Mome reads Mommy, My daughter's way to spell it when she was younger... It stuck. My son calls me Mome... just like it looks. I now sign all my notes to them "Love, Mome". It's our inside secret and makes them smile. I always want them to smile.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Noticer Project

"When we notice things about ourselves and other people that allow us all to regroup, take a breath, and begin our lives again, the best is surely yet to come."

From The Noticer
by Andy Andrews

There's a new movement on the scene and it's hitting every social media site (or at least the big ones) at a time when looking at ourselves and the people we care about could make all the difference in the world as to how we proceed. The Noticer Project is a chance to look at our lives and recognize those that have mad our lives special, made us who we are, or offered a random act of kindness that touched us.
I encourage everyone to take the time to thank at least 5 people in your life that in some way have made a difference. You can send them a note, call them, publicly recognize them on Face book or right on The Noticer Project site. I'll be doing this and invite you to join me.
I'm currently awaiting copies of The Noticer by Andy Andrews and will do a review of the book after reading as well as host a giveaway for your chance to own this life changing book.

Now go NOTICE someone!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Front-of-the-Line Passes for Manta

I'm amazed at how far theme parks have come in the last (ahem) 30 years. I remember spending hours waiting in line to ride the rides at Cedar Point as a kid and teenager. It seemed like we spent more time in line than we did on the rides...because we did. That was a once a year trip, as it was 4 hours away from our house.

Now we live 20 minutes from Busch Gardens and could ride the coasters whenever we want (with season passes)...except for the little ones. Boog is now big enough to ride most of the coasters and I was so proud when he tried one last year. He came off the ride and said "Mom, I did it...and I didn't even cry." When asked if he would like to do it again "No." was his reply. It's not very often that Hubster and I get there without the kids, so we spend a lot of time in Dragon Land watching the kids enjoy the kiddie rides. The only bonus is that the lines for all of these are about 5 minutes on the busiest of days.

Nowadays parks have front of the line tickets you can purchase that allow you to avoid waiting on the more popular rides and some even have single rider lines to insure all rides are full and make the regular lines go quicker. I really prefer NOT to ride alone as I think part of the thrill is sharing the experience with others.

If you find yourself at SeaWorld this summer and are looking to experience their newest ride (opening in May) Manta is sure to be every thrill seekers dream. Right now SeaWorld is offering front-of-the-line passes to anyone who logs into their site and participates in their Manta quiz. You can find answers by following them on twitter and throughout the site. You'll have to answer 5 questions and only get three chances (strikes) so don't rush through it. I figure you'd rather spend the time in the comfort of your home (or office) working on getting the correct answers than spending that time in line waiting. So head on over and get your front-of-the-line pass today.


Wordless Wednesday ~ The Circus

Don't forget to leave a comment after linking.

Happy WW!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Info for Those Looking for Alternative Web Hosting

Most of you know that this blog was moved from bravenet to here. I had a hard time deciding where to move the blog too as there are so many choices and I'm somewhat HTML challenged. Sure I can copy and paste. I've even been known to edit a picture or two through the coding (at least the size of the image), but that's pretty much where it ends. I do have an account with Hostgator, but I get a headache every time I try to figure out all I would need to do to get a blog moved over there. Thank goodness for sites like blogger that have basically created "blogging for dummies" platforms. Not that I think the people who use blogger are dummies. The blogs I've come across are well written, interesting, and are by people who have something to say that I enjoy reading. We're just somewhat "lost" beyond the writing part. The easier it is to set up a nice looking site, the my opinion.

For those that are looking for something a little more challenging, can provide you with all the information from the different web site hosting companies and breaks it down into different features, price packages, and reviews from users. Their easy-to-navigate site makes it easy to quickly determine which host would be best for your needs, whether it's for business or for personal growth.

There has been some talk in different forums that blogger should be removed from paying sponsorship companies due to the ease of obtaining a blog and the numerous "spam" blogs that exist on the platform. Suggestions have been made to the "serious" bloggers using this system to move to a self hosted, non-free site. If we are already self hosting and just using blogger because of it's ease of use, should we be penalized? I think a lot of these bloggers are already looking to other sites for hosting and hope they find the information and resources they are looking for to make informed decisions.

I Needed a Moment

Yesterday I wallowed in my sadness. My baby girl turned 3. I think, as moms, we all have that moment when we realize there will be no more babies in the house, when our children get to the age of not needing us every moment of every day. For me, that day was yesterday, and it's been creeping up on me for the last couple weeks. I'm over it now. I just needed a moment.

We had cake and ice cream with Mima and Papa and Puddin Pop exclaimed "This is the best birthday ever." Sometimes simpler is better. We had parties for the last 2 birthdays so decided to just focus on making her day special without adding a whole bunch of people to distract us.

The gift...

I know some of you have been waiting to see. She, like her brother, asks for everything she sees on TV, but never really remembers, nor does she get attached to any one thing. Boog got a Nintedo DS for Christmas and she loves to play with it. She is not very good at maneuvering through the actual game levels but is very impressive in finding her way around and selecting the individual mini-games she likes. You can show her one time how to get to a certain area of the game (usually a series of 4-5 buttons) and she remembers. She also really likes the touch screen features. So...

We got her this

Leapster by Leap Frog. Recommended for ages 4-8 (We're a year early) this game is intended to help teach colors, shapes, numbers and letters for the pre-k group and grows with them through different games and advanced levels. We included the Disney Princess game.

