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

Friday, July 17, 2009

Little worker, talker bee

Little Miss Amareah wanted to stay home with me today and her brother wanted to go to Miss Kellie's. No problem for me since I had to take the toddler anyway. When Amareah and I finally got home we had a snack, I made myself some coffee so she had to have tea, I came into the office to get some work done and she sat down to practice letter writing. Then she colored and practiced writing her name. (Seems as if the little pre-schooler has forgotten had to spell her name.)

She's an inquisitive little girl who is very intelligent and aware of the world around her. I enjoy spending time with her, but boy can she talk!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Expenses of raising children

Michelle* is a woman who separated from her husband a few years ago and who is now going through a divorce. The couple had three children together and the husband recently decided to stop giving Michelle money to help take care of the children. His reasoning includes the fact that they had "agreed" to him giving her $700 per month and when they weren't able to come to an alternative agreement during their mediation that meant he didn't have to pay anything. He also stated that if he was forced to pay what the lawyers calculated $1,000 to $1,400 per month then he needs to "save" money to meet the court order.
While the couple was together, Michelle was a stay-at-home mom who occasionally worked at her own business. Their children are young and close in age, and Michelle spent most of their short marriage pregnant. Her husband made the bulk of the income and every time she would say she should go back to work, he would respond, 'You don't want to do that.'

Michelle says that her husband told her he is not giving her $1,200 per month to take care of her. She was shocked at his statement and disbelieving of the fact that he seems to have no idea how much it takes to take care for a child each month - let alone three children.

This is where I came in and added my two cents. Thanks to some research information I'd received.

Not too long after discovering this there was a press release in my email in box from, a company that publishes industry and company research reports and information, revealing that in today's economy parenting is even costlier. According to the Los Angeles-based company the impact of our economic condition further exacerbates financial commitment and the average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 18 is $227,862. That's $12,658 per year or about $1,054.

According to my calculations Michelle needs about $3,164 each month just to care for those three children. If her soon-to-be ex-husband paid half that would be $1,582 each month. He's balking because she is asking (against her lawyer's recommendations) for a minimum of $1,000.

Kind of reminds me of that snake in my yard. Oops, sorry, I digress.
Photo credit: Petula Wright

It really angers and discourages me when I hear stories like this. I'll never understand how someone can be so spiteful and hateful not to care enough about a person they once loved to do the right thing. I've heard that he's giving the daycare provider money for field trips and, of course, providing for the children when they're with him every other weekend. But to hold money hostage, to gain and force control, is just plain wrong.

Do you know of similar situations? Or have you noticed that the condition of the economy is making it harder to provide for your children? Take a minute and weigh in.

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: What do YOU think it is?

Amareah, Andre & Anna investigating something that I'm sure they shouldn't be.

For more Wordless Wednesday around the blogosphere check out 5 Mintues for Mom. And I'd really appreciate it if you would take a look at my other Wordless Wednesday photos.

Apartment finder

A lot of people are deciding to move because of new jobs and opportunities. If you're one of those people and you plan on moving to Houston, Texas, then get in touch with Karen Wells to help you find a Houston Apartment.

Sshhhhh, it's a secret!

I have been keeping something from you. Not really, but I haven't mentioned it lately. I'm always on the prow for some type of opportunity, I've gotten a couple of web content assignments, more paid posts (I think you've noticed that) and I apply for a gig every now and again. Gotta pay the bills, ya know?

I like that word gig. An editor I worked for in 1995 was stuck in the '70s and he used to say that all the time. He also called me "Babe" on a regular basis, wore an afro and a pimp-daddy hat.

Oh, I digress. Back to the secret.

Not too long ago I applied for a part-time job at one of the local libraries. Today I had an interview and found out they had 100s of applicants, but not everyone was called for an interview. (I think my head swelled at that moment.)

The hours are good, I could still blog and do web content (it would be a little tight/rough), it's flexible and not far from home. It even seems like a full circle kind of thing 'cause my first job was at a library. Honestly, I don't know if that's good or bad. Is it moving forward or backward? Well, maybe it's a symbol of a new beginning since it goes back to where I started. Hmmm? Worth considering I guess.

An-t-who, that's the secret. Now, don't tell anyone because I don't want to jinx it. :)

Car reviews

When the economy took a turn for the worse I recall a lot dealerships needing government assistance and I assumed that not as many consumers would be purchasing cars. I am assuming I was wrong because - at least in this area - I still see a lot of people buying cars. (It's evident by the temporary tags on each car.)

It got me to thinking that just because the economy is rough doesn't mean that people don't need transportation. Maybe the number of people making purchases has been less over the past few years. But, of those people, they'll still want to ensure they have accurate information before they make their car purchase.

That's where comes in. For instance, if you're interesting in purchasing a Cadillac you can go to this online resource to find the latest review. The experts on this site offer full reviews with price quotes, photo galleries and specs.

Whether you're searching for an Audi Q7, BMW M5 or a Toyota Venza, TheCarConnection has the information you're looking for.

Beautiful braiding complete

Last week I showed you my 4-year-old daughter's hair when I was only 3/4 of the way finished with styling it. (Click here to see the pictures.) You'll be happy to know that I didn't leave her hair like that.

It turned out beautifully! Thanks to my friend Kellie's daughter Essence (I know I'm spelling her name incorrectly) for adding the beads. Amareah loves her hairstyle and is extremely pleased that she doesn't have to get it combed everyday for at least a week.

