Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Day in the Life

Dear anyone who has ever gotten mad at me for not returning your phone call or email or text right away,

Although I love you (or at least tolerate you) and want to talk to you, I can't always take time out to do so immediately. This is why -

6:00  Alarm goes off. I smack my phone a few times until it turns off.
6:20  Austin comes in my room and says something about rain. I don't wake up enough to comprehend.
6:25  Savannah comes in my room and asks me if I can drive her and Austin to school before second period because it's raining. I growl at Savannah and my head rotates 360 because, quite frankly, I'm not a nice person in the morning.
6:45  Wake up again and realize it's quarter til 7:00. Freak out. But not enough to actually get out of bed.
7:00  Spring out of bed, adrenaline rushing through my veins. Thankfully, I work well under pressure. Wake up the Littles and the Middles.
7:02  Shower. I remember to actually rinse off today.
7:10  Wrap myself in a robe and go downstairs and make coffee and lunch while I drip dry because I'm too lazy to actually take a towel to myself.
7:12  Jackson informs me that I need to drive him to school early for his field trip. Information that would've been nice to know yesterday (not that I would've dragged my butt out of bed any earlier, of course.)
7:17  Go upstairs and get dressed.
7:18  Decide I look hideous and change.
7:19  Decide the new outfit looks just as bad as the first one. Change.
7:20  Repeat the last two steps.
7:21  Vow to consume nothing but water. At least until noon.
7:25  Slap on some make-up and take stock of my hair. It's raining and humid. I already look like Roseanne Roseannadanna.  Ponytail it is.
7:30  Wake up the oldest kids who have fallen back asleep. Pile everyone in the car.
7:31  Lexi's friend picks her up.
7:35  I drop off Jackson.
7:45  I drop off Brooklyn and Clayton.
7:55  I drop off Austin and Savannah.
8:00  I drive away from the high school as a branch hits a powerline almost directly above me. The tree catches on fire and sparks fly. I slam on my brakes. As I watch the flames, the whole thing bursts into a fireball and I'm momentarily blinded by the light. I've never seen anything like this before and I'm freaked out. I call 9-1-1 and debate speeding under the burning foliage and sparking wires to get to work, or just sitting there until the firemen arrive because well - FIREMEN!
8:05  I get impatient and drive as far around the wires as I can.
8:06  Get stuck in traffic behind an accident.
8:25  See a smashed-up school bus and a news crew and pray that no one was hurt.
8:35  Get to work.
9:00  Decide that I was crazy for vowing not to eat and grab my yogurt. Realize I've forgotten to pack a spoon again. Debate between using a pen or a mascara wand to eat it. Find a straw in my drawer and attempt to scoop up yogurt with a straw because I am just that classy.
9:05  Drink a couple more cups of coffee.
9:15  Consider calling 9-1-1 again because it feels like my heart is going to explode from caffeine overdose. And I didn't actually get to see any firemen the first time around.
9:20  School starts and I bang my head against the wall for the next 4 hours.
1:30  Take time to eat an unhealthy amount of peanut butter brownies for lunch.
2:00  Go back to banging my head.
4:00  Leave school.
4:25  Pick up the Littles.
4:30  Get home. Check on the homework situation. Start a load of laundry.
4:45  Check email and make sure I'm all set for the Twitter party I'm co-hosting tonight.
5:30  Ask Jackson to make some couscous and corn for dinner. Slice up leftover pork chops into little strips so kids won't realize they're left-overs and they'll eat them.
5:55  Take Lex and Brooklyn to tumbling.
6:00 Kick them out the door and drive Savannah on to the high school so she can get the last of her volunteer hours for NHS.
6:15  Drive around campus and pick up Austin, who stayed late to work on some ceramics, from school.
6:30  Drop Austin off at home and go back to football field to watch the girls do backflips.
7:00  Go home and give instructions to everyone to get ready for bed. Assure Lexi that despite the warnings, a tornado isn't going to hit us. Start writing a brilliant blog post.
7:45  Do something stupid and manage to lose my brilliant blog post.
7:55  Finally stop cursing my evil computer and dial in for the Twitter party.
9:05  Tuck in my kiddos.
9:15  Give up on writing a brilliant blog post and instead endeavor to explain how busy my days are thus resulting in stupid blog posts.
9:16  Get interrupted by Lexi who is afraid that zombies will kill her in her sleep.
9:18  Get interrupted by Savannah who asks me if I can help her with her math. She knows darn well that I can't. She just likes to make fun of me.
9:25  Get interrupted by Jackson who shows me his abdomen and says, "Is it supposed to stick out like this?" I make a mental note to call the doctor about the ultrasound results tomorrow.
9:30  Get interrupted by Savannah who tells me she's still dizzy from donating blood today.
9:35  Get interrupted by Lexi again who says she has a tummy ache.
9:45  Get interrupted by Savannah again who complains that she has her EOC in history tomorrow.
9:50  Get interrupted by Austin who presents me with a chocolate cupcake. It almost, almost does away with my disappointment in his crappy grades.
10:15  Work my way through a backlog of email.
11:00  Realize I've been goofing off on Facebook for the last 45 minutes when I should've been writing.
11:20  Hop in the shower, take a handful of Tums to counteract the chocolate cupcake and lie down.
11:45  Take my turn in my 4 perpetual Words with Friends games and lie awake for an hour thinking about everything I have to do tomorrow.
12:45  Get up and switch the load of laundry I've forgotten about.
2:30  Wake up on fire and dripping sweat because I'm middle-aged. Think about going downstairs and standing in the freezer but decide I'm too lazy to move.
3:00  Wake up with a great idea for a book and type it into my iPhone even though I know from experience that I'll wake up tomorrow and not be able to read a single word of the nonsense I typed.

