Monday, December 26, 2011

I don't usually do this, but what the heck?

Love this picture: Alex, Connor, Baylie, Masen, Rylee
Ok, this picture has nothing to do with this post (except that it's also Christmas-related), but I had to share it for 3 reasons...1. It's so stinkin' cute 2. because I always try my best to include pictures in my posts b/c it makes them more interesting...and finally 3. Baylie has had a crush on Connor (the boy she has in a choke hold) since the day they met and I just think it's so sweet how her face lights up every time he's around!

SO anyways...on to what I was originally writing about:

I'm trying my best to do a little after Christmas organizing and cleanup, so I decided to start with my email inbox....wow, is there a lot of crap in there! It's all those emails that I save just in case I ever have a chance to get back to them b/c I don't want to miss out on a great deal, but then those same deals keep piling up day after day and the next thing you know I have 200+ emails to delete.
So since I wouldn't be Debbie if I didn't get easily distracted during most things that I set out to do...it happened again today.
I was deleting all those emails at warp speed when one caught my eye, so of course I opened it, sipped my coffee and started reading...
It's one of those "living social deals" we all get, but this one is for a cute little product called "Little Passports", so I thought I'd share it with you. I'm always trying to think of new ways to show my kids what a big world we live in and how there is so much more out there to learn and explore and this sounded like a really fun and age-appropriate way to do it. So check it out if you want, if not, no big deal, just delete this post and get on with your day! I just like to pass along fun things I find just in case you might be looking for something like this too!
https://share.livingsocial.com/deals/207858?ref=conf-jp&rpi=41796212

NOW BACK TO CLEANING AND ORGANIZING...that is until the next thing catches my eye :)..

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Still looking for that perfect gift?

Here it is again, 3am and I can't sleep. No, surprisingly, my mind is not filled with visions of sugar-plums, instead it's filled with visions of all the shopping I still need to do in the next few days as the final countdown to Christmas marches on. It goes without saying (although I'm going to say it anyways) that getting the perfect for gift for everyone on your Christmas list can be a very daunting task. Especially now that the kids are out of school and it's nearly impossible to shop without losing your ever-loving mind. I've already lost my mind, so this is an especially tricky task. So in the hopes of helping even one sleep-deprived mom like myself out there cross something off her list I thought I would share a few fun and "out-of-the-ordinary" places I've managed to pick up some great gifts for my family that you won't find at TOYS 'R US OR TARGET (you know you just said it with a french accent).

Two of my favorite places to find creative gifts for the kids: Joann's and Michael's. They always have great arts & crafts gifts that kids just love. Plus, I love their selection of Crayola products, a lot of things you won't find in the "big box" stores.

The BOOK STORE...ah, I can smell it now...I LOVE BOOK STORES. I seriously could spend an entire day perusing the aisles reading all the book titles and convincing myself that one day I will visit every country, make every recipe and educate myself on every famous person on the covers of those books. The kids section is amazing, chock-full of unique gifts for kids of all ages, again, stuff you won't find at the big name stores. Plus, I love the section up front near the registers with all the fun stuff for stocking stuffers....FYI, try to find a mom-and-pop bookstore, they always have some of the coolest stuff. Since I live in Florida, I especially love finding historical books all about my state and hometown, just fascinating!

Cracker Barrel, yeppers you read it right, Cracker Barrel. Don't knock it til you try it. They have a great selection of gifts for young and old alike...from old fashioned candy, to unusual knick knacks for the home to a kid section that is out of this world. It's like a blast from the past and the best part, most of the toys DON'T require batteries and they aren't TWIST-TIED onto the cardboard packaging (ugh, I hate that!). I swore this Christmas I wasn't going to buy anything that took more than 2 minutes to remove from the box, any longer than that and if you're kids are anything like mine, they've lost interest. I picked up that big 'ol checkers game for the kids this afternoon. Hopefully they'll love playing it just as much at home as they do there...we'll see :)...Oh yeah, the bonus to shopping at Cracker Barrel is you can grab a yummy meal after you've worked up an appetite from all the shopping!

So that's it...at least that's all I can think of right now. I hope this helps you with your holiday gift hunt. I know I'm always looking for new places to get the perfect gift for everyone on my list, so please, by all means, if you have any fun "out-of-the-way" shopping secrets you'd like to share I'd love to hear about them.

From one exhausted mom to another - Happy Holidays!!! And to me a goodnight, a goodnight sleep that is...or should I say a goodmorning sleep since it's now 4:30am...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz






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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ohhh sleep...where are you???

This pretty much sums it up!
It's 4am Tuesday morning. I have to "wake up" in about 2 hours to start the day and get the kids off to school - which these days for Baylie only lasts 3 hours (2 1/2 hrs if you count the time it takes me to drop her off and then turn around and pick her up, she's only in Pre-K)...but my point is, I'M STILL AWAKE!

Why, you might ask? I can't turn off the TO-DO LIST in my head....ugh, curse you TO-DO LIST! Why do you torment me so? Just when I think blessed sleep is within reach you rewind and start all over again like a broken record (for those of you not familiar, a record is similar to a CD, google it!)

Hopefully, YOU will read this after a restful night of sleep, if so, I'm happy for you, if not, welcome to the club...a club I'd really like to "de-friend!"
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY SNEAK PEEK!

There's just something about BLACK FRIDAY that gets my blood pumping. It's crazy because I've actually only shopped (shoved, clawed & weaseled my way through the crowds) on BLACK FRIDAY twice in my life. Don't get me wrong, I love a great deal just as much as the next person and I'm pretty competitive, but those people are CRAZY and many of them are willing to do just about ANYTHING to get what they want.



So for me, I've decided I value my life and limbs more than saving a few bucks (or several hundred bucks) on the MUST-HAVE DEAL OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON...

