Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

At the moment, my thoughts are about my kids. Not too surprising, I AM a mom. Today I am an out of town mom. My girlfriend is keeping my two hooligans today. My thoughts are something like this:

"I hope they put on clean underwear." 

"I hope Z1 is not wearing more than one pair of underwear." (He did it again just the other day- put on every pair of underwear he owned! What's the deal? "Y" Chromosome, I rest my case.)

"I hope Z2 keeps her Aflac Duck voice under control."

"I should have packed more wine in her gift bag."

Here's hoping they all survive and a publisher likes one (or two or all) of my songs enough to pick it up,


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


What in the heck is this world coming to? With every new product or service, come new criminals. And they are SMART! I’m on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, not to mention Ebay, Paypal and a few others. So far, my accounts on Facebook and Twitter have been hacked into, as well as my husband’s Ebay accounts. And not only do we have to deal with the actual hacking, but then we have to encounter CUSTOMER SERVICE (play Jaws theme music here).

So I’ll tell you a bit about the scams. On Twitter, it wasn’t so bad. Well, except for the personal violation of it all. But all the hacker did was pretend to be me and advertise some stupid “Get More Followers” system. Whatever. I deleted the tweets and changed my password.

But Facebook was WAY more personal. The hacker, posing as me, went online, found a friend who was also online and started IM-ing him. He tried to convince my friend that I was stranded in London and needed him to wire me $900 immediately. Luckily, my friend isn’t a total idiot, and called me first. But apparently this scam is so popular, Facebook has it’s own name for it – The 419 Scam. Here’s an article from MSNBC’s website on it. It also goes into how difficult it is to talk to Facebook’s Customer Service. Woops, did I say TALK? Forgive me for that blunder. Facebook has NO telephone support, only email support.

Okay, the business side of me says, “Well, it IS a free service after all.” But the personal side of me wants to know why, when they even have special names for scams, do they not have telephone support at least for these?

So let’s move on to Ebay. This has happened to my husband TWICE in a month. Somebody hacks into his account, sells a bunch of stuff under his user name, collects the money and never sends any product. So my DH gets bad feedback (and if you know anything about Ebay, you know that feedback is UBER important) and the threat of Ebay shutting down his account. BUT AT LEAST THEY HAVE TELEPHONE SUPPORT! (Okay, it’s in another country, but that’s a whole other blog post.)

Okay, I’ve ranted and raved enough about this. Thanks for indulging me. I do have a point to this though, and here it is:

To Hackers: You are so smart. Why not use your intelligence for good? You could be so successful in this technical world. I bet any of these sites would LOVE to hire you to protect themselves against people like you. I’m just saying…


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Debate- This Just P#!@%s Me OFF!

Okay, this just flat out pisses me off. Seriously, it makes me want to vomit.

Octomom just inked a Reality TV Deal. Somebody tell me she wasn't in it for the money. And I've got a bridge, or two, or eight, to sell you. Honestly. I could be wrong, but it certainly seems as if all of these kids were conceived and birthed for the sole purpose of satisfying this chick's need for attention and fame.  

Excuse me while I hang my head in the porcelain bowl. I'm thinking right now that Family Services should consider stepping in. Got an opinion? Let's chat.



Monday, July 27, 2009


I’ve been going to Weight Watchers for a month now and I’m up to 5j0409011 pounds lost. Woo Hoo!!!! Thanks to everyone who’s cheering me on!

But I have to tell you about my weigh-in on Friday and my subsequent weekend. When I got weighed last Friday, I had only lost 1/2 pound, which really depressed me. I thought I had been doing so well last week, how in the world could I have only lost 1/2 pound? (Okay, so I had my hand in the Lucky Charms box more than a few times. And I guess all those ZERO point foods start adding up, but still…) So I sulked all day Friday, feeling sorry for myself and wondering if it was all worth it.

But then Saturday afternoon I started to get ready for dinner out with the  family and thought I would just try on a couple pairs of capris that had been too tight. AND THEY FIT!!! Not only did they fit, but they were almost on the LOOSE side! I was so excited I was dancing around the house!

So the moral of the story? How much I weigh is JUST A NUMBER. It all has to do with how I FEEL and how my pants fit!

Karen (still smiling!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Funny! My Son, the Problem Solver

So Sunday morning I was asleep in the basement. (Not to worry- it's finished. I was not sleeping in a cellar). and I awoke to the sound of the Aflac Duck. Except two octaves higher and five minutes longer. My daughter, Z2, was on the second floor, screaming at her brother, Z1.  Seriously, she sounded like a pterodactyl on attack. Not something you want to hear even on mornings when you have gotten sleep (which I hadn't, but that's an entirely different post).

