Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

happy holidays

Happy Holidays to everyone! This includes Merry Christmas! Happy (belated) Chanukah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy First Day of Winter! Happy I’m-An-Atheist-So-Leave-Me-Alone Day! Happy I-Don’t-Really-Celebrate-Anything-But-This-Is-A-Good-Time-To-Take-A-Few-Days-Off Week! Happy WHATEVER you want this time to be for you!!! (Did I cover everyone? Did I offend anyone? Whew!)

Melissa and I will be taking some time off also to celebrate whatever we celebrate with our families, so you will not hear from us until after the new year.  Actually, probably not until after our kids go back to school, to be honest!

So Happy 2011 to all of you. And once again, thank you for reading our little blog!

Karen

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Funny- Seriously?!?!?

This is one of my greatest fears. I thought I had overcome it. I really did. When I first started using computers when I was in school, I was always afraid of the delete button. It seemed so final. I mean, delete and you never get it back, right? And then all of that work you just spent the last 2 hours doing... GONE. With one keystroke, all of that work is negated. I had a hard time handling that.

So I've always used the delete button with a certain sense of trepidation. I've never turned off those warnings that say,"Do you really want to delete that?"

But apparently I have been remiss. I have gotten lax. I got so ingrained in my routine that I just didn't give it a second thought anymore. Somewhere along the line I got over my whole fear of deleting.

Until last night.

Sitting on the couch, going through my emails, I tried to go back to my inbox after permanently throwing out all of my deleted emails.

Except that I was not in my deleted box, but in my inbox.

My entire inbox, completely deleted.

Unrecoverable.

Gone.

Vanished.

Buh-bye.

It's so overwhelming that it is actually funny is some small way. Small being the operative word here.

I know- you're just shaking your head at me, aren't you? And you're still wondering how I got locked in the basement? Fear not, dear readers, I was locked out of the house TWICE this week.

Seriously, I think I need a reality TV show. Then people might really believe me when I write about all of these things.

Yours, wishing you whatever it takes for you to get ready for Christmas before the weekend is out,

Melissa

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

HUSBAND VS. DOG

So I read this short article someplace, maybe Reader’s Digest, about how we should try to treat our spouses like our dogs. In a good way. And I started thinking about this. Yes, I give my dog more affection than I give my husband. Yes, I excuse more bad057 behavior from my dog. No, I don’t mind cleaning up after my dog.

But here’s the thing: If my husband ACTED like my dog, I wouldn’t have a problem treating him like my furry baby! For example, if he ran up to me with such excitement every time I came home, even if I’d only been in the back yard for 5 minutes, so, so happy to see me. Or if he looked at me with such gratitude and love in his eyes every single time I gave him any small amount of affection. Or if, when I asked him to do something, he just did it without uttering a word. Or when I put my cold feet under his belly to keep them warm, he didn’t even move or complain. Or if I do something wrong or a little mean, he instantly forgives me. Or how he somehow senses when I’m having a bad day and snuggles next to me as much as he can.

**Sigh** I love my dog!

Oh, maybe this is what the article meant. Maybe this is how I’m supposed to act toward my husband.  Hmmm, I’ll have to ponder that. But I’m definitely drawing the line at the cold feet under the belly!

Karen

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Madness- Putting Down the Pen


If you're a regular reader here at Macaroni and Chicken Fingers, you will know that we just released our THIRD e-organizer, The Caregiver Organizer for MY Special Needs Child. YAY! It's done!!!!! (Yes, I'm doing the happy dance. And it's a very, very happy one. Exuberant and a little bit over the top would probably be a better description, but I digress). I read Karen's blog the other day, the one in which she said we would not be writing anything for a while.

I could not be happier!

Seriously, I know I'm a writer, but there is a time to write, and a time to take a break. I'm quite proud (not in an arrogant sort of way, but more of a yes, we worked pretty hard on this and I'm really happy to be finished with it) of our accomplishment. We stayed the course and completed it!

And just in time for Christmas. Do you know there are only TEN days left? And probably only about EIGHT SHOPPING DAYS. I tremble as I type this. I have about half of my shopping done, none of my baking and none of my Christmas cards. Guess what my next writing project is about to be....