PP now has her own hand-held game. She has rarely been seen without it. With features like drawing, sing-a-long songs and touch scree fireworks, she is entertained, working on improving hand/eye coordination, and the fighting over the DS has ceased...and it's pink and purple, what more could a Princess ask for?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Gift

Puddin Pop will be 3 tomorrow and I have found myself in search of the "perfect gift". There's nothing like the look of disbelief when a child opens a gift and exclaims "For me? Really? For me?" I encountered this reaction for the first time with my nephew was 3 and I bought him a new bike (he's now about to turn 18). It was the feeling one must feel when landing one of the coveted Wall St jobs, or whatever the top position is in their field.
Now, as a Mom, I always try to find that one special thing that they will hold on to, that will get a lot of use, if it teaches them something...BONUS. I want them to know that they are loved and treasured. Yes, I know it doesn't require gifts to send this message, but if I can pick just the right thing, they may be reminded even at those times when I neglect to show or tell them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

In Need of Help

We have been in our house for almost 6 years now. We have removed a seriously neglected above ground pool and the very neglected decking that surrounded it. I was afraid to have the kids go outside for fear of splinters from the decking. It was that bad. So now we have to determine what to put in it's place. Boog would love a trampoline. I'm not necessarily opposed, I just don;t think I can watch them jump and fear for their lives all day long. I would like a nice gazebo and some outdoor furniture of the patio variety. Hubster would like to build a new deck.
I'm not sure why, maybe it's the condition of the current deck and the umpteen promises of repairing it, but I feel as though a patio would be much easier to maintain and I like being at ground level rather than up above.
For those of you with either, please let me know which you prefer and help me make a case to get a patio or help Hubster to get his deck. Either way he's doing the work so you tell him what would be best.

First Mammogram


So, I had my first mammogram today. I was supposed to get it a year ago but accidentally scheduled it on Good Friday and we were going out of town (made the appt, 4 months in advance). Yeah, it took me a while to reschedule but today I went. The purpose of this post is to share my experience with others who may be a little leery about going. We all hear the horror stories but also know the importance of this yearly procedure. It was no big deal. It was the equivalent of shopping for a life insurance quote . You don't want to think about it, it's not something you really want to do, but you know it's important and you have to do it.

The people were wonderful. It was like a women's club. We chatted before our procedures and those that has been there before explained the procedures to the new ones in the "club". I never felt uncomfortable and the procedure was done quickly and without discomfort. I know we all have different comfort zones and pain thresh holds, and mine is pretty high, but seriously, the positions I had to stand in to get the right angles were more uncomfortable then the squishing.

If you are worried about having one done and have put it off like I did, pick up the phone and call. It's not only important, it could save your life!...and it's really not that bad!

Why Do You Use Forums?

Is it a requirement of blogging to be an integral part of different forums? Is it a marketing technique to be opinionated to the point of offending others? Do people read these forums and wonder who these people are and therefore click their links to see what other opinions they have written on their own blogs?

I visit different forums in several of the communities that I belong to and seems as though there are always a group who seem to "run the forums." The elite few who always have something to say. I've also noticed a select group that just like to complain...ABOUT EVERYTHING. It would seem to me that if you are unhappy with a situation or with what others are saying, you should just quit showing up. I do not understand the mentality of people who show up just to argue. There are some topics that I feel passionate about, but rather than try to change people's minds and get them to agree with me, I would be more apt to find a forum of people that already agree with me and discuss it there?

Do you network in the forums? What is your purpose? Do you like a good argument or are you there to find like-minded individuals?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 4/22

Oh yeah. It's gonna be one of those weeks. Lots to do. Puddin Pop has her 3 year check up (and hopefully NO shots). Mommy gets her Boobies squished on Friday (can't wait), we have the circus, a family math night at school, preparations for PP's birthday and so much more. My head hurts thinking about it (and my boobies too)....I'll be quiet now.

Don't forget to comment after linking! Now go check out some other pictures!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

For the Children

There is nothing I wouldn't do for my Children, and one thing I wish I would have done.
(Puddin Pop and I on Easter)

When I was pregnant with Boog and then again with Puddin Pop, I received information from cord blood banks listing their different programs and what saving the cord blood could mean in the event of illness for either of them or another family member. I was adopted, so I pretty much knew if we saved it, it would most likely only benefit my husband, his family, myself and our children. That's a lot of people who could be impacted by the current technology of today. The prices at the time, were not within our budget, and the cord blood was donated instead. I hope it helps someone someday.

Like any technology, prices drop as products and services become more readily available and now Cryo-Cell has one of the lowest fees for collecting and preserving these precious stem cells and are constantly doing research on other ways to use them and other ways to obtain and preserve them. Cord blood has already been used to treat over 70 illnesses and ailments and many more are being tested as I write this. It's a decision that wasn't available to our parents and one that should be seriously contemplated with each new birth.

Here's a testimonial from a current Cryo-Cell Client explaining how she determined that this program was right for her family.

"My children are the most precious gifts that I will ever have and I want to do everything I can to make sure they are well. While I was pregnant with my first child, I would see articles and ads about cord blood and it bothered me that it was so expensive but what if I one day needed this blood. The reality of having only one chance or it really went in the garbage kept me wondering if I would regret not investing. What if he had cancer or his dad or I were sick, would that blood have been the cure? Through research, I came across Cryo-Cell International, Inc., a company with the most reasonable rates and the assurance of two holding facilities.
When I was pregnant with my second child, we wondered if one bank was enough? Finances were tighter and should we spend the money? Then we realized that his brothers blood might not match for the new baby. The next day, stories were breaking about how Cord blood had saved or changed the lives of children, one cancer, one cerebral palsy. Then we discovered that a friend was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. He didn't bank his daughters blood and wished he had. Three years prior, I lost a friend to renal cancer when she was 29. We felt like it was our answer.
We are just beginning to see miracles that this blood can bring. We have two "life insurance policies", that is how we look at it. If anyone in the family gets ill, there is a chance that the blood could save our lives. If we don't use it, then it is there for our son's children."
Sincerely, mother of Parker and Davis
Cryo-Cell International Client

What would you do for your children? I hope that the blood we donated gets put to good use.


Running Around

I did some running around today and got nothing done!!!

