Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 19 Disrespect? I don't think so

I will channel Tyler Perry's "Madea" on this one. My house. My rules. Yes, it is that simple. 

I wholeheartedly acknowledge that this idea is easier said than done. Many parents who have gone before me will attest to this. But this simple and significant concept begins with the parents. You must model and teach your expectations to your children. I am currently in the process of teaching my toddler "please and thank you." We will work our way up to "yes m'am and no sir." Little Miss will do chores for herself and family related chores like dishes or vacuuming.  

I am by no means advocating an authoritarian parenting style or treaing children like live in servants because psychologically this is ineffective. I don't want my children to fear me, but more so I want them to respect me enough to know that there will be consequences if rules are not followed because what I allow will continue.

As a child, I was the "good one." I strived not to get in trouble. I relished in the goody, goody role. I was scared of what my parents might do to me. I think I was only spanked a few times. I definitely didn't want to disappoint them.
My sister on the other hand was more stubborn and defiant. My parents didn't "raise us" the same. They were less strict with her. I remember times when my mom and sister would "battle." It wasn't pretty. It was a good example of what not to do.

I recently came across a great article relating to this topic entitled, "10 habits to develop for correcting your children."  Thank you Raising Godly Children for putting this out there! 

Some of my take always from this article was that we discipline our children to protect them from harm. It is important to build and maintain a true and focused relationship. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, but it is important that we learn from them. As a parent, you should be consistent and fair, but loving at the same time. 

Positive Parenting Solutions also had a great suggestion for the form of child disrespect called "nagging and negotiating." Whenever, this occurs with a child all you have to say is "Asked and answered." No means no. Plain and simple--end of discussion. This is definitely something I am going to try on Little Miss. I have already used this line on the hubby. 

Building a relationship with your children is not he easiest task by any means. It begins early on and last for years to come. I don't want to be out and about and have people be like, "OMG that kid needs a spanking!" Or "Why doesn't she do something? Or she needs Jo, from Super Nanny!"

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." I like to keep this scripture in my mind and heart on topics and issues like these. The long term goal and result is clear--not easy, but obvious. Simple, but significant.

Why do you think parents struggle with disrespect? What advice would you give to parents? 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Building My Saucy Stockpile

This mama has been staying busy searching for and taking advantage of coupon deals. I am always looking for a good diaper deal. I usually find them at CVS! Plus, I think I am pretty good on body soap, shampoo, and conditioner for now.

Would you believe me if I told you I almost ran out at one point? Haha.

Another key stock pile item I recently swooped in on is pasta sauce! I cook with pasta sauce frequently so it's nice to have on hand. I like to get several when they are BOGO with Qs. Pasta and sauce go on sale all the time so knowing this I hate and refuse to pay full price unless it's an emergency!

I recently scored the (8) jars pictured here for FREE! Yea, you heard right FREE! How did i do that you ask? Well, let me tell you....

Winn Dixie had the sauce on BOGO for $2.99. There was a $1.50/1 manufacturer Q in a coupon book found at the WD customer service counter. I was thrilled when I stumbled across it because WD is notorious for either not putting out the books or they are gone when I get there.

Anyways back to the deal....BOGO items are considered separate purchases at WD and most other stores so you can use (2) Qs per deal (one for the purchased item and one on the "free item" according to the sale). So, that's what I did. I got for deals and used (8) $1.50/1 Qs!  Woohoo!

During this trip, I also got the shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray. I used $1/1 Qs on those items and paid 50 cents per purchase. They were priced at $1.50 each.

The Kandoo wipes were priced at $1.99. I had (2) $1.50/1 and (2) $1/1. So my OOP on e wipes was around $3.

My overall OOP was less than $10 dollars for 86% Savings. I used a $5/$30 Q to lower my total. ALWAYS give your $ off Qs first to the cashier! Not pictured here was my purchase of cube steak and sausage that was on sale too.

Another advantage to stockpiling cheaply is that you also have the ability to help other with blessing bags or donations.

Awesomeness right? What items are must haves in your house? What do you do to save?