But for those of you still brave (insane) enough to hit the stores (risk your lives) on BLACK FRIDAY (or BLACK THURSDAY as it's slowing morphing into), you'll be happy to know some stores are already offering a sneak peek at their DOORBUSTER DEALS (see link below). Just be careful, because that little old lady standing next to you might look innocent enough, but I promise you, she'll flatten you like a pancake if you're standing between her and her $499 FLATSCREEN...I'm just saying!



CLICK HERE --->      BLACK FRIDAY DOORBUSTER DEALS!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Must-have Christmas App?

Ok, so I have a confession...when it comes to buying and keeping track of Christmas gifts, I'm the WORST! Not only do I write a million lists and forget where I put them. I also buy gifts, hide them and then forget where I hid them. Like I've said, my KIDS STOLE MY BRAIN. Some moms are able to regain their brain power, but sadly, I'm not one of them. In fact, mine seems to be getting worse. So that brings me to the point of today's post. I'm hoping I may have finally come up with a surefire way to keep track of everything this year....AN APP!!! OH YEAH BABY, THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT. Some of you tech-saavy moms might already be aware of this, but for those of you who weren't, you gotta check it out:

The best part about this app is there's a "HOW-TO" video, so it's virtually impossible to screw it up. Oh yeah, it's only $.99 TOO! I downloaded it this morning and I've already inputted a lot of stuff, so I'll let you know how it's going...fingers crossed I won't find any of this year's Christmas gifts or lists hidden away in my closet come Easter!

ONLY 46 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT LADIES....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What really matters...

Last week I received an email that I will never forget. I was actually sleeping at the time (very deeply for a change) and for some strange reason my eyes popped open, I rolled over, grabbed my phone and noticed there was a new email. It was 12:30am and normally I wouldn't even bother checking it, save it for the morning, but something inside me told me I needed to read this one. It was from a dear friend of mine and the subject line read: Connor. Tears began pouring down my face as soon as I started reading it. It was one of those moments when the whole world seemed to stand still. Connor is my friend Wendy's son. He and his twin sister Rylee just turned 7 and my kids ADORE THEM. In fact, Baylie decided at the ripe old age of 3, that she's going to marry Connor. And even though she's met a ton of other boys in our circle of friends, she still says Connor's the ONE. Honestly, he's cute as a button, so who could blame her?

Baylie, Connor, Rylee & Jake


Wendy's email explained that Connor had been diagnosed with Cancer. More specifically, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma). At that moment, it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. I couldn't go back to sleep and all I wanted to do was go, wake up my kids, hold them tight and tell them how much I loved them. 

You see, that very night before I put my kids to bed, they were acting like crazy people. I'm sure we've all been there. My husband was out of town, so I was holding down the fort and I was TIRED! So I remember standing in the hall outside their bedrooms telling them how things were gonna change around here starting tomorrow! (Cue the CRAZY MOM - hmm, wonder where they get it?!) In my best drill sergeant voice I told them they were going to wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, ALL THEIR BREAKFAST, with NO horsing around...YADDA, YADDA, YADDA...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH (I'm sure that's how it started to sound to them as I went on and on).

After reading Wendy's email, I wanted to take it all back. After all, they're kids, they are supposed to act crazy. I know they need boundaries, believe me, I'm all about setting boundaries, but sometimes I think I expect TOO much from them. They are only 4 and 6...and good or bad...they won't be this age forever.  

I can't imagine sitting in a room with a doctor hearing that my child has been diagnosed with cancer. Nothing else would matter. And it could happen to any of us, at any time. None of us know how much longer we are going to have together. So from now on, I'm going to try my best, in every moment, to remember the lesson I learned while reading Wendy's email: 

WHAT REALLY MATTERS?

To me it's these precious moments, these CRAZY, "I-CAN'T-BELIEVE-YOU-JUST-DID-THAT", AMAZING, FUN, MEMORABLE, MESSY, NON-SENSICAL, HYSTERICAL, "COULDN'T-HAPPEN-AT-A-WORSE-TIME" moments with my kids and my amazing family and friends. And I'm going to try to make sure to cherish every second and thank God every day for answering my prayers.

If you'd like to follow Connor's Journey, his family has set up a website: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/friendsofconnor



Monday, September 26, 2011

The Slinky - I had NO IDEA - did you?

Ok, I've been racking my brain trying to come up with something clever to write, but I'm completely blank. I ain't got squat, nada, nothing (thanks in large part to two children who will remain nameless Jake and Baylie.)


So instead of an original post, I thought I'd share something fun I stumbled across while doing some research killing time on the internet that's kinda cool...check it out...


I know, it's not earth-shattering, but give me a break, it is MONDAY after all :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New definition of "SKINNY"...

So this morning my daughter says "Look mommy, Daddy's back is so skinny!" I was in the other room at the time and had no idea what she was talking about. I mean, don't get me wrong, he works out every day, sometimes twice a day (overachiever!), but his back, is by no means, what I would consider "skinny". So I was very curious to find out what she was talking about. When I walked into the other room and saw his backside, it all made sense. His back was peeling from a really bad sunburn - YUCK! I mean, poor baby, can I go get you some cream to help :)....(cue my loving wife voice). So I guess Baylie was right after all, his back was very SKINNY - just a different kind of SKINNY - gotta love the stuff that comes out of the mouth of babes! 

Speaking of sunburns, he had a doozy of a burn a few years back, you could actually see the outline of his life jacket on his skin - OUCH. I'll look around and see if I can dig it up - FUUUUNNNN - EEEE!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

LADY GAGA WAS RIGHT!


SHE WAS "BORN THIS WAY!"
When taking pictures of my kids I often find myself making excuses for my daughter's "grown up" poses. It happened this morning at the bus stop and that's what made me think of writing this particular post. I'm not sure why I feel compelled to make excuses, quite honestly, I think it's adorable, she's just a ham, but I know there are some parents (esp. moms) out there who think I actually teach her how to pose...think TODDLERS & TIARAS (don't act like you don't watch it! It's my guilty pleasure too, makes me feel like a SUPER MOM!) Personally, I would NEVER put my own daughter in pageants, but I won't judge you if you do (ok, I will, but only behind your back - ha!)  So to prove my point, that LADY GAGA was right...everybody is just "BORN THIS WAY!"...I dug up a few pictures from the past and as you'll see...posing is part of my daughter's DNA...

