Saturday, December 21, 2013

Rudolph, the True Hollywood Story.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a wholesome children's Christmas classic...right?


It's actually quite the opposite.  Watching Rudolph to get you into the Christmas spirit would be equivalent to going trick or treating at Michael Meyers' house or going to Walmart on Black Friday.  Bad idea.

I have talked about this movie briefly in the past...but I strongly felt like it needed a little more attention, especially when I watched it the other day with a 5th grade class at school.  Within the first few minutes I began to take notes on the horrors I saw.

So where should I begin?

Hmm, let's start with the elves.  As Frosty the narrator introduces the audience to Santa's little helpers, our cheery and always helpful impression of what elves should be is shattered into a million pieces (much like the snow globe that my kids broke the other day).

Contrary to popular belief, it appears that elves are big opinionated jerks that only like other elves who enjoy making toys.  Heaven forbid you want to make a better life for yourself and leave behind the long hours of the toy factory to become a wealthy, successful dentist.  Little Hermey could have much easier stated that he had fallen in love with a wooden doll and wanted to run away into the woods and have a dozen little doll babies together.  But a dentist?  Blasphemy.

And the big boss elf, the Foreman?  Well, he basically SCREAMS and belittles the other elves all day.  But when Santa comes around, he talks like a big pus and kisses Santa's rosy red butt.

This leads me to Santa.  Oh, the good old jolly big man himself, lovingly referred to as "Papa" in the movie by Mrs. Claus (who is most likely verbally abused and vastly under appreciated by Santa).  I'll just say it.  Santa is an ass in this movie.  He is so freakin' downright mean to Rudolph about the red nose "deformity".  He even tells Donner that he should be "ashamed of himself".  Then when the elves sweetly perform the song that they have been rehearsing, Santa hardly gives them the time of day and tells them that is "needs work".  He is a big d*ck.

Such a d*ck move, Santa.

Others that deserve honorable mention are...

Coach Comet, who almost shits himself when he see Rudolph's red nose.  Seriously, dude?  It's not that scary.  He then is a major prick and says that Rudolph will never be able to take part in Reindeer Games.  Nice job, Coach.

Fireball, who refuses to be friends with Rudolph after seeing his "condition".

Donner, who is not what I would call a supportive father at first.

The only rays of sunshine in this film are the ever so sweet Clarice, Hermey's and Rudolph's friendship, Yukon Cornelius, and Rudolph's mom.  The rest of the motley crew should be ashamed of themselves.  They torture, belittle, and degrade Rudolph and Hermey so much that they are forced out of town.  Not the sweet, joyful image of the North Pole that is usually present in Christmas movies.

Finally, they all come around.  Of course, it is ONLY because they are in a bind and need something.  Hermey opens a successful dental practice and Rudolph becomes Santa's main man.  Shit, if I were Rudolph I would have told them all to go kick rocks.

But somehow, despite his rough childhood, he became a decent young man.  He saved the day and got the girl in the end.

Good for you, Rudolph.  Good for you.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In Defense of The Elf

I think it's time we addressed the elephant in the room this holiday season.  And you know what it is.

It has nothing to do with Obamacare, or women's rights, or marriage equality.  It doesn't have to do with politics or religion.

The real hot button issue is whether you are for or against the Elf on the Shelf.  That's what it comes down to...

A few years ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat, rose to blogger super stardom with her HILARIOUS post about the now notorious Elf on the Shelf.

Since then I have noticed that many people have strong opinions about the good old Elf.  They either love it and spend every night thinking of new precarious situations in which to put their Elf (picture a hot tub party in the crock pot with Barbie)...or they hate it and won't even consider welcoming one into their bevy of holiday traditions.

I'm am somewhere in the middle...but I lean a little to the left (a.k.a. in support of the Elf).

Without further ado...I present you with my "Defense of the Elf"...

1.  He really does keep behavior in check.
I know, all of you perfect parents will say that this is just wrong.  Of course it's my strong parenting skills and consistency should be what keeps their behavior in check. Fine, I get it.  But let me say this for the record...I don't use the Elf to threaten (okay, maybe I use him to warn my kids about his magical power to report back to Santa).  But I don't make him the bad guy or the man in charge.  Simply seeing his little smiling plastic face staring down at them, piercing into their souls, is enough.  They love that damn Elf and don't want to disappoint.  And they sure as hell don't want him to fly up to the North Pole and tell Santa that no presents should be delivered under our tree on Christmas Eve.  So say what you will, but that Elf gets the job done...

2.  They honestly believe in the magic.
My kids really, truly, 100% believe in the magic of our Elf.  And, as cheesy as it may sound, it is magical.  I have no idea how much longer these years will last.  I don't know how many more magical Christmases we will get out of my 8 year old.  I am holding on for dear life (although it might be nice to finally get some of that damn Santa credit).  So to hear my girls wake each morning and go looking for our Elf, even those days that we forgot to move him and I have to explain that he really must have liked that certain spot, is pretty special.  Even my almost 3 year old is into it this year.  She loves "Elfie" and is so excited to show me where he is every morning.  But it's freakin' magical, I tell ya.

3.  It has become a nice tradition.
Every family has their own traditions...and some people don't feel the need to add anything new.  But I can honestly tell you that our Elf has become quite a pleasant tradition for our family since we welcomed him into our home 3 years ago.  For the past 3 Thanksgivings, Elfie has made his first appearance of the holiday season.  And just this year he started the new tradition of bringing a small treat for the girls.  This year he brought them each a Christmas Kit Kat.  They girls were super excited and it only cost us $2.  It was just the thought that he actually brought these treats from the North Pole that got them so pumped.  I mean, everyone knows that a Kit Kat from the North Pole is so much better than a Kit Kat from Walgreens.

So although I don't go crazy with our Elf on the Shelf and stay up for hours each night dumping flour all over my kitchen only to blame it on the Elf...because let's face it, I can barely remember to move him most nights, I have grown to like the little guy.

I only have one beef.  WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS?  For real.  You put a little plastic doll (really just a head because the rest is fabric) in elf clothing, box it with a cute book, and charge $40 for that bad boy.  Next thing you know, you are a millionarie.  Dang it...I'll say it again, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS?!!!

So what you do you think?  Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?  If not, why?  I'd love to hear from you.!
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Everything is not about you.

I had to write this before my head exploded.

I read this great blog post last night about 13 Things You Should Never Say to a Working Mother!

I thought it was really good and I could relate to many things on the list.  BUT I should have known from just the very title of this post that it would have some interesting comments.

Here's the thing.  People write about the whole "mommy war" topic (NOTE: that post was NOT about the mommy wars) and how ridiculous it is .  I have too.  And yes, I do think it's ridiculous.  We should all just support each other...we are all doing our best...yada, yada, yada.  But the cold hard truth is that it really some extent.  In a perfect world, no one would judge anyone.  We would all empathize with each other and get along.  But that's not reality, folks.

The reality is that everyone has their own reality.  And many people think that their reality is SO much harder than yours.  And they feel the need to tell anyone who will listen.

So where am I going with this?

Like I said, I really liked the article and I could relate.  Why?  Because I am mom with 3 children who works out of the home.

So as I started to read the comments it dawned on me that NO MATTER WHAT, some people make everything about them.

For example, many comments went like this (I'm paraphrasing but you get the idea):
~"I have heard way worse than this as a stay at home mom."
~"You need to put the time in with your children.  No job or amount of money is worth it.  If you work to buy fancy things for your kids, then don't buy those things."  (This made me laugh and laugh.  I didn't know paying the bills and mortgage were so fancy. Damn.)
~"Staying home is so much worse.  You get judged way more than working moms."

It was right about then that I had to stop reading.  Because EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT YOU, PEOPLE.

