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

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pee pee update, boo boo bottoms

I have finally gotten pass the pee pee problem with my middle daughter. (Knock on wood ... hope I am not speaking too quickly.) As you'll remember from POed about pee pee little Miss Amareah was having accidents on a regular basis. Now, all of a sudden, the accidents have stopped.

And I heaved a sigh of release.

Seems as if I heaved too soon: Over the past week my second and my fourth children started boo booing all day long. They don't have diarrhea, but their stools are loose and almost everything that goes in comes back out.

I have inquired in all kinds of ways of my 5-year-old son Andre about what is going on in his stomach. One of our conversations went like this:

M: Does your stomach hurt?
A: No.
M: Does it hurt right before you have to boo boo?
A: Yes.
M: But it doesn't hurt all the time?
A: No.

Hmmm? That didn't tell me anything, did it?

Today alone, beginning at midnight (Yes! Midnight! And no, I haven't had much sleep.) and ending around noon today (they're napping now!) they've boo booed about 10 times.

I must admit if I have to look at one more butt and one more pile of (brace yourself it's about to get gross) pile of mucusy, smelly defecation, I will turn in my mother card. Okay, I'm being a little dramatic.

This has gone so far that Andre has had a couple of accidents in his clothes because he's waiting until the last minute to go and ... well, you know the rest. Luckily, it was just a little bit, but I would prefer not to have to hand wash any little drawers with any little yucky stuff in it.

So, I've progressed from pee pee problems to boo boo episodes. Actually I wouldn't call that progress, but you know what I mean. Hopefully my next post about bathroom habits will include a success story about potty training my youngest.

Hey, I can hope,can't I?
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Friday, January 16, 2009

What was I going to say?

In this Woman's World

I opened up the Blogger window so that I can write a post and I promptly forgot what I was going to write. Unfortunately for you that didn't stop me from writing this random post. I am hoping that some time between now and... uh... when I get tired of typing that I will remember what I was going to say or think of something brilliant and entertaining to write about. Something that includes photos would be ideal.

Maybe you can listen to some music while you read. Or get a cup of your favorite drink so that you're happy while you're reading and won't realize that you're reading a post about absolutely nothing.

If you've been keeping up with me then you know I've been having memory problems lately. I would include a link of the last time I wrote about it, but I can't remember what it was called. LOL. I'm just kidding. I did a search and discovered two things: 1) I use the word remember a lot. 2) I don't remember a lot.

Actually, and I am being so serious here, I forgot what I was going to write for number two so I just put that instead. I think it was pretty funny. What do you think?

Oh yea, the link: I last wrote about the memory thing in one of my Health and Weight Loss journals ironically titled Where's my mind? Well, before you stop reading I better go ahead and end this. I hope you have a good weekend and remember to come back soon.

Take a moment to read my last In this Woman's world post, Friendship vs. Oneship, it's way more interesting. I promise.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just for writers...

These are two of my favorite quotes... Forever ago I came across this one and I have no idea who said it:


"You must write the book, else there is no book. It will not finish itself."

If you know who said that then please let me know. I've kept that posted on my desk for years... maybe one day it'll inspire me to finish one of my adult books (I've finished my children's book manuscript).

The next one I found recently, and for the life of me I can't remember where, (I really must do something about my memory) and I find it to be so true:

"If you start to revise before you've reached the end, you're likely to begin dawdling with the revisions and putting off the difficult task of writing."
Charles Caleb Colton
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Put your money to work

Among all of the advice, there is one thing that most financial experts are telling us to do in these turbulent financial times: Continue to still save money. Since leaving your money sitting in a savings account may not be the best choice and you're looking for away to make your money work for you then you may want to consider using an online broker like Firstrade.

Firstrade.com is an online brokerage firm that allows its customers to work with options, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, fixed income and stock trading at competitive costs. They also offer extended trading hours so that if you hear something on the news that you want to act on then they're available for you.