Yep, that's pretty much my (and really, any mom's) day. There are variations of this. Sometimes I forget to pack a spoon and eat my yogurt with a plastic knife. Sometimes I have water polo instead of tumbling. Power lines don't usually explode on my way to work. But the basics stay the same. So this is why I sometimes can't call you back right away or find the time to answer emails. I'm sure you understand.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prom Dresses Through the Ages

After I posted slide shows of my kids' proms HERE and HERE, I was sent a link to Disney's Forever Enchanted Spring 2013 Collection of prom dresses. I didn't even know Disney made prom dresses, but who better to create a gown fit for a princess, right? After scrolling through the pictures, I decided I wanted to go to prom just so I could wear one of those gorgeous gowns. Better yet, I wanted a 'do-over'! I want to trade in the fluffy, frilly, pale peach Gunne Sax dress I wore in 1988 (and the big hair that went along with it) for one of these beautiful gowns (and a straight iron for my hair). This got me thinking about how styles have changed through the years. I put a shout-out to my readers on Facebook, asking for their prom pics and as usual they came through with flying colors! I know you'll enjoy this slide show of prom dresses from 1959 to the present! And a huge "thank you" to everyone who sent me their picture! I wasn't able to use all of them here because I got so many, but I appreciate the time and effort you all took to send them to me! You're all beautiful!


Monday, April 22, 2013

When a Little Infection Turns Ugly

A couple weeks ago, Lexi complained that her finger hurt. It looked like she had a hangnail that had caused the irritation. I got out the Epsom salt and told her to soak it, then I dabbed on some Neosporin before bandaging it. We repeated this for a few days and then I forgot about it because that's what I do. Single mom, six kids, two jobs, super-busy. I just didn't think to ask her about her finger because it was just an irritated cuticle. No big deal, right?

Fast forward two weeks. Yesterday morning, Lexi nonchalantly showed me her finger and said, "I don't think it's getting better." 

I looked at her hand and gasped! "Ohmygosh! That's horrible! Is that the same finger?" I asked incredulously as I cringed at the sight of her red, swollen finger that was oozing nastiness. The skin was peeling up like layers of phyllo dough on a baklava. Sorry for that visual, but you're welcome for not putting an actual picture on here. I asked, "Why didn't you tell me it was getting worse? Oh my gosh, doesn't it hurt?"

