Saturday, December 27, 2008

Belated Christmas Wishes!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas this year. We had a great one that kept us quite busy. In fact, we still have one more party to go to tomorrow.
It's been a crazy, busy but very fun time for us =)

Here is a slide show of some of our holiday pictures:
View slideshow


Friday, December 19, 2008

... A New Beginning

So the other day I told you about my big epiphany and how I was going to use it to set high goals for myself for 2009!

So I sat down one day and thought - really thought - about the goals I want to set for myself.

My first step was to write down what I wanted my ideal day to look like - if I could snap my fingers right now and change my day, what would I change it to. And I wrote, from details such as to how to schedule things to how I wanted to feel and how my surroundings would look. I also kept in the back of my head "if I had one year to live, how would I want that year to look" and wrote and wrote. Which was good in so many ways and really gave me a TON of direction. Now I have a picture - in words - of what I am working to. I'll liken it to people who cut out a picture of a house and carry around in their wallet so that when they shop, they have a reminder of what they are saving for to help them spend money wisely. I now have that for myself and it was VERY helpful.

I read over all of all that and then wrote what is going on today that is disconnect with how I want a day to look. Which, might have been the hardest part because when you do that you have to admit your flaws and shortcomings. Which isn't always oh so fun. But I did it.

After that I made of list of changes - both big and small - that I could make in order to bridge that gap. That was actually the fun part (although I haven't finished it entirely). It also helps fill you with hope because you think, okay, if I can manage to do this one thing, I'll be one step closer to where I want to be.

Then I added goal dates to those items. Because, let's face it, I need all the motivation I can get ROFL!! This was hard because I had to keep them realistic without giving myself too much time to procrastinate and also, I had to decide where to start, where to end, what goes in the middle. Which also means I had to prioritize my goals!

The main focus of 2009 for me will be getting organized. Because I am not organized right now and after I thought about it, I realized that is probably what is keeping me from finishing other tasks I want to accomplish. You can't stay on top of things very well if you can't find things you need, can't find an empty spot on the counter to work, can't keep appointments and other places to be straight and can't sit to relax because the piles around you are too distracting. I also decided to completely eliminate my 101 in 1001 list. Because it just makes sense for me to do that right now.

Anyway, you'll have to read about this all year long, because I'll be sharing my goals and progress! I know, you are SOOO excited to hear that =) I'm calling it "2009: My Time To Shine" (yes, cheesy, I know, but I like it LOL!) and have also started a group over at the Motherhood so come join us!! =)

Dryer Balls

Just about 2 years ago, I decided we needed to stop using dryer sheets - it was for a variety of reasons, but I was trying to figure out easy ways to give up single use items in our house (we also stopped buying water bottles too at the same time!)
And so, I went to the store and bought some of those blue dryer balls that were so heavily advertised - As seen on TV! - and began to use them. We have the same set still today - although I'm pretty sure they have a much shorter life span, despite what the commercial says. Actually, they didn't even shorten drying time, only helped removed static cling from certain fabrics and did not make things come out fluffier at all. And lately, things are coming out stiff and yucky. And I know they've needed to be replaced - but I was unsure of what to do. Because it occurred to me that although they are reusable - clearly they do not last for years and well, plastic isn't all that awesome for the environment in general and so it left me wondering: what to do?

And then I found The Bashful Sheep through another blog who was doing a give-away of them! So I ordered a set:

I have used them a few times and I can say I completely recommend them! My clothes are really coming out soft and wonderful. Now, it has cut my drying time, but not by much. However, my dryer stinks and it usually takes about 1 1/2-2 cycles to dry things. I've been able to cut it down to 1 to 1 1/2 dryer cycles to dry things. Which is awesome! (but I dream of getting a new dryer that can dry things in less than 90 minutes!!). It has cut down on static - but not eliminated it. And can I add, that she shipped them right away which I was impressed with as well =)

And they are cute and I love them LOL!! I can honestly recommend these to you. And I'm so glad I managed to stumble across them!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A new year ...

is going to start soon! And with the year comes a chance to turn over a new leaf, set goals and resolutions, change our lives and make the upcoming year be the BEST ONE EVER.

Right, well, isn't that what all the chatter is starting December 26th usually? And Oprah does shows about how this is your year. And so do about one million other television stations.

But, well, I SO want 2009 and to really and truly be my year! For a while now - since summer, I have known things around my house needed to change. And oh how I said things were going to change. Look over to the right and you can see my operation purge. We started out with a bang, but we've stopped. We didn't reach our goal. It hasn't been for lack of desire. In fact, 2 weeks ago I actually called a few personal organizers to get quotes for having them come help me get things in order (they are all out of my budget). So last week I checked out a huge book about how to organize pretty much everything.

And I immediately did what I always do and made the same old list: get rid of clutter, don't stay up so late, stop drinking so much pop. Which so far has gotten me nowhere. And then it hit me. I'm approaching this all wrong.

I need to stop thinking about what I don't want and focus on what I do want.

Because if I know what I want, then I have a direction and a goal and a clear picture in my head. Let's take the clutter example. I don't want clutter. But, in truth, clutter is subjective. But if I say, for instance, I only want enough fabric that will fit on that shelf, well, then I know how much to get rid of - everything that won't fit!

Now this felt like a major epiphany for me. Changing the goals from what I don't want to what I do want feels really good already. I just hope I can keep this feeling to accomplish all the goals I have set for myself for 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Dresses are done!

My creation

I finished my girls' Christmas dresses tonight! So happy they are finished. So happy they turned out. So happy that tomorrow we can go visit Santa and drop off their letters to him at Macy's!

I used these dresses to break in the new serger! It really does make me want to sew more because I just feel that much more confident about seams and what-not. Up next on the serger, some holiday napkins for us to use as we get nearer to Christmas.

And also, tomorrow, I'm going to show you the fun new item I just got that I think you should probably have too LOL! =)

Monday, December 15, 2008


Stuff going on:

Picked up Christmas tree today. Plan to decorate Tuesday. House smells lovely!
Made a big shopping trip today and am almost done with holiday shopping
Still loving the serger. I have used it a lot.
Tomorrow night I have my first of two classes to learn even more about it!
Sewing Christmas dresses for the girls. Have realized i am a slow sewer!
I need to pick up the pace because I still need to sew Christmas PJ's and also a few gifts.
Also have a stack of other things I need to knit/sew/make/craft/etc
Have not done any wrapping yet!!

But, with that said, I'm actually feeling really good and relaxed and not too worried about stuff. However, if I wait this long next year to get Christmas stuff done, someone come kick my butt! LOL

Friday, December 12, 2008


I opened bloglines for the first time in over 3 weeks. I read as much as I could, but marked a bit. I looked through comments and e-mailed back when I could and tried to visit everyone's blog.
I apologize for being a bad blogger, but finally have tons and tons of blogging ideas in my head to share with everyone. And I believe once the holidays pass, I will be a better blogger - both with writing and reading =)

Something to show off!

I finally did some crafting tonight! I whipped up these little ornaments:


I think they are adorable! Dh is taking them to work tomorrow to an ornament exchange and I hope his coworkers think they are cute too LOL! The best part was that I had most of the materials on hand so they cost next to nothing to make.

I will say this, making them was fun! I need more projects like this that I can sit down and finish in one night. And also, I need to make more things that can use it items I already own! Because I have way too many things and my craft room is exploding!!

The directions came from Better Homes and Garden here: Also, they have lots of ornament ideas there (some are much better than others in my opinion ROFL!) so check it out if you need to make anything. And who knows, maybe next year I will declare it the year of ornaments and make some for everyone! =)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday!

3 years ago today my little boy came quickly into this world (any faster and he might have been born on the highway!)
He has hardly stopped moving since them is always fast and moving and bouncy and jumping and laughing. He also is an extremely bright child. I know because he is always thinking of new ways to get into trouble around here! But I love him and I wouldn't trade him because he brings so much more laughter into this house than we had before him!

