Friday, May 30, 2008

Conversations With A 5-Year-Old

Whenever I tell Eli that I love him, I say, “Do you know how much I love you? All the way to the moon and back.”

So today, when he came in the room and asked me, “Do you know how much I love you?” I guessed and said, “All the way to the moon and back?”

He looked at me and said, “YES! How did you know?”

I just grinned and said, “Maybe I’m psychic . . . . or maybe I’m just psycho.”

Eli giggled and said, “Oh, mama! You’ll always be both to me!”

That’s me! One psycho mommy!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

13 Things I Learned This Week

1. My daughter Georgia’s head is big enough to get stuck in the stair banister.

2. Her head is small enough that I can get it out myself without having to apply butter or call 911.

3. Apparently it is easier for Georgia to pee in the middle of my bedroom floor than it is for her to go to the potty.

4. A 2-year-old girl can only hug a cat so many times before he reaches his limit.

5. My husband can sleep through a tornado, but the sound of a cat throwing up anywhere in the house will make him bolt upright in bed at 3 a.m.

6. My 5-year-old son knows how to get to Netflix on the computer and find movies to play instantly.

7. I should not watch When Harry Met Sally when I know there’s a chance my children might walk in the room. I thought the movie seemed fairly innocent until I had to explain the “faking an orgasm” scene to my son. (My explanation, BTW, was “She just really liked her salad.”)

8. Gluten-free bread is nasty unless it is homemade.

9. Gluten-free anything costs at least twice as much as products containing gluten.

10. Apparently, I am the only woman in America who didn’t watch Sex And The City. No less than 5 of my friends have asked me to go to the movie, and they all seem shocked when I tell them that I never watched the show.

11. Men can’t take hints.

12. Target has great acoustics. A child’s screams echo. Loudly.

13. A piƱata is a dangerous thing.

Breathe Easy With AccuClean

Every winter, I am sooooo excited for Spring to arrive. Then when it does, and the runny noses and watery eyes begin, I wonder what the heck I was thinking.

That’s right! Everyone in our house has allergies, and they seem to be getting worse every year. Every time the kids go outside and play, Eli comes in sniffing and hacking up loogies (it’s quite disgusting . . . or impressive, depending on your perception). My husband has to mow the lawn while wearing a mask, and I pop Claritan or Zyrtec every day to try to take the edge off.

But here’s something you may not know. The air inside of your home is four to five times more polluted than outdoor air! I know – I was shocked, too. Since people spend an average of 90 percent of their time inside, this is a big concern. Did you know that asthma is the most common serious chronic illness in children and one of the top-ranking causes of hospitalization for children under the age of 15.

American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning’s AccuClean has developed a whole home air filtration system to improve your home’s indoor air quality. AccuClean can be attached to your existing furnace or air handler, so it is easy to install – not a major home installation. Once it is installed, AccuClean removes the allergens from every room in your house.

Here is the best part: AccuClean is effective! AccuClean removes 99.98 percent of ALL allergens in your home!! You can’t beat that for helping allergy and asthma sufferers! And if you spend 90 percent of your time in your house, you want it clean!

Not only does AccuClean remove 99.98 percent of allergens, it also removes 99 percent of the common flu virus, making AccuClean 100 times more effective than standard filters. In addition, AccuClean is extremely easy to clean. All you have to do is vacuum or wash the reusable filter!

I know we all struggle with cleanliness in our home, and AccuClean is a great way to keep the air in your home clean and healthy. To learn more about AccuClean Whole Home Air Filtration System, visit their Web site.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Assembly Required

This weekend, we decided to buy a new gas grill. We have been looking for awhile now, and I wanted to cook out on Memorial Day. It was time!

We had read reviews and had one picked out at Walmart. There was only one problem with that. Only one Walmart in town had the grill in stock according to the Web site. So we drove across town to that Walmart, and found out that the Web site lies. They did not have the grill.

We went back home, read more reviews and chose a different grill. This time, we went to a Walmart slightly closer to our house. I was trying to entertain the kids in the toy section while Eric and a couple of employees went to load the new grill in the back of the SUV.

A few minutes later, Eric came back to tell me, “We have a little problem.” Apparently, the box was just slightly too big to fit in the back of the car, so Eric removed the car seats. I said, “YOU WHAT?!”

Yes, to get the grill in the back, Eric had to remove the car seats and fold the seats down. He explained that he was just going to run the grill home, unload it, put the car seats back in, and come back to get me and the kids. Dude! He couldn’t have dropped the kids and I off at home and then come back to get the grill?? Apparently not.