What could be easier than doing online trading? And, if you're looking transfer your funds, you can do so for free with Firstrade.com.
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Book Round-Up #2

On the Woman's Bookshelf

It's been a little while since I've written a book review because I've been in the midst of reading books. Now that may not sound like a reason not to do a book review, but since they are books everyone knows about I prefer to write reviews of ones you may not have heard of.

I told you about my reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer with my BFF for our Across the Miles book club. Since then we've read New Moon by the same author, and I must tell you that I enjoyed that just as much if not more than the first book. I can't wait to read the next one in the series and I'm equally excited to see the next movie.

We've also been reading Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series. We're on the third book, Brother Odd. If you're a fan of Koontz then you'll want to check this series out. It's been quite a few years since I've read a Koontz book and I still enjoy them like I did in the past.

Now let's get down to the business of what else is on my bookshelf. You know there are two things that are always on my mind: losing weight and money.

That's why I was interested in taking a look at these three books:

1. Snack Yourself Slim by Richard J. Warburg and Tessa Lorant
2. How to Salvage More Millions from your Small Business by Ron Sturgeon
3. Money Games: 85 Fun Ways to Save Money and Attract Abundance by Randy Petrick

Snack Yourself Slim presents the EATALL™ way, which was developed by Warburg in 2006 when he lost weight and was unable to keep it off. He tried eating one meal a day or not eating at all, but neither worked because his metabolism slowed down. He began frequently eating smaller snacks and he never got hungry. The result was he kept the weight off. Snack Yourself Slim is touted as being the "nation's solution to expensive, futile and, often, unhealthy methods of losing weight."

I took a peek inside, of course, and I found the book to be well written, easy to follow and interesting. In actually, the authors offer tips that are given by most who talk about healthy eating; however, the formula for doing so is a little different. And, for a lot of folks it may be easier to follow. The best thing: the EATALL™ way is free. Well, after you buy the book. :)

While reading the press material for Money Games, I saw the word "fun" and wondered how a book about finances could be fun. Intrigued I began reading the table of contents and saw the section titles Adventure Games and Bored Games with chapters named Restaurant Roulette and Makin' Whoopee.

I have to admit that I flipped right to Makin' Whoopee (hey, couldn't help it) and found an interesting read about retirement. Petrick presents the information in an easy-to-understand manner with humor and obvious insight. Reading this book you'll think you've sat down for a chat with your fun best friend who just happens to be a Chartered Financial Consultant (that's what Petrick is).

Although I normally shy away from financial books because of the boring, technical writing, Money Games is the next read on my list.

If there ever were a person to listen to when it comes to making millions with their business, Sturgeon - the author of How to Salvage More Millions From Your Small Business - is just that person. At 17, Sturgeon was homeless and just had a high school education, but he managed to build and sell several multimillion dollar business to Fortune 500 companies.

During his time in business, which spanned 40 years, he gained knowledge of successful business-building principles and the steps entrepreneurs can take to grow a profitable business. In his books, he shares that knowledge. What I like most about his book are the tips pulled out to the margins in the form of tools and action steps.

I think this is a great book for you mompreneurs - get a copy and let me know what you think. And, for that matter, if you pick up any of the books I mention in my reviews of round-ups please come back and let me know what you think of them.

For my first Book Round-Up, please click the link and for my most recent book review, "Murder, madness, money, mayhem...," click here.
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Quick search shopping

If there's something I have to buy then I want to be able to find a good deal on whatever it is I am looking for. And, I know in today's economy you are probably doing the same thing I am: searching for deals, comparing prices and looking for information on the items that you need.

When it comes to big items that is more important than ever. I have noticed that there are two eyelets on my stove that I have trouble getting to work. A lot of times I just don't even try because they seem to have a shortage. It may be something that can be repaired, but if I need to buy a new stove or cooktop then I am definitely going to need a good deal. That's where ShopWiki comes in.

This site is a must visit when it comes to online shopping because it searches every store on the Internet, unlike other shopping sites that only list stores that have paid placements. As a consumer, I want my shopping research to be easy and not take up a lot of my time. So having everything on one site is convenient for me.

If you do a search on ShopWiki, say for instance you just need pots and pans, then you will find everything that is for sale on the web brought right to you. Then you can quickly compare stores that means you can get better deals and savings.

