Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's a Working Mom to Do?

I was watching CNN today over my lunch break, listening to the never-ending saga that is Swine Flu, when a reporter came on to speak about the possibility of school closings in the future. My interest piqued as she gave her report until she said, "You better just make arrangements."
Make arrangements?
That's it?
Cause, you know, I have a ton of people just sitting around doing nothing, just dying for me to call them and tell them, "Hey, school's closed until May 11 and I'm making arrangements. Can you watch my kids for me?"
And my boss can't wait for me to say, "Sorry, couldn't make arrangements. I've got to stay home with my kids until daycare opens May 11." In an economy like this, I can't believe the response to working parents is to make arrangements.
No matter what some people may think, it is not that easy to find backup childcare when you are faced with this situation. I know, I've tried. Backup people have jobs, have lives, and have plans that don't include dropping everything to watch your kids for you. And for those of you who suggest paying a babysitter during this time? Ummmm... I've already written a big check for that for the daycare that's closed until May 11, so writing another check for a sitter is ludicrous.
Make arrangements.
They are children, not flowers. I can't just put them in a vase, throw in some water and stand back to admire them for two weeks.
Maybe the proper response would have been to tell corporate America to make arrangements for workers who couldn't come in as they had to care for their children during this "pandemic". Maybe, for once, the message should have been for employers to understand and make accommodations for the duties of their employees as parents.
And that duty shouldn't have to be... making arrangements.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two Cent Tuesday - Swine Flu, Schmine Flu

I have just been informed that all area schools and daycares, including mine, are being forced to close until May 11th, due to swine flu.

Excuse me... but aren't we in a modernized society with access to healthcare and medications? Is there really a need to be in such a panic and cause so much chaos?

This is craziness. I'd like to ask the county health department, who made this decision, how it plans on providing childcare for the children of all the working parents out there who will have to take off work due to this madness; nevermind pay them back for the missed time!

Seeing as all the sick people will be going to healthcare facilities - shouldn't they close those down too to prevent more of an outbreak amongst the workers there? Seriously. If it's such a threat to have children go to school or daycare, apparently the rest of the world should shut down and we should all crawl into the basement with our nuclear-war rations!

Did anyone listen to President Obama? This is cause for concern... not panic!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anthropolification - Pleated Petal Tank Giveaway

I've been feeling inspired by Kathleen at Grosgrain and her Anthropolification quests. I too love Anthropologie but can not always afford my love for it, so her idea of make it to fake it is perfect. Have you seen the gorgeous top she's giving away?

Hopefully you'll be seeing it on me after I win it - can I get lucky twice?

But Mom, You Forgot the Money!

The other night, as we were preparing for bedtime, I began to lead Big Sis in her nighttime prayers.
She put her hands together, closed her eyes, and began...

"Thank you God for this beautiful day. Thank you for mommy and daddy and for froggies and crickets,"

She'd open one eye and look at me, like, Am I done?

I'd start her again, "Thank you for Lil Sis..."

"Thank you for Lil Sis and for her skin and bones and blood. And thank you for my skin and bones and blood..."

(What can I say? She's a nature girl.)

"and thank you for Ani and for TT and Duwa. Thank you for my fishies and Nana and Popo and Granny and Pawpaw."

She paused here, so naturally I joined in with an "Amen."

She looked at me and said, "But mom, you forgot the money!"

"What do you mean I forgot the money?"

"You forgot to thank God for the money!"

At this point I couldn't help but giggle and say, "Okay." I put my hands back together and said "and thank you god for giving us money so we may be able to have a home and food and clothes and toys."

To which Big Sis replied... "AMEN!"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lucky Mom

I was a very lucky chick today and found out I won Toni's promom couture tee giveaway!! Yayyy!!
Thanks Toni - I needed this.
Please go visit her blog, A Daily Dose of Toni, for awesome giveaways and reviews and for some good old booty-shakin'. Make sure you check out her Joan Jett vid - it'll make you wanna follow her, trust me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Last One

Today is the last day I will be the mommy to a one-year-old.


Tomorrow, my baby girl will be two.


I don't remember it hitting me this hard with my first daughter. I guess it was because I knew I was planning on having another baby somewhere down the road so it didn't seem so monumental. But this time, it's my baby. You moms know how it is with your youngest child; no matter how old they get, they're always your baby.

But that big number, that huge number two, makes her seem so... big.

I don't know that I was quite ready for it to come so quickly.

The days may seem long sometimes... but the years are far too short.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My husband brought home a tramp...

and what did I do? Take pictures, of course!

The girls were so cute - Big Sis didn't see it at first but Lil Sis sure did. She kept repeating, "I wan dup, "I wan duuuup!"