So happy 3rd birthday mister man! love momma =)


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


You haven't hear me talk of Method for a bit around here.
I'm still using all their awesome products and I'm still loving them! [and also, my 9 year old LOVES to clean toilets and she totally can with their toilet bowl cleaner for which I'm loving LOL!]

But, I actually went out and bought some more Method stuffs to use in my home!

Oh yeah. Winter berry. I am IN LOVE with it. I am really considering going back and buying more so I can smell it all year long. I love it that much. It rocks. Seriously, I wish I could make a scratch and sniff post for you all. It rocks.

And also, a bamboo room deodorizer. And it's not made of plastic. And it looks really cute. And it smells so nice - although I can't remember for the life of me which scent we got. We had to invest in it because my cat, well, his poop stinks. And he doesn't cover it so well. And I needed something in that bathroom that didn't need to be plugged in, lit up, and that I would think looked good. This met the requirements. We've had that for a month now and I still love it. It still smells awesome. I have no idea how long the little scent tray is supposed to last, but so far the scent has not faded on us!

Anyway, I know I've pimped out Method here before, but I wanted you to know that I really do love it and didn't recommend it to y'all because they gave me free stuff and let me throw a super awesome party! I really and truly do love it =)

There are other things I've fallen in love with lately (and things I bought hoping to fall in love with) that I want to share with you as well. Were I smarter, I would have done this a month ago when you were beginning to Christmas shop, but better late than never!!

My confession

There will be no homemade Christmas this year. Oh, I might make a few items to give out here or there. And the more I think about it, the more I think about adding.
But, it's December 10. I have almost nothing done. My sewing room: a mess. Time: non existent. Patience: gone.
All of that means no homemade Christmas.

But you know what? I'm okay with that! I've done some shopping this year through lots of great little stores - on etsy, e-bay, on-line, etc, that I otherwise wouldn't have reason to shop from. I'm trying to get as much as possible from small places and also trying to buy other people's handmade items LOL! Don't get me wrong, some things will come from amazon or target or other such places - but I'm buying what I can from small businesses, and well, that sort of feels good to me!

I tried to have an etsy store. I know how awesome it is to get an order. And I've had good luck finding things I want to buy that are in my price range this year. And that feels so good!!

However, if you are still doing a handmade Christmas, give me an update! And also go visit my handmade Christmas group where there are ideas and pictures and links and lots of other good stuff!!

And well, I'm thinking next year I'll do better. Mostly because I just bought a new sewing machine that I am mostly loving (still trying to get to know her and we fought for a bit at first!)

Anyway, I hope everyone else is having a wonderful holiday season! We finally decorated the house today (that's how far behind I am = I usually do it after thanksgiving!) And tomorrow my darling son turns 3!! Yikes! Time sure is flying =)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sometimes patterns and I don't get along.

I painstakingly searched for the most perfect shawl ever to make for my cousin's wedding. I looked through thousands of patterns, literally.

And then decided which one to knit up. I order the yarn and the pattern and began to knit.

It just was not going to happen. I reknit every row 2 or 3 times at least before getting them right. I struggled through. I knit, unknit, reknit, over and over and over.

Last night I was at my knitting group, screwing up again. Unknitting and then reknitting to see that it was still screwed up. And then I said (in my head) f@#k it and took all that I had (about 40 rows. and as much as I knit, I should have been on row 150!) pulled it off the needles and threw the pattern away. Don't worry - it was just a copy. I still have the original pattern.

And you know what, I feel GREAT! It was so freeing to do that. I have had to do that one other time before. I don't know why I didn't quit earlier. The pattern and I just did not get along. We were not meant to be paired. I'm a pretty decent knitter and I'm sure the pattern was fine (well, at least no one on ravelry complained about it).

So today, I will be searching for a new pattern to start knitting. And hopefully I can find one that I can get along with! =)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Target Moms

So on twitter (my newest favorite addiction ever) there was a movement to get target to start targetmoms, much like the walmart 11 (of which I know very little about because I automatically shy away from anything walmart).
So I joined in the fun and sent them the suggestion. Their repsonse:

We’re always excited to hear about an ideas or concepts that would appeal to our guests. We appreciate your support of Target and your interest in working with us.

Your comments really help us to know some of the ways you feel we can to make Target even better. That’s why I've shared your comments with the appropriate team for review.

We look forward to showing you what's new at Target.


Target Guest Relations
(800) 440-0680

I thought it was a pretty good response. However, look what they sent another mom here! What a different response. I wonder why ... some auto form that goes out and I was lucky enough to get this one and she was unlucky enough to get that one? You gotta wonder!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Give aways!

I've been entering a few giveaways today. My plan to save money on Christmas shopping - win free stuff LOL!!
There are about 400 million giveaways going on right now ... but I've refrained and I have only signed up for the ones I really want to win!

Anyway, over here there are quite a few giveaways and just because I'm telling you about the page, I'm entered into all of them! Nice! So go visit - and enter =)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Yesterday the news broke, that the FDA found trace amounts of melamine in one infant formula sample. It was quickly said that parents shouldn't be concerned:
"The levels that we are detecting are extremely low," said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "They should not be changing the diet. If they've been feeding a particular product, they should continue to feed that product. That's in the best interest of the baby." from here
I feel it was glossed over much to quickly. At first, the FDA wouldn't even let us know which formula had the melamine in it! Now we know it was Mead Johnson's Infant Formula Powder, Enfamil LIPIL with Iron. We also know that Nestle's Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron has trace amounts of cyanuric acid in it - which is a melamine byproduct and probably just as unsafe as melamine.

So why am I writing about this today? It's because in October, the same FDA that says this formula is safe and to keep giving it to our children had this to say:
FDA is currently unable to establish any level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula that does not raise public health concerns. In large part, this is because of gaps in our scientific knowledge about the toxicity of melamine and its analogues in infants, including:
  1. the consequences of the continuous use of infant formulas as the sole source of nutrition;
  2. the uncertainties associated with the possible presence and co-ingestion of more than one melamine analogue; and
  3. for premature infants with immature kidney function, the possibility that they may be fed these formulas as the sole source of nutrition and thus on a body weight basis experience greater levels of intake for a longer time than is experienced by term infants.
There is too much uncertainty to set a level in infant formula and rule out any public health concern. from here

I believe the FDA should keep with the original policy and get this formula off the shelf ASAP. I'm not the only one either.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who heads a panel that oversees the FDA budget, said the agency was taking a "marketplace first, science last" approach.

"The FDA should be insisting on a zero-tolerance policy for melamine in domestic infant formula until it is able to determine conclusively based on sound independent science that the trace levels would not pose a health risk to infants," DeLauro said.

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., a frequent critic of the FDA, said: "If no safe level of melamine has been established for consumption by children, then the FDA should immediately recall any formula that has tested positive for even trace amounts of the contaminant." from here
We should not sit back and accept this. Please, please, if you know any mom out there who is giving her baby formula, please, let her know this information.

I firmly believe the FDA is putting our children at risk and moms need to have this information right now. I think moms need to speak out and let the FDA know that we will not sit back and accept this. We should be mad. We should be angry. We, who were so mad at the Chinese for the melamine that has harmed children over there. We, who shouted from the mountain tops to get the lead out of our children's toys. We, who rose up to get mercury removed from vaccines. Now it is time for us to rise up again. It is time to shout. It is time to get angry. And it is time to let the FDA know that it is absolutely in no way, shape, or form acceptable to allow melamine to be in our children's formula!