Yours, thinking there is RARELY a time when the pen gets rest,

Melissa

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Funny- It Was Bound To Happen

You will never believe what happened to me the other morning. Well, if you've been a regular reader here, you probably will, and you will also know it's pretty much par for the course.

The Hub is a restless sleeper. He tosses a large portion of the night. He also talks in his sleep. He doesn't just mumble, either. He holds demos and board meetings. I have learned more about Microsoft CRM and shipping methods at 2 AM than a girl has a right to know. Or wants to know. Particularly at 2 AM. All of this activity makes it a bit hard for me to sleep. You see, once I'm awake, I'm awake. The infinite music loop begins playing in my head and I can't shut it off. So to actually sleep, I go to the couch in the basement. I like it there. It's a little chillier, huge pillows and completely dark. I can shut the TV off and fall asleep (and that, my dear readers, is an entirely different post....). So the other night I slept on the couch. So far, I'm fine, right?

Well, in the B House, we have these locks on the door to the basement and the outside doors. You see, my Z1 was quite the escape artist at the ages of 2-5. Yes, he IS the reason a 20-year veteran of preschool teaching had to put bells on her door. The boy understands stealth. He's 9 now, and we still have these locks on the door. We figure if someone tries to get in the walk-out basement and come upstairs, well, when they try the door, they'll be quite surprised at the sound it makes while alerting us that all is not right in the basement. It also keeps the kids out of the basement playing video games before we get up in the morning.

Back to sleeping on the couch... So The Hub had to get up very early to take his mother to the hospital. She was having a small surgery, which she came through swimmingly, and he had to leave at 4:45 in the morning. He comes downstairs in his sleep deprived stupor and sees the door opened. I always leave it open when I sleep downstairs so the kids know where to find me if they need something. Well, again, in his haze, he thought,"Why is that door opened? I better close it." He closed it. And he locked it. Now this is not a normal lock that one can pick. It's a lock at the top of the door that slides over the door. There's no getting around this lock without busting the door down.

It's now 6:30 AM and I have toddled up the stairs. I turn the door knob and push. The door makes a loud clamor but refuses to open. I try again. And one more time. I bang on the door loudly, thinking I will alert my early riser children. Of course, they pick this particular morning to sleep in an extra hour. AARRGH! Having my cell phone in hand (I use the alarm), I text The Hub. Let's just say, it was not the most pleasant of conversations.

So how am I typing this, you ask? How did I finally get out of the basement? Since neither of my children could hear me, I decided a girl's gotta do what she's gotta do. I wrapped myself up in the soccer blanket, said a quick prayer that none of the neighbors would see me, and I walked around the side of the house and let myself in through the garage. Thankfully, that entry has a code and the inside door was not locked. Or maybe I should say, thankfully for The Hub. Still, all in all, it beats being locked in the bathroom. But that's another post entirely as well.

Yours, thinking I might get a hide-a-key rock,

Melissa

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ANNOUNCING OUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD BOOK!!!

Sound the horns! Start the drums rolling! We are officially announcing the roll-out of our third eBook, The Caregiver Organizer For MY Special Needs Child.caregiver organizer cover special needs child

And with this roll-out comes our HOLIDAY SALE!

25% off EVERYTHING!!!

Use coupon code “Holiday” at checkout to receive your 25% discount on any of our eBooks or hardbound books.

Whew! I gotta tell you, Melissa and I are tired! Not only did we just write 2 new books in the last few months, but we also put our original Child eBook in our new format. So no new books for a while! Now we are going to concentrate on selling, selling, selling. So if you see shameless plugs in our blog posts, well that’s just part of the game!

Anyway, visit our website here and take advantage of our Holiday Sale of 25% off ALL our products by entering “Holiday” at checkout. The sale goes until the end of the year!

Happy Shopping!

Karen

Monday, December 6, 2010

Feel Like Christmas Yet?

December 6th already? How can that be? Weren't we just on the beach?

The weather outside will definitely tell you that it's been a while since we've had hot temperatures. I say, if it's going to be this cold, bring on the snow! Love snow days with hot chocolate and cookies and a fire... for the first few hours until the kids get stir crazy. :-)

Every minute we are inching toward Christmas. There is still so much to do! Shopping (that's endless. Seriously.), wrapping, cooking, baking, parties, and the list goes on and on. But when does the moment hit you that it actually feels like Christmas? Sometimes it comes in an unexpected gift, or the music on the radio or putting up the tree. I must confess, this year's tree was quite the ordeal. My mother gave me her tree- it's 7 1/2 feet tall and each branch has to be put in one at a time. Took us no less than an hour just to get the tree together. Oy!