Until next time, happy couponing and remember to keep it simple, but significant!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 18: I Believe

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around. ~Henry David Thoreau

  1. I believe in God.
  2. I believe that love will only get you so far in a relationship. There has to be respect and communication.
  3. I believe our education system is broken, but being a teacher is a valuable profession.
  4. I believe people should use manners and teach manners to their children.
  5. I believe every woman needs a pair of "fat pants."
  6. I believe parenting is hard and people don't openly talk about because they don't want to misjudged.
  7. I believe in being honest, but not being cruel.
  8. I believe in the power of a hug and sitting in silence.
  9. I believe brownies are the best desert ever! 
  10. I believe in best friends.
  11. I believe that household chores should be completed by all people within the house not just one.
  12. I believe that kids shouldn't be raising kids or shouldn't be raised to feel entitled.
  13. I believe in chicken noodle soup when you are sick.
  14. I believe laughter is important to your health and spirit.
  15. I believe you should make time to read a book.
  16. I believe coffee is an important part to mornings.
  17. I believe you should make time for yourself.
  18. I believe the world needs more love and less hate.
  19. I believe in inspiration not desperation.
  20. I believe in the magic of Christmas.
  21. I believe in dreams coming true even if it isn't easy.
  22. I believe that coupons are a great way to save.
  23. I believe that lying under a warm blanket or sheet is heavenly.
  24. I believe in random acts of kindness.
  25. I believe in date nights after kids.
  26. I believe in having a good vocabulary.
  27. I believe in living within your means.
  28. I believe in saying your sorry.
  29. I believe in thoughtful gift giving.
  30. I believe in finding the good in all people.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 17: I Go High, I Go Low

Each day, each year can feel like a mountain with its highs and lows. Some paths are easy and some more difficult and yet we continue to tread on.

Some of my high points this past year include (in no particular order):
  1.  Becoming a full time social studies teacher on next year's school schedule. You see, my degree is in Secondary Social Science Education, but for the last four years I have been teaching Reading and Social Studies. I enjoyed teaching reading, but the social sciences is where my passion lies!
  2. Avery's 1st birthday--When Little Miss was a newborn/infant, it was hard for me to see past
    each sleepless night or hormone filled cries (from me, not the baby). Her first birthday party was lovely. She won't remember much of it, but we have a ton of pictures to share with her. I baked her a giant cupcake which she wasn't too interested in...ah, well. I tried!
  3. Decorating my house. My Hubby and I have lived in our house for almost four years and I never really got around to full on decorating it. I had pieces or pictures here and there. We painted the main rooms, but it lacked a "homey feeling." So this past year, I got some wind under my sails and started to do more. Of course, if I allowed myself unlimited funds and hired help it would all be done by now. I am thrifty and love shopping for deals so it is a slow, but fun process! I want purposeful décor, not contrived.
  4. I love spending time with my family. So each time that we get together it is always a treat.
  5. I very much enjoyed watching my nieces by softball and t-ball this year.
  6. Starting my blog back up again has been fun!
  7. Watching my students graduate high school is always a treat and something I look forward to every year. I get to stand on the stage and represent the social studies department and I give as many hugs as possible!
Some of my low points:
  1. Dealing with the loss of my aunt is definitely at the top of this list. She was an amazing mom, sister, aunt and friend. There really isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her.
  2. This past December I got sick and had to go to the ER and that was no bueno. I was so weak and tired I really couldn't care for my daughter. I was lucky enough to have In-Laws who were willing to help care for her. It's an awful feeling knowing you are not physically able to care for your child.
I like to think that I focus more on the positive vs the negative, but both are significant. Gloria Gaither once said, "We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way." The bumps in the road with occur and the storm clouds may roll in; however, there are always rainbows sunshine at some point after the rain, you just have to take the time to look. God doesn't promise us that bad or disappointing things won't happen, but he does promise to be there for us when they do.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Lovin' Me Some ECBs!

Here is a deal I worked at CVS today. I purchased (3) Pampers, (2) toothpaste and (1) wipes for $13.18 OOP after Qs and ECBs (extra care bucks). I did two transactions.

Transaction #1 the toothpaste. It was priced at $2.99 each at CVS, but you got $2 in ECBs with each purchase. I had a $2 off 2 printable Q to use with the deal. So, I bought 2 ($6.00) minus the $2 Q and I paid $3.98; however, I got $4 in ECBs so the toothpaste was FREE! Who doesn't like Free? I know I love it. Toothpaste is a great stock up item too. It will expire so I don't go crazy with the stockpiling.

Transaction #2: Baby items. CVS had the diapers priced at $9.49 each and the wipes were $3 for the pack. CVS was running a promotion this week were if you spent $30 on selected items they would give you $12 in ECBs. So getting those ECBs was my end game. I used the $4 in ECBs from transaction 1 and (3) $1.50/1 Pampers Qs. My total with tax was $25.18, but like I said I got $12 in ECBs so my overall OOP was $13.18 or $3.30 per item! That's what I call a simple, but significant deal. I could have lowered my OOP on the wipes by using a .50/1 Q, but I was so excited that I forgot...oops. It was still a great deal regardless.