First I went to DMV to renew my plates. I was informed that my property taxes had not been paid so I couldn't get them. I called the taxation Dept to find out that they had deducted the amount from my state return but that they (the dept of taxation) would not actually receive the payment until May. My tags need to be renewed NOW, and the money was deducted from my refund 2 months ago. I can pay ANOTHER $150 to get the hold removed and they will just apply it to my June payment, but I really don't want to do that. I'm not yet sure what I'm going to wasted trip.

Then I went to the Verizon store to separate our family plan to a single plan since Hubster's company is going to take over his plan (right now they just reimburse us for part of the bill). I'm told that Hubster's company just needs to take his number and then I can decide on what plan I want. I call Hubster and he says he spoke with someone yesterday that told him I would have to have the accounts split and have him put on a temporary account so that his company could "port over" his number. The people at the store looked at me like I was crazy. They kept on insisting that I didn't have to do anything until his company took his number. He said his company can't port the number because he is the primary. Light bulbs flickered and the customer service girl finally got it and said "Oh no, they won't be able to touch is if he's the primary on a family plan." Hello? Am I having a conversation with myself? I've been telling you that all along and started with "We have a family plan and my husband is the primary but I have full authorization and I want to...". Needless to say they gave me my options and we have an upgrade for a new phone. I think I want to switch to a blackberry though, so here is where it gets complicated. Hubster has a World but wants a Storm. His company will send him a Curve with their plan. I looked and actually like the Curve the best so...I did nothing but split the account so they can port his number. We'll wait for the curve and switch my account, then he'll get the Storm (or technically I will), and then we'll go online and switch the devices. Whew, all that thinking made me thirsty.

So off to the grocery store I went. I actually got stuff there, including my favoritest cheap wine, Tisdale Shiraz. I'll be opening that soon.

So I went places with intentions and left with my intentions and and a couple of plans and some wine.

Tuesday Random

Just a reminder that you have 9 days left to enter my cookbook giveaway here. Comment, tweet, follow it's as easy as doing one of those, so head on over.

I'm still looking for charities and foundations to spotlight and support, so let me know your favorites or any new ones you've become aware of so I can check them out. I'll even give you the credit for keeping me informed (linky love).

Busy,busy this week. Car tags to renew, cell phone sevice to change (not service, but plan) 2 doctor's appointments, the circus, and a possible weekend trip to NC. I'll try to post something exciting, but if I don''ll know why.

I Did Something Bad...Very Bad

...and I'm not even positive what it was...but I have an idea.

So I'm sure it's obvious that I do sponsored posts. It's a way to make a little extra money but even more than that, it's a great way to write about SOMETHING when I might not otherwise have anything to say. I've been guilty of writing about stuff I know nothing about in the past (while learning about it in the process) but have tried to only take the offers on topics I believe in, find interesting, or that I think would benefit others since I got over the initial shock of actually making money from blogging.

I know that some of the companies are stalked by google and too many posts for them and you will find your page rank in the gutter (if you even manage to get one). I wish I could blame it on them...but I fear I caused this demise on my own. I do do stuff for these companies, but have for a while and have never seen a dip in my PR. It's not as though I'm doing nuphedra reviews , credit counseling, or other nonsense stuff, so I think I've slid under their (google's) radar. Maybe it's due to backlinks, maybe it's because I use blooger, somehow I have not been affected during a regular update. So imagine my surprise when I noticed on Sunday that my PR2 was now a 0. I tried to figure out what may have caused this. I know updates were done a couple weeks ago. I usually don't check until I see people talking about recent updates on their blogs or in forums, but I was rearranging some stuff in my side bar and noticed my nice 0 on my PR button. I tried to think what may have caused this and this is the only thing I can come up with...tell me if I'm wrong as I'm really not sure what would cause a random drop weeks after ranks are configured.

Sunday morning I was checking to see where some of my posts ranked in google searches. I was most interested in the cookbook giveaway as it has received more comments than anything I've done (including previous giveaways). I noticed it was on page 3 of the google search for "cookbook giveaways". Then I noticed the little "promote/demote" buttons on each listing. I must admit I had not noticed these before and didn't really know what their purpose was so I clicked promote...on 3 of my listings. I don't know if these are for my own viewing or to promote something I find useful to help google help others, I should look into it but figured someone might read this and save me some time by telling me (so please enlighten me). Anyhow, 2 hours later is when I noticed the dive in my PR. Did I sent a cryptic message to google when I promoted my own articles? This is the only reason I can think of for the smack down. I won't be touching those buttons anymore.

Please enlighten me if I am way off base.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Buying by the Label

I'll admit it. When I'm looking to try a new wine, I look for a variety I like and seek out a cool label. Sometimes I'm in the mood for flowers or bright colors, sometimes it might be the name, and sometimes it's just a label that strikes my mood. Is that wrong? I've come across some good ones and some I-don't-care-how-cool-the-label-is-this-sucks wine, although not that often due to my love of everything wine and an inability to waste it.

Recently I was in one of those moods and bought a delightful Mar del Sur Malbec. With it's inky purple colors and an aroma of mixed red fruits and coffee, this was a delightful purchase-by-label choice. I enjoyed it with my usual Steak and mixed veggies and it complimented the crushed red pepper/roasted garlic seasoning, I used on both, perfectly.

While I enjoy having wine with friends, I also enjoy a quiet evening, kid and hubster free, to enjoy food and beverages that none of them would touch. (Hubster would eat steak but it would have to cook for and extra 30 minutes). This wine relaxed my mood, went well with my dinner selection, and was even delightful with my dark chocolate oreo for dessert. For just under $10, this wine and experience was worth so much more.

Seriously, isn't that a cool label?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

There Comes A Time...