Still, with all the hustle and bustle, I love Christmas. We make time to get together. We choose special things for each other. We eat goodies that we won't eat for another year! We (sometimes) pause and reflect on what has been and where we are and what we hope the New Year will bring.

Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Yours, thinking I need some more white lights and poinsettias,

Melissa

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Fun- Boys will Be Boys....


The secretary patched me through. I waited for the vice principal to answer. "Hello, Mrs. Bishop," she said warmly.

"Hello Mrs. X, " I said. " I'm calling to see if you would like me to stop by and install a speed dial button with our number on it. Seems my Z1 has been beating a path to your door this week..."

She laughed, for which I'm grateful. It's been a busy week at the B house. My normally wonderful Z1 has been, uhm, well... he's just being a tween age boy. It was the second time in as many days that he had been to see Mrs. X. Once for finding his way onto an unauthorized website on the school computer and the other for being the funny guy at the lunch table. Lunch time seems to be a bit of challenge lately.

What was he doing, you ask? Lunch that day consisted of breakfast items. Pancakes, sausage, fruit. It was the sausage that got him into trouble. Apparently he thought that instead of eating the sausage for nourishment, it would make a better a better "Boy Body Part" and proceeded to demonstrate this brilliant idea to his tablemates. They thought it was hilarious, of course, except for the one who ratted him out. (Which, BTW, I don't have a problem with, because it was inappropriate, and hearing that from the vice-principal, particularly on a conference call with his father was a much weightier correction than anything I could have done).

But at the end of the day, when I came home and his father tried to tell me about it, he laughed so hard he cried. He couldn't even get the story out.

What IS is about boys and their parts??!?!?!

Yours, wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Melissa

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BYE BYE TWITTER!

Well, I did it. I finally deactivated my Twitter account. I’m sure it’s a great social media tool for many, many people, but I just twitter didn’t get it. For some reason, unknown to me, there were 1500 people out there following me, and more every day. Why? No, really… why?

I have nothing important to say. And even if I did, I certainly can’t say it in 140 characters or less! But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that I had something very profound to tweet. What if none of my 1500 followers happened to be on Twitter at that precise moment? They would totally miss it and my profoundness would be lost forever! What a waste!

Nope, Twitter is not for me. The funny thing is, I haven’t tweeted anything in a really long time, but I keep getting new followers anyway. How does that happen? It must be my glowing reputation I suppose!

So I bit the bullet and hit the “deactivate my account” button. Of course, it’s not that easy. They want to know why you want to quit and they want to warn you that if you say “yes, I really, truly do want to quit” (my words, not theirs) you can’t change your mind later, but eventually, they let you fly away. (Get it? Twitter…bird…fly away. Haha!) And now, I feel strangely…FREE!!!

Karen

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back to the Real World


It's kind of like a cold, winter wind.... brings you back to reality in a flash.

Yes, I'm talking about the day after a holiday weekend. The day on which I was to resume blogging. But we all know how good I am at forgetting to blog on Wednesday. I mean, Monday. I'm so good at it, which would explain why this post is taking place at 3:28 AM on Tuesday morning. (Note to self: This seemed like a good idea to blog at the time, when I could not sleep and was going through the hundreds of emails in my inbox-Thank you Cyber Monday!. But it might not look that way in the morning light.....)

We hope you had a good Thanksgiving. The B house fared pretty well. Nice dinner. Good family time. Some Christmas shopping and all the decorations are up.... including all of my white lights and poinsettias. (Yes, it's my addiction. I can't help myself).

Except this year, I forgot to check the lights BEFORE I put them up.

UGH!

These are the moments that I cannot process whether Christmas lights are a blessing or a curse. I like to hang green garlands wrapped with white lights over the archway between the studio and the living room (formal living room and family room). And this year, after spending a half hour getting them equal and looking just right, I plug them in and Viola! Nuthin.

Hate that.

Off to Walmart I go to purchase lights immediately. My light lesson that I learned last year is: Don't wait on buying white Christmas lights. Contrary to popular belief, Walmart will actually run out of them. Which would probably be why my lights were not working in the first place because I did not get to replace them at the end of the season last year.

