Wednesday, March 31, 2010


When my husband and I found out we were going to have twins, one of the first decisions we made, after the decision that NO, we would NEVER BUY A MINI-VAN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE (and yes, we’ve stuck to that!) was that we would hire a nanny instead of use day care. Thatmary poppins turned out to be one of the BEST decisions EVER! (Probably even better than that mini-van decision, although that could be a toss-up!)

But before you hire a nanny, you must be prepared for many adjustments. It’s not easy having another woman in your household. Not for you or your husband. For him, it’s like having two wives sometimes, and not in the good way! For you, you’re sharing almost everything. And sometimes that’s good, because you’re able to share a lot of the responsibilities and delegate a lot of them to her. But you have to remember that she is basically in charge of the house and the kids from eight to five or so while you are gone.

I know, you’re thinking, “No way, Karen, it’s MY house and they’re MY kids and I’M the boss whether I’m there or not.” And in theory, you’re correct. But the reality is, you ain’t there and you ain’t the one making the decisions. Yes, you set the guidelines on how to run the household and what the children eat, drink, play with, etc. (And of course it’s all filled out in The Caregiver Organizer that you leave for her.) But she’s the one handling the minute by minute details that come up, day in and day out.

The bottom line is, you must be prepared to let go. You cannot maintain the control that you’re used to having when you have a nanny. It will just end up stressing you leavingout, plus putting huge amounts of stress on your nanny, which will not be a good situation for your kids. If you try to micro-manage a nanny, she will end up leaving you. She needs to have a certain amount of independence in order to do her job effectively. That does NOT mean to let her do what she wants, of course. She is still your employee, taking care of YOUR KIDS, and that always gives you the right, and the duty, to keep your eye on her. But that’s another post for another day!

So just look at it this way… you now have a wife! Hmmm, interesting!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Staying a Step Ahead

See what happens when you go on Spring Break and have some blog posts already prewritten? You start to get back into the swing of things, and because you have not had to blog for awhile, it goes completely off the radar. UGH. I hate it when I do that!

I've been on a simplicity bend for sometime now, and I'm starting to see some improvement. I'm pretty excited about that because it is giving me time to actually focus on things I love, rather than doing things to get them done and move on to the next task, completely unfulfilled in my work. One thing that has made some difference is I've started looking at my week before I get to my week. About Wed, I start mentally prepping for the next week. Not anything big, just thinking out which days are my longer days, which days I will have time to write, days the kids will need me a little more, how I will fit in the grocery shopping, cleaning, running by the bank and all of those other errands, let alone teach class and lessons. And I've also started setting realistic expectations. I'm sad it took me so long to realize I'm NOT Superwoman and I can't get it all done in one day. I could have saved myself a lot of frustration.

Another thing I've been making myself do is not wait until the last minute to find my sitter. I do have a regular sitter (no, my students have NOT stolen her from me yet-HA!. . . see previous Thursday post) and she is like clockwork. But here in our wonderful school district, school closes more often than the bank and post office combined. Seriously. For instance, we JUST had Spring Break at the beginning of the month. They were off the Friday before an entire week of being off. This week, we have a half day on Thursday, Good Friday off AND the Monday after Easter. It's no wonder they have a hard time retaining what they are learning. We keep taking days off! The parents, however, do NOT have those days off, so I go directly to my Caregiver Organizer and pull out THE LIST. Yes, THAT list. The sacred Babysitter List with all of my phone numbers on it. (You wouldn't believe how many people have asked me for a copy of that list. Yeah. . . Not.On.Your.LIFE!) But it's one thing in a huge mess of a chaotic schedule I can control. Go to the book. Get the list. Make the calls.

I love my organizer. It's helping me keep my sanity.

Well, some days anyway. Wait 'til you read my Friday Funny. It will help you understand why I've got this little tic. . .

Yours, covering Good Friday and Easter Monday,


Monday, March 29, 2010


I’m still not feeling well, so I decided to make a list of things that make me happy. No, not the usual World Peace sort of things, but the little, unexpected things that happen and never fail to bring a smile to my face. Here are the ones I can think of:

  1. A compliment.
  2. The other side of the pillow (ahhh, so nice and cool).
  3. Hearing a child giggle.
  4. Walking, or driving, by flowers and getting a whiff of their scent.FLOWERS
  5. An unexpected hug from my child.
  6. Finding money in a pocket.
  7. Fitting into a smaller size.
  8. Realizing at the end of the day that I haven’t used up all of my Weight Watchers points so I can have a snack before I go to bed.
  9. Getting a card in the mail, when it’s not even my birthday.
  10. Getting a new fan on my Facebook Fan Page. (Hint, hint!)
  11. Realizing it’s only 16 MORE DAYS until my annual sister’s trip to Mexico. (WOO HOO!!!)
  12. Hearing a song on the radio that brings back great memories.