There comes a time in our lives when we must recognize the brilliant people we have encountered, either personally or by their works that have inspired us. I met a gentleman several months ago through a blogging community and we quickly recognized our common interest and love of wine. We chatted on that site, did a couple posts together, and frequently exchange banter on Facebook and each other's blogs. I am amazed, enthralled and a little jealous of what this person has accomplished in such a short time, but recognize the brilliance in his delivery and am proud to call him a friend. I would like to introduce you to Randy Watson a.k.a The Wine Whore:

During tough economic times, one website has the solution. In exchange for free wine samples, Randy Watson provides publicity for wineries and entertainment for wine drinkers. 100 bottles of free wine later, the site is getting massive attention.

Tampa, FL, April 15, 2009 — When Randy Watson embarked on his creative wine venture, he never dreamed it would be possible to have too many bottles waiting for him to drink. Only three months after the release of his wine website “The Wine Whore” ( he has received over 100 bottles of wine from 30 different wineries. “I never dreamed it would be this big” he says as he accepts delivery of another shipment, the eighth one in only five days.

Why are wineries voluntarily sending him free bottles of wine? In exchange for free bottles, his website features reviews of the wines he receives. This trade provides ultra-cheap publicity for wineries, retailers, and distributors, while also being informative and entertaining for other wine drinkers. This site is creating quite a buzz. Multitudes of wineries, wine lovers, and spectators are joining him in the ‘cause’.

Aside from the free wine, “The Wine Whore” is attempting to change the way people view websites dedicated to wine and marketing in general. The idea for the site was sparked as Randy became discouraged with his boring corporate job. After being passed over for a promotion, losing 401k benefits, and just being sick of the nine to five grind, he decided to channel his creative energy into something he really enjoys, drinking wine. Sick of the monotony, Randy just “wants to change the way people see the world.”

He promises to create fun and honest tasting experiences allowing others to gain a down to earth understanding of what to expect if they were to try it themselves. In addition to reading about Randy’s journey for free wine, the site also includes interesting articles on wineries, fun facts, wise wines of the week, and wine news. Randy believes that just “so many wine reviews are the same… pretentious blabbering of black currant, cherry, vanilla, and leather. The repetition equates to spinning a wheel of smells rather than a description of how the wine really tastes.” Instead, this website sets out not just to focus on the wine, but on how wine changes the perception of life and living things.

Contact Information
Randy Watson

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On My To Do List


My parents were taking bi-yearly trips to Hawaii up until last year. I told them that a great 40th Birthday gift would be for them to take me with them. They not only missed their trip that year (never planned one) but haven't been this year either. I guess I ruined it for them. They always came back with stories of great food and drinks, relaxing time in the sun and have enjoyed different excursions from snorkeling to whale watching. I am jealous and will make it to Hawaii with or without them in the next 10 years. That's my goal.

I love the beach and the water and to have the opportunity to visit a Maui Resort with my own family would be like Heaven on Earth. I have a friend who will be moving to Hawaii within the next year and may just plan on going to visit him and his family. What a wonderful way to relax and forget about the daily grind.

I enjoyed snorkeling in St.John's and would definitely take the opportunity to do that again. By waiting a couple years, the kids would be able to enjoy this activity with me. I know Boog would LOVE it. I would also like to try my luck parasailing, but am pretty sure the rest of the family would just like to observe this activity rather than participate.

This is on my list of things to do.
I hope I can make it happen.
I WILL make it happen.


A Mom Gets Pictures of Her Baby

How cool is this?
I posted a while back about my Step Mom's dog Colonel. He is an assist dog that was bred and trained by Paws with a Cause to help her in her day to day life with Multiple Sclerosis. I had the opportunity to meet Colonel on my last visit home and had posted about how amazing this dog is and how much he helps WSM (wicked step mother, her name of choice). Through the power of the Internet, WSM now has these pictures and more of her baby colonel...when he was a baby.
In the first picture Colonel is the pup in the red collar. The second is of his mother, Dash, and his entire litter. Here's how I came to receive these:
WSM wrote a letter to all her contributors that helped her get Colonel and sent a copy to Paws. They asked if they could publish it in their quarterly News Letter and she said yes. A couple living not far from them who also participates in the Paws program saw the letter and decided to do an Internet search to see if they could get more info about the new owners of their dog's pup...and found the post I had done here. They e-mailed me with the pics above and explained that their dog, Dash, was originally being trained as an assist dog but they (the trainers as Paws) determined that she had a strong heart and good hips so they pulled her from the assist program and she joined Paws' breeding program. She is bred each year and the top pups are returned to Paws to be trained as assist dogs. Colonel was Dash's first pup put back into the program.
I was glad to be involved in getting WSM baby pictures of Colonel. She is now contacting Dash's owners to see if they can all get together. Isn't that fun?

This and That

50% Off Sugar Free Single-Serving Packets- 16 per Box for $3.50

Hubster sent me a very touching e-mail yesterday and attached a nice note. I rarely forward anything but this one really touched my heart so I decided to forward it to about 20 people...I forgot to delete the message from Hubby. Hope everyone enjoyed their glimpse into my personal life.

I'm still trying to figure out where and when to take our first REAL family vacation. Hubster's saving up now and we just have to figure a good time. I think the kids would really enjoy any of the all inclusive Orlando vacations that are available, but that would end up being a winter vacation (due to not wanting to be in Florida in the Summer) and I'd like to do something sooner. We'll see.

Easter was nice, except for the Church part, you can read more about that here. The kids got way more candy than necessary and now think Easter is like Halloween, we didn't get them any candy.

I'll post another wine review either later today or tomorrow so look for that and don't forget to comment for your chance to win and awesome cookbook in the post below.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Easter

I have to add, the only reason my daughter went to church with a tattoo on her cheek is because the tattoo was put on her cheek at church the day before at the egg hunt...and we couldn't get it off!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Amazing Technology

Technology amazes me. I am regularly checking into different charity foundations and seeing what new procedures and medicines are being produced for different illnesses. I love going to the St. Jude website and just the number of children being helped and cured through their services is overwhelming. We have come so far in the sciences that hopefully we will see cures for all of the illnesses that affect our loved ones.