The woman who wrote this (Jennifer from wrote about what she knows...being a working mom.  She did not say, "Don't say these things to working moms but say whatever you want to stay at home moms."  She simply wrote about things not to say to working mothers.  Period.

The bottom line here is that there sadly is some level of a mommy war.  There always has been..and always will be.

It isn't necessarily a war waged between working moms and stay at home moms.  It might be between the mom with 4 kids and the mom with 1 or the mom with a nanny and the mom who goes it all alone each day.  It might be between the mom who works long hours and the mom who leaves right at quitting time.  As much as we want to act like we are all in the same boat, everyone's boat is different and everyone judges each other's boat from time to time.  We all do it from time to time.  I do it.  You do it (admit it, you probably do).

But let's try to be nice and realize, again, that everything is not about you.

If you work because you love it, then be grateful that you are lucky enough to have a job you love.

If you work for financial reasons, then be grateful that you have a job to help pay the bills.

If you stay home with your children because that is your choice, be grateful that you could make that choice to be home.

If you stay home with your children because that is the only way you can make it work, be grateful that you can make it work.

Just be grateful.  After all, it's almost Thanksgiving, DAMMIT. 

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My completely justfied law suit against a fast food giant.

Bear with me here.  I think I have a case.  I have been doing some research and maybe I can file a lawsuit, more specifically a "tort claim", against McDonald's.

If you look up "tort claim", you would see that it "involves a civil wrong, including actions based on negligence, defective products, medical malpractice, nuisance, unsafe premises, and unsafe products."

And no, I am not looking to sue the home of the golden arches because of unsafe products.  We ALL know they those damn burgers are not healthy, even if they are DELICIOUS.  And the straws...those wide straws allow for PERFECT fountain soda delivery.  Oh, and the salty goodness of the fries....

But I digress.

Let me get to the real issue here.  The real motivation behind my fury...and what I believe to be just cause to file a lawsuit.

Just a few weeks ago, good old Mickey D's began to offer Wizard of Oz figures with their happy meals.  Well, my girls are big fans of that movie.  So being the selfless, caring, generous mom that I am, I decided to indulge them.  It had nothing to do with the fact that I wanted a fountain soda and cheeseburger.  Nothing at all.

So we pulled into the drive through and I placed the order.  The nice gentleman asked me the standard questions...what drinks to you want with those?  Any sauce?  Are they for boys or girls?

I answered, "GIRLS, all 3 are girls".  I always repeat this because I try to avoid the very unfortunate event that happened next.

We inched up to the window to get the much anticipated happy meals and Wizard of Oz dolls.  I pulled away and began driving home with 3 girls asking for their toys...and with one yelling at me to stop eating her fries.  I tried to explain that I was just making sure they weren't too hot.  Always looking out for them...

As I looked into the happy meals at the next red light, I was SHOCKED.  Astonished.  Then I was downright livid.

Inside the first happy meal was a Tin Man figure.  Okay, no problem if they all get that.

The next one also had a Tin Man.  I started to breathe a little easier.

BUT...I opened the third and final happy meal and you could imagine my horror when my eyes narrowed in on a Glinda the Good Witch figure.  And effing GLINDA.  For just one of the girls.  Why McDonald's, WHY?!  I don't have ANY issue with my girls getting the male character figures.  My issue was just ONE of them getting Glinda, the most beautiful witch you ever did see.  SERIOUSLY?  I imagined the staff at McDonald's filling the happy meals and laughing their asses off.  "Let's really eff this mom's day UP."

And you all know that Glinda is by far superior to the Tin Man in the eyes of most young girls.  It was just downright WRONG.

So do I have a reason to file a lawsuit?  Damn right, I do.  A tort claim can involve a nuisance.  And that day was quite a nuisance, let me tell you.

The final solution was that the 2 year old got Glinda while her older sisters got the Tin Man figures.  This came after much whining and tears from them (and wine and tears from me).

So look out, McD's.  I am coming for you if you ever pull some lame ass stunt like that again.  I am coming...

Or maybe I will take a year supply of burgers and call it a deal.  I have to think about that one.

Have any of you ever suffered such an injustice at the hands of a fast food giant?  Let me know.  Maybe we can get a class action suit going...
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

'Tis the Season for Holiday Giving

I have been basically begging and pleading for donations on facebook...stopping just short of offering one of my children.  Although you are welcome to babysit if you donate.

In all seriousness, an amazing and generous friend has started an adopt a family sort of project on her facebook page (Go check out Tripping While Standing Still...she rocks!) ...and you know what?  People are being so generous!

However, she came across a family that needed help but the family was a little too large for just one person (there are 5 young children).  That's were WE all come in.  If you are reading this, when I say "WE" I mean you too.  Even if you donate a dollar you are helping.  Trust me!

Just imagine being a single parent this time of year.  The stress of the holidays is an added burden to an already full plate.  When the mom we are helping was told about this, she was in tears.  She had been feeling so helpless.  But we can help.  I know that I can go without a little something here and there to make a small donation to help this family.  Can you do the same?

I am going to add a link to this post to donate via PayPal.  I will take ALL donations and purchase a Visa Gift Card and send it to the family.

I only hope that it makes the holidays brighter for a deserving family!

Thank you all in advance.  You are awesome!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Taking the Time

I KNOW that I have to take the time to stop and do stuff with my the little stuff.  I know this, but I really need to get better at doing it.

Just last night, my 5 year old said something to me that reminded me of this.

I had seriously walked in the door from work and started making dinner immediately.  My 8 year old had to be somewhere at 6:30, so I knew I had limited time.  It's a whirlwind on most week days after work, but especially if there is something to do in the evening. 

So after dinner was over and my husband had left with both my oldest and youngest daughters, I was cleaning up.  My mind was going a mile a minute.  First I was going to get the dinner dishes cleaned up, then I was going to throw in a load of laundry, and THEN make lunches for the next day.  And I was so tired for some reason so I wanted to get it all done and go to bed relatively early.  For once, I didn't want to have a million things to do after the kids were in bed. 5 year old asked me to read a book to her.  Her favorite book.  A book that we have read a bajillion times.  (What, spellcheck?  BAJILLION is a word and I swear we have read the book that many times!)

I gave her the usual line, "Okay, I'll read it to you as soon as I'm done".  But she saw right through it and I think she knew I would never get around to it...because soon enough it would be time for a bath.

So she pulled out the big guns.  She said, "I'll never get better at reading if you don't take the time to read to me."

Ouch.  Damn, that girl is good.

But she was right.  As a teacher, I know that.  I should be happy that she is begging to read with me.  Plus, it's not as if I'm the picture perfect housekeeper either.

So I let the dishes sit on the counter.  And we read her book.  We read it 3 times.  The last time she "read" it...and even though she was winging it, she basically did read the whole book to me.

Listen, I am not the mom that is going to say never spend time away from your kids, always give them 100% of your attention, and cherish even blessed moment (even the hard core tantrums in the Target toy department...because they grow up so fast).  That's not me.

But my daughter was right.  I need to take the time.  It doesn't mean every waking moment...but the little moments here and there.  When other things can wait, let them wait. 

I've got to get better at it...starting right now.  Especially since I have been hearing doors slams and kids running around upstairs the entire time that I've been typing this.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No "excuses" needed.

I said I wasn't going to write about it.  I promised myself that I wasn't going to jump on the bandwagon. 

But here I am.

I am sure most, if not all of you, reading this have seen the "What's your excuse?" fitspirational image going viral all over the Internets these days.  I am not going to talk about the individual who posted it...because this is not about her.  SHE looks awesome.  That is a fact.  I have no problem with her posting an inspirational pic for HER followers.  None at all.

What I do have the issue with is the whole "what's your excuse" thing.  You know why?  Because I don't have an excuse...and I sure as hell don't need one.

