Monday, December 1, 2014

Impatient people unite...and join Netflix!

I'm not really one for trends when it comes to books and movies. For example, I have only read one Harry Potter book and I have NEVER seen any of the movies. But as a middle school teacher, I thought it was time to hop on the The Hunger Games bandwagon.

So I did.

And I could NOT PUT THEM DOWN. I read all 3 books in less than a week. Then I decided that I just HAD to see the movies. It was 10:30 at night, the kids were in bed, and as impatient as I am...I just could not wait to start watching. All of a sudden, it dawned on me.

I signed in and was pumped that I could watch both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire!!!!

The Hunger Games (2012) Poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Poster

I loved both movies...and although I was on Team Peeta in the books, Gale was pretty easy on the eyes. Yowza.

I can't say enough how much I love Netflix! Some people ask me how it works and I tell them to go over and sign up because for as little as $7.99 a month, you will have instant entertainment at your fingertips. Which is obviously awesome for moms like me who have to take advantage of any free time that they have...especially when we can watch something that doesn't involve Disney Jr. Right?

Since my Hunger Games binge reading and then watching, I have gone on to watch the Netflix original series, House of Cards (LOVED it!) and also Breaking Bad. I loved that even more and was so sad to say goodbye to Walt and Jesse.

House of Cards (2013) Poster

You honestly can't go wrong with Netflix...and now I think I'll move on to Orange is the New Black. I hear good I'll keep you posted!

If you already are a Netflix junkie, what are you favorite programs to watch?

And if you aren't, well get your a$$ over there and sign up TODAY!!!

But wait right there! You can win a 1 year subsricption to Netflix! Simply enter below to win. The contest ends on December 19. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: As a Netflix #StreamTeam member, I receive a free subscription to Netflix. However, all ideas and opinions in this post are my own.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thoughts from a Working Mom

If I am being honest, I have wanted to write this post since the moment that I started this blog. I write it in my head every single day.

I write it on Sunday nights. I write it on rushed Monday mornings. I write it when I we need to get the grocery shopping done or when the laundry piles up (that's all the time). I write it when I hear my child coughing all night and know that I have to go to work in the morning.

I haven't written it because I never want to offend anyone. But all of a sudden, it dawned on me. How can I offend someone when these are my thoughts and feelings? These words are simply my experience. They are not yours and they are not meant to demean any other person's experience as a mother. This is me. So please read it with that in mind. Everything that I write is simply from the heart of a little old me...a mom who happens to also have a job.

First, I don't think motherhood is a job. Being a parent is not a job. By definition, a job is "the regular work that a person does to earn money". So it's kind of a fact that being a parent is not a job...unless you have a found a way to get paid for it. If so, contact me personally. ASAP. Thanks.

I have a job. I am a teacher. I get paid for that job. But I am also a mother. It is a blessing, a struggle, and a privilege to be a mother. But it is not a job.

When someone says that they have made the choice to stay home to "raise their children", it implies that I choose work over my children. It implies that I am not raising my children because I must work. I can assure you that I AM RAISING MY CHILDREN. We are all raising our children.

When someone says that they chose to sacrifice their career for the sake of their children, it implies that I would not make that sacrifice. It also implies that my children suffer because I work. When someone says that it is a choice, I can tell you that that's not always the case. When someone says that they feel sorry for mothers who want to stay home but can't for financial reasons, it sounds like you feel bad for me. You feel bad for me because you were able to make the right choice, and I so clearly have been forced down the wrong path. When someone says that being a homemaker "makes the world go round", it implies that working moms do not. We are less, in some way. You can say that it doesn't imply that, but I FEEL that it does. Maybe I am over thinking it, but again, these are my feelings.

When I see a person state that they should get paid more than $112,000 for being a SAHM, I start to wonder. Then would I get paid less because I work out of the home? Am I less of a mom? Because I can assure you that no magic fairy comes to the house of working parents and does the laundry, takes the kids to doctor appointments, goes grocery shopping, cleans the bathrooms, kisses boo boos, diffuses constant arguments, tucks kids into bed at night, and makes lunches. Nope. I still have to do that fun stuff too.

The truth is that everyone has to make the best decision for them and their family. And it's not always a choice. My husband and I are both teachers and we simply need to be a two income family. I like my job. I love my kids.

I am a mom who happens to have a job. Being a mother is not my "job"... although raising my three daughters is the biggest part of who I am.

I fail everyday. I succeed everyday. And I'm doing the absolute best that I can on Sunday nights, on rushed Monday mornings, when grocery shopping needs to be done and laundry piles up, and when my child is coughing all night and I have to go to work the next morning. I'm raising my children and giving it my all...and from here on out, I won't let anyone make me feel otherwise.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Winter preparation in the wild...and in my home.

As fall is upon us and the weather turns colder, animal and humans alike begin their winter preparation. And you might be surprised as to how similar our preparations are. You may think that you have nothing in common with that squirrel you see scavenging for nuts, but you do. At least, I know I do.