What if you could help save the life of a loved one? If you had that opportunity would you say no? As women we are empowered with the ability to help those closest to us and it only takes a few moments each month to achieve. C’elle has put together easy collection kits to preserve the valuable stem cells found in menstrual blood. These cells are being used to treat more than 70 different diseases and disorders and testing is being done to increase that list. If you would like more information you can check out their about page and if you would like to preserve your precious stem cells you can check out their order Now page.

Cookbook Giveaway

Who wants over 500 pages of classic American Recipes?
The nice people over at Stewart, Tabori & Chang (publishers) have sent me this wonderful cookbook and told me to give it away. This book has every American recipe you can think of and a lot you've never thought of. It's broken into categories such as breakfast, lunch, appetizers, soups, salads, desserts and more. It even has a selection of drink (alcohol)recipes in the back. This book is the only one you will ever need to provide Classic American Meals for your family. If they hadn't sent one for me as well, you wouldn't be reading this post!

Here's the rules to enter the contest for this GREAT Cookbook:
1) Leave a comment telling me why you want it (make sure I have a way to contact you) = 1 entry

2) Follow this blog (and let me know through a comment) =1 entry

3) Twitter about this contest (comment letting me know you have) =1 entry

It's that simple. The contest will end April 30th and a winner will be drawn at random by one of these two on May 1st.

I promise this is a MUST HAVE to anyone who has any interest in cooking. It even covers the basics and would be great as a First cookbook to start any collection.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Last Day

Today is Boog's last day of Spring Break. Tomorrow he will head back to school. He had an extra 3 days due to Strep so I hope he remembers where his classroom is. Hubster will go back to work tomorrow as well so we can get back on our regular schedules.
Puddin Pop and I have an (after) Easter Egg hunt with my Mommie's group. I'll admit that I'm taking 12 eggs from her (3) Easter Baskets to hide. Both kids got more than enough candy and I don't see any reason to add to it. Why has Easter become like Halloween? It drives me nuts. I am not one of those parents that refuse sweets to my children, and fortunately they do not have any allergies preventing them from enjoying certain treats, but they get so much candy at Easter (and I bought NONE) that it will seriously still be around at Halloween.

We just finished Easter leftovers, yum. Ham, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, corn pudding, green beans, and more. I now need a nap.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Warning about Cold Meds


Just because the cold medicine is on sale doesn't mean you should buy 2 boxes, one daytime, one nighttime. Especially if the boxes are extremely similar.

Yep, went to take some cold medicine the other night so I could sleep and breath through my nose but guess what? I accidentally took the daytime formula. It's been a long time since I've been that wired. It was like taking the best diet pills on the planet, all souped up with lots of ephedrine. Wow did I have some energy. I finally realized what I had done and drank a glass of wine, that brought me down a little. another glass and I was ready for bed.

I tell you this to prevent it from happening to you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jelly Belly ~ Not Just for Easter

Jelly Belly Easter

I love Jelly Bellies...can you tell? Nobody makes a better jelly bean in the world. Welch's came out with some a couple years back and I assumed they would be super yummy, seeing as they make jelly and all. We all know what happens when we assume. They were terrible! I don't recall seeing them on the shelf since. While mostly jelly beans are thought to be an Easter candy, Jelly Belly creates such unique flavors that it would be foolish to only eat them only at Easter. We like to enjoy them all year long.

It's a Good Friday

Hubster is off today. He took a couple days off since Boogie is out of school...and because he really like to take time off. We took the kids to the park yesterday and I believe he is taking them back today...any minute now...maybe. They don't seem to be able to get out of the front yard. He told the kids to get dressed and while I was helping them he decided to go out and trim the bushes in front of our porch. Don't get me wrong, the bushes needed to be trimmed, but why NOW. He does this a lot. I think it's ADD. He'll tell everyone to get ready to go...wherever, and I'll get myself and the kids ready and in the car and 10 minutes later he'll come out and decide he needs to sweep the porch or put the trash cans out or... It's always something. Right now, he went to get the cooler out of the car to pack some snacks and beverages for the park...and he's sweeping the porch?
Oh well. We anticipate it and it's not so bad. I tell him we need to be places 15 minutes before we do and it all works out.

So basically everyone is leaving except me. I get to stay home all by myself. I'm going to start my brownie ice cream cake that I was requested to bring for Easter Dinner and maybe catch up on some taped (DVR'd) programs. How's your Good Friday?

T-shirts for a Cause...or Many Causes

In an effort to honor loved ones who have been afflicted with different illnesses, My Mommies group has decided to participate in some different fundraisers the foundations have set up. The first one we will be raising money for is the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Second on the agenda (chronologically, not second in importance) is the Alzheimer's Walk, and the third one (that I still have to talk them into since it's 30 miles and will take 2 days and it's a little long to bring the kids along) is the MS Walk. I'm committed to doing all three and we each have our different reasons as to why we participate.

I'm participating in the Relay for Life to support a friend. I think it's a great cause and have had individuals in my life afflicted by cancer, but mostly I'm doing it because my friend asked me to and I want to support her in what she feels is important.

I'm participating in the Alzheimer's Walk, again, because a friend asked me to. We had a great time doing this walk last year. It's an event the whole family can do and I like the idea of getting the kids involved in helping others. This walk works best for that. I think almost all of us will deal with Alzheimer's in our lifetime (either be afflicted with or know someone who is).

I'm doing the MS Walk for me. Not really for me, but for all the people in my life who have been stricken with this disease. This is the one that is closest to home for me and I would do anything possible to take away the pain and suffering my loved ones feel/felt. I hope the others will join me but understand if they can't due to the length of the walk and the time involved. I'm doing it either way.