Mommies you can still work the diaper deal if you can access! Unfortunately, the toothpaste coupon is NLA (no longer available). Happy couponing!


Day 16: My Music

Do I listen to mainstream music? Sure, I do. I mostly listen to country music with the occasional mix of pop hits and 80s, 90s and today.

Is there anything I would change? Probably. In my opinion, today's mainstream music is filled with sex, violence and not so vague innuendos. I personally do not want to be "skeeved out" listening to the radio. I am by no means saying that it is one genre either. It's in most songs out there.

Music should be fun and pleasurable. I acknowledge that what is fun and pleasurable for some is not for all and the music industry will never be able to please everyone. They make quite a profit at catering to "all tastes."

However, I choose not to indulge in certain "appetites." I don't want  to listen to something that has a cuss word every other word. There is a large dictionary out there....let's use better vocabulary shall we?

Why promote drugs and violence, over love and joy? We need more positivity in the world. Music can be that vehicle. A melody and choice words can bring me to tears because of the memory they evoke. The right beat can help you forget your troubles and worries as you dance them out!

I listen to most songs in the car. It is very likely that I am in the car with my daughter. While I
don't mind if she is embarrassed (one day in the future) by my singing, I do mind if I become embarrassed by her singing certain songs.

As a mother, I want to shield her from all bad things and keep her safe. I want to train her well in order to handle life with grace--but I do not wish her to be naïve. There is a fine line when it comes to growing up. It is an awful burden to grow up too soon.

I know I am not the only person to feel this way nor will everyone agree. I am parent. The choices I make for myself are witnessed by others, but most significantly my child.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 15: Organizing My Todddler

Is this title an oxymoron or what? I can barely keep a toddler entertained or still so why bother trying to be organized? The way I see it, the answer is clear. It makes things a little easier (particularly on me the mommy) and if you make your organization "system" simple to follow--you are more likely to follow through! Or that’s what I tell myself.
The inspiration for this post came from Pinterest. There are tons of examples and printable options linked up on the site. All you have to do is search "nursery closet dividers" and WHAM! There ya go.

So here is what I did. I stumbled across some door hangs at the Dollar General. There are 3 in a pack. I purchased it for $1! And that was my total out of pocket for this project. I had puffy paint at home and labeled my three dividers (18M, 2T, and 3T). You could also do it with a marker, but my puffy paint had glitter so the sparkles won out!

You will need to cut a slit in the side so you can hang it on the bar. After the paint dried, I went into Little Miss' closet and hung them up I already had her clothes separated into sizes, but it might be an extra step if you have a “mished-mashed” closet.

A simple, but significant way to keep the clothes organized is to separate them out when you are doing the laundry (i.e. folding or laying out to hang). I try and keep like items like onesies, dresses etc together. It makes it much easier to find things in a hurry or for a hubby! It might take a little extra time, but it really isn't a daunting task. It's so easy a man could do it! (Sorry guys).

Now, I'll be honest...this is just her closet I am talking about here. When it comes to her dresser, I've given up because Little Miss likes to open all her drawers and take EVERYTHING out and put it on the floor. Nobody got time for that!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 14: Nana's House

There are moments, bits and pieces of my life that I have come to love and treasure. Many of my earliest childhood memories revolve around my Nana’s house. In today’s writing challenge post I will share a few of them with you.

I grew up in a small neighborhood. I loved to ride my bike all over with a few of the neighbor kids that I hung out with at the time. I recall riding to my Nana’s house which was few blocks over and getting Icee pops out of her freezer on the back patio. Yummo! A perfect icy treat on those hot Florida summer days. 
My cousin Sara and I had a sleepover one night at Nana’s. We made Jello Jigglers (cherry flavored) and we were allowed to eat them in the living while watching the Little Mermaid on VHS! This was a big deal because Nana had light colored carpet and couches. We felt so special and privileged.

Christmas Eve was always and exciting time because all my aunts, uncles and cousins would come from far and wide for our family get together at Nana’s. After Christmas Eve service, all the cousins would gather around a meticulously decorated Christmas tree to a scene of presents at least five feet deep! Our greedy little eyes would scan for one with our name on it and try to sit as close as we could. This gift exchange would take hours, but as a child it felt like minutes. It was pure childhood ecstasy. There was a lot of love in that room. Not to mention, sleepy parents who still had to wrap more presents when they got home for Christmas morning!

 Coffee cake and General Hospital—another Nana signature to her afternoons! I remember these clearly when I occasionally went home sick from school or had to spend the day there because my parents were working. It was kind of like her afternoon religion. Even at a young age, I knew not to interrupt or she might smack me upside the head with her many rings. Heck, I even started to watch GH for a while too! Gotta love them soap operas.
Milk and buttered bread was a staple at almost every dinner. Grandpa’s Magical Toys was one of my favorite Nana’s house movies. I knew every word as did most of my cousins who were made to watch it over and over. I know they secretly loved it too!

