Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday, August 12, 2010

If you don't listen to your child at age 5, he/she won't listen to you at age 15...

Have you ever caught yourself half-listening to your child? - mechanically nodding your head and repeating "uh-huh"

Take the time to really listen to your child and look him/her in the eyes. Making geniune contact with them NOW (regardless if your child is simply talking about his favorite Sponge Bob character), will allow for more open and honest communication LATER (when the child is full of angst, raging hormones and no longer wants to share his favorite anything).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Spider bites are very serious. If you suspect your child has a spider bite, take him/her to the doctor as soon as possible. Do not try and lance or drain the bite before seeing a doctor- you can actually spread the poison this way and cause more tissue damage. Antibiotics are necessary to rid the infection.

If you see streaking (red lines running from the bite area) seek immediate medical attention.

I've been bitten by a brown recluse and recently my daughter suffered a bite from one of these poisonous spiders. Brown recluse bites have a trademark bull's eye pattern, typically burn or sting and are extremely painful.

Day 3

Day 5 (after 4 days of antibiotics)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday, July 22, 2010

Don't demand respect as a parent.
Demand civility and insist on honesty.
But respect is something you must earn-with kids as well as with adults.
-William Attwood

I think as parents we demand respect because we are the parent and the elder- but all too often we demand respect by raising our voices or other disrespectful behavior.
If we're not acting respectful-how can we possibly demand it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Individual Cookie Cake

My daughter requested a cookie cake for her birthday and I had every intention to oblige her. But, alas the local grocery store was out of cookie cakes the day that I needed one. Having no time to run to the cookie cake place in the mall or to bake one -AND - having some leftover chocolate chip cookies from Nanna - I improvised...

chocolate chip cookies, chocolate icing & sprinkles

I believe some of the best and most creative ideas are born from a lack of pre-planning and tight budgets. But, given proper preparation-an individual cookie cake could be the next cup cake cake! (with enough cookies to actually fill the platter or even better- a 3-tiered tray)

The the adults raved about how simple and original the cookie cake was and most importantly my daughter and the kids loved it!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So my daughter was an extra in the new movie, Standing Ovation. (Her daddy is the Director of Photography)

It opens nationally July 16, 2010.

From the trailers and clips I've seen, Standing Ovation looks to be a fun, family film.

Please be sure to go see it!

"Through original songs and dance numbers, Standing Ovation delivers an optimistic tale of perseverance and passion that inspires the American dream in all of us. The film showcases a talented cast of kids as they learn the importance of friendship and family on a journey to fulfilling their dreams.

Five junior high friends form a singing group called "The 5 Ovations" to compete in a national kids music video competition for a prize of one million dollars. With limited funds and resources, these street smart kids use their wits, courage and passion to create spectacular song and dance numbers that compete with their arch rivals "The Wiggies", five rich, talented and unscrupulous sisters who, along with their nefarious parents, will stop at nothing to win the national competition.

Unlike most family films Standing Ovation features kids in all of its principal roles and tells its story through their optimistic eyes. From the adorable eight year old Alanna Wannabe who has more competitive ambition than Donald Trump, to Joei Badalucci who is as tough as any mafia don from her South Philly neighborhood the cast of Standing Ovation will make you laugh and cry as they unravel and rebuild their colorful lives.

Filmed on location in Atlantic City, Philadelphia and New York this spectacular kids' musical captures the beauty of the eastern seaboard, its working class neighborhoods and the rich culture of its big cities. With 20 original songs, 5 classic tunes and 13 spectacular dance numbers featuring over 100 talented dancers, Standing Ovation is the biggest kids' musical of the year."

The Return of THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY, July 15, 2010


A photon of light
travels the path
of least resistance
(from the sun to the earth)
to arrive at its destination.
In physics, it's called
the principle of least action.
In human dynamics,
it's called "making it easy
for ourselves."
Making something hard
never makes it better just makes it hard.

-Reprinted from Out-Smarting Your Karma
Barry Neil Kaufman

As a parent, don't ever think that taking the easy way is the "wrong" way or the "lazy" way to accomplish something. Be satisfied knowing that the task was accomplished!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

17 ways to treat yourself on Mother's Day

17 ways to treat yourself on Mother's Day

What would Mother's Day be without pampering and indulgences? Don't limit yourself to just one day of the year, though. Sure, you're running a household, taking care of your kids 'round the clock, and perhaps pulling down a paycheck. But don't forget to make time to take care of yourself, too. Some real-world ideas — from other time-starved moms — for indulging yourself on Mother's Day, or any day:

A taped escape "I never have time to read, and I really miss it. My library has a great selection of books on tape, and I've gotten a lot of 'reading' done while running errands, doing household chores, and even trying to fall asleep at night."— Nancy Pankey Colon, mother of Phillip, 6, Andrew, 4, and Eloise, 1, Monmouth Junction, N.J.

