Sunday, December 30, 2012

Seven Resolutions I Can Keep

I am not big on making New Year's Resolutions.  I know that I most likely will not keep any of them...even if I have the best of intentions. 

So this year, I thought I could compile a list of resolutions that I CAN keep.

1.  Do NOT get any fatter.
I could go with the good old "lose weight" thing.  And sure, I would LOVE to lose 20 lbs in 2013.  But if I simply try to NOT get any fatter than I am now, I might just be successful.

2.  Stick to drinking only beer and wine.
Again, I could try to say I will drink less...but if I just stay away from the hard stuff and sip on a glass of wine or a cold beer from time to time, it's all good.

3.  Find a few good recipes and perfect them.
I would really like to cook more, but truth is that I'm not that great at it.  So maybe I could find a few good meals that I can cook and put them in heavy rotation.

4.  Decrease monthly trips to Target by 25%.
In general, we need to spend less and save more.  BUT...the root of the problem is my home away from home, Target.  So if I go 3 times a month instead of 4, then we are looking at $100 or more in monthly savings.  Cha-ching.

5.  Clean less.
Now you might look at this one and ask how I could clean less.  I was thinking that too.  But when I clean, the house is usually torn to shreds within an hour.  If I learn to become one with the mess, it might decrease stress. 
OR....I said that I would just clean less.  That doesn't mean someone else can't do the cleaning for me.  Like maybe a cleaning lady.  Or the kids (see #6).

6.  Assign more chores.
To go along with the cleaning less resolution, I think it's time that my kids learn to be responsible for certain things.  They are old enough to clean their room, make their bed, wipe the counters or sink, and even vacuum.  This resolution is a 2 for 1 deal.  I can be successful at both assigning chores AND cleaning less.  Jackpot.

7.  Do NOT get any fatter.
I just threw that in again for good measure. 

So what about you?  Do you have any resolutions that you know you actually could keep?  Please share!!!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Teaching" The Meaning of Christmas

Last weekend at the mall, my oldest daughter really wanted a small stuffed animal from one of her favorite stores.  It was only $8.  I could have gotten it...but I said no.  It was less than 2 weeks before Christmas.  Getting a toy at the mall is unnecessary (but I must mention that I went back one night without the kids and got this little toy for her stocking anyway). 

At the time, she was extremely upset.

Later on the ride home, I explained to her that it's Christmas and that we simply don't have money to buy toys "just because".  I resorted to the "some children don't have any should be grateful" speech.  It quieted her down but I'm not sure it really sinks in.  I'm not sure she understands how lucky she is.  But then again, why would she understand?  She knows so little of the world.   

This leads me to do we really teach our children the meaning of Christmas?  Can we teach them?  Or is it something that they have to learn on their own?

We can do our best to show them.  We can try to make sure they understand that it is not all about presents and Santa and making our lists.  It's not all about shopping and spending and stretching our dollar. 

It's about being with family and friends.  It's about being grateful for all we have.  It's about being kind to others.  It's about giving even when we have little to give.  It's about rummaging through your purse to find a few dollars for the kind man ringing the Salvation Army bell.  It's about donating toys for children who are less fortunate. 

But they are still children.  They will still want the toys and presents.  They might still be whiny or ungrateful at times.  This is what children do. 

However, year after year they will learn more.  They will grow.  They will be more selfless.  They will learn from us and carry on family traditions.  Someday, when they are grown they might wonder how to teach their children the meaning of Christmas.  They will get it.  They will know that it's not about the number of presents under the tree or getting the hottest gift of the season.  They will know it's about love, and giving, and caring. 

And then, maybe we will know that we did something right.  We can only hope.

“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more....”
-Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Get Over Yourself, Barbie

This year (and maybe last year too), my girls asked for the Barbie Dream House for Christmas.  My 7 year old really wants it.  Bad.  Lucky for her I had NO IDEA what to get them as their "big gift" from Santa.  So they are getting this little gem to share.  I can already see the problems with this...but that's a different post for a different day.