You can all imagine how peeved I was with this development. You may have read how Georgia likes to act in a store, so hanging out with the kids for an hour in Walmart was not appealing. And that’s what it was – an hour in Walmart on a Saturday afternoon in the toy section. I'm sure you know how busy Walmart is on a Saturday, and I was trying desperately to keep my kids from spreading out into the whole aisle with their various toys.

Eric came back to get me, and we all went home so Eric and I could then try to put together the new grill. After he opened the box and took it out, he discovered that the front of the grill was severely bent. He said, “Do you think we should take it back?” Um, gee, YES!

Eric loaded it back up and took it back. He did not get another one because apparently they only had one left and the box looked damaged. Well crap. An entire Saturday afternoon and we were no closer to a new grill.

Sunday was grill shopping, the sequel. This time, Eric went to Target ALONE to buy the grill. He chose one and brought it home and we started putting it together. The instructions said the assembly would only take 45 minutes to an hour. Two and a half hours later, we had it assembled.

Then Sunday night and Monday came the downpour. That’s right – severe thunderstorms. We got a new grill and got it all put together, covered it with a new grill cover and got to look at it out the window.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Manic Monday - Star

When I saw that today’s Manic Monday word was Star, the first thing that happened is that I started to get a few songs stuck in my head (a couple of 80’s tunes in particular), so I thought I would share. Here are a few of my favorite songs with the word Star in the title. I have linked them all to YouTube so you can listen to them. Enjoy!

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – Besides being the only song I can play on the piano, this song has a special place in my part because it is the first one that my daughter learned to sing all by herself.

Stardust – This is one of my dad’s favorite. Originally composed in 1927, it is a truly beautiful classic song.

Lucky Star (Madonna) – And this is one that popped into my head because seriously, what girl doesn’t love a little Madonna!

Waiting for a Star To Fall (Boy Meets Girl) – The other one that popped into my head. I think this song was the one hit for the band Boy Meets Girl back in 1989.

Video Killed The Radio Star (The Buggles) – This song is a great piece of trivia. This is the very first video that was shown on MTV (you remember – back when they used to show music videos).

Lucky Star (Goo Goo Dolls) – If you’re not a Goo fan, you probably don’t know this one. It’s from one of their earlier albums, Superstar Car Wash, which is one of my favorite albums. If you’re not familiar with it, check it out. It's one of the great Goo songs sung by Robby Takac, not John Rzeznik.

Paint the Sky With Stars (Enya) – Another absolutely beautiful song. This is off the album of the same name, which I played for both kids when they were babies. It almost always succeeded in putting them right to sleep. It’s soooo relaxing!

When You Wish Upon A Star – When I sing this in my head, I hear Jiminy Cricket’s voice, don’t you?

Star Spangled Banner – Happy Memorial Day everyone! Enjoy the Star-Spangled Banner below, beautifully sung by The Dixie Chicks.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Funny

I went in today for my routine rheumatology appointment, and I decided that my doctor is just way too comfortable with me. He comes running in the exam room and says, “I have a great joke for you, and I know you’re someone who can appreciate it.” (translation – I have a dirty mind.) Dude, is it bad when even your doctor knows that?

Anyway, here is the joke:

“What did the egg say to the boiling water?”

“It might take me awhile to get hard because I just got laid last night.”

Okay, it made me laugh. But it might have been so funny because it was so unexpected. Anyway, I hope it gave you a giggle. Maybe next time you go to the doctor, he will tell you a dirty joke, too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

13 Things I Almost Bought At Costco

I went to Costco tonight for milk, and that store is dangerous. Here are a few things I was tempted to pick up, but didn’t.

1. Strawberry Cheesecake – Damn! It looked REALLY good! Luckily, Eric was serving as my conscious.

2. A new DVD player – Eli broke ours last night, so we really need one, but we decided to shop around first.

3. Monster Energy Drink – The lady giving out samples claimed it would help wean me off of coffee. But who says I want to be weaned off coffee?

4. Croissants – It’s very dangerous when I go into the bakery section. I would have bought these, but I didn’t need 20.

5. Stuffed tilapia – I really shouldn’t be going grocery shopping when I’m hungry.

6. Town House Flipsides – I love these things, but you can’t buy just one box, you have to buy three boxes. If they also sold beer dip at Costco, I would have been really tempted.

7. Waffles – Eli begged for Eggo waffles, but I know him and he would be waaaay sick of them before he finished the box of 60.

