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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Enter giveaway, create awareness

A couple of my favorite people in the world (and I am not exaggerating) are Little Miss Hannah and her mommy. I've written about them before and I am pleased to participate in Little Miss Hannah's first giveaway and awareness campaign. It would be great if everyone would participate to help raise awareness about Gaucher’s Disease and other rare disease blogs.

Here's a list of the fabulous prize donations:

Click through to to get complete rules. When you enter, which you can do multiple times, you can list your three top prize choices. Now, get to clicking, entering and spreading the word. Good luck.


Love & field trips

I don't know about other parents, but I don't think I thought about the demands - for lack of a better word - of having children so far apart. Here I am preparing a child for college by filling out applications, applying for scholarships and attending open houses and whatnot, and (way on the other end) I have a group of children just getting into the education game.

I have to get my mind right again. I've been talking to myself about being more involved at the children's school like I was with my oldest daughter. Yes, I know that I am the president of the Parent's Committee and I helped out with setting up and breaking down for the Black History Program. I've also washed the sheets for my 4-year-old's class. But there's always more.

Today, I went with my son's class on a field trip to the library. I know it's not much, but I had to start small. I purposefully did not volunteer or even inquire about going on the field trip to the circus. Can you imagine that? About 20 kids on a bus for 30 minutes both ways then sitting through the noise of the circus while keeping an eye on the children? Then fighting through the crowd (even if it's only other schools) to get souvenirs and whatnot. I don't think so.

I enjoyed the under 10 minutes ride to the library that is two blocks away from their school. We were there for about an hour and the ride back (while I secretly munched my snack) was pleasant. Next week I'll do it again with my daughter.

My son was so happy that I went with his class - he asked me last week if I would and I was delighted. Although I didn't sit next to him the entire time, we stole looks and smiles across the room. Then during the activity we colored together and quietly made our crayons fight. His bashful smiles and light touches sent joy to my heart.

I asked his assistant teacher if he's always that quiet.

"No!" She said that with a roll of her eyes and we both laughed.

As I was leaving the school, I saw my son standing in line. Actually he was spinning in circles. I said, "Hey! Don't let all of that pent up energy out now."

I walked up to him to say 'see you later' and I whispered to him that he had to be good for the afternoon. I asked if he wanted to give me a kiss on the cheek and he did.

I've had an extremely rough week with the younger children - and parenting in general - and this moment in the day is a reminder of how parenting can be filled with happiness, pride and sharing. It couldn't have come at a better time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Talk to me

I think it was 1995 when I purchased my first cell phone. At the time I didn't know the "dangers" of signing a two-year contract or all the ends and outs of daytime and nighttime minutes. Back then cell phones didn't come with cameras and there was no such thing as a Bluetooth.

The phone I had was a big clunker, but it was better than the bag mobile phone my older brother carried around. Remember those? The only thing my cellular enabled me to do was send and receive calls as well as save about 50 phone numbers. I kept that phone until 2002 when the battery stopped holding a charge.

I took it into the Verizon Wireless store and the clerk looked at it and said, "I'm surprised this is still working." He was very amused.

I said, "I just want to get a new battery."

"They don't make new batteries for these anymore; you'll have to get a new phone."

To say I had a dumbfounded look on my face is probably an understatement. As an associate editor at a small business magazine, I wasn't making that much money and didn't plan on purchasing a new phone. In fact, I had to wait until my next payday to do that.

The phone I have now, a Samsung, serves me well. It would be nice to have a camera or a variety of ringtones, but those features aren't essential. And neither is a new phone, which I wouldn't mind having. You know something like a red BlackBerry Curve.

I may not have the latest phone, but I am happy with my provider: MetroPCS. I have unlimited local and long distance calling, voicemail, call waiting and the ability to use my phone just about anywhere in the US of A. All for less than $48 per month.

What more can a girl ask for?

Wordless Wednesday: Outgoing

Here are more of my Wordless Wednesday posts and for others' check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Somewhere over the top

Have you ever had that moment when your kids make you absolutely crazy? You turn around, walk away after your head spun on its axis and ask, "Who was that crazy person?"

I am reaching that moment more and more this week. (A voice in my head just said, "It's only Tuesday.") As a divorcing parent, there are quite a few times when my three younger children return from their weekend with their dad acting not quite like the children I saw three days prior.

When I pick the two middles ones up from school on some Monday afternoons I am usually holding my breath and wondering if they'll be happy to see me, or if they will be ready to give me a hard time. Normally they trick me into thinking they're going to be good.