So I trudge up the stairs and sort it out. Well, kind of, I think. It is hard to remember in my sleep deprived stupor. I feel my way back downstairs into the kitchen where I proceed to grope my way to the coffee maker.  Make some coffee, just getting ready to sit down when my son, Z1 comes up to me with duct tape and scissors.

"Here, Mom," he says. "You can tape her mouth shut. I'll help. I've always wanted to."

I am not even lying!   What the heck do you say to that?

Yours, wondering what day I will wake up and find a tape-induced silence in the house,


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thoughts- I Mean, REALLY

You know, in the last forty years, we have put men on the moon, all but eliminated some diseases, have made staying connected a source of instant gratification through facebook and Blackberries. We can get almost anything instantly.

Yet for some unknown reason, we have yet to invent stay put underwear. You know- the kind that doesn't crawl up your hiney (yes, it is pronounced HI-nee) all summer long.

I mean, REALLY, NASA, where ARE your priorities?!?!? 


And don't even get me started on the fact that sprinkler systems don't come with motion detectors for the runners who run past them at 6 in the morning.  After all, garage lights have motion detectors. . .  it ain't rocket science!

Yours, trying to keep my underwear in the right place and my face straight,


Wednesday, July 22, 2009



lets get ready 1 Do you know a child going into Kindergarten this fall? It’s a lot harder now than when we were in Kindergarten. Schools must comply with the “no child left behind” policies, so we, as parents, need to prepare them for this curriculum in advance.

Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten (in English and Spanish) and Let’s Get Ready for First Grade can help you get your kids ready for what’s to come in the year ahead. Each of these books focuses on the skills needed when entering these grades.

Stacey Kannenberg of Cedar Valley Publishing has put a great deal of research and thought into these books. From the Cedar Valley Kids and their teacher Mrs. Good guiding your child through the book, to the parent/caregiver tips helping us work with our kids, she has thought of it lets get ready mrsgoodall. The books are colorful and appealing to children, which makes them seem less like schoolwork and more like funtime!. And best of all, the pages are designed to use a dry erase marker so each book can be used over and over again. Because these are such heavy-duty pages, it’s next to impossible to tear them. (Okay, let’s face it, if they REALLY want to tear the pages, they’ll find a way, but at least this makes it more difficult for them!)

Some of the topics covered in the Kindergarten book are the alphabet in upper and lower case, shapes, colors, numbers, money, and so much more. My kids loved these books, and I loved knowing they would have some of the necessary skills needed in the classroom.

Oh, and one more thing that this Mom-turned-author-publisher-consultant-public speaker does: She donates 10% of her profits to various literacy programs. WOW!


Stacey has generously offered a set of Let’s Get Ready books for one lucky winner. This includes the Kindergarten book in either English or Spanish and the First Grade Book. The contest will end on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at midnight CST, when the winner will be picked at random.


Primary Entry: Go to the Cedar Valley Publishing
website to check out what they have to offer. Let me know what part of either of the books is your favorite.

*This entry is mandatory to allow additional entries!

Additional Entries (be sure to leave a comment for each entry):

  • Subscribe to my blog via email
  • Join my blog using Google Friend Connect
  • Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway (remember to use @karmelpub when tweeting) up to once per day
  • Blog about this giveaway and provide a link back to here
  • Grab our button and place on your blog

This contest is open to everyone, regardless of where you live (how nice is THAT?).

(I will send out an email to the winner and you will have 48 hours to respond back to me or I will pick another winner.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Debate- WHEN should School Start?

I'm still in a state of disbelief that school supplies are out. I mean, summer just got started, right? I'm just getting into summer mode and they want me to think about pencils and notebooks and backpacks and all those other things.  Nope, not ready yet.

I remember in elementary school, we did not start the school year until after Labor Day. Aahhh, the SEPTEMER start. That feels right. It feels like we've all been away from each other long enough to actually WANT to go back to learning in an educational setting. The kids are ready, the moms are ready, those wonderful teachers are ready- because we've all had the break we've needed. These days, the school year starts mid-way through August, so we can have a weekend off every month of the school year, which I loathe.  Having been an elementary and secondary teacher, I get teacher development, but think we're over doing it a little? I do!