Okay, that’s all I can think of. What are the things that make you happy?


Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Funny- Get Over Yourself, Lindsay Lohan!

This one has me perplexed yet laughing all the same. I mean, really, how inflated must your ego be to believe this about yourself?

From US Magazine:

Lindsay Lohan is no milkaholic.

And that's likely why the 23-year-old star is suing financial company E-Trade for $100 million for using her name in its latest commercial about a boyfriend-stealing "milkaholic" baby.In the ad, which debuted during this year's Super Bowl in February, a baby boy apologizes to his girlfriend for not calling her the night before.

"And that milkaholic Lindsay wasn't over?" the baby girl asks before another baby girl pops into the screen saying, "Milk-a-whaaat?"

Lohan filed the lawsuit Monday, which claims the ad violated the star's rights under New York state civil-rights law.

"Many celebrities are known by one name only, and E-Trade is using that knowledge to profit," Lohan's lawyer, Stephanie Ovadia, said in a statement to the New York Post. "They're using her name as a parody of her life. Why didn't they use the name Susan? This is a subliminal message. Everybody's talking about it and saying it's Lindsay Lohan."

The spokesperson for Grey Group, which produced the "milkaholic" commercial, said that they "just used a popular baby name that happened to be the name of someone on the account team."

In the lawsuit, Lohan is seeking an injunction to force the spot off the air.

They're profiting because they used the name Lindsay? Sorry, Lilo, but you never even made it to the outer reaches of my consciousness when I watched that commercial. Not even my subconscious.


Yours, thinking she needs to give it up now,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thoughts-How Would This Make You Feel?

So I teach piano in my home. I have a regular sitter. This particular sitter has been with me for four years now. We love her. She's a part of the family by now and my students know her too.

I finish teaching a lesson and my student walks into my kitchen. Not unusual as the student knows my kids and they usually chat a moment or two before she leaves. As I am walking by, I hear the student whisper to my sitter, "My Mom asked me to get your phone number."

Right there, in my own kitchen, my sitter is being recruited by my student. It's not like I don't know the student's mom. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive. But couldn't the mom have asked me directly? Or had the student ask me if it was okay? I KNOW it's not like I own my sitter by any means. I know she sits for other people, too. But it all felt so sneaky. I'm sure I'm being a bit ridiculous, but it really put me on the defensive.

It's entirely possible that there are a hundred explanations that would completely diffuse any hint of territorialness. But at the moment, I somewhat feel like an unspoken, yet understood line has been crossed. I ALWAYS ask my friends before I approach a sitter that has been sitting in their home. They've always asked me. I thought that was how it worked. I need some input here. . .


Yours, not getting worked up, but slightly HHMPHED,


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


As you may know, my family and I went to Orlando over Spring break. We spent 2 days at Disney Parks and 2 days at Universal Studios. Here are some of my observations from these 4 days. (I should warn you, I came home with a nasty cold, so this column may be a bit snarky for some of you!)fart

  1. Now I know we were around a lot of children, but I don’t think we can blame them for this one ALL the time: People don’t care about passing gas in crowds. Seriously! It was happening so much, I thought it was my own kids, but even my kids don’t toot that much!
  2. People do not look in the mirror before they leave the house. In fact, I’m convinced that many of them don’t even own mirrors. Examples include obese (and I’m talking OBESE, not just a little overweight) women wearing tank tops that don’t even cover their stomachs and short shorts that certainly don’t cover their butts. Or men with mullet haircuts, white knee socks with dark sandals or jeans that are so low on their butts they have to use one hand to hold them up at all times. (If your other hand is holding your girlfriend’s hand, how do you carry that big, overstuffed SpongeBob you won for her at the arcade?)
  3. Some (not all, so don’t get your panties in a bunch) smokers ignore “No Smoking” signs. Or in the case of the parks, “Smoking Allowed in Designated Areas Only.” Just because you smoke doesn’t mean you have to be rude, right?roller coaster
  4. Some folks actually believe that their hat will stay on their head when riding a roller coaster that goes upside down! Really! There’s a net underneath the upside down part of the the roller coaster, filled with hats, sunglasses, even a pair of shoes! While my son and I were watching, we saw another hat come floating down. Amazing!
  5. Lastly, even though their are TONS of people at the parks, and everyone wants to get on the rides in the shortest amount of time, most people are very polite, very friendly, and just want to have a good time, just like you and me! As for the rest of the folks, there, I’ll just ignore them and have fun with my kids!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yes, We're Back. Refreshed? Uhm . . .