When I searched for cooktops I was able to hoover my cursor on the link and see which stores had what I was looking for and the price each was selling it for.

Now that's what I call shopping ease.
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Playing along

My BFF Frankie, who doesn't have a blog, participated in the 6th picture meme and IMed me a picture of him when he was on a month-long vacation in Japan.



Unfortunately, I don't remember all the details of the picture, but he told me that he was at someplace where you pray to Buddha and before you go in you're supposed to wash your hands at the well thingy. His 7th picture shows him pouring the water on his hands, but I thought it would be cheating to post that. :) An-t-way, that stick thingy has a little cup on it.

Frankie said that he didn't pray to Buddha, but he observed the rituals. Cool, huh?
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Blogging friends

One of the best things about blogging are the friends I have "met." It is amazing the camaraderie, love and support that my blogging friends give me. One of those friends, Jo (an amazing photographer, loving mom and loyal friend), gave me a cute friendship award.



Check out Jo at Life's Perfect Pictures. If you're in my top 10 commenter's list then I'm passing this award on to you - thank you for your friendship.
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Giving up?

I am so distraught over recent (very bad) developments in my financial situation that I'm forgetting things around me. For instance, I am so busy focusing on making contacts, applying for jobs (I even applied to Six Flags) and following up on stuff that I forgot about the water I put on so I can have some tea.

I think the water was boiling for more than 30 minutes... I never did remember it. I happened to go out to the living room to look for my purse and I smelled something "cooking." When I looked in the kitchen it dawned on me that I wanted tea more than 30 minutes ago.

(On the way back into the office to get this all off of my chest, I forgot to bring my purse with me.)

The green tea is serving two functions: Providing me with whatever antioxidants, good-for-you ingredients that it contains (my throat is trying to hurt) and warming me up. My electric bill went up more than $100 so even though it's less than 20 degrees outside I've turned the heat down.

I know that "everyone is going through tough times right now," but it's all relative. Yes, each person has their own set of worries and situations, but sometimes it's not the right time to tell someone that everyone is having problems. How exactly does that help?

You'll have to forgive this long, negative ramble because I don't think I'll be able to focus the rest of the day if I don't at least express this. I am shaking with nervousness. Besides the electric bill, I have an escrow shortage to the tune of almost $900. If I don't pay that in full (yea, right!) then it will be prorated to my monthly mortgage for the next 12 months (I am already three months behind so you know what that means... foreclosure is threatening.) Add on top of that the bills that there are due everyday, the repairs that I had to get on the van (thank God for my BFF) and the teenager's senior dues, application fees and a variety other expenses and I am more in the red than I've ever been in life.

Now does not seem like a good time to work on my vision board. It seems ridiculous and something I shouldn't even waste time with. And, I hate to say it, but now doesn't seem like the time to be blogging. GASP!

I absolutely love blogging. I do make a little money with it, but not nearly enough to sustain us (my soon-to-be ex only gives me about 1/4 of what he was giving me more than six months ago because of his financial issues). So I am considering giving it up or greatly reducing the amount of time I spend on it. I have been working hard at it hoping that my page rank will continue to go up so I can get better paid post offers. Although they have gotten a little better since I got to PR 3, it isn't enough right now.

Even though I just started a new blog, I may have to neglect that as well. Over the past year or more I've applied for and inquired about 35 to 40 opportunities. (I guess that's not enough.) That includes full-time jobs, part-time jobs and contract/freelance assignments. Everything I do including managing my health care appointments and my oldest daughter's medical appointments has to be done between the hours of 8:30 and 2:15 everyday.

If you count in lunch, although I sometimes eat at my desk, that's about five hours a day (without the children) to accomplish everything. I even feel guilty about taking the time to write this.

Although my sinuses are bothering me and I am extremely drowsy I have to get back to looking for a delivery confirmation slip, sending out inquiry emails, making cold calls, looking for a job and checking for paid posts. And concentrate on not crying or worrying.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

6th picture meme

Tammy tagged me with this meme recently so I decided to go ahead and get it done before I forget.