Other bloggers talking about this:

Melamine in US Baby Formula: URGENT Health Alert

We Are All Chinese Now: FDA Finds Melamine in US Infant Formula, But Recommends Parents Continue Using It
In Other News, Breastmilk Still Melamine-Free

Melamine in Infant Formula and the FDA

Monday, November 24, 2008

More giveaways

More fabulous things over at
Today they are giving away a ton of Playskool Things. If I win, I have a different child in mind for each item they are giving away!
You have to check it out here ... you wouldn't believe me if I told you all the things you could win just today!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Great Giveaways

Over here
ps-hgg125x125 The ParentSphere Holiday Giveaway Guide

Go enter!! I entered two so far ... I hope I win! LOL =)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Over the weekend I read the book Twilight. I realize I might be one of the last people on earth to read it, but I was waiting to get it from the library but finally have up on waiting.
Good book! I jumped right into the second one (which I finished tonight). I only wish that I had brought the third book to reading right now. But alas I didn't.
Anyway, yesterday my sister mentioned she was going to the midnight showing over the book and so I invited myself along LOL!
So tonight at about 9 I showed up at the theater. We've been told they sold out 17 theaters, although I'm not sure it was 17 - there are a ton of people here!
We were allowed in the theater a bit ago. And so here I sit. 90 minutes until showtime. Because the theater is jammed, I am no longer by my sister and that is a bummer.
I don't know what I will do for the next 90 minutes. I wish I would have realized that there would be time to read before I left my house!
Anyway, here I sit in a dimly lit theater. Kind of bored but anxious for the movie to start.
Here's hoping the time passes quickly!

Feel Good Sewing

On election day I did some feel good sewing.
Because I had heard on the radio earlier in the day that being president was all about serving. We don't generally think of it in that terms, but it is what it is.
So I decided to do a bit of serving myself, in a way that I can.

So I made some hats for Mama to Mama and got the kids involved in the process!

Oldest dd and I cutting out hats:

And the finished hats:

I love those little hats. And if I had more shirts, I would have sewed up some more! =)

Movie Knitting

My oldest turned 9 right before Halloween. She was quite excited about this birthday and has been talking about her party for quite some time.
But, dh and I weren't really planning on throwing her a party - we don't generally let them have parties because we don't think they are necessary every year and they are usually too much money.

So we compromised. High School Musical 3 was released around her birthday. So we told her for her party she could invite people to the movie, but the catch was, we couldn't have more than what my car could carry. Which means she was allowed to invite 4 people! Good for us, cost down, fewer kids, not a lot of gifts, etc. But she was excited about it.

I, however, did not put HSM 3 on my must see list because well, I figured it would be like 1 and 2 - there would be singing and dancing. And seriously, I think Zac Effron makes some really weird faces at times!

So, we got there. And I pulled out knitting and made about 1/2 of a dishcloth!

Not too bad knitting wise. And my girl had a GREAT birthday!

About a month late?

Well, I did finish the halloween costumes on time!! However, I never showed them to you, so here goes!

The princess:

The fairy:

All three kids together (and also the mouse, who wouldn't pose for a picture by himself!!)

So glad that I finished and I have to admit that they were pains in the butt to sew! All of them were just long processes with gathering and casings and pieces and ribbon and zippers and all those things. But, let me tell you, it was worth it 100% and I would do it again in a heartbeat .... or at least next September and October!

Knitting blog?

I described my blog today as a knitting blog with other crafts as well.
Um yeah, apparently I haven't really been reading my own blog very well because I can't remember the last time I showed pictures, so today, I shall overload you all with them LOL!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Where did all my time go?

All of a sudden, well okay, not all of a sudden, probably about 6 weeks ago, all my blogging time magically vanished. I hardly blog. I rarely have time to read other people's blogs.
Where did all the time go?

Well, here's what we've been up to lately:
  • me addicted to a computer game (very fun but it's a game where all of a sudden you realized that 60 minutes just flew by!)
  • we got pool passes for the entire family and dh and I joined a gym. He's actually worked out once (I'm so excited for him). I have taken the kids swimming a few times, and since for some reason all three want to be in 12 feet water, I consider that my work out!
  • weddings and showers and other things are coming upon us, so work on those have taken a lot of time (did I mention I'm making invitations for one of them? I might have, 200 invitations, fun and mostly easy, but slow going)
  • cleaning, cooking, laundrying - I sweat none of that ever ends.
  • some reading has been going on
  • spending time with my hubby
  • planning a few small trips out of town
  • trying to get ready for Christmas
  • posting over at and loving every minute of it
  • some sewing
  • some organizing, switching summer clothes out for winter clothes
  • cleaning cabinets and closets and drawers and other nooks and crannies
I have actually been quite busy and not at home as much as usual. And so blogging has fallen by the wayside for the moment. But I'm sure once the holidays pass, I'll be posting more. For now, posting and reading will be hit or miss. And I'm sorry for that, but I hope you'll keep reading =)

And if you really need to get more of me, you can follow me on The Motherhood or on Twitter! Because it's easier to leave little snippets there and not feel like it's cheating!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008


That's how I'm feeling right now. Very blah-ish. I'm tired (I haven't been sleeping nearly enough and it's my own fault). And it's now cold and chilly and and overcast and gray and yucky out. I have a 2 year old who's main goal in life is to break as many rules as possible as many times as possible each second of the day. I have kids who are messy and loud and leave crumbs everywhere and also leave scissors out so the previously mentioned 2 year old can cut lots of things up that he shouldn't be cutting when no one is looking. I have a new cat who thinks my toes are his most favorite toy. I have a husband who works too damn much. And I have budget that does not allow me to purchase pretty much anything without agonizing over the questions of do we need it, is the price worth it, will I really use it, can I find it cheaper somewhere else, and is there something else I should be buying instead.

And among all of that, I have a TON to be grateful for. And I know it, but I can't find those things to latch onto today. They are hiding behind my I hate the world attitude. They are overshadowed by the never ending to do list. They can't be overheard above the crying and the whining and the yelling and fighting. But I know they are there. I know I will find them again.

But today. Today I am grumpy and crabby. And today I wishing for more: more time to sleep, more time to be alone, more money to spend, more friends to talk with, more patience to deal with it all, more love in my heart, more understanding when talking with others and more forgiveness for those I am really just not happy with.

I'll get there. Let's just all pray that it happens sooner rather than later.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

can you help?

can you help out?


I'm making my cousin her wedding shawl. And I don't know which to make. So I'm enlisting your help!!

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Number 4

Number 5

Number 6

Number 7

See, I can't even limit it to just three choices. In my defense though, I looked through approximately 2500 patterns to get these 7.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted ..

Did you?

*again, if reading through a reader, you need to click through to get the audio!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Call in the Vote

This is so exciting ... I hope you participate and also, tell your friends to join in the fun too!

Here's how it works - very simple, easy and fun:

1) Join (if you're not already in there) and be sure to put your cell phone number in when prompted during sign-up.

2) Join the Moms CALL IN the Vote circle and make it your Mobile Circle.

3) Go to your polling place to vote.

3) Pick up your cell phone and call 412-282-1182 (tip: add that number to your phone's contacts ahead of time.)

4) Give us a live, on the ground report. Tell us about voting, how you feel, what the experience is like and any other election day coverage! What did the kids think? Find your inner Couric and maybe even interview some others who are voting for more great coverage of the day. The recordings will show up immediately on in the Moms CALL IN the Vote circle

5) Take the embed code from (it will appear directly underneath your recording) and embed your voice -- and other recordings you hear there too if you like -- on your own blog.

6) Listen to (and save for posterity) grassroots, citizen mom journalist coverage at its finest on this most historic day.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's Give a Little!

I know, I know, the economy is pretty shaky right now. Lots of people are feeling the pinch. And despite all of that, today, I come to you asking for money!

Why? Because it's important. I am joining in on the Blogger Challenge!
Now, it wasn't all that long ago that I talked about education specifically in the Chicago area ... and so today I set up a giving page and thoughtfully went through the many many listings on I specifically picked items from Chicago. I tried to do a little reading, math, social studies, science. Because all the subjects are important. And there are so many to pick from and they all look good!

So here's how you can help .. go to my Giving Page and add some donations to one (or more) charities there. Then blog about it so more people will go there. And tell them to blog about it. And well, you see how things can grow. If we can get 100 people to give just 5, we will have 500 dollars to give to classrooms, to improve someone's education, to make a difference. And if we can 100 people to give just 10 dollars, then we've hit 1000!! See how easy this is?! If everyone pulls together and just helps a little bit, we can do really GREAT things! That's all it takes - a lot of us coming together to give a little and we can accomplish a lot. No donation is too small.

