Life... Health... Reviews...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Easy Hotel Reservations

This is a paid or sponsored post!

Normally when I travel someone else makes the arrangements, which is always great. But when I have to make my own travel arrangements I always look for the easiest, quickest and most convenient way to do it.

At the end of the month, I might travel to Miami and I need somewhere to stay that’s near the conference I plan on attending. My research took me to Hotel Reservations. The site, which is easy to use, initially gave me about 25 options in the Miami area and each was reasonably priced. There was quite a variety of hotels (inns, suites, etc.) offered with varied locations from near the airport to next to the beach. When properties near the location I wanted didn’t show up automatically I was able to select an option to show properties near specific locations.

I was also able to research pricing for car rentals and airplane tickets all in one place. Instead of just choosing my hotel or my flight, I discovered that I’m able to purchase a vacation package to suit my needs. I got so excited about the pricing information and hotel availability that I was finding for Miami that I did a little research on a return trip I’d like to make to Turks and Caicos. Hotel Reservations was able to customize a package based on the information I provided and I found a wonderful resort that I can’t wait to visit.

Besides the great information provided and the ease of use of the site, one of the best parts of Hotel Reservations is the special Internet rates (up to 70 percent off) that are offered on worldwide destinations. Pricing alone make this site competitive to some of the other travel reservation sites.

If you need to book a vacation rental, vacation package, hotel, airfare or car rental, be sure to check out Hotel Reservations… it’s a great one-stop travel planning site.

Facts about Children & Cigarette Smoke

I really appreciate Tammy's honest comments regarding smoking and children. I like what she had to say about protecting her children from second-hand smoke even though she's a smoker. Her comments prompted me to do some further research: According to American Heart Association, 59 percent of American children, ages 4 to 11, are exposed to second-hand smoke. That exposure can lead to serious respiratory and heart illnesses.

Tammy got me to thinking: If a person is going to smoke then that's their choice and it is in the best interest of children for them to make a choice not to expose their children to that. Tammy, I hope you don't mind me saying so, but I pray you'll stop smoking for good soon -- your health is just as important as that of your children.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Babies & Cigarette Smoke

At the daycare center where two of my children go there are an adorable set of twins. They have heads of curly hair, bright eyes and quick smiles. They’re sitting up and grabbing toys… they are a joy.

And they smell like the bottom of an ashtray.

I was so surprised when I heard that they regularly smell like smoke. Their hair is drenched in it. Their car seats reek of it. Their clothes are full of it.

How said that parents find an addiction more important than their children. Do they think that the reports of the effects of cigarette smoke on children are false? Cigarette smoke increases the incidences of respiratory problems and a myriad of others health concerns.

If you had the opportunity, what would you say to these children’s parents? If you smoke around your children, what is your reasoning behind it? Share… I’m interested.

Diaper Free Babies?

This is very interesting! Moms, what do you think? Diaper Free Babies article on Yahoo.

“Angry mom” emerges early

This morning as I lay in bed dozing, with my nursing infant snuggling to my chest, I hear two little voices discussing the dynamics of going to the potty.

“‘Mareah, I gon’ pee on myself.”


“You got to pee?”

“Mmm hmm.”

“Get up there… stop peeing ‘Mareah!”


“ … I not pee on myself.”

I listen and don’t hear my teenager, who is already up and about to leave for school, go out and handle the morning pee dilemma. I realize I only have a small window of time before my floor is flooded with 2-year-old pee – all night, 2-year-old pee. I disengage from the baby as gently as I can and ease out of the bed without waking her with a brief thought as to why she’s in my bed anyway.

I throw on a nursing bra so the girls aren’t swinging as I’m yelling. (Eww!) When I emerge into the hallway the 2 year old is sitting on her bottom outside of the bathroom and wiggling back and forth. This very action is extremely irritating as I’ve told her 1,000 times (exactly) not to do that and just go to the bathroom. I look into the bathroom – while I’m yelling at her to get up – expecting to see the 3 year old on the toilet. He is also sitting on the floor mimicking her. He, by the way, has already used the bathroom.