Do you need some examples? Yes, I'm sure you do. And it's your lucky day because I have quite a few examples for you right here.

First, let me start by saying that there are 3 main things that animals in the wild do to prepare for the cold, long winter months. Those are adapt, hibernate, or migrate.

Now I'll get into specifics.


Many animals grow new, thicker fur to prepare for the drop in temperature. I do the same. On my legs. Solely to prepare for the temperature change. WHAT? That is why. It has nothing to do with sheer laziness and the fact that my legs are covered by my pants on a daily basis.

Animals also grow an extra layer of body fat. As do I. DUH. It's clearly the smarter way to stay warm. You don't want to go cranking up the heat and paying higher electric bills, do you?

Animals such as honeybees and squirrels store extra food for the winter. Watch out Costco, here I come!


Animals like bears, raccoons, and groundhogs hibernate during the winter. Many others become inactive or dormant, which is similar to hibernation, although they do venture out in warmer temps. Animals that become dormant spend most of their time in the fall eating extra food to prepare for the inactive winter months.

Ummmm, sounds about right to me. Someone's gotta eat all this pumpkin crap.


Finally, some animals migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Honestly, these are the animals that have it all figured out. Flying south to warmer weather during the cold, snowy winter sounds like the absolute best option of all. Doesn't it?

Sadly, for folks like me who are strapped down with kids and job, it just doesn't work out. Therefore, my only options are to adapt and hibernate. It's simple science.

My body obviously knows what to do and I think I need to trust it. And right now it is telling me that a pumpkin spice muffin is the way to go. It's all about survival, right? 

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Disclosure: This post is in no way endorsed by companies that make pumpkin spice muffins. However, I would always be willing to accept them as a "thank you" for providing my readers with this useful winter preparation info.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mini-milestone: Our own little Beethoven

Do you belong to Netflix? If not, WHY??? Seriously, it is instant gratification...which is wonderful for impatient people like me.

So obviously I was THRILLED when Netflix contacted me to join their Stream Team. Each month I get to watch awesome movies or shows, and then I blog about them. I have so many things to share with you about Netflix and a bajillion reasons why I love it. Yes, bajillion is a word.

However, when I found out that the #StreamTeam theme for October was mini-milestones, I decided to check out the recommended programs. As I was scrolling through, one of the milestones was "first puppy" and this movie popped right out at me:

As most of you know, we got a puppy in August...and she is a little pain in the ass. But she is our pain in the ass. And she also happens to be a little Beethoven, although she won't be little for long!

So obviously I watched this movie with my kids.

They LOVED it! And not only did they love it, so did I. Mainly because it made me realize that our little hell raiser puppy could be a lot worse...

What?? I am a perfect angel.

I even let the kids harass me.

And I'm adorable when I'm tired.

But this is the EXACT reason why I love Netflix! We can find programs to watch as a family. Or I can find shows that I want to binge watch for days while neglecting all other household duties. Either way, it's a win-win. Am I right? And again, there is always that instant gratification. I want to watch something, I sign on to Netflix, and's right at my fingertips. I love it.

So go to Netflix and celebrate some mini milestones with your family. Or watch OITNB while your kids go all WWE in their bedrooms completely unsupervised. Whatever works.

Disclaimer: As a Netflix #StreamTeam member, I receive a free subscription to Netflix. However, all ideas and opinions in this post are my own.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Won't you NOT be my neighbor?

Remember this song by good old Mr. Rogers?

Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Of course you do. It's a classic. But if I'm being honest, I think that my neighbors many years ago when I lived in a college dorm where NOT singing this tune. I'm going to come out and say it: I was a bad dorm neighbor. 

Let me explain.

My roommate in college was a very good friend from high school. We got coordinating bedding and extra long sheets. We got cute decorations. We went shopping on move in day with our moms and it was the first time that we learned the word "Berber". Our moms raved over a very nice Berber area rug that they ended up buying us for our dorm room. We were all set. Sounds promising. Right?

But here's the deal. Since my friend and I already knew each other and we also had many, many close friends on campus (being that we went to college in the state that we grew up), we weren't exactly making an effort to meet new friends. I mean, we were friendly enough. But we weren't forced to put ourselves out there and meet a whole new group of friends. So we didn't. And we, well mainly I,  possibly alienated the others as well.

You may be wondering how I did that? Well, sometimes it was on when I drew penises on everyone's dry erase boards. Yep, that was me. Although I don't think they suspected me. I also wrote nice little messages like, "Stopped by to visit. Love, Steve." Although I didn't know a Steve and I'm not sure they did either. But "Steve" made many visits and left many, many notes for them.

But here's the all time best moment that most likely drove our neighbors to the brink of insanity. And it was actually an innocent mistake. It was a Friday and my friend and I were both heading home for the weekend. However, we forgot to turn the alarm clock off...and it was set for early in the morning since we both had 8 AM classes.