I know this is a lot to ask. I know you might be feeling a tight budget right now. You might be worried about a job right now. You might be wondering how to make the next mortgage payment, but if you could find just a few dollars to give, it all gets pooled together and we can do great things for sure!!

Anyway, I leave you with some info on what the charity is and what it all means! And if you look over to the right, you will see a nice widget tracking what we can accomplish and do!

Thanks so much everyone! =)

BACKGROUND ON THE CHARITY grew out of a high school in the Bronx where teachers saw their students going without the materials needed to learn. Our website provides an easy way for everyday people to address this problem. Public school teachers post project requests that range from a $100 classroom library, to a $600 digital projector, to a $1,000 trip to the zoo. People like you can choose which projects to fund and then get photos and thank-you letters from the classroom.
BACKGROUND ON THE 2008 DONORSCHOOSE.ORG BLOGGER CHALLENGE In October of 2007, bloggers competed to see who could rally the most support for public schools via Blog readers gave $420,000 to classroom projects benefiting 75,000 students in low-income communities. While A-list bloggers like Engadget and TechCrunch inspired great generosity, smaller blogs with really engaged readers generated even more!
The next Blogger Challenge, running through the month of October, promises to have an even bigger impact. Technorati is sponsoring the rankings, and Fortune magazine is already committed to covering the event.

Also, I will be leaving this post up at the top of my page until October 31, which is the day the challenge ends!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


How awesome is this video? LOL!
To sum it up, we had a great birthday day yesterday =)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reflections from a mom

9 years ago at this very moment, I was in a hospital room preparing to give birth to my first child.

My husband and I were young - I was 20 and he was 23 - I was scared. I imagine he was too actually, although we never talked about it much. We knew our lives would be transformed even more than it already had for the past 9 months.

You see, our story starts as so many do - we met at college. We were young and in love! I met him when I was 18 years old. He was the older college student and so smart and so cute! I could hardly believe we were even dating. And yet, we were. We started dating in June of 1998. It was bliss and wonderful and I was in love.

And in March of 1999 we found ourselves in a place that so many do. I went to the doctor thinking I had the flu. Clueless as to what was about to hit me, I went the university health services and was told they needed to run tests. I was pretty nervous - I didn't know what "test" they were running, just that they took some blood from me and told me to come back in a few hours.

A few hours later, terrified I would be told I had cancer or some other serious illness, I was told I was pregnant. By a nurse. In a tiny little room, that I imagine was probably only really used for students like me. I won't lie - my first reaction was that I wished it was cancer instead. I shed many, many tears. I asked the nurse how I was supposed to tell my parents? Her response was "You don't have to" as she handed me a sheet on where to call to get an abortion. Then she told me I didn't have to tell anyone. That it was my body and no one needed to know what was going on. I cried even harder. I never imagined in a million years that I would be in this position. As the tears fell harder she then said to me "You need to calm down. There is a baby inside of you that needs you to take care of yourself."

I had never felt more confused in my life - one minute she was (in my mind) telling me to go and get an abortion and in the next she was talking about a baby in me? I left. Scared. Worried. Nervous. Confused. Upset.

I went back to my dorm room where I told a friend I knew I could lean on. And then I called my boyfriend. That was one of the hardest phone calls I had to make. He came out to me as soon as he could (you see, he had graduated and was working full time by that point). And as soon as he got there he held me and told me it would be okay. Then he ordered me a credit card from his account with name on it. Nope. I didn't even have a credit card and had a checking account with about 100 dollars in it. Now, I knew he was fabulous before, but that cemented how wonderful he was in my mind. For some, it does work out that way at all. But I am blessed that he was there for me and for the baby right from the start. We talked a lot. Or maybe he talked and I cried. Or maybe we didn't talk that much at all. Honestly, the night was a blur. All I can tell you is at the end of the night we decided 2 things: 1. No one needed to know and 2. I would call and make an appointment for an abortion. Spring break was coming soon and so we'd have the perfect chance. I did not go to classes for a week. And the next week I only went to a couple. I was a mess. Falling apart. And I was also nauseous and getting dizzy and walking around feeling absolute terror.

Per chance I met with a professor to get caught up in a class. She asked what was going on and I told her I was sick but I'd be better soon. She looked right at me and said "Really, what is going on?" And right there I burst into tears and told her everything. She immediately took me to campus counselors. Where I talked to an amazing young women whose name I can no longer remember, but I can picture her clearly in my head. We met quite a few times and talked about so many things. My (now) husband even came with a few times. Because of her I got the courage to call my parents and tell them. Again, I am blessed. They embraced me and told me they would help in any way possible. Eric and I though, we were firm in our decision. My parents were accepting of what was going to happen. In reality only one person said anything hurtful to us at that point.

A few days before I was to report to the clinic I knew in my heart I couldn't do that. I just couldn't. I called and canceled the appointment and then called and told him what I had done. He was so happy. He was with a friend at the time and I still remember hearing him say to his friend at that moment "I'm going to be a dad!" already his voice filled with pride!

All of that happened in less than a month and yet it feels like it took years. And I spent most of the time crying or sleeping and feeling overwhelmed. I won't lie, it was hard. It was so incredibly hard. We were so young and didn't really know what to expect. Oh, we got lots of advice from people, we took the hospital baby classes and lamaze classes. We set up the nursery.

But none of that, none of that can prepare you 100%. It just doesn't. You can't know the sheer joy and happiness holding your precious child for the first time can bring to you. You can't know how it feels to not have slept for 3 days because the baby is colicky and won't sleep and is just crying and crying and crying. It can't prepare you for the awe you feel when your baby is nursing - or the pain nursing can bring for those first few weeks. You don't know how quickly you can forget labor pains as you are staring into your little babies eyes. Or the way your heart will melt when the doctor says "It's a girl!" and you see your husband with tears in his eyes. No one can adequately describe the immense pride you feel as you watch your child grow up and develop a personality of their own and have likes and dislikes. And no one can tell you how much your heart breaks as they fight you for their independence or tell you for the first time to not hold their hand in public. You can't put into words how even when you are in the middle of fighting with them you love them even more!

Parenting is wonderful. And hard. And awesome. And painful. And full of lots of laughter. And full of lots of tears. And full of moments you will want to last forever. And full of moments you will want to never remember. But all of that, all of that is worth it in the end. Even on the days when you are ready to send out the kids to grandma's for the weekend because you just need a break! Even on the worst of days, parenting is still awesome and wonderful!

And it hard for me to look back and realize my little baby, that precious little girl who so completely rocked my world, turned it upside down, and put me on a roller coaster of emotion even before she was born is going to be 9 years old today! I am amazed at the little person she is becoming. And she is fiercely independent and so strong-willed and can be quite bossy at times! But her heart, her heart is full of gold. And is filled with goodness. And is a person I am so grateful for every moment of every day. And today. Today she is 9. We will celebrate and make her queen for a day. But for now, at 3:30 in the morning, I sit her with tears in my eyes. Amazed at where our relationship started - at university health services! - and just how far we have come today. And I am so thankful for every moment of it.

So, to my darling A, to my sweet baby, happy birthday!

And to God, thank you, thank you for blessing me with this absolutely wonderful child. Thank you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hey Everyone

Hey everyone. I'm at my oldest's diving lessons right now. Later we will head to grannie's house to celebrate her birthday. I'm feeling really emotional today. I'm sure it has much to do with the fact that I am quite short on sleep and my period will start any minute (which for me is a lethal combination on my emotional status). And yet it feels like we've been through 10 years since January.
So much has happened - both good and bad. It's been an emotionally draining year for me so far and for whatever reason it is all hitting me today. Anyway, I'll call in tonight on my way to work. It will be the last time this year and so another chapter of me year ends tonight. As much as I have been looking forward to this all month long, I admit I'm a bit sad about it as well!
Okay, enough rambling for now - her class is about to end!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Do I know how to have fun on Friday night or what?