Double ARGH!

And so it begins... my yearly obsession with white lights and poinsettias. I wish I could say I was getting better. But we all know, the older we get, the more some ways become ingrained.

Oh well. I've always believed that when it comes to Christmas, every room needs white lights and poinsettias and you just can't have too much. So really, I guess I'm not any worse, just more firm in my belief, right?

Yours, off to play with the lights (yes, at 3 in the morning!)

Melissa

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

thanksgiving Melissa and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you, our readers, for supporting us.  We know you could fly other airlines – Oh Woops, that’s Southwest Airlines!  I’ll try again… We know there are thousands of blogs out there that you could be reading, but you have chosen our little blog to brighten your day, and we love you for that!

So as we count our blessings for you, our families and our dinner tables tomorrow, we ask that you do the same.  And let’s all remember those not as fortunate as us this time of year, and keep our wallets and hearts open to them.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

Karen

Monday, November 22, 2010

You Never Think It Will Be You


It's Monday, and you know what that means- Monday Madness! I should probably rename it The Monday Marathon. The good news- only 3 more classes to go after tonight, and one of those classes is the final exam. Yee-ha!

Here in the B house, one of the Z kids is dealing with a situation at school. With all the talk in the news about bullying, you would think that we're all over it and it should be a non-issue, right? Not so for one of my Zs. It has not gotten to a point of being physical or that I'm ready to pull my kids from the school, but it is to the point where it has been turned over to the school counselor.

My question is: As a parent, how little or how much do I get involved?

I've been raising the flag a few times this fall. And I did it again on Thursday morning with the teacher. And wouldn't you know it, another incident took place at lunch on Friday. When I found out, I was just boiling. You know, that protective mama bear thing comes out and I'm ready to start telling people exactly how I feel and how they need to be acting. I'm not saying everyone has to be a great big happy family. I know that's not possible. But at least can we treat each other with respect?

So today, I decided to do a little investigating of my own. I simply showed up at lunch, with lunch for my Z. I sat myself right down at Z's table. I think the classmates may have knew- the one instigating the bullying in particular- that something was up. I just chatted away with each of them as if we were having a party at the house. But I hope that kid got my message- that my eyes are open and I'm watching.....

Is that wrong? How involved would you get if it was YOUR child?

Yours, hoping for some sound advice from faithful readers,

Melissa

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Fun-I'm Just Glad It's Friday!!!!


Congratulations to Storm, from Confessions of a Psychotic Housewife who won our giveaway last week. Take a second and check out her blog. She's a lot of fun and loves to give things away. And just the fact that she can own up and call herself a psychotic housewife makes her pretty cool in my book. (Like I tell my students, it's only called high maintenance when we impose our satisfying of our needs on others. If I'm fulfilling them all on my own, you can't call me high maintenance. See? I own it.... in my own way... without imposing it on others... :-)

Don't know about you, but I'm really glad it's Friday. I mean really, really glad. I still have a long weekend ahead of me at work, but just the fact that today is Friday gives me an air of relief. I can't explain it, but it does. YAY for us! Woo-hoo! As if the word "Friday" gives us permission to breathe and relax. To not take ourselves so seriously. To laugh a little more. To do something on impulse.

So imagine me tooling around The Lou and getting errands done today (already scratched four off my list!) singing something like,"Shake your grooooove thang, shake your grooove thang, yeah!yeah!......yeah!yeah!!!"

Yours, toasting to Fridays and all they imply,

Melissa

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WATCHING OUT FOR DAD

danger As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, my friend’s step-mother passed away this summer. I am very close to the family, and consider her parents my extra set of parents, especially since I lost my father a few years ago and my mom lives so far away. So her dad, who I’ll just refer to as “Dad” from here on out in this post, has been very lonely, as one would expect. (Note: women are WAY better at being alone than men, have you noticed that?)

So Dad and I are at lunch the other day, and he announces to me that he’s thinking of letting his female mail carrier move in with him.

WHAT???

Apparently, she offered to sell her house and come move in and take care of him. (Yeah right, I’m thinking!)