Her "go-to" pose - BALLERINA!

Thank goodness she's not the only one posing here :)
This one reminds me of a MISS USA pose, only with ice cream!









Another pose she's currently perfecting


I can't even get my body to do this pose :)

MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE!
(she was showing me a boo boo on her finger, I swear!)
The last picture literally made me LMAO. I actually had to stop laughing because I was afraid it might encourage her to do it more - ha! So from now on, no more excuses, I'm just going to sit back, smile and soak up every second of her sassiness...after all, she won't be young forever!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Williams-Sonoma "Tit Juicer" - SAY WHAT?!

Now that I have kids, I've found the ONLY way I have time to "read" a book is to listen to it in the car between errands, school drop-offs, etc. Otherwise I just know if I read a book the old-fashioned way I would either get constantly interrupted or fall sound asleep after a few paragraphs....

So recently I downloaded Tina Fey's book "Bossypants"...I've always been a Fey Fan - I LOVE SNL, but especially so after her stint as "Sarah Palin" during the most recent presidential campaign. She was so dead-on with her impersonation! Click on the link below if you don't know what I'm talking about :)

http://www.hulu.com/watch/34465/saturday-night-live-palin--hillary-open

Anyways, I'm sure you're asking yourself what this has to do with a "TIT JUICER"?

Well...it's not often I hear anything that makes me seriously laugh out loud, like the kind of laugh where coffee shoots out your nostrils, that is, until this morning. I finally had some alone time in the car, so I turned on "Bossypants" and that's when I heard it. Tina Fey was describing her breastfeeding experience. Because breastfeeding always seems to be such a hot button topic, I'm always very interested to see what others have to say about it. And if you know me, you know I'm a tad sarcastic, so I especially appreciate Tina's humor when it comes to this. Her description is PRICELESS!

I was laughing the whole way through, but when she jokingly referred to a breast pump as a Williams-Sonoma "TIT JUICER" I lost it! Out came the coffee, through my nostrils, right onto my shirt, lap and I believe a few drops reached my steering wheel. Gotta say, not the best way to experience a cup of Joe, but the enjoyment I experienced in that moment was well worth it!

BTW, I'm all about breastfeeding if it works for you, but sometimes (many times) it doesn't and that's OKAY! Your baby will be just as healthy and smart as your friend's baby. That's just my humble opinion and that comes from a mom who put A LOT of unnecessary pressure on myself to breastfeed my own children. And trust me, they are both KOO KOO BIRDS :)

MY KOO KOO BIRDS
(btw, they strapped themselves in and the car seats were in the GARAGE!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NEWS FLASH!!! I've become "CHOPPED LIVER!"

My kids are 6 and 4 and it's OFFICIAL..they already want to spend more time with their friends than their mom (sniff, sniff)...
First Day of School (Jake 6, Baylie 4)
The Whole Crew
People always say "they grow up so fast", but it's so hard to believe they will ever grow up when they are babies. Especially in the middle of the night, when you are working on 2 1/2 hours of sleep total over the past 3-4 days and they are crying for HOURS AND HOURS and you can't figure out why or what they need. I remember sitting in my closet, not too long after I had Jake, wondering when his REAL PARENTS were coming to pick him up. I had no business raising another human being, especially in my sleep-deprived state (did I mention I watched Oprah daily and cried like a baby every time?) I so desperately wanted someone to come to my rescue and take him for a few hours so I could get some much needed rest, but at the same time (and I blame this on crazy pregger hormones) I wouldn't allow him out of my sight for more than 3 seconds at a time...yes, I was a loon, but at least I can admit it. 

Then there are the "in-between" months/years when they throw a fit if you walk out of their line of sight (I mean seriously, MOMS HAVE TO USE THE BATHROOM TOO!). Both my kids were like this. On one hand, it's kind of nice to have someone LOVE YOU THAT MUCH. On the other hand, when you really need a night out with adults IT STINKS! Especially as a mom (in my opinion) because I don't know about you, but I believe moms have this primal urge to always protect their offspring and it seriously BROKE MY HEART to see them cry when I left them with someone else (grandparents first, preschool next and eventually a babysitter). I truly admire women who are able to go out & enjoy some alone time when their babies are young, but I couldn't leave Jake alone until he was almost 6 months old and even then I went to a house party three doors down, left him with the grandparents, was only gone for 30 minutes and probably called every 5 minutes to check up on him/them - I know, I was pathetic.

OK, so my point is this, now that they are "ALL GROWN UP" they would rather spend EVERY SECOND with their friends! I have turned into the proverbial "CHOPPED LIVER" - in fact, sometimes Baylie even calls me that when I remind (beg) her to give me a kiss before she darts off across the street to hang out with her BFF!

Back in the day, when they were in their terrible twos/threes/early 4's/5's and babyhood) I would've given anything for them to want to spend a moment apart from me. But now, I have to admit, it's kind of sad...I mean, if they feel this way now, what are the teenage years going to be like??? Never mind, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!

One of my dear friends drove her son to college over the weekend and she is SUPER SAD - if you've seen TOY STORY 3, you know what I mean. It's just so crazy, because I remember driving away with my friend Kathy after H.S. graduation (not very long ago :), headed for UF, waving goodbye to my mom, who I loved dearly...and all I could think about was how excited I was to start a new chapter in my life (or maybe just the party we were headed to with the older college guys - ha!)...I had NO IDEA how sad my mom probably was to see me go (ok, maybe she wasn't, I was a bit of a handful, but for the sake of this story, let's just pretend)...