Would you ever walk up to someone...even IF you wanted to motivate them, and say..."WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE""?  I surely hope the answer is no.  Therefore, doing it on the internet is also an asshole move. 

I can tell you right now that I am probably about 30 pounds heavier now than I was 10 years ago.

I can also tell you that I couldn't run 5 miles back then...but I can now.  Yep, I am fatter now but most likely in better shape.

I can also tell you that I hadn't carried 3 babies each to 39 weeks gestation and had my stomach cut open three times for each of them to be born safely then...but I have now.  NOT an excuse...but it kinda is.

I can also tell you that sometimes I get my kids a Happy Meal and I get some fries for myself.  Okay, sometimes I get a cheeseburger too.  They might be nasty...but damn if they don't taste good.

But all of these things are not excuses.  You know why?  Because I don't need an excuse. 

AND you don't either.  None of us do.

That chick doesn't need to explain herself and say that she works out early in the morning or with her kids.  She doesn't need to defend herself.

Just like the lady in the Taco Bell drive-thru doesn't need to defend her choices.  And the lady clocking 5 hours at the gym while her kids are in school doesn't need to defend her choices.  And the young mom who can't seem to lose that baby weight doesn't need to make excuses. 

Everyone is in control of their own body.  If I want to go on a strict diet and exercise regime, I will do just that.  Maybe I will lose weight.  Maybe I will fit back into my Size 6 jeans.  Maybe not.

That doesn't mean I am lazy.  Because I can assure you that I'm not.  I don't sit on my ass and eat Twinkies all day.  And if you assume that everyone who doesn't have a picture perfect body complete with abs of steel is a lazy piece of crap full of no good excuses, then you are an asshole.

So let's all come to an agreement that none of us need excuses.  We are all trying to do our best.  And just leave it at that.
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We've had a good run, Girl.

My cat is dying.  My cat that I have had since college, for over 15 years, is dying.  And if you are not an animal/cat person...well, you might want to stop reading because you probably won't understand.

So as I said (for those of you still with me), my old cat Annabelle is dying.  I got her in college when she was a kitten.  I was just as impulsive then as I am now.  So one day my roommate Kelli and I decided to get a kitten.  I saw one of those "free to good home" ads and headed on over.  She was the last kitten left...and she was adorable!

We had a new little addition.  She really was a good cat...although she attacked Kelli's legs quite often.  I think she sensed that Kelli wasn't really a cat person.  Once the kitten cuteness wore off, she lost interest...and Annabelle attacked from time to time.  It was always good for a laugh because Kelli is and was a bit (read: extremely) dramatic.

So she basically became MY cat.  When I was away for a 5 week study abroad program during the winter of 2000 in England, Ireland, and Scotland, I left notes all over our apartment...

Did you feed Annabelle today?
Please feed Annabelle!!!
Don't forget to feed me...I'm starving. Meow.
If you don't feed me, I will attack you in your sleep.  Love, Annabelle

Well, I guess she fed her because Annabelle survived.

The next year I graduated from college.  Annabelle and I packed up and moved back to my parents' house for about 2 years.

Then I bought my first house.  Annabelle and I moved into the house together.  I was petrified most nights and wasn't a huge fan of living alone.  I would lock all the doors then go up to bed...and then lock my bedroom door too.  Annabelle would always sleep at the bottom of my bed on those nights.

About 6 months later, my now husband moved in and she tolerated him just fine.  But THEN we went and got a Saint Bernard puppy.  I'm sure she was pretty pissed but she didn't let it show.  The two became good friends.

The next year we got married AND moved to a new house...with the dog and Annabelle in tow.

Over the next 9 years, I had not one, not two, but THREE children.  I also had a home daycare for four of those years.  Annabelle took it all in stride.  She let the kids pet her, pull her tail, poke her in the eyes, and I am sure much much more...

She's been there through it all.  And now she's dying.

The other day I was petting her as she struggled to breathe.  Although she doesn't seem to be in pain, seeing her like this hurts my heart.

I try to spend some time each day just petting her and giving her extra attention.  Yesterday, she seemed to be staring at me as I pet her.  You know how cats do.  (And it can be creepy and eerie.)  But she kept staring.

So I looked at her as I was petting her head and said, "It's okay Belle...we've had a good run, girl.  Thanks for always being there."

She seemed to be satisfied with that.

And it's true...she's been there for 15 plus years, and we sure have had a good run.

I wrote this post last night.  Today, after I got home from work, Annabelle was struggling to walk.  She tried to come into the room but was gasping for air.  I sat on the floor next to her and pet her.  Slowly she laid on her side and took a few last breaths.  I like to think that she waited for me...

Tonight we said goodbye to Annabelle.  And again I said, "We've had a good run, Girl.  Rest in peace."

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Friday, October 4, 2013

You want it all, but you can't have it.

I was in the car on my way to work the other day and a song came on that seemed to be taunting me.  Like it was yelling my face, "HA...See you can't do it all".

You want it all but you can't have it.
It's in your face but you can't grab it...

Since I have been back to teaching, my work days have been less stressful.  I am not physically exhausted like I was when I had my home daycare. 

But that is how things snuck up on me.  This gave me a false sense of security...or confidence.  I thought that everything was going so well.  This full time working out of the home gig wasn't all too bad.

But then I realized that I had no clean underwear for myself.  My kid spilled syrup on her shirt and I didn't have a back up.  The dishwasher was clean and ready to be emptied...but sat there untouched for 4 days.  I forgot to call about getting our vacuum fixed.  I hadn't made a much needed eye doctor appointment even though I am going on 4 weeks wearing my last pair of contacts.  The bedrooms all looked like war zones.  The clean sheets for my bed were still sitting on the dresser.  (You can imagine how shocked I was to realize that just because I am working all day doesn't mean that I don't still have laundry to do or a house to clean.)

See, it's impossible to have it it all.  Just flat out impossible.  I have come to the conclusion that when you are doing well in one part of your life, another part suffers (even if just slightly).

I want to be a great mom and a great teacher.  I want to make healthy dinners every night, keep up with the laundry, remember all there is to remember, and have a clean house.  

You want it all but you can't have it.
It's in your face but you can't grab it...

So should I keep trying to do it all?  Or do I lower my expectations?

I'm afraid if I do that latter, then NO ONE in the house will have clean underwear and I'll be wearing these contacts for another 3 months.  Because you know the saying "If you give them an inch, they will take a mile".  Well, the same goes for me.  Trust me, I will take the whole frickin' mile...

What I will do is keep trying to get it all done, even though I know it is near impossible.  I will take it day by day...celebrate the little victories, like not screaming at the kids before 7 am.  I'll put those clean sheets on my bed tonight and I will sleep like a damn baby (which is the dumbest saying ever, because babies are horrible sleepers).

But it will get done.  Maybe not ALL of it.  But I don't need to have it all.

Just clean underwear will do.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Reading between the lines (of Status Updates and Tweets)

Social media is fun.  But I'll be damned if sometimes it isn't annoying as f*ck!

I read people's status updates and tweets and all the crap they pin...and I think HOW THE HELL does she have time to do that?  Or MUST BE NICE! Or even worse, I think Okay you little pain in the ass, we got the picture.  Your life is pure bliss and perfection.

However...I know, you know, we ALL know, that what people put out there isn't all that it seems.  Sometimes we have to read between the lines.

And how do you do that?  Well, I'm here to help.

Check out some sample status updates and tweets and see how they can be interpreted.

Note: These are NOT real tweets and updates.  They are totally fabricated for your reading pleasure.  But if you are guilty of writing something like this...just know that I see through your little facade.  For real.