***Rules***
1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2. Go to the 6th Folder and then pick the 6th Picture.
3. Post it on your bloggy and tell the story that goes with the picture.
4. Tag 5 other glorious peoples to do the same thing and leave a comment on their bloggy tellin’ them ’bout it.

Well, I'm assuming they mean the sixth picture from the beginning not the sixth picture from the end (most recent)...

This is Anna when she first started getting interested in that toy, which - by the way - she hardly pays attention to now. Someone told me about a photo contest for her age group, but the catch was you had to capture the child discovering something and I never did get a shot that I thought was suitable.



Let's see... who to tag? I think I am going to tag the first five people to comment on this post. Now don't cheat and not comment! :) Frankie, if you are one of the first five you can show me your 6th picture via IM and if you let me I can post about it. Of course, I wouldn't do it without your permission. :D
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Wordless Wednesday - All clean


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Working it out

My health and weight loss journal

It is about 23 degrees here! Okay, I know that has nothing to do with my health or my weight loss, but I just had to say that. Well, if you think about it that could affect my health by making me sick and it's helping my weight loss because I definitely move very quickly while I am outside.

I digress. The fibromyalgia situation hasn't changed too much. The medications that I am on are working fairly well and we're still working on my sleep issue. I must admit they have me on sleeping pills, which at least help me to fall asleep even though I am moving a lot in the night I don't wake up completely.

Hey, I just had a thought: What if I have restless leg syndrome? Hmmm? I just saw something about that on television. An-t-way... that's a subject for another day. I'll inquire about it, but I am not going to get to worrying about something that may not be the issue. Although it sounds plausible because they're kind of baffled as to why I still wake up so much during the night when I am taking sleeping pills.

I do have good news: I've lost two pounds! I don't think I told you I had gained a pound sometime last week. Now I am down to 164. Hip Hip Hooray! Yesterday I did yoga and the day before I rode my exercise bike. Today I only have 10 minutes available to exercise so I'll ride the bike for that time - I guess something is better than nothing.

I hope your New Year resolutions and commitments are going well. I've noticed that working out is helping me to feel stronger and tighter so I hope to continue doing it and hopefully it will begin to show even more.

In about 40 minutes I have to leave the house to pickup the teenager from school for a doctor's appointment so I hope this isn't too rambly or incoherent.

If you'd like to read more of my health and weight loss journals, please click the link.
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Rock it

Although I am not one to covet designer threads and accessories, I am finally discovering which designers I like the most based on overall design, appeal and wear-ability. One of the brands I like the best is Rocawear.

I know that you would typically see Rocawear on the street savvy, hip hop wearer because that’s the customer that was primarily targeted in the beginning, but the brand now has appeal beyond that core urban customer. You'll even see women and men in my age group (yes, I'm 40) sporting Rocawear's stylish gear.

Even though I love the Rocawear jeans, shoes and belts, I am partial to the Roca Wear Purse because not only is it stylish and current, but a lot of the purses also have the sophistication and design elements I look for in a handbag. Rocawear also has hobos, wallets, satchets, wristlets, totes, clutches and more so whatever you're looking for is there.

And don't worry about the price: You can also find excellent deals on Rocawear. What designer gear do you like the best? If you haven't found one you like then you should check out Rocawear. They have an assortment of products that I think will meet your needs. Happy shopping.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stretched thin

I told you about the other blog that I started called From Toddlers2Teens. That's where I post my issues with having children of multiple generations or what I call multigenerational. But I had to tell you - my "It's a woman's world" friends - what is going on today.

It's just one of those days... I am filling out one of Amber's college applications while she is in the kitchen being tutored in Calculus. My son is laying on the floor watching a movie with all kinds of little trucks and cars scattered about and my 3-year-old daughter is outside playing with bubbles.

My son didn't want to go outside with her so since she's out there by herself I keep getting up and down to check on her. That makes for a stressful time trying to concentrate on the application, which should have been filled out weeks ago. After Amber is finished with the tutor (an adult has to be home during the session) I'll rush out of the house to pick up the baby before the cutoff time.