Now that I'm a parent, it's becoming ALL TOO REAL, TOO FAST. I want to freeze them in time so that they'll always love me like they did when they were babies...

For now, the one thing that keeps me going, is that at the very least, I know for sure, I will always be their FIRST LOVE!

Jake - 2 weeks (smiling b/c he's dreaming of Mommy!)

Baylie (7 months - all hopped up on caffeine, wondering when I'm going to finally let her wear lipstick!)



Friday, August 19, 2011

THIS JUST IN...

I'M BACK....ok, I've been back for 5 days now, but I've been busy unpacking (my liver) and getting ready for school - YEE HAW!!! I'M SO EXCITED SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER!!!

So....New Orleans was a blast! The FOOD, the PEOPLE WATCHING, the ADULT BEVERAGES - oh boy...what a fun time! If you've never been, you gotta go and if you have been, you know what I'm talking about (see Exhibit A below):
Exhibit A: Famous HURRICANE @ Pat O'Brien's 
The FOOD IS JUST BEYOND.....I had a bowl of chicken andouille gumbo at the GUMBO SHOP in the FRENCH QUARTER that was so good it made me wanna slap my grandma!

So my trip inspired (or maybe re-inspired) me to encourage (force) my children to try new foods. We all know kids can be picky eaters, but we have a rule in my house - The "NO THANK YOU BITE" (thanks to Jake and Baylie's wonderful Pre-K teacher Mrs. Becky)...everyone MUST take a "NO THANK YOU BITE"...meaning: you ask them if they'd like to try a bite, they say no thank you and you say TOO BAD, YOU GOTTA TRY IT! (I'm not sure that's exactly how she explained it, but I put my own spin on it :)....and I gotta say, it actually works! I swear some teachers are born with magical powers.

So the other night I whipped up a New Orleans style Shrimp dish with Cajun Rice & Beans
NOTICE MY HELPER IN THE BACKGROUND...A LITTLE WINE!


NOTICE THE FANCY BOWL :)



YUM! It has it all: shrimp, onions, garlic butter, tomatoes, creole seasoning, red beans and rice didn't miss her (you know you were singing it in your head)...all things my kids would cringe at if they knew they were in there...luckily, they weren't home when I made it,  they were out playing with their friends and lucky for me when they did return home, they both had worked up quite an appetite.

Baylie isn't usually as picky as Jake when it comes to trying new things. In fact, I'm sometimes blown away by what she likes versus what she doesn't like: I mean what kid would choose a salad with black olives, feta and sun-dried tomato dressing over a peanut butter & jelly sandwich? I've even tried to tempt her with a FLUFFER NUTTER (pretty much the only thing I ate when I was pregnant with her, I guess that explains it, nevermind!)... but that's my Baylie. Jake, on the other hand, could pretty much live on Chicken Fingers, Fries and Apple Juice. He'll eat his veggies and some other kid friendly foods, but he's usually not too keen on trying "exotic" things like sushi, whereas Baylie would prefer sushi over mac n' cheese.

Anyways, when they got home they were starving. So this is what they got. I didn't make a big fuss about making them try it, I just plopped it down in front of them and didn't give them a choice and you know what????

THEY BOTH GOBBLED IT DOWN LIKE THEY HADN'T EATEN IN A WEEK! LOVE IT!

I'm not sure why, but watching them eat this dish made me feel really good (might've been the wine, but just go with it)...It was like I'd accomplished something as a mom...my kids actually like shrimp...they like a little spice...they'll eat red beans and rice ALL MIXED TOGETHER!

SCORE ONE FOR MOM BABY!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

We interrupt this Blog.....

for an important announcement....it's MOMMY TIME!!!
I'm in Nawlins & I'll be back Monday (if all goes as planned!)
See ya then -Same time,same station (blog;)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

IPAD WARNING!

I don't know about you but when I had my first baby I had every intention of protecting him from "ALL THINGS BAD" (cue scary music) - MCDONALDS, TOO MANY SWEETS, TOO MUCH TV, JUICE BOX OVERLOAD, LUNCHABLES, VIDEO GAMES, ETC.
Gotta love those MCDONALDS French Fries!

FAST FORWARD to the present day and I'm sure it comes as no surprise to most "imperfect" parents like myself that I did NOT succeed in protecting my children from the outside world...oh well, I survived much worse during my own childhood and I'm sure they will too!

So long story short, I have a confession...I let my children play on our IPAD (gasp! Say it isn't so! I'm such a terrible mommy! NOT!) Hey, sometimes I need a little "mommy and me" time too and not with my kiddos.

As it turns out, I'm apparently not the ONLY one who allows my children to play with the IPAD (I know, I know, hard to believe, but it's true) it appears another mommy friend of mine from my good ol' college days (GO GATORS!) does too! But she found out the hard way that letting her kids play with the IPAD came with a very HEFTY PRICE TAG and it landed her on the evening news! CLICK HERE TO SEE THE STORY.

Good info! Please feel free to share with your other cool mommy friends!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Since it appears the world's coming to an end....

We got a puppy! (Yes, I believe my slow, steady progression to the nuthouse is underway) But seriously how could we resist?!
Meet Bash Bechtel
Btw, Bash is a 10 week old MALE Maltipoo, but Baylie insists on only using pink blankets, towels, toys, etc when she plays with him...I say WHATEVER WORKS!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

KIDS-TV News...Here to BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

With all the bad news lately, I thought it would be fun to bring back two of the happiest newscasters around - Jake & Baylie. They sure do brighten my day and I hope they do the same for you!

Friday, August 5, 2011

"FLASHBACK FRIDAY" - Did he make it to DISNEY?...(cue music: dun, dun, dun...)

So I've already established that he's a determined little fella (still is), but determined enough to "scoot" 60 miles to Walt Disney World in the HOT Florida SUN? Watch and see....

