Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Review: Daughtry - Break The Spell

If you've read some of my other posts, or you know me,  you probably know I'm a huge Daughtry fan. Naturally I was very excited for their new album. I have "Crawling Back To You" set as my ring tone and the sneak peek of "Renegade" had me chomping at the bit to hear more. Well I finally got the chance and here's exactly what I think in a song by song analysis. I have the Deluxe Edition so the last 4 songs are bonus tracks.

1. "Renegade" - This is my absolute favorite song on the album. It's high energy enough to have me dancing around my kitchen before I've even had coffee. Listening to it makes me picture the guys hood sliding across some bad ass car before tearing off down the highway in a cloud of  dust.

2. "Crawling Back To You" - A solid song. It's catchy enough to have listeners singing along without being annoying. Good choice for a single.

3. "Outta My Head" - You may have a hard time getting this one out of your head. It'll have you bopping along 10 seconds in.

4. "Start Of Something Good" - This song slows things down, but not to syrupy speeds. It's a sweet song that manages to avoid being too sappy.

5. "Crazy" - This one has a decent rhythm. The subject matter could have potentially been heavy, but paired with this music it turns out well.

6. "Break The Spell" - Obviously this is the title track and there's a slightly heavier expectation paced on a song that titles an album. Honestly, it's a good song, but not the best on the album and not the one I would have chosen as the title. I'm sure Daughtry had their reasons for doing so however.

7. "We're Not Gonna Fall" - Inspirational in a way that anyone in a long term relationship can relate to and set to non-sappy music.

8. "Gone Too Soon" - Heart breaking lyrically. Have a tissue nearby. It's a touching tribute but may be hard for some people to listen to.

9. "Losing My Mind" - This one highlights Chris's vocal abilities and range which I loved. Otherwise, it's another good one.

10. "Rescue Me" - I can easily picture this as a TV theme song. A new version of Baywatch perhaps. And I mean that in a good way.

11. "Louder Than Ever" - This one reminds me of "Summer Of '69" by Bryan Adams with it's riffs and remembrances of a time past. I like it.

12. "Spaceship" - It's ok. Not my favorite song of theirs.

Bonus Tracks

13. "Who's They" -  The song and lyrics start well but don't live up to their potential.

14. "Maybe We're Already Gone" - Starts ok, but goes downhill. It's kind of depressing and it doesn't really seem like the band itself was  really into this one.

15. "Everything But Me" - This one gets a little sappy, but it's sweet.

16. "Lullaby" - This one brought tears to my eyes. It's a sweet song sung by a Daddy to his babies and the emotion is obvious. It just makes you go "Aww".

Overall it's a good album and it gets the Sugar and Snapshots Seal Of Approval.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Loss Of Jewelle

Last week the world lost a very special lady. Her name was Jewelle and she was one of the kindest, strongest, most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Jewelle was a customer at the cafe my husband used to own. She and my husband would talk every time she came in and they just fell in love with each other. She began calling him her son and telling everyone that she had adopted him. When I came along, it wasn't long before she adopted me as well.

You couldn't help but love Jewelle. She was such a caring person with a sense of humor that never failed to make us smile. She was a woman with strong faith in her own religion but she was open minded about others' beliefs. Jewelle suffered from health problems but I never once saw them get her down. After one bout of illness she instructed me that when she passed we were not to mourn her. She requested that instead we celebrate and dance down the aisle at her funeral because she would be in a better place.

When Jewelle cared about you, you knew it. I will never forget the moment when I knew it. There was a particularly hateful woman who would come into the cafe nearly every morning. She was always rude and surly towards me and normally I just roll my eyes and ignore her. But, that year I had lost my great-grandmother and on her first birthday after she had passed I was naturally more emotional than usual. This woman comes in and starts in on me and it just got to me that day. As I stood in the bathroom crying my eyes out, in walks Jewelle. She comforts me as I tell her what happened and says she knows just who the lady is. Jewelle slammed the bathroom door open and stalked out muttering about how she was going to "kick somebody's ass". I found out later that she did indeed give that woman a piece of her mind.

When my husband and I got married, Jewelle was one of our biggest supporters. When we discovered we were expecting our first child, Jewelle was as thrilled as we were. And so she became Grandma Jewelle. And a proud Grandma she was. When we discovered baby #2 was on the way, Jewelle was one of the first people we told. She was at the hospital when our second son was born and that meant more to us than she ever knew. My boys adored their Grandma Jewelle and it saddens me that my daughter will never get to know her.

Sadly, despite our best intentions, life sometimes gets in the way and "We should go see"s turn into "Too late to go see"s. Then you're left with regrets and guilt and "We should have"s. But, even when we didn't see her, Jewelle was frequently in our thoughts and she was always loved. I hope she knows that.

Jewelle leaves behind two biological children and their spouses and families as well as countless other family members, both related by blood and 'adopted'. There are many many people who will mourn and miss her. Jasmine, Duane, if you're reading this, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Babies Grow

And they grow fast! This weekend we're celebrating our baby girl's first birthday. And like most Mamas I'm having a hard time believing a whole year has gone by already. A year ago we were anxiously awaiting any sign that she would soon be making her appearance. And now... well, now she's walking and talking and she's so sweet and so smart that she just blows us away. Yes, we felt the same way about our boys. But, I think this time around it tugs at our heart strings a little more because she is probably our last biological child and therefore probably the last baby we will raise from birth.

It's truly amazing how in just a year babies go from being these tiny, helpless little people that merely sleep, eat and poop to these less tiny, mobile, babbling, laughing, exploring, still poopng little people. But as wonderful as it is, it's also a little tear inducing. See, what Mamas know is that after that first year time seems to move even faster. These little people quickly go from being our snuggly little babies to being pre-school aged kids who become more independent every day. And of course that's a good thing, but Mamas still get teary eyed over the speed at which it happens.

But, you can't stop the inevitable, so this weekend we'll eat some cake and smile as we celebrate a year of life and accomplishments. Happy Birthday baby girl!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sugared Brownie Bites

My kids put in a request for chocolate cookies and after some experminenting the result was a cross between a cookie and a brownie and full of yummy. The kids gulped them down. Enjoy!

You Need:

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 stick of butter (softened)
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tablespoons of milk
1/2 cup of cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 2/3 cups of flour
1/2 bag of chocolate chips
2/3 cup of powdeed sugar

Pre-heat oven to 375. Pour the 2/3 cup of powdered sugar into a small bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Add vanilla and milk and blend. Mix in cocoa and baking powder and blend well. Slowly add in the flour. Add the chocolate chips last. Scoop out about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place on a well greased cookie sheet. There is some spreading but you can easily fit a dozen on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, careful not to over bake or they will get hard. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough for you to hande them. Dip the tops of each cookie into the powdered sugar then place on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yummy Cranberry Muffins

You Need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
Cream together sugar, butter and eggs. Add vanilla, milk and cranberry sauce and blend well. Add baking powder and flour and mix well. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I've Been Bitten!

By the Holiday Spirit Bug! It's going around and it's a sneaky little bugger so watch out! Ok, so seriously I'm normally the kind of person who won't even think about putting up the tree until the calendar turns to December. I normally feel strange hearing Christmas music before then too. But this year... well that sneaky little bug got me. I turned on Christmas music today as I put together a Christmas wreath. And I sang along. Last night, we watched the Grinch and I GRINNED! A little bit ago I checked the tv guide and saw that Rudolph was on tonight and I WHOOPED! What's happening to me???