Spring Break. Yes, we survived it. It was nice to be away- we got away for about three days (five if you count the driving days) and to be honest, I really liked having my cell phone off. I really liked not thinking about ANYthing for a few days. The only problem is, it's still here when you return, and usually there is more of it because you've been away. The nice thing about Spring Break is, most of us are in the same boat, whether we went away or had a staycation, so we're all playing catch-up this week. At least the playing field is level.

So coming back, first things first, we have to be organized. Now, after a trip, when I'm on vacation time (think Bahamian time), I walk slower, respond slower, plan slower. . . I'm just slower altogether. So kicking it back into gear can really take some motivation. Tackling everything all at once generally wears me out completely, thus nullifying the vacation. Bleh! So I've learned to do the following:

1.) Start with the absolute MUSTS. This would include clean underwear and milk for the next morning. The whole laundry sort and grocery list, I can get to sometime that week, as long as I have clean underwear and milk for cereal, I'm good to go.

2.) As tempting as it is to put everything in a pile and deal with it later, DEAL WITH IT AS YOU COME TO IT. I take my toiletries bags upstairs to the bathroom and as I'm getting ready the next morning, I'm unpacking AND PUTTING AWAY. (It's the follow through of putting away that is generally lacking for me after a vacation). No sense in doing it the moment I get out of the car. I will store it as I use it. Same thing for unpacking anything clean. I will put it away as I am putting the other laundry. No sense in having two sessions, know what I mean?

3.) Check messages and mail IMMEDIATELY. You just never know what you forgot while you were away (my girlfriend was away this past week and forgot we had tickets to the John Mayer concert. Boy was she steamed!) or things that need immediate attention.

4.) Remember to be kind to yourself. While vacation is wonderful, traveling can make you a little tired, so don't be surprised if you feel like going to bed a little early or need an extra cup of coffee. It's okay. Listen to your body and give it what it needs in order to retain the relaxation you got when you were on vacation (relaxation- ask Karen how relaxed she was at the theme parks. . . :-)

Hope you all are having a wonderful start to Spring. Feel free to take a break today!



Monday, March 22, 2010


Melissa and I have survived Spring Break. She was on a cold, windy beach, I was at the chilly parks in Orlando. But hey, we weren’t at home, right? :)

caregiver organizer cover child 300dpi So we’re ready to really kick off our new brand, which, as we’ve been talking about, includes our new website and our new eBook. But it’s more than that. It’s also our new name: The Caregiver Organizer, and soon to come, an expanded line of products.

But our first order of business is to CELEBRATE our kick-off with a BIG SALE!!! So here it is:

SAVE 25% ON THE CAREGIVER ORGANIZER EBOOK! Use coupon code Caregiver25.

NOW ONLY $7.50!!!

SAVE 50% ON FIRST RUN HARDBOUND BOOKS! Use coupon code Caregiver50.

(By The Book: How To Take Care of MY Kids)

NOW ONLY $9.95!!!

These prices won’t last forever, so if you’re a new parent, a parent of small children, or a parent-to-be, check out The Caregiver Organizer. And don’t forget, it makes a GREAT GIFT! Just go to and use one of the coupon codes above to get your incredible discount.

And please spread the word!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


annoucementIT’S FINISHED.




Check it out at

Well, what do you think? Snazzy? Eye-catching? Colorful? Easy to navigate? Did you look at all the pages? Like the pictures?

One of the really cool things is that our eBook now gives the user the ability to fill it out AND SAVE IT on their own computer. Cool, right?

Soon, we’ll be moving our blog over to the website also, so that everything looks and feels the same. No more Macaroni and Chicken Fingers for us, but don’t worry, we’ll give you plenty of notice! And while we’ll still have fun stories on our blog, we’ll also have more articles that have to do with our books. After all, we started the blog to get more traffic to our book website. We just started having so much fun blogging, we sort-of lost sight of that goal!

So PLEASE, PLEASE give us some feedback on our new website.

