & thought she might need a little help with some blog posts while she adjusts to being a mom of three kiddos. I can’t imagine why. Can you?

My BFF, Heather, is pregnant with twin GIRLS (Just found out they are girls last week.) and then several of my online friends keep coming up pregnant. And then there are Melissa and a few others who have freshly baked newborns at home now. Maybe there’s something in the cyber water??? Just pass my cup along please. I won’t be partaking. Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited for my friends & over the moon excited for Heather, but this baby factory is closed. God willing.

But there are a few things I loved about being pregnant. A few. And that’s what I am writing about over at Melissa’s place today.  What I miss about being pregnant. Now bring your coffee along & join me over there, please.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shrinky Dink

Apparently I have been focusing too much on the wrong numbers…the scale. Which hasn’t been all that encouraging.

I was getting dangerously close to popping out of my size 16 pants when I first started this journey back in May. According to the scales I’ve lost a total of 17 pounds; however, I knew my clothes where getting looser. I didn’t realize just how loose until I broke down and went to buy some new jeans today since nothing fit anymore.

Look what size I bought!

Yes. Those are a size 12! This is the number I should be paying attention to apparently. So, even when the scales aren’t moving, the muscle building is totally paying off. And just to show you they really do fit…

What have I learned from this? While I will still be looking at the scale, I have learned to focus on the way my clothes are fitting.  I do want to lose weight, but one of  my new goals is to be in 10 by the end of the summer.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tots & Teens Thursday: Teens & Reading

Welcome to the beginnings of Tots & Teens Thursdays. If you missed last week’s post, I discussed reading to your tot. This week I am expanding some of those ideas to teenagers & I’m including some new ones.

I’ll be the first to admit that I do not have a teenager in my house. But I did teach middle school for 12 years. These ideas stem from both that experience as well as ingenious parents who shared ideas they used in their homes.

So, how do you encourage your teenager, who might be reluctant (or downright obstinate), to read? 

Let’s be honest. It’s safe to say most teenagers are not big readers. Most. They aren’t going to choose to spend their free time engrossed in a book. This is especially true at the middle school level. And especially true for boys. I will say this. The more ownership kids  have in what they read, the more likely they are to read it. (Read: Give them choices in what they read when at all possible.)

Here’s the good news. If your child loved to read in their elementary days, that love will more than likely return…eventually. 

But, in the interim, there are things you can actively do at home to help promote reading.

1) Model. Model. Model. Your kids need to see YOU reading. Book, newspaper, magazine, Kindle. Doesn’t matter. They just need to see that it is a priority for you. This will not make an immediate impact, but they’ll refer back to it later in life.

2) Go on a hunt for reading material. As a reading teacher, this was key to getting my reluctant readers to read. Find SOMETHING. ANYTHING. they are interested in reading. It might be a reallyyyyyyyy long hunt, but don’t give up. There is bound to a magazine, type of book,or particular author your child would like. I will get a page up soon of titles & authors that have proven to be good starting points on this hunt. Other good sources for reading suggestions? English teachers, librarians (both school & public), your kid’s friends, & your kid’s friends’ parents.

3) Have a reading community in your home. Yes, your teen is going to bock at this. You might even have to force this on them. But if your are reading this prior to your kids being teenagers, start this early. Then it’s just something you do as a family. Ideas straight from parents of middle school kids…

--Have a set family reading time. Everyone sits in the living room together each with their own reading material & reads. Same time. Everyday. For a set period of time. When you first start this, the it might be for just 15 minutes. Gradually work up to 30 or 45 minutes. Maybe bigger chunks of time on the weekends.

--Keep at home library & visit your local library. This doesn’t have to be extensive, but have some books for you & your kids in your house. Kindles & Nooks have made this easy, but I’m guessing if your teen isn’t a reader, he or she doesn’t have one of those. Utilize your public library as well. A plethora of choice awaits there. Remember the importance the role of choice has in your child’s desire to read. (And by the way, the choice doesn’t have to be extensive. Pick 3 or 4 books you have had recommended to you for your teen & let them choose from those.)