It could possibly be because the Christmas season is just more fun when you have kids. There's something so heart warming about kids getting excited over the trees, ornaments, lights, decorations and of course Santa. I can't help but smile at their excitement. Or maybe because I'm having an early Christmas with some family members this weekend and I've been as busy as an elf trying to get ready. I can't give too much away because my sister reads this, but I will say one project I'm really excited about is the tutu I'm making for my niece. She told me she wanted it to be "purple and blue and pink and green". And it is. I hope she loves it.

nd now I'm going to grab some egg nog and settle down wit my babies to watch Rudolph. :-)

Easy Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a favorite around here, although I don't really make them the traditional way. Here's an easy enchilada recipe that anyone can follow. It doesn't require a lot of ingredients or time either.

You Need:

  • 1 lb of chicken breasts (or steak) diced into small pieces. (around an inch long)
  • 1 green pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 of one sweet onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 12 whole wheat soft tortilla shells
  • cheese (a large amount)

Sautee the chicken (or steak) pepper and onion, seasoning with basil, cilantro, salt and pepper. Cook thoroughly until the chicken is cooked and soft. Pre-heat oven to 350. Place tortillas on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds, just until soft and pliable. Place about 1/4 cup of the meat and veggie mixture into each tortilla, add a little cheese and fold. Place the tortillas in a large baking dish (make sure you spray the dish) and top with your choice of cheese. Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted. Serve with your choice of toppings. We use sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Blessed

This is the time of year when everyone shares what they are thankful for. Some people think it's corny or sappy. I think it's a good idea and here's why. Life is tough. It's so easy to focus on what you don't have or what you want that you often forget to be thankful for what you have.   So what am I thankful for?

1. My kids. Sure, like every Mom I have moments when ripping my hair out seems kind of irresistible. But I love my kids and smiles and snuggles from my babies can make everything better.  

2. My husband.  He's a loving father and a good man. He's the kind of guy who will buy a homeless man breakfast when everyone else said no. He recently went out and bought 12 cases of food to donate to a food drive. And he is such a mush ball when it comes to our baby girl, I can't help but smile.

3. Family. The ones I like anyway and they know who they are. ;-)

4. Food in the kitchen and a warm home. I think those are pretty self-explanatory. Lack of food makes me crabby and foggy. And I'm not a big fan of freezing my rear off. I like a certain measure of comfort that includes not getting rained on, a working toilet and a coffee maker.

5.  Coffee.  Me without coffee is like Bella without Edward.

6. Robert Pattinson, Hugh Laurie, Johnny Depp and Will Smith. Because I said so.

7. Ellen. Because she should be on everyone's list.

8. Chocolate. Does that really need explaining?

9. Cafemom. Entertainment,  friendships, wtf? Lol and smh all in one place. 

10. A sense of humor.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Eggnog Spice Cookies

This is a great holiday recipe for yummy cake-y cookies. My kids gave them rave reviews in the form of begging for just one more and resorting to sneaking them off the cooling rack.

You need:

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup of eggnog
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger


Cream together sugar, butter, egg and vanilla.  Add eggnog and blend. Add each spice and baking powder and blend again.  Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing in between. 

Scoop out about a tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place it on a greased cookie sheet and lightly flatten the ball with your fingers.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake!


For an even sweeter cookie, roll the dough balls in a mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon before placing on the cookie sheet. Use 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Gifts

I enjoy holiday shopping.  I have fun picking out just the right thing to make someone smile. I especially enjoy shopping for my kids and my niece. Nothing makes me happier than to hear their squeals of delight as they rip into the wrapping paper and discover a gift they love. And call me crazy but I even enjoy midnight madness at the mall on Black Friday.  I enjoy wrapping the gifts and I love watching the kids try to figure out what's inside. 

But as much fun as I have shopping for others, I'm never quite comfortable answering when someone asks what to get my family.  For one thing, I don't want to name something that's too expensive or out of their budget.  And I don't mean things like expensive game systems or $100 dolls. Kids stuff is just expensive in general.  For example,  $10 for a car that's smaller than a deck of cards, $20 for just a train... There can be quite the sticker shock to someone who doesn't have young kids. So I don't give specifics. When someone asks I give them a general idea of what the kids like (and luckily my kids are pretty easy to please) and let the person choose something that fits into their budget.   And that's only after we go through the "You don't have to get anything" argument. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Once In A Lifetime

So, we just got back from Hollywood. Yep, Hollywood CA. Why? Because my daughter was one of the lucky winners of  The Children's Place Model Search contest. Yes, really. How awesome is that? :-)  Obviously we are thrilled and so proud of her! You can view all the winners HERE. They are a great bunch of kids.

Part of the prize included a trip to Hollywood for a photo shoot. It was a lot of fun, but quite the whirlwind! I did sign a confidentiality agreement so I can't discuss specifics, like the clothing. But, I can tell you a bit about it all in general terms.

We flew into LAX on Saturday evening. We weren't supposed to be there until Sunday, but we caught an earlier flight and paid for our own hotel that night. We didn't see much that night because by the time we landed it was nearly midnight East Coast time and we were wiped out. Sunday was really our only fully free day so we were hoping for big adventures and lots of exploring. Yeah, not so much. You know how you always hear about sunny California? Well, not on Sunday. We awoke at 3:30 am (Pacific time) to discover cold, wet California weather. It did finally clear up around lunch time so we ventured to the L.A. Zoo. The zoo itself is nice, there's a carousel which thrilled the kids. When the sun was out it was warm enough, but it was pretty darn chilly otherwise so we moved through the zoo rather quickly.

By the time we made it out of the zoo, it was time to check into our hotel. We stayed at The W Hollywood, which sits right on Hollywood Blvd. The hotel is very nice. It's not very kid friendly though. It's very modern with lots of glass, lots of power cords, lots of sharp corners. And if you ever stay here, be sure you're rooming with someone you are very comfortable with because there's a glass panel in the wall between the shower and the bedroom. The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful, especially the valets. The hotel has an area they call the living room which offers sitting areas and a bar. There's a lovely little restaurant in the hotel named Delphine that serves tasty food. The elevators also require a key card to access the floors which is a nice security measure. All in all, it's a very nice place.

The other parents and their kids were all nice. It was interesting to talk to other parents from all over the place. The kids are absolutely adorable. My daughter had her eye on Danny and she and Leah were so cute interacting with each other. Now, I feel like I have to say something about this contest. When the winners were announced on Facebook, some parents, who were disappointed that their children were not chosen, said things like the contest was rigged, we paid for our spots, we submitted photos taken by professionals and therefore had an edge etc. None of that is true. The contest was not rigged in any way, we did not pay for a win. As for the photos, well I'm choosing to take those comments as a compliment because I'm the one who took the picture of Mona. And as I've said before, I do not claim to be a professional photographer.

The photo shoot itself wasn't quite what you expect. There's quite a bit of hurry up and wait. But, the people running the shoot, the hair and makeup lady, the photographer, every last person on the set was so nice. They were all wonderful and patient with the kids, just a great bunch of people. The catered food was yummy too.