Here are his reasons for saying yes: They’ve known her for about 5 years, when she gets to their house, she’ll just come in without knocking, get a soda, sit down and have her lunch with them, he really likes her, she’ll cook for him, (and here’s the biggie) he’ll have somebody to talk to.

Here are my reasons for saying no, or at least slowing the process up until I can do some research: I have never met her, questionsshe will have access to all of his personal information, he’s too trusting, I need to do a background check, I need to have a  written contract on what each of them expect from the other, WHY is she willing to do this, I mean, what’s in it for her, I need to know about what kind of men she will be bringing into the house if she plans on dating, and will she be bringing family into the house…

MY list goes on and on. 

Maybe I’m too jaded, but from the research Melissa and I did writing The Caregiver Organizer for MY Aging Parent (shameless plug), I read too many articles about caregivers taking advantage of their care-takers.  I saw too much abuse and stealing.  In fact, it just happened in a huge way to a friend’s grandmother.

Luckily, the mail carrier started dating a man from church and decided that moving in with Dad wasn’t the best idea at this time. Actually, that makes me feel better about her!

My point is this: He’s lonely and vulnerable right now. Heck, he just had a date and asked her to move in during the first date. Now he can’t figure out why she won’t call him back! (Yes, we had a long talk about that one!) Watch your parents and elderly friends and relatives. What may seem like meddling to them is really just watching out for their best interests (well, as long as you’re really not meddling).

Karen

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Mania and Armchair Quaterbacks



I'm reflecting on the weekend. The B Family made our annual pilgrimage to The Hub's Mecca- Mizzou. Being a Wildcat, it can be somewhat unsettling to be around SO much black and gold. The one thing we BOTH agree on is that it's a good thing neither of us is a Jayhawk. Eeeewwww. My entire being shudders at the thought.

The weatherman said it would be 55- cold but sunny. HA. They turned on the stadium lights at 1:30 because the day was so dark. The windchill was 33 degrees. Good thing I brought those blankets. The Hub insisted I wouldn't need them, but my inner thermostat refused to listen. I know my limits.

The stadium at Mizzou is nice. The fans are wonderful. Personally, I just don't think there is any area that does it any better than Missouri when it comes to sporting events. The fans know how to love their teams. We are, after all, a Cardinal Nation and we DO bleed Blue for our hockey team.

I will admit, though, when my daughter asked me if the Rams were a professional football team, I was unsure of how to answer. Truthfully. "Baby, they're on their way up!" I replied. She seemed satisfied, so I pursued the matter no further.

I watched the game with great fervor. I love the intricacies and beauty of football. Yes, I said the word beauty. I mean, have you seen the athleticism in how high those receivers can jump? And how they juke their way around the defense? Or how about the quarterback that can resist the urge to throw under pressure, wait that extra second and find his mark.... It really is a thing of beauty.

Here's my issue.... for as long as we have been going to any sort of stadium/arena event... any event where there are masses and masses of people...

WHY THE HECK HAVE WE NOT SOLVED THE ISSUE OF THE TRIPLE LENGTH LINE TO THE LADIES' RESTROOM??!?!?!?

Seriously! I mean, we put a man on the moon forty+ years ago! We can implicate people in crimes through DNA evidence! We can feed 3rd world countries!

It's not rocket science. So much so that when we went to CJ's for wings later and there was a line outside of the men's room, but not the ladies room, I nearly took a picture. I just don't know that I will see that again in my lifetime. And it only took the men one second to realize why I was so befuddled..... One of them even said,"Yes, it's true. We are waiting in line for the MENS room. Yours is over there."

To top it off, I walk into the ladies room and THERE IS A MAN COMING OUT OF THE STALL! I wasn't quite sure how to take this. Was I living in a dream? He BLUSHED and said, "I'm sorry, I just couldn't wait."

To which I replied," I feel your pain."

Yours, wondering if instances like THAT is what it will take to solve the problem,

Melissa

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday!

Hey! Karen's away. Do you think I should post? I'm feeling a little mischievous today. Hmmmm.... I know!

In lieu of posting a funny today, let's do a giveaway. First person to be able to tell me who said this quote will get a free download of our The Caregiver Organizer for MY Aging Parent. Here's the quote:

"Everything that goes up must come down. But there comes a time when not everything that's down can come up."


No googling, either! :-)

Yours, wishing you a happy Friday!