She shrugged and said, “Not really. It’s pretty much numb. I don’t feel anything.”

My eyes widened. “Um honey, that’s not normal. I think we need to call the doctor tomorrow.”

The other kids took a look at her finger and started squealing, “Ew! Lexi has MRSA! Don’t touch me with your MRSA germs!” I know that antibiotic-resistant infections are no laughing matter and can get very serious, very quickly. But apparently making fun of your siblings no matter what is wrong with them is in the Brother and Sister Handbook.

I called the doctor this morning. “Hello. My daughter had a hangnail. I think she needs to be seen. I know it sounds silly. But her finger looks like a kielbasa; it’s pretty swollen. And the skin is flaky like a Greek pastry. I don’t know why I’m comparing it to food. I think I’m hungry. But back to her finger – it’s been two weeks and it’s looking worse instead of better. Plus, she says she can’t even feel it because her finger is numb. I guess it’s good that it’s not hurting her, but that’s probably a bad sign, huh?”

So we went to the doctor this afternoon. She swabbed some of the nastiness from Lexi’s nail bed and sent it for a culture. In the meantime, she prescribed strong oral antibiotics and prescription strength antibiotic ointment. Lexi happens to be one of those kids who refuses to swallow a pill. I try explaining that she swallows bigger bites of food than the tiny pills. She knows it’s true. It doesn’t make any difference. She flat-out refuses to swallow a pill. I have her practice swallowing little candies. No dice. I have her practice swallowing small pieces of cereal mixed in yogurt. After a minute of making faces and vehemently shaking her head, she manages to work the yogurt down, but the Cocoa Puff remains on her tongue. So, Lexi gets to drink like a cup and a half of medicine 3 times a day. Fun for her. When I picked up the medicine from the pharmacy, I needed 2 carts to carry all of it. I don’t know what she’s going to do as she gets older and the medicine she needs doesn’t come in liquid form. I guess I’ll have to sit on her, give her a chunk of liverwurst (gag!) with the pill hidden in it, and rub her throat until she swallows it like we used to have to do for our dog.

We’ll find out later this week just what kind of bacteria we’re dealing with, but hopefully the medicine will take care of it in the meantime. Anyway, my point here is if your child has a seemingly innocuous infection, make sure you keep your eye on it until it’s completely gone. Sometimes those little, no-big-deal infections can turn into something much nastier and more difficult to treat. And don’t assume that it’s better because your child has stopped complaining because kids are weird and sometimes they don’t think to mention their ailment until their finger is swollen to the size of a cigar.

Prom: According to Savannah

prom 018bLast night, both my son who is a senior, and my daughter who is a junior, attended their high school's prom. I thought I'd write about the whole prom experience from my point of view, but realized that my view basically includes bills and driving around and it really isn’t too entertaining. So, instead I decided to write two posts: one from my son’s perspective and one from my daughter’s because their takes on the same event are quite different.

As far as I can tell, this is how it works. The girl has to shop for the perfect dress. She must bring a pack of friends along on this quest to gather many opinions, to make sure no one else buys the same dress, for zipper help, and for companionship when they stop for soft pretzels and frappuccinos. She has to find shoes that will go beautifully with the dress even though they’ll undoubtedly cause blisters and possibly a broken ankle. She needs to find jewelry that will complement her dress and a dainty clutch that will house her cell phone and lipgloss for the evening. She needs to order a boutonnière that will smartly match her dress. She will text all her friends and arrange who will be meeting when and where, whose house will be party central, who is going to be sleeping over where, and she’ll make sure to fill her date in on the itinerary. On the day of prom, she’ll shower, conditioner and remove any and all hair from her body. Appointments will be made or she’ll enlist the help of friends and family to do her hair and nails. She’ll carefully dress and plaster a smile on her face while the parent paparazzi take hundreds of photographs.

To see the slide show of Savannah's prom, click HERE!

