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

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sleep fighter

Random Weekend Thought

Each of my four children have very strong personalities. There's the sensitive, mature and talented oldest one; the impatient, emotional and in-tune one; a drama-filled, cuddly bundle who instigates and the demanding, stubborn, exceptionally adorable baby.

It's that demanding baby who gives me pause this weekend. Today, although it's Saturday, is like any other day as far as schedules are concerned. The younger children still have to sleep and eat at the same times they do during the week even though they're at different locations - two at head start and one at daycare. Therefore taking a nap isn't an odd occurrence and most of the time everyone goes down for their nap without much fuss.

Today, however, my youngest child decides that nap time was not the right time for her to nap. She played, screamed, jumped, talked and laughed when I put her in her crib. No matter how many times I laid her down or reprimanded her she continued to do what she wanted to do. (Which surprised me since she's normally one of the first ones to go to sleep.) Her brother and one of her sisters, who both share a room with her, were fast asleep and she was still up, wide awake and defiant.

Finally, after more than an hour I took her out of the crib and made her lay on the couch while I watched television. She kept popping up so I positioned her on my lap and finally won the battle - she drifted off to sleep. When my legs started to fall asleep, I maneuvered from under her and glanced down at her. She had exhausted herself with her activities and, finally, all was quiet.

I marvel at this strong-willed child that I birthed. At 18 months and not even 20 pounds yet she is a force to be reckoned with. She doesn't take no for an answer and isn't interested in waiting. In fact, as I type this she has demanded, "Up!" and I oblige because she has so "nicely" communicated instead of screaming for attention.

Who is this person? I wonder. It's amazing the emotions a mother has for her offspring - the life she was a conduit for. My baby who I fiercely love, who frustrates me, but who loves me back just as fiercely. Her beauty amazes me, her growth is astounding, her busyness tires me, and her intelligence and antics keep me in awe.

All of my children are wonders... all miracles, and as each of them grows, changes and matures I am continually amazed at who they are and who they are turning out to be.

Now it's time for them to go to bed. Wish me luck.

Check out more of my random weekend thoughts.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas in Disney World

If I could give my kids a Christmas gift that I think is extravagant, but that I know they would love, I think it would be a trip to Walt Disney World for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. I can just imagine the looks on their faces when they see that magical kingdom.

They would be able to play with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto as well as any of the other characters. My teenager is a Disney fanatic (she has at least 100 - if not more - Disney movies) so I know that she would love it as much as the younger kids.

Most people would think that a trip like that would cost an arm and a leg, but Orlando Fun Tickets sells discount tickets to the party. Now getting in on the fun is reasonable for almost everyone.

The party is held at the Magic Kingdom Park on some nights this month and during December.

If you're interested in getting in on the fun then you should get your Disney world tickets as soon as possible. Just imagine the joyous looks on your children's faces -- and yours, for that matter -- and the memories a trip like this will bring.

One day I hope to treat my children to something like this, but in the meantime I'd love to hear about your Disney World tales.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where's your first love?

I am in the middle of reading an article in the November issue of Good Housekeeping - you know the one with the family from "John and Kate plus 8" on the cover. The article is in the Good Advice column and it's titled "Lost... and Found." It's an interesting article about how Americans are reconnecting in record numbers, but explains that there are huge rewards and big risks.

The article's author, Sarah Bird, uses her own search for a college friend as inspiration and experimentation in the article. For my purposes here, that's not really important, but it gives you a little background. She figures that she may need to contact her "lost love" to facilitate the search and asks a developmental psychology professor to get her take on it whether that would be a good idea.

The expert tells Sarah that 50 percent of people she surveyed who rekindled a relationship say they had wonderful marriages before they reconnected. Here's the part that I thought was very interesting: The expert, Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., said, "... Some neuroscience research suggests that early loves are encoded in the brain, the same way cocaine addiction is. Seeing that person again, talking on the phone, even e-mail triggers all those visceral memories of being young and in love."

Wow. Young love is a powerful thing, huh?

Have you ever contacted an old flame? If so, do tell.
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Match your glasses to your holiday clothes

Every year during the holiday season you see those dedicated and excited shoppers wearing their Christmas ornament earrings or a snowman sweatshirt. It gives me a little chuckle every time I see that and I tell my daughter to remind me of that if I ever decide to wear one. (Uh, please don't take that the wrong way. LOL)

Well, I think that I may have found just the holiday gear for me: Holiday frames. Yup, I'm talking about eyeglasses. Instead of wearing a shirt that has a Christmas tree on it or a candy cane headband, I am going to pick out some glasses that reflect the holiday cheer.