(If you are reading in bloglines/google reader/etc, I'm sorry but you'll have to open my blog to hear my post!)

Yep. You'll be jealous and wish you had spent your friday night the same way ROFL!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Here ... but not here ....

Things are still pretty crazy and hectic and not enough time in the day. But I have been finding time for me to have fun and relax and do things that I enjoy. And I do enjoy blogging, but it hasn't been priority for me right now.
Anyway, October is almost over which is fantastic for us! I can't wait LOL! The good news is October has been financially kind to us which is good given how the rest of the world is looking financially right now.
Anyway, I'm here. I wanted to pop in and say hi to everyone ... also, on a knitting update, I finished both halves of my mystery stole. Then I grafted them together - perfectly, as long as you didn't notice I forgot the first damn stitch that needed to be grafted. So I painstakingly undid all my grafting work (which took FOREVER) and threw it to the side to be put together another day. Because right now I can't look at it without wanted to puke. I know, you needed to know that!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not Biting My Tongue

I was going to bite my tongue. I didn't want to blog politics, but you know what? I'm not goin g to bite my tongue. I've got something to say damn-it, and I'm going to say it. You can read it or not. You can agree or not. But I'm saying it.

Obama's chants of hope and change and talk of him being a breath of fresh air who can inspire people to change, are in my not so humble opinion, a complete farce! And I'm tired of hearing it. And, admitedly, I wasn't going to vote for him because frankly, he's given my state - the state he is supposed to be representing in the congress, the short end of the stick, after proudly declaring in 2004 he would NOT be running for national office in 2008, so I'm biased from the beginning.

First of all, he's supposed to be motivating people to change? To not be the same old? To not run the same old campaign. Well, in my experience - he is doing none of that.

The bloggers. Let's talk about the bloggers. I've had to eliminate more than a couple blogs from my blogfeed. Because on day they talk about how they are inspired by Obama and how much they like him and how they are going to vote for him - which in my book, is perfectly fine and normal! They talk about how he fills them with hope and how he is above politics as normal nad is so inspiring to the people! Now, that part doesn't bother me. Great! I'm glad you like your candidate and that you support him. Hey, even show the link of Tina Fey! I have a bit of a sense of humor! But then, then for days and days on end they post things about Palin being stupid and an idiot and how anyone could vote for McCain/Palin is amazing and their supporters must be stupid and idiots too. Because why would we want some old bafoon running the country with a dumb women sitting a "heartbeat" from the presidency. They link to songs that make fun of her, they link to shirts you can buy that says "Palin is a cunt." They rip apart McCain and Palin - but rarely on the issues. Rarely do they talk about their policies. Nope. They call Palin a bitch, the call McCain an asshole. They call their supporters white trash. What upsets me the most, is these blogs are usually about homeschooling, gardening, from mommybloggers, about cooking, about crafting - a whole variety of things that I really did enjoy reading. But then wham! In an instant all those posts disappear and I get to read how I'm stupid and dumb.

And where in those posts is the hope and the change and the inspiration that Obama supposedly causes people to feel? Where is it? If you support Obama and his change and his hope, wouldn't you want to do more with your blog than trash other people? I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Now the whole tax issue. Let's start with how paying taxes is patriotic. A - Since when is it patriotic to give the government MY hard-earned money, when it is obvious they can't balance a budget, often under-fund programs and waste money on things I don't think our government should be paying for (and I don't care if earmarks is a small part of the budget. I've lowered my cable package only for a savings of $30 bucks a month to help balance my household budget. The whole - it's just a small part doesn't work with me, because most people - government included - overspend by only spending a little bit extra in every area of their budget). Anyway, paying taxes is not patriotic in my opinion. However, giving to others is patriotic. But, I'm sure Obama and Biden aren't professing that to people because they don't give much at all. Google it. I dare you. Mr. I'm all about hope and change and love only gives about gave between .4 and 6.1% of annual gross income of charitable giving from 2000-2006. You will also note, his giving goes up as we get closer to the campaign. Now, given all that his family is netting a year, you'd think he could practice spreading the wealth a little more effectively in his own home. Biden, well, his are worse - he gives .06-.31 of his income to charity. It's laughable really. And McCain, the guy who got crucified for having 8 homes, gave between 18-26% to charity! But nope. You didn't hear about that on the news. No way, all we heard was how awful it was he had 8 homes. Well, clearly he knows how to spread his wealth around, and amazingly enough - he didn't need the government to do it for him! Shocking!

Now, let's go to Joe the Plumber, because I am completely saddened by how Obama, but really mostly Biden have treated this man. Biden was having so much fun yesterday in speech - laughing about how Joe didn't have a plumber's license (not needed in his state to do what he does so why is it even an issue?). Then there are the comments that he's voted republican in the past so clearly he is biased. Great, well at least I know if I got to talk to Obama, my questions wouldn't count since I am biased too. And, when the news (from cnn) commented that McCain didn't properly vet joe I almost fell out of my chair! Are you kidding me?!?! Darn it, now I really can't ask Obama a question that might not give him the chance to give an awesome answer because McCain camp didn't vet me! He wasn't vetted because he isn't running for an office and McCain didn't ask him to ask Obama the question! And to top it off, he really doesn't count because he owes back taxes - so Biden will laugh at this single father who is at elast working adn trying. Which really ticks me off, because Obama talks about being for the little guy, for teh middle class, for the struggling single mothers - but oh, crap, not for the struggling single fathers who are behind and need help if they dare question Obama about his tax plan! Nope. You don't count. And Biden will be up there, giving a speech, laughing at you!

And it gets even better - not only will Biden laugh at you, but he'll say something like this “John [McCain] continues to cling to the notion of this guy Joe the Plumber,” Mr. Biden said on NBC’s Today show. “I don’t have any Joe the plumbers in my neighbourhood that make $250,000 a year. The Joe the plumbers in my neighbourhood, the Joe the cops in my neighbourhood, the Joe the grocery store owners in my neighbourhood, they make, like 98 per cent of the small businesses, less than $250,000 a year.” Really? Not in your neighborhood? The one where your house is currently worth over a million dollars .. and you're going to tell me no one in your neighborhood makes over 250k a year? I don't buy it. (and I'm not even going to talk about the shakey way BOTH Obama and Biden came to own the current homes they own by buying them under market value because there isn't enough time to do it!)

Furthermore, they keep laughing and saying things like "how many plumbers do you know who make 250k a year?" I only know one plumber. I don't know how much he makes. But I know quite a few people who own small business - my husband and I own one, my side of the family has them, his side has them. All I can tell you is we don't earn 250K from our business. I have no idea how much others make, but really, is that the message you want to send people? That it's so CRAZY to think a PLUMBER can make 250,000 that we laugh at the mere thought of it? Mr. I'd like to bring up the middle class and help them achieve goals and do better. If I were Obama I'd be talking about how I could help more middle class people reach 250,00 a year! About how MORE small businesses should be making that much money. Small business owners work hard. They deserve. The gap between small business income and large business income is HUGE and WIDE and won't be bridged if even Obama and Biden can't fathom a plumbing business making 250,000 a year. Will it?

But, nope the hope and change Obama/Biden are bringing is that it's laughable for plumbing business to make 250,000. The change they inspire in their supporters are you-tube videos making fun of McCain/Palin, wearing shirts saying Palin is a cunt. The rising above same old politics and dirty campainging results in even Biden saying one of their campaign ads were terrible.

Now, I'm not saying McCain/Palin are above these issues. They aren't. It just pisses me off that I keep hearing about hope and change from Obama/Biden and frankly, I don't see it. And people keep saying they are a breath of fresh air and really inspiring people. And I don't see it. I just don't see it.

But, hey, if Obama is so wise and wonderful, I guess I'll toss out my old ideas of giving 10% of my income and be inspired by him to drop it down to 3-6 percent instead. Which since I think my taxes will go up = no matter what anyone says - will be good because I'll have less money to give.
End of rant. I just had to get it out. And FTR, I don't think anyone who is actually reading this blog does any of what I ranted about, but this is my space to say what's on my mind. I will try not to complain anymore. But I had to say it at least ONCE because that's just how I am.