So picture this. Saturday morning the alarm clock goes off.  It must have been going off for close to an hour when the first message was left on our phone. It went something like, "Hey guys, can you turn off your alarm?" As the hours ticked by, the messages became more frequent...and extremely  vicious, if I might say. "Turn off your f*cking alarm!" "You suck!" "What the F*%&!!! Turn the alarm off! What is wrong with you?!"

As you can imagine, most people in our hall loathed us after the "Great Alarm Clock Incident of '97".

But honestly, I can't say that I'm sorry. I am proud of all of those penises I drew. And I am proud of my creativity when leaving short written messages on the doors of complete strangers. I am proud of "Steve".

Honestly, I hated dorm life. It hated me.

And so did my neighbors.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mini BUT Mighty Heroes

In May of 1998, a young boy named Jacob was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a malignant tumor that develops from nerve tissue and usually occurs in infants and children. INFANTS and CHILDREN. Yes, children get cancer. And September is Childhood  Cancer Awareness Month. 

Here are some statistics. Each year, over 175,00 children are diagnosed with cancer. It is the LEADING cause of death in children. Yet, only 4 percent of the National Cancer Institutes's budget is allotted for pediatric cancer research. Only 4 percent.

So let me tell you a little about Jacob. He was treated by the neuroblastoma team of doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Many, many people prayed for and supported Jacob and his family during which was an extremely difficult time.

And guess what? Jacob has been in remission for over 14 years!!! How amazing is that?!

My challenge to you is to share this story or ANY story about a child battling pediatric cancer. Raise awareness. Raising awareness helps raise funds for research. Research helps develop LIFE SAVING treatment for these mini but mighty heroes.

Some places you can donate include:

Alex's Lemonade Stand
St. Baldrick's
Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation
Children's Cancer Research Fund

For this post, I joined the Mighty Fight and teamed up with Auntie Anne's ! They donated $50 in my name to Alex's Lemonade Stand at

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Snazzy Back to School Tips OR How the Slacker Moms (me) Do It

I was making my daughter's lunch the other day and I used a flower cookie cutter to cut her peanut butter and jelly sandwich into cute little shapes, hoping this would make her complain less about her boring sandwich. And it really works. I basically did this all last year and she loved it. In the fall she had pumpkin shaped sandwiches, in the winter it was Christmas trees or hearts, and then flowers in the spring.

I started to think that I was hot shit, going all Martha Stewart on her. But as it always does, Pinterest proved to me that I am still an absolute failure. I simply look on there and my confidence is shattered. Not only could I NOT do half the crap I see, I wouldn't even want to. I mean, who has that kind of time?

I've compiled a list of all the snazzy back to school tips I've seen vs. the alternative that might be more your speed if you are a slacker mom.

Snazzy Back to School Tip
Alternative for Slacker Mom
Using cookie cutters, turn your child’s sandwich into a magical fall scene. (I actually do this one. And it’s magical, dammit.)
Throw in a PB&J Uncrustable and call it a day.
Cut carrots and celery into creative animal shapes. Using an edible adhesive (cream cheese, peanut butter), use raisins to create eyes, a nose, and mouth.
Buy baby carrots at the grocery store. Place them in a plastic container with a picture of an animal on it.
Carve strawberries and melon into geometric shapes. Your child can learn while they enjoy a healthy snack.
Throw an apple into their lunch box. It’s a circle.
Using rainbow yarn, stitch your child’s initials into all school clothing and gear.
Label stuff with a sharpie. Lose it by week 2 of school.
Make a reading practice chart and initial it every night. Your child can earn weekly rewards for reading the designated time each night.
Assume your child is reading while they are in their room completely unsupervised.
Create bins in your fridge for sandwiches and snacks and teach your child how to make their own lunch each day. They can take one thing from each bin to pack a well-balanced meal for school.
Forget to make lunch and give your child lunch money in the morning.
Paint the inside of your child’s lunch box with chalkboard paint to write cute notes each day.
Use a piece of junk mail to write a note. Teach your child about recycling.
Print back to school pillow boxes to fill with candy as a sweet treat in your child’s lunch.
NO candy at lunch. This is coming from a teacher. Thanks.

 So...what do you think? Any helpful "tips" you would add? Please share!
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Want to Borrow a Newborn

REPOST from May 2013:

I think I want to borrow a newborn for the day. I'm not going to go all crazy and like, keep it or anything.  Because those things grow up super fast and the next thing you know they are throwing themselves on the floor of Target because they want a $34.99 Lalaloopsy doll (and also spilling their Icee all over the toy aisle). So, I promise I'll give it back. TRUST ME.

But I need a fresh newborn...preferably under 1 month old.

Why? Why would I want this?

Well, I think most people decide they want another baby because they truly want more children. But every now and then people who are done, people who can't handle much more on their plate, have these small pangs of "I want a newborn again". They want a NEWBORN. Not a child. Just a newborn. 

That's me. I don't want to do the whole thing again. I can't handle another mouth to feed or another mouth that whines.

I just want it for a day.

Here's why:

1.  So I can sit and hold it, and smell it, and kiss it, and squeeze it's little legs all day...and that is all I will be expected to do.