Prom: According to Austin

prom 014cLast night, both my son who is a senior, and my daughter who is a junior, attended their high school's prom. I thought I'd write about the whole prom experience from my point of view, but realized that my view basically includes bills and driving around and it really isn’t too entertaining. So, instead I decided to write two posts: one from my son’s perspective and one from my daughter’s because their takes on the same event are quite different.

As far as I can tell, this is how it works. The boy will ask the girl to prom in a creative and romantic way that outdoes his friends. He’ll order a corsage and a tux (whatever combination in the Big Book of Tux Pictures looks good). He’ll probably get a haircut after his mom tells him he’s looking shaggy, and insists he get one. On the day of the event, he’ll shower, dress, and show up when and where his date has instructed him to go. He'll grudgingly stand still, or ham it up like a goofball for pictures.

To see the slideshow from Austin's prom, click HERE.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jamberry Nails Winner!

The winner of the Jamberry nail shields giveaway is  . . .

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2013-04-15 00:38:43 UTC

Blogger Lynn said...
As a lover of reading, writing and all things word-related, I'd have to say my favorite design is the Alphabet one! 

Congratulations, Lynn! Email me with your choice of design and I'll make sure it gets sent out right away.  :)

My Stupid Insurance

The biggest reason why I took my job down here in Florida was so I could provide medical insurance for my kids when my ex lost his job and thus his insurance.

First, it costs me just shy of $200 every two weeks in premiums. That works out to over $400 a month to simply carry insurance. Let’s say one of my kids has to go to the emergency room. That will cost me a $300 copay at the time of the visit and then my coinsurance amount will be billed to me. Of course while I’m sitting in the waiting room because my kid needs stitches, there will be dozens of people, for whom state insurance covers 100% of ER visits, using the ER as a doctor’s office and waiting to be seen because they have the sniffles or a hangnail.
The way doctor visits work is asinine. For example, Savannah pulled her bicep at her water polo game on Wednesday. Her arm hurt, but not terribly. She jumped in the pool Thursday and warmed up with no problems, but the first time she took aim and shot the ball, she cried out in pain, tears streaming down her face. Her coaches had her sit out that game so she’d (hopefully) be healed in time for the district match on Tuesday. Her coach told her she HAD to get in to an orthopedist before Tuesday’s game. However, before I can make an appointment with an orthopedist (or any specialist, for that matter), my insurance dictates that I must obtain a referral from her primary care physician.
So, I called, explained the situation, and asked her doctor to please write me a referral to an orthopedist. They refused to write the referral until they’d seen Savannah. “Why can’t you just write the referral? You can’t treat her for this injury and you’ll just send her to an orthopedist anyway so why do you need to see her first?”
“We have to see her before we can write the referral.”
“She was just in your office for an appointment three weeks ago! You’ve recently seen her. You can’t treat her arm. Please write me a referral for the orthopedic doctor.”
“No. She wasn’t seen for her arm so we can’t write a referral until we see her for her arm complaint.”
(Translation: You need to pay us a $20 copay before we’ll do anything despite the fact that everything you’re saying is simply common sense.)
After I silently swore and called them less-than-flattering names in my head, she offered to see Savannah if I could get there before their office closed at noon. (Down here in Florida, doctors don’t work on weekends and are usually closed Friday afternoons if not the entire Friday. You know, there are only so many hours to play golf . . .) I looked at the clock. 11:28. Half an hour to get someone to cover my class, drive to the high school, park, walk in, sign her out, drive to the doctor’s office. And here in Florida where no one can manage to get up to the speed limit, no less.
I took the chance and floored it. Made it to the office at 11:58. Paid my $20. The doctor examined Savannah’s arm. Told us she’d pulled her bicep (kinda like I said). Wrote us a referral to the orthopedic doctor.
Now, Monday morning, I get to miss more work and pay a $40 copay for the orthopedist to tell us she pulled her muscle and needs to rest it, use compression, elevate it, alternate ice and moist heat, and take ibuprofen for pain and inflammation. And in the long run, after all the running around, money spent, and time lost from work, her muscle won’t heal any faster than if she’d just stayed home and done these things. But then I’d be a bad mom who didn’t care about the health of her daughter and more importantly, the outcome of the district game. Too bad she doesn’t suck at water polo and warm the bench every game. Then no one would’ve insisted I get her to the doctor right away.
And this is why I work at a job I hate when I’d rather be home taking care of my kids and house and working on my next book – my fabulous insurance.

