Saturday, February 28, 2009

Not Domino!

I was just talking to my wonderful friend, Tiff, on Tuesday about how we both love the magazine, Domino. This reminded me that I have not checked their website out recently so I had a few minutes now and thought I might go online and visit them. Only, much to my dismay, I discovered that the magazine has gone under! Freakin' economy, taking away all of my cool stuff!

You should check the website out while you can since I am not sure when that may shut down.

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Mom's Cooler Than Your Mom

I went to my parents for a couple of days since Ariana is on winter break. While there, my mom decided to celebrate my birthday, which is next week. She started with 2 great soy candles that smell sooo yummy. She then took me shopping for a gift (got a sweet rubberized whisk so I can stir right in my pans!) And then we went out to dinner. It was so great to have a quiet dinner out. Although Ariana and Annika had stayed with Grampy, I still had Acadia... and she slept through the entire meal! Thank goodness for small miracles.

But the icing on the cake (pun intended) was my birthday cake... a TIRAMISU cake! That is the best birthday cake that I have had in my adult life (you just can't beat a homemade Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake when you are a kid) I think I could have eaten the entire cake, which is why I gained 3 pounds in the 2 days I was there!

It was so worth it though.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cheap Dates

For Valentine's Day, I promised my husband that we would go on 15 dates this year. For some people, that may not sound like a lot. But for us, we go out maybe 3 times per year. However, we need to keep the dates affordable and within our budget. I thought I would share some of the ideas we have in case anyone else is looking for inspiration. I got some notions from a book called "Fun & Creative Dates for Married Couples."

1) Have a great dinner served... at home. This is for when you can't get a sitter and need to involve the kids. Get takeout from your favorite restaurant and bring it home. Let your children make a menu up that includes what you ordered and then pretend you are at a nice restaurant. Ariana loved doing this and she was really good about staying in her room between courses so that we has some quiet alone time. (Remember, though, that kids have a short attention span and might get distracted and forget about you while they are in their bedroom!)

2) A concert or show is always a hit. You can usually find cheap or inexpensive local shows, especially outdoor shown in the summertime.

3) Picnic under the stars. This can also be done when you can't get a sitter. You can wait for them to go to bed and then go out in your back yard and have a late dinner and some wine on a blanket. Ideally, you can get a sitter and go to a park or to the beach and it would still be a cheap date.

4) Great Cookie Hunt: Spend an afternoon in search of the best cookie your town/ city has to offer. Go from place to place (deli's, bakeries, etc.) and try a new an unique cookie. This is ideal if you have a nice downtown area where you might bring your cookies to a bench and sit to people watch... who doesn't like to people watch?

From my friend, Isolde:
Stargazing with a big blanket and good binoculars.
Sitting on the chairlifts in the summer when the ski resorts are closed.
Hiking..those are our best talks.
Free movies in the park Friday nights.
Taking a kayak or canoe ride.

Do you have any other cheap date ideas? I'd love to hear them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Drug Addiction is Not Cancer

I was driving the other day when I heard an ad (or maybe it was a PSA) that had the basic message that drug addiction was just like having cancer. Now, it did not say "Drug addiction is a disease." It clearly stated that drug addiction is the same as having cancer. That is bull$%#@! I am pretty sure they just pissed off any person who has ever had cancer; and parent who ever dealt with a child with cancer; any person who ever watched a friend dying from cancer... etc. I am just completely aghast (yup, I said aghast) at the advertising/ marketing people who came up with this campaign. I have known plenty of addicts in my life and I know for a fact that every single one made the choice to use their drug of preference. I have never heard of a case where someone was held down as alcohol was poured down their throat and then, unbeknownst to them, they developed alcoholism. They make a choice every single drink/ snort/ hit. I am willing to bet if you could approach a leukemia patient and said "You can decide to not have cancer tomorrow, would you like to make that choice?" they would say "I choose to be disease free." And to even compare the two scenarios is ridiculous, at best. You are demeaning anyone with terminal illness and, at the same time, giving the crackheads a bye.