Anyway, I was thinking it might be nice in each of these "walks" to honor the people who brought us together to raise money for each cause. This isn't a new idea, people do it all the time. I was thinking about having custom t-shirts created. The difference being that I think it would be nice to do one shirt for all three. Either with the Logo's of the foundations or with pictures of the people we are walking to honor. Loved ones lost to these awful diseases. I think the shirts would not only represent our support to the causes and the people we have lost to these diseases but would also represent the support to our friends and the pain we feel with and for them for the ones they have lost.

She has Arrived

Dear Marley,
Welcome to this world. I know your Mommy, Daddy, and Big Sister have been waiting for you and I'm sure they are thrilled you are finally here (especially Mommy). I look forward to meeting you and know that you are going to do great things with your life. You have a wonderful big sis to help look after you and know the two of you are going to be best friends.
Make sure you and Mommy get plenty of rest in the hospital and when you get home. Mommy is going to need her energy back soon to get ready to move to the new house.
I wish all of you the best and know the world is a better place with you in it.
Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Peacock

We took the kids last week to our local petting zoo to see and feed the animals. I had never seen a white peacock so when this one spread her feathers I had to run over and take her picture. Ist't she stunning?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Social Network for Musicians

If you or someone you know is a musician of any sort and trying to get noticed and paid, I just may have the site you/they are looking for. Kerchoonz is a newly launched social network (still in beta) for all lovers of music to share. You can watch videos and download music and it's all free and legal. Kerchoonz has set up their network to share advertising revenues with it's artists, based on visits and downloads, thus allowing those of us who are on the listening end the ability to listen and watch videos at no cost.

I think this is a great opportunity for local bands, musicians and soloists to get their music heard all over the word. Back in the day, I used to love to go to the local "dive" bars with my friends to dance and listen to the local bands. You can bet that if Kerchoonz was available back then, I would have been encouraging my favorite groups to upload their music so I could listen to it whenever I wanted.

Kerchoonz also offers all the perks of the other social networks such as forums, groups, chat, games and friend making. If you are looking for social network that is built around great music, check them out. They also offer a referral bonus to their members. Even if you don't have music to share, you can make a little extra money by getting your favorite artists to sign up using a special referral link and get paid when they receive 5000 downloads.

Here's a video from the site...Enjoy!


Mario Land Shake It!

Boogie is still getting over Strep so we've been staying inside, playing Wario Land Shake It! This game is a lot of fun with all the different areas and challenges. I must admit that I have a problem switching from the directional buttons to using the wiimote to do things. My brain doesn't switch like that. I'm tyring to speed up my car at the end of area 2 and I'm asking my 5 year old why the car won't move when I push the button. He ways "Mom, you have to tilt the wiimote, remember?" No, I don't. Even if I just did it, I don't remember. Nonetheless, we've been enjoying figuring out the different levels and have been taking turns. You get to play until you die and then it's the other person's turn. It definitely cuts down on the frustration level (for both of us) since we get a break after each turn and can cheer on the other.

A fun game for all ages, I would reccomend this game for those with a Wii. It's provided us with several hours of fun...and we haven't even made it past the flippin' clown at the end or area 3. I won't give up, I won't give up!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Do You Do HD?


If you are a fan of HDTV, like Hubby is, then you know that accessibility to receive such channels is getting easier all the time. We record several shows and upon playback I always get asked "Why didn't you record it in HD?" I don't care and never remember to look up the HD channel. If we're watching something live Hubby always grabs the remote and changes it to the HD channel and insists it's a way better picture. He's the one that needs glasses (seriously) so who am I to disagree.

Charter Communications is offering a free 22" HDTV every day in April and a grand prize of a 52" HDTV plus a Home Theater System and Digital Cable Service with HD programming for an entire year. To be eligible you must either sign on as a new customer or upgrade your current services and you must do it online. That's easier than most of the blog contests we all participate in. Last year Charter gave away XBox 360's, laptops and a new Civic Hybrid. They want to stay connected with their customers and reward them with great give-a-ways. They also are committed to achieving an online presence that you won't get from other cable companies. Think I'm kidding? Why don't you follow them on Twitter @ CharterCom.


Yet Another Blog

Okay. In under a year I have created 4 blogs, with 3 different themes, and today I launched a 5th. While they started for enjoyment purposes, I do make a little money from the first 4. This 5th will solely be for self awareness, understanding and enlightenment. Here's and excerpt from my first (and only) post:

The Bible Tells Me So

This blog is probably not what you think it is. If your looking for religious insights about traditional beliefs, you're probably in the wrong place. For the past few years I've been struggling with reactions to different things from child rearing to acceptance of same sex marriages and everything in between. My problem lies in the statement "The Bible says so." This to me is a cop-out. I must first warn you that I have not yet read the Bible, but feel as though these statements are not what the actual individuals have deciphered the Bible to say but rather what their "Teachers of the Bible" have convinced them to believe.

If you'd like to read more, hit the link. I'm looking forward to the journey and hearing what you think regardless of what side you are on. This is my journey and not meant to offend anyone. I hope you will be open to my ideas and I challenge you to make some interpretations of your own.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Kids are Going to be Jealous

I just joined another Social Network. I don't even have time to keep up with the ones I'm already a member of, so what's one more. Seriously though, this one is going to be fun and the kids will be jealous. Yes, I just joined Parents Connect by Nickelodeon.

This site offers everything you need to know during the early months of pregnancy such as how you should feel each trimester, what the most popular baby names are and the meanings of names, and helps members decide if they should find out the gender. It is an all inclusive site for parents just starting out and those of use with our families complete. Parents Connect used your profile information to match you with similar minded parents to get you going, they will also connect you with people who can help answer questions, whatever those questions may be.

The site offers expert advice, boards to chat on, activities for your children and recipes. They will even send you weekly menu plans with a shopping list of all the ingredients. This site looks like it will be fun and informative. They even have a game section. If your not a member already, go check it out. If you are a member, my screen name is RLBennett.

Go Green!