Do you know that in Missouri, there is a Labor Day Start Law? Click here to read about it. Our schools are claiming agricultural exemption. Have you been to West St. Louis County lately? Yeah. I think our district is one of the worst offenders, yet we are by no means considered an agricultural community.  I love the schools here, and I'm completely grateful that we are  challenging our kids, but I would love to see it happen between September and the beginning of June with less days off. 

Opinions? Comments? What's going on in your community? Let the comments fly!

Yours, thinking I might start a petition,


Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Minute

It's Monday. Remember this time last Monday? I was still pretty freaked out over my whole "chest mass". It's still there, but not nearly as sore as it was. I think I might go in for the follow-up, just to be sure. DID YOU CHECK YOUR CHEST? It will only take a minute.

If you haven't checked out some of our Wednesday reviews, make sure you scroll down or look at some of the archives. Some cool things being given away. Wouldn't want you to miss out.

And hey- has anyone been in the stores lately and seen the school supplies? Whaa? Whaa?  We are only HALFWAY through summer, people! It's too early to think about school supplies. It's not even August yet, let alone close to being September.  And now that I have no more summer camps to teach I'm ready for some more pool days. :-) Bring on summer!

Yours headin' to the pool (for swim lessons),


Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Funny!

So last night my little boy asked me to tuck him in. Lately he's been pretty snuggly and lovey dovey. Fine with me. I'll take it while I can get it. So I get him into his bed and snuggle up next to him. We say prayers and he kisses me goodnight.
We're all snuggled up and he says, Mommy, I love you so much. I love when you snuggle with me. But could you get off me now 'cuz you're layin' on my guts."

'Scuse me.  I had no idea!

Have a wonderful, gut-free weekend,


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

This morning I was having a cup of coffee and settling down for some "quiet time" before the entire house was awake. My husband was in the studio with me,  and he sat down opposite of me and picked up my laptop.

That one, little motion in and of itself is enough to make me let out a little gasp. After all, it is MY laptop. And why does he want it? And if he's using it, then I CAN'T!

He pulled the laptop to his chest, cradled it, stroked it and in a very Gollum-like voice said,"My preeeeecciooussssss." (If you haven't seen Lord of the Rings, you won't get this).

But my thought today is, WHEN did I become SO attached to my laptop and cell phone? I mean seriously, is it time for me to detox? What would life look like without my electronics? How much time would I gain everyday without the WWW?



Wednesday, July 15, 2009


***This giveaway is now closed***


Sometimes I REALLY wish I had a baby girl. This is one of those times. Sassypantsbanner_01 After taking a look at what Sassy Pants Monograms & Accessories has to offer, I began visualizing a mom (me) putting little bows and headbands on a little girl (oops, I only have boys). Sigh!

(Okay, let me be PERFECTLY clear here. As much as I’d love to dress up and play dollies with a daughter, I do NOT want it badly enough to go for another child. Twin boys is enough for me!)

Sassy Pants has unique Personalized Gifts, Home Accessories, Jewelry, Purses and Baby/Children's Merchandise. They also offer a Monogramming Service to personalize your items, which often times is included in the price! If you can't find what you are looking for, the owner, Elizabeth Wolf, can help you create that perfect gift!. She truly enjoys assisting people in finding unique gifts for themselves and others! And just to add icing on the cake, Elizabeth is a Work At Home Mom of two adorable girls! (Oh, sure, SHE gets to play dress up with her daughters!)

SassyCellDecal They have an amazing assortment of products. From bows to purses to flip flops to monogrammed cell phone holder decals. Which, by the way, is one of the items that Elizabeth is offering to the lucky winner of our giveaway. You can win either the Cell Phone Holder Decal or the Car Decal.

One of my very favorite products that Sassy Pants offers is the Toddler SassySignatureTodHeadband05 Interchangeable Head Band. It’s an adorable headband on which you can change out the bows so your little girl is always color coordinated. How cute is that?


The president of Sassy Pants Monograms & Accessories, Elizabeth Wolf, has generously offered either the Cell Phone Holder Decal (a $9.99 value) or the Car Decal (a $19.99 value). The contest will end on July 29th at midnight CST, when the winner will be picked at random.SassyCarDecal


Primary Entry: Go to the Sassy Pants
website to check out what they have to offer. Let me know which product is your favorite.

*This entry is mandatory to allow additional entries!

Additional Entries (be sure to leave a comment for each entry):

  • Subscribe to my blog via email
  • Join my blog using Google Friend Connect
  • Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway (remember to use @karmelpub when tweeting)
  • Blog about this giveaway and provide a link back to here
  • Grab our button and place on your blog

This contest is open to US mailing address only.
Only one person from mailing address eligible to win.
(will send out an email to the winner and you will have 48 hours to respond back to me or I will pick another winner.)