I have tried to find out who put the ad out so that I could give them a piece of my mind, but I can not find any info on it. If I ever do though... you better believe I will be letting them know what big ass faces they are.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This is Why You're Fat

I came across this website the other day. If you ever feel an urge to grab a not--quite-healthy snack... stop by this site and take a look at their photo of the day. After you throw up a little in your mouth, your urge for anything near your mouth will have subsided.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Raising My Girls

The challenge of raising girls becomes more apparent every day. Acadia had her 6 month checkup yesterday. The doctor made mention of her 2 different color eyes. Now, I am literally the only one to notice the difference so far. It is not like a blue eye and a brown eye. One is a hazel color and the other is predominantly brown. But, the doctor wanted to let me know that they make colored contacts now and she should be able to 'cover them up' as she gets older. (Let's get past that she thought I might not already know color contacts are in existence... for the past 20 years!!!) Is she seriously already telling my, as my daughter is 6 moths old, how to cover her 'flaws'??? Her eyes are gorgeous with the same almond shape as mine and Ariana's. And if they do indeed stay unique colors, I hope she embraces it and is very proud of them.

Anyhow, as I was contemplating this whole issue in my head last night, I hear Colby say to Annika, "Man, you need to get some sun. You are pastey white."
"What? She has gorgeous milky skin and she's THREE!"
"Well, she could really use some color, she is almost transparent."
Argggg. This is the same man who said in front of Ariana, "Jesus, Jessica Simpson is getting fat." Or tells me "Wow, are you going to eat all that?" Helloooo??? Eating disorder anyone?

As if my girls won't get enough crap in the media to threaten their body image, now I have doctors and dad's to contend with too?

Anyone with sage advice on raising confident, secure, independent daughters?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Didn't I Think of This???

This is the best invention... EVER! I mean, seriously, who doesn't love the outer edge of the brownie??? If it didn't sabotage healthy eating... I would so be buying this pan!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mmmmm, Beer.

Sunday night I asked Colby to take care of a couple of chores on Monday that I could not get to with the kids. I asked him to take my laptop to the repair shop (oh, life without my Mac!), drop his suit at the dry cleaners and pick up a new keg for the kegerator. He paused... pondered... "Well, I can drop the laptop off in the morning and probably get to the dry cleaners... but maybe Wednesday I can try to get a keg." What??? Who are you and what did you do with my husband? I have a damn kegerator taking up prime real estate in my kitchen and you can't be bother to fill it???

Sunday, February 15, 2009

World's Worst Mom

Ariana had a fit the other day and the ensuing argument revealed what an awful mom I was. Which, of course, I then laid in bed that night and thought about to a point of insomnia. So, to make all the the other less-than-perfect moms out there feel better, here is a list of the things I have done/ do that make me an awful mom...
I have caught one of my children on fire. Well, ok, it was her blanket, not her. (Note to new parents: having a candle lit dinner with your new baby on the table in her car seat is not a good idea!) But, on the up side, we have always had fire extinguishers in our house since that incident.

I have seen 2 of the 3 children topple down a full flight of stairs (Acadia will not be allowed on the stairs until she is 12.)

It was on my watch when Annika swallowed a battery and spent the next week in and out of the ER and Boston Children's Hospital. (I was also the one who dug around for it when she finally passed it!)

I forgot to send Ariana to school with her Valentine's one year.

When Ariana was 7, I got caught in traffic and was not home to meet her when she got off the bus. I called her and said "I am 3 minutes away, sweetie, just lock the door and stay on the phone with me." I was home literally 3 minutes later but some weeks after that, a friend approached me, "If you ever need me to get Ariana off the bus, I am always available." "Huh? You live half an hour away," I told him. "Well, Ariana told me how you had to leave her alone for a few hours because you couldn't get home." Arrgghhhhh!!!

I never let my kids (or husband) have fruit roll-ups, twinkies, soda, etc. (Think: "But, MOM, you NEVER let me have fruit snacks! ALL the other kids have fruit snacks!)

I have sent my daughter to bed without dinner- only to later find a sheet marked "Number of times I had to go to bed without dinner" with tally marks! Ok, that is the number of times I have said "You are going straight to bed, no dinner." ...only to call her back out to eat later.

I make my kids play outside... even in the... snow! (Gasp!) "But, MOM, it's snowing!"

When my kids fall asleep in the car, I leave them there... hey, they are contained and I have a few moments to rake/weed/sit on the steps and read a magazine... whatever, it's peaceful... if even for 10 minutes.

Anyone care to share what makes them a bad mom? I can't be the only one....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

14 Days

I have been doing ok at my resolution to get healthier from earlier this year. I have cut back on the beer, sweets and lattes. I have done ok at the Wii Fit. Although, with Colby's crazy work schedule last week, I had an off week. But I am back on the wagon now.