Have I mentioned that I'm a Michigan State fan? I am. I figure now is a good time to mention it. I, of course, wouldn't mention it if we weren't in the NCAA MENS B-BALL FINALS! Woo Hoo. It's a great day to be a Spartan.

I was raised on MSU athletics. My father was a season ticket holder for Basketball, Hockey and Football. We would spend our weekends with him attending one of these events and sometimes more. We would also attend the Great Lakes Invitational (hockey) tournament each year. Boy were there some memories made there. I usually met up with friends or brought one along. Good Times! I also attended Michigan State for a short while, leaving to pursue a career in Restaurant Management. Man, if I had that to do over again...I'd probably be practicing Law. Oh well.
So I had the kids dress for the game last night. It was a lot of fun sharing this event with my kids since it was such a large part of my childhood. I'll confess that I only watch during playoffs, but it's still exciting. Here's the kids celebrating out victory!!

Postcards vs Facebook Messages

In this day and age we are (or at least I am) so connected with family and friends through e-mail and social networks that I rarely sent anything through the US postal service, unless it's a package. I did recently send a Thank You card to my parents for letting my girlfriends and I crash at their house and for the wonderful dinner they treated us to, but then realized it had been a long time since I had purchased stamps and mine were, like 3 cents short. I even pay all our bills online so we don't currently have checks either.
I like getting cards in the mail. I could do without a lot of the junk mail I receive, but a card or
postcard from a friend or loved one is always a treat. My parents always send a postcard to the kids when they go on vacation. The kids love it.
I want post cards.
We went to Blue Bird Gap Farm last weekend (kind of a little petting zoo) and I took some great pictures of the animals. I think this one would make for a great postcard.

How fun would that be? Whenever I wanted to drop a friend a note wishing them Happy Birthday, or Thank You, or whatever other personal message I wanted to send, I could make it personal by sending a postcard that I created. I think this is a much better gesture than the Facebook Happy Birthday message. It says "I knew your birthday was coming up and I sent you this message because I'm thinking of you", not "Oh I noticed everyone wishing you a happy birthday on FB and thank goodness, I would've forgotten."

I also think that this would be a great business alternative. As an Editor with US Family Guide, I could really get my information out to businesses with a catchy postcard and all my sites info, as well as my contact information. There's something about a postcard that is just so much more intriguing than a letter...don't you think?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Childhood Fears

As a child I would often awake, somewhat, in the middle of the night to what I was sure was someone in the house. I could hear windows open and the stairs creaking. I would see shadows in the hallway. All of these episodes happened in a semi-conscious state. I know this because they continue to this day, just not as often. I'll awake to the familiar sounds of an intruder in the house and yet be paralyzed in a semi-conscious state, unable to move. When I do finally force myself to consciousness, I survey the room and go back to sleep. It took years to get to this point. As a child I was allowed to go to my parents room, but I was told to sleep on the floor next to their bed and NOT to wake them. I learned over the years to weigh my options. I could stay up all night waiting for nothing to happen, or I could take my chances and go back to sleep. It worked.

As a parent I am committed to always making sure my children feel safe. Our feelings are our own and no one can un-justify them or tell us to feel differently, although many will try. If my children awake with a bad dream I will immediately go to their room and lay with them. I would also ALWAYS allow them to get into bed with us if it would make them feel safer.

If my negative dream situation ever becomes a problem (I am currently more fearful for my children than I am for myself), I would not hesitate to install a wireless security system . Being able to sleep and know that my house and our children are protected would be worth every penny.

Protect America has several packages available to protect your home. The bronze package (that I'm looking at) includes coverage of 7 entry points, one button activation, Internal Siren and Door chime, window decals and a yard sign all for $34.95 per month. You can call 877-470-2751 right now and get two key chain remotes free with your order.

The benefits of being safe are numerous. The benefits of feeling safe are priceless.


We're Saving Up for a Vacation

I remember as a child the vacations we would take. Their weren't many, but the memories of the time spent as a family bring a smile to my face.
One of the best vacations I've taken as a Mom was a trip to Michigan with Boog (Hubster had to work and hates the 13+ hour drive, Puddin Pop had not yet graced us with her presence). It wasn't the time spent with the grandparents (although fun), but rather the time we spent together that I cherish so much. With the drive being so long, we decided to take 2 days to get there and get back. There's something about staying in a hotel and using their amenities that brings a vacation to life. Maybe it's just me, but taking a swim, having a pizza delivered and snuggling up in the same bed for the night, without the distractions of home, is a wonderful way to bond.

Hubster has decided to start a vacation account so we can start making our own family memories that, hopefully, our children will treasure and remember throughout their lives. We just need to decide where to go.

Kissimmee is currently giving away vacations for four. 6 nights, including air fare and a rental car. You know I've already registered. I'm thinking a relaxing low paced vacation with fun things to do that don't involve waiting in long lines. We have Busch Gardens here, so I think theme parks would not be on the agenda.

Maybe a round or 2 of mini golf. Here's something that would be fun for the whole family and with several venues to choose from, we could try a couple different courses.

The Old Town Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment Complex would be perfect to spend the day soaking in the art, enjoying good food and time together. We get so wrapped up at home with cleaning, shopping, paying bills, phone calls, homework and such that time to just enjoy each others company would be a nice diversion.

Regardless, I'm looking forward to a family vacation spent together. Relaxing on the beach or by the pool. A non-agenda trip where we all have a say in what we would like to do. Cell Phones turned off, laptops left behind, Memories to be made and shared.


Oster Wine Opener

I've been promising this for a while and had problems uploading the original video. Couldn't even get it uploaded to YouTube. I'm not tech savvy enough to know why so I just made a new video. As you will see, Today's wine at five (or close to it) is the Barefoot Merlot. I think this would get a 9 on a Wine Whore score. It's readily available, costs under $10, is very delicious, and I enjoy it a LOT. (a lot of the time and sometimes a lot at one time). Anyway...

Check out this way cool wine opener by Oster and tell me you would not like your own. It is my favorite toy so far!