I am going to be honest with you.  I wanted the Dream House when I was younger.  Did I get it?  NO.  I had a few lucky friends with it and I was seething with envy.  One friend in my neighborhood had all the  hottest Barbie stuff PLUS the whole Sylvanian Families set (do you remember that? So awesome.)  So maybe my girls should really be thanking my parents for denying me a slice of the dream.  As soon as I decided to go ahead with this purchase, I began dreaming of all the fun that I my girls would have playing with it.  We They would most certainly find hours of enjoyment doing things such as rearranging the furniture, having their barbies ride the elevator, and hosting late night get togethers at the rooftop hot tub.

My husband wasn't on board at first.  It comes with 55 pieces and is 3 feet tall.  But I assured him that there is the perfect spot in their room to store this little piece of luxury property.

The more that I look at it, the more excited I become.  But there are some things I must point out.

Barbie needs to get over herself. 

Is this one bedroom, one bath house really a "dream house"?  There is little to no counter space in the kitchen.  The bedroom is barely large enough to fit the canopy style twin bed.  Is an elevator necessary?  Maybe it is.  I guess most 3 story town homes have elevators that can barely fit a single person.  Don't they? 

Although I am so excited to play with watch my girls play with this and be so elated about their Barbies' new crib that they forget to fight with each other for a few blissful hours, I'm calling bullsh*t on Barbie.  The Dream House could be more appropriately be named Barbie's Starter House or Barbie's "I'm so broke from my payment on my Ferrari Convertible" House. 

But then again if it makes the girls happy and brings me some heavenly peace and quiet, then maybe it really is a Dream House.

There it is.  Living the dream.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Just Breathe

I wrote a post yesterday out of anger and frustration and sadness.  I won't delete that post.  But now I know more of the details.  Still, my heart aches. 

Maybe that school was locked.  Maybe it was as safe as it could possibly be.  Yet, it wasn't safe enough.  This scares the living daylights out of me and almost every other parent across the country.  Today there is a sense of grief and fear in the air.  You can feel it.  But what can we do?  What can we do to help the families of the victims?  I don't know.

We can continue to do out best to keep our children safe.  We can urge the government to put more safety measures in place in our schools.  We can put our energy into remembering the victims and not focusing on the shooter.  He deserves no attention.  We can be more grateful everyday.  We can be more patient and kind and caring.

My heart aches for those parents who will never see their children again.  Their children will not be here to celebrate the holidays.  Gifts bought for them will go unopened.  I can't even wrap my head around these thoughts.  This morning my girls woke up and as usual, it was early.  I didn't mind.  They are here.  They are safe.  I am lucky.

I read an article that stated that one parent said she simply didn't want to go on without her son.  Counselors and clergy told her to not to think about her whole life but just breathe.  Just concentrate on breathing.  She has other children that need her.  Just breathe.

How do you just breathe?  How do you overcome this grief?  Maybe you don't overcome it.  Maybe it becomes a part of you. 

Tonight, I looked at the list of victims.  I read their names over and over and over.  Again, I want to remember them.  They deserve to be remembered.  I saw a Caroline.  My oldest daughter's name is Caroline.  I saw a Chase and Jesse and Emilie and Benjamin and Grace and many more.  They were all 6 or 7 years old.  My Caroline is 7.  They were first graders.  They were babies with their whole lives ahead of them.  I saw the names of teachers, a principal, and school psychologist.  I thought of all the teachers that I have taught with in the past.  I thought of the students. I read about the bravery of so many teachers who remained as calm as possible and in turn, kept their students calm.  My heart goes out to them.  My heart aches for those children who survived yet lost some of their innocence in that school yesterday morning. 

And again...I looked at my children.  They are here.  They are safe.  I am so lucky.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  We have no idea what the future holds and the cold hard truth is that life is so very fragile.  It can change in an instant. 

I don't know how the parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses, friends and neighbors of the victims of this senseless tragedy will go on.  I have no clue how one can deal with this grief and just breathe.

And so I pray for them.  I pray that they can just breathe. 