8. A gallon of Hot Tamales – I think I’m PMSing.

9. Apple Pie – It’s 90 percent fruit, right? That’s a health food!

10. Two cases of pop – Umm . . . okay, we really bought that.

11. Pizza – The only thing that stopped me is that it was so big that I didn’t know if it would fit in my oven.

12. A new grill – We would have to remove car seats to get it in the SUV. We’re going back for that one.

13. A 25-pound bag of rice – Eric thought we should buy this before the price goes way up. But, seriously. 25 pounds?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Let Them Eat Cake

We went to a birthday party on Saturday, and the theme was Ratatouille. They had the most amazing cake I have ever seen! Everything you see here is edible!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Never Again

I reached a whole new level of public humiliation today. I took my daughter to Aldi.

Do you remember that scene in Norma Rae when the cops are trying to get Sally Field into the police car?

That was me trying to get Georgia into a shopping cart, with one notable difference. My daughter screams a hell of a lot louder than Sally Field, and definitely attracted more attention.

I was in for a real treat because it was a two-part tantrum. She not only embarrassed me at the store, but when I took her out of her car seat at home, she sat her little butt down in the driveway and refused to come in the house. Imagine me yelling and Georgia screaming. This prompted my neighbor across the street to come outside and ask, “Is everyone okay over there?” Great.

I told Eric that I was never taking his daughter to the store again. Ever. . . Okay, maybe when she’s like 18, but not a moment sooner.

Can't Get This Out Of My Head

. . . thanks to Eli. When I finally manage to purge the song from my head, Eli starts singing it, and it's back in my head again. I must find this on CD!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Manic Monday - Play

This week’s Manic Monday word is Play. You can only imagine how overwhelmed I was with Play ideas.

First, I would really like to know why children want to play with everything that is not a toy. In fact, my most popular phrase these days seems to be, “Don’t play with that! It’s not a toy!” This includes things like the telephone, the computer, the ice maker, the espresso machine, the microwave, the fireplace, the cat, or 90% of items they feel the need to screw with when in any store. . . just to name a few.

I mean, jeez! I spend a pretty penny on all the latest toys advertised every day on Nick Jr. (I am quickly learning to despise all commercials), yet the children will play with some new toy once, and then decide it’s more fun to snag my cell phone from my purse and try to call China. WTF?!

Luckily, Georgia is really getting into pretend play, so most of the time she doesn’t even turn my phone on. She just likes to talk to the imaginary soul on the other end. She has also taken to playing dress-up, which can be extremely cute. I have a great picture of her naked, wearing only my shoes. She loudly proclaimed, “LOOK! I’M A MAMA!” I don’t seem to remember the last time I walked around the house naked except for a pair of shoes, but it seemed to work for her.

There are some days when too much play makes us all just a little bit cranky. On Friday, we had a play date at my friend Heather’s house. She has two children the same ages as mine. After a long morning of playing hard and trying to keep my children from banging on her lovely piano, I thought we could make a quick trip to Target before we came home. I didn’t take into consideration the fact that all that playing had made the children extremely cranky.

When we got out of the car at Target, Georgia attempted to yank away from me to run in the parking lot. I quickly caught her, but she did manage to get away from me once we went in the door. I got right down in her face and told her that she needed to sit in a cart. This would be the point where she threw herself on the ground and began kicking and screaming. Right then, an older man walked past us and mumbled, “Moms don’t get paid enough.”

Yeah, tell me about it! I scooped Georgia up and announced we were leaving since Georgia chose not to sit in a cart. Well, this really pissed off Eli because he had wanted to go look at toys. He planted his feet firmly on the floor and shouted, “I am NOT leaving.”

This is the part where you can be proud of me for not smacking my children. I told him that if he didn’t come with me, I would leave him there by himself. I only took about two steps toward the door before he came running after me crying and screaming, “NOOOOOOO! Don’t leave!!!! I want to stay!”

So, visualize us right inside the door of Target (which, mind you, is right by all the registers of people checking out, so there were roughly 100 people staring at us). I had both arms wrapped around Georgia because she was screaming and bucking her little body so hard trying to get away from me. And I had Eli wrapped around one of my legs screaming that he wanted to stay as I hobbled as quickly as I could out of the store.

Who says I don’t know how to make a dramatic exit?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Old Movies

Eli came running into the kitchen yesterday, all excited, after watching TV. He said, “MAMA! MAMA! There’s a new movie on Nick on Friday night, and I can’t wait to see it!”

I said, “Really? A new movie?” (I was thinking something involving Miley Cyrus or The Naked Brothers.)

Eli said, “YES! Can we watch it?”

I asked, “Well, what movie is it, sweetie?”

He said, “E.T.!”

Me: “E.T.? As in E.T. with the alien?”

Eli: “YEAH!”

Me: “Honey, that’s not a new movie.”

Eli: “Yes, it is. I just saw the commercial, and they said they were going to have it for the first time on Nick.”

Me: “Eli, I saw that movie at the theatre when I was 10 years old.”

Eli: “You did?!”