The trip was really a whirlwind but we managed to do a few touristy things. We were lucky that our hotel was located right on Hollywood Blvd. We got to explore the street and see the Walk of Fame stars. We spent a few minutes in the courtyard at Grauman's checking out the famous hand and foot prints. We toured the Hollywood Wax Museum as well as Madame Toussaud's. They were so much fun. I swear you truly expect some of those figures to speak to you because they are so lifelike. We also checked out the Guiness Museum (as in Guiness World records, not the beer). We did it because we got free admission for going to the Hollywood Wax Museum. It's a good thing that one was free because the most interesting thing inside was a large statue of Mario. One thing that got old very quickly were the offers for tours to see the stars' homes. Seriously, you couldn't walk 5 feet without someone approaching you about taking a tour.

Everyone has been asking the obvious question. Did we see any stars? Well, yes. Yes we did. Shakira was getting her star on the Walk Of Fame while we were there and I got to see her convoy leaving. That was madness! Crazed fans running in front of the car, clinging to the sides. Crazy! Spike Lee walked about a foot away from me as I walked my daughter around the hotel lobby. And we saw Ton from Auction Hunters at the airport. And that was it. Impressive right? Haha. I had a deal with my aunt that if I happened to run into Robert Pattinson I would share him with her. But, alas, he was nowhere to be found. ;-)  Seriously, what we discovered, and what makes a huge amount of sense, is that stars typically try to avoid tourist laden areas unless they have to be there or they are heavily disguised. I can't blame them. Fans can get insane, as I witnessed with the Shakira incident.

Everyone has this image of Hollywood. When you think 'Hollywood' you think glamour, shiny lights, glitz. The reality is different. Don't get me wrong, it's a great place, but it's not as glamorous as you imagine. You don't see stars and sparkly stuff everywhere you look. If you ever get the chance to go, you should. Just don't expect streets paved with gold or anything lol.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Ghost Story

In honor of Halloween, here is a spine tingling tale for your reading pleasure. This story is NOT for children.

The Drive

As he climbed into his car after pulling a 12 hour stretch, all Chase could think was how much he hated this shift. The clock in his car said 2:55 AM and Chase just wanted to go home and collapse into his bed. Ten more minutes and he would be able to do just that. Given the hour the roads were deserted which was just fine with Chase. Part of his route included a lonely quarter mile stretch with only empty fields and one abandoned house. Of course, there was a story about this house as there usually is. Chase didn't know the details having only lived in the area for six months. Rumors were that a gruesome murder had taken place inside, thus leaving the house haunted and uninhabitable. Chase thought it was a crap story invented to keep trespassers away from the crumbling structure. He was wrong.

As he approached the house, the clock tripped over to 3:00 AM. Chase rubbed the back of his neck and wished again for his warm bed. The temperature seemed to be falling and Chase shivered as he reached out to turn up the heat. A moment later he slammed on his brakes as a deer darted across the road. He sat for a moment, making sure the deer hadn't brought along any friends. A movement in the rear view mirror had him glancing up. At first his mind couldn't comprehend what he saw. But it only took a split second for his blood to freeze.

There was a girl sitting in his backseat. His mind registered the long brown hair, the big eyes, the pale skin, even the pink shirt. He saw it all, couldn't tear his eyes away, but even as he stared she changed. Her eyes darkened. Her skin, already impossibly pale became whiter until it almost seemed to glow. She lifted one pale hand, pressing it to her chest. As she pulled it away, red began to spread across the pink of her shirt. As Chase stared helplessly, unable to move or speak, she lifted the hand to her throat. Blood began pouring through her fingers. Her mouth gaped as more blood dribbled through her lips. Her other hand reached up, reached toward Chase's reflection in the mirror. Her fingers curled and the dashboard lights glinted on a silver ring on her thumb. Her eyes met Chase's for the briefest of seconds, then she was gone. Just gone.

Chase's heart pounded, his palms sweated. He was scared to turn around. He was more scared not to. Very slowly he shifted, turning carefully. He swallowed hard then made himself look. There was nothing there of course. No girl. No blood. Chase swiveled back to the wheel and stomped on the gas. He didn't know what he had just seen and he didn't want to wait around to find out. But he no longer doubted the rumors.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Carving pumpkins as a family tradition

Guest post written by Kelly Herman

One of our family's fall traditions is to make a whole Saturday out of picking pumpkins to carve, carving them and then baking the pumpkin seeds to eat afterwards. I used to do it with my family when I was growing up and always looked forward to it. So I decided to start doing this tradition with my family too. It's quite a hit and the kids always start asking when we're going to do it once I start making them wear jackets to school again. I guess they know that it's about that time then!
Even after all of those pupmkins that I've carved, I'm still not very good at making the designs myself, so I always make templates from pictures that I fidn on the computer. I looked up some different themes with our wireless internet Nashville this year to carve on the pumpkins. I found all kinds of stuff, even a transformer for my son.
As soon as I started traciing the transformer on the pumpkin, I knew that it was going to be quite a task to actually carve out so I left that to my husband.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dog makes 6?

Our dog snapped her leash and ran away nearly a month ago and we haven't been able to find her. The kids still occasionally ask where she is and when/if she's coming back. My 3 year old keeps telling me he needs a doggie to play with. My 4 year old recently pleaded for a Spitz puppy. My husband, however, claims he is enjoying not having the responsibilities of a dog. But I'll give you 2 guesses who was recently checking out available dogs... Yep.

So, where do we go from here? After a month, realistically I don't believe we'll ever find Bella. So do we start looking for a new dog? And if so, what kind and where? There are a lot of things to think about when you consider adopting a dog. The only thing I know for certain is that it darn sure won't be a chiuahuah or any other rat sized dog. A, it would never survive with 3 very enthusiastic kids. And B, I just don't like them. Jeff Dunham once said something like if it bounces when it barks, it's not a dog. I agree.

On the other hand, I've got a baby crawling around. I love big dogs, but some of them don't realize how big they are, especially when compared to a baby. I know some are gentle giants though. My fur-niece Maggie is a perfect example. She's a Golden Retriever and one of the most awesome, gentlest creatures I have ever met. But not all big dogs are as wonderful as Maggie.

So, maybe a medium sized dog.
But what kind? And from where? In theory, adopting a rescue dog is wonderful. But how do you know if it's a good rescue? How do you know if you can trust them when they say the dog is good with kids? But we want to avoid puppy mills and bad breeders. As for what kind, I'm pretty open. I have no problem with mixed breeds, mutts are awesome. I do have an issue with a mixed breed  being given a cutesy name and a huge price tag though. 

So, as I said there's a lot to think about. But that's ok, this isn't a decision to make hastily and with little thought. When the right dog for us comes along, we'll know.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Up All Night

No, not the show. Although, it does make me chuckle. Anyway, I meant me. The baby has been restless all night and of course when baby doesn't sleep, Mommy doesn't sleep. And when baby finally does get some rest, you would think Mommy would be passed out too. But, no. I'm not sleep blogging.

So, it's 4:15 am, the house is quiet, everyone else is sleeping and I keep thinking that I should get up and do something. I could tackle a portion of Mt. Laundry, which I really need to do.  But the sound of the washer might wake up my light sleeper. Vacuuming is out for obvious reasons. I could clean the kids' bathroom, but it just seems wrong to scrub a toilet at this hour.  I could...ah who am I kidding? I'm not going to waste quiet time on cleaning.