He may be determined, but he ain't no dummy :)...Jake knows cruising in the A/C is the only way to go! And since it's almost the weekend, I'm going to go ahead and add PART 4 here too!
Too cute - huh? Hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed capturing it on video. Hope you'll be back Monday, I'm going to share the interesting YouTube story that goes along with this...HOPE EVERYONE HAS AN AMAZING WEEKEND!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"REWIND WEDNESDAY" - RIDING MY SCOOTER TO DISNEY, PT. 2!

As promised, here's PART 2 of Jake's "wild ride" to Walt Disney World. Gotta love the kids determination!
Make sure to tune in tomorrow for PART 3 - did he make it ALL THE WAY TO Walt Disney World?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Time Machine Tuesday"...Oldie but OH SO GOODY! DISNEY!!!

This is PART ONE of what turned out to be an unforgettable FOUR PART series involving two of my favorite things on earth...my son Jake and Walt Disney World. It's one of those home videos that took on a life of its own and as a former news producer exceeded all of my expectations for what makes good TV. My sweet boy Jake simply wanted to ride his scooter to Disney World, he was barely 3 and had no idea how far it was from our house (60+ miles and it was HOT outside), watch what happened as cameras started rolling along with Jake's scooter :) 

(BTW...There's also a pretty cool BACK STORY to this video which I'll share after Part 4 airs...Hope you enjoy and share!!!)

Make sure to stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow...same time, same station...or BLOG!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

"MUST-HAVE MONDAY" - BRIGHT IDEAS!

So, my friend Laura, who I've mentioned before (and secretly idolize for her style), is the inspiration for today's post...

It's all about BRIGHT IDEAS! And both are must-haves for women!

1. Ever heard of makeup with built-in LED LIGHTS? 
A very BRIGHT IDEA!
(If you have you probably want to stop reading because it's possible I'm behind the curve on this :)...If not, keep reading because this is really cool! Seriously, I can't believe I'm just now learning about this. Laura and I were out with some friends a few weeks back and she pulls out her lip gloss to freshen up, but this isn't your ordinary lip gloss (I guess I should come to expect nothing is ORDINARY when it comes to Laura!) When you open it, The side attached to the applicator LIGHTS UP! And as if that's not magnificent enough, there's a mirror on the side of the tube (a real mirror, not one of those fuzzy "funhouse" mirrors that are truly worthless) so you can watch as you apply, how cool is that? LOVE IT! You can check it out for yourself here --> LIGHT UP MAKEUP - they have light up nail polish and mascara too! (Btw, I'm not a paid spokesperson for this company, although that would be really cool, I just think this is a really cool concept and definitely a conversation starter if you're into that sort of thing.)

2. I ran across today's second MUST-HAVE during one of my marathon web surfing sessions (you know when you log on to check the weather for the next day and find yourself sitting in the same spot 4 hours later buying something you absolutely don't need but somehow convinced yourself you did because you're in a computer coma and you have no brain cells left anyways thanks to your kids?!). So I'm talking about LIGHT-UP SHOES and no, not SKECHERS (Thankfully, I'm not that far behind the fashion curve.) These are LIGHT UP HIGH HEELS! What will they think of next? Just plug 'em in, charge 'em up and dance the night away on your very own glow sticks :).  I know, I know, they cost an arm and a leg, but with the way things are going in Washington DC these days with the debt crisis we are all gonna be poor soon anyways, so might as well GO SHOPPING!!! (kidding, sort of!) HAPPY MONDAY!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

They say a PICTURE is worth 1000 words!

Check out my new blog header UP TOP...isn't that so cool? (I knew if I kept looking I could find this photo and PROVE TO THE WORLD that my kids really DID steal my brain - MUHAHA!) You should've seen Baylie's face when she saw it, she was so puzzled..."Mommy, is that really what your brain looks like?" Followed by, "Why is Jake stealing it?" SO FUNNY!

But seriously, I wanted to jazz up the look of my blog so I reached out to my newly discovered cousin-in-law (it's a LONG STORY, I'll explain later) Melanie Johnson, who in my opinion, is a creative genius, see for yourself on FACEBOOK ("Like" her page and "Share" with your friends!)

Melanie creates all sorts of incredible digital works of art and since we are now officially FAMILY she did this as a gift for me - LOVE HER! In her spare time, Melanie is also raising 3 incredible boys (4 if you count her husband) and she enjoys photography, editing, proofreading, copy editing and helping people get their own books self-published! (Another overachiever if you ask me :)

Oh yeah, gotta make sure I give credit where credit is due - if you like the "ACTION HERO" look of the new header check out this website HAPPY TO CREATE. The creator is Melanie's FB friend and she has all sorts of super fun digital scrapbooking graphics on there!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'M BACK & I've found the new "BLACK!"...

ATTENTION MOMS!!!! (especially you overachievers who make the rest of us look bad) STOP wasting your money on those fancy birthday cakes! (ok, I admit it, I'm just as guilty as the next mom, but I'm on my soapbox right now or maybe my cakebox, so let me be!)

When it comes to fancy cakes...FORGET PRINCESS TOWERS - FORGET SPARKLERS SHAPED LIKE NUMBERS...We apparently have it all wrong...

It's all about the SPRINKLES baby!

Please allow me to present Exhibit A: Baylie's cake creation (it gives me anxiety just looking at it, but hey, she LOVES it, thinks it looks PERFECT, so who am I to judge?)
Can you read what I wrote under the Sprinkles? YEAH, I DIDN'T THINK SO!
I'll tell you who I am to judge, I'm the one who simply wanted our first ever "We love our Boys" day to to be JUST PERFECT! (I know, I'm a loon, but don't judge me, you know you do some crazy/fun/lunatic things with the family to keep life interesting every now and then and if you don't, you should :)

SOOOO...I had the moment all worked out in my (crazy) head. I was making a mack-daddy home-cooked meal for the boys to celebrate the aforementioned first-ever "We love our Boys" day (in case you're wondering who the BOYS are, I'm referring to Jake & Daddy.) My assistant chef Baylie and I were going to top it off with a cake...ON A MONDAY...I mean c'mon, who comes up with this stuff?! So, I wrote "We (heart) Boys!" on the cake and Baylie was supposed to jazz it up with "SOME" sprinkles, NOT the whole FREAKIN' jar!