At the time these moments didn’t feel all that special, but looking back on them now I see that they were. The adventures we had on the trampoline or playing hide and seek outside. It was a simple, but significant part of my life and it’s not anything I would ever want to forget.

Of course, dear reader, there are more stories of Nana’s house to tell, but I will save some of those for another day!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 13: Oh, the Places

I am very much a homebody and hometown girl. I don't see myself moving away at any point. I do like to travel here and there, but I've never been too far from home. You might recall that I haven't been on a plane since my newborn years! Does that make me weird?

Believe it or not, I do have a Pinterest board entitled, "One Day Maybe" and I used it for inspiration! High Five for Pinterest!

One place that I would love you visit one day is England! This country is so rich in history and culture I think I would sincerely love spending time there! I would eat and drink the local fare, visit the sites like Big Ben, the castles, riding a double decker bus and visiting book stores! One point of interest would definitely visiting anything related to Harry Potter! And my inner nerd would be looking for a blue police box (Doctor Who reference) to take a photo with.

Next up on my dream trip would be to visit other ancient sites in Greece and Rome! How amazing would it be to stand in those places that have been around to centuries! I think it would be a once in a life time, stop you in your tracks kind of moment.

After spending some time abroad, I think that it would be nice to do some domestic traveling. When I was a senior in high school we went to Washington D.C. and New York City. This is the most I've traveled outside of the sunshine state. I would like to go back. In
D.C., I would like to just spend a day at the National Mall touring museums. Then I would like to visit some other monuments and tour the White House not just take a picture outside (but that was pretty cool too)! In NYC, I would shop till I drop and get some "knock offs" in China Town, but I think the high light would be going to see a Broadway show!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 12: A Heart's New Adventure

“There's no love like the first.”    ― Nicholas Sparks

When I think of the idea of “first love,” I am drawn back to high school. How young—how naïve! First love is so new, exciting and confusing. It is shrouded in hormones and smells of adolescence. However, it’s an important part of growing up.

For me, first love was first, but it was not my last. It was a significant part of my high school years and while this relationship did end I look back on it now with fondness. It holds a special place in my past (and in my heart). As time goes on, we learn and grow. I like to remember the “good stuff.”
I knew Jason was interested in me beginning in February of sophomore year. It was Valentine’s Day. At my high school, some girls walked around with an armful of flowers and stuffed bears that were as big as they were. For them, Valentine’s Day was about recognition based on what you got and from whom.
For me, Valentine’s Day was never something special. I was with the group that felt it was more “Happy Single Awareness Day.” My thinking on the matter did change that fateful day when I was walking down the sidewalk heading to my next class. I saw Jason with a single rose. It struck me as a little odd because ya know…he’s a dude walking with a flower. Never in a million years did I think he would say “for you” when I asked him “who’s that for?” Talk about a stop you in your tracks kind of moments!
It wasn’t long after that fateful day that we started dating. We dated for a year and a half! In high school time, that’s like FOREVER! I went to all of his football games and wore his #54 necklace. We were inducted into National Honor Society together, he attended my softball games and we worked on the yearbook together.
Some of my favorite memories from this relationship were: On our first Valentine’s Day as a couple, he went to all my classes before me and left a little gift on my desk. For junior prom, he (with the help of his mom) made us dinner in the park. He was the first guy I kissed and my first “I love you.”
We broke up the summer before senior year. It ended with a phone call. (Enter heartbreak and tears). I am not going to say the break wasn't easy. It's difficult to loose someone you care about because they no longer feel the same way about you. It's hard to avoid this person because your schedules are so similar (talk about awkward)! But with each day, the pain lessens and your outlook brightens---life goes on as it should.
First loves help to open our hearts and minds to new concepts and experiences that can not be truly known otherwise. By putting ourselves out there, we live! Love is a risk. Do it anyway. It's a simple and significant choice that can lead you to something much greater and more unexpected.



Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saving with my Q's!

You know I love me some coupons! Here are some deals I recently did:

Winn Dixie deal I stumbled across today! Secret Out last and Expressions deodorant priced at $3.99. Use the $3/1 Q from 5/19 SS and pay 99 cents each. Mega deal: buy 8 use mfr Qs and WD $5/$30 plus 1 filler item. My OOP $5.94! 86% savings!