I don’t know what the answer is to the question of how to fix healthcare in America, but in my opinion, this isn’t it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some Things Never Change

My third grader, Clayton made the A honor roll again for the third quarter. He’s come a long way from the kid who used to get in trouble all the time in kindergarten and first grade. I’ll never forget the day I picked him up from kindergarten and asked him, “How were you today? Did you get in trouble?”
He answered, “Nope, I was good.”
“Then why is your teacher walking out to the car?”
“I don’t know, go drive, drive, DRIVE!” he implored as he flipped himself over the seat into the back of my van.
Yep, that’s my Clay. He’s the comedian of the family and in this family, that’s really saying something.
So I was very proud to attend the honor roll celebration this morning. I clapped and shouted (because I’m embarrassing that way) when Clay walked up on stage to get his certificate. Clearly, it’s my stellar parenting that has enabled him to excel in school. They should probably give me a certificate too. You know, for being such an awesome mom. Only the best parents can raise straight A students. He’ll probably grow up to be a doctor. Or a lawyer. Or the president! I nearly sprained my arm patting myself on the back as I mused about Clay’s achievement and my obvious part in his accomplishment.
This afternoon I picked him up from school and he presented me with a paper. “Oh cool! What did you draw, Clay?”
I looked down and saw this -
“Wow, Clay. That’s um, wow. I’m not really sure what to say. Nice touch with the steam on the poop.”
Wisdom gained: Don’t take credit for your kids’ accomplishments or you’ll also have to own up to their ah, pictures of poop.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spelling Tests

Clay usually gets 100% on his spelling tests, however Clay capitalized every word on this test for some reason. His teacher corrected him and made him erase each capital letter. Then, because apparently I never outgrew my "attitude problem", I felt the need to correct his teacher. I just couldn't help myself. She'll probably retire so she doesn't get Brooklyn, and need to deal with me another year.

Can't get enough? See what Dawn is up to over at Babble!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Things Happen for a Reason

I sat on the edge of my seat at Savannah's water polo game. My stomach was in a knot. I couldn't stop wringing my hands. The game was tied 10-10. Savannah had scored 4 of those points. The clock counted down and I held my breath, waiting to see if the game would go into overtime. 

 I've always said that I believe things happen for a reason. In fact, it's the first line in the first book I wrote. Still, for some reason, believing this and having faith that it is true seem to be two different things.

Back in 2010, Savannah was experiencing knee pain. The pain had been going on for some time, but since I’m a terrible mother, and the pain wasn’t really bad and it didn’t affect her day-to-day living too much, I chalked it up to growing pains and let it go for several weeks. Finally, in March of 2010, I took Savannah to the orthopedic surgeon because the pain just wasn’t going away.

Before the doctor entered the room to examine her, a nurse took her for xrays. When the doctor came in, he looked at her leg, had her move it in various positions and asked her several questions.  ”Does it hurt when you walk? Go up stairs? Bend it like this? Does this hurt? How about this? How about if I take your leg and put it behind your head while balancing a stack of bricks on it? Does it ever give out on you? Does it click? Does it lock?”

Savannah told him that it wasn’t that bad (more annoying really) and only hurt when she tried to lift her leg too high and sometimes when she walked. He looked puzzled and said, “Huh, I’m kinda surprised because your complaints don’t fit what the xray shows.” He said her complaints were suggestive of a little tendonitis. No big deal. Her xray, however, showed that Savannah had Osteochondritis Dissecans. Basically, part of her bone and cartilage was peeling away. If the nurse hadn’t grabbed her for xrays first, the doctor wouldn’t have ordered them based on her mild complaints.

