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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beginning and end

Guess where I am sitting right now?

Give up?

I am sitting in Amber's dorm room. Yup, today is the day when she starts her college education. She is beginning with a scholar's program this summer and will continue in the fall.

SIGH.

It's exciting and anxiety producing. Amber is my oldest child, but my biggest baby. She is my friend and daughter. And, of course, my feelings are mixed.

We've unpacked her room - for the most part, and I will post pictures of her room later today or tomorrow. She's in the kitchen now with one of her suite mates unpacking food and whatnot. I stood out there for awhile watching them get to know each other. They laughed and discovered things they had in common.

The moment made me smile.

She doesn't need me as much anymore, but - on the other hand - I know she will need me. I feel comfort in knowing that when we got here she began to feel more relaxed and not as anxious.

The scholar's program is pretty intensive. Today, she has a meeting at 3 with her mentor and those in that group. Then there's a dinner at 5 or 6. I don't think they have a class tonight, but they have one tomorrow. Yes, that's right, on Sunday.

It's a little after 12 p.m. and I - along with all the other parents - am required to leave the west campus by 2/2:30. At first, when Amber was finished with her room and there wasn't much more to do I was going to go ahead and go. Then she indicated she wanted me to stay until the time I had to leave.

The moment made me smile.

I am so proud of my little girl. As I sit at her desk, on her laptop, in her room I marvel at how far we've come. In a couple of hours I don't know if I'll cry as I hug her good-bye (at least she can come home for 4th of July weekend) or if tears will drip down my face as I drive home alone.

The only thing I know for sure is that my heart swells with love for her. She is such a marvelous young woman. Right before my eyes she's blossomed, grown, matured and begins a new life.

Good luck and God bless, Munchkin, Mommy loves you!
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Not in the plans

I think, for the most part, I've been lucky to have a teenager who likes spending time with me and normally considers what we have going on before doing something with her friends. She's a big help and great company, but she still manages to stay on the go since she found a group of friends she enjoys hanging out with.

On Saturday, I'll be taking her to college for the scholar's program and she'll be gone for five weeks. In preparation (besides the errand running, supply buying, etc.) I left my to-do list relatively free so I can help her pack, get last minute things and spend time with her.

Today she says, "Can I go out to dinner tomorrow night?"

I am dripping with disappointment.

She and her friends have decided to/planned for dinner as a group. A couple of them are going into the military and two have summer programs, but once they return for their few weeks at the end of the summer the ones still here will be preparing to leave. Well, actually they'll all be getting ready for their Fall semester.

I thought we would spend her last night together. I didn't find out 'til today that she plans on finishing packing today so she can go out tomorrow night. We have to leave at about 7 a.m. Saturday morning and I expected her to be in and in bed at a decent hour so she can begin her college career on the right foot. I mean, she is getting college credits for this program so it's really important.

Well... there go my expectations.

I could put my motherly foot down - she is just 17 - and let her know that she will be in on Friday night, but do I really want to start her "life on her own" off with a negative?

I am physically and mentally exhausted from playing chauffeur, running errands and getting everyone (my four offspring) off to their activities, responsibilities, etc., that I haven't really done anything for myself in almost a month - probably longer. I guess I was thinking the least she can do is "pay" me with a mother/daughter night. The three younger children will be with their father this weekend so it seemed perfect to me.

This time was coming. I know. I just didn't think it would be this weekend. My feelings are mixed about her leaving. I'm excited, proud, nervous... I'm everything! My oldest daughter is not only my child, but she is a wonderful friend. (Am I pitiful or what?)

For the next few days I'll just smile (or frown!) and do whatever is necessary to make this the most memorable exciting time of her life. Inside the tears may fall I will just have to keep in mind that this is what I've been preparing her for her entire life. I just forgot to prepare myself.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bug OFF - product review

Throughout the entire winter I normally complain about being cold. I always "can't wait" until the warmer weather arrives then when it finally gets here I start to complain about the bugs that come with it. Especially the mosquitoes.

That's why I was really excited when I had the chance to review the OFF!® Clip-on™ Mosquito Repellent and the OFF!® PowerPad Lamp. It was several weekends ago, Memorial Day if I remember correctly, and I took the products with us when we went over a friend's house for a cookout.

Out of my four children, three are allergic to mosquito bites and get giant-sized bumps from the bites. I especially don't like my youngest and middle daughters getting bit because they scratch like crazy and leave scars all over themselves.

After we had enjoyed the food, my four children along with the teenager's boyfriend and his twin sisters went outside. They took the PowerPad Lamp with them and one of the twins attached the Clip-On to her shorts. About an hour later myself and our hostess, Michelle, went outside to see what the children were up to. And I wanted to see how the OFF!® products were working.

I explained to Michelle that I am a BzzAgent and I get the chance to review products in exchange for creating a little buzz about them. I told her how the OFF!® PowerPad Lamp is great for hanging outside because all you have to do is light the candle and the heat activates the repellent pad covering an area of about 15' x 15'. (For that size area you would need about 15 Citronella buckets.)