Winn Dixie Gatorade deal: I bought 36 drinks. My OOP was $18.76!!! Over $31 saved 60% overall!
I earned 70% savings overall on pictured items below. Here is my OOP ($25.36) after Qs and ECBS: Bic flame disks & Toothpaste FREE, diapers $6.89, soap 47 cents each, Splenda 24 cents each, eyeliner 98 cents, mouth wash 99 cents each, Febreeze spray and wipes $1.04 each!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 11: Pandora the Explora!

Today’s writing challenge was originally to listen to my Ipod, put it on shuffle, and write about the first 10 songs that pop up. I’ve changed it up a bit because my hubby has commandeered the Ipod and I don’t have any songs on it presently.  So instead, I brought up my Pandora account and listened to a few of my favorite channels. Confession, when I listen to Pandora, I love to sing along (loud and proud) even if don’t know all the words!

1.       Lady Antebellum “Home is where the heart is” I absolutely love Lady A! I have all of their cds. As I listened to this song. I was reminded about who I too had big dreams growing up in a small town.  I can totally relate! In the end, “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.” I found love here and I said I do in my hometown.

2.       Lone star “Amazed” This is a fantastic romantic ballad about mutual connections and appreciations for a special someone. Who wouldn’t want a love like that?

3.       Jason Aldean “If she could see me now” I have never heard this song before. It’s about heartbreak from a guy’s perspective. He is yearning for a second chance. I am not sure I believe in second chances. It depends I guess.

4.       Blake Shelton “Honeybee” This is a great romantic ballad about mutual feelings, strong connections and appreciation for someone. Who wouldn’t want a love like that?

5.       Luke Bryan “Drunk on You” Side note Luke Bryan is a hottie! No offense, hubby. Anywho, this song is about summer love country style. It’s a catchy tune that kind of reminds me of new love and how intoxicating it can be.

6.       Tangled “I see the light” Yes, I have a Disney channel on Pandora! Don’t judge I am a 90s kid. I loved watching Tangled. A great movie! I’ll be honest that during the song when this song is played I cried. I am suckered for a romantic scene. I like the metaphor created about finding love and how it sheds a light on one’s life.

7.       Mulan “Make a man out of you” Another great Disney movie here. I love the humor in this song and it’s play on gender roles. I use it as a reference in Psychology class.

8.       Maroon 5  “If I never see your face again” This band makes me want to get up and shake my bootie and dance (in a classy way of course)!

9.       Third Day “I need a miracle” This song resonates on the idea that one needs faith in a time of need no matter who or where you are. Hope and Strength---that’s my take away from this song.

10.   Brandon Heath “Your Love” Again, another song I have never heard before. It’s about the power and significance of God’s love and the illumination his presence brings to you.

I conclude today’s post with a quote from Plato, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Simple and significant right? What songs are on your playlist?



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 10: What do you do all day?

A day in the life of me on summer vacation!

  • I wake up at 6:30 am and drink my coffee,  eat my yogurt, check my Facebook and email.
  •  My Avery will wake up between 7:00 am and 7:30 am. We will sit on the couch and watch some Disney channel cartoons. She will drink milk and I will finish my coffee.
  • Between 8:00 am and 9:30 am, I make Avery some breakfast. She doesn't like to eat right after she gets up. She likes to wake up slowly (like mommy)!
  • Sometimes, if I am feeling up to it, Avery and I head out to town. These trips to town consist of thrift store shopping, going to the park to play (weather permitting), couponing at a store, and sometimes a mommy/daughter lunch.
  • On the drive home, if am lucky, my little Miss will fall asleep in her car seat and can successfully move her to her bed.
  • During Avery's nap time, this is my "me time." I might watch TV, eat lunch, nap my self, prep dinner, fold laundry, blog, or read a book.
  • After Avery's nap, we watch some more cartoons and I'll make her lunch.
  • Next, more play time for Avery. I'll try and sneak in some Pinterest and Facebook on my cell phone if she is content playing.
  • If all she wants to do is watch TV, I sometimes put on Pandora and we'll listen to music and try and find something to do while the music is on.
  • As the afternoon wears on, the hubby comes home and I hear about his day.
  • We cook dinner and eat dinner between 5:30 pm and 6 pm.
  • Showers in shifts.
  • Someone cleans the kitchen (usually my hubby)  and the non-cleaner entertains the little one.
  • Tubby time for Avery after we clean her room around 7:30 pm
  • I brush her teeth the best I can! Sometimes, it feels like cat wrangling LOL
  • I get her dressed in her jammies and we say goodnight to da-da.
  • I give Avery a small sippy cup of water and rock with her and rub her back until she settles.
  • Once, Avery is in bed it's "mommy time" again. I'll retreat to my room and check my Facebook, email, Pinterest, read Pulse articles.
  • My hubby and I will watch some TV and then it's "night, night" for us too!
Exciting right? Not always, but it's what I do. Simple and significant. I wouldn't change it for all the tea in China!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Great Door Locking

Yesterday, my  lovely little Miss locked her dear sweet self in her bedroom! Okay, mom....stay calm! Intro the nervous shakes and adrenaline rush. The voice in my head was like, "Ermahgerd, meh baybay!!"