We made Big Sis try and figure out what her baby sis was saying to figure out the surprise, and finally she looked up and said "She wants to jump!!!"
And so they did.

Now that's the kinda tramp you can bring home to mama!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Review - Hip Hop Baby

As a perk of being a Twittermom, I recently was given the chance to review "It's Hip Hop, Baby!", and how apropos that I received the Rockin' Dance Party DVD, seeing as I have two little girls who love to dance!

It's Hip Hop, Baby! is an educational DVD series targeted for children ages 2-6; its focus is teaching children through the use of kids-friendly music and movements. Per the company's website:

"This educational DVD series features child-friendly dance routines that help
your child develop listening skills and the ability to follow simple directions.
Your toddler will experience the joys of learning their ABC's, animals, body
parts, and numbers through fun-filled musical performances and interviews with
the hip hop kids. Your little ones will learn simple hip hop dance steps
with Miss Dre while playing Simon Says with our puppet, Hip Hop Simon, the
"cool" cat puppet."

I have two daughters, ages 23 months and 4 years, and at these ages, they don't like sitting still for very long, for anything. From the moment the music began and Hip Hop Simon began talking, my girls were entertained. They danced, wiggled, and giggled, and sang along with familiar tunes as well as learned new ones. "It's bathtime... oh yeah it's bathtime..." is now a nightly tune as well as my own adaptation "It's naptime... oh yeah it's naptime..."!

What's impressive about this DVD is that my children are learning - and having fun! What a concept! They were having such a good time that they didn't realize this was an educational tool! I also appreciate the emphasis on physical movement and dance, as we live in a world now where children aren't encouraged to be physically active.

Even I joined in when Miss Dre started teaching dance moves, cause you know, a mom's got to keep up with her crazy dance skills!

As music is a big part of daily life with my children and a teaching method to which they respond, this DVD is a perfect addition to our collection. Three viewings later they're still loving it, and so am I.

"It's Hip Hop, Baby!" is available on Amazon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


My dh thinks it's funny that I'm obsessive with my interests. I go through phases where all I do is blog, or all I do is write, or all I do is, in today's case, craft. What can I say? I'm determined like that.

Every now and then though, he gets it. He understands why I am the way I am, and he appreciates me for it.

Like when I finished this today, he simply said, "Wow."

If the end justifies the means... my bet is "wow" justifies my obsessions!

Friday, April 17, 2009


I used to go to this step aerobics class in college where the instructor, Robert, was a drill sergeant. We'd step and sweat and squat and moan and groan... and he would tell us - "It's okay if you don't wanna work hard, but don't come cryin' to me when your ass is waving goodbye to everyone at the beach this summer!!"

My ass is doing the wave lately...

Ugh. It's so hard wanting to be fit and not being able to find - or make - time to exercise. Most days, I'm up at 5:30, work all day, then pick up the kids and come home for dinner, baths, bedtime. I'm so exhausted that the gym is the last place I want to go.

And my ass is now proof of that. Just yesterday, Big Sis asked me "Mom? Why your hiney so big?"

Yes. She did.

Sooo... it's time for a change. It's time for metamorphosis - a mama-morphosis. I've signed up with Jennifer to be my free personal trainer so I'm accountable.

Watch out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And the winner is....


The random number generator picked 7 and the seventh comment was:

Jennifer said...
I tweeted you (jwilliams057).
April 7, 2009 12:42 PM

Congratulations Jennifer! I will be forwarding your information to Beth so she can set you up with your gift certificate!
Thanks to all who participated and stay tuned for more giveaways!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Stand Corrected

Big Sis: "Mom, why do we have chicken bumps?"

Me: "What baby? Chicken bones?"

Big Sis: "No, mom, Chicken bumps!"

Me(laughing): "Oh! You mean goose bumps? It's from your hair standing up on your arm when you get cold..."

Big Sis: "Ohhhh."

Big Sis: "But they're called Chicken bumps, Mom."

I stand corrected.

Spring Has Sprung

She planted the seeds and set the plants, gently forming the dirt around them.
She watered them, watching, waiting, wondering if she could overcome the curse that is her black thumb.
She welcomes spring in with open arms...

She welcomes life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

You Can Have Your Nest and Eat It Too!!

Big Sis and I stayed up last night to make these yummy little treats that also served as a gorgeous Spring decoration: Easter Nests!

They're so easy to make it's ridiculous, and the results? Gorgeous and delicious!

Easter Nests


  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups crunchy chow-mein noodles
  • candy of choice (robin eggs, jelly beans, candy-coated almonds)

Stir together chocolate morsels and peanut butter. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals until melted; stir until creamy. Add in noodles, thoroughly coating with the chocolate mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheet, forming the mixture into tiny nests. Add candy "eggs" to center of nest.