I know it's completely wrong of me, but when I turned around and saw what she did to our (MY) cake I had one of those Ally McBeal moments, if you weren't around in the 90's you don't have a clue what I'm talking about (YouTube it!), but those of you who were KNOW EXACTLY what I mean, so I won't go into detail (for so many different reasons :). 

Anyways, I took a deep breath and realized, you know what, this was her way of expressing herself, her "ART" if you will (ok, you don't have to go that deep, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm sharing the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to my looney tune thoughts :). So I let her live (kidding, sort of) and I embraced the sprinkles (I'm pretty sure I now have a cavity or at the very least chipped some of my "dental work" devouring my piece of cake...no matter how bad it looked, I don't discriminate when it comes to dessert sista! --- and just a side note, yes, dessert is spelled with not one, but two s's - the other is a desert and it's VERY HOT! That one drives me KOO KOO!).

So circling back around...SPRINKLES are the new BLACK! At least the younger generation's version of the new BLACK (the 4-6 year old crowd, that is).

So "WEAR IT!" as Baylie would say (although I'm not sure where exactly she learned that phrase, probably from YOUR daughter, because MY sweet daughter would NEVER come up with that on her own ;)....I'M SO SURE!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Top Ten Reasons....

Why I love my husband...
He's obviously super silly!
10. Because he's younger than me and he still loves me! (Yes, I admit it, I'm a cougar, but a very young Cougar, possibly just a cougar cub!)
9. He recognizes when I need a "time-out" even when I might not realize it myself...and he takes it upon himself to make it possible (takes the kids to the YMCA or to the beach or to Chuck E. Cheese)
8. Sometimes when he has gas, he actually leaves the room (I mean, c'mon, it doesn't get much better than that, does it?)
7. He grills one of the tastiest steaks this side of the mason dixon line. (Sometimes that might be all he makes for dinner actually, no sides - veggies, potatoes, nothing...but hey, at least he cooks something right?! And it's AMAZING, so no complaints here!)
6. When I cook, he helps clean up (sometimes that involves simply letting all the dishes soak in the sink -  but hey, in my book that's a keeper because I'm pretty sure he learned that from me)
5. He admits that he's wrong at least 25% of the time (again, at least he admits it, we all know the truth!)
4. HE LOVES DISNEY WORLD - 'NUFF SAID!
3. He is one of the most motivated, enthusiastic, giving people I've ever met.
2. He's an incredible (super sexy) father who is completely dedicated to his children and an excellent role model.
See, told you he takes kids to Chuck E. Cheese
And the #1 reason I love my husband....because he's watching the kids all weekend while I head off for a much-needed GIRLS WEEKEND with my GIRLIES :) Can I get a woot woot?? 

Love you baby...See you Sunday xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo and I swear I didn't post this to butter you up ;P



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shopping with Kids...Is it just me?

I think NOT! I can't be alone in this...I sometimes dread going to the grocery store. The mall isn't so bad, because at least you can buy a new pair of shoes and an outfit or 2 and maybe even a purse to drown your sorrows. But the grocery store...with kids...it's next to impossible ok, not impossible like actually working out 5 times a week, but you know what I mean. And for me, it's not that the kids are bad like those kids who scream at the top of their lungs for no apparent reason...oh, i've been there, but now that I'm out of that "phase" it's really annoying, but they just don't STOP TALKING! And don't tell me to play some game with them where they point out every food item that starts with an "A"...seriously?!? WHO COMES UP WITH THIS SH*T? Wow, do I sound bitter or what?

Back to the point, and I promise although I get easily distracted, especially when I've had a glass (wink) of wine with dinner this will be short and to the point. My kids don't stop talking, from the moment we hit the pavement in the parking lot - Kid 1: "Can I have a cookie?" Kid 2: "Yeah Mom, can we get a cookie?" (Keep in mind we've discussed getting this cookie incessantly during the entire ride to the store and they get a cookie every freakin' time we go to the store, so why they think this is suddenly going to change is BEYOND me, but I play along, in my sweet mom voice until I can't take it any longer!)

So here's what's I say (G-rated version) as we step into the store, "Of course, we are going to get a cookie (and I continue, under my breath now) "...but if you say 'cookie' one more time....(fill in the blank)" Again...cue sweet mom voice as cart pulls up skids into to the bakery section, "So, what kind of cookie would you like sweeeeeeettttiiieee?" (Cue slightly disoriented child now with mild whiplash) Kid 1: "Uh, I'll have a sugar cookie" (she clearly sees that there are no sugar cookies, just sprinkle cookies - her favorite and chocolate chip - his favorite - I swear the only reason she asks for a sugar cookie is because she sees it's not available and she knows this will irritate me and the sweet baker behind the counter will fall under her spell and offer to go open a new box of sugar cookies just for her - SUCKEEERRRSSSS! )

So they both get the cookie, FINALLY! A little peace and quiet, right? WRONG! Now the sugar hits their bloodstream faster than a tweet hits twitter and let the talk-fest begin. Don't get me wrong, I love to hear my kids talk, their cute little thoughts, conversations amongst themselves, etc....But not when I'm in the grocery store...I totally lose my train of thought and it never fails that I forget the very thing only thing I went to the store for in the first place...

So here's my solution...after all, they say "Necessity is the mother of invention"...they maybe I should patent this idea and sell it, but who has the time with all this talking need to reinvent the cart - not the wheel, just the cart!

Ok, pretend I'm pushing the end of the cart...it's hard to take a picture of yourself pushing a cart, use your imagination!
PUT THE KID SEAT IN THE FRONT!!! I can't believe I just thought of this - HELLO???!!!