Maybe I'll go take an uninterrupted shower, a true rarity. I could bury my nose in the newest J.D. Robb book. Which I'm loving by the way. I could go make my daughter's newest tutu or finish my oldest sons' hat. I could do any of those things. If I could open my eyes fully. 

Instead I think I'm going to lay down and hope the baby stays asleep so I can get some rest. I'm going to... *sigh* I'm going to go try to get the baby back to sleep. Does anyone know if they make remote controlled coffee pots yet?

Friday, October 14, 2011

An Update On my Son

A while back I mentioned that we were going through some struggles with my three year old and he had to see a neurologist and have an EEG. Well, he did that. The good news is that his EEG was normal, he's not having seizures. Once we had those results, he began seeing a counselor. Here's where the bad news comes in. The counselor also had us fill out assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorders. We got the results this week and unfortunately the results were that it is very likely he is on the Autism Spectrum. He is also showing signs of hyper activity, but that's hard to pin down in a three year old. He has also been diagnosed with severe separation anxiety. He has also been referred to a speech therapist. That's a lot to process.

So, what that means right now is that he needs further evaluation for the Autism. So we'll be doing that. He is also starting a social group therapy session next week. Hopefully that goes well. Some of his biggest difficulties are with social skills. He will begin seeing a speech therapist as soon as we can get him in. And his counselor is working with him/us on his separation anxiety. We've got a long bumpy road ahead of us. But, at least we are getting answers, even if they aren't the ones we want to hear. Answers mean that we can start helping him now that we know which direction to take. Answers mean that we can figure out how to make all of this as easy as possible for him. We can make life as good as possible for him. And isn't that what every parent wants?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MIA again

Sorry I disappeared for a while. I have had a lot going on. Our dog ran away 2 weeks ago and we haven't  been able to find her. We've had one family member in the hospital for mini strokes, another family member was in a bad car accident. My three year old had three dr appointments in one week, the baby is teething  and once you add in every day life...well it's been kinda crazy around these parts.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Funnies

Happy Friday! I love funny pictures, funny jokes, anything that makes me smile and/or laugh. So, I thought I'd share some of my favorite tame ones. ;-)   Enjoy!

I love this one, it always makes me smile. I love German Shepherds <3

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love art love graphics,love background,love pics,love wallpaper,funny love picture, funny Funny love funny pics, funny love pictures funny%252Blove%252Bimages-2

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yes, you can cook!

I've heard a lot of people say that they can't cook. They say this is why they eat out or order take out all the time. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy going out to eat and I've got my share of Papa's points and Chinese menus. But I cook a lot too. You don't have to be a gourmet chef to make a decent meal for your family. You don't have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen to put something yummy on the table. But, if you don't know your way around a kitchen it can be hard to know where to start. So, I'm going to help you. Here's a meal that is very easy to put together, but tastes great.

Roasted BBQ Chicken

You need:

1 whole chicken
1 bottle of your preferred BBQ sauce (Kraft's Brown Sugar is really good if you need a suggestion)

Preheat your oven to 350. Then you need to clean the chicken. Relax, it's not hard! Run it under cold water, reach inside and pull out the neck and whatever innards have been left behind, rinse the inside, cut off the little tail piece and you're done. Place the chicken in a baking dish and pour the bottle of BBQ sauce over it. Yes, the entire bottle! When no more sauce will come out of the bottle, fill the bottle 1/4 full of water. Shake the bottle vigorously. Pour the now BBQ flavored water into the baking dish around the chicken. Pop it in the oven and bake for about an hour and a half. (You should invest in a meat thermometer) Chicken is done when the internal temperature (meaning you jab the thermometer into the bird so that it is not touching bone, some people say measure the breast, some say the thigh) reaches a minimum of 165 degrees (I shoot for 170 to be sure). Enjoy!

Baked Sweet Potatoes

You need:

An appropriate number of sweet potatoes (meaning one for each person)
Brown Sugar

Thoroughly wash sweet potatoes. If you'd like you can stab a few holes in each one with a fork. I don't know if it actually helps the cooking process, but it's a good stress reliever anyway. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and place on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish. Pop them into the oven with the chicken. Bake them for roughly half an hour or until they feel soft. Remove the pan from the oven (use an oven mitt!) and very carefully unwrap a potato. Slice it open. Place a tablespoon of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a teaspoon (or 2 if you like it sweet) of brown sugar inside. Rewrap the potato. Repeat for each potato. Place the tray back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until completely done.


You need:

A bag of frozen broccoli

Boil the water in a pot large enough to contain the broccoli. Add the broccoli. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a tablespoon of butter. Cook until broccoli is tender. Voila!

And there you have dinner! If you want to get fancy and add a bread in there, go buy some Sister Schubert's Yeast Rolls and follow the package instructions. They're very good. And there you have a yummy, and very easy meal! Oh, you want dessert too? No problem!

Easiest Chocolate Pie Ever

You need:

1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust (the kind you can find in any baking aisle)
1 package of instant chocolate pudding (Jello's sugar free chocolate pudding is yummy)

Prepare pudding according to box directions. Pour into the pie crust. Chill in the fridge until it's set (firm). If you want to get wild and crazy you can squirt some whipped cream on top before you serve it.

And now you have made a delicious meal, complete with dessert, and you didn't need a culinary degree to do so!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jeff Dunham

If you have never heard of Jeff Dunham, you don't know what you're missing. Here's a sample.

*Warning For Parents: You may not find this suitable for your children.*

That's right, Jeff is a ventriloquist. And he's hilarious. He's so good at what he does that you almost forget those puppets are not actual living creatures. His cast of puppets is diverse and includes Walter, Peanut, Achmed, Jalapeno On A Stick, Melvin and more.

You know that cranky old man that stands on his front porch shaking his fist and yelling "You darn kids!"? That's Walter. He's crotchety, sarcastic and will leave you laughing every time.

Peanut resembles the offspring of an abominable snowman and a macaw,  but don't let the cuteness fool you. This guy is funny!

And then there's Achmed... Achmed is probably the most controversial character in Jeff's cast. You see, his full name is Achmed The Dead Terrorist. Some people are offended by this. Some people have said it's offensive to Middle Easterners and Muslims, promotes violence, hatred etc. Now, if you know me or you've followed my blog before now, you know that I am in fact a Muslim woman married to an Arab man. And you know what? We love Achmed! We choose to look at him as just a funny character. We're not terrorists, we don't think it paints all Muslims and Arabs as terrorists, so no, we're not offended.

Jeff and company never fail to make me laugh, but obviously his style of comedy is not for everyone. If you're easily shocked or offended, it's probably best to avoid Jeff and his characters. But, if those clips made you giggle, Jeff has a new special on Comedy Central tonight at 9:00.   :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hell's Kitchen; And The Winner Is...

*Spoiler Alert!* Well sort of. Most people know the winner already, but my sister and her boyfriend are a week behind. So, AMANDA AND JORDAN do not read any further! K?

For everyone else...

So, my prediction was half wrong. It was Will and Paul in the finale but Paul was the winner. So, congrats Paul! I wish you the best of luck in your new venture. I have to admit, seeing Paul get so emotional when he talked about his late mother made me a little teary eyed.