Treat those tootsies "I get a pedicure. It's a great time to read a book and let someone else rub my feet. Plus, my toes are ready for sandals now!"— Kay Kay Sharp, mother of Katie Beth, 11 months, Columbia, Tenn.

A "date" with a friend "I send my daughter to her grandmother's for the day, and I go to a long, lazy lunch and a good movie with a friend. We get exactly what we want to eat, no matter what the price or the fat grams. We sometimes even have a couple of cocktails or dessert. Then we slip off to the movies, where we indulge in popcorn and Twizzlers."— Maribeth Langford, mother of Kate, 7 months, Lanett, Ala.

Girls' night out "I make plans with my childless college roommates to go out on the town and sleep over at their apartment in the city."— Melissa Nordstrom, mother of Nicholas, 17 months, Manalapan, N.J.

The clean team "I have a cleaning service come in once every two weeks. What those three ladies do in 90 minutes takes me three days! Now, I can spend weekends with my son instead of dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing floors."— Shawn Gisi, mother of Jack Anthony, 11 months, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

A day on your own "Every Friday, I hire a babysitter for the day. It enables me to run errands and do small things for myself (like get a haircut or shop) without worrying about naps, moods, or feedings."— Dianna Cutler

Saving memories "I'm addicted to scrapbooking. During my free moments, I love to work on my scrapbook. It gives me a chance to reflect on my memories."— Beth Karmis, mother of Cameron, 9 months, Wheaton, Ill.

Shop till you drop "My cousin and I went on a 24-hour kid-free shopping spree — antiques, arts and crafts, and the new outlet mall in our area. Our husbands kept the kids, and we stayed at a bed-and-breakfast. Even though I called home every three hours, it was awesome trying on clothes in a dressing room that doesn't have to accommodate a double stroller, not stopping every few hours to feed the baby, and not lugging the diaper bag around."— Darla Ringer, mother of Ian, 2, and Peyton, 8 months, League City, Texas.

A spa retreat "My three sisters and I leave the children and husbands at home and head to a spa. We get an affordable package that includes a sauna, a mineral bath, and a massage. Then we head to our favorite diner for brunch. We have one rule, too: No complaining about work, husbands, or kids."— Karin Plumadore, mother of Mark, 6 months, Troy, N.Y.

A movie matinee "Once a week, I go to a matinee that begins at my baby's nap time. During the previews, I nurse him in the dark, and he's usually asleep on my lap by the time the movie begins. Then I sit back and relax for an hour and a half."— Joanne Corrigan, mother of George, 11 months, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Sweet dreams "I take a hot bath, read a new magazine, and go to bed by 9 o'clock, letting my husband listen for the baby until 1:30 a.m. That way, I'm guaranteed a few hours of deep sleep."— Beth Bamberger, mother of Samuel Sebastian, 9 months, Russell, Pa.

Ice cream and must-see TV "My husband and I have a ritual: Wednesday is TV and ice-cream night. We make an evening run to Dairy Queen, then I kick back to watch The West Wing with my hot fudge M & M-topped sundae."— Andrea M., mother of Joel, 5 months, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Class act "I take adult education courses at night that enable me to make things with my hands, which is very therapeutic for me. I took a woodworking class and made a huge, cherry-framed mirror which now adorns our wall, for instance, and I just finished a crochet class."— Leslie Zales, mother of Gracie, 1, Belmont, Mass.

A hotel away from home "Once, when having two kids under the age of 2 got to be too much for me, I packed an overnight bag and went to a hotel. Uninterrupted, I read a magazine while listening to instrumental music on the radio, had a drink, took a long, hot shower, and got a full night's sleep. It was a little bit of heaven."— Barbara Torrey, mother of Shane, 2 1/2, Ashley, 15 months, Lincoln, Neb.

Coffee break "If I have a rough night or morning with the baby, I stop for an iced mocha on my way to work. It's my treat for when things get stressful."— Tricia PaulsenGo soak yourself"I fill my home pedicure tub with hot water and sit in the bathroom and read, all alone. No one else is allowed in until I'm done."— Stacy Charlesbois, mother of Nathalie, 9 months, Farmington Hills, Mich.