--Conduct a family book club. If you find a book that everyone in the family would enjoy reading—or halfway enjoy, as the case my be—read it as a family. Make a reading schedule together. Decide that you all are going to read the first 2 chapters by Thursday night & then instead of reading during your family reading time, you are going to have a book discussion. I know this sounds cheesy & you’re thinking ::Yeah, like my kid is going to discuss anything with me, let alone a book.:: Give it a try. You might just be pleasantly surprised. Think about how much more you enjoy what you are reading when you have someone to discuss it with. You will have to drive the discussion, of course, but the more you do this, the better everyone will get at it. And if a book is too daunting to start with, maybe find a newspaper or online article to use before moving to a book.


The most important thing you can do for a teenager who doesn’t enjoy reading, is to help him or her find their niche. Hunt until you find it. I am a firm believer that those who don’t enjoy (or at least tolerate reading) never found what they like to read. So, be on the look out for magazines about anything your child is interested in. Books by authors their friends are enjoying. Books where the main character plays the same sport your child plays. Check out graphic novels. Anything you can grasp onto to pull your child in. All in hopes of finding something he or she will never put down.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Down With Mail-Order Pharmacies!!!

I am pulling my hair out over here! Warning you now this post is a rant on my part. Feel free to exit the ride at this point. Because I am ticked.

We are forced to use a mail-order pharmacy on our maintenance drugs (i.e. inhalers, allergy meds, birth control), or we pay a HUGE premium for the convenience of using our local pharmacy—to the tune of around $1k per year.  The other day I had a the gazillion and 1st run in with them. I hate, no I LOATHE, the fact that we are forced to use them.  And here’s why.

1) It takes FOREVER to get to a real, live person when you have to call. Like literally ten minutes of automated crappola before the option of a “customer service” agent is even an option. (I use the term “customer service” quite loosely here.)

2) If you need to talk to the pharmacist, you are out of luck. You can’t. I have no idea why; I just know you can’t because my husband asked to speak to one during one phone call & was told that the pharmacist was not available.

3) We are FORCED to have to use the mail order because with our prescription plan we pay a premium to use our local pharmacy. So, we pay more for the same medicine & the same amount of the medicine if we get it filled locally rather than using the mail order pharmacy. Unfortunately, we don’t have the extra money to spend.

4) THEY LOST TWO PRESCRIPTIONS I MAILED TO THEM. How do I know the mail-order pharmacy lost them as opposed to them getting, say, lost in the mail? Two of the scripts I mailed them where in the same envelope. One was for my husband; the other for me. They have my husband’s but not mine. Yeah, they lost it. On a different day, I mailed a script for my son. They don’t have that one either. I can only assume they lost it as well. (And, yes, I know what assuming does, but, in this case, I feel justified in my assumption.)

5) The above mentioned script for my husband had the wrong date on it. See, he went to the doc in early January when the year had just changed. The doc—like all of us do out of habit—put 2010 instead of 2011. Now a local pharmacy would have caught that, called you &/or the doc, & gotten it taken care of in a day. Maybe 2. The mail-order pharmacy never contacted us about it. If we hadn’t of called to check on why it was taking so long to get to us, we would have never known.

6) I have to clean up their mess when they screw up. The three above mentioned scripts? I have to call the three different doctors now & ask them to fax in new ones. 

7) They automatically fill whatever script. No questions asked. Which might be a good thing at times. But this literally cost a $100 one time. Hubs doc changed the strength of his inhaler. Didn’t mention it to him. We just mailed the script in thinking that they would put it on hold in his file until we needed it. You know? Like the local pharmacy would do. Nope. Filled it. Without any regard to the fact they JUST FILLED THE SAME MEDICINE a week ago because THEY PRESSURE YOU TO AUTOFILL. Don’t you think someone would have noticed something was wonky? So, hubs ended up with 6 inhalers, 3 of which he couldn’t use.

Okay, I feel better. I love how venting always makes me feel better.

Please tell me we are not the only ones who had had these bad experiences with mail-order pharmacies. Who else is in our boat?

Monday, February 14, 2011

McFatty Monday—2/14

Wow, I’m behind. Normally I have this typed up & ready to go Sunday so all I have to go is add the weight loss/gain & hit publish Monday morning. That didn’t happen yesterday; we spent the majority of the day outdoors. Good riddance snow.

So, here’s the skinny. (ha!)

This week went MUCH better than the past couple. So. Much. Better. Even with a Valentine’s Day dinner with my husband that included cheese fondue, beer, parmesan chicken, wine, and dessert.

The scales are FINALLY going in the right direction.

Did you hear that?! Woohoo!