As for Elise...all I'm going to say is thank goodness she was eliminated! And yeah, I laughed when the very last thing they showed was Chef Ramsay telling her to stop being such a b****.  ;-)

Never A Dull Moment

Life with kids is interesting. Sometimes you're laughing outrageously, sometimes your crying, and sometimes you're contemplating bashing your head against a wall. But, it's never boring. My kids never fail to make me smile and laugh or just make my heart melt.

Today I was teasing my 4 year old who sometimes has this spontaneous deep southern accent and asking him if he was southern or Egyptian. He says to me "I'm ****. I'm the good child!" No idea where he got that from but it made me laugh. Later on, someone, who shall remain nameless to avoid any potential embarassment, had the need to relieve some built up pressure from the posterior area. Ok, someone farted. My three year old says "Mommy who farted? It wasn't me, cause I didn't smell it!" Ah the logic of a child. 

As I'm typing this from my couch, my baby girl suddenly peeks her little head around the laptop and says "Hi!" with the biggest smile on her face. Which of course made this proud Mama smile too. Then her Daddy was teasing her by shoving a chocolate chip cookie in his mouth and not sharing it with her. She retaliated by smacking him on the nose. Yeah yeah, not encouragable behavior but I giggled anyway. He should know better than to keep chocolate away from my daughter. ;-)

And through the laughter, smiles and tears, they make me proud too. My four year old saw another little boy when we were at the play area and said to me "Mommy, maybe that little boy wants to play. You're supposed to be nice and play with other kids." My three year old has difficulty with social situations and over stimulation. Which means, he has frequent uncontrollable meltdowns when we're out. But not today. Today we made it through an entire Walmart trip without even a whimper. And the baby is growing and learning so fast. She's a smart cookie and the sweetest baby. What Mama wouldn't be proud of these three?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hell's Kitchen Finale

Dear Chef Ramsay,

Please please please for the love of cheese do not pick Elise! Thanks!


Seriously,  I am hoping and praying Elise does not make the finale. She is immature,  deceitful and too darn arrogant.  Being cocky isn't always a bad thing but this chick isn't nearly as good as she thinks she is. I'm wondering if she's possibly been kept around just for the drama.

I don't think Tommy is mature enough to handle being a head chef either. He's a laid back guy, but I think he's a little too laid back for the job.

So that leaves Paul and Will. They're both talented chefs but I think Will might have the advantage.  He seems a little gutsier which he would need to run a kitchen.  I can picture him taking control of a kitchen. Paul, I have my doubts about. I'm not sure he's quite ready to be a leader. I'm having a harder time picturing him barking out orders. 

So, I'm predicting Will for the win. The finale starts tonight at 8 Eastern so we'll see if I'm right.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Icky Sickies

So, I've been MIA this week as you might have noticed. It's been a bit of a rough week around here. I've had three sick kiddos and one sick me. Luckily my older two kids are feeling much better. They're back to constantly fighting and bouncing all over the place. The baby has been pretty darn miserable. She's been so congested she hasn't been able to nurse or sleep well. But, she finally cleared up enough to get some rest last night and get her tummy full and she's perked up quite a bit today.

It's so hard to have sick kids, especially ones that are too young to understand what being sick means or why they feel so yucky. Mommies are supposed to make it all better and it's heart breaking to have this little face pleading with you to make it better when there's not much you can do. The baby has also decided that boogie suckers (otherwise known as bulb suction) might very well be spawned from Hell itself.

It's hard to take care of kids (sick or not) when you yourself are feeling like poo. But, Mommies don't get sick days of course. So, I'm self medicating with gallons of Egyptian tea which I swear has healing abilities. And in the meantime, I've got some good friends, Sprout, Disney Jr, Nick Jr, Mario on the Wii and a couple shelves full of books to help us get through. And I'm not ashamed to use them! ;-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Better Than Candy Apples

It's soon to be Fall and that means it's apple season! Here's a great and easy (no cooking required!) recipe for a snack your kids will love.

You need:
  • 1 large apple
  • Peanut butter (or an alternative if you are a no PB family)
  • Raisins
  • 1 small granola bar, crushed OR 1/2 cup loose granola
Slice the apple in two. Using a small knife and a scooping motion, remove the core from each half. This should leave you with a shallow canal in the middle of each apple. Fill this canal with peanut butter. Spread peanut butter over the rest of the top of the apple. Place raisins along the apple canal. Sprinkle granola on either side of the raisins. Serve!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cheeseburger Pockets

Here's a quick and very easy recipe for a quick lunch or finger foods for the game.

  • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
  • 2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • Cheese (your preference)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Brown the ground beef/turkey and season with salt and pepper. You can also add some diced onion if you'd like. Once the meat is cooked, drain and set aside. Open the crescent rolls and unroll each one, flattening it out. Add about 2 tablespoons of the meat to the middle of each one then top with your choice of cheese. if you are using slices, use about a quarter of the slice or more if you prefer it extra cheesy. Fold in the sides of the roll so that it makes a little pocket around the meat and cheese. Bake at 375 until the rolls are golden. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Refreshing The Home

Sometimes it's nice to change things in the house. One new piece of furniture or a new rug can give a room an entirely different look. And it's easier and less expensive than moving when you need a change. I've been thinking about doing some changing in my own home and I thought I'd share some of the things I'm thinking about.

My living room is just that, a LIVING room. That means we spend a lot of time in here and of course my kids want their toys close by. Plus we have books, movies, photo albums, framed pictures, candles and various other bits and pieces that need a place to go. Of course I want something attractive as well as practical. So, I'm looking at some bookcases. I need something with shelves and some doors would be nice as well. Here are some black bookcases with doors that I'm looking at.

My bedroom set is from Egypt and it's beautiful. But, the only dresser is very small. There are two of us and my husband has just as many clothes as I do so we need more drawer space. So, I've been looking at  gentleman's chest furniture . I think some of them go really well with my bedroom set.

And then there's the boys' room. My boys are young and they still want to share a room. But, they each have their own tastes so trying to decorate their room can be a bit of a challenge. They won't agree on one character, sport or theme so I try to keep it somewhat neutral but still incorporate some of the things they each like. I found this really cute lots of dots rug that I think will work really well.

Now I just have to convince my husband...

The Facebook Cancer Status Game

A couple years ago there was a status going around that consisted of seemingly random colors. Turns out it was bra colors and it was supposed to raise awareness for breast cancer. This year's statuses consist of "I am ___ weeks and I'm craving _____." leading the reader to believe the poster is pregnant. But no, it's another 'secret' game that's again supposed to raise awareness. I don't get it. The bra color, ok, that makes some sense. After all, bras belong on breasts. But this new one...it just doesn't make sense to me.

In my opinion it would be far more effective just to say 'Hey ladies, do your breast check!" In fact, my current status is;

 "Instead of playing this years breast cancer game I'm just going to say CHECK YOUR BREASTS! I feel that's more effective than some cryptic status. So, CHECK YOUR BOOBIES! See, now there's no confusion and no one thinks I'm pregnant again. Saying CHECK YOUR TATAS! makes more sense. In closing, CHECK YOUR HOOTERS!"

Makes more sense don't you think? I'm failing to see how making people think you're pregnant is going to raise their awareness of breast cancer. I get it, some people find it funny and think it's a fun thing to do. Okay, but it's not really raising cancer awareness is it? It's especially ineffective if people don't receive the memo that explains what it's really about.