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Friday, December 14, 2012

We MUST Keep Our Children Safe

Disclaimer:  This post is fueled by sadness and anger.  I cursed.  I dropped the f-bomb.  You have been warned.
I am horrified today.  I am sick to my stomach.  Some people might call a friend and say, "Can you believe what happened in Connecticut today?"  But I am blogging about it.  I am typing quickly with shaking hands. 

Today I have two daughters in school.  I sent them there to learn under the expectation that they will be safe.  I can't even begin to imagine what the parents of children in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut are feeling.  My heart goes out to them.  I will keep them in my prayers.

This school houses over 600 kindergarten to 4th graders.  They are babies!!!  Why does this keep happening in our schools?  HOW does this fucking happen?

I have taught in children go to school.  I can tell you now that almost every single school that I have ever been in has an unlocked front door.  The parents or visitors walk into that door and are supposed to go check in at the main office.  Well do you think some crazed fucking lunatic would do that?  Why do schools feel like they can keep this front door unlocked?  Even if they say the doors are locked at all times, I bet the front entry of the school is not locked. 
Airports have all of these safety measures in place, especially since September 11.  There are no crazed gunmen getting on planes these days.  You can't get into the airport or even a courthouse with a freakin' nail clipper.  You walk through security and metal detectors.  Yet at schools there is nothing.  How many fucking tragedies will occur before schools put the same measures in place?  I know as a parent I would be perfectly happy buzzing the front office to be allowed entry into the school.  And I wouldn't give a shit if I had to walk through a metal detector.  If that meant my kids were safe, so be it!  How are schools not seeing the need for this.  Every damn year there is some unthinkable tragedy like this at a school.  A SCHOOL.  Full of innocent children.

Something has got to give here.  We MUST keep our children safe.  If they can't be safe playing outside and the can't be safe riding their bikes or playing at the park, at the very least they MUST be safe at school.

There is no fucking excuse. 

Updated 12/15/12:
Reading more about this massacre today, I am still so saddened.  I have a heavy heart.  I look at my children and think of those who will not see Christmas.  I think of those teachers who were taken from their families.  My heart aches for those parents who went to that fire house yesterday...and did not leave with their children.

I am still sick to my stomach.

Bottom line here is that something MUST BE DONE.  I am not about to make this some political issue.  I am not about to discuss gun control.  We all know that crazy people will get guns, regardless of the law.  This boy who committed this heinous act was reportedly mentally ill.

What the issue is here is that a man dressing in black, wearing a bullet proof vest, a black mask, and carrying 3 freakin' guns walked into a school on a Friday morning.  He got into that school.  It is unacceptable. 

There must be NO ACCESS to schools once the school day has started.  Period.

I will carry this families close to my heart and keep them in my prayers.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Open Letter to SANTA

I have been noticing lately that these "open letter" posts are all the rage.  So I thought why not give it a shot...and write one to the big guy.  Maybe it will get into the right hands.

Dear Santa,

This may be a long shot but I am hoping this letter finds you.  I need to call in a few "favors" this year for the holidays.  I don't ask for much so it is my wish that you can deliver on these very small requests.

First, I need my kids to be healthy for the holidays.  No snot, no coughing, no fevers.  NADA.  Are you with me so far? 

In addition to that, I need them to be grateful and well behaved.  I just pray that my 4 year old doesn't flip when she doesn't see the gymnastics Dora doll under the tree.  I know, I know.  She should be grateful for what she does get.  There are children in this world with MUCH BIGGER problems then not getting a certain doll they requested.  But the bottom line here, Santa, is that she is 4.  She might have a meltdown.  I would love if this could be avoided.  Hopefully the Barbie Dream House that her and her sister get are enough to please her, along with a plethora of other crap treasured gifts.  You did get the Dream House, right?  I would hate to be out at Target last minute picking up these things to cover your @ss.

I have a few personal requests as well.  For me.  I know you deal more with the little ones, but I would greatly appreciate it if you bent the rules a bit.  Just this once. 

Here goes, in no particular. 

I would love a cleaning lady.  Seriously, Santa.  I need this one BAD.  Couldn't you spare someone to help me on a monthly (or weekly) basis?  One of your little helpers would do. 