PS I want to add, I don't think ALL supporters are doing this at all - just wanted to make sure I pointed that out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Stepping away from the computer for about a week. Not much of surprise really, I haven't been posting much lately ... too much to do, not enough time to do it.
But at least now I won't worry about not posting and that's a good thing for me!
See you all later =)

Worn Out

I'm so worn out right now - mentally and physically.

I have always admired working moms because the little experience I have had with it just breaks me in so many ways. All summer I worked weekends and most weekends only one of the days, not both. That I can handle.

Now I'm working 2 full days during the week and 2 weekend nights. And it's just breaking my spirit in so many ways. Mostly because the days I have "off" are spent at piano lessons, the library, shopping, Awana, this activity, that activity, this place to be, that place to be.

I am a self-proclaimed home body. I LOVE to be home. I love to just hang out in my house and relax. And I'm hardly home anymore. And the times I am home I'm cramming in laundry, cleaning, cooking, baking, sweeping, scrubbing, bathing, sleeping and eating.

I can NOT wait for October to be over. I'll be done with work then. I can go back to being a homebody. Back to mostly being at home. Back to finding a few moments to breathe and relax and hopefully feeling less worn out and broken.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Listen to this!

No, really, click on it and listen =)

Really, how fun is that? So fun! (and you kind have to to turn up your volume because my phone apparently got a bad connection half way through the call and it gets hard to hear).

Anyway, let me know what you think about it and record your own message over at The Motherhood!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cooking with kids!

I'm over at Cooking with Kids today - you can read my post here.
Clearly I have been away from that blog for far too long, but go on over and read it =)

New Look!

Hey, hey! Today I got a new look =) And I really like it. I think it's perfect for me right now!
Best of all, my new look was absolutely free and would have only taken a few moments if I didn't like about 15 of the templates I saw!
I was reading Sarah's blog and saw her new look and decided I would change my blog look too!

Anyway, if you want a new blog look - head on over to Cutest Blog on the Block and see all the great things they have available! =)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One of those days ...

Today was one of those days that I had lots of grand plans to accomplish and somehow, almost none of it got done.
I thought I would clean a bit and then knit most of the day! A bit of cleaning turned into vacuuming, windows, dusting, sweeping, mopping, scrubbing baseboards, dishes, scrubbing counters, 4 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, put away and general straightening up.
It is certainly not how I wanted to spend my day, but I'm glad we got it done! I got some clutter put away that has been bugging me. And now, now I have about an hour to sit, knit, and relax before it's time to start the cycle of cooking, cleaning, feeding, washing!

Friday, October 03, 2008


The new and improved Motherhood site is live! You must go visit if you are a mom (or a dad or a grandma or a grandpa I think LOL)
Seriously, the site is amazing and I love it. Cooper and Emily and their website design team did such a fabulous job! And I have to give a shout out to Becki too, because she rocks and is awesome and her and I were able to see it all early and get in there and post and make suggestions - and we've talked more in the last week than in the last few months because of the site, which is awesome because she rocks and needs to move to Chicago so we can hang out =)

Anyway, go and check it out! Let me know what you think of it =) If you sign up, send me a message letting me know =)

The Motherhood

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More giving opportunities!

Just read over at Chicago Moms Blog that they are also participating in the blogger challenge.
Probably I would have just piggy-backed off of them had I known this before I set up my page, but I didn't!
But, because I don't think you can ever give too much, here is there giving page for you to view so that you can have more options to give!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sewing Again ...

This week I have returned to my sewing room to sew. This, although you don't realize it, is huge news!!

Things got bad about this time last year ... I had too many things to do and not enough time to do it. I was trying to make lots of things, run an etsy store, begin to gear up for Christmas and promised to do too many things for too many people (mainly Jill who has been waiting for an apron for approximately 11.5 months now. :( ) And I just felt overwhelmed and wasn't motivated to do much (because apparently when I feel like I have too much to do, I just don't do anything).

Then Christmas came and I sewed my little heart out to make presents (I still have a pile of unfinished items - isn't that sad?). And once Christmas was over I told myself I would take a one month break because I REALLY needed it. And one more month wait wouldn't be too bad, right?

Except we started to throw all the stuff we didn't know where else to put in my sewing room (and by we, I mean me). And the room got messy, and cluttered, and full. And there wasn't room to work at all. Very sad. And everytime I went to straighten things out, it felt like there was too much to do, that it would never get done. So I stopped (I hope I'm not the only one who does this!).

But Halloween is coming. And this year I was going to gently suggest to my children that we buy their costumes. Because I couldn't fathom that I would be able to make them. And right before I suggested that we were out in public when my daughters, out of the blue mind you, declare to someone that they were the luckiest kids in the entire world because every year their mommy made them the best Halloween costumes ever and they simply couldn't wait to go to the store and pick out the pattern and the fabric because it was so special. Interestingly enough, I have not made their costume every year, only for the last 2 years and I didn't know it meant that much to them.

So the kids and I planned for halloween. We shopped for supplies. And then I cleaned. And straightened and organized. And filled a trash bag full of junk. Although I did not straighten out the entire office, I did more than enough to make room to work. And this weekend, well this weekend I sat down and started working on the costumes. And I mostly sew a bit at night and each day they ask me if I've finished yet, and can they see what I did so far and they are so excited. And I can't believe if I had had my way, we wouldn't be doing this.

Hopefully soon I will have pretty costumes to show you. But I have also discovered, I am a really slow sewer now. I used to fly through things quickly. I think though, it's because I'm paying more attention to what I am doing and not just rushing to finish. Which is good, because I was moments away from making quite a few mistakes when I've decided to double check the instructions. And I never double check instructions!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tweet, tweet

Okay, I took the plunge.
I joined twitter.
You can follow me here.
I don't promise to keep up, but I had to join! All the cool kids were doing it and I want to be cool too LOL!!!! ;-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

I heart my husband

Look what I got tonight as a surprise! He doesn't bring me flowers often, but when he does, he always has perfect timing!
I'm tired tonight. And probably a bit cranky. This working gig is HARD (ftr: I have always admired working moms and marveled at how they juggle work and home so well. This only reinforces how I feel about that). But it is wearing me out. It probably doesn't help that the three kids are with me when I work and sometimes that's harder than working frankly.
Also, the camera is still mia. I thought it would be waiting for me when I returned home tonight, but it wasn't there :-( I'm not sure what's going on with that all .... and I'm crossing my fingers it arrives tomorrow).
But my darling husband brought me flowers (and thank goodness for camera phones LOL! So I can show off my gorgeous flowers to you all!!!)
This weekend I don't have to work (yeah!) but my hubby does. So that's a bit sad. But this is a short season in time.
Tomorrow though, I'll be cleaning lots with all my wonderful new cleaning products and I can't wait to do that because my house needs it desperately after the week we have had!

On another note: last night I made 12 pints of quartered tomatoes and 7 pints of applesauce! I have 20 pounds more each of apples and tomatoes to play around with tomorrow. I'm not sure what I'll make for sure. I think I will just do more quartered tomatoes. It's the easiest thing for me to makebut I might also try some apple butter with the apples. And I should get more tomatoes Sunday and I think I'll use those for some spaghetti sauce! =)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So much to say ... so little time to say it all in!

This is shaping up to be quite the week!
I found out Monday the new and improved Motherhood site will be launching soon! I've been to the test site, and seriously folks, it is just awesome!! I can't wait until I can tell you all to head over there and check it out!!!