At the time, we thought it was so fortuitous that Savannah had the tendonitis that brought her to the doctor. We were thankful that the nurse took her for xrays right away. We thought we’d caught the condition before it had caused too much damage and we were hopeful that surgery would fix everything. Things happen for a reason, right?

A year later, however, Savannah was having horrible knee pain. This time we learned that the surgery hadn’t worked to save the damaged part of her knee and she’d need a second surgery just to take out the screws that had come loose and were floating around in there. This is when Savannah got the news that her future probably didn’t hold any softball trophies or volleyball wins. Instead, her future would probably include pain, problems, arthritis, and future surgeries. Being an avid softball player, she was devastated. We angrily wondered, If things happen for a reason, what’s the reason here?

(My orthopedic surgeon is one of the most amazing doctors, and generous people ever. You can read here about the incredible thing he did for us when she needed that second surgery back in April, 2011.)

So here it is, two years later. Savannah’s knee hurts to run. Sometimes she limps a little. Occasionally her knee will give out on her. It clicks every time she moves it. Softball and volleyball are out of the question. However . . .

. . . she can swim and play water polo. And water polo is her game. She loves it and she’s an awesome player! As I watched her game this Saturday, I kept thinking how Savannah took to water polo naturally and how she’d never have even given it a try if she hadn’t had the knee problems that kept her out of softball. If it wasn’t for the OCD in her knee, she’d probably never know what a good water polo player she is.

At the end of regulation time, the teams were tied 10-10. I’d like to say that Savannah made the game-winning goal, but unfortunately, they ended up losing in sudden death overtime. Still, the fact that she has found a sport she loves and is good at makes me smile. Maybe she’ll get a scholarship to play. Who knows. I still believe things happen for a reason.

Friday, April 5, 2013

7 Ways to Ruin Your Kids

I’m frequently asked, “How do you do it? How does a single mom of six kids take care of everyone? Your kids are so well-behaved; how did you teach them how to act?” Well, wait no more. I’ve come up with 7 key points that every parent needs to know. This is how you parent.

1. Say What You Mean

It’s important to say what you mean. Don’t say what you think people want to hear. Don’t say the politically correct thing. Say what you mean. You can’t be a good parent if you don’t say what you mean. For example:

“I want you to wash your teeth and brush your face and get into bed now!”
I’m too tired of telling you to go to bed to make sure I’m speaking English and putting words together that make any kind of sense.

“Ausavanjacksclayton! Get over here now!”
I’m too tired of trying to remember your names. Just come here, whatever-your-name-is!

“I don’t think it’s the best idea for you to go out with that boy.”
I have a stun gun and I will not hesitate to use it if he so much as talks to you.

2. Mean What You Say

Not only should you say what you mean, but you need to mean what you say. If you don’t mean what you say, you’re lying or at least being misleading. People won’t take you seriously or believe you if you don’t mean what you say. For example:

“You are grounded until you’re 30, Mister!”
You’re grounded until I get tired of you lying around and complaining all day and then I’ll kick you out of the house so you can hang with your friends and get out of my hair.

“Oh my gosh, you just gave me a heart attack!”
Holy cow, your room is clean! It’s got to be a sign of the apocalypse.

“When we get home, I’m going to wring your neck!”
When we get home, I won’t remember why I was even mad at you in the first place because I’m losing my mind.

3. Follow Through/Don’t Give In

You must always follow through on your threats and promises. Nothing destroys credibility faster than failing to follow through. For example:

“If you get out of bed one more time, I will duct tape you to the mattress!”
I am two minutes away from falling asleep on the couch and will never make good on that threat so you basically have the run of the house for the next 6 hours.

“Sure, sure, when you turn 8, I’ll look into getting you a pony.”
I’m betting on the fact that you’ll forget about the cokamammie horse idea almost as fast as I will.

“No, you can’t play with your sister’s phone.”
Oh for the love of God, give her the phone so she stops crying already!