And what's with this "Don't tell the boys!" rule? First of all, men can get breast cancer too! You can read about it here: http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancerinMen/DetailedGuide/breast-cancer-in-men-what-is-breast-cancer-in-men . Second of all, most men are married, dating or otherwise attached to at least one female. And some of those men are actually concerned about said females' health. On several occasions my husband has said "Hey sweetheart, do you check your boobs? Because you should."

There are some cancer patients and survivors who are actually offended by this 'game'. I read something recently in which a woman said its upsetting enough to be going through the hell that is cancer, the treatments that leave her sick and weak, losing her hair, the never ending medication. But then she sees people making it into a game and she's offended and more upset by it.

If you want to raise awareness for this horrible cancer, try just posting "Hey ladies, you should be doing your breast exams!' or maybe "Did you know about 1 in 8 women in America will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer? Check your breasts!" or "Breast Cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and death rates are higher than that of any other cancer. Do your breast exams ladies." Those kinds of things make more sense.

If you want to do more, here are some links:


National Breast Cancer Foundation

Susan G. Komen

The Breast Cancer Society Inc.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Hey guys could you do me a favor and keep the east coast in your thoughts and prayers?  We're getting hit hard and the situation in a lot of areas is really bad. They've had to shut down Woodrow Wilson Bridge in the DC area, there are a lot of roads under water. In PA,  Hershey Park is under water, people are being evacuated from Lancaster and other areas, roads are closed, schools are closed and homes and businesses are just gone. And it's still raining and raining hard. I'm not sure about aid for the flood victims yet but as soon as I find out I will post the info here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Nursing in Public

As a nursing mother this subject is particularly important to me so I thought I'd share my views. I am a huge breast feeding advocate and it both saddens and sickens me how taboo breast feeding is in America. It just doesn't make sense to me. Breasts were made to feed babies, it's the most natural thing in the world. Yet  people are "grossed out" "weirded out" and otherwise negative about the whole concept. WHY???

Well, for one thing, America over sexes everything. Breasts are no longer seen as baby feeders so much as sex toys. I get it, they are an object of attraction, people love them. But, that is not their sole or even main purpose. Their main purpose is to nourish a baby. I don't understand parents who say they don't want their child seeing a baby nurse or they ask how are they supposed to explain it to their kid. What's so wrong with seeing a baby eat? What's so hard about explaining to your child that the mother is feeding her baby in the way they were intended to be fed? Maybe if someone had explained it to those parents they wouldn't have such an issue with it now.

There are women in this country who are harassed every day because they are trying to feed their baby. That's really sad. Women are frequently told to go nurse in the bathroom. That's really gross. Would YOU want to eat in the same room where people poop? Of course not, so why expect a baby to do so? People say they don't mind it as long as the woman is using a cover. And some Moms use a cover, or try to. But some choose not to and for some it just doesn't work. It gets hot under there, the baby can't see their Mom and they're just all around uncomfortable so they refuse to nurse. They scream, cry and fight and you're left with an unhappy, hungry baby, a frustrated mother and a room full of people staring at the crying baby.  

Personally, I don't use a cover. But, I am discreet. I simply wear a cami under a regular shirt. The top shirt goes up, the cami pulls down and voila. Discreet nursing without a cover.  Unless you're staring a hole through my chest or happen to glance over as the baby shifts or pulls off for a second, chances are you wouldn't even know what I was doing. Which brings me to another point. Is it really so hard to avert your eyes if nursing makes you uncomfortable?

I've been lucky. In the 29 (combined) months that I have breast fed so far, I've gotten too many dirty looks to count, but there's only been 1 person who was obnoxious about it. We happened to be in a restaurant and the baby was hungry. So, I fed him. A woman at the table next to ours glanced over as I was getting him latched on and nearly had a stroke. All of a sudden I hear this very loud voice exclaiming "That's disgusting! Look at that! Why is she doing that here?" I look over to see her nudging her husband frantically. As I'm giving her my best "May I help you?/Go to some place very hot and stay there" look, her husband glances over, sees that I'm feeding my son discreetly, turns back to his wife and tells her to shut up. I had to laugh but she wasn't amused.

I traveled to Egypt via Air France/Paris while nursing my son. And NO ONE batted an eye when I nursed him. Why? Because it's natural and ordinary in other countries. There's no taboo, it's simply a mother feeding her child. Quite frankly people in Egypt would have thought it odd if I hadn't nursed. To them, it's much stranger to feed a baby formula. Here is an example of how important and admired breast feeding is in other countries. One day while we were out shopping my son wanted to nurse.  My mother-in-law asked the shop keeper if there was a place I could sit to nurse him. The shop keeper promptly shooed everyone else out of the shop so *I* wouldn't feel uncomfortable and brought her own stool for me to sit on. How awesome is that?

*I should add a disclaimer here that I have nothing against people who use formula. I am perfectly aware that there are reasons some people can't or choose not to breast feed. It might surprise you to know that my oldest was on formula. He had a milk/protein intolerance among other issues and had to be put on hypoallergenic formula.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Special Girl Named Demi

This beautiful little girl is Demi and she just turned 6. Unfortunately, Demi spent her sixth birthday in McMaster's Children's Hospital in Ontario. You see, Demi has recently been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This is the most common form of cancer in children and occurs when a bone marrow cell develops DNA errors. These errors allow the cell to continue growing and dividing whereas a healthy cell would normally die. The bone marrow then begins producing immature cells which develop into leukemic white blood cells. These cells are called lymphoblasts and they do not function properly. A build up of lymphoblasts will leave no room for healthy cells.

Demi has been given an 80% chance of survival and she has a long hard road ahead of her. She is facing aggressive chemo treatments, blood transfusions and more painful procedures that a child should never have to endure. She will lose her hair, possibly develop diabetes and become very ill. She will need to be on several expensive medications for a long time and will require long term monitoring.

Demi's family is staying close to her side and doing everything possible to help her fight this battle with leukemia. In the photo above, Demi's grandmother is reading her special birthday wishes from the Facebook group Prayers For Demi. This group was set up to ask everyone to please pray for Demi and keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as they fight this Leukemia.

There is also a fundraising group set up for Demi. Planned fundraisers include bracelet sales, a slow pitch tournament and more. The bracelets will be orange and will say "I Wear Orange For Demi" and the cost is $5. They will be available around September 19. Sunsay Studios will be doing fundraising photoshoots with proceeds going to Demi. The cost will be $50 and ALL proceeds will be going to Demi. Visit www.sunsaystudios.com .

You can also visit http://www.debmcgregor.scentsy.ca to purchase Sasha the Charitable Bear. Proceeds from the purchase of Sasha are given to the Ronald McDonald House which is assisting Demi and her family. You may have the bear shipped to you, or arrange to have it shipped to Ms. McGregor who will then take the bears to the Ronald McDonald House to give to the children. There is also a fundraiser for Demi set up on Ms. McGregor's website.

I will keep you updated  on Demi's condition as well as any new fundraisers.

You will find the fundraising group here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/184236658314941/ 

We're praying for you Demi!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Aid For Hurricane Irene Victims

Hurricane Irene is gone but she left behind a lot of damage along the East Coast. All along the coast homes were destroyed, roads were washed out, lives were taken and possessions were lost. The pictures are heartbreaking. The Outer Banks of NC hold a special place in my heart and looking at the damage makes me want to cry. I can only imagine how the residents must feel.