Melissa


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

RANDOM THOUGHTS

I don’t know, maybe I have adult ADD. Maybe it’s not justadult add random forgetfulness and disorganization and old age. Maybe, just maybe, I can blame it on something else!

Here’s a sampling of what’s going on in my brain right now:

  1. Okay, it’s 75 degrees outside, but for sure, if I bring out some clothes to wear, it will immediately turn cold again, so what’s the point. By the way, what to wear today when the boys are swimming in the indoor pool at the YMCA earning a cub scout badge, cuz it’s going to be really hot in there?
  2. Somehow I need to get DH to sew my curtains before my jewelry party that I’m hosting next week.  Hmmm, how to do that?
  3. And how to get everyone to really clean the house while I’m out of town this weekend so it looks good for the party?
  4. In fact, how to keep them from totally destroying the house?
  5. I think our calendar for cub scouts ends at the end of this year.  We still have January through May to plan for. Ugh!
  6. How am I going to arrange the furniture for the jewelry party? And exactly what am I serving?
  7. When am I packing for my trip to Dallas? Don’t forget to check in tomorrow morning so I’m in Group A.
  8. Gotta start planning for Thanksgiving.  When is it again?
  9. Don’t forget charity pickup before you leave for Dallas in the morning.
  10. Maybe DH can get my laptop fixed while I’m in Dallas. Bwahahahahaha!!!!!!
  11. I’m really behind on my Dr. Phil's and Oprah’s.  When, oh when, will I EVER catch up????

It just gets even more boring and crazy from there.  Does everyone have this problem?  (Please say yes!)  Besides organizing my desk, I need to organize my BRAIN!

Hmmm, maybe that’s an idea for our next book…

Karen

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday, Monday!


Monday, are you here already? But I was having such a lovely time with Saturday and Sunday and now you come to spoil the party....

Maybe I shouldn't think of it as "spoiling the party". Maybe you're just here to help me appreciate Saturdays and Sundays.... this is going to require more coffee than initially planned.

We've been working hard here- getting our books all into digital format. Karen is a madwoman on the computer, which is a good thing because, me? Well, not so much! I can feverishly type an outline, email or chatting conversation, but ask me to do something beyond that? HA! I'm still terrified of the delete button and have learned how much "Control Z" is my friend.

Wouldn't it be lovely to have "Control Z" option in real life? You know, that lovely function on your computer that let's you undo the last few things you did so if you accidentally screw something up it goes back to the way it was before? Say something stupid.... Control Z! Spent too much money on an impulse? Control Z! Ate too much candy on Halloween night? Control Z! Wasted too much time on facebook when you should have been writing? Control Z!

Oh, Monday- WHERE is your control Z function?

Yours, drinking an extra shot of coffee this morning, but knowing that even without "Control Z" it will all be just fine,

Melissa

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fun- Out of the Mouths of Tweens...


I took Z1 to see the doctor yesterday. Just a regular checkup. But Z1 was concerned about a few things, so ever wanting to encourage him to take responsibility, I let him ask the doc a few questions. He is, after all, nine, and officially a tween. (Did I just type that? I think I'm going to need to pour a glass of wine...)

So the conversation went a little like this....

Z1: Hey Doc, look at these little bumps on the back of my neck.. a little lower there...

Doc: Mmhmmm...

Z1: What are those? Permanent goosebumps? They won't go away.

Doc: Well, Z1, those are called kerablabbityblabbityblahblah and you might get them on the back of your arm, sometimes on your legs and ocassionally on your face. They will get be worse at some times of the year and less during other seasons. But there's no medication or cream for it. Do you understand what I mean?

Z1: What you're saying is, that's just how my body works and I need to get over it?

Doc: (suppressing a giggle) Uhm, yep. Pretty much.

Doc looks at me as if to say,"Yeah, Mom, he's been listening all along..."

Yours, wondering how I get him to listen to other things, too,

Melissa

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

AND SO IT BEGINS…AGAIN!

Halloween begins my downhill spiral into my eating frenzy.  For the next 2 months, I will have to use every ounce of will power Icandy have not to constantly be shoving candy and cookies and pie and potatoes into my mouth at every given opportunity. 

As I sit here, writing this blog post in my office, I can hear the “fun size” candy having a party downstairs, calling my name to come join them, inviting me to eat them.  Taunting me.  Laughing at me.  Yes, daring me!