ZenniOptical.com has a wide selection of Holiday frames to match any outfit that you decide to wear. Since my favorite color is red I thought a red pair is in order for me so I searched their site. I don't want something too outrageous just a pair that represents my personality and matches all the holiday decorations.

What do you think about these?I think they have just the right amount of class and color.

ZenniOptical has quite a few choices. Besides red, they have green, multi-colored, silver and gold frames in oval, rectangular or round. And, regardless of what you chose the prices are very reasonable.

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Amber's update

After a run to the emergency room on Monday morning, three days home from school and a trip to her new GI; Amber returned to school today. Thanks to the new GI for giving us a new more proactive plan in regards to Amber's yearly bout of a stomach problem.

He said some very interesting things when we went: 1) He has no idea why she was treated three times for H. pylori because in the images I had he didn't see any indication of it. Although it showed up in her blood that isn't conclusive. 2) He did see some other readings on her blood test that didn't sit right with him. 3) And he would have chosen an entirely different plan of treatment.

I am very pleased with the new plan as well as disgusted and upset about the past wasted year. Hopefully following what he said, which will probably take a little patience on Amber's part, will be the key to getting her well.

Here's my baby after the doctor's appointment. She's not feeling well, but I hope she will be all better soon.

To catch up on what's been going on, read my post from Monday and follow the links to what happened last year regarding her hospitalization. Thanks for all your well wishes.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Increase your earning potential

I've been thinking a lot about going back to school to get my master's degree. Although I have a bachelor of arts degree in journalism there are some things I'd like to do career wise that I believe earning another degree will be a boost for. And, given the uncertainty of our economy and job market getting another degree -- especially one geared toward your career -- may be the exact thing you need to move forward.

There are some definite benefits to getting a career-related degree: You'll have more career opportunities available to you; have a better chance of increasing your salary and, if you're like me, you could fulfill a life-long dream.

You may be thinking that you don't have time to go back to school, but there is an option available that makes going to school convenient, cost efficient and less stressful and that's getting an online degree. If you aren't sure how to pursue looking into getting your online degree then you can check out DegreeHound.com, which has a school search wizard to help you in finding the right school for you.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to increase your job opportunities and earning potential. Let DegreeHound help you find a school for you.

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Wordless Wednesday - a little behind on reading

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Blankets of leaves, frigid winds

When I moved to Georgia from Upstate New York in 1995 I was amazed at how the "locals" would complain about how cold it is here. I would say, "This ain't nothing... I've experienced -10 degree weather that was -30 with the windchill. Snow up to my knees. This is nothing to complain about."

For the first few years here I didn't even wear a coat, but made do with jackets and sweaters. Now I don't know if it's old age, my body adjusting or the effects of global warming, but it sure is cold out there. Today's temperature is 29 degrees... in Georgia! This is the south and I can't believe I had to bundle my children up with gloves, hats and heavy coats.

It's way too cold for me. Maybe I should move further south to Florida or just forget the states all together and make my way to Jamaica, which happens to be my favorite place on earth (at least so far).

I think the trees are a bit confused about the weather too. Whereas the leaves were slowly and silently dropping last week now they're falling off the trees hard enough and fast enough to hear a little pop of sound. When I went outside this morning there were 100s of more leaves on the ground than there had been yesterday. (That's a view of my front yard from the driveway. Yes, there are a few big trees surrounding the house.)

Although I love the colors of this season, I prefer the spring and summer. Remind me I said that next summer when it's 99 degrees here and I start complaining about the heat. :D
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Make wishes come true with Sears layaway

If you're like me and normally have to wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping then you can put your fears to rest and head right over to Sears. Layaway is back at Sears so now you can definitely make those holiday wishes come true.

With just $15 or 20 percent down it's easy to purchase those holiday gifts. 1) Select the items you want. 2) Take them to any register and make your down payment. 3) Take your items home once your payments have been completed.

Sounds easy to me.