Tweet:  Awesome night with the kids!  #lovemyfamily #mykidsaremylife.
Translation:  The kids fought A LOT and I drank wine. 

Status Update:  Had a great day at work today. I never thought I could love a job this much!
Translation:  Some of my coworkers and my boss are my facebook friends so I can't say how bad my job blew today.

Status Update:  Getting ready for a great dinner.  Tried a new recipe tonight and I hope everyone loves it!  Cooking for my family makes me so happy :)
Translation:  I swear to Christ that I will flip my shit if no one in my family appreciates this effing meal.

Tweet:  Time to go winter shopping!!! #lovemybootsandsweaters
Translation:  I love that my sweaters cover my muffin top.

Status Update:  AHHHHH! So stressed.
Translation:  I just want everyone to ask me why I am stressed.  Even though I will most likely offer a vague response when they ask.

Tweet:  Busy, busy, busy!
Translation:  I am not that busy because I took the time to tweet about how busy I am.

Tweet:  Going for a run.  #fitnessisfun #Ilovetorun
Translation:  I need to run off the calories from that milkshake I ate last night.  Okay, I ate the fries too.

Status Update:  *Posts picture of selfie*  Ugh, this is what my hubby has to deal with in the morning.  I'm a hot mess! LOL! FML. SMH...Lolololol
Translation:  I am not a hot mess.  I actually think I'm pretty decent...or I wouldn't have posted this pic.  Please compliment me.  Thanks.  Oh, and I like to post all of those stupid acronyms on my updates.

Tweet:  Girls night out.  Woohoo!  #lovemyfriends
Translation:  Hahahahahahahaha....I get a night out and you don't.  Right now you are watching Bubble Guppies and praying your kids fall asleep while I'm on my fourth glass of Pinot Grigio and my second Red Headed Slut shot.

Status Update:  Thank goodness the cleaning lady comes today!  This place is a mess.
Translation:  All you suckas that don't have a cleaning lady...sorry about your luck.  I can afford that luxury and I want to share that fact in a seemingly discreet yet obvious way.

Tweet:  Who knew it would be so hard to choose a new car?  #carshoppingisstressful #firstworldproblems
Translation:  It's not stressful.  I just want everyone to know that I get to pick out a new car.

Status Update:  My house is a mess and the kids won't stop arguing.  Is it bedtime yet?
Translation:  My house is a mess and the kids won't stop arguing.  Is it bedtime yet?

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Walking the fine line between freedom and guilt.

When I went back to working out of the home, I knew things would change.  I knew it would be difficult...and rewarding.  I knew that there would be benefits...and also drawbacks.

And I was right.

But what surprises me is the fine line that I walk everyday between the freedom that I feel at work and the guilt that I feel.

At work, I can get things done without someone CONSTANTLY needing or wanting my attention.  I can eat lunch, and talk to adults, and make phone calls.  Yes, I am also working with kids most of the day.  But these kids can feed themselves.  They go to the bathroom independently.  They don't whine or argue with me (they are saving it up all day for their parents when they get home). 

I actually like my job.  I like what I am doing.  I like the school.  I like the kids.  I don't mind the paperwork or the meetings.

It gives me a sense of freedom that I think I was missing over the past few years.

But it also gives me a sense of guilt at times.

Those times when I am struggling to get the kids up in the morning and running around the house like a raving maniac because I am going to be late .  And I feel like all I am doing is barking out orders...put your shoes on...finish breakfast...make sure you have all of your stuff ready to go...brush your, you can't have a cookie for breakfast...fine, just eat the damn cookie THEN brush your teeth.

Those times when my youngest doesn't want to go to preschool and runs from me screaming "ME DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL!".  Or even worse...she screams "ME WANT TO STAY HOME WITH YOU!".  Then I want to cry.  I want to say Sure baby, you can stay home with me.  But the problem is, she can't.  She can't stay home because I can't stay home.  I have to leave her to go spend time with other peoples' children.

You see, that's what many of us teachers do.  We leave our children at daycare or preschool or school, and we go focus our attention on the children of others.  That's the nature of the job.

And again, I like my job.  But...ugh, the guilt.  The guilt can be a killer.

So it's a fine line...and I am trying to walk the line everyday without falling on my face.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

I Don't Know If I'm Doing It Right.

I read many, many other blogs.  I really enjoy doing that.  I read blogs written by moms, and dads, and survivors, and people struggling with addiction or infertility or illness.  I read blogs that are funny or heartwarming or happy or sad or sometimes a little of everything.

Lately I have come across some posts that I really have enjoyed reading, but they left me feeling so many mixed emotions.

Wow, that was a wake up call.

Maybe I'm not doing the best job here.  

Maybe I am rushing through life some days.  

Maybe I don't appreciate enough.  Or maybe I appreciate things too much.  

Maybe I over think things.  

Maybe I made the wrong choice in leaving my career 4 years ago to have a home daycare and be home with my kids or maybe I am making the wrong decision going back to being a full time, working out of the home mom.

Maybe I am not using the right words when I talk to my girls and therefore will lead them to a life of serious issues and countless hours in therapy.  

Maybe I am not making them be as independent as they could be.  Maybe I am expecting them to be more independent than they should be at this age.

All I can say to all of this is a big resounding I DON'T KNOW IF I AM DOING IT RIGHT.  (I'm actually pretty sure that I am doing many, many things wrong.)

But what I do know is that some days I am going to rush because I am running late.  Yes, I might hurry my kids in the morning...because I have to go to something called a J-O-B and they have to learn to be on time for stuff like that.  You can't be late to work or school just because the sun is shining and you want to frolic in the yard and take it all in or because your sister took your Barbie and you want to fight about it or because there is a new episode of Austin and Ally on and you just have to watch it even though it will come on 67 times this week.  The world is not always going to wait for you.

Maybe I am going to tell them to cut it out with the snacks or desserts because NO YOU CAN'T snack all day and eat 7 pounds of sugar.  They have to know that too.

Maybe I will talk about losing weight in front of them (ME, not them)...because if I am working hard at something like training for a half marathon and I lose some weight, I should be proud of that because I am trying to be healthier.  There is nothing wrong with that.

There may be times when I call them "princess" or tell them they are "pretty" or "beautiful".  What the hell.  I can't keep track of all the appropriate, empowering things to say.  But you can bet that I will also tell them that they are smart or funny or talented or interesting or faster than ANY of the boys in their class. 

Some days I will yell at them and say bad words (yes, those bad four letter words)...because I am mad and frustrated and tired and they just need to CUT THAT SHIT OUT.

But EVERY SINGE DAY my kids will know that there is nothing in life more important to me than them.

Even on days that mommy rushes or yells or plays on her phone or writes this damn blog while she should be reading books or going over sight words or listening to them sing Taylor Swift songs for the 243rd time this week, there is NOTHING that is more important.  They will always be my top priority.  Each one of them will know that they are so, so loved.

And that's all that really matters. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Help Me Pick My New Glasses!

I have a confession.  My glasses broke months ago...and instead of going to get a new pair, I have been wearing a pair from 2001.  They are not even the correct prescription and they are crooked and they make me look like a hot mess.

We actually have vision insurance too.  But the problem is that I have to decide whether or not to use my insurance to pay for EITHER contacts or glasses.  So I usually choose contacts.  Then I put off getting glasses because they are SO DAMN expensive.

Well, not any more!

I found a site that offers a GREAT selection of eyeglasses at affordable prices.  (In fact, they have a 110% lowest price guarantee!).  The site is called and they have so many different glasses to choose from that I don't know where to start!

And even though I was a little leery of ordering online eyeglasses, I kind of know what style I like already so it shouldn't be too risky.

SO here's what I am going to do.  I will post 3 styles of glasses that I like, and I want YOU to help me choose.