Then last night was the awesome, amazing and simply fabulous Method party!!! I have been talking about it all day long just telling everyone how fabulous it was and how much fun it was! A few people asked if this meant they could buy the Method products from me now LOL! Maybe I should have bought a bunch of extra last night to walk around and sell people - they all seem ready to buy hahaha!! But nope, I tell them where they can buy them ;-)

And then today, I got an e-mail letting me know that one of my favorite authors Kate Jacobs is coming out with a new book, and it's the sequel to The Friday Night Knitting Club. Now, if you don't remember, I LOVED that book so extremely much! Just loved it. I have recommended it time and time again. And everyone I have advised to read it has loved it too. And I went and saw Kate (because we are totally BFFs now - at least in my own little head LOL!) at a local book talk. And she is coming out with a sequel and I'm SOOOOOO excited! And they sent me an e-mail today asking if I wanted an advance copy. Umm, YES! lol! Here is a preview of the cover:
And I also have a copy of the first chapter that I am allowed to share here with everyone! I will post that at a later date. I might wait until I get the book and can tell you how wonderful it is and prove it by posting the chapter, or I might just randomly post it another day I have nothing else to write about ROFL!!!

In other news, I have been workng this week - during the day, for my parents, with my children with me. I am blessed in that I can get internet on the go and so I can bring my computer with me and blog! At work! Fabulous! But, truthfully, it's sort of stressful. Because I have to leave the house earlier than I like, make sure I have food for everyone and enough water, and enough diapers and snacks and things to do and I'm so not used to it. And I don't clock out until 6pm - that is usually the time we are sitting down to dinner. This was all unexpected - I got a call Tuesday morning asking if I could come in for the day LOL! This morning I had enough put together to start the crockpot so we could have a decent dinner tonight and we did the dishes, but I didn't get the laundry done before we left and was sort of bummed. Oh well. I am doing what I can with the time I have. I can say though, given all that is going on, the extra income will be quite welcomed in our house. It won't make us rich (I barely breaking min wage here) but it's a family business and I don't have to pay a babysitter so it will be good in the long run!

Okay, over and out for now!

Method Party!!!!

Oh my word! I don't even know where to begin!!
The entire night was just so fabulous and amazing. Method knows how to take care of people - I can tell you that for sure!

The back of the store was amazingly decorated - it felt like we were in someone's living room it was just awesome =) (and I meant to snap pictures of it and didn't! LOL)

We had fun making a facial tea mask, lip balm, and bath salts! And we were able to take all the recipes home along with a resource page of where to buy more supplies if we want to do so (I REALLY want to do so!)

We were given TONS of free stuff, and really who doesn't like free stuff?

But the best part, the people! I think everyone who came with me had a lot of fun - at least I hope so! I know I did. I didn't get to talk much to some of the guests as they left but I should get reports soon =) The people I drove home with all had a great time too! And at least the car I was in, was FULL of method bags, so you know, we bought TONS of things! LOL

And the Method people, they were oh so fabulous! I cannot stress this enough, because even if Method had the most fabulous products, the party would have not been fun if the people hadn't been nice. But that was not the case at all. Seriously, they did EVERYTHING - great food, great drinks. They even took pictures that they will send to me tomorrow - I didn't have to stop to get pictures! That is service. And they were all so great to talk to and chit chat with. I felt like I was friends with everyone I talked to! They came from California and even from England and it was all just so wonderful - every single one of them.

I joked that I wanted to do this again and again and I would ask other people to invite me to their parties so that I could come in again LOL!

Here, my friends, is all I came home with:

Nice! Very nice! I did buy some of it, but I got a lot of it from them because they ROCK! I am so amazed at how much they gave away, that I have decided to give away one of their Plastic Rehab bags because you all need to have one too - so come back soon and see about that.

Anyway, to top off the night - as if it couldn't get any better. I got home and realized I left my camera in the store. And I was thinking about how I was going to drive downtown with the 3 kids, find a place to park, drag them in, grab the camera, drive back home (okay, okay, so I also thought about more products I could buy because I think I might be seriously addicted to them). I called the store, left a message, and then came on-line.

I already had an e-mail in my box letting me know they had my camera all safe and sound and would I give them my address so they could messenger it out to me?!?!?! Now seriously, does it get any better than that? That, my friends, is service. And amazing service at that. I am impressed with Method SO incredibly much right now!

So, if you can't tell, tonight was awesome! I had such a blast! I feel all wound up from it - hence all my !!!!!!! in this post! LOL!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Cleaning Stuff!

Today I got some fun stuff in the mail:


Yep! More cleaning things! And it's only "fun" because it came in the mail just for me - because I do not like to clean really! LOL

You might notice all the items are from Method - and as from the previous post, I do use Method and I do like them very much. So you can imagine my surprise when a few short weeks ago, someone from Method (okay, really it was someone from an advertising company representing Method) sent me an e-mail asking me to contact them about their Method Maven Program.

I had already read about one Method Maven party from a blog I followed, so I was SOOOO excited. (this isn't the one I read, but this blogger also was one too) Not too long after I went downtown to talk to the very lovely lady who contacted me (and also, she has a British accent and I just loved to hear her talk LOL). Well, I learned Monday they picked me to become one of the Chicago Method Mavens!

Woo-hoo! This means I get to have a great party with my friends and they will send me stuff to try (hence the package today). The only downside is the party is NEXT WEDNESDAY! Which means I've given most people a one's week notice, which also means so far I'm hearing more no's than yes's - mostly due to the fact that people can't rearrange schedules to go. Although I am hearing it sounds like fun and they wish they could make it.

Anyway, I'm so excited about this opportunity and I know some of you reading this here blog are in the Chicago area and really how much fun would it be to meet up? And wouldn't it be even more fun if we got to meet for the first time at a party with food and drinks and free cleaning supplies?!?! No, really, if you are from around here, and can be downtown Chicago next Wednesday (the 24th) and want to meet me in person, let me know! I'd love to invite you and meet you too =) I swear!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Misc. Ramblings ...

Because it's late and I've not much to say!

  • I made a huge oops this weekend. My 6 year old was invited to a party that I thought was Sunday, but when I pulled out the invite Sat. night to mapquest the directions, I noticed the invite actually said Saturday. Ugh. I feel pretty darn stupid over that one. But we'll go see the birthday girl Wednesday and have lunch with her instead.
  • The nighttime routine is already showing huge improvements in my sleeping ability. (Despite the fact that it's 12:45 am here right now. I am staying up on purpose to do some canning that is just too hard when kids are awake). Friday night I fell asleep at a decent hour but I woke up 1,001 times. The good news, each time I was able to get right back to sleep. I did feel pretty sleepy Saturday though, but I still considered it improvement. Last night I fell asleep at a normal time and only woke up a few times. I even managed to do it in my own bed, despite dh's snoring. Although I kept having dreams about missing the party about how it pretty much ended life as we know it on this planet because I made my 6 year old miss that party - I bet you didn't know I was that powerful did you?! I have no doubt I would have had good results tonight had I done it all, but instead I'm simmering tomato puree to make canned tomato sauce.
  • Work this weekend was good. I get next weekend off and then I switch to working from about 5p-10pm at night. I'm not particularly looking forward to it, but I will do what I need to do to make it work.
  • My husband also worked this weekend. My 15 year old sis watched the kids. She did a good job with the kids, but the house is a MESS and I'm pretty sure they consumed 5 times the amount of food normally consumed by our family on a weekend. Insane.
  • My TV sound is being very strange. For about 20 minutes tonight it was giving the sound in both English and Spanish. And now it just started doing a weird echo thing. Crazy. I hope it's the cable/tv station and not my television.
  • This weekend I was told I had unusual book choices. I actually liked hearing that and it made me smile. I read a lot of different things and I'm okay with that!!
  • We still only have 5 people (including me) for next week's Method Party. I have invited over 60 people now (via e-mail, phone calls, printing out an invite and handing it to people). I am very bummed about the low turn-out, but darn-it, I am going to try to have fun no matter what! And hey, if you want to come, let me know!!
  • I finished Squeaky Green - the book Method sent me - and have already put to use one of the suggestions. I'll talk more about that later as I've also been using the one cleaner and I'll share it all with you later.
  • I heart facebook and am psyched to be talking to old friends that I haven't chatted with in a while =)
  • This may be sad, but I already have a mental list going for WTF Wednesday this week!