The 2 year old is maneuvered to the toilet as I yell at both them. The 3 year old gets in trouble because he didn’t let his less-experienced, potty going sister use the toilet first. The 2 year old gets in trouble for sitting on the floor instead of going to the toilet and beginning to pee in her clothes. I’m not going to mention the fact that she could have sat on the potty and normally does when her brother is using the bathroom.

So, they both get in trouble…. And before 7:30 a.m. my ear is ringing (a really hollow, weird feeling that kept me from yelling too loud), my head is hurting and I’m wondering why in the world I had to wake up to that!

I make them go lay down in their room and think about what happened while I take a brief recoup in the bedroom feeling sorry for myself. To the bathroom I go to splash water on my face and on the way to fixing breakfast I give them an ominous stare and a warning to be good. They normally get to watch t.v., but not this morning. I fume into the kitchen, go into the office to plug in my cell phone and stand there looking stunned. I turn to continue the angry walk and run right into my beautiful teenager. She’s dressed so lovely in a nice little red dress with small white dots and cute wedge-heeled sandals… and she smells so good… (I’m trying not to think about my morning breath, wild hair and nursing bra!) and my anger fades. I couldn’t be mad at her for not checking on the smaller kids, I couldn’t be angry anymore. Her light-hearted smile and bright eyes bring an inadvertent smile to my face.

Instead of continuing the angry walk, I turn the laptop on to vent a little while fixing breakfast. Never mind that I should be getting clothes ready, waking the baby up to eat and eating myself…I know we’ll be late and angry mom will be back soon. But, for now at least, all is right with the world! Well, except for the headache and sore neck, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Monday, August 27, 2007

My reality

For weeks I’ve perpetrated a lie… well, at least to my online friends. I’m not necessarily a wife. Let me clarify. Although I am married; my husband and I have not lived together for the last four months (minus about a week). And if you’ve been keeping up with me, you know that my youngest child is 3 months old.

This recent turn of events in my life has been devastating, confusing, scary and uncertain. Although I’ve been a single parent before, I’ve never been one to so many children at once. I have four children and three of them are younger than 4. This has also been a very lonely time. Even those who know my situation didn’t reach out to me. No one, who knew my situation, called to see how I was when I had the baby. There were no friends cleaning, doing laundry or running errands. There were no family members pitching in. There was just me and my four kids.

My original plans, before the separation, were to nurture my newborn, and rest and recuperate for six months, and then I would begin looking for a job and/or more lucrative freelance assignments. I was going to ease back into “normal” life as best as I could, but with the physical, financial and emotional support of my husband. Although we didn’t have a perfect (not even close) marriage, my husband – the major breadwinner – and I were parents… together. I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about money, bills or whether the children made it to school and daycare or ate breakfast and dinner. I knew that I could ease back into life because my husband had promised to take care of me.

Then… the separation…

Although I was near the beginning of my eight month of pregnancy and my self-imposed “maternity leave,” I took two more writing assignments. I posted things to sell on eBay. I took my kids everywhere and anywhere they needed or wanted to go. There were doctor’s appointments for everyone, dentist appointments, drop offs at daycare and summer school, birthdays to plan, bills to pay, groceries to buy, prenatal appointments, paperwork to fill out, laundry to wash, rooms to clean, toys to put away… you know, the stuff I normally do but the stuff that’s magnified one thousand percent when you’re pregnant and stressed.

Instead of preparing to have a baby, I cried myself to sleep. Instead of being excited about the new addition, I cried. I worried. I wondered what I was going to do. And I cried some more.

And now my reality is that not much has changed since then. Well, I don’t cry as much and, thank God, I’ve passed the post-partum depression period. Uh, mostly. My reality is I’ve been looking for a job, looking for paying assignments, asking everyone I know to give me a referral, a shout out, something to take the pressure off. But, my reality is also that I don’t want to go back to work full-time. I loved doing what I was doing before: Working from home part time and taking care of my family fulltime.

Although I feel a little guilty working on the projects that don’t make money right now; I want to be happy and provide for my children. So, at the risk of getting weird propositions, dead end recommendations and just plain silly advice, I’m asking you – my online friends – if you need something edited, know an editor at a magazine who can use a writer with 13 years experience or do you have a tried and true at-home business that doesn’t require a monetary investment? If so, then let me know. Help me make my reality a little happier.
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