Before I post my 3 choices, I wanted to share a really cool, fun feature from the site.  It is called the Virtual Mirror.  Check it out!

Now, here are my 3 choices!  All of the below images where taken directly from



Elizabeth Arden EA1071 Black
    Elizabeth Arden EA1071 Black

What do you think?  Leave a comment and just tell me if you think I should choose A, B, or C.  I really appreciate your help!  I would love to order glasses by the end of next week so I'll let you know what I choose!

And if you are in the market for new glasses, I really recommend checking out!

They have awesome prices and great deals...especially now at back to school time (40% off AND free shipping!)

My readers can also get an extra 10% your order or prescription eyeglasses using the code BLOG10.

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post, but all opinions in this post are my own.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

It's been 30 days...and the results are in (PLUS a GIVEAWAY!!!)

I mentioned before that I am training for a half marathon in September.  And yes, it's true.  I'm doing that and I'm getting there.  Although I am still pretty nervous about the whole 13.1 MILE THING.  I am up to 8 miles now...and I need to really put in the time this next month.

But anywho...I was wishing and hoping that I would shed a few unwanted pounds in the course of training for it.  But you can wish and hope all you want, the weight won't come off unless you do the "work".

And by "work" I mean all that crappy exercising and eating healthy stuff.

So I got the first part down, the exercising.  It was always the eating part that messed me up.

Then I saw some posts from one of my blogger pals, Liz.  She is also known as the Funny Postpartum Lady.  And she has now started a new site called New Mom Body.  Well she is bad ass.  She runs and exercises and LOOKS AWESOME!

See for yourself!

If you visit Liz's New Mom Body site, you will see that it is a Plexus Worldwide site.  I encourage you to go take a little looksy (and I really loved the tab 10 Reasons to try the Plexus Products).  Right there you will see why you may be interested in trying these products.  I know just looking at Liz's results convinced me!

So we got in touch with each other and I decided to try Plexus Slim along with the Accelerator for 30 days...and then I would do a results post.


My 30 days are up and the results are in.

First, let me tell you that I am not a shake drinker.  They usually taste chalky to me and I have a hard time getting them down.  BUT the Plexus Slim "pink drink" is NOT like that at all.  You mix one packet with 16 oz. of water and drink it in the morning.  Then I took the Accelerator capsule with that.  I usually did this right after a light breakfast.

What I loved about the products was that they didn't make me feel jittery.  They also DEFINITELY curbed my appetite and cravings.  I was able to eat less and feel full.  Plus, I didn't snack as much during the day (which is usually my downfall).

So are you ready for my before and after picture?

Listen, before I post it, know that this is a BIG DEAL for me.  I don't like wearing a bathing suit in my own back yard...let alone posting a picture of me in one for millions to see.  Okay, maybe thousands, or hundreds.  Well dozens...dozens of people will see this.  But oh well.

Here goes.

After 30 days, I am down about 8 pounds.

I feel like I have toned up more, probably because of my increased mileage with my running.  But I have also added some free weights in twice a week (trying to move that to 3 or 4 times a week). 

So after this 30 day trial, I will most definitely be continuing with the Plexus products.

And guess what?

YOU can try it too.  Liz and I have teamed up to offer a 7 day trial giveaway!!!!

Just enter below.  The giveaway ends next Monday night and I will announce a winner on Tuesday.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, August 2, 2013

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 Good Things

I have made a decision to be positive.  I have been a whiny little complainer lately and I am sick of my own voice.

So for Give Me 5 for Friday, I am going to focus on 5 good things...

1.  The kids are healthy.  Number 1, most important good thing.  ALWAYS a good thing, period!

2.  I got the new job I wanted.  I shared this on facebook...but I am SUPER EXCITED to have gotten this job!  It's teaching special education at a great school, with terrific staff, and great students.  I start on August 19th!  But don't go losing any sleep, I'm still going to find some for this little blog.  I know you were worried...but I'm not going anywhere.

3.  We are ordering pizza for that means I'M NOT COOKING.  Woohoo!

4.  I'm still running regularly and working on my goal to run a half marathon.  I'm up to running 7 miles (going to try 8 this weekend)...and I lost 7 pounds in the past month!

5.  There's some wine in my fridge.  That's also ALWAYS a good thing.  Because you never know when you are gonna need a glass of wine.  Like now...I think I might need one NOW.

Also a little shout out to everyone who read my post earlier this week (Maybe I'm not cut out for this?) and left a nice comment.  And for all of you who read it and said that you felt the same way at one time or another, know you are not alone.  Trust me!  Even today I asked myself if I was cut out for the whole mom thing.  Then my 4 (almost 5 in 3 weeks!) year old told me I was the best mom ever.  Of course, this was after I let her have 2 oreos BEFORE lunch...but I'll take it.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Now to go have that glass of wine...Cheers!

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Here's my Royal Baby post...

But Mom, all the other bloggers are writing about it...I want to do it toooooooo.

I'm talking about writing the Royal Baby post, of course.

But this is NOT a Royal Baby post.  It's more of a "I was a hot mess and Kate looked great" post or a "I'm pretty certain I was clueless with the infant car seat too even though we had it professionally installed AND they showed me how to buckle my first born in at the hospital" post or a "I couldn't wear my wedding ring for weeks because of my swollen sausage fingers" post.

On my facebook page the day of the "Royal vaginal delivery with no complications" I expressed a little excitement.  I lost half a dozen likes.  Then someone questioned me as to WHY was I excited?  And WHY did I care?  And they wrote more "blah blah blah I am so intelligent and the media hype has struck again" commentary.

But guess what?  I don't know why I was excited.  I haven't a clue why I cared.

All I know is this...I followed very little of Kate's pregnancy.  Then the week before she was due I started googling "royal baby news".  I started to anticipate the birth.  (I, as the mother of three daughters, thought it would be cool if a future Queen were to be born.)  Then the day came.  One of my best friends called me and said, '"I feel like my sister is giving birth."

It was just exciting.  Some pleasant, fun, happy news.  What, HAPPY stuff in the news?  Does that happen?

The next day I saw the little family come out of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital.  My daughters watched with on E! News (my go-to news outlet). 

I teared up.

If they are not as cute as a button, then I don't know what the hell is.  Prince William spoke so sweetly.  The Duchess was looking fab with her blow out and little baby bump still showing in all it's glory because that's THE REALITY folks.

I just think they are ADORABLE.

They were so sweet in their blue outfits.  I'm guessing they also packed pink just in case a Princess had been born. 

Kate looked fabulous.  Did you see her legs?!  I wore sweat shorts home from the hospital with my hair slicked back in a ponytail and absolutely NO makeup.  Trust me, if I could have called a team of stylists to the hospital to make me look acceptable, I would have. 

AND she was wearing her wedding ring.  GO GIRL!  I forced mine on to wear to someone's wedding 12 days after my first daughter was born and I paid the price the next day.  I really thought I would have to amputate my ring finger to get that sucker off.

This was me the day after I had my third daughter.  
I kind of think I look almost exactly like Kate here.

Then when we thought the excitement was over...GASP.  Out they came again and we got to see them get in their car and leave.  William was carrying little Prince George (again, ADORABLE) and Kate rode in the back seat like most new moms do.  I know I did with my first.  I think my second sat back there with her older sister.  And I'm pretty sure my third just sat alone with a bottle propped up under her chin to keep her quiet while her two sisters sat in the third row of the van fighting over My Little Pony toys and what movie to watch on the DVD player.

But of course, mere hours after the great reveal, the judgy assholes came out in full effect.  There was criticism over Kate's dress showing off her still clearly visible baby bump.  WTF?!!! She gave birth about 24 hours prior.  People are clueless!