So what to do next? Look for a screw driver. Okay, easier said than done at my house. I looked in the kitchen draws and catch all basket. Nope. Next, I run to the garage and see that as usually all of my husband's tools are locked up tighter than Mount Doom and there is no way I can get in there.
Mental dialogue then changed to the Macaulay Culkin home alone scream!!!

My daughter is starting to get more frustrated at the fact that she's still in her room so I try and calm her through the door, "It's okay. Mommy's here."

Now what? Break down the door? Fat chance. Bust out her window? Again, not a good option. Who can I call to help? I failed to mention earlier that my hubs is not at home or nearby. We are not on friendly terms...they be kinda shady.

I have one more card to play before I end up calling the fire department. I call our family friend, Darin, and pray that he's home. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Hello? Mental dialogue then changed "HALLEJUAH!!" The angelic choir sings! I explain what happened and he is on his way. Whew. Small relief.
At this point, Avery might have been in her room for 3-4 minutes. I go back to the garage in hopes of finding a screw driver just lying around on one of the shelves. I then notice the tool box on the floor that doesn't appear to be locked. BINGO! I pulled out three drawers before I came across a draw full of screwdrivers. I grab three and head to my daughter's bedroom door.

I successfully get the outer door knob off, but the door is still locked. WTF! Avery starts to pull on the knob now that it's loose. I hold it until Darin arrives with the "magic unlocking tool!" Door opens. Avery is standing there with tears in her eyes. I scoop her out and hug her and kiss her!

I know it was more traumatic for me than her. Darin gave me the "magic unlocking tool" and it now resides where I can find it in case this happens again. Darin, being the hero, even stayed and put the door knobs back on! After he leaves, I call my hubby and let him know what happened and that it is all okay. Yes, after the fact. In my mind, there was no need to freak him out while it was all going on because then he would freak me out more!

I know that this is going to be one of my funny mommy stories, but living it was a rush. Not something I would like to experience again if I have a choice. It is just another simple and significant memory for the mommyhood file! Until next time......

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 8: I can't get no--Satisfaction. Just Kidding

Today's topic asks me to consider and reflect upon a time when I felt satisfied with my life.

I'll be perfectly honest I am usually most satisfied with my life after a good home cooked meal or when the day is done, my daughter is sleeping and I can curl up in bed and chillax.

When my daughter was born, I kind of had to step out of the kitchen for a little bit. I love to cook and try out new recipes. My husband has taken over more of the cooking duties while I "entertain" or watch our little Miss. However, I do get the chance to jump in there are whip something up more now that she is older. Side note: How is it that I can keep her busy and out of the kitchen when my hubby is cooking, but when I am cooking my daughter is usually trying to claw up my leg? haha

Eating a good meal does something for the soul especially when it is made from love. Yes, we have a physiological need to eat, but there's something about the experience of that first bite or looking forward to your favorite meal or dish and then relishing in the after glow of a "meal well done." I am by no means a foodie. My palate isn't complex. I do not have a state of the art kitchen stocked with the best equipment money could buy, but we make it work.

Sleep, oh glorious sleep! I feel quite satisfied with life when I am well rested. I had post partum insomnia and it was no bueno. You know that old adage sleep when the baby sleeps? Yea, not so much for me! I was miserable and in turn quite emotional as a result. You will never take for granted a good night's sleep after it has been systematically denied to you by a newborn and new mommy stress.

I am a working mom so after a long day at work, dealing with other people's kids, it is nice to be able to let it all go and relax! I may not know what it is like to sleep in a lot, but I am thankful for the rest I do get now.

When you look at your life can you find satisfaction there? I hope so. If you can't find ONE thing, you might want to make some changes, a life overhaul if you will. No matter how small or how simple there are things, ideas, routines, people, actions that are quite significant if you only allow yourself to see and believe them. You just might find something pretty special.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 7: What's Up Zodiac?

How does my Zodiac sign relate to my personality? Well, heck if I know because I don't hold much stock in astrological signs, but let's see what the research (and by research I mean google search)!