2.  I will be able to do #1 ALL day because people will offer to take my other kids. That's right. Offer to do volunteer. 

3.  People will bring me meals. Just one day with a newborn will score me casseroles for a week.

4.  People will also bring me fresh baked cakes and homemade cookies.

5.  I will be able to eat all of it too because of course I will need to keep my energy up for the baby. If I even mention starting that post-baby diet, people will say, "You are CRAZY. You have a newborn...Eat up!"

6.  Being a hot mess will be acceptable. The house is a mess, bills are unpaid, and the kids clothes are all dirty. OF COURSE they are. I have a newborn.

7.  People will volunteer to watch my other children. I know I said that in #2.  But it deserves to be repeated.

8.  Someone might offer to take some of this laundry off of my hands. I only have 87 loads to do. (And I am NOT exaggerating.) But who has time to do all that laundry with a newborn? Not me.

9.  Everyone will want to how I feel. Have you ever noticed that when you are pregnant or when you have just had a baby, everyone wants to know how your are feeling and doing? Then a few weeks after giving birth, it ends. Just like that. 

10.  People will volunteer to watch my other children. (I couldn't think of a 10th reason and I really think this could be a top reason for wanting a newborn for the day anyway.)

So if you have a newborn that fits my requirements:

  • under 6 weeks of age
  • not too fussy
  • enjoys getting their legs and double chins pinched
  • still has that newborn smell
I would be happy to take the baby off of your hands for the day.  You can retrieve your newborn around 8 pm, right after my kids have been returned all bathed and ready for bed and after I have polished off a delicious casserole and washed down my Percocet with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

I look forward to hearing from you.
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dear Students

Dear Students,

It's that time of year again! Everywhere across the country, schools are opening their doors for the start of another school year. It's a new year and a fresh start. And there are some things I think you should know...

First, your teachers are just as nervous and anxious as you are. There is a lot on our shoulders and we don't want to let you down. Your education has been put in our care for a whole year. A WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR. That's some pressure right there. But it's also an honor. We have been trusted to not only educate you, but to care for you and keep you safe as well.

And we will keep you safe. We care. Please know that. If you think no one cares, we do. If you think no one wants to see you succeed, we want nothing more than that. If you think no one understands you, we will try. If you think you can't do it, we think you can. If you think you aren't special, we think you are.

We are in your corner. We have your back and are rooting for  you, not against you. Please remember that, even when we give homework.

Some of your teachers have been preparing for your arrival since the day school ended last year. They have spent summer hours planning lessons or trying to think of ways to to do it better. Because we want to be better for you.

Your teachers have stayed late, lovingly hanging up decorations and posters and making your classroom a place that you will enjoy coming to each and every morning.

Although everyone seems to forget from time to time, with all of the new initiatives and testing and data analysis, it's all about YOU. We are here for you and because of you. And we will try our best every single day.

So we would love if you did the same. We aren't expecting perfection. We just want you to try your best. And keep trying again, every day until you leave us at the end of the year to continue on your journey. By your journey's end, we will have been just a small stepping stone along the way. But we won't forget you. Trust me, teachers don't forget. You will always have a little place in our heart.

When it's all said and done, we hope we have taught you well. And chances are, you will have taught us just as much.

A Teacher

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Along came these 3 little girls.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a young woman who wore a size 6 and had no stretch marks. Her house was clean and free from clutter and filled with peace and quiet and nice things from Pottery Barn. There wasn't even any crayon drawings on the walls. She slept as late as she wanted. She didn't drive a minivan. Her bank account had a few more zeros on the balance and she could go to the mall and buy whatever her little heart desired. She thought she had it all.

Then along came these 3 little girls. One by one. Each a few years apart. They showed up and they never left.

Now the house is always messy and noisy...and sometimes smelly. There is never enough time for cleaning...or when there is, what is done becomes undone in mere minutes. These girls, they fight like cats and dogs. Nothing is ever "fair".

There are still trips to the mall, but to stores with sizes no larger than a child size 14. These girls get new clothes with each passing season while the now mid-30ish year woman with many stretch marks wears the same clothes with each passing year. 

There are no more impromptu nights out with friends, twice weekly dinners with the husband, or sleeping the whole day away. No time is her own, since these little girls came along. Not even in the bathroom or shower. Her space is their space and they seem to know no boundaries.

These three little girls have demands that must be met. They need ridiculous things like baths and dinner every night.

They want the banana cut, now they want it whole. Leave the peel on so they can eat it like a monkey. Take the peel off. DON'T take the peel off. These demands are constant. If not met, feet stomping and whining will ensue. She tries to ignore it...but they follow her. In a stand-off, she leaves the banana on the table and says to take it or leave it. Turns out 3 year old will take it and the woman quietly rejoices because she called her bluff. It's the little victories...

It seems like it will never end. Most days the woman just wants to make it to bedtime. She wants to have some peace and quiet...for about 5 minutes until she falls asleep herself from sheer exhaustion.