With Sears Layaway Program I may be able to get my teenager the coat she needs and a couple of complete outfits. Although she is normally easy to shop for she is very particular about her outer wear so going to Sears to put a coat on layaway will give me the time to ensure I made the correct choice. One of the people on my holiday gift-giving list is myself! I think I should treat myself to some new pots and pans because it's something we can really use here and the younger children can do with some coats and new clothes. I've been noticing how they make comments about the clothes they like or don't like so it'd be nice to get them clothes that specifically fit their tastes.

There are a couple of people on my list that I find hard to shop for like my brother. It isn't because he's a picky person or anything; it's because I have a hard time shopping for me. I am probably making it more difficult than it really is so I was perusing Sears.com to see if there was anything that would strike his fancy and my budget. Well, I discovered that tools can be put on layaway as well. My brother likes to keep his home in top condition so I think he would appreciate receiving a gift like the Craftsman NEXTEC™ 12 Volt Lithium-Ion 3/8-Inch Reversible Drill/Driver.


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Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday's Muse - Look at life



Life. There's always so much going on in my life that it often feels like that my creativity is dormant. That's why I like participating in the Maternal Spark Monday's Muse because it gets me to thinking about how to creative and support the muse in my life. As a writer, I can't get overwhelmed with my everyday stuff (housework, children, errands, responsibilities) and not nurse my creative side.

My creative side is how I make money. I write magazine articles and I am working on a couple of creative projects like my children's book and a novel (or two). There are also a couple of book ideas waiting in the wings. So, today, it dawned on me that I often use my life as my muse. When I can't find something educational to post or interesting to say, and when I can't find a paid post I have to write what's going on in this woman's world! :D Get it?

Take today for example, I had to get up at 3 a.m. and take my teenager to the emergency room (I'll have to tell you more about that later, but remember last year when she was hospitalized? -- Read more here and here. -- Well, that same thing is going on.) Thankfully, the younger children were with their father this morning and he was dropping everyone off at their respective destinations this morning so I didn't have the extra stress of coordinating it with them in tow.

The experience, to say the least, caused a good amount of adrenaline and anxiety. We got through it (and I'll keep you posted), but when I sat down to work I realized that my mind was tired and fried. Then I realized that one of the novels I'm working on is loosely related to my life (okay, maybe a little more than loosely) and I could use today's experiences and everything I've been through medically with my teenager in the novel.

Once again, my life has served as my muse. Why don't you try it? What do you need to accomplish today, but don't feel you have the strength or creativity to get done? Maybe you make jewelry and are stuck on a piece, let whatever emotion and activity is occurring to fuel you. If you're an artist you may have to stop working on your current piece and pick up something new that is fueled my your current emotions and activities. Have a photographic assignment you need to complete? Well, stop and take pictures of your house that needs to be cleaned or your messy desk, sell those prints to sites that use stock photography or start your own stock photography website.

Our lives -- regardless of our occupation, hobby or career -- can serve to fuel our creativity. Try not to let the stresses of life hinder your muse.

Here's to creativity and life as muse!

To participate go to Maternal Spark - Where creative moms shine. Also, check out my previous Monday's Muse posts.
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Eat and be merry

Ms Maggie Moo Talks 2 U is having a very interesting and tasty contest. She is having her first Life Is Short: Eat Dessert First Contest! She wants to send a few edible gifts to people who live far away, but she doesn't know how they will ship. Help her determine which gifts stand up to shipping and which ones do not. It's that simple.

Head on over there to enter the contest, and please don't forget to tell her that Petula sent you.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quality sports clothes

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Sunday morning vacation

It's after 11 o'clock on Sunday and I am back sitting on the couch at my best friend's place with my feet propped up watching America's Next Top Model with my teenager. Her godfather walks back and forth commenting on what we're watching and chatting with us.



Eventually we'll have to get out of here because I still have to do some grocery shopping, clean up the house including finishing laundry, wash my hair and get ready for the week. And it would be nice to give myself a pedicure. Hanging out here reminds me of when we -- my best friend and I -- were in the military and we lived in the same barracks (he on the second floor, me on the third) in Upstate New York more than 18 years ago. When we moved off base we lived around the corner from each other, which was really cool.

Michael is a very laid back person who is a calming presence. He's a lot of fun too and, of course, my daughter loves her Daddy Michael and that makes me happy. I hope to have more relaxing days like this in the near future, and I hope you had a good weekend as well.
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