Isn't she gorgeous?!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Have you watched One Tree Hill?

I've heard a lot about the popular show One Tree Hill, but I haven't been able to catch it on television. Now I don't have to worry about that I can just watch the seasons of the show on their website. How convenient is that?

If you haven't seen it or fallen behind on your television watching then check it out online.

Irritating interruption

While I was getting my children's dinner prepared this evening there was a knock on the door. Actually I didn't hear the knock, but my children (who seem to have dubbed themselves "watchers of the yard & door") saw someone standing there and started summoning me.

I'll have to teach them the art of pretending we're not at home.

Anyway it was a "gentleman" selling the frozen meat. The deal he offered was great and despite my continued declaration of it not being in my budget he continued to lower the price. I've learned that when I am tired and distracted not to purchase something on the spur of the moment.

He wouldn't go away.

Then he asked what church I attended and a myriad of other questions. I'm a suspicious person who doesn't easily trust, and I try to go with my gut feeling. This man asked way to many questions and fished way to hard for information.

He wasn't alone and it appeared that the woman across the street bought something from the other guy who was with him, but that doesn't make a difference to me. I am going to keep my eyes out for anything suspicious around the house. Normally my gut is pretty dead on, but I guess you never know.

Fighting addictions

I have a friend, we'll call him Timothy for the sake of privacy, who often tells me about his cousin who drinks all day. He's what most people would call a functional drunk. He holds down a job and drives a car, but when he's not doing those things he drinks all day.

When I first heard about him I was surprised. I've never personally known someone who had an addiction. I often tell Timothy that his cousin needs to get into alcohol rehab. I don't think he'd do it because he's already lost his wife over it and still lives the same way.

Although it isn't something you would ever want to have to deal with, it's possible that you may already know someone just like this and you need to pass on drug rehab info to them or find addiction resource information.

Addictions are diseases that need to be taken seriously and the right people need to help the person who is addicted. Finding the right addiction treatment is just a click away.


I guess I had too much relaxation and food this weekend 'cause I gained four pounds in about four days. That's a pound a day!

That means I am not as happy and thrilled to share my health and weight loss journal with you today. You know what that means: I'll be seriously watching what I eat this week to make up for the gain.

In addition to that, I'm not feeling that well today. Not too much fibromyalgia stuff going on just really tired, weak and headachy. I hope this doesn't mean I'm coming down with something. I'll have to load up on the orange juice, down a couple of vitamins and get some rest today. I'll definitely be taking a nap with my 4-year-old daughter today. (She's the only one with me today.)

Well, the pre-schooler is getting restless so I better get to preparing lunch. Actually we're going to do it together since this is our chance to have a girl's day. She's already gotten her nails and toes done, and is waiting for the chance to play and help me get some stuff done.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Canadian retirement homes, information

If you or a loved one lives in Canada and needs retirement information including homes and other resources like articles, links, special events postings, open houses notifications and workshops then is the perfect website to investigate. All the cities that you're looking for - Ontario, BC, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec - can be reached through the site's advanced search feature called "The Right Home Finder."

It can be a sad task to look for Retirement Homes or Retirement Communities for a loved one who can not live alone, but there are resources available to help you make the right decisions. Even for seniors who have decided that they want to live in a community that has amenities especially for them, they can use Senioropolis to find Retirement Residences and Retirement Living.

So if you're the adult child of a senior, a senior or a professional who works with this group you should make this one of the resources you keep on hand.

We would like to generate interest in being part of our site among homes across Canada and advertisers/companies who provide services to seniors across the country.

Monday's Muse: A better me

I have a handful of real-life friends who I trust, love, admire and respect (among other things). I have recently realized how each contributes to my life to make me a better person.

This thought came to me over the week as I spent time with someone very dear to me. I noticed the feeling I got with him around. The energy I had, the focus, the drive and just the simple aura he created. So that got me to thinking about the other people I consider my friends: How I feel about them and what they contribute to me. (What I think I contribute to them has to be an entirely separate post!)

The friend I mentioned above I have known about 19 years. We'll call him #1, but the ranking is in no way indicative of each person's priority in my life. Another person I consider a true friend, and really my only close female friend, I have only known for three years. She'll be #2.

There's friend #3 and I have known him for 23 years. Friend #4 and I have been thick and thieves for 21 years. And #5 I have known for about 16 or 17 years.

Each of these people gives me motivation, encouragement, love and support. They teach me things about life, health, people, relationships, feelings, children, etc. They'll do whatever they can for me whenever they can. And they've shown me that speaking up/opening up, asking for help, chatting or just venting are all okay.

They've taught me that I can be myself. They hold no judgements, no preconceived notions, no negativity BUT they shoot straight from the hip. No minced words, loving correction and rarely a hurt feeling. They don't speak in anger or purposefully make hurtful comments.

If I could have it my way we would all live in the same state, within 20 minutes of each other to support, love and encourage one another on a regular basis. For now, I'll just try to remember to hold onto the essence of who each of these people are and the value they bring to my life. As I work and go about my day-to-day activities and responsibilities this week these thoughts will be my muse.

(Feel free to remind me of this post whenever you like. LOL)

That, my friends, is what's fueling my muse this week.

Check out Maternal Spark if you'd like to participate in Monday's Muse or to see what others are saying. Before you click away please read my Monday's Muse from last week.
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