Me: “Yes. It’s a good movie.”

Eli: “You mean it’s an OLD movie?”

Me: (offended) “Well, I don’t know if I would call it old?”

Eli: “Well, I guess we can still watch it even though it’s an OLD movie.”

At that point, I almost smacked him. Then I realized that E.T. came out 26 years ago! Dude! I’m old!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

13 Things I Have Erroneously Justified Buying Lately

1. A vat of hummus at Costco – I love hummus. So what, if it’s enough for an army and it expires next month and I will never be able to eat it all. It’s healthier than cheese dip.

2. More wine – Wine = antioxidants. It’s a health food.

3. Chocolate – See reasoning on #2. (You would be amazed at how much I can justify with this one.)

4. Going to Starbucks three times last week – I ran out of espresso pods for my machine. What am I supposed to do, go a week without a latte?! That’s just crazy talk!!

5. Four new pairs of shoes at Payless – BOGO sale! Buy one pair, get another pair half off. It’s not like I could only buy three!

6. $25 of new espresso pods for my machine – See #4. And yes, $25 worth. I order the pods on Amazon, so it’s not like I can just get a few at a time.

7. Necklace on ebay – I had a hard time justifying this one. The only thing that I could use was “At least it’s a helluva lot cheaper than the Tina Turner tickets my husband bought.”

8. Goo Goo Dolls fan club membership – See reasoning on #7. Plus, the GGD Web site has exclusive backstage videos. Where else can I see a video of Johnny Rzeznik washing his hair in the sink?! Worth every penny, I tell you!

9. Lunch from McDonald’s – It was either take both kids to the grocery store because we didn’t have food, or go through McDonald’s drive-thru and get lunch. That was an easy choice.

10. Dinner out with my friends – Okay, for a stay-at-home mom, this is a necessity at least once every two weeks. If I didn’t have that, they would be carting me off to the looney bin.

11. Two half gallons of ice cream at Baskin-Robbins – Have you noticed that the ice cream containers in the store are getting smaller (they’re down to 1.5 quarts), but the price doesn’t change. At least when you buy a half gallon of ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, you get a half gallon. And they have Jamoca Almond Fudge! Yum-o!

12. Hypnotherapy – See reasoning on #10.

13. Highlights – Okay, I don’t care how broke I get. I will never give up having my hair highlighted. I think my best friend Stacey said it best. “You can’t give that up! We’re not barbarians!”

Ragu’s Fresh & Simple Pouches

As a busy mom, I am thankful for any product that saves me time and makes my life easier. When it comes to dinner, this task proves even more difficult because I have a son who rarely wants to eat. I swear, I don’t know how that child eats enough to keep the gears turning.

There is one thing that he loves to eat. That is spaghetti. I would definitely classify this as his favorite food. If there is a day where he hasn’t had enough to eat, all I have to do is make spaghetti and he will gobble it up.

One of our family’s favorite spaghetti sauces has always been Ragu. As much as I love to cook, I don’t have the time to make homemade spaghetti sauce, and with Ragu, I don’t have to. Ragu is so yummy, why bother with homemade sauce?

I was thrilled when I discovered that Ragu introduced Fresh & Simple Pouches – a great product that will save me tons of time in the kitchen. Ragu pouches are ready to serve. You simply snip off the corner and toss it in the microwave for 90 seconds. Then pour it over pasta and serve. What I do is make a batch of our favorite pasta at the beginning of the week. Then, whenever my kids are ready for a batch of yummy spaghetti, it’s ready in a flash! This is perfect for quick lunches or even the mid-afternoon whine of, “Mooooom! I’m hungry!”

Not to mention, Ragu Fresh & Simple Pouches have all-natural ingredients, plus Vitamin C, calcium, fiber and protein. You can be confident that your child is getting a healthy meal they love. And I love the ease! Heat up the sauce directly in the disposable pouch. No scrubbing pans! Woo hoo!

The big question is ‘How does it taste?’ AWESOME! My kids love the Ragu pouches, and they are very picky eaters. Ragu and Mom Central sent us two pouches to try – Tomato Basil and Tomato, Onion and Garlic, which was my favorite. (I lurve myself some garlic!)

Visit Ragu’s Web site for more information on Ragu’s new Fresh & Simple Pouches. And for those of us who love to cook, Ragu also has a downloadable cookbook! This free, downloadable recipe booklet has a bunch of great time-saving tips and meal planning suggestions for healthy meals. The booklet includes recipes and tips from the Food Network’s Robin Miller, celebrity fitness trainer Kathy Kaehler, and Mom Central’s Stacy DeBroff. You can download the booklet from

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Show Me The Money!