We stood within the area so I could see if the PowerPad was working and I didn't get bitten once! It was a muggy day and it had rained the night before so the grass was a little damp and it was late evening. Prime time when mosquitoes are normally out. I always get bit by mosquitoes so I was really impressed.

Later on that day, right before we were about to leave, the twin came to give me the Clip-On™ and said, "It really works."

The thing I like about these OFF!® products is that there is absolutely no odor. And another plus is the price: The clip-on start pack is about $9 and it comes with one repellent fan unit, a refill disk and two AA batteries. The lamp start kit is about $9.50 and it includes the lamp, a repellent pad and a candle. The refill packs for both are also very economical.

I've never used a mosquito repellent that I would recommend to anyone until I tried the OFF!® Clip-On™ and the PowerPad Lamp. They're definitely a great addition to summer-time fun.

product review
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Wholesale newsletter

Just about every industry or field you can think of has articles published online for informational purposes. The same goes for the wholesale industry, which seems to consist of a lot of material that needs to be remembered and mastered to facilitate business success.

All of that information may be difficult to keep straight and understand, but when there is one place to go to that summarizes the details the process can be a little easier. That's what WholesaleNewsletter.com has done. WholesaleNewsletter is an online newsletter that consists of "Wholesale News and Sources for the Latest in the Wholesale Industry." This site has been set up to offer free insider tips about wholesale marketing and sourcing both online and offline. There is information about drop shipping, customer retention, online business success and much more. All the information presented seems well written and easy to find either through reviewing the resources or performing a search.

It even seems like a good site to go to for jewelry makers, and other artists, who are showcasing and advertising their wares for sale online. These creative individuals could learn valuable information that can turn their part-time hobby/full-time love into a nice money-making and professional business venture.

I would encourage anyone who is interested in the wholesale trade industry, especially the e-commerce wholesale market (and how drop ship affects customer retention), to check out the information presented on the site. WholesaleNewsletter is a good resource for those who are well versed in the wholesale industry as well as those who are just learning. The information is presented in a way that should appeal to everyone in the industry.

It does, however, seem to be a fairly new site and it will be interesting to see it grow with more traffic, comments and professionals to contribute. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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Spreading the word

There's a little girl named Hannah that has really touched my heart. Her mom shares details of their battle with Gaucher's Disease on her blog Little Miss Hannah. Here's a YouTube video she posted recently.

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Monday's Muse: Thoughts of life

To say I haven't been feeling particularly creative lately would be an understatement. How many times have I said that? My mind has been full with all that is going on and the thoughts that pass through my brain are numerous.

There are times when these thoughts spark some type of writing, post, fantasy or idea, but - recently - the most that has sparked within me is despair, defeat and ... distance. Distance? Hmmm...


Maybe listing these thoughts (as I refuse to think them through) will encourage more than just a sigh.
  • My paternal grandmother passed away more than six years ago and I wish she were here to see her oldest great granddaughter graduate and enter college.
  • It's true: Things can get worse.
  • The more you dwell on the negative, the more negative you become.
  • Not everyone is cut out to be a parent.
  • Perfection is not within reach.
  • Hiding in the fantasy of a good book doesn't work because eventually you come to the end of the story.
  • Has anyone invented disposable, biodegradable, easy to wear, grow with (or shrink with) you clothes? Just a thought... laundry is a b*tch.
  • Laughter is almost as good as a good book. It just doesn't last as long.
Nope... I didn't get anything more than a sigh; however, a little chuckle tried to erupt as I remembered something funny I saw on television last night. I guess it did work, huh? Do you have any random thoughts to add to my list?

Click on over to Maternal Spark for some more Monday's Muse. I would tell you to read my old ones, but you probably won't so I won't even ask.
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Fashion forward in scrubs

If you work in an environment that has a strict corporate dress code or one where you're required to wear a uniform then you've probably noticed that a lot of people are deciding to personalize their look. Individuality and being fashion forward are no longer frowned upon so it's time to embrace that same mindset even if you wear scrubs to work everyday.

It's especially fun to let your individuality show during the summer months. Just because Scrubs are comfortable does not mean they have to be drab. If you wear scrubs to work there are ways to make yourself feel just as stylish and put together as your friend who works at a local magazine or the corporate cutie you know who travels the world. That's why at ScrubsMag.com there is fashion advice that is definitely worth following.

For instance, Anita Bruzzese, who wrote the article "Looking Great in Scrubs," recommends ensuring that your scrubs fit properly, utilizing accessories and investing in a good haircut. These tips, along with others, can make the difference between just throwing your scrubs on for work and dressing for work in a way that makes you feel confident and individualistic.

You don't have to take my word for it. Check out ScrubsMag.com, the nurses guide for good living, for more information about fashion, beauty, love, money and a lot more.

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