(Maybe if I'm lucky the teenager will offer to pick up the baby for me. Keep your fingers crossed.)

Then I'll rush back home to get dinner together, answer emails, pay some bills and anything else on my to-do list I can get completed before I turn in tonight. Unfortunately this is one of those days when I am just exhausted thus the feeling of being s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d too thin.

This doesn't count having to stop by the car place to get the van checked, attending the Parent Committee meeting at the middle children's school or taking them to the store after school like I promised yesterday.

My only hope for the day is that I am able to go to bed early because I think I am almost out of steam. Maybe if I can get a good night's rest then I'll be energized to tackle everything I need to do tomorrow.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Meet My Friends Monday - Sweet, creative Liss

MeetMyFriends


I can't recall how and when I met Liss, but I am so glad that I did. She is a sweet and creative person who is blogging to improve her photography on A Memory Forever. Honestly, I am not sure why she needs to improve because she is already an amazing photographer.

Her photographs speak volumes of her creativity and sensitivity. She captures beauty in everyday things as well as in the children and subjects she photographs. Liss is also mom to two children Mikaela and Callum, and - just like us - she experiences the challenges of everyday parenting with the addition of Callum's developmental issues. Despite that she portrays a love, commitment and endurance in her posts even during the most trying times.

I love stopping by A Memory Forever because her posts and photos always cheer me or make me feel closer to her. I am so glad she decided to share her photography on her blog. To experience the sweet loveliness, visit A Memory Forever.
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Monday's Muse - my vision board

My BFF has been working so hard with me to keep me upbeat, positive and believing in a successful and productive future. It can be quite difficult given my current circumstances, but I do make an effort (as much as I can). He knows that quite some time ago I began constructing a vision board that I never complete. What he doesn't know (at least I don't think I told him) is that I've been trying to finish/update it so that it reflects my current goals and dreams.

I think the first time I heard about a vision board was in the book The Secret. I don't think that's what they called it, but the premise is the same. Then on Oprah's talk show there was a segment about the vision board that featured someone whose "visions" had came to fruition. So since I didn't have the money to buy a bulletin board or anything I raided our crafts/projects box and found a green border that I pasted to the wall next time my desk. Thus creating a bulletin board.


When I first put it up it was during the most stressful and emotional time of my separation so I only added a few things from some other little projects I had started: 1) a collage of ideas on how I wanted my life to be, which included tranquility, ease, success, happiness, love, organization, travel, publication of my books. You know, cutout images that represented those things. 2) a smaller collage of destinations and nature. 3) a picture of Oprah because when I publish my book I want to be on her show and I simply just want to meet her. 4) and the words "make a fresh start," which came from a letter that was included with the fresh start journal that I got (for free!) from The Oprah Magazine.

Since then I've added the words joy, dreams and purpose. I plan on adding the word love; not because I am looking for love from a man, but because I want my life to be filled with love that I give and love in every relationship whether it's with my children, my parents, my siblings or my friends. There's also an image of a book with my byline on it that I'll create to symbolize the books I will publish.

There are other ideas floating around in the my head, but they have yet to form a definite thought. If we all create vision boards - whether something large on a wall or a dedicated page in your favorite journal - we can keep images in our heads that will help to evict the negative thoughts. The images will help to override the crappy stuff that happens in everyday life.

My vision board also reminds me that although I feel down, depressed and even hopeless about my future that it's possible there's more out there. It's possible that I may not live in poverty forever; it's possible that my dreams will come true and it's possible that everything my best friend is telling me is true.

You don't have to create your vision board in one day. Take the time to think about what you want for your future. Mule over the projects you're working on and visualize the end result. Paste pictures, words, drawings and whatever images represent the dreams that you want even if you think they're near impossible. Your vision can include goals and, most importantly, your vision board can change.

Think about it: If the vision board can change then it means we can have control over our future - our destinies. We can write our own ending.

Good luck with your vision ... and enjoy your week.

For more Monday's Muse, check out Maternal Spark.
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