This link leads to  a photo gallery of some of the damages caused by Irene. I was going to post a few pictures here, but there are so many that I couldn't choose.

So, how can you help? You can always donate to The Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/ . There is also a very nice, big hearted lady in VT named Kim who has put together a wish list for the residents of Ludlow. This town has been severely damaged by flooding caused by Irene and Kim is trying to help. You can view the wish list at http://www.walmart.com/giftregistry/gr_detail.do?registryId=86182421248 .

If anyone knows of any other organizations that are accepting donations or goods for Irene relief, please let me know and I will add them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dibs!: Modified Momma Creations Giveaway!

Dibs!: Modified Momma Creations Giveaway!: Modified Momma Creations was started by two moms devoted to greener living. Hurley and Nikki, the creators, discovered a love ...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Deals Of The Week

Hey guys! Here are some good deals for this week.

Chilis has free Molten Lavr Cakes with the purchase of an entree today 8-29! Sign up for email deals at:
You will also get a coupon for free chips and queso when you sign up!

Target has 12 can packs of Pepsi products for $11, Circo kids clothing for $4.50, Huggies for $29 and more!

Walmart has markers, pencil boxes, pens and more for $.97. They also have Bounty Basic paper towels (8 rolls) for $5.77, Yoplait fridge pack for $4 and more.

Babies R Us is doing their Great Trade In Event as well. Bring in a used baby item (car seat, stroller etc) and get 25% off the purchase of a new one.

Monday Again

Good morning e-world. I hope everyone had a great weekend and everyone on the east coast made it through Irene ok. We did fine here with just a lot of rain and some wind. It wasn't as bad as the weather man thought it might be fortunately.

Anyway it's Monday again and that means a new Hell's Kitchen and some new deals of the week. I'm also working on a post about the hurricane damage and how/if we can help. I'll be back with that later. Have a great Monday everyone!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Hey! I'm now on Twitter! I literally just joined so I'm still learning the ropes so be patient with me!


Dealing With A Picky Eater

My four year old is a picky eater. Or I should say, he has become a picky eater. He used to eat pretty much anything except green beans. These days he only likes (according to him) cheese pizza, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and sometimes hot dogs. And those things are yummy, I agree, but there's no way in heck I'm going to let him get away with eating such a limited menu.

There are people who proclaim "I'm not going to make my child eat something he/she doesn't like!". And that's all well and good, except that I KNOW he likes other things. How do I know? Because last week he was scarfing it down and saying "Mommy I like this. Can I have some more please?" But this week it's "Mommy, I don't like that. I want chicken nuggets." Sorry buddy, not happening. Of course if it's something that I know he really doesn't like, I'm not going to make him eat it. I don't eat things I truly don't like and I'm not going to force my kids to. Like those green beans. Even as a baby he hated them. For the longest time there was a green bean stain on my wall because he spat them out so forcefully.

So, how do we get him to eat other things? Easy. We don't make him anything different. I make one meal and that's it. You eat it or you stay hungry. Some people may say that makes me mean. I don't think so, especially not when I know that meal is something he really does like. And like I said, I do not force him to eat foods that I know he truly despises. And in case you're wondering, no, he's never gone hungry, he eventually does eat it after the initial grumblings.

When it comes to new foods, our rule is you have to try it. If you don't like it, that's fine, but you have to give it a try. Now, obviously we don't enforce this for really out there things like roasted scorpion or fried grasshoppers. And we don't make them try things that will singe their tongues off either, but you get my point. I think that's an important rule, especially when you have a picky eater. There have been quite a few things that he has sworn he hates even before he tries it. But then he tastes it and he ends up loving it and it ends up being one less food we have to fight about. That day anyway.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Storms, Earthquakes and Hurricanes Oh My!

The East Coast is getting hit hard this week! I hope everyone is busy preparing and stays safe . And speaking of preparing, do you have an emergency kit? With all this going on, this is a good time to invest in one. The earthquake in VA this week is proof that you just never know what could happen. Here are the basic items you should have in an emergency kit according to the Red Cross:

  • Water (The Red Cross recommends 1 gallon per person per day with a minimum 3 day supply)
  • Food (Non perishable)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered radio
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Multi purpose tool
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Copies of important documents
  • Cell phone
  • Emergency contact info
  • Cash
  • Emergency blanket
You can find an expanded list here:

You can also buy kits here:

Here are some guidelines to follow during a hurricane according to FEMA

  • Listen to the news for info.
  • Secure your home. Close shutters or board up windows, secure any outside furniture or items.
  • Turn off propane. Turn off other utilities if instructed to do so.
  • Have a supply of water
Evacuate under the following conditions:

  • You are directed to evacuate by local authorities.
  • You live in a mobile home or temporary shelter.
  • You live in a high rise building.
  • If you live on the coast, in a flood plain or near a body of water.
  • You feel like you're in danger.
If you cannot evacuate:

  • Stay indoors!!!!!
  • Close all interior doors and close and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed.
  • Stay in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or other sturdy object.
You can find the full expanded guidelines here:

You can find the latest info on Hurricane Irene here:

Stay Safe!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nine Years

Nine years ago today my husband and I had our first date. Sometimes it seems like the time has flown by and other times it seems like it's been longer. Oddly enough, neither of us really thought we would be more than friends at first. The story of how we ended up together is kind of interesting so I thought I'd share.

Nine years ago I had surgery to replace the ACL in my knee. It takes a bit to recover from and I was going out of my mind with boredom from just sitting around. I couldn't really do much physically as I was still on crutches and confined to my rear end a lot. So, I logged on to the internet. Out of boredom I found an international chat room because I like talking to people from different places.  Well, I commented on someone's screen name and we started talking. He told me he was in Egypt right then but lived in the states.We talked for a while and hit it off so we exchanged emails. After that we talked online every day.

About a month later when he came back to the states we started talking about meeting face to face. I gotta admit it made me a little nervous because you just never know. But we agreed to meet in a public place where I knew everyone. He lived 200 miles away but he drove it just to meet me.  I got there first and I will never forget that moment when he walked in the door. He had on a dark blue shirt and we both smiled. I'm a shy person so it was a bit awkward at first but once we started talking, we didn't stop.

I discovered that it wasn't really him I had started talking to at first. His brothers had been using his screen name while he was asleep. But, when they found out where I lived, they woke him up to talk to me. He didn't want to get up at first, they had to convince him.  Later on, they didn't believe him when he told them he had actually met me.

In the beginning we didn't expect it to go anywhere. We liked each other but long distance relationships are HARD. We spent a lot of time on the phone but that's not the same as being face to face with someone. But it did make us appreciate the time we did get to spend together. Added to that was the fact that we're two different races and some people reacted badly to that. There are some people I don't speak to anymore.

A little over a year after we first met, we became engaged. A few months after that I moved to be with him. A little over a year after that we got married. And now we have three kids. Sometimes it's hard to believe all of this came about just because I logged on.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


So, I just experienced my first earthquake. I did not care for it. I was sitting here with the kids, getting ready to change my baby and all of a sudden...chaos! My entire house shook, the kids freaked out, the dog freaked out, and yeah I freaked out too. First I thought something was going horribly wrong with my house. My second thought was an earthquake but then I dismissed it because that 'doesn't' happen here. I turned on NBC, still on Days of Our Lives. But  the news quickly interrupted it and confirmed it was indeed an earthquake. Crazy! And so scary! I know West Coasters are shaking their heads at us East Coasters right now and saying "That's nothing." and it probably isn't to them. But to those of us not used to it, it was pretty scary.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day Of Cloth Diapering!