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Debate- Scheduled C-Sections

We all know someone who has done it. Pregnant for the first or fifth time, doesn't matter. You hear the mom-to-be say,"Yes, I will be having the baby on Tuesday the 25th at 7:00 AM."

Really? You have a direct line with your body? Are you THAT in control? OH! Scheduled C-section!

Do you think it's healthy? Putting too much pressure on the baby? Risking something that ought not be risked? Or should we let nature take it's course?

Tell us what you think!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Minute

It's Monday, and this will only take a minute. Promise.

And for any male readers, I just want to be fair and warn you that I am going to be talking about female things. . . FAIR WARNING.

It started when on Wednesday afternoon. I noticed that my right breast was hurting. Not just achy, but tender to the touch. And slightly larger than my left side, as well. A little concerned, I went into the bathroom to check it out. Hmmm. . .  looked a little swollen. I began to feel around a little bit. Left side first, since it felt normal. On to the right side. It was then that I felt it. A mass. A lump. A something that I had never felt there before.  

Okay. . . let's not jump to conclusions, Melissa. Breathe. Calmly. Try again. Once more, the left side, then the right. Yep. It was still there. Okay. I got dressed, got distracted with the kids and finished the day. That evening, my husband was laying in bed and I asked him to do the same exam for me. I knew that I wasn't "feeling things" when I saw the look on his face. Masked Panic.

"Melissa, what is that?" he asked. "I can definitely feel something there." 

Needless to say, I got on the phone to the doctor the next day. The nurse and I missed each other all day long. Finally she got to me on Friday afternoon (after I had gently called a few times). I explained all my syptoms. Then she said the words that I don't know if they brought panic or relief," Where are you? If you can get here right away, I can see you before we leave for the weekend."

I happened to be in my car at the time, 10 minutes from their office. I whipped that car around and made it in five.

15 minutes later the nurse practitioner is examining me. After a thorough, thorough examination, she said the words I had been praying to hear for the last 48 hours. "I really think it's swollen fibroids."

I tried to concentrate on her words through teary eyes. Lots of things to take in. And I will go for a follow up in another three weeks. But the most important thing she repeated three times was,"You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing in being concerned. There was definitely a big difference in your right and left side and it is nothing to play around with."

You will probably hear more about it on this blog in the coming weeks. But just take a few minutes today and check your chest. Whether it hurts or not. Whether you have reason to panic or not. Do it. Do it for you, for your kids, your partner, your girlfriends, for every important person in your life.

It's Monday and it will only take a minute.

Yours, relieved I took the time,


Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Funny!

Okay, my sister will so kill me for posting this, but it's hilarious. 

A few years back, she was over at the house with the kids. We were attempting to fit us all in a small, blow-up pool. It was summer, we were hot. WE just wanted to cool off. Her third child, a tween aged boy, was having issues with his swim trunks. I happened to be much closer to him in proximity, and she was otherwise occupied. So she called out,"Honey, just have Aunt Mimi help you."

Stunned silence and a slight protest insued.

"But Mah-ah-ooom!"

"Honey", she says,"It's okay. Aunt Mimi has a little boy. Besides, if you've seen one willie (that's how we refer to that particular male part to the younger boys in our family) you've seen them all. They're all the same."

"No they're not!" he replied. She and I looked a each other in total confusion. "Oh really?" she asked."So tell me, how are they different?"

"Mom!" he said impatiently. He looked at both of us with his huge, blue, innocent eyes and with complete seriousness and his little speech inflection he said,"Some ahre hairwy and some ahre not!"

I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants.

yours, hoping you have a wonderful weekend,


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

How Long Is Summer?

Oh my word. We have hit that part of summer where the some of us start wondering HOW MANY MORE DAYS UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS?!?!?!?  

The newness of no schedule has worn off and siblings are starting to really annoy each other. I can't tell you how many days they have been grounded from media. Every words exchanged between them has an edge to it. Sigh. I think we need a visual aid here.

So I'm off to the store to buy a jar and a ton of marbles. For every kind, thoughtful act- even simple obedience counts- you earn a marble. For every mean, sassy, hurtful, careless act/word, I'm taking one out. When the jar is full, we'll do something fun and wonderful.

I wonder how long it is going to take to fill the jar. I wonder if that's possible before school starts!  I'll keep you posted. 

Yours, knowing that summer, for the kids, is really only another five weeks, which really isn't that long,


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Is It Wednesday Evening Already?