Recap of Big Picture Goals: 

1) Lose 40 pounds total 
2) Run a 10k in April
3) Bike 50 miles with hubs by the end of June
4) Make healthy eating my lifestyle.
5) Get my cholesterol & triglycerides to a normal range without medicine.

This weeks tabs:

1) Weight Loss/Gain: –1.4 pounds

      Total loss:  -7.8 pounds

      Remaining to lose:  32.7 pounds

This week’s goal: 2 pounds. I’m going for loosing 2 pounds this week.

2) Exercise: Made it to the gym 3 times this week. And…I got to go for a run OUTSIDE yesterday. Loved that. Outside running it so much better than treadmill running. I think I ran a total of about 10 miles this week. My longest run was 4.5 miles, but I walked .75 of that.

This week’s goal: Do another 4 mile run AND do a 3 mile run working on some interval running to increase my speed.

3) Diet: I really don’t remember what I ate this week. But the only bad eating I think I did was this weekend--the Valentine’s dinner Friday night, the cake at my cousin’s wedding reception Saturday, & Old Chicago pizza last night. I’m doing good at not eating past 8 every night. I’m really doing more low calorie now than anything else. It’s just easier.

This week’s goal: I want to start using my Lose It app again to track what I’m eating.

So, week 5? I’m very pleased. Yes, it’s only 1.4 pounds, but there is a minus sign in front of it this week. That makes me happy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Tender-Hearted Boy


Dear Sweetie Pie—

At just 4 years-old, it is becoming more & more obvious that you have a precious, sensitive, &  tender heart. It is one of the qualities I love most about you.  You want to make everyone feel special.

Those Handy Many tools? You think we all have a favorite one. In your eyes Turner is Boogaboo’s favorite, Philippe is Daddy’s favorite, Rusty is your favorite, & Squeeze is my favorite. If you find any of these tools out of our reach, you will bring them to us. I was napping the other day, & you brought me Squeeze. I woke up with him next to me. You will spend hours searching for a particular tool just so one of us can have it to hold. I think that you think they are our comfort objects , & you don’t want us to be without them. It is precious.

The other day you shared your pop tart with your brother. Without me asking you to. Today you shared your muffin all on your own because you knew it would make him happy. 

The empathy I see developing in you each day makes my heart proud. You, my sweet, sweet son, are making momma proud. I hope you always want everyone around you to feel special and loved.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tots & Teens Thursday: Read. Read. Read.

Welcome to the beginning of Tots & Teens Thursdays. If you missed last week’s post, here is how this whole idea come about.

This first post is more for tots than teens, but I will be taking this idea & expanding it to teens next week.

You’ve heard it before, & I’m telling you again.

The single.most. important. thing. you can do for your child to create a love of reading is to read to them.

Read. Read. Read.

Just like building a house, you have to build a reading foundation. Sitting down with your child and reading books is the way to establish that solid foundation.

When my boys were babies (read: before they were mobile), reading books to them was a piece of cake. They were a captive audience.   Then they started getting wiggly when I tried to read to them. It’s okay. Let them move around. Let them walk around the room. Play with toys. Just sit and read to them anyway. I promise the day will come that you will once again have your captive audience back.

Another thing? Have books in your house. Please don’t read that as “You need to go buy a gazillion & 1 books for your child.”  Sure, buy some books, but hear me on this…

Take your child to the library. Often.

1) It saves you money buying books. 
2) It surrounds them in books.

Our local library has several options for baby & toddler & preschool play times, singing times, & story times. Granted several of the programs are during the day, but there are some in the late afternoon & early evening. If your local library has these options available, I recommend you partake if you are able.

Board books are great for the little ones. You know the ones, right? They have the big, chunky pages. My boys love the Sandra Boyton books. Eric Carle is awesome too. Lots of good ones out there. Chantelle over at Mom Went Crazy already has an awesome list of great children’s book titles & authors. I couldn’t have made a better list myself, and, in fact, I would have included the majority of the same titles. The list has books for wee ones all the way up to 7 or 8. (Charlotte’s Web, for example, could easily be a read aloud book for a 5 or 6 year-old & an independent read for a 7 or 8 year-old.)

So, what exactly is your child learning when you read to them?