But the woman leaves for work each morning and longs for more time with these three girls. Although it can be draining and hard, she knows time is flying. She knows that the days of peace and quiet will come again. People constantly tell her it must be true.

And she also now knows that no mall could ever give her what her heart desires...because since these 3 little girls came along, she already has it all.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sometimes you strike out.

Kids, I need you to listen to me. VERY CLEARLY.

Sometimes you strike out. Sometimes you will fail. Sometimes you will lose. (And sometimes you will win.) You won't always be included and you may feel left out. No, you will feel left out.

And you know what? It's okay.

That's life, folks. I think it's time that our kids learned that.

Now I am not saying let's crush their hopes and dreams and break their little hearts. But our children need to know that sometimes what you hope for does not happen. Sometimes things go wrong...or your dreams change. And yes, sometimes your heart will be broken.

Then you get up and dust your self off.

Why am I saying all of this?  Well, it's because kids these days don't experience failure often (or at all). And it is going to make the future all that much harder.

Let me tell you a story.

I started to play softball when I was in 2nd grade. I was the youngest kid on the team. The first day of practice, I got hit with the ball and I didn't want to go back. So guess what my mom did? She took me back the next day...and left me there. She just dropped me off and ran.

And I ended up loving it. You know what else? I was on the team with girls that were 5 or 6 years older than me. And they pitched to me. Three strikes...and I was out. There was no special rule because I was younger. There was no tee to hit off of when I couldn't hit the pitch. And there weren't endless pitches thrown to me so that I always got on base. Nope. I struck out and that was that. But I learned and got better. I LOVED playing on that team my first year and all I remember was the pool party and trips to Pappy's pizza when we won a game. I don't remember failing. Because when you are a kid, you need to learn to lose and not give up.

Let me tell you another story. (This one cuts deep.)

I was in 6th grade and it was our school Christmas pageant. I was set to be one of the narrators. Then at practice, one the the 6th grade teachers cut me off in front of the WHOLE CLASS and said, "I don't think you can be a narrator because your voice is too nasal." And that was that. I got the part of a pretty angel in the background with no lines.

Was I crushed? Yes. Did I live with years of animosity towards that teacher because she robbed me of the spotlight? You betcha.

But you know what? She was right. My voice was nasal and that part might not have been right for me. Whatevs. I got over it (kind of).

I really do understand some of the "everyone wins" mentality. But sometimes it seems to be a little much and I worry that we are raising a generation of kids so accustomed to being coddled that they don't know how to fail. Not only do they not know how to fail, but they don't know how to get up and try again. They give up and take the easier path. But the easier path isn't always the right one.

I just really wish that we could stop making up all of these rules where everyone gets invited to the party or everyone gets on base or no team wins because "we don't keep score in this league". 

We can teach our children to work hard. To rejoice in their successes and to learn from their failures. We can show them that it's normal to make mistakes or not succeed at something. Give them the tools that they need to persevere in this crazy life we are living. Because it doesn't help them if all they know is how to win.

Sometimes you strike out. But you can get back up to the plate and try again. You can ALWAYS try again.

Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters is how you learn from it.
~Lou Holtz
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Time that I Went Back to College... (My BlogU Wrap Up)

Last week I turned 36 years old.

Then I went back to college for a weekend. I lived in a dorm room and all. And it was SPECTACULAR.

Let me tell you a little about my back to school experience at BlogU!

1. I met some of the MOST AMAZING ladies ever (including my roomie Lynn from Nomad Mom Diary). Actually, most of them I already knew in my virtual life. They had lived in my computer for years and we were pretty much already besties. Then I met them in real life. And we are even more like besties.

2. My BFFs and I took some kick ass selfies.

 Kerry from House TalkN is one of my favorites!

 I absolutely LOVE Teri from Snarkfest!

 And I also LOVE Bethany from I Love Them the Most When They're Sleeping, the photobomb queen!

3. I learned SO MUCH that I thought my head would explode. Part of me wanted to throw in the towel because I was overwhelmed by all of the blogging/business info. The other part if me had a renewed confidence that I would be able to take the wealth of knowledge and run with it. So that's what I going to try to do.

4. Susan from Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva gave us very useful information about how to treat your blog like a business! She thought her session was boring...but it was chock full o' good info. To show her how much I appreciated it, I took the most fabulous awkward prom picture with her. It's a framer.

5. Yep, you read that right. I said PROM. We went to the best prom EVER, sponsored by the wonderful folks at NickMom.

Plastic sofas and all.

Jennifer from Real Life Parenting and I ROCKED the retro prom theme!

6. Speaking of the NickMom Retro Prom, the highlight of the night for me was when Christine from Keeper of the Fruit Loops wore my prom dress from 1995.

 I almost died. Hilarious!

Bitch stole my look!

 Christine and Stacia from Dried-On Milk kickin' it old school.

7. We had the amazing opportunity to meet editors from both Huffington Post and NickMom...and they were super helpful and sweet.