We are in pre-party planning mode. Georgia’s birthday is next month, and Eli’s birthday is in July. Last year, we did a combo birthday party for them together, which I think saved some money. This year, we are at the point again where we are trying to decide where to have the party.

Here is the issue. Everything is so freaking expensive!! Dude! When I was a little girl, I rarely even had a birthday party. When I did, it consisted of having a couple of friends over to spend the night. Things sure have changed. You go to birthday parties today, and it’s an all-out bash for these little kids who are so young that they probably won’t remember it anyway. Not to mention the fact that you have to spend money on a birthday gift, which adds up quickly when you get invited to so many damn parties!

The last couple of years, we have had parties for Eli at Deanna Rose Farmstead and at Wonderscope Children’s Museum. Those were some of the cheaper ones, priced at $90 and $130, respectively.

This year, his taste seems to be getting more expensive. I am trying to choose someplace that will accommodate all of Eli’s school friends, our family and their kids. When I did a conservative estimate last night, that came to about 37 people. Here are some of Eli’s picks for a birthday party including prices. Keep in mind, with these prices, you get the entertainment of the venue, but at most of them you still have to bring all your own shit (cake, decorations, party favors, etc.)

Pool party at the Community Center $200 - $275 (depending on whether you want them to provide cake & decorations)

** Chuck E. Cheese - $10.99 - $15.99 per child – We have 22 kids coming, so that would be $242 - $352

** Pump It Up - $260 for the basic package

** Incredi-Bowl or Skate City – No price on their Web sites, but I’ll bet it’s not cheap.

** Paint, Glaze, Fire - $12 per person for basic package ($264)

This makes me go back to the option of just having a cookout at our house. However, having that many people in my house doesn’t excite me a whole hell of a lot either. Plus, by the time we rented some sort of entertainment – whether it be a magician or a moon bounce or whatever – it would still be expensive.

So in a nutshell, I think I am just screwed no matter which way I go.

I need birthday party ideas, people! Cheap birthday party ideas! Help!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Manic Monday Doodle

Dude! One thing this week’s theme has taught me is that I am not artistic in an artsy way. The entire time I was working on my doodle (and I’m embarrassed to say how long it actually took me), Georgia kept looking at it saying, “It’s a snowman!” I would say, “No, it’s a cat. Can’t you tell?” She would just look at me and give me the toddler eyeroll (Jeez, they learn that early) and say, “No, mama! It’s a snowman!”

So here is my snowman/cat.

Either way, this week’s Manic Monday is a Fundraiser to benefit Cat Friends Helping Friends. Morgen - the Manic Monday Founder, President and all around Awesome Dude – is holding a fundraiser this week. For every blog that posts a doodle of a cat (or in my case, cat/snowman), he will donate 50 cents to Cat Friends Helping Friends.

Now, there are so many other doodles around my house that I could have posted.

Like this one in the kitchen.

There were a couple of other lovely masterpieces - all ceated by my daughter Georgia - that I was going to post, but I couldn't get a good shot of them. Like the one in Eli's room. Or the one in the office all over the sliding glass door.

As you can see, I really need to do some painting or wallpapering around the house, but I’ve decided to wait until Georgia outgrows her love of non-washable markers. It may be awhile.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Lately, Eric and I have been getting into Dave Ramsey’s financial makeover. You all may have heard Dave Ramsey on the radio – we listen to him on XM – talk about getting your finances into shape, staying out of debt, and only purchasing necessities.

I try to remember what we did with all of our money before we had kids. Seriously. What the hell? We could have paid off so many things back then. Dude! If you have kids, you know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, this led us into an entire discussion about necessities. Hence lays our problem. In a nutshell, we like to buy stuff. And I can justify absolutely anything. Honestly, I should win an award for that – it’s one of my special talents. If there is something I really want, I can think of a way to justify it in about 10 seconds flat. I should make that a TT – 13 things I have erroneously justified. But, I digress.

I have really been trying to watch it lately. I’ve tried to curb my massive coffee addiction, and I recently bought clothes, but I had a gift certificate, so that doesn’t count. As much I have been watching the expenses lately, there are still a few extras I feel I have “needed” that Eric scoffed at, such as new shoes at the Payless BOGO sale, or my renewal to the Goo Goo Dolls fan club. (Come on – like I’m going to give that up!) But seriously, I thought these were fairly small things, even though I get endless harassment from my husband.

My husband. Well, I found out today that he has weaknesses, too. One of those is the fact that he loves Tina Turner. In case you haven’t heard, Tina Turner is coming out of retirement to do another tour. Her first show is going to be here in Kansas City on October 1st. Eric bought presale tickets today . . . for $350. Now, I love Tina Turner. I mean, she is almost 70!! And I can only dream of having legs like that! But dude! $350!!