Besides that all-important foundation you are building, your child is learning the way books work. Which way to hold a book. Where the front cover is. That you read print front left to right. That pictures relate to the words on the page. When you hand a book to your child upside down & with the back cover up & he or she turns it right side up & flips it to the front cover, you know your child is understanding the early, early foundations of reading.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Snowman

Sweetie Pie’s first snowman. My husband really made it, but the little man helped…some. He put the ears on.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pay It Forward

Just like the movie by the same name, this is project involves me doing something for you & then you doing something for someone else, hence pay it forward. And in this project the “doing something” involves actually making something by hand.

My friend Laura posted about this project on her blog. I loved the idea, and, of course, hopped on board. Here’s how this works:

I promise to make a handcrafted item in 2011 & mail to the FIRST 5 people who comment that they would like to join in, only asking in return that you post this on your blog and offer 5 people something you make by hand and mail to them this year.

My handcrafted item is yet to be determined, but I am leaning toward some sort of homemade canned goodies—dill pickles, sweet pickles, bread & butter pickles, Christmas pickles, apple butter, salsa, relish, or something(s) like that. Or maybe I’ll dust my scrapbook supplies out and create something fun once again. We’ll see where the wind takes me.

So, who’s in? Who wants me to send them something this year? Remember. You have to pay it forward too. Ready? Go!

Monday, February 7, 2011

McFatty Monday—2/7

The scales? Still not moving in the right direction. All I have to say is we were SNOWED IN this week. Literally did not leave the house for FOUR days with the exception of a trip to the pediatrician for Boogaboo’s ear infection. So, 4 days cooped up equals 1) eating everything in  & b) not being able to get to the gym to exercise. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but my exercise routine has a direct impact on how healthy I do or do not eat. This week the diet was. not. good.

Recap of Big Picture Goals: 

1) Lose 40 pounds total 
2) Run a 10k in April
3) Bike 50 miles with hubs by the end of June
4) Make healthy eating my lifestyle.
5) Get my cholesterol & triglycerides to a normal range without medicine.

This weeks tabs:

1) Weight Loss/Gain: +1.6 pounds

      Total loss:  -6.4 pounds

      Remaining to lose:  33.4 pounds

This week’s goal: I have to get the scale moving in the right direction again this week. I want to lose AT LEAST 2 to make up for this week. But I would prefer 3.

2) Exercise: Ran 4 miles—without stopping. They were slow miles. (12ish minute miles) But they were MY 4 slow miles. ALL running.

This week’s goal: Do another 4 mile run AND do a 3 mile run working on some interval running to increase my speed.

3) Diet: Confession time. Remember how at the eat of last week’s post I said & I quote, “No pizza or ice cream will be had this week. Scouts’ honor.” Well…It’s a good thing I’m not really a scout. Had both this week. I know, I know. But at lest I’m honest.

This week’s goal: Sticking to last weeks goal: No eating after 8. Hopefully that will help curb my binges after the boys are in bed. Really going to try to stick to one serving of fruit & one serving of complex carbs each day this week.

4) Beverages: Was a total water slacker again this week. Had way too much DDP. I MIGHT have one beer a week in a typical 7 days, but thanks to the Super Bowl & cabin fever, I think I had 3 this week. Hmmm, can we say wasted calories?

This week’s goal: Water, water, water! I will drink it! 64 oz. each day. No pop. Period.

So, week 4? Still biting the big one, BUT I have to say, I really thought the weigh-in this morning would have been worse considering the horrible diet & lack of exercise this week. All-in-all, feeling kind of like Switzerland about this week.

Did I mention we are supposed to get MORE SNOW Wednesday? Please just let the roads be good enough for me to get to the gym.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snowmeggedon Saga

As I stood in my bathroom intently watching one of our two shower heads, I looked down at my gray, furry Ugg boots & surveyed the rest of my 3 AM outfit. Thermal long john’s, a Thunder t-shirt, my OU hoodie, a hot mess of a sprout ponytail, & glasses that are so loose they barely stay on my face. I was smokin’ hot. I had to laugh. I looked ridiculous.

How did I arrive at this point?

Twenty minutes earlier, my husband had woken me out of a dead sleep. I still had a crick in my neck from being startled awake. I was in the middle of a great dream involving a trip to a tropical island & an irresistible cabana boy named Miguel when I vaguely heard my husband calling my name. I shot up in bed when I realized that wasn’t part of my dream.

We had a frozen pipe in our shower.

So, at three o’clock in the morning, here we were.