My sweet girl was in heaven when I started pushing the cart from the behind, so much so that she stopped....wait for it...you guessed it...talking! (Again, don't judge me, I love her little voice, just not non-stop, when I'm trying to concentrate on a list I told you I get distracted and no I'm not drinking at the store... ok, maybe every now and then when they have those little wine tastings near the wine aisle...and what's with those shot glasses anyways? this is wine people, provide the proper glass - KIDDING!!!!).

So that's my great INVENTION...and I promise moms around the world will LOVE IT! Plus, and let's be real, don't you think your kids will get more out of the shopping experience when they get to see something other than your mug in the store. I really think I'm on to something....Oh yeah, and I know, they have those "Car Carts" already, but that's like pushing a Hummer around the grocery store...Don't even get me started on that!

Oh yeah, I have another great idea for riding in the car with kids...think NYC taxis...JUST WAIT :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

BREAKING NEWS!

Ok, it's not really BREAKING NEWS, but hopefully it got your attention. I don't know about you, but now that I have kids it's hard to watch the news. Especially lately with the whole Casey Anthony trial. I mean, how do you explain to your 4 and 6 year old that a mommy is on trial for murdering her own child - UGH! Anyways, I'm not pointing fingers, I used to produce those very shows at FOX13, you have to report what's going on, good or bad, unfortunately mostly more bad than good. Although to be fair, we did always try to balance things out with good, funny & unusual news too. (Funny, I said FAIR AND BALANCED in that sentence, that's the FOX NEWS catch-phrase/slogan/mantra...gosh, hope I'm not brain-washed?)

Seriously though, people ask me all the time if I miss the news biz, and to be honest, there are parts of it that I do miss. So I've decided to produce my own NEWSCAST with two of the most talented yes I'm biased newscasters in the business! Introducing KIDS-TV NEWS...here's the world premiere...


Hey, I think these kids have a future! Hope you'll tune in!!! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Check out what Daddy taught Baylie...I'm so proud (and sarcastic)

Ok, so the other night at dinner one of our friends busted out his iPhone and introduced my man to the strobe light APP...yes, they have an APP for that. So of course KB immediately downloaded it to his phone...ok, so did I, I cannot lie, it's FUN! Anyhoo, picture this, a table full of adults at a nice restaurant which I won't name CAFE PONTE - LOVE IT! and KB whips out the STROBE LIGHT APP & starts making this sound, it's hard to explain, but it sounded like that beat you hear in a nightclub, late night, that you can't get out of your head the next morning...unst, unst, unst, unst...hopefully you get the picture. So this has turned into his latest shtick and I'm proud NOT to say like father, like daughter...check it out:



Notice she's using a light-up tiara she convinced begged and pleaded me to buy her at Cracker Barrel. Hey, she might be a toddler with a tiara, but at least it's not an iPhone! (I'm not getting her one of those until she's at least 4 1/2...KIDDING!!!!)

Anyways, I just had to share, it's so funny what kids pick up from their parents. I guess it was inevitable since KB has done it now, oh, I don't know, I'm not keeping count oh you better believe I am like 100 feels like a million times! 


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Favorite Things...(I'm no OPRAH, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night - NOT!)

Fun Gift Basket! 
So...I don't know about you, but when it comes to gift-giving I always find myself running around at the last-minute like a chicken with my head cut-off (this was one of my mom's favorite sayings & she actually saw a real chicken running around like this, yuck!) looking for the perfect gift. It's so frustrating and you would think I would learn i'll never learn after all these years not to put myself under this kind of pressure. I seriously sometimes break out in a sweat in the store because I can't find just the right thing. Luckily, I met a super cool chick a few years back, I won't name names Laura Maiocco who introduced me to her "gift closet." What's a gift closet you ask? (Trust me, I didn't know either.) 

GIFT CLOSET: A magical place where you will always find the perfect gift just when you need it even if you waited until 10 minutes before the party to start looking!

Whoa, what a concept...no running around, no sweating, no stressing out! And the best part, this amazing closet also comes stocked with all the perfect gift wrapping necessities - LOVE IT! So, of course, I adopted stole her idea. They say (whoever "they" is) that (insert word here, b/c I can't for the life of me think of what it is, see I told you my kids stole my brain) is the best form of flattery, or something like that. So long story short, now when I'm out shopping and my kids are on their best behavior both have their headphones on watching their favorite show on their iPads crammed into a shopping cart, I scour the stores looking for fun, creative and unique gifts. And I'm proud to say I have now collected enough fun "gifts" to start my own gift closet ok, it's actually only one shelf in the cabinet next to my desk, but hey, this is an accomplishment for me! So today, I present to you, one of my favorite things cue the Oprah theme music, confetti, screaming audience members who should really be in straight jackets from my gift closet cabinet...shelf, WHATEVER! ....TA-DA....
How Cool! I even included a personal message!
STEMLESS WINE GLASSES
YOU CAN WRITE ON...WITH CHALK! WOOOO HOOO! I love these glasses, they are beautiful and  cheap (only $3/each at Pier 1, chalk is included - SAY WHAT?!), plus, who doesn't LOVE wine? FUN! Plus, add a nice, decently priced cheap bottle of vino and voila, WHAT A THOUGHTFUL HOSTESS GIFT. And who knows, maybe the recipient will even be nice enough have enough class to pop the bottle right there and share the gift. It's perfect...the gift that keeps on giving! And that's why this is one of my FAVORITE THINGS

By the way, this particular basket is going to one of my oldest  she really is older than me...by one month and one day and dearest friends Jen who is moving into her new home as we speak and as I write this blog, when I should really be helping her move. Whoops! Hopefully she'll forgive me or at the very least we'll have a good laugh about it over a nice glass of vino provided by yours truly. CHEERS!!!