Yield: 1 dozen nests (3 inch diameter)

Enjoy! (p.s. these also make for cute treats at bridal showers and baby showers as well!)

Making Holiday Memories

I have vivid memories of Easter when I was growing up: waking up early to see what the Easter bunny left for me in my basket, going to church with my family in my prettiest dress, devouring jelly beans (licorice ones first) to my heart's content, and then spending the afternoon at my grandmother's house with all of my cousins where we would have an easter egg hunt that always included marshmallow bunny candies. It was the same every year. It was tradition.

I find myself having to carry on and create new traditions for my girls as life has left me in charge of this by rendering me motherless or maybe just by the rite of passage that all young mother's must go through - a sort of "passing of the torch", if you will. It is sad and strange to me, that my extended family does not put forth any effort to celebrate holidays much anymore, as we've all segregated ourselves to our own nuclear families. It is strange to me that we didn't grow up that way as children, yet that is the only way our children will know. It is another reminder that I have become a matriarch in my family, whether I wanted it that way or not.

As such, I do whatever I can to make holidays as special as I can for my children, by mingling memories of my childhood and my mother with new ideas I conjure up along the way. Today was no different.

At dawn, my girls awoke to the joy that is the Easter basket. Amidst the modern trinkets and toys there were parts of my Easters past - a jelly bean-filled basket (no grass, the way my mom did it) and a chocolate bunny (to keep in the freezer and snack on for a while!). We went to Easter services, my girls in matching dresses, and let them snack on their jelly beans when we arrived back home. Later that afternoon, we went to Nana and Popo's house (my in-laws), where they enjoyed their easter egg hunt with their cousins.

As we went through their stash after the hunt, we came across a familiar confection - a marshmallow bunny. Big Sis, deciding the candy was "ew, gross" was kind enough to let mama have it. I opened the cellophane wrapper, lovingly eyed the pink marshmallow bunny, and took a bite. In an instant, I was transported back to my grandmother's front yard, filled with my giggling cousins and candies as far as the eye could see.

It was then I knew that this is how I want to it be for my kids, the same every year.

This is what makes the memories... the tradition.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This is what it means to be Held...

Angie has a beautiful post on her blog - if you don't know yet the story of sweet Audrey Caroline, click on over. Be prepared to be changed forever.

"This is what it is to be loved and to know,
that the promise was when everything fell...
We'd be held." - Natalie Grant "Held"

Giveaway in Four Days!!

Only four more days to sign up for the Heart On Your Wrist giveaway!

The Birds and the Bees... and the Dogs?

Our chocolate lab happened to go into heat the day after my beloved pugster was killed, so dh decided it was a sign to breed her again. We arranged to have her "boyfriend" Beau come by for a conjugal visit, and, um, let's just say Big Sis had some questions about it...

Big Sis: "Why is Beau jumping on Ani's back like dat?"

Dh: "Um... because Beau wants to give Ani a hug!"

Big Sis: "Oh..."

-then comes the part where they're stuck, rump to rump-

Bis Sis: "What Beau doin?"

Dh: "Still hugging her."

Big Sis: "He must really love her, daddy!"

Dh: "Yes. He. Does."


The things kids say...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

If peeing in your pants is cool, then I'm Miles Davis!

Apparently I'm Miles Davis, cause Big Sis has turned into Little Miss PeePeePants lately...

Four years old.
Three pairs of panties.
Two skirts.
One day.

What is up with that??

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sweet Dreams, Old Man

My heart is broken today.

The air carries the smell of fresh dirt as the tears stream down my face to mark the new grave below my feet.

My sweet Toby, my old man.

When you were a puppy, you snored so loudly I couldn't sleep those first few nights. After my mom died, as I lay in bed exhausted from crying, you snuggled your sweet stinky face into my neck as if you knew I needed a hug. You traveled cross-country with us, easily adapting wherever the road took us. You curled around my feet at night when I was up nursing and rocking the baby. You barked at all the neighbors like you were the biggest dog in the world. You made us a family long before the babies came along.
I'll miss you, buddy.

Sweet dreams.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Driving Under the Influence

The tech influence, that is.