Once my husband got all geared up in his snow day best, he was even a hotter mess than I was. I mean who can resist a man in ski bibs and face mask hat, with two blow dryers sticking out of his coat pockets. Grrrr. Hold me back ladies.

The first trip into the attic, I can hear my husband tromping through the eves & then I hear some kind of disgruntled cussing cursing yelling. Turns out the flashlight had quit working and he had forgotten to take the extension cord up with him that he needed for the blow dryers.

Enter me.  Had to go get my winter’s best on (see description of my rockin’ attire above). We were quite the pair let me tell you. My job was to feed the cord to him so it didn’t get tangled & then go watch the shower head for water to start coming out.  I drew the long straw if you ask me. My job was easy.

So, that brings me back to the beginning of this little story.

There I was dressed to the nines watching the shower head. You know the saying—a watched pot never boils? Yeah, it’s like that. I can hear my husband above the shower running both blow dryers. We’ve got the shower running hot water on full blast. And I am praying this water starts running before we have a busted pipe and a major remodeling project.

After 40 minutes of the hot water turned on & pouring out of one of the shower heads & the blow dryers heat blaring over the pipes, we finally got a TRICKLE of water from the other shower head. You would have thought we’d struck gold won the mega millions by the happy dance I was doing. 

Just a few minutes later, water come pouring out of the previously blocked shower head. I screamed that it had worked up to my husband.

Crisis averted. And back to bed I went.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tots & Teens Thursdays

During on of the “For the Love of Blogging” week, Katie over at Sluiter Nation hit on a point that struck me. Hard. It was one of those “Well, Duh!” kind of moments, but it just clicked for me right then.

The point she made?

Write What You Know

Sounds simple, right?

This got me to thinking. What could set my blog apart from other mommy blogs out there? Besides this motherhood, wife, friend gig, what do I know? My answer?

Middle school kids & reading

What you might not know about me is that I taught middle school for 12 years. That kind of makes me an expert on those moody people—you know the alien that took over your sweet child—if you ask me. Do I have all the answers? Absolutely not. But I have been around that block a few times, & I do have some tricks and wisdom up my sleeve.

The other thing I know…reading. Many of you probably don’t know this, but I am a reading specialist. And now that I have kids, I have found myself using my Master’s degree in reading to build as strong of a literacy foundation as I can for them. As I began to label my house for Sweetie Pie (more on this in another post), it dawned on me. Any parent can do these things. They just need to be made aware of them.

Enter Tot & Teen Thursdays.

My idea is to dedicate Thursdays’ posts to 2 concepts:

1) Sharing ideas on how to foster reading skills in your little one. A strong literacy foundation will serve your child & you well in the coming years.  And, seriously, there are hundreds of little things & even reading lessons you can do at home to give your kid that extra little boost.

2) Either sharing thoughts on middle school kiddos or taking questions from you concerning a struggle you might be having with your middle schooler. Topics could range from grades to attitude to organization to how to address a problem with a teacher. I don’t know. Just throwing some ideas out there.

I’d love to hear your thoughts & opinions on this idea. Would there be interest out there for these posts? Or is this just a hair-brain idea? Be honest with me, please. Yay or Nay? What say you?

My Snow Angel

After his begging for 5 hours to go play in the snow, we couldn’t say no any longer. He was only outside for all of 5 minutes, but look how much fun he had!


Throwing a snowball at Daddy.




Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Little White Lies

I catch myself doing it all the time. Telling Sweetie Pie those little white lies. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that are just easier than explaining the actual truth.

You know.

Like telling him a light switch is hot.  Now let me explain that one.

The switch was on the side of a kitchen island at my friend’s house. We’d gone over there for a play date. That switch turned on the garbage disposal. So, when Sweetie Pie kept trying to flip it on, I was telling him not to.

He asked me why.

I told him he just didn’t need to do that.

Then he asked me, “Is it hot?”

Yes! Yes it is hot son.

See. Sometimes the simplest answer—even if not exactly the truth-- is just easier.

Maybe that’s just me being lazy & not wanting to explain every little detail to him.  And maybe it’s just me being realistic & knowing that he isn’t going to understand the truth.

Which leads me to the question. Do you tell little white lies to your kids?

Monday, January 31, 2011

McFatty Monday—1/31

I’m embarrassed to share this week.