Now, I want to step it up a notch. I am making a pledge to 14 Days to a Better Me. I want to make a few teeny changes in me to make me feel better and I am going to put it out here so that everyone can hold me accountable. I am making it 14 days so I can have a short term goal as I tend to trail off if my goal is too far off. I hope some of my friends will join me and set a couple of goals for yourself and let me know. If you do, I will nag you and hold you accountable also.

Here's my goals:
3 glasses of water per day.
Work out 4 days per week.
Finish one book.
Replace my missing debit card so I can track my budget better.
Have 2 live conversations with girl friends.

That's it. Like I said, they are small goals, but that makes it more realistic to achieve!
So, somebody please join me, I could use an accountability partner. Comment here or email me!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hotels Combined

I recommend Hotels Combined and sent $20 to World Vision!

There is a website that will donate $20 to WWF, Make-A-Wish or World Vision if you mention them on your blog... so here I am mentioning them on my blog...

It is a website tool that searches multiple hotel reservation websites simultaneously to help you find the lowest rate instantly.

So, check them out, mention them on your blog and get these charities some dough!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scrubba dub dub

I love Scrubs (thanks, Isolde, for introducing me). And the other night there was an interaction between the doctors that made me laugh out loud. If I remember the quote correctly... "Carla, if you are going to be upset every time your husband does something stupid, you are going to be upset every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of every day...."

Damn, that show hits it on the head!

Find of the Day

Random Post-Its always make me laugh. I saw one this morning that one coworker left for another:
"The blind man was wearing a gold head band."

If you like this post, you'll love this website.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Doodle for Google

Google is holding it's annual Doodle 4 Google contest. It is a competition where students create a new doodle for the Google homepage and are eligible to win a $15,000 scholarship. Individuals are not eligible to enter, it needs to be done through your school system. So visit the Doodle for Google contest page and forward the link to your teacher or school so that your kids have a chance to win $15,000. The winners school also gets $25,000 towards a computer lab upgrade, which is pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Take Your Shoes Off!

Why is it that my husband and kids can not take their shoes off at the door???

Oh yeah... they don't sweep/vacuum/wash the floors!

"About Eighty percent of the dirt in your house comes in through the door on people's feet/shoes."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jesse, You will be missed.

This is Jesse. He passed away on February 3. Jesse had been fighting for his life since March 30 of last year when he was in a house fire. When I opened the CaringBridge website to give my condolences, this photo was the first thing I saw and it automatically brought tears to my eyes. That smile is exactly what I remember him for. He was always smiling and always making others laugh.

Judging by the 23,000 visits to his site, a lot of people felt the same way I did and his infectious smile will be missed by many. Please put Jesse, Sam and their family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Americans for the Arts

As I talked about in a previous post, our children are seriously losing out on their arts in school. I came across a organization dedicated to overcoming this deficit. It is a really great resource.

From the website
  1. Enjoy the arts together. Sing, play music, read a book, dance, or draw with your child at home.
  2. Encourage your child to participate in the arts and celebrate their participation in or out of school.
  3. Explore your community’s library and read “the classics” together—from Mother Goose to Walt Whitman.
  4. Read your local newspaper to find out about attending local arts events like museum exhibits, local plays, festivals, or outdoor concerts.
  5. Tell your child’s teacher, principal, and school leadership that the arts are vital to your child’s success and an important part of a quality education. Find out if your school has sufficient resources for arts education, including qualified teachers and materials. If not, offer to help.
  6. Contact your local arts organizations to inquire about the arts education programs they offer either during school hours or after school. Volunteer to donate time, supplies, or help with their advocacy efforts and connect these services to your child’s school.
  7. Attend a school board or PTA meeting and voice your support for the arts to show them you care and make sure the arts are adequately funded as part of the core curriculum in the school budget.
  8. Explore your child’s dream to sing, to dance, to draw, to act—and encourage them to become the best they can be through the arts.
  9. Be an arts supporter! Contact your elected officials—lawmakers and school board members—to ask them for more arts education funding from the local, state, and federal levels. Visit our Online Resource Center.
  10. Sign up to become an activist on the Americans for the Arts website, just a click away! Through our e-activist list, you will get news updates and alerts about arts education. Visit our E-Advocacy Center.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

7 on the 7th

What a great idea this is. Skip the $7 coffee today and donate to this charity. Visit the website, it will break your heart....

(thank you, Danielle, for introducing me to Matt.)