And then the damn criticism over how the new Prince was buckled into his car seat.  What is wrong?  Pretty much.  But WHO CARES???  Leave them alone.  She probably fixed it after getting into the car and out of the view of media and flashing cameras.  I know it took me quite some time to figure it all out.  Now I can talk on the phone, drink my coffee, and fasten my 2 year old in her 5 point harness one handed and blindfolded.  Don't worry Kate,  you'll get there girl.  

So no, I don't have any good reason as to why I was excited or why I cared.  I mean, why do people get excited about the Super Bowl or Harry Potter movies?  Do they really have an impact on your daily life?  NO.  But people get excited nonetheless.

Bottom line is that MILLIONS of people were excited.  And they are adorable.  I wish them nothing but the best.

And now back to our regularly scheduled shady politicians, global warming, athletes who murder, and rising joblessness and poverty.  Sue me if I welcomed the Royal Baby news with open arms...
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 COOL things to do with kids when it gets TOO HOT.

It's been super hot here.  Like HOT.  Excessive heat warnings hot.  The pool won't even cool you off HOT.  It's 10 am and I want a cold beer HOT.

Note:  I have no clue were I got this picture.  Please don't sue me if it's yours.  
I'll take it down.  Pinky  promise.

Most days we swim.  We lather with sunscreen, rinse, and repeat.  Day after day.

But some days I find myself stuck inside with the kids.  I'm always trying to think of ways to keep them busy.  If you have found yourself in this situation at all this summer, know you are not alone.

Here are some COOL things that I have been doing with the kids when it's TOO HOT.

1.  Constantly breaking up fights.

2.  Setting timers for computer usage and listening to incessant whining time is up because even though I have picked the fairest possible way to keep track of time, it is still NOT FAIR.

3.  Trying to convince ALL 3 kids that family nap time is a good idea.

4.  Sorting all the toys into piles that we want to keep, donate, or throw out.  Only to have them rediscover toys that they haven't played with in 3 years.  We still have not gotten rid of any toys.

5.  Playing with the kitten.  SERIOUSLY.  This has been a lifesaver.  I strongly suggest getting your children a kitten.  It helps with the boredom.  The kitten is starting to get a little pissed when they constantly hold her, wake her from naps, or try to dress her in doll clothes.  But the kids are having a good time.

So as you can see, I really have NO good suggestions at all short of getting a live animal to entertain your children.  Basically I just try to get through the day with everyone in one piece and no trips to the Children's Hospital.

But I could really use your help.  If you have any good ideas, share away!!!!

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Monday, July 15, 2013

I'm starting to resemble Tom Selleck...and other problems with 35.

Last month I turned 35.

I have no shame in that.  I am not one of those people who doesn't want to say how old I am.  It really doesn't matter much to me.

BUT there are a few..."problems"...that I have started to notice.

I guess it was coming.  When you turn 35, don't they stamp "ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE" on your ob/gyn files if you are expecting?  And although I am NOT expecting...nor do I plan on it in the near future (by near future I mean not EVER), all I can think of is that label.  ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE.  It just seems so...UGH.

When you are a kid, the word advanced is a good thing.  That means that you are smart or ahead of your peers in certain areas.  But the older you get, the more the word advanced just gets worse and worse for you.  And then it's not a good thing...but just bad, bad, BAD.

If I am being honest, there are certain things that are definitely advanced at this point.

The first thing is hair growth.  And I don't mean the hair on my head.  Although that hair seems to be falling out at alarming rates, I now have made up for it with hair on my chin and upper lip.  I have never, ever gotten my upper lip waxed in my life.  There was never a need to.  Oh but now there is a need.  Trust me.  I look a little like Tom Selleck.  And the chin hairs?  Just last year I could pluck one or two and it was under control.  At this point I am ready slather my whole face with hot wax and take care of business.

The other thing that is advanced is adult acne and break outs.  Back in my teens, I never had this problem.  I could wash my face with hand soap or slather it with tanning oil (only SPF 8 of course) and NEVER break out.  But now if I go to bed one night without washing off my makeup, I am sure to have an awesome break out.

Not only are the break outs super gorgeous, add skin discolorations to the mix.  A few days in the sun and my "chloasma" is in all it's glory.  Don't know what chloasma is?  Lucky you.  I got it with my 2nd pregnancy.  It is also lovingly referred to as the "mask of pregnancy".  It's just a cool way to say dark spots on your face.  

And how about the weight gain?  Let's talk about that being advanced.  What takes months to take off could be put back on in one wild and crazy weekend (and by wild and crazy I mean drinking wine and eating my childrens' leftover chicken nuggets and mac and cheese).  I can get up 4 mornings a week and run 4+ miles.  I can weight train.  I can watch my diet all week.  Then one bad dessert or night of beer drinking and it goes to shit. 

But the good thing about this age is that EVERYTHING can be blamed on hormones.  Weight gain has nothing to do with stuffing my face with cheese puffs and pinot grigio. My bitchy bad mood isn't my fault.  My bad skin isn't the result of my lazy ass not washing my face at night.  It's all because of the HORMONES.

Now if I could only find a way to blame the hormones for my messy house, my incredible amount of laundry, or my poor money managing skills.  Then I would really be on to something...

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Give Me 5 for Friday: 5 Great Things About Jury Duty

This past Monday I had jury duty.

Most people get annoyed when they have jury duty.  I get it.  We all have lives, jobs, things to do, people to see.  The last thing most people want to do is to sit in a jury room ALL DAY LONG.

But sitting in that room on Monday, I realized that jury duty isn't too bad.  At all.  In fact, it was pretty glorious.

I'll tell you why.

1.  You can't bring in your phone.
While I LOVE my iPhone (and I pretty sure I am slightly addicted to it), it was freeing to leave it behind.  There was no texting, checking emails, or Facebooking.  Nothing.  And it was wonderful.

2.  Kids don't have jury duty.
That's right.  No kids in sight.  Not my kids...not other people's kids.  Just 217 adults.  216 other people that didn't need me for a thing.  I didn't have to get snacks, wipe bottoms, break up fights, or watch Disney Jr. 

3.  I could read.  Without interruption.
Oh, how I read.  I read like I was 26 again (coincidentally, my oldest daughter was born just a month shy of my 27th birthday).  I read more than half of a 389 page novel.

4.  I drank my coffee without reheating it.
I drank a whole thermos of coffee that morning without reheating it one time.  Not once.  As a matter if fact, it was still warm when I took the last sip as I pulled into the parking garage at the courthouse.  If I could have taken it into jury duty with me, I would have brought a whole back up thermos...just so I could sit and read and drink coffee and feel like an adult.

5.  We got "breaks".
Like a whole 20 minute mid morning break.  Of course all I did was go get a Diet Coke and read some more.  But it was like the world was my oyster.  I could have taken a walk.  I could have gotten a coffee.  I could have conquered the world in those damn 20 minutes.  That's how it felt.

My only complaint is that we were released at 1:10 pm and my alone time was cut short.  I was looking forward to at least a good 8 hours.  So as people all around me breathed a big sigh of relief and happily walked out of that court house, a little part of me wanted to smack the grins right off of their faces.

And I'm sure the lady sitting next to me thought I was a little crazy when I said I wished I could sign up for jury duty every week.

But then she looked at me, smiled, and said "I thought the same thing when my kids were little".

What about you?  How do you feel about jury duty?

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Champagne Events on a Lemonade Budget

This is a guest post…my first one! I think these are all super cute ideas for summer entertaining! After you read it, go check out Arianna. A link to her blog is at the end of the post. Enjoy!