Dude!!! I think I’m good for like the next year on anything I want to buy and Eric can’t complain, right? I’m thinking maybe a spa treatment.

Or, I’m seriously hoping The Goo Goo Dolls come back to town next year. I’m thinking I can get VIP seating through the fan club for less than Eric paid for Tina Turner tickets. Or I could save the money. But that’s not nearly as much fun.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

13 Things My Son Said About His Dad

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago, my son filled out a sheet at preschool about me. This week, he filled out one about Daddy. Here are 13 things he said about my husband:

1. My dad is 40 feet tall.

2. My dad weighs 50 pounds.

3. My dad is 36 years old. (He got one right. Woo hoo!)

4. My dad’s favorite food is striped sandwiches. (??)

5. At work, my dad does lots of meetings.

6. My dad is really good at fixing stuff.

7. One thing my dad doesn’t like is when Georgia goes down the stairs by herself.

8. When my dad has spare time he likes to help me.

9. My dad’s favorite thing to wear is a tie. (That’s a big hell no!)

10. My dad’s favorite job around the house is helping Mom with dinner. (Really?)

11. My dad’s favorite restaurant is Red Robin. (That’s Eli’s favorite.)

12. What I like to do best with my dad is get weeds out of the ground. (and then give them to me to put in a vase.)

13. My dad’s favorite show is Zoey 101. (Bwahahaha! I don’t think Eric’s ever seen this, but it makes him seem like a perv, doesn’t it? :-)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Intensity

Georgia and cousin Emily

Give yourself a boost with Cranenergy!

If you have read my blog in the past, you know that it is an understatement to say I’m addicted to coffee. With two small children, I feel like I am constantly sucking down the caffeine trying to keep going. In fact, if I had an IV drip of coffee that I could just push around, it would be extremely helpful.

I have really been trying to cut back on the coffee, and I have been searching for a way to keep my energy up. I was thrilled when I discovered that Ocean Spray introduced a new Cranenergy drink! I received a couple of samples in the mail last week, and as soon as they were gone, I quickly went out and bought some more.

Cranenergy comes in Cranberry Lift and Raspberry Cranberry Lift, which is my favorite. I have always been a fan of Ocean Spray juices for my kids, and now here is one that I can really enjoy. I just grab a bottle of this delicious juice in the morning. Half the time, that is my whole breakfast! Cranenergy tastes great and manages to give me a natural energy boost! How many things can you find that do that?!

Cranenergy starts with Ocean Spray’s delicious cranberry juice and then blends in natural energizers to give you a lift anytime of the day. First, green tea extract is blended with the cranberry juice – both of which have high levels of antioxidants that help the body fight free radicals and stay healthy. Plus, green tea extract offers a natural source of caffeine! Cranenergy also contains B-vitamins to support healthy energy production, and vitamin C to help boost your immune system.

And here’s the best part – Cranenergy is only 35 calories per 8 ounce serving – it’s not packed with calories like so many juices out there today!

To learn more about Ocean Spray’s new Cranenergy drink, visit Ocean Spray’s Web site. And look for Cranenergy in your grocery today. Do it! Get off the coffee and pick up a delicious, healthy energy boost!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

No! And you can't make me!

Eli has been bugging us lately to go to McDonald’s. Usually when I go to McDonald’s, I find it much more convenient to hit the drive-thru. Eli couldn’t care less about the food. He likes to go in so he can play in the germ-filled McDonald’s playland.

Friday night, Eric seemed to think it would be a good idea to take the kids there. I still don’t know what he was smoking. He didn’t quite understand why I didn’t want to take the children to McDonald’s playland. Until shortly after we arrived.

I never like to take the kids there because they won’t eat. I told both of them before we went in to McDonald’s that they had to eat before they played. Eli sat down and began to shove in food. Georgia ran over to the play area and started to kick off her shoes. When Eric went to get her to tell her she had to eat first, she began to scream. *insert an ‘I told you so’ right here*

After we sat her back down and forced her to eat a few apple dippers, the kids were ready to play. Now, have you all seen the McDonald’s playland and exactly how high that thing goes? A bunch of narrow tubes and slides lead children to little alcoves that are very high and extremely difficult for an adult to get to. This is not usually a problem until Georgia climbed clear up to the top and made it very clear that she wasn’t coming down.

We left her up there until we were almost ready to go, the whole time trying to come up with a plan, and sending Eli up to try to get her. I kept pointing to the slide and telling Georgia to come down. She would scream, “NOOOOO!” and swat at Eli anytime he came near her. Some of the other parents in McDonald’s sent their children up to get her as well. I couldn’t hear what Georgia said to them, but I did see her vigorous head-shaking. All the kids would come back down and say, “She’s not coming down!”