Any fun & super easy gift ideas you'd like to share? C'mon, you know you want to! The first one to FOLLOW this awesome blog and leave a comment below will win something out of my incredible gift closet shelf...storage bin. I'll even pay for the postage & shipping or hang it in a plastic grocery bag from my front door and you can swing by and pick it up at your earliest convenience. GO!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Do your kids do this?

Introducing the THUMB PICTURE BOMB!
So Jake has invented an all-new version of the picture bomb - he couldn't get his whole body in the picture, so he figured a THUMB would do the trick. So introducing, for the first-time ever on a blog, the world's first THUMB PICTURE BOMB. He completely cracks me up! If you're wondering, that's a cheese cracker in this hand, it never did make it into his mouth, mostly just scattered around the boat when I swatted his hand out of the way it broke apart in his hand. 

I would love to see some of your funny KID pics - please share and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to my blog!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What kids really want for breakfast!

Well-meaning, albeit POINTLESS, MOM ADVICE

So I was perusing Facebook last night after I sweetly tucked my wonderful crazy children into bed at 8pm after watching the "Goodnight Show" on Sprout 10:30pm after 3 back-to-back episodes of "Phineas & Ferb" and came across a post from one of my friends, a new-er mom of a sweet, beautiful little boy. She was venting about her son not wanting to go to sleep. 

Here’s her FB post: 
Jane Smith (names have been changed) “wants to know why kids will fight sleep until the death!?!?!? Lol It is ridiculous!” 

We’ve all been there for sure, some more than others! My son didn’t sleep a solid 4 hours until he was about 13 months old and when he finally did sleep longer I thought...well, you know what I thought...let’s just say I checked his breathing too many times to count and because of that still didn't get a good night's sleep when I finally had a chance, can you say neuortic?

Of course, all of us fellow moms chimed in with our own thoughts, helpful advice, etc...the last response is one that always gets me, and before I share, I must come clean and say I’m guilty of doing this myself, so I am by no means pointing fingers maybe a little. It just seemed like something interesting to blog about and see if you agree with me.

The FB response:
“Hang in there, someday when he’s a teen, he won’t wake up until 2:00pm!” 


Seriously?! Is this supposed to make her feel better? Make her less tired? Be her "AH-HA moment" like on Oprah? "Oh, ok, if he's going to sleep in when he's a teenager, then that makes everything better. Good thing I posted this on Facebook. Thanks for the advice!" 

Like I mentioned, I’ve made similar comments to other moms, somehow thinking this is going to give them comfort in their current situation, but DOES IT? How does knowing that when your son is a teenager he’s going to sleep in until 2pm make staying up with him now until 2am any easier? Simple answer, it doesn’t...so why do we say these things to one another?

SO MY QUESTION TO YOU: What’s the most ridiculous comment or advice you’ve gotten from your mom, your friend, a fellow mom, maybe even a complete stranger... when you were venting about your baby not sleeping, or your struggles with potty training or ((fill in the blank))??? 

Please forward this along to other moms, if nothing else, the responses are sure to give us all a few laughs as we are trying to convince our little ones to go to bed even though the sun is still up in the summertime... 
CURSE YOU SUNSHINE!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't wanna OVER-BLOG....BUT.....



Had to share this QUOTE OF THE DAY FROM MY DEAR 4 YEAR OLD (when did she get that old?!) DAUGHTER:
"I can't wait to be in Papa's class, he teaches big people"...little does she know he teaches DUI CLASS! I almost choked on my water when she said it. Out of the mouths of babes!!!

I am a ROBOT!

So I wanted to take a picture of Jake before his field trip today JUST IN CASE so I could remember what he was wearing and he busts out with this move - THE ROBOT - ha! I guess classic dance moves never get old - LOVE IT!!!!


Does your child have a favorite "go-to" dance move? Share a pic :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer

I couldn't resist snapping this pic. Perfect boy in the perfect light!

Why I love being a mom TODAY!

"SLEEPING BEAUTY"
I don't know about you, but watching my children sleep is one of the best things in life and I swear it's not only because they are finally still and not bugging the tar out of me. There is just something so innocent about their little, sleeping faces. My favorite part is when a little grin appears out of nowhere, there's just no sweeter sight. I especially love watching them doze off in the car, in my rearview mirror. They try so hard to keep those little eyes from closing and then their head starts bobbing and moments later they are out like a light. This is one of the many reasons why I love being a mom. What's your favorite part of being a mom today?

p.s. speaking of sleeping...if you're a mom with a good sense of humor & not easily offended, you have to go to youtube and search "Go the F%$* to sleep" read by Samuel L. Jackson - guaranteed to make you laugh!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Aw Shucks...I don't know

Here's what my sweet daughter likes on her corn...or just in her bowl...a WHOLE stick of BUTTER!
So I was at Publix today, trying to cram in some shopping between volunteering in my son's class, going back to school for an IEP meeting, picking the kids up from school and meeting with a contractor about some upcoming Demo on our hall bath (btw, my husband is Tarpon fishing with his buddies in Boca Grande! - I'm not bitter :)...Anyhoooo....while in the produce section I came across the fresh bi-colored corn on special 12 for $3. Now I remember when I was little my grandma would buy this and we would stand there pulling the covering off the corn and throwing it into the trash can and I guess I always thought that was so that the corn would weigh less and in turn you would pay less - is this right? Am I the only one who goes into these long thought processes at the grocery store? I sometimes wonder why it always takes me so long to go shopping - ha! I'd love to know the answer, I know I can just google it but I'm hoping someone sees this and I get my first reply...Gotta run!!! Motherhood is calling :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

The "Farm Look" when you never lived on a farm - By: Baylie

Friday, May 27, 2011

This ain't no pirate booty!

WARNING: CRACK KILLS
(well, this boatload of crack might just hurt your eyes)

This is what we saw while cruising around the British Virgin Islands last week. This area is called "The Caves" - you can actually snorkel into caves in the side of the island. It was very cool until we stumbled upon this - ha!