Hope everyone has a good week!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Worried for nothing

I'm pretty sure that I have mentioned my insomnia on here before. There are periods where it's better than others, but it's pretty much always with me.

Lately it's been worse and it's kicking my butt. And I've been dragging my feet to go to the doctor. Mostly because I'm afraid I'll get in there, say I can't sleep, be handed a few samples and a prescription for one of the sleep medicines that are so frequently advertised during late night television! And I'm not really afraid of medicine, but I didn't want it to be the first option and I have a fear that I will get addicted to it. Yes, yes, the commercials say you can't not physically become dependent on it, but I know a few people who have become emotionally dependent on it, and I don't trust myself to fall into that category.

And I was worried for nothing. Because yesterday my 6 year old needed to go in for a shot (we've delayed the MMR until now which my doctor is 100% okay with and never pushed me to get it earlier at all.) Since she was going in, and the office takes walk-ins, at the last minute I put my name down on the paper to talk to her.

And talk we did! And it reminded me all over again just why I love my doctor so very much! She actually talked to me at length about all that was going on. She gave me a new bedtime routine to follow. She told me to take melatonin (and over the counter supplement), she taught me a relaxation exercise, she gave me advice - she knew exactly what I was going through and gave me advice that made so much sense to me when she said it. Okay, she also recommended a glass of warm milk and I HATE milk and the thought of it warm totally makes me want to puke but that's minor really. She also told me if it didn't start to help within 2 weeks, we'd bump me up to a prescription strength melatonin and if that didn't start to show some improvements, we'd cross that road when we get to it.

I walked out feeling hopeful and glad she was my doctor. And last night I started the routine: I drank a glass of milk and took my melatonin (I drank it cold because I was not ready to drink it warm just yet). I sat myself down and mentally went over my day - I congratulated myself on all that went well and when I got to the not so great stuff, I told myself that it was okay. I made a mistake. I will do better tomorrow. And I pushed it out of my thoughts and told myself I was done thinking about it (instead of dwelling on it per my usual when I try to go to sleep!). Got ready for bed (although didn't take a shower as she suggested because it was later than I intended it to be by this time). I laid down and read for a little bit. She suggested 30 minutes, I don't think I lasted 30 minutes before I couldn't comprehend what the book was saying. And then I started the relaxation technique - which is basically starting at your head and working down to your toes to get each part of you to relax. I thought for sure I'd have to run through my whole body 2 or 3 times for it to work. I did my head, my shoulders, my right arm and that's about when I went to sleep. It had to be between 12-12:30 am (which beats my normal 3 am bedtime by a lot!).

I woke up at 4:30 am, went to the bathroom, moved to my bedroom*, and fell right back asleep.

This is HUGE news. Typically if I fall asleep anytime before 1 am, I wake back up within 2 hours and cannot fall back asleep for 3-4 hours.

Her routine for me takes care of my two biggest issues: first - I have always been a nightowl. She said it sounds to her that over the years, I have altered my sleep rhythm to not go to bed until 2 or 3 am (hence if I go to bed earlier than that, I wake up because my body interprets it as a nap). Hence the melatonin, to help get my sleep rhythm back to more normal hours and second - the anxiety issues that I have which I am trying to overcome by going over my day before I go to bed and relaxing once I am in bed.

I am praying and hoping I can continue to get good results, but with one night down, it is feeling like it could work for sure!

The only downside is my husband is usually in bed around 9:30. The chances of me ever getting to bed that early seem pretty slim so that's kind of a bummer. Right now my doctor said we are aiming to get me to bed around 11. I will be thrilled if I can go sleep on the same day that I woke up on, so anything before 11:59 sounds good to me LOL!

*I originally went to sleep on the couch because my husband snores and I knew if he was snoring when I laid down it would not help me relax at all, so I opted to try it on the couch where I could make sure it would be very quiet. I think I will do that for a few days, until I get everything down really well and then try it while having him snoring in the background!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My cleaners ...

I use a WIDE variety of cleaners - I took a sample shot of them today to show you:


You can see Method, Burt's Bees, Palmolive, Scrubbing Bubbles, Seventh Generation, Shaklee and Clean Well. This does not include the water, vinegar, lemon, baking powder that I use either! Because I also use lots of those things too!

As you can see, I don't have a favorite brand or much brand loyalty - I look at the amount of chemicals, how well it works, are there alternatives, the price, and then look at the brand. So we end up with a wide variety. And we switch as things go on sale or special. I did not buy the Shaklee though. I won that. I use it. And I love it. However, that we won't buy unless the company changes their policies because we don't want to be locked in to buy a certain amount each month - which stinks, because I would probably buy from them otherwise. Also, I won't be buying scrubbing bubbles anymore, but the frugal part of me needs to finish the spray before replacing it - although maybe not so much anymore - it might be gone very soon - more on that later.

Anyway, my point is, I use lots of products and it doesn't bother me that I do that. I will say that right now we are trying to use less chemicals in our house - I have a child with neurological issues and a child with asthma - both of which are documented to be irritated by lots of chemicals in the products we use. My house is not chemical free - we have nonstick pans, some of our furniture has been treated with the fireproof agent, I'm sure my carpet is releasing VOC's into the air (along with our paint, furniture, and other things). We are not eliminating them completely to be sure, but we are trying to make small changes that can help a lot - and cleaners is one area it's been easy to do that with.

I'm sure you are scratching your head right now - it's okay ... this post will make a lot more sense once I make my next post. But it's a way for me to give you background without creating the longest post in the history of this blog! LOL

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Olympic Inspiration!

The Olympics are over and done with, but they are still effecting us!

My oldest dd has signed up for diving classes! She had her first class on Sunday. My hubby took her, so I didn't get to see much. It's an intro to diving and she said she did a "t dive." I should be taking her this weekend and I plan to take pictures to show you all, because I am sure one day she will be a famous diver and you can say you all saw it here first ROFL! (Just kidding, I don't really think that and I certainly don't expect it. We signed up for fun, not to be in the Olympics).

Now, the Olympics also influenced us in other ways. One night while watching track and field, we saw something we knew we had to try at home:


Yep! A hairstyle! =) A french braid that looks like a headband really. I know, really, I think we are only people in America who can watch the Olympics and copy a hairstyle! [and I wish I could have found a picture of the athlete to show you here too but I didn't. Sorry!]

Anyway, this is how we did my 6 year old's hair for her birthday party! It just looked so cute. I think I took 10 pictures just of her hair I was so in love with it. I wish she would let me do it again like that. She LOVED the hairstyle too, but it's sort of awkward to do. At least, it's awkward for me to do it on her! But, seriously, it looks so cute that I just love it and wanted to show it here for all of you to admire too LOL!



Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Weather ...

My prayers and thoughts are with all of those who were hit by Ike. I watched much of the coverage last night (until about 3am CDT) and my heart broke for everyone affected by it. It is a horrendous storm and I can't imagine those who had to be in Texas and live through it. :-(

On other weather news, Chicago has been inundated with rain. Things are flooding all over the place, roads are being closed, people's homes are flooding. It's a terrible mess. The current reports say the rain will continue without break until Monday night. Two more days of rain. We've had well over 6 inches since yesterday. Assuming we don't lose power or the sump pump doesn't break, we should be okay in our house. But it's not nice out there right now. A street about 2 blocks away is flooded over and the water goes to my 6 year old's knees! A retention pond a block from that, that normally has inches of water in it, is about 5-6feet deep right now. I know of at least 2 people who are flooding in their home/apartment. Mostly we all still have power, but some are without it.

I don't mean to compare this to what is happening with Ike, because I know those people are hurting a lot more right now. But things are much crazier than normal in our part too and it has many people worried and stressed and on edge and the amount of water just seems unbelievable to many of us.

In non-weather news, my hearts go out to those affected by the train crash in California yesterday. :-(

Ugh. It seems like the news just keep reporting worse and worse things these days.