My birthday is October 23 so astrologically I am either a Libra or a Scorpio depends on which site or paper you read. My birthday is one of the cut off dates between the two. The Psychicguild says, "If you were born on the first or last day of a Sun sign, in astrological terms you were born on a cusp. If that's the case, you will probably benefit from reading your own Sun sign and the Sun sign that ends or begins right before or after your date of birth." Ah, so that explains it, right? Yea, definitely picking the best of both on this one!

According to, a Libra's key characteristics are: Refined, social, artistic, vacillating, intellectual, communicative and concerned with relationships. Uh, yea. I can go with that except for the vacillating (for those of you without a dictionary that word means indecisive). I am pretty clear about what I like and dislike and what I want.

Continuing on, the Scorpio is described as, the "most powerful sign of the zodiac, Scorpios lead fate filled lives and have intense and dramatic personal relationships. Even as children Scorpios are often found to be wise beyond their years. Many astrologers call this the sign of the 'oldest souls.' Old and wise beyond the average, Scorpios often know all the answers" (Psychicguild).

I do agree with some points raised here. As a child, I was described as smart, but maybe that was because I read books and more mature for my age. I started kindergarten when I was 6 (darn you October birthday! LOL). Furthermore, Scorpios are described as being competitive and winners and that is 100% me. In the great words of Ricky Bobby, "if you're not first, you're last!" My childhood home was a decorated with softball trophies, student of the month and other academic certificates too. Yea, I was that kid....the goodie two shoes and know it all.

Do I think I have the "my way or the high way" mentality? Absolutely not--this is not me at all. I see myself as more compassionate and pensive than that idiom. I am in no way flamboyant or dramatic, but in a leadership role, like teaching, I like to think that I excel and that is where my "passion" lies. Now, that is something that I can agree with it comes to my zodiac signs.

In the end, I don't think my day of birth holds much weight on my personality development, but I can't deny that in the course of my googling and reading I did come across some similarities.

My life choices are mine to make. They are not written in the stars or planets, but nonetheless horoscopes are still fun to occasionally read however simple or significant you feel that they are for your life.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 6: A Life Well Lived is Worth Remembering

I have modified today's post because the preplanned challenge topic did not apply to me and my life. So today, I am going to write about a special person in my life who passed away a few months ago, my Aunt Jan. I wrote this in my journal the day of her funeral.Things I will remember.....

Aunt Jan was strong and steady until the end. She was a pillar in our family.

She got up way too early in the morning, but she could cook a mean breakfast. She loved her coffee. There was morning coffee, afternoon coffee, and "I'm stressed out" I need a cup of coffee (cream, no sugar).

Of course there were here favs....oreos and M&Ms. The food network was a mainstay on the TV. Books! Aunt Jan loved books! It's a family trait that many of us shared. She read books so fast that her skills rivaled that of the "Rain Man." We would share and talk about books throughout our family constantly. This is probably why we are all so smart---sometimes too smart for our own good.

Aunt Jan loved Harry Potter books and movies. She would get as excited as me when there was a new book or movie. Of course, Aunt Jan was notorious for not being able to finish a movie because she would fall asleep not long after it started.
She came to see me at the hospital when I was in labor with my daughter. She loved Avery very, very much. She would monopolize her attention or steal her away from my other aunts. It  makes me sad that Avery will not know her directly, but I know that she will most definitely know of her for many years to come. When I am alone with my daughter, in those quiet moments during tubby time and night- night time, I think of my Aunt Jan. My heart runneth over.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. We had our Christmas dinners each year at Aunt Jan's house. She was the "Queen of Prime Rib!" Her home was always welcoming and chaotic with all of the family, cousins, and friends gathered together. She would fuss that the boys should help clean up, or that Aunt Brenda was hovering again (usually around me putting the Christmas Salad together). I find it difficult to imagine this holiday any other way. Especially when I was finally allowed to sit at the "grown up" table sometime in my early 20s.

So as I stuff my face with chocolate, drink my morning or afternoon cup of coffee, lay on the couch with my latest book, feed my daughter goldfish crackers or gather around a Christmas tree.....I will always remember my Aunt Jan. Our loved one may not be here with us. but they never really leave us.

Her life was simple and significant to all those who had the blessing to know her or the privilege to call her family.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 5: Just the Facts

Challenge: Write 30 interesting facts about yourself. Am I really that interesting? Perhaps. Another part of me thinks that it may be more than anyone would want to know about me, LOL! Nonetheless, here we no particular order, but randomly off the top of my head.