But, of course Halloween is just the beginning.  Then comes the carb-fest of Thanksgiving.  Really, the turkey is only the centerpiece of the meal.  The decoration.  The main dishes are the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, the sweet potato pie.  And of course the desserts.  Oh, the pies and the cakes and the cookies! (Oops, I think I just drooled on myself!)

christmas cookies Then, the ultimate…Christmas!  Only, it’s not just the Christmas Day meal.  Oh, no.  It’s all the baking and the parties leading up to that lovely dinner.  (Not to mention we probably will still have leftover Halloween candy and desserts from Thanksgiving for a while!) So it’s an entire month of eating, or trying not to eat, all those unhealthy choices.

So what’s a gal to do?  Deep breath, repeat millions of times over the next 2 months: “I will be strong, I will be strong…!”

Karen

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mom's Day Off

I know, right? Did you read that title? Does such a thing exist? If you are the primary caregiver in your family, you will know that it is a RARE occurrence. It's nearly a myth. I've heard of such an idea before, but short of grabbing the keys and heading west alone, it may not happen. :-)

It's Monday, and I'm coming down with something. I slept last night for ten hours straight with no dreams and woke in a foggy haze. Not my norm- especially the ten hours part. Just doesn't happen!

And if you read my schedule from last week, you'll know that Monday is NOT the day for me to have the flu. Seriously. Good thing the sitter comes today. Good thing the book is there.

I think maybe our next book should be about getting a Mommy Day Off: How To Find and Navigate That Mythical Concept.

Of course, that might require an actual experience! The truth is though, when that day finally comes, I will probably wish for my craziness back. Here at the B house, my Z1 is (ahem) subtly letting me know that it is no longer cool to show him affection (or require it of him) in front of ANY of his peers. This has been a hard one for me to take. I pretty much had to let him know that showing his mother affection, should he want to continue his present and current life comfort level, was non-negotiable. He still continues to try to negotiate. The point is, I found myself wishing for the moments from when he was about 18 months old and he would endlessly sit in my lap, putting together the same puzzle over and over and over again. It drove me crazy some days, and now, I would definitely do that puzzle with him a few more times.

So here's to Monday Madness. Here's to routine. Here's to sitters in place and even when I'm not feeling like it, trying to suck out every moment of life that I can!

Yours, thinking a pillow and blanket sounds REALLY good about now,

Melissa

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween is Here!

It's two days before Halloween. Got your costume yet? My kids have had theirs for a few weeks now. We have an Iron Man (2) and a Cowardly Lion. My daughter's friend is Dorothy, and there's a whole Wizard of Oz theme going on in the cul-de-sac. I was doing my best to be Glinda, but I'm having a harder time getting the dress together due to time constraints. A friend lent me a dress, but it looks a little more Gone With the Wind than Wizard of Oz. :-)

So for our weekly dose of funny, I have some cute jokes for your kids to tell when they are Trick or Treating...

  • When Dracula decided he need a dog, which breed did he choose?
    A bloodhound.
  • What would you call the ghost of a door-to-door salesman?Halloween grave jokes
    A dead ringer.
  • What do skeletons always order at a restaurant?
    Spare ribs!
  • Who was the most famous French skeleton?
    Napoleon bone-apart.
  • Who won the skeleton beauty contest?
    No body.


Love the one about Napoleon, but the door to door salesman kills me!

Have a safe, Happy Halloween. Remember to take flashlights, travel in groups and let your kids eat as much candy that night as they want!

Yours, enjoying their childhood,

Melissa

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WE’RE IN A BOOK!!!

If my neighbors wouldn’t complain, I would yell this from my rooftop.  But that would only reach a few people anyway, so I’m yelling through cyberspace in my blog…

WE’RE IN A BOOK!!!

This is about the most exciting news EVER!!!nanny factor

Our friend, Candi Wingate of Nannies4Hire.com has written a  FABULOUS book called The Nanny Factor, A Parent’s Guide to Finding the Right Nanny for Your Family.