I’m not embarrassed because the scales went the wrong way for the first time. I’m embarrassed because I KNEW I was sabotaging myself and did NOTHING to stop this part of me.

But here it goes. This week bit it. Hard. And it is totally my own fault. I’m kicking myself as I type this. I completely blew the start of phase 2. My will power apparently went on vacation. I don’t even know what else to say, so here it goes.

Let’s get it over with.

Recap of Big Picture Goals: 

1) Lose 40 pounds total 
2) Run a 10k in April
3) Bike 50 miles with hubs by the end of June
4) Make healthy eating my lifestyle.
5) Get my cholesterol & triglycerides to a normal range without medicine.

This weeks tabs:

1) Weight Loss/Gain: +1.8 pounds

      Total loss:  -8.2 pounds

      Remaining to lose:  31.8 pounds

This week’s goal: I have to get the scale moving in the right direction again this week. I want to lose AT LEAST 2 to make up for this week.

2) Exercise: If I get a gold star for anything this week, here it is. This is about the only area in which I feel like I did well. I ran my goal of 3.5 miles on Friday! Can I get a amen?! It totally kicked my butt, but I did it. In addition, I ran 3.2 Monday, biked 10 on Tuesday, did a power pump class & ran a mile Wednesday. There were some weights & ab workouts in there too.

This week’s goal: Sticking with another long run of 3.5 miles. Hoping it will be a tad easier this week. Also, I want to add a weekend workout to the week.

3) Diet: Blew the diet this week. B-L-E-W. It. Phase 2 did not get solidly started. I had pizza twice this week. Ice cream was consumed in mass quantity. I ate more than my one serving of complex carbs & one serving of fruit per day. I had no will power at all this past week. None. My struggle with eating really happens at night, once the boys are in bed. It’s like I go nuts eating because I finally have me time.  I’m thinking the whole calories in vs calories burned might be a better plan for me, but we’ll see how this week goes.

This week’s goal: New rule. No eating after 8. Hopefully that will help curb my binges after the boys are in bed. Really going to try to stick to one serving of fruit & one serving of complex carbs each day this week.

4) Beverages: I slacked on drinking my water this week. And I drank way too much pop this weekend. Had coffee with sugar. What happened to me this week. Gah!

This week’s goal: Water, water, water! I will drink it!

So, week 3? Can kiss my behind. I’m moving on. Today begins a new week. No pizza or ice cream will be had this week. Scouts honor.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Little Gems

Check out these little note cards! Do you likey?

I think they are beautiful. The photographs on the fronts were taken by Julie of Julie Sancken Photography.  Here’s a closer look at them.

Julie uses her photographs on the front of these blank 3.5 x 5 note cards & was gracious enough to send me some of these to review.

I have to say, I love ‘em. You will too.

Gotta say, the black & white one is my favorite. I was so excited to learn that she sells these photographs as prints as well. I have my eyeball on that black and white as a print for my living room.

But back to the notecards.

Perfect size for a quick, little handwritten note without all the white space left over. And the handwritten note?  That is a past time that should be rekindled if you ask me. I know this is the digital age and all, but a handwritten note is just more heartfelt. No way of getting around that. In fact I wrote a note on one of the note cards today for my husband. He loved it.

And the quality is stellar. Yes, I did just use the word stellar. They are printed by Kodak. I took the liberty of writing a little note to Julie on two of the cards just so you could see the quality. The first one is written with a Sharpie marker, & the second is just a regular, ol' ball point Bic pen. Both wrote on the cardstock nicely.

If you are interested in Julie’s note cards or her prints venture on over to her photography site & take a look. Here. Let me make it easy for you. All you have to do is click on this button. What can I say? I’m a helper.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Elephant in our House

Y’all, I’m in trouble. Sweetie Pie is too smart for his own good. He has the memory of an elephant. He is not a child who you can just wave off with a random statement of  “Oh, we’ll go to Sonic tomorrow.” Because tomorrow will come, & I GUARANTEE he will remind you that you said you’d take him to Sonic. And then you will have to get yourself & 2 kiddos dressed & out of the house to go get a drink. Pain. In. The. Boo-Tay.

Take this past Thanksgiving for instance. We actually had turkey dinner with my family TWO weeks BEFORE the holiday. During this time my mom told little Sweetie Pie that she wanted to take him to see Santa before Christmas. And, honestly, we talked about it for maybe two minutes & moved on. Two minutes, folks. Stressed the Santa visit would be after Thanksgiving. That was it. Moved on.