Tea time "I love to sneak away for tea at an elegant hotel. I get to valet park, sit down in a room with adults, and have someone wait on me for a change."— Mary Benson, mother of Brendan, 8 months, Fla.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

HAPPY 40th Earth Day!

Celebrate Earth Day-everyday!

Friday, April 02, 2010

World Autism Awareness Day!!! April 2, 2010

In honor of World Autism Awareness Day and my good friend Lynette Louise's birthday...

please check out her website at and buy one of her CD's!

Lynette's intention is "to enrich the world ... one autistic child at a time."

In 2003 Lynette Louise became the only professional from the Autism Treatment Center of America to be certified in two modalities: Option Process Mentor Counselor and Child Facilitator. Lynette has been practicing the Option Process since 1997 and working with autism since 1983, when she first began adopting children (four of whom were diagnosed on the Autism spectrum).

Having helped hundreds of adults and children with a combination of playroom, dialogue, and family dynamics counseling, in 2004 Lynette began using Neurofeedback as an additional therapeutic modality for healing the brain.

Formerly of The Brain Injury Therapy Clinic in Westlake where she worked closely with Dr. Burke chief scientist for EEG Spectrum, Lynette has successfully helped clients with Bipolar Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, Tourettes, Seizure Disorders ADHD, Depression, Addiction, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

If you would like to see videos that parents and friends have put up on you tube of Lynette working with their children you can click on the links below:


Monday, March 29, 2010

Luby's Cafeteria 2 Combos for $20 and kids eat free with purchase of adult meal

For a limited time, select Luby's Cafeteria locations are offering a delicious deal with double the value. Every day after 3:30 p.m., select any two combos and fountain drinks for only $20. Combos include an entree -- ranging from Chicken Fried Steak to Pan Grilled Tilapia -- and a choice of two Luby's signature sides, bread/roll and a beverage.

Plus, every Saturday kids eat FREE with purchase of an adult meal. This special works in conjuction with the 2 for $20 deal-so you get 4 meals & 4 drinks for only $20!!!
Kids meals include a choice of entree, 2 sides, bread/roll, beverage and jello!

"The company is excited to offer such a tremendous value to our guests. Our combo line-up is full of variety, freshness and flavor and the portions, as always, are generous. Couples, friends, families and co-workers are invited to hurry in and enjoy the savings and taste of this offer," said Chris Pappas, President and CEO of Luby's.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I learned how to wrangle my kids at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo...

(free pics provided by Reliant Energy)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Unhappiness exists
either as a regret about the past
or a worryabout the future.
The cure: be present.

Reprinted from Out-Smarting Your Karma Copyright ©1996 by Barry Neil Kaufman. All Rights Reserved. Published by Epic Century Publishers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break

My sister and brother-in-law offered to take my two kids camping for Spring Break-along with their three kids!
My sister and her husband are brave indeed and incredibly kind. I am currently working on a big project as a contractor and taking vacation time is not easy or a good option financially. Instead of getting a break from work-I am getting a break from the kiddos. And I miss them terribly!

Today, I realized that I did not follow my own advise. I usually send a signed & notarized letter stating that I give permission to whomever is watching my kids to allow medical aid in case of an emergency. It's especially important to provide such a letter to alternate caregivers when your children are in another town.
I also include my health insurance information in the letter and an extra insurance card. It's easy to order backup cards online. The letter doesn't necessarily have to be notarized-but it does give the document more merit. Below is a sample of how the letter reads:


To Whom It May Concern:

I, ______________, mother/father of __________________________________ grant ________________________________________________permission to provide medical care and make medical care decisions for my children in my absence.

Thank you,


Health Insurance: Doctor Info:
ID No.:
Group No.:
Claims Phone No.:
Child's SS No.:
Child’s SS No.:

STATE OF _____________ §
COUNTY OF ____________ §

BEFORE ME, the undersigned Notary Public, on this day personally appeared ________________________, known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged to me that she/he executed the same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed.
GIVEN under my hand and seal of office this ____ day of _____, 20__.


My sister is very familiar with my kids and being family and all-she already knows my emergency contacts in case she couldn't get a hold of me-but I have provided a document with the following helpful information/instructions to babysitters less familiar with my kids:

Nearest intersection:
With meals:
In an Emergency
 Call 911 or:
Doctor: Phone:
Name: Daytime phone:
Evening phone:
Name: Daytime phone:
Evening phone:
Name: Phone:
Additional Information

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday, February 11, 2010

"I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand.
You felt so good in it; no bigger than a minute.
How it amazes me you're changin' with every blink.
Faster than a flower blooms, they grow up all too soon.