After awhile, it became clear that the only way we were going to get Georgia down is if one of us went up to get her . . . and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be me. On one hand, it was Eric’s idea to take the kids to McDonald’s, and on the other hand, I was damn sure that I was not going to fit up that narrow tube to the top of the playland area.

Eric went over to the narrow tube, that clearly was not designed for a grown man, and began to shimmy upward. The other moms were getting a big kick out of this and when Eric’s head popped out at the top of the tube, they squealed, “OH! There he is! Everybody wave at him!” I was laughing hysterically. Eric was not amused.

In addition, Georgia was backing as far away from her Dad as she could screaming, “Nooooo!” Finally, Eric managed to hook an arm around her and drag her out. After a few moments of worrying they might get stuck in the slide, out they came at the bottom. While Eric was unwedging himself, Georgia scrambled off his lap and started running to go back up the tube. I managed to snatch her before she hit the entrance. Then Eric, Georgia and I walked out of the play area amidst the applause of the rest of the patrons.

That’s right! It’s not every day that you get a round of applause from the people at McDonald’s. We put the kids’ shoes on and got them out of there as quickly as possible. I think I can safely say that it will be a long time before we go back to McDonald’s.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Manic Monday - Fresh

This week’s Manic Monday word is Fresh. At first, I was fresh out of ideas. Then I started brainstorming with Eric and I came up with a few things:

** When Eli wants to go outside, he doesn’t just ask to go out and play. He sighs loudly and says, “Mama, I think I need some fresh air."

** Eric always enjoys listening to his admin’s telephone conversations because she has a teenage son she is often arguing with on the phone. He never knows what the heck the son is saying, but the mom’s response is always, “Don’t get fresh with me!” (You know, when I was younger, that totally meant something different.)

** When I was grocery shopping the other day, I was thinking how we really need to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables. We’re good on fruit. Georgia loves her apples and bananas. Eli, however, won't eat anything that doesn’t come in a marked box. In fact, I think we have everything in our freezer that Eggo makes:

** And finally, I posted a fresh video of Georgia on YouTube singing the Wow Wow Wubbzy theme song. I was tired of people judging me on her tantrum videos. (Dude! You should read some of those comments!) I never expected over 4,000 people to view my daughter throwing a temper tantrum on YouTube! That's why I decided to post a fresh video of her doing something cute:

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Frosted Flakes Gold are golden!

My absolute favorite cereal when I was growing up was Frosted Flakes. I absolutely loved it! I thought they were grrrreat! :-) Of course when I was growing up, I didn’t know what whole grains were – I just like the fact that my cereal was covered in sugar! Oh, how times have changed.

I still love Frosted Flakes, and they have stepped their game up a notch so I love them even more! I recently received a sample of the new Frosted Flakes Gold cereal from Kellogg’s. Oh, YUM!!! If you are a fan of Frosted Flakes, you are going to LOVE Frosted Flakes Gold. These whole grain flakes are baked with honey!! There are 10 grams of whole grain and three grams of fiber in each serving. Dude! Who would have thought that my favorite cereal would become healthy?! Woo hoo!

I am so happy because my son has inherited my sweet tooth. When I served him a bowl of the new Frosted Flakes Gold, he absolutely loved them, and he had no idea I was serving him a cereal that is a great source of whole grains and fiber. Heh. Heh. Heh. Sneakiness is one of the main keys of being a good mom!

In addition to eating right, Kellogg’s is encouraging children to be more active – something we desperately need in the age of computer games and non-stop TV! Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Gold has partnered with the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) to create the Five Golden Rules of Sportsmanship, which give coaches and parents the tools they need to help kids succeed on and off the field:

1. Play with a smile.
2. Be a winner no matter what the scoreboard says.
3. Show respect.
4. Be a good teammate.
5. Find good in the game.

The Five Golden Rules advocate important principals for children to achieve, and give them a guidebook to follow in practice, sports, games, or in their every day lives.

For more information about Frosted Flakes Gold, visit Kellogg’s Web site. Frosted Flakes Gold is now available in stores, so pick up a box today. You will be glad you did!

If you want to learn more about the Five Golden Rules of Sportsmanship program, visit the Frosted Flakes Web site.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Forbidden Shores

Last night, Eric and I took the kids for their weekly library visit, and we all picked up a little something. I picked up the latest Mary Higgins Clark book, Eric got something by James Patterson, Eli chose a SpongeBob book and a Buzz Lightyear DVD, and Georgia . . .