8.  Nicole from Ninja Mom was the funniest person ever any time she got on the mic to speak. She needs to be a stand up comic! And she was also the most adorable thing ever. I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home with me. So freakin' cute!

9. I got to meet one of my idols...a blogging/writing superstar, Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat!

10. I stayed up WAY TO LATE and laughed until I cried with Keeper of the Fruit Loops and Foxy Wine Pocket. We perfected the art of roundhouse kicks.

11. It turns out that I won't do a reading from my blog in front of hundreds of people...but I will take the microphone from the DJ and rap every single word of Young MC's "Bust a Move".

12. I have found my blogging tribe and I love each and every one of them!

In closing, it was a FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC weekend in which I learned more in 48 hours than I learned in 4 years of college. Sorry, no that's not true. It took me 5 years to finish college. And I did learn a lot. But I #GotSchooled at BlogU!

It was great and I am already looking forward to next year!!!

A special thank you SHOUT OUT goes to Stephanie from Binkies and Briefcases who was the mastermind behind the entire BlogU conference! Also to the faculty, who were terrific and informative and patient and helpful and fabulous. You should really go check out the faculty list and visit each and every single one of them!!!
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Truth about Girls

The other night in a ranty Facebook post, I mentioned that I was fed up with reading all of these posts about being a mom of boys.

Let me state for the record that I actually enjoy reading these posts and I am very certain that they are accurate. My frustration comes from that fact that many believe, or seem to believe, that girls are just the complete opposite of those rowdy, gross, mama-loving boys.

And that is not true.

I have 3 daughters. Trust me.

Here's the truth about girls.

They like to be dirty.
Seriously, most girls don't give a crap about getting their hands dirty. They like to dig their pink sparkly painted nails in the dirt just as much as the next guy.
They are dirty.
Their rooms can smell like complete @ss and they don't care. There are clothes and toys and stuffed animals and barbies and dirty socks strewn everywhere. AND THEY DON'T CARE.

They are rough.
My girls will knock a b*tch out. And by that, I mean each other. They will throw punches and kick and wrestle. They also will try to slide down our railing or jump over it onto the sofa. Instead of playing IN their little playhouse, sometimes they enjoy sitting on the roof. It all depends on whatever mood they are in ... that minute.

They love potty talk.
Not a day goes by that they don't talk about poop or farts or butts...and with girls, you most likely get the added bonus of "boobie" talk.

They like to be gross.
They also think burps and farts are hilarious. It's even funnier when they do it right on each other. My 5 year old loves to torment her older sister with her feet. All the time.

They love their moms, too.
It's not just boys that love to kiss and hug their mommies. Sure, they love their dads a whole lot. But sometimes all the want is mommy. And they might even tell you over and over again that they NEVER want to move out because they want to live with you forever. Ummmm, talk to me in 10 years, honey.

They are not sweet and girly all the time ... and sometimes they never are.
It's not always princesses and tea parties. It's not always pink frilly dresses. But when it is, they are usually a size too small and they still insist upon wearing them to the grocery store.

It's not always sugar and spice and everything nice. Sometimes it is everything crazy and gross and dirty. It's a little bit of everything. And it's wonderful.

That's the truth.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rest easy, sweet girl.

On Memorial Day, my husband and I made one of the toughest decisions to date in our adult lives. After seeing our sweet, sweet St. Bernard's health decline rapidly over the past two months and trying everything we could, it became crystal clear that she was suffering when she could no longer walk or rest comfortably without whimpering. We knew it was time. She looked at us with those eyes, those eyes that I will forever miss, and we knew.

Just 4 months shy of her 12th birthday (which is a great age for a Saint and it brings me some comfort), we said goodbye to our beloved Darby.

Let me tell you a little about our girl.

From that December day when we picked her up from Delta air cargo at the Philadelphia airport, it was love at first sight! She was the absolute most adorable thing I had ever seen. And she was the kindest, gentlest puppy. She never ran off or chewed our shoes. Okay, I think she chewed one of my shoes but they were horribly ugly and I think she was just trying to help. 

She was house trained so easily because she just loved to please us, I think. I can honestly say that I have no complaints about her. Not a one. Maybe the shedding, the shedding was a downer. But that's it. And I actually miss it already.

Before there were babies, she was our baby.

Then when there were babies, she loved them so much. The stuff that she allowed them to do still amazes me. Truly.

 She loved our girls and they loved her.

Last summer we rescued a extremely tiny kitten and Darby loved her. She was so sweet and gentle with her. I think that cat actually thought Darby was her mom at times. And I can tell that she is missing her these past two days.

We are all missing her.

People say that it's a relief when you know that your pet is not suffering any more. And that's true. But it also feels strange. It's strange not seeing her when I open the front door. It's strange not hearing her walk around the house. It's strange when we eat dinner and she is not patiently waiting a few feet away (because she never came to the table and begged) for one of the kids to give her some of their food.

I know that it was the right time. Of that, I am certain. But it doesn't feel "right" yet. It feels like she should still be with us. She was a constant in our lives for the past 11 1/2 years. And it doesn't feel right without her.