And it's going well! The baby is loving how they feel. The only issue I've had so far was trying to get her to hold still so I could pin them. So, I bought velcro to sew on when I get the chance. And until then, I'm pinning them first and then slipping them on her. I went with inexpensive prefolds and rubber covers to start with just to see how it goes. So, they don't look like anything fancy but they're getting the job done. It's a little too soon to tell if they will really help the rash issue long term, but so far in just half a day it does look better. So yay for that!

I've found some great resources to help me on this adventure. I've joined some cloth diapering groups on CafeMom and Facebook. And my aunt has given me some great advice! I've started looking around at fancier covers and inserts as well and there are a few that look really promising. I'm excited about this much to my surprise. And my baby seems much more comfortable and that's what's most important.

Deals Of The Day

Chili's is offering a kids eat free night tonight. Get a free kid's meal with the purchase of a regular entree. I think you have to sign up for their email club to get the coupon though.

Walgreens has 25% off of photo gifts and 75 4x6 prints for $8.99.

Target has Kraft Mac & Cheese for $.69, toddler girl shoes for $8, boy's polos for $6 and a lot more.

Kmart has jeans starting at $6.88, character backpacks for $7.99,coke 12 pack cans 3 for $12 and more.

The Disney Store has a sale of up to 40%  off as well as free shipping with any Halloween Shop purchase.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Subway's New Chicken Sub

Have you seen the ads? Supposedly it's supposed to be oven baked and crispy. It's supposed to make us drop our beloved fast food chicken sandwiches and run to the closest Subway.

Well, it isn't and it doesn't. It was neither crispy or tasty and it only made me love my Chik Fil A sandwiches even more.

First, it was not crispy at all, the breading was just mush. Second,  it was pretty flavorless mush. Third, it was dryer than sand on a hot beach in July. It's also very very thin. Which, now that I think about it might be a good thing given the dry, bland mushyness.

In other words, don't waste your money. Go some place that has chicken that's thicker and tastier than a match book.

Cloth Diapering

Until recently I had no desire to use cloth diapers. Too messy, too time consuming, too messy, too inconvenient...did I mention too messy? And I never really gave it much thought. But, we're on our fourth kind of disposable diapers and my poor baby just doesn't seem to do well with them. So, I've started looking into cloth. I had absolutely no idea there were so many different kinds! I had this image in my head of plain white bulky things with pins. Well, those are still around, but there are so many more options these days. Today's cloth diapers are not as bulky and some of them are right down adorable. But how well do they contain the mess?? I don't know yet personally. But, I've heard from other Moms that say they work great with no leaks.

I don't know which kind I'm going to go with just yet. I'm thinking I might give inexpensive prefolds a try first just to see if they help our particular problem. I have to admit, there's a bit of sticker shock when you first look at cloth diapers. The initial cost can seem pretty steep. Of course, you have to realize that this is a one time thing and in the long run it really is much cheaper than buying disposable diapers over and over.

I've joined a couple of cloth diapering groups and I'm hoping to get this figured out and get started on our cloth diapering journey soon. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Potato Nachos

A Mom on CafeMom shared this idea for potato nachos (Thank you!!!). I've just adapted it a bit to make it a teeny bit healthier and more kid friendly.

You need:

4-5 medium potatoes
4 strips of turkey bacon (cooked and diced very small)
1 1/2 - 2 cups of shredded cheese (I used a 4 cheese blend)

  1. Scrub the potatoes, but do not peel and slice fairly thin.
  2. Place sliced potatoes in a single layer on a sprayed (greased) cookie sheet.
  3. Season potatoes with salt and dill.
  4. Broil in the oven for about 10 minutes
  5. Remove potatoes, sprinkle with bacon and return to broiler for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove potatoes and top with cheese.
  7. Turn off broiler but return potatoes to the oven for about 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  8. Serve with ranch dressing and ENJOY!


CafeMom was just voted one of the top websites and I have to agree. I love CafeMom. Where else can you get advice, make friends and be entertained all at once? I joined CafeMom roughly four years ago after it was mentioned on another site and I've been there ever since. It has been a Godsend for me. At the time I joined, I was the only one of my close friends who was married with a child. Therefore, there was nowhere to go with all my "Is this normal?" "Which diaper cream is best?" "What can I do for...?" questions. And no one to understand my walking zombie state of near exhaustion due to one tiny little person. 

When you first join CafeMom, you might be a little confused about where to begin. Well, there's a group for that and it's called The CafeMom Newcomers Club. Fair warning though, bring an open mind, a sense of humor and your big girl panties because you'll need all three. But, it's a great group to be entertained and meet other Moms from all walks of life.

There are groups on CafeMom for virtually every interest, area, religion and situation. There are groups for scrapbooking Moms, Stay At Home Moms, Working Moms, Cooking Moms, Backstreet Boys fans, Football Moms, Moms with alternative lifestyles and so many more. Fascinated by ghosts? There's a Haunted Realm for that! Are you a Blogging Mom? There's a group for that too. And if you can't find a group to suit your needs, you can create one.

There are also what we call birth clubs or birth groups for Moms with children born in a certain month or Moms who are expecting a baby in a certain month. For example, I'm a member of the December 2010 Babies group because my baby was due in December of 2010. And let me tell you, the ladies in this group are so supportive and caring and just completely awesome. We all went through pregnancy and childbirth as a group and it's so nice to be able to talk to other Moms who are going through the same things as you. It truly makes the trials of child bearing easier when there's a whole group of women supporting and encouraging each other. And now that our little ones are here, we get to share that with each other as well. It's wonderful to see these little people growing from those first blurry little ultrasound images to birth, to the curious little explorers they're all becoming. We're Moms from all over the country and beyond, but we're all connected by this group.

One of the first groups I joined on CafeMom was a group for Moms with Arab/American children. Meaning, one parent is Arab and the other is American. I cannot tell you how much this group means to me. These women have become some of my dearest friends. When you combine two different cultures there's going to be some clashes and differences of opinion. No one could understand that better than other Moms who are going through or have gone through the same thing. If any of us have exciting news to share or need advice, a shoulder to cry on, or just a place to vent, we know that we can go to our group. I never would have imagined that women I met in an online forum would come to mean so much to me, but they have. So, I'm just going to take this opportunity to send big hugs to Dani, Kay, Lucia, Isra, Sarah and Kris. You guys are amazing.

CafeMom is wonderful to its members. I'm a Mod for two groups and I can tell you that mods are always shown appreciation. CafeMom is great to us. There's also The CafeMom Influencer program which is so much fun. Basically, we get to try products, food, cleaning products, some lucky Moms have even gotten appliances and tablets to test. Once we try out these products, we tell CafeMom and the other members what we think of them. I have thoroughly enjoyed this!

CafeMom has opened my eyes and mind to things I had never really thought about before. I've learned about things I had never even heard of before. And of course I've met some wonderful people that I never would have known without CafeMom. And by the way, did you know CafeMom was founded by men? Yep! Pretty darn smart of them huh?