Some of the information you’ll find in this valuable resource include:

  • The health benefits for your children of having a nanny in your house
  • The myths about nannies and the real truth
  • How to hire the right nanny for your children's needs
  • What to pay your nanny (and it's less than you think)
  • How to stay in touch with your children while you're at work
  • How to check references and what background checks to run
  • How a nanny can keep your household running smoothly

Candi is full of experience, having been a nanny herself and now running Nannies4Hire.com full time and using a nanny for her own children.  Oh, how I wish I had had this book 9 years ago when I was hiring a nanny for the very first time!

You can purchase this awesome book here for only $21.99 plus $4.00 shipping and handling.  And when you get it, look at page 95 to see The Caregiver Organizer for MY Child.  It’s SO exciting!  Candi even mentioned Melissa and I in her forward!  (As an author, you have no idea what a huge deal that is!)

So if you’re in the market for a nanny, this is a MUST READ!!!  It makes a great gift also!  And I’m not just saying that because I’m in it.  Really!  The book is fabulous, the website is fabulous, and Candi is fabulous for including us!

Karen

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Madness

It's Monday Madness around here. When Karen and I first started The Caregiver Organizer, our situations were quite reversed. I worked part-time. It was fairly minimal part-time. My children were toddlers and required much more in-home care, so I was with them A LOT. Karen worked full-time and had a full-time nanny. Fast forward five years- I'm working two part-time jobs (which equals full time with no benefits) and hiring sitters and Karen is the one mostly at home, but WORKING as the Chief of Operations for Karmel Publishing.

Monday for me, for the next eight weeks looks like this:

5:45 AM - run
7:00 get the kids up and moving
8:45 drop the kids off at school
9-3 work
4:00 kids come home- snack and homework
4:30 I leave for work
5:30-9:30- teach my night course
10:15 make it home and hopefully be in bed by 11.

Which is why it's more important than ever for me to keep my caregivers organized. One wrong move and things could start coming unhinged. Thankfully, my children are at an age where the instructions are somewhat less detailed. Instead of saying things like,"Make sure you cut the large grapes in half and stay with him while he is eating because he tends to chipmunk his food,", it looks a little more like:
- text me when you have the kids
-snack
-homework
-20 minutes of reading
- piano practice
- no media until after dinner
-and about five more item.... seriously!

So I'm glad I'm keeping it all in one place. I don't even want to think about what it's going to look like when my parents begin requiring help. I don't mean that as a complaint, just a wondering of how I will manage it all. Guess that's why I'm starting early with the organizer for my parents. I'm getting them a copy this week.

Yours, knowing that there's nothing like planning ahead,

Melissa

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Funny!

Why did the banana take the prune to the homecoming dance?

'Cause he couldn't find a date!

HA!

Admit it- you laughed!

Yours, not NEARLY foolish enough to admit to the things my business partner admitted to in her last post,

Melissa

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

IS THAT WRONG?

There are certain things that I think or do that I have to ashamed puppy wonder, “Is that wrong?  Am I a bad person?”  So here are some of them.  Please let me know if you do these things too!

  • I LOVE being alone in my house!  No kids, no husband, just me, me, me!  And I don’t mean I think it’s kind-of nice.  I mean I LOVE it!
  • When it’s right before dinner and I’m kind-of, but not really, hungry, I sneak a couple of bites of something.  I say sneak, because if my kids see me eating something, they’ll want a snack, and of course I’ll say no because it will ruin their appetite for dinner.  Duh!
  • I am secretly THRILLED that I weigh less than my Skinny Minnie sister (who, by the way, doesn’t read this, so if anyone forwards this to her, you’re in BIG trouble!).  Of course I say that she’s an inch taller and she works out more so she has more muscle, blah, blah, blah.  But inside, I’m thinking, “I weigh less!  Ha ha! In your face, skinny one!!!!”
  • Even though I expect everyone in the family to give me a bite of their meal or dessert, I don’t share mine with anyone.  Really, if I’m having a 5 point Weight Watchers meal, that I’ve measured and weighed out, or splurging on a 2 point cookie, am I really going to give up a bite?
  • This surgery that I had?  So maybe I milked it just a little longer than I needed to.  It was just so nice having my husband and kids take care of ME for once!  Not having to worry about dinner and the laundry and cleaning up after everyone else was SO NICE, it was really hard to give that up!  But, alas, I finally did.  (sniff, sniff!)

Those are some of the things I’ll actually admit to, because the others, well, I KNOW that they are wrong!

Karen