Fast forward to FIVE days before CHRISTMAS. No mention of Grammy taking Sweetie Pie to see Santa since our Thanksgiving dinner. None. Now, I had taken both him & Boogaboo to get their picture taken with Santa, but that was it. So, the Monday before Christmas COMPLETELY out of the blue, Sweetie Pie & I have this convo:

Sweetie Pie: Momma?

Me: “What, babe?”

Sweetie Pie: “Can we call Grammy & see when she is going to take me to go see Santa?”

Are you kidding me kid???!!! How in the world do you even remember that she said she wanted to take you?!

So, we called Grammy and she & Grandad took him to see Santa that night. Only the line was wrapped around the store, so they were finally able to convince Sweetie Pie with a promise of pancakes for dinner that writing a letter to Santa would be sufficient . And then they went to IHOP, where my child hopped the entire way to the table because he thought he had to in a place called I-Hop.

But that’s another story….

My kid obliviously got his memory from his daddy’s side. Because me? I can’t remember squat.

Monday, January 24, 2011

McFatty Monday—1/24

This week was interesting—to say the least. Started off strong. I went to the gym Monday & Tuesday morning. Eating was going well, and then our house got hit with…The Bug. You know the one. Yes. It starts with one person in the house and hops from person to person until everyone has shared it. Tuesday night it struck. Boogaboo woke up throwing up. And, if you have a toddler, you know just how much fun this experience is. I could say more, but I’ll just leave it at that. Then Thursday evening the bug got Sweetie Pie & me—within 30 minutes of each other. And Friday the hubs got it.

So….I told you that to tell you this.

This week I did not see the results I saw last week. BUT I’m okay with that. With our little household visitor, there was no way to stick to phase 1. None of the foods good for you tummy after having a stomach bug—bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast, crackers--are aloud on phase 1, & I’m sorry but peppers, lettuce, broccoli, & lean protein weren’t happening.  That being said, who knows how accurate my weigh-in today is. I didn’t eat hardly anything Thursday & had 5 saltines & an orange Friday. And obviously the workouts ceased as well.

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty, shall we?

Recap of Big Picture Goals: 

1) Lose 40 pounds total 
2) Run a 10k in April
3) Bike 50 miles with hubs by the end of June
4) Make healthy eating my lifestyle.
5) Get my cholesterol & triglycerides to a normal range without medicine.

This weeks tabs:

1) Weight Loss/Gain: –3.0 pounds

      Total loss: –10.o pounds

      Remaining to lose: 30 pounds

This week’s goal: 2-3 pounds—I’ll be starting phase 2 of South Beach, which is a much more realistic & healthy way to eat, so the weigh loss is supposed to start coming off at a more reasonable & healthy rate.

2) Exercise: Pitiful this week—although for good reason. I did make it to the gym Monday & Tuesday before the bug arrived. I did cardio & weights both days. But I never did run my goal of 3.5 miles this week. So…

This week’s goal: Run a long run of 3.5 miles.

3) Diet: Stuck to phase 1 as planned until Thursday evening. Then I had to abandon it for a couple of days. I did okay until yesterday when my MIL & I took the boys shopping to look for bedding for the new bed boy bed. She bought fruit snacks & chocolate covered pretzels to pacify my angels. Guess who didn’t want the chocolate covered pretzels? Yep. Guess who ate too many? Yep.

This week’s goal: Solidly start phase 2, adding one fruit & one complex carb into my meals daily for one week. I’ll probably have the fruit with lunch & save my complex carb for dinner.

4) Beverages: I have learned to actually like Splenda in my coffee now. it will NEVER be as good as sugar, but I don’t mind it. So, I drink it with that & a splash of skim milk. Then the rest of my day is water except for the occasional glass of tea in the evenings. Oh, & I did have one pop this week too. One pop a week for me is spectacular!

This week’s goal: Just continue

So, week 2? Not too bad. Could have gone better, but with all the chaos ensuing, it could have gone worse too. I’m a stress eater. But I resisted eating my way through this week. Mainly because I knew I was reporting this to the world. And? There is pizza sitting in my fridge RIGHT NOW. I haven’t touched it. Not a bit. I think I will go have an orange.

Wish me luck! Who else is doing this McFatty Monday thing too? Let’s cheer each other on!