Ahhh, summer! Eagerly anticipated by kids and adults alike and within two weeks, both can’t wait for school to start again! Summer seems like it should be a relaxing time but it is one of the busiest seasons of the year in my household. My girlfriends and I were commiserating how wonderful it would be to charter a private jet to take our families and nannies to a Caribbean island. Unfortunately, none of us have nannies or private jets and the closest we get to an island is fruity drinks and hot dogs by someone’s backyard pool! With a little creativity, you can plan your own festive night at home! Here are a few ideas to get you started”
CELEBRITY SUMMER: MOVIE PREMIERES -- Summer heats up with the premier of major movie releases from around the world. Flying to New York City, London or Los Angeles via private jet charter may seem like a dream role to us common folk, but it’s just another day in the life of a celebrity. The most anticipated family friendly blockbusters this summer are sequels to “The Smurfs” and “Despicable Me 2” and “Monsters University”. Summer isn’t the only thing that lights up with all of the movie stars walking the red carpet! 

-- While the cost of movie tickets sometimes might seem to be as expensive as chartering a private jet, there are several ways to enjoy summer movie premieres without breaking the bank. Many radio stations and city newspapers offer free tickets to local premiers of new releases such as “The Lone Ranger” or “Jurassic Park 3D”. Theater chains such as Regal and Cinemark offer special family-friendly discounts and packages so you can make your family trip to the movies an event without breaking the bank! Bring on the popcorn, soda and Snow Caps!

CELEBRITY SUMMER: MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS -- This is one awards show that NEVER fails to deliver in shock value! How can anyone forget Lady Gaga’s meat dress or J. Lo’s memorable emerald-colored Versace dress strategically held in place with only tape? The performances are always newsworthy and sometimes, it’s the “in-between” antics that provide the most fireworks – Kayne West’s shout-out during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech is always a top one that comes to mind. And the comedic hosts such as Jimmy Fallon, Russell Brand and Chelsea Handler add uncensored insanity to the ceremonies. The VMA’s are what all the “hip” moms will be tuning into this August!

-- Who needs the MTV Video Awards when you can have your own VMA-inspired awards show? A family karaoke night is just the ticket for musical fun! Karaoke machine rentals are available online and guests can dress up as their favorite artists for award-worthy performances. Be sure to capture their renditions on a camcorder and have everyone vote on the performances for prizes- maybe a replica of the infamous Moon Man award? 

CELEBRITY SUMMER: LAS VEGAS BACHELORETTE PARTY -- Celebrities and Sin City go hand-in-hand for bachelorette parties. Vegas has everything – from the notorious Chippendales shows to the hottest nightclubs with the most luxurious accommodations. Rehab at the Hard Rock Pool is a must-go event for famous bachelorettes such as Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian. 

REALITY SUMMER: NIGHT ON THE TOWN BACHELORETTE PARTY -- You don’t need to go to the “City of Sin” for a great girls’ night out! Travel a town or two over to change up the scenery! The possibilities for memorable bachelorette parties can range from the mild (a spa day) to the wild (dancing all night at the hottest club). Make sure to follow the usual bachelorette rules: plan activities the bride will like (ask for her input ahead of time!), along with inviting only the people she wants and to make sure she doesn’t pay for anything. Other than that, anything goes! 

We may not have the money or the resources of celebrities but we can be resourceful and creative! 

Hopefully this list of celebrity inspired events turned into DIY parties will encourage you to pick up the latest US Weekly and get busy planning your own fabulous summer soiree! 

Arianna is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire. She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She’s got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Follow her blog at

Monday, July 1, 2013

Thanks for the memories...

I haven't written in over a week.  Truth is I could have written something. 

I could have written about how my impulsive nature lead to us getting a little teeny tiny baby kitty that had been abandoned on the side of the road with her siblings. WHO DOES THAT???

I could have written about my kids.  I could have written about my night away with my husband.  Or about an extremely drunk girl who was running her mouth to a couple with a fussy baby at a baseball game.  WHO DOES THAT???

But I didn't write anything.

Just a few days ago, a very dear family friend...who was one my mom's best friends and also the stepmother of one of my best friends (are you still with me?)...passed away.  She was very ill and while it is a relief that she is no longer suffering, it is unfair that she had to even suffer from ANYTHING in the first place.

You see, this woman was loved by so many.

She was one of the funniest, best storytellers I have ever met.  The way she delivered a story was priceless.  I can hear her voice right now if I close my eyes.

She was so kind to everyone.  She would strike up a conversation with strangers...and would usually make fast friends with anyone she met.

She was loyal.  And funny.  And had such a good heart.  But she could also tell it like it is. 

She knew how to have a good time.  Oh, yes she certainly did.

She was a great mother, wife, grandmother, aunt, and friend.  She was just a terrific person.

And the past few days we have all been telling stories about her, looking at pictures, laughing, crying, and just sharing memories.

Because all that is left when you are gone are memories.

Which got me do I want to be remembered?

How do we all want to be remembered?  I'll tell you what...if even half of what I wrote above could also be said about me when I am gone, I would be satisfied. 

If I have learned anything about life, it's that it can be unfair.  The future is not in our control.  You never know tomorrow will bring.

But that doesn't mean we can't have a good time on this crazy roller coaster of life.  That doesn't mean that we can't try to live each day to the fullest.  We can laugh and cry and celebrate and be happy and be sad and be all of those things and feel all of the feelings. 

And when it's all said and done, we can hope that we have left those that love us with great memories to comfort them and make them smile.

Thanks for the memories, Barb.  You will never be forgotten.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Give Me 5 for Friday: How to tire out your kids ALL SUMMER

Let's face it...the so-called "lazy days" of summer don't exist when you have children.  Yes they are more, ummm, unstructured.  But LAZY they are not.

I have always had summers off, either as a teacher or as a daycare provider because I only have teachers' children (but I am open 1 to 2 days a week in the summer).  Oh, and NEVER say to a teacher "It must be nice to have summers off".  Because you know what?  It is nice.  But it is more like 9 weeks, and it is the ONLY perk and break we get from everyone else's kids.  We sacrifice all school year, work well beyond the school day, plan, have meetings, and grade school work.  Teachers deserve that damn break.  And they don't get paid for it.  They get paid for the number of school days they work and that pay can get spread over 12 months.  It is not a 3 month long paid vacay...alrighty?  Now I will step off my soapbox.

Where was I?

Oh yes, summer and kids.

In my opinion, it's all about tiring them out.  Isn't that what it comes down to?  Keep them as busy as possible so they think the are having the times of their lives while really all we parents are working towards is a reasonable bedtime.

So for give me 5 for Friday, here are 5 ways to tire the shizz out of your kids all summer long...

1.  Water.  ANYTHING with water.  Pools, oceans, sprinklers, lakes, the bay, a hose in the backyard.  You name it, there is a magical thing that happens when you combine warm weather, sun, and water.  Kids are just EXHAUSTED.

2.  Ride, Sally, ride.  Let those kids ride anything with wheels until the cows come home.  Go to a park or a the longest course you can find.  Have them ride bikes, scooters, or these really cool kickboards.  Challenge them to race (each other, NOT you).  Just when they can't go any further, off them a little reward if they take another lap.  There little legs will be screaming for a nap or bedtime!

3.  Schedule as many playdates as possible.  Have friends with kids?  Call 'em up.  Fill up the calendar with fun filled days.  Keep it on the cheap and go to the park, or a pool (see #1), or just go to each other's house and let the kids play outside.  The more kids, the better.  It should be pure chaos for maximum exhaustion.

4.  Have them help with yard work.  This may not seem so great to the kids...but you can make it fun.  Give them gloves and show them how to pull weeds (while you supervise of course).  Let them water the plants.  Give them a toy mower and have them pretend to cut the whole entire yard...twice. 