Well, Georgia went off to look at books with daddy while Eli and I were in the DVD section. Eric went over to look at the shelf of new books to see if there was anything he wanted, and Georgia found a book for herself. Now, I should point out that Georgia loves books – any books. She is always snatching the book I’m reading and she’ll sit there and flip through it page by page. So when she picked up a book off the new book shelf and proclaimed it “MY BOOK!” it wasn’t that big of a surprise. At least until I saw what it was.

That’s right! We told my 2-year-old to choose a book she wanted, and she picked up Forbidden Shores. It is described as VERY steamy.

Eric was extremely amused. I said, “There’s no way we’re checking that out.” He said, “I’d like to see you try to get it away from her.”

We tried. Oh believe me, we tried. Eric was holding the book and tried to subtly slip it back on the shelf on our way up to the check out counter, only to have Georgia scream, “Noooooo! That’s MY book!” and grabbed it. Oh jeez.

So yes, we checked out Forbidden Shores for Georgia. And she loves it. She carried it to bed with her last night, “read” it this morning while sitting on the potty *see photo below* and took it in the car when we took Eli to preschool.

*sigh* I’ve decided to find it funny. I just hope none of the other preschool moms notice that my daughter is enjoying adult erotica.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

13 Ways I’ve Tried To Kill Ants In My Kitchen

You know Spring is here when your home – specifically my kitchen – becomes invaded with those tiny little black ants. I hate those f*ckers! And no matter what I try, I can’t get rid of them. Here are 13 things I’ve tried within the last week:

1. Raid Ant Killer – Yes, ant killer was the first thing I tried. The problem is that I can’t spray this stuff in the kitchen, which is my problem area, but I have sprayed it all along the doorways and the corners of the floor. The ants don’t seem to mind.

2. Eli – He certainly loves to squish those little buggers. He screams “ANT! I GOT IT!” Unfortunately, there’s only one of him and about a bazillion ants.

3. Clorox Green Works – I have discovered that anything will kill ants if you spray it directly on them. This is what I squirt them with when I see one running across my kitchen countertop because at least it’s non-toxic.

4. Rubbing alcohol – Eric rubbed everything down with alcohol because he read that worked. All it did was give the ants a sterile environment in which to frolic.

5. Vinegar – I read that vinegar was supposed to work so I rubbed everything down with that. It was about as effective as the alcohol.

6. Cinnamon – This was supposed to repel ants. All it did was make my kitchen smell good. The ants don’t care.

7. Black pepper – This is what I’m trying today. I have sprinkled black pepper all around the kitchen floor and the countertops. I’ve seen six ants on the counters since I put it down, so my guess is that pepper is about as effective as the cinnamon.

8. Ant traps – Eric has scattered these all over the kitchen, and I have yet to see an ant actually go inside of one.

9. Chalk – I’m sick of people telling me, “Ants won’t cross a white line.” Maybe not, but they’re damn good at finding a way around it.

10. Outdoor ant killer – This stuff looks like fertilizer that you sprinkle outside. I read that if you kill the ants outside, they won’t come in. Makes sense, right? Wrong!

11. Windex/dishwashing liquid combo – Unless you can spray it directly on them, all it does is create a soapy mess on the counter and give the ants something to bathe in before they head on their way.

12. Mint – Just one more thing that ants are supposed to avoid because they hate the smell. The problem is, repelling the little buggers doesn't work. I want to kill them!

13. Up next: Bay leaves – I’ll try this tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath.

Childhood is Calling!

I am reminded each and every day of how quickly my kids are growing up. It just kills me how quickly time flies, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to make the most of every second with my children.

Rice Krispies has started a program called Operation Spark, with the goal of bringing families closer together and creating lasting memories. Through Operation Spark, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies has created a report entitled “Childhood is Calling: Celebrating Kids Just Being Kids”. The report offers expert advice and real moms’ insights on the importance of childhood and advice on ways to create family connections and experience joy with your children. “Childhood is Calling” provides parents with ways to create meaningful memories with their children.

You can access the full report by visiting Through this comprehensive Web site, you can learn more about the Operation Spark program and enjoy all the suggestions for ways in which you can have fun with your children.

I don’t know about you, but my kids love to be on the computer. I am constantly looking for online activities we can enjoy together. has fun games for pre-k and older children. Some of the games my son loves are the Paint Shop, Magic Kaleidoscope, Making Breakfast and Sketch Pad.

My kids also love to cook, and I have found lots of great recipes that are fun to make with kids on Let me tell you, I love my Rice Krispies treats, but have you tried Cocoa Krispies Marshmallow Treats? Oh, baby! Yum-o!!

And don’t forget to check out the fun stories and music available on the Web site, too!

Don’t let a moment go to waste. Checkout today to read the full report and start making memories with your family! You will be glad you did once you see all the fun activities, and so will your child.