Also, I would like...
-the kids to go to bed early each night without asking me to lay with them
-the two oldest to stop their bickering
-the youngest to stop wanting be a permanent attachment to my leg
-the dog not to bark at the back door incessantly
-gas prices to decrease in the near future
-the value of my home to increase
-to win a shopping spree at Target
-my smokin' hot minivan to magically be paid off
and finally...
-the invention of a calorie free beer or wine (Even this one simple gift would be great.  Okay, this AND the cleaning lady.)

So what do ya think, Santa?  Can you make good on any of these requests?

If you could, I would gladly continue to give you credit for all the blood (when my ankles get slammed by carts in the crowded toy section), sweat (when I watch the total due add up on the register), and tears (when I check my bank account statement) that go into Christmas.

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* "Dear Santa" paper available at

Monday, December 10, 2012

Touchstone Crystal's Holiday Hurricane Rebound

Many people on the East coast were affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Although life has returned to "normal" for most, there are many still struggling in the aftermath.  More than 250 women on the East Coast were independent entrepreneurs for Touchstone Crystal Division of Swarovski.  They sold the jewelry and hosted parties as a means of income.  Since the storm, many have been unable to do so.  To help these women continue to earn an income, Touchstone Crystal has launched the Holiday Hurricane Rebound campaign offering double jewelry rewards for anyone willing to host an online holiday party.
At first, I wasn't so sure about this.  But then I checked out the line of jewelry and it is ADORABLE!  Every piece is super cute...and rather affordable!  Plus, you can help these women still affected by Sandy.

Having an online party is simple...and you will earn DOUBLE jewelry rewards!!!

To find more information on this, click on the image below:

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 Deals You Can Find RIGHT HERE!

I'm not a good sales person at all.  It's not my thing.  But I do like to tell people about good deals.

My little blog here is becoming a one-stop shop.  Now, I'm not looking to fill up my whole blog with ads and product reviews.  That is not my goal.  But every now and then something comes along and I think, "That might be a nice fit for the blog."

So for Give Me 5 for Friday here are 5 good deals that you can find RIGHT HERE!!!  Look no further.

1.  Somewhat Sane Mom Shop on Cafepress!
Well, of course I have to start out with my little Somewhat Sane Mom Shop project.  There you will find coffee mugs, glasses, flasks, flask necklaces (which are the new must have accessory for women on the go...right?!), beer coolers, and shot glasses.  Go check it out at:

2.  Picture Keeper
Over to the right, you can find the link to the Picture Keeper website.  I did a product review for this in October and I LOVED it!  The only problem was the number of pictures that I had on my computer.  Since my laptop is 5 years old, we have over 13,000 images saved on it.  The PK4 saved about 2000 of them.  But it was SO EASY!!! And it's portable so you can go to another computer, plug in the Picture Keeper, and view pictures immediately.  That's it!  I am definitely ordering the PK16. 
You can order one by clicking on the Picture Keeper link over to the right -------------->
Plus enter the code SAVE10 to receive 10% off of you order.

3.  Clubs of America- Monthly Gift Clubs
Have you ever checked out Clubs of America?  If not, you should!  This makes an AWESOME gift.  One year, I got my husband the Beer of the Month Club.  It was so cool and he looked forward to his monthly beer shipment (which consisted of 4 different types of beer). 
You can also order Wine of the Month, Chocolate of the Month, Coffee of the Month, Wine of the Month.  Oh, did I already mention wine?  But it really is such a great gift.  You can order a 6 month shipment, seasonal (4 times a year), 12 months, or even monthly.   Most clubs have minimums but Clubs of America allows you to order 1 month at a time. 
Again, you can order by clicking on the Clubs of America link over in the right column------------>
PLUS receive $10 off a 6 month subscription AND free shipping using the code: discount1.

Or use this text link below to order and receive the discount:
Coupon Code: Discount1

4.  Fruit of the Loom
Who doesn't need underwear?  Seriously.
You can buy underwear, t-shirts, tank tops and active wear for the WHOLE family!  Fruit of the Loom has great prices and the are having a deal a day until Christmas.
PLUS get free shipping on any order of $40!  Go click the Fruit of the Loom link on the right to order.

