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

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tears, cold feet & chuckles

There are only so many bricks to hinder the succession of thoughts and feelings
Even without acknowledgment the crocodile still sneaks through.
Take time to reveal it to the masses
And the discovery will be black, silent without truth and understanding.

Chisel a hole through the bricks for cold feet without permission
And the toes curl against the warmth and awaken the light.
Briefly there is a moment of humanness; a pause from the thought and feel
Then an opening registers a foreign sound from without...

Wonder follows. Interest peaked. 
Not before the bricks return with cement, steel and plaster.
It covers, blocks, ignores.
The crocodile still creeps looking for a way out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thought I won one

My two middle children are on winter break so they were out of school yesterday, are out today and will be out on Monday. SIGH. Oh, and this is my weekend.

Their dad picked them up (the the youngest) Wednesday night after he got off of work so I had a wonderfully quiet and kid-free time until this morning when he bought them home this morning. They seemed to be in good spirits and then the unhappiness began.

The baby is relatively happy, but the two middle ones have been at odds. About the second or third time they started to fuss I had a brilliant idea: 'If you're going to argue then you won't play together. Amareah play out here and Andre play in the room."

Then the crying really began. Amareah begged to play with Andre, but I stuck to my guns. After about 20 minutes and a snack for Amareah, she politely and calmly asked to play with her brother. She went in the room and they were quiet...

MOM: 1

...20 minutes later it started again.

MOM: -1

And it's only 10:14 a.m.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Big Apple returns to ATL

The excitement of the Big Apple returns to Atlanta and, I don't know about you, I can't wait to see it. This is a show that is sure to have children of all ages on the edge of their seats in anticipation and wonder. My children and I are going on Monday and I'm looking forward to seeing the look on their faces when they see the Big Apple for the first time.

The Big Apple show, Bello is Back!, features Bello who is known as the humor-making, hair-raising daredevil clown who debuted in New York with the Big Apple Circus. Bello was recently named "America's Best Clown" so you have to get some tickets so you can see him in action.

Now for the details; the fun begins tomorrow:

Atlanta, Georgia
Stone Mountain Park
February 12 - 28

And there's more good news: DISCOUNTED TICKETS.

To purchase your discounted tickets to the Big Apple Circus:
Online: and submit the code POP10 in the Promotional Codes box
By Phone: CALL 888-541-3750 and mention code POP10
In Person:  Big Top Box Office  10AM–6PM daily. No service fee. Bring a copy of this blog post
*Offer good on select seat locations and performances. Must present this blog post to receive discount at the box office. Performance schedule subject to change. Offer is subject to availability; not valid on prior purchases; cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions. This offer can be revoked at any time. Discount amount varies. Limit 8 tickets per order. No refunds or exchanges. Telephone and Internet orders are subject to standard service fees.

Right now t ickets for performances at upcoming venues are currently on sale to Big Apple Circus members only. Membership helps kids in need and benefits include discounted tickets, VIP seats, invitations to exclusive member-only events and more. Click here for complete information.

To keep up with news, check out @BigApple_Circus on Twitter and the Big Apple Circus Facebook fan page.

If you live in other areas, not to worry. Here is the rest of the tour schedule:
Dulles, Virginia
Dulles Town Center
March 6, 2010 – March 27, 2010

Boston, Massachusetts
City Hall Plaza
April 3, 2010 – May 16, 2010

Queens, New York
Cunningham Park
May 22, 2010 – June 6, 2010

Long Island, New York
Eisenhower Park
June 11, 2010 – July 4, 2010

New NYC Metro Venue
To be confirmed
July 9, 2010 – July 25, 2010

Have fun and come back next week to see how we enjoyed our Big Apple experience.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Raw carrots

My 2 1/2-year-old daughter likes raw carrots. .... But that's not really important.

I'm sure you thought I was going to go into a long, cute story about getting her to eat them. Right? Well, this time you're wrong. I was going to define carrots for you then tell a well-reported story of how vegetables are necessary for good nutrition then give you a solution for getting your children to eat vegetables.

Phooey! That's a freaking lie. It's my sarcastic way of bringing up the fact that someone, who will remain nameless at this time, said that I have not been a writer the entire time I've been doing this blog. Or something along those lines. They said, in so many words, that what I write is filled with "thinly veiled advertisements" and "bitch and moan" sessions. They said I HAVE NOT been a writer.

Can you hear me growling? And it's not my stomach.