Oh, and by the way, Melissa and I have been on vacationworking so hard on the site and our eBook, and tons of other stuff these past few months, we’re both off for Spring Break vacations, so you’re not going to see us for a little while. There might be a post here and there, but if there is, it’s just ‘cuz we miss ya! Otherwise, we’ll be back, REFRESHED AND READY TO GO on March 22nd!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit- So What Does This Say About Me?

Here at the B House, we have had another bout with the flu. This time, it struck Z1. Poor little bear. It's not the achy, hurt all over kind, but the kind where you wretch your guts out for two days until you have absolutely NOTHING left inside of you. He was finally able to hold down food yesterday and got some of his energy back, much to my relief. It's just hard to see your little ones so miserable and lethargic.

His flu started in the middle of the night. Normally, I am the one who gets up in the middle of the night for everything. When we first had children, I was barely working, so I always got up since the Hub had to go into work the next day. And when it comes to cleaning up puke, I ALWAYS have to do it because he can't take the smell (as if it's roses to MY nose). I'm usually gagging the entire time I clean it up. I can't tell you how many times I have had to do it.

Right now I'm working seven days a week, so it's a whole different ball game. It's a busy music season for me, on top of a busy work season at The Caregiver Organizer. (Which, BTW, that book has come in HANDY the last few weeks! Lots of sitters, lots of schedules. . . ) Anyway, so when Z1 first came to me in the middle of the night, I was really groggy. Generally, I am up before he can get three steps into the hallway. It's just how I'm wired. But this night, when he came back a second time, I was still pretty unresponsive, so I've been told. All I remember was getting shook by the Hub and hearing an,"AAAACCKKK!!!! The New Carpet!" and a quick ushering of a little body to the nearest bathroom.

I promptly rolled over thinking,"He said Let's. As in Let US have a baby. US meaning both of us.Go ahead, Honey."

And I slept soundly for the rest of the night.

Does that make me a bad mom? Or wife?

Yours, not losing too much sleep over it,


Monday, March 8, 2010


Okay, we’re into March now, so it’s time to ‘fess up on how we are all doing on our New Year’s Resolutions! On my blog post at the beginning of January, I told you about my 2 (yes, only 2, it’s all I can handle!) resolutions: to continue losing weight to reach my 50 pound weight loss goal and to become more organized.

Resolution #1 is going great! I’m up to 42 pounds lost, and still going lifting weightsstrong. In fact, I’m shaking it up a bit. While I’m still on Weight Watchers and still love their program, I’m deviating a little bit and counting calories (gasp!) and not just points now. It’s been interesting to see the difference. I’m also changing up my workout routine. I’ve been seeing a personal trainer to get me started in strength training. (At her prices, though, I told her I’m only paying for 4 sessions, so she better cram everything she can into those sessions!) Since I’ve only had 2 sessions with her so far, the only difference I see is HOW MUCH PAIN I’M IN!!! I’m sure it’s not reflected in my mood, though, so I can’t figure out why everyone in my family, dog included, seems to run away when I enter a room! Hmmmm.

Resolution #2 is… well… let’s just say it’s a work in progress. I thought that having my calendar on my phone would be great. But really, it’s just confusing me more. See, I can’t give up my “book” calendar, so calendarsometimes I’ll have something on one calendar and not the other. Great example: Melissa and I moved our weekly meetings from Thursday afternoons to Monday afternoons. I changed it on my phone, because it was with me, but forgot to change it on my “real” calendar (I guess in my mind it was already changed), so of course I made lunch plans today with a friend, totally forgetting about my business meeting in the middle of a REALLY busy time at work. AND right before we are both taking vacations for spring break. (Turns out her son has been puking for the past 2 days and we can’t meet anyway, so I’m off the hook, but still…!)

However, I am getting better with my “piles!” I’m trying to stay on top of putting things away before my piles get out of hand. “TRYING” being the operative word here. Baby steps!

So how are your New Year Resolutions going?


Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Funny-Now THIS I Would PAY To See!

Sent to me, from my comedic friend Tara. . . .

It would be too good to be true, don't you think?


Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks. Each kid will play two sports and take either music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework,complete science projects, cook, do laundry,and pay a list of 'pretend' bills

with not enough money. In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time--no emailing. Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care.He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside, and keeping it presentable at all times.The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn themselves with jewelry,

wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished, and eyebrows groomed. During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure abdominal cramps, back aches, head aches,but never once complain or slow down

from other duties.They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hairby 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight,shoe size, clothes size, doctor's name, the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear,and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.

The last man wins only if...

he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.(BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!)

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over

again for the next 18-25 years, eventually earning the right to be called Mother!