In the past month, I've had two experiences of nearly being in a serious motor vehicle accident. During the first one, I was stopped at a red light, waiting behind several cars when I noticed a Jeep in my rear-view mirror coming up behind me over a hill. It was traveling fast, and as it came closer and closer, its speed was not decreasing. I looked for a way to move my car out of harm's way, but had nowhere I could go. So I decided to pump my brakes and hit my hazard lights, then braced myself for a hard hit. At the last minute, the driver of the Jeep slammed on his brakes and came to a squealing stop beside me. I look over and the driver, get this, is still looking down at his phone and texting even though he barely missed hitting me! I decided a choice gesture was in place so I yelled at him that he was "number one" and then drove away, my heart still thumping in my chest from what just happened.

Then this past week, as I was driving on the interstate, a white car nearly sideswiped me when she swerved in her lane. She straightened herself in her lane and then proceeded to continue with the texting she was doing. As I drove further ahead of her, I could still see her swerving in the middle lane as if she was driving while drunk.

Is it any different?

Distracted drivers account for the majority of motor vehicle crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and that's not hard to believe. We're all guilty of getting behind the wheel and not giving our full attention to the road as we're driving. We're talking on the phone, checking emails on our PDAs, twittering, texting... in between turning around to make sure the kids aren't killing each other, trying to grab the binky that's just dropped to the floorboard, or distributing french fries as you pull out of the McDonald's drive-thru. (Okay, maybe that's just me.)

When we're busy doing all these things rather than the one thing we should be doing - watching the road - catastrophe is bound to happen. How can we forget the young girls who were all killed in an accident believed to be caused by text-messaging? So far, most of us have been fortunate enough to not become one of the the NHTSA's statistics, but with our continuing practice of distracted driving we might not continue to be so lucky.

Nor will the precious children we have buckled up in the backseat.

So, be real with yourself. Does this sound like you? Are you driving under the influence of all of your devices?

Maybe it's time to change your ways. Yes, your Twitter Tweeps may not know what you're doing at the moment, your Facebook Friends won't know your current status, and your emails will be sitting in your inbox unread, but trust me when I say you won't be missing that much if you just put down your iPhone or Blackberry and put your attention back on the road. If you choose instead to take that risk, you might end up missing out on so much more.

Is that a risk you're willing to take?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quote of the Day

Big Sis: "Here mommy, I don't want it."

-hands me the snail she's been playing with-

Me: "Why not honey?"

Big Sis: "There's a booger in there."

Me: "A booger? No, baby, that's the snail!"

Big Sis: "No mommy. It booger."

*sigh* It's the little things that become the biggest memories...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Review and Giveaway!!

Every day, I wear two necklaces bearing the names of my sweet baby girls, and I always get the same reactions... "Those are so adorable (great, cute, wonderful)!", quickly followed by "Where can I get one?!" So today, I'm letting you in on the fabulous company that makes them!

Heart on Your Wrist is a handmade jewelry business created by Beth Philbin, a mother of three who started designing and creating the hand-stamped pieces after her own attempts at finding stylish and unique mother jewelry failed. Each hand-marked piece is created with sterling silver, 14K gold of 14K gold-filled charms and components, giving you a gift that is sure to be treasured for a lifetime.

The necklaces I own are the Sterling Name Discs. I designed mine with the 3/4 inch discs, and each is on a fine ball chain. I like the look of two different-length necklaces, but you can put several discs on one chain and customize them with bead spacers, charms, whatever you choose! These are mine:

You can design your own unique piece, right down to the length of the chain, color of bead, special stamped designs... Heart on Your Wrist has so many choices that it's difficult to make up your mind! Luckily the prices are incredible, so it's easy to get several pieces if you can't decide - don't worry, it'll be our little secret...

And these pieces aren't just for you, Mom. There are other items as well that make great gifts for children, baby and bridal showers, fathers, grandmothers, special aunts or friends. There are mommy necklaces and bracelets, initial jewelry, mommy rings, military tags, key chains, and photo jewelry - and the designs are classic so they span any generation. I love that these pieces are timeless in design and quality.
And now for the best part! Drumroll please...

Beth, owner and designer of Heart on Your Wrist, is offering a $40 gift certificate to her shop for one lucky winner! Is that going to be you?!

Here's how to enter:

1. Visit Heart on Your Wrist and peruse the beautiful shop, pick out your fave and comment here to tell me what it is! Note: this first step is mandatory for entry. All entries that do not complete this step will be null and void.
2. For an extra entry, blog about and and link to this giveaway on your blog and comment here with the link to the post.
3. (Oh yeah, a third chance to win!) You can earn another entry by tweeting about this giveaway on Twitter!! Comment here with the tweet link.

Be sure to comment separately for each entry, and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!
Giveaway ends April 15th, 2009 at 7:00 am. Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced that evening - it may be the only good thing about Tax Day!!

So what are you waiting for?! Good luck!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Please scroll down for the real WW!!

Wordless Wednesday

See? They can be patient when they really want something!