Although I am a journalist by degree and have worked in that profession in the past, I have in no way stated that my blog is filled with journalistic writing, in-depth reporting and solution-oriented text. In fact, the blog descriptions I have used in the past contain the following text (give or take):
"It's about the everyday life of a 40-something freelance writer of 15 years and mom of four children from pre-schooler to teenager. I post book, web and product reviews; health and weight loss successes; random thoughts and creative writings, parenting dilemmas as well as the ups and downs of normal life. The goal is to be entertaining, enlightening, encouraging and educational."
Let me address the "thinly veiled advertisements" posts. I do have a disclosure policy, which clearly states,
"... This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog, but do not influence the personal opinions expressed by the writer and editor. That content, advertising space or post may or may not be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content...."
That is the nature of a portion of the blogging business and I simply follow the guidelines of the advertisers through the companies or of the advertisers who contact me directly. I do this because I want and need to get paid.

"Bitch and moan sessions." Excuse me for relaying what goes on in my life and how I feel about it on MY BLOG. It is obviously "a woman's world." If you don't like it then move the hell on. And that's not a moan! Now, in a more ladylike fashion, let me share the posts that have fallen under other categories:

Beautiful pictures of my children for Wordless Wednesday and Looking at the Sky on Friday.
Talking to my son about Black History.
Sharing my middle daughter's photography talent.
Telling about her birthday celebration here and here.
Adventure sale tales with me and Amber or her activities with her siblings.
Tributes to my friends.
Sharing friends' talents, products and daycare services.

It appears I've run out of steam... I just had to get that outta my head and off my chest. Why? 'Cause it was keeping me from writing, blogging and sharing. It was keeping me from talking about what's going on in this woman's world for fear of the judgments, opinions, criticisms and whatnot. Some would say that should be like water on a duck's back. I might normally agree. Possibly. But when so much is going on in life it's sometimes hard to get certain things out of your mind.

Is that talking in circles?

Let me try again...

I have some very difficult, stressful situations to deal with and there isn't a solution readily available. Readily apparent, I guess I should say. For me when I am dealing with a lot of difficulty, negativity and downright fear, I am hyper aware of everything. I'm already super critical of myself so something that I think is unfair or brushed off as a simple black and white issue will bug the heck out of me.

It's time to end this 'cause I think I'm starting to ramble. I need something to relieve a little stress. Maybe I'll go grab me a handful of baby raw carrots.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Real Estate Tax Benefit

It seems like a little while away, but the filing tax deadline in April will be here before you know it. To best take advantage of the credits you deserve, make sure you do your research. And, if you're a homeowner, tThere's a Real Estate Tax Benefit that you should be aware of. Here are some of the details:
  1. First-time homebuyers, or those who have not owned a home in the last three years, can receive up to an $8,000 tax credit.
  2. Homeowners living in their current home consecutively for at least five of the last eight years can receive a credit of up to $6,500. This group's property must be under $800,000. Look for the term "move up buyer" when you do your research.
  3. All qualified, future homebuyers should get busy to take advantage of this. Get a written, binding contract by April 30th (which is when the tax credit expires) and close no later than June 30th.
  4. The income cap has been raised to $125,000 for singles and $225,000 for married.
This is a positive thing for homebuyers, but it's important for our economy as well. Every time a home is sold in this country it creates a job for the next 12 months and $60,000 (per sale) goes into the local economy. (Check the National Association of Realtors for more details and statistics.)

For additional information, be sure to click the link in the first paragraph and view the video.

If you can't view the video try switching to Internet Explorer.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Looking for pep

Yes, I know you're tired of seeing that bowls of ice cream post at the top. You must be 'cause I know I am. I haven't really felt the vibe to post. I have some "bigger" post projects rolling around in my head and don't have time to do them so I've been a little un-post motivated. LOL

I've definitely had pep to hang out with Amber yesterday (brunch and shopping) and Friday night (dinner and a Redbox movie) so now it's time to get the energy to meet a deadline and get the house in order for the week. It's sunny outside, but I think I have the lazy Sunday mindset. I'm about to get off of the couch for a moment, grab a refreshing bottle of water, bang out some writing for a weekly assignment and get this party started.

Maybe I'll take a break later and do a little yoga. Even though it's relaxing, in a way, it does give me a little energy - wakes up those muscles that are trying to make me lazy. (Yup, blaming on the muscles.)

Overall I'm enjoying my day though and I'm sure I'll get a little pep in my step soon. Hey, maybe I'll find it in another cup of coffee! Sounds like a plan to me.

What are you up to today?
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