Hi Everyone!

I bet you’ve noticed that there hasn’t been anything new for a couple of days. Melissa and I were getting a bit overloaded with things, as most of us do during the summer months, so we took a couple of days off. I mean, we love our kids, and we are WAHM’s so we can stay home with them, but sheesh, 24/7?

So I’m wondering what you all do to relax, re-energize, or just to stay sane during the summer months. So PLEASE COMMENT! I really mean it … I need some pointers!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Minute

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… I joined Weight Watchers. (oh, by the way, this is Karen. Melissa would NEVER need Weight Watchers!) I’m on Day 10, and doing pretty well. My first weigh-in last Friday showed a 2.4 pound loss. Yay!!!! Had a little set back on 4th of July, but I’m making up for it by working out and not going over my daily points.

I need all the encouragement I can get, so if you’ve ever been on Weight Watchers and have some advice for me, please give me a holler. Even if you’re not on WW but have struggled with your weight, let me know. It’s nice to know I’m not alone out here!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Oh, if you don’t hear from me for a while, just figure I’m not doing so well and give me a kick in the butt!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Funny!

Happy Fourth of July!

If you know someone who has served or is serving, make sure you thank them for your freedom today.  And make sure you thank their spouse and family as well. They sacrifice an awful lot so that we can enjoy fireworks, BBQ, putting our own kids to bed at night, and SO many things we take for granted. . . such as.  . .

When I was a little girl, we lived in the city. In the city, fireworks are illegal. But we waited for the Fourth of July all year because the family directly across the street from us would buy them and have a heyday anyway. We affectionately called them "The Family Circus". They were, uhm, quite a sight, some days. 

On the Fourth of July, they liked to have fireworks wars. I'm not even kidding. Roman Candle sword fights, imitations of the Statue of Liberty (with Roman Candles in hand) and our particular favorite, the Bottle Rocket Wars. Of course, this was when soda was still sold in glass bottles. The highlight of the night would come when one of the dads (or uncles) was bending over to light his bottle rocket in the soda bottle.  Unbeknownst to him, one of the teen boys would sneak up behind him with an already set and lit bottle rocket and set that bottle right under his bum. Before he could move- Bam! Boom! to the MOON!.  The ensuing chase was quite fun to watch.

We here at Karmel Publishing hope you spend your Fourth enjoying all the things that mean the most to you- health, happiness, family, friends and freedom.



Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday Thought

Today's thought is pretty simple and straightforward:

If you are going to send your daughter to summer camp in a dress, please make her wear a pair of shorts under it, no matter how old she is. I've been flashed enough in the last two weeks to last me a lifetime and then some.

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review on


You know… we’re busy. And not just a little busy, a LOT busy. On any given day we can be a chauffer, housekeeper, problem solver, mediator, entertainer, mechanic, nurse, employee (or boss), dog groomer, concierge, and above all, caregiver. We seem to take care of everyone (except ourselves, but that’s a whole different issue) including our kids, our spouse, our parents, our pets, our neighbors, and even the stranger at the grocery store who needs help getting something off the shelf.

Whew! We need help sometimes, if for no other reason than to save our sanity. But where to go for this help? I’d hire someone if I just knew where to find them. Well, now there is such a place. is an online database for families and caregivers to search c2_newbabysitters, housekeepers, tutors, elder/companion care, pet sitters and other miscellaneous services. A free preview of available caregivers is available to families. Whether you need a caregiver for a few hours to a few days, you will find it at Once you are a registered member, you will be given immediate access to caregivers through email and phone.

So I went to and entered my zip code. Here’s what came up for me within a 25 mile radius:cfh

  • 348 babysitters/nannies
  • 9 housekeepers
  • 8 tutors
  • 16 companion/elder caregivers
  • 19 pet sitters
  • 17 miscellaneous helpers

WOW! Surely, even someone as neurotic and picky as I am should be able to find somebody to help me out from all these prospects. And they even offer background checks (for an additional fee) and suggested interview questions.


The president of, Candi Wingate, has generously offered a gift certificate for 1 month of free service, a $29.99 value. The contest will end on July 15th at midnight CST, when the winner will be picked at random.


Primary Entry: Go to to check out what they do. Let me know which service would be most useful to you and why.

*This entry is mandatory to allow additional entries!

Additional Entries (be sure to leave a comment for each entry):

  • Subscribe & Follow my blog via email
  • Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway (remember to use @karmelpub when tweeting)
  • Follow on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway
  • Blog about this giveaway and provide a link back to here
  • Grab our button and place on your blog