  1. I am a hobby "whore." I like to do several hobbies here and there, but I never seem to stick with them for long periods of time.
  2. I like to coupon! My spare bedroom is filled with my coupon stockpile.
  3. I like to watch Teen Soap/Drama shows.
  4. I have read, the Harry Potter series multiple times.
  5. I own all of the Twilight books and movies.
  6. I like to be fudgy brownies.
  7. I was engaged for two years before marrying my husband.
  8. I have lost 30 pounds in the last year (baby weight and then some extra)
  9. I usually go to bed between 9 and 9:30 pm.
  10. I like abstract art.
  11. I own one pair of black high heels.
  12. I think that being a mom is really hard.
  13. I love Italian and Mexican food.
  14. I love to cook, but I hate to do dishes.
  15. Sometimes, my husband does more housework than me.
  16. I love Florida Gators.
  17. I graduated college with Magna Cum Laude honors.
  18. My husband and I don't pay for TV because we just use an antenna.
  19. I find it hard to imagine my life without the internet.
  20. I was there when two of my three nieces were born.
  21. I was 22 years old when I got married.
  22. I primarily listen to country music.
  23. I am not 100% sure if I want to have more kids.
  24. My favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast
  25. I am a big fan of the theater and musicals.
  26. I have never flown in an airplane.
  27. Most of my furniture was purchase at Big Lots.
  28. I have never had a pedicure.
  29. Sometimes I just like/want to be home alone and stay in my PJs for a large part of the day.
  30. Christmas is my favorite holiday.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 4: Religion

Religion (Noun)
  1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
  2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.
So today's challenge asked to discuss your views on religion. I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I call myself a believer and follower of the Christian faith. I grew up in a church largely in part due to my Aunt Brenda who would pick me up on Sundays. I have fond memories of going to bible school, singing the hymns and worship songs and going to youth group. For many years, I served in the church in children and youth ministries.
But I am going to be honest, I haven't really been to church at all since my daughter was born. I have gotten out of the habit of it really. I know, shame on me, but do feel the urge/calling to reconnect.

Historically speaking, religion has been around for a long time. Many of our world's major religions have the same region of origins; in addition to, some of the same principles, tenets and practices. People should take the time to study their religion's history. I find it quite interesting to see those contexts.

What is religion to me? It is finding hope and comfort in something larger than yourself. It is family beyond blood ties, but to spiritual ties. It is compassion for those in need. It is holding yourself to a higher standard. Religion is being found when you become lost in the sins and struggles of this world. Religion is not being perfect, but trying to be more little by little. It is about reaching out to others.

Religion is not about judgment, but growth. It is love and forgiveness. It is about prayer and reflection. It is about choosing faith over worry.

We all have the opportunity to choose the religion, churches, walks of faith for ourselves. Please choose, learn, commit and grow. It can be a simple, yet significant choice in your life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 3: Drugs and Alcohol

Yea, this post is going to sound a little preachy. I absolute hate and despise the use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol. One of the repetitive statements I use in my classroom is "Drugs are bad, don't do drugs." My students laugh at the lightness of the statement and then I get real with them because there were people in my life growing up that didn't have their priorities straight and it not only affected their lives, but mine as well.

According to the Florida Institute of Technology: Drug use in America is also more commonplace than it once was. In today's teenage population over 90 percent have used alcohol. Over 50 percent have used marijuana, 17 percent admit to trying cocaine and 12.5 percent have used some form of hallucinogen. Furthermore, the average age of first experimentation with drugs is 13, and for alcohol it is even younger. Drug use has been classified as a major problem for kids as early as fourth grade by the students themselves.  Alcohol is the most widely used drug in America. It is the third largest cause of death in the United States, second only to heart disease and cancer. Alcohol and tobacco use are a significant "risk factor" in heart disease and cancer.  It accounts for over 100,000 deaths per year in this country alone. It is also the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Are you freaking kidding me!? And this was only one fact sheet! What is this world coming to? Where are the positive role models? Lord, be with us all!!

I understand that addictions are diseases and those who use them regularly are in need of both medical and psychological counseling and therapies. I am not trying to debate that fact at all. My stance on the topic is firm. Get help or you won't be in or apart of my life or my family. I will pray for you, love you from a distance, but I won't enable you. I will not be dragged down by your choices.

It is stupid to use drugs. You make bad decisions when you are on drugs. You hurt people (and yourself) when you are on drugs. Grow up, sober up and get a grip. Deal with your issues don't bury them (again see aforementioned statement on medical and psychological help).
If someone you know or love is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, please encourage them to get help! As hard as it might be, do not ignore the signs.

Please know that their problems are not your fault. Their addiction may have affected you and impacted you, but you are not alone. Life can get better for you and for them with a simple, yet significant choice.

For more information on drug addiction treatment in Florida, or for a confidential consultation call toll free at: 1 800-960-5041