So let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give 'em hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let 'em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little."

-Billy Dean, Let Them Be Little Lyrics

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Special Delivery Time Line

I learned the hard way to now ALWAYS check my child's backpack for her take-home folder on Friday instead of waiting until Sunday night...

Recently, I didn't check my daughter's take-home folder until late Sunday night when I was preparing her lunch for the next day. Inside I found a sheet of paper describing a social studies project that was due Tuesday morning. We would have had the entire weekend to complete the project had I opened my daughter's backpack on Friday when she returned home from school.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda...

The social studies project my daughter needed to create was a time line of photos depicting her life from birth to present including dates, places and special memories.

I had plenty of pictures from my daughter's birth to about 4-years-old, but very few current pics as most of my photos are online these days. Luckily, she did have some school portraits and even a sketched photo drawing from Chuck E. Cheese!

What I didn't have at the house was poster board-construction paper was too small and flimsy. I searched the garage and recycling for an unused box big enough to cut up for the base of the time line. I found an empty Red Baron pizza box.
It was perfect! My daughter could cut the edges so it opened up like delivery pizza boxes. Plus, it folded up nicely for her to take to school without messing up the pictures.

It turned out pretty good considering the time we had to complete it.

Most importantly, my daughter enjoyed remembering the activities shown in her photos and putting the time line together!

(Next time my daughter needs something of this sort-we'll have more time to paint the box or cover it with colored paper)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Return of THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2010


We all have blind spots
but no holes appear in our visual field.
The brain fills in the spaces with the best guess
as to what might actually be there.
What we see is not really there.
We do the same with our assumptions,
believing we know what people think and feel
without ever asking.

What would happen
if we asked?

-Reprinted from Out-Smarting Your Karma Copyright ©1996 by Barry Neil Kaufman.
All Rights Reserved. Published by Epic Century Publishers.

Remember what ass-u-me means! There are no stupid questions!
I believe assuming is the root cause of the misunderstandings and disagreements I'm involved with. Plus, asking questions is a great way to dialogue with your children!
Asking them and then listening to them gives your kids confidence and allows them to know that you care and that you value their thoughts, opinions and feelings!
This works in all relationships too!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Belated Happy New Year and such...

Ok, I's been way too long! 2009 has been one of those years and I'm allowing it to seep into 2010- well, no more.

I have much to post about 2009- starting with the separation from my husband.
It's not an easy decision. And not one that I rushed into. I had been married for 11 years. Believe me, I tried to make it work.
Some people question choosing your own happiness over the lives of your children, but you can't look at it that way. If you're not happy, then how is it possible to raise happy children? They follow by example.
I do understand why so many couples stay together for the sake of the children and I myself did not come from a family of divorce. But, I didn't feel it was fair to anyone to continue to "go with the flow." I wanted more and I deserved more. Plus, my kids deserve the best of me.
My kids are young and their dad was often travelling for work so in some aspects they are used to him being gone. For me, even when he was here-he really wasn't. The distance between us had nothing to do with travel.
I had no clue how to approach the subject of divorce with my kids. All I knew is that I had to be honest. I explained to my kids that for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do them-their daddy and I would no longer be living together. My then 6-year-old daughter asked me if it was because we had been fighting. Her question proved yet another point. I didn't want my children experiencing that kind of negative relationship; especially when it was thought to have been expressed safely and quietly behind a closed door. I told my daughter that her daddy and I had tried to stay together and it wasn't working-that I was not happy. She told me she didn't like it and asked to play Wii. My son was 4 years old at the time and he had no response. He immediately went to playing a game with his sister. I still don't think he quite understands what is happening.

In the hopes of making the divorce as uncomplicated and cheap as possible-we agreed on a non-contested divorce. I ordered a non-contested divorce from It was easy to fill out online and only cost $299.99. Unfortunately, living in two different states and not near enough two-way communication-I'm still not divorced. I highly recommend a lawyer if you can afford it or if you can find a lawyer who is willing to waive the retainer fee until the divorce is final. I've sent the final changes of the divorce paperwork to legalzoom and if it's signed and notarized expeditiously-it could finally be over in about 3 months.

I will write more on this subject, legalzoom and the current man in my life!
To be continued...