5.  The Land of Nod
If you are looking for unique gifts for babies and children, look no further than The Land of Nod.  Everything is completely adorable!  If I could, I would buy it all!!!
But if you are on a budget, check out their awesome sale.  Some items are up to 70% off!  Also, if you join their mailing list, you can receive 10% today.
Go over to the right and click The Land of Nod link to shop!

That's all I got for you today.  I hope these deals were helpful!  Now get out of here and have a WONDERFUL weekend!!!!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We're All in This Together

When times get rough and you are feeling down, remember that I am hot mess too.  That should make you feel better. 

I know it helps me when I realize that I am not the only one who can't get it together at times.  Last week, one of my favorite pages/blogs, Mommy Drinks Because You Cry, posted a comment on her page and quickly her followers began to tell her that they were in the same boat.  She said, "I normally hate the saying 'misery loves company' but it really makes me feel better to know that I'm not alone in this".

Then last night I posted about the fact that I discovered my crockpot was still dirty from A WEEK AGO.  So nasty!  But quickly others came to my rescue and told me they have done the same thing.  Or worse.  It was so consoling. 

Honestly, it does make you feel better.  Doesn't it?

If I am out in public and I see another person's child having a complete meltdown, it comforts me. 

If my house is a mess and someone else says that their house is also a complete disaster,  it gives me a sense of relief.

If money is tight and a friend says that they are broke until payday, I say "Me too sister".

Now don't get me wrong, I don't wish it upon others.  I don't want other people's children to have tantrums in public.  I surely don't wish financial stress on anyone.  I don't want everyone else's house to be a mess.  Or maybe I do want that one.  Because if we all have messy houses, then no one really has a messy house. 
It's nice to know that you're not alone.  Other people are going through stuff too.  And that's one of the many blessings from having this blog.  I have "met" so many others who are going through similar situations, raising children, and doing the best that they can.  Everyone is always so supportive in this little community that we have...other bloggers, other page admins, and all of the readers. 

It's comforting to know that sometimes we are all in this together.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Buy a Picture Keeper!

Remember my Picture Keeper review and giveaway?  If not, you can check it out HERE.

PK 16
If you are looking for a super easy way to store all of your pictures and images that are on your computer, look no further than the Picture Keeper.

You plug it and and it automatically saves your images.  That's it.  SO EASY!!! 

I received the PK4 for my review and loved it!  The only problem is that it only saved 2000 images and I had over 13,000 on my computer.  But no worries...because I will definitely be ordering a Picture Keeper with more storage capacity.

If you would like to order, click the Picture Keeper link on the right column of my blog------------->

Also enter the code SAVE10 to receive 10% off of your order!

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's okay to be tired.

A friend of mine has a 15 month old daughter with a very rare illness.  Her daughter is in and out of the hospital.  She is always undergoing tests, getting blood work, receiving medication.  At this point, they are still figuring our how to treat her illness.

Not only does she have a 15 month old...she has twins that will be 4 in January.  I had them in my daycare for 2 years.  She is a busy mom.  She is a teacher.  She left her job this year to care for her daughter.  Throughout it all, she has always been so positive.  I can't imagine.  On her way to the hospital on Thanksgiving, she was wishing everyone a great holiday.  Again, she is always so positive.

Tonight she posted a status on facebook stating that she didn't expect any response, she just wanted to share that she was tired of seeing her happy, spirited little girl suffer.

I want to make her feel better.  I want to help in any way that I can.  Truth is, I probably can't do much.  But all I could think of was to say that it's okay to be tired. 

As parents, we feel like we have to keep it together.  Stay in control.  We have to be positive.  We have to be on our game for our children.

But it's truly okay to be tired.  It's fine to say that sometimes things just suck.  What parent wants to see their child sick or suffering?  Sometimes we just need to throw in the towel, sit down, and have a good cry.

No one will blame you.  No one will say that you are wrong.  No one will think that you shouldn't be sad or down or tired. 

And if they do, well then they suck.

Because it's okay to be tired.

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