I think I will still need to buy my latte, though, since I will be at a dance competition with Ariana for 12 hours!!! But I can still spare the $7- I'll just take out of Colb's allowance.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ms. Inspector Gadget

Damn those impulse check-out purchases! But this one's a keeper. I picked up the coolest gadget the other day for $1.49. It's called a Nana Saver and is like a chip clip for a half eaten banana. I know my childless friends are saying "Seriously, who can't eat a whole banana???"

But I often only put half a banana in a bowl of cereal or into a smoothie and then, within minutes, the other half is so gross and squishy I have to throw it away. For $1.49, I like the return on investment.

Sidenote: When I was looking for a photo to go along with this blog, it popped up on Of course, that is me, the nerd, researching my Nana Saver.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A throne is only a bench covered in velvet.

I refurbished Annika's bench yesterday. She got the bench from Grampy and uses it every day; whether she is sitting in it while we play school or using it as a bed for her Barbies. All the use has left it dinged and covered in crayon marks. I repainted it a creamy white and decided to make a cute pillow for it. I actually had a pillow case that I had acquired from Goodwill a long time ago because I loved the pattern. And the tag inside the pillowcase revealed that was made in NYC (not made in China??? Unheard of.) It was such a rarity, (and only $1) so I bought it and figured I would find a use for it someday. Well, yesterday was the day. I decided to fill it with down and make a nice, soft cushion. BAAADDDD idea. Working with feathers was one of my worst ideas in a long time! Let's just say we ended up with feathers from the cat dish to Acadia's hair. Annika just loved playing with them. And, after all the work to fill and sew the pillow, the feathers are popping right through. Ahhhh. So, now Annika really loves the pillow on her bench and wants me to fix it... off to the craft store to get some better fill.

At least it looks cute, for now....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Who, being loved, is poor?

I had quite a pleasant surprise yesterday when a beautiful mini rose bush showed up at my door. Colby & I have seen very little of eachother recently and he sent me a token of his love to make my day a little brighter. It was so wonderful to break up my day of dirty diapers, chauffeuring, laundry and such.

Romance is not dead, even after 10 years.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Just Take the Damn Nuk!

As a mom of 3, I have long been active in the Nuk (binky, pacifier, suss) debate. Should you give them to your child? How long should a child have them? Is it appropriate for a child to have one 24/7? I have always founds Nuks an effective and harmless way to soothe a baby. I would rather my child used one than sucked her thumb, since you can at least take the Nuk away at some point.

But really, my opinions on this whole issue hold no water. I can't give an educated theory on the issue since I am on my third child who will NOT take a Nuk! Oh, and I have tried with all three. Ariana took it as a tiny baby a little bit, but by 2 or 3 months she was done. Annika never really took one. And now, at 6 months, Acadia still won't take one. I still try every once in awhile. Colby will walk by, look at her as she gnaws on it and give me that "who are you kidding?" look. It just seems as if it would be so much easier if she would. I see these moms who's babies make one little fuss, they stick the binky in and the baby is perfect. Magic. Don't get me wrong, Acadia rarely (if ever) fusses. (Neither did the other two.) I want the magic button to work at night when she wakes up. As it is, I am still feeding her twice per night. And I know this is causing a vicious cycle of 'I am hungry so you feed me, you feed me so I am hungry.' If I continue to feed her, her body will continue to expect those late night meals. However, if she would just take the damn Nuk and be satiated with that, the cycle would be broken.

Yes, I know, there are many of you saying "What the hell is she complaining about? I have been trying to ween my baby of his Nuk forever." Well, the grass is always greener....

Monday, February 2, 2009

I love House!

Seriously, I really like this show. It's one of the very few that Colby & I can agree on. I am not usually one for medical dramas, but this one is pretty cool and he is oddly sexy.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things (Unfortunately)

Wow, I think this was THE most embarrassing one yet. Now, I remember Ariana blurting out some pretty inappropriate stuff in public, but Annika takes the prize while at Ariana's dance school:

A quite heavy-set lady walk in and is directly next to Annika. Annika cranes her little face upward and says very loudly (not at all indistinguishable) "Wow you have fat boobies!" Ahhhh. Really, what could I say. Thank goodness for the mothers surrounding me, because not one even batted an eye, although no one could have missed the comment for a 30 foot radius. The poor woman also did not acknowledge and moved on.

"Before I was married, I had a hundred theories about raising children and no children. Now, I have three children and no theories."
-John Wilmot