4. Set a Good Example

You can’t expect your kids to act the way you want them to unless you act that way yourself. It simply doesn’t work to say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” If you don’t set the example you want your kids to follow, what do you think they’ll follow? For example:

“You have to eat your vegetables to grow big and strong.”
You couldn’t pay me to eat that stuff.

“Always tell the truth.”
I don’t want to talk to them! Tell them I can’t come to the door because I’m in the shower!

“Always display integrity.”
That cashier gave me too much change. Woo hoo! Score!

5. Be Present

It’s easy to get caught up in all those things you have to do. It’s easy to put your kids on the back burner until you have more time to deal with them. But if you do that, you’re bound to hear Harry Chapin singing Cat’s in the Cradle in the dark recesses of your mind. Be there for them. Help them with their homework. Go to their concerts and games and practices. Know their friends, interests, and favorite things. Talk to them.  If you don’t, this is what your kids will hear:

“Not right now, I have to pay these bills first.”
I’d rather shoot myself in the foot rather than play another round of I Spy.

“I’ll help you with your homework when I finish making dinner.”
Algebra? Are you kidding? I’d rather wrestle an alligator than to help you with math!

“Just a minute.”
I’m glued to the TV which is more important to me right now.

6. Practice Self-Discipline

Demonstrate self-control and self-discipline. Show your kids that you can control yourself and you can make wise decisions, putting the important things first instead of indulging in instant gratification. If you don’t, your children won’t learn how to self-discipline. For example:

“Sure, I’d love a hot fudge sundae!”
Diet schmiet, I’ll start tomorrow.

“I have plenty of time to finish my blog post.”
Just one more round of Scramble with Friends. I don’t really need to write a post tonight.

“How about a turn signal, you bleeping bleep bleeper!”
I have no self-control and have just inadvertently taught my kids some new colorful words.

7. Don’t Believe Everything you Hear/Trust Yourself

Lastly, and most importantly, you need to ease up! Don’t read every article, book, and blog post on parenting and freak out that you’re doing it “wrong”. Trust yourself. Who cares what “the experts” say. Use the brain that God gave you and employ common sense. Forgive yourself when you occasionally break the above rules. It happens to all of us. Crap happens. Then it passes and you move on. Don’t dwell on the negative. Parenting is only as hard as you make it out to be. Have fun! Enjoy your kids! Laugh a little! Love a lot! This is how you parent.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Jamberry Nail Shields are the Hottest!

Savannah is addicted to Pinterest, always looking for cool new nail polish ideas. I love the way my nails look when they're decorated, but I hate when I spend the time to polish my nails only to have them start chipping a day or two later. Not to mention the fact that I'm apparently way too impatient to let my nails thoroughly dry after painting them and I always, always end up smudging them. And, of course, I don't have the money to go to the salon for professional manicures. 

Enter Jamberry nail shields. These things are pretty cool! You can apply these nail shields quickly and easily and unlike nail lacquer, you don't have to wait for them to dry. And they stay on a long, long time! Brooklyn's and my nail shields lasted for more than 2 weeks. Savannah's didn't stay on as long, but then again she spends several hours in the pool every day for water polo so we didn't expect hers to stay on that well. 

There are so many awesomely cute designs from which to choose! There's definitely something for everyone. That was the hardest part about Jamberry nail shields - narrowing down my favorites to choose a design! I think I'm going to have to order those cute little palm tree designs next! And now you can even create your own custom design! With Jamberry's Nail Art Studio, you can upload a picture and created your own personalized nail shields!

Each sheet costs $15 and most people get 2-3 applications per sheet. I know a person who has short nails and gets 4 applications from a sheet which makes each application less than $4! Way cheaper than any manicure! Plus, right now when you buy 3 sheets, you get the 4th for free so it's even cheaper! 

My friend Rebecca, a Jamberry consultant is offering a giveaway right now. Leave me a comment here with your favorite style from her Jamberry website and you'll be entered to win a FREE SET of nail shields. And everyone who takes advantage of the BUY 3/GET 1 FREE offer, will be entered in a second drawing for a free set of nail shields! I'll choose a random winner next Friday, April 12. Make sure you include contact information in case you win! Good luck!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What Comes Around . . .