Luckily, it's often a tag-team operation. One is extremely well behaved while the other one gives me a run for my money. This week one of them is making me wanna run for the hills - literally!

I was going to say that they have me "somewhere over the rainbow," but that's supposed to be a good place. These younger children, my second generation of children, have my blood pressure up over the top. Over the last two days, my 4-year-old daughter has peed on herself more than she does in an entire week (Remember I had this problem about two months ago?). Right now, my toddler is screaming from her crib for the second night in a row (Nope, she wasn't doing that last week.). And I just want to go to bed and forget all of my parenting and personal woes.

The only problem is that there won't be any difference in the morning.

Enough of my bellyaching. How has your week been so far?

Have a gander at the Five tips to avoiding temper tantrums.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday's Muse: What I see

I've been racking my brain for most of the day trying to think of a topic for Monday's Muse. As a writer, I am constantly thinking of things that fuel stories, ideas, poems, prose... any type of written material.

I didn't realize until today that there are other areas of my creativity that I have been trying to nurture. I've briefly mentioned how I would like to take better photographs. When I see some of the pictures that the talented photographers capture I long to get something half as inspiring, creative and beautiful. Although I am not that great of a photographer, it was something that Jo said in one of her posts that helped me: Try different angles.

Since I read that I've been experimenting. Like with the shot of the bee mounds that are in my yard.

This afternoon I stepped outside when my oldest daughter left to pick up her baby sister; the air in the house was so stuffy. The two middle children followed me out onto the stoop and they began drawing with sidewalk chalk... The urge to capture the moment came over me.

"You want me to take your picture?"

"Yes!" They agreed.

Here are three out of the six or so I captured:

Yesterday when my daughter and I came back from looking at prom dresses I asked her to let me take her picture. I must admit that I am particularly proud of these shots... she's a natural in front of the camera and I felt "inspired!" :D

On the last one, I didn't realize that she was running her fingers through her hair and I caught her hand at a weird angle. In the future, I will inspect the photo more closely to catch stuff like that. But, I still love this one.

Taking pictures is a great way to get my muse going and I realize that my muse may show up for me to draw a picture, create a photo album or scrapbook or snap an impromptu shot with my camera. What I learned is I shouldn't put my muse in a box, she may want to come out and play to do something different today.
Now that I realize that maybe she'll help me come up with a query for a magazine article... What's inspiring you today?
For more of Monday's Muse, check out Maternal Spark.

Springing forward

As if on cue, my neighbor's tree sprouted flowers sometime between Saturday and Sunday. Although spring doesn't officially begin until March 20th, we can already see the beautiful signs of its coming.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Need a mommy makeover?

Years ago I would have never thought of having plastic surgery, but I think I have changed my perspective about the procedure. After I had my first child everything popped back into place pretty well. When she was about 3 years old I had to have emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder and they weren't able to do it with a laser. The result is a very large keloid scar across upper right part of my stomach.

After the surgery, a doctor told me that once I was finished having children that the scar could be easily removed. I've never forgotten that. Now, after four children, not only do I want the scar removed but I wouldn't mind getting a mommy makeover. You know, breast lift, tummy tuck and some tightening and tucking in other areas.

Actually getting the extra skin removed around my middle for a tummy tuck would be ideal and I would be happy with that. I'm not sure how far I would travel to a facility that performed cosmetic surgery, but I would definitely have questions like what is the recovery time like, are there limitations after the surgery and will there be scaring.

I know I can check out the forums at Mya for Cosmetic Surgery Help because they have experts available to answer any questions. If you could get cosmetic surgery, what would you choose?

Attack of the killer...

Remember all those different movies... Attack of the Killer Bees or the invasion of snakes on a small town? I saw one not too long ago about killer birds - I think they were ravens. Then there's the one about the frogs, bats... I think there has been an invasion of every type of creature you can think of.

Well, that's what I thought of today when I noticed the 100 or so mounds of earth in my lawn. I saw a few yesterday and thought they were ant mounds. Upon closer inspection I saw bees coming out of the mounds. Yea, I had noticed all of the tiny bees swarming the lawn, but I didn't think anything of it.

That's one of the mounds, but I couldn't get a shot of the bee that was hoovering inside. Those are quick little buggers. The thought of all of those bees in the yard is making me itchy.

And, needless to say, I will be giving the yard guy a call. That's one of the few unpleasurable things about the warmer months.
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