What I Learned Today

I like to learn new things. I don't like to learn them at the expense of my children. Today I achieved both

Boog has been out of school since Wednesday with a sore throat, mild fever and some vomiting. My main concern was the soar throat because it was preventing him from eating. He's had tons of Popsicles and ice cream, but nothing substantial. So off to the doctor we went. Guess what? He has Strep Throat. No culture necessary, apparently strep can be accompanied by a rash (that is the lesson of the day) called Scarlatina. I was warned by the doctor (who was at least 60) not to tell the grandparents about the scarlatina because they would associate it with Scarlet Fever and "freak out" (his words)

This got me curious, exactly what is this scarlatina rash? Want to know what I found out? I googled it and every article I read came to the same determination. I'll share the briefest definition I found (care of

Scarlatina: Also called scarlet fever, a disease caused by infection with group A streptococcal bacteria that occurs in a small proportion of people with strep throat.

So I'm not supposed to tell the grandparents because they might "freak out" thinking it's Scarlet Fever, but I can't find anything that says it isn't. I guess we've come a long way in medical practices when Scarlet fever is nothing to even be worried about. I'll try not to be.

Childhelp Celebrates 50 Years

3 million cases of abuse are reported throughout the US every year.
It is estimated that only a third of all cases gets reported.
I find that statistic horrifying and heart-breaking. Every Day 4 children will have their life cut short due to the negligence and/or abuse from those that are supposed to be protecting and nurturing them (in most cases).

What can you do to help?
I'm glad you asked.

Fifty years ago, two brave actresses could no longer ignore the injustices to children that they witnessed in their travels. Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fedderson co-founded ChildHelp and have been helping young victims of abuse for the last 50 years.
Through a variety of programs as well as prevention and intervention services, these ladies have taken on a life mission to rescue as many of these children as they can. They have also set up a National Childhelp Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD

Their philosophy:

Childhelp believes that every child has a unique contribution to make to the world. We do everything within our power to help each child heal and develop self-esteem to reach their God-given potential.

We believe unconditional love is the foundation upon which all healing begins. The entrance of each Childhelp facility features the words "All Who Enter Here Will Find Love."

These children, who have seen the worst that life has to offer, deserve the best that we can provide while they are in the care of Childhelp.
Not surprisingly, the perspectives of the children served by Childhelp are varied. Some have known nothing but abuse and neglect, believing they were alone and that no one cared. Others lived in happy homes with caring, loving families, only to be hurt by someone outside the home, usually someone they already knew and trusted

Let's all Celebrate these ladies and their 50 years of passion and service to children by making a donation to Childhelp or getting involved volunteering.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Kid has Holes in His Jeans

My 5 year old heads off to school in a brand new pair of jeans and comes home with a hole in each knee! I'm wondering what the heck he is doing to get these holes. I'm also wondering where the Toughskins of my childhood are.

Yes, my parents were huge fans of Sears. While, as a kid, they didn't always offer the greatest selection in style, they more than made up for it in durability. We would pass clothes from my brother to me to my younger brother and they would still be good to pass along to neighbors and friends. Sears has come a long way since then (30+ years) in style but have lost nothing in the lasting, durability of their clothing.

I went looking for Toughskins today.

I got sidetracked.

Sears is currently offering 75-80% off their fall and winter stock. I started looking around and totally forgot about the jeans I went there for. I started shopping for me. It's not often that I shop for me, but at these prices I thought I'd indulge. I'm a total sweater girl. Growing up in Michigan, I wore sweaters 6 months of the year. I love a good sweater. So I'm looking at the Sears website and saw this

Want to guess how much? Go ahead. It was on clearance and marked down to $5.99. It's a cotton blend, mock turtleneck, cable-knit sweater and it now resides in my shopping basket. I would have already purchased it but the sale goes on until April 18th and I'm going back for more.

As a child, Sears represented non-original clothing, to me. Now, as a parent, they are a retailer of classic, made-to-last clothing, that will be in style as long as they last.

Okay, I have to go back and look for the Toughskins now.Click Here I think I may also buy the kid's boots for next year...and maybe some more things for Mommy.


Thank You Top Droppers

A couple days late and more than a couple dollars short, it's time to pay tribute to those who make me feel important and keep me coming back to give you more useless dribble. I use Entrecard for exposure, but mostly it gives me the opportunity to easily blog hop and visit blogs I would never have the pleasure of visiting.
I appreciate everyone who stops by and love hearing from each of you. I've only gotten 10 comments since "the move" and that kinda sucks, I'm sure you've been busy. I'm always looking to link with other like-minded bloggers, so don't be shy.

Here is a list of the TEN people who visited me the most in March.

I've Got the Baby Blues

With the last of my three friends about to deliver (just to be clear, I have more than 3 friends...I have 3 that were pregnant at the same time), I've had a little of the baby blues. I love my two children, do NOT want to add a third but loved being pregnant more than anything. While I had a little morning sickness with my daughter, it was nothing that would deter me from having more...if I wanted more. If it weren't for my age, I would seriously become a surrogate. That's how much I love being pregnant.

During my first pregnancy, I read everything I could get my hands on. From what to expect to safe (and unsafe) foods. I drank in all the information that was available and got it from a wide variety of sources. From books to websites to magazines, I couldn't get enough. I had waited so long for this precious miracle that I wanted to do it right. has a wealth of information for pregnant women. From Fertility and Conception to Labor and Delivery and every step in between their team of Doctor's have put together videos, charts, articles and pictures to help even the most foolish of baby makers (I say this based on the comments. The material is extremely helpful and insightful, unfortunately most of the people commenting are not) knowledgeable about what is going on with their bodies and their child.

I've been lucky to cure my baby blues by holding and babysitting for the new additions that have graced my life. They are precious and are all in good hands. The miracle of life is one not to be taken for granted and I am in awe every time I witness the miracle in progress.