After you get done laughing,send our link to as many mothers and fathers (who are the primary caregiver or REALLY good natured) as you think will get a kick out of it and as many men as you think can handle it.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Here at Karmel Publishing, we've been busy. Busy getting simple. I have to admit, I'm kinda liking the climate of things in a certain way. It's not that I'm enjoying the economic downturn, but it really does put things in focus, doesn't it? Keeps the main things the main things. But I've noticed that people around me are letting go of things that really aren't making a difference. That's what Karen and I have been doing. Well, Karen is way better at it than I. I am more of the creative end, and Karen is more of the business end. She's been ruthlessly making some executive decision that are definitely for the betterment of the business, but we're getting back to keeping the main things the main thing. The new- more simple- website is almost finished. And our book- has gone completely electronic in a saveable format. We can't WAIT for you to see it!

So whatever is happening in your world- business or personal- remember that we don't have to have all the bells and whistles. Keep the main thing the main thing, whatever your main thing is!

Yours, staying focused,


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


There’s no doubt about it, my home is a Lego Home! My kids (and that includes the adult one) are OBSESSED with all things Lego. Especiallylegos4 Star Wars Lego's. But there are a bunch of Indian Jones Lego's in there, with a sprinkling of assorted others around. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that my boys love Lego's. They can spend literally hours working on them, which is SOOOOO much better than playing video games or watching TV or, since those 2 options are usually NOT options, walking around the house whining that there’s nothing to do. So in the winter, when playing outside is also not an option, Lego’s are fabulous.

BUT… (you KNEW there was a BUT coming!) let me tell you about my Lego World. My husband built these wonderful shelves down in the basement for all of the completed Lego sculptures. Here it is:

legos3Notice how the shelves are mostly empty? No, that’s not because the Lego’s are elsewhere in the basement. Here is my dining room table:

And here is my entry hallway:

I don’t even want to show you what a typical day looks like in my family room, but all I can say is it’s like an obstacle course.

So while you are considering whether or not to feel sorry for me, let me leave you with one parting thought: Have you ever stepped on a Lego in the middle of the night? Half asleep? Barefoot, of course?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SOOOOOOO Different!

Karen's post yesterday could not have been more right on the money. We ARE so different. Funny, in the beginning I wondered if it would work, a business with two people at opposite polar positions. Seriously! Our political views- opposite. Spiritual views- opposite. Our mothers- well, we think they were separated at birth, but that's an entirely different post (uhm, BLOG!). Husbands, different, but definitely sharing that Y Chromosome Syndrome.
It got me to thinking though, if two people who are so different can come together and make a business work , (well at least go for it, work side by side and still actually like each other after all this time), WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH CONGRESS???!!!???!


I think I have an idea. . . .

Hey Karen- you want to be the president or the vice president?

Yours, dreaming an impossible dream,


Monday, March 1, 2010


Melissa and I make great business partners, probably due to the fact that we are SO DIFFERENT! In many ways we are extremely similar, which is what drew us to each other, such as our core values in how we raise our children and run our business. But sometimes our differences are SO extreme, even we have to laugh and shake our heads!

For example, Melissa is a very spiritual person and I sad catam, well… not. In any shape or form! She’s also a very emotional person. Let’s just say it takes a REALLY sappy commercial (remember those old AT&T commercials?) to bring a tear to my eye! She can just be talking about her day and BOOM! come the tears. (It’s so dang cute!)

But the other day as we were talking about our boys turning 9 (if you haven’t figured it out by now, their birthdays are only 2 days apart), our differences once again really came to light. Yes, I admit I was a bit wistful, but of course, Melissa had the water works turned on! The funniest thing was when we compared our first thoughts from when we both found out for the first time we were having boys.

Melissa didn’t find out until she actually gave birth to her beautiful baby boy. Having been a first grade teacher previously, her first thoughts were that she couldn’t wait until he was in first grade. She had memories of that time when little 6 year old boys would raise their hand and when she’d call on them, they’d say, “I love you Miss Whatever-her-name-was-then!” She longed to see that sweet, innocent time in his life.

065I knew WAY ahead of time that I was having boys. Not only am I way too impatient, but with twins on the way, I needed to have my ducks in a row as much as I could. So when I found out that I was having 2 boys, my first thought, and I swear this is the truth (just ask my sister!) was “How many years until they are in Cub Scouts and have their first campout with their father so I can have the entire house to myself?”

I kid you not! (Oh, and by the way, it took 7 1/2 years!)