I believe that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. I also believe that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. It's pretty much a crapshoot as to what you're going to get. "Momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Still, I think way more good comes to people who are inherently good. We're talking about karma here. Which probably explains what happened to me yesterday.

A coworker came up with the brilliant idea to prank the school secretary. She got half a dozen of us onboard with her plan. “We’ll all call in on Monday morning. Tell her your child is sick, or you’re sick, or you have jury duty or an appointment, or something. Tell her that you won’t be in at all or that you’ll be late.”

When one or two of us are out, the poor secretary has to scramble and rearrange everyone to make sure each position is covered. When half a dozen of us are out . . . Well, thankfully that never happens. I would love to have been a fly on the wall as she received call after call and text after text yesterday morning. I’m sure she was pulling out her hair, trying to figure out how she was ever going to cover all our positions.

I texted her at 7:15 saying that my son was sick so I wouldn’t be in to work. This was just an April Fool’s prank so, of course, I (and everyone else) showed up for work. However, at 11:00 I got a call from my kids’ middle school. “Hi. This is the nurse. I have Jackson here and he’s not feeling well. He has a slight fever. You need to come pick him up.”

This is what happens when you lie about your kid being sick. They get sick.

On the bright side, this happened during my planning period/lunch so I was able to get him and get back to work without missing any classes. But, karma wasn’t done with me. Apparently, when you lie and say you have a sick child, the payback is having to deal with two sick children because about an hour later I got another call from the school nurse. “Hi. It’s me again. Now I have Lexi here and she’s also running a low fever.”

“Sigh. I’m on my way.”

Next year, I think I’ll bring donuts in for the office staff. Then maybe I’ll get some good karma. Like winning the lottery.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Google Nose How to Have Fun

My 18-year-old son and I were sitting on the couch, chatting this evening while I worked on a blog post when he suddenly demanded, “Search bananas!”
“What?” I asked. I mean, it’s not unusual for Austin to yell some strange things out of the blue, but I wasn’t sure I’d heard him correctly.
“Search Google for bananas, or campfires, or oranges!” he repeated excitedly.
“Um why?”
“Just do it!”

Knowing that the conversation would never end unless I Googled bananas, I typed it in the search box. And this is what came up:

“Google NOSE?” I asked. “What’s Google Nose?”
“They’re just testing it out, Mom. See where it says ‘beta’?” Austin pointed out.
“Seriously? You can smell things on a computer! That’s ludicrous!”
“No really! Try it! They may not be able to make actual smells come out of your screen, but the images combined with the text really makes you think you’re smelling it! Try it!” he insisted.
I may be a total fool and I may do completely stupid things on a regular basis in front of total strangers (walking into the school with chocolate smeared across my face like a little Hitler mustache) or (walking through the hospital dressed like a homeless mental patient), but there was no way I was going to look like a fool in front of my teen. I pasted my best skeptical, raised eyebrow, ‘prove it’ look on my face and told him in no uncertain terms that the folks at Google are crazy.
“Seriously, Mom, you won’t believe it, but you can actually smell bananas! You have to put your face up against the screen for it to work. Try it!”
Still not willing to acquiesce, I clicked on the links and watched a short video about Google Nose and how it works.
Then it hit me. April Fools! Way to go Google! Well played!
“That’s hilarious!” I said, smiling. Who doesn’t love a good joke, right? “I wonder how many people actually sniffed their computers today,” I asked, laughing.
I looked over at Austin. “What’s that? Is that a look of (gasp) embarrassment on your face? Oh Austin, you didn’t! You’re supposed to be my smart child!” I lamented.
“I kept trying to smell it, but I thought I couldn’t because my nose was stuffed up so I went into Savannah’s room and made her smell my computer. She couldn’t smell it either.”
Yep, we’re a whole family of geniuses around here.

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