5.  Do some other outdoor projects, like wash the car.  Kids love that one.  Then you are also combining two tiring activities...water and outdoor work.  When they think they are done, tell them they missed a few spots and keep the "fun" going a little longer.  The Dollar Store has large sponges and microfiber mitts that kids love.  Put them to work...and you will be rewarded.  You will have a clean car AND tired kids.  Win-win.

So what activities do you do during the summer that tire out your kids?  Because a friend of mine would like to know.  Not me though.  I love when my kids are full of energy and expecting constant entertainment until 10 pm EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.  Love it. 

But my friend might like some suggestions... 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I think I see the light.

You know the saying "the light at the end of the tunnel"? 

Well, I think I see the light.  I really do.

Before I begin, please know that I wouldn't trade the past 8 years of my life for anything.  AT ALL.  During those years, I was a teacher.  I had a baby.  Then another baby.  Then I left the teaching profession.  I opened a home daycare and I was successful in doing that for 4 years.  Oh, and I also had ANOTHER baby.

My sole focus for these past 8 years has been on my children and family.  Having healthy pregnancies and raising happy and healthy children was my goal.  I didn't take much time for myself.  I didn't ask for it either, to be honest.

But now my children are getting a little older...they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, being put on the back burner.  They are still only 8, 4 and 2.  The two oldest will BOTH be in full day school next year, with my 4 (almost 5) year old entering kindergarten.  My baby, the 2 year old, will be starting preschool.

My goal when I started the home daycare was to avoid paying for 2 children in full time child care and to be able to be home with them as very young children.  It served it's purpose.

Now it is time to close that chapter and start a new one. 

This week I had an interview.  I will write about that at another time as to not jinx myself.

But I HAD AN INTERVIEW.  I dressed a professional and met with other professionals and answered questions and I actually did a pretty good job.  I felt confident.

That same day, my fabulous in-laws took our two oldest daughters to the beach for 2 nights.  TWO WHOLE NIGHTS.  It was a much appreciated break.  My 2 year old got lots of individual attention and was home alone with us for the first time in her life.  It was refreshing. 

I felt refreshed.

Next week my husband and I are going away for the night to celebrate our anniversary (and as part of a Father's Day gift since we are seeing his favorite baseball team play too).  It's so nice to know that we can plan these little things now.  Again, it's refreshing.

And finally I have been running very regularly and it feels great.  It is so important to me to take this time for myself.  I hope to run a half marathon in September and I look forward to the challenge.

So I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The tunnel just represents a small part of my life...which were those childbearing years. I am so extremely grateful for the three healthy, happy, and wonderful babies we have.  And I cherish those years.  Some days I am even sad that they are over.

But other days, like today, I am grateful to see the light. 

Image from flickr.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Break Confessions

We've gotten through the first week of summer break.

I'm not going to lie to you all.  At times it was hard, yo.

Look, I can complain about my kids and it doesn't mean I don't love spending time with them.  Because I do.  But something happens when children who are used to being in school all day are suddenly NOT in school all day. 

First, they expect constant entertainment.  I mean CONSTANT. 

They want to go places, spend your money, eat ALL THE SNACKS, play with friends, take out ALL the toys that they haven't played with in months, leave shit everywhere (more than usual), and then eat MORE snacks.

They fight with each other over every little effing thing.  EVERY LITTLE THING.  One made a mean face.  One made up new rules to a dumb game that is not even a real game in the first place but it's not fair so let's scream about it.  One said that she was older.  But she IS older.  But that's not fair.  But there's nothing I can do about who was born first.  But it's still NOT FAIR. 

They don't want to shower...or even put clean clothes on for that matter.  They expect to stay up later each night, which doesn't translate into sleeping in later each morning.  They want to watch television on the sofa and fall asleep there.  All of a sudden, going into their room and going to bed is only a phenomenon that occurs during the school year.  (SERIOUSLY.  As I type this, they are asleep on the living room floor in sleeping bags...I kid you not.)

And the projects.  Oh good Lord the projects.  They want to color and tape and glue and stencil and paint and use a hot glue gun. 

Every night I hear the questions about what the plans are for the next day.  Then in the morning, more questions.  I feel like a damn event planner.  Then it's like, "What time are we going swimming?  How long are we going to be there?  Then what are we doing after that?  Are you making lunch?  Can we go somewhere for lunch?  Are we going swimming tomorrow too?"

I LOVE summer.  But it is exhausting.

Some nights I am so traumatized that I sit on the sofa with a Bud Light in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other.  And I stare at television willing that channel to change itself from Higglytown Heroes to something on Bravo.

So I'm one week in.  The kids are home (oh and my daycare will be open at least once a week) and it kicks my ass.

But I'm tough and I can look at summer break square in the face and tell her that she won't break me.  Oh no she won't. 

I'll take my dirty, tired, whiny kids and make this summer my be-otch.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Year of 35 ~ Updated!

Updated post...see below!

Today I turn 35.

I have a few goals for this year.  And maybe by putting them in writing I will actually work harder to achieve them.

Of course I have the usual goals that I always have every be a good mom and wife and daughter and friend.  To be happy and healthy and to make sure my kids are happy and healthy.  To find out if my neighbors are raising chickens in their small backyard (this is a post for another day).  To remember dentist appointments so I don't get charged a damn $25 no show fee.  To wash more clothes than my kids wear each and every day.  And to figure out when Season 3 of The Walking Dead comes out on DVD because for the life of me, I can't find the effing release date anywhere!

I have other goals very specific to this year.  One scary goal is to close my home daycare and return to teaching.  I have been out of the game for 4 years and I really look forward to go back into the classroom.
That is IF I can get a job.  That's the scary part.  I have to close my daycare and HOPE that I get a teaching position.  I can't NOT I am taking a leap of faith here and hoping it all works out!

Another goal...that I really want to put in writing here and actually DO IT this to lose 35 pounds in this, my 35th year of life.

Just so happens that losing 35 pounds would put me at my goal weight.  So 35 years old and losing 35 pounds just works out :)  AND...I am giving myself a whole year to do it.

How will I do that?  I guess I need to cut out the wine.

I'll wait until you stop laughing...

No, I am not going to cut out a daily occasional glass of wine.  I will cut down.  Cut down on wine and beer and junk food and crap that I KNOW is bad for me.  It's not rocket science here.  Eat better, lose weight.  Right?

The other goal is to run a half marathon this year.  My sister in law and I are thinking of training for a 15k which is in that's a good start.

And if I combine the running with NOT stuffing my face with carbs and fermented grapes....I think I might meet some of these elusive goals. 

Maybe just maybe I will be able to show those before and after pics that I am so envious of when reading about others' weight loss journeys.  Maybe I will have the nerve to share a number here when it is all said and know like a before weight and after weight.  Maybe.  That's still a 50/50 chance at best.

So here I am...sharing my goals for my 35th year.

And since I shared them with you, I don't want to be ashamed when June 3, 2014 rolls around and my rolls are still around, if you know what I mean. 

Wish me luck!!!


In place of my usual Give Me 5 for Friday post, here are 5 shocking revelations (okay, not really shocking or even all that interesting for that matter)...
Revelation #1:  The neighbors do, in fact, have chickens.  My investigations revealed about 6 of them.  There could be more.  One was peaking through my fence the other day.  I am hoping and praying that I don't wake one morning to find a chicken carcass at my back door.  My cat is a stone cold killer.  Those chickens better watch their backs.

Revelation #2:  Season 3 of The Walking Dead will be released on DVD on August 27th.  That seems like a very long time to me :(  It's torture...

Revelation #3:  I have not lost a single pound this week.

Revelation #4:  Skipping lunch then eating a whole entire bag of cheddar cheese rice snacks is not the same as "cutting back". 
Revelation #5:  On September 15, 2013 (yes, in 3 months), I will be running in the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  I am super excited! And a bit nervous...

Have a great weekend!
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