In the end, I am just so extremely grateful that our lives were blessed by this girl.

Darby, you will forever be loved and missed. Rest easy, sweet girl.

My best friend sent me this and I LOVE it. So I thought I would share it with you.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Beauty and the Beast is Totally Effed Up

I LOVE Disney movies. My kids LOVE Disney movies. My 3 year old is going through an obsession with watching Beauty and the Beast in our van whenever we are driving anywhere. EVERY TIME. ALL THE TIME.

Luckily, I thoroughly enjoy singing along to the songs. (Although my kids do NOT enjoy my singing. Obviously, something is wrong with their hearing and they should be checked by an audiologist ASAP.)

Anywho, where was I? Oh yes, Beauty and the Beast. So after listening to the movie approximately 3,486 times and doing some deep thinking, I have come to a conclusion. The movie is F&CKED UP. For real.

1.  The Beast is kind of a prick in the beginning and deserves to be taught a lesson. But I think it's a little extreme to punish his whole staff, including a child. That's messed up. Poor Chip.

2.  But speaking of children, if you listen closely to the opening story about how the curse came to be, it says that the curse had been in effect for 10 years and the flower will only bloom until the prince's 21st birthday. So the prince was cursed when he was 11? I have no words...

3.  When Belle arrives to save her father and volunteers to take his place, the Beast allows it.  Fine, I get that part. But then the whole staff automatically think that this new "prisoner" will fall in love with their master and break the spell? What are they smoking?

4.  Then the staff, who seem as sweet as can be, continue to believe that Belle will fall in love with the Beast, even though he is a supreme d*ck to her and, oh that's right, CONTINUES TO HOLD HER CAPTIVE.

5.  Does the staff help Belle escape? Nope. They keep her in the castle because they are selfish and only think of themselves and the spell (even though I still hold firm on the fact that the spell was unfair and they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time).

6.  But then when the Beast flies off the handle (major anger issues) because Belle went to the West Wing, she escapes with no problem at all. If it was that easy, why did she wait so long?

7.  Then low and behold, Belle DOES start to fall in love with the Beast. Sure, that's realistic. Stockholm Syndrome at it's finest. Take note, kids. This is real romance.

There are so many other messed up parts. And questions. Oh, the questions I have about this movie!

They include, but are not limited to:

1.  What kind of animal is "The Beast"?

2.  How did no one know about the Beast or his castle when apparently it was a short walk from the village?

3.  How come in every other follow up, straight to DVD movie based on Beauty and the Beast, the Beast is still a beast and not human. WHY DISNEY? I don't get it.

And finally, I leave you with this little gem. What fresh hell is this?

Disney Beauty and the Beast Wallpaper HD Wallpaper 

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Monday, May 19, 2014

7 Thankless Parenting Tasks

Sometimes it's a thankless job, being a parent. Like you do shit that you never thought you would do and there is rarely a "thank you". I know that my kids appreciate the stuff I do...deep down, they do. At least, I hope so. And like I mentioned in a recent post, it's ALL worth it

But sometimes a THANK YOU WOULD BE NICE.

I have compiled a little list (people love lists) of some of the thankless "jobs" I do as a parent. I say "jobs' in quotes because I don't think of parenthood as a job. It's not.

But it sure does feel like it sometimes.

Here are some of those "jobs" that go unthanked (I know that this is not a word, but I am using it anyway because I like to live on the edge):

1.  Doing a load of laundry in the middle of the night because my kid just told me at 9 pm that it's school spirit day or wear the color periwinkle day or some crap like that TOMORROW. Sure, let me dig through our heaps of laundry to find that one exact shirt you have to wear in less than 12 hours. I'll get right on it. You're welcome.

2.  Determining if underwear on the floor are clean or dirty. Enough said. By the way, just always always always assume that they are dirty. It's easier that way.

3.  Wiping the 5 year old's butt. When do they stop asking for help with this task?!

4.  Cooking the same meal in 46 different variations. One gets pasta with sauce, one NO SAUCE AT ALL ... NOT EVEN A SPECK, one just the meatballs cut up in teeny tiny pieces. Actually don't cut it up because NOW I WON'T EAT IT IF IT'S CUT UP. One likes the garlic bread but only the kind with the cheese on it. (Can you blame her?) And one wants just bread and butter, but wants to spread the butter herself and make the new tub of smooth butter look like it was attacked by a pack of rabid raccoons. One MUST have a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese on the pasta for it to even be considered edible. You get the idea.

5.  In fact, cooking ANY meal is a thankless task because they usually make cute comments like, "What is that disgusting smell?" Or "EWWWWW, I'm not eating that!" before the meal is even on the table.

6.  Giving up the last bite of a favorite snack/dessert to share it with a child. Because apparently you didn't hide in the kitchen and shovel in your mouth fast enough and you got caught red handed...

7.  Sleeping on the bottom bunk or in a toddler bed because they are "scared". You know what really IS scary? The fact that I can't fully straighten my legs for a solid 12 minutes in the morning after spending in the night in a bed made for a person who is 38 inches tall.

I'm sure my list could go on and on and on and on...

But I'll stop here before I start ranting about my stretch marks or giving up wine for 9 months on 3 separate occasions...totaling about 27 months with limited coffee and no wine at all.

Anything you want to add to the list? Please leave a comment and share!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reasons to Get Schooled at BlogU!

In 3 weeks I'm going to the BlogU Conference in Baltimore. 3 WEEKS!!!!!! I can't wait!

When I first heard about the conference, I just knew that I had to go. It's within driving distance from my house and it's affordable. Since I've registered, I have been counting down the months, now weeks, until the conference. There are so many reasons to register for this conference if you are a blogger and I have compiled my own little list...or two lists as a matter of fact.

I "should be" going because of these reasons:
  • AWESOME learning opportunities. Some courses offered at the conference include:
    • Treating Your Blog like a Business
    • Making Money with your Writing (It's all about the Benjamins, baby.) Oh, and I just made that part up...
    • Facebook & Twitter
  • Networking with other AMAZING bloggers...just check out the "faculty". Such a talented group of ladies!
  • Networking with both NickMom and HuffPost Parents!
I am really going because of these reasons:
  • Networking (AKA drinking) with other bloggers
  • Friday night cocktail party
  • The cupcake bar
  • 5 meals without kids
  • Retro Prom sponsored by NickMom
  • Drinking with other bloggers...wait? Did I already mention that?
  • FINALLY getting to meet ladies who have been friends that have lived in my computer for years!
  • And OF COURSE the amazing learning opportunities...
So if you think that this sounds like something you are interested in (and who wouldn't be?)...go ahead and register TODAY and get ready to get schooled!

Today is the last day to register for this kick ass conference. So what are you waiting for?

I hope to see you there!!!!!
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Please Know that It's Worth It.

As I was complaining talking about my kids the other day at lunch at work, I realized that I was probably making motherhood sound like the WORST.THING.EVER. Especially to those that haven't ventured down that path yet.

And it is not. It's far from it.

I want to be clear, very clear, that it is not as bad as maybe we make it sound at times. And I say "we" because I am referring to myself and all other moms who like to vent about that beautiful chaos that is parenthood.

Yes, my house is ALWAYS a mess. Even when it's clean, it's a mess.  Yes, I rarely have time for myself. I am NEVER alone when my kids are around. I can hide...and they will find me. Trust me, I have tried several times. Unsuccessfully.

My girls are at this really fun age when they fight constantly. ALL THE TIME. And they whine. There are some days when I tell them that I forget what their normal voice sounds like because the whining is NONSTOP.

Everything takes longer. If you think something like running to the store will take 15 minutes, you have to multiply that by the number of kids you are bringing along and that is how long it will really take. Then also add 10 minutes...because there is a chance that someone will have to go to the bathroom in an awesome public restroom that smells like air freshener and death.

Plus it's expensive. The food is know, since kids gotta eat and all. And the clothes. And the daycare. Like, literally, my hand shakes every other Friday when I write that good old daycare check. And just when I get ahead (or caught up because, who am I kidding, we are never AHEAD), BAM, here comes another child-related expense.

So as you can see from all of these wonderful factors I have pointed out, it may seem like being a parent is a horrible task that millions of people take on because we are obviously not right in the brain and we want to punish ourselves for all eternity. Right?

Nope. Not it all.

It's something most people choose to do because they want nothing more than to create another human being and find out what they are all about and watch them grow and learn and change every single day. It truly is amazing when you think about it. You created this little person from scratch. You waited for MONTHS to finally meet them with cautious optimism...because you quickly find out that growing a human is a terrifying miracle and you will do anything in your power to ensure their safe, healthy arrival.

And when they finally do arrive? Well, there is absolutely NOTHING in this world better than meeting that little human. That very first breath they take simply takes yours away. And everything you have done to get them here is worth it.

And every day after that is worth it, too.

When they fight and whine, it's worth it. When they refuse dinner or spill their whole cup of milk on the carpet and you know it will smell horrible in a few days, it's worth it. When they drive you absolutely OUT OF YOUR MIND and you can't take another minute, you find the strength down in the pits of your soul...because they are worth it.

So to all those who have ever listened to me complain or vent, and there are many who have, please know this: It's all worth it and I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

You might also want to know that wine, gift cards, and offers of babysitting help though. Just in case you were wondering.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Simple Lessons from a Night with the Girls.

There is nothing better than a fun night with your girlfriends. There are also some simple life lessons that can be learned on these get togethers.

1.  Always be prepared.

2.  Even if you think you are kind of strong and that your friend is super little, you probably can't bench press her. Trust me.

3.  Don't bring cookies. Unless you want to drink 1.5L of white wine and eat said cookies.

4.  Your skinny friend (referenced in #2) might try to convince you that you can improve your core strength with some simple Pilate's moves. Don't try them.

5.  In the end, the best core